By Kenneth Friedman: Last Saturday night’s middleweight duel between Gennady Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko was a grueling one with both fighters taking a lot of punishment in their bout for the vacant IBF middleweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York. Golovkin, 37, was taken to the hospital after the fight, and didn’t attend the post-fight news conference. Derevyanchenko also didn’t stick around to answer questions from the media.
The fight was shown on DAZN. Going into the match, many casual boxing fans dismissed Derevyanchenko’s chances, seeing him as just another victim for Golovkin.
GGG involved in toughest fight of his career
As it turns out, Derevyanchenko ended up giving Golovkin arguably the toughest fight of his career. This was an even harder fight for Golovkin than his 2 contests against Saul Canelo Alvarez, and his war against Kassim Ouma in 2011.
There’s no word yet about GGG’s condition. His promoter Eddie Hearn says he was sick before the fight, and that obviously didn’t help him during the bout.
Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) got a questionable 12 round unanimous decision win, but it came at a price. He was hit a lot, and he needed to be taken to the hospital after the fight. Derevyanchenko suffered a lot of damage too with his right eye cut, and swelling on his left eye. At the end of the fight, Derevyanchenko’s eyes looked like small slits due to the swelling.
GGG knocked Derevyanchenko down in round 1
Derevyanchenko was knocked down in round 1 after getting hit on the back of the head by Golovkin. The referee let the knockdown stand despite replays showing that Derevyanchenko had been hit on the back of his head. Golovkin threw a number of rabbit punches to the back of Derevyanchenko’s head during the bout. It was unusual for Golovkin to throw those types of punches, but he appeared desperate. The fight was so hard for him.
Derevyanchenko says Golovkin hit him in the back of his head
“He hit me in the back of the head. He hit me behind the ear,” said Derevyanchenko in talking about his 1st round knockdown. “I didn’t really see the punch but it didn’t really affect me that much. And I got up and I wasn’t really hurt so I continued to fight, so it was nothing, nothing too bad. I would like the rematch if it’s possible, I’m ready”
The knockdown of Derevyanchenko woke up a sleeping lion, and turned the fight against GGG. Once Derevyanchenko was knocked down, it was the turning point in the fight, as he fought a lot harder. In round 2, Derevyanchenko was cut over his right eye from what appeared to be a punch.
The referee ruled that the cut was caused by a head clash, but it didn’t matter. Derevyanchenko fought even harder from that moment. That’s something Golovkin did not need, because he already had his hands full from the pressure that Derevyanchenko was putting on him after the questionable 1st round knockdown.
Derevyanchenko’s promoter DiBella: “Sergiy was robbed of his moment”
“The most power punches landed on GGG during his career was 202 in their rematch,” said Derevyanchenko’s promoter Lou DiBella at the post-fight news conference last Saturday night. “Tonight, Sergiy landed 230. Sergiy also threw 150 more power punches than GGG did.
“The punch stats were pretty clear. It’s just unfortunate that what really bummed me out about tonight was like a Gatti-Ward fight. Sergiy was cut like a stuck pig the way that Gatti was often, but it was fought at a skill level like the elite guys in the game, because they were two elite guys in the game.
GGG has already cemented his legacy. He’s done it many, many times, and he’s already going to go down in history. Tonight was Sergiy’s night. That was his moment. I just feel gutted for him. I’m not going to call the judges’ decision a robbery, and I’ve seen robberies. This wasn’t a robbery, but Sergiy was ROBBED of his defining moment,” said DiBella.
Lost in the fog of last night’s fight was the ramifications for Derevyanchenko’s defeat. Had Sergiy beaten Golovkin, it would have led to him getting potentially millions or a big fight against the likes of Saul Canelo Alvarez or some of the British super middleweights. A rematch against Golovkin would have seen Derevyanchenko making millions.
Unfortunately for Derevyanchenko, he lost the fight, and Golovkin is expected to move on without giving him a rematch. So instead of Derevyanchenko getting millions for his next match, he’ll likely be back to where he was before in terms of paydays.
