Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs Elvin Ayala, Ievgen Khytrov vs Nick Brinson & Regis Prograis vs Amos Cowart
BY KID HERSH
Shobox from Bally's Atlantic City New Jersey came a prospect peppered Shobox card. First up was undefeated prospects Regis "Rougarou" Prograis (14-0, 12ko's) vs Amos Cowart (11-0-1, 9ko's). In the first round Prograis peppered Cowart with all kinds of shots, already establishing himself as the superior boxer. The second round was much of the same as the talent gap got more and more obvious, with Prograis doing seemingly anything he wanted while effortlessly outboxing his man. Cowart was not showing serious damage yet but it seems like he can only take this for so long, as Progais is landing nearly 60% of his body shots. Cowart came ot and landed a solid left hand that thudded home - by far his best shot of the fight - to start the third round. The shot looked like it buckled Prograis's legs momentarily. He recovered quickly but then had himself a bad fourth round as he got buzzed again by the wild swinging Cowart. In the fifth round Prograis went back to peppering his man with the jab and had himself a great round until he got buzzed up with about 30 seconds left in it from a wild left hand that landed flush. It was not enough to steal the round for Cowart, but it just showed that he is still dangerous yet and Prograis has to be careful. Prograis continued outboxing his man in the sixth round and then in the seventh round we had some good action when again Cowart got wild and managed to land some good shots on his man - just enough so that the audience is left thinking that maybe he could still pull something off as he drew blood from Prograis's nose. Prograis showed a fantastic jab in this fight - throwing over 500 in only 8 rounds! He also threw 909 punches in 8 rounds, staying extremely busy and looking good in doing so. He won the UD and I think we have ourselves a great prospect here. I wonder about his chin since he was buzzed up a few times but he did recoup quickly and came right back.
Next up was Ievgen Khytrov (10-0, 9ko's) vs Nick Brinson (17-3-2, 7ko's). In the first round Khytrov was very measured, even letting Brinson take the lead at times as he was moving about the ring at times and just measuring the distance. In the second round Khytrov just couldn't get his punches off as Brinson was getting off first and moving. In the third round Khytrov upped the pace and he did hit the mark and get off more but he still looked very frustrated and was not cutting the ring off well. Brinson was still punching effectively and moving, but the moving was now more so because he had to get away. The fourth round was a lot like the third, but Brinson was looking a bit more tired to me from the constant pressure. In the fifth round Brinson was breathing very heavy through the mouth and backing up while trying to desperately get away from Khytrov, who was not just getting closer now but touching his man. Midway through the sixth round he hurt Brinson, who was staggering around the ring at this point but recovered by the end of the round. In the seventh round Brinson had appeared to recover early on, or at least a little bit or long enough to hang on until almost two minutes into the round when Khytrov landed a massive right hand that hurt Brinson. It looked like the end was surely coming as Khytrov unloaded bombs on Brinson but to his credit he was able to stay alive until Khytrov had punched himself out and the round ended. In the eighth round Brinson was looking a bit unsteady on his feet but still fighting back - perhaps even too much with his slow punches because he left himself wide open for a left hook with less than a minute left in the fight that really hurt him. He was basically out on his feet as Khytrov was pursing him and loading on the punishment, with the referee not stopping the fight until Brinson awkwardly went to one knee and was clearly gone. Despite him dominating the second half of the fight, Khytrov really did not look all that great tonight. Perhaps it was just a slow start, but this could have possibly even turned out a draw had he not got the knockout! It was a pretty close fight, despite the cards being all over the place (even though they did not matter).
Main event time with Sergiy Derevyanchenko (5-0, 4ko's) vs Elvin Ayala (28-6-1, 12ko's). In the first round Sergiy was pressing and the busier man, with Ayala looking to pick his spots. It was more of the same in the second round. Sergiy is winning the rounds but he doesn't look that good to me as his shots are short and it seems like his feet and arms are not quite matching up. In the third round Sergiy was pressing harder yet and starting to beat up Ayala a bit, who was back-peddling to stay away. More of the same continued until Sergiy was able to buckle Ayala's legs early on in the sixth round. The slow beat down continued until in the eighth and final round it looked like Sergiy was going to stop his man midway through when he hurt Ayala with a right hand but Sergiy ended up punching himself out so Ayala finished the fight on his feet but lost the shutout decision. Sergiy did not look very good to me in this one - he is kind of slow and plodding and ended up gassing himself out. Might be limited, but we will have to see going forward.