Guillermo Jones will have to defend his WBA cruiserweight title against Lateef Kayode, as the sanctioning body has ordered the fight, according to a report at BoxingScene.com.
The two sides have until March 1 to reach an agreement. If they do not, a purse bid will be held on March 14 at the WBA compound in Panama. Jones is promoted by Don King, while Kayode is promoted by Gary Shaw. King and Shaw have worked together without much issue in the past, so hopefully there won't be any problems there.
On the one hand, it's easy to give Kayode (18-0, 14 KO) little chance against a veteran operator like Jones (38-3-2, 30 KO). The 28-year-old Kayode seems to have maxed out his potential in recent fights, as his once-explosive power has dipped a bit as he's faced better competition, and that better competition has just been the likes of Nicholas Iannuzzi, Felix Cora Jr, and Matt Godfrey. Not exactly a cruiserweight murderer's row.
But he's won his fights (Iannuzzi was closest to beating him), and while Jones was once a hell of a talent, he's now a 39-year-old fighter whose schedule is such that he was almost offended by the idea that he'd have to fight two times last year when it was suggested. Of course, he didn't fight two times, and he's fought just twice since 2008. Because Don King has a firm grip on some random belts, Jones was allowed to hold on to his title despite being inactive from September 2008 (when he won the belt) until October 2010, when he finally defended it against Valery Brudov.
In his last fight, Jones hilariously main evented a card that King somehow sold to something called "Wealth TV," which must have been some negotiation and TV fee. Jones fought also-ran Mike Marrone and predictably won with no trouble whatsoever.
Can Kayode beat Jones? Sure he can. Kayode isn't a world-beater, but he's tough, and he's been active, and old fighters who don't fight very often tend to get truly old pretty damn fast. I'd have to favor Jones just because he's really a lot better than Kayode, and until he proves he's old it's tough to overlook that fact, but he wouldn't be a lock.
Hopefully it happens. It's better than Mike Marrone, anyway.