Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (32-1, 23 KOs) is getting close to finalizing his next ring return.
According to the executive director of RCC Boxing Promotions, Alexei Titov, who is organizing the event - it is 99% certain that Povetkin will square off in the ring against Christian Hammer (22-4, 12 KOs) of Germany.
The event would take place on December 15 in Yekaterinburg.
Titov reveals that he plans to travel to the WBO's annual convention and plans to submit a request to the sanctioning body to approve Povetkin vs. Hammer as a world title eliminator for the opportunity to face current champion Joseph Parker.
Hammer is the number one ranked fighter under the WBO, while Povetkin is ranked at six and also holds the WBO's International title.
"The team behind Hammer are already in possession of the contract. It is 99.9% certain that he will sign it. I think that by the end of next week we will officially announce it. Hammer holds the highest position in the rankings - the first line under the WBO, the eighth in BoxRec. Next week I'm flying to the WBO's convention, and we will directly agree with President (Francisco) Valcarcel that Alexander will become the mandatory challenger (in the event he beats Hammer on December 15)," Titov explained.
"Alexander has the second most important WBO title - the International, and I think the WBO should meet us halfway on this issue and give their fight the status of being a title eliminator. We do not want a one-time fight for Povetkin. We want to make a showdown with Parker in July 2018 under the international exhibition Innoprom in Yekaterinburg. This is a big fight for Russia, for Alexander. These are the plans, the long-term perspective. Alexander deserves to become a world champion."
Last month, Parker retained his world title with a close twelve round majority decision over mandatory challenger Hughie Fury.