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Canelo vs Derevyanchenko approved by DAZN, negotiations continue

The fight has DAZN’s approval, but is far from official just yet.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko v Daniel Jacobs: Weigh-In Photo by Edward Diller/Getty Images

Canelo Alvarez’s next fight looks like it’s coming together, but certainly isn’t official yet. One major hurdle has been jumped, as DAZN have approved Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Canelo’s IBF mandatory challenger, as the next opponent for Alvarez.

ESPN reports that Alvarez is looking to return on Oct. 19 or Oct. 26, having previously been slated to fight on Sept. 14, a date scrapped when Golden Boy and Alvarez couldn’t put together a suitable fight in time for a full promotion and everything that goes with it.

Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO) is coming off of a May 4 win over Daniel Jacobs, a fight that was a better matchup than spectacle, and it’s really no secret that DAZN, who have Alvarez signed to an 11-fight, $365 million deal, wanted the Mexican superstar to face rival Gennadiy Golovkin, also on a major money DAZN deal, in September.

But there’s a lot of contention there, and the fight just didn’t come together for this fall. There has also been talk of Canelo eventually facing Demetrius Andrade, the WBO middleweight titleholder, and moving up to 168 to face Callum Smith or 175 to face Sergey Kovalev.

But Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KO) is a mandatory, and the IBF are serious about mandatories. As Canelo doesn’t want to give up that belt — he has desires to be undisputed at 160, which has been complicated by the WBC moving him from world champion to “franchise champion,” but that’s another story — he has to fight the Ukrainian contender.

Derevyanchenko, 33, is a really good fighter, his only loss coming last October via split decision to Daniel Jacobs. That said, he wasn’t exactly the opponent anyone wanted to Canelo next, even though technically there’s really nothing wrong with the fight at all. He’s a real contender and Canelo is the guy at 160 right now. But Alvarez is officially a superstar, and we generally want superstar-level fights, which this — fair or not — really isn’t. Some will be perfectly happy with this fight, and they have every right to be, but there will be a lot of disappointment, too.

Derevyanchenko last fought on April 13, defeating Jack Culcay in a somewhat less than rousing performance in Minnesota on FS1, a fight that basically nobody watched.

If/when the fight does get made, it’ll be the third on Canelo’s DAZN deal, following last December’s win over Rocky Fielding and the May bout with Jacobs.