Johannesburg / Monte Carlo - Max Bursak, one of the standout contenders in the middleweight rankings, has replaced Martin Murray as Jarrod Fletcher’s opponent on the Monte-Carlo Boxing Bonanza tournament on February 1
The headliner features undefeated WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in defence of his titles against Osumanu Adama.
Bursak happily stepped in to replace Murray, who claimed to be injured, although it is widely known he is negotiating for another fight.
Bursak (29-1-1, 12 KOs) is ranked in the top 10 of the WBC, WBA and WBO and will put his WBA Continental middleweight belt on the line.
This will be the Ukrainian’s second fight in the principality, having fought the UK’s Prince Arron on the last Golden Gloves show there in 2013 in defence of his European title.
The experienced champion has dominated European opposition and also boasts a win over highly-regarded American Brian Vera in 2010.
The only blip in an otherwise flawless 10-year professional career came in France two years ago when he dropped a decision to unbeaten Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in his French back yard.
A rugged, come-forward fighter, Bursak demonstrated solid all-round skills against Arron, who was handily beaten last year, and has since followed up with two additional wins, against Nick Blackwell for the vacant WBA Continental middleweight title, and Gari Abajiani of Georgia, who was beaten last month.
“I’m very satisfied with him as a replacement,” said Berman. “I had an inkling Murray would pull out, probably for fear of losing to Fletcher, who is dangerous.”
“Left Jab” Fletcher (17-1, 10 KOs) has accepted the change with good grace and is said to be training up a storm in Australia. The former Beijing Olympian had a storming 2013, winning three of his four fights via stoppage to confirm his contender status.