MEXICAN superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is close announcing his next fight against IBF mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
The unified champion is set to face the Ukrainian on October 19 or 26 in Las Vegas after DAZN chief John Skipper approved the fight.
ESPN report Derevyanchenko’s promoter Lou DiBella and managers Keith Connolly and Al Haymon are in negotiations with Golden Boy to finalise the title fight.
The mandatory defence means WBC and WBA champion Canelo will also hold onto his IBF belt after fears he would be stripped.
Alvarez was set for his traditional September bout, which is the same month as Mexican independence day.
But after failing to agree a deal to move up two weights and take on WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev – Golden Boy canned these plans.
DAZN executive chairman Skipper, who signed Canelo to an 11-fight deal worth £350millon, was only happy for the 28-year-old Mexican to face Kovalev or rival Gennady Golovkin.
However, Canelo refused to give Golovkin a third fight, having won their rematch last year after a contentious draw in 2017.
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And Kovalev is signed to face WBO mandatory Anthony Yarde on August 24 in Russia.
It meant Skipper wanted to hold off until the end of the year to find Canelo a high-profile opponent.
But now the middleweight king has been given the green light to face Derevyanchenko – who was beaten by Danny Jacobs last year – the man Alvarez claimed the IBF belt against in May.