Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Derevyanchenko ordered by IBF to fight for vacant middleweight title
If Daniel Jacobs doesn’t secure a fight with Canelo Alvarez and the tremendous payday that would accompany it, he has an attractive fallback plan.
On Monday, the IBF officially ordered a fight between Jacobs and their No. 1 contender, Sergey Derevyanchenko, to fill their newly created title vacancy at 160 pounds, the manager for both fighters, Keith Connolly, told THE RING. The New Jersey-based sanctioning body sent the letter to Lou DiBella, who promotes Derevyanchenko, and Eddie Hearn, who promotes Jacobs.
Both fighters are trained by Andre Rozier in New York, but Connolly said that won’t be an impediment to the fight, and that each man expressed a willingness to meet for the middleweight title that became available when Gennady Golovkin was stripped last week. Jacobs signed an exclusivity contract with HBO last year so the bout would be broadcast by the network in the fall if it comes to fruition.
“I spoke to Danny and Sergey earlier today, I informed them both that the IBF has ordered both sides to negotiate a deal in the next 30 days or it will go to purse bid,” Connolly said. “I plan on meeting with both guys and I will be looking to secure the best economic deal possible for both of them.
“I am sure they would both rather fight other people but they both realize this is a business and both guys want a shot at the title. There is also the outside shot if GGG negotiations fail with Canelo there could be a deal for Danny to fight Canelo, but we will cross that bridge if it comes.”
Golovkin was stripped of the title after he opted to fight Vanes Martirosyan rather than Derevyanchenko as a replacement opponent for Canelo Alvarez on May 5, and now, the Ukrainian will receive his first title opportunity.
The 32-year-old ascended to the IBF’s top position when he scored a 12th-round stoppage of Tureano Johnson in August. Assuming he fights Jacobs, Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 knockouts) will be taking a quantum leap in class.
Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) met GGG in March 2017 and pushed him to the brink in a razor-thin decision defeat. However, the Brooklynite wasn’t eligible to win the IBF title that night because he failed to appear at the mandatory same-day weigh-in. The IBF is the only one of the four major sanctioning bodies that mandates a second weigh-in the morning of the fight where each fighter must weight no more than 10 pounds over the limit.
Jacobs, 31, was still eligible to win the WBA belt, but if he does meet Dereveyanchenko, he’ll have to step on the scale twice this time around.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger