FORMER Ukrainian amateur star Sergiy Derevyanchenko stopped Bahamas-born Tureano Johnson in the 12th round last night (August 25) at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma. With the win, Derevyanchenko secured the No. 1 spot in the IBF middleweight ratings, thus putting himself in line for a potential shot at the winner of next month’s mouth-watering megafight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

The switch-hitting Johnson started aggressively, but Derevyanchenko’s sharp jab soon had the Eastern European in control. In the third, Sergiy got through with hurtful combinations to the head, forcing his opponent to cover up.

Behind on the scorecards at the halfway point, Johnson upped his output in round seven, and managed to connect with a series of hooks. However, Derevyanchenko’s trusty jab brought him back into the ascendancy in the eighth – a session in which he got the better of multiple exchanges.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko

The remaining rounds saw Derevyanchenko continue to grind away at Johnson with eye-catching combos, before a trio of clean left hooks to the head finished Tureano off after 40 seconds of the final frame.

I’m very happy with my performance,” said Derevyanchenko afterwards. “I did exactly what we worked on in training and broke him down to get the stoppage.

He was very tough and took a lot of punches. Maybe the fight could have been stopped earlier, but I was always ready to go the distance.

I’m ready to fight the winner of Golovkin-Canelo for the title. I think that Golovkin will win and I look forward to fighting him next.”