By Jim Dower: Undefeated middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs) has been added to the January 20th card on Showtime, headlined by IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamon Peterson at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The 2008 Ukrainian Olympian Derevyanchenko will be fighting an opponent still to be determined, according to Dan Rafael.
Derevyanchenko has looked very good in his first 11 fights of his career since turning pro in 2014. His career has been pushed along nicely with him being against Sam Soliman, Jesse Nicklow, Mike Guy, Kemahl Russell and Tureano Johnson. Derevyanchenko’s extensive amateur background and his advanced age make it important that he be fast tracked to the top.
Derevyanchenko isn’t young enough to be brought along slowly, and he doesn’t need to. Derevyanchenko has had a lot of amateur experience in Ukraine. In the World Series of Boxing in the 2012-2013 season, Derevyanchenko was beaten by Brian Carlos Castano of Argentina by a 3-0 score. Castano is currently the WBA light middleweight champion.
Spence vs. Peterson will be televised on Showtime Boxing on Jan.20. Derevyanchenko’s fight will be off television. The co-feature bout is IBF World lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. defending against Javier Fortuna. Showtime usually televises 3 fights on their cards. If only 2 fights are televised, then it’ll be those 2 matches. If a third fight is going to be shown, unbeaten light heavyweight Marcus Browne’s 10 round match against Francy Ntetu will likely be the one that is televised.
In the spring, Derevyanchenko could be facing former 2-time junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade in what would be an interesting fight. Andrade is under contract with HBO now, so that fight will likely take place on that network. In the meantime, Derevyanchenko will be fighting on the Spence-Peterson undercard on January 20. The opponent for Derevyanchenko won’t be anyone too good. After all, he’s got a fight against Andrade cooking, as well as a mandatory shot against Golovkin. You never know. It’s going to be difficult to find someone good that is willing to face Derevyanchenko on just 9 days’ notice for the January 20th card.
The 32-year-old Derevyanchenko is the IBF mandatory challenger to IBF middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. Derevyanchenko earned that spot by defeating the tough as nails Tureano Johnson by a 12th round knockout on August 25. That was anything but an easy fight for Derevyanchenko. He took a lot of heavy blows from Johnson before wearing him down and stopping him in round 12. Each time it looked like Derevyanchenko had Johnson finished, he would come back and land some big punches to show that he still had something left.
It’ll be interesting to see Derevyanchenko face Golovkin in the future. The International Boxing Federation still hasn’t ordered that fight, but they might make the move to force the fight in 2019.