A purse bid hearing has been ordered for the Hector Luis Garcia-Lamont Roach WBA junior lightweight title fight.
Despite a granted extension during the negotiation process and even a point where both sides appeared to have reached an agreement, the mandatory title fight will now head to a May 25 purse bid hearing in Houston. WBA officials confirmed to BoxingScene.com that that bout is one of two ordered title fights to appear on the docket for that day, paired with the Oleksandr Usyk-Daniel Dubois heavyweight title consolidation bout.
All WBA-registered promoters were informed of the proceedings in a letter obtained by BoxingScene.com. The minimum accepted bid for Garcia-Roach is $120,000, which will be split 75/25 in favor of Garcia as the defending titlist. Promoters who plan to bid on the fight are required to submit a $5,000 nonrefundable participation fee, with the highest accepted amount also required to be accompanied with a ten-percent deposit to secure rights.
Garcia-Roach was formally ordered on March 20, and came with a 30-day deadline to reach a deal. Representatives for both parties initially agreed to an extension, of the belief that a deal would be reached.
Both sides and the WBA previously communicated to Boxing Scene that an agreement was in place as of April 27 and that the matter would not head to a purse bid. None of the involved parties would confirm whether that meant a Garcia-Roach fight was on the horizon or if it meant that Garcia would be permitted to enter a voluntary title defense.
Prior to the WBA-ordered mandatory title fight, PBC sought to have Garcia (16-1, 10KOs; 3NC) defend versus former WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. The absence of a signed agreement in place prompted the WBA to instead call for Garcia to enter talks with Roach, who has been mandatory since last summer.
Garcia claimed the WBA 130-pound belt in a 12-round decision victory over Roger Gutierrez last August 20 in Hollywood, Florida. The win came with the understanding that he would be granted a voluntary fight if he honored his mandatory obligation within the nine-month period to make such a title defense.
The 31-year-old Dominican southpaw used that opportunity to challenge for Gervonta Davis’ WBA ‘Regular’ lightweight title. Their January 7 Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner resulted in Garcia’s first and lone career defeat, when Davis’ late power surge momentarily left Garcia with compromised vision after eight rounds of action in front of a sold-out Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Roach (23-1-1, 9KOs) became the mandatory challenger after a twelve-round win over Angel Rodriguez in their WBA final eliminator last July 16 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Judges Raul Caiz Sr. (116-112), Pat Russell (116-112) and Zachary Young (117-111) in favor of Roach, a 27-year-old contender from the greater D.C. area who has won four in a row since a points loss to Jamel Herring in their November 2019 WBO junior lightweight title fight.
Per WBA by-laws, neither fighter can pursue another bout while a sanctioned title fight or eliminator remains on the clock. Failure by Garcia to defend would result in his being stripped of the title, while any inability by Roach to proceed with the challenger will end with his having to forfeit his current ranking.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox