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WBA orders 4-man junior middleweight box-off

The WBA has ordered a four-man box-off in the junior middleweight division.

Under the plan, the winner of the fight between France's Michel Soro (33-2-1, 22 KOs), 31, and Magomed Kurvanov (17-0, 11 KOs), 23, of Russia, who are scheduled to fight on July 20 in Marseille, France, will claim the organization's vacant secondary world title.

Also, the fight between former longtime world titlist Erislandy Lara (25-3-3, 14 KOs), 36, a Cuban defector fighting out of Houston, and Ramon Alvarez (28-7-3, 16 KOs), 32, of Mexico, has been sanctioned for the organization's vacant interim belt that Soro used to hold. Lara and Alvarez -- middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez's older brother -- are scheduled to meet in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Aug. 31 (Fox) at The Armory in Minneapolis.

The winners of the two bouts would then be ordered to meet each other.

Unified world titleholder Julian "J Rock" Williams is the WBA's so-called "super" titleholder, having outpointed Jarrett Hurd in an action-packed contender for fight of the year on May 11.

Initially, on June 24, the WBA ordered Lara and Soro to fight for the vacant secondary belt. But when Soro's team requested a special permit to face Kurvanov for the regular title instead and Lara's side did not object, the WBA approved both fights and ordered that the winners meet.

Soro's request to face Kurvanov came with the stipulation that the fight with the Lara-Alvarez winner take place within 120 days following the Aug. 31 fight.

Should the winners of each 154-pound bout be unable to make a deal, the fight would go to a purse bid with the secondary titlist getting 55 percent of the winning bid and the interim titleholder receiving 45 percent.