Patrick Teixeira is intent on reclaiming his title.

The former WBO junior middleweight titlist is set to return to the ring, pursuing the toughest available challenge in doing so. Brazil’s Teixeira has accepted an offer to face unbeaten top-rated contender Magomed Kurbanov, both parties confirmed with The bout will take place December 11 at KRK Uralets in Kurbanov’s hometown of Ekaterinburg, Russia. 

Teixeira (31-2, 22KOs) has not fought since losing his title to unbeaten Brian Castaño (17-0-1, 12KOs) this past February at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. The loss saw Teixeira snap a five-fight win streak that included his title-winning effort over then-unbeaten Carlos Adames in November 2019.

The fight with Kurbanov will mark the first outside of The Americas for Teixeira, a 30-year-old southpaw who has spent his entire career to date fighting in Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

Kurbanov (22-0, 13KOs) risks his lofty WBO ranking, as the number-two contender aims to remain active. The 26-year-old Russian boxer is coming off his toughest test to date, having edged former titlist Liam Smith via twelve-round unanimous decision this past May. The fight took place at the same venue that will host the fight with Teixiera, who is presently ranked number-four by the WBO.

Despite both boxers so close to the top spot, there has yet to exact a path to vie for the mandatory position. Australia’s Tim Tszyu is currently the number-one contender to the WBO junior middleweight crown held by Castaño, who is hopeful of securing a rematch with lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF champ Jermell Charlo later this year. Such a bout is the lone exception that will be afforded the unbeaten Argentinean, to avoid having the WBO order a mandatory title fight. Tszyu is expected to reveal his next fight during a press conference Friday afternoon local time.

In the meantime, Kurbanov and Teixeira are willing to risk their place in line to plead their case as the division’s greatest threat to the crown.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox