By Dean Berman: After Saturday’s exciting fight, Gennadiy Golovkin no longer needs to worry about Saul Canelo Alvarez, because fans will be more than happy to see him face Sergiy Derevyanchenko in an immediate rematch on DAZN. The only question is will Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) be willing to make one.

Golovkin won the IBF middleweight title, which was a small prize considering the effort that he expended. The title is less important than what Golovkin gained from the fight. With his exciting match with Dereyanchenko, 33, Golovkin now has a new rivalry that the boxing public will be interested in watching on DAZN.

Golovkin and Derevyanchenko battled it out in one of the exciting fights of GGG’s career in a 12 round war at Madison Square Garden in New York. Both fighters sustained facial damage that resulted in them not attending the post-fight news conference.

The fight was a back and forth drama show from start to finish with both guys having their moments. Golovkin knocked Derevyanchenko down in round 1. But starting from round 2, Derevyanchenko took the fight to Golovkin, and outworked and out-landed him.

In the 5th, GGG was hurt by a hard body shot that caused him to retreat around the ring. You can argue that the round should have been scored a 10-8 round, since Golovkin looked in serious distress.

The judges scored the fight as follows:

  • 114-113
  • 115-112
  • 115-112

Whether you agree or not with those scores would depend on if you gave more weight to the harder shots that Golovkin was landing in each round. Derevyanchenko was working Golovkin with body shots from the 2nd round on. However, the more eye-catching punches were landed by GGG. He had the better power, and he was picking his spots to connect with hard shots.

Derevyanchenko was knocked down in round 1, cut in round 2, and battered in rounds 10, 11 and 12. Golovkin finished a little stronger. It was difficult for Dereyanchenko to do much in the championship rounds, because of his cut right eye, and he was fatigued.

“Canelo’s probably licking his chops a little bit, but which fight would you rather see again?,’’ said Derevyanchenko’ promoter Lou DiBella.. “That was World War III.’’

The close call that Golovkin had against Derevyanchenko tonight will likely deter Canelo from scheduling a trilogy match with him in May 2020, but you never know. If Canelo is thinking about the money that he’ll be losing by not fighting Golovkin a third time, then he’ll take the fight.

Canelo will realize after watching tonight’s fight that if he doesn’t make a rematch with Golovkin for May 2020, then the fight will lose value. If Golovkin loses his next fight against someone else, then Canelo will have missed out on the opportunity of fighting GGG while he was still viewed as one of the elite middleweights in the division.

“I want to say thank you so much to my opponent,” said Golovkin. “This was a great job. I respect his team. I told you, he’s a very tough guy. This is huge experience for me. Right now, I understand I need more. Focus is boxing. This was a tough fight. I need a little bit more. I need to still get stronger in my camp. Just more serious. I need to work hard. I need a little bit more focus.”

The way that Derevyanchenko got the better of Golovkin was by fighting on the inside, throwing body shots, and jabbing. Golovkin probably can’t fix his inside skills, because that takes years to learn. His new trainer Johnathon Banks had talked of wanting to have Golovkin throw more punches, and move his head. We didn’t see any of that tonight, and this is the second consecutive fight where GGG hasn’t shown improvements with Banks. It’s safe to say that Golovkin won’t improve in his next fight under this trainer. He might want to look for another trainer.