Could we soon see Sergey Derevyanchenko vs. Demetrius Andrade?

By Michael Woods

The middleweight division is one of the hottest in the sport right now, with old guard, middle guard, new guard and folks wanting to get into the mix, as known commodities jostling for position.

Unified titlist Gennady Golovkin is the elder statesman, 35 and, no, not at his peak powers, having giving something away to Father Time, but he’s still a master craftsman, who was able to defuse and down the middle guard practitioner Canelo Alvarez, when they did their violent waltz two months ago.

One name that is under radar now is Sergey Derevyanchenko, rated No. 1 by the IBF, whose strap is currently held by “GGG.” Now, as we know, GGG is in a holding pattern, for a bit, because he and his team are trying to figure out the game-planning of rival Alvarez. Does Canelo want to do a rematch soon…or later? Or in Neveruary?

The Golovkin peeps have indicated that they want their guy to stay active and not wait and get rusty, if Canelo doesn’t want to glove up for the sequel sooner rather than later. So, he’d need someone with whom to tango.

Eyes will be on the forthcoming Billy Joe Saunders versus Davis Lemieux scrap. Saunders holds the WBO strap and this is seen, in pundits’ eyes, as a coin-flip fight.

Danny Jacobs is in the new guard class, though he’s 30 and has been at this most dangerous game for many moons. He takes on Luis Arias tomorrow (Saturday) at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, and on HBO. His people have made clear that it would make sense to match Jacobs with the winner of the Saunders-Lemieux tango. It makes sense from a political point of view, being that Saunders is a Frank Warren fighter and has no concrete alliance with U.S. television platforms. Lemieux is a Golden Boy Promotions boxer and is seen as being on the GBP/HBO side of the tracks, where Jacobs, now owning an HBO multi-fight exclusivity deal and new contract with Matchroom Boxing, stands.

Another name in that “new guard” category is 29-year-old former two-time junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade. No, not because he’s a phenom who’s bursted onto the stage. He’s been a pro since 2008, and made the move to 160 from 154 on October 21, when he decisioned Alantez Fox on HBO. He’s an ace technician and won’t need to be incrementally stepped up at 160. He can and should be in the mix for a most meaningful fight right away. Funny I mention that; we hear word that Andrade could well be matched for his next fight against Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 knockouts), who debuted as a pro in 2014, after fighting in the pro-am World Series of Boxing from 2010 to 2014.

The 32-year-old Russian-born hitter is probably one of the more underrated fighters holding a No. 1 ranking at this time. Trained by Andre Rozier, Derevyanchenko last gloved up on August 25 and he had a solid outing, in besting Tureano Johnson. That tango was billed as an IBF title shot eliminator. Derevyanchenko is a patient hitter but not too patient. He is keen on separating his foe from their senses. He pumps a persistent jab, table setting with that. He moves consistently, likes to slide laterally and he weaves with his head and torso, looking to minimize the foe’s target. Derevyanchenko is unafraid to dig inside. Tureano likes to grind forward, so it would present a different style challenge versus Andrade, who is more polished technically. Whereas Derevyanchenko and Johnson were content to bang toe to toe, Andrade values defense over offense more often, so a game-plan for the Russian would look different.

Andrade has been working the HBO side of the tracks for a spell, so it would make sense the Derevyanchenko vs. Andrade bout would screen on the HBO platform.

Talk to me, readers? Who would win a Derevyanchenko versus Andrade scrap?

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069.

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