The Championships Committee of the World Boxing Association (WBA) gave a period of 15 days from October 21, 2021 for the teams of Raeese Aleem and Azat Hovannisian to reach an agreement for their super bantamweight elimination fight, that will decide the next mandatory challenger in the category.
The pioneering body denied Aleem’s team’s request to postpone negotiations until November 29 because there are no valid reasons to do so.
The fight between Aleem and Hovannisian was ordered on August 27. At that time, Marshall Kauffman, who represents Aleem, requested a postponement so that the fighter could participate, in a scheduled fight without the knowledge of the body, which was to take place on September 18.
Aleem had a fight scheduled with Eduardo Báez without the knowledge of the WBA, because the date of that fight was close to the date on which the negotiation obligation was sent, the WBA considered letting him fight and if Aleem win, continue the negotiations, But when that fight was canceled, because Brandon Figueroa, who was the protagonist of the main fight of that event, tested positive for Covid 19 on September 7, there was no need to send a formal statement about it to allow him to fight on that card. which was already canceled and the request for mandatory combat was continued.
On October 4, the WBA sent a communication to the Aleem and Hovannisian teams giving them 10 days to negotiate the elimination bout. The next day, Kauffman requested a postponement until November 29.
On the same day, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP), a company representing Hovannisian, strongly objected to Kauffman’s request for postponement. The objection was raised by George Gallegos, on behalf of GBP, who based his opposition on the fact that the postponement request had no supporting regulations.
For his part, Kauffman, Aleem’s representative, responded on October 6 to that objection and stated that the September 18 event had been rescheduled for November 27 for the previously signed fight against Báez.
The WBA regulations establish that the Championship Committee can select a mandatory contestant for each weight division or through an elimination match. Selection may be subject to conditions. Generally, the highest rated boxer in the division, or the regional champion ranked in the top 5, will qualify to be named an official contender, unless he is not, or is likely not, available to fight for the title in the required period.
The Committee may remove the recognition of a boxer as a mandatory contestant for breach of these rules or for breach of any condition of the nomination as a mandatory contestant. As stated in WBA rule C.29.
On the other hand, the President of the Championships Committee may grant a period of 30 trading days to the boxers selected to participate in a knockout or a Box Off. If an agreement is not reached within the indicated time, the President will call an auction as established by rule C.32 of the WBA
If a boxer refuses to participate in a mandatory defense, Elimination Match or Box Off, his title may be vacated, or he may be demoted or removed from the classification.
In this case, the decision not to grant the postponement request to Aleem’s team is because they could not prove the reason why the fighter is contractually bound to face Baez. The reason for the postponement was not due to the fighters’ medical disability. On the other hand, the fight between Aleem and Baez is not for a championship or unification, so it is not significant enough to grant the postponement.
The deadline of November 5 is the deadline and if they do not reach an agreement, the fight will be called up for auction. In the event that Aleem participates in a match other than the tie against Hovannisian, his recognition will be revoked and Hovannisian will be certified as the mandatory challenger for the category.