The World Boxing Association has instructed representatives of interim WBA World featherweight titlist Carlos Zambrano and third-ranked Claudio Marrero to begin negotiations for a championship bout.
The parties have 30 days from October 3 to come to terms. Should they fail to do so, the bout will go to purse bid.
Thirty-two-year-old Zambrano has fought out of his native Peru since 2008 (26-0, 11 KOs). Undefeated, “Mina” won the title in March 2015 by beating Daniel Ramirez via unanimous decision. He hasn’t fought since August 2015, when he successfully defended his belt against Jose Sanmartin, winning by unanimous decision.
Fighting out of the Dominican Republic since 2010 (21-1, 15 KOs), 27-year-old Marrero has won several regional and minor titles, including the then-vacant WBA Fedelatin featherweight belt in July 2012 by stopping Juan Jose Beltran via third-round TKO. His sole loss came in August 2013, when he tried for the interim WBA World featherweight title, losing to Jesus Cuellar by unanimous decision. The southpaw last fought this August, stopping Luis Hinojosa by fourth-round TKO.
“I am overjoyed with the chance to once again fight for the title with a great organization such as the WBA,” said Marrero in a recent interview. “I have worked extremely hard and focused over the past 1,137 days and 12 minutes (three years and 45 days). I have been calling out everyone in the 126-pound division for over a year, and the WBA has taken notice that I am worthy of the opportunity and can’t be avoided any longer.
“Zambrano must fight or vacate. I don’t know much about him other than he has what I need and want. The only way I am going to be given the fights for titles is becoming their mandatory. These paper champions who don’t wish to defend or clearly fight the best is sickening. I understand the business end of it, but that doesn’t make it better. The WBA has ordered it and I’m ready. Wait till they get a load of me.”
The winner will face Marrero’s old nemesis, Jesus Cuellar, WBA World featherweight champ.