LOS ANGELES – Sergiy Derevyanchenko suffered yet another close loss Sunday night.

Carlos Adames got off to a strong start, withstood Derevyanchenko’s rally in the second half of their fight and won a majority decision in their 10-round middleweight match. Judge Jerry Cantu scored their competitive, compelling contest a draw, 95-95, but judges Tiffany Clinton (97-93) and Damian Walton (96-93) credited Adames with a victory on the Gervonta Davis-Issac Cruz undercard at Staples Center.

By winning this WBC middleweight elimination match, Adames advanced to a final eliminator against Mexico’s Jamie Munguia. The Munguia-Adames winner will earn a mandated shot at Jermall Charlo’s 160-pound title.

Derevyanchenko (13-4, 10 KOs) is considered a small middleweight, but the Dominican Republic’s Adames (21-1, 16 KOs) made his debut at the division’s limit of 160 pounds in this fight. The 36-year-old Derevyanchenko fought for the first time since Charlo thoroughly out-boxed him in their 12-round fight for Charlo’s WBC middleweight title in September 2020.

Though considered a top middleweight contender, Derevyanchenko has lost four of his past five fights. Before Adames and Charlo beat him, he dropped a split decision to Daniel Jacobs in October 2018 and a close unanimous decision to Gennadiy Golovkin in BoxingScene.com’s “Fight of the Year” in October 2019.

Derevyanchenko and Adames traded hard punches, mostly on the inside, throughout a back-and-forth 10th round. Neither fighter could hurt his opponent, though, which left it to the judges.

Adames nailed an off-balance Derevyanchenko with a left hook about 30 seconds into the ninth round. Derevyanchenko and Adames exchanged left hooks with just over 1:10 on the clock in the ninth round.

Derevyanchenko and Adames exchanged hard power punches during an entertaining stretch over the final 30 seconds of the ninth round.

A left and then a right by Derevyanchenko landed about 1:15 into the eighth round. Two right hands by Adames landed flush as Derevyanchenko came forward in the final 10 seconds of the eighth round.

Barely a minute into the seventh round, Derevyanchenko connected with a right hand to the side of Adames’ head. Adames stood his ground for most of the seventh round, but he was out-worked by Derevyanchenko.

Derevyanchenko pressured Adames throughout the sixth round, though he didn’t land the type of flush punches on which he connected during the fifth round.

Derevyanchenko got off several hard right hands on Adames during the opening minute of the fifth round. Derevyanchenko backed him into the ropes in the middle minute of the fifth round and unloaded to Adames’ head and body.

A left hook by Derevyanchenko wobbled Adames with approximately 30 seconds to go in the fifth round.

Adames essentially tackled Derevyanchenko about 40 seconds into the fourth round, which sent them crashing to the canvas. Adames’ right hand snapped back Derevyanchenko’s head with just over a minute to go in the fourth round.

Adames, who fought from a southpaw stance in the first two rounds, went back to his orthodox stance to start the third round. Derevyanchenko had trouble landing clean punches on Adames during the third round.

Adames landed a stiff jab and then a straight left that allowed him to land several more power punches, including a left uppercut, in the middle minute of the second round. Derevyanchenko backed up Adames and landed a right that backed him into the ropes later in the second round.

Adames drilled Derevyanchenko with a left uppercut as Derevyanchenko pressed forward with about a minute to go in the first round. Adames also landed a straight left with just over 10 seconds to go in the opening round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.