World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. will face a new foe on April 23 in Manila after former world champion Evgeny Gradovich decided to back out of the fight because of weight issue.
Top Rank Promotion chief Bob Arum said that Donaire (36-3 win-loss record with 23 knockouts) would instead face former Olympian Zsolt Bedak (25-1 record with eight knockouts) of Hungary.
“I did not pull him [Gradovich] out. He pulled himself out of that fight,” Arum told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Thursday. “Gradovich struggled in his last fight because he couldn’t reach 122 pounds.”
Despite his weight problem, former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Gradovich still won the tune-up fight via majority decision last January 9 against Jesus Galicia.
Bedak, 32, is known for his technical boxing skills. He won the WBO European and inter-continental super bantamweight belts in 2009 in addition to being a member of the Hungary amateur boxing team that participated in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
“That’s going to be good fight, Bedak and Nonito,” added Arum. “I will be there in Manila.”