Leigh Wood officially has his marching orders.

The two-time and recently recrowned WBA featherweight titlist from Nottingham, England has been instructed to next defend versus mandatory challenger Otabek Khlomatov. The ruling was confirmed Tuesday, just three days after Wood soundly outpointed Mexico City’s Mauricio Lara in their May 27 rematch at AO Arena in Manchester.

“The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee ordered the fight between the WBA Featherweight Champion, Leigh Wood, and the number one challenger of the category, Otabek Kholmatov,” WBA Championship Committee chairman Carlos Chavez confirmed to representatives for both parties.

Wood (27-3, 16KOs) and Lara (26-3-1, 19KOs) were both made aware of the looming mandatory upon the WBA granting sanctioning approval in March for the title fight rematch. Lara wrested the belt from Wood with a come-from-behind, seventh-round stoppage on February 18 in Wood’s Nottingham hometown.

The bout took place just two weeks prior to a WBA featherweight title eliminator, which saw Uzbekistan’s Khlomatov (11-0, 10KOs) stop unbeaten Thomas Patrick Ward (33-1-1, 5KOs). Khlomatov floored Ward three times before he forced the Brit’s corner to literally throw in the towel at 2:58 into the fifth round of their March 4 clash in Newcastle, England.

The WBA ruled less than two weeks later that Lara was permitted a voluntary title defense which he had to finalize by April 18. With that came sanctioning approval granted by the WBA for Lara to proceed with his rematch versus Wood provided that the winner next face Khlomatov.

Lara was stripped of the title shortly after Friday’s pre-fight weigh-in, when he officially weighed 129.8 pounds—nearly a full division above the 126-pound featherweight limit. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) previously deemed it unsafe for Lara to weigh any lighter than 128 ½ pounds after coming in well above the three-percent threshold during a mid-week weight-check.

A win by Lara on Saturday would have resulted in the WBA featherweight title remaining vacant and for Khlomatov to face an appointed challenger. Wood’s win to regain the belt created a more direct path to fulfill the mandatory title defense obligation.

Wood is promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Khlomatov is represented by manager Alex Vaysfeld and promoter Svyatoslav Mangushev’s Miami-based Undisputed Boxing Championship outfit.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox