By Keith Idec
Sharing a trainer won’t prevent Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko from fighting for the vacant IBF middleweight title.
Keith Connolly, who manages Jacobs and Derevyanchenko, told BoxingScene.com on Friday that both boxers and trainer Andre Rozier are on board with possibly battling each other next. Connolly said that if Jacobs can’t secure a much higher-profile fight against Canelo Alvarez within the next few days, Jacobs will move forward with a fight against Derevyanchenko.
Rozier has expressed concern about boxers he trains fighting, but he told Connolly on Friday that he understands the reality of the situation. Rozier likely would work with Jacobs if he were to fight Derevyanchenko because Rozier has trained Jacobs since he was a young amateur.
“We are in negotiations right now for a possible Canelo fight for Danny,” Connolly told BoxingScene.com.
“But if that doesn’t materialize over the next few days, we will move ahead and make a fight with Sergiy. I spoke to Andre this morning and told him that it is a possibility. Over the course of the conversation, he realized that there’s a very good possibility his two guys will fight, and that’s just part of the business. Even though he loves them both like they are sons, he now understands both guys want a shot at a world title and there is a high likelihood they might fight each other next.”
Brooklyn’s Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) and Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) spar with each other often and usually train at the same gym in Brooklyn.
Now that Gennady Golovkin has been stripped of his IBF middleweight championship, the IBF must offer a fight against the No. 1-ranked Derevyanchenko to its next available 160-pound contender. The No. 2 spot in the IBF’s middleweight ratings is unoccupied, but Jacobs is ranked No. 3.
Fights against Alvarez and Derevyanchenko both became realistic possibilities for Jacobs this week.
Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez made Jacobs’ promoter, Eddie Hearn, an offer to fight Alvarez on September 15 on Tuesday because negotiations had stalled for an Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch. Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, has resumed negotiations with Gomez to make a second bout between Alvarez and Golovkin for September 15 and has stated that Golovkin no longer expects a 50-50 split for that lucrative middleweight championship rematch.
Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN.com this week that he is willing to give Golovkin a 60-40 split, but not 50-50, to face Alvarez again.
The IBF stripped Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) of its middleweight title Wednesday, which suddenly made a Derevyanchenko-Jacobs bout viable.
Derevyanchenko was the mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s IBF 160-pound championship. Golovkin requested another exception to delay that bout during an IBF hearing last month, but the IBF took Golovkin’s title from him for failing to adhere to the stipulations of the exception it granted him to fight Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 in Carson, California.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin fought Martirosyan, who lost by second-round knockout, on short notice because Alvarez’s six-month suspension for failing two performance-enhancing drug tests forced him to withdraw April 3 from his rematch against Golovkin. That pay-per-view fight had been scheduled for May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
According to the IBF’s agreement with Golovkin, Loeffler was supposed to begin negotiations with Lou DiBella, Derevyanchenko’s promoter, on May 7. They were supposed to schedule a Golovkin-Derevyanchenko bout within 90 days of May 5, by August 3.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.