Sergiy Derevyanchenko – should he move down to 154 to go after titles?
By Sean Jones: Sergiy Derevyanchenko suffered his worst career defeat last Saturday night in losing to WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
What the loss showed clearly was that Derevyanchenko isn’t big enough to be taking on middleweights like the 6’0″ Jermall or any of the other bigger guys in the division.
It’s time for Derevyanchenko to consider moving down in weight to 154, where he won’t be at a considerable size disadvantage against most of the fighters. Yeah, there is still some vast junior middleweight like Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd, Julian Williams, and Jeison Rosario. Yet, for the most part, the fighters at 154 are around the same size as Derevyanchenko.
The loss for the 5’9′ Derevyanchenko was his third in three tries to win a world title at 160, and at this point, he could be waiting a long, long time before he’ll get another world title shot at middleweight.
Derevyanchenko 0-3 in world title tries at 160
Unfortunately for Derevyanchenko, he’s 34-years-old, and he can’t afford to wait three to five years before he’s given another chance at capturing a world title at 160. Derevyanchenko has already lost to the more prominent fighters Gennadiy Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs, and he’s not likely to be given rematches against either of those guys.
Jacobs moved up to 168, which effectively puts him out of reach for Sergiy for good for the remainder of his career.
If Derevyanchenko chooses to stay at 160, he could find it incredibly challenging to get another title shot. You’ve got to believe that none of the world champions are going to give him a voluntary title try, as he’s lost now lost three out of his last four fights.
The promoters for middleweight champions Charlo, Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, and Ryota Murata won’t see anything to gain in fighting Derevyanchenko because they know he’s a tough out. Still, also he’s been beaten too many times now.
For Derevyanchenko to be seen as a viable alternative for any of the world champions at 160, he would need to hit the reset button on his career. The only way Derevyanchenko do that is to beat a series of top middleweights, and that would take him a considerable amount of time.
With the punishment that Sergiy has taken in his losses to Golovkin, Charlo, and Jacobs, he may not have enough left in the tank to beat some of the top middleweights to get in position for another world title shot.
To get another title shot at middleweight, Derevyanchenko will need to beat these types of contenders:
- Jaime Munguia
- Chris Eubank Jr
- Liam Williams
- Kanat Islam
- Maciej Sulecki
Getting those guys to agree to fight Derevyanchenko may prove to be impossible because he still has too much left for them to take the risk of fighting him.
Jermall was too big for Derevyanchenko
The hulking Jermall, who looked like a super middleweight last Saturday night, was way too big for the smallish Derevyanchenko. If the two were of the same height, there’s little question that Derevyanchenko would have won going away, but he was dealing with a fighter that looked two divisions larger than him.
Charlo is arguably a weight bully at 160, and anyone that isn’t of similar size as him is going to have problems until he eventually leaves the division or gets older. It’s more likely that Charlo will need to move up to 168 once it becomes harder for him to keep boiling down to make 160.
Derevyanchenko was beaten by the scores 116-112, 118-110, and 117-111. While some boxing fans had issues with how wide the judges scored it for the money guy Charlo, there are no doubts that he deserved the win. Derevyanchenko was too small, too weak, and too slow to beat Charlo last Saturday night.
“We stood toe-to-toe, and we didn’t back down from anything,” Jermall said in the aftermath of his victory over the 2008 Ukrainian Olympian Derevyanchenko.
“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.”
Derevynachenko’s right eye was severely swollen from round five. He later suffered a cut over his left eye during the championship rounds, which may have impacted his ability to track the right hands that Jermall was hitting him with.
While Derevyanchenko did fight well in the midpoint of the fight in rounds six and seven, he took a beating from rounds eight through eleven.
In the final round, Derevyanchenko came on came on and fought well, but Charlo was coasting at that point and not worried about expending energy. Jermall knew he had the victory in the bag, and he wasn’t going to take chances in the 12th.
A move down in weight to 154 would put Derevyanchenko in a position where he’s of equal size pretty much against his opponents. More than that, Derevyanchenko would have more clout than most of the contenders in the junior middleweight division because he’s gained a lot of attention from his title fights against Golovkin, Charlo, and Jacobs.
154 = better division for Sergiy
Derevyanchenko may have better luck getting the top contender to face him at 154 than if he stays at 160 and finds himself avoided like the plague. Unless Sergiy’s management can get him another fast world title shot at 160, which would seem unlikely given that he’s lost 3 out of his last four fights, then he needs to move down to 154.
Derevyanchenko should have been fighting at 154 during his career, but it’s no mystery why he’s chosen to fight at 160.
The 154lb division is an unglamorous one with no stars or chances for big paydays for Derevyanchenko. The only fighter that is somewhat popular is Jermell Charlo, but he’s probably not going to bother fighting Derevyanchenko following his loss to his twin brother.
It’s likely that Derevyanchenko will need to become the WBC mandatory challenger for Jermell to give him a title shot at 154 because he wouldn’t have anything to gain in defending against him. Also, Jermell isn’t as good as his brother Jermall, and he might lose if he takes on a solid fighter like Derevyanchenko.
That’s something that isn’t lost on the management for Jermell, who would know that he have a tough time against Sergiy.
Jermell will stay away from Derevyanchenko
If Team Jermell does give a title shot to Derevyanchenko, they’ll either wait until he’s the WBC mandatory or, more likely, until he’s aged to the point where he’s harmless and beatable. Jermell is a good fighter, but very, very flawed and easy pickings for someone like Derevyanchenko.
“I wouldn’t say it was an easy fight, but we stuck to what we wanted to do and made it happen,” Jermall said. “I let my jab dictate and we got the victory.
“And 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,” said Charlo.
Jermall was never in a position to knockout Derevyanchenko, and the reason for that is he looked afraid to go after him when he stunned him several times.
The reason for that is the gas tank for Jermall is extremely limited due to his struggles to make 160, and he wasn’t about to wear himself out trying to score a knockout against Sergiy.
Charlo will be forced to go the distance a lot the longer he stays at 160 because he doesn’t have the gas tank to knockout guys. If Jermall is forced to go 12 rounds a lot to win his fights, it’s going to short his career because he’ll take punishment, even against the mediocre fighters that he’s been dining on.
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