WBA cruiserweight king Ryad Merhy (29-1) and his IBO counterpart Kevin Lerena (26-1) will clash on July 17 in Brussels, Belgium. Details on the venue, and if there can be an audience on hand will be announced in the near future.
Merhy was first to defend the title (that was "given" to him when the WBA stripped Beibut Shumenov of the belt) against Yuniel Dorticos.
But, the Cuban and his team never responded to an offer to fight in Belgium and the WBA never called for purse bids but approved of a voluntary defense and title unification against the IBO king, who spent a part of 2020 waiting for a defense of the title against Norwegian challenger Kai Robin Havnaa. However, the fight never materialized and it was then announced he would go for the new WBC Bridgerweight title.
It's nothing new but it seems like the death of former WBA and WBC junior middle champ Oscar "Shotgun" Albarado (57-13-1) was lost in the flood of news. However, the ex-champ passed away at the age of 72 in a nursing home in Uvalde, Texas, in February. According to the local paper Albarado was suffering from the effects of a hard and too long career.
"Shotgun" Albarado was a crowd pleaser and pulled in lots of fans to the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles where he headlined many shows losing only to excellent fighters such Hedgemon Lewis, Adolph Pruitt, Ernie Lopez and Percy Pugh. In 1974 Oscar beat Koichi Wajima by a knockout and won the WBA and WBC titles in Japan but lost the rematch in 1975.
Albarado returned to the ring in 1980 but was not what he once was and was stopped by the likes of Bobby Czyz, Louis Acaries, John Collins and Ayub Kalule. The fight against Kalule was his last but he was in fact stopped from fighting by the local commission in Toronto, Canada, in August of 1982 - and that was it for a very good fighter, known in his day for his power and go for broke style.