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IBF orders final eliminators at flyweight and featherweight

The winners will get shots at Sunny Edwards and Luis Alberto Lopez, respectively

Juan Francisco Estrada v Roman Gonzalez Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

An interesting bit of news that slipped through the cracks: Levi Luna reported on Wednesday that the IBF has ordered no. 3 flyweight Cristofer Rosales to face no. 4 Felix Alvarado in a final eliminator.

While it makes sense from a rankings perspective, as the top two slots are presently empty, it’s a bit odd to see Alvarado (38-3, 33 KO) get this opportunity so soon after his loss to current champion Sunny Edwards. That said, he was fairly competitive in defeat, and an all-Nicaraguan clash with Rosales (35-6, 21 KO) is plenty appealing on its own merits. “El Latigo’s” only defeats since 2013 have come against quality operators like Andrew Selby, Charlie Edwards, and Julio Cesar Martinez, and he’s just as willing to mix it up as Alvarado.

He’s also coming off a really nice win over undefeated Joselito Velazquez.

As I prepared to write this, I also saw Julius Julianis report that Kiko Martinez (44-11-2, 31 KO) has gotten the call to face Reiya Abe (24-3-1, 10 KO) for a crack at featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez, who’s likely to face Michael Conlan in his first defense. Martinez is enjoying a surprising career renaissance, including a four-round thrashing of Jordan Gill, while Abe has battled his way to the top of Japan’s stacked featherweight division.

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