The team surrounding Ivana Habazin secured the rights to her mandatory title challenge for the second time this year.
Charles Muniz, Habazin’s manager, once again won a purse bid hearing for the WBC-ordered title fight between Habazin and defending lineal, WBC and WBA champion Jessica McCaskill. Piranha 1 LLC company, Muniz’s privately owned company, submitted $82,500 as the lone bidder during Friday’s session conducted from WBC headquarters in Mexico City.
From that total, ten percent ($8,250) will be held in escrow as a win bonus. McCaskill is due 70 percent from the balance ($51,975) as the defending champion. Habazin is guaranteed the remaining 30 percent ($22,275) as per the standard for a WBC mandatory challenger.
A date and location was not specified as this goes to publication.
Piranha also won a bid for this same fight on February 7, when it submitted $201,000 to outpace Matchroom Boxing ($91,000) as the session’s only other participant.
The fight never materialized, however, even after Piranha defaulted on its bid and the fight wound up in possession of Matchroom.
Habazin instead moved up to face WBA junior middleweight titlist Terri Harper on short notice when Cecilia Braekhus fell ill and was unable to commit to their May 20 fight. Harper faced and soundly outpointed Habazin over ten rounds in a May 27 DAZN aired bout from Manchester.
McCaskill attempted to win back her WBO title from Sandy Ryan, but the two fought to a ten-round draw in their September 24 unification bout, which also aired on DAZN from Orlando, Florida.
There was a push for the sanctioning bodies to order a McCaskill-Ryan rematch straightaway. The idea was nixed by both the WBC and the WBO, who instead called for mandatory title defenses next.
The WBC split the baby, and agreed to allow the McCaskill-Habazin winner to next face Ryan or whoever has the WBO welterweight title by that point.
McCaskill has won titles at junior welterweight and welterweight, the latter where she claimed the undisputed championship in an August 2020 win over Braekhus. She repeated the feat in their March 2021 rematch and then made two more successful title defenses, both ending in stoppage victory. They preceded a failed bid to win the undisputed junior welterweight championship in a ten-round decision defeat to Chantelle Cameron last November 5 in Abu Dhabi.
The loss to Cameron was doubly damaging for McCaskill, who dropped back down in weight for the fight. Instead, her welterweight reign was broken up as she was stripped of the IBF title due to a by-law that does not protect reigning titlists who move down in weight to challenge for another belt.
A similar by-law carried by the WBO was presented to the sanctioning body’s Championship Committee, who determined in a December 14 ruling that her title reign would remain intact.
As a result, McCaskill (12-3-1, 5KOs) is now down to the lineal championship and WBA and WBC belts.
Habazin (21-5, 7KOs)—a 34-year-old former champ from Croatia—once upon a time held the IBF welterweight title, doing so on her second try in a March 2014 points win over Sabrina Giuliani in Herstal. Belgium. The reign was short-lived, as Habazin dropped a ten-round decision to Braekhus in their September 2014 fully unification bout which saw Braekhus become the first women’s four-belt undisputed champion.
A second purse bid was held on Friday for the Dina Thorslund-Seren Cetin bantamweight title fight.
International Entertainment Original APS, a Denmark-based group, won the rights to the fight with a $51,234 offer, from which ten-percent will be held as a win bonus. The bid surpassed TK Promotions, Thorslund’s promoter who submitted $33,333 as the lone other bidder.
Thorslund (20-0, 8KOs)—the unified WBC and WBO titlist—is due to earn $32,277.42 from 70 percent of the remaining total. Cetin (11-0, 7KOs) will receive $13,833.18—30 percent—as the mandatory challenger.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox