Now that Andre Ward has retired, the WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles are now up for grabs and one fight will determine the new IBF champion.
Artur Beterbiev and Enrico Koelling, who were set to fight in an IBF title eliminator on November 11, has been upgraded to a title fight for the now-vacant title. The IBF sent a letter confirming the fight's status a world title fight.
"This is to notify you that IBF light heavyweight champion Andre Ward has retired. Now that the title is vacant, the IBF will approve the Artur Beterbiev vs. Enrico Koelling eliminator as a fight for the vacant title."
The fight has been in the making for a long time, but numerous issues have stalled the fight and prevented it from taking place. The fight was originally supposed to be on the Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia card at the Barclays Center on July 29, but it got called off due to conflicting reasons. The fight was then moved to the November 11 card in Fresno, California. That card will be main evented by Jessie Magdaleno vs. Cesar Juarez for the WBO super bantamweight title.
Despite all the stalling and issues during the fight's negotiation period, it ended up being a blessing in disguise now that Ward retired leaving the three titles he held for the taking.
As for the WBA title, interim champion Dmitry Bivol is defending his title against Trent Broadhurst later this year, but there is still no word on if the winner will remain the interim champion or be elevated to main champion. In the WBA's official rankings for the month of September, Bivol is still considered the interim champion.