Unbeaten Andrew Gardiner has replaced injured super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen as Saturday's opponent for Colombian light heavyweight standout Eleider Alvarez in a non-televised bout on the HBO-televised Lucian Bute–Jean Pascal undercard at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Alvarez (13-0, 8 knockouts) was to face Oosthuizen (22-0-2, 13 KOs) in a televised matchup before the South African was injured during a motorcycle accident .
Promoter Yvon Michel said Alvarez-Gardiner will be contested at 178 pounds.
Alvarez was last in the ring for a unanimous decision over Edison Miranda in September, and Gardiner (10-0, 6 KOs), a 6-foot tall resident of Ottawa, Canada, is coming off of his third consecutive stoppage win, a third-round KO over Daniel Regi in October.
In his last fight, in September, Pascal (28-2-1, 17 KOs) came up with a fifth-round knockout of George Blades in a 180-pound catchweight bout, having previously been in action for a unanimous-decision over Aleksy Kuziemski. Before facing Kuziemski, Pascal lost his RING/WBC light heavyweight titles to Bernard Hopkins in May of 2011.
Bute (31-1, 24 KOs) is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over previously unbeaten light heavyweight Denis Grachev, which followed a fifth-round knockout loss to Carl Froch that cost him his IBF 168-pound belt in May of 2012. A subsequent injury to Bute’s left hand forced the postponement of the Pascal bout.
Perez is coming off a November's 10-round unanimous decision that left Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov in a medically induced coma, although Abdusalamov has since come out of it and began rehabilitation last month at the Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y.
Perez (20-0, 12 KOs) will be donating a portion of his purse to Abdusalamov’s family and will honor him in the ring by having “Mago’s” name stitched on his trunks.
Takam (28-1, 22 KOs) is a native of Cameroon who is fighting out of Noisy-le-Grand, France. A 2004 Olympian who represented France, Takam has stopped three of his past four opponents, including former title challengers Frans Botha in the 11th round and Michael Grant in the eighth in March of 2012 and in May, respectively.
Takam has won 10 straight fights, eight of them by knockout since falling by unanimous decision to Gregory Tony in June of 2009. Perez stopped Tony in the first round in May of 2011.
Also on the Pascal-Bute undercard, welterweight Mikael Zewski (22-0, 17 KOs) will meet Krzysztof Szot (18-9-1, 5 KOs), junior welterweight Yves Ulysse Jr. will make his professional debut against unior Evaggelos Tsirimokos (6-3, 1 KO), and junior middleweight Sebastien Bouchard (8-0, 2 KOs) will meet Giuseppe Lauri (53-16, 31 KOs), according to a press release from HBO.