World Boxing Association (WBA) obliged Oleksandr Usyk to protect his title against the Russian Denis Lebedev.
As ESPN reported, the Russian veteran is a compulsory contender for the belt which Usyk has now. Tendering for the fight is scheduled for March 28. Yet, it is expected that Usyk’s team will not participate in it, as the Ukrainian intends to transfer to heavyweight. His debut in heavyweight will take place on Nay 18 in Chicago.
In case of refusal, Usyk will lose the status of an absolute champion with his WBA belt. Denis Lebedev will compete for the vacant title with undefeated Lawrence Okolie.
As it was reported earlier, Russian boxer Alexander Povetkin had to be Usyk’s first opponent in the heavyweight category. Yet, the parties have not agreed. There were also rumors that Usyk might fight with Robert Helenius.