WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has been ordered to agree a deal to fight Avtandil Khurtsidze by the end of next weekend.
Saunders, who is expected to make a ‘big announcement’ in the coming days regarding a massive fight away from home, may now have to rethink his strategy moving forward.
The World Boxing Organisation released an official document late on Thursday that outlined the situation between both fighters.
It reads as follows:
Luis Batista Salas, Esq. – Chairman WBO Championship Committee
Re: WBO Middleweight Bout Negotiations Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze
Please be advised the parties have ten (10) days (from January 26) to negotiate an agreement for the WBO Middleweight Championship bout between Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze. If an accord is not reached within the time frame, a Purse Bid will be ordered.
The minimum acceptable bid for the Middleweight division is $200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Dollars).
Any one of the parties involved may call for a Purse Bid at any time during the negotiation process.
Luis Batista Salas, Esq.
Rumours Saunders was ready to sign to fight in Kazakhstan against current ruler Gennady Golovkin in the summer have been refuted this week, whilst a possible clash with Canelo Alvarez is off the table due to the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight on May 6.
Taking ‘GGG’ and Canelo out of the equation leaves few options for Saunders, who may decide to get his mandatory duties out of the way in order to remove any risk of being stripped of his title.