Gennadiy Golovkin is back in the World champion ranks after beating Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a thrilling contest for the IBF and IBO Middleweight titles at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Golovkin and Derevyanchenko shared 12 memorable rounds in a fight of the year contender in the mecca of boxing in the Big Apple, with Golovkin getting the nod 114-113 and 115-112 (twice) non-stop action from the opening bell.
Derevyanchenko entered the ring in his second ever World title fight and like in his first at MSG against Daniel Jacobs, as a right hook to the top of the head put him on the canvas. A bad cut over the right eye of Derevyanchenko in the second round was further cause concern for the Russian – but the blood only spurred him on and he started the third round at a ferocious speed, sparking a round of fireworks where both men had their moments.
Derevyanchenko began to invest in the body and appeared to hurt Golovkin on more than one occasion in the middle rounds, and the crowd were on their feet at the end of the seventh round as the pair traded heavy blows up and downstairs, with the intense pace, workrate and ferocity of shots from both continuing into the business end of the fight.
Derevyanchenko started the tenth round with an all-out assault on GGG in what will surely be one of the rounds of the year, and as they entered the championship rounds, Golovkin’s iron chin was being tested by Derevyanchenko, who continued to bely the effects of his severe cut with skill and grit in equal measure.
The final round began with an electrified crowd on their feet and World titles in the balance, both men poured every last ounce of themselves into the remaining three minutes, ending the battle throwing big shots.
“I want to say thank you so much to my opponent,” said Golovkin. “This was a great job. I respect his team. I told you, he’s a very tough guy. This is huge experience for me. Right now, I understand I need more. Focus is boxing. This was a tough fight. I need a little bit more. I need to still get stronger in my camp. Just more serious. I need to work hard. I need a little bit more focus.
“Right now it’s bad day for me, it’s a huge day for Sergiy, his team. This is huge experience for me. Right now I know what I need exactly. I lost a little bit of focus. Sergiy was ready, I really respect him. He showed me such a big heart. I told him, Sergiy, this is best fight for me. It’s a huge experience. It’s maximum destroy. I just respect his team.”
“Rematch? Absolutely. Big fight for DAZN, for the people, of course I’m ready. I’m a boxer, I’m ready for anything.
“Absolutely, I still want Canelo, I’m just open to anybody. There are so many great champions here. Sergiy, a lot of guys. Everything is ready, just call Canelo. If he says yes, let’s do it.”
“I feel great. Thank you so much to all my fans, everybody who came to MSG. Thank you to my team. I want to thank everybody,. It was a great night of boxing.”
“The cut really changed the fight. I couldn’t see at times. And he was targeting the eye. But no excuses, it is what it is, I was trying my best.”
“When I started moving, I felt like I was giving him room and I was getting hit with those shots that he threw and that’s why I started taking the fight to him and getting closer and not giving him room to maneuver.”
“He hit me in the back of the head. He hit me behind the ear. I didn’t really see the punch but it didn’t really affect me that much. I got up and I wasn’t really hurt so I continued to fight, so it was nothing, nothing too bad.”
“I would like the rematch if it’s possible, I’m ready.”