A purse bid date for for the vacant WBO featherweight title fight between Gary Russell Jr. and Vasyl Lomachenko has been set for Friday at noon in Orlando, Fla., WBO President Paco Valcarcel informed RingTV.com on Monday.
Valcarcel granted Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank 30 days on March 20 to make the bout. Valcarcel told RingTV.com last week that negotiations were ongoing.
Friday was to be the deadline for a deal to be reached, or else the bid would take place at the Hilton Orlando-Altamonte Springs in Altamonte Springs, Fla., said Valcarcel.
Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez told RingTV.com on Monday that he "had a discussion today" with Russell's advisor, Al Haymon, who wanted to eschew negotiations and go straight to the purse bid.
"I will be staying in Orlando," said Valcarcel, who will attend a lightweight fight between Puerto Rico's Felix Verdejo and Jeremy McLaurin on Saturday at the Bahia Shrine Temple in Orlando the day after the purse bid. "Golden Boy and Top Rank have been notified."
Valcarcel also announced the development on his Twitter account.
A 2008 U.S. Olympian [Russell qualified for the team but never competed due to missing the weigh-in] who is coming off a knockout of Miguel Tamayo in January, Russell (24-0, 14 KOs) was declared by Valcarcel in October to be the WBO’s mandatory challenger to face then-beltholder Orlando Salido.
The ruling did not preclude Salido from making a voluntary defense against Lomachenko, which he did on March 1. Lomachenko fell by split decision to Salido, who lost his WBO belt at the scales after failing to make the 126-pound weight limit.
As a result of Salido's failure, the title became vacant though Lomachenko was eligible to win it had he been victorious.
Lomachenko had said he wanted to make history by becoming a titleholder what was billed as his second professional fight. According to Fight Fax Inc., Lomachenko is actually 7-1 because he was paid to take part in six "World Series of Boxing" contests.