Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's promotional company, K2 Promotions, will control his mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev after it won the purse bid Tuesday for the right to stage the fight.
K2 bid $7,250,131 to easily top the only other offer, which was for $5,290,144 by Pulev promoter Sauerland Event. The proceedings took place at IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey.
According to the IBF, K2 Promotions has 90 days to put on the fight, although it is likely to take place on Sept. 6 in Hamburg, Germany, according to K2 Promotions.
The purse bid took place because K2 and Sauerland were unable to make a deal. Klitschko is entitled at 80 percent of the winning bid ($5,800,105), and Pulev is entitled to the remaining 20 percent (a career-high $1,450,026).
"I think it's a very good fight. You have an undefeated guy who earned the right to fight Wladimir by winning his eliminator," said Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions, who represented it at the purse bid. "Pulev is considered one of the best guys in the division, so it'll be a test for Wladimir, but we think Wladimir is at a different level than anyone else in the heavyweight division."
Klitschko (62-3, 53 KOs), 38, of Ukraine, will be making his 17th title defense during an eight-year-plus reign. His 16 successful defenses during his second title reign are the third most in heavyweight history behind only Larry Holmes (20) and Joe Louis (25).
Klitschko moved to 23-2 overall in world title fights with a one-sided fifth-round knockout of Australia's Alex Leapai, a mandatory challenger, on April 26 in Oberhausen, Germany.
Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs), 33, of Bulgaria, a former European champion, earned his mandatory challenger status in August 2013 with a unanimous decision against American Tony Thompson, who had twice been knocked out by Klitschko in mandatory title fights. Since becoming the mandatory challenger, Pulev has fought twice, scoring a fourth-round knockout of Joey Abell, who knocked him down, in December followed by a third-round knockout of Ivica Perkovic on April 5.
"I was ringside when Wladimir defended his belts a few weeks ago. It was a walk in the park for him against Leapai," Pulev said recently. "When Klitschko meets me inside the ring, I will cause him real problems, to say the least. I will show the fans worldwide that Klitschko is no invincible machine and fulfill my dream."