NEW YORK – Sergiy Derevyanchenko didn’t exactly look his sharpest Saturday night, but he ended his three-fight losing streak.
Derevyanchenko shook off some rust against Joshua Conley in their 10-round middleweight match at Barclays Center. Ultimately, Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko did more than enough, particularly during the second half of their bout, to win a unanimous decision on the Danny Garcia-Jose Benavidez Jr. undercard.
Derevyanchenko (14-4, 10 KOs) won nine of the 10 rounds on the scorecards of judges Allen Nace and Don Trella, both of whom scored it 99-91 for the three-time middleweight championship challenger. Judge John Basile scored eight rounds for Derevyanchenko, who won 98-92 on Basile’s card.
Before beating Conley (17-4-1, 11 KOs), the 37-year-old Derevyanchenko had lost consecutive contests to IBF/WBA middleweight champ Gennadiy Golovkin (42-1-1, 36 KOs), WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) and contender Carlos Adames (21-1, 16 KOs). Derevyanchenko fought for the first time since the Dominican Republic’s Adames defeated him by majority decision in a 10-rounder December 5 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Adames and former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champion Julian Williams have stopped Conley in the San Bernardino, California resident’s previous fights.
In complete control by the 10th round, Derevyanchenko landed several flush punches during those final three minutes. Conley held him at times, yet made it to the final bell.
Derevyanchenko rocked Conley with a left hook toward the end of the ninth round, which made Conley hold him.
Derevyanchenko drilled Conley with a right hand that backed him into the ropes in the middle minute of the eighth round. Derevyanchenko tried to build on that momentum, but Conley craftily held and weaved his way to the end of the eighth round.
Derevyanchenko’s difficulty finding a rhythm continued in the sixth round, though he did start to land to Conley’s body.
Conley connected with a short right and then a left 1:15 into the fourth round.
A left hand by Conley knocked Derevyanchenko off balance about 1:10 into the third round. Derevyanchenko mostly missed with his right hands and had difficulty catching Conley with clean punches again in the third round.
A right hand by Conley caused Derevyanchenko to reset his feet with just over 10 seconds on the clock in the third round.
Derevyanchenko got off to a slow start and trouble catching Conley with clean shots in each of the first two rounds.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.