Former world title challenger Brandon Adams scored the biggest win of his career with a stunning eighth-round technical knockout to upset blue-chip rising star Serhii Bohachuk in the main event of Ring City USA’s inaugural 2021 event from Felix Pagan Pintor Gym in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and live on NBC Sports Network.
Despite flashing athleticism and quick hands throughout the fight, Adams (23-3, 15 KOs) was down on all three scorecards (68-64 x2, 69-63) at the time of the stoppage. The 31-year-old lost all three rounds heading into the eighth frame when he unleashed a perfectly placed counterpunch that hurt Bohachuk which set up the opportunity to land a sensational left hook that sent Bohachuk to the canvas for the first time in his professional career.
“He was a tough guy,” said Adams. “He brought another side out of me that I knew was inside. I had to dig in deep tonight and use all the strength that I had to connect with one of those punches from the cannon.”
Adams, who hails from Watts, California, is the first fighter to return to the Ring City USA series on NBC Sports Network since its inception in November 2020. In two outings on the Thursday night boxing series, he has scored two emphatic knockouts in main event performances. Adams’ matchup with Bohachuck was originally scheduled for December but his opponent was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Adams went on to stop Sonny Duversonne in the second round of that event at Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
“It was real tough fighting in there tonight,” continued Adams. “The ring was wet; the ref was against me tonight. It was an uphill battle. I am an explosive fighter and I couldn’t take advantage of that because I didn’t have my legs under me because the ring was wet. But even though I was irritated, the show must go on. I am a pro. I have to figure out how to get the W and that’s what I had to do. I am grateful for the win. I loved Puerto Rico, everyone out here embraced me with love.”
Bohachuk, who is originally from Vinitza, Ukraine, and now resides in Los Angeles, entered the fight with a pristine professional record, highlighted by his 100% knockout percentage through 18 fights. The 25-year-old dropped the first round on all three score cards but went on to control the pace against the veteran Adams for most of the fight by cutting off the ring and exhibiting steady body work.
“I thought he was dominating the fight,” said Bohachuk’s head trainer Manny Robles. “I told him to watch out for that left hook. I told him if he took away that left hook then he would control the fight. It takes a couple of rounds for Serhii to get warmed up, but he looked good and his defense was actually really improving until that knockout.”
In the co-main event of the evening, super featherweight prospect Bryan Chevalier (15-1-1, 12 KOs) of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, scored an impressive third-round knockout against Carlos Zambrano (26-2, 11 KOs). Chevalier, 26, returned to the ring following a 15-month layoff yet showed no signs of ring rust as he scored a quick knockdown in the first round. In the third round, he scored back-to-back knockdowns, highlighted by a thudding left hand to the midsection that sent Peru’s Zambrano to the canvas and unable to beat the count.
“I had the height and youth advantage tonight, but he had the experience,” said Chevalier. “I had to figure out what he was going to bring and adapt in order to get the victory. I am very happy with my performance. I am the best 126-pounder in all of Puerto Rico.”
Opening the telecast on NBC Sports Network, Puerto Rico’s Danielito Zorrilla (15-0, 11 KOs) and Kazakhstan’s Ruslan Madiyev (13-2, 5 KOs) engaged in an exciting back-and-forth battle. The 28-year-old Madiyev brought the fight to Zorilla with relentless pressure while the tactical Zorilla countered well. In the fifth round, Madiyev was docked a point for a punch behind the head and at 1:16 of the eighth round, referee Janny Gomez called a halt to the bout due to another punch behind the head, which was deemed an accidental foul. The 27-year-old Zorrilla earned a technical decision victory as two of the scorecards favored the Puerto Rican (77-75, 77-74) while the third was tallied in favor of Madiyev (76-73). Ring City’s unofficial scorer Steve Smoger saw the fight 76-75 in favor of Zorrilla.
“Ruslan was just getting his groove,” said head trainer Joel Diaz after the fight. “He was getting stronger after the fifth round and Zorrilla was getting tired. He kept hugging Ruslan during most of the fight. Personally, I think Zorrilla wanted out of the fight.”
Madiyev exited the ring quickly upon the decision being announced but Diaz voiced his opinion about the end of the bout.
“He wasn’t hurt, he’s a good actor,” continued Diaz. “Zorrilla should be a telenovela actor. We were winning that fight, and this isn’t fair for my fighter because he put in the work. But what can you do? We gotta keep moving forward.”
Danielito Zorrilla is currently in stable condition and was taken to the hospital following the bout to receive routine tests.
Earlier in the evening, live in the U.S. and around the world on Twitch, Ring City USA presented three four-round fights. In the main event of the Twitch undercard, Fernando Vargas, Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) earned his second professional win in impressive fashion, scoring a first-round technical knockout against El Salvador’s Salome Flores Torres (0-3). The 24-year-old Vargas, Jr., under the tutelage of his father – two-time super welterweight world champion Fernando Vargas, Sr., sent Torres to the canvas twice before the fight was waved off.
“With every fight, I will continue to grow and listen to my father,” said Vargas, Jr. “This was just my second pro fight. We were looking for the knockout, but the TKO is OK. I was establishing my jab to get my distance and then unleashed my left hand.”
In his hometown of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Harold Laguna (2-0, 2 KO) worked the body early and often en route to a first-round knockout victory over Darwin Alvarez (0-1). In the first fight of the evening, Puerto Rican prospect Jorge Diaz (1-0, 1 KO) picked up his first professional victory against Felipe Munoz (0-1) via second-round knockout.
Calling all the action ringside in Puerto Rico was former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter joined by NBC Sports blow-by-blow commentator Bob Papa. Brian Campbell served as fight night analyst with Curran Bhatia reporting from ringside. The executive producers of tonight’s presentation of Bohachuk vs. Adams on NBC Sports Network were Eric Weinberger, Jeff Huggins & Frank Samuel. The telecast was produced by David Gibson and directed by Matt Celli.
Tonight’s full three-fight telecast will be available to watch on-demand on the NBC Sports App with authenticated sign-in.
Ring City USA returns to NBC Sports Network on March 18 with back-to-back weeks of Thursday night boxing from Puerto Rico. In two weeks, the next chapter in the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico ring rivalry will take center stage when former super featherweight world titlist Alberto Machado (22-2, 18 KOs) faces undefeated rising prospect Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight main event. On March 25, Ring City will highlight one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing between seven-division world champion and future Boxing Hall of Famer Amanda Serrano and current two-division titlist Daniela Bermudez for Serrano’s WBO and WBC featherweight world titles.