AS Johnriel Casimero dilly-dallies on who between Nonito Donaire Jr. and Naoya Inoue he wants to face first, the WBO made the decision on his behalf.
The world boxing body directed the 31-year-old Filipino to fight in a mandatory title defense against Paul Butler of England.
Date and venue of the title clash have yet been arranged pending talks between the camps of both the champion and challenger.
“The WBO World Championship Committee hereby orders the parties herein commencement of negotiations for the above-mentioned WBO bantamweight mandatory championship contest,” said Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO championship committee in an official letter sent to promoters of both parties.
“Please be advised that the parties have 20 days upon receipt of this letter to reach an agreement.”
Boxing Scene was the first to report the WBO directive.
Casimero is under MP Promotions, while Butler was previously with English promoter Frank Warren, but is now under MTK Global.
The reigning WBO bantamweight champion has been trying to strike a unification fight against either Donaire, the WBC champion, or Inoue, who holds both the IBF and WBA title belts.
Just a few days ago, Casimero smoked the peace pipe with Donaire following their heated exchange on social media, just to be able to salvage their title clash being pencilled for a December playdate.
But now, the 32-year-old Paul, who previously held the IBF version of the 118-pound crown, entered the picture.
The Englishman holds a 33-2 record with 15 KOs and is coming off a split decision win over Willibaldo Garcia of Mexico last June in England.
Ironically, the WBC has also ordered Donaire to take on mandatory Filipino challenger Reymart Gaballo for his next fight.