With an agreement finally having been reached Tuesday night, the paperwork was signed Wednesday morning to make the fight between Gennady Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko official.
It took three weeks of mostly acrimonious negotiations and arguments over numerous issues, but they will meet for a vacant middleweight world title on Oct. 5 (DAZN) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who works closely with DAZN and will promote the fight with GGG Promotions, will host a news conference to kick off the promotion on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, where Golovkin will be fighting for the seventh time. It will also be GGG's second fight in a row there following his fourth-round destruction of Steve Rolls on June 8 in the first bout of his three-year, six-fight, nine-figure deal with DAZN.
"Everyone knows that I consider Madison Square Garden as my home away from home, and there is nothing better than fighting there again. It is old school," Golovkin said. "On Oct. 5, it's going to be a good fight. Every time I enter the ring I try to give my fans the fight they want to see, the show they deserve. This will be such a fight.
"We will bring back 'Big Drama Show' to the ring of the Garden and to DAZN. Don't miss it. You will see everything you love in the sport of boxing. See you in New York."
Hearn will be promoting a Golovkin fight for the second time, having also worked with him when GGG traveled to London in 2016 and knocked out Kell Brook, a Hearn fighter, in a middleweight title defense.
"They call it the 'Big Drama Show' and that's exactly what the fans will enjoy at MSG," Hearn said. "Gennady has a chance to regain his world middleweight crown, and Sergiy will bring the fire. The styles should gel brilliantly for a brutal battle. We look forward to a fantastic event."
Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs), 37, a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Santa Monica, California, will try to regain the IBF 160-pound title that had been stripped from him ahead of his short-notice May 2018 fight with Vanes Martirosyan, which came about when Canelo Alvarez was suspended for failing a drug test and unable to meet GGG on that date in a rematch.
Golovkin opted to face Martirosyan rather than negotiate a deal with Derevyanchenko, who was the mandatory challenger. With the belt stripped from Golovkin, Derevyanchenko met Daniel Jacobs for the vacant title last October but lost a split decision.
Jacobs then lost the belt to Alvarez in May in their unification fight, and Alvarez was stripped on Aug. 1 for failing to make a deal to face Derevyanchenko, who had reclaimed the mandatory position.
Once Alvarez-Derevyanchenko negotiations did not result in a deal by the IBF's deadline, which had been extended multiple times, the belt was vacated and Derevyanchenko was ordered to face the next leading available contender in the IBF rankings, who was Golovkin. The IBF ordered that they make a deal by Sept. 4 or a purse bid would be ordered.
While Golovkin all along preferred to face Alvarez for a third time following a controversial draw in September 2017 and a majority decision loss last September, which cost him his unified title, he will instead face Derevyanchenko.
Alvarez had refused to face Golovkin for the third time, despite heavy pressure from DAZN, which reluctantly approved Derevyanchenko as Golovkin's fall opponent.
For Derevyanchenko, who fights out of Brooklyn, New York, it will be a second opportunity to win the belt.
"I'm very proud to provide Sergiy Derevyanchenko another opportunity to become the middleweight champion of the world," said Lou DiBella, Derevyanchenko's promoter. "Sergiy came very close to fulfilling his dream last year, and I truly believe that his time is now against GGG, one of the best middleweights of this era."
After Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs), 33, of Ukraine, lost the world title fight to Jacobs last fall, he outpointed Jack Culcay in a world title eliminator on April 13 to gain the mandatory position once again.
"I'm very excited that my team has secured another opportunity for me to fight for the middleweight championship of the world," said Derevyanchenko, who will earn more than $5 million, by far his biggest payday. "I have a great deal of respect for GGG and look forward to proving in the ring that I will be up to the challenge and fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a world champion. Those in attendance at Madison Square Garden and watching on DAZN will see an outstanding battle on Oct. 5. I can't wait to enter the ring."