Demetrius Andrade and Janibek Alimkhanuly have been granted more time to reach a deal for their WBO-ordered middleweight title fight.
BoxingScene.com has learned that a previously scheduled January 14 purse bid hearing has been delayed by one week, as both camps requested additional time for their mandatory title fight. The request comes days after the San Juan, Puerto Rico-headquartered WBO announced that too much time had elapsed in presenting an agreement for Team Andrade’s alternate plan of an interim WBO super middleweight title fight with England’s Zach Parker.
Whichever fight Andrade chooses to accept, he now has another week to decide.
Andrade-Alimkhanuly was formally ordered November 30, shortly after both participants scored knockout wins one day apart.
Andrade (31-0, 18KOs) registered the fifth defense of his WBO middleweight title with a second-round knockout of Ireland’s Jason Quigley in a DAZN-streamed main event last November 19 at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. After the fight, the Providence-bred southpaw, who was fighting less than an hour from his hometown, called for bigger fights. Singled out were unbeaten former WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia (38-0, 30KOs) and IBF titlist Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36KOs), both of whom also fight on DAZN.
Golovkin remains locked into a title unification clash with WBA claimant Ryota Murata, awaiting a new date as their planned December 29 clash was canceled due to Covid-related travel restriction for visitors entering Japan. Munguia was previously the mandatory challenger for Andrade’s title but has instead chosen to pursue a shot at the WBC belt.
That left the sanctioning body to declare Kazakhstan’s Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7KOs) as its mandatory. The unbeaten middleweight did his part to keep his place in line, stopping former secondary titlist Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in the eighth round of their preliminary bout on a November 20 ESPN+ Pay-Per-View show at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. The win came five months after battering former secondary titleholder Rob Brant also in eight rounds last June.
Andrade and Alimkhanuly were given until December 20 to work out a deal, only for that period to lapse without the two sides—Matchroom Boxing for Andrade, and Top Rank (promoter) and Egis Klimas (manager) for Alimkhanuly—coming to terms. A purse bid hearing was called during the year-end holiday season, though there was still time for an eleventh-hour deal to avoid that route.
Andrade—who previously held the WBO junior middleweight title before winning his current title in October 2018—instead sought the option of campaigning in his third weight division. A proposal was floated to the WBO to allow Andrade and Parker (22-0. 16KOs) to fight for the interim super middleweight title while undisputed WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO/lineal champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (57-1-2, 39KOs) explored his next move.
Parker has been waiting on a title shot since the pandemic, having advanced to the top contender spot following an eleventh-round stoppage of Rohan Murdock in March 2020. The 27-year-old Brit—who is managed by Neil Marsh and fights under Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions banner—has since fought three times, most recently in a fourth-round stoppage of Marcus Morrison last November in Birmingham, England.
Should the WBO still permit Parker to challenge for an interim super middleweight title, it will have to come against another opponent. Andrade is locked into other plans, barring his vacating the WBO middleweight belt.
The rescheduled purse bid hearing—should this matter go that far—will be open to all WBO-registered promoters. The minimum accepted bid is $200,000 for the fight, with Andrade to receive 75% of the winning bid as the defending titlist. The remaining 25% will go to Alimkhanuly as the mandatory challenger.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox