It was a 12 round war that had many fans in attendance out of their seats, but the 37 year old from Kazakhstan was able to come out with the victory.
Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) won by unanimous decision over Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) with two scores of 115-112 and one score of 114-113 to win the IBF and IBO middleweight titles which were vacated by Canelo Alvarez. The win makes it the second time that Golovkin has won those titles in his career.
There was some buzz about this fight going in because it could have happened in 2018. While Golovkin had the IBF title, the organization ordered him to face Derevyanchenko in a mandatory defense. The fight did not happen then, which forced the IBF to strip Golovkin of that title. Derevyanchenko had an opportunity to win it against Daniel Jacobs in October 2018 but lost by decision in the same arena that this fight took place in.
On Saturday, Derevyanchenko attempted to get the belt with a win over Golovkin, but was in the hole early as he went down to the canvas in the first round. He had to work his way back in the fight with constant pursuit of Golovkin and power shots landing in various periods. There was some instances where he had Golovkin in trouble but could not follow through to put him on the canvas as well. The Compubox numbers had Derevyanchenko with the advantage in power punches in every round but the first, but that was not enough to get the win.
Golovkin, who was able to regain the IBF and IBO titles after losing them to Alvarez, was very thankful for the win as he felt that his performance wasn’t up to par.
“I lost a little bit of focus,” commented Golovkin after the fight. “Sergiy was ready, I really respect him. He showed me such a big heart. This was a tough fight. I need a little bit more. I need to still get stronger in my camp. Just more serious. I need to work hard.”
Derevyanchenko expressed disappointment as he had to deal with the knockdown and also a cut that was suffered in the second round in order to catch up. “I couldn’t see at times. And he was targeting the eye. But no excuses, it is what it is, I was trying my best.”
“When I started moving, I felt like I was giving him room and I was getting hit with those shots that he threw and that’s why I started taking the fight to him and getting closer and not giving him room to maneuver.”
It was a rarity to see Golovkin fighting on his back foot as he was in this fight, as he is usually the aggressor. Derevyanchenko did a good job taking most of the punches from Golovkin and answering back round after round. Many people felt that this result warranted a rematch, which Golovkin was open to.
“Absolutely. Big fight for DAZN, for the people, of course I’m ready. I’m a boxer, I’m ready for anything.”
Cover photo by Ed Mulholland of Matchroom Boxing