WASHINGTON, D.C. — WBO President Paco Valcarcel has scheduled a purse bid for Friday at noon at the Hilton Orlando-Altamonte Springs in Altamonte Springs, Fla., for the vacant featherweight title fight between Gary Russell Jr. and Vasyl Lomachenko.
On March 20, Valcarcel granted Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank — who promote Russell and Lomachenko, respectively — a period of 30 days to make the bout.
The subject of the purse bid was broached on Thursday with Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaefer, who was overseeing the final press conference at Hamilton Live restaurant in Washington, D.C., in advance of Saturday's Bernard Hopkins-Beibut Shumenov card.
"What, you want me to tell you how much I'm going to bid? Well, we'll see. We'll see what's going to happen. Ask me tomorrow. I'm holding my cards," Schaefer told RingTV.com. "If you win a purse bid, then you do a fight. You work with the other guy. You win a purse bid, and that's all that it is."
As recently as Wednesday, however, Schaefer had stated his unwillingness to work with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
Schaefer reiterated that stance on Thursday.
"If people say 'That's not really right, that's arrogant of Schaefer,' well, then, you know what? Then, if that's arrogant, then I guess that it was arrogant of Arum as well, because he told Shane Mosley that 'I can get you a [Manny] Pacquiao fight, but you have to leave Golden Boy,'" said Schaefer.
"Then he told Juan Manuel Marquez, 'Well, you can get a Pacquiao fight, but you have to leave Golden Boy.' Guess what those two guys did? They left Golden Boy. So if it's good for him, then I didn't start that s–t. I didn't start that s–t, you know. Talking about blueprints, I'm just following the blueprint. What goes around comes around."
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 in 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.