Elwin Soto and Jonathan 'Bomba' Gonzalez will move forward with their title fight after all.
Terms were reached by both sides, thus avoiding a purse bid hearing previously scheduled to have taken place Monday from World Boxing Organization (WBO) headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Please be advised that All Star Boxing, Inc. (Gonzalez’s promoter) and Matchroom Boxing (Soto’s promoter) have reached an agreement regarding [the] WBO Jr. Flyweight Championship Bout [between] Soto [and] Gonzalez,” Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcarcel, president of the WBO announced Monday. “Therefore, the purse bid scheduled for today is canceled.
“Terms and conditions to be announced by each promoter.”
Neither promoter has yet revealed such plans. Efforts to contact Eddie Hearn, Soto’s promoter went unreturned as this goes to publish. However, BoxingScene.com has learned that plans are in place to stage the bout on a September 18 show in the United States.
Soto (19-1, 13KOs) will make the third defense of the WBO junior flyweight title he claimed in a twelfth-round stoppage of Angel ‘Tito’ Acosta in June 2019. In his most recent start, Mexicali’s Soto scored a ninth-round stoppage of former strawweight titlist Katsunari Takayama this past May. The bout served in supporting capacity to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s three-belt unifying eighth-round stoppage of England’s Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Soon thereafter came talks of Soto unifying with WBA champ Hiroto Kyoguchi. The sanctioning bodies intervened before such a fight could be finalized, with Kyoguchi ordered to face Esteban Bermudez in a title consolidation clash.
The decision made by Soto and his team to move forward with the ordered mandatory will mean a second career title fight for Gonzalez (24-3-1, 14KOs). The 30-year-old southpaw from Caguas, Puerto Rico dropped a seventh-round stoppage loss to then-unbeaten WBO flyweight titlist Kosei Tanaka in August 2019 on the road in Nagoya, Japan. Gonzalez was ahead on two of the three cards and holding his own against one of the sport’s best before falling apart in the seventh round.
The performance was inspiring, although also serving as a reminder that he was better served dropping down in weight, where he has won his last two starts. A February 2020 ten-round win over former title challenger Saul ‘Baby’ Juarez elevated Gonzalez to the top contender slot, having since added a fourth-round stoppage of Armando Torres this past May in Tampa, Florida.
The title fight between Soto and Gonzalez was originally ordered on July 9, with a 20-day negotiation period to work out terms. Little progress was made in the way of satisfying the WBO, who ordered an official Status Updated To Negotiations upon the 20-day deadline, with both sides given 48 hours to provide the WBO with cause to stand down from ordering a purse bid.
With no such updated provided by either side, the sanctioning body moved forward with its plans for a purse bid hearing. For now, that is no longer necessary.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox