By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
Another world champion has been added to this Saturday’s card at the Bell Centre in Montreal featuring Kendall Holt versus Timothy Bradley unification bout featured on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live at a special time 10:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). WBC light-heavyweight champion Adrian Diaconu will be participating in a non-title match-up versus David Whittom. Diaconu who hasn’t fought in close to a year since winning his title nearly a year ago in his native Romania was scheduled to have met Silvio Branco in Italy on April 10th. That card was cancelled when WBC cruiserweight champion and headliner Giacobbe Fragomeni was reportedly injured and the on-again off-again card was pushed back to May.
“We believe that the promoter (Salvatore Cherchi) bid on the fight without the intention of ever actually staging it,” said Don Majeski, International agent for Diaconu and Interbox. “I think he was hoping to be out-bid and getting a big payday for his fighter.” The match-up between Diaconu and Branco was to have originally happened in Romania on November 15th but a hand injury to the champion delayed things and forced the fight to purse bids where Cherchi won with a bid of $377,777 USD.
After the tune-up bout that is scheduled for 8 rounds and contracted weight of 187 pounds, with Whittom (10-7-1) who had a bout of his own cancelled last week, Diaconu is hoping for an optional defense in June. “I’m just happy to get back in the ring,” said Diaconu on a conference call Monday afternoon.
“With one weeks notice, he was the best choice available and we’re happy to get a quality opponent for Adrian and get him back in the ring,” said Stephane Larouche of Interbox of Whittom who went the distance with former world champion Manny Siaca in his last fight.
Promoter Interbox took over logistical control of the Bell Centre card last week and is providing the undercard that also includes Benoit Gaudet the WBA’s #4 ranked super featherweight versus former world title challenger Michael Lozada.
A more intimate setting of the Bell Centre theatre has been configured for the fight and top ticket prices have been slashed from $550 to $325 for the event.