The IBF has decided that more than enough time has passed in a flyweight title eliminator ordered more than two months ago.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the IBF has assigned a March 23 purse bid for the Cristofer Rosales-Felix Alvarado flyweight title eliminator. The all-Nicaragua clash was originally ordered on January 12 and which was supposed to carry a 15-day deadline.
The two camps have exhausted their extensions and the sanctioning body’s patience, thus the call for a purse bid hearing which was assigned Tuesday afternoon.
The winner will become the mandatory challenger to unbeaten IBF flyweight king Sunny Edwards (19-0, 4KOs), who is permitted to enter a voluntary title defense.
Rosales is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, while Alvarado is represented by M&R Boxing. Interestingly, both boxers were guided to their previous title reigns by manager William Ramirez, who still has Alvarado under his wing.
The two sides never seemed to get very far in talks despite general familiarity between their teams. At least two separate extensions were granted, though still not enough time to produce a deal or even a next step for either boxer in the event they don’t face each other.
Rosales punched himself back into contention following a ten-round upset win over previously unbeaten Joselito Velazquez last December 3 in Glendale, Arizona. The win took place on the undercard of Gonzalez’s loss to lineal/WBC junior bantamweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada in their anticipated rubber match.
It marked the third straight victory for Rosales. It was also the sixth victory in seven starts for the 28-year-old Managua native since a ninth round knockout defeat to Julio Cesar Martinez in their December 2019 vacant WBC flyweight title fight in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rosales held the WBC flyweight title for less than a year, scoring a stunning ninth-round knockout of unbeaten Daigo Higa in April 2015. Just one successful defense followed before dropping a twelve-round decision to Charlie Edwards—Sunny’s older brother—in December 2018.
Alvarado (38-3, 33KOs) was valiant in defeat in a twelve-round, unanimous decision to Sunny Edwards in their IBF flyweight title fight last November 11 in Sheffield, England. The 33-year-old from Managua snapped a 20-fight win streak dating back to 2015 with the loss in a bid to become a two-division titlist.
The shot at Edwards came after establishing himself as the mandatory challenger, a ranking he was granted in exchange for relinquishing his IBF junior flyweight title. Alvarado won the belt with a seventh-round knockout of Randy Petalcorin in their October 2018 vacant title fight. Two defenses followed along with a non-title fight (downgraded when his original title challenger bailed during fight week) before vacating the belt last March.
Per IBF Rule 9(D), neither boxer can enter talks for any other fight once a sanctioned bout Is ordered. Should either boxer abandon talks, he will be dropped below the top ten of the IBF rankings per rule 9(C).
There has not been any indication so far of either side planning to walk away from the fight. However, Rosales’ name was previously linked to a potential fight with countryman and former four-division champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, though any confirmation has never evolved beyond the rumor stage.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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