Golovkin vs Derevyanchenko on tap?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Following Canelo's Alvarez's tainted drug tests and subsequent withdrawal from his much-anticipated rematch with middleweight champion Gennady "Triple G" Golovkin, the latter is in search for an opponent for May 5.
The date and venue have been secured so there's no going back. Triple G will fight on Cinco de Mayo.
However, the latest developments put Team Golovkin in quite a pickle as they are under pressure to find a brand new opponent who is accomplished and marketable enough to salvage what's left of the event, yet still be careful and not select a dangerous opponent whose style, strengths and weaknesses are opposite of Alvarez's.
Canelo vs Andrade
Given Triple G will have less than a month to prepare for his opponent's style, now wouldn't be the time to choose a dangerous foe who matches up well with Golovkin. As a result, don't expect to see him face undefeated middleweight contender Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) - a tall, slick southpaw whose style bears little resemblance to the style (Canelo's) Triple G has been preparing for.
Canelo vs Munguia
If you’re Canelo, why not face another Mexican on Cinco de Mayo in what would be sort of an ‘Apollo vs Rocky’ themed event?
Golovkin, as a popular and respected champion, would give an unknown, undeserving Mexican contender a shot at the title on Cinco de Mayo.
Enter Jaime Munguia (28-0)
Senor Munguia would have filled that void and helped make it an interesting spectacle, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to allow the fight to take place, citing Munguia's low quality of opposition.
... So, is Golovkin vs Derevyanchenko on tap?
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KO) has been the IBF's top contender for nearly 8 months and boasts stoppage wins over Tureano Johnson (then 20-1, 14 KO) and former belt-holder Sam Soliman. Moreover, the 32-year-old Ukrainian has a deep amateur pedigree, winning a bronze medal at middleweight at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships and subsequently representing his native Ukraine at the 2012 Olympics.
... But is he ready for the likes of Gennady Golovkin?
“I’m ready to fight the winner of Golovkin-Canelo for the title, Derevyanchenko said last August via BoxingNewsOnline.
"I think that Golovkin will win and I look forward to fighting him next."
Perhaps Derevyanchenko is prophetic?
Within the last 48 hours, his handlers have sent a letter to the IBF insisting the sanctioning body immediately make Derevyanchenko the mandatory opponent for Golovkin. As it relates to Golovkin's titles, the sanctioning bodies previously agreed to a rotation process. The WBC, whose mandatory was Canelo, was up and the IBF was slated next.
Now, given Alvarez's withdrawal, Team Derevyanchenko insists the IBF is next in the rotation so their man should get the opportunity.
"By immediately ordering that Mr. Golovkin satisfy his mandatory obligation by fighting Mr. Derevyanchenko, the IBF will not just be making the proper decision pursuant to its rules, but also shall ensure that its title and the boxers in its ratings are not held hostage,” wrote Alex Dombroff, an attorney for Derevyanchenko’s promoter, Lou DiBella.
Nothing to lose?
Perhaps the Ukrainian's team believes it has nothing to lose? If Triple G starches their guy, they can always say they took the fight on short notice and hadn't spent many weeks in training camp unlike Golovkin.
Team Golovkin, however, has shown no interest in Derevyanchenko; And for good reason. His name is as recognizable as it is pronounceable, and he boasts few marketable accomplishments. Also, a Kazakh vs a Ukrainian isn't exactly your quintessential Cinco de Mayo main event.
And let’s face It, if he represented Ukraine in the Olympics he’s probably pretty solid and could be too much risk for the reward given Triple G would have less than 4 weeks to prepare for him.
Lewis vs Klitschko - 2003
Remember when Vitali Klitschko stepped in on a week's notice to face then consensus heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis? There are usually risks involved when facing a different opponent with a different style and strengths and weaknesses at the last minute.
It'll be interesting to find out if we'll see Golovkin vs Derevyanchenko next or somewhere down the line.