By Jake Donovan
By the time unbeaten Naoya Inoue is ready to return to the ring, the next—and first—challenger for his 115 lb. title will have been secured.
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has agreed to sanction a June 20 showdown between David Carmona and Warlito Parrenas as an interim title fight. The sanctioning comes with the condition that the winner will face Inoue within 90 days of the bout, which is scheduled to take place at a location to be determined in Mexico City.
Both camps have been notified by the WBO, as has handlers for Inoue, who continues to heal from previous injuries that have kept him out of the ring since December.
“The WBO Championship Committee sanctions the above referenced Interim Jr. Bantamweight Bout between David Carmona and Warlito Parrenas to be held in Mexico City, Mexico,” WBO Ratings Chariman Luis Batista said in a statement to all parties involved. “(The fight comes) with the provision that the winner must face the champion (Inoue) within 90 days from the date of the bout on June 20, 2015.”
Parrenas (24-6, 21KOs) is currently riding a seven-fight win streak, including a 3rd round knockout of Kaichon Sor Vorapin in a stay-busy bout this past April. The 31-year old from Philippines has never previously fought for a major title or outside of Asia.
Carmona (19-2-4, 8KOs) came up well short in his lone previous title bid, a 7th round knockout loss to then-champion Omar Narvaez in 2013. The 24-year old contender from Mexico rebounded with three straight bouts, all of which came as part of Spanish television network Telemundo’s super flyweight tournament.
The eight-man elimination series ended with Carmona scoring a 10-round decision over Daniel Lozano this past March to win the tournament. With the win came the intention of being steered towards a title shot versus Inoue (8-0, 7KOs), who claimed championship wins at junior flyweight and junior bantamweight in a breakout 2014 ring campaign.
Inoue’s two-round blitzing of Narvaez last December capped a run that was great enough to earn Fighter of the Year honors by BoxingScene.com. While invincible in the ring, the 21-year old wunderkind is not impervious to pain. An injured right hand has slowed his progress, as he will not be cleared to return until August at the earliest.
Carmona normally fights on Telemundo, however the bout falls outside of the parameters of the network’s schedule. Telemundo changed to three four-weekend seasons in 2013, a formula that has proven very successful as ratings continue to climb.
The Spanish-speaking network is due to resume its boxing schedule in July with its four-weekend summer season.
As for the June 20 bout, efforts are being made to secure TV rights in some capacity.
“We are currently working on a site in Mexico City and a TV partner,” informed Felix “Tutico” Zabala, Jr., Carmona’s promoter. “It’s a terrific fight, and a lot at stake on this night and—for the winner—in the future with a shot (at Inoue).”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox