By Sean Crose
WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, 30-0, fought in defense of his belt on Saturday as he battled the very highly regarded Sergiy Derevyanchenko, 13-2, in a scheduled 12 round affair. The first round was a cautious chapter for both men, though Charlo seemed to edge it. The second round was interesting – with Charlo using his jab and height effectively while Derevyanchenko worked his way forward with his own jab. The third round was close – until Charlo wobbled the challenger at the very end of the third.
Charlo’s speed was telling the tale in the fourth. By the end of the round, though, Derevyanchenko was able to land well delivered combos – particularly to the body. In fact, Derevyanchenko’s pressure began to pay off in the fifth. The sixth was a terrific chapter, with both men throwing leather. Yet Derevyanchenko was now getting to Charlo.
Charlo was able to reassert himself in the seventh, his stinging jab telling the tale. Derevyanchenko, his face a bloody mess, chopped away at Charlo in the eighth. A terrific Charlo shot at round’s end, however, may have given the chapter to defending champion. Charlo went on to control the ninth. Derevyanchenko got back in the fight in the 10th.
The eleventh was close due to the fact that the challenger was able get in on Charlo at the end of the round. The final round saw Derevynachenko go for broke. Charlo stayed on his feet and fought back gamely. The champion was able to hold on to his WBC title thanks to judge’s scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 118-110.