Well it’s not the Canelo trilogy, but we will see Gennadiy Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) back in the ring soon.
It was officially announced on Wednesday that the middleweight power-puncher will fight for the vacant IBF title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs), who’s getting his second crack at a vacant IBF belt in as many years. The card will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on October 5th... the same day as UFC 243, so that’ll be a busy evening.
Golovkin is coming off a KO win over the unheralded Steve Rolls in June, marking his DAZN debut. Expectation was that he’d face Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) for a third time, having drawn and lost to him the previous two occasions, but Canelo apparently is uninterested at the moment and talk has shifted to 2020 for these two rivals. We don’t even know who Alvarez is facing next, but Derevyanchenko was one of those options, and when negotiations were not done in time, the IBF stripped Canelo of his belt for not facing his mandatory challenger. That left Golovkin as the next available man in the rankings, thus this fight.
Derevyanchenko is a former Olympian and highly successful amateur, with a record of 390-20. As a professional, the Ukrainian hasn’t needed the usual slow-build to get to the top of his division. Instead, he established #1 contender status with a TKO of Tureano Johnson in just his 11th pro fight, stopped ex-UFC fighter and boxing veteran Dashon Johnson in a stay-busy bout, and took on Daniel Jacobs last October in New York. In an entertaining, back-and-forth scrap that saw Derevyanchenko suffer a flash knockdown in the opening round, it was Jacobs who won by split decision. Derevyanchenko most recently bested Jack Culcay by decision to once again find himself back in the title picture.
Funnily enough, it was the postponement of Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 because of Alvarez’s drug test failure that led to Golovkin losing his IBF title. Derevyanchenko was GGG’s mandatory last year, but with just a few weeks before his scheduled May appearance, Golovkin and his team opted to face Vanes Martirosyan, so the IBF stripped Golovkin.
Also of note is the humongous pay bump Derevyanchenko will get from the Jacobs bout. Last year, his official purse was $462,500, with ESPN reporting he was actually making more. For the Golovkin fight, he’s expected to make a career-high of at least $5 million.
Stylistically, Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko is better than Canelo vs. Derevyanchenko, and Sergiy certainly has a better shot of upsetting GGG than he does Alvarez. It should be an all-action bout between two volume punchers, although Golovkin undeniably hits harder.