Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) is once again a world champion as he defeated former title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Their contest took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. With the victory, Golovkin took home the vacant IBF and IBO Middleweight titles.
There were so many questions surrounding both men entering this contest. With Golovkin coming into this matchup at 37, he had shown no signs of slowing down.
He was last seen in the ring this past June destroying Steve Rolls. He was expected to once again do the same and prove to the world–and Canelo Alvarez–that he wasn’t slowing down.
As the opening bell rang, Golovkin looked like his normal self as he dropped Derevyanchenko with a right hand roughly a minute into the contest. He didn’t look hurt, but still, Golovkin looked pretty good to start things off.
In the second it was more of the same as Golovkin landed a left, which made Derevyanchenko’s eye a mess. As soon as Golovkin landed his shot, blood began to pour from the eye.
To the credit of Derevyanchenko however, he didn’t quit. Instead, he amped up the pressure and really began to go after Golovkin. For some reason, the former unified Middleweight champion all of sudden looked like a 37 year old.
His shots were slow, while also coming few and far between. He just couldn’t figure out a way to slow down Derevyanchenko and his onslaught.
At no point in the contest did Golovkin look hurt but, he was absorbing more punishment than we were used to seeing him normally take.
Derevyanchenko also seemed like the more physically stronger fighter as he literally pushed Golovkin against the ropes. What started off as a tactical yet aggressive fight, quickly turned into an all out war. One that, believe it or not, Derevyanchenko was winning, or at least that’s what it appeared.
It wasn’t that Golovkin didn’t have his moments, because he did, but it was so impressive that Derevyanchenko was able to absorb those big blows and keep plodding forward.
As the contest went on Golovkin just looked slower and slower. With a sense of urgency heading into the 12th and final round, both men came out very aggressive.
After the final bell, many at ringside and throughout the crowd felt that Derevyanchenko was going to be named the winner. It came to the surprise of many when it was actually Golovkin who pulled it off.
The final scorecards were 114-113 and two scores of 115-112, in favor of Golovkin, which led to boos from the crowd in the arena.
Golovkin may have won yet another world title with his performance, but he is clearly no longer the same fighter he once was.
“Right now it’s bad day for me, it’s a huge day for Sergiy, his team,” said Golovkin following the fight. “This is huge experience for me. Right now I know what I need exactly. I lost a little bit of focus. Sergiy was ready, I really respect him. He showed me such a big heart. I told him, Sergiy, this is best fight for me. It’s a huge experience. It’s maximum destroy. I just respect his team.”
Final Grade: C
It was a below average showing by Gennadiy Golovkin. In terms of punch stats, GGG was out landed by Derevyanchenko 183 to 136 in the power shots category. In totality, this was the most times he had ever been hit in a contest. Not even Canelo Alvarez managed to put this sort of beating on him.
The screams of him being completely over the hill are an exaggeration, but don’t expect this second title reign to be as dominant or lengthy as his previous one.
Final Grade: A-
Sergiy Derevyanchenko was already a great competitor, but he proved that he is an elite fighter once and for all. He took some huge shots in that contest, but kept coming. His ability to not only use pure volume in that fight but also create enough angles so that Golovkin couldn’t reach him was amazing to see.
His only issue, which was a big one, was that he got dropped in the first round. There is no shame in getting dropped by a huge puncher like Golovkin, but this is now two big fights where he has hit the deck early on.
It’s not like he has a bad chin either. Who knows what could have happened if he just managed to stay upright in this contest.
With that being said, he still fought one hell of a fight.