Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Jack Culcay have been ordered to meet in a middleweight title eliminator by the IBF, but ESPN reports that the fight is sort of up in the air at the moment.
Culcay (25-3, 13 KO) won the vacant IBF international middleweight title with a Sept. 22 victory over Rafael Bejaran in Culcay’s native Germany, while Derevyanchenko (12-1, 10 KO) lost to Daniel Jacobs on Oct. 27 in a fight for the vacant IBF belt, which had been stripped from Gennady Golovkin earlier this year.
Culcay has reportedly already agreed to the fight, while Derevyanchenko “may go in another direction,” Dan Rafael writes.
The 33-year-old Derevyanchenko is still considered a top contender in the division, and simply may prefer another route. He and Jacobs (35-2, 29 KO) share a manager and the same trainer, and doing the fight once might have been enough for Derevyanchenko in that regard, as he wound up without his usual lead trainer for the fight. He may like his chances better with another title opportunity, if one is out there.
If Derevyanchenko does pass, the IBF will go down its list of rankings and find another opponent for Culcay.