It looks like lightweight titlist Mickey Bey made a massive miscalculation.
Mayweather Promotions made a deal with Top Rank, promoter of Denis Shafikov, Bey’s mandatory challenger, to put the fight on April 30 in an ESPN2 main event in Las Vegas two nights before the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao mega fight and offered Bey a purse of around $200,000.
But Bey turned it down, the bout was called off and the purse bid, which Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank avoided by making a deal, was rescheduled.
It took place on Tuesday at IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey, and Bey surely hated the results. Top Rank, the only bidder, won with an offer of $78,000 for the fight. Bey is entitled to 75 percent of the money and Shafikov 25 percent.
That means Bey would earn only $58,500, a huge reduction from what he was initially offered. Shafikov would make $19,500, but probably would get much more based on his deal with Top Rank.
It seems very doubtful that Bey will fight for that little considering what he already turned down.
“We’ll be sending a contract to them today and he has 15 days to return the contact signed to us and the IBF or he risks being stripped of the title,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said.
Top Rank has until July 15 to put on the fight, but Moretti did not sound confident the fight would happen.
“Mickey got a more than generous offer from Mayweather Promotions for a guy making his first defense the week of Mayweather-Pacquiao in Las Vegas with such huge exposure,” Moretti said. “For him not to accept such a generous offer from [Mayweather Promotions CEO] Leonard [Ellerbe] and Floyd meant it had to go to a bid and here’s what happened.”
If Bey doesn’t fight Shafikov he will be stripped and the IBF could order Shafikov to face the next leading, available contender for the vacant title.
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.