By: Sean Crose
“I have the best opponent, Sergey,” says the 39-1-1 Gennady Golovkin, who will be battling Sergey Derevyanchenko for the IBF world middleweight title on October 5th at Madison Square Garden. “I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a very good fighter. This is a real fight. I’m a little bit scared because he’s good. I know his team is very strong. And I’m scared because he looks good. He looks strong. He feels it’s his time right now. Maybe – this is boxing, nobody knows. So if you want to watch a real show, a real fight, come to MSG on October 5 or watch live on DAZN.”
For the 13-1 Derevyanchenko, the Golovkin fight offers a chance of a lifetime, after having dropped a close decision to Daniel Jacobs for the IBF crown last year. “I’m really excited and happy,” he says, “to be at Madison Square Garden…thank you to my team, and I want to give thanks to Gennady Golovkin for the opportunity as well. I know exactly who I’m getting in the ring with. He’s the former middleweight champion of the world, one of the best fighters in the world, but his time is coming to an end and I want to be the one that makes that time come to an end.”
It had been assumed throughout the fight world at different times that both Golovkin and Derevyanchenko would be facing Canelo Alvarez this year. While neither man is set to face the Mexican star (who Golovkin has already fought in two highly controversial bouts), the October 5th throwdown between Golovkin and Derevyanchenko has been well received within the fight world. Golovkin is one of the most well known fighters in the sport, which Derevyanchenko is well respected.
“There’s been a lot of speculation recently about who he’s (Golovkin’s) going to fight,” says promoter Eddie Hearn. “Is it going to be Canelo? The thing that’s most important in a fighter’s career is to take control of your career. Have a strategy, have a plan, don’t worry about other people. And right now, we have a plan with Gennady’s career that’s extremely exciting to dominate the division and it starts on October 5 at the Mecca of boxing.”
With neither Golovkin nor Derevyanchenko relying on Canelo to dictate their futures for them, the focus is on the New York City fall matchup. “I’m so excited,” Golovkin says. “First of all, I’m happy to be back home, my second home. Thank you to my family at MSG for always supporting me. Of course, I’m very excited right now. Right now, I work with the best people from boxing.” This will be the Kazakh warrior’s seventh appearance at Madison Square Garden, while it will be Derevanchenko’s second appearance at the “Mecca of boxing.” The Golovkin-Derevyanchenko match will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Other fights on the card have yet to be made or announced to the public.