WBC Super Middleweight Title Situation Opens Up With Dirrell Out
With Anthony Dirrell out for a reported six months following a motorcycle accident on Friday, the WBC has an opening at 168 pounds for a vacant title fight. Dirrell was ordered to face Nikola Sjekloca for the vacant belt, which is vacant because Andre Ward has been moved to "champion in recess" so that the WBC can take some money from different fighters while Ward stays on the sidelines for a bit.
Two names are already popping up. The more likely of the two to get the open spot would seem to be Adonis Stevenson, currently ranked No. 3 by the body. Reports are out that his promoter Yvon Michel will try to get the title shot for Stevenson, as he should.
The other name in play is Edwin Rodriguez, who is ranked fifth. His team has sent out a press release making it known that he's ready to step in, which of course he is. Frankly, Stevenson vs Rodriguez for the vacant belt is a lot better than either of them facing Sjekloca, but the unbeaten, 33-year-old Serbian (now living in Montenegro) has been fighting for little bitty WBC belts for four years now, so he's "earned" his spot in boxing terms.
Tyson Marquez vs Arden Diale - June 23 in Mexico
The fight between WBA flyweight titlist Tyson Marquez and Arden Diale was originally proposed as part of Top Rank's big Cowboys Stadium show on July 14, but has been moved to June 23 in Sonora, Mexico, according to Ronnie Nathanielsz. If Marquez wins, a fight against Rodel Mayol is possible. Marquez and Mayol were supposed to meet on March 24, but there were some accusations of shenanigans on the scales from the Marquez camp, and Mayol pulled out. He was replaced by Richie Mepranum. After Mayol stomped Pingo Miranda this past weekend in Pasig City, Marquez vs Mayol looks even better now.
Sergiy Dzinziruk vs Jonathan Gonzalez Being Discussed
A fight between unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Jonathan Gonzalez and former 154-pound titlist Sergiy Dzinziruk is being discussed, according to a report at BoxingScene.com. Gonzalez (15-0, 13 KO) is a solid prospect, but has found the going a bit tougher as he's stepped up in competition in his last two fights. Both were clear wins over Richard Gutierrez and Billy Lyell, a pair of gatekeepers at the weight, but he had to go 10 full rounds against each man, and didn't appear to be quite the puncher he'd been made out to be over his first 13 easier matchups.
He's got some promise, which is why if I were on his team, I might have serious reservations about fighting Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KO). Yeah, Sergiy is 36 and has been inactive since March 2011, but his only career loss came to Sergio Martinez in that fight, and the guy can fight, with plenty of solid wins over his career.
This reeks of too much, too soon to me. Unless Dzinziruk has really fallen off, this is a very, very risky proposition for Gonzalez. Which is why as a fan, I like and support the idea. Because I'm not part of Gonzalez's team. Go get 'em, kid. Dare to be a contender.
Zaurbek Baysangurov vs Lukas Konecny: Teams Given Until June 4 to Make Deal
Representatives for WBO junior middleweight titlist Zaurbek Baysangurov and interim beltholder Lukas Konecny have been given until June 4 to secure a deal for a fight, or a purse bid will be ordered. Baysangurov (27-1, 20 KO) is coming off of a solid win over Michel Soro this past weekend, where he struggled a bit early but really brought the fight home down the stretch. Konecny (48-3, 23 KO) has won 12 straight since his 2008 loss to Dzinziruk, which was a great fight, and this one could be a sleeper, too. Baysangurov has power, but doesn't seem to have the best chin, and both he and Konecny bring good workrate and action. Here's hoping this one comes through. It could be a great Saturday afternoon fight for those of us in the U.S.