He had to work for it, but Sergey Lipinets added another knockout to his record five rounds into a back-and-forth scrap with hirsute Georgian Levan Ghvamichava tonight on Fox Sports 1.
Despite Lipinets' (9-0, 7 KO) considerable power, Ghvamichava (16-2-1, 12 KO) exchanged in the pocket with him and did so to very good effect with pitch-and-catch countering. Lipinets found success with the jab, but Ghvamichava was always there to answer when the Kazakh kickboxer wound up for his bigger blows.
The two went neck-and-neck through the first four rounds, both landing withering body blows and some solid hooks upstairs. In the fifth, however, Ghvamichava forced Lipinets to the ropes and walked into a grazing overhand right. He retreated to the adjacent ropes and briefly covered up, which allowed Lipinets to slam home a doozy of a liver shot. Ghvamichava went down to a knee, then both knees before ultimately failing to beat the count.
Lipinets can be a bit hittable, but his power is absolutely legit. Both men acquitted themselves well; I look forward to Lipinets' next step up and Ghvamichava's climb back up the ladder.
Top (super?) middleweight prospect Sergiy Derevyanchenko spent seven rounds looking rather mortal against designated victim Mike Guy before blasting him to bits in the eighth. "The Technician" (8-0, 6 KO) simply seemed hesitant to press, instead allowing Guy (8-2-1, 4 KO) to throw volume and build confidence while Derevyanchenko worked patiently behind the jab.
Derevyanchenko did eventually get the memo, though, and began landing heavy body blows with increasing success as the rounds progressed. Guy stayed in the fight, but his volume dropped sharply and left Derevyanchenko free to chip away. The Russian finally went for the kill in the eighth and final round, dropping Guy first with a 1-2 and then with a nasty liver shot in the corner. A few more punches followed and forced the referee to step in.
Derevyanchenko did not look nearly as dominant as he should against a late-notice, low-caliber opponent like Guy, but he's still fairly early in his career and did at least turn up the heat late, He's got time to build some real killer instinct.
Unbeaten Kevin Watts impressed in the opening feature with a fifth-round stoppage of Poland's Michal Chudecki at super lightweight. After a rather dull start that saw both men basically rely entirely on long straights, Watts (11-0, 4 KO) found his rhythm and began countering the hard-charging Chudecki (11-2-1, 3 KO), who continued to offer little besides big left swings, with crisp left hooks and straight rights.
By the fourth round, Watts had taken control and opened a big cut on Chudecki's left eye. A brutal three-punch combo sent Chudecki down in the fifth and, from there, Watts simply pounded away until the referee stepped in. A solid performance from the twenty-three-year-old Californian.
Mario Barrios was set to compete tonight, but opponent Erick Daniel Martinez missed weight badly and the fight was scrapped.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night's proceedings, click here.