- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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The first two purse bids of the year were held Wednesday at the IBF offices in Springfield, N.J., and Sampson Lewkowicz’s Sampson Boxing won both auctions for the same price.
• Sampson Boxing won the purse bid for the vacant junior featherweight title bout between Mexico’s Alejandro Lopez (24-2, 7 KOs) and Colombia’s Jhonatan Romero (22-0, 12 KOs) with an offer of $132,000, beating Gary Shaw’s bid of $122,200.
The fighters are each entitled to 50 percent of the winning bid --$66,000. No date or site is set, but Sampson Boxing has 90 days to put on the bout. They will be fighting for the belt Nonito Donaire vacated in October.
• Sampson Boxing also won the purse bid for junior flyweight titlist Johnriel Casimero’s mandatory defense against Luis Alberto Rios (18-1-1, 13 KOs) of Panama. The winning bid was also $132,000, which beat the only other bid of $95,000 offered by Promociones y Eventos Del Istmo. As the titleholder, the Philippines’ Casimero (17-2, 10 KOs), Lewkowicz’s fighter, is entitled to 75 percent of the winning bid ($99,000) with Rios getting the remaining 25 percent ($33,000).
Lewkowicz told ESPN.com that the fight will take place March 16. He said there are three potential sites – the Philippines, Panama or Las Vegas.