This Saturday Gennadiy Golovkin meets Sergiy Derevyanchenko for a vacant IBF middleweight strap at Madison Square Garden in New York, streaming live on DAZN. After a much-needed break from the sport, Golovkin is ready to embark on his second act, if you will, and it all begins this weekend. For Sergiy it’s a once and a lifetime opportunity and a huge paycheck. Can Sergiy build on his performances and errors in fights such as Daniel Jacobs and Jack Culcay? No matter what the outcome will be this styles matchup should deliver some exciting moments.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko gets another shot at an IBF belt after falling short via split-decision versus Daniel Jacobs last fall. Jacobs was able to land a shot high on Sergiy’s forehead, forcing him to the canvas. The rest of the bout was back and forth with both men taking turns controlling the action and buzzing each other. Overhand rights and body work seem to be the best output for Sergiy, items the Ukraine native will need to bring in the ring versus GGG.
In both the Jacobs and Culcay fight Derevyanchenko did very well but also played the role of a front runner, to an extent anyways. Adding on to that point, not only was Sergiy clearly tired for too long of periods, especially versus Culcay, he was also shook up badly a few times. Those two issues don’t necessarily bode well when facing a hard-punching freight train in Golovkin.
After the previously mentioned time off out of the ring, Gennadiy returned in June by making quick work of the inexperienced Steve Rolls. It should be noted although Triple-G won by an abrupt knockout in the 4th round, Rolls did land a few flush shots. With Rolls out of way, Gennadiy enters the home stretch of his career with the first stop being Derevyanchenko. Golovkin has 5 fights remaining on a rumored 100-million dollar deal with DAZN. GGG thought he was going into a trilogy with Canelo Alvarez but based off the ongoing feud between him and the red-headed P4P Mexican fighter, it may take longer than expected.
Before a trilogy with Canelo, Golovkin might rematch Daniel Jacobs or fight another 160-pound belt-holder in Demetrius Andrade. Regardless of all the politics in the boxing business, Gennadiy can’t allow himself to look past Derevyanchenko. Sergiy is a live underdog to say the least and will be looking to capitalize this go round.
It’s ironic that Golovkin was stripped of his IBF belt in 2018, thus making room for a Jacobs-Derevyanchenko bout, only for the IBF to strip Canelo this summer for not closing a deal in time. Derevyanchenko’s team wisely stood their ground in a short negotiation with Golden Boy Promotions. Lots of folks gave schtick to Sergiy on boxing twitter for his asking price but in the end he got very close to the money fighting GGG as he would with Canelo. What many didn’t understand is Canelo’s gigantic guarantee would only help Sergiy if it went to purse bid with the challenger due a percentage of the bid. For those doing the math at home, that puts the number in the 5 million dollar ballpark.
Business talk aside, this podcaster does think this fight will start fairly fast after a few minutes of poking and probing. Golovkin’s jab is one of if not the best in the biz, and that alone will earn him the opening frames. Look for Sergiy to use his own jab along with a body punching attack that would make Canelo Alvarez and Errol Spence proud. Okay, that’s way over the top, but Derevyanchenko will need to put in work downstairs because of the success Canelo and Jacobs had as it pertains to help wearing down Golovkin.
That said, Sergiy will have to focus on head shots as well and assumingly Golovkin will go back to apply his body punching, something that was sorely missed in both Canelo fights. By the time this one gets to say the 5th or 6th round, GGG will switch in to high gear as he rages forward behind an accurate, potent jab, and left hook. Derevyanchenko will start to show signs of slowing down and that’s also when his punching technique will haunt him. At times Sergiy is a bit robotic and stiff as he throws in combination, whereas Gennadiy can adjust his punches while in route to the target.
A late stoppage is possible and Golovkin is a guy that once blood is in the water, he generally gets his prey. Sergiy will go down swinging if need be and even though Golovkin will walk away victorious, it won’t come without bumps and bruises
My Official Prediction is Gennadiy Golovkin by Late Stoppage.
Side Note: Jaron Ennis is the the feature on Showtime in a likely tune-up.