Joshua Buatsi may well face Jean Pascal in his next fight – but where it will be, who it will be promoted by and when it will take place has yet to be determined.
We will know more on that before the end of this month, with the IBF ordering a purse bid hearing for the final eliminator contest in the light-heavyweight division.
The IBF letter, sent to all registered promoters, reads:
“On July 22, 2022, the IBF ordered Joshua Buatsi and Jean Pascal to begin negotiations for the IBF Light Heavyweight Eliminator For # 1.”
The purse bid hearing will take place on August 30, with bids submitted by 11:45 EST and opened promptly at midday.
News of the purse bid hearing comes after Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) was in talks to meet WBA champion Dmitry Bivol for the black and gold title.
The idea of that, however, was kiboshed after the sanctioning body ordered a purse bid hearing for the aforementioned Bivol –– who shocked Saul Alvarez back in May — to defend his belt against the mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez.
Rumours circulating are that Matchroom is in talks with the relevant parties to potentially stage both Buatsi against Pascal and Bivol against Ramirez on a show in Dubai later this year.
The lion’s share of the winning bid will go to Buatsi as the higher-ranked challenger, with ‘JB’ getting 60 per cent, while 40 per cent would go to Pascal as the number six-ranked contender, landing the assignment due to the unavailability of the number four-ranked Anthony Yarde and the aforementioned Ramirez.
Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs), from Ilford, is the WBO mandatory challenger to Russian powerhouse Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) and their clash is eyed for October 29 or early November in London.