Lightweight titlist Anthony Crolla and interim titleholder Ismael Barroso have been ordered to meet in a mandatory fight.
On Nov. 21, Crolla knocked out Darleys Perez in the fifth round of a rematch of their draw to win a 135-pound world title. On Dec. 12, Barroso scored a fifth-round knockout of Kevin Mitchell to claim the vacant interim belt.
The WBA had said the winners would have to meet next and made the official order on Thursday. Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs), 29, of England, and Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KOs), 32, a hard-punching southpaw from Venezuela, must meet on or before April 12.
“If the parties fail to submit signed bout contracts within 30 days, a call for a purse bid will be issued,” the WBA told Crolla promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing and Barroso promoter Greg Cohen in a letter.
Once Crolla-Barroso takes place (and assuming it is not a draw or no decision) it will be another weight class in which the WBA will have reduced the number of titles to only one, as WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. recently told ESPN.com he was dedicated to doing.