The two-time world title challenger says he's leaving nothing to chance when he takes on WBC World Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo Saturday night in a blockbuster SHOWTIME PPV.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko is already down 0-2 in the count, hoping he doesn't strike out yet again when he steps up to the plate for a championship shot and challenges Jermall Charlo for his WBC World Middleweight crown.
Although Derevyanchenko has knocked it out of the park in previous title-fight performances against Gennadiy Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs, he’s landed in the losing column in close, competitive clashes.
Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) will look to prove that it’s better late than never when he’s presented with another championship opportunity against Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) this Saturday, September 26, in an unprecedented PBC on SHOWTIME pay-per-view twin billing (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT).
The doubleheader will display a total of six fights—five world title bouts—in a pair of three-bout broadcasts for the price of $74.95. In the final showcase of the evening, Jermell Charlo will take on Jeison Rosario in a super welterweight unification match. All of the action on the premium cable network will take place at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut without any fans in attendance.
The 2008 Ukrainian Olympian Derevyanchenko has been on the big stage before, but he came up short against both Golovkin and Jacobs.
He knows the reason why.
“I re-watched my fights with Golovkin and Jacobs, and I realized that I have to bring more pressure to Charlo,” said Derevyanchenko. “I need to be more aggressive and concentrate. I need to be the winner of every round and control the fight. I want to push Charlo and not give him any offensive initiatives.”
Derevyanchenko’s two losses have been razor-thin, adrenaline-filled wars. Some observers even argued that he won both fights. In the unanimous decision loss and fight of the year contender versus Golovkin, two judges had it 115-112, while the other had it 114-113.
Derevyanchenko had the distinction of landing the most punches ever on the Kazakh KO artist, 230 total landed; 183 power punches, an accolade that even escaped Golovin-archrival Canelo Alvarez during their two meetings. Against Jacobs, a split decision defeat, two judges again had it 115-112 for Jacobs while the other had it 114-113 in favor of Derevyanchenko.
“Golovkin felt my power, and I had some better moments,” said Derevyanchenko, who also suffered a first-round knockdown and cut above his right eye in the fight. “He was also good. It was a tough fight.”
“The Technician” knows that he’s better suited to score a career-defining win by being overly aggressive and dodging a decision altogether.
“ I’ve been training in preparing my entire life for a fight like this. ” Middleweight Contender - Sergiy Derevyanchenko
“I don't think about the judges,” Derevyanchenko said. “I’m always ready to win. If the opportunity for the knockout comes, I am going to take it. I want a KO every time. Fans like it, and I do too. If the KO doesn’t come, I’m going to give Charlo a great fight for 12 rounds. I know Charlo is going to bring it, so I’m ready. We’ll see what happens and who can stick to their own style.”
Derevyanchenko has been deftly preparing for Charlo amid unusual circumstances during the pandemic with longtime trainer Andre Rozier.
“I’ve been training comfortably during the coronavirus, getting the rest that I need,” said Derevyanchenko. “It’s been good for me to take my game to another level. The hardest part has been being alone in the gym. I like friendships and enjoy having people around me.”
The 34-year-old has corralled an extensive amateur career record of 390-20, highlighted by his four-year stint in the World Series of Boxing featuring five-round fights under the banner of Italian and Kazakhstani teams.
In addition to his high-profiled dates against Golovkin in 2019 and Jacobs in 2018, Derevyanchenko said he’s going to be leaning on his pre-pro days to display the necessary edge needed to beat Charlo.
“My experience, concentration and instincts will help me win this fight,” said Derevyanchenko, who’s been boxing since the age of 10. “I’m not making much changes, other than a few technical things and bringing in new sparring partners. I have my own system, and I keep that for all 12 rounds.”
Derevyanchenko said he will be mindful of Charlo’s counter-attacking style. Although his English is limited, Derevyanchenko can also chart Charlo’s brash braggadocio.
“He hasn’t said anything personal to me,” said Derevyanchenko. “It’s not respectful the way he talks to people. Fighters in the sport need to respect each other. It’s not a war outside of the ring. We need to be sportsmen. I have respect for him as a fighter.”
Trash talking face-to-face during the pandemic is a tall task considering press conferences are being coordinated in isolated video meetings.
Derevyanchenko is drafting a plan to devastate Charlo once they finally come within arm’s reach of each other. His third try at a championship won’t be an easy endeavor — it’s not like the undefeated Charlo is chopped liver.
“I’ve been training in preparing my entire life for a fight like this,” said Derevyanchenko. “Boxing is my life. I’ve been dreaming of this moment for a long time. If I win the world championship, it opens the doors for bigger opportunities.”
For a closer look at Sergiy Derevyanchenko, check out his fighter page.