The International Boxing Federation has made it clear that IBF/IBO/WBA junior welterweight champion Julius Indongo of Namibia is under order to make a mandatory defense against Russian contender Sergey Lipinets.
Last December in Russia, Indongo sensationally knocked out undefeated Eduard Troyanovskiy in the first minute of the first round to capture the IBF, IBO world titles.
Then on April 15th in Glasgow, Indongo dominated Ricky Burns over twelve rounds to capture the WBA title.
The biggest monetary fight for Indongo would be a unification with WBO, WBC champion Terence Crawford - should he defeat Olympic gold medal winner Felix Diaz on May 20th in New York City.
Indongo holds a record of 22 victories, no defeats and 11 knockouts, and Lipinets is also undefeated with 12 wins, and 10 by knockout.
Burns' promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, has an option on Indongo's next fight and wanted to match him against a Matchroom promoted fighter like Ohara Davies or even Anthony Crolla.
But the IBF does not allow step aside deals and a unification with Crawford or a voluntary defense will not be sanctioned - until Indongo satisfies the mandatory defense order.
Indongo will have to face Lipinets or vacate his IBF world title. If he does vacate, then Lipinets will fight for the vacant IBF title against the highest ranked available contender who accepts the opportunity.
"Indongo is obligated to hold his next fight against Lipinets. Both parties were notified to start negotiations, and then everything will depend on the promotional process, which make take 3 to 4.5 months. Also, we do not exclude the possibility of a purse bid. Indongo will not be able to hold a unification bout, he has a mandatory and was ordered to carry out a mandatory defense. As for Crawford, he has a fight coming up very soon fight," according to a statement from the IBF to Basil Konov.