By: Sean Crose
Gennady Golovkin is back in the middleweight title picture. Canelo Alvarez, who drew with Golovkin in highly controversial fashion in 2017, then bested Golovkin, again in controversial fashion, in 2018, had little interest in fighting the Kazakh warrior for a third time in three years, even though fans and the DAZN streaming service (which broadcasts both he and Golovkin’s fights) wanted to see the men face off again. Canelo, however, was stripped of the IBF belt he won from Daniel Jacobs earlier this year. Why? Because, after numerous extensions, he was unable to make a fight with mandatory contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
“Gennady has always been ready to fight him (Canelo), ready for that third fight,’’ Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler is quoted by the LA Times as saying. “But if not, he can’t wait. He has to move on.’’ Needless to say, the IBF has now ordered a bout between Derevynachenko and Golovkin for its vacant title. Which means Golovkin stands a chance of winning another top middleweight belt without having to face Canelo for it. Derevyanchenko has already fought for the IBF strap once before, dropping a split decision to the talented Daniel Jacobs last autumn.
ESPN quotes directly from a letter given to attorneys for both Golovkin and Derevyanchenko from the IBF’s Carlos Ortiz Jr: “The IBF middleweight title was declared vacant on August 1, 2019. The IBF is therefore ordering that a bout take place between the two highest ranked contenders to fill this vacancy.” This is all good news for Golovkin, of course, as Canelo, temporarily at least, had iced him out of a large portion of the middleweight title pie (the exceptionally talented Demetrius Andrade holds the WBO belt). Still, the 37 year old will have to get past the 33 year old Derevyanchenko before he can begin celebrating.
The camps for both Golovkin and Derevyanchenko will have to come to an agreement by early September. ESPN reports that DAZN is reportedly planning to air the fight between the two men on the fifth of October. This would be Golovkin’s second fight on the streaming service, one which will be part of a deal between the fighter and the service reportedly worth around one hundred million dollars. Naturally, DAZN would rather run a big money fight between Golovkin and Canelo, but Canelo isn’t budging at this point. What’s more, Canelo appears to be at odds with his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, over the events that led to him being stripped of the IBF belt.
Although Golovkin has never technically bested Canelo, most fans and analysts seem to agree he should have won the first of their two fights. Furthermore, many apparently believe the former king of the division won on both occasions. In short, Golovkin is a bit like Marvin Hagler and Jack Dempsey, two fighters who lost their most famous bouts in controversial fashion while maintaining their reputations and popularity.
Canelo’s next opponent has yet to be determined.