This October is a gift to Ukrainian boxing fans. The debut of Oleksandr Usyk in the heavyweight division, the unification bout between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev, the next home show from Denis Berynchyk and the middleweight title bout between Sergiy Derevyanchenko and boxing legend Gennady Golovkin.
Usyk and Gvozdyk are world champions. They are known and loved by the fans. Berinchyk is a national star, whose fights are sold-out and broadcasted on national TV. But Ukrainian viewer neglected Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who fights in the middleweight category, which has such high-caliber fighters as Saul Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs, and Gennady Golovkin. Derevyanchenko already had a fight with Jacobs and looked very confident in that bout. If there was no senseless knockdown at the beginning of the match, Derevyanchenko could have become a world champion a year ago. On October 5, the Ukrainian will get another chance to secure the championship belt if he can overcome the legendary Kazakh Gennady Golovkin. And you can not only hope but count on this result. Because Derevyanchenko possesses a lot of skills inside the ring.
Derevyanchenko is a 33-year-old native of Feodosia, where he started boxing. In his youth he started to win tournaments, after which he moved to amateur boxing, several times became a champion of Ukraine. He won a bronze medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championship, went to the Olympics and other international competitions. In total, he had 410 fights during his amateur career, only 20 of them ended in the way of defeat.
In 2010 he moved to the semi-professional WSB league. He represented Italian Milano Thunders, was considered the best boxer of the tournament several times. In 2013, he joined Astana Arlans, which he ended the season with, winning at the final bout against one of our Atamans. He has only lost once in WSB participation.
In 2014, he went to the United States, where he signed with promoter Lou DiBella and began his professional career. After several victories, he signed up a new promotional contract with Al Haymon. In 2016, after winning his ninth fight, Derevyanchenko became a contender for the IBF middleweight title. It became possible to fight for the title only 4 years later. That was the time when the battle against Jacobs took place, in which Sergiy lost via split decision. Derevyanchenko himself believes that he won the fight. In the spring of 2019, Derevyanchenko returned to the ring, defeating German Culcay. The Ukrainian remained a contender for the IBF belt, owned by Saul Alvarez at the time. But the Mexican relinquished the title and went to conquer the light heavyweight division. As a result, IBF sanctioned a fight between Derevyanchenko and Golovkin.
Amateur boxing is very different from professional boxing. Not only in the number of rounds and the equipment. The main goal of an amateur boxer is to outbox an opponent and land as many accurate punches as possible. A professional fighter is obliged to win. By any means. It does not matter whether you land one or hundreds of punches. Lomachenko demonstrates the importance of such an element of fighter's formation as an amateur career and how much it develops the boxer's arsenal. Derevyanchenko does not have Lomachenko's technique, but he is one of the most technical fighters of the middleweight division. Plus, he has a steady punch - 10 of his 13 fights ended in a way of stoppage.
"Sergiy is a real fighter, he has learned a lot. He is an incredibly talented boxer. Now I understand why people believe he will kill Golovkin. He is a truly versatile fighter", - says Edgar Berlanga, sparring partner of Derevyanchenko from the training camp for Golovkin bout.
The Ukrainian team is well aware of the upcoming test in front of them. Golovkin is a middleweight monster, a P4P boxer. He possesses knockout punch that he can deliver to anyone who stands in front of him. Derevyanchenko was knocked down by Jacobs, which cost him the title a year ago. The stakes are much higher in this title bout. But the coaching staff of Sergiy understands what it needs to be done and how to get it done in their favor.
"In a fight with Golovkin, you have to force him to retreat, because it does not work out for him that much. This has always been the case, even with the new coach, Jonathan Banks, this will not change. We will force him to step back by attacking at different angles, like hammerhead shark", - said Derevyanchenko coach Andre Rozier.
Ukrainian boxer is an underdog in the future bout. Bookmakers consider famous Golovkin a huge favorite, who should impress the guys from DAZN, he has signed a contract with for 4 fights. But Sergiy is clearly ready for a tough fight, which he plans to end in a way of victory, a long-awaited title, and new perspectives.
"I am still convinced I have not lost in the professional ring and I plan to demonstrate that my team made no mistake in their predictions that I will become the world champion on Saturday night. It will be a difficult fight, Golovkin is a fantastic fighter who I respect a lot. It is about to be the most difficult match in my career, but I am sure that I am more than ready for this moment and I am about to show the world that Sergiy Derevyanchenko is the next superstar and world champion from Ukraine".
What else to say? He deserves it.