On October 5, 2019, two out of the top 5 middleweights clashed in a controversial battle for the vacant IBO and IBF middleweight titles. The 37 year old, and once known as the most dangerous middleweight in the world, Gennady Golovkin, squeaked by the upcoming middleweight in Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The slim decision left a really bad taste in the mouths of many fans around the world. The sport of boxing really does owe us a rematch.
The decision really came down between who was the more accurate puncher (Golovkin) and who was the more active fighter (Derevyanchenko). To say the Gennady looked rusty in this fight would be an understatement. He looked rough, and there’s a couple of factors as to why that may be. For one, GGG is 37 years old and the one thing that many athletes cannot defeat is age and attrition. The body can only sustain so much punishment. The other factor, is that GGG changed camps entirely leaving former trainer Abel Sanchez.
Golovkin, at 37, is simply slowing down and with that comes a loss in his power punches. His style of fighting throughout his career is more of the stand and trade rather than the bob and weave. As he gets older, this style is going to out date and if he wants to keep competing at a championship level he will certainly have to make some adjustments. Should Golovkin go back to trainer, Abel Sanchez? It seemed that GGG was hands down, one of the most feared middleweights in the world during his time with Sanchez. Despite losing a very close rematch to Canelo Alvarez, I still felt that Golovkin was the second best middleweight. Can GGG make enough adjustments to make a final surge without Abel Sanchez? If not Abel Sanchez, where else should he go?
Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko II is a must for Golovkin, as far as I’m concerned. Golovkin has got to move on from this fight by extinguishing the doubters and the critics with a lopsided victory. We’ve seen fights like this turn into great rivalries throughout the history of boxing. I believe this is one of those occasions. Remember Floyd Mayweather jr. vs Marcos Maidana? Floyd felt he needed the second fight to shut up the doubters, and he did just that. However, turn the clock back a bit more to the Roy Jones Jr. vs. Antonio Tarver fight. Roy Jones Jr. vs Antonio Tarver 1 is almost the same story as Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko 1. Tarver ended up winning the trilogy by winning the second fight via 2nd round TKO and then later on winning the third fight by unanimous decision.
Will Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko II happen? What outcome would you expect in a possible trilogy fight? GGG has to prove that he is still one of the best middleweights in the world before a trilogy fight with Canelo is even possible. Without a rematch with Derevyanchenko, I can see GGG possibly redeeming himself by moving up weight classes. I actually think that a move up to light heavyweight would be a great move. He’d have a little less weight to cut and could put more of an emphasis on adjusting the rest of his game while also retaining some size and power. What do you think GGG should do moving forward? Does he have anything left to prove at middleweight at this stage of his career at 37 years old?
photo credit: Pryce Wright / Game Changer Sports Network
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