Daniel Jacobs was the favorite going into his middleweight title contest with Sergiy Derevyanchenko, but question marks surfaced based on his performance.
The history between middleweights Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko is well documented. They’ve worked with the same trainers for years, sparred many rounds together, and call Brooklyn, NY home. Jacobs and Derevyanchenko worked together in the gym but were never friends. Their Saturday, Oct. 27 matchup on HBO for the IBF middleweight title divided their training crew. In the end, only one boxer and one trainer could be victorious.
Round one began slowly, but Derevyanchenko pushed forward with the first attack of the fight. Jacobs threw his first combinations midway through the round, but nothing significant landed. It was a very even round until the last 20 seconds when Jacobs floored Derevyanchenko with a clubbing right hand. Derevyanchenko stood up and finished the round.
Derevyanchenko’s legs looked good at the start of the second round. He pressed the action early but didn’t land anything of merit. Derevyanchenko hit Jacobs with a left hook in the middle of the round that wobbled Jacobs. Jacobs switched into a southpaw stance but not for long. Derevyanchenko didn’t knock Jacobs down, but his single power shot with the left hand was enough to win him the round.
Derevyanchenko landed a left-right combination early in the third. Jacobs used a lot of movement on the outside but had a hard time letting go of his hands. With a little more than a minute remaining, Derevyanchenko connected with a combination as Jacobs was trapped on the ropes. Jacobs was content to try and counter Derevyanchenko, but he never offered up any offense and lost another round.
Derevyanchenko had Jacobs running early in the fourth. He threw a multitude of jabs with several landing on Jacobs’ jaw, but Jacobs retaliated with a series of body punches. Derevyanchenko’s hands looked faster, and he used his speed to out jab and out land Jacobs throughout the round. Jacobs hit Derevyanchenko with an overhand right that looked like it hurt, but Derevyanchenko came back with a flurry of his own. At this point, it was a more competitive bout than expected.
In the fifth, Derevyanchenko tagged Jacobs with rights to the body. Jacobs remained stationary and cautious which surrendered the first half of the round to Derevyanchenko. Jacobs threw strong hooks in the middle of the round, but most of them missed. Simply put, Derevyanchenko outboxed Jacobs.
Jacobs switched to southpaw in the sixth, but he stayed stationary as Derevyanchenko picked him off with left jabs and rights to the body. Jacobs looked for single power punches and never threw a combination. He countered with well-timed right hooks to Derevyanchenko’s body, but they were single punches. Regardless, Jacobs won the round with his effective body punching.
In the seventh, Jacobs bounced on his feet as a southpaw, and he started to hit Derevyanchenko with pumping jabs. Derevyanchenko charged forward like a bull but whiffed on his attack. Jacobs appeared calm while Derevyanchenko looked sloppy for the first time. Jacobs switch to orthodox and beat Derevyanchenko to the body. He looked rejuvenated and fresh, and Derevyanchenko appeared fatigued.
By the eighth round, Jacobs’ strategy became apparent. He allowed Derevyanchenko to work and miss as he remained calm, countered, and rallied later in the round. Jacobs wanted Derevyanchenko to expend his energy since he had only gone 12 rounds once. He sacrificed some early rounds to reach his pinnacle later in the fight.
Jacobs hit Derevyanchenko with a couple of right jabs to start the ninth. Derevyanchenko continued to charge forward, but he had a hard time catching Jacobs. Jacobs continued to work Derevyanchenko’s body which allowed him to land a clean right cross to Derevyanchenko’s head. Jacobs’ hands looked quicker than Derevyanchenko’s which was a role reversal from the early rounds.
Jacobs tried to hit Derevyanchenko with his jab in the 10th, but he missed as Derevyanchenko moved his shoulders stealthy. Derevyanchenko countered and landed with combinations. Jacobs was inactive, and Derevyanchenko took advantage. He kept Jacobs against the ropes and let his hands go continuously and hit Jacobs regularly. It looked like Derevyanchenko found a second wind.
Entering the championship rounds, Derevyanchenko picked up where he left off. Jacobs retreated as Derevyanchenko hunted him down landing to his body. Jacobs hit Derevyanchenko with an uppercut, and that sparked his offense. Jacobs tagged Derevyanchenko with lefts and rights that hurt Derevyanchenko. He was never staggered, but Jacobs’ punches were certainly more impressive.
The final round commenced with Derevyanchenko coming forward and Jacobs on his bicycle. Jacobs settled down and countered Derevyanchenko to his body. Jacobs doubled his lead left hand with hooks to the body and head. Derevyanchenko came back with hooks to Jacobs’ body and head. They exchanged wildly for the final 20 seconds. It was a hard round to score and could have gone either way.
It was a close fight, but when the judges’ scorecards were tallied, they reflected how tight this contest was. Two judges had it 115-112 for Jacobs, while Julie Lederman had it 114-113 for Derevyanchenko. Jacobs won the IBF middleweight title in a competitive bout. Jacobs is a champion. However, it was a subpar performance for him. Derevyanchenko is a good boxer, but he isn’t on the level of Gennady Golovkin or even Jermall Charlo. Jacobs is rated as the number three middleweight by Boxrec.com, but his stock should be trending down after this performance.