Sergiy Derevyanchenko once again came up just short in a big fight, and this time, he’s hoping to secure a rematch.
The Ukrainian dropped a unanimous decision to Jaime Munguia on Saturday in Ontario, California, in a brutal back-and-forth super middleweight battle that is among the front-runners for fight of the year honors.
The difference on the scorecards: a 12th-round knockdown scored by Munguia following a series of body shots. Munguia prevailed by scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 114-113.
If Derevyanchenko (14-5, 10 KOs) won Round 12, he would have also notched a career-best victory at age 37. If Derevyanchenko had simply lost the final round without being knocked down, he would have pulled out a draw.
Now, he’s hoping to land a return bout with Munguia to avenge the defeat, his fourth loss in his past five fights. One of those defeats came in a 2019 middleweight title bout against champion Gennadiy Golovkin in the best performance of Derevyanchenko’s career.
“I feel like I’ve been robbed of a decision win in the Golovkin fight and now the Munguia fight,” Derevyanchenko told ESPN on Monday. “Everyone is saying my fight on Saturday was the fight of the year. If I don’t get an immediate rematch, then the boxing system is broken. Munguia is a classy guy. He said he would give me my rematch with him. Let’s see if it happens.”
Derevyanchenko’s loss to Golovkin was controversial. He was less competitive in his decision losses to Jermell Charlo for a middleweight title and against Carlos Adames in December 2021.
Derevyanchenko’s other defeat came against Daniel Jacobs via split decision in a 2018 title fight.
“It was hands-down the fight of the year so far, and right after the fight I spoke to [Golden Boy President] Eric Gomez about doing the rematch,” Derevyanchenko’s manager, Keith Connolly, said Monday.
Both sides seemed interested right after the fight.
“We’ll see what materializes over the next couple of weeks,” Connolly said. “I will be talking to Eric Gomez directly to see if they actually want to proceed with the rematch. It seems like a no-brainer.”
Munguia, meanwhile, is quickly developing into one of boxing’s best action fighters.
The 26-year-old Mexican showed plenty of resolve on Saturday, rebounding from a rocky fifth round and rallying down the stretch to score a knockdown when he needed it to maintain his perfect record.
Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs) is a former 154-pound titleholder who has been competing at 160 pounds, but he’s now campaigning at 168 pounds. Canelo Alvarez is the undisputed super middleweight champion, and the No. 1 contender is David Benavidez, a potential future Munguia opponent.
“He feels very comfortable at 168,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN on Wednesday. “I love the Benavidez fight for September in Las Vegas here at T-Mobile Arena.
“I love what I saw [from Munguia]. He’s moving his head more, he was in against a tough, tough guy. Derevyanchenko, he was no joke. … Derevyanchenko is a helluva fighter. … He gave Munguia a helluva test. I was proud of both guys. I think this is the type of matchmaking boxing needs.”