My Champion Clients

My Champion Clients
Clockwise from top left, Sam Soliman (the night he won the IBF Middleweight Title, May 31, 2014), Cory Spinks (the night he won the IBF Welterweight title, March 22, 2003), Paulie Malignaggi, myself, Johnny Bos and Jeffrey Resto (press conference NYC summer 2002).

Friday, May 11, 2018

Golovkin and Derevyanchenko Battle Over IBF Exception - Title Likely At Stake

Counsel for Unified Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin and IBF No.1 mandatory contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko (Derev) have submitted their arguments to the IBF on an appeal made by Golovkin's team of the Exception the IBF issued on April 27 and clarified on May 1.  Golovkin is being represented on appeal by veteran boxing attorney Patrick English.  Derevyanchenko is repped by DiBella Entertainment's counsel Alex Dombroff.

The IBF's Exception allowed Golovkin to fight Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 and still retain his IBF title even though the IBF refused to sanction the bout.  The Exception also gave Golovkin 90 days from May 5 within which to fight Derev (deadline Friday, August 3, 2018).  The May 1 clarification left open the possibility that Golovkin could fight a unification bout with Canelo (?!) that would not require an exception.  This appears to be an error in the clarification as Canelo does not hold a title belt of a sanctioning body recognized by the IBF (only the WBA, WBC and WBO are so recognized).  Presumably, Golovkin could sneak in a fight with WBO Champion Billy Joe Saunders though ahead of Derev.

Nonetheless, Golovkin's counsel argued that IBF Rule 11G allowed him as the "affected participant" of a granted Exception the right to appeal.  Counsel further argued that the IBF misconstrued the application for Exception as one to avoid the mandatory obligation, when in fact, it was solely to allow the unsanctioned bout.

One of the main points Golovkin's counsel tried to drive home was that unified champions make mandatory defenses using a rotational system where each sanctioning body's mandatory is made in turn and the traditional time limits on mandatory defenses defer to that system.  Counsel argued that the IBF's mandatory is not due as the WBC is next.  Because the Canelo bout was delayed, the WBC mandatory is still the next one due.  Even if the Canelo bout had taken place on May 5, counsel reasoned that IBF Rule 5E states "the mandatory due date of the IBF Champion will be nine (9) months from the completion of the mandatory bout for the World Organization ahead of the IBF in line."

Golovkin's counsel also argued that the 90-day deadline violates IBF rules for the timing of negotiations and purse bids as the combined time allotted in the rules would exceed 90 days.  Counsel also noted that Golovkin is an innocent party who should not be punished for Canelo's sins.

In their reply papers, Derev's counsel argued that Golovkin did not have standing to appeal under Rule 11G as the "affected participant" referred to in the rule is Derev, not Golovkin.  Rule 11C refers to an "applicant" and an "affected participant" and counsel noted that the IBF reached out to Derev to allow him to respond to the application for Exception, thus designating Derev the "affected participant".

Beyond the standing issue, Derev's counsel disputed that the WBC mandatory was still due in the rotational system and not the IBF's.  Counsel argued that Canelo was the WBC mandatory and when he was rendered unavailable, Golvokin was allowed by the WBC to fight Martirosyan instead.  If the WBC were to get a second bite at the mandatory apple, there is a real possibility that it can be delayed again, in which case Derev would be forced to wait even longer.  Counsel argued that this is just a thinly veiled attempt to preserve the lucrative Canelo rematch without having to satisfy the IBF mandatory obligation.

Derev's counsel then addressed the alleged violation of IBF rules by the Exception's 90-day deadline.  Counsel pointed out that under Rule 11D, the IBF Board had discretion to determine "what conditions shall apply" in deciding the Exception.  Counsel also cited previous Exceptions where the Board had set similar 90-day deadlines.  Counsel also gave an example where Golovkin fought twice within a 90-day span on HBO to demonstrate the ability to make the fight within those time constraints.

Derev's counsel concluded by arguing that Derev is also an innocent party and should not have to wait any longer to receive his shot.  Counsel also argued that Golovkin is not entitled under IBF rules to receive two Exceptions to avoid his mandatory obligation.

The hearing to decide Golovkin's appeal is scheduled for May 22.

See Golovkin's Letter below:


See Derevyanchenko's Letter below:

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