In addition to Timothy Bradley's headline fight against Diego Chaves on December 13, Top Rank is putting together two more fights for the HBO broadcast, with a bout between Mauricio Herrera and Jose Benavidez Jr done, and a vacant middleweight title scrap between Matt Korobov and Andy Lee being finalized.
Herrera (21-4, 7 KO) lost a highly disputed decision to Danny Garcia in March, and followed that up with a win over Johan Perez on July 12, which netted him the totally pointless interim WBA junior welterweight title. Though the belt is bogus, the fighter is not, and neither is this matchup. Benavidez (21-0, 15 KO) has been considered a blue chip prospect since turning pro in 2010, and is looking to crash the party at 140 pounds with this fight. The 22-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona, is 3-0 this year, with wins over Prince Doku Jr, Angel Hernandez, and Henry Auraad.
It's also worth noting that Herrera is a Golden Boy Promotions fighter, and will be fighting on the Top Rank card, without a purse bid or anything else forcing the move.
Korobov (24-0, 14 KO) made his proper HBO debut on June 28 after years as a stalled prospect, beating Jose Uzcategui rather handily in Omaha. The 31-year-old Russian southpaw was named mandatory challenger to Peter Quillin by the WBO, and after the Jay-Z affiliated Roc Nation Sports group won a purse bid, Quillin vacated the title on advice from Al Haymon, turning down a career-best payday in the process.
Lee (33-2, 23 KO) has been trying to rebuild himself after a 2012 loss to Julio Cesar Chavez in El Paso, a fight where Lee was doing pretty well before Chavez's power got to him and stopped him in the seventh round. (Lee led 58-56 on all three judges' scorecards at the time of stoppage.)
The 30-year-old Irishman trained for years out of the Kronk Gym and was also managed by the late Emanuel Steward, but has never quite lived up to the hype. Though he's won five straight fights, those bouts have been against journeymen and club fighters, which is how he's built the vast majority of his record.
This fight came about not only after Quillin vacated the belt, but after talks for Korobov vs Billy Joe Saunders were halted by the WBO ordering a fight between Korobov and 154-pound titleholder Demetrius Andrade. Eventually, Andrade decided to stay at junior middleweight, and the WBO inserted Lee as the second fighter to contest the vacant belt. Previously, the fight looked like it was headed for Dublin, with Frank Warren promoting the bout.
The December 13 HBO card will take place at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.