By: Hans Themistode
Sergiy Derevyanchenko is unsure who to commit to. The middleweight contender currently has two offers on the table for world title bouts.
The first is from WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo for a contest that would take place in either late September or early October. The second is for a showdown against Canelo Alvarez at 168 pounds for his WBA Regular title on September 12th.
Making a decision would seem to be a difficult one, but for trainer Andre Rozier, he could care less.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Rozier to BoxingInsider.com. “He’s going to be victorious and he is going to have a strap around his waist. I want this young man to have a world title. He is the greatest fighter without a world title right now.”
The Brooklyn, New York born Rozier knows exactly how difficult it can be for an athlete to win a world title regardless of the sport. His beloved New York Knicks have floundered in mediocrity for the better part of two decades. Rozier watched as a young man as all-time great Patrick Ewing led his Knicks teams to the NBA Finals in 1994 and 1999, only to lose on both occasions. Ewing would go on to play 17 total seasons without winning a world title. His greatness on the basketball is seldom questioned, but his championship mantle will forever remain empty.
For Rozier, the career of Ewing brings eerie parallels to that of Derevyanchenko. But he is anxious to change that.
“He reminds me of Patrick Ewing,” said Rozier. “One of the best centers to ever grace the courts but he never got a world championship ring, but we’re going to get one.”
Much like the two title losses for Rozier’s Knicks in the 90s, Derevyanchenko is hoping to put back to back championship setbacks behind.
In October of 2018, Derevyanchenko found himself standing across the ring from former belt holder Daniel Jacobs. On the line was the vacant IBF strap. It was a razor close contest but Derevyanchenko came out on the losing end. That loss however, was competitive enough to land him another huge opportunity. This time in the form of former unified champion Gennadiy Golovkin. Much like his previous contest against Jacobs though, Derevyanchenko was once again on the losing end of a close decision.
With two championship losses under his belt, the Ukrainian born Derevyanchenko is hoping that the third time’s the charm.
At 34 years of age, Derevyanchenko’s title window could be closing. Nevertheless, when Rozier scopes the middleweight landscape, he understands exactly where his man fits in at a loaded weight class.
“This man is one of the best out there and he will be a world champion many times over.”