The IBF world title elimination bout between middleweight contenders Tureano Johnson and Sergiy Derevyanchenko is officially set. Johnson and Derevyanchenko will square off in a 12 round bout at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma on Aug. 25, it was announced late last week. The fight, along with the 10 round middleweight bout between Immanuwel Aleem and Hugo Centeno, will air on FS1, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.
The IBF ordered a purse bid for the Johnson-Derevyanchenko fight in May, which promoter Lou DiBella won in early June with a bid of $161,000. Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Johnson, submitted a bid of $62,000.
"Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Tureano Johnson are two of the top middleweights in the world," said DiBella. "This is a great opportunity on a big forum for Derevyanchenko to prove that he belongs with the elite fighters at 160 pounds."
Johnson is ranked number one, while Derevyanchenko is ranked number two by the IBF.
Derevyanchenko (10-0, with 8 knockouts) stopped previously-unbeaten Kemahl Russel in the fifth round of his last bout on Mar. 14. Originally from Russia and now residing in Brooklyn, N.Y., Derevyanchenko has stopped his last four opponents.
"This is a very important fight for me," said the 31-year-old Derevyanchenko. "A victory in this fight brings me closer to my dream of becoming world champion. I'm training hard for this challenge and I know Johnson will be prepared. I'm going to show that I'm ready for anybody in the middleweight division."
Johnson (20-1, with 14 knockouts) knocked out Fabiano Pena in his last bout on Mar. 23 in Indio, California. It was his first bout since defeating Eamonn O'Kane on Oct. 17, a fight in which Johnson suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery.
The 33-year-old Johnson has won his last six bouts since suffering his only defeat as a pro at the hands of Curtis Stevens in April of 2014.
"I have to fight for my family, to bring pride to my country, and because I know I have the done the necessary work," said Johnson, who represented the Bahamas in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. "I am destined to become a world champion. I have a great respect for my opponent and expect a great fight, but he is my way towards (winning) the championship."
Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1, with 10 KOs), who hails from Richmond, Virginia, scored the most impressive victory in his last bout on Jan. 14, dropping Ievgen Khrytov twice before stopping him in round six.
Hugo Centeno (25-1, with 13 KOs) stopped Ronald Montes after the third round of his last bout on Dec. 10. Prior to that bout, he was stopped by unbeaten contender Maciej Sulecki in June of last year.
Francisco A. Salazar has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing