IBF Strips 160 Belt From Golovkin; Promoter Loeffler Responds



IBF Strips 160 Belt From Golovkin; Promoter Loeffler Responds

No IBF crown for you, said the IBF to Gennady Golovkin on Wednesday afternoon.

The NJ-bsed sanctioning body at 5:30 PM informed parties that they’d decided to take the IBF middleweight belt from GGG, a source close to the action said, because he’d not defended it against the mandatory IBF challenger in timely enough fashion.

Sergey Derevyanchenko (age 30; living in Brooklyn; 12-0 as a pro) figures to benefit mightily off the ruling. The Russian, promoted by Lou Dibella, and advised by Keith Connolly, is ranked No. 1 by the Jersey crew.

No. 2 is open, and No. 3 is Danny Jacobs; would we see No. 1 vs No. 3 for the vacant title? Interestingly, Connolly advises both Derevyancehnko and Jacobs, for the record.

GGG had snagged that belt in October 2015, when he fought David Lemieux in NY. It wasn’t on the line in his last outing, against Vanes Martirosyan, last month. The IBF didn't agree to sanction Vanes as a title challenger and they deliberated on how to proceed after hearing from Teams GGG and Derevyanchenko.

GGG's promoter Tom Loeffler expressed his dismay to NYF:

“It’s a loss for the IBF to lose a great champion like GGG,” Loeffler said.  “He complied with all of their rules, often to his detriment, fighting a mandatory like Wade, being put at a competitive disadvantage against Jacobs by following their second day weigh-in rule as their champion, and now them stripping GGG, something that the Derevyanchenko side wasn’t even asking for. This is all a direct result of Canelo getting suspended and not fighting May 5, otherwise he could have beaten Canelo a second time and then done his mandatories afterwards.”

Here is the release the IBF sent out:

June 6, 2018, Springfield, NJ – After a lengthy review and period of deliberation the International Boxing Federation has vacated the IBF Middleweight title held by Gennady Golovkin since October 17, 2015, as a result of Golovkin not accepting one of the conditions put forth by the organization to grant him the Exception to Regulations to fight Vanes Martirosyan on May 5, 2018 which was not sanctioned by the IBF.

On April 20, 2018, the IBF received the request for an Exception to Regulations from the  Golovkin camp to participate in the unsanctioned contest against Vanes Martirosyan on May 5, 2018, in Carson, CA.

On April 25, 2018, the IBF received a letter from DiBella Entertainment on behalf of #1 IBF ranked contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko indicating thatDerevyanchenko had an objection to the Exception being granted allowing Gennady Golovkin to participate in an optional defense not sanctioned by the IBF.

On April 27, 2018, the majority of the IBF Board of Directors determined that the Exception to Regulations should be granted to Gennady Golovkinwith the following conditions:


  1. The Gennady Golovkin vs. Vanes Martirosyanbout must take place on or before May 5, 2018.


  1. Golovkin must agree in writing that he will fight the IBF Middleweight Mandatory within 90 days of the May 5, 2018, bout or by Friday, August 3, 2018.


  1. Golovkin shall agree in writing to indemnify, hold harmless and otherwise reimburse the  IBF for any legal fees or other expenses related to the granting of said Exception, including, but not limited to, the costs attendant to any resultant litigation.  (As required under IBF Rule 11.F.)


On April 30, 2018, counsel for Golovkin filed an appeal objecting to condition #2 in the Board’s decision.  Counsel for Derevyanchenko, the IBF Mandatory, filed a response to the appeal on May 7, 2018.

The IBF proceeded and assembled a panel of three IBF members, who are also practicing attorneys, to review the written submissions and hear the oral arguments of counsel for the parties on May 22, 2018, at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ. The panel made its recommendations to the IBF and based on their findings and recommendations, the IBF approved the condition that Golovkin agree to fight the IBF Middleweight mandatory opponent by August 3, 2018 in order to avoid the penalty of losing his title under IBF Rule 5.H.

Since Golovkin has not agreed in writing to fight the IBF Mandatory opponent by August 3, 2018, a required condition for the grant of the Exception, the request for an Exception to Rule 5.H. was denied in accordance to rule Rule 11.I, “Compliance with Terms of Exception” provides, “The Champion must comply with all conditions contained in the grant of an exception.”  Therefore, the IBF denied the request for an Exception with the condition removed.

Furthermore, since Golovkin did not agree to the aforementioned condition in the grant of the exception, the IBF had to enforce the penalty under Rule 5H for Golovkin having participated in an unsanctioned contest within his weight class and declare the IBF Middleweight title vacant.  The IBF will identify the two leading available contenders and order them to negotiate to fight for the vacant title.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.