By: Sean Crose
“I’m going to be super sharp,” said WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo at a virtual press conference. “That’s the message I want to deliver to all of the other middleweights out there.” In the leadup to his Pay Per View title fight with Sergiy Derevyanchenko on September 26th, the 30-0 fighter exuded confidence. “It’s going to be fireworks and an explosive night of boxing,” he said. “I can’t wait. Everyone is calling this a test and a big step up, so I’m training hard and preparing well.” Although Charlo is undefeated, he has yet to face the types of names Derevyanchenko has.
Although the Ukrainian born Derevyhanchenko lost his biggest fights, against Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin respectively, he lost by the skin of his teeth on both occasions. In other words, Derevyanchenko may have losses on his record, but many – if not most – fans feel those losses haven’t marred the man’s reputation. In fact, the 13-2 fighter was thought to be an opponent for Canelo Alvarez earlier this year. “He lost both of those fights against Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs,” said Charlo of his opponent later this month. “Competitive or not, that’s what happened. He’s a warrior though and I want him to be sharp so he can give me the best he can give me. This is going to be a real fight, just know that.”
“I’ve had the experience of fighting at this level against the likes of Jacobs and Golovkin,” said Derevyanchenko, “which gave me the confidence and experience of fighting at the highest level. I have supreme, utmost confidence in myself.” The fighter views the September 26th fight as a way to bring about a degree of clarity. “Charlo thinks he’s the best in the world and I believe I’m the best in the world,” Derevyanchenko said. “I think I’m the better fighter. The great thing is that we’re actually going to get a chance to settle it and we’ll see who the best in the world really is.”
Charlo, too, sees the fight as a defining moment. “After this fight,” he said, “people are going to say that I’m a great fighter. I’m the best in the world. I know Sergiy feels that way too. So we get to clash in the ring. I’m expecting a fight. I haven’t left the gym since February. I’ve been locked in. I wanted this opportunity to get in there and be me.”