Wednesday, July 17, 2024  |


Sergiy Derevyanchenko gains more experience in convincing victory

Fighters Network

ATLANTIC CITYÔÇö Sergiy Derevyanchenko seemed to be announcing his own fight Friday night. Each time he threw a punch at veteran Elvin Ayala it came with an almost audible ‘pow, pow, pow’ through his breathing. Derevyanchenko, a 2008 Ukrainian Olympian, didn’t have to make any sounds with his open mouth. His gloves alone made enough thudding sounds, bouncing shots off of Ayala’s head in the main event of the “ShoBox: The New Generation” tripleheader from Bally’s in Atlantic City.

Derevyanchenko came away pleased with a convincing eight-round unanimous decision on the scorecards of judges Barbara Perez and Tony Perez each saw it 80-71 for Derevyanchenko, and Kason Cheeks had it 80-72 in favor of Derevyanchenko.

“It’s the first time I went eight rounds, and whatever plans they had I was still able to execute,” Derevyanchenko said through an interpreter. “He was taller, he had a longer reach and had more experience. I was able to go to the body and come over with a left hook. I wanted to knock him out. He was very durable.”

Derevyanchenko (6-0, 4 knockouts) had dominated from the start. He played the role of stalker, dominating the center of the ring and honing in each time Ayala (28-7-1, 12 KOs) got within range. In the fifth, a reddish hue began encircling Ayala’s right eye. He could do little to keep Derevyanchenko off of him.

After the fifth, Ayala appeared more in survival mode than willing to do anything to win. In the sixth, Derevyanchenko was relentless again, all over Ayala against the ropes, exerting his superior strength and punching power. Ayala did supply a few interesting moments in the seventh, fighting back a few times. But in the end, Ayala wasn’t able to anything to dent the Ukrainian.

Derevyanchenko adeptly turned Ayala late in the eighth and appeared to have him in trouble, but couldn’t get the tough veteran out.

“He’s very strong,” Ayala said about Derevyanchenko.

Middleweight Ievgen Khytrov (11-0, 10 KOs) received a boxing lesson through portions of his eight-rounder against wily Nick Brinson (17-4-2, 7 KOs). But it was Khytrov that found some patience and a way to catch up to Brinson and finish him in the eighth.

Brinson made the fight interesting until the sixth, when Khytrov finally bore in and landed some heavy shots. Brinson, the far-lighter puncher, had frustrated Khytrov to that juncture. Each time Khytrov would close, Brinson averted trouble by side stepping the Ukrainian. In the seventh, Khytrov poured on more pressure, bearing down on the courageous Brinson, who took a healthy dose of punishment.

By the eighth, Khytrov’s heavier hands were beginning to make an impact. A left early in the round had knocked Brinson back into the ropes. Another left later in the round once again had Brinson reeling backwards. Khytrov now smelled blood and finished Brinson, who tried to take a knee, but referee Earl Brown saw enough and waved it over at 2:31of the eighth.

Khytrov had outlanded Brinson 109-52 over the last three rounds.

“I tried to warm up the first few rounds, but I thought his condition would decrease more,” Khytrov said. “I saw his fights and waited for his punch [output] to slow down. I just waited for him to slow down. It was a difficult fight for me, because I felt this pain in my side before the fight. Each time he touched my body, there was this pain over here on my side. I learned before next fight and I pulled through.”

Judge Tony Perez had it 70-62 for BrinsonÔÇöafter seven rounds. Barbara Perez had it 66-66 after seven, and Kason Cheeks had it 68-65 for Brinson.

On the first TV fight, and making his national TV debut, junior welterweight Regis Prograis (15-0, 12 KOs) remained undefeated with an eight-round unanimous decision over Amos Cowart (11-1-1, 9 KOs). Prograis-Cowart made up quite a bit for the earlier debris that littered the ring. The undefeated junior welters put on a great show. Neither backed down. A number of rounds were sparked with great exchanges, and through the first three rounds, it was hard to decipher who was in control.

Prograis seemed content with working on the outside, pecking away with the jab. Then Cowart would interrupt his rhythm by getting inside and whaling away. Cowart also appeared content on trying to land the big punch, while Prograis was scoring through attrition. Cowart’s corner kept imploring him to throw more, but Prograis, swelling building under his right eye, was winning the latter rounds with greater activity.

By the seventh, Prograis had gained control. Cowart’s corner was telling him he was in danger of losing his first fight unless he increased his workrate. And then Cowart went out and proceeded to throw one punch at a time, as opposed to Prograis’s combinations. In the seventh, Prograis drove Cowart to the ropes. The end of the round sent an electric current through the crowd, with the two prospects exchanging at center ring.

It was actually a very good bout between two young fighters looking to make a name for themselves. Judges Tony Perez (79-71), Kason Cheeks (80-72) and Barbara Perez (80-72) all had it for Prograis.

Prograis landed an amazing 381 out of 909 total punches thrown. Cowart connected on 129 of 461 punches thrown. Prograis’s 381 punches landed is the 18th-highest connect total for a junior welterweight fight counted by CompuBoxÔÇöover eight rounds.

“I’ve been knocking everyone out in the first round, so I needed an opponent like that,” Prograis said. “Sometimes I can get a little lazy and lose focus, and that’s when I get hit. It’s why my face looks like it does now. I learned I can go eight roundsÔÇöbecause it’s the first time I ever went eight rounds. I’ve been doing 10 rounds in camp and I kept my game plan and set up my shots off my jab. I didn’t know I could throw 900 punches over eight rounds. I thought I connected more than 318 punches. I know I overloaded with a lot of jabs. Hopefully, a lot of people will want to see me again.”

They may.

In the first fight of the night that actually heard a bell ring to end the first, middleweight Thomas Lamanna (17-1, 7 KOs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Joshua Robertson (7-9, 2 KOs), someone Lamanna had previously beat.

Heavyweight Joey Dawejko (15-4-2, 8 KOs) knocked out Robert Dunton (11-15-1, 6 KOs) with the first punch he threw. Dawejko dropped Dunton with a right uppercut and Dunton was out. Then he tried getting up, and discovered he was out on his feet. The fight was quickly waved over at :31 of the first round.

Welterweight southpaw Noel “Canelo” Murphy (3-0, 2 KOs) ripped through winless Stacey Anderson (0-3) in a spirited sparring sessions, winning by TKO at 2:27 of the first round of a scheduled four-rounder. In a scheduled six-round lightweight fight, Philly’s Anthony Burgin (9-1, 2 KOs) stopped Justin Johnson (7-9-4, 0) at 2:57 of the first round. Middleweight Avtandil Khurtsidze (31-2-2, 20 KOs) made easy work out of Melvin Betancourt (29-3, 23 KOs) with a first-round TKO in a scheduled eight-rounder