It was up in the air when first ordered a month ago, but it looks as though Sergiy Derevyanchenko will indeed take on Jack Culcay in an IBF middleweight eliminator. Derevyanchenko’s promoter, Lou DiBella, outbid AGON Sports in today’s purse bid and intends to stage the bout in “March or April.”
Culcay (25-3, 13 KO) is ranked #2 by the sanctioning body, Derevyanchenko (12-1, 10 KO) #3. The winner becomes the mandatory challenger for Daniel Jacobs, who narrowly defeated “The Technician” in October.
Culcay won and twice defended the WBA interim super welterweight title before being upgraded to full champion, only to lose a split decision to Demetrius Andrade his next time out. A subsequent loss to Maciej Sulecki sent him up to 160 pounds, where he’s won three straight.
Derevyanchenko spent a year as Gennady Golovkin’s IBF mandatory, only getting his crack at the belt when “GGG” was stripped following his bout with Vanes Martirosyan. He suffered a first-round knockdown against Jacobs in a bid for the vacant title, but made it competitive throughout, with all three judges seeing it as 7-5 or closer.
I’d be happy to see Jacobs and Derevyanchenko run it back, and if Culcay manages to upset the apple cart, more power to him.