By Steve Kim
Hard-nosed Petr Petrov solidified his standing in the lightweight division on September 30th by stopping Michael Perez in six rounds at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
The fight with Perez was an officially sanctioned WBA eliminator for the title currently held by Jorge Linares, who faces Anthony Crolla in a rematch on March 25th in Manchester. Linares decisioned Crolla last year to capture the title, but there was a rematch clause.
"He's the mandatory for the WBA and the WBO, he's in very good position,"said the head of Banner Promotions, Artie Pelullo on Friday afternoon from his offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "So right now Crolla is fighting Linares in March and we're figuring out what to do with that fight because the winner of that fight has to fight Petrov."
A look at the WBO December's rankings still has Felix Verdejo as their top ranked challenger to world champion Terry Flanagan, but the World Boxing Organization issued an order at their recent annual convention, and that order directs Verdejo to follow through with his mandatory shot - or Petrov will take his place. The sanctioning body allowed Verdejo to take one interim fight.
"But we're in a good position with both organizations, it should shake out in the next two week or so," stated Pelullo, of his client who has a mark of 38-4-2 (19 KO's)
So will Petrov wait for this title shot or take a stay-busy bout?
"That's what we're deciding because he would be allowed to take a tune-up,' 'said Pelullo. "So we're going to be on the phone with him next week or figure out if we do a tune-up in February or March right around the same time as the other fight is happening or just wait."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.