On June 6, 2018 the International Boxing Federation, IBF, decided to strip Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) of its Middleweight title. The IBF has strict rules and enforces their champions to defend their titles against mandatory opponents. GGG failed to follow their guidelines by not scheduling a fight with the IBF No. 1 opponent Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs).
The IBF didn’t sanction Golovkin’s bout against Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KOs) on May 5, 2018. They preferred a fight with Derevyanchenko, but ultimately granted GGG an exception. Realistically, GGG didn’t want to fight Derevyanchenko on short notice. The entire training camp and gameplan was focused on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) before the failed drug tests occurred.
That seemed to be the first instance of GGG ignoring the IBF requests of fighting Derevyanchenko. Secondly, the IBF gave GGG a deadline to agree in writing to fight Derevyanchenko. The deadline was reported as 90 days after the May 5 bout. This was part of the exception granted to fight Martirosyan. GGG proceeded to request an additional exception to not fight Derevyanchenko, and that was the final straw for the IBF.
GGG needed to schedule a fight with Derevyanchenko, plain and simple. He failed to do so and now has lost the IBF Middleweight title. He was stuck trying to schedule the mega-rematch with Canelo and paid the price of losing a belt.
The IBF will schedule a vacant title fight with Sergiy Derevyanchenko and the next contender up according to IBF rankings. Next in line would be No. Daniel Jacobs, No. 4 Jermall Charlo and No. 5 Demetrius Andrade.
Gennady Golovkin remains the WBC, WBA and IBO Middleweight champion. Golovkin losing the IBF belt is a major change in the Middleweight division. It will give new fighters the chance to step up and fight each other. Change is good, and boxing fans would want to see new champions.
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