By Jake Donovan
Bob Arum and Oscar de la Hoya have declared to the world that boxing’s Cold War has officially thawed and that their companies – Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, respectively – are ready to do business together.
They now have until July 31 to make good on that promise.
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) submitted a letter to the offices of both promotional companies ordering a mandatory title fight between defending champ Peter Quillin - who has spent the past three years fighting on Golden Boy shows through his adviser Al Haymon - and top challenger Matt Korobov, who fights for Top Rank.
The bout was officially ordered on July 1, three days after Korobov advanced to the top spot with a 10-round win over Jose Uzcategui in Omaha, Nebraska.
With each ordered mandatory title fight comes a 30-day period for the fighters and their respective camps to negotiate a deal. Should the two sides fail to come to terms, the sanctioning body will order the fight to go to a purse bid.
Should this fight go that route, the minimum accepted bid will be $200,000, with a traditional 75/25 split for champion and challenger. That amount could change, depending on the location of the fight.
Quillin (31-0, 22KO) has made three defenses since his 12-round points win over Hassan N’Jam N’Dikam in their Oct. ’12 vacant middleweight title fight. The unbeaten New Yorker is coming off of a 12-round points win over Lucas Konecny this past April in Washington D.C.
Upon the news that Top Rank and Golden Boy declared a willingness to do business together after years of feuding with each other, fighters such as Quillin figured to reap the benefits. It’s unclear where he falls in the current state of Golden Boy Promotions given his alignment with adviser Al Haymon, who claims many fighters that actively fight on Golden Boy shows but aren’t necessarily legally bound to the company.
What is clear is that–short of either side bowing out of the fight during negotiations–his next fight will come against a Top Rank fighter.
The lone bout to occur between companies in recent times also came about by virtue of a purse bid. Vasyl Lomachenko, the two-time Olympic Gold medalist whom Top Rank signed last October emerged victorious in a 12-round points win over Gary Russell to claim a vacant featherweight title. Their clash came about thanks to a purse bid of more than $1 million offered by Golden Boy Promotions, barely edging out Top Rank to claim the rights to promote the fight.
The last fight to occur between the two companies that didn’t require a purse bid or mediator of any kind took place in Sept. ’11, when Yuriorkis Gamboa – still with Top Rank at the time – defeated former two-division champ Daniel Ponce de Leon in Atlantic City.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox