- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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• Finalizing the mandatory fight between junior lightweight titlist Rocky Martinez and former featherweight titlist Mikey Garcia is more or less a formality. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has said he is down to haggling over the final few dollars with the Martinez camp while Garcia is already on board. But now the WBO, which is sanctioning the bout, has added a time frame for the deal to get done for the proposed Nov. 9 HBO main event. It has set Oct. 3 as the deadline for the deal to be completed or it will order a purse bid, which would be silly for Martinez to force because Arum promotes both fighters. Arum has a stake in the fight and backing from HBO, which means he almost certainly would be offering more money to Martinez than anyone else could. It is highly unlikely another promoter would offer a big enough figure at a purse bid that would give Martinez more than whatever Arum is offering, especially since that promoter has no vested interest in either fighter and would not have HBO’s backing. In any event, if the fight does wind up at a purse bid, the minimum offer is $150,000.
• Juan Carlos Sanchez (16-1-1, 8 KOs) of Mexico, stripped of his junior bantamweight title before a June title defense against Roberto Sosa for failing to make weight, can earn a chance to win back the belt. The IBF has ordered Sanchez, who wound up outpointing Sosa but was not eligible to win the title, to face South Africa’s Zolani Tete in a final eliminator. If Sanchez-Tete comes off, the winner will be the mandatory challenger for Japan’s Daiki Kameda, who outpointed former titlist Rodrigo Guerrero on Tuesday to win the title left vacant by Sanchez’s weight issues. The sides have until Monday to advise the organization of their availability for the fight, otherwise the IBF will go down its ratings to find the next willing contender. Sanchez has accepted the fight. Assuming Tete does also, the target date for the bout is Oct. 26 in Mexico.
• New Yorker Junior Younan, a 17-year-old standout amateur fighter, is going pro. Younan, 90-5 in the unpaid ranks, turns 18 on Oct. 14 and will make his professional debut, probably as a light heavyweight (fighting closer to cruiserweight as an amateur), in late October or November after signing with promoter Lou DiBella and managers James Prince and Josh Dubin.
“It's a real honor being signed by DiBella Entertainment," Younan said. “Growing up in New York and being at all the shows, it's really humbling to know that I'm being recognized as one of the best prospects right now by Lou. I plan on showing everyone what I have in me and bringing that spark back to boxing.”
Said DiBella, “Anytime that you are able to add the type of caliber fighter that 'Sugar Boy' is to your stable, it's special. I have been following him since he has been a child and he has been viewed as a New York gym prodigy. Still a teenager, I expect huge things from 'Sugar Boy' Younan."