Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko: "I've seen weaknesses in Sergiy, and Jermall will exploit them in September," says Coach Ronnie Shields
Real champions in boxing always look to test their mettle against the perceived best or top ranked fighters of their respective divisions.
It not only determines some much needed clarity in boxing's ranking systems, but "the best taking on the best" has always inspired fans and critics around the world.
Since current WBC Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KO's) initially captured the interim version of the world renowned green strap by defeating both Hugo Centeno and Matt Korobov in 2018, the hard punching Houston, Texas, resident and his team have been busy on various social media outlets, lobbying for high profiled unification bouts against Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, and Demetrius Andrade.
With no success baiting the other aforementioned 160 pound titlists in the ring, the now 30 year old fight veteran is seemingly very close to landing the next best thing.
According to head trainer Ronnie Shields, Jermall Charlo will be taking on two-time 160 pound title challenger and number one ranked WBC Middleweight Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KO's) in September on a network and venue which has yet to be determined.
"I'm not sure whether or not it will be broadcast on Showtime or FOX Sports, but as soon as they find the site to host the fight, this match-up should be announced for a date in September," states the veteran fight trainer.
Although most willing participants haven't seen professional competition in well over a year, Charlo's most recent fight was just seven months ago, in which he successfully defended his WBC championship by way of a seventh round TKO against a very awkward but customarily durable Dennis Hogan at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
And despite numerous reports of prizefighters experiencing difficulty staying in peak fight shape throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Coach Shields insists that his superstar Middleweight hasn't had that issue, and is already looking sharp. Ronnie admits that living in the same metropolitan area and having a very dedicated fighter has been key in keeping his man in championship condition.
"Training camp already started a month ago at Jermall's house," insists Coach Shields. "He's very disciplined and he loves to train...he's got the space and the room in his house. So when I'm finished training the fighters in my gym, I go to Jermall's house and we train for his next title defense."
"He'll be ready to defend his title against Sergiy in September."
Derevyanchenko is largely viewed as the most proficient 160 pound fighter without a major world title, and will more than likely be received by fans as Charlo's toughest perceived test since facing Julian Williams in 2016.
The 34 year old Ukrainian has a deep amateur pedigree, with a professional record of 13 wins, 2 losses and 10 KO's. His two most notable performances were competitive and controversial decision losses to two of the biggest punchers in the Middleweight division; Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs.
Although Sergiy didn't capture gold in his first two title opportunities, Coach Shields recognizes the challenge at hand.
"He's a good fighter and he belongs at the top," states Ronnie Shields. "Jermall was looking for a real challenge and Derevyanchenko fits the bill."
"This is something that Jermall wants to do. He wants to fight the best fighters in the world because he knows it's going to bring out his best. Sergiy is ranked number one in the world currently. And although he's not Jermall's mandatory, the WBC will officially recognize the fight as a defense."
"Derevyanchenko has proven that he deserves this opportunity."
When asked whether or not he had seen both performances against GGG and Jacobs respectively, Coach Ronnie admitted that he learned a lot from watching the two championship fights. He believes the winner of the projected September match-up could produce strong consideration for being the best Middleweight fighter in the world; contingent on the outcome, of course.
"Those two fights were very educational," says the world class strategist and trainer.
"Yes, I saw weaknesses in both performances, and yes, my fighter will exploit them on fight night. Sergiy's an excellent fighter, and we're really looking forward to the challenge...for me as a trainer, and Jermall as a champion."
"I think Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko may determine who the best fighter is at 160 currently. Jermall already feels that he's the best anyway, so we look forward to proving it by defeating one of the best fighters in the world currently."
Look for an official announcement from PBC within the next several weeks, regarding a scheduled 12 round contest for the WBC Middleweight Championship, featuring Jermall Charlo vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
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