Gennady Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko agreed to terms on Tuesday to meet for a vacant middleweight world title on Oct. 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York, multiple sources told ESPN.
The sides had been locked for three weeks in an acrimonious negotiation before overcoming the issues and agreeing on all points.
The paperwork is with both sides, and according to the sources, as long as that paperwork reflects what was agreed to, the contracts are expected to be signed on Wednesday, with a news conference scheduled to take place to formally announce the bout on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Running the news conference and the front man for the event will be a new member of Team GGG: Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, whose company has close ties to DAZN, which will stream the fight, and helped get the deal done.
Derevyanchenko and Golovkin will be fighting for the IBF 160-pound world title stripped from Canelo Alvarez on Aug. 1, when he failed to finalize a deal to face Derevyanchenko, the mandatory challenger. That left Derevyanchenko to face the next leading contender in the IBF’s rankings, which was Golovkin, who used to hold that belt.
The IBF gave the sides until Sept. 4 to make a deal, or it would order a purse bid, but they needed to get the deal done before that to have the fight on Oct. 5, the date DAZN wanted it and a date that Madison Square Garden was available.
Golovkin preferred to face Alvarez for a third time following a controversial draw in September 2017 and a majority decision loss in September 2018 that cost him his unified title but will instead face Derevyanchenko because Alvarez refused to face Golovkin. There was heavy pressure from DAZN, which has Alvarez and Golovkin under exclusive contract, for Alvarez to fight GGG this fall, but when he refused, DAZN reluctantly approved Derevyanchenko as Golovkin’s fall opponent.
Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs), 33, of Ukraine, lost a vacant IBF world title fight to Daniel Jacobs in October. Jacobs went on to lose the belt to Alvarez in May, and Derevyanchenko earned another mandatory shot at it when he rebounded from the loss to Jacobs to outpoint Jack Culcay in a world title eliminator on April 13.
Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs), 37, a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Santa Monica, California, tied Bernard Hopkins for the record for consecutive middleweight title defenses at 20 before the close loss to Alvarez. Next he will look to begin a second title reign against Derevyanchenko following a brutal negotiation.
The camps had agreed on the financial terms of the bout nearly two weeks ago, as well as random drug testing to be handled by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (though that will get a late start due to the protracted negotiations), but the fight was held up while they argued over secondary elements of the deal such as how many hotel rooms Derevyanchenko’s team would receive, his allotment of tickets and the parameters of fines associated with either man missing the 160-pound weight limit or the IBF’s weight check on the morning of the bout.