Promoter Eddie Hearn has announced that terms have been reached for Daniel Jacobs 34-2 (29) to face Sergiy Derevyanchenko 12-0 (10) for the vacant IBF middleweight title.
“After weeks of negotiating with my dear friend Lou DiBella – delighted to agree terms for Daniel Jacobs v Derevenchenko for the IBF World title on HBO Boxing – Date coming soon for NY,” Hearn posted on his social media accounts on Wednesday.
The IBF title became vacant last month after former champion Gennady Golovkin 38-0-1 (34) chose to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a rematch of their controversial split draw in September last year rather than his IBF mandatory Derevyanchenko.
The move will come as a surprise to some people after Hearn and DiBella – who promotes WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder – were unable to come to terms for an Anthony Joshua-Wilder clash for all four of the heavyweight belts.
“So @EddieHearn and I closed a deal for one of the best fights that can be made in the middleweight division,” Lou DiBella replied to Hearn on Twitter.
“Imagine that… Eddie and I co-promoting a big fight! He’s still a cheeky little bastard, but I look forward to a big card…and some good, nasty back and forth. #boxing.”
IBF number three Jacobs, 31, bounced back from a battle with the rare bone cancer osteosarcoma in 2011 to work his way into world title contention and claim the vacant WBA middleweight title against Australian Jarrod Fletcher in 2014. Brooklyn’s “Miracle Man” made four successful title defences, all against former or future world titleholders, before giving Golovkin all he could handle in their closely-contested middleweight unification bout in March last year.
The 32-year-old Derevyanchenko from the Ukraine earned his mandatory contender spot after defeating former IBF middleweight champion Sam Soliman and fringe contender Tureano Johnson in IBF eliminators over the past two years.
The Ring magazine ranks Jacobs at number two between Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders, while Derevyanchenko is their number four ranked middleweight.