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Taguchi vs Budler title bout headed to purse bid

Ryoichi Taguchi and Hekkie Budler haven’t reached an agreement for a mandatory bout.

Ryoichi Taguchi v Juan Jose Landaet - WBA World Light Flyweight Title Bout Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Ryoichi Taguchi and mandatory challenger Hekkie Budler are headed to purse bid, after the sides failed to reach an agreement by their deadline. The bid is set for March 27.

Taguchi (27-2-2, 12 KO) holds the IBF and WBA junior flyweight titles, and former titleholder Budler (31-3, 10 KO) is his IBF mandatory.

Taguchi, 31, has been on a strong run since 2014, when he beat Alberto Rossel for the WBA “world” title on New Year’s Eve. He defended that title against Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Luis de la Rosa, Juan Jose Landaeta, Carlos Canizales (a draw), and Robert Barrera, before being upped to “super world” status and unifying last New Year’s Eve with a win over Milan Melindo in Japan.

South Africa’s Budler, 29, is a former 105-pound titleholder who lost his WBA “world” title to Byron Rojas in March 2016, then won two straight fights before dropping a decision to Melindo last September in a bid for the IBF 108-pound belt, a split decision in Melindo’s backyard.