Butaev-Besputin slated for vacant secondary belt


Welterweight contenders Radzhab Butaev and Alexander Besputin are headed for Monte Carlo when they meet for a vacant secondary world title.

Promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, which does not promote either boxer, on Monday won the purse bid for the bout with a winning offer of $505,555 at the WBA offices in Panama City, Panama.

Along with the bid, Hearn listed Nov. 30 in Monte Carlo as the date and location he intends to stage the fight. Nov. 30 is when Hearn is putting on his annual “Monte Carlo Showdown” card.

Russia natives Butaev and Besputin would split the winning bid 50-50, meaning purses of $252,777.50 for each. Hearn has 20 days to submit signed contracts from both fighters to the WBA.

Matchroom Boxing outbid two other promoters, beating an offer of $415,000 from Patriot Promotions and $315,000 offered by Top Rank. Minimum bid was $150,000.

Butaev (12-0, 9 KOs), 25, who fights out of Brooklyn, New York, and Besputin (13-0, 9 KOs), 28, a southpaw who fights out of Oxnard, California, were originally slated to fight for the WBA’s interim welterweight belt but the bout was upgraded to being for the “regular” title when then-“regular” titlist Manny Pacquiao defeated “super” titleholder Keith Thurman on July 20.

Besputin promoter Top Rank and Butaev promoter Lou DiBella were close to a deal to put the bout on Oct. 18 in Philadelphia on the Top Rank on ESPN card headlined by the light heavyweight world title unification fight between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev. But when they could not finalize a deal — the Butaev team was seeking more money once the fight status was upgraded from the interim title to the “regular” title — Top Rank planned to put the fight on its Nov. 30 card in Las Vegas had it won the purse bid, according to its bid submission paperwork.

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