John Vera-Michel Soro set for March 24 in France
Unbeaten junior middleweight John Vera will face the toughest test of his career to date when he takes on Michel Soro at the Palais des Sports in Marseille, France, on March 24.
The 12-round bout will be an eliminator, with the winner becoming mandatory challenger to face WBA titleholder Erislandy Lara, should the Cuban southpaw prevail over IBF counterpart Jarrett Hurd on April 7.
Vera (18-0, 11 knockouts), who fights under the Roy Jones Jr. Promotions banner, has climbed the ranks by staying busy and defeating modest opposition. In September, the Fort Worth, Texas, native stopped Sunday Ajuwa in three rounds.
The WBA had ordered No. 1 challenger Kanat Islam to face Vera, who is rated No. 2, but Islam was reportedly unavailable and Soro, who is rated No. 3, stepped in.
Soro (31-2-1, 21 KOs), who resides in Villeurbanne, is coming off a third-round knockout victory over Ivan Montero in December. That was his first fight since dropping a 12-round split decision to Brian Castano in July.
The Frenchman, who is rated No. 8 by THE RING at 154 pounds, is currently being trained by acclaimed coach Abel Sanchez.
Also on the card, Arsen Goulamirian (22-0, 14 KOs) and Ryad Mehry (24-0, 20 KOs) face off in a 12-round cruiserweight bout.
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