By Barry Holbrook: Sergiy Derevyanchenko and former IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin have agreed to financial terms for a fight on October 5th for the vacant IBF title on DAZN. There’s still some smaller details that need to be ironed out. The bout will be taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York.

DAZN chief John Skipper played a big part in the negotiations.

The winner of the GGG-Derevyanchenko fight will be the new International Boxing Federation middleweight champion. Golovkin and Derevyanchenko need the IBF title to help increase their chances of getting a unification match against WBA/WBC champion Saul Canelo Alvarez, who wants to unify the division.

Derevyanchenko is in the position of crushing Golovkin’s chances of getting a third fight with Canelo. It’s still possible that DAZN will want Canelo and Golovkin to face each other even if GGG loses on October 5, but it’ll be under less than desirable conditions.

Derevanchenko needs to prove he belongs among the elite

The 33-year-old Derevyanchenko came up short last October in a 12 round decision loss to Daniel Jacobs for the vacant IBF title. Now less than a year later, Derevyanchenko gets another shot at fighting for the same title. This time it’s Golovkin, and it’s not going to get any easier for Sergiy. Jacobs had too much speed, power and talent for Derevyanchenko. The 5’10 1/2″ Golovkin doesn’t possess the same hand-speed or size that Jacobs brought to the table against the the 5’9″ Derevyanchenko. But GGG is taller than Sergiy, and will have a three inch reach advantage.

The 37-year-old Golovkin is a good measuring stick for Derevyanchenko. If he can’t beat GGG at his age now, then he can forget about beating WBC champion Jermall Charlo, WBO belt holder Demetrius Andrade or Canelo. The other sanctioning bodies likely won’t shoot Derevyanchenko to the top of their rankings the way the IBF keeps doing repeatedly.

Golovkin could knock Derevyanchenko out of the title loop

It’s safe to say that if Derevyanchenko loses to Golovkin on October 5, it could take him years to get a high enough ranking with the WBA, WBC or WBO for him to get a crack at one of those champions. If the IBF wants to keep giving Derevyanchenko shots at their title, then they can certainly do it, but it’s going to look funny after a while. It already is looking strange in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, because getting a second title shot in less than a year with the IBF. Derevyanchenko doesn’t have to go to the end of the line like some contenders after they lose in a bid for a title.

Derevyanchenko is an aggressive fighter, and he’s going to be going right at GGG on October 5.

Golovkin must come forward against Derevyanchenko and be aggressive

Golovkin can’t afford to backup on Derevyanchenko the way he did in his rematch with Canelo last September, because the New York judges may end up scoring it against him. Golovkin’s new trainer Johnathan Banks will be telling him repeatedly in the build up to the fight that he cannot afford to give ground to Derevyanchenko, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll listen to him. Welterweight Kell Brook backed Golovkin up at times in their fight in 2016, and he got the crowd into it.

It’s crucial that GGG pays attention to what his trainer Banks tells him to do in this fight, because he cannot afford to give ground against Derevyanchenko. Golovkin let his last opponent Steve Rolls take the fight to him last June, and he had a lot of success against him. Golovkin eventually got his act together and stopped the 35-year-old Rolls in the fourth round, but that was after he ate a lot of punishing blows. GGG took shots that he shouldn’t have against a mediocre fighter in Rolls, and he could have made the fight a lot easier if he’d been aggressive like Banks wanted him to be. After the fight, Banks sounded disappointed with the performance by GGG, as he was hoping he would come forward and throw combinations.