After negotiations for a mandatory fight fell through, the IBF stripped Canelo Alvarez of his middleweight title on Thursday.
Alvarez won the title in May via a 12-round decision over Daniel Jacobs to unify the middleweight titles alongside the WBA and WBC belts he already possessed.
IBF title left vacant
Now he’s back down to two belts, and the IBF title is left vacant.
The vacancy is a result of failed talks between Alvarez and Sergiy Derevyanchenko to arrange a mandatory title defense. ESPN reports that the two sides were far apart on money and that the IBF had already permitted multiple delays in arranging the fight.
De La Hoya furious
Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya, who represents Alvarez, blasted the decision in a Thursday statement criticizing Derevyanchenko’s camp for not wanting to make a deal:
"We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world's best fighter to relinquish his world title. We have been in serious negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko's promoter. We offered his team an unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his limited stature and limited popularity, but the truth is that I'm now certain they never had any intention of making a deal. But instead they wanted to force us to relinquish Canelo's belt. This is an insult to boxing and more importantly an insult to the boxing fans of the world.”
‘What’s wrong with boxing’
De La Hoya continued his attack, calling the decision an example of
what’s wrong with boxing” while promising legal action.
"This decision validates already existing concerns about the credibility of the IBF championship. Canelo inherited a mandatory challenger by defeating Daniel Jacobs, the man who beat Derevyanchenko, so to strip him of his title without giving him enough time to make the best fight possible is truly what is wrong with boxing, and I plan to aggressively consider all legal actions possible."
Derevyanchenko’s promoter Lou DiBella did not respond publicly other than to confirm with ESPN that a deal was not reached.
What happens now?
The Athletic reports that Derevyanchenko will begin negotiations with Gennadiy Golovkin for a potential bout over the now-vacant IBF belt.
The Athletic also reports that Alvarez will enter talks with WBO champion Demetrius Andrade for another unification fight.
Golovkin and Alvarez have previously met in a pair of high-profile fights, with the first resulting in a controversial draw and the second won by Alvarez in a 12-round decision.
Despite a public clamoring for a third fight, the two sides have reached an impasse in negotiations.
Path to Canelo-GGG Part III?
If the reported negotiations do result in fights, it could lead to a situation where Golovkin owns the IBF title and Alvarez holds the other three.
Could the two sides resist at that point a mega-fight to unify all the belts and the enormous payday that would certainly come with it?
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