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On Wednesday at NYC's famed B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in midtown Manhattan, DiBella Entertainment returned for the latest installment of its popular Broadway Boxing series.
Headlining the card in his official DBE and NYC debut was Ireland's former featherweight title challenger, Patrick "The Punisher" Hyland taking on Noel Echevarria.
It was the first time that Hyland had seen ring action in nearly two years, but the talented and exciting featherweight showed little ring rust, scoring an impressive fourth-round TKO over Echeverria.
The Irishman showed good poise and crisp combination punching from the outset as he controlled the action against the southpaw Echevarria. Hyland picked up the pace in each round and by the fourth round was really pouring it on. With Echevarria taking heavy punishment, the referee jumped in and called a halt to the contest at 0:45 seconds of the fourth round. With the win, Hyland improved to 28-1, 13KO's, and looks to have found a home with DBE and NYC.
In the co-feature bout of the evening, top American heavyweight hopeful Charles Martin kept his undefeated record intact (18-0-1, 16KO's) and successfully defended his NABO WBO heavyweight title with a third round TKO over former fringe contender Kertson Manswell. The former 2012 National PAL champion and 2012 National Golden Gloves runner-up, currently rated #7 in WBO and #15 in the IBF world ratings, controlled the action against the free-swinging Manswell, who did connect with a few haymakers that got Martin's attention and brought cheers from the packed house in attendance. In the third, Martin dropped Manswell with a hard straight left hand from his southpaw stance and the follow-up barrage forced Manswell to take a knee¸ and the referee rightfully called a halt to the contest a 2:33 of the third round.
When Lou DiBella signed Sergey Derevyanchenko, the outspoken promoter confidently stated, "Sergey is one of the most decorated amateurs in the world and absolutely one of the best middleweight prospects in all of boxing. We feel that in one year's time, he will be ready to fight on the highest levels in boxing." While it is still early in his official professional career (Derevyanchenko was 23-1 in the World Series of Boxing), it would be hard to argue with DiBella after the Ukrainian's debut.
A former 2008 Olympian for his native Ukraine, Derevyanchenko absolutely destroyed Cromwell Gordon, making Gordon quit after the 2nd round. Derevyanchenko stalked Gordon around the ring from the outset, cutting off the ring and firing off crisp combinations. In the 2nd, Derevyanchenko really picked up the pace and began landing some vicious left hooks to the body that visibly affected Gordon. Towards the end of the round, the Ukrainian landed a picture perfect right uppercut on the inside followed by another hard left hook to the body. Gordon looked as though he was ready to go, but fortunately for him the bell sounded to end the round. Looking completely dejected between rounds, Gordon's corner wisely elected to not allow their fighter out for the third. It was an impressive showing for Derevyanchenko who improves to 1-0, 1KO, in his pro career. Look for Derevyanchenko, who compiled an outstanding 390-20 record as an amateur, to be back in action very soon and his climb up the middleweight ladder to be meteoric.
Long Island's popular light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. improved to 16-1, 13KO's, stopping Tyrell Hendrix in the third round of their scheduled eight-rounder. Smith came out fast and never let off the gas, pressing the action and scoring with hard shots with both hands. Smith dropped Hendrix in the 2nd and was all over him the following round before the referee called a halt to the contest at 1:45 of the third round. Smith looked very impressive, showing great speed, power and fluidity, systematically breaking down Hendrix in the process.
One of the truly bright young stars on the DBE roster, Freeport, Long Island's junior middleweight prospect Patrick Day kept his undefeated record intact scoring a devastating 2nd round TKO over Brad Jackson. The two had a wild first round with Day dropping Jackson hard with a huge overhand right. Jackson beat the count and as the round resumed Day jumped all over him looking to close the show. With Day coming in, a short shot on the inside from Jackson dropped Day for a flash knockdown. As the action resumed, Day, who looked to be more mad then hurt, began winging and landing monstrous shots that had Jackson holding on for dear life. Somehow he was able to make it to the end of the round, but the end was near. In the 2 nd, Day came out and unleashed a huge overhand right that dropped Jackson in a heap. Somehow he again was able to rise to his feet, but this time was in no condition to continue as he stumbled all the way across the ring with only the ropes keeping him up. The referee rightfully called a halt to the contest at 15 seconds of the 2nd round. With the impressive victory, Day improved to 8-0-1, 5KO's.
Former middleweight title challenger Avtandil Khurtsidze returned to the ring for the first time in nearly three years to dominate in spectacular fashion, jumping all over his opponent Allen Conyers, and beating him pillar to post before the referee called a halt to the contest at 1:23 of the very first round. With the win, Khurtsidze improved to 28-2-2, 17KO's. Look for Khurtsidze to be back in action soon, as he looks to once again move into the world title picture.
Opening up the card in a rematch of their absolute war which resulted in a draw back in February of this year were welterweights Danny Gonzalez and Ray Velez. It was another exciting bout between the two Puerto Ricans with good two-way action, but this time Gonzalez controlled the action with his superior boxing ability. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in Gonzalez' favor by tallies of 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56. With the win, Gonzalez improved to 6-0-1, 4KO.s
The next installment of Broadway Boxing will take place August 13th, back at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill.