Caleb Plant is free and clear to enter a voluntary title defense for his next fight although steps are already in place to determine his next mandatory challenger.
Fächer Sport Management GmbH claimed promotional rights to the IBF super middleweight title elimination bout between Evgeny Shvedenko and Aidos Yerbossynuly. The Germany-based outfit—who represents Shvedenko—submitted a winning offer of $301,588 during a purse bid hearing held Thursday afternoon, both onsite and via Zoom conference call as conducted from IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey.
The bid outpaced an offer of $180,000 submitted by Suleimen Promotions, who represents Yebossynuly.
Hagen Doering, executive matchmaker for Fächer Sport confirmed with BoxingScene.com that the bout will take place April 17th in Karlsruhe, Germany where the company promotes most of its regional shows.
Shvedenko (15-0, 6KOs) currently resides as the highest-ranked super middleweight contender according to the IBF, who traditionally keeps the top two spots vacant as part of the procedure of designating a mandatory challenger. The 30-year old Russian contender—who is now based out of Karlsruhe—has fought twice since the pandemic, boith taking place in his birth country. In his most recent start, Shvedenko outpointed Artur Osipov last December in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Among his notable career wins, Shvedenko scored a 10-round unanimous decision over former title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi in April 2019.
Yerbossynuly (15-0, 10KOs) has also enjoyed two post-pandemic ring appearances, one each in Minsk and in his home country of Kazakhstan. The unbeaten 29-year old contender kept it home for his last fight, scoring a 3rd round knockout of unbeaten Issah Samir last December in Nur-Sultan (nee Astana), Kazakhstan.
The title eliminator with Shvedenko will mark the first career trip to Germany as a pro for Yerbossynuly, leaving him to have fought in five different countries in his last five fights.
The winner will be designated as the challenger in waiting to Plant (21-0, 12KOs), who has already faced back-to-back assigned mandatories in his two most recent bouts. The 28-year old from Ashland City, Tennessee—who now lives and trains in the greater Las Vegas area—is coming off of a 12-round shutout of former titlist and IBF-mandated challenger Caleb Truax this past January, coming 11 months after having scored an 11th round knockout of Vincent Feigenbutz in his previously assigned mandatory title defense.
Plant does not have a fight currently scheduled, as he will likely wait through May 8th before deciding his next step. Divisional rival Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (54-1-2, 36KOs) is due to defend his WBA/WBC super middleweight titles versus England’s Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14KOs), providing that the Mexican superstar gets past WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12KOs) this weekend in Miami.
The IBF will likely grant a voluntary title defense to Plant for his next ring appearance, or at the very least an exception to enter a title unification bout in the event he is ordered to face the Shvedenko-Yebossynuly winner by then.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox