Late last month, the WBO ordered middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade to face their #2 ranked challenger Janibek Alimkhanuly in a mandatory defense. Representatives from Matchroom on the Andrade side and Top Rank for Alimkhanuly failed to negotiate terms within 20 days, so the WBO has officially announced a purse bid scheduled for January 15th, 2022.
Any promoter “registered with and in good standing with the WBO” could submit a proposal to promote the fight as part of a sealed bid process. Section 11d of the WBO regulations can’t seem to agree with itself on whether the mandatory deposit to bid on the fight is $1,000 or $2,000, but other aspects of the process are more clear.
- WBO regulations set the split at 75/25 in favor of Andrade, unless the winner of the purse bid elects to hold the fight in Alimkhanuly’s native country of Kazakhstan. In that case, Andrade would take 80% of the purse and Alimkhanuly would get 20%.
- Minimum bid for the fight is $200,000.
- Terms of the process also require the bout be held within 90 days of winning the bid. Under that rule, if the purse bid is resolved on the currently scheduled day and time, the latest allowable date for the fight would be Friday, April 15th.
- If Andrade refuses to fight Alimkhanuly, the WBO could declare the belt vacant or order an interim title bout without him.
Andrade (31-0, 19 KO) was last seen on November 19th, knocking out an overwhelmed Jason Quigley in two rounds. Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7 KO) fought one night later as part of the Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter undercard, stopping Hassan N’Dam in eight rounds.
We’ve seen past instances where promoters finally found the proper motivation to negotiate a deal once the purse bid process was initiated. But, in this case, there was no request for an extension to the 20 day negotiation period, which isn’t a promising sign for an agreement outside of the mandatory purse bid process.
What comes next? Will Matchroom and Top Rank make a deal before the January 15th purse bid? Will PBC, expecting blockbuster returns on their January Luis Ortiz v Charles Martin and February Keith Thurman v Mario Barrios pay-per-views, snatch up the rights to this fight and schedule it as a March PPV? Will Triller buy it, then stage it in a fun and exciting new shape for a ring? Or, will Demetrius Andrade elect to drop the belt and pursue mandatory challenger status at 168 pounds instead? Share your thoughts in the comments below.