By Steve Kim
As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, the purse bid for the mandatory WBA 'regular' middleweight title match-up between champion Ryota Murata and challenger Rob Brant was held on Monday in Panama and won by Greg Cohen Promotions, who handle Brant, with a bid of just over $200,000.
Top Rank and Teiken Promotions, who both promote Murata, refused to participate in this process.
Murata is currently on pace to fight Jason Quigley on October 20th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank, told BoxingScene.com - "We believe that the calling of the purse bid, the whole circumstances is contrary to WBA rules and (Akihiko) Honda and Top Rank refused to participate and we let the WBA know and we're going to resist the WBA attempting to strip Murata of his title and Murata is going to fight on the 20th of October at Mandalay Bay against Jason Quigley.
"We're not going to bow to the dictates of an organization when those dictates are contrary to the rules of the organization."
Greg Cohen, who represents Brant, says - "Again, they can do whatever he likes to do, we followed the rules, this has been part of multiple resolutions starting in 2017. They've known Rob Brant is their mandatory and again, they can do what they want to do and all we can do is control our actions. We did everything according to the rule book and right now we won a purse bid. They can either accept that or reject it - it's up to them."
The WBA 'regular' middleweight title became vacant after Danny Jacobs lost to Gennady Golovkin in March of 2017. As Murata jumped ahead of Brant in the WBA rankings to face Hassan N'Dam, the WBA put forth a resolution that Brant was in line as the mandatory with a 50-50 split in a purse bid.
Eventually, Murata captured the title after defeating N'Dam in their second meeting last October after a highly controversial decision given to N'Dam in their first fight.
According to Cohen the WBA sent out another letter in June re-affirming Brant's right and the 50-50 split.
"Arum and Honda can do whatever they think is in their best interest. The facts speak for themselves, this is not a surprise. This has been out there and it's like a case where it's great when they got to jump Rob, it was great when they got to face N'Damn first, it was great when they got the rematch with N'Dam. Now it's time for them to honor the mandatory and all of a sudden they're screaming bloody murder," stated Cohen.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com