One year after challenging for the vacant IBF world middleweight title against Daniel Jacobs at Madison Square Garden, Sergiy Derevyanchenko gets a second chance, for the same belt, at the same venue, but against possibly a tougher opponent in "GGG" himself, Gennady Golovkin. The pair meet on the 5th of October.
In-between, the 33-year-old Derevyanchenko scored a 12 round unanimous points decision over Ecuadorian born German Jack Culcay at the Minneapolis Armory in April in what turns out to have been an unofficial eliminator for the IBF strap.
Since turning pro in 2014, Derevenyanchenko has amassed only 14 bouts with 13 wins, 10 coming by way of knockout and that single defeat to Jacobs last year. But when he wore the amateur vest he won a bronze medal at the 2007 world amateur championships and boxed in the 2008 Olympics games in Beijing. But, it was when he took part in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) that he really came to the forefront, taking part in 24 bouts and winning 23 of them. WSB bouts are all but 5 round pro bouts but between the best amateurs in the world.
From fight one of his pro career, the Ukrainian has fought good and experienced opposition including Sam Soliman, Tureano Johnson, Daniel Jacobs, and Culcay.
Kazakhstan's Golovkin has now had 41 professional fights and won all the major world middleweight belts except the WBO's. The single defeat of his career was the highly contentious point's loss to "Canelo" Alvarez in their second meeting at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last September.
Since the Alvarez loss, "GGG" has fought only once, and that was against fringe world title contender Steve Rolls, a Canadian few had heard of before he signed to fight Golovkin.
Saul Alvarez was stripped of the title for failing to defend against Derevyanchenko who was his mandatory challenger.
This is a harder fight than many might think, Derevyanchenko is nicknamed "The Technician" for a reason, but he is tough and a good puncher also, he won't fold to "GGG's" punches easily. But, I do think that Golovkin will do what Jacobs couldn't and catch-up with the Ukrainian, and I think it will be body punches that pave the way.
Prediction: Golovkin to become champion again in the last third of the fight.