Rising middleweight contender Antoine Douglas had to wait five days, but he learned the identity of his new opponent on Tuesday.
Douglas will take on Avtandil Khurtsidze in a 10-round bout on March 5 at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the middle fight of a Showtime-televised tripleheader.
Last week, former middleweight world titleholder Sam Soliman (44-13, 18 KOs), of Australia, withdrew from the fight because of a nagging knee injury, leaving organizers to search for a new opponent to face Douglas (19-0-1, 13 KOs), 23, of Burke, Virginia.
Khurtsidze (31-2-2, 20 KOs), 36, a native of Georgia (the former Soviet Republic) who fights out of Brooklyn, New York, has won eight fights in a row since a unanimous decision loss to Hassan N'Dam in an interim world title bout in France in 2010.
Khurtsidze was scheduled to face N'Dam in a rematch, this time in a world title elimination bout, on Nov. 21 in Paris. But the fight was cancelled following the Nov. 13 terror attacks in France.
"Avtandil is a world-class guy," said Lou DiBella, his promoter. "This is a great opportunity for him and a huge step up for Douglas. Avtandil had been on his way to France to fight for the No. 2 ranking against N'Dam [in a rematch] when the tragic terrorist attacks hit Paris, which was a terribly unfortunate situation for all [and the fight was canceled].
"Now, he looks to impress in this fight against the highly regarded Douglas. The winner of this bout moves up significantly in the middleweight world rankings and will be in line for a major fight in the 160-pound division later this year."
In the main event, Julian "J Rock" Williams (21-0-1, 13 KOs), 25, of Philadelphia, will meet Marcello Matano (16-1, 5 KOs), 29, of Italy, in a junior middleweight world title eliminator. The winner of the fight will become the mandatory challenger for 154-pound world titleholder Jermall Charlo (23-0, 18 KOs).
Tony Harrison (22-1, 18 KOs), 25, of Detroit, will face former world title challenger Fernando Guerrero (28-3, 20 KOs), a 29-year-old southpaw from Salisbury, Maryland, in a 10-round junior middleweight bout that will open the telecast (10 p.m. ET/PT).