Joan Guzman and Yuri Romanov to meet for vacant IBF lightweight title

Nate Campbell vacated three titles last weekend, and now they're all in line to be filled as soon as possible.

The WBO and WBA "super" titles will be decided between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz on February 28, and even though no date or venue or anything is set, the IBF has sanctioned a fight between Joan Guzman (29-0, 17 KO) and Yuri Romanov (21-2, 14 KO) to fill their vacancy, according to Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com.

It is bittersweet irony in many ways. Campbell is forced to vacate and move up due to weight issues, while Guzman was the reason Campbell was forced to file for bankruptcy late last year after failing to make 135 pounds in his first step up in September. Campbell-Guzman was called off and a lot of people lost a lot of money.

Romanov and Guzman are the two highest ranked "available" challengers in the IBF top ten, with Guzman at No. 7 and Romanov at No. 9. In all candor, Guzman should be able to pretty routinely outpoint Romanov no matter where the fight is held. He's just a much better boxer.

I feel bad for Ali Funeka, who fought Campbell despite Nate's inability to make weight, didn't make a fuss about it, and lost a competitive battle. He deserved an immediate shot at the IBF title, for which he was the mandatory. The best we can hope for now is he gets first crack at the Guzman-Romanov winner.

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