Tuesday, June 06, 2023  |



Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Derevyanchenko meet with IBF over mandatory title status

Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions
Fighters Network

Sergey Derevyanchenko wants his shot, whether it’s against Gennady Golovkin or somebody else.

To that end, he, alongside his manager, Keith Connolly, promoter Lou DiBella, and DiBella lawyer Alex Dombroff made their case for an immediate title shot against GGG during a meeting with the IBF on Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey.

GGG attended as well, and he was flanked by his promoter, Tom Loeffler and attorney Pat English. The IBF will have a ruling in 10 business days, and there’s two options.

Either the New Jersey-based sanctioning body can grant Golovkin an exception for another voluntary defense ahead of a likely rematch with Canelo Alvarez on September 16, or the IBF can deny GGG and stick with it’s original mandate that he has 90 days from May 5 to strike a deal to face Derevyanchenko, the No. 1 contender. Loeffler didn’t immediately return a text message seeking comment.

“Sergey told me he is happy with the way the IBF hearing went yesterday and that he is anxiously awaiting the sanctioning body upholding their original decision that Golovkin fight him next,” Connolly told THE RING in a text message. “In reality we know that he has no intention of fighting Sergey next because of the upcoming Canelo fight in September.

“He had his chance to get rid of the mandatory fight in May but chose to fight a guy that was unranked and hadn’t fought in two years instead of fighting Sergey.

“He went ahead with that fight knowing the conditions that the IBF put in place as far as him having to fight us within a few months after May 5th so I would be shocked if they reversed their original decision and went against Sergey. We have the upmost respect for the IBF and the way they follow their rules so we are expecting a positive outcome.”

Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 knockouts) earned mandatory status at 160 pounds with a 12th-round stoppage of Tureano Johnson in August. One month later, Golovkin fought to a draw against Alvarez, and soon, a rematch was set to settle the score on May 5.

Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) owns the WBC, IBF and WBA middleweight titles, and there’s a rotation system in place to ensure all three organizations see their mandatory obligations fulfilled.

A title defense against Canelo would have met the WBC’s obligation for mandatory contender. That fight was cancelled when Canelo tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, and Loeffler then scrambled to insert Martirosyan as a replacement opponent.

Only Martirosyan was coming off a two-year layoff, and was unranked by the IBF. When he was rated by the organization, it was at 154 pounds, where he’s received several title shots. The IBF declined to sanction the fight.

Team Derevyanchenko contends that the Ukranian would be adversely affected if the IBF grants GGG another exception. He’s 32 and has never even approached a seven-figure payday. The Olympian is rated No. 4 by THE RING at middleweight and he’s proven to be a dangerous puncher with all-around skills refined during an accomplished amateur career.

If he doesn’t receive his shot now, and surely GGG can’t be expected to bypass the Canelo rematch. then when would Derevyachenko have his opportunity? Not until 2019 at the earliest.

If the IBF rules in Derevyanchenko’s favor and Golovkin is stripped, the 36-year-old will be disappointed. The belts are important to him and he’s worked hard to keep all three.

But he won’t be affect financially. At this point, Golovkin is a star and he’s above the belts. He’s widely recognized as the best middleweight in the world, with or without a third belt.

In the case he’s stripped, a fight would be ordered between Derevyanchenko and Daniel Jacobs, the organization’s next available contender.

Jacobs gave Golovkin hell when they met last year in a close-decision loss, and he, too, is waiting for another crack at a title.

He’s also managed by Connolly, who says he has no problem pitting his two top fighters against one another. Before it comes to that, though, the IBF has an important ruling to make.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger