IBF And WBO Create Welterweight Title Eliminators

The WBO and IBF are moving forward with creating title eliminators for their respective welterweight champions.

According to Fightnews.com, the IBF has ordered former world champion Jessie Vargas, ranked No. 3 by the governing body, to face No. 4 ranked Kudratillo Abdukakhorov. If that fight were to take place, the winner would move on to the vacant No. 1 slot in the IBF rankings and become the mandatory challenger to the 147-pound world title. Errol Spence Jr. is the organization’s welterweight champion after holding the belt for nearly 18 months.

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Vargas’ in-ring success has been mixed at best with both of his last two fights ending in a majority draw. The first draw was against Adrien Broner back in April and the second was against Thomas Dulorme from October 6. The draw against Dulorme was for the vacant WBC Silver title and was a title eliminator, but since the fight was a draw, the title remained vacant.

Abdukakhorov is an undefeated 25-year-old fighter from Uzbekistan. Having made his pro debut back in 2015, Abdukakhorov was the WBC’s Silver titleholder at times during 2017 and 2018 and most recently fought in May when he defeated Twaha Kiduku by unanimous decision.

Over on the WBO side, the governing body has ordered Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Roberto Arriaza to fight in a welterweight title eliminator. That fight is scheduled to take place on November 16 as the co-feature fight of the Maurice Hooker vs. Alex Saucedo fight and will be televised on ESPN.

The fight pits two top 10 welterweights in the WBO rankings with Kavaliauskas being ranked No. 2 and Arriaza being ranked No. 7.

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