The Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and Kenichi Ogawa teams have come to terms for the vacant IBF junior lightweight world title fight.
The bout is slated to take place on either July 10 or July 17 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the IBF told BoxingScene on Tuesday.
On Feb. 15, the IBF ordered a purse bid for the bout. It was eventually scheduled to take place on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET at the IBF offices in Springfield, New Jersey.
However, the IBF notified all of its registered promoters in an email on Monday night that the purse bid had been canceled.
The reason: Titov Boxing Promotions, which promotes Rakhimov, and Teiken Boxing, which promotes Ogawa, informed the sanctioning body that they reached an agreement for the mandatory fight. The promoters gave the IBF the two potential July dates and the site.
The title became vacant when Joseph Diaz Jr. arrived at the weigh-in the day before his mandatory title defense against Rakhimov, which was scheduled for Feb. 13, and was 3½ pounds overweight. Diaz was stripped of the 130-pound belt for missing weight.
Diaz (31-1-1, 15 KOs), 28, of South El Monte, California, was fined the standard 20 percent of his purse ($100,000 of a $500,000 payday) by the California State Athletic Commission, half of which went to the commission and half to Rakhimov.
But Rakhimov got an additional $50,000 from Diaz in a side deal to allow the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card on DAZN at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, to go forward.
Rakhimov was still eligible to win the title but he and Diaz fought to a majority draw and the title remained vacant.
The IBF then ordered Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12 KOs), 26, a southpaw from Tajikistan, who is based in Russia, to face Ogawa (25-1-1, 18 KOs), 33, of Japan, who was the next leading available contender in its 130-pound rankings.
It will be the second world title fight for both men. Ogawa got his first title opportunity in December 2017 when he challenged Tevin Farmer at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and on HBO for the vacant title and won a controversial unanimous decision.
However, the result was later overturned and made a no contest because Ogawa tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug. He was suspended and did not fight for 14 months, but he is 3-0-1 since his return.
Most recently, Ogawa won a 10-round unanimous decision – 97-91 on all three scorecards – against countryman Kazuhiro Nishitani on Oct. 2 in Tokyo.
Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.