August 24th 2015

Frank Warren

Frank Warren Promotions:
Re: Vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight Championship Bout

Liam Smith vs. John Thompson

Dear Mr. Warren:

The WBO World Championship Committee has been made aware that negotiations for a match in Manchester, England on October 10, 2015 between Liam Smith and Michel Soro for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Championship of the World started three weeks ago, but despite Top Rank agreeing to the terms, Soro and his managers have repeatedly made strong public statements suggesting that they are at odds with his promoter over the terms presented to them.

We are also aware that in light of assurances that an agreement would be reached, tickets went on sale and your company contracted with numerous suppliers, etc. This situation, ongoing for weeks, has had a detrimental effect on the promotion of the event promotion with the public uncertain as to who Smith’s opponent will be and whether the fight will take place at all.

Given Michel Soro’s dispute with his Promoter and the power and discretion afforded to us by Section 1 (b) 19 of the WBO Regulations for World Championship Contest to determine the contestants for a Vacant Championship, we have decided to proceed pursuant to Section 20 (PROCEDURE WHEN A TITLE IS DECLARED VACANT) and declare John Thompson the “Best Classified Contender Available.”

For the above reasons, we are formally granting permission for Liam Smith to fight John Thompson for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Championship of the World.

This determination of the WBO World Championship Committee to allow Thompson to replace Soro will not adversely affect Soro’s position within the WBO World Championship Ratings.

Yours truly,

(Signed by:  Luis Batista Salas, Esq. Chairman)

cc:  Top Rank, Michael Borao, Omrani Raycal, Che Guevara, Francisco Valcarcel Esq.


                                                                   CHAMPIONSHIP COMMITTEE


July 15, 2015

Arthur Pelullo

Banner Promotions


Joseph De Guardia

Star Boxing



Dear Messrs. Pelullo and DeGuardia:

The WBO World Championship Committee orders you to show cause as to why the WBO Junior Middleweight Championship of the World, currently held by Demetrius Andrade, should not be declared vacant. As you know, Section 1 (b) (7) of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests establishes that it is within the power and discretion of the WBO World Championship Committee “[t]o recommend to the President and the Executive Committee that a title should be vacated if a Champion fails to comply with the WBO World Championship Rules.” On the other hand per Section 5 (c) of said Regulations, “[t]he WBO World Championship Committee may, in its discretion, vacate a Champion’s title […] regardless of cause or fault if the Champion fails to defend his title within a nine (9) month period.”

Your fighter, Mr. Andrade, won the Vacant WBO Junior Middleweight title against Vanes Martirosyan at an event held at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, on November 9, 2013 and has defended his belt only once— more than a year ago— on June 14, 2014 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York against Brian Rose.

On September 10, 2014, this WBO World Championship Committee ruled in your favor upon receiving a petition to allow Andrade to move up in weight and immediately vie for the Vacant WBO Middleweight Championship of the World against Matt Korobov, giving sides fifteen (15) days to reach an agreement. At the end of that negotiation period on September 25, 2014, it came to our knowledge that Mr. Andrade was interested in defending his Junior Middleweight title and, therefore, wanted to stay within his division and no longer compete for Middleweight title. Mr. Andrade was next scheduled to defend his belt against Jermell Charlo on December 13, 2014 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, but an agreement was never finalized and Andrade pulled out of the fight on November 17, 2014.

Then on January 23, 2015, we wrote to the both of you again advising that parties had thirty (30) days to negotiate an agreement for the WBO Junior Middleweight Championship bout between Mr. Andrade and Jermell Charlo and that a purse bid would be called if an accord was not reached within the time frame. WBO President Valcárcel subsequently received email correspondence from Mr. Pelullo on February 19, 2015 informing us that Charlo elected not to fight Andrade, but that Stephen Espinoza of Showtime was looking into Erislandy Lara as a challenger to Andrade for a date in April, but in any case no later than May.

On April 15, 2015 WBO President Valcárcel wrote to the both of you asking for confirmation of Mr. Andrade’s plans and informing that while the WBO was originally willing to allow a voluntary defense of the belt, the Junior Middleweight division could no longer be kept inactive and that a mandatory defense was in order. Mr. Pelullo promptly responded and advised that he was to meet with Mr. Andrade during that same week and that a June 29 date was set aside, potentially against Liam Smith. President Valcárcel again followed up with you on May 12, 2015 advising you of Section 20 of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests— PROCEDURE WHEN A TITLE IS DECLARED VACANT— and requesting that you provide the WBO with contracts for the next Andrade bout within a period of forty-eight (48) hours.

As you can see from the above, the WBO has been more than lenient with Mr. Andrade, but he has clearly been inactive and the WBO must enforce its rules. For this reason please be advised that you have a period of ten (10) days upon receipt of this communication to show cause as to why Mr. Andrade has not defended his belt under the terms of the Championship Regulations. Failure to comply with this requirement will immediately result in the WBO Jr. Middleweight Title being declared vacant, without further hearing you.

Very truly yours,

WBO World Championship Committee

(SIGNED)  Luis Batista Salas, its Chairman

cc         Francisco Valcárcel, President