Artem Dalakian can thank his promoter for not having to travel for his next title defense.
Union Boxing will promote the WBA “World” flyweight title fight between reigning champ Dalakian and mandatory challenger Luis ‘Nica’ Concepcion. Dmitry Eliseev and Yuriy Ruban, co-founders of Union Boxing claimed the rights to the fight after submitting $301,000 during a purse bid hearing held Monday via Zoom conference call.
The amount far outpaced the second-highest bid of $171,010 provided by Jose Mohan of D4G Promotions, who sought to stage the event in Concepcion’s hometown of Panama City, Panama.
Instead, Concepcion (39-8, 28KOs) will hit the road in a bid to become a first-time full-fledged titlist after previous interim reigns at flyweight and junior bantamweight. According to the purse bid results, Union Boxing intends for the fight to take place on November 13, November 20 or November 27 in Kiev, Ukraine.
Per the terms of the purse bid, Dalakian is entitled to 55% ($165,550) of the winning amount. The remaining 45% ($135,450) will go to Concepcion, who was installed as the mandatory challenger following the WBA’s decision to remove its interim titles from circulation.
Neither boxer has fought since the same weekend in separate parts of the world last February. Ukraine’s Dalakian (20-0, 14KOs) retained the title following a 12-round, unanimous decision victory over Josber Perez last February 7 at Parkovy Convention Center in Kiev, where he has made all four career title defenses to date.
Dalakian’s lone fight away from home came in his title-winning effort, outpointing 2000 U.S. Olympian and former two-division titlist Brian Viloria over 12 rounds in their February 2018 vacant title fight at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Concepcion returned to the ring one night after Dalakian’s win over Perez, scoring a tenth-round knockout of Colombia’s Rober Barrera last February 8 in Panama City. The win saw Concepcion begin his second WBA “interim” flyweight title reign, though without a single defense largely due to the pandemic. The reign was derecognized this past August 25, when the WBA announced the abolishment of its interim titles as part of a concentrated effort by the sanctioning body—encouraged by public demand—to reduce its number of recognized titlists.
Concepcion has come up short in four previous attempts at a major title. Two came in 2011, beginning with an 11th round stoppage at the hands of Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez in their April 2011 slugfest. The rematch later that April was considerably less competitive, with Concepcion suffering three knockdowns in a 1st round knockout defeat.
A third fight more than four years later saw Concepcion outpoint Marquez in an interim title fight, coming eight months after dropping a 12-round decision to then-unbeaten WBC junior bantamweight titlist Carlos Cuadras in April 2015.
The fourth attempt at a belt saw Concepcion drop a twelve-round decision to unbeaten Khalid Yafai in their December 2016 vacant WBA junior bantamweight title fight. He is just 4-3 since then, though having won his last two bouts to position himself for this opportunity.
As is the case with all previously recognized interim titlists prior to the ruling, Concepcion retained the same rights as it related to the purse bid hearing. The fight ultimately went that route after the two sides failed to reach terms in more than a month since the fight was ordered August 18 by the WBA.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox