Gennadiy Golovkin will have “the edge” taken off him in this weekend’s “scrap” with Sergiy Derevyanchenko, predicts his rival Billy Joe Saunders.
Golovkin, 37, can regain the vacant IBF middleweight title against Derevyanchenko on Saturday night from 2am, live on Sky Sports Action, but Saunders believes victory will come at a cost.
"It's a fight that, you could say, will not be skilful. It will be a scrap," Saunders told Sky Sports.
"This fight is not about standing back technically, ping ping ping. This will be crash, bang, wallop.
"It will be over quickly. Whoever the winner, it will be a war.
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"This is a fight for Golovkin which will take the edge off him. It will put a bit more age on him."
Unbeaten Saunders held the WBO middleweight championship when the other major divisional belts were Golovkin's, but a fight to crown an undisputed champion never materialised.
Saunders, now the WBO super-middleweight champion, has since linked up with promoter Eddie Hearn and said at the time: "I'd fight Golovkin at whatever weight he wants. I could show people how easily I could beat him and out-box. I could do a better job than Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez."
Golovkin's only career defeat came to Canelo last year, after a draw in their first fight.
Saunders has now identified Canelo, who first fights Sergey Kovalev on November 2, as his dream fight for next May's Mexican holiday.
"I would take pleasure in ruining Cinco de Mayo for the Mexican fans," Saunders said.
Kazakhstan's Golovkin is also working with promoter Hearn, who still sees him in major fights next year.
Hearn said: "You've got Demetrius Andrade. I would love Demetrius Andrade to fight Golovkin or Canelo. We've got Saunders at 168 [lbs]. Has the ability to come back down to 160 [lbs]. Danny Jacobs is fighting at 168, but probably could still make 160. If those guys want to move up, you've got Callum Smith as well.
"I think the key in 2020 is get all those fights made. I would love to see Golovkin and Canelo, but ultimately Canelo will decide who he fights, and right now, Golovkin is not on that list frustratingly for us."