Another day and another chapter on who Canelo Alvarez will be fighting in his next middleweight title defense. This after a report that he is going to follow through to face the mandatory IBF middleweight challenger rather than be stripped of that belt.
Boxingscene.com senior writer and columnist Keith Idec reported Thursday afternoon, the negotiations have all but finalized for Alvarez to take on IBF #1 contender Sergey Derevyachenko in October for the Undisputed Middleweight Championship:
Before approving Derevyanchenko as an opponent for Canelo's next fight October 26th, DAZN boss John Skipper also dropped his request that Canelo guarantee that he'd fight Golovkin in his following fight if Derevyanchenko were approved. Negotiations ongoing this afternoon.
— Keith Idec (@Idecboxing) July 31, 2019
As we wrote late last month, the IBF has been playing a “game of chicken” with Alvarez, and Golden Boy Promotions. This is because, it’s apparently important to Canelo to remain Undisputed Champion, and the IBF is demanding Alvarez’s next fight be against their mandatory challenger or they will strip him.
Alvarez has waffled back and forth from several opponents, including contemplating moving up to Light Heavyweight to fight Russian Champion Sergey Kovalev at 175 lbs. When that deal fell through, reportedly because Kovalev was not guaranteed enough money for his liking, Golden Boy was then talks with another one of its fighters.
They wanted to make a deal with WBO Junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia about him moving up and fighting Alvarez in September.
Last month, Alvarez announced on social media that he would not be fighting the remainder of this year. However, DAZN streaming service, which guaranteed Alvarez a record $365 million in a 10-fight deal in 2018, quickly responded and said that that was not the case. And, that Canelo would be in action before the end of 2019 against an opponent, as soon as all parties could be agreed upon.
As Idec further reported Thursday, DAZN chairman John Skipper has been continually pushing that Alvarez fight former Undisputed Middleweight Champ Gennady Golovkin in his subsequent fight after this one in 2020. Alavarez and Golovkin fought to a draw in their first meeting and Canelo won a narrow decision in the rematch last year.
That contingency is based on DAZN having done a three-fight deal with Golovkin earlier this year, and it’s believed that he was assured a third fight with Alvarez would be easily made. That’s because both fighters would be under the same broadcast network umbrella. Golovkin has already had one easy fight on the DAZN deal earlier in June.
The fact that Skipper and DAZN are apparently willing to relent about Golovkin being Alvarez’s first opponent in 2020 may finally make this Derevyachenko deal happen.
The IBF had been threatening to strip Canelo of the belt if he did not agree to fight Derevyachenko by late last week and then have him fight Golovkin for the vacant title. They then move the deadline to Monday, but that came and went with still no deal. However, Monday came and went and they, not unexpectedly, did not take any action and “had their bluff called.”
All week the negotiations have continued and it is believed that Alvarez will finally do the deal with the Russian #1 contender and fight him probably in Las Vegas, on October 26th.