Golovkin focused on Derevyanchenko but has plans beyond Canelo
SANTA MONICA, California – Gennadiy Golovkin met with a select group of boxing press on Monday, less than two weeks ahead of his middleweight title bout with Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Coincidentally, the former champ will face the Ukrainian for the very same title that he was stripped of last year when Derevyanchenko was his mandatory. Golovkin was all smiles as he and his team addressed the media.
Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) and Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs) will headline a cross-promotional card from GGG Promotions, Matchroom Boxing and DiBella Entertainment on October 5. The event will be broadcast live from Madison Square Garden in New York on streaming service DAZN.
“I feel great,” Golovkin said in a roundtable discussion with the media. “This is a championship fight. I know (Derevyanchenko) well, all the way back to 2008 when he was on the (Ukrainian) Olympic team. He is not as well known for American fans, but he is a very good opponent.”
Although he only has 14 fights as a pro, Derevyanchenko fought four seasons in the World Series of Boxing between 2010-2014. Currently ranked as the No. 6 middleweight by The Ring, “The Technician” faces GGG coming off a unanimous decision victory over former junior middleweight titleholder Jack Culcay back in April.
Derevyanchenko will be Golovkin’s second opponent with new trainer Johnathon Banks of Detroit. Their first assignment together was a relatively easy one, as GGG dispatched of the unheralded Steve Rolls via fourth round KO in June. This time around they face a legitimate top-10 middleweight in Derevyanchenko, who’s only pro loss was a close one against Daniel Jacobs last October.
“Gennady looks great and he’s developing well in the gym,” Banks said. “My only question is if (Derevyanchenko) will fight GGG the way he fought Jacobs. Is he going to try to brawl? I don’t think so. But if he does, it would be great for us.”
Many were expecting a third fight between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez this September, but the Mexican opted to face light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev instead. Gennady made it clear that he wants the third bout but isn’t going to sit around and wait for Alvarez to make up his mind.
“We have a plan B if Canelo does not want the fight,” GGG told RingTV, “we have four or five different options. I thought we had a deal to fight in September. His team and his promoters tried to persuade him, but he said no, so what can we do?”
Tom Loeffler, managing director of GGG Promotions, added his two cents. “Our position is that we won those two fights (with Canelo),” he said. “There were scoring irregularities with both of those fights. But right now, Gennadiy is focused on Derevyanchenko and is going his own way. Will the third fight happen? That’s really a question for Canelo.”
Golovkin said he was open to face the likes of Demetrius Andrade, Billy Joe Saunders, or even move up in weight to fight Callum Smith. Any those fights would be relatively easy to make as they all fight on DAZN. Gennadiy signed a lucrative deal with the streaming platform earlier this year, not only as a fighter, but a promoter as well. He is excited about using his promotional company to carry his boxing legacy well beyond his fighting days.
“(GGG Promotions) is definitely a big part of my future,” he said. “We already have a great prospect, Ali Akhmedov. I suggest everybody pay attention to him. We will continue to develop new talents.”
Akhmedov, a fellow Kazakhstan native, is currently 15-0 (11 KOs) as a pro and faces American veteran Andrew Hernandez on the Golovkin-Derevyanchenko undercard. The remainder of the undercard is still being organized and will be announced later this week according to Loeffler.
Michael Montero can be found on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @MonteroOnBoxing. His weekly podcast ‘The Neutral Corner’ can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio and elsewhere.