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Filip Hrgovic continues search for next opponent after Joseph Parker also declines bout

Kalle Sauerland says he’ll be pushing the IBF to install Hrgovic as a mandatory challenger if it’s top ranked contenders won’t face him.

Has Filip Hrgovic become one of boxing’s most avoided fighters?
Has Filip Hrgovic become one of boxing’s most avoided fighters?
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

It hasn’t exactly been a fruitful start of the year for heavyweight Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs), who’s team has been trying to go down the list of available IBF ranked contenders to work their fighter towards a world title fight. Earlier this week it was reported that Hrgovic’s promoter Kalle Sauerland was eager to get negotiations started for Hrgovic to face Luis Ortiz, who was just coming off a stoppage win over Charles Martin.

In less than no time at all reports immediately came in that Ortiz would be declining a fight against Hrgovic, with a reported hand injury being the reported reason behind that decision. Sauerland then turned his attention towards Joseph Parker, but has already come out to say that idea was summarily dismissed by Team Parker — this time without explanation.

“We weren’t given a reason,” Kalle Sauerland, who represents Hrgovic, told Sky Sports. “The rankings become a mockery. We have gone through the rankings before. This isn’t about rejecting financial terms because fighters are rejecting us before we even discuss that. They are rejecting an opportunity to fight for the world title.”

Sauerland continues by encouraging the IBF to take action as he believes this sort of treatment towards Hrgovic undermines the ranking system, saying some of these folks shouldn’t even be ranked by the sanctioning body if they’re unwilling to fight their way up the ladder to a world title fight and that he’ll lobby to have Hrgovic installed as an immediate mandatory challenger if this keeps up.

As of the IBF’s latest rankings Hrgovic sits right behind Charles Martin, who just lost, and will now almost assuredly be pushed to the top of the IBF’s ranked list of contenders. His search for his next fight and a move towards a world title fight continues.