WBO #3 ranked lightweight Denys Berinchyk (15-0, 9 KOs) continued his quest for a world title shot with yet another victory, when he stopped Chilean fight veteran Jose Sanchez within three rounds at the Ice Terminal in Brovary, Ukraine.
This time the master of the unpredictable, whose ring entrances will make Prince Naseem Hamed extremely proud of his unlikely successor, was carried in on a stretcher, accompanied by a couple of seducing nurses, his right leg and right hand cartoonishly broken and wrapped in plaster.
There's nothing to joke about when it comes to Berinchyk inside the ring, where he usually transforms himself into a well-rounded fighter, who sometimes gets a bit too possessed with his own aggression. That wasn't been the case against WBO #15 rated Chilean, who was fighting for the first time outside of his native land. At 36, Sanchez was a prohibitive underdog, his case complicated by a six-year long lay-off between 2010 and 2016.
Sensing he could be in trouble early on, the Chilean utilized his defensive shell and concentrated mostly on the survival from round one. He was cautious and tried to use his jab to keep Berinchyk at bay but was losing this jab contest. Berinchyk recalled memories of his long-gone amateur days and put them into perspective, outboxing and outmaneuvering his opponent. The end was a bit sudden though. Early into the third, Berinchyk landed a major overhand right, which wobbled Sanchez and forced him to retreat. He was soon cornered and pummeled with an assortment of punches, forcing the referee to step in and halt the fight a bit prematurely at 0:35 of the third, Sanchez still being on his feet.
Sanchez drops down to 18-2, 7 KOs. With the win, Berinchyk retained his WBO International lightweight title for the fifth time. However, the time is ticking fast for the 32-year old from Krasnodon. 2011 Baku and 2012 London Olympics silver medalist Berinchyk was an integral part of the Ukrainian golden squad, which included world-class operators Vasyl Lomachenko, Oleksander Usyk and Oleksander Gvozdyk among others.
The fight was officiated by the Russian Yuri Koptsev, who had worked Artur Beterbiev vs. Adam Deines just yesterday, Berinchyk vs. Sanchez was promoted by K2 Promotions.
In an intermediate four-rounder, cruiserweight Ivan Yukhta (3-1-1,2 KOs) scored a hard-fought split decision over debutant Vadim Korennoy (0-1). Scores were: 40-37, 39-38, and 37-39 - for Yukhta.
In a battle of unbeatens, Odessa native Vasyl Chebotar (8-0, 3 KOs) scored a crushing kayo of 33-year old Germany-based Colombian Joan Lique (6-1) in round one. The 19-year old southpaw used his overhand left hook to send Lique face first, when the latter tried to step in with the punch. Light welterweight Chebotar defeated undefeated Yanis Kurylenko with a split decision in his latest outing. Time of the stoppage was 1:32.
Former WBA middleweight title challenger Khasan Baysangurov improved his record to 20-1, with 10 KOs, after a crushing left hook to the liver sent his opponent Olexander Rubchev (6-7-1, 2 KOs) down in pain and for the count at 2:25 of the second round. Rubchev (not to be confused with Bulgarian fighter Alexey Ribchev) landed some good overhand left hands and blocked some well-placed Khasan's uppercuts in the first. Khasan is a cousin of former WBO light middleweight beltholder Zaurbek Baysangurov. He was stopped in two by reigning champion Rob Brant in his bid for a regular version of the belt in February 2019.
Light welterweight Yanis Kurylenko (4-1, 4 KOs) used his amateur background, punching power and overall maturity to overwhelm 18-year old compatriot Daniil Kaplan (2-1, 1 KO) in five rounds. Kaplan fought on even terms with Kurylenko in the starting rounds but the difference in power started to tell in the third. Kaplan had trouble coping with Yanis' hard body and head shots, being slowly dismantled under fire. He was able to survive the first five rounds on his feet but failed to come out for the sixth.