The planned WBC light heavyweight title tournament will continue as planned, but with a slight change in the interim WBC title fight.
Top Rank's Bob Arum said Oleksandr Gvozdyk will fight Mehdi Amar on the March 17 ESPN card at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The fight will still be for the interim WBC light heavyweight title and the winner will be the mandatory challenger to the world title. Arum said he had spoken to the WBC about the issue and the governing body was none too pleased with how the tournament so far has been handled.
"When we talked to [the WBC], Mauricio [Sulaiman] was very, very upset with the whole situation. He believes that he's been played as a chump by all these machinations. I think one of the problems is that Stevenson is not a really good draw in Montreal and apparently has problems that he can't get visas into most countries," Arum said.
Originally, Eleider Alvarez, the WBC's longtime mandatory challenger, withdrew from the tournament, citing frustrations with not being able to fight Stevenson for years. Alvarez would always sign deals that would allow Stevenson to make voluntary defenses, a method that has been happening for years.
The other fight in the four-man tournament has Adonis Stevenson defend the WBC title against former WBA champion Badou Jack. That fight has yet to have a date and venue announced. The March 17 boxing card will be headlined by Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam for the vacant WBC junior welterweight title.