While Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman are headed for a clash of WBA welterweight titleholders, the governing body has reportedly decided to create an interim belt and a matchup for that belt is likely already made.
Per a report from Mike Coppinger at The Athletic, Alexander Besputin and Radzhab Butaev are set to meet in the ring with the interim WBA title on the line on a Top Rank card in August. Coppinger did not specify which Top Rank card it will be a part of.
Sources tell @TheAthleticBOX Alexander Besputin will meet Radzhab Butaev for the WBA interim welterweight title on a Top Rank show (ESPN/ESPN+), possibly in August. Two terrific amateurs from Russia. Butaev was 392-8. Besputin won several tourneys. Both competed in WSOB— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) June 17, 2019
Even though the report didn't mention a date, Top Rank does have two unannounced fight cards taking place that month. One card would be taking place on August 10 in Philadelphia headlined by the U.S. return of Carl Frampton. The other one is planned for August 17 headlined by Emanuel Navarrete's second WBO super bantamweight title defense.
Besputin is an undefeated fighter who has won all 13 of his pro bouts since making his debut in 2015. The 28-year-old is not only the current USBA titleholder and the No. 1 ranked welterweight by the WBA, but also owns wins over the likes of Saul Corral, Briedis Prescott and Juan Carlos Abreu.
Butaev is also unbeaten in the paid ranks, winning all 12 of his fights with nine of those wins coming from inside the distance. Ranked No. 6 by the WBA at welterweight, Butaev is coming off a six-round win over Silverio Ortiz on May 3.