Promoter Epic Sports & Entertainment won the purse bid on Thursday for the heavyweight world title elimination fight between Kubrat Pulev and Dillian Whyte, a surprise given that it doesn't promote either fighter.
Epic Sports & Entertainment, headed by former longtime Don King attorney John Wirt, won with a bid of $1,500,111 to easily beat two other bidders. Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn, Whyte's promoter, offered $831,111, while Pulev promoter Team Sauerland bid $801,305.
Pulev is entitled to 75 percent of the winning bid ($1,125,083.25), and Whyte will receive the remaining 25 percent ($375,027.75).
Epic Sports & Entertainment submitted 10 percent of its bid total at the purse bid, which took place in the IBF offices in Springfield, New Jersey. It has five business days to submit a check to the IBF for another 10 percent.
The promotional company must return signed contracts for the bout to the IBF within 15 days -- no later than June 8 -- and the fight must take place within 90 days (Aug. 24).
The winner of the fight will become one of the mandatory challengers for unified heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), who knocked out his British countryman Whyte in the seventh round in 2015, one fight before he won a world title. Whyte has won seven in a row since the loss.
Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs), 37, of Bulgaria, has won five fights in a row since suffering a fifth-round knockout loss challenging then-unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.