Charlo vs Derevyanchenko: Expert Fight Analysis

Charlo vs Derevyanchenko headlines a Sunday morning (AEST) Charlo twins double-header.

Jermell Charlo first takes on Jeison Rosario in a super welterweight unification bout before Jermall Charlo defends his WBA middleweight championship against the crafty Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

Our Boxing Analyst has done a deep dive into the tape to provide detailed analysis and tips for both fights.

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Jermell Charlo

Jermell Charlo, the younger Charlo brother by one minute, does not share the unblemished record of his brother Jermall, but does own an exceptional resume that is a testament to his skill. With wins over Vanes Martirosyan, Erickson Lubin, and Austin Trout, the American super welterweight has been steadily accumulating victories over respectable contenders and former champions in the division.

Most recently, Charlo went through hell and back as he was handed the first defeat of his professional career in 2018 by Tony Harrison in what was a rousing upset at the time. Notching a quick knockout win over Jorge Cota to brush off the loss, Jermell afterwards went right back into the lion’s den, challenging Tony Harrison in a rematch that took place nine months ago. That time, Charlo walked out of the arena with his belt back, and an 11th round TKO win over his former rival Harrison.

Jermell Charlo had done well for himself throughout his career and he owes his success largely to his fairly slick, technically sound style inside the ring. Less of an aggressor and more of a counterpuncher and prober than his older brother, Jermell owns a stiff, quality jab that he utilizes consistently to keep his opponents at range.

Once Charlo finds his range though, he begins to open up with the sharp, strong, fast offense that fight fans have come to expect from a Charlo brother. While he lacks the raw acumen that his brother possesses for removing consciousness, I will agree with the general consensus that Jermell owns superior technical ability and, certainly, defense.

Jeison Rosario

A relative unknown up until recently, Jeison Rosario put himself on the map when he plowed through a familiar face to the Charlo brothers and the super welterweight division: Julian Williams. Williams, having just conquered Jarrett Hurd, was riding high in his career when he ran into a brick wall from the Dominican Republic by the name of Jeison Rosario.

Over the course of five mostly one-sided rounds, Jeison Rosario managed to break down Williams and notch himself a monumental victory in his career. Now poised to continue his trail of upsets, Rosario squares off against a relative titan in the division for his next outing.

Stylistically, Jeison Rosario is not a particularly special fighter, although he owns many intangible qualities that also are not easily trained. Gifted with an abundance of heart and willpower, Rosario is more than willing to do what it takes to win rounds. A bit gritty on the inside at times when a tendency to hold-and-hit, clinch, and grapple a bit more than a standard boxer would, the 6’0”/182.2cm fighter strangely tends to like fighting at closer distances despite his long frame.

Often taller than much of his competition, Rosario is unafraid to throw bombs on the inside against shorter opponents and the man seems to relish a war if nothing else. In fact, Jeison is a thoroughbred fighter with a passion for brawls. With a mind geared towards offense, Rosario is an aggressive boxer who enjoys standing his ground, slinging wide, looping shots, and getting down to business with his opponent.

That being said, I am doubtful of this plucky fighter’s ability to step up to the level that Jermell Charlo is at. For starters, while Rosario is offensively active (a good thing!), he tends to neglect much of his defense during the majority of the round (a bad thing!). This, specifically against Jermell Charlo, is bound to cause some issues for the Dominican.

Where will the fight be won?

Charlo, as aforementioned, is a sharp, technically sound boxer with a steady jab and solid defense. These characteristics are a nightmare for the rough, gritty, but ultimately technically deficit Jeison Rosario.

On top of these factors, Rosario also has a tendency to fade as he reaches towards the second half of a bout. Having only gone past the fifth round six times, and coming out 4-1-1 in those bouts against very limited opposition, it is painfully obvious that Rosario struggles to maintain his aggression and pace down the stretch.

At best, I believe we are looking at a couple rounds of early success for Jeison Rosario before Jermell Charlo finds his timing and begins the clinical breakdown of the prospect Rosario. Despite Jermell not being known as an absurd power puncher, I feel that he will have such a counterpunching field day against Rosario that it will be difficult not to stun the young fighter from the Dominican Republic.

Jeison Rosario has been stunned, dropped, and finished in the past — unsurprisingly after the 5th round — and I anticipate a strong showing and another stoppage victory here. An exciting fight is unquestionably going to unfold, but the excitement should only extend to the afterparty for Jermell Charlo this weekend.

Betting strategy

BACK — Jermell Charlo by KO/TKO/DQ at $1.70

The Champion

Jermall Charlo, the unbeaten and eldest brother by one minute, will be stepping into the ring this weekend for the first time in 2020, but did put together an excellent 2-0 record in 2019. With one-sided victories over Brandon Adams and Dennis Hogan still in his rearview mirror, Charlo long ago moved on from his struggles against Julian Williams back in 2016.

