On paper the month of October looked good for fight fans, but it's hard to really believe how lucky we've been already, with the first weekend of the month giving us a thrilling, dramatic and action packed Middleweight title bout.
The bout in question saw Kazakhstan's Gennady Golovkin's (40-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] become a 2-time world champion as he reclaimed the IBF Middleweight title in a narrow, and very hard fought, bout against talented Ukrainian fighter Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10).
Golovkin got off to the ideal start. He looked sharp from the off and dropped Derevyanchenko with a right hand. He had landed a big one earlier in the round and looked like he could be on for a relatively easy win. Derevyanchenko got up from the knockdown, but was hurt again late in the round. The second round was another that went really well for the Kazakh who landed a big left hook, and found success with his body shot and jab. Derevyanchenko was also hindered by suffering a cut in the round.
After 2 rounds it really did seem like the 37 year old Golovkin was on route to a straight forward win.The bout however turned in round 3 when Derevyanchenko began to turn the bout into a dog fight, getting up close and getting success to the body. The Ukrainian's body attack hurt Golovkin and put the Kazakh on the back foot, making him cover up. For one of the first times in his career it seemed like Golovkin was hurt, and Derevyanchenko knew how to get to the Golovkin. Through the middle rounds the pressure and body shots of Derevyanchenko caught the eye, and he really seemed to have adapted a gameplan that not only let him have success, but also smothered the power of Golovkin who couldn't get full extension on his shots.
Golovkin managed to build some success of his own as he found his range again in round 6. It was a much better round for the Kazakh, though Derevyanchenko did hold his own through the round. It was a platform for Golovkin who managed to have more success in round 7, one of his best rounds. It looked like the KAzakh was turning the tide in his favour, but he was putting a lot in and really was looking his 37 years in the corner, as he sat breathing very heavily.
The 8th started with a doctor's inspection of the Derevyanchenko's cut, which was ruled to have come from a headclash back in round 2, and the doctor was happy to let the fight go on. It was another great round of back and forth action, and one where Golovkin had some of his best success, with 2 huge body shots. The pressure continued to come from Derevyanchenko but it was less effective as he began to tire. Incredibly however Derevyanchenko came roaring back in rounds 9 and 10, having Golovkin again in his shell and backing up under the pressure of Derevyanchenko and his quick combinations when he came in.
By the championship rounds it was clear the bout was close, it had been gruelling and both men were looking tired. Derevyanchenko again tried to apply his pressure but struggled to have consistency through the round, whilst the more conservative Golovkin landed the higher quality shots. That was the case in the final 2 rounds, as Derevyanchenko fought on will, more than skill, as he continued to try and impress the judges.
After 12 rounds, something that seemed unlikely after the start Golovkin had had, we went to the judges. The fight had been close, and could have gone either way, and when cards of 114-113 and 115-112, twice, were read out, it was unclear which way they were going. Unfortunately for Derevyanchenko they didn't go his way, instead they went with the Kazakh, who had been pushed hard in one of his toughest bouts.
Through the fight it seemed like Golovkin had shown his age. The 37 year old couldn't keep the intensity that we'd seen earlier in his career, and he was backed up a lot more often than we'd typically see from him. He was slower, less active, and hurt, several times, from body shots. For Derevyanchenko this was a second, razor thin, loss in a world title bout.
The post fight comments seemed to suggest a rematch could be in the offing, and if that happens we'd love to see it, though we feel that perhaps it's time for Golovkin to hang them up. He looked his age, he looked like a man who had been in a lot of hard bouts and seems a lot, lot more beatable than he has in the past. He took the win, and maybe this is the perfect time to hang them up, going out on a high as the IBF champion, and putting to bed any chance of losing again.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.