By Jim Dower
The teams of middleweight contenders Demetrius Andrade and Sergiy Derevyanchenko have agreed to a fight for May, but the fight hinges on whether HBO will elect to pick it up, according to Michael Benson.
This is a good fight pitting two very excellent top middleweights. 2008 Olympian Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) is already ranked No.1 by the International Boxing Federation and waiting for a title shot against IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Since he’s not available right now to fight, the 32-year-old Derevyanchenko is looking to get the best available fight against former WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs).
Neither of these guys is getting younger waiting for title shots. Andrade is ranked No.1 with the World Boxing Organization. He’s likely going to be the next mandatory challenger to WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, but he just finished making a mandatory defense of his title last December against David Lemieux. It’s going to be a while before Andrade gets a title shot against Saunders. But if he can get a fight against Derevyanchenko, he’ll be in the position to speed up his chances for a title shot.
Nicknamed the ‘Technician,’ Derevyanchenko is coming off of a 6th round stoppage win over journeyman Dashon Johnson on March 3 in an off television fight on the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Before that, Derevyanchenko stopped Tureano Johnson in the 12th round last August. That was a hard fought fight for both guys. Derevyanchenko eventually wore Johnson down and got the stoppage in the 12th.
If HBO doesn’t pick up the Andrade-Derevyanchenko fight, then the boxing fans won’t see this one. Andrade recently signed with them and had an easy 12 round unanimous decision victory over Alantez Fox on October 21 last year. The fight wasn’t all that competitive. Derevyanchenko would be a considerable step up in close for Andrade. HBO would have a nice fight to show to the boxing fans.
Andrade moved up to middleweight recently after capturing the WBA 154lb. title against Jack Culcay last year in March of last year. Andrade obviously knows there’s a lot more money to be made at 160, especially if he can get in the position to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez. That’s the money man in the middleweight division. Andrade will need to put himself in position to fight for a world title for him to have a chance of fighting Canelo. There wasn’t much interest on Canelo’s part to fight Andrade when the two of them were at 154, so it’s possible he won’t bother now that they’re both at 160.