Mexican world middleweight champion Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has been stripped of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt after failing to agree on the terms of a mandatory title defense, his promoter Oscar De La Hoya revealed.
Alvarez, 29, who also holds the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council titles, was forced to give up his IBF crown after negotiations for a fight with Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko fell through.
“We are extremely disappointed in the IBF for forcing the best fighter in the world to give up his world title,” said a furious De La Hoya, multiple world champion before becoming a promoter.
“We offered his team (Derevyanchenko) an unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his short stature and limited popularity, but the truth is that now I am sure they never intended to reach an agreement,” he said.
Instead, they wanted to force us to give up the Canelo belt. This is an insult to boxing and, more importantly, an insult to the fans, “he said.
Alvarez, who won the IBF belt in May after beating Daniel Jacobs in 12 rounds, was expected to fight Derevyanchenko in October after he recently chose to skip his traditional September fight date.
The Mexican has a 52-1-2 record. His only stumble came against the legendary Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The Athletic newspaper reported on Friday that Derevyanchenko is now ready to start negotiations with former champion Gennadiy Golovkin for a possible fight for the now vacant IBF belt.