IBF holding hearing for Golovkin and mandatory Derevyanchenko
By Jim Dower: The International Boxing Federation is holding a hearing today at their headquarters to decide on middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who Team GGG want to bypass temporarily. The IBF has already ordered Golovkin to fight Derevyanchenko by the first week of August otherwise he’ll be stripped.
The IBF is expected to make their decision whether to strip GGG or not in the next three days, according to Dan Rafael. Golovkin is in a bind right now. He can fight the 32-year-old Derevyanchenko and miss out on the Canelo Alvarez rematch in September or not fight him and lose his IBF title. The IBF would be shooting themselves in the foot by stripping Golovkin, because they’ll end up with a less popular champion when Derevyanchenko likely faces Demetrius Andrade for the vacant IBF 160lb title.
There’s no way of knowing whether Golovkin or Saul Canelo Alvarez will bother going out of their way in the future to fight whoever emerges as the new IBF champion. If Canelo and GGG ignore the new IBF champion, then the sanctioning body will have a less popular holding down their middleweight title for a long, long time.
Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) wants to keep his IBF title and face his WBC mandatory Saul Canelo Alvarez in a rematch on September 15. Presumably, if Golovkin beats Canelo in September, he would then look to face WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in a unification match in December. So we’d probably be looking at Golovkin’s promoter Top Loeffler back at the IBF’s headquarters in September or October to see if they’d let him take the fight with Saunders rather than Derevyanchenko.
The Derevyanchenko fight will likely be kicked down the road to early 2019 depending on if Canelo wants a third fight against GGG in May of 2019. In that case, then Derevyanchenko would have to wait until late summer before he gets the fight with GGG. The IBF likely won’t continue to give Golovkin exceptions to keep bypassing Derevyanchenko indefinitely. If they don’t strip Golovkin this time, they’ll likely do it later this year if Loeffler is back at IBF headquarters attempting to get another exception, so they can put off the Derevyanchenko fight a little longer.
Golovkin, 36, could always fight Derevyanchenko in July and then still take the fight with Canelo on September 15. The only problem with GGG fighting Derevyanchenko in the summer is his promoters may choose to drag out the negotiations as long as possible until Golovkin is forced to pull out of the fight. It only works for Golovkin if he can fight Derevyanchenko by July. If the fight is dragged out until August or September, then he might as well give up the IBF belt, because there’s no money in that fight anyway. The only reason Golovkin wants to keep his IBF title is because he wants to collect all the 160lb titles.