Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



Gennadiy Golovkin-Sergey Derevyanchenko press conference quotes

Photo by Ed Mulholland/ Matchroom Boxing USA
Fighters Network

The fight will be sold on the strength of the matchup, on what it promises to be, on paper, rather than histrionics or trash talk or ersatz beefing.

At Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, a presser to hype the Saturday showdown between Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergey Derevyanchenko featured zero in the way of spice, unless you wanted to read between the lines spoken by some of the fight-makers and support staff.


As per usual, GGG kept it short – and pretty sweet – when he took to the mic. Eddie Hearn brought the Kazakhstani knockout artist to the fore and played up “integrity” and “respect,” traits the promoter insists belong to the man looking to regain the vacant IBF middleweight title.

“Good afternoon everyone. I’m so happy, really, so happy because great boxing time is coming,” Golovkin (39-1-1), who turned 37 in April, stated, as Derevyanchenko, 33, looked and listened, placid as is his constant manner. “Happy because my opponent, look at his team, is so great, so strong, everybody is ready, everything is ready. I want to say thanks to people who support boxing, who support me, who support this show, the DAZN company, all my partners, all sponsors, all people who support me and boxing sport. This is a great time for me and a great time for boxing right now. I want to speak like a fighter, like a boxer: I’m ready, I’m so excited, we had a lot of time for great prep for this event. Please, guys, if you like real fight, don’t miss this fight! I see you Saturday night, thank you so much, thank you very much fellas.”

The man is among the GOAT when it comes to being gracious about fan support, and really, across the board, this session had a peace and love and mutual respect vibe to it.

Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Derevyanchenko kept it brief. Interpreter Vlad Lik said that the underdog thanked everyone from coming, and he called it a pleasure to get to fight in the hallowed grounds. “Saturday night, I’m ready for rock n roll,” the 13-1 boxer finished.

The name “Canelo” wasn’t front and center on anyone’s lips, though promoter Eddie Hearn, who noted a few times how well DAZN has done over their one-year span in the biz, referred to the Mexican, obliquely. No need for anyone to be asking GGG who he will fight next because he takes on all comers, the Brit said, and besides, this middleweight strap battle will be juicy enough to warrant full attention.

Derevyanchenko’s promoter Lou DiBella once again proved his worth as a superior mouthpiece for the sport. Hearn recalled that as a 10-year-old, he’d see DiBella, as he tagged along with his pop Barry Hearn, and was transfixed by the New Yorker. He called him a “partner” and said he very much respects the passion that the Brooklyn-born fight game vet has. DiBella admitted that he loves the sport, and also gets into a love-hate relationship with the sweet and oft savage science. But overall, the game is a treasure… and he played up the DAZN’s place in the universe. He said that DAZN provides exemplary value for the consumer, with this one, Canelo vs Kovalev and the Ruiz vs Joshua sequel. “It’s nine bucks a month,” he shared. “Pretty much, if you’re a boxing fan, you have to acknowledge the value and subscribe to DAZN and do it now!” And come to the building to soak it all up in person if you can. He gave a plug to his new Irish star, Joe Ward, a 25-year-old who debuts at light heavy on Saturday. (DiBella told me he thinks Ward could be “very, very, very good.” Three verys, noted). DiBella said his kid is coming not to compete, but to win… and he almost apologized when noting that GGG is older, and people will see what they saw June 1 (Ruiz-Joshua I), a shocker upset.

Others who got some mic time include:

–Keith Connolly, manager to Derevyanchenko. He noted that he’s loved working with Hearn, after Hearn complimented him for getting every dime he can for his fighters. “He’s a live underdog” who “definitely has a chance” to beat GGG, the New York-based manager said of his Ukrainian client. No, he didn’t promise a win, points to him for eschewing mock hyper-confidence.

—MSG executive Joel Fisher addressed the media. He had to dig it when DiBella said that MSG has re-established itself as “the Mecca,” the premier event center for pugilism in this region. The Garden boss man said that he looks forward to Hearn and DAZN bringing even more fare to the hallowed arena.

–Promoter Tom Loeffler said his guy, GGG, sees MSG as a home away from home, and is under no illusions about how solid Derevyanchenko is. Also, he noted the strong bond GGG has cemented with new trainer Johnathan Banks and that it will pay dividends Saturday.

—Banks said he foresees a “very competitive” and “tooth-and-nail fight.” Interesting, he’s didn’t choose to announce a vast advantage his dude has and chest thump at the imminence of victory.

—Andre Rozier, trainer to Derevyanchenko, swore to God that THIS CAMP was “the best training camp ever.” He lauded “The Technician” for being a sweet human being and, in fact, told me yesterday that SD acts almost like a “priest”; quiet and respectful, day to day. Rozier told the media that GGG is a class act, but “we have a major, major force that he will be facing Saturday.”

The session kept a tight focus, some undercard fighters and bouts were mentioned, but mostly, all understood that the main event is the main driver to attract eyeballs.



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