A junior lightweight clash of unbeatens between Adrien Broner and Eloy Perez could be sanctioned for the division’s vacant WBO belt should current titleholder Ricky Burns’ inability to make the 130-pound weight limit scuttle a defense against Broner that is scheduled to be televised on Nov. 26 on HBO.
The 22-year-old Broner (21-0, 17 knockouts) is the mandatory challenger to the 28-year-old Burns (39-2, 9 KOs) of Scotland, who has made three title defenses since rising from a first-round knockdown to beat Roman Martinez and claim the vacant belt in September.
Burns-Broner was headed for Broner’s home town of Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena, that is, until Burns’ manager told BBC Radio that the fight was in doubt because Burns is having issues with making the weight.
BoxingScene.com followed up the initial report.
“I am advising him against the fight. Ricky is on the verge of taking my advice and saying no,” said Burns’ manager, Alex Morrison. “I would like him to relinquish the belt and move up to win a second world title.”
That could mean that Broner could meet the WBO’s next available opponent, which is 24-year-old Perez (22-0-2, 6 KOs), who is coming off of a second-round stoppage of Daniel Jimenez (20-4-1, 12 KOs) on Friday.
Broner is coming off consecutive HBO appearances in which he outpointed former titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon in March and scored a first-round knockout of Jason Litzau in June.
“I’m expecting a call from [Burns’ promoter] Frank Warren, because I read that Ricky Burns’ [manager] has said that Ricky Burns is having problems making the weight, and that, therefore, he might have to give up the title,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
“Well, what that would mean for Adrien, is that I’ve talked to the WBO, and if Burns gets stripped, then the fight between Broner and Eloy Perez would be sanctioned for the vacant title.”
Burns has won 17 consecutive fights since losing a decision to Carl Johanneson in 2007, a stretch that includes consecutive knockouts over Joseph Laryea and Nicky Cook, respectively, in the seventh and first rounds.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org