Promoter Frank Warren is setting up a big December 15 card at the ExCel Arena in London, with WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns in a headline role, and George Groves, Billy Joe Saunders, and Tony Conquest also on the bill.
Burns (35-2, 10 KO) is coming off of a very impressive fourth round stoppage of Kevin Mitchell on September 22. The WBO has said that Burns must face his mandatory challenger next, but that was slated to be Adrien Broner, and that obviously won't be happening with Broner facing WBC champ Antonio DeMarco on November 17 in Atlantic City.
Prior to the 9/22 fight, Mitchell was ranked No. 2, and Sharif Bogere was ranked third. Bogere has a fight for the vacant WBA title against Richard Abril in November. Right now, the next available challenger on the WBO rankings list would be Jose A. Gonzalez -- maybe. Gonzalez (20-0, 15 KO) faces Eudy Bernardo on October 6 in Puerto Rico. Sergio Thompson and Ji Hoon Kim would be the next two available, most likely, and certainly worse fights could be made than either of those.
For those wondering about the possibility of the Scott Harrison fight, that's surely going to be held off. Not only has the WBO basically said they'd strip Burns if he took that fight, but if that fight were to be made, it would be in Glasgow, not in London.
Groves (15-0, 12 KO) was recently stripped of the British super middleweight title, but still holds the Commonwealth belt, and will defend his title at the ExCel. He last fought on July 28, when Warren sent him over for a Golden Boy card in California, where he stopped Francisco Sierra in six.
Saunders (15-0, 10 KO) will defend his Commonwealth middleweight title, following up on a TKO-2 win over Aussie Jarrod Fletcher on September 14.
Conquest (10-0, 4 KO) is a domestic-level cruiserweight with a minor WBO title to defend on the date.