By Rene Ricardo Bernal
MASHANTUCKET, CT - Rising middleweight contender Sergiy "The Technician" Derevyanchenko (9-0, 7 KOs) got his biggest win to date with a two round knockout of former world champion Sam "King" Soliman (44-14, 18 KOs) at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.
From the opening bell, Soliman tried to catch Derevyanchenko off guard with his awkward movement. However, the Ukrainian fighter maintained his composure and it paid off, connecting with a right hand that dropped Soliman, who still managed to end the first round on his feet.
In the second round, Soliman once again tried to throw off his opponent. Methodical, Derevyanchenko measured Soliman for another right hand that sent him to the canvas for the second time. Soliman beat the count and Derevyanchenko followed up with a hard left hook, dropping Soliman flat on his back. On shaky legs, the Aussie fighter stumbled as he tried to beat the count, forcing the referee to call off the bout.
IN THE CO-FEATURE - In a middleweight contest, Olympian Ievgen Khytrov (14-0, 12 KOs) beat down Paul Mendez (19-3-2, 9 KOs)
Early on, Khytrov applied pressure on Mendez, backing up the California based fighter on the ropes. Khytrov’s heavy punches rattled Mendez who tried to use his jab to control the fight. Towards the end of the first round, Mendez mounted his own offense, resulting in an exchange at close quarters with Mendez absorbing most of the damage.
Khytrov used excellent upper body movement to cut the distance and get on the inside to land his combination, opening a cut over Mendez’s right eye. With a minute left in the third round, Khytrov stunned Mendez who managed to stay on his feet.
Mendez showed a great chin while the Ukrainian fighter maintained an excellent work rate throughout the fight, landing almost at will and staggering his opponent more than once.
Finally, Khytrov broke through in the ninth round as he trapped Mendez against the ropes, landing hard shots. With Mendez unresponsive to the onslaught, the referee stepped in to halt the punishment, giving Khytrov the stoppage win.