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The winner of David Benavidez vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk would be in line to challenge the winner of Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol

Mauricio Sulaiman revealed on Twitter today that the WBC has sanctioned an interim light heavyweight title fight between current interim super middleweight titlist David Benavidez and former unified champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Though Sulaiman treats the matchup as a done deal, Jake Donovan reports that this is a “contingency plan” for Benavidez if he can’t secure a showdown with Canelo Alvarez.

Donovan also implies that this is not a permanent move in weight, as the plan is for Benavidez (28-0, 24 KO) to simultaneously be the mandatory challenger in both weight classes. With Sulaiman disinterested in forcing Canelo’s hand, this is probably “The Mexican Monster’s” most expedient route to a title shot, and I’m all for watching him tear it up with Artur Beterbiev or Dmitry Bivol.

That said, while it’s a smart move, it’s also a risky one. Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KO) has yet to be tested since ending his three-year retirement, with Ricards Bolotniks serving as his most noteworthy scalp, but he’s a nasty boxer-puncher when he’s on. Benavidez’s ambition deserves to be commended, as does his refusal to just sit on the sidelines and get yanked along.



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