French ace Michel Soro is lining up a big autumn clash against Erislandy Lara providing he is crowned WBA Super-Welterweight Champion this weekend.

Soro meets Russian Magomed Kurbanov for the vacant belt in Marseille on Saturday (20th July) live on BoxNation.

He was going to challenge Brian Castano, who narrowly defeated him two years ago, but the Argentinian walked away from his WBA Title instead of facing his old rival and the Championship was declared vacant.

The WBA then wanted to match Soro against Lara, but there was not enough time for the Cuban to prepare so Kurbanov, who has won all of his 17 fights, stepped up.

Soro’s trainer Abel Sanchez told World Boxing News: “It really hasn’t been made very clear of why Brian Castano did not want to fight Michel Soro again.

“He’s giving up a World Title belt that every fighter dreams of having, without a fight inside or outside the ring. It doesn’t make sense.

“The first fight was very difficult, with a controversial ending, but the scores were added several times with different totals.

“Since then, Michel has matured and has adapted to my style of training and approach to fights. He is and will prove that he is amongst the elite Jr Middleweights,” explained the Mexican.

Soto v Kurbanov

“We are currently training hard for the fight on July 20 before we then expected to face Erislandy Lara. Soro will win and fight Lara sometime in the fall. Then, I would love to see him unify, make the division elites fight each other for a Unified Champion.

“I think the Junior Middle division is one of the deepest in boxing. There are many greats and styles for good fights so Soro will fit in well.”

Lara keeps busy next month when he faces Canelo Alvarez’s older brother, Ramon. Lara lost a controversial decision against Canelo in 2013.