By Luke Furman
Super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell (20-1, 14KOs) has until July 3rd to accept the IBF's invitation to face Adonis Stevenson (18-1, 15KOs) in a world title eliminator. Several fighters have already declined. The most recent refusal came from Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21KOs), who actually accepted the IBF's invitation and is going to suffer some consequences for walking away from the fight.
"You can refuse an elimination bout, but once you accept you must be available and take the fight. Bika is going to lose his place in the top ten of the IBF for six months and he will not have the right to fight for the title of the organization," Stevenson's promoter, Yvon Micel, told QMI Agency.
Stevenson will return on August 11th in Montreal. Showtime will be televising. Michel says Golden Boy Promotions, who represent Bika, tried to make the match but their fighter was making numerous demands in order to face Stevenson at home.
"A representative of Golden Boy Promotions, [matchmaker] Eric Gomez, contacted us and told us that Bika would come to Montreal but only if all of the officials were from outside of Quebec. The director of the [local commission], Michel Hamelin, talked to him and explained that their policy [states that] half of the officials come from here and half of them from outside [of Quebec], which is a more neutral [policy] than many places in the United States," Michel said.
Golden Boy presented their own offer, attempting to stage the fight on a September date in Las Vegas. Michel made two counter-offers and Gomez tried to convince Bika to take the fight. When Bika failed to respond, Michel reached out to the IBF and requested a purse bid for July 10th. He was later advised that Bika turned the fight down.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org