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Canelo Alvarez-William Scull: IBF Plans IBF June 6 Mandatory Title Fight Fund Bid

William Scull has done his part to speed up the process for his first title fight.

A ring has confirmed that on June 6 a purse is set for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s IBF mandatory title defense against Scull. War was ordered on May 13 but the negotiation period was suspended after just nine days.

According to the official letter obtained by A ring, the promoter of AGON Sports & Events—Scull—informed the IBF of the failed negotiations between the camps. As such, an urgent hearing was requested on behalf of the undefeated challenger. IBF rules state that either team can claim the fund at any time during the negotiations.

According to IBF Rule 10.E, the winning bid will be split 65-35 in favor of Alvarez as the title defender.

The only question is whether the war will go ahead—for various reasons.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 knockouts), The Ring champion at 168, has yet to make a mandatory defense of the WBA or IBF titles. He was actually a force to be reckoned with as the WBA’s second title holder when he faced and defeated Callum Smith in their December 2020 WBA title unification fight.

One month later, Caleb Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) honored his mandatory IBF title by defeating Jan. 2021 defeating Caleb Truax.

Alvarez defeated Plant by an eleventh-round knockout in their November Undisputed bout. 2021 in Las Vegas.

Brooklyn’s Edgar Berlanga (22-0, 17 KOs) has been named as the WBA’s mandatory challenger for April. The Nuyorican is believed to be next in line for the 168-pound crown. Those rumors intensified after Alvarez’s May 4 victory over Jaime Munguia at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

That will be a dispute for the WBA and IBF to resolve.

One thing to consider is whether a second title defense satisfies the WBA’s liability criteria. One was made on Nov. 2022, when David Morrell defends his WBA ‘Regular’ title in a twelfth round stoppage of Aidos Yerbossynuly (16-1, 11 KOs).

That may involve an existing rotation system of integrated lists. If so, the IBF will be standing up next which will leave the hearing of the fund application complete.

Morrell, ranked No. 4 at 168, will face Radivoje Kalajdzic for the interim WBA 175-pound title on August 3 in Los Angeles. Berlanga has since been appointed as WBA manager as a result.

The call came nearly two months after his sixth-round knockout of undefeated Padraig McCrory in Feb. 24 in Orlando, Florida. At that point, the battle was to decide who would enter the next tournament to claim Morrell’s second title.

A decision in favor of the IBF would leave Alvarez with an interesting decision regarding his unification reign. He has made the most successful defenses of any undisputed male champion during four (four) belts. That success came largely from sanctioning bodies that often don’t apply their rules as much as they do to their other champions.

Scull (22-0, 9 KOs) became the mandatory challenger after a July 2022 points win over Evgeny Shvedenko. The title decider between the undefeated competitors saw Scull—a Berlin-based Cuban exporter—win by unanimous decision.

This 31-year-old player has only three fights. The latest was an eight-round victory over Sean Hemphill on May 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight took place in the untelevised basement of Alvarez-Munguia.

And on the site was Berlanga, Ring’s The No. 10 super middleweight contender was on the short list to face Alvarez in May. His name was in the running along with Munguia, who ended up winning the sweepstakes.

Berlanga could still get the assignment—whether it was the next obligation in the rotation, or without the IBF belt at stake.

Alvarez can still fight the next opponent of his choice. This could lead to him being stripped of the IBF title, barring a decision in favor of the WBA.

IBF Rule 5.c requires its champions to honor mandatory title fights. Failure to comply with this order “shall be sufficient reason for the Tournament Committee and Board of Directors to consider revoking recognition of the title.”

This is familiar territory for Alvarez, whose last experience with the IBF mandatory changed the course of his career.

A middleweight title defense against Sergiy Derevyanchenko ended with Alvarez being stripped of the belt in 2019. The handling of the matter damaged the decade-long relationship between Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions; they both broke up in 2020.

Alvarez defeated Daniel Jacobs in their May 2019 WBC, WBA and IBF unification bout. A protective order followed next against Derevyanchenko. The issue came to a head this summer when the IBF announced that the title was vacant.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow @JakeNDaBox

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