Rising middleweight contender Sergiy "The Technician" Derevyanchenko (8-0, 6 KOs) will take on former world champion Sam "King" Soliman (44-13, 18 KOs) in the 10-round main event on Thursday, July 21 from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.
Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features a middleweight showdown between hard-hitting Ievgen Khytrov (13-0, 11 KOs) and California’s Paul Mendez (19-2-2, 9 KOs) in 10-rounds of action.
"I’m excited about this opportunity to headline against an experienced former champion," said Derevyanchenko. "Soliman has accomplished a lot, but right now he is standing in the way of me being a world champion. You will see the best version of me on July 21 and I will show why I am a dangerous fighter in this division."
"This is a crossroads fight so I am leaving nothing to chance and will do every bit of training needed to win this fight," said Soliman. "We are both fighting for world title position and I know Sergiy will fight hard for this win. This all makes it a great contest."
"On July 21, PBC on ESPN will feature two Ukrainian amateur prodigies and former Olympians who are now tearing through the middleweight division," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Sergiy Derevyanchenko, just eight fights into his pro career, will meet the experienced former champion Sam Soliman in a world title eliminator. The explosive Ievgen Khytrov, known as the ’Ukranian Lion’, will open the telecast facing contender Paul Mendez in the toughest test of his career."
"Foxwoods Resort Casino continues to offer the most compelling nationally-televised boxing events, featuring the very best fighters in the world," said Felix Rappaport, President & CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino. "For nearly 25 years, Foxwoods has been considered the ’Fight Capital of the Northeast,’ and our Summer Boxing Series will only build upon that fact. In true Foxwoods fashion, boxing fans can expect non-stop action and excitement from the moment the bell rings."
A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn. The unbeaten 30-year-old defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a thrilling third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow. He began 2016 by stopping Mike Guy in March and will look to keep that momentum going on July 21.
An experienced fighter who was once a kickboxing champion, Soliman won his middleweight world title in 2014 when he defeated Felix Sturm in Germany. Representing Melbourne, Australia, Soliman owns a victory over former world champion Sakio Bika in addition to triumphs over veterans Enrique Ornelas, Les Sherrington, Giovanni Lorenzo and Sean Sulivan.
Another Olympian who represented his native Ukraine, Khytrov also won an Amatuer World Championship before turning pro in 2013. Since then, the 27-year-old has dominated on his way to stopping contenders Josh Luteran and Nick Brinson in addition to previously unbeaten fighters Maurice Louishomme and Aaron Coley. Now training out of Brooklyn, his last outing saw him dominate Kenneth McNeil in his first 10-round bout.
Fighting out of Delano, Calif., Mendez is undefeated in his last 15 bouts including four victories in 2015. A pro since 2009, the 27-year-old will be making his east coast debut on July 21 after stopping Andrik Saralegui in August and defeating veteran David Alonso Lopez.
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June 27, 2016