Hiroto Kyoguchi will have a little more time to work out terms for his next ordered title defense.
The reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) “Super” junior flyweight titlist has been granted a ten-day extension to come to an agreement for a title consolidation clash with Mexico’s Esteban Bermudez, the sanctioning body announced on Wednesday. The deadline had already expired without an agreement in place, though it was decided that additional time would help get this fight over the line.
“With the 10-day period granted, they should reach an agreement before August 28,” declared Carlos Chavez, chairman of the WBA Championship Committee.
Bermudez (14-3-2, 10KOs) claimed the WBA “World” junior flyweight title in a stunning sixth-round knockout of previously unbeaten titlist Carlos Canizales this past May 29 in Mexico City. Less than two weeks later came the order from the WBA to enter talks with Tokyo’s Kyoguchi (15-0, 10KOs), who was previously eyeing a title unification clash with WBO champ Elwin Soto (19-1, 13KOs) for later this year. Kyoguchi and Soto are both promoted by Matchroom Boxing, with chairman Eddie Hearn successfully lobbying on Kyoguchi’s behalf for a one-fight exemption from his mandatory commitment to pursue a fight with Soto.
Those plans went awry, however, once Soto was locked into a mandatory title defense of his own. The WBO titlist from Mexicali has since agreed to terms for a bout with number-one contender Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez, with their fight eyed for a tentative September date on DAZN from a location to be determined.
That leaves Kyoguchi to turn to Bermudez for his next opportunity. As per WBA rule C.13 addressing Bout Limitations, “within sixty (60) days of the expiration of the mandatory defense period, a World Champion may not fight a boxer who is not the Mandatory Contender, or the next highest ranked boxer (if there is no Mandatory Contender), nor may a designated contender fight during the same period for anything other than the championship.
“During the pendency of a required contract negotiation or purse bid period for a championship or eliminator fight, no champion, official contender, or boxer directly affected by the period can sign an agreement for, or participate in, a bout different than the one that is the subject of the negotiation or bid period.”
The 10-day extension is expected to be the final one offered for this fight, given the WBA’s recent push to reduce its number of recognized champions. A purse bid hearing will be called in the event a deal cannot be reached by August 28.
Kyoguchi—a two-division titlist—has held the WBA "Super" title since dethroning Hekkie Budler on New Year's Eve 2018. Three successful defenses have followed, including a fifth-round injury stoppage of Axel Aragon this past March 13 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The win over Aragon marked the U.S. debut for Kyoguchi, coming shortly after signing with Hearn as well as manager Eddy Reynoso.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox