Goldenboy CEO Oscar De La Hoya is defending his fighter Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs) after he was stripped Thursday of his IBF middleweight belt for not defending it against mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs).
I'm very upset and ashamed with my fans, to be unfairly stripped of my belt by the IBF, but specially when i did not have the knowledge of the agreement that GBP match maker had signed.
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) August 2, 2019
“We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title,” De La Hoya said 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. 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,” De La Hoya continued. “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.”
The last few deadlines have literally been one or two business days. These were extensions agreed by the parties,not imposed by the IBF. EVERY middleweight’s greatest desire is shot at @Canelo . If we don’t get it, @GGGBoxing is next and we’ll commence talks very shortly (VERY).
— Lou DiBella (@loudibella) July 30, 2019
But critics are pointing fingers at the indecision of Alvarez to fight mandatory challengers, which seem to have cost Alvarez the opportunity to be the undisputed middleweight champion.
Several reports state the IBF allowed several postponements while the Derevyanchenko negotiations took place. IBF rules (section 5B) also state that a unification fight can take precedence over a champion’s need to make an immediate mandatory defence but only if the request is made within a specific time frame.
Derevyanchenko will likely face Gennady Golovkin instead for the vacant IBF title.
Instead of stripping Alvarez like the IBF, the WBC diplomatically moved Alvarez to “franchise champion” in July, with interim WBC champ Jermall Charlo replacing Alvarez as the official middleweight titleholder. The move frees Alvarez of the obligation of facing mandatory challengers.
This leaves Alvarez with one title, the WBA middleweight title, which he unified by defeating Rocky Fielding. He is reportedly in talks now with WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0-0, 187 KOs).
All eyes are on Alvarez to see who he ends up fighting.