Let’s give Sergiy Derevyanchenko credit after this weekend
Words like “washed-up”, “over-the-hill”, “shot” or “too old” flooded the internet to slander the five-time middleweight world champion Gennadiy Golovkin, who won his fifth world title on Saturday, controversially might I add over Sergiy Derevyanchenko to claim the IBF middleweight title to boo’s from the crowd, who felt Deryvanchenko won the fight in New York City, New York.
The easy way to go is to either say Golovkin was never good or that he is no longer what he once was, but one thing that is being forgotten is that Sergiy Derevyanchenko was good enough to bring all of this to the precipice.
Derevyanchenko is not a glamourous fighter. In fact, he doesn’t speak English, nor does he have catchphrases he states after the fight, like “big drama show” or “Mexican-style”. Derevyanchenko if anything is an undersized middleweight with a deep amateur background and a fighter who has never definitely been outclassed as a pro.
In the build-up to his fight with Golovkin, Derevyanchenko was viewed as a tune-up fight, despite the bout being for the vacant IBF middleweight world title fight. That would change moments into the bout when Derevyanchenko’s jab made an overaggressive Golovkin, who looked flat, and those close to him said was sick on fight night, slow and basic. Golovkin’s head never moved, his speeds never changed and despite starting the fight as good as he could, dropping Derevyanchenko in the first round and cutting Derevyanchenko in the second, Golovkin spent much of the fight getting beat up.
Derevyanchenko’s body shots visible hurt Golovkin, as it appeared each punch greatly affected the Kazhak boxer, who appeared to tire as conditioning could be an issue after long-term trainer, Abel Sanchez, known for rigorous training methods and an offense over defense mindset was removed from his team earlier this year. Golovkin’s narratives are interesting with the money he is getting paid to the questions around how much he listens to his current trainer, Jonathan Banks, who wasn’t in the circulated team photo after the fight or media day work team photo (though could have been in pictures I didn’t see). To put it clearly, Golovkin’s trajectory and situation is a big unknown.
That being said, Sergiy D is extremely talented, and the way he made Golovkin look is now getting placed upon Golovkin not being who he once was, as opposed to Derevyanchenko just fought the fight of his life. I get it, a lot of writing about boxing is making money, talking about the people that people want to read about it, but fair is fair – and Derevyanchenko deserves praise.
Also, a forgotten story was Derevyanchenko’s coach, Andre Rozier, who just two fights ago cornered against him when Daniel Jacobs won a split decision over Derevyanchenko. Rozier has faced Golovkin three times as a professional coach, once with Curtis Stevens, once with Daniel Jacobs and now with Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Rozier is an elite coach and with each time looking at Golovkin it appears he spotted advantages, mostly Golovkin has trouble being turned in fights.
Some might read this and wonder what that means, and for clarity, it means Golovkin is more of a straight forward fighter who doesn’t turn well, especially if some is making subtle movements, his balance is affected. A lot of Derevyanchenko’s success came behind the jab as well as hit Golovkin to the body and moving subtly while staying on balance, being able to fire off punches.
Sure, Golovkin is aging, and maybe he doesn’t train the same anymore, but Derevyanchenko was able to show that and though Sergiy D didn’t get the win, which I felt he deserved, he should get the credit.
Derervyanchenko outfought Golovkin, who in his prime was one of the best brutes, ever, in terms of power and durability. The fact that a fighter who has been relatively for most of his career beat what a fighter most consider to be a generational great in Golovkin should be noteworthy.
Rather than talking about how average Golovkin looked, let’s have a bit of the conversation about Sergiy Derevyanchenko stepping up to the plate and having a legendary performance.