The IBF has received agreements from all of its targeted candidates for a four-man eliminator tournament to determine the organization’s mandatory challenger for RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, IBF president Daryl Peoples informed RingTV.com on Thursday.
A 36-year-old holder of IBF, WBA and WBO belts, Klitschko (58-3, 51 knockouts) is coming off last weekend’s sixth-round knockout of Tony “The Tiger” Thompson in a rematch of Klitschko’s 11th-round stoppage of Thompson in July of 2008.
Thompson was rated No. 2 by the IBF before losing to Klitschko, and the organization’s No. 1 spot not occupied. To that end, the IBF has successfully lobbied No. 3 Kubrat Pulev (16-0, 8 KOs), No. 4 Tomasz Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs), No. 5 Odlanier Solis (18-1, 12 KOs) and No. 6 Alexander Ustinov (27-0, 21 KOs).
According to Peoples, Adamek of Main Events Promotions would face Ustinov, of the Klitschko’s K2 East, and Pulev, of Sauerland events, would meet Solis, of Main Events and co-promoter Ahmet Oner.
The fighters were given a deadline of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday within which to notify the IBF, and Peoples and Championships Chairman, Lindsay Tucker, have been informed that representatives of all four boxers have indicated that they intend to participate.
“With Wladimir being the super champion with two other organizations, he might not get around to his IBF mandatory for another 24 months,” said Peoples.
“So we figured we’d try to get the top guys in the division so that we can sort of shake out the best contender and who that would be. With Wladimir holding all of these titles, we figured that we have a decent shot at getting it together.”
Tucker said Solis was the first to notified his office with his intentions of participating, Main Events President, Kathy Duva, informed RingTV.com that Adamek was also ready to go, and Sauerland Events’ Chris Meyer informed RingTV.com via e-mail that “Pules has accepted.”
Just before the deadline, Tucker informed RingTV.com that representatives of Ustinov sent correspondence from K2 East “that Ustinov wants to participate in the eliminator.”
Pulev is coming off May’s 11th-round knockout of Alexander Dimitrenko. In his last fight, Ustinov stopped Jason Gavern in the seventh round in April.
Solis was stopped in the first round by WBC beltholder Vitali Klitschko, who is 40, March of last year, but rebounded with a unanimous decision over Konstantin Airich in May.
Adamek was in the ring for last month’s unanimous decision over Eddie Chambers, and has slotted a date for a Sept. 8 return to the Prudential Center in Newark, Del. Adamek has won two straight since being stopped by Vitali Klitschko in September of last year.
“We’re about to send the IBF a letter indicating that Adamek is willing to do this, but obviously, his opponent has to agree to do it as well,” said Duva, in an interview with RingTV.com on Thursday. “We’re all for it, so we’re just waiting to see what the other guys do.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org