Two former featherweight titlists will do battle on April 23rd for the WBO super bantamweight crown.
Current holder, and four-weight World champ, Nonito Donaire [36(23)-3(1)] will defend his belt for the first occasion of his second reign against Russian slugger Evgeny Gradovich [20(9)-1(0)-1].
The fight will be on home turf for the Filipino Flash at a to-be-determined location in Manila.
Gradovich lost his IBF featherweight belt last year to Welsh wizard Lee Selby, while Donaire won super bantamweight honours last month in a fight of the Year contender with Cesar Juarez.
Of course, eight weeks beforehand, Belfast’s own Carl Frampton will look to defend his own IBF title against England’s Scott Quigg (who has been elevated to WBA ‘super’ champion for the fight – Guillermo Rigondeaux is deemed ‘Champion in Recess’).
However, should he defeat the Bury boxer, a clash with the winner of Donaire-Gradovich seems unlikely for Frampton. ‘The Jackal’ is advised by U.S. boxing mogul Al Haymon who refuses to do business with Top Rank – the promoter of both Donaire and Gradovich.
Mexico’s Julio Ceja and Hugo Ruiz will fight for the vacant WBC super bantamweight crown in Los Angeles on March 26th.