In the first card main event of a Showtime PPV double-header, Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) remained undefeated in an all-out war against top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
All three judges were in agreement in scoring the unanimous decision. The scorecards read: 116-112, 117-111, 118-110.
“We stood toe-to-toe and we didn’t back down from anything,” said Charlo, who had renowned trainer Ronnie Shields in his corner.
“It was supposed to be one of the hardest fights of my career and we passed the test. He had a puncher’s chance, and of course, the fight could have changed at any moment.
“I listened to my corner and executed the game plan and got the win.”
The 34-year-old Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) fought more than half the fight with a swollen right eye he suffered in the fifth round.
Later, he developed another cut above his left eye affecting his vision in the later rounds.
He had his best rounds in the sixth and seventh as he connected on several key left hooks that seemed to daze Charlo. The game and determined Derevyanchenko landed 180 and threw 681 more punches than any previous Charlo opponent.
“I wouldn’t say it was an easy fight, but we stuck to what we wanted to do and made it happen,” Jermall said. “I let my jab dictate and we got the victory.
“I wanted to knock him out, but you can’t knock everyone out. I’m a finisher, but you don’t want to run into anything even though you have him hurt.
“I landed the shots that I needed to in order to win.
“The whole world understands that I can fight in there with the best of them. He gave GGG [Gennadiy Golovkin] a harder test than he gave me so I think the levels showed. I’m the best middleweight in the world.”