The promoters of Kiwi David Light and Lawrence Okolie have been ordered by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) to begin immediate negotiations on a cruiserweight world title fight.
Aucklander Light earned the right to challenge Englishman Okolie after beating American Brandon Glanton in a split decision in Florida on Sunday.
After a rugged fight in which Light was dropped in the 10th and final round by Glanton (it appeared to be a slip but it was ruled a legitimate knockdown), Light won 97-92, 95-94, 94-95 on the judges' cards.
1News has been sent the WBO's letter addressed to Light’s promoter Matt Rose, an Australian, and Okolie’s promoter Eddie Hearn, which spells out the requirement to start negotiations.
Light told 1News on Sunday he hoped to fight Okolie in the first quarter of next year.
The letter, dated yesterday, states that the parties are granted 20 days to conclude negotiations or purse bid proceedings will be ordered.
"The minimum acceptable bid for WBO jr. heavyweight division [also known as cruiserweight division] is $US300,000," the letter states.
The successful promoter will earn the right to hold the event wherever he wishes.
It's highly likely to be Matchroom Boxing's Hearn due to the greater resources he has, and the fact that Okolie is the champion and has a far higher following than Light, a virtual unknown even in New Zealand.
A fight in the United Kingdom would also be far more of a money spinner in terms of ticket sales and potential television pay per views, with everyone directly involved, including Light, benefiting.
Light, a 31-year-old who has a perfect 20-0 professional record after winning a Commonwealth Games silver medal in 2014, was ranked higher than Glanton last weekend but was the underdog after travelling to the United States and fighting on his opponent’s home soil.
Okolie, 29, is undefeated after 18 professional fights and won the world title after stopping Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki at Wembley Arena in March last year.
The Londoner, who is 1.96m tall, was walked out for his last defence, a decision win against Michal Cieslak in February, by his heavyweight friend Anthony Joshua and Kiwi UFC star Israel Adesanya.
Light told 1News that Okolie sent him a message after his recent victory.