By Keith Idec
BoxingScene.com has learned that an 11th-hour deal has been made for Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Daniel Jacobs to fight for the vacant IBF middleweight title.
Lou DiBella, Derevyanchenko’s promoter, and Eddie Hearn, Jacobs’ promoter, came to terms late Tuesday morning for an October bout that’ll take place either at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center in New York.
Derevyanchenko and Jacobs are expected to fight either October 20 or October 27. Their bout will be broadcast by HBO, the premium cable network with which Jacobs has an exclusive contract.
A purse bid for this IBF-mandated match, which was pushed back from noon Thursday to noon Tuesday because DiBella and Hearn were close to making a deal, was canceled late Tuesday morning.
Derevyanchenko and Jacobs both are trained by Andre Rozier and are frequent sparring partners. Rozier confirmed to BoxingScene.com last week that he’ll prepare Jacobs for their 12-round, 160-pound title bout because he has worked with Jacobs since the Brooklyn native was 14 years old (https://www.boxingscene.com/jacobs-derevyanchenko-trainer-caught-middle-fight-order--129716).
Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) is the IBF’s top-ranked middleweight contender. Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) is rated No. 3 among the IBF’s 160-pound contenders, but he is the next available contender to battle Derevyanchenko for the IBF’s unclaimed crown because the No. 2 spot in its rankings is vacant.
Had DiBella and Hearn not reached an agreement, the IBF would’ve offered fourth-ranked Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) a shot to fight Derevyanchenko for its middleweight title.
Derevyanchenko, 32, and Jacobs, 31, will fight for a title the IBF stripped from Gennady Golovkin on June 6. The IBF took its middleweight championship from Kazakhstan’s Golovkin because the sanctioning organization determined Golovkin didn’t adhere to the stipulations of an exemption it granted him to fight Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 in Carson, California.
The IBF refused to sanction Golovkin-Martirosyan as a title bout because Martirosyan, a late replacement for Canelo Alvarez, is a junior middleweight who hadn’t fought in nearly two years. The IBF allowed Golovkin to keep its middleweight title as long as Golovkin agreed to defend it next against Derevyanchenko, who was his mandatory challenger.
Golovkin knocked out Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KOs) in the second round.
Two weeks later, the 36-year-old Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) requested another exemption at an IBF hearing May 22 in Newark, New Jersey, because he was headed toward a rescheduled rematch with Alvarez, since set for September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Their rematch had been scheduled for May 5 at T-Mobile Arena, but that bout was canceled because the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) for twice testing positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance, in February.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.