By: Sean Crose
Gennadiy Golovkin returns to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night to face the dangerous Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF world middleweight title. The belt was held by Canelo Alvarez, the man who bested and drew with Golovkin in highly controversial fashion in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Since abandoning the IBF title and moving up in weight to face light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev, however, Canelo has left a golden opportunity for Golovkin and Derevyanchenko – a chance to gain a major world title. The bout will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Many expected Golovkin to face Canelo a third time, but Canelo – who appears to deeply dislike Golovkin – is unwilling (for the time being, at least) to fight Golovkin again.
For his own part, Golovkin has a rather laid back attitude regarding Canelo. Feeling he’s already bested the red haired star, the thirty seven year old believes Canelo simply doesn’t want to get in the ring with him again for what would promise to be another grueling affair. Hence, this weekend’s bout with Derevyanchenko – who himself looked to be Canelo’s next opponent before Canelo decided to move up to challenge Kovalev at light heavyweight. Although Golovkin is the more well known of the two fighters, Derevyanchenko will be bringing his own impressive pedigree into the ring Saturday night.
Boasting a record of 13-1, Derevynachenko has a single loss on his resume, and that was to Daniel Jacobs, who bested the 33 year old Ukrainian in controversial fashion back last October. It was a fight some believe Derevyanchenko won, and the loss didn’t take away from his reputation as a fighter to be reckoned with. Having won all but three of his fights by knockout, the man can obviously hit. He also has the ability to go a full twelve rounds – an important ability in a championship bout.
As for Golovkin, at 37 years of age, the 39-1-1 former world titlist might be aging, but he’s still arguably the best middleweight on earth. The man can cut off the ring and hit with the best of them. Golovkin also carries himself with an icy patience in the ring that can intimidate and break down an opponent. Those who write him off simply because it’s no longer 2013 do so at their own expense. No one is expecting Derevyanchenko to make that mistake. This is the chance of a lifetime for the 33 year old contender.