Johann Duhaupas has switched his scheduled fight in Monaco this coming April for a trip to Finland in order to battle Robert Helenius on the same date.
The 35 year-old Frenchman defeated Marcelo Luiz Nascimento at the weekend to return to winning ways following a defeat to WBC king Deontay Wilder and could earn another shot with victory over undefeated Helenius.
At 22-0, Heleinus is in good form himself having picked up the European crown for the third time in his career last December, but decided to vacate the belt rather than face a rematch with Dereck Chisora.
The winner Helenius v Duhaupas, which is set for April 2, could be positioned as the next mandatory, or at the very least be put forward for a final eliminator with number-two ranked Anthony Joshua towards the end of 2016.
Manager Mehdi Ameur gave his initial thoughts on the fight.
“Johann fought a good fight against an experienced opponent in Marcelo. He is already in physical shape and will continue his preparation for Helenius,” Ameur told World Boxing News.
“Before making this fight, we knew that Johann is at 60% of his capacity and now my partner Nathalie Christol and putting together a good training camp. We are taking Johann to Montpellier to train with the rugby team. In April, Johann will be ready to defeat Robert Helenuis, win the WBC silver title and move on to a big world title fight,” he added.
Ameur also confirmed that the stablemates of Duhaupas, Mohamed Kani and Vahram Vardanyan, will now fight a month later in Monte Carlo following the announcement of the Helenius fight.
“Kani is young and wants to learn. He has already learned quickly and we are happy because he is on course to be fighting at the top against champions in two years,” he said. “He is already in training for Monaco in May.”
Recently, Vardranyan won six fights in the first round before a loss last week. He will also be fighting in Monaco,” added Ameur.