Sergey Rabchenko will now defend his European and WBC silver light-middleweight titles against tough Welshman Bradley Pryce in Bulgaria next Saturday (November 16). Rabchenko was due to take on mandatory challenger Cedric Vitu, but the Frenchman southpaw has withdrawn after reportedly injuring his wrist in training. Pryce, a former Commonwealth champion, lost to Rabchenko on points in a WBA Intercontinental tilt in 2011 and will be looking for revenge.
“When Vitu pulled out it left us with us with huge problem because it put the whole bill in jeopardy,” said Hatton Promotions’ international matchmaker Philipe Fondu. “It was quite difficult to find a good substitute with less than a week’s notice, but we’ve made the best choice in EBU rated Bradley Pryce. Pryce was due to fight in Russia until it fell through so he’s fit and ready and will give Sergey a solid test.
“The bill is also on BoxNation so this is actually very good for fans as they get to see Rabchenko against a British fighter. Rabchenko has beaten Pryce before but he cannot afford to think this will be easy. Pryce is coming from Wales to grab the titles and put his name back among the best in the division.”
It was confirmed at the WBC’s annual convention in Bangkok this week, that Rabchenko is now the sanctioning body’s number one contender ahead of Saul Alvarez and Miguel Cotto.
Current holder Floyd Mayweather Jnr has until December 15 to decide whether he will defend the belt or give it up. As the pound-for-pound great is seemingly looking towards a return to welterweight, it is likely that Rabchenko will fight for the vacant world title in 2014.