Add another European monster to the flourishing middleweight landscape.
Blue-chip hopeful Sergiy Derevyanchenko continued his rapid ascent towards contendership with a one-sided beating of Elvin Ayala as Friday’s ShoBox “The New Generation” headliner at Bally’s in Atlantic City, N.J.
Possessing the rare ability to make the Sweet Science look both rugged and fluid, the 29-year-old Russian’s subtle head movement and sharp counter-punching gave journeyman Ayala (28-7-1) trouble all night. A veteran of over 300 amateur bouts and a bronze medalist in the 2007 World Boxing Championships, Derevyanchenko’s weapons proved far too sophisticated for the 34-year-old from New Haven, Conn.
Working levels with his alternating hands, Derevyanchenko (6-0, 4 KOs) dominated every aspect of the tussle with savage body work and a furious work rate. The stellar performance earned a clear unanimous decision, as judges Tony Perez and Barbara Perez offered tallies of 80-71, while Kason Cheeks went with a more conservative 80-72.
Khytrov Rallies to Fell Brinson
Ievgen Khytrov versus Nick Brinson was a tale of two vastly different fights.
Khytrov, a Ukrainian middleweight prospect and training partner of Derevyanchenko, looked to be primed for the upset as Brinson, of Albany, N.Y., was much smoother through the bout’s opening five stanzas. Brinson was outboxing the large favorite and seemed to be on his way to the biggest win of his career. That is, until his conditioning failed him.
In round six, “The Ukrainian Lion” started to tee off as Brinson began to fatigue. Without the footwork that carried him through earlier frames, 27-year old Brinson found himself against the ropes and eating power punches from both hands for the first time in the bout. Khytrov scored with a left hook that sent his opponent reeling across the ring; a short right also wreaked havoc.
It was more of the same in the seventh, as Khytrov peppered the gassed fighter with vicious shots. ShoStats numbers revealed he connected on 33 of 59 power punches in the period, but it was not enough to drop the game Brinson. However, the end was near.
In the eighth, the 26-year-old stormed over his prey with a bevy of blows. With a tired fighter on the ropes and on wobbly legs, Khytrov (11-0, 10 KOs) unloaded with combinations until Brinson (17-4-2, 7 KOs) took a knee to avoid further punishment. Referee Earl Brown immediately stepped in to save Brinson at the 2:31 mark.
Prograis Hands Cowart First Defeat
Undefeated junior welterweight prospects Regis Prograis and Amos Cowart, both southpaws, stayed in the pocket and slugged it out for eight rounds for an entertaining start to Friday’s Showtime broadcast.
Prograis, of New Orleans, simply was the more polished fighter. The 26-year-old upstart, now 15-0 with 12 KOs following the unanimous decision victory, found a rhythm with his movement and combinations from the onset and never relented. According to ShoStats data, he landed at a 42 percent clip while connecting on 381 of 909 total punches.
Though never seriously hurt or in danger of being stopped, Cowart (11-1-1, 9 KOs), of Groveland, Fla., tasted lots of clean leather throughout the duel. It was the first blemish on the 25-year-old’s ledger since recording a draw against Yonkers, N.Y., super lightweight Chazz McDowell in August 2013.
Judges Perez saw the contest 79-71, while Cheeks and Perez delivered scores of 80-72.