The World Boxing Commission has ordered its light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, fight its number one challenger, Marcus Browne, this fall. Beterbiev, represented by Top Rank, has until September 17 to negotiate a fight with Browne, who is represented by PBC. If an agreement is not set by September 17, the fight will go to a purse bid.
While the two sides could come to an agreement, it is more likely that the fight will go to a purse bide. Top Rank and PBC rarely work together unless major money is involved. For example, the third fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury drew the two organizations together for a major payday. However, a less commercially successful fight between Shawn Porter and Terence Crawford has not drawn the two organizations together despite being ordered to do so by the WBO.
Whenever the fight takes place, all eyes will be on Beterbiev. At 36 years old, he holds a perfect record of 16 wins with 16 knockouts. Ranking as one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters, he will enter the fight as a heavy favorite as he awaits a potential fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez down the road. Meanwhile, Browne is taking a step up in competition. The New York native has a record of 24 wins and one loss, but his best win came against Badou Jack more than two years ago. Despite the naysayers and critics, Browne is ready to go when the fight is made.
“This is the moment I’ve been working for my entire career; this is the most important fight of my life,” Browne told ESPN this week.
“I’m coming with all the tools in the tool box; not leaving without those straps.”