World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov will take on World Boxing Association (WBA) title holder Ruslan Chagaev in a unification bout in Moscow in October, fight promoters said on Tuesday.
Ibragimov won the WBO version of the fragmented heavyweight division with a unanimous decision over American Shannon Briggs in Atlantic City earlier this month.
The 32-year-old Russian said he was now ready to fight Uzbekistan's Chagaev, who upset defending champion Nikolai Valuev of Russia in Stuttgart in April to grab the WBA title.
"When I became champion my goal was to unify the heavyweight division," Ibragimov was quoted by the Russian boxing federation as saying. "This fight would be the first step in the process."
It will be the second heavyweight title fight staged in the Russian capital in less than a year.
Russia's Oleg Maskaev scored a unanimous decision over Ugandan challenger Peter Okhello to retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) title at the Olympic arena last December.
Ibragimov's victory gave the fighters from the former Soviet Union a full control of the heavyweight division, with Ukraine's Vladimir Klitschko also holding the International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt. Klitschko will defend his title against American Lamon Brewster on July 7 in Cologne, Germany, Reuters reports.
The winner of Ibragimov-Chagaev, however, will emerge from the fight with the leverage of having unified titles.According to Margules, the date for the fight will be Oct. 6, 13 or 20, but it will be determined by ZDF, the German television network that has a contract to televise Universum-promoted fights.
"ZDF controls the date," Margules said. "Chagaev is locked into them."Margules said there is no deal for the fight to be televised in the United States, but he said he would talk to HBO and Showtime about their interest. If they pass, he said he will make the fight available to American fans on pay-per-view, abc.com reports.
"The fight is made and the contracts are signed," he said. "The fight will happen with or without American television.”
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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