The WBA intends to consolidate two sets of Super and regular titles, ordering fights between its super welterweight champs, Erislandy Lara and Brian Castano, and its bantamweight champs, Ryan Burnett and Jamie McDonnell. While the respective camps work on that, the sanctioning body has also ordered a pair of eliminators: Kanat Islam vs. John Vera and Yonfrez Parejo vs. Stephon Young.
Islam (25-0, 20 KO) has steadily risen through the ranks, appearing on PBC and beating some decent super welterweights along the way. He is, on paper, quite a bit more proven than Fort Worth’s Vera (18-0, 11 KO), ranked #2 by the WBA to Islam’s #1 and fighting under Roy Jones Jr.’s banner.
Perez (21-2-1, 10 KO) fought Zhanat Zhakiyanov to a split decision loss in 2015 and has won four since. His only other title shot saw him stopped in eight by Hugo Ruiz in 2012. Young (17-0-3), a ShoBox vet, got two of his three draws against Antonio Nieves and Nikolai Potapov.