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Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergey Derevyanchenko a done deal!

Daniel Jacobs

By Dan Ambrose: The Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergey Derevyanchenko fight was made official on Tuesday by promoters Eddie Hearn and Lou Dibella for a still to be determined date on HBO Boxing for the vacant IBF middleweight title in New York. Hearn and DiBella announced the fight earlier today. One of the stumbling blocks for the fight was the fact that the match had to take place on HBO due to the 31-year-old Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) being under contract with the network.

If the fight hadn’t taken place on HBO, then Jacobs would have been out of the picture, which meant that Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) would have had to face Demetrius Andrade for the vacant International Boxing Federation middleweight title. This is the belt that was stripped from Golovkin last June after he chose not to agree to defend it against Derevyanchenko by August 4 as they had requested that he do.

”After weeks of negotiating with my dear friend Lou DiBella – delighted to agree terms for Daniel Jacob v Derevenchenko for the IBF World title on HBO Boxing – Date coming soon for New York,” said Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn on his social media site.

This is a nice move by Jacobs and his promoter Eddie Hearn to take the fight with Derevyanchenko, because they didn’t need to make this move in order to fight for a world title. Jacobs recently beat Maciej Sulecki by a 12 round unanimous decision in a WBA title eliminator last April to become the WBA mandatory. Jacobs could have sat and waited for his mandatory title shot for the WBA belt rather than putting his neck on the line against the dangerous Derevyanchenko. Obviously, Hearn and Jacobs are taking the fight against Derevyanchenko because they think it’s a winnable fight. Jacobs has sparred with Derevyanchenko in the past, and he must have learned enough from those sessions to believe that he can beat him. If Jacobs is wrong, then his career is going to take a major hit.

Derevyanchenko’s last fight was against a fighter with 22 losses on his record in Dashon Johnson last March. DiBella matching the 32-year-old Derevyanchenko against that level of opponent at this late stage in his career is troubling. Derevyanchenko should have been well passed those type of fighters years ago. It’s not as if the Ukrainian fighter is coming off of a loss and needed a confidence booster type of opponent in a showcase fight. Derevyanchenko should be fighting world class opposition each time he fights, and that obviously hasn’t been happening. He did beat Tureano Johnson by a 12th round knockout last year in August in an exciting fight.

The fight for Jacobs will finish out his three-fight deal with HBO. It’s unclear whether the network will give Jacobs a new contract. His first fight against Luis Arias was a dud last year in November. Jacobs didn’t shine in his second fight of his contract in squeaking by Maciej Sulecki. The way things are going with Jacobs, he might lose to Derevyanchenko, which would be a huge blow for his career. Losing to Derevyanchenko will remove Jacobs from the sweepstakes to face the winner or loser of the September 10th rematch between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

Hearn has been telling everyone that is within earshot that his fighter Jacobs is the best fighter in the 160 lb. weight class, and that he deserved a decision in his fight against Golovkin last year in March. Jacobs lost the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision after spending the first six rounds on the move, and getting knocked down in round 4. However, with the way that Jacobs performed recently in barely beating Maciej Sulecki by a 12 round unanimous decision last April.

Jacobs and Derevyanchenko share the same trainer in Andre Rozier. Jacobs will have Rozier in his corner for the fight. It might not help him though, as Derevyachenko is highly skilled fighter with good punching power. The 2008 Olympian from Ukraine isn’t a huge puncher, but he has more power than Sulecki, and Jacobs looked like he was close to losing that fight. If Derevyanchenko can walk Jacobs down the way that Golovkin and Dmitry Pirog both did, he could score a stoppage. Derevyanchenko has the size to get the job done against Jacobs to remove him from his perch as being the potential runner up to facing the winner of the Canelo vs. GGG II rematch.

”So Eddie Hearn and I closed a deal for one of the best fights that can be made in the middleweight division,” said Derevyanchenko’s promoter Lou DiBella on his Twitter. ”Imagine that…Eddie and I co-promoting a big fight! He’s still a cheeky little bastard, but I look forward to a big card…and some good, nasty back and forth. 😉 #boxing.”

Hopefully, Hearn and DiBella don’t take the limelight away from their fighters Jacobs and Derevyanchenko, because those are the guys that the boxing fans should be focusing on instead of their promoters.

Hearn and DiBella are going to need to clear up the date and location for the Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko fight. Hearn can’t afford to play games and drag this out the way that some boxing fans believe that he did to destroy the Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder negotiations by failing to give Team Wilder a specific date and location for the mega-fight.

Golovkin should have zero problems beating the winner of the Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko fight in order to win back his WBA title. It’s unclear whether GGG is going to be still interested in winning back that title once he gets done with the Canelo rematch. The way that the WBA put Golovkin in a position where he was expected to defend his WBA title against Derevyanchenko on three weeks’ notice after Canelo pulled out of their May 5th fight, I’m not sure that he’ll want to go after that title again. Possibly Golovkin won’t hold a grudge against the WBA for stripping him of the title. I’m not sure that it will do anything for GGG’s career to win back the title. The boxing fans are more interested in seeing Golovkin fight the best possible opponents.

This isn’t a knock on Jacobs or Derevyanchenko, but you’d have to rate them both behind WBC interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo in the talent department. If Golovkin wants to impress the boxing world, he would be better off facing Charlo if he defeated Canelo in their rematch on September 15. A tiny minority of the fans believe that Jacobs was robbed in his fight against GGG last year. If Golovkin cares to give Jacobs a rematch, he’ll be able to shut those fans down and take away Hearn’s ability to keep telling the fans that his fighter should have beaten GGG. However, there’s not much demand from the fans for Golovkin to face Jacobs again. The fans have already seen that fight and they’re not calling for a second fight due to the purely defensive manner in which Jacobs fought. It was a very boring fight to watch, thanks to Jacobs. Golovkin is still the man at middleweight. Jacobs and Dereyanchenko are further down the pecking order. Neither of them have shown the type of talent that would suggest that they’ll beat a talent like Golovkin.

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