Eddie Hearn on Gennady Golovkin vs Derevyanchenko: ‘He Wasn’t Overly Motivated’
Eddie Hearn credits Sergiy Derevyanchenko for a tough fight, but says Gennady Golovkin wasn’t at his best.
It was no easy task, but Gennady Golovkin earned the unanimous decision victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Although the decision came with some controversy. Maybe it was because he entered the ring with the flu, or unmotivated; as co-promoter Eddie Hearn liked to put it. It’s also possible that age may have caught up to the 37-year-old Golovkin.
Or maybe Derevyanchenko proved that he was just that good, as he engaged “GGG” into a battle for survival.
“Don’t mean to be disrespectful to Segiy, but Gennady wasn’t overly motivated to fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko,” said Hearn. “It’s no excuse. But at this age, at this stage in his career; really you need those fights that will motivate you. And what he came up against tonight was a guy that was super motivated. You know, who basically fought with every ounce he’s got. And sometimes it’s tough if you’re not ready for that.”
Golovkin originally looked for a third bout with unified middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, who instead opted to move up two weight classes to challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Alvarez was also stripped of the IBF title after he failed to make a mandatory defense against Derevyanchenko.
That left Golovkin and Derevyanchenko as ideal opponents for the vacant title, and both went to war. The mandatory challenger went down in the first round, but dug deep and took the fight to the former lineal middleweight champion. Midway through the fight, Golovkin appeared to wear down as Derevyanchenko kept going downstairs to the body.
“The Technician” never stopped pressing the attack, even after taking hard punches from the Kazakhstan native. For every combination Golovkin threw, Dervyanchenko answered with his own. After a Gatti-Ward like battle, Golovkin took the decision on all three judges’ scorecards to claim the vacant IBF title.
Both fighters were then \taken to the hospital following the outcome as a precaution. Lou DiBella, who promotes Derevyanchenko, engaged into a debate with Hearn over the judges’ scoring of the fight.
“I think that ‘GGG’ is a great, great, great fighter,’ said DiBella. “And he’s had all these moments in his life to cement his legacy. Tonight, Derevyanchenko cemented his legacy; and he was robbed of that moment.”