By Keith Idec
Canelo Alvarez’s promoters expressed enough recent interest in making a deal to fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko next that their IBF purse bid scheduled for Tuesday was postponed.
Multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com that Golden Boy Promotions and Lou DiBella, Derevyanchenko’s promoter, are negotiating for Alvarez to make a mandatory defense of his IBF middleweight title versus Derevyanchenko either in October or November. Alvarez announced Wednesday that he would not fight September 14 because he and Golden Boy Promotions needed more time to put together a deal for him to face a top opponent.
Mexico’s Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) had hoped to move up two weight classes to challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) on that date. Kovalev’s handlers couldn’t come to an agreement with Golden Boy, thus he’ll make a mandatory defense of his 175-pound title against England’s Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) on August 24 in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Kovalev’s hometown.
The 29-year-old Alvarez adamantly has refused to take a third fight against middleweight rival Gennadiy Golovkin. DAZN signed Alvarez and Golovkin to nine-figure contracts once HBO got out of boxing last fall in hopes of matching them again and boosting subscriptions for the fledgling streaming service.
John Skipper, DAZN’s executive chairman, previously had approved only Kovalev and Golovkin as potential opponents for Alvarez’s next fight. If Alvarez doesn’t defend his IBF championship against Derevyanchenko, however, he’ll risk being stripped.
Alvarez, who also owns the WBA and WBC 160-pound crowns, won the IBF title by beating Daniel Jacobs in their middleweight title unification match May 4 in Las Vegas.
Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) has lost only a split decision to Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) in their 12-round fight for the then-vacant IBF middleweight title last October 27 in New York. The 33-year-old Derevyanchenko defeated Ecuador’s Jack Culcay (26-4, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision in his last fight, a 12-rounder April 13 in Minneapolis.
If Golden Boy and DiBella can’t come to an agreement and the IBF strips Alvarez, the No. 1-rated Derevyanchenko could fight Golovkin for that title.
The 37-year-old Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs), ranked No. 3 by the IBF, is its next leading available contender. The No. 2 spot in the IBF’s middleweight ratings is unoccupied.
The IBF stripped Golovkin of its middleweight title in June 2018 for not making an overdue mandatory defense against Derevyanchenko. Golovkin instead fought a rematch against Alvarez, who won a majority decision in their 12-rounder September 15 in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.