Sergiy Derevyanchenko becomes the IBF mandatory for the winner of Canelo Alvarez vs Daniel Jacobs!
Sergiy Derevyanchenko, (12-1, 10KOs) coming off a split decision loss to IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs, is looking to secure another title shot against Jack Culcay (25-3, 13KOs).
Both fighters are pretty straightforward with little special effects, however, both are tough and competent. Derevyanchenko comes in as the favorite due to his better amateur pedigree. This is an elimination for the IBF middleweight title, so both fighters will be very motivated.
To start the fight, both men took their time to feel each other out. Culcay took the lead against the tough Ukrainian and is landing jabs to both the head and body. Derevyanchenko adjusts by incorporating feints and moving in and out more than usual in attempt to bait Culcay into overextending himself.
The ebb and flow is quite different than what many were expecting, as it’s been very tactical.
In round six, both fighters seemed to feel a sense of urgency and are speeding up the pace. This change in styles definitely seems to suit Derevyanchenko.
Culcay is showing excellent defense and reflexes. Culcay is landing cleaner punches while the Ukrainian is throwing at a higher volume. The fight is razor close as we go into round ten. Derevyanchenko is marking up, even though he has landed more punches.
The championship rounds follow the same pattern we’ve seen all fight long, with scoring mostly depending on preference. The fight was fought way off script but, was entertaining nonetheless. The final scores were 116-112 twice, and 115-113 on the remaining card.
This fight provided clarity as to the future of both fighters. Derevyanchenko will await the winner of Alvarez vs Jacobs for his mandatory position for the IBF title.
Culcay put on a good enough performance to remain among the contenders. His name will be on the short list for any middleweight looking for an opponent.
By: Corey Cunningham