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WBO orders Burns-Crawford, Stieglitz-Abraham III

Fighters Network

In accordance with an earlier report by, WBO President Paco Valcarcel has declared that unbeaten lightweight Terence Crawford, of Omaha, Neb., is the organization’s mandatory challenger to British titleholder Ricky Burns.

Valcarcel said that a deal must be reached between Crawford’s promoter, Top Rank, and Burns’ promoter, Matchroom Sport, in 30 days or by mid-December to preclude a purse bid. If a purse bid is ordered, Valcarcel said the minimum bid will be between $150,000 and $200,000.

“They have 30 days from the notification,” said Valcarcel. “But anybody can request a purse bid immediately, if they want it.”

Burns (36-2-1, 11 knockouts) has undergone surgery to repair the broken jaw he sustained during September’s controversial draw against Raymundo Beltran, a Top Rank-promoted fighter who dropped Burns in the eighth round.

Meanwhile, Crawford (22-0, 16 KOs) was last in the ring for October’s unanimous decisioned Andrey Klimov.

“I don’t know whether it’s good news or bad news, because I’m conflicted since I represent both Beltran and Crawford,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who would like to land the fight in Crawford’s home town of Omaha.

“Crawford was promised the mandatory shot, and Paco’s living up to his promise. Whatever the WBO wants to do, that’s fine with me. Crawford is a very good fighter and a very talented fighter. So I’d like to do it in Omaha.”

Also given 30 days to begin negotiations, according to Valcarcel, are Ulf Steinforth and Sauerland Events, the promoters of WBO super middleweight Robert Stieglitz and Arthur Abraham, respectively. Stieglitz and Abraham have split bouts.

“They have 30 days to negotiate and probably we’re going to have a purse bid there,” said Valcarcel, who said that he believed the minimum bid for a Stieglitz-Abraham III was at $250,000.

Stieglitz (46-3, 26 KOs) was dethroned by Abraham (38-4, 28 KOs) following a unanimous decision in August of 2012 but gained he revenge following a fourth-round stoppage victory in March. Since falling to Stieglitz, Abraham has won two straight fights, as has Stieglitz since facing Abraham.

Valcarcel also said that heavyweight Denis Boytsov (33-0, 26 KOs) will become the organization’s mandatory challenger to RING, WBO, IBF and WBA champion Wladimir Klitschko if he gets beyond a fight with Alex Leapai (29-4-3, 24 KOs) on Nov. 23.


A lightweight clash of prospects Karl Dargan (13-0, 7 KOs) of Philadelphia and southpaw Michael Brooks (10-0-1, 2 KOs) of Long Island will take place at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona, NY, as part of Fight Night on NBC.

Promoted by Main Events, Dargan-Brooks will take place before the main event between heavyweights Tomasz Adamek (49-2, 29 KOs) and Vyacheslav Glazkov (15-0-1, 11 KOs) beginning 2:30 p.m. ET.

Also on the card, light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba (20-2-2, 9 KOs) will meet Michael Gbenga (13-9, 13 KOs), cruiserweight Quantis Graves (9-0, 4 KOs) takes on Sevdail Sherriffi (9-2-2, 8 KOs), and super middleweight Andy Mejias (14-0, 6 KOs) faces Latin Mundy (10-8, 4 KOs).

In another 168-pound bout, John Magda (3-0, 3 KOs) will look to stop Maurice Amaro (2-5, 1 KO).

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]