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Home » Berinchyk secures glorious night for Ukraine / Norman’s shock KO

Berinchyk secures glorious night for Ukraine / Norman’s shock KO

Well, that was quite the encore. On the day Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usrk captured the undisputed heavyweight title, his countryman, Denys Berinchyk, stunned the boxing world. Berinchyk defeated Emanuel Navarrete by split decision to win the vacant WBO lightweight world title Saturday evening at Pechanga Arena in San Diego.

Berinchyk (19-0, 9 KOs) prevailed by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, while Navarrete won on the third card, 116-112. Navarrete (38-2-1, 31 KOs) failed in his attempt to become the sixth four-division, Mexican-born world champion.

Navarrete began as usual by launching forward with wild shots, often leading with uppercuts or left hooks from the outside. Berinchyk responded by using his footwork to find his distance and pepper the Mexican with quick counterpunches.

Berinchyk’s offense didn’t hurt Navarrete, but they were enough to prevent him from implementing a sustained body attack in the early rounds.

Urged by his corner, Navarrete upped his offense in the last half of the fight, but the 36-year-old Olympian continued to make him miss before connecting with compact, effective punches.

“This is great, my friend. This is great. Great boxing,” Berinchyk said. “Great fight. Navarrete, muchas gracias.”

Navarrete said, “It was something new for me. Like I always said, it would be difficult. Denys is a great fighter. He made me struggle a lot. And you saw what happened. But I’m happy with how I fought. I know that I need to improve.

“I’m not sad. I know it was a test. I needed to do more, but I know that I can do more. So, I congratulate him on his win. I’m happy because I tried things out at 135 pounds, and I know I will be strong at this division.”

Brian Norman Jr. (26-0, 20 KOs) captured the WBO Interim welterweight world title with a 10th-round knockout over hometown favorite Giovani Santillan (32-1, 17 KOs).

Santillan was the aggressor, but Norman’s quick counters and clinching nullified his offense. Santillan tried to make the most of it by punching inside the clinch, but this provided the openings for Norman to counter.

In the eighth, Norman hurt Santillan with a left hook. This changed the tide decisively to Norman’s favor, as he rallied with combinations in the following stanza. In the 10th, Norman landed a counter uppercut that dropped Santillan, who rose off the deck to be dropped by another, more devastating uppercut that floored him and ended the fight.

Norman was ahead on all three scorecards, 89-82, 88-83 and 86-85.

Norman said, “He was pressing but not hitting s**t. I made him miss and made him pay. I like going to other people’s hometowns and taking what they have. Whoever they have next for me, I’m ready for the challenge.”