By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that the World Boxing Association has sided with promoter Sampson Lewkowicz in his ongoing dispute with WBA "regular" featherweight champion Celestino "Pelenchín" Caballero (36-4, 23KOs). Lewkowicz, who doesn't promote either boxer involved, secured the rights to Caballero's mandatory defense against Mikey Garcia (28-0, 24KOs) by winning a WBA purse bid with a monetary submission of $440,000.
The fight was originally scheduled for July 28th in Indio, California and Telefutura was going to televise. Lewkowicz later secured a better deal and moved the show to September 7th at the Hard Rock Resort and Casino in Las Vegas - and Showtime was going to televise as part of their ShoBox series.
Caballero protested Lewkowicz's idea to move the fight to September, citing inactivity fears and also stating that Lewkowicz was violating the WBA's rules by staging the fight outside of the 90 day window [from the date of the purse bid].
Lewkowicz claimed that he had a deal in place until Caballero's former adviser/Panamanian promoter Rogelio Espino interfered with his plans by persuading Caballero to change his mind on fighting Garcia in September.
Both sides complained to the WBA, and the sanctioning body began to investigate the dispute.
As part of their WBA's resolution:
1. Sampson Boxing LLC has until September 7th to stage the fight.
2. Sampson Boxing must submit an additional 10% retainer [$44,000] within ten days.
3. Within ten days, Sampson Boxing must submit new contracts to both boxers with a new date that falls on or before September 7. The boxers will then have seven days to sign and return the contracts.
4. If either boxer fails to return a signed contract within seven days, their recognition under the WBA will be voided.
It's going to be interesting to see how everything plays out. When the fight fell out a few weeks ago, Top Rank began making plans to match Garcia against WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido in the fall.