Word is out that the IBF won’t strip the 160 belt off GGG…but that the NJ based sanctioning body also won’t sanction the May 5 GGG v Vanes Martirosyan fight as an IBF title defense.
So, the IBF told ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Team GGG must agree to get their guy in the ring with the IBF No. 1 middleweight, Sergey Derevyanchenko, in his next bout, after the Vanes scrap.
GGG has 90 days to get that done after the Vanes bout, or else…
Or else what?
He’ll get that belt stripped off of him, seems to be the consensus among those in the know, because no one sees a GGG vs Derevyanchenko fight happening by Aug. 3, not with it quite likely that GGG would fight Canelo in September.
And if that happens, then Derevyanchenko…
..would fight who for the vacant belt? Well, the No. 2 slot is open in the IBF, as is often the case. (They sometimes have the No. 1 and 2 slots open, to allow for box-offs…)
Daniel Jacobs is No. 3, but being that he and Derevyanchenko share a manager in common, we’d think they’d try to avoid an intra-mural rumble. No. 4, right now, is Jermall Charlo, so a Derevyanchenko v Jermall fight might make sense.
Tom Loeffler, GGG’s promoter, told us that “The IBF granted our exception request, whereas many people were erroneously speculating that they would strip him for May 5.” Point being, it’s better to have options, rather than simply lose that belt as of now. Loeffler isn’t assuming, as he told us when he went on the Everlast podcast “Talkbox” on Tuesday, that it’s written in stone that GGG and Canelo will rematch in September. So, he’s not really ruling anything out, and isn’t inclined to erase any “maybes” off the board of possibilities. That’s not unwise…
Listen to the Everlast podcast here.