Undefeated WBC Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo shut down two-time challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko and silenced his critics with near-perfect title defense
Uncasville, CONN. (September 26, 2020) — Undefeated WBC Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo retained his title despite a game effort from two-time world title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The two fought a grueling bout in the main event of boxing’s first Pay-Per-View event since the sport resumed in early June.
Actually, the bout was the main event of the first half of Showtime Championship Boxing’s doubleheader featuring Jermall and his twin brother Jermall Charlo atop two 3-fight halves.
Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) made the fight look relatively easy with the exception of a few bumpy spots in the mid-rounds when Derevyanchenko attacked from his best range – inside of the taller champion’s busier jab in the early going. Derevyanchenko sustained a cut around his right eye in the fifth round, and fought through significant swelling to his left eye over the fight’s second half.
CompuBox credited Charlo with 41 landed jabs through the first six rounds. Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) landed 10 jabs to same point, but eight of those connections happened in the second round. The challenger led in landed power punches 68 to 57, but the champion was more accurate and landed the most effective shots. Whether the cost became too high to work his way inside, or his facial injuries prevented Derevyanchenko from doing so with clear vision he failed to force Charlo out of his game plan. Charlo finished the fight with a 219 to 180 lead in total landed shots – but controlled the action with his 85 to 17 advantage in jabs.
After appearing to set up a potentially dramatic ending with a spirited rally in rounds six, seven and eight the champion responded with poised execution over the final quarter of the fight. Charlo landed one of his best right hands near the end of the eighth round – after the challenger appeared to regain some ground. The judges agreed with Charlo’s praise of his commitment to trainer Ronnie Shields’ strategy for the fight. The champion retained his title with scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110.
Charlo admitted that he wanted to get the knockout, but afterwards he could attest to Derevyanchenko’s to reputation of being extremely tough. The champion shared his thoughts on passing one of his career’s biggest tests.
“I made my team proud and I did what I was supposed to do. I executed the game plan. Ronnie Shields told me that I passed the test tonight. I’m happy to go back to the drawing board now and figure out what’s next.
“He was tough, but I knew he was going to be tough. I knew he’d come to fight, I just didn’t know how and when he’d try to turn it up. I felt like I never really let him turn it up and that was the game plan. I studied well and I didn’t let the pandemic affect my training. I just want to keep fighting and not let any negative interrupt the positive.
“I stayed poised, I stayed composed and I executed the game plan. I was staying behind the jab, I got away from it a little, but Ronnie got me back. I wanted to knock him out, but dominating like I did was a big statement.
“The big fights are out there. I’m steady learning and growing and stepping up in competition. My brother’s next, so that’s what’s really on my mind right now.”
All photos by Amanda Westcott/Showtime Boxing