Bakhram Murtazaliev and Jack Culcay now have their marching orders. has confirmed that the IBF has scheduled a purse bid hearing for January 11 to determine promotional rights for the ordered vacant IBF junior middleweight title fight. Both camps previously informed Boxing Scene that a deal was not reached upon the December 29 deadline but that neither side heard from the sanctioning body regarding next steps.

That matter changed Tuesday morning, as the IBF’s first official piece of business for the new year.

“On November 21, 2023, the IBF ordered #1 rated Jr. Middleweight Bakhram Murtazaliev and #2 rated Jr. Middleweight Jack Culcay to begin negotiations for vacant IBF Jr. Middleweight Title,” IBF president Daryl Peoples informed all registered promoters in a letter obtained by Boxing Scene. “An agreement could not be reached within the time frame set forth by IBF.

“The IBF is ordering a Purse Bid in these offices on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at 12 Noon. Bids must be submitted at 11:45 AM to be promptly opened at 12 Noon.”   

The declaration marked the second IBF purse bid scheduled for that date. As previously reported by Boxing Scene, the Jack Catterall-Richardson Hitchins junior welterweight title eliminator hearing was also postponed to January 11 from its originally scheduled January 2 session.

The two sides can still negotiate in an effort to reach terms until 15 minutes prior to the purse bid hearing. Absent that, Murtazaliev and Culcay are each entitled to 50 percent of the winning bid.

Promoters who wish to participate in the session are required to submit a $5,000 nonrefundable fee along with a ten-percent deposit of the placed bid. The promoter who submits the highest offer is then required to submit an additional ten-percent deposit to fully validate the bid and secure full promotional rights.

The winner of the forthcoming bout will claim the IBF junior middleweight title vacated last November by Jermell Charlo, who still holds the WBA and WBC titles and remains the recognized lineal champion.

Russia’s Murtazaliev (22-0, 15KOs) is promoted by Main Events and managed by Egis Klimas. Germany’s Culcay (33-4, 13KOs) is promoted by AGON Sports, whose company has a history of sending fights to—and winning—purse bid hearings.

As Boxing Scene previously reported, both parties were prepared to enter talks immediately after Charlo (35-2-1, 19KOs) relinquished his title in lieu of a mandatory title defense versus Murtazaliev.

The development ended a three-year period where Murtazaliev—who was the mandatory challenger since November 2019—accepted step-aside packages and non-televised undercard slots while Charlo further unified the division.

Charlo ran out of exceptions after his failed bid versus undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (60-2-2, 39KOs) on September 30 in Las Vegas. The fight already cost him the WBO 154-pound title, which he had to give up the moment he entered the ring for the Showtime Pay-Per-View event. The WBO agreed to acknowledge him as the undisputed champion until the pre-fight introductions, at which point Tim Tszyu (23-0, 16KOs) was elevated from interim to full WBO titleholder.

Murtazaliev became the mandatory after a November 2019 win over Jorge Fortea in their title eliminator. He has since fought four times, all buried on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) non-televised undercards and versus non-descript competition.

Culcay (33-4, 14KOs) has won eight in a row since his return to the junior middleweight division.

The former secondary titlist lost to Demetrius Andrade in their March 2017 WBA 'Regular' junior middleweight title fight. A loss to then-unbeaten Maciej Sulecki seven months later sent Culcay to the middleweight division, where he won three in a row before a twelve-round loss to Sergiy Derevyanchenko in their April 2019 IBF middleweight title eliminator in Minneapolis.

A return to 154 and to Germany has seen Culcay resurface atop the IBF rankings, though mostly versus middling opposition.

Whoever lands the rights to the fight and where they choose to stage it is of less concern to the Murtazaliev side than when it takes place.

Murtazaliev is a devout Muslim and eager to fight for his first major title by no later than March 9, prior to Ramadan which is observed from March 10-April 9 in the coming year. The hoped-for alternative would be for the fight to take place after April 9, though it would then require Murtazaliev to train during the holy period.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox