Oscar De La Hoya has labelled the decision to strip Canelo Alvarez of his IBF world middleweight title as an “insult”, vowed to take legal action and taken aim at mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko and his team.
The Mexican superstar has suffered a similar fate to bitter rival Gennady Golovkin, who lost the belt outside of the ring in 2018 when he also failed to come to terms to face the Ukrainian and instead opted to fight Vanes Martirosyan.
Now the Kazakh will likely finally take on Derevyanchenko, who eventually lost to Danny Jacobs for the vacant title, while Canelo is left with the WBC and WBA titles – Demetrius Andrade holds the other piece to this complex jigsaw in the form of the WBO bauble.
And De La Hoya failed to conceal his anger amid the disappointment in a Golden Boy statement: “We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title.
“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.”
Dereyanchenko’s promoter Lou Di Bella hit back at De La Hoya, insisting the IBF had merely abided by their own rules.
He said: “This is trash. How dare the IBF not take bribes, not kneel to Oscar and Ginger (Canelo), and actually have the nerve to abide by their written rules.
“Credibility? What dat, Oscar? Where’s your’s?”
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