Gary Shaw, who promotes junior welterweight contender (and former titleholder) Kendall Holt, won the promotional rights to Holt's mandatory shot against titleholder Lamont Peterson on Tuesday.
Shaw grabbed the rights for a mere $50,000. Since his company was the only one that showed up at the IBF offices for the purse bid, he submitted the envelope with the cheaper total. He would have bid a much higher amount had their been competition at the auction.
As the titleholder, Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) is entitled to 75 percent of the money ($37,500) with Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) getting the remaining 25 percent ($12,500).
Under IBF rules, signed contracts are due back by Jan. 4 and the fight must take place within 90 days, meaning by March 18.
It was a surprise that nobody from the Peterson camp showed up. Originally, Peterson's mandatory defense was due against former titlist Zab Judah. In that purse bid, Headbangers Boxing, run by Barry Hunter, Peterson's manager and trainer, was the lone bidder at $50,000, mainly done as a way to protect Peterson's belt and make sure they had the rights so it could keep whatever gate money there was if they went through with the fight.
But the fight did not happen because Judah took a far more lucrative offer to challenge Danny Garcia for his version of the 140-pound title on Feb. 9 on Showtime.
With Judah out of the picture, Holt became the IBF's leading available contender and when Shaw and Hunter did not make a deal, a new purse bid was ordered.
It remains to be seen if Peterson -- out since last December after his positive drug test forced a May 19 rematch with Amir Khan to be canceled -- will fight for such short money.
Shaw said he hopes to work something out with Hunter to put the fight in Washington, D.C., Peterson's hometown and the one place on Earth where it will do a strong live gate.
"We're going to do the fight so I want to get with Barry Hunter and see if we can do it in D.C., and if not, then I'll take the fight somewhere else," Shaw said. "Kendall Holt wants this fight. Peterson? That will be up to him and Barry if I can make a deal with them."
Shaw said he is willing to make a deal on the gate that would enable Peterson to earn more than the $37,500 he is entitled to under the bid.
"I've been spoken to Barry and I thought we'd make a deal before the purse bid," Shaw said. "He said he would call Lamont and get back to me, but I have not heard back from him."
Hunter could not be reached for comment.
"Let's see if Barry comes around and see what kind of gate we can do," Shaw said.
Shaw said he has talked to ESPN about doing the fight, as well as with HBO about carrying it as an undercard bout. For the money on the table from the purse bid, however, I have a hard time seeing Peterson accepting the fight.