The vacant IBF and IBO middleweight titles will be on the line this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Competing for the two belts are Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko. The Kazakhstan native, Golovkin, is a -500 favorite with the Ukraine native, Derevyanchenko, coming back at +350.
This will be the second time ever and the second time in the last three fights that Derevyanchenko has been a betting underdog. The 13-1 boxer was a slight +155 dog against Daniel Jacobs last October and lost that bout in a very controversial split decision. Prior to that scrap, The Technician had been undefeated, favored in all of his bouts and on a six-fight finish streak.
Meanwhile, GGG is once again a favorite as he has been for most of his career outside of the Canelo Alvarez rematch when he was a slight -105 underdog with Alvarez coming back at -125. Outside of the Canelo fights, Golovkin has been a sizable favorite in every bout and holds a 39-0 record with 35 wins coming by knockout. In the two Canelo fights, he went 0-1-1 in two razor-thin decisions.
How Will This Fight Play Out?
GGG likes to get in dogfights with his opponents, constantly backing them into a corner looking for opportunities to let his heavy hands fly. He had a 23-fight knockout streak from 2008 to 2017 until Daniel Jacobs went the full 12 rounds but still lost by decision.
Not only does Golovkin have extreme punching power but he also has very good head movement when he’s in the pocket in wild exchanges, doing a good job of avoiding the true shots of his opponents. One negative aspect of GGG’s guard is that he doesn’t protect the body that well and can often be targeted there, although we haven’t really seen it wear him down.
The Technician has very accurate punches and he hides them well behind lunging movements and fast jabs. The Ukraine native does a great job during his flurries to mix up his punches high and low with exceptional speed and deceptive power.
He frustrated Jacobs in their bout over and over again by ripping the body, sometimes maybe a little too close to the beltline. In exchanges, Derevyanchenko has to do a better job at bringing his gloves back to his chin as he tends to trade punch for punch but that’s a dangerous game with GGG.
Two forward-pressure fighters who like to get into a phone booth and exchange hands. The Technician might have a slight edge in overall hand speed, but he tends to lumber forward and defensively there are some holes. Meanwhile, GGG will have the edge in power, footwork and overall defense.
Prediction: Gennady Golovkin (-550) via knockout (EVEN)
Odds as of October 4 at Sportsbook