Sergiy Derevyanchenko was impressive tonight against former middleweight titleholder Sam Soliman, stopping the 42-year-old veteran at 2:41 of the second round, scoring three knockdowns.
The first round saw Soliman (44-14, 18 KO) dropped on a right hand as he was trying to lunge in close to Derevyanchenko (9-0, 7 KO), who found him at the end of his punch. Soliman’s herky jerky, crafty veteran sort of style gave the Ukrainian no problems, as he seemed to have the Australian well scouted.
Soliman’s balance was an issue, as he slipped a few times, and he was ruled down on a brushing left hand again in the second. That call was a bit questionable, maybe, but moments later when he was cornered by Derevyanchenko and dropped on a left hook, there were no questions. Soliman tried to get to his feet, but stumbled back down and was stopped by the referee. It’s just the second stoppage loss of Soliman’s career.
The co-feature saw another middleweight prospect, Ievgen Khytrov, score a dominant win over Paul Mendez, stopping Mendez in the ninth round of a fight that probably should have been waved off much sooner.
Khytrov (14-0, 12 KO) was landing consistently throughout the fight, and overall landed 482 of 966 (50%) of his punches, including 364 of 667 (55%) of his power shots. Mendez landed 125 of 592 (21%) of his punches, 66 of them jabs, with 59 power shots.
The last few rounds turned into essentially a sanctioned assault, as Mendez (19-3-2, 9 KO) was just getting hammered by Khytrov to the head and body. At one point, the broadcast quoted the Mendez corner between rounds as saying they weren’t considering stopping the fight. Referee Joe Lupino looked close to stopping the fight a few times in the ninth round, but didn’t, and it took the ringside physician getting onto the apron to call for the fight to be stopped for the battery to end.