So, the dust is still settling from the bomb blast that was Canelo Alvarez testing positive for clenbuterol, and then pulling out on his own volition from the planned May 5 tango against Gennady Golovkin.
The show must go on, a variation of the show, and it will, May 5, at MGM Grand. IBF, WBA, WBC and IBO titlist Gennady Golovkin will fight somebody. Spike O’Sullivan, the 33 year old Irishman? He has a bit of an imprint on US fight fans, being that he fought on HBO and beat Antoine Douglas in December? Jaime Munguia, the 21 year old Mexican who is not in the top 15 of any sanctioning body at 160? He has a nice record, but hasn’t fought any names and was fighting at 147 as of one year ago, and Golovkin, that seems too hard a graduation for him.
The fact is, this May 5 event was slated as a pay per view, on HBO, and will stay that way. The cabler has been operating on a reduced budget during the Peter Nelson era, and a certain number of fights involving the HBO-contracted talent has to be put on PPV, because that’s the only way for Nelson to generate the funding to keep them happy.
If that’s the case, then it puts Team Golovkin in something of a tough spot. Promoter Tom Loeffler knows that it’s likely he can reset the GGG vs. Canelo Alvarez rematch for maybe September, if Canelo shows humility when he’s in front on the Nevada commission tribunal April 18, and thus can get his suspension rolled back to “only” six months.
One would think Loeffler isn’t keen on having GGG in against a killer May 5, and risk a loss, or a cut, or a depleting rumble. Pundits believe O’Sullivan and/or Munguia would not be so formidable so GGG’s path to the Canelo sequel would be impacted. But would potential PPV buyers be enticed to buy that re-jiggered rumble?
One foe that I think would be more enticing to the masses is IBF No. 1 middleweight Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The 32 year old Russian lives in Brooklyn. The 12-0 boxer owns 10 kayoes, and was in the ring and did his thing March 3, where he downed journeyman Dashon Johnson on the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz undercard. He is promoted by Lou DiBella, and managed by Keith Connolly, who also handles Danny Jacobs and Marcus Browne. Jacobs fights on HBO April 28, and Browne will fight Sergey Kovalev on HBO, in June or July, it looks like. The Derevyanchenko peeps want it, they would like him to get the May 5 reset date. Note that the last time GGG did an IBF mandatory was back on April 23, 2016 against Dominic Wade, who was severely overmatched.
Generally, the sanctioning bodies look to work together, and allow a rotation so that champions can fulfill obligations to face their mandatory challenges. Daniel Jacobs was a mandatory challenge, for the WBA; and Alvarez was supposed to satisfy the WBC’s regulations, as their No. 1 rated middleweight.
Team Derevyanchenko thinks that means that their guy should be next up in rotation. Attorney Alex Dombroff, with DiBella Entertainment, has been lobbying the IBF on behalf of Derevyanchenko, and laying out the case why we should see GGG fighting a credible challenge aka Derevyanchenko, on May 5.
Often, sanctioning bodies try to avoid overlap, so a fighter rated by one might not be recognized by another. Derevyanchenko is No. 1 in the IBF, and No. 8 by the WBO, where BJ Saunders reigns. (He said he’d not be ready to fight May 5, for the record.) O’Sullivan, promoted by Golden Boy and Ken Casey, is No. 11 by the WBC, No. 9 by the WBA, and unrated by the IBF and WBO, for what it’s worth.
Bottom line, attorney Dombroff told the IBF that “the IBF should immediately order the mandatory middleweight championship belt between Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Derevyanchenko.”
I messaged the IBF, to see their stance on the polite demand that Sergey get the May 5 gig against Gennady. I also messaged Loeffler, asking if Derevyanchenko is or is not in the mix for get that May 5 slot, and I will update this story to reflect responses when applicable.
Check out the letter from the DiBella/Derevyanchenko side here.