Boxing returns to the Ballroom at Bally’s Atlantic City on Friday, Aug. 7 with an exciting ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader featuring the return to the series of Ukrainian blue-chip middleweight prospect Sergiy Derevyanchenko (5-0, 4 KOs, WSOB: 23-1, 7 KOs) as he faces his toughest test to date, former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (28-6-1, 12 KOs) of Reading, Pa.
This crossroads battle is scheduled for eight rounds in the middleweight division and will be televised live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the co-feature, Derevyanchenko’s stablemate, red-hot prospect Ievgen Khytrov (10-0, 9 KOs) of Krivoy Rih, Ukraine squares off against upset-minded Nick Brinson (17-3-2, 7 KOs) of Rochester, N.Y., in an eight-round middleweight matchup.
Opening the ShoBox telecast, undefeated knockout artists Regis Prograis (14-0, 12 KOs) of New Orleans, La., and Amos Cowart (11-0-1, 9 KOs) of Leesburg, Fla., will clash in an eight-round junior welterweight showdown.
The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Fight Promotions Inc.
“I have been preparing for this fight for over a month now and still have another five weeks of camp left; everything is going according to plan,” said Derevyanchenko. “I can’t wait to showcase my skills to the world on Aug. 7 as the main event. I’m truly thankful to Al Haymon and my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions for giving me this opportunity.
“Ayala is an experienced and proven contender and, without a doubt, my toughest opponent to date. That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that I will come out victorious from this battle.”
“I never really understood till now that this is what I do,” said Ayala. “The fight life is the life I chose. It’s why I was born into a broken home. It’s why I’ve been broke since I was born, because the only place you can go from the bottom is either six feet deeper or up, I used to believe that I was doing this for my family and those close to me, but now I truly believe I’m doing this just for me. You will see that hunger and desire when I step into the ring on Aug. 7.”
“This will be my third time fighting on the ShoBox series this year, and I am looking to put on my most spectacular performance yet,” said Khytrov. “Every time I step into the ring, I am looking to showcase that I’m one of the best up-and-coming fighters in all of boxing. I have been training like never before and promise another sensational victory.”
“I’ve got too much experience for this guy and will dictate the fight and back him up,” said Brinson. “Amateur experience means nothing when you take this kind of step up. He will be fighting a true 160 pounder for the first time and he will understand what it is like to be bullied. I can’t wait to get in the ring.”
“Boxing is a dangerous and vicious sport and I want to prove that I am one of the most dangerous, and vicious fighters out there,” said Prograis. “I must test myself against dangerous and vicious fighters. This fight is such a test; DiBella Entertainment promotes us both [my opponent and I], therefore, it goes without saying that Cowart has talent. This fight is an opportunity for us both, but someone will have to begin again. I expect it to be a competitive fight, but I will do what it takes to win. I am looking to move forward.”
“To be on national television and to showcase my talents and my will to win on a major network like SHOWTIME is a dream come true,” said Cowart. “This will be my second fight under the DBE umbrella and I would like to thank my promoter Lou DiBella and my manager Roy Cruz and the entire team at OPB for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to a tough fight against Regis Prograis, but most importantly, I’m looking forward to giving boxing fans what boxing is missing, an absolute war. There will be no running in this fight, exactly the type of fight I dream of every time I step into the ring.”
SHOWTIME is excited to come back to Bally’s Atlantic City, where ShoBox: The New Generation series originated over 14 years ago with a main event battle of undefeated lightweights featuring Leo Durin vs. Martin O’Malley. Durin won the clash with a ninth round TKO and went on to become the first of 62 fighters to date that have appeared on the series and have gone on to win world championships.
“Atlantic City, the Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore, and ShoBox: The New Generation, the premiere host for live events, have long had the reputation for producing some of the world’s best-known fights and we are excited to welcome this match on Aug. 7 at Bally’s,” said Kevin Ortzman, President of Caesars and Bally’s Atlantic City. “Since our last boxing match, Bally’s has opened Guy Fieri’s Chophouse, Buca di Beppo, and most recently, we debuted a brand new gaming and live entertainment space at the Wild Wild West, which will be the perfect experience for the boxing community both before-and-after the fights.”
“Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Ievgen Khytrov are two of the elite prospects in all of boxing and the future of the middleweight division,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Elvin Ayala is an experienced contender coming off of an impressive upset over previously undefeated Ronald Gavril. Nick Brinson has never been in a bad fight and is a veteran of ShoBox, having scored an upset victory over Jorge Melendez on the series. The opening bout between Regis Prograis and Amos Cowart is a can’t-miss battle between two undefeated, young punchers.”
As an amateur, Derevyanchenko compiled an astonishing 390-20 record and represented his native Ukraine at the 2008 Olympics. He also won a bronze medal at the 2007 Amateur World Championships and 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 in the world rankings is expected to be meteoric and anything less than a world championship would be a disappointment.
In Ayala, Derevyanchenko will meet his toughest and most experienced opponent to date. Ayala is 8-1 in his last nine bouts, with the lone loss coming against fellow middleweight contender and world title challenger Curtis Stevens. Ayala is coming off back-to-back upset victories in 2015, with the first coming over 27-1-1 Aaron Mitchell in January, and then earning an impressive eight-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Ronald Gavril (13 -1 ) in his most recent bout. Ayala knows he cannot afford another loss in his career if he is going to get another crack at a piece of the middleweight championship and is looking to derail Derevyanchenko’s championship goals when they meet on Aug. 7.
Known as the “Ukrainian Lion”, Khytrov has been on a tear since turning pro in December 2013. Hailing from Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, but now living and training in Brooklyn, N.Y., Khytrov, like his stable-mate Derevyanchenko, was a phenomenal amateur, accumulating a 480-20 record. His amateur career culminated with a trip to the 2012 Olympics, where he was one of the favorites to win gold, but dropped a highly questionable decision to eventual gold medalist Anthony Ogogo.
Incredibly active as a pro, Khytrov notched six victories in 2014, including first-round knockouts over once-beaten prospects Willie Fortune and Louis Rose. Khytrov has not let off the gas in 2015, having already picked up three impressive wins, all on national TV, with two coming under the ShoBox banner.
In Brinson, Khytrov finds himself facing yet another tough opponent who has fought top competition for much of his career. Brinson is 8-2 in his last 10 bouts, with the losses coming against top undefeated prospect Dominic Wade and Olympian and recent world title challenger Andre Dirrell.
Both Khytrov and Brinson hold victories over Puerto Rican contender Jorge Melendez.
The opening matchup of the night between fellow knockout artists Regis Prograis and Amos Cowart is the exact type of matchup that the ShoBox series has been built on. The bout features two young, hungry, exciting and explosive undefeated prospects looking to burst onto the scene in both of their national TV debuts. Both fighters have devastating power in each hand and fight in very similar seek-and-destroy styles. Neither fighter is expected to take a step back for as long as the fight lasts.
The 26-year-old Prograis has knocked out eight consecutive opponents and is fully confident that Cowart will be victim number nine. Cowart, on the other hand, feels that Regis’ come-forward style will only spell disaster for his foe. Cowart is coming off his most impressive victory to date this past April when he scored a dramatic come-from-behind knockout over previously undefeated Anthony Burgin.
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.