(Reuters) - The International Boxing Federation (IBF) has stripped Gennady Golovkin of his middleweight title after he failed to set up a mandatory defense against Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin was scheduled for a rematch against his WBC mandatory challenger Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez on May 5 but the Mexican withdrew from the fight after being suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in April.
Golovkin, who had held the IBF title since October 2015, defended his WBA, WBC and IBO belts against Vanes Martirosyan instead in a fight that was not sanctioned by the IBF.
The IBF's mandatory challenger bout was next in the rotation and the organization ruled in a meeting on May 22 that Golovkin had until June 6 to agree fight terms with Derevyanchenko.
"After a lengthy review and period of deliberation, the International Boxing Federation has vacated the IBF Middleweight title held by Gennady Golovkin," the IBF said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The IBF had to enforce the penalty under Rule 5H for Golovkin having participated in an unsanctioned contest within his weight class and declare the IBF Middleweight title vacant.
"The IBF will identify the two leading available contenders and order them to negotiate to fight for the vacant title."
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)