One sanctioning body is doing its part to lock in an opponent for Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.

Ironically, it comes at a time when such a move isn’t necessary.

The IBF has assigned a purse bid date of March 1 to determine promotional rights for an welterweight title eliminator between Philadelphia’s Ennis (28-0, 26KOs) and Canada’s Custio Clayton (19-0-1, 12KOs). The development comes nearly one month after the fight was first ordered by the IBF on January 20, with Tuesday’s notice to all IBF-registered promoters suggesting the fight will be made available to the highest bidder.

However, has learned that the two sides have already reached a deal and are simply awaiting an available springtime fight date.

If the fight does somehow make it to the purse bid session, promoters are required to have their annual membership paid in full “at least five (5) days prior to the initial date scheduled for the purse bid. At the time of the bid, promoters must submit a $5,000.00 nonrefundable participation fee in the form of a check, money order or bank wire transfer.

“In addition, the participating promoter must also submit at that time a check, money order or bank wire representing 10% of the total amount of the bid. Within 5 business days following the purse bid procedure, the winning promoter must forward another payment to this office representing I 0% of the bid, for a total of 20% of the total amount bid.”

Ennis has emerged as a promising welterweight contender, though his career progress still trailing his supreme skillset. The 24-year-old Philly native has been regularly featured on Showtime, including a pair of knockout wins in 2021. Ennis scored a one-sided sixth-round stoppage of former IBF junior welterweight titlist Sergey Lipinets last April, followed by a first-round knockout of former title challenger Thomas Dulorme last October in Las Vegas.

The win over Lipinets headlined a Showtime Championship Boxing tripleheader, while the rest of his network run has come in supporting capacity. The same could come of his fight with Clayton. previously reported that the fight is being eyed for an April 9 Showtime Championship Boxing card to be headlined by a terrific junior middleweight interim title fight between Erickson Lubin and Sebastian Fundora.

Clayton has fought once before on Showtime, a twelve-round, majority draw with Lipinets in their October 2020 interim IBF welterweight title fight. Just one fight has followed for the 2012 Canadian Olympian—a ten-round win over journeyman Cameron Krael last December 11 on the non-televised undercard preceding a Showtime tripleheader from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The targeted April 9 date is befitting the stakes of Ennis-Clayton. The winner will become the IBF mandatory challenger to unified IBF/WBC welterweight titlist Errol Spence (27-0, 21KOs), who faces WBA titlist Yordenis Ugas one week later atop an April 16 Showtime Pay-Per-View event from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox