While the biggest boxing news on Monday was that the Sept. 16 mega-fight between unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and former champion Canelo Alvarez will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, two contenders vying for a mandatory shot at the winner had the terms of their title eliminator worked out.
DiBella Entertainment, which co-promotes Sergiy Derevyanchenko, won a purse bid for the eliminator between 160-pound contenders Derevyanchenko and Tureano Johnson. Alex Dombroff, promoter Lou DiBella’s attorney, bid $121,100.02 at the purse bid at IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey, to gain promotional control of the bout.
Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Johnson, was the only other bidder and offered $62,000.
DiBella has 15 days to submit signed contracts to the IBF and 90 days to put the fight on. The exact date and location of the fight has not yet been determined. Derevyanchenko and Johnson will split the winning bid 50-50, meaning each is entitled to a purse of $60,550.01. Dombroff and Golden Boy’s Robert Diaz attempted to negotiate the fight, but when they could not come to terms the IBF called for a purse bid.
“I don’t know where the fight is going to be yet,” DiBella told ESPN. “I offered Golden Boy a deal that would have put the fight on July 15 (on a Fox-televised Premier Boxing Champions card) but they didn’t get back to me in time, so it didn’t happen. And then they go and bid $62,000? Obviously, they didn’t want the fight. But I think it’s a hell of a fight. It’s real middleweight elimination fight and if Derevyanchenko can handle Johnson the way I think he can he’s beating a legitimate guy and it elevates him near the top of the division.”
Derevyanchenko (10-0, 8 KOs), 31, a decorated Russian amateur fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, earned his place in a final eliminator by virtue of a second-round demolition of former world titleholder Sam Soliman last July. He stayed busy with a fifth-round knockout of previously undefeated Kemahl Russell on March 14.
Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs), 33, of the Bahamas, earned a mandatory shot at Golovkin by virtue of a one-sided decision win against Eamonn O’Kane in an elimination fight in October 2015 on the undercard of Golovkin’s unification fight with David Lemieux.
However, Johnson suffered a severe shoulder injury in the bout. The injury required surgery and Johnson did not fight again until he returned for a second-round knockout win against Fabiano Pena on March 23. Because Johnson had been out for so long, the IBF decided he needed to fight another eliminator.