Representatives for Gennady Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko are meeting with the IBF about the situation involving that sanctioning body’s middleweight title, which Derevyanchenko is mandatory challenger for at the moment.
Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KO) fought on May 5 in California, knocking out late replacement opponent Vanes Martirosyan in the second round. But the IBF did not sanction that as a title fight, so Golovkin wasn’t defending that trinket, though he did defend the WBC and WBA titles that he also holds.
Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KO) lobbied for the fight on that date, after Canelo Alvarez withdrew from the bout before he was suspended for anti-doping violations, but didn’t get it. His team has been pushing hard to force the fight with GGG, but there are complications.
The big one is that Golovkin may well prefer a bigger money fight in September, a rescheduled rematch with Alvarez. If he were to go that route, he may have to vacate his IBF belt, likely leaving Derevyanchenko to face the next highest-ranked contender for the vacant title.
There is perhaps the possibility of working around that — in theory, Derevyanchenko could step aside if guaranteed a fight with the potential Golovkin-Alvarez winner — but from what we know, Derevyanchenko’s team is pretty adamant about wanting their shot now, be it against GGG or someone else for the vacant belt.
It’s expected that a decision will be made in the coming days, one way or another. It’s worth remembering that Golovkin’s big goal for years has been to fully unify the middleweight division, and giving up a belt would make it a lot tougher go to complete the collection.