Linares stripped, Zlaticanin v Marsili in line for vacant WBC belt

Stephanie Trapp

The World Boxing Council lightweight title is set to be held by a European later this year following the decision by the body to strip Venezuelan Jorge Linares of his title.

Linares was ordered to defend his belt against number one contender Dejan Zlaticanin this spring, although has suffered with injuries since his latest victory and is now facing a long spell out with a broken hand.

Montenegrin Zlaticanin is certain to fight for the vacant 135-pound belt, possibly against Italian veteran and former IBO title holder Emiliano Marsili, after seeing a clash with Linares fall apart.

The undefeated number one contender earned a high ranking with the WBC by defeating ex-world champion Ricky Burns on UK soil back in June 2014. The 31 year-old southpaw then followed that up with a final eliminator victory over Ivan Redkach and has been waiting over eight months for his expected shot.

Marsili, 39 out-pointed Gamaliel Diaz last August in Lazio and has drawn just once in 33 contests when splitting ten rounds with Giovanni Niro a decade ago.

The Sicilian holds eye-catching victories over Derry Mathews in Liverpool and countryman Luca Giacon, although in truth, has rarely stepped up into world class during his nine-year career.