By Keith Idec
As a fellow promoter, Lou DiBella understands Tom Loeffler’s predicament.
Gennady Golovkin wants to fight May 5 and Loeffler is trying his best to accommodate the unbeaten middleweight champion. At the same time, business is business.
It’s DiBella’s job to protect the interests of the unbeaten contender he promotes, Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Ukraine’s Derveyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s IBF title, wants his title shot May 5 if Golovkin indeed fights that night.
From DiBella’s perspective, if Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) wants to simply keep busy against an opponent less dangerous than Derevyanchenko because he doesn’t want to jeopardize an eight-figure purse for his rematch against Canelo Alvarez, well, that’s Golovkin’s problem.
“It’s a hard, hard fight for Golovkin,” DiBella told BoxingScene.com, referring to Derevyanchenko. “And I’m not even ripping them apart for this. You haven’t heard me say a bad word about Triple-G. You don’t hear me downing Tom. You don’t hear me downing Triple-G.
“I respect them and I understand they’re in a jam, but do the right thing and give up your belt. If you don’t wanna fight [Derevyanchenko], it’s OK. Just give up the belt. You’ve got two or three others. You can’t have it both ways.”
Golovkin seemingly wants to fight junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), the latest atop a long list of potential replacements for temporarily suspended Canelo Alvarez, and keep his IBF title. Loeffler said Thursday that there isn’t an enough money available from HBO’s license fee for May 5 to properly compensate Golovkin or Derevyanchenko for such a difficult fight on short notice.
Regardless, DiBella and Keith Connolly, Derevyanchenko’s manager, want their fighter to get his title shot May 5. If not, they’re certain that the IBF should strip Golovkin of its 160-pound championship, so that the No. 1-rated Derevyanchenko can at least fight someone else for it.
“Derevyanchenko has instructed me to do whatever needs to be done to protect his rights and to secure his IBF title shot immediately,” Connolly said. “Golovkin is looking for a fight, presumably May 5th, and Sergiy is willing and able to fight. I’m puzzled why Golovkin is saying he can’t find an opponent, when he knows he can easily set up a fight with us and get his mandatory out of the way.”
Connolly added that Derevyanchenko isn’t interested in taking step-aside money because, more than anything, the 2008 Olympian wants the world title shot he is owed.
“There is no way Golovkin’s next fight can be against Canelo or anyone except Sergiy without being stripped of the IBF belt,” Connolly said. “I have the utmost respect for Golovkin, but Sergiy has earned his shot, so we will protect his legal rights.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.