Cruiserweight world titleholder Beibut Shumenov and interim titlist Yunier Dorticos will meet in a mandatory bout as the WBA continues to reduce the number of belts in each weight class from three to one.
Caribe Promotions won a purse bid Monday at WBA headquarters in Panama City, Panama, to gain promotional rights to the bout. Caribe, which promotes Dorticos, bid $350,001 to beat the bid of $201,000 offered by Tom Brown's TGB Promotions, which represents Shumenov.
Caribe's winning purse bid comes as a surprise as it must yield 75 percent of the winning bid ($262,500.75) to Shumenov, while Dorticos is entitled to the remaining 25 percent ($87,500.25).
Although the date and site of the bout are not yet set, Caribe Promotions proposed dates and sites as part of its offer. They are Feb. 4 in Houston or Las Vegas or Feb. 11 in Miami. The fight must take place within 90 days of the purse bid.
Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs), 33, a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Las Vegas, held the interim belt, which he defended against B.J. Flores in a decision win in July 2015. He was elevated to a full titleholder and knocked Junior Anthony Wright out in the 10th round of his latest bout May 21. Shumenov previously held the belt but lost it to Bernard Hopkins by decision in a 2014 title unification fight.
Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), 30, a Cuban defector living in Miami, claimed the vacant interim title by 10th-round knockout of Youri Kalenga in an action-packed fight of the year contender in May in Paris.
Unified titleholder Denis Lebedev (29-2, 22 KOs), of Russia, holds the WBA's "super" title (as well as the IBF belt) and will defend them against Murat Gassiev (23-0, 17 KOs), also of Russia, on Dec. 3 in Moscow. The winner of the bout will be mandated to face the winner of Shumenov-Dorticos.