Bakhram Murtazaliev will have to fight on the road and during Ramadan for his first bid at a major title. has confirmed that the vacant IBF junior middleweight title fight between Russia’s Murtazaliev and Germany’s Jack Culcay will take place on April 6 at Stadthalle Falkansee in Berlin. AGON Sports, who won a January 11 purse bid to secure promotional rights to the fight, received formal confirmation from the sanctioning body to move forward with the event.

“The IBF has granted formal sanction approval for the IBF Jr. Middleweight vacant championship title between Bakhram Murtazaliev and Jack Culcay,” IBF Championship Committee chairman Carlos Ortiz informed all involved parties in a letter obtained by Boxing Scene. “The bout is scheduled to take place on April 6, 2024 in Stadthalle Falkensee, Berlin, Germany. 

AGON Sports, Culcay’s promoter, submitted $666,300 to outpace TGB Promotions’ $500,000 bid for the ordered matchup earlier this month. The Germany-based promoter complied with the IBF’s purse bid terms, which required two separate deposits of ten-percent each ($66,630)—totaling 20-percent of the winning bid—within five days of the session to validate the result.

The bout will now proceed, despite initial hesitance from Murtazaliev—a devout Muslim—to train and fight during the holy Ramadan period, which this year spans March 10-April 9.

The winner of the forthcoming bout will claim the IBF junior middleweight title vacated last November by Jermell Charlo (35-2-1, 19KOs), who, for now, still holds the WBA and WBC titles and is the recognized lineal champion.

Charlo was forced to vacate after declining to move forward with an overdue mandatory title defense versus Murtazaliev (22-0, 15KOs), which ended a three-year ordeal that involved multiple step-aside packages.

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.

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