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Alexander Besputin-Radzhab Butaev interim title fight planned for August

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The fight could serve as a co-feature for Emanuel Navarrete

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Anthony Crolla Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

The WBA appears to be suffering from interim title withdrawal after losing its cruiserweight version. The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reports that undefeated Russian welterweights Alexander Besputin and Radzhab Butaev will face off for the interim belt, “possibly in August.” It will “likely” serve as the co-feature for Emanuel Navarrete’s planned title defense.

As far as the other belts, the “super” and “regular” titles will be unified on July 20th when Keith Thurman faces Manny Pacquiao.

Both Besputin (13-0, 9 KO) and Butaev (12-0, 9 KO) were quality amateurs and have done well as professionals, with Besputin earning WBA #1 contender status. Both are about due for a step up, having faced decent-if-unspectacular opposition in the paid ranks. Butaev was supposed to compete in the WBC’s ill-fated tournament last year, but withdrew due to injury before the opening round, while Besputin recently defeated veterans Juan Carlos Abreu and Alfredo Blanco.

A doubleheader with this and Navarrete would be quality television, extraneous belt or no.