DiBella: People weren’t booing GGG; they were booing the “unjust decision”
“I just looked at my Twitter feed that a lot of people were aghast that so many people were booing GGG, and I put up a Tweet that they weren’t booing GGG,” said DiBella. “No one in their right mind would boo GGG. No fight fan would boo GGG. He’s one of the greatest fighters in the game, and greatest guys in the history of boxing. And by the way, he fought a great fight tonight, but he just didn’t win.
“They were booing what they saw was an unjust decision, and I’m not going to use the word ‘robbery,’ but do I think it was a just decision? No, I don’t. I never will, and I was scoring the fight as honestly as I could, and I scored it 8-4 [for Derevyanchenko] on rounds,” said DiBella.
DiBella is correct about the boxing fans booing the judges’ decision rather than Golovkin. The fans at Madison Square Garden didn’t agree with the decision by the judges. They may have come into the fight as GGG fans, but they were won over by the performance by the 33-year-old Derevyanchenko. Fans aren’t going to cheer for a fighter that they felt lost but was given a questionable decision.
Hearn & Loeffler argue Golovkin deserved win
Golovkin’s two promoters Eddie Hearn and Tom Loeffler did their best of trying to put a positive spin on the results of the fight at the post-fight news conference by saying that GGG pulled it out in the championship rounds. The boxing public doesn’t agree with their assessment of the fight, and that marginalizes them.
If Golovkin wants to be seen as the better fighter than Derevyanchenko, he’s going to need to give him a rematch and prove that he’s better. Loefler and Hearn won’t be able to sway public opinion by arguing against the reality of what the fans saw last Saturday night.
GGG involved in BIGGEST drama show of his career
“I thought there was a two-point round obviously, but I had a 3-point fight,” said DiBella. I didn’t go into the ring believing we would get the decision, because the star [Golovkin], and this happens so often in our sport. But tonight was Sergiy’s night, and he did it; Gennady likes to mention ‘drama show.’ This was the biggest drama show of Gennady Golovkin’s career in the ring. He went to hell and back tonight.
“If his chin wasn’t the greatest in boxing, and by the way, Sergiy’s is pretty amazing in his own right, if he didn’t have such a great chin, he would have been knocked out. He had bombs landed on him, and he did it the whole time with him barely able to see. He was cut in the 2nd round. That was a savage cut.
“Credit to the Commission doctors, and credit to the cut man that the fight wasn’t stopped, and fans deprived from seeing such a wonderful fight. And credit to DAZN too. What a great fight. Going into, we were saying this was going to be a great fight, but this was a fight that me as a promoter is never going to forget,” said DiBella.
Gennady looked miserable in being booed by fans
Golovkin talks about wanting to give the fans a “real drama show,” but it looked like he wasn’t too happy about Derevyachenko giving him one last night. GGG looked miserable after the fight, especially when he was being booed by the fans. What made matters worse for Golovkin was WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade climbing into the ring, and calling him out.
It’s unknown if this was something that Hearn had planned ahead of time or if Andrade choose to enter the ring on his own. Given that Andrade is one of Hearn’s fighters, it’s possible that he was given the green light by him to enter the ring.
DiBella: GGG and Derevyanchenko won’t be fighting anytime soon
“I’m probably never going to stop feeling gutted by it,” said DiBella. “There’s no justice in boxing, but I feel like in that moment that the decision would go to Sergiy. I don’t think either one of those guys are doing anything immediately,” said Dibella about the wear and tear GGG and Derevyanchenko suffered in the fight.
“Neither one of them is a kid. Sergiy, God knows how many stitches he’s getting. They’re both sitting in a hospital right now. I don’t think either one of them is getting inside the ring anytime quick. But I’ve got to be honest with you, I thought it was more dramatic than the Canelo fights.
“I really did. I mean, the first Canelo fight, I thought GGG won pretty easy, but it wasn’t like a war. This was a war,” said DiBella about Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko. “This was like Gatti-Ward at a skill level of two tremendous athletes. It was a bloody war of attrition, and it was fought at, and there was some amazing things done inside the ring. It’s a credit to GGG and both guys. I just didn’t think GGG won. I love him, but he didn’t win,” said DiBella.
There’s no way that Derevyanchenko will be able to fight soon with the cut that he sustained in the fight. Golovkin might luck out and get the Canelo fight next May, which would give him more than enough time to recover from his grueling match.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) October 6, 2019