(Image Credit: The Guardian)
Saturday night’s bout with Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden was the first title fight Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin has had since his decision loss to Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez in September 2018. In addition to winning back the IBF and IBO middleweight titles, the latter of which he lost to Canelo in his only loss to date, Golovkin wanted to make a statement in this fight. That statement was that he is still a world class fighter despite being 37, which is around the age most boxers consider retirement. He certainly demonstrated this with his first round knockdown of Derevyanchenko, whose only loss to date was against Daniel Jacobs, but was unable to repeat this for the remainder of the fight.
The rest of the match turned into a thrilling back and forth, which left Derevyanchenko with a badly cut and bloodied eye. Although outboxed, Derevyanchenko was able to land numerous heavy shots on Golovkin throughout the remaining eleven rounds after being knocked down, notably hurting Triple G with some savage hits to the body in the fifth. This resulted in the fights most controversial moment, as the referee intervened for no apparent reason, giving Golovkin some much needed time to recover, and understandably angering Derevyanchenko’s corner.
The ultimate result was a very close unanimous decision for Golovkin, with two judges scoring it 115-112 and the third reading 114-113. However, although Golovkin fought well, his age was more apparent than ever in this fight, as he was noticeably struggling a lot more than in his previous bouts.
Regardless, this victory has put Golovkin another step closer to a third match with Canelo following last year’s loss and the previous years controversial draw. In a post-fight interview on Saturday night Triple G made it clear that a second rematch with Canelo is his ultimate goal, in a final bid to get revenge for the previous two fights and regain the belts he lost.
Although he may have to wait a while due to Canelo’s decision to move up to light heavyweight, the massive profits generated by the last two fights means there is still a very high chance of it happening. The main question that has to be asked of Golovkin, however, is whether he actually stands a good chance of winning against the 29 year old Canelo. Canelo is after all still in his fighting prime, whilst Golovkin’s career is starting to come to a close.