Gennadiy Golovkin could be staring at the end of his career at 37 years of age, according to the men surrounding forthcoming opponent Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin, from Karaganda, Kazakhstan faces Brooklyn-based challenger Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF/IBO World Middleweight titles live from Madison Square Garden in New York tonight.
The contest is streamed exclusively on DAZN.
Golovkin is back in world title contention following defeat to Canelo Alvarez. He believes his clash with Derevyanchenko will be a classic.
Derevyanchenko has plans to derail that journey though and came close to landing the IBF strap himself in October at the Hulu Theater at MSG. The Ukrainian was edged out on a split decision against Golovkin’s old foe Daniel Jacobs.
The team of Derevyanchenko is predicting the demise of GGG at MSG.
“Wow what an amazing opportunity for Sergiy,” said Keith Connolly, manager of Sergiy Derevyanchenko. “Ten months ago we were in this building where he fought Danny Jacobs, and he lost a very close decision.
“He and his wife were very heartbroken. I made them one promise that night, that I would do everything in my power to get them another opportunity.
“Ten months later, because of a lot of maneuvering, he’s back in this same position he was. He’s got a second opportunity to be under the bright lights and really change his life.
“I think he’s got a really good chance. I’m a huge fan of GGG, but his will be the second time in my life that I‘m rooting against him. ”
“Sergiy’s got a real chance. He might only be 13-1 as a pro but he has over 400 amateur fights and won 390 of them. This is definitely an entertaining fight.”
Trainer of Derevyanchenko, Andre Rozier added: “He cannot win this time. He cannot be victorious. The Technician is ready, he’s willing, he’s able.
“He’s putting his best foot forward. Our team is no longer fragmented. The squad is ready and we plan to be the middleweight champion of the world on October 5.
“Sergiy is a quiet man but you have to watch the quiet ones – they’re the most dangerous.
Promoter Lou DiBella fired a warning at Golovkin.
“We knew that Gennadiy knew Sergiy, they’ve known each other for years, when they were both amateurs. Right now he’s moving on in his life and fighting the best middleweight in the world available to him. I believe that’s what Sergiy is.
“I’m going to tell you, this is one of the three hardest fights GGG has ever walked into the ring for. One of the three best opponents GGG has ever faced as a pro.
“I think this is a great fight for fight fans,” he said.
Undefeated super middleweight contender Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11 KOs), from Almaty, Kazakhstan, undefeated super welterweight contender Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3 KOs) from Khiva, Uzbekistan, super middleweight Brooklyn brawler Nikita Ababiy (6-0, 5 KOs), and amateur standout Joe Ward – hailing from Athlone, Ireland and making his pro debut this Saturday in the Mecca of Boxing – also got into the ring and gave the spectators a preview ahead of their respective battles.
Promoted by GGG Promotions and Matchroom Boxing USA in association with DiBella Entertainment, remaining tickets to the latest action-packed episode of the Big Drama Show may be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com