SAN DIEGO, Calif., September 26, 2020 – WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo of Houston (31-0, 22 KOs) delivered a master class in geography with a solid defeat by unanimous decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko of Ukraine (13-3, 10 KOs). Scores were 118-110 (Sutherland), 117-111 (Weisfeld), and 116-112 (Cheatham). Our card matched Weisfeld, giving Charlo nine rounds and Derevyanchenko three rounds.
If you’d like to play “compare the cards,” Golovkin’s scores over Derevyanko were 115-112 X 2 and 114-113; Jacobs’ cards were even closer, with 115-112 X 2 for him and the third 114-113 to the Ukrainian. But Golovkin and Jacobs both scored knockdowns early in their fights.
“I made my team proud, I did what I was supposed to do, I executed the game plan,” said Charlo after the fight. “I passed the test, I’m happy. Time to get back to the drawing board and figure out what’s next.
“I knew he was going to be tough, I knew he would come to fight,” said Charlo of Derevyanchenko. “I just didn’t know how, or when. I didn’t know when he would turn it up. I didn’t let being in the bubble or the controversial losses taken by black people get to me.”
Charlo dictated the outcome by controlling where the fight took place in the ring. His longer reach and wicked jab sent the message to Derevyanchenko he would have to risk running the gauntlet to move in toward Charlo and work to the body where he is most effective. A slow starter by his nature, the Ukrainian couldn’t manage to deliver enough serious offense in the early rounds.
As Charlo began to gain confidence, he also began to gain an accurate sense of timing, seeing Derevyanchenko coming. When Derevyancheko began to work more offensively, Charlo has the counterpunching answers. When fighting in closer, Charlo made outstanding use of effective uppercuts mixed with straight punching.
In an effort to try something, anything else, Derevyanchenko wasted several of the middle rounds trading headshots with Charlo. After the seventh round, trainer Andre Rozier told him to stop the headhunting and work to the body instead with his more effective left hooks and mix in his own uppercuts. Derevyanchenko did it, and won the round.
Charlo adjusted, moved back to the outside of Derevyanchenko’s range and targeted the accumulating damage on Derevyanchenko’s face. His confidence kept him disciplined and on target as the options for Derevyanchenko narrowed down.
“I stayed poised, I stayed composed,” said Charlo. “I used my jab, I stayed behind the jab. When I got away from it, (trainer) Ronnie Shields got me back on track.” While Charlo said he would have loved a knockout, “Getting a victory, shutting him out is statement enough.”
Derevyanchenko didn’t back down. He let it rip in the 12th round with nothing to lose, and Charlo didn’t run. The pair traded leather in a wildly entertaining finish. Charlo felt the shots, and it almost seemed a point of pride for him to stand there and take it without fear to the final bell.
.@FutureOfBoxing is a champion for the people.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) September 27, 2020
Following the conclusion of the fight as the scorecards were being passed in, Charlo showed respect to Derevyanchenko, acknowledging “What they said was real!” about his opponent’s power punching and posing for photos together.
How much did the Ukrainian’s previous bouts against Daniel Jacobs and Gennadiy Golovkin take out of him before taking on Charlo? Maybe some small effort, but give the credit to Charlo for an incredibly disciplined, smart fight, with the muscle and accuracy to back it up, and Derevyanchenko for his effort in another tough loss.
Who’s next for Charlo among the top middleweights? “I’m not into making the fight. The bigger fights are out there. I’m stepping over the competition. I’ll let my team take care of it. The Charlo twins, we’re in the building! “he said.
All-action matchup: Figueroa defeats Vazquez in ten rounds
Brandon Figueroa of Texas (21-0-1, 16 KOs) successfully defended his WBA Super Bantamweight World title against Damien Vazquez of Las Vegas (15-2-1, 8 KOs) in a highly entertaining action fight, winning by tenth-round TKO.
Vasquez, nephew of former world champion Israel Vazquez of Mexico, showed he’s got his uncle’s DNA if not his skills. He made Figueroa eat plenty of punches moving in, but Figueroa landed the harder, better-placed shots. His bodywork wore Vazquez down, and a swelling right eye eventually got the better of Vazquez. Vazquez never folded as Figueroa dealt nonstop damage. By the ninth round, it was a matter of time before someone saved Vazquez from himself with lopsided scorecards as he ate so many punches. It was a vicious left hook to the head that caused referee Gary Rosato to step in at 1:18 of the tenth round.
Figueroa landed 295 of 810 punches (38 percent) as Vazquez landed 237 of 763 (31 percent); Figueroa landed 246 power shots.
“It was a great fight, toe to toe performance. I can fight, and I guess I showed him what a true Mexican warrior is,” said Figueroa. “I know there are a lot of 122 pounders who are going to fight tonight, we’ll see what’s up.”
Should Luis Nery win his bout in the second of the card, expect a matchup between the pair. Nery has expressed interest in fighting Figueroa next should he win.
John Riel Casimero brings the pain, calls out The Monster
John Riel Casimero of the Philippines (30-4, 21 KOs) put on a display of power punching against Duke Micah of Ghana (24-1, 19 KOs) to retain his WBO World Bantamweight title. The fiery bantamweight blasted out Micah in three rounds, causing enough damage to force referee Steve Willis step in and stop the fight at 54 seconds of the third round.
Casimero can be wild and rough letting his fists fly. Against a polished, patient fighter, he risks getting caught. But against Micah, a perfectly good but untested challenger, he had his way with him. He had to eat a few punches to make it happen, but it was plenty of fun to open the show. Casimero landed 59 punches, all power shots, of 140 thrown (42 percent) in his whirlwind fight.
Casimero said he worked hard in training to put on a good show. “I’m surprised because you know, my opponent is a good boxer and undefeated.” Casimero wasted no time in calling out division kingpin Naoya Inoue of Japan, who Casimero was scheduled to fight in April before it was scratched. “Inoue, you are no monster, you’re a Japanese turtle!” laughed Casimero. Sign us up.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Twitter and Instagram at @PRProSanDiego.