By Phil Doherty
Vitaly Demyanenko (19-0, 12 KOs) of Kazakhstan will not face fellow undefeated welterweight prospect Brad “The King” Solomon (14-0, 6 KOs) next week in Nicaragua as scheduled. Citing a bulging disk in his lower back, Demyanenko withdrew from the bout scheduled in just 9 days. This fight would have set the stage for a possible showdown with WBA titlist Vyacheslav Senchenko (31-0, 20 KOs) as Solomon is currently ranked #5 and Demyanenko sits at # 9 in the WBA ratings.
Fightnews spoke today with Enrique “Henry” Rivalta of the Heavyweight Factory regarding what this means to their fighter, Brad Solomon. The Heavyweight Factory is feverishly seeking an opponent to fill the now-vacant spot on the Thanksgiving Day card during the 89th -annual WBA convention.
Rivalta pointed out Solomon has a legitimate claim to the vacant WBA #1 contender ranking. The four fighters ahead of Solomon all have interests elsewhere: #2-ranked Mike Jones (23-0, 18 KOs) faced a stiff test last Saturday on the Pacquiao-Margarito undercard against Jesus Soto-Karass (24-5, 16 KOs) for the WBO NABO title.
Jones appears to want to pursue his title hopes within the WBO. #3-ranked Said Ouali next fights Randall Bailey in an IBF welterweight eliminator bout.
That leaves only Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez (34-0, 26 KOs) at the #4 spot. However, Alvarez now campaigns in the junior middleweight division.
That leaves “The King” Solomon as the heir-apparent to the #1 contender throne. Rivalta also pointed out the fighters ranked behind Solomon also had issues.
The #6- ranked Leonard Bundu (22-0, 6 KOs) reportedly turned down the chance to face Solomon. According to Rivalta, the 11th and 12th ranked fighters in the division also declined the opportunity.
Rivalta denied the Demyanenko fight fell through due to financial issues. He confirmed Demyanenko matchmaker Vlad Warton stated their camp offered to reschedule the fight in 60 days. (Warton could not be reached for comment.)
However Rivalta seems to want to keep the Brad Solomon express moving forward, claiming: “after we win the title he (Demyanenko) can come see us if he’s doing good.”
Rivalta wondered aloud: “Where are the greats? We’re coming. Once we become WBA champ and we call everybody out, we want them to respond.
We want Berto to answer the call.
We want to unify the belts…our target right now is Senchenko. We’re hoping when the time comes, he won’t back out like other people, because we’re coming for him.”