The last time Gennadiy Golovkin arrived to weigh in for an IBF middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden, his opponent never showed up.
Daniel Jacobs skipped the second-day weigh-in that the IBF required for their 160-pound championship match in March 2017 at The Garden. Jacobs’ strategic move agitated Golovkin, whose team contended that Jacobs gained an advantage by not having to weigh in at 170 pounds or less the morning of a closely contested, 12-round fight Golovkin won by unanimous decision.
Golovkin doesn’t expect to encounter a similar problem Saturday morning. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin and Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko each made weight Friday afternoon at Manhattan Center for their IBF/IBO middleweight title fight Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Golovkin, 37, stepped on the New York State Athletic Commission’s scale at 159¼ pounds, just below the middleweight limit of 160. Derevyanchenko, 33, officially weighed 159 pounds.
Both boxers are expected to participate in the IBF’s second-day weigh-in Saturday morning.
Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs), who’s the IBF’s No. 1-ranked middleweight, and the third-rated Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) will fight for the unclaimed IBF belt that was stripped from Canelo Alvarez two months ago for failing to come to an agreement to make a mandatory defense versus Derevyanchenko.
It’ll be an opportunity for Golovkin to win back the IBF belt that was stripped from him in June 2018. The IBF took that title from Golovkin because he opted to take a more lucrative middleweight championship rematch against Alvarez in September 2018, rather than making a mandatory defense against Derevyanchenko.
Jacobs defeated Derevyanchenko by split decision to win the then-vacant IBF title last October 27 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Alvarez beat Jacobs by unanimous decision in their 160-pound championship unification match May 4 to win the IBF belt from Jacobs.
DAZN’s live stream of most of the eight-bout Golovkin-Derevyanchenko card is set to start Saturday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Below are weights for each of the seven undercard fights Saturday night:
Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3 KOs), Khiva, Uzbekistan, 153¼ pounds vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-5, 18 KOs), Monterrey, Mexico, 10 rounds, for the WBA intercontinental super welterweight title.
Ivan Baranchyk (19-1, 12 KOs), Amursk, Russia, 139½ pounds vs. Gabriel Bracero (25-3-1, 6 KOs), Brooklyn, 10 rounds, junior welterweights.
Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11 KOs), Almaty, Kazakhstan, 167¼ pounds vs. Andrew Hernandez (20-7-2, 9 KOs, 2 NC), Phoenix, 167½ pounds, 12 rounds, for the WBC silver international title.
Brian Ceballo (10-0, 5 KOs), Brooklyn, 148½ pounds vs. Ramal Amanov (16-0, 5 KOs), Miami, 148¼ pounds, 8 rounds, junior middleweights.
Kamil Szeremeta (20-0, 4 KOs), Bialystok, Poland, 159¼ pounds vs. Oscar Cortes (27-4, 14 KOs), Zapopan, Mexico, 160 pounds 8 rounds, middleweights.
Joe Ward (pro debut), Athlone, Ireland, 173¼ pounds vs. Marco Delgado (5-1, 4 KOs), Anaheim, California, 6 rounds, light heavyweights.
Nikita Ababiy (6-0, 5 KOs), Brooklyn, 160½ pounds vs. Isiah Seldon (13-2-1, 4 KOs), Somers Point, New Jersey, 6 rounds, super middleweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.