James DeGale and Andre Dirrell were ordered by the IBF on February 3 to enter into negotiations for a vacant super middleweight title fight, after Carl Froch was stripped of the belt, and now DeGale's promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing has requested a purse bid after alerting the sanctioning body that he is no longer willing to negotiate with Dirrell's team.
The IBF has ordered the purse bid, set for March 10 at Noon. That doesn't mean the fight will happen, but it's the last possible step before someone decides to back out of the idea. If Hearn wins the bid, he'll want to put the fight in the United Kingdom. If Dirrell's team -- which is led by Al Haymon -- wins the bid, they'll want it in the United States. DeGale and Matchroom may be willing to travel. Dirrell may not be, and it's really not even a "fear" thing. Dirrell has fought in the United Kingdom before, and many felt he was robbed against Froch back in 2009, losing an ugly split decision in Nottingham.
Dirrell (24-1, 16 KO) has gone 5-0 since a 2011 comeback, which took a while to get off the ground. From August to December of last year alone, Dirrell went 3-0, beating Vladine Biosse, Nick Brinson, and Derek Edwards. He's yet to face a remotely serious contender since his DQ win over Arthur Abraham in 2010.
DeGale (20-1, 14 KO) has won 10 straight since his 2011 loss to George Groves, bouncing from Frank Warren to Hennessy Sports to Matchroom over that time. His last two fights have been impressive early TKO wins over Brandon Gonzales and Marco Antonio Periban.