Although he is now an improved – and more experienced – fighter overall, his initial scrap with Williams in 2016 was the closet brush with defeat of Charlo’s career. Down on all three of the official judges’ scorecards going into the fifth round, Charlo was clearly trailing for the first time in his professional career.

However, with continued range-finding and the benefits of having 12 rounds of time to work, Jermall Charlo connected with a stellar uppercut late in that fifth frame that ended the bout before he needed to throw another punch.

At this point in his career, Jermall has evolved a rather well-rounded game that is like a more offensive version of his brother Jermell’s. Owning a decent, though certainly heavy jab, Charlo tends to keep a rather consistent work rate inside the ring.

His conditioning has held quite well in the occasions that he has gone past the halfway mark of a bout (Jermall has seen the sixth round thrice in his career), and his punching power does not leave him even as the rounds tick on.

With above-average hand speed for the division, Charlo possessing yet another intangible asset in punching power, and owning a sizable frame at 6’0”/182.2cm for the middleweight division all combine to allow Jermall Charlo a significant physical advantage over many of his peers.

Charlo, known as the “Hit Man”, has assassinated, or at least dazed, the vast majority of his opponents and Jermall has shown a consistent characteristic of being able to keep his opponents from getting too confident. Thus far, Jermall Charlo had had an unblemished career but for all his skills, he may find himself struggling against the likes of Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

The Challenger

Despite only holding a humble 13-2 record as a professional, Derevyanchenko is still one of the most experienced boxers in the middleweight division. With over 20 bouts in the World Series of Boxing (a now defunct semi-pro organization), over 400 amateur boxing bouts, and an excellent professional resume that includes names such as Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin, it is easy to see why Sergiy Derevyanchenko is held in high regard despite his limited professional career.

Having come up short in his challenges to Daniel Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin (in 2018 and 2019, respectively), Derevyanchenko finds himself with a fortunate opportunity to seek out the WBC middleweight belt with a victory on the 26th.

The owner of rather sharp technique, Sergiy Derevyanchenko has been around the sport of boxing for a long time and behaves like the rugged veteran he is inside the ring. Although he does not excel defensively, his offense can be akin to a consistent battering ram knocking at the protective walls of his opponent’s day and night.

There are, in fact, a few very specific characteristics about Sergiy Derevyanchenko that I believe are the main causes of his successes and failures. One of the most prominent aspects of Sergiy’s strengths involve his pace, which tends to be rather decent. However, while he does tend to throw a passable number of punches per round, Sergiy isn’t much of a “punches in bunches” kind of guy, rather preferring to double, or sometimes triple, up on punches at a maximum.

Derevyanchenko has a tendency to “reset” exchanges regularly, throwing a couple punches and then completely backing off to completely reset the interaction. This is not normally a big deal, but there is something to be said about the elite’s ability to take advantage of small moments in time. This is exactly how Sergiy ends up being outworked and outpointed!

Sergiy leaves so many lulls in action that when his higher tier opponents (like Golovkin or Jacobs) attack when Sergiy isn’t, he ends up dropping rounds on the judges’ scorecards because of his perceived lack of activity. In reality, it is not so much a direct lack of activity as much as Sergiy’s refusal to string together longer, potentially flashier, point-scoring combinations.

Beyond that, I feel Derevyanchenko’s greatest flaw lies solely in his head movement – or lack thereof. Sergiy’s hand positioning is rather consistent and tight, but because of his near absence of head movement, Derevyanchenko inevitably still takes quite a lot of leather to the face. The native of Ukraine is a durable fighter, going 12 rounds each with Jacobs and Golovkin, but he is prone to cuts – especially above his right eye – and absorbs a lot of damage inside the ring.

No damage absorbed is more than that which comes from uppercuts to the face of Sergiy Derevyanchenko, though. A punch that Sergiy shows a particular weakness to, it has become routine for me to take particular notice when Derevyanchenko eats an uppercut.

The route to victory

This serves to benefit Jermall Charlo quite well, as the American middleweight is exceptionally skilled with the uppercut. Remember when we touched upon the Julian Williams vs. Jermall Charlo bout back in 2016? Charlo won that bout with a single punch: the uppercut. That is not the only occasion of Charlo successfully utilizing the uppercut, either.

Take into account that Charlo is already several inches taller and rangier than Derevyanchenko, and I can quite easily envision a miserable time inside the ring for the Ukrainian challenger.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Jermall Charlo is going to demolish Sergiy Derevyanchenko. I believe the betting odds are close for a reason, and fight fans will get a competitive, entertaining showing this weekend. That being said, I do favor Charlo here against Sergiy in what would likely be the best win of Jermall’s career.

The uppercut will be a key component of success for Charlo, as will maintaining output against the dogged and gritty Derevyanchenko. If Charlo puts his best foot forward, keeping pace with and counterpunching against Sergiy, the American should find success with an accurate punch connect percentage and far greater damage done throughout the long contest.

Betting strategy

BACK — Jermall Charlo at $1.70

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