Golovkin title clash in October looks to bring star power to DAZN.
Gennady Golovkin now has another date, October 5th against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, for the now vacant IBF middleweight world title after Canelo Alvarez was stripped of the title after a series of confusing circumstances, which will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, broadcast on the upstart streaming service, DAZN.
Golovkin is one of the needle movers at DAZN, an upstart streaming service, that seemingly overpaid for talent and has yet to see a full return on investment from their splash into the market. Even worse, DAZN saw Anthony Joshua, not an official DAZN fighter, but a fighter with a huge following, lose to likable underdog Andy Ruiz Jr., with a rematch now seemingly occurring in Europe, potentially going head-to-head with the SEC championship game, a major college football event. Basically, not good news. Ruiz is also with a rival promoter and network (Premier Boxing Champions), further mudding their situation.
The other big player at DAZN, Canelo Alvarez, is currently in limbo as no one knows what exactly is occurring as he is lawyered up, and looking for more freedom it seems in his contract with DAZN, and possibly Golden Boy Promotions.
Golovkin is one of the big three along with Canelo and Joshua, that it appeared John Skipper, the head honcho of DAZN, hoped to make a splash in the U.S. market with, especially with a Canelo versus Golovkin III bout, which some have reported was promised to DAZN, but not written in a contract (this totally hear-say).
Golovkin now is one of the capital G guys at DAZN and finds himself to be a lot of what he complained about early in his career, as he is strategical positioning himself into advantageous positions to try and force a future Canelo fight, while maybe shying away from younger fighters or fighters with smaller fanbases who present a real challenge, so be it, it is the nature of the sport.
That being said for Golovkin winning a world title gives him leverage and leverage that might earn him a trilogy bout with Canelo, he so desperately wants. That still doesn’t solve the fact that Canelo seemingly hates Golovkin as a person, and doesn’t want him to financially prosper off Canelo’s loyal fanbase.
October 5th, marks the beginning of the second act for DAZN, as Golovkin will now start into his contract after a tune-up bout in his DAZN debut against undefeated, but lesser-known Steve Rolls. Golovkin will face Sergiy Derevyanchenko, a talented fighter, but not necessarily a click-bait machine for ad-revenue streams.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko is a solid fighter. Derevyanchenko had a solid amateur career fighting in the 2008 Beijing Olympics before spending the early half of this decade, four years from 2010-2014, in the World Series of Boxing. Derevyanchenko is the prototypical great Eastern European boxer, who can be in the top 10 of the middleweight division for a good while.
Derevyanchenko was part of a foreign invasion training with Andre Rozier as well as Gary Stark, he made his name for being quality work in the gym. Derevyanchenko won some solid fights and found himself as the number one contender for the IBF middleweight world title, and fought former teammate, Daniel Jacobs, who beat him via split decision. Most of his fights prior to that had been on FS1, as the Jacobs bout was his only fight on HBO, a now-defunct boxing property.
Derevyanchenko found himself awarded a number one contender bout for his performance despite losing to the then-champion, Jacobs. Derevyanchenko defeated Jack Culcay by a unanimous decision earlier this year, but not without a scare as Culcay had a massive twelfth round that seemed like a massive red flag for those that heavily supported Derevyanchenko being an upper-echelon top three middleweight.
Golovkin, one of the better middleweights of this era, will serve as Derevyanchenko’s second test at the top of the division. Golovkin will be a respectable favorite, and for good reason, Golovkin basically is a better version of Derevychenko. The two like to throw leather, but also have the ability to move, stay on balance and walk people into shots.
That being said, it is a clash of similar styles, and the human element of the bout, allows for fight night drama, but for me, it comes down to, how much does Golovkin move the needle anymore?
In Golovkin’s prime, he was not unlike an episodic tv show you could count on. You tune in, watch GGG knock someone out, and go home happy. The undercurrent is when he faced the top of the division, that didn’t seem to follow as he faced Jacobs and Canelo.
Derevyanchenko might be fighting to prove he is a world champion, but Golovkin might as well be fighting to prove that he is a star, as DAZN seemingly is going month-after-month, with fights that are good, solid events, but not reach beyond boxing fans. Golovkin has the ability to crossover into the general sports fan, for example, he was on Barstool Sports podcast today.
In a bout between two fighters from Eastern Europe, who English is their second language, the narrative structure and promotion of such a bout should be interesting. This is potentially the biggest bout to end the year, outside of Deontay Wilder’s next bout, and DAZN along with Golovkin need it to be a home-run.