Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) will get another crack at the vacant IBF and now IBO world middleweight straps against Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs). The two will meet at Madison Square Garden on October 5th.
Canelo Alvarez was stripped of the IBF title earlier this year for failing to make his defense against Derevyanchenko. Golovkin was next in the IBF rankings, so the two struck a deal to meet.
Tale of the Tape
Derevyanchenko only turned pro in 2014 but has amassed an impressive record with his single defeat coming at the hands of Daniel Jacobs.
The Ukrainian bounced back beautifully to earn a second shot at the coveted title when he defeated Ecuadorian born German Jack Culcay in April in a final eliminator.
As an amateur, he won a bronze medal at the 2007 world amateur championships and competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. However, his participation in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) really catapulted him to the world stage.
His best career wins have come over Sam Soliman and Taureano Johnson but neither compare to a devastating puncher like Golovkin.
At 33-years old, Derevyanchenko is probably just beyond his prime but closer to it than Triple G. He doesn’t have many professional fights under his belt but has gone the distance several times recently which gives him that much-needed experience against a grizzled veteran like the powerful Kazakh.
Known as “The Technician,” Derevyanchenko is tough, fundamentally sound and a good puncher.
Golovkin is now 37 and entering the twilight of his sterling career. His power is well known but he has not looked so scary in the past two years.
The former unified middleweight king narrowly beat Jacobs in 2017 and fought Canelo to a disappointing draw later that year before suffering his first pro defeat in their highly anticipated rematch a year later.
However, it’s not easy to overlook and appreciate the 23 straight knockouts he registered before facing Jacobs. There is also the not so insignificant fact that he brutally stopped late replacement Vanes Martirosyan to tie the legendary Bernard Hopkins with 20 consecutive title defenses.
Afterward, Martirosyan paid tribute to the brute power Golovkin possesses in his fists. “It was like being hit by a train,” he admitted, per Keith Idec of Boxing Scene. “It wasn’t just one punch. It was all of his punches. It’s the hardest I’ve ever been hit.”
This has so often been the story of Triple G’s opponents when recounting their in-ring experience with him. However, he is also an equally efficient boxer with underrated footwork and a penchant for cutting off the ring.
The Common Denominator
The glaring common opponent between these two fighters is Daniel Jacobs whom Triple G defeated and who Derevyanchenko lost to. Of course that does not necessarily mean that Derevyanchenko automatically loses this one as well.
Sergiy has actually gotten better since facing Jacobs while Golovkin struggled against Canelo and picked a soft opponent in Steve Rolls to stage his comeback fight after a 9-month hiatus.
Derevyanchenko was dropped against Jacobs and Triple G has more power than Jacobs so a slugfest here would be ill-advised.
It’s never wise to pick against Triple G especially since he is the overall better boxer and more powerful puncher. He’s also 37 with over 40 professional bouts spanning 13 years and counting. The accumulation of wear and tear on a fighter’s body cannot be overlooked and we see subtle signs that Father Time is beginning to catch up with the former champion. Triple G will certainly have to throw more punches and not look to take Derevyanchenko out with a single shot which he sometimes does.
The wars with Canelo and Jacobs may have taken their toll but is he really ripe for the picking? Derevyanchenko will give Triple G a tough fight and will not fold easily to his assault. However, I think the Kazakh will land the more telling shots and control the pace of this exciting fight behind the jab to notch his 40th win.
Verdict: Golovkin via unanimous decision