Madison Square Garden, New York City - For the vacant IBF, IBO middleweight titles, Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) was tested tough and some felt he was on his way to a loss, but he pulled out a close twelve round unanimous decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs). The scores were 114-113, 115-112, 115-112. (photos by Ed Mulholland)
Golovkin is coming off a four round blowout of Steve Rolls in June.
Derevyancheko has been out of the ring since winning an IBF eliminator with a twelve round unanimous decision back in April.
Derevyanchenko was working a solid jab at the start. Golovkin began to work his jab as the contest played out. He threw a combination that dropped Derevyanchenko, who got up firing shots in return.
Derevyanchenko was boxing well in the second, but sustained a bad cut above his left eye after what was ruled as a clash of heads.
In the third, Derevyanchenko was going to work, landing many shots to the head and body of Golovkin, who was being pushed back. And the same scenario was playing out in the fourth.
In the fifth, Derevyanchenko was able to rock Golovkin with a hard hook that went right to the belly. The sixth was close with both boxers having their moments.
And the action was very tight in the seventh, with Derevyanchenko landing more and doing more work, and Golovkin landing the bigger shots. There was back and forth action in the eight.
Derevyanchenko outworked Golovkin during their action in the ninth. Golovkin was taking a lot of damage at the start of the tenth round and continued to work him over for most of the round. Golovkin had the edge in the eleventh with his hard shots, but it was still very close. They closed the twelfth and final round trading punches for most of the three minutes, with each boxer looking to snatch that final point.