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Canelo Alvarez IBF title ‘stripped off’ for failing to fight his mandatory challenger

Canelo Alvarez has been stripped of the IBF middleweight world title after failing to reach an agreement with his mandatory challenger.

The Mexican sensation unified his WBC and WBA ‘Super’ world titles with the IBF by outpointing Daniel Jacobs in an entertaining clash back in May.

Canelo was ordered to fulfil his obligations as the IBF champion and fight the governing body’s No 1 ranked fighter Sergiy Derevyanchenko in his next bout, but the two parties failed to strike a deal despite extensions being made to the deadline.

The middleweight champion’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, described the IBF’s decision to take the title off him as ‘an insult to boxing’ in a tempered tirade against the organisation in which he also vowed to take legal action.

The Golden Boy promoter said: ‘We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title. We have been in serious negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s promoter.

‘We offered his team an unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his limited stature and limited popularity, but the truth is that I’m now certain they never had any intention of making a deal. But instead they wanted to force us to relinquish Canelo’s belt.

‘This is an insult to boxing and more importantly an insult to the boxing fans of the world.

This decision validates already existing concerns about the credibility of the IBF championship. ‘Canelo inherited a mandatory challenger by defeating Daniel Jacobs, the man who beat Derevyanchenko, so to strip him of his title without giving him enough time to make the best fight possible is truly what is wrong with boxing, and I plan to aggressively consider all legal actions possible.’ Canelo is now expected to begin negotiations with WBO title holder Demetrius Andrade over a possible unification fight with a blockbuster showdown against Sergey Kovalev off the cards after the Russian opted to go ahead with his planned title defence against Britain’s Anthony Yarde on August 24.

Derevyanchenko, meanwhile, is set to sign a deal to fight former unified champion Gennady Golovkin for the now-vacant IBF title later this year.

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