By David P. Greisman
Negotiations are set to begin for a potential fight between Adonis Stevenson and Andre Dirrell in an elimination bout for a shot at the IBF’s super middleweight title, according to Stevenson’s promoter, Yvon Michel.
“Andre Dirrell, via Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions, has confirmed his intention to fight [Stevenson],” Michel said in French through his company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts on Tuesday afternoon. “Negotiations start!”
Stevenson will be fighting Aug. 11 in Montreal. What’s been less certain is the identity of the other person in the ring with him.
Several fighters have already turned down a title elimination bout with Stevenson, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com — Sakio Bika, James DeGale, Mikkel Kessler, Thomas Oosthuizen, Kelly Pavlik and Edwin Rodriguez.
Stevenson is rated No. 2 by the IBF. Dirrell is ranked No. 11. The sanctioning body’s No. 1 spot is vacant.
The winner of the elimination bout, then, would have a mandatory shot at beltholder Carl Froch.
Stevenson, 34, is 18-1 with 15 knockouts. He last fought in April, stopping Noe Gonzalez Alcoba. Dirrell, 28, is 20-1 with 14 knockouts. He fought in December, knockout out Darryl Cunningham in his first bout back since departing the Super Six tournament with what his camp said was the lingering effects of a late hit from Arthur Abraham.
Dirrell’s team spoke earlier this year of preferring to face then-beltholder Lucian Bute in the United States rather than in Canada.
A purse bid date has been set for July 13, according to Michel.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]