A junior featherweight title eliminator will head to a purse bid hearing as moves are being made elsewhere to fully unify all of the division’s titles.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the teams representing Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Kevin Gonzalez failed to reach terms for their ordered WBA 122-pound elimination bout. The sanctioning body has now assigned an October 9 date for the fight to be made to all WBA-registered promoters.
“After the period of negotiations was completed without the parties reaching an agreement, the pioneer organization decided to call the bidding, which will be directed by the World Championships Committee vice chairman, Julio Thyme from Panama,” the WBA ruled Thursday. “The bidding will be conducted under WBA rules and the purse split will be 50% for each fighter, while the minimum amount to participate will be US$ 80,000.00.”
Akhmadaliev (11-1, 8KOs) is co-promoted by World of Boxing and Matchroom Boxing and managed by Vadim Kornilov. Gonzalez (26-0-1, 13KOs) is signed to Juan Orengo’s Fresh Productions and generally fights these days on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)-branded events.
Marlon Tapales currently holds the WBA and IBF junior featherweight titles, which he won in a twelve-round, split decision over Uzbekistan’s Akhmadaliev on April 8 in San Antonio, Texas. The 31-year-old Filipino southpaw is currently in advanced talks to face WBC/WBO titlist Naoya Inoue (25-0, 22KOs) for an undisputed championship clash eyed for December in Tokyo.
It will mean any mandatory in the division will have a chance to challenge for all four belts, should the Inoue-Tapales victor choose to remain at the weight.
Akhmadaliev has not fought since his disputed defeat to Tapales. The 28-year-old Uzbek southpaw—who claimed a Bronze medal during the 2016 Rio Olympics—won the unified WBA/IBF crown in a January 2020 split decision win over Danny Roman. Just three successful defenses came of a reign crippled by injuries and Covid-related illness even after the sport rebounded from the pandemic.
Gonzalez has yet to fight for a title or in a sanctioned eliminator. The 25-year-old Culiacan native has fought in scheduled ten-round bouts for each of his last five starts. In his most recent win, Gonzalez soundly outpointed veteran trialhorse Jose Sanmartin over ten rounds in a March 25 bout on the David Benavidez-Caleb Plant undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox