Gennady Golovkin aimed to make a statement last night in New York's iconic Madison Square Garden in his first title fight for over a year, but the plan didn't quite go according to the script.
The heavy bookies' favourite coming into the contest, Golovkin started brightly, forcing a knockdown inside the first round. It appeared that normal service would be resumed for the Kazak fighter, but he showed signs that his advancing years are catching up with him in the ring.
Derevyanchenko was the aggressor in the third round and the two continued to trade blows in the fourth and fifth, with him catching Triple G with some hard body shots which left the Kazakh star with work to do in the later rounds of the fight.
As the fight moved towards the championship rounds, Golovkin appeared to be in the ascendancy before allowing Derevyanchenko back into the fight with a series of accurate shots.
GGG eeked out all of his experience to rock his opponent in the final round and do enough to get the decision, but the unconvincing nature of the performance will lead to questions whether the former can ever scale his previous heights again.
Golovkin after the fight recognised that it had been a tough evening's work for him, saying: "Right now it’s bad day for me, [but] it’s a huge day for Sergiy, his team.
"Right now I know what I need exactly. I lost a little bit of focus. Sergiy was ready. I really respect him. He showed me such a big heart."
After two hotly disputed match-ups against Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, in which many people believe Golovkin should have won, the clamour for a rematch will surely intensify in 2020 if Alvarez gets past his next opponent Sergey Kovalev.
Golovkin appeared up for the challenge after the fight, stating: "Absolutely, I’m just open to anybody.
"There are so many great champions here. Sergiy, a lot of guys. Everything is ready. Just call Canelo. If he says yes, let’s do it."
Despite failing to impress last night, a potential Canelo v GGG III is still one to whet the appetite for 2020.News Now - Sport News