WBO orders Buatsi vs. Yarde for interim title at 175 pounds

By Scott Shaffer


WBO orders Buatsi vs. Yarde for interim title at 175 pounds

SUMMARY OF WBO RULING: On May 3rd, Top Rank confirmed via official press release that WBO / IBF / WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev suffered a ruptured meniscus in training and had to postpone the scheduled undisputed world light heavyweight championship contest against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol on June 1st in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  According to the press release, the Beterbiev-Bivol bout will be rescheduled before the end of 2024. On May 8th, the WBO issued an interim medical certification notice to Beterbiev's promoter, Top Rank, requesting a detailed medical explanation of Beterbeiv's injury, recovery prognosis and his physician’s opinion as to when will he be physically and medically cleared to compete and return to active competition.

In compliance with the WBO's order, on May 8th, Top Rank provided the medical certification contents on a confidential basis. However, according to that document, Beterbiev’s scheduled recovery time for active competition shall be in September or October 2024.

Therefore, because of Beterbiev’s unavailability due to injury and required recovery time, the WBO determined that is in the best interests of boxing and the contenders that a WBO interim championship is justified for the light heavyweight division subject to specific provisions that will terminate the interim championship in accordance with the WBO's policy of only one champion in each weight class.

Therefore, the WBO ordered WBO #1 rated Joshua Buatsi and WBO #3 rated Anthony Yarde, who are the highest two available contenders in the division, to commence negotiations for the WBO interim light heavyweight championship. (Oleksandr Gvozdyk is rated #2 by the WBO but is committed to fighting David Benavidez for the WBC interim light heavyweight championship on June 15th and is therefore unavailable). The WBO added the following conditions: (i) the camps are granted 10 days to negotiate and reach an agreement as ordered; (ii) failure to reach an accord within the period outlined herein will result in the WBO ordering purse bid proceedings... Any of the parties involved may request a purse bid proceedings at any time during the negotiation process; and (iii) the WBO reserves its right to issue all further rulings deemed necessary.