Fight Preview: Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs Jack Culcay

Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko (12-1, 10 KOs) will look to get back on track Saturday when he meets Jack “Golden Jack” Culcay (25-3, 13 KOs). The fight will take place Saturday, April 13 at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They will clash to decide who holds the number one contender spot in the IBF rankings at Middleweight. It’s a high stakes fight, making it very interesting.

Derevyanchenko is coming off a split decision loss to stablemate Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) – (115-112 (2x) for Jacobs and 114-113 for Derevyanchenko). It is his only loss on his record, and it was a very close fight, in which many feel it was decided by a first round flash knockdown. Derevyanchenko should be a big favorite in this fight. That’s no knock on Culcay, but Derevyanchenko lives up to his nickname and he is a technician in that ring. He’s the more talented boxer, has the excellent amateur background, and for once, he will be the bigger man in this fight. Derevyanchenko is small middleweight, but Culcay is even smaller. I feel like this gives him a huge advantage that he’s not used to having. I expect Derevyanchenko to be aggressive, to follow his jab, and come forward, working his way inside and frustrating Culcay. He will need to speed up his normal pace a little bit, but after the Jacobs fight, one would assume that he and his team made the necessary changes going forward.

Jack Culcay defeated Rafael Bejaran by TKO in September.

Jack Culcay fought last September, defeating Rafael Bejaran (26-2-1, 12 KOs) by TKO. He had only 2 previous losses, and both were by decision to top competition in Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) and Maciej Sulecki (28-1, 11 KOs). Culcay was also an excellent amateur, and he’s a very good, fast paced boxer, good footwork, likes to move a lot. He’s not a big puncher, and with the size difference, that’s where I see Culcay getting into trouble. The only advantage Culcay has is that Derevyanchenko is known to not throw a lot of punches in comparison. With the size difference, and a bit of a chip on his shoulder now, Derevyanchenko should push the pressure and should up his output for this fight.

Keys to Victory for Derevyanchenko:

  • Use the jab frequently. Use it to close the distance and get inside.
  • Apply pressure. Come forward from the opening bell, close the gap and force Culcay to fight inside.
  • Work the body. Culcay is fast, likes to keep a fast pace, likes to move around a lot. He also frequently uses the high guard stance. Body combos, make him drop his guard, open up space for those nice quick uppercuts on inside. Punish him.
  • Use height and reach advantage. Use this advantage to control the distance, which will also help control the pace. Derevyanchenko must force Culcay to fight his fight, fight his pace, fight where he wants to fight, etc.

Keys to Victory for Culcay:

  • Use timing and precision to keep Derevyankchenko honest. Culcay is the smaller man, but he’s faster, and he has good timing. This is one thing he really has going for him. If he can keep Derevyankchenko honest with counters, maybe he has a chance.
  • Use lateral movement/different angles. Culcay will need to employ sneaky tactics to force the bigger man to fight his fight. Move a lot, quick jab/straight right/hook combos, do not stay in the pocket too long.
  • Push the pace. While he’s the smaller man, he has the better endurance. While I don’t see this fight going the distance, if he can take Derevyanchenko into the later rounds, he has a chance to tire him out, and possibly walk away with a close decision.

Fight Prediction:

This is a good fight. While I do feel Derevyanchenko should win this fight, I also think it will be competitive early while they figure each other out. The size difference and Derevyanchenko’s superior power will be what decides this fight. Derevyanchenko isn’t just a power puncher, he’s a very good boxer, very well rounded. The combination of it all will overwhelm Culcay. He will be frustrated and he will make mistakes. Derevyanchenko will capitalize and make Culcay pay. Derevyankchenko is coming into this fight hungry after dropping a very close decision to the much more experienced Daniel Jacobs, and he wants chance at redemption. Culcay stands in his way. He ends up walking him down in the mid rounds and wins by TKO. Culcay doesn’t belong at Middleweight and this fight will prove that he should go back down to 154.

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