Unbeaten junior welterweight Sergey Lipinets (9-0, 7 KOs) of Martuk, Kazakhstan thrilled the packed venue at the Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino in Nice, California on Tuesday night with a dramatic fifth-round knockout of Levan “The Wolf” Ghvamichava (16-2-1, 12 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes.
Stalking Ghvamichava from the opening bell, Lipinets found success with a range-finding jab combined with methodical and effective power shots to offset his opponents’ inconsistent attack.
Closing the gaps even narrower between himself and Ghvamichava, Lipinets continued to successfully walk down the Georgian (Russia) native in the fourth round who was unable to avoid the punishing assault.
Lipinets struck gold in the fifth, dropping Ghvamichava with a brutal left hand to the body resulting in a knockout victory at the 1:40 mark of the round. Scores at the time of the stoppage were 39-37 and 38-38 twice for the scheduled ten-rounder.
About the win, Lipinets said, “I’m really happy with the victory. We worked hard on that shot with my trainer. We knew we could wait and use that right hand at the right time and take it straight to the body.
“He’s a very strong, physical opponent. It was a real challenge to get him to where I wanted him. I wanted to get inside and use my speed. It was hard in the beginning to pick him apart, but we were able to get into a rhythm.
“I want to keep going up from here. I think I proved myself tonight that I belong at this level.”
Said a disappointed Ghvamichava, “Things were going according to my game plan. I ended up getting caught with a shot. I recovered and then he threw that big body shot and it sucked the life out of me.
“The rounds were competitive, but I felt like I was winning. I knew I had to keep my jab on him to keep him at bay. I knew he had a strong right hand, but he started to back up and I had never seen him do that so it threw me off.
“You don’t expect to be knocked out. We were letting the fight come to me and I thought I was going to be able to stun him, but he has explosive power. I should have been more cautious. I am going to learn from this experience.”
Co-featured on the telecast Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko, (8-0 6KO’s), now fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, impressed with with an eighth-round knockout of the tough-as-nails Mike Guy, (8-2-1 4KO’s).
Fighting evenly over the first half of the scheduled eight rounder, Derevyanchenko found his range in the second half utilizing massive left hooks to the body to slow down the Sacramento, California native.
Sensing a finish in the final round, Derevyanchenko drilled Guy to the canvas at the midway point of the stanza and again shortly thereafter. Although Guy beat the count, the ensuing flurry from Derevyanchenko caused a halt to the bout by referee Michael Margado at the 2:24 mark.
Scores at the time of the stoppage were 70-63 and 69-64 twice.
Stated Derevyanchenko, “I wasn’t surprised he was so tough. I’ve never seen any of his fights, but I didn’t think it was going to be an easy fight.
“His style was awkward. It was hard to tell where his punches were going to come from.
“I didn’t pick a specific round that I wanted to knock him out. I just finally picked him apart in the sixth round and then again in the eighth.”
In the opening bout of the Premier Boxing Champions on “FOX and FOX Deportes”, undefeated welterweight Kevin Watts of nearby Lancaster, California, improved to 11-0 with four knockouts with a dominant fifth round stoppage of Michael Chudecki, (11-3-1 3KO’s), of Pozman, Poland.
Using his superior skills and hand speed, Watts built an early lead sweeping the first four rounds while displaying his full array of punches.
Dropping the valiant Pole early in the fifth stanza, Watts was awarded the stoppage victory as referee Edward Collantes called a halt at the 2:01 mark. Scores at the time of the finish were 39-37 on all three judge’s scorecards.
Said the victorious Watts, “I’m so happy, but I knew I was going to get that win. I train too hard to lose. All I think about is winning. I’ve got too many people rooting for me to fail.
“I knew I was going to get the KO, but I was happy it was in the fifth round. I actually thought he was going to make it to the sixth because I didn’t think I hurt him as bad as I did in the fourth.
“When he went down, I knew it wasn’t a slip. Usually when a drop is ruled a slip, you know it, but that was definitely a knock down. He could barely get back up and after that he just kept backing up and backing up and I took advantage of that.
“Not sure what is exactly next, but I do know I’ll be ready.”