The WBC super middleweight title elimination bout between Nikola Sjekloca and Sakio Bika has been upgraded to the co-main event of Saturday’s HBO’s World Championship Boxing broadcast topped by Adrien Broner-Gavin Rees.
The show, which takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., lost its original co-featured bout when a broken thumb forced Johnathon Banks to withdraw from his rematch with fellow American heavyweight standout Seth Mitchell.
The event promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, announced that Sjekloca-Bika, which was originally part of the non-televised undercard, would replace Banks-Mitchell II on Wednesday.
Bika (30-5-2, 21 knockouts), the WBC’s No. 2-rated contender, is former four-time title challenger. The 33-year-old Australian veteran was a 2000 Olympian for his native Cameroon and also won NBC’s boxing reality show “The Contender” in 2007. Sam Soliman, Jaidon Codrington and Peter Manfredo Jr. are among the fighters Bika, who is coming off of a 10th-round technical knockout over Dyah Davis last June, has defeated.
Sjekloca (25-0, 7 KOs), a 34-year-old veteran from Budva, Montenegro, is a skilled boxer who has been dominant while fighting in Europe. The Bika fight will be the WBC’s No. 1-rated contender’s first bout in the U.S.
The non-televised undercard to the Broner-Rees WBC lightweight title bout will feature a USBA junior middleweight title fight between Charles Whittaker and Demetrius Hopkins, a junior lightweight bout pitting Vicente Escobedo against Edner Cherry and appearances by 2012 United States Olympians Rau’Shee Warren and Jamel Herring.