Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya hasn’t pulled any punches in his criticism of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) for stripping his fighter Canelo Alvarez of the middleweight title he won by defeating Daniel Jacobs in May.
The Mexican fighter and multiple-time world champion was relieved of the title on Thursday after negotiations for Canelo to face the IBF’s mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko ended without a deal being completed. De La Hoya was clearly furious with the developments and released a statement criticising not just the IBF, but also Derevyanchenko who De La Hoya claims wasn’t interested in pursuing serious negotiations.
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“We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title,” De La Hoya said. “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.”
Canelo Alvarez is one of the world’s best-known boxers and the consensus best middleweight fighter active today, but De La Hoya suggests that the IBF’s treatment of him is a large part of the problems currently afflicting the sport today.
“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.”
The possible silver lining to this is that Canelo’s next fight is no longer tied up in a mandatory title defence, with England’s Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith touted by the media as possibilities.