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WBO orders Peter Quillin to defend middleweight belt against Matt Korobov

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Peter Quillin may defend next against Matt Korobov, as the WBO has ordered negotiations for that fight to begin.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In more potential COLD WAR-BUSTIN' news, the WBO has ordered their middleweight champion, Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin, to face Matt Korobov, with an agreement needed within 30 days before the fight potentially goes to a purse bid.

Korobov (24-0, 14 KO) is promoted by Top Rank, while Quillin (31-0, 22 KO) is with Al Haymon and has been fighting under the Golden Boy Promotions banner for his recent career. Korobov, 31, just made his HBO debut on June 28, beating Jose Uzcategui convincingly but without the sort of head-turning performance he might have wanted, while Quillin, 31, last fought in April, handling undersized veteran Lukas Konecny easily.

Quillin won the WBO belt in October 2012, unseating Hassan N'dam in an exciting fight on Showtime, but his opposition since then has been rightly criticized. Along with Konecny, he's beaten Fernando Guerrero and Gabriel Rosado, a pair of fringe contenders.

To be fair, Korobov was (long ago) supposed to be a serious player at 160, but it just hasn't panned out. His career has stalled for years now, and while his win over Uzcategui was widely-seen, there's little evidence that Uzcategui was any better an opponent than gatekeepers like Ossie Duran, Derrick Findley, or Grady Brewer had already been for the former Russian amateur standout.

All of this isn't to say that Korobov is a bad opponent for Quillin, because a guy lacking much by way of quality wins doesn't mean he can't fight, only that there's reason for healthy skepticism of his credentials and true ability. Korobov is a legitimate middleweight in terms of size, and he's in his prime years athletically, so it's certainly a step up from Konecny, at the very least.

Do you like this fight, if it happens (or, hell, just on paper)?