By: Hans Themistode
He’s a knockout puncher, an all-time great fighter and a first ballot hall of famer, but former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (GGG) is also 37 years old.
To be fair to GGG he has never looked old inside of the ring. His record may indicate that he has one loss and one draw but the boxing world knows that both of decisions are highly debatable.
As it currently stands GGG should still be a unified champion while standing alone for the most defenses in the history of the division. Unfortunately, he does not.
After GGG suffered the first defeat of his career to Canelo Alvarez, he took some time off. The reality of not only his first defeat but also losing his titles must have been a nightmare. The loss to Canelo may have been unwarranted, but many believe that the former champion was showing signs of slippage.
GGG proved his doubters wrong this past June when he knocked out Steve Rolls in the fourth round of their contest at Madison Square Garden. It was a dominant performance by the man once known as the best fighter in the Middleweight division. It may have been a great showing by GGG but did it actually prove anything? No.
Steve Rolls was an obscure opponent who fought absolutely no one of note. What took place on June 8th, at Madison Square Garden was expected. Golovkin proved nothing in his dismantling of Rolls. The question still remains, is Golovkin still as good as he once was? Or is he past his prime?
Fighting the likes of Steve Rolls won’t answer that question. Golovkin’s October 5th showdown with Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) however will give us all the answers that we need.
Derevyanchenko may have just 14 pro fights under his belt but he has fought very good competition. He currently holds a knockout win over Tureano Johnson and another impressive win over former interim WBA Jr Middleweight champion Jack Culcay. His lone defeat came against two time Middleweight belt holder Daniel Jacobs.
Experience as a pro is important, but so is the experience you pick up in amateurs as well. During his time in the unpaid ranks, Derevyanchenko managed to win 390 of his bouts against only 20 defeats. It isn’t hyperbole to consider him one of the best amateurs of this era.
Boxing promoter Lou Di Bella made a bold claim about the matchup between the two.
“Sergiy is a decorated amateur. He will be one of the three toughest fights for Golovkin in his entire career.”
It may have seemed like an audacious choice of words but taking a look at the resume of Golovkin and you would be hard pressed to disagree with that statement.
With Golovkin getting up there in age one has to assume that he will show true signs of detoriation soon. Steve Rolls was never and could never be the fighter to test that theory. Sergiy Derevyanchenko on the other hand, will answer everything we need to know about Gennady Golovkin.