Matchroom Boxing has obtained the rights to the featherweight title fight between Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan.

The long-discussed WBA “World” featherweight title fight was the subject of a purse bid hearing held Monday via Zoom conference call. Matchroom Boxing, Wood’s promoter submitted a winning bid of $1,566,666. Top Rank—Conlan’s co-promoter along with Conlan Boxing— submitted a bid of $1.21 million as the session’s only other bidder.

Wood is entitled to 55% as the defending WBA “World” featherweight titlist. Conlan will receive the remaining 45% as per the original purse bid terms allowed him the same benefits that came with his previous interim title status.

Wood (25-2, 15KOs) will make the first defense of his WBA “World” featherweight title, winning the belt in a 12th round knockout of Xu Can on July 31 in Brentwood, Essex, England. The feat came six days prior to Conlan (16-0, 8KOs) winning the WBA “interim” featherweight belt in a 12-round, unanimous decision win over TJ Doheny in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Conlan’s reign lasted all of 19 days before the WBA removed interim belts from circulation on August 25. The unbeaten featherweight—a two-time Olympian who claimed a Bronze medal during the 2012 London Olympics—was installed as the mandatory challenger, with the secondary title fight ordered two days later.

Two generous extensions were granted for the two sides to reach a deal. The initial deadline came and went without a deal in place, prompting the WBA to call for an October 11 purse bid hearing.

Both sides convinced the sanctioning body to postpone the session, of the belief that they were close to reaching a deal. The WBA granted the extension, initially for seven days though with that deadline passing without any action taken as the expectation was for a fight announcement to soon come out of the matter.

The allotted time still couldn’t help get the fight over the line, prompting Monday’s purse bid hearing.  

The winner of Wood-Conlan will become the mandatory challenger to Santa Cruz who still holds the WBA “Super” featherweight title. Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19KOs) last defended the belt in a February 2019 win over late substitute Rafael Rivera. The four-division titlist has spent his last two fights at junior lightweight, most recently in a sixth-round knockout loss to Gervonta Davis last Halloween.

If Santa Cruz opts out of such a fight or chooses to no longer campaign at featherweight, the WBA will be able to recognize a single titlist by default.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox