EXCLUSIVE: IBF strip Yoan Hernandez, Ovill McKenzie awaits approval

Ovill McKenzie

Despite British cruiserweight Ovill McKenzie announcing that he will challenge Victor Ramirez for the IBF title on October 2, WBN have learned that the fight does not yet have the approval needed.

McKenzie stated that he would face newly-promoted IBF belt holder Ramirez in Argentina after accepting an offer to step in at late notice. However, the contest has a hurdle or two to overcome to be completely finalized.

International Boxing Federation Chairman Lindsey Tucker explained the situation as it currently stands on Monday night whilst also clarifying that Yoan Pablo Hernandez was stripped of the belt as far back as last week.

“The IBF vacated the cruiserweight title on September 15, 2015. This is because Hernandez did not defend the title in the timeframe required,” Tucker exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Victor Ramirez was the interim champion. But he is now the current champion.

“I did receive an inquiry about Ramirez vs. Ovill McKenzie. But I have not approved that fight. The date I heard was October 2, 2015.”

As McKenzie is ranked in the top 15 with the IBF, the Derby man is within the constraints needed to oppose Ramirez. Although the fate of ‘The Upsetter’ now lies with Tucker and IBF President Darryl Peoples.

Murat Gassiev, Dmitry Kudryashov, and Micki Nielsen. Plus, Mateusz Masternak and former foe Tony Bellew are among those ahead of the running prospective challenger.

Still, with just ten days to go until the fight, McKenzie’s acceptance puts him in a strong position to be given the green light.

It looks a certainty.

Editor’s Note: Frank Warren’s office confirmed to World Boxing News that the fight is now fully sanctioned and is a done deal for October 2.

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