The World Boxing Organisation has ordered Anthony Yarde versus Joshua Buatsi for their vacant interim light-heavyweight title. 

The undisputed title fight between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitrii Bivol had been scheduled for June 1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but Beterbiev rupturing his meniscus forced its cancellation and the expectation that it will instead take place later in 2024. 

Beterbiev’s injury contributed to the WBO creating an interim title, and therefore potentially a mandatory challenger for the winner of Beterbiev-Bivol if and when their fight finally takes place. 

British rivals Yarde, a two-time world-title challenger, and Buatsi have been in negotiations for a fight since their victories earlier in 2024, but those negotiations have stalled. 

BOXXER’s Ben Shalom, Buatsi’s promoter, recently said that he had started exploring alternatives for Buatsi, 31, but remained “hopeful” that a fight between he and the 32-year-old Yarde could still be agreed. 

The WBO has given their representatives 10 days to agree to terms before purse bids are called.

“Wherefore, in light of the above and per the relevant WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests, the parties are hereby ordered to commence negotiations for the Interim Light Heavyweight Championship according to the following terms and conditions,” read a statement from the sanctioning body.

“The camps are granted 10 days to negotiate and reach an agreement as ordered. Failure to reach an accord within the period outlined herein will result in the Committee ordering purse bid proceedings pursuant to WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests. The minimum bid for the Light Heavyweight Division is $300,000. Any of the parties involved may request a purse bid proceedings at any time during the negotiation process.”

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