A new champion will be born in the Bridger class.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBC has ordered the vacant title fight between Croatia’s Alen Babić and Poland’s Lukasz Lozanski. The need for a fight arose when Oscar Rivas relinquished the title announcing his retirement due to a detached retina.
The injury forced Rivas (28-1, 19 KOs) to drop out of the heavyweight division on January 14, ahead of his WBC Bridgerweight title defense against Rozanski scheduled for January 14. Removed from the match against Efe Ajagba. The 35-year-old boxer, who competed in the 2008 Olympics in Colombia and lived outside Montreal, has since told Canadian media of his plans to retire from the sport.
At the time, Babic was scheduled to face former secondary WBA cruiserweight titlelist Ryad Merhy, who was to serve as the final eliminator for the title in the WBC Exclusive division.
“The Savage” can now fast-forward to the real thing.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told BoxingScene.com that Babić (12-0, 11 KOs) is ready to challenge Rozanski (14-0, 13 KOs) directly for the vacant title. confirmed. Babic’s longtime promoter Matchroom Boxing did not immediately respond to inquiries for comment or at least confirmation, but the match is expected to land on his DAZN show sometime in the first quarter. .
Merhy still qualified for the final eliminator and could face South Africa’s Kevin Lerena (28-2, 14KOs).
Rozanski has fought professionally only in Poland for over seven years. The veteran heavyweight, who turns 37 at the end of the month, is the lightest of his career with his most recent victory knocking out compatriot and former title challenger Artur Spilka in his first round in May 2021. recorded his 223 pounds. The maximum limit of 224 pounds for the WBC-exclusive Bridgerweight division, which was born at the 2020 WBC Annual Meeting.
Rivas won his division’s only major title contender after a 12-round decision win over Ryan Rojicki at Scorchers in October 2021. He was scheduled to defend his title against Rozanski in his native Colombia last August, but the show was cancelled. Combined with his injury, development leaves the win over Rizicki as the last fight of Rivas’ career.
Babic has emerged as a cult favorite on the British boxing circuit since turning pro in 2019. The all-action boxer has been hovering around the traditional cruiserweight limits, but is focusing on his campaign at bridgerweight.
His last fight was a 10-round unanimous victory over Adam Barski on May 21 last year at the O2 in London for the division’s WBC Silver title. Babich suffered a knockdown in his opening round and went the distance. Both are firsts for the 32-year-old Croatian and his first major victory away from his title.
Jake Donovan is a Senior Writer at BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox