By: Kirk Jackson
Double the Trouble for the Charlo Twins?
Let’s try this again, take two.
The last time the Charlo brothers collectively headlined a Premier Boxing Champions event, it did not turn out too well for the talented twins.
The scene of the crime dates back to December 22, 2018, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The card, televised by FOX, featured Jermell Charlo defending his WBC Jr middleweight title against Tony Harrison and Jermall Charlo defending his WBC interim middleweight title in the main event against substitute replacement Matt Korobov.
Jermell lost a closely contested unanimous decision to Harrison, while Jermall won a highly competitive unanimous decision against Korobov.
This go-round, WBC middleweight champion Jermall “Hitman” Charlo (30-0, 22 KO’s) takes on Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KO’s) while brother Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (33-1, 17 KO’s) faces Jeison “El Banana” Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KO’s) in a Jr middleweight unification match.
Without question, this event features the greatest collection of talent and competition since the life-altering pandemic shook things up earlier this year.
Focusing on the respective main events; each Charlo brother is the A-side, the attraction of the match-up and each is positioned in a dangerous fight with a solid chance of suffering defeat.
As stated earlier, the last time the Charlo brothers collectively headlined an event, Jermell lost. Some may think of it as a jinx or curse, other pundits believe this was the result of matchmaking. Harrison is a highly-skilled, underrated fighter, with athleticism to match Jermell’s.
The Detroit native utilized successful tactics that Austin Trout and John Jackson implored in previous battles against Jermell. Harrison’s height posed a problem, along with his long reach and swift, consistent jab that disrupted Jermell’s timing and kept him off balance. Harrison lateral side to side movement, various angles and ability to fight off the back foot posed problems for “Iron Man” as well.
“I bounced back from that loss to Tony Harrison in 2018 last year, but there were still things I needed to learn and develop. We’re going to end 2020 with a bang. This is the Charlo show,” said Jermell, during a virtual media workout.
“After I lost in 2018, I told everyone that it just gave me jet fuel and that when I come back, I’m coming back full throttle. That’s what I’m about. I have nothing to lose. I’m not letting him take anything from me. I’m even more dangerous than I was before. I’m an old school fighter right here. I’ve been dedicated to this game and I’m not going anywhere. Stay out of my way, because I’m the man trucking things.”
Although Harrison and Rosario are different styled fighters, what can Rosario implement to have success against a highly motivated, focused Jermell?
There are five factors that may work in the favor of Rosario this weekend.
“It’s no pressure for me, it’s more motivation,” Rosario told CBS Sports last week through a translator. “I have always come in as the underdog even though I don’t think as one. If I am supposed to lose, no one told me the script. They didn’t tell me that. Somebody forgot to tell me the script that I’m supposed to lose in this fight. I’m used to it and there is absolutely zero pressure on me. This is just another night where I will be able to showcase my talent.”
One of the attributes, or series of intangibles rather, that may aid Rosario is his lack of fear, intimidation and pressure. If this holds true, by the time these gladiators enter the ring, he will have the ability to be loose and perform at a high level. Some athletes fold under pressure and there’s a saying stating pressure busts pipes… More on that later.
Although Rosario has a shorter reach, both men see eye to eye as they measure the exact same height. He is just as big size-wise as well. Punching power may be the deciding factor in this match-up. Although the knockouts tallied on his record may not truly reflect Jermell’s developed punching power, over the course of the last few years, he’s repeatedly left his opponents in a state of unconsciousness.
Rosario is a heavy handed, proficient knockout artist as well. His last performance against Julian “J-Rock” Williams exemplified such, stopping the Philadelphia-bred fighter in five rounds. How often will Rosario’s hands connect? And is Jermell’s chin and body truly made of iron?
Ah, now back to pressure – the pressure that bursts pipes. Even though he lost the rematch, Harrison experienced great success applying pressure against Jermell last year. Harrison spent a good portion of the middle rounds walking Jermell down, stalking and stinging with his jab and even outfighting Jermell in their exchanges within the trenches. It looked as though the young lion was at times uncomfortable with the pressure.
Granted, different athletic ability and skill sets with Rosario and Harrison, but it’s a formula for Rosario to follow. Given his disadvantage of reach and necessity to impose his strength on the inside, it’s imperative for Rosario to successfully apply consistent pressure. The application of mental and physical pressure could make things uncomfortable for Jermell.
The fifth factor is placing all these ingredients together. Jeison Rosario has come a long way and he steadily improves with every fight. At 25, he hasn’t reached his peak, but he will need to continue his development and showcase those results. He will need to display high-level boxing catered to his skill set, to adjust to whatever Jermell brings to the table.
Simply put, the 154 pound belt holder won’t have an easy time unifying titles on the night. With that being said, his twin brother’s task may be even more arduous.
With two failed opportunities to wrap championship gold around his waist against Daniel Jacobs and Gennadiy Golovkin respectively, Sergiy Derevyanchenko is hoping that the third time is the charm.
Both defeats were highly competitive bouts, with knockdowns suffered against each opponent possibly serving as the difference.
Jermall is aware of Derevyanchenko’s talent and the threat he poses as a challenger. But he is fully prepared and this is the fight he wanted.
“This is just the beginning for me. There’s been 30 fighters who’ve tried to beat me, and all 30 failed,” Jermall said in a recent virtual media interview. “We’ll get a chance to get in there and do what we do best on Saturday. Talk is cheap. We’ll see where that green belt goes on Saturday.”
“I’m focused and locked in. I’m ready to fight. Sergiy can say what he wants to say about me, it’s going to be a fight on Saturday.”
For Derevyanchenko, there are factors that may come into play for his benefit. Work rate, style, experience, jinx and desperation.
The Ukrainian has a great style of utilizing angles with superb footwork and unleashing a myriad of punches at differing angles with his work rate. While Jermall has displayed the ability to box from the outside and fight off his jab, any opponent of either Charlo, is probably best suited with attacking and forcing either Charlo to be reactive, as opposed to being the initiators.
Forcing Jermall to be reactive is important because sometimes, he tends to load up on his shots. The “Hitman,” may get lulled into looking for that one power shot to change the fight. If this is a constant theme for Jermall this weekend, Derevyanchenko has the opportunity to outwork and tally up points.
“I’m going to put pressure on him from the beginning. I’m going to use my legs, my jab and combinations to get the win,” Derevyanchenko said. “This is a big fight. When I win, even more opportunities will open up. I’ll be able to unify and take my career to the next level.”
The biggest factor will be experience. Jermall has more fights as a professional and a steady level of opposition faced. His most recent ring outing against Matt Korobov for example, was a great learning experience. However, having faced Jacobs and Golovkin, many pundits believe Derevyanchenko’s experiences against his list of high-level opposition will serve him well in the fight this weekend.
Derevyanchenko will have to start fast, something he didn’t do against Jacobs or Golovkin, as he cannot afford to fall too far behind on the cards. Jermall represents a different type of fighter with his combination of skills, power and accuracy. He also displays a greater measure of discipline, compared to his earlier fights. Derevyanchenko will have to lean on his experiences and make the adjustments round after round, minute after minute, punch after punch.
Following the cue from Korobov, Derevyanchenko will have to use range effectively to frustrate and neutralize Jermall’s offense. Feint, smother, get outside far from Jermall’s comfort zone and repeat. Illustrate why he is regarded as the technician.
The last factor to consider, is the twin effect. Because they’re so close and are both passionate people, it can be quite the task managing emotions, while preparing for a fight only hours apart.
Both brothers admittedly remarked on the difficulties of preparation while worrying about the other. Granted, it can also be inspirational, but there can be negatives aspects as well.
At stake for Jermall Charlo is the chance to grab a firm hold of the middleweight division. With Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s absence, uncertainty with Demetrius Andrade and Gennady Golovkin’s perceived unwillingness to participate in unification’s with anyone not named the aforementioned Alvarez, the two-division world champion wants to exercise his dominance at 160 lbs., before moving up in efforts to conquer the super middleweight division.
“I’m stronger, I’m smarter, I’m better than I used to be,” Jermall said. “He’ll [Sergiy Derevyanchenko] come straight at me and fight. Everyone is doubting me. They are doubting me. I’ve been doubted for years. There’s no anger here.”
“I don’t care what they say about me. I don’t care what they think about me. I’m a fighter. I challenge myself. Hey, I’m the best in the world.”
Jermell Charlo seeks redemption (from the last PBC Charlo Twin headliner) and wants to show the world who the best Jr middleweight is.
“When you think of a lion, you think of family and vicious animals. You have to fight for it,” Jermell said. “We took the road when we was younger and made it out. From where I’m from, not many kids make it out.”
“Rosario, he is just one man and I am just one man. If you are better than me, beat me. You may think it’s just that easy, it ain’t that easy. I want all the belts and right now, I feel like I’m the king of the division.”
Both brothers face stiff tests this weekend. The action in the ring will more than likely match the intrigue of the surrounding plots for each participant. We’ll see if Lions do in fact rule the jungle this weekend.
By: Hans Themistode
Naming the best fighter in the middleweight division is conjecture. But more times than not, the conclusion is the same. Either Canelo Alvarez or Gennadiy Golovkin usually gets the nod.
But while those two fighters receive much of the fanfare, a stoic, six feet tall Houston native with a bad attitude has been making his own case.
“I’m the best in the world,” said Charlo during a recent ShowTime press conference. “Saturday you guys will get a chance to see it.”
In what will be his first Pay-Per-View headlining event, Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) takes on the highly ranked Sergiy Derevyanchenko this Saturday night.
For Charlo, many have considered this matchup a major step up for him. Up until this point, he’s bulldozed through his competition.
A win over Hugo Centeno Jr. may have netted him a world title in 2017, but the respect that’s normally associated with it never came. A victory against Derevyanchenko though, is one that he desperately wants.
For the Ukrainian native on the other hand, his record is stained with two failed attempts to wrap championship gold around his waist.
In his first world title bid in late 2018, Derevyanchenko saw himself hit the canvas early during his bout against Daniel Jacobs, only to rally back before falling short on the judges scorecards. Roughly one year later, history would repeat itself in a cruel way. Derevyanchenko once again picked himself up off the deck, this time against Gennadiy Golovkin, before seeing his second half rally fall just short once again.
Becoming a world champion is something that the 34 year old still dreams of becoming. And while any title will do, there’s something about the color of Charlo’s belt in particular that seemingly goes perfect with the Ukrainians wardrobe.
“The green color of the belt suits me,” said Derevyanchenko.
Charlo could have easily gone back and forth with his main event opponent. But trading insults isn’t what he considers fun, he would much rather trade punches in the ring.
“Talk is cheap. 30 of them tried and 30 of them failed.”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s a certain shine that comes with a 30-0 record. Yet for WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo, his undefeated mark has always been viewed in a less pristine manner.
With 22 knockouts throughout his career, the 30 year old Houston native has run through his competition. But while the highlight reel stoppages have earned him routine trips on the ESPN Top 10 platform, it has seldom gotten him respect from the boxing fans.
With noncompetitive wins during his run to a world title at 154 pounds, Charlo could hear the disappointment with every opponent that was chosen. Even with victories over former champions Austin Trout and Julian Williams, nothing seemed to be enough to earn him the respect he has always wanted.
His run to gold at 160 pounds has been criticized even more as it’s been littered with more unknown fighters. Wins over Jorge Sebastian Heiland, Hugo Centeno and Mat Korobov did little to prove himself to his viewers. To make matters worse, Charlo was given the WBC middleweight title after President Mauricio Sulaiman elevated then titlist Canelo Alvarez to the still confusing Franchise Champion.
With five uninspiring middleweight contests under his belt, Charlo will face the toughest fight of his career when he takes on former two time title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko on September 26th, on pay-per-view.
The announcement of his opponent, who is rated number one in the WBC, not only motivates Charlo while training, but it also placates his fans who have constantly criticized his level of opposition.
“This is one of those fights where fans can’t say nothing about the opponent,” said Charlo to Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast.
To Charlo’s credit, little can be said about Derevyanchenko as an adversary. In the eyes of many, the Ukrainian born fighter should be a world champion in his own right.
In October of 2018, Derevyanchenko fought for the vacant IBF world title against Daniel Jacobs. An early knockdown in that one saw the 34 year old down on the scorecards early before rallying back in the second half, only to lose via close split decision. In a bit of Déjà vu, Derevyanchenko found himself battling it out yet again for the vacant IBF crown one year later in October of 2019, this time against Gennadiy Golovkin.
Much like his first world title contest, an early knockdown followed by a second half rally was the theme once again, and much like his bout against Jacobs, Derevyanchenko found himself on the losing end of another close decision.
Being labeled a perpetual second place finisher is something the Ukrainian contender wants permanently erased from his name. But while the motivation is high on the side of Derevyanchenko to win his first world title, Charlo is driven for another reason entirely.
A win is just a formality for the two weight world champion, but so is an early night at the office.
“It’s how I’m going to stop him,” explained Charlo. “Me taking on the fight already sent a message, so tune in on September 26th.”
By: Hans Themistode
Grotesque mismatches were becoming the norm in this new COVID-19 boxing landscape. Financial issues and the lack of a live audience gave promoters the right to place uninteresting matchups on television screens across the world.
While it was appreciated, fans were grinding their teeth as they saw predictable fight after predictable fight. Compelling and interesting matchups would have to wait until the back end of 2020 or worse, sometime in 2021.
For Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) however, they would hear none of it.
Earlier this week PBC announced their SHOWTIME schedule for the remainder of 2020, and it did not disappoint. Numerous championship matchups have now flooded boxing fans’ once desolate schedule. With so many interesting contests, we’ve decided to rank the best five from the group.
Every contest on the docket is worth watching, but here’s our choice for the best of the best of PBC’s SHOWTIME Boxing schedule.
5. Erickson Lubin vs Terrell Gausha
Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) has been waiting to prove that he isn’t a hype job. The former ESPN prospect of the year looked to be the real deal during the early portion of his career. However, a right hand from Jermell Charlo in Lubin’s first crack at a world title in 2017, put an end to that notion. Since then, Lubin has been hard at work reshaping his image. The Florida native has picked up four straight wins with three coming via stoppage, and now finds himself in a WBC title eliminator against Terrell Gausha.
Much like Lubin, the former Olympian has done some reshaping of his own, although not as successful. After losing a one sided contest in his own bid to win a world title contest against Erislandy Lara in 2017, Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) has been both inactive, fighting only once a year, and lackluster, scoring a draw against Austin Trout in his last ring appearance.
Not only are these two fairly evenly matched, but with the next title shot up for grabs, there is plenty on the line.
4. Nonito Donaire vs Nordine Oubaali
The retirement train was thought to have long left the station with Nonito Donaire onboard. Yet, it appears that the 37 year old isn’t ready to pack up and leave just yet. After suffering losses to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton, Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) received a bit of luck in reaching the finals of the World Boxing Super Series in 2019.
Meeting him there, was pound for pound star Naoya Inoue. The easy win that was predicted for Inoue was anything but that as Donaire gave him the toughest fight of his life. He may have come out on the losing end, but his performance has earned him a crack at WBC belt holder Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs).
For most of his six year career, Oubaali has made it look easy. But while Donaire will walk into this one as an underdog, he has already proven that he has plenty left in the tank.
3. Jermell Charlo vs Jeison Rosario
Of all the matchups on this list, WBC titlist Jermell Charlo and his unification matchup against WBA and IBF champion Jeison Rosario, was the most surprising.
Rosario came out of absolutely nowhere last year when he ripped away the titles from Julian Williams. Instead of sitting back on his laurels and milking his belts for easy paydays, Rosario has decided to attempt to add even more to his hardware collection.
Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) has gotten over his Tony Harrison saga and now finds himself fighting to become a unified champion. The betting public is already backing Charlo heavily, but they did the same when Rosario took on Williams, so he has no problem with the little amount of faith shown in him.
2. Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz
For as explosive and dangerous as Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) has looked during his career, fans were beginning to roll their eyes whenever a new unknown fighter stood across the ring from him. A highlight reel knockout is always waiting to happen, but resistance seldom followed.
On October 24th, however, Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) will be looking to give Davis all he can handle when they face off. The four division world champion has grown tired of constant murmurs that he has eschewed the competition.
The storyline behind this one is simple. Davis has the punching power and speed on his side, while Santa Cruz is banking on his punch output and relentless pressure.
The winner of this one will have answered a ton of questions, while the loser on the other hand, will see their stock plummet.
1. Jermall Charlo vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) has gained a reputation. He’s a big puncher, aggressive personality and an unknown commodity. Even with wins over Julian Williams and Austin Trout, Charlo continues to hear the doubters. He’s asked for big name fights against the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, but you can hear a pin drop from either of those fighters in regards to interest.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) may not be the opponent that he wanted, but he is without question his toughest test yet. With two razor close decision losses to Daniel Jacobs and the aforementioned Golovkin, many believe that the Ukrainian born contender should already hold a world title. Nevertheless, he’ll pick up his third chance against Charlo on September 26th.
The intrigue surrounding this one is huge. In a contest that can be essentially decided with the flip of a coin, it ranks number one on our list of the best fights to watch on the SHOWTIME Boxing schedule.
By: Hans Themistode
Both Jermell and Jermall Charlo have spent their entire lives sharing. As twin brothers this comes as no surprise. But on September 26th, they will share a once in a lifetime moment with one another as they’ll headline a FOX PPV.
Jermall, who holds the WBC middleweight title, will look to pull off the biggest win of his career when he takes on former two time title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs). The Ukrainian born contender is best known for his work against Daniel Jacobs in October of 2018 and Gennadiy Golovkin in October of 2019. On both occasions, he found himself on the short end of the stick, but saw his stock rise with each defeat.
With a third crack at the championship apple, Derevyanchenko is hoping to hear the announcer say “And New” once the night is over. The thought of losing his title however, hasn’t crossed the mind of Jermall. With matchups against Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin possibly in his immediate future, the WBC titlist is focused solely on Derevyanchenko.
“This guy is rated number one in the world,” said Jermall to Brain Custer during a recent Zoom interview. “He’s going to take the job seriously and so am I.”
The word boring has never been associated with a Jermall Charlo fight, and come September 26th, he isn’t expecting that narrative to change.
“We’re going to both meet in the middle and let our hands go. May the best man win. My game plan will be to shut his game plan down.”
Jermall (30-0, 22 KOs) has always wanted the spotlight to himself, but he is more than happy to share it with his twin brother and fellow champion Jermell (33-1, 17 KOs).
Meeting him on the night will be the upset minded Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs), who holds two major titles in the Jr middleweight division. The Dominican Republic born champion made the betting world look silly earlier this year against then champion Julian Williams. Rosario stepped into the former champions backyard in Philadelphia and didn’t just take the titles from Williams, he ripped them away with a fifth round stoppage.
Despite his big time win, Jermell is expecting his title reign to be truncated the moment they step inside the ring against one another.
“I don’t want to leave it up to the judges, I learned that in my past,” said Jermell to Brain Custer. “I deliver knockouts, that’s what I do.”
There is a lot riding on the line for the Charlo twins on the night of September 26th. For Jermall, a win over Derevyanchenko won’t simply shut the mouths of his critics, and for Jermell, winning his contest against Rosario will bring him much more than an additional two titles.
No, for the Charlo twins, they believe that this is their shining moment while the rest of the world is sequestered at home with no other choice but to tune in.
Titles and big wins are secondary for them.
“We will let everyone in the world see the great things that me and my twin brother have done in the sport of boxing,” said Jermall.
“Now is our time to be PPV stars. Everyone will say that they are boxing, and that they are pound for pound.”
By: Hans Themistode
Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs either Canelo Alvarez or Jermall Charlo has been the worst kept secret in all of boxing.
The middleweight contender is coming closer and closer to making his decision on whom he will take on in the fall. Although his choice is still up in the air, Charlo appears to have an edge. For fans of the sport, choosing Charlo over Canelo would seem almost impossible. A matchup with Canelo not only brings more eyes to the television screen, but it also fattens his opponents wallets.
Still, even with the notoriety and extra zeros in his bank account, Derevyanchenko has given Charlo the edge. His reasoning behind it is simple. Charlo appears to be serious about fighting him.
“Canelo says yes he wants to fight,” said the middleweight contender to BoxingInsider.com. “But his side did not give me an offer. It was only talk.”
Over the past several months, Canelo has found it increasingly difficult to land a dance partner for his September date. Fighters such as Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders have complained that they have been low balled in the negotiations. But for Derevyanchenko, he believes the pound for pound star never wanted to step into the ring against him.
A marketing ploy would best describe how Derevyanchenko and his trainer Andre Rozier feel about the stunt that Canelo and his team pulled.
The intrigue surrounding Derevyanchenko went through the roof with his last ring appearance. In October of 2019, Derevyanchenko pushed current middleweight belt holder Gennadiy Golovkin to the limit. Most who saw that contest live at Madison Square Garden in New York City, were incredulous when Golovkin was given the nod. Yet even with another championship stain on his resume, Derevyanchenko saw his stock soar.
His performance against Golovkin, coupled with his skillset has made him a fan favorite. But that new found stardom was something that Canelo wanted to take advantage of according to Rozier.
“You have to go where the paper is real,” said Rozier to BoxingInsider.com. “It bought a lot of intrigue and excitement. People are looking forward to seeing Sergiy fight after his last performance. They know that he comes and brings it. They almost used it as an advertising piece, smart move by Golden Boy.”
By: Hans Themistode
The boxing world has been waiting patiently on Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s decision. The middleweight contender is currently mulling over two offers from WBC titlist Jermall Charlo and four division world champion Canelo Alvarez.
Derevyanchenko hasn’t quite made up his mind just yet, but he has reenacted each fight in his mind. The outcome, unsurprisingly, has resulted in a win for Derevyanchenko. The difficulty in which he scores those victories however, varies from fighter to fighter.
As the middleweight contender continues to weigh his options, he sits back and gives a long pause when asked the question of who would be a more difficult matchup between the two.
“I think Canelo is easier,” Derevyanchenko told BoxingInsider.com. “It’s because Canelo has almost the same style as me.”
There has always been multiple reasons as to why a fighter would jump at the opportunity to face Canelo Alvarez. Money and fame are usually the first two options. But rarely is it because of a lack of ability. Yet, in comparison to Charlo, Derevyanchenko is not only standing firm on his reasoning, but his head man Andre Rozier, is backing his man 100 percent.
“I would say Charlo because of the height differences,” said Rozier to BoxingInsider.com. “With Canelo, he is more height wise on par with Sergiy. Making contact becomes a bit easier. Although he is slick, when you have someone who is a very good fighter and taller, you have your difficulties.”
No matter who Derevyanchenko signs up to face in his next bout, the Ukrainian born contender is simply hoping to end his championship setbacks.
In October of 2018, his first crack at a world title would come against Daniel Jacobs. The vacant IBF strap was on the line in Jacobs backyard in New York City, at Madison Square Garden. Derevyanchenko would get dropped early in the contest before making a run in the second half. After 12 rounds of close action, he would come up short on the judges scorecards.
In what feels like some sort of cruel joke, Derevyanchenko found himself once again in almost identical situations one year later.
The exact same IBF title was up for grabs, the contest once again fell in the month of October and again, Derevyanchenko found himself asking what the hell happened as he was knocked down early in the match. Much like his previous title bout though, his second half rally placed him in what seemed to be the driver’s seat.
However Déjà vu reared its ugly head for the second time as he fell short in the eyes of the judges.
Derevyanchenko is hoping that the third time is in fact the charm once he chooses his next opponent. A win over Charlo would present the middleweight contender with the WBC title. On the other hand, a victory over Alvarez would allow Derevyanchenko to snatch the WBA belt, albeit the regular version as their contest would take place at 168 pounds.
The names on the contract are almost extraneous at this point. Championship gold is the only thing that is currently on Derevyanchenko’s mind. The Ukrainian born contender is set to make a final decision within the next few days.
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.”
By: Hans Themistode
When one door closes, another one opens. And in the case of Sergiy Derevyanchenko, two have opened at the same time.
The middleweight contender is currently sitting at a table in his home mulling over two championship offers. The first is from WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo for a showdown that would take place roughly in September or October. The second is from pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez. Their possible showdown would go down on September 12th.
For Derevyanchenko, there are pros and cons when facing off against either man. In the case of Alvarez, the middleweight contender would have not only one of the premier faces of boxing standing across from him, but also a four division world champion. If Derevyanchenko were to go in that direction though, he would be giving Alvarez a weight advantage as their matchup would be contested at 168 pounds. Placating the Ukrainian born Derevyanchenko for moving up to another weight class however, would be a large sum of money as Alvarez could represent a career high payday.
If the former title challenger bypassed the option of moving up in weight and instead took on Charlo, he would feel more at home at 160 pounds. Nevertheless, the comfort of fighting at his ideal weight would be compromised as he would be giving up three inches in height along with six inches in reach against Charlo.
For Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs), he believes that his empty championship mantle at home should already be occupied by the IBF world title. The middleweight contender took on reigning belt holder Gennadiy Golovkin for the vacant strap in October of 2019. Derevyanchenko was dropped in the second round, but ultimately rallied in the second half of the contest.
Head trainer Andre Rozier along with many of the fans that were in attendance at Madison Square Garden in New York City, were incredulous when Golovkin was given the close unanimous decision victory. Unfortunately Derevyanchenko, that wasn’t the only time he came up on the wrong end of a close championship decision.
The scene was familiar for the Ukrainian in October of 2018. He once again found himself fighting for the vacant IBF title. His opposition on the night was former champion Daniel Jacobs. Much like Derevyanchenko’s contest against Golovkin, he was forced to pick himself up off the ground due to an early knockdown, but rallied back during the second half. The early deficit once again cost him on the scorecards as he lost a split decision.
Still, even with two championship losses on his resume, Derevyanchenko ranks number one in the WBC sanctioning body. Charlo’s trainer in Ronnie Shields, recently revealed that Derevyanchenko is the “frontrunner” to take on his fighter next.
With lopsided wins in each of his past five contests at middleweight, Derevyanchenko could present Charlo with his toughest matchup to date. The Houston born native was last seen in the ring in December of 2019 against Dennis Hogan. On the night, Charlo handed his man a Christmas present in the form of a highlight reel seventh round knockout.
As for Alvarez, he has already seen his time at 160 pounds truncated once he was given the opportunity to take on Rocky Fielding for his WBA Regular title in December of 2018. Alvarez would go on to show exactly why their contest was a mismatch as he delivered on a third round knockout. In his next contest, he would drop back to 160 pounds to snag the IBF belt from Derevyanchenko conqueror Daniel Jacobs, before ultimately moving up to 175 pounds to stop Sergey Kovalev for his WBO strap in the 11th round.
Neither Charlo nor Alvarez will be forced to wait long for an announcement. Derevyanchenko is determined to make his choice some time this week. Should he go in the direction of Charlo, Alvarez could opt for a showdown with former WBC super middleweight titlist Anthony Dirrell. If however, Derevyanchenko goes in the other direction, Charlo could see himself in a matchup with Chris Eubank Jr.