The IBF has officially ordered Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko to fight for the middleweight title that was stripped from Canelo Alvarez.
The announcement came after Alvarez's camp failed to negotiate a deal with Derevyanchenko, the mandatory challenger to the IBF belt at 160 pounds. It was expected that the IBF would tell both Derevyanchenko and Golovkin that they must face each other, giving both men another shot at becoming a world champion.
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.
"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," Ortiz said.
The IBF title has been in the middle of a near 18-month saga involving all three fighters. Golovkin held the title in early 2018 but was stripped of the belt for also not negotiating a deal with Derevyanchenko in favor of a rematch against Alvarez. Derevyanchenko would go on to lose to Daniel Jacobs last October in New York with the then-vacant title on the line. Alvarez won the IBF title when he defeated Jacobs this past May.
After the win against Jacobs, Alvarez's team failed to secure a third fight against Golovkin and after failing to get one against Derevyanchenko by an IBF-imposed deadline, Alvarez was stripped of his title. Although August 5 was the date the IBF sent the letter to all parties for a potential title bout, both camps for Golovkin and Derevyanchenko had already been discussing a deal for the fight, which would more than likely land on DAZN.