Timur Kerefov continued his surge as an unbeaten prospect while Hugo Centeno Jr. made his way back to the win column.
Both boxers picked up victories in separate non-televised bouts Friday evening at Central Park Community Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Kerefov—who fights for former title challenger and current full-time promoter Dmitry Salita—cruised to a ten-round, unanimous decision win over Devaun Lee (10-8-1, 5KOs) in the final bout before the Showtime cameras began rolling for a televised ShoBox tripleheader. Scores were 100-90 on all three scorecards in favor of Kerefov (12-0, 6KOs), a Russian middleweight based out of Detroit. The win was his third of 2021, though ending a two-fight knockout streak in fighting past eight rounds for the first time in his three-year career.
Centeno (28-3-1, 15KOs) picked up his first win in more than two years. The former standout prospect and fringe contender scored a second-round stoppage of Knoxville’s Kenneth Council (11-5-1, 8KOs) in their middleweight contest.
Centeno—who fights for Hall of Fame promoter Lou DiBella—was once considered a middleweight to watch, only to hit a wall once he attempted to transition from prospect to contender. The Oxnard, California native suffered a tenth-round knockout loss to then-unbeaten Maciej Sulecki in their June 2016 affair, and was blitzed in less than four minutes in an April 2018 WBC interim middleweight title bid versus Jermall Charlo.
A ten-round loss to Willie Monroe Jr. and a split-decision draw with Juan Macias Montiel—both in 2019—were followed by a layoff of more than 21 months before returning to the ring and resuming his winning ways on Friday.
Headlining the televised portion, Ja’Rico O’Quinn (14-0-1, 8KOs) and Saul Sanchez (16-1, 9KOs) collide in a bantamweight battle scheduled for ten rounds.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox