Bey-Shafikov deal falls apart

Will lightweight titlist Mickey Bey fight Denis Shafikov on April 30 as originally planned? Stephanie Trapp/Mayweather Promotions

Last week, bitter rivals Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, who put their issues aside to make Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao, did it again and came to an agreement on a mandatory fight between Mayweather-promoted lightweight titlist Mickey Bey and Top Rank-promoted No. 1 challenger Denis Shafikov.

The fight was scheduled to headline an April 30 card on ESPN2 at the Palms Casino Resort, just off the Las Vegas Strip from the MGM Grand, host of the big fight two days later.

However, IBF championships chairman Lindsey Tucker told ESPN.com that Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe notified him Wednesday that the fight was off, without giving any particular reason. Tucker said he then confirmed it with Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti, who had negotiated the deal with Ellerbe.

Ellerbe and Moretti could not be reached for comment.

When the deal was initially made, the IBF canceled a purse bid for the fight but Tucker said another one has been ordered for April 14, which would figure to preclude the bout from taking place April 30.

Bey (21-1, 10 KOs), 31, a Cleveland native who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, won a 135-pound world title by decision against Miguel Vazquez in September and is supposed to face Shafikov (35-1-1, 19 KOs), 29, a southpaw from Russia, in his first defense.