As is being reported by ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Main Events, the promoter of former world titleholder Sergey Kovalev, has formally requested that the WBO elevate Kovalev’s Nov. 25th fight with Vyacheslav Shabranskyy to a vacant title fight.
Andre Ward, who recently announced his retirement from boxing, has now officially vacated his WBO belt, which the last of the three world titles he held. The move was confirmed yesterday by WBO president Paco Valcarcel.
Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) lost his world titles to Ward late last year in a decision that was highly debatable, but Ward would again beat Kovalev by 8th round stoppage in a rematch over the summer. That too drew a bit of controversy as Kovalev’s team argued that the stoppage came after a series of low blows by Ward which went unnoticed, or simply uncalled, by the referee.
The WBO has not yet made an official determination as to whether or not they’ll approve Main Events’ request and sanction Kovalev-Shabranskyy as a world title fight.