ATLNTIC CITY, N.J. – 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 www.ticketmaster.com. 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:
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.