Bill Canelo rocked by death, IBF heavyweight eliminator canceled

This week, Canelo Alvarez’s undercard suffered a major blow when a scheduled heavyweight title eliminator hit the scrap heap.

The situation followed the death of a member of the team involved in one of the highlights of the bill in the fight against Dmitry Bivol.

A statement released by Wasserman gave more details on the sad storyline.

“Filip Hrgović was forced to delay his final elimination of the IBF Heavyweight world title against Zhang Zhilei. It follows the death of his father,” reads the information transmitted to World Boxing News.

“He waited over a year for the opportunity to earn a shot at Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight crown. The Croatian star would face Olympic silver medalist Zhilei in Canelo Alvarez’s blockbuster clash with undercard Dmitry Bivol on May 7 at T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.


“We could not in good conscience allow Filip to enter the ring during this difficult time,” said Hrgović’s promoter Kalle Sauerland.

“We would like to thank the IBF, Daryl Peoples and Zhang Zhilei. Also our partners Matchroom Boxing for their understanding and compassion in this matter.

“Pero Hrgović was a big part of the team and will be forever missed by all of us.

Filip Hrgovic Zhang

“Filip is going to take some time now to be with his family before returning to training.

“We look forward to announcing a new date soon for this thrilling heavyweight clash to determine the next challenger for the IBF world title.”


Adding that Zhang will be fighting a replacement, Sauerland said, “We wish Zhilei Zhang and Scott Alexander good luck in their fight tonight.”

The hard-hitting Hrgovic is widely considered a heavyweight title challenger for 2023 and was a strong favorite to defeat Zhang in Las Vegas.

He should be back in the coming months.

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