By Alexey Sukachev
It looks like a proposed IBF super middleweight eliminator between undefeated IBF #6 American Brandon Gonzales (18-0-1, 10 KOs) and once-defeated Russian Maxim Vlasov (28-1, 14 KOs), who is rated #7 by the same sanctioning body, is not an option now.
According to Vlasov’s promoter Kirill Pchelnikov (KP), Gonzales was sent a notification from the IBF but failed to respond, forcing IBF to look for another opponent.
Coming in is IBF #8 Italy-based Senegalese Mohammed Ali Ndiaye (23-1-1, 13 KOs), a 34-year old stylist from Pontedera, Toscana.
“We are negotiating the date and the place of the fight now”, commented Nikolay Baklanov, a vice-president of the KP Boxing Promotion. “If we fail to get along well up to the 23rd of December, then a purse bid will be held to determine the host”.
Ndiaye started his pro career in 2005. He is best known for a spectacular TKO 12 win over undefeated countryman Andrea Di Luisa (12-0) in 2011. Ndiaye challenged for a vacant EBU 168lb title this June but was held to a close draw by the Frenchman Christopher Rebrasse.
Meanwhile, Gonzales contacted BoxingScene the last night and said he hadn’t heard anything about any type of the IBF eliminator against Vlasov. He also told BoxingScene’s own Ryan Maquinana that neither his manager James Prince, nor promoter Dan Goossen was notified about this matchup, either, from the International Boxing Federation or Team Vlasov.
Gonzales is presently the highest-rated IBF super middleweight available contender.
With two uppermost spots traditionally void, #3 Thomas Oosthuizen, who fought to a draw with Gonzales, is also out of picture, having signed to fight Eleider Alvarez at 175lb. #4 George Groves is coming off a spirited effort in a loss to the reigning IBF champion Carl Froch, while #5 Arthur Abraham has signed to take on WBO champion Robert Stieglitz for the third time. Ranked #9 is Anthony Dirrell, who just fought WBC champion Sakio Bika also to a draw, and #10 is 2008 Beijing gold medalist James DeGale.