Promoter Lou DiBella wins purse bid for Pedraza-Smith bout

Promoter Lou DiBella won an IBF purse bid for $150,000 on Thursday for junior lightweight titlist Jose Pedraza's mandatory defense against Stephen Smith.

Attorney Alex Dombroff, DiBella Entertainment's representative, was the only person to bid at IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey. Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti attended the purse bid but did not make an offer.

DiBella told ESPN that if both fighters sign bout agreements, the fight is slated to take place on April 16 (Showtime) at either the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut or the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi.

DiBella co-promotes Pedraza with Gary Shaw and Javier Bustillo.

Last month, DiBella and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who promotes Smith, made a deal for the bout, which was tentatively scheduled for March 26. However, when the fight was not officially scheduled by the IBF deadline for signed contracts to be returned, another purse bid was ordered.

Usually, when that happens, it is because of a disagreement between promoters. However, this time it was over a disagreement between DiBella and Pedraza, who declined to sign for the fight.

Hearn told ESPN that he and DiBella revisited their agreement and that is why he did not bid.

"I didn't bid because we already reached an agreement with Lou a few days ago," Hearn said. "We are happy with the package. The purse bid number is irrelevant because of our private agreement."

Under the purse bid, Pedraza, as the titleholder, would receive 75 percent of the bid ($112,500) with Smith getting the remaining 25 percent ($37,500). However, under the deal DiBella and Hearn made, Smith will receive much more than that, although Hearn declined to say how much.

Pedraza was also offered far more than the $112,500 he is entitled to under the bid, but it remains to be seen whether DiBella and Pedraza can work things out and whether the fighter will sign a bout agreement.

Pedraza (21-0, 12 KOs), 26, of Puerto Rico, won the vacant belt by one-sided decision against Andrey Klimov in June and retained the title by split decision against Edner Cherry on Oct. 3. Smith (23-1, 13 KOs), 30, of England, achieved mandatory status with a sixth-round knockout of Devis Boschiero in their title eliminator on Sept. 19.

The April 16 Showtime telecast could also include two other bouts: featherweight world titleholder Gary Russell (26-1, 15 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Maryland, in his first defense against Ireland's Patrick Hyland (31-1, 15 KOs); and a light heavyweight fight between Worcester, Massachusetts, contender Edwin Rodriguez (28-1, 19 KOs) and Thomas Williams (19-1, 13 KOs), of Fort Washington, Maryland.

Those bouts were originally scheduled to take place March 12 at the Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut but the card was postponed when welterweight titlist Keith Thurman suffered whiplash in a car accident, forcing his main event against former titleholder Shawn Porter to be delayed.