WBA Sends Raeese Aleem And Azat Hovhannisyan To Purse Bid

Raeese Aleem and Azat Hovhannisyan are the latest WBA targets

Super bantamweight fighters Raeese Aleem and Azat Hovhannisyan in training
Raeese Aleem (left), Azat Hovhannisyan

Raeese Aleem and Azat Hovhannisyan are the latest WBA targets

The WBA has been serious about consolidating belts and assigning mandatory challenges in an attempt to eliminate useless titles. Former WBA Interim titlist Raeese “The Beast” Aleem and former title challenger Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan are the lasted targets on the list to go to a purse bid.

According to the WBA, the 15-day deadline to reach a deal expired on November 5. This left the WBA no choice but to call for a purse bid to take place via Zoom call on November 12.


Aleem (18-0, 12ko) was put in line for a potential title fight after defeating Vic Pasillas for the vacant Interim title back in January. After getting the biggest win of his career, the #1 contender was interviewed by 3kingsboxing affiliate Brawler Sports Media and made it clear he wants a world championship.

“I am ready to fight any of the world champions right now. As soon as they’re ready to step up to the plate and make it happen…it ain’t no bullshit on my side.”

So when the organization consolidated belts, getting rid of the Interim title, it left Aleem on the outside looking in. It will be interesting to see how the purse bid affects Aleem’s November 27 fight with Eduardo Baez. Nevertheless, he has a chance to fight for the mandatory position to be the next to challenge unified champion ”MJ” Murodjon Akhmadaliev.


Hovhannisyan (20-3, 16ko) is ranked #3 by the WBA. Also, he has been waiting for a chance to get a second bite at the championship apple. In 2018, he lost his first title shot to then-champion Rey Vargas by unanimous decision.

Crazy A is on a six-fight win streak, knocking out five opponents in a row en route to moving back into title contention. The 33-year-old veteran understands this could be his last chance at getting a title shot at super bantamweight. Another defeat could see him pushed outside of striking distance in all of the sanctioning bodies’ rankings.

3kingsboxing will continue to follow this situation for further developments.

By: Garrisson Bland

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for 3kingsboxing.com as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."