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Tony Yoka officially pulled from Filip Hrgovic eliminator due to Martin Bakole contract dispute

Hrgovic will once again have to comb through the IBF rankings for a potential opponent

Tony Yoka v Petar Milas Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Back to the drawing board.

Martin Bakole’s recent push to enforce his contracted fight with Tony Yoka has borne fruit, as Dan Rafael reports that the IBF declared Yoka “unavailable” for his planned eliminator against Filip Hrgovic.

Bakole’s (17-1, 13 KO) team alleged that Yoka’s (11-0, 9 KO) promoters declared in writing that their doomed January 15th bout was postponed rather than delayed. If that’s the case, this seems like the correct ruling; a contract’s a contract, and Bakole was looking at a career-high payday.

“La Conquete” is now the third member of the IBF top 15 to leave Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KO) hanging, as Luis Ortiz declined due to injury and Joseph Parker rejected it over financial demands. As of the most recent update, here’s what the rest of the pack looks like.

6. Joe Joyce
7. Agit Kabayel
8. Murat Gassiev
9. Andy Ruiz Jr.
10. Charles Martin
11. Joseph Parker
12. Demsey McKean
13. Zhang Zhilei
14. Hughie Fury
15. Martin Bakole

Joyce is already the WBO mandatory and Kabayel’s been content to do nothing for several years now. Ruiz probably has bigger fights in mind, though Gassiev seems feasible. Zhang’s already been put forth as a potential foe.

I’m guessing it’ll be Gassiev or Zhang. What do you all think?

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