Gennadiy Golovkin is a middleweight champion once more, but it came in the form of one of the toughest fights of his career.
Returning to Madison Square Garden for another world title fight, Golovkin survived a tremendous effort from Sergiy Derevyanchenko and won by the skin of his teeth on the scorecards. Golovkin captured the IBF and IBO middleweight titles with scores of 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113 with Fightful having scored the bout 114-113 in favor of Golovkin on its live coverage page.
Starting off, Golovkin scored a knockdown in the first round, giving Derevyanchenko flashbacks of his fight against Daniel Jacobs in October 2018 in which Derevyanchenko was also dropped in the first round. Derevyanchenko’s night appeared to be getting worse after he received a cut above his right eye that it was initially thought to have come from a left hook from Golovkin in the second round, but later ruled by the referee that it came from an accidental headbutt.
Despite receiving a cut against one of the top middleweights of the past decade, Derevyanchenko charged right at Golovkin and started dominating the next several rounds thanks to his impressive body work. Derevyanchenko’s body work got to Golovkin, especially late in the fifth round where Golovkin was hurt and the cut eventually became a non-factor.
Derevyanchenko started stringing together successful rounds to the point the tide appeared to be going his way before Golovkin started to fight back. Golovkin and Derevyanchenko engaged in a high-action 10th round that saw both men land several big combinations at each other. The exchanges continued for the remainder of the fight and once the final bell sounded, the crowd at Madison Square Garden was on its feet in awe of the action those two had throughout the 12 rounds.
When the result was announced, the crowd booed Golovkin with the vocal majority inside the venue believing that Derevyanchenko won the fight. After the fight, Golovkin gave props to Derevyanchenko for giving him a wildly entertaining fight, even saying the two could run it back again. But in the end, the one man Golovkin has his sights on are on long-time rival Canelo Alvarez.
“Absolutely I still want Canelo, I’m just open to anybody. There are so many great champions here. Sergiy, a lot of guys. Everything is ready, just call Canelo. If he says yes, let’s do it," Golovkin said after the fight.
Golovkin and Alvarez nearly had their trilogy fight this year before talks fell through. With Alvarez challenging for Sergey Kovalev's WBO light heavyweight title in November, Golovkin will now wait until 2020 at the earliest before potentially getting his wish for a third fight.