The super middleweight clash between Cameroon native Sakio Bika and Mexico’s unbeaten Marco Antonio Periban has been moved to the undercard of the June 22 event at Barclays Center to be headlined by WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi and rising WBC lightweight titleholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
Bika-Periban will be for the WBC belt formerly held by RING and WBA champion Andre Ward, who returned from successful surgery in January to repair an injured right shoulder.
Ward’s injury forced the cancelation of his March defense against former undisputed middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik, who has since retired. Ward was last in the ring for September’s 10th-round knockout light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, prompting the WBC to declared Ward its “Champion Emeritus,” essentially stripping him of the belt.
Bika will be after his fourth straight win and his third knockout during that run against Periban on an undercard that will also feature a rematch between heavyweights Johnathon Banks and Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell, the latter of whom was knocked out in the second round by Banks in November.
Bika is coming off February’s unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Nikola Sjekloca of Montenegro, and Periban, a second-round knockout of Samuel Miller in March.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org