It’s official. In the aftermath of Canelo Alvarez being stripped of his IBF middleweight title for failing to come to terms with mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, the IBF have now ordered Derevyanchenko to take on Gennadiy Golovkin for the now-vacant title. ESPN reports the sanctioning body sent both fighters a formal letter telling them to begin negotiations immediately.
“The IBF middleweight title was declared vacant on August 1, 2019. The IBF is therefore ordering that a bout take place between the two highest ranked contenders to fill this vacancy,” IBF championships chairman Carlos Ortiz Jr. wrote in a letter to Alex Dombroff, the attorney for Derevyanchenko promoter Lou DiBella, and John Hornewer, the attorney representing Golovkin’s GGG Promotions.
Both Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) and Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) now have until September 4th to strike a deal for a fight that is expected to be held on October 5th. Should the sides not come to an agreement by September 4th, the fight will go to purse bid. Derevyancheko’s promoter, Lou DiBella, doesn’t anticipate that a purse bid will be necessary though, since they anticipated these marching orders from the IBF.
The IBF also makes it clear that whomever wins the vacant title will have to defend the belt within 6 months against the highest ranked available contender.
This fight will likely have to serve as the best consolation prize for Golovkin, who had been hoping for a third bout against Canelo this fall with the full support of DAZN, but was ultimately rebuffed by Canelo.