Arsen Goulamirian has marching orders for what will hopefully result in his first fight in more than a year.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the WBA has ordered a mandatory title fight between the unbeaten Goulamirian and former two-time titlist Yuniel Dorticos. The bout was formally ordered on Tuesday, with both sides given 30 days to reach terms for a well overdue title defense for the 36-year-old beltholder.
“Please consider this communication as mandatory negotiations notification for the WBA Cruiserweight Super championship,” WBA Championship Committee chairman Carlos Chavez stated in a ruling obtained by Boxing Scene. “Please take notice that pursuant to Championship rule C.11, you must defend the title against the official contender every nine (9) months from the date on which you became the champion.
“Since your last mandatory was on November 11, 2022, your next mandatory championship bout should have taken place by August 11, 2023, against the official contender, Yuniel Dorticos. Pursuant to WBA rule C.13- Bout Limitations – the champion may not fight a boxer who is not the official challenger within sixty (60) days of the expiration of the mandatory defense period. Based on the above-mentioned facts, on behalf of the Championships Committee, we hereby order a thirty-day (30) mandatory negotiation period.”
According to the WBA letter, Goulamirian will be represented in talks by Yohan Zaoui of Y12 Management and noted boxing attorney David Berlin. Boris Arencibia of Caribe Promotions is tasked with negotiating on behalf of Dorticos. The two parties will have until November 10 to reach terms to avoid a purse bid hearing. Either side can request a purse bid hearing at any time. Should the matter reach that point, Goulamirian would gain the favorable end of a 75-25 split as the defending titlist.
Goulamirian (27-0, 18KOs) was upgraded to full WBA cruiserweight titlist in 2019, upon the divisional departure of former undisputed champ Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14KOs), now the unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champ.
However, the Armenia-born boxer—who now lives in France and trains in Big Bear, California—has only fought once in the past four years. That came in a twelve-round, unanimous decision over Aleksei Egorov last November 19 in Le Cannet, France.
An unhealthy mixture of injuries and legal issues beyond his control has slowed his reign to a crawl. Goulamirian was due to face Tommy McCarthy on September 10 in Marseille but the event was canceled due to a bizarre scenario where Canal+—the network who agreed to air the event—abruptly bowed out of the sport altogether.
Goulamirian was also rumored to be in talks with England’s Richard Riakporhe, though the fight never materialized.
Dorticos (26-2, 24KOs) previously held the WBA and IBF titles in separate reigns.
The Cuban knockout artist—based in Miami—has only lost in title fights. He was stopped in the twelfth round of his February 2018 unification bout versus then-unbeaten Murat Gassiev in their WBA/IBF unification and World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) season one semi final clash. Two wins followed, including a vacant IBF title-winning tenth-round knockout of Andrew Tabiti before he lost the belt to Mairis Briedis in their September 202 WBSS season two finale.
The 37-year old former champ picked up a pair of second-round knockouts versus middling opposition as he advanced to the top of the WBA rankings.
Waiting in the wings is former WBO super middleweight titleholder Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (45-1, 30KOs), who defeated Joe Smith Jr. in a sanctioned title eliminator last Saturday in Las Vegas. The Mexican southpaw will have to wait until at least mid-2024 for his shot at the Goulamirian-Dorticos winner, if that bout even makes its way to the ring.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox