The International Boxing Federation stripped Gennady Golovkin of his IBF middleweight title on Wednesday due to him failing to agree in writing that he would defend his IBF belt against his mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko by the August 3 deadline for the defense.
With the IBF stripped from GGG, the next two highest rated contenders will fight for the belts. Derevyanchenko will likely face Demetrius Andrade for the vacant IBF belt. That’s a toss-up fight. Derevyanchenko has been looking good lately, but he’s never fought anyone like the southpaw Andrade. That might a little too tough for Derevyanchenko, who has slow hand speed and he’s short at 5’9” for the middleweight division.
The IBF had mandated at a recent meeting last month on May 22 that GGG must face the 32-year-old Derevyanchenko by the 3rd of August. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler had recently met with the IBF to try and get an exception so that GGG could face Vanes Martirosyan in a voluntary defense on May 5. This was an opponent that Golovkin faced because Saul Canelo Alvarez pulled out on 3 weeks’ notice. It wasn’t reasonable for Golovkin to fight his mandatory on 3 weeks’ notice, but it appears that’s what was expected of him.
It’s likely that Golovkin chose not to write to the IBF to let them know he would face Derevyanchenko by August 3 because he was still hoping to get the rematch with Canelo Alvarez done. That fight doesn’t look like it’s going to happen unfortunately, so GGG is left with no fight against Canelo and now his IBF title stripped from him. Golovkin reportedly didn’t like the IBF giving him a deadline of August 3 when they granted him the acceptation to face Martirosyan on May 5. That move by the IBF handcuffed Golovkin, making him impossible to fight Canelo on September 15 if he went ahead and defended against Derevyanchenko by August 3.
The Derevyanchenko fight is identical to Martirosyan in the lack of big money that would be available to GGG if he took it. That’s the whole problem that Golovkin has been in with him collecting all the titles. When a fighter does that, they get stuck defending against guys with no fan base and often times little talent as well.
The IBF made the following statement via skysports.com about their rationale for stripping Golovkin of his IBF middleweight title:
“After a lengthy review and period of deliberation, the International Boxing Federation has vacated the IBF Middleweight title held by Gennady Golovkin. The IBF had to enforce the penalty under Rule 5H for Golovkin having participated in an unsanctioned contest within his weight class and declare the IBF Middleweight title vacant. The IBF will identify the two leading available contenders and order them to negotiate to fight for the vacant title.”