AFTER months of clamoring for a fight against any relevant light heavyweight, Sullivan Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs) has finally found an opponent in unbeaten Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (17-0, 14 KOs). The fight is scheduled to take place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on December 16th.
Barrera, the former interim WBO Latino and WBA Fedelatin light heavyweight champion, is best known for his one-sided defeat at the hands of pound-for-pound great, Andre Ward, in March of this year and for his fifth round knockout victory over Karo Murat three months prior.
He was linked to potential fights with Montreal-based 175-pounders Artur Beterbiev and Jean Pascal but difficulties obtaining a Canadian visa prevented negotiations for either fight from ever reaching an advanced state.
Nine months after his spirited effort against Ward, a win over Golden Boy Promotions’ Shabranskyy will put Barrera’s title aspirations back on track.
“I’m looking forward to December 16. My respect to Shabranskyy for agreeing to fight me,” said Barrera. “This will be a great fight for the fans!”
Kathy Duva, Barrera’s promoter and CEO of Main Events, also represents unified light heavyweight champion of the world, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev. Both fighters have already expressed a willingness to fight each other in the future so a Kovalev win over Andre Ward next month may yield another world title opportunity for the Cuban down the road.
Opposite Barrera on December 16th will be the hard-hitting Shabranskyy, a fighter that has not tasted defeat in seventeen professional fights. The biggest win of his career was against another Cuban standout, Yunieski Gonzalez, in a fight that many felt could have gone the other way. Aside from Gonzalez, only two other boxers have gone the distance with Shabranskyy.
“My goal is to win a world championship in the light heavyweight division, and Barrera is just another stepping stone on that path,” Shabranskyy said. “I am excited to make my second appearance on HBO Latino, and look forward to fans seeing me get ready to take on any upcoming challenges in the ring.”