By Ponciano “John” Melo
CALIFORNIA, USA — GGG is a middleweight champion of the world once more.
And however louder his critics may claiming his unanimous decision win over Sergey Derevyanchenko is anything but convincing, the truth of the matter is, Gennady Golovkin is the undisputed IBF titleholder.
The future Hall-of-Famer scored an early knockdown en route to a too-close-for-comfort UD victory against his Ukrainian foe at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
The judges’ scorecards read after 12 rounds: 115-112, 114-113, 114-113 all in favor of the Kazakhstan native. But even after scoring a KD in the first, Golovkin still had to survive a gutsy Derevyanchenko that gave GGG a good run for his money.
In the first round, Golovkin needed to dig deep to repulse a steady attack from his foe, he did. With an uppercut and an overhand right, the Kazakh downed Sergey in the opener before GGG bloodied his opponent with a left hook that cut open Derevyanchenko’s right eyebrow.
This seemed to slow down the Ukranian a bit, but he was never going down without a fight.
From the third round onwards, Derevyanchenko found his stride and was visibly more comfortable inside the squared circle, going toe-to-toe with GGG and eventually hitting a beautiful body shot that slowed down the would-be victor heading into the latter half of the fight.
"When I started moving, I felt like I was giving him room and I was being hit with those looping shots that Golovkin threw. That's when I started taking the fight to him and not giving him room to maneuver," Derevyanchenko said.
As per the total punch stats, GGG was a tad bit more accurate, hitting 34 percent of his punches (243-720).
Meanwhile, Sergiy was good for 31 percent or 230 out of 738.
It was an interesting exchange in the final six rounds of the match with the eight-round coming as GGG’s finest showing, though Derevyanchenkostood his ground.
When it came to the final round, it was evident that both fighters had used up all their juice and were fighting on fumes. For Golovkin, he needed every ounce of what he’s got in this “very tough fight.”
"I told you, he's a very tough guy," Golovkin said in the ring after his win. "This is huge experience for me. Right now, I understand I need more. ... I feel this was not an easy fight for me. This was a tough fight,” he said.
Asked if a Canelo Alvarez-GGG III is in the pipeline, the 37-year-old didn’t hesitate to answer.
"Absolutely," Golovkin said when asked about fighting Alvarez again. "I'm open for anybody. There's so many great champions right now here. Everything is ready. Just call Canelo. if he says yes, let's do it."
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