By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City will host an IBF World Middleweight Title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Sergi Derevyanchenko.
The undercard will feature two other world title bouts. The co-main event of the evening will be a WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title fight between Alberto Machado and Yuandale Evans. The first fight of the telecast will be a rematch between Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title.
The fight between Hardy and Vincent was just recently added to the telecast and was originally scheduled to be on the untelevised undercard. Their first fight was a 2016 Ring Magazine Female Fight of the Year, and saw Hardy win by a majority decision.
Even though this writer does not remember their first fight being as close at the judges scored it, it was an action packed fight that should be entertaining for fight fans.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Alberto Machado (20-0) vs. Yuandale Evans (20-1); WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title
Alberto Machado is currently co-promoted by both Golden Boy Promotions as well as Miguel Cotto Promotions. He holds the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title and is considered one of Golden Boy’s top prospects.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
He’s in the midst of his athletic prime at 28 years old and is one year younger than Evans. He has 16 stoppage victories on his resume, two more than Evans, and has been more active. Machado has stopped three of his past five opponents. Saturday will be his second fight of 2018, after fighting three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Evans will be fighting for the first time 2018, fought twice in 2017, and didn’t fight at all in 2016.
Both boxers have been fairly successful as amateurs. Machado was a national champ at the Junior, Junior Olympics, and Cadet Categories. Evans won a bronze medal in the National Golden Gloves Tournament.
Machado has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Rafael Mesnah, Jezreel Corrales, Carlos Morales, and Juan Jose Martinez. Every opponent that Machado has defeated since 2014 had a winning record.
Evans’ lone loss was to Javier Fortuna by TKO way back in 2012. He has notable wins against Luis Rosa and Billel Dib. Two of the past four fighters that Evans has faced had losing records.
Machado should win by a comfortable margin on Saturday, as Evans doesn’t have the experience of Machado and has been fairly inactive in the past few years.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) vs. Daniel Jacobs (34-2); IBF Middleweight Title
Daniel Jacobs is one of Eddie Hearn’s top middleweights and he’s looking at potential bouts with either Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, or Billy Joe Saunders in the future on the DAZN network.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
But first he has to get past an under the radar Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who is better than most people realize.
Jacobs has 29 stoppage wins on his resume and nearly triple the number of professional fights than Derevyanchenko. Derevyanchenko only has 10 stoppage wins, but Derevyanchenko spent most of his early career fighting under the World Series of Boxing Banner, which don’t technically count as professional fights.
When Derevyanchenko fought for the World Series of Boxing he had over 23 fights and only lost once.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Jacobs was a Junior Olympics, Golden Gloves, and US National Champion. Derevyanchenko competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the most prestigious amateur event for boxing.
Jacobs two losses were a monumental upset to Dmitry Pirog back in 2010, and a close decision loss to Gennady Golovkin. He has defeated the likes of Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias, Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, Jarrod Fletcher, and Ishe Smith.
Derevyanchenko has never tasted defeat as a pro, but he did lose a World Series of Boxing match. He has beaten the likes of Dashon Johnson, Tureano Johnson, Sam Soliman, Kemahl Russell, Elvin Ayala, and Vladine Biosse.
The biggest notable difference on Saturday will be size. Daniel Jacobs will have at least a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a five and a half inch reach advantage. He looked even bigger when they faced off with each other. Both guys are still in their athletic prime, with Jacobs being 31 and Derevyanchenko being 32.
Jacobs shouldn’t overlook Derevyanchenko, for his amateur pedigree indicates he will be a tougher opponent than most expect. But Jacobs will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd with big fights on the horizon, this writer has a hard time imagining a scenario where he doesn’t walk out the victor.