Daniel Jacobs-Sergey Derevyanchenko purse bid set for July 5 as both sides jockey for position
Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko were ordered to meet with the vacant IBF middleweight title at stake, and they’re both advised by the same person, Keith Connolly. Should be an easy fight to make, right?
Well, Derevyanchenko’s promoter Lou DiBella doesn’t believe so, and to that end, he requested a purse bid Monday. The rights to the fight will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on July 5 in New Jersey, unless there’s a deal completed before then, with both men receiving a 50% purse split.
“I’d be happy to do a deal to fight Danny Jacobs but the market should decide what the fight’s license fee is and the splits can be negotiated,” DiBella told THE RING. “But if I’m being told it has to be on HBO and I call (HBO Sports boss) Peter Nelson and there’s an interest in the fight, and they’ve been paying Danny certain numbers, if they’re telling me it has to happen there or not happen … the market place can’t operate if he’s stuck on HBO.
“Since they haven’t made me an offer yet, I wanted to expedite the process. I’d be happy to fight on HBO if the money works out. I can’t make them an offer because they say they can’t fight off HBO. But there are other networks interested and if you don’t believe me you can ask Bob [Arum] or Todd [DuBoef] because ESPN loves the fight.”
Jacobs (34-2, 29 knockouts) is contractually tied to HBO, who signed him to a multifight deal last year, so if Arum and Top Rank, for instance, won the purse bid and tried to place the fight on ESPN, then the Brooklynite would be frozen out of his second title opportunity.
In that instance, a fight would be ordered between Deryanchenko and Demetrius Andrade, a fight that was actually in negotiations last last year, but ultimately never took place.
Of course, it shouldn’t come to that. Jacobs’ promoter, Eddie Hearn, wants to make a deal to pit Jacobs against Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs), two New York-based fighters who actually train with the same man, Andre Rozier. IF the fight happens, Rozier would stick with Jacobs, and Derevyanchenko would be forced to find a new coach.
The Ukraine native was the No. 1 contender for Gennady Golovkin’s title, but when the Kazakh elected to fight Vanes Martirosyan instead, DiBella and Connolly pushed the IBF to order the fight immediately, and the organization ended up stripping GGG.
It was Jacobs who challenged Golovkin last year and pushed him to the brink in a close decision loss.
“Peter Nelson doesn’t have to respond to Lou DiBella,” Hearn told THE RING. “His next fight will be on HBO. Will they come up with enough money? If we don’t reach a deal, Derevyanchenko will fight Demetirus Andrade for half of what we might be able to get him to fight Daniel Jacobs.
“If [DiBella] doesn’t make the fight, he’ll end up fighting Andrade for peanuts.”
The sides have less than nine days to agree on a deal, and right now, they seem far apart. Complicating matters is the large, seven-figure payday HBO owes Jacobs for the third fight of his deal. The network’s budget for boxing has been paltry in 2018, and they would likely have to cough up around $3 million to satisfy both Jacbos and Derevyanchenko.
HBO’s sports budget will receive a large injection of money from the forthcoming Canelo Alvarez-GGG pay-per-view, though, a lifeline for a 160-pound title bout between two lesser players in the division slated for October.
“Sergey Derevyanchenko — HBO has never done anything for him,” DiBella said, referring to the fact his fighter has never competed on the network. “The way market numbers are operating, we’d be able to make a deal very easily. He’s been paid great money to fight fights that are not as difficult as Derevyanchenko.”
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger