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Golovkin vs Derevyanchenko: Staff picks and predictions

Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko meet tomorrow on DAZN. Who wins?

Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko are set to meet tomorrow night on DAZN from Madison Square Garden, with the vacant IBF middleweight title on the line.

Our staffers make their picks.

Scott Christ

Look, last week I picked Shawn Porter over Errol Spence Jr and gave you all the incredible joy of having one dummy pick against the grain in a fight where there was a clear and obvious favorite. We all loved it, they threw parades in the streets for my bravery, and then Porter lost. A split decision, yes, but he lost.

The point is, I’m not picking Derevyanchenko this week, having too recently gotten a bold one out of my system. I like Derevyanchenko, he’s a good fighter, but straight up: unless GGG has “gotten old,” Derevyanchenko isn’t going to beat Golovkin. He’s a fine boxer, but if he’s a better boxer than Gennadiy, it’s not by enough. He can punch, but Golovkin has been in with plenty who can punch.

I believe this is a really good fight — realistically, it’s the best fight GGG was going to get for this date, other than maybe Demetrius Andrade. But I think the guy’s who’s “supposed to” win will. I do think Derevyanchenko has the sincere potential make it more interesting than most have, but my gut says if it goes the distance, a lot of that will be Derevyanchenko avoiding exchanges. Golovkin TKO-10

Wil Esco

Is Gennadiy Golovkin slipping? I don’t think there’s much to argue at this point. The question for me is, by how much? From the lofty perch Golvokin once stood, even some slippage still leaves him well above most of the middleweight pack, but I don’t believe we can expect to see an improved version of Golovkin ever again. On the other side we have Dervenyanchenko, whom I think is a really good, solid fighter who would beat a lot of good middleweights out there. But is Derevyanchenko a “special” fighter? No.

Derevyanchenko has already shown at least some difficulty dealing with high level boxing when he lost a decision to Daniel Jacobs last year. There’s no shame in that, of course, but with an aging Golovkin looking to do more boxing than banging under the guidance of new trainer Johnathon Banks, I think it’s going to be hard for Deveryanchenko to exploit Golovkin in this matchup. Golovkin is a extremely good technician who can still put away middling competition in emphatic fashion, but against the division’s elite things become a slightly different story. In the end I expect Golovkin to win in a pretty fan-friendly fight, but I don’t think he manages to close the show. Golovkin UD-12

Patrick L. Stumberg

What does Sergiy Derevyanchenko do to defeat Gennadiy Golovkin? He could live up to his “Technician” nickname and try to navigate through the sledgehammers coming his way, but even if you grant him the edge in boxing technique, Golovkin’s power is more than enough to offset it. He could try to channel Canelo and plant his feet, but the fact that he got knocked down by Daniel Jacobs and stung by Jack Culcay suggests that’s a bad idea.

Even if Derevyanchenko has the night of his life, I just don’t see him withstanding the legendary “GGG” firepower for 36 minutes. Expect a fun, technical, competitive fight until a wayward Golovkin shot takes out Derevyanchenko’s legs and begins the end. Golovkin TKO-6

Lewis Watson

I’ve got a real feeling Sergiy has the tools to make Saturday night one of Golovkin’s toughest tests in the professional ranks. In his first real test under the new tutelage of Johnathon Banks, GGG finds a well-schooled, durable, stocky, boxer-mover in the opposite corner who has proved he can pop. Sure, “proving you can pop” against the steel chin of Golovkin has never really shown to be enough, but with a stiff jab and proven ring IQ to boot, “The Technician” should be able to stay fairly elusive in the opening rounds as Golovkin struggles to pin him down.

What comes back in the other direction will inevitably dictate the fight. Derevyanchenko may be able to stay out of range early, but when it’s time to land his own fire, we’ll see the true test of his whiskers; he’ll need to weather the storm of engaging with GGG’s spiteful combinations as he attempts to throw with the former world champion. We still don’t really know how much those two fights with Canelo took out of Golovkin. At 37, this may be the fight that underlines just how many miles there are on the GGG clock.

–550 or 2/11 for a Golovkin win doesn’t sit right with me. The bookies were found out last weekend with Spence–Porter, with a real potential this fight can mirror that competitiveness. Listen, I’m not saying Derevyanchenko is going to win this, but to me, it’s got the makings of a really good contest. I’ve enjoyed backing underdogs before being well prepared to fall flat on my face, but I’ll bottle it and stick with GGG this time with an asterisk of a razor-thin decision. Golovkin SD-12

And the staff winner is...

Gennady Golovkin v Steve Rolls Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Gennadiy Golovkin (4-0)!

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