By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
The IBF Super Middleweight Elimination bout between #2 contender Jesse Brinkley (35-5, 22 KOs) and #4 rated Sakio Bika (28-3-2, 19 KOs) will not take place on May 28th in Quebec. InterBox received a letter from the IBF early Tuesday morning stating that Brinkley was not able to train for the last few weeks due to what seems to be a bad flu, and has only been cleared recently by his doctor to commence training.
The announcement fuels speculation that one or the other, Brinkley or Bika, will become the opponent for Lucian Bute when the IBF super-middleweight champion returns home to Romania to fight later this summer in July. Bute who is without an opponent for his homecoming is expected by many to fight both fighters instead of waiting for the elimination fight to be rescheduled. Bute has already posted a win over Sakio Bika in an IBF title elimination fight in 2007, and while the Australian based boxer has rattled off six straight wins since that time, isn’t thought of to be a big draw if the two squared off again in Quebec. Interbox had hoped the Romanian fight for Bute would appeal to HBO and Bika is on most people’s top-ten list at 168 pounds.