Sergiy Derevyanchenko is back on the negotiating clock.
The top-rated middleweight contender has already entered negotiations with former unified titlist Gennadiy Golovkin, in a bid for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) middleweight title which was recently stripped from World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Talks figure to go much smoother this time around for Derevyanchenko, as his team has already been in touch with the Golovkin side well before the fight was formally ordered by the IBF on Monday morning.
“The order was sent out today,” IBF spokesperson Jeanette Salazar confirmed to BoxingScene.com on Monday. “They have 30 days to negotiate.”
The 30-day free negotiation period ends on Sept. 4. In the event they cannot come to terms, a purse bid hearing will be ordered for the fight.
Whereas such a dilemma led to the title being vacated, it doesn’t figure to be of concern in this case. As previously reported by BoxingScene.com senior writer Keith Idec, the two top-rated contenders are already in advanced talks to fight Oct. 5, possibly in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
The pairing comes with a poetic twist, as both boxers were shunned by Alvarez as it relates to landing the lineal middleweight champion in the ring. Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs) was ordered by the IBF on May 15 to begin negotiations for a mandatory defense versus Derevyanchenko, which never got off the ground thanks to internal confusion between Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions.
Golden Boy was granted a 30-day window to petition for a voluntary defense before facing Derevyanchenko, but allowed that deadline to pass without making contact. From there came an ordered purse bid hearing set for July 15, at which point the two sides began to talk and were able to convince the sanctioning body to twice postpone and outright cancel the purse bid hearing, along with four more extended deadlines in hopes of finalizing terms.
Much of the time was spent by Alvarez and Golden Boy negotiating a potential challenge of light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev, one of just two athletes whom sports streaming service DAZN would approve as a next opponent.
The other is Golovkin (39-1-1, 35KOs), whom Alvarez wants nothing to do with purely out of personal disdain following their two-fight series. The two fought to a controversial draw in Sept. 2017, with Alvarez ending Golovkin’s record-tying title reign one year later in a disputed majority decision verdict.
Both have since inked lucrative long-term deals with DAZN, whom hotly pursued both middleweights with the intention of staging a third fight sooner rather than later. Alvarez was never on board with such a plans, nor does he claim to have been involved in the decision to allow his IBF title to have been stripped in the event he could not finalize terms for a mandatory defense versus Derevyanchenko by the sixth and final imposed deadline.
The comedic series of events have now left to Alvarez airing out personal business through social media and the Golden Boy staff stuck to defend its actions while figuring out how to maintain peace with the sport’s most lucrative attraction.
It also leaves the two opponents Alvarez sought to exile as now in contention for his briefly held and now vacant IBF middleweight title.
The bout will mark the first title fight for Golovkin since his aforementioned loss to Alvarez. The 2004 Olympic Silver medalist from Kazakhstan spent virtually the entire decade prior to that point in possession of at least one portion of the middleweight crown, collecting an interim title in Aug. 2010.
From there came an historic reign, tying Bernard Hopkins (a minor stakeholder in Golden Boy Promotions) with 20 successful defenses of at least one title, including a unification knockout win over David Lemieux in Oct. 2015 and receiving an upgrade on another belt from WBC interim to full titlist when Alvarez was stripped for failure to honor his mandated title defense versus the Kazakhstani knockout artist.
Golovkin has fought just once since his rematch with Alvarez, scoring a 4th round knockout of previously unbeaten Steve Rolls in June.
Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10KOs)—a 2008 Olympian for Ukraine—takes his second swing at a major title, coming up just short in a vacant title fight versus Daniel Jacobs last October. Interestingly, the title was made available when Golovkin relinquished the strap in lieu of a mandatory defense versus the Brooklyn-based slugger, instead proceeding with a far more lucrative rematch with Alvarez.
Following the lone loss of his career, Derevyanchenko returned to the win column—and the IBF mandatory position—following a 12-round win over Jack Culcay this past April.