Artem Dalakian will likely hit the road for his next title defense.
Talks remain ongoing to finalize terms for Dalakian’s ordered WBA flyweight title fight with mandatory challenger David Jimenez. The bout was ordered on August 31, with the two sides granted a 30-day negotiation period to reach a deal and avoid a purse bid hearing.
Terms are not yet finalized, though BoxingScene.com has learned that the fight will likely take place in Jimenez’s native Costa Rica. Enough progress has been made to where the WBA has refrained from sending the fight to a purse bid, as all parties remain optimistic of coming to an agreement.
Dalakian—who is promoted by Union Boxing Promotions—will attempt the sixth defense of the WBA flyweight belt he has held since a February 2018 vacant title win over former two-division titlist Brian Viloria.
The fight took place in Inglewood, California, the lone time that Dalakian has fought outside of his native Ukraine. The 35-year-old from Kiev has not fought since a ninth-round knockout of former WBA junior bantamweight titlist Luis ‘El Nica’ Concepcion last November in his hometown. His career is understandably in limbo given the ongoing Russo-Ukraine war that has shut down the nation’s boxing scene and just about all other walks of life since February.
Jimenez (12-0, 9KOs)—promoted by Ernesto Saldavor’s Fight Club Costa Rica—emerged as the number-one contender following an upset win over Ricardo Sandoval on July 16 in Los Angeles.
Sandoval was the IBF mandatory challenger but never cashed in that opportunity, instead seeking to go the WBA route. It miserably backfired as he was outworked by Jimenez, a 30-year-old contender from Cartago, Costa Rica who rose to the occasion in his U.S. debut. The fight took place on the undercard of rising lightweight contender Ryan Garcia’s sixth-round knockout of Javier Fortuna, helping raise Jimenez’s profile ahead of his first career title fight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox