By Jake Donovan
Iron Mike Productions won the right to promote a forthcoming bantamweight title fight between defending champ Anselmo Moreno and mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Payano.
The bout was ordered by the World Boxing Association (WBA) in late April, at which point the two sides had 30 days to negotiate terms or else have the fight subject to a purse bid hearing. While both camps are eager for their fighters to face one another - complete with plenty of back-and-forth trash talk through the media - it was decided that the best course of action was to put the fight up for bid, which took place Friday morning in Panama City, Panama.
Iron Mike Productions, Payano’s promoter submitted a winning bid of $120,000. Proposed locations for their promotion of the fight include: Phoenix, Ariz.; Montreal, Canada; or Punta Cana, the picturesque tourist town in Payano’s native Dominican Republic.
Moreno (35-2-1, 12KO) has made 12 successful defenses of the title he won from the excellent Vladimir Sidorenko on the road in Germany six years ago] The 28-year old southpaw has spread his reign throughout Europe, and North and South America, with only half of his title defenses (along with a non-title fight mixed in) taking place in his home country of Panama.
Considered one of the best technicians in the game, Moreno has won 29 of his last 30 pro bouts since coming out to a 6-1-1 start to his career. His lone loss over the past 11 years came in Nov. ’12, moving up in weight in an attempt to unseat then-122 lb. champ Abner Mares. Moreno dropped a narrow points loss in a terrific bout in Los Angeles, marking his third straight U.S. appearance.
Payano (15-0, 8KO) emerged as the mandatory challenger in a bout that also coupled as his breakout performance. The unbeaten 30-year old scored an impressive 7th round stoppage of then-unbeaten Jundy Maraon in their ESPN2-televised bantamweight title eliminator last June.
The talented Dominican boxer, who turned pro just four years ago, has fought just once since then, an eight-round decision win over hapless German Meraz in a stay-busy bout this past February.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox