By Dan Ambrose: The IBF has ordered champion Saul Canelo Alvarez to defend against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, according to Mike Coppinger. The two fighters have 30 days to get the negotiations completed before the IBF orders a purse bid. Derevyancheko, 33, lost last October against Daniel Jacobs in a bid to win the vacant IBF middleweight title. Now he’s getting a second chance.
There’s no word yet whether Canelo, 28, will agree to negotiate a fight with #3 IBF Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) or vacate the belt. Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) is fighting in September, and the options for that fight are a trilogy match against Gennady Golovkin, a fight against WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade or possibly a move up to super middleweight to take on WBA Super World champion Callum Smith. Canelo doesn’t want to give up any of this titles, as his goal is to unify the 160-pound division.
IBF not giving Canelo much time
It’s been only 11 days since Canelo won the IBF title in beating champion Daniel Jacobs on May 4 on DAZN in Las Vegas, Nevada. The IBF moving quickly to put Canelo into a situation where he needs to decide whether he wants to keep the title or vacate it.
IBF giving Derevyanchenko two title shots within a year
Dervyanchenko was previously the IBF mandatory for Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) last year. GGG vacated his IBF title, because the sanctioning body wanted him to defend it against Derevyanchenko by August of last year. Derevyanchenko ended up facing Daniel Jacobs for the vacant IBF title on October 27. Jacobs won by a narrow 12 round unanimous decision to capture the vacant IBF middleweight title by the scores 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112. Derevyanchenko bounced back from that loss to defeat Jack Culcay (25-4, 13 KOs) by a close 12 round unanimous decision last month on April 13 at the Minneapolis Armory, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s strange that the IBF is giving Derevyanchenko another chance to fight for their title so soon after his loss to Jacobs. It was a close decision loss for Derevyanchenko, but he was beaten nonetheless. The IBF could have waited or picked another contender to order Canelo to fight. The IBF made it easy for Derevyanchenko to fight for their title again by making his fight with Culcay an eliminator. Culcay has spent most of his career fighting at 154. Culcay lost back to back fights to Demetrius Andrade and Maciej Sulecki in 2017. Since those losses, Culcay has beaten these obscure fighters: Craig Cunningham, Adasat Rodriguez and Rafael Bejaran.
Coppinger said this on his Twitter today about Canelo vs. Derevyanchenko being ordered:
”SOURCES: The IBF today ordered a middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Derevyanchenko and notified camps for each fighter they have 30 days to complete a deal before a purse bid is ordered. Canelo added IBF belt to his collection with win over Daniel Jacobs. The IBF is notorious for not allowing exceptions. It was Derevyanchenko who was the IBF mandatory for GGG’s title. Golovkin fought Vanes and was stripped. Sergey fought Jacobs for vacant title and lost. After beating Jack Culcay in eliminator last month, Sergey gets another crack. It’s expected that Canelo will fight GGG in a trilogy fight in September, and if that plan goes forward, it’s likely Alvarez will be stripped of his IBF title. Or Alvarez can go through with the Derevyanchenko fight.”
If the IBF doesn’t let Canelo have an exception to delay his fight with Derevyanchenko, it would difficult for him. Canelo wants to be involved in the big fights on DAZN, and Derevyanchenko isn’t a big name. H’re more along the lines of a Rocky Fielding level fighter in terms of popularity in the U.S.
Canelo might need to vacate his IBF belt
It would be wiser for Canelo to forget about unifying the middleweight division. If he’s going to be required to take fights that the boxing public has no interest in seeing like the Derevyanchenko match, then he needs to consider vacating the belt.