The ordered Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov-Eduardo Nunez final eliminator will head to a purse bid hearing. has confirmed that the IBF has scheduled a December 12 date to determine promotional rights for the junior lightweight clash. The ruling came after both sides failed to reach terms within their assigned negotiation period when the fight was first mandated by the IBF on October 30.

The winner will become the mandatory challenger to unbeaten two-time and reigning titlist Joe Cordina (16-0, 9KOs), who can use the interim period to enter a voluntary title defense.  

Cordina and Nunez (25-1, 25KOs) are both promoted by Matchroom Boxing. Rakhimov (17-1-1, 14KOs) is with Titov Boxing but whose past two bouts have on Matchroom shows versus their boxers.

Tajikistan’s Rakhimov previously won the vacant IBF title in a ninth-round knockout of Zelfa Barrett last November 5 in Abu Dhabi. His reign ended less than six months later when he was outpointed by Cordina over twelve rounds on April 22 in the Welshman’s Cardiff hometown.

Nunez has won fifteen in a row, all inside the distance as evident in his 100 percent knockout to win ratio. The 26-year-old slugger from Los Mochis, Mexico most recently scored a highlight-reel second-round knockout of Colombia’s Oscar Escandon. Their October 28 clash came on the undercard of WBC junior lightweight titlist O’Shaquie Foster’s dramatic 12th round knockout of Eduardo ‘Rocky’ Hernandez to retain his title in Cancun, Mexico.

The hope after the fight for Nunez was to face either Foster or Cordina in his next outing. He will instead have to go the traditional route and win one more fight to become mandatory challenger.

Rakhimov has hovered near the top of the IBF 130-pound rankings for more than four years. He first became mandatory following a September 2019 come-from-behind eighth-round knockout of Azing Fuzile. The pandemic slowed down his progress as he didn’t receive a title shot until a February 2021 twelve-round draw versus an overweight Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz who was stripped of the belt prior to the fight.

An injury prevented Rakhimov from fighting for the vacant title but was poised to challenge Cordina last November as the mandatory challenger. Ironically, Cordina had to withdraw from their scheduled bout and give up the belt due to injury, at which point Rakhimov faced and defeated Barrett to briefly hold the crown.

Per IBF Rule 9.D, Rakhimov and Nunez are obligated to commit to the ordered fight. IBF Rule 9.C states that any decision to abandon the process will result in a rankings demotion and the inability to enter any IBF-sanctioned fight for at least six months.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox