As the WBA continues its efforts to reduce the number of world titles it hands out -- from three in most divisions to just one, the way it should be -- it ordered another mandatory fight between its titleholders.
It sent letters this week to welterweight world titleholder Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KO), of Clearwater, Florida, and interim titlist David Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11 KOs), of Russia, ordering them to meet next. Thurman is way overdue for a mandatory defense, which was due this past December.
“This committee is granting you a period of 30 days to negotiate your upcoming mandatory fight beginning July 14th, 2016 and will close at the end of the business day on Aug. 13th, 2016,” the WBA wrote.
If Thurman, who retained his title by decision against Shawn Porter in their fight of the year contender on June 24, and Avanesyan, who is coming off a decision win against Shane Mosley on May 28, don’t make a deal a purse bid will be ordered.
At junior middleweight, titlist Jack Culcay (22-1, 11 KOs), of Germany, was also ordered to face mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade (23-0, 16 KOs), of Providence, Rhode Island, who previously held a 154-pound belt from another organization.
“Since you won the championship on May 21, 2016 the next obligatory championship bout should take place no later than Sept. 20, 2016 and [you] shall box against the official contender Demetrius Andrade,” the sanctioning body wrote.
If their sides can’t make a deal a purse bid will also be called for.