By Keith Idec
Sergiy Derevyanchenko is more than ready for his mandated title shot if the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch gets postponed April 10.
Derevyanchenko is the mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s IBF middleweight title. The unbeaten Ukrainian contender gladly would challenge Golovkin on short notice if the Nevada State Athletic Commission extends Alvarez’s temporary suspension at its next monthly meeting in Las Vegas.
The NSAC will determine during that meeting if it accepts Alvarez’s explanation for twice testing positive for clenbuterol in February. The Mexican superstar claims his positive tests stem from contaminated meat he ate in his native country.
If the NSAC decides against allowing Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) to fight Golovkin in their much-anticipated middleweight championship rematch, Golovkin intends to fight either May 5 or soon thereafter.
“Sergiy is willing and able to fight Triple-G if the fight with Canelo falls through,” Keith Connolly, Derevyanchenko’s manager, told BoxingScene.com. “Sergiy is Triple-G’s only mandatory that isn’t currently busy. [Jermall] Charlo has a fight April 21 [against Hugo Centeno Jr.], so he’s busy. And as far as Demetrius Andrade goes, he is B.J. Saunders’ mandatory [for the WBO title], not Triple-G’s. On top of that, Andrade is a safety-first fighter. Nobody wants to see that. Triple-G and Sergiy, on the other hand, would be a mouthwatering, all-action fight that would be TV-friendly.”
Andrade, an undefeated former 154-pound champion from Providence, Rhode Island, said recently that he would welcome an opportunity to step in if Alvarez isn’t allowed to fight Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) on May 5. Connolly questioned Andrade’s willingness to take the Golovkin fight on what would be 3½ weeks’ notice because Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) was hesitant to face Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) on comparably short notice December 16 in Montreal.
The 30-year-old Andrade would make more money to fight Golovkin than he’d have earned to battle Derevyanchenko. Regardless, fighting a tall, talented southpaw on short notice might not interest Golovkin and his handlers.
“I find it comical Andrade would even be considered for this fight over Sergiy,” Connolly said. “Andrade is the same guy that backed out of fighting Sergiy a few months ago because he didn’t have enough time [to prepare], supposedly. Now, all of a sudden, he says he’s constantly in the gym and always ready.”
Derevyanchenko, 32, most recently stopped journeyman Dashon Johnson (22-23-7, 7 KOs, 1 NC) following six one-sided rounds on the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz undercard March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 2008 Olympian became Golovkin’s IBF mandatory challenger by stopping the Bahamas’ Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs) in the 12th round of their elimination match August 25 in Miami, Oklahoma.
“Sergiy is the mandatory and he’s currently available,” Connolly said. “He’s the logical choice to get the fight. Tom Loeffler [Golovkin’s promoter] has my number and Al Haymon’s number. So if the Canelo fight falls through, we’d love to make the fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.