Middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs) has knocked out his last five opponents and he's now in position for a world title shot.
Last month, he battered and stopped Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs) in an IBF final eliminator at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.
The win over Johnson makes Derevyanchenko the mandatory challenger for Gennady Golovkin, who holds the IBF, WBC, WBA, IBO world middleweight titles.
Before that fight can happen, Golovkin would have to be successful in his upcoming return, when he defends his middleweight crown against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Derevyanchenko sparred more than 40 rounds Daniel Jacobs and helped him prepare for his March fight with Golovkin. Jacobs gave him credit for emulating the style of Golovkin. They share the same trainer in Andre Rozier and the same adviser in Al Haymon.
Jacobs became the first fighter to take Golovkin the full twelve round distance. Prior to that bout, Golovkin had stopped 23 opponents in a row.
"I haven’t really spoken to Danny [since he fought] Golovkin, but my style against Golovkin would be totally different. Danny’s a well-rounded boxer who gave me a lot of great work. I feel like I’m ready for anybody in the division right now, and I would love the fight against Triple G in the future," Derevyanchenko told Premier Boxing Champions.
The undefeated contender is backing Golovkin to beat Canelo - and he believes GGG will be the one to secure a knockout - if there is one.
"I think Golovkin beats Alvarez, and if there’s a knockout, it will be for Golovkin," Derevyanchenko said.
"I think I should be within the top five and, of course, I believe I’m No. 1. But right now, I think there’s Golovkin, who is considered the best in the division right now. Then you have Alvarez, Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux, maybe in that order. When Lemieux was preparing for Golovkin, I sparred him and I did excellent against him. All the guys I named, I rate right there with them and I think I could beat all of them."