Sergiy Derevyanchenko has two very appealing options for his next fight.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the middleweight contender has received offers to face Jermall Charlo and Canelo Alvarez.
Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko could challenge Charlo for his WBC 160-pound championship either in September or October. Derevyanchenko’s fight versus Alvarez could take place September 12.
Derevyanchenko would have to move up from 160 pounds to 168 to challenge Alvarez, who competed at the light heavyweight limit of 175 pounds in his last fight, an 11th-round knockout of Sergey Kovalev on November 2 in Las Vegas. Derevyanchenko, 34, last competed at the super middleweight maximum of 168 pounds in March 2016, when he stopped Mike Guy in the eighth round.
Derevyanchenko is the number one contender for Charlo’s championship, but the WBC has not declared Derevyanchenko as Charlo’s mandatory challenger. That means Charlo could fight someone other than Derevyanchenko next, probably Chris Eubank Jr., the British contender who has long been rumored to be Charlo’s next opponent.
Derevyanchenko, at least on paper, would be Charlo’s toughest opponent since the former IBF junior middleweight champ moved up from 154 pounds to middleweight three years ago.
Critics have chastised Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) for fighting huge underdogs Jorge Sebastian Heiland, Hugo Centeno Jr., Brandon Adams and Dennis Hogan since the Houston native began competing in the middleweight division in July 2017.
In Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs), Charlo would encounter a skillful, rugged opponent who has lost only a 12-round split decision to former IBF middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) and a close, 12-round unanimous decision to current IBF middleweight champ Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs).
Derevyanchenko’s brutal battle with Golovkin on October 5 at Madison Square Garden was named “Fight of the Year” by BoxingScene.com for 2019.
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) is seeking an opponent other than Billy Joe Saunders for his return to the ring.
The Mexican superstar was supposed to square off against England’s Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) for Saunders’ WBO super middleweight title May 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Saunders isn’t a potential opponent for Alvarez’s next bout in part because Golden Boy Promotions, Alvarez’s promoter, and DAZN are trying to secure a cheaper opponent.
Saunders’ compensation package for the Alvarez fight reportedly was approximately $8 million, but they hadn’t signed contracts to finalize their deal before the May 2 card was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to Derevyanchenko, Alvarez’s handlers also have considered former WBC super middleweight champ Anthony Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs) for the four-division champion’s next fight.
DAZN executives would prefer, however, to stream an Alvarez-Derevyanchenko bout because Derevyanchenko gave Golovkin, Alvarez’s rival, such a difficult fight. Dirrell also lost his last fight to David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs), but by ninth-round knockout last September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.