On a night when undefeated heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison won his television debut and Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk and Ivan “The Volk” Golub remained unbeaten, light heavyweight Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic regained his winning ways by registering a fifth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Travis Peterkin in the main at the Run Casino in Miami, Okla on Friday night.
Making his Showtime debut and first start since suffering his lone defeat on a disputed decision to Marcus Browne, a motivated Kalajdzic (22-1, 15 KOs) of St. Petersburg, Fla., dropped Peterkin (16-1-1, 7 KOs), of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y., two times in the fifth before the fight was stopped at 1:32.
Other televised results: Baranchyk (12-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., took a 10-round unanimous decision over Wang Zhimin (7-1, 3 KOs, 7-1 WSB), of Nutley, N.J. by way of Ningbo, China, in the ShoBox co-feature; immensely popular local favorite and son of the late former world heavyweight champion, Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison (12-0, 12 KOs) demolished previously unbeaten Ed Latimore (13-1, 7 KOs), of Pittsburgh, Pa., scoring a 2:19, first-round TKO; and Ukrainian welterweight Golub (13-0, 11 KOs, 5-0 WSB), of Brooklyn, registered a third-round knockout over James Stevenson (23-3, 16 KOs), of Baltimore, Md.
Kalajdzic overwhelmed Peterkin with consistent aggression, superior fighting spirit and better power. He landed 45 percent of his power shots, including 60 percent in the final round. Plus, he led 37-7 in body connects.
“The one-dimensional nature of Travis Peterkin cost him big time because he had no answer for Hot Rod’s right hand, and when he threw his own power shots they were ineffective,’’ ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood said afterward. “He was exposed tonight, and Kalajdzic rejuvenated his career after the loss with Marcus Browne.”
A 6-foot-2 native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kalajdzic dropped Peterkin the first time with a right-left combination and finished him with a right-left-right combination. Peterkin fell heavily in a neutral corner, prompting the referee to stop it.
“He was a little bit awkward so it took me a little bit to find my range but once I did and I got into a rhythm, I knew he wasn’t going to last,’’ Kalajdzic said. “We have been working on staying patient and finding that range and it showed tonight.
“I wanted to make a statement in this fight and I did. I want the biggest names in the light heavyweight division, but before that I want Marcus Browne again. That is unfinished business for me. If he really thinks he won the fight then let’s do it again. We could fight next week. I’m ready.’’
Baranchyk, despite getting cut for the first time in his career (over his left eye in the fifth), won by the scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91. There were no knockdowns.
The rounds, particularly in the fight’s second half, were competitive. Both fighters landed a high percentage of power shots, 44 percent for Baranchyk, 41 percent for Zhimin, but the difference was that Baranchyk was busier, crisper and physically stronger.
Going more than four rounds for the first time, he answered questions about his late-round stamina and feels he is now ready to step up again.
“The 140-pound division is loaded with talent,’’ Baranchyk said. “There are tons of fighters I would love to fight, but there are two guys in particular I’d like to fight next: Maurice Hooker and Abel Ramos. Hooker is with Roc Nation and is above me in the ratings. He’s undefeated and this would be a great fight to prove I’m one of the best up-and-coming guys in this division. I’d love Ramos to fight Ramos too. We are both promoted by DBE and I have heard he called me out. He’s a come forward guy and those are the type of fights I like and that make for great TV.
“I love the fans here in Miami and I love fighting on ShoBox. This was my first time going 10 rounds and I feel great. Of course I would have liked to get the knockout because I always want to put on a spectacular show, but this was a great learning experience for me. He was an extremely tough opponent and I was surprised he was able to take so many big shots. We have been working on being patient and boxing and I was able to show that tonight.’’
Wang, who gave his best and never allowed Baranchyk to relax, said, “I felt a little tight and I couldn’t get my punches off like I wanted to. He was a little too big for me.’’
In a performance that lit up the arena, Lippe Morrison dropped Latimore two times and was on the verge of knocking him down again when the referee stepped in and halted matters at 2:19. Morrison decked Latimore the first time with a right hand midway through the first. Moments later, Latimore went down again from two rights and a left hook. After a series of shots, the referee stopped it.