Golovkin regains IBF middleweight belt
It was intense, brutal and exciting.
Gennadiy Golovkin is champion again by virtue of a debatable unanimous decision over hard-luck tough guy Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Scores were 115-112 twice and 114-113 for Golovkin.
In round one, Derevyanchenko bobbed and weaved and fired his jab. Golovkin, 37, stalked and looked for an opening. His trainer Johnathon Banks had said that he wanted Golovkin to get off to a faster start than usual. Golovkin did just that. He landed a combination - punctuated by a right off the top of the head that sent the off balance Derevyanchenko to the floor. Derevyanchenko got up and finished the round strong.
Golovkin landed a left hook but ate some right hands in round two. Derevyanchenko,33, went to the body. Golovkin connected with a lead right and some shots to the midsection. Derevyanchenko was bleeding from a cut near his right eye as he went back to his corner.
Derevyanchenko, who had tasted his own blood, came out firing in round three. He worked the body and head. Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) placed a few shots, but Derevyanchenko fought back with effective shots to the belly. Golovkin went back to jabbing in round four. Derevyanchenko continued to box well. Golovkin landed a shot to the ribs and a number of uppercuts. Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) connected with a solid combination as the blood from his eye continued to flow.
Both fighters landed a number of solid shots in round five. The New York Commission ruled that the cut had been caused by a butt. Derevyanchenko hurt Golovkin with a good left to the belly. Golovkin backed up and stayed away.
In round six, Golovkin, apparently recovered from the body shot, let his hands go in the first 30 seconds of the stanza. Derevyanchenko popped Golovkin with jabs. He worked the body as Golovkin, who looked tired, winced. Golovkin landed a solid right hand and a hook at the bell.
The fight was intense and close. Derevyanchenko’s eye continued to be a problem, but the tough Russian ignored it and battled. The fight was all about ebb and flow. Golovkin connected with a heavy hook in round seven. He jabbed and fired an uppercut. Derevyanchenko turned Golovkin and landed to the ribs. Golovkin jabbed and ate two sweeping hooks.
The doctor checked Derevyanchenko’s right eye before the round eight commenced. The crowd wanted more. They got their wish. Golovkin targeted the eye with jabs. Derevyanchenko went back downstairs. Golovkin shook his head and stalked. Derevyanchenko bounced on his toes. He did some good work on the inside.
Golovkin looked gassed but kept pressing the action. He connected with some solid shots along the ropes, Derevyanchenko landed another blow to the body at the bell.Golovkin opened up round nine with a wicked uppercut.
Derevyanchenko clocked Golovkin with a right that knocked him back a step. Derevyanchenko mixed up his shots successfully. Golovkin jabbed but Derevyanchenko was doing the better work.
Three rounds remained. The fight was up for grabs. Who wanted it more? Golovkin started strong in round 10. Derevyanchenko wobbled Golovkin with multiple shots to the jaw. Golovkin fought back, but Derevyanchenko looked fresher. His shots were clean. And landing. Golovkin fought back, but Derevyanchenko made him pay.
Golovkin dug down deep in round 11 and 12. He used his educated jab to score. He fired right hands. It was basic but effective. Derevyanchenko backed up Golovkin with sweeping hooks. They traded. Golovkin connected with a hook to the eye.
Trainer Banks asked Golovkin to give him everything he had in the last round. He did. Derevyanchenko, though, was right there with him. Golovkin ignored his exhaustion. He took some deep breaths and let his hands go. Derevyanchenko kept digging to the body. Golovkin landed a hard right to the head as the crow roared their approval.
“I told you, he’s a very tough guy,” said Golovkin as the Madison Square Garden crowd, solidly in his corner from the beginning of the fight, booed. “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.”
“The cut really changed the fight, Derevyanchenko said. “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.”