With the sudden announcement from Golden Boy Promotions that Canelo Alvarez will not fight in September, Sergiy Derevyanchenko is now preparing for the possibility that he will have to fight someone else for the IBF middleweight title.
Derevyanchenko is the mandatory challenge to Alvarez’s IBF middleweight title and a purse bid is scheduled for next week, but talks between the two for a title fight later this year has been virtually nonexistent. Should Alvarez continue not pursuing a fight against Derevyanchenko, the IBF may be forced to strip him of the middleweight title unless the Mexican vacates the belt. With that in mind, Derevyanchenko might have to face someone else for the IBF title if that were to happen.
The next highest-ranked fighter in the IBF middleweight rankings is Gennadiy Golovkin, who is also looking for an opponent for later this year. Derevyanchenko’s manager Keith Connolly told The Athletic that his fighter is ready to face Golovkin or anybody else for the IBF title if Alvarez elects to not fight him.
“Disappointed Sergey will not be fighting Canelo for the IBF belt in September but it doesn’t surprise me. They never contacted us so I know they never had any intention of doing the fight. The great thing is GGG is next in the rankings so if GGG and Sergey fight in September for the IBF belt he is still in a monster fight with a great opportunity to become a star in the sport. If GGG declines the opportunity to fight for the IBF belt that’s fine, too, we will go to the next available guy in the rankings,” Connolly said.
Derevyanchenko has been the mandatory challenger since April when he won a title eliminator against Jack Culcay on a PBC on FS1 card from Minneapolis. The once-beaten middleweight previously challenged for the IBF title last year when he narrowly lost to Daniel Jacobs at Madison Square Garden. Jacobs would go on to lose his IBF title to Alvarez this past May on a DAZN card in Las Vegas.
On July 17, a press released announced that after failing to secure an opponent, Alvarez will not fight on a planned September 14 card and will fight later in the year.