An old school Middleweight fight broke out, as these two warriors lit up the 🏟️Madison Square Garden with sheer technique, determination and skill, shades of some of the old fights from the 1950’s. The fight went the full 12 rounds, and with uncertainty in the air as to which direction the verdict would go in, 🥈🇰🇿Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (40-1-1, 35KO) barely eeked out the win, despite an outstanding effort from #1 contender 🇺🇦Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko (13-2-0, 10KO) to get a razor-thin Unanimous Decision on all cards to once again hoist the IBF World Middleweight Title.
Immediately you could see that both fighters looked to start the fight off by fighting in the pocket and establishing positioning. In the first round, Golovkin fired an uppercut inside that hurt Sergiy, followed by a couple punches that legally caught the top of Derevyanchenko’s head due to him bending all the way down, which threw off his equilibrium, putting Sergiy down in the first round. Derevyanchenko got up, but for the 2nd time in a major fight, he hit the canvas in the opening round, (such as what happened in his fight in December of last year against 🇺🇸Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs) putting him in an uphill battle from the jump. The second round, Golovkin opened a sizable cut in a bad placement right over the right eye of Sergiy in the second stanza, seemingly from a strong left hook administered by Golovkin…however it was ruled to have manifested from a headbutt, which is difficult to pinpoint where that may have occurred from our vantage point.
Derevyanchenko upon realization in understanding how bad the cut was over his eye, came forward with a strong sense of urgency in the third round and strung together multiple combinations successfully, picking apart GGG in the round, stepping around, and side to side with footwork, pivoting to put Golovkin in compromising defensive situations to land carefully placed shots at all angles in high volume to officially get himself into the fight, flipping the script of what was previously established. As Derevyanchenko took control of the fight, he landed a beautiful left hook to the body in the 5th round that bothered GGG, and momentarily staggered him, a very rare occurrence for Golovkin to be in that position both as an amateur and as a pro, as he has never been staggered before. Referee Harvey Dock as usual mistook a clean body-shot that followed afterward from Sergiy for a low blow, and jumped in at an inappropriate time when Derevyanchenko was firing away while Golovkin showed a pocket of vulnerability for a split second, messing up the momentum that Derevyanchenko accumulated during that highly successful sequence, further putting into question Dock’s ability to Referee high caliber fights.. In round 6, Golovkin stepped up his aggression, and Derevyanchenko continued to cook, showing no fear in trading with the Kazakh warrior.
In round 7, Golovkin landed some 🔨sledgehammer right hands upstairs, and a couple big left hooks to the body as he seemed to re-establish his positioning in the fight at this point, but Derevyanchenko would soon get his second wind following. There were plenty of ebbs and flow in the middle rounds, as Sergiy proved to be able to stay on par with the Kazakhstan warrior, possessing a superior motor as the younger, more active man, and shifting with his footwork to exploit angles in the pocket. While Sergiy found his moments of success, Golovkin was able to pick the big shots offwith his gloves that Derevyanchenko was delivering, and landed some good shots of his own in between Sergiy’s punches.
Derevyanchenko by the time the 9th (and especially 10th) rounds came about, fought like a man possessed, as he knew he could hang with GGG, and had a golden opportunity sitting in front of him, seemingly in grasp, and outworked the man 4 years his Senior. With the fight truly in the balance, Golovkin had himself a very successful round, increasing his punch accuracy, hooking off his jab, and finding small cracks in the Technicians defense. Sergiy poured his heart out down the stretch in the 12th round, firing everything at will, and Golovkin, understanding that everything was on the line for him considering immediate future plans, looked to do all he could to stave off the Ukrainian fighter who was dead-set in trying to win the IBF red belt, and they both came down the stretch of the fight firing heavy leather trying to establish an imprint on the fight in the mind of the judgesi
As the 🔔final bell sounded in the 12th round, both displayed body language that stated that each fighter believed he had won the fight. With the fight up in the air, and uncertainty creeping into the arena, you could cut the tension with a 🗡️knife as Hall-of-Fame Ring Announcer 🎤Michael Buffer tallied up the results of the cards and analyzed what was in hand. The crowd gave a resounding round of applause when coaxed by Buffer, and all 3 cards he read aloud were close, albeit all going to the winning fighter, and by way of contested Unanimous Decision, Gennadiy Golovkin officially once again holds the IBF Middleweight World Title Belt to bolster his positioning for his immediate future plans, but Derevyanchenko fought his ass off, and deserves a ton of praise for his excellent all-around performance.
The crowd after the fight wasn’t all too thrilled with the verdict as Derevyanchenko won the crowd over, however most of the contingent in the crowd expected a more dominant affair from Golovkin, mostly unaware of what the talented Ukrainian fighter was capable of bringing to the table from a skill standpoint due to lack of spotlight and exposure. During the post-fight interview, Golovkin was complimentary of Derevyanchenko’s performance, as he was complimentary of his pedigree prior to the fight, and openly anticipated a rough fight to come, which is exactly what ended up manifesting. When asked about the prospects of a re-match with Sergiy, he said absolutely, and of course when asked about ♛🇲🇽Canelo Alvarez, he left that option open as well. All in all, this was a very solid fight filled with many pockets of interchanging momentum, and shifting sequences that fully supports the high boxing IQ displayed by both Golovkin & Derevyanchenko in this boxing match. Here are some stats, along with the official Judges scorecards, as well as how we scored it here at Project Combat.
FINAL PUNCH-STATS 🥊🥊
🤜 Gennadiy Golovkin = 243/720, 33.8% Landed.
🤜 Sergiy Derevyanchenko = 230/738, 31.2% Landed.
OFFICIAL SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Kevin Morgan = 114 – 113 for GENNADIY GOLOVKIN
✎ Frank Lombardi = 115 – 112 for GENNADIY GOLOVKIN
✎ Eric Marlinski = 115 – 112 for GENNADIY GOLOVKIN
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Tré Berry III = 115 – 113 for GENNADIY GOLOVKIN
✎ Jon Uddin = 114 – 113 for SERGIY DEREVYANCHENKO