New York, NY/Uncasville, CT - On Friday, April 17th, DiBella Entertainment, in association with Fight Promotions Inc. and New Legend Boxing, returns to the beautiful Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, for that week's edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Headlining the card is blue-chip middleweight prospect Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0, 3KO's) taking on hometown favorite and former middleweight world-title challenger Elvin Ayala (27-6-1, 12KO's) in the 10-round feature bout of the evening.
In the co-feature, WBA #10-rated super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski (22-0, 6KO's) puts his undefeated record on the line against Connecticut's own Danny Aquino (16-2, 10KO's) in an eight-round featherweight matchup.
ESPN will begin live coverage beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
"We are happy to be promoting what promises to be a strong night of boxing at Mohegan Sun on April 17th," said promoter Lou DiBella. "Ryan 'The Polish Prince' Kielczweski has just entered the top-10 of the world rankings and continues his quest toward a world title against a very dangerous Danny Aquino in the co-feature. Our main event features elite middleweight prospect Sergey Derevyanchenko, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of his countryman and stable-mate Ievgen Khytrov in making a statement to the middleweight division on April 17th, after only four professional fights, when he challenges gritty veteran Elvin Ayala. Ayala is the hometown fighter and has a huge advantage in professional experience, having fought for a world title. On April 17th, the boxing world will find out exactly who Sergey is."
"Once again, ESPN's Friday Night Fights is delivering entertaining boxing with a couple of exciting prospects who are ready to break out in Derevyanchenko and Kielczweski," said Brian Kweder, ESPN Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions. "I'm especially looking forward to seeing 'The Polish Prince' [Kielczweski] for the third time in three years on our program."
"We are happy to have another great night of fights in our building, a building that was built on great boxing events," said Mohegan Sun's Sr. Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Thomas Cantone.
Derevyanchenko was an outstanding amateur, compiling an astonishing 390-20 record. He represented his native Ukraine at the 2008 Olympics and won a bronze medal at the 2007 Amateur World Championships. Derevyanchenko also competed in the World Series of Boxing, where he posted a 23-1 overall record and was the 2012 WSB Team Champion and 2011 and 2012 WSB Individual Champion. Derevyanchenko's rise up the world rankings is expected to be meteoric and anything less than a world championship would be a disappointment. In Ayala, Derevyanchenko meets easily his toughest opponent to date. Ayala is coming off a career-best showing, having won a unanimous decision over Aaron Mitchell (27-1-1) to put his career back on track. A win over the fast-rising Ukrainian will thrust Ayala, who anticipates having a raucous hometown crowd on hand, back into the world ratings as he looks to secure another shot at a world title.
"I couldn't be more excited to be headlining this card and appearing for the first time on the ESPN network and I want to thank my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. for this opportunity," said Derevyanchenko. "Ayala is a very tough and experienced opponent. He challenged Arthur Abraham for his title, going 12 hard rounds. He is coming off a very good win in his most recent fight and I know he will be coming to win in front of his hometown fans come April 17. I am looking to make a statement in this fight though. I am going to show the world that I am one of the best 160-pounders in all of boxing and I belong at the elite level of this division."
"On April 17th, I will be victorious. I am training like never before and I am ready to put on the performance of a lifetime. I have suffered losses in my career but never defeat. God knows this and I know this and now it is time for the world to know it, beginning with Sergey Derevyanchenko," said Ayala.
Hailing from nearby Quincy, Mass., the bout on April 17th will be the third showing for the exciting and charismatic Kielczweski on the ESPN network. In his ESPN debut in 2013, Kielczweski scored a highlight-reel one-punch knockout over previously undefeated knockout artist Miguel Soto (11-0, 11KO's). The knockout was so astonishing that it made that day's "ESPN Top 10 Plays of the Day". Kielczweski followed up that performance a year later with a dominant and exciting eight-round unanimous decision over once-beaten Ramsey Luna (12-1). Now Kielczweski is looking to make it a perfect 3-0 on the network and push himself closer to securing his first world-title opportunity when he meets his crosstown rival Aquino.
"This will be my third appearance on the ESPN network, and I am planning on making it my best performance yet," said Kielczweski. "This is a huge opportunity for me to show the boxing world that I am one of the best 126-pounders in the division and that I am ready for a crack at a world title in the near future. Danny is a tough kid, and his only losses are to eventual world-title challengers, so I know that he is going to give it his all come April 17. That being said, I am going to be 100-percent mentally and physically ready to put on the best performance of my career, and keep my undefeated record intact."
Aquino and Kielczweski have history together, as Aquino holds an amateur victory over the former National Golden Gloves runner-up Kielczweski. The Mexican-native, who moved to Meriden, CT, as a youth, is a relentless come-forward brawler, with power in both hands. Aquino holds three victories over previously undefeated opponents, and his losses have been via close decisions against eventual world title challenger and once-beaten Yoandris Salinas (20-1-2, 13KO's) and Norberto Jimenez, who just fought for the WBA world super flyweight title in December of last year, holding defending champion Kohei Kono to a 12-round draw. A win over the top-10 rated Kielczweski will propel Aquino into the world-ratings and force the loaded featherweight division to take notice.
"I want to thank my promoters New Legend Boxing and DiBella Entertainment for this opportunity to showcase my skills on national TV. A win over Kielczweski will propel me into the world rankings and bring me a major step closer to fighting for a world title," said Aquino.
Additional bouts on the card will be announced shortly.
Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $100, $70 and $30 (subject to additional fees). Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.mohegansun.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased by visiting the Mohegan Sun Box Office. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.