While unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin’s next title defense will come against Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 16 in the biggest fight of the year, the winner will own a slew of title belts and have the mandatory defense obligations that go along with them.
One defense requirement will be against the winner of a fight ordered this week between 160-pound contenders Tureano Johnson and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Both camps have notified the International Boxing Federation of their intentions to participate in the elimination fight, and their promoters — Golden Boy for Johnson and Lou DiBella for Derevyanchenko — will begin to negotiate the bout. In a letter to Johnson attorney Jim Thomas and DiBella attorney Alex Dombroff, IBF president Daryl Peoples notified the camps that the winner will be ranked No. 1 in the organization’s middleweight rankings and will be its next mandatory challenger.
Negotiations are to conclude by June 7. If they have not been completed by that date, a purse bid will be ordered, with the fighters each entitled to 50 percent of the winning offer. If for whatever reason one of the fighters pulls out of the negotiations, he will be dropped from the IBF’s top-10 rankings for at least six months. Also, neither fighter is permitted to have an intervening bout before he faces the other in the official eliminator.
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, required surgery and did not fight again until his return for a second-round knockout win over Fabiano Pena on March 23.
Because Johnson had been out for so long, the IBF decided he needed to fight another eliminator.
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 in July. He stayed busy with a fifth-round knockout of previously undefeated Kemahl Russell on March 14.