The word is that Canelo Alvarez is “in talks” to face former title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a super middleweight bout on September 14th. Mike Coppinger from ESPN further clarifies that “[o]ther opponents being considered for Canelo, but it won’t be GGG.”
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) was poised to challenge Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO super middleweight title in May before the pandemic hit, but between the subsequent travel restrictions and Saunders’ self-inflicted setbacks outside of the ring, the Brooklyn-based Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KO) seems like a more feasible option.
This isn’t the first time these two have negotiated, although the first attempt last year ended in what could charitably be described as “complete disaster.” Derevyanchenko was Canelo’s mandatory challenger for the IBF middleweight belt the latter lifted from Gennadiy Golovkin, but when the two sides failed to come to terms despite a weeklong extension, the IBF officially stripped Canelo and ordered Derevyanchenko to face Golovkin for the vacant belt. “The Technician” would ultimately drop a controversial decision to Golovkin while Canelo moved up to light heavyweight to lay out Sergey Kovalev.
On the one hand, it’s nice to see Derevyanchenko get another shot at the big time after such a questionable defeat. On the other, this is a fair bit less compelling than unification matches with David Benavidez and Caleb Plant, who have both expressed their willingness to throw down with Canelo. I suppose they’re saving that for when they can have a decent number of spectators.