IBF orders Canelo Alvarez to defend middleweight belt against Serhiy Derevyanchenko by August

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Less than two weeks ago, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez scored a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Jacobs in their Las Vegas bout to unify the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles. But despite the fact that he's yet to even receive the IBF belt he took from Jacobs, that commission has already ordered him to make a mandatory defense against Serhiy Derevyanchenko by Aug. 4. 

While Alvarez's next fight date and opponent have yet to be confirmed, one thing that's for certain is he won't be fighting Derevyanchenko on or before Aug. 4. Following his typical schedule of fighting in May and September, his next fight figures to be on or around Sept. 14, which is Mexican Independence Day. 

"It's really surprising and unfortunate that we didn't get a congratulations letter [from the IBF] like we would in the past," Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN about the ordered defense. "We will be meeting with Canelo in the next week or so to see what he would like to do."

In addition, Gomez told Sports Illustrated, "We just beat Danny Jacobs. Now we are being asked to fight the guy Jacobs beat."

Gomez's comments about the decision by the IBF to order a mandatory title defense so soon after Alvarez's victory reflect the frustration many in boxing feel in regards to the various commissions, who all seem to have different agendas. 

There is nothing wrong with mandatory challengers in general, but ordering this fight makes little sense from any perspective. Alvarez has just fought, and the IBF surely knows he won't be in the ring again by Aug. 4. In addition, it's hard to fathom how Derevyanchenko is already the No. 1 contender. He lost to Jacobs less than a year ago, and his only win since then was over journeyman Jack Culcay. 

In any case, it will be interesting to see what happens here after this announcement from the IBF. Will they actually strip Alvarez of the belt? Or will he get an exemption?

A trilogy fight with Gennady Golovkin is on the table, as is a showdown with the winner of Demetrius Andrade vs. Maciej Sulecki. The former would offer Alvarez a chance to prove himself against GGG once and for all, while the latter would give Alvarez a chance at claiming all four middleweight belts. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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