Promoter Oscar de la Hoya has called the IBF’s decision to strip Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez of his middleweight title “an insult to boxing”.
Alvarez – the sport’s best-paid fighter – won the title from Daniel Jacobs in May to hold the IBF, WBA and WBC belts.
But his failure to agree a bout with the IBF’s mandatory challenger saw him stripped of the title on Thursday.
De la Hoya said the decision “validates already existing concerns about the credibility of the IBF championship”.
He added: “This is an insult to boxing and more importantly an insult to the boxing fans of the world.”
|Who holds the middleweight belts now?|
|Vacant||Demetrius Andrade (US)||Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (Mex)||Franchise title: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez; Regular title: Jermall Charlo (US)|
Mexican Alvarez, 29, was mandated to face Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko but the parties failed to reach an agreement despite extensions being made to the IBF’s deadline.
De la Hoya said Derevyanchenko’s team had been offered an “unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his limited stature and limited popularity”.
Alvarez, who has lost once in 55 bouts, signed a broadcast deal worth £278m with streaming service DAZN in October, making him the sport’s biggest earner.
But he has now also lost his traditional WBC belt after the organisation controversially upgraded him to a newly formed ‘franchise champion’ status, with American Jermall Charlo taking his original title.
He is now expected to pursue a fight with WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, while Derevyanchenko is reportedly set to agree a bout for the now vacant IBF belt with former unified world champion Gennady Golovkin.