Canelo Stripped Of IBF Title, GGG In-Line For Shot

The saga of Canelo Alvarez and the IBF middleweight title has taken an unexpected turn on Thursday night, as the middleweight champion was stripped by the governing body.

The New Jersey-based IBF mandated that Alvarez defend the IBF version of the middleweight crown against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who was the same opponent the IBF mandated then-champion Gennadiy Golovkin to face in 2018.

Alvarez suffered the same fate as Golovkin, but unlike GGG, Alvarez was in the midst of negotiating with Derevyanchenko and his promoter Lou DiBella for a fight this fall.

“We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title,” Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya wrote in a press release.

“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.”

“Instead they wanted to force us to relinquish Canelo’s belt,” De La Hoya continued.

“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.”

With the IBF and seemingly Derevyanchenko blowing up negotiations with Alvarez, the Ukrainian will be forced to fight the challenger ranked below him, Gennadiy Golovkin, which can develop a road to Canelo-GGG III, with Alvarez vowing to become undisputed world middleweight champion.

Mike Coppinger of The Athletic reported on Thursday night that Alvarez will now enter into negotiations with fellow middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, setting up for a unification fight this fall.


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