In the first card main event, WBC 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) remained undefeated after defeating top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko by unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut(SHOWTIME PPV).
Charlo won on all three scorecards: 116-112, 117-111, 118-110.
“We stood toe-to-toe, and we didn’t back down from anything,” said Charlo, who had renowned trainer Ronnie Shields in his corner. “It was supposed to be one of the hardest fights of my career, and we passed the test. He had a puncher’s chance, and of course, the fight could have changed at any moment. I listened to my corner and executed the game plan and got the win.”
Charlo’s trainer, Ronnie Shields, was happy about he saw out of his fighter, and according to Shields, Charlo received an “A” for his performance against Derevyanchenko.
“I give his performance an “A,” Shields said. “Everyone was talking about how this is a tough fight, but every fight is tough. Jermall has one of the best jabs in the business. It’s a hard jab, and he hurt Sergiy with it. He backed him up with it. I’m so proud of him. He showed that the better the competition, the better he gets.”
Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) fought more than half the fight with a swollen right eye he suffered in the fifth round, and later developed another cut above his left eye affecting his vision in the later rounds. He had his best rounds in the sixth and seventh as he connected on a several key left hooks that seemed to daze Charlo. The game and determined Derevyanchenko landed 180 and threw 681 more punches than any previous Charlo opponent.
“I wouldn’t say it was an easy fight, but we stuck to what we wanted to do and made it happen,” Charlo said. “I let my jab dictate, and we got the victory. I wanted to knock him out, but you can’t knock everyone out. I’m a finisher, but you don’t want to run into anything even though you have him hurt. I landed the shots that I needed to in order to win.
“The whole world understands that I can fight in there with the best of them. He gave GGG [Gennadiy Golovkin] a harder test than he gave me, so I think the levels showed. I’m the best middleweight in the world.”
Charlo proved that he could be one of the best middleweights in the world. What happens next should be interesting. At this point, fights with any of the current champions at 160 might difficult. The current middleweight champions, Canelo Alvarez(WBA, WBC Franchise champion), Demetrius Andrade(WBO), and Gennady Golovkin(IBF) all are tied to DAZN, so those fightS will be hard to make. Hopefully, the business of boxing will get out the way, and Charlo can get the big names at 160.
Photo: Amanda Westscott/SHOWTIME