By Luke Furman
Middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs) is the IBF's mandatory challenger to world champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs).
He was a very interested observer when Golovkin defended his four world titles against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) last month at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After an exciting showdown that saw both have their moments, the fight ended in a controversial twelve round split draw.
A rematch is now being negotiated, likely to take place in May of 2018, as part of Cinco De Mayo weekend.
The second fight will force Derevyanchenko to sit back and wait for his mandatory shot at the winner.
Derevyanchenko felt Golovkin was the clear winner of the contest.
"As expected, Golovkin and Alvarez showed us a very good fight. If we want to talk about the scoring, then I'll say right away that Golovkin won," Derevyanchenko told reporter Anuar Abdrakhmanov.
"At first glance, it seemed to me that the fight was close, because there were times when Alvarez made a very good account of himself. Then, when I had the opportunity to watch the fight in a calm atmosphere, I came to the conclusion that Golovkin was better and more precise. Alvarez won about four rounds. At the beginning of the fight, [Canelo] took some rounds and in the end, in the 12th, he looked good - but if we take the overall picture of the fight, then Golovkin was better."
In a recent interview, WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko was highly critical of Golovkin's fighting style in the ring. Lomachenko, regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport, felt Golovkin was using the same combination over and over and made no adjustments in the fight.
Derevyanchenko agrees with Lomachenko. The two of them were stablemates on the very respected Ukrainian amateur team.
"Yes [I agree with Lomachenko]. If you take a look at [Golovkin's] recent fights, then you would see that Golovkin worked like this. Of course, there was a fight with David Lemieux, where Gennady worked perfectly and showed his entire technical, tactical arsenal," Derevyanchenko said.
"But with Jacobs and Alvarez - Golovkin was repetitive and just went forward. I think with Alvarez, Golovkin was unable to put his combinations together, because the Mexican did not allow him to put those attacks together. From the first round, Golovkin tried to land big punches, and Alvarez saw everything coming."
"In principle, Golovkin always goes out and wants to finish the fight ahead of schedule. Gennady strongly invests in his power punches, and he did not hide his punches. If he worked in a less predictable manner, then the punches would have probably had a better chance to reach the target."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.