If this was one of HBO’s last sojourns into the sport of boxing, Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko gave the network a good penultimate main event Saturday night as Jacobs edged Derevyanchenko in a brawl that was as technical as a brawl can be.
Jacobs took a split decision in the middleweight war with scores of 115-112 twice to Derevyanchenko winning on one card by 114-113. All of those scores were viable; TQBR scored it 115-112 for Jacobs.
At the end of the 1st round, Jacobs connected with a right hand on the top of Derevyanchenko’s head to drop him. And while Derevyanchenko roared back in the next couple rounds, even hurting Jacobs briefly in the 2nd, he was breathing hard. It was a bad sign for a guy who had just 12 fights coming in, only having recently graduated from prospect to contender and with a mere pair 12-round fights on his resume.
A little bit of a mid-round fade from a chasing Derevyanchenko — Jacobs was giving him trouble defensively, stabbing him with body shots and fighting at a slower pace where he stole rounds in the final minute with showier punches — looked like it was going to be the end of a competitive battle.
Nope. Derevyanchenko did have a second wind, it turned out — he just never had to use before, and it was Jacobs who appeared gassed late. Well, relatively late. The 12th round moved the fight for one stanza from “intelligently contested battle with some nasty exchanges and momentum swings” to “two guys just straight trying to know each other’s blocks off.”
Derevyanchenko definitely proved like he belonged among the elite in the deep middleweight division, a guy who would give anyone in the class a pain in the ass figuratively and face literally. Jacobs just had the edge in seasoning, fought a slightly smarter fight throughout and as such pulled out the win.
Jacobs wants Canelo Alvarez next, and it really should be the next big bout for the division’s true champion. And it really might happen. With HBO exiting the boxing business, Canelo signed a huge deal with DAZN and Jacobs is likely to head that direction. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait more than a year for it. It’d be a good sign that the DAZN era would be a fine one for boxing as the HBO era ends.
The undercard gave us a showcase for talented young junior lightweight Alberto Machado, and he did his part by delivering the show. Demonstrating clinical power, he dropped Yaundale Evans three times in one round, the final time leaving Evans flat on his back. A nice women’s rematch kicked off the card as Heather Hardy demonstrated better technique in a volume-punching fiesta, giving her a win in her rematch vs Shelly Vincent.
(Daniel Jacobs, right and Sergiy Derevyanchenko, left; via)