IBF Strips Canelo Of Title

By Mark Elezaj

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez has been stripped of his IBF middleweight title after the negotiations for his mandatory defense against Sergiy Derevyanchenko ended Thursday afternoon with no deal being reached.

IBF president Daryl Peoples sent a letter to Promoter Lou DiBella and George Gallegos, a lawyer representing Golden Boy, informing them that a decision has been made to strip Alvarez of the title.

“It is crystal clear from the correspondence that on July 26, 2019, (Golden Boy matchmaker) Robert Diaz, on behalf of Golden Boy Promotions, agreed that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez would relinquish the IBF middleweight championship title, with no further negotiations or purse bid, if there was no completed deal between him and Derevyanchenko by the agreed upon extended deadline of Monday July 29, 2019 at 3 p.m. ET,

“As of today, August 1, 2019, the IBF has been advised that there is no such deal.”

Golden Boy tried to keep the IBF title on Alvarez by asking for an exception to the mandatory defense against Derevyanchenko. They said that Alvarez would rather fight in a unification bout against Demetrius Andrade. The IBF rules do allow a unification fight to trump a mandatory defense, but the request has to be made within a specific time frame.

“As to Golden Boy’s request of August 1, 2019 for approval to allow Alvarez to unify the title with WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade [on] or about October 2019, IBF Rule 10 F.5 does not allow a boxer to request an exception since the IBF has sent out the notice of the date of the purse bid,” Peoples wrote.

“In this case the notice was sent out and the purse bid has been postponed. In addition, the boxers who were involved in the purse bid are not permitted to take any intervening bouts and if the champion does take an intervening bout he will forfeit the title. Rule 10 F.6. For the foregoing reasons, the IBF hereby declared the middleweight title vacant.”

Tom Hogan / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya was very upset by the IBF’s decision and issued a statement Thursday night.

“We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title,” De La Hoya said.

“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.

“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.”

So, now what?

Alvarez will have a fight in the fall, but the question is who will he face? As for Sergiy Derevyanchenko, will get a second chance at a middleweight title, but once again, it will come in the form of a vacant title fight.

Who will he face?

There’s a possibility that Derevyanchenko could step in the ring against Gennady Golovkin for the vacant IBF championship in October.

Oh the possibilities!

~ The Fighting Voice ~

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