By Luke Furman
The World Boxing Organization officially sanctioned the fight between champion Orlando Salido and prospect Vasyl Lomachenko, set for March 1 in San Antonio, Texas. But the fight was sanctioned on the basis of the winner facing the "mandatory challenger within 75 days." The boxer currently ranked as the number one contender is undefeated Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14KOs).
It will be interesting to see what happens after March 1. Russell is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and advised by Al Haymon. Top Rank, who promote Salido and Lomachenko, have not done business with Golden Boy in several years and it's very unlikely the two sides would reach a direct agreement on such a fight.
More likely, as was the case with the junior middleweight eliminator between Vanes Martirosyan (TR) and Erislandy Lara (GBP), the winner of March 1 vs. Russell is going to head to a purse bid.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org