IBF: Gennady Golovkin Can Keep Middleweight Title If He Fights Mandatory Challenger Next

Gennady Golovkin has been given the green light to keep his IBF middleweight title by the IBF for his upcoming fight on May 5, but under one condition.

In a ruling made on April 27, the IBF said Golovkin has been granted an exemption to keep his belt for his fight against Vanes Martirosyan at the StubHub Center, but should Golovkin defeat Martirosyan, he must fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko within 90 days of May 5.

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In an ESPN report, the IBF detailed the conditions set in order for Golovkin to keep his IBF title. Aside from Golovkin needing to fight and beat Martirosyan on May 5, Golovkin has to fight Derevyanchenko within 90 days or by August 3 and has to agree in writing before May 5 to "to indemnify, hold harmless and otherwise reimburse the IBF for any legal fees or other expenses related to the granting of this exception, including, but not limited to, the cost attendant to any resultant litigation."

Golovkin, the unified WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion, is scheduled to headline an HBO boxing card on May 5 in what is Golovkin's 21st consecutive title fight. Only the WBA, WBC and IBO titles will be on the line in the fight as the IBF declined to sanction the fight. The IBF cited Martirosyan's last fight being a loss two years ago and being a junior middleweight moving up a weight class as reasons why the IBF title is not on the line.

Derevyanchenko has been the IBF's mandatory challenger at 160 pounds since last year whe he defeated Tureano Johnson in a title eliminator and has only fought once since then. Derevyanchenko's last fight saw get a quick win over Dashon Johnson on the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz undercard on March 3.

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