By Manouk Akopyan
The junior bantamweight division is looking to identify a unified champion.
A fight between WBC and The Ring Magazine champion Juan Francisco Estrada and WBA titlist Khalid Yafai is being negotiated for Dec. 14, Fernando Beltran, head of Zanfer Promotions, told BoxingScene.com.
“We’re looking to unify the titles on that date,” said Beltran, Estrada’s promoter. “We’re very excited about that fight.”
Beltran said he’ll move over to IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas and WBO titleholder Kazuto Ioka should Estrada continue showing his dominant form against Yafai.
Last month, Estrada (40-3, 27 KOs) dropped Dewayne Beamon twice in the second round en route to scoring a ninth round TKO. In April, the 29-year-old Estrada avenged his 2018 defeat to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai with a unanimous decision win to earn the WBC and Ring honors.
Yafai (26-0, 15 KOs) is promoted by Matchroom Boxing and has enjoyed an unblemished career since representing Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics. In June, he fought in the United States for just the second time when he defeated Norbelto Jimenez on the Demetrius Andrade-Maciej Sulecki undercard.
One day before that fight, the Mexican pound-for-pound star Estrada signed a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and Zanfer Promotions.
That union will ultimately pave a path to Yafai by the end of the year.
Manouk Akopyan has been a member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011 and has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Guardian and Philadelphia Inquirer. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.