A few notes from around the boxing world:
Team Sauerland, which promotes super middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham, and Top Rank, co-promoter of mandatory challenger Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, are in talks to make the fight for early next year. If they can’t make a deal, a purse bid will take place next month at WBO headquarters in Puerto Rico. Top Rank would like to bring Abraham to the United States to face Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs), 24, of Mexico, on HBO, but Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs), 35, of Germany, would prefer to fight in Germany, where he is a popular draw. Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said he is hopeful they will make a deal. “Hopefully all parties will come to an agreement and their senses, and we can reach a deal rather than going to a purse bid. That being said, I have no issue going to Puerto Rico in early January for a purse bid,” said Moretti, who wouldn’t mind getting out of New Jersey for a few days during the winter.
Although not a done deal yet, the likely HBO-televised co-feature for the Sergey Kovalev-Jean Pascal lightweight title rematch on Jan.30 at the Bell Centre in Montreal will pit up-and-coming welterweight Dmitry Mikhaylenko (20-0, 9 KOs), 29, of Russia, against Ray Robinson (20-2, 9 KOs), 29, of Philadelphia. Mikhaylenko is in the same Egis Klimas managerial stable as Kovalev and featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko.
Mikhaylenko is coming off his best victory, an eighth-round knockout on Aug. 8 of former interim junior welterweight titlist Johan Perez. He also owns wins against Sechew Powell and Ronald Cruz. Robinson is riding a nine-fight winning streak since decision losses to former titleholder Shawn Porter and undefeated Brad Solomon.
In the final Premier Boxing Champions card of what has been a very busy first year for PBC, junior lightweights Omar Douglas (15-0, 11 KOs), 24, of Wilmington, Delaware, and Frank De Alba (17-1-2, 6 KOs), 28, of Reading, Pennsylvania, will meet in the main event Dec.29 (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 9 p.m. ET) at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania."It's an opportunity of a lifetime and I plan to take advantage of it,” Douglas said of the national television exposure. “I know how to beat this guy and I know I am in great shape. I expect an early night, but if it goes 10 rounds, so be it." Said De Alba, “I am really grateful for this opportunity. I've had to make a lot of sacrifices to get to this stage. Now that we're here, I'm going to take advantage. I know he is a strong fighter but we will be 100 percent come fight night. This will be an entertaining fight and I will give the fans what they pay for."