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Beatriz Ferreira-Jelena Janicijevic: IBF Orders Vacant Lightweight Title Fight

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Beatriz Ferreira is now poised to enter Paris 2024 as a reigning major titlist.

BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Brazil’s Ferreira and Serbia’s Jelena Janicijevic have been ordered to enter negotiations for the vacant IBF lightweight title. The pair of contenders rose to the title stage after unbeaten British lightweights Caroline Dubois and Rhiannon Dixon passed on separate opportunities to fight for the crown.

“Be advised that # 3 Beatriz Ferreira and # 4 Jelena Janicijevic are the highest ranked available contenders in the IBF Female Lightweight division and are being ordered to participate in a Vacant Championship title bout,” IBF Championship Committee chairman Carlos Ortiz informed both parties in an official letter obtained by Boxing Scene. “The winner will be the IBF Female Lightweight Champion.”

The two sides have until March 7 to agree to terms, to avoid a purse bid hearing.

Ferreira is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, while Janicijevic is represented by Huck Sports Promotions.

The winner will claim the title left behind by two-division undisputed queen Katie Taylor (24-1, 6KOs), who also vacated the WBO 135-pound title as she intends to next defend her fully unified junior welterweight championship.

Ferreira (4-0, 2KOs) was going to be next in line for the belt once Dixon (9-0, 1KO) removed herself from the mix to instead bid for the vacant WBO title. The IBF was prepared to order a Dubois-Ferreira vacant title fight shortly after Dubois (9-0, 5KOs) won this past weekend in a ten-round shutout of Miranda Reyes at OVO Arena Wembley.

At some point, Dubois’ representatives informed the IBF that she would not be available for the proposed fight.

Ferreira last fought on December 9, where she scored an eighth-round knockout of Destiny Jones. The bout took place on the undercard of the Devin Haney-Regis Prograis WBC 140-pound title fight in San Francisco, California.

The win came a little more than a year after her November 2022 pro debut, which was fought at four, three-minute rounds. Her highly anticipated pro debut came more than sixteen months following her Silver medal effort in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ferreira is now poised to represent Brazil in the 2024 Paris Olympics, with hopes of her first pro major title in tow.

Janicijevic (5-1-1, 2KOs) has more experience at the ten-round level. Her past three bouts have been scheduled for and have gone that limit. The 38-year-old from Belgrade fought to a September 2021 draw with unbeaten Oleksandra Sidorenko, whom she defeated via split decision less than six month later to win the EBU lightweight title.

In her most recent start, Janicijevic won a ten-round, unanimous decision over Germany’s Sarah Weidmann last January 5 in Zlatibor.

The two have met before several times in the amateurs, where Ferreira defeated her on each occasion.

Per IBF Rule 9C, Ferreira and Janicijevic are now required to honor the ordered title fight to avoid disciplinary action handed down by the sanctioning body. Any fighter who abandons the purse bid process or does not honor the outcome will receive a demotion in the rankings plus a six-month probation period where they cannot participate in an IBF-sanctioned fight. 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox

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