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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Contenders Interested In Facing Beterbiev
Have To Give An Answer To IBF By March 23

By Daniel Cloutier

MONTRÉAL - The IBF championship committee gave the first contenders of the light heavyweight division until March 23rd at midnight to give an answer if they are interested or not to face the Montrealer Artur Beterbiev in an elimination bout.

Last week, the Cuban Sullivan Barrera (18-1-0), who was supposed to face Beterbiev (11-0-0) in an IBF light heavyweight elimination bout April 21st in Miami, backed off. He never signed the contract sent by the IBF. The fight has been cancelled and Barrera lost his place in the Top 10 contenders.

The contenders who received a letter from the IBF championship committee are the Russian Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1), the Swedish Erik Skoglund (26-0-0), and the German Enrico Koelling (23-1-0), Dominic Boesel (24-0-0) and Robert Stieglitz (50-5-2).

If these fighters say no, or not give an answer to the IBF championship committee before midnight March 23rd, the IBF will proclaim Beterbiev the new mandatory challenger for the world champion, the Californian Andre Ward (31-0-0).

Last November at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Ward, a former super middleweight champion of the world, dethroned Kovalev as WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion of the world, in beating him by unanimous decision. However, most of the writers who covered the bout, picked Kovalev as winner, by two or three points.


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