A clash of unbeaten light heavyweights between Ryan “The Outlaw” Coyne, of St. Louis, and Marcus Oliveira, of Lawrence, Kan., has been added to the undercard of the HBO-televised March 9 main event between former RING middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and IBF 175-pound titleholder Tavoris Cloud at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, according to promoter Don King.
Coyne (21-0, 9 knockouts) and Oliveira (24-0-1, 19 KOs) will engage in a WBA eliminator bout for the right to face beltholder Beibut Shumenov.
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs), who turned 48 last month, will face Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) in a fight whose winner has been mandatted by the IBF to make his first defense against IBF mandatory challenger Karo Murat, of Germany, who is 3-0-1, with two knockouts since being stopped in the 10th round in September of 2010 by current WBO beltholder Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KOs).
With a victory over Cloud, Hopkins would extend his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown, a feat the Philadelphia native accomplished at the age of 46 with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal for the WBC’s light heavyweight belt in May of last year.
Hopkins was last in the ring in April, when he lost a majority decision to RING and WBC champion Chad Dawson.
Cloud, who is 30, is looking to make the fifth defense of his belt and is coming off a controversial split-decision victory over Gabriel Campillo in February of last year.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer informed RingTV.com earlier this month that welterweight prospect Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KOs), of Clearwater, Fla., could face Slovenian ex-beltholder Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KOs) on the Hopkins-Cloud.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com