On Saturday, October 5, 2019, former unified Middleweight world champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) will make his return to action and look to once again claim a title at 160 pounds as he’s scheduled to take on Segiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) in a bout for the vacant IBF title.
The bout will be streamed live on DAZN from Madison Square Garden in New York.
Golovkin, long known as one of the division’s most feared punchers, boasts an incredibly impressive 39-1-1 overall professional record. Starting his career off 38-0-1, the Kazakh slugger made a name for himself by putting together a streak from 2008-16 that included 23-straight victories by way of stoppage.
Although holding notable victories over the likes of David Lemieux, Kell Brook and Daniel Jacobs, Golovkin’s most famous bouts came against bitter rival and current Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
The two met for the first time in September 2017 in an action-packed 12-round fight that ended in a split-draw. Many, however, felt as if GGG should’ve received the nod. The rematch then took place one year later and it was another closely contested fight, but this time, Canelo was given the decision.
Since then, Golovkin has begun to work with a new trainer in Johnathan Banks, who spent years training former longtime Heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko.
Most recently, Golovkin scored a fourth-round knockout victory over Steve Rolls this past June.
Stylistically, Golovkin is quite a versatile boxer. While his power may stick out the most, the former champion possesses a wide variety of weapons. Aside from his strong right hand and thunderous left hook, Golovkin packs a lightning-fast jab and a vicious body attack that he often blends well into his game plan.
In addition, GGG is a well-conditioned fighter, preferring to pressure those standing across from him in the squared circle. He also possesses a unique brand of footwork that typically allows him to cut off the ring and put opponents in the corner or on the ropes.
While Golovkin remains a top talent, it must also be noted, however, that he is 37 years old with many rounds in the ring under his belt. It may not be fair to say that he’s slowed down, but some have argued that Golovkin is beginning to noticeably age in recent fights.
His bouts against both Jacobs and Canelo were a bit tougher than his fights have been in the past, although Jacobs and Canelo represent two of the best fighters in the world.
Moving onto Derevyanchenko, the 33-year-old Ukrainian known as “The Technician” possesses a 13-1 overall record. As an amateur, he won bronze at the 2007 World Championships before competing at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
After turning pro in 2014, Derevyanchenko put together a 12-0 record that featured nine wins via T/KO. That earned him a title shot against Jacobs in 2018 in which he was dropped in the opening round, but fought back and battled for 12 rounds before losing a split-decision.
Despite coming up short, this fight proved that Derevyanchenko had not only the heart, but the ability to pick himself up and compete at a high level.
Most recently, he picked up a win over Jack Culcay this past April. It was a solid win, but some have argued that the performance didn’t do much to turn many heads.
Stylistically, the Ukrainian is known as being a fundamentally sound fighter with high ring IQ. While he may not be the most powerful puncher, he has shown the ability to finish fights, but he also punches with solid volume.
What appears to favor Golovkin in this fight, however, is that Derevyanchenko has appeared to be hittable and he isn’t the fastest fighter. In other words, GGG will likely have chances to land big shots.
In terms of how the two match up physically, Golovkin is the slightly taller and longer fighter.
Ultimately, I tend to lead more towards Golovkin in this fight. He’s certainly not getting any younger, but it’s hard to argue that he still isn’t in the prime of his career based on recent performances. He’s also the far more experienced fighter on the grand stage.
Derevyanchenko will likely be competitive early, but I see GGG being too much as the fight drags on and it wouldn’t surprise me to him finish the fight in the later rounds.