By Keith Idec

Gennadiy Golovkin might meet Sergiy Derevyanchenko in an IBF-mandated middleweight title fight after all.

Thirteen months after the IBF stripped Golovkin of its 160-pound championship, Golovkin soon could find himself in position to fight for it again. And it might not require Canelo Alvarez to agree to face him a third time September 14.

Multiple sources have informed that the IBF could strip Alvarez of the 160-pound championship he won from Daniel Jacobs on May 4 if he doesn’t agree to make a mandatory defense versus Derevyanchnko next. The IBF sent Alvarez’s representatives a letter six weeks ago that instructed them to initiate negotiations with Derevyanchenko’s team to make that fight.

Alvarez’s team did not respond to the letter or request an exception to take another fight, which could lead to the IBF ordering a purse bid. Mexico’s Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) has made it known that he doesn’t intend to fight Derevyanchenko next.

If his handlers opt not to participate in a purse bid for a Derevyanchenko bout, IBF rules would require the New Jersey-based sanctioning organization to strip Alvarez of its title. The IBF then would order a bout between the top-ranked Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) and its next leading available contender, the second-ranked Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs).

The IBF stripped Golovkin of its middleweight championship in June 2018 because he was negotiating for a more lucrative rematch against Alvarez, rather than making an overdue mandatory defense against Derevyanchenko. Golovkin previously declined to fight Derevyanchenko on short notice in May 2018, when Golovkin needed an opponent to replace the suspended Alvarez.

Brooklyn’s Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) beat Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko by split decision October 27 in New York to win the title the IBF took from Golovkin.

Alvarez beat Jacobs by unanimous decision two months ago in Las Vegas to add the IBF middleweight title to his WBA and WBC crowns. The WBC recently elevated Alvarez to the unprecedented status of “franchise champion,” which eliminated the requirement of him making a mandatory defense of the WBC middleweight title against interim champion Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs).

Derevyanchenko defeated Germany’s Jack Culcay (26-4, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision in his only fight since losing to Jacobs, a 12-rounder April 13 in Minneapolis.

Kazakhstan’s Golovkin would prefer to battle Alvarez a third time September 14, but Alvarez doesn’t want to fight him again. DAZN executive chairman John Skipper wants that high-profile fight next, especially since one of the primary reasons he signed Alvarez and Golovkin to nine-figure contracts was to generate subscriptions from their third fight.

Skipper also would approve a bout between Alvarez and WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs).

Alvarez wants to move up two weight classes to challenge Kovalev. Golden Boy Promotions has made two offers to Kovalev’s promoter, Main Events, but the two sides have yet to come to an agreement.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.