Gennady Golovkin is a champion once again, but it was not easy. Golovkin was able to squeak by Sergiy Derevyanchenko by a controversial unanimous decision to capture the vacant IBF middleweight belt on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Golovkin dropped Derevyanchenko in round 2, and was able to win the late rounds to get the decision.
After the fight, it was revealed by promoter Eddie Hearn that Golovkin was dealing with an illness going into this fight, which Hearn thinks had an impact on GGG’s performance. Golovkin’s trainer, Johnathan Banks, agreed with Hearn’s assessment.
“It had a huge impact,” Banks told goforitradio.com. “If you wouldn’t been told that, I wouldn’t said nothing. Whatever happens, happens. He chose to stay here and fight, so once he made that decision, I supported him and said, ‘Let’s go'”
According to Banks, once Golovkin decided to fight, he had to find a way to work through his illness.
“I told him whether you sick or not if you choose to fight, fight,” Bank said. “Doesn’t matter. Like, did Michael Jordan take it easy when he caught the flu?”
Golovkin, 37. easily could have lost this fight, but no matter how you feel about the decision, it was not a robbery.
However, it should be interesting to see if Golovkin does the rematch with Derevyanchenko, or does he continue to try to chase a third fight with Canelo Alvarez. No matter what he does, it’s clear that Golovkin is starting to show his age. You saw it a little bit against Steve Rolls back in June, and it became very apparent against Derevyanchenko. But, even at his advanced age, Golovkin is still one of the best middleweights in boxing.
Photo/courtesy: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA