Derevyanchenko outclasses Ayala; Khytrov Delivers TKO

Talented undefeated middleweight prospect and 2008 Olympian Sergiy Derevyanchenko continued to move on the fast track as he earned a unanimous decision over former world title challenger Elvin “El Lycan” Ayala of New Haven, Conn. in Friday’s main event of the ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader from Bally’s Atlantic City.

Known as “The Technician,” Derevyanchenko (6-0, 4 KOs/WBS: 23-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Ukraine, kept his record unblemished as he carefully broke down the experienced Ayala (28-7-1, 12 KOs) in their eight rounder. He was the more effective and accurate aggressor, unleashing an excellent body attack and out-landing Ayala 185 to 49 on power punches.

Derevyanchenko, who had never been past the fourth round, thoroughly and comfortably outboxed the 34-year old Ayala from the opening bell, showcasing his superiority and dominance on a one-sided unanimous decision (80-71 twice, 80-72).

“I am happy with my performance. I would have liked to have scored the knockout, but Elvin showed he has a lot of heart,” said Derevyanchenko. “I was able to work on a lot of different things and show a lot of different dimensions to my game.

“This was my first time going eight rounds and I feel great. My stamina was great and I was able to do pretty much everything that I wanted to do in there. Elvin was my toughest opponent to date and I think that I passed this test with flying colors.

“I feel that I need a few more fights, and a few more good learning experiences like this, but a world title is not too far down the road. I trust my team behind me to guide me in the right direction, and when they tell me that I am ready, then I will be.”

Ayala, who was coming from upsets over Eric Mitchell and Ronald Gavril, fought back, but couldn’t counter the Ukrainian’s power.

“The kid can flat out fight,” said Ayala. “He without a doubt has championship caliber. I tip my hat off to him. I thought that I would be able to do something to neutralize him in there, but he was the better man tonight. He has a very bright future.”

Impressed with Derevyanchenko’s performance, Boxing Historian and SHOWTIME Analyst Steve Farhood asserted that the Ukrainian is ready to move from prospect to contender.

“Derevyanchenko fought as advertised,” he said. “He’s a technician. A very smart and believe it or not, mature fighter. He took control in the first round, mixed his attack to the body and to the head and showed superiority. He gives us no reason to think that he’s not ready for something much bigger.”

In the co-feature, undefeated power-punching middleweight and 2012 Olympian, Ievgen “The Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov (11-0, 10 KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Ukraine, scored an eight-round TKO over daring Nick “The Machine Gun” Brinson (17-4-2, 7 KOs) of Geneva, N.Y. with a devastating flurry of power punches at 2:31 of the final round.

Khytrov got his toughest test to date from Brinson, who dominated the early rounds with good lateral movement, consistent combinations to the body and strong jabs. But the Ukrainian picked up the pace and although he appeared to be frustrated in the middle rounds with his inability to finish his opponent, he continued to exert pressure.

After the sixth, Khytrov picked up the pace landing meaningful combos and powerful rights.

His aggressiveness paid off. With 29 seconds left in the eighth, referee Earl Brown halted the contest after “The Ukrainian Lion” put Brinson on one knee after a flurry of punches.

“This was a tough fight for me. I had some discomfort in my stomach back in the dressing room, I just didn’t feel 100 percent, and it took me a couple of rounds to find my rhythm,” said Khytrov. “Brinson had a good game plan and had some success early, but I never worried. I knew I was hurting him with my shots and I felt him breaking down as the rounds wore on.

“This was a good learning experience for me and my career. I fought through some adversity and still was still able to secure the victory. I feel that I am ready for some of the biggest name in the 160-pound division but I have faith in my team, my trainers, managers and promoters, and they will do whatever is best for me. Whatever they decide is best, I will be ready for and ready to put on a spectacular performance.”

Brinson, who was ahead on the scorecards (68-65, 70-62; 66-66), argued he was taking a knee at the time of the stoppage.

“I am fine. I am upset with the stoppage, said Brinson. “Our game plan was to box and give him a lot of lateral movement. I felt his strength on the inside, so we worked to outbox him and overwhelm him with the jab.

“I took a knee to recoup. I wasn’t knocked out. I knew where I was. I thought the smart thing to do was take a knee and get myself back together. He was coming on strong, but I knew there wasn’t much time left at all in the fight. I looked at the ref and I told him I was fine and he still stopped the fight. It is upsetting to me. I was winning the fight.

“I would love a rematch. It was a great fight, and I think the fans loved it. If a rematch is on the table I would take it right away.”

Opening the telecast in a quintessential ShoBox: The New Generation matchup, undefeated knockout artist Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (15-0, 12 KOs) of New Orleans, La., captured a one-sided eight-round decision over previously unbeaten Amos “2Smooth” Cowart (11-1-1, 9 KOs) of Groveland, Fla. in an impressive battle of junior welterweight southpaws.

Prograis, who averaged over 100 punches per round, landed 381 body punches and connected with 219 power punches, while Cowart, who was courageously attempting to counter the Rougarou’s speed and power, landed 129 connects and 94 power punches.

Prograis showcased his boxing superiority by outlanding and outclassing his opponent with strong jabs, body shots and impressive foot work. He won by the scores of 80-72 twice and 79-71.

“I feel great, I am ready to go a couple more rounds,” said Prograis. “This was a great fight for me. I was able to show another dimension and box.

“I have been going in there and just walking guys down and putting them away, but Amos came to fight. He showed that he has a huge heart and a great chin, because I hit him with some big shots and he kept coming, so I tip my hat off to him.

“He was a true warrior in there, he hit me with some good shots, but we expected that coming in and were prepared for that. I am very happy with my performance. This is just the beginning for me.”

Cowart, who moved up in weight for this matchup, admitted Prograis was the better fighter.

“He is a really good fighter,” said Cowart. “I was expecting him to come in and go toe-to-toe. He never hurt me, but he was more active.

“He was able to adjust in there. He was the better man tonight. I think it was a very exciting fight, and I wish I would have let my hands go more. I showed that I am true warrior though and I will be back and learn from this.”


ATLNTIC CITY, N.J. (Aug. 6, 2015) – Blue-chip Ukrainian middleweight prospect Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko weighed-in at 159 pounds and former title challenger Elvin “El Lycan” Ayala of New Haven, Conn. measured at 161 pounds during Thursday’s official weigh-in for the main event of this Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

Derevyanchenko (5-0, 4 KOs/World Series of Boxing: 23-1, 7 KOs) and Ayala (28-6-1, 12 KOs) will square off in the eight-round middleweight headliner of the televised tripleheader from Bally’s Atlantic City.

Undefeated power-punching middleweight Ievgen “The Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov (10-0, 9 KOs) tipped the scales at 159 pounds and upset-minded Nick “The Machine Gun” Brinson (17-3-2, 7 KOs) of Rochester, N.Y. measured at exactly the same, 159 pounds, for their eight-round middleweight matchup.

In the opening fight of the telecast, undefeated knockout artists Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (14-0, 12 KOs) of New Orleans, La. will take on Amos “2Smooth” Cowart (11-0-1, 9 KOs) of Groveland, Fla in an eight-round junior welterweight showdown. Both, Prograis and Cowart measured at 139 pounds each.

Tickets for the event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Fight Promotions Inc., are currently on sale and are priced at $120 and $60. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by visiting Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET, with the first bout scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Here’s what the fighters had to say prior to Thursday’s weigh-in:

Sergiy Derevyanchenko

“I have a lot of respect for him, he’s a tough opponent. I had a ten-week training camp and I’m ready for whatever game he brings. I’m not taking him lightly, this is a step up in class for me and he’s a really good fighter—he outclassed Ronald Gavril back in March, that’s no joke. But I’m not concerned because I feel I have faced tougher opposition in the past.

“I’m training in Brooklyn and I have sparred with really good boxers, Daniel Jacobs and Frank Galarza among them. Jacobs is a world champion, and let me tell you, it’s not easy to spar with a world champion, they know what they are doing.

“I’ve been sparring with Danny [Jacobs] for almost a year now. He’s very technical and very slick and so am I, so we are the perfect sparring match. My trainer says that to watch us spar is like watching chess. Every move counts, every punch matters. It’s all part of a calculated strategy. I love it.

“Some might argue I lack of experience, but I don’t feel that way in the least. I’ve been in the ring so many times, that I feel like home when I fight. I feel I’m right where I belong.”

Elvin Ayala

“I know I’m the underdog here, but so I was when I fought [Ronald] Gavril in Las Vegas last March. With four days’ notice and against the odds, I got the decision. I thought I was going to get robbed, but I won. So, I’m not too worried about being the underdog here, because it doesn’t mean anything. Anything can happen.

“On paper, Derevyanchenko has five fights, but he is way more experienced than that. In the amateurs alone he had more fights than me in as a pro and amateur combined. Every time you step in the ring, you leave something, but you gain some knowledge on fighting. So, he has a lot of experience and I’m not sleeping on him at all.

“I’m ready for Derevyanchenko. I know he’s going to come forward and I’m going to stand up and box. I don’t have a recipe or a specific strategy, I’m just going to read him and decide my course of action. Every fight is different, so sticking to one plan is not really an option. My plan is to read him and to respond to what he does with the best possible strategy.”

Ievgen Khytrov

“Some criticize my last performance against Aaron Coley, but I was coming from three back-to-back fights and I was physically exhausted. I won, but my performance it was not my best, I couldn’t even get my combinations going. This time around I’m better conditioned, a lot bigger and a lot stronger. I’m in the best shape of my life.

“I’m hungrier than my opponent and that’s an advantage for me. See, American fighters are a little bit in their comfort zones with comfortable gadgets and easy access to training and easy access to everything. In Eastern Europe, we don’t have that, so if you are lucky enough to get access to training or even an opportunity, you do your best and you try to break through. You work hard and don’t let opportunities slip away.

“Nick [Brinson] is good opposition, but I have no doubt I’m better than him.”

Nick Brinson

“I actually asked for this fight. I looked for it because Khytrov is the right style for me. We are tailor-made for each other.

“I’ve been in camp for thirteen weeks, I’m right on point with weight, I’m just ready to go.

“I know Khytrov is going to be on my face from the get go. He’s just like that, he stands there and he fights with all he has. Ha throws and throws, and that’s what I like about him. I know how to counter it. I know how to defeat him.

“My division is hot and I want to keep on moving. This is a tough test, but I know I can ace it.”

Regis Prograis

“I’m not concerned about Prograis. I fought bigger and stronger men. I feel quite comfortable and I’m confident I’ll come out victorious tomorrow. I know he’s not going to be a walk in the park, but I have what it takes to defeat him and I know it.

“This is my television debut, and my family and everybody around me is excited to see on T.V., on SHOWTIME. I’m in the big leagues now. It feels good, but I don’t let it get into my head. I’m focus on my opponent and on bringing my “A” game tomorrow night.”

Amos Cowart

“This is a big stepping stone for me. If I win, I move forward and upward, and if I lose—I know I won’t—it won’t hurt me, because I’d be losing to a guy that is as good as me, really tough opposition. So this is a win-win situation for me.

“I know I’m the smaller guy here. I’m moving up in weight, but I’m at that time in my career that I need to be tested to know where I’m at and to know what’s next. So, I welcome the challenge and I tell Prograis to watch out, because he might go down quicker than he thinks.”

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Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Chuck McKean producing and Rick Phillips directing.