With Sullivan Barrera gaining victory on HBO's recent Madison Square Garden card on November 25, he sets himself up for a world title fight next.
Kathy Duva, head of Main Events, said new WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev will likely return to action on March 3 at Madison Square Garden. Kovalev's next fight could be against Barrera, but Duva said Barrera will also be given the option of potentially challenging WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
"We've got to sit down and talk about who's available and start reaching out and finding out. We have Sullivan Barrera who had the opportunity (to fight Kovalev on this card) and he will be offered both the Kovalev fight and the fight which would be (Dmitry) Bivol's mandatory. So he can get a title fight with one of them," Duva said.
Barrera was actually supposed to fight Kovalev on November 25, but negotiations fell through after Barrera was unsatisfied with the money offered to him. Kovalev then took a fight with Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, which would eventually be for the then-vacant WBO title. Barrera had said if the WBO title would have been on the line during negotiations with Kovalev, then he would have taken the fight regardless of the money.
Barrera defeated Felix Valera in the co-main event of the Madison Square Garden card. Bivol won the WBA title earlier in November. Both the WBA and WBO titles became vacant after Andre Ward retired earlier this year after defending his unified titles once against Kovalev.