By Steve Kim
Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera faces Felix Valera this Saturday night as part of the HBO triple-header from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Should he come out victorious, he will be in prime position to land a title shot in the spring of 2018.
Currently, Barrera (20-1, 14 KO's) is rated number one in the WBA, who's title is held by Dmitry Bivol.
From what BoxingScene.com understands, Barrera already has a deal in place for a fight with Bivol.
However, Barrera is not tied to that deal and has the option to go in another direction if he so chooses.
"That's a possibility," confirmed Kathy Duva, the head of Main Events, which handles Barrera.
She added - "At that point Barrera has to make a decision whether he wants to fight Bivol or whether or not he fights for the title with Sergey (Kovalev)."
Bivol recently made his HBO televised debut with a first round destruction of Trent Broadhurst. He is also the only fighter to hold a win over Felix Valera.
Kovalev, who is involved in this weekend's main event at the Theater, faces Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for the vacant WBO title. 'the Krusher' is also represented by Main Events.
Because all three light heavyweights are currently fighting on HBO, there are no network related issues in matching Barrera with either fighter.
"So there are two title fights and of course this is assuming he beats Valera, it's not an easy fight. We think it's the sleeper fight of the night," said Duva.
Barrera, who's only loss is to Andre Ward, has clearly established himself as one of the leading light heavyweights in the world with his strong recent performances - including wins over Shabranskyy and Joe Smith. A victory against Valera will only solidify his standing.
Duva states - "he will be in a nice position of choosing between the two title fights."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.