By: Marc Livitz: Sergiy Derevyanchenko remained unbeaten as he knocked out Tureano Johnson in the twelfth round of a middleweight title eliminator on Friday evening. Main Street served as the night’s venue in an outdoor event sponsored by the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma. The IBF eliminator match held a world of importance, as the winner would be in line to face whoever prevails next month in Las Vegas when Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin square off.
Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KO’s) remained patient as his Bahamian opponent switched from conventional to southpaw in the opening round. They traded jabs and feints. Each man wanted to land a hard shot inside and the action began to intensify in the second. Sergiy connected with a powerful right in the last minute. Tureano (20-2, 14 KO’s) looked to push his Ukrainian adversary backward in the third period and found some success with his left hook. Derevyanchenko popped Johnson’s head back with heavy shots in the last 75 seconds and had him on the ropes for a few moments. Tureano fought his way out.
The battle of 2008 Olympians progressed to the fourth and as was the case in the last few moments of the preceding round, Derevyanchenko was the aggressor and looked to create space for his punches. A right jab set up an uppercut that got the attention of his Caribbean foe. Johnson moved back to southpaw in the fifth but it didn’t seem to matter because he walked right into the attack of his Crimean assailant. Sergiy laid the power to Tureano in the last few seconds by way of hard rights and lefts to the head. Johnson kept trying to throw the jab as the sixth was underway. He and Derevyanchenko leaned into one another at times, yet they’d go back to standing squarely in front so they could throw as much as they possibly could. More shots landed for Sergiy in the last few seconds. With six rounds in the bag, Johnson appeared to be on the losing end of the scorecards.
The seventh started out as clearly the best round for Tureano Johnson. He increased his activity levels and did well when he was on the front foot or closer inside. A few hooks and uppercuts found a home for him. Tie ups actually seemed to be momentary breathers for each competitor because Johnson was taking a great deal of punishment, however he refused to give up. By round nine, Johnson’s shots didn’t have much mustard behind them and Derevyanchenko was beginning to push back. The unbeaten Ukrainian landed successive uppercuts with each hand to close the period.
Round ten was the first time Sergiy had been taken so far in his eleven fight career. Tureano showed oceans of heart. No matter what he absorbed, he simply refused to back down, even though he took another uppercut to the chin just before the bell. Thirty seconds into round eleven, a heavy handed right hook staggered Johnson, yet he managed to regain his composure. He missed with a right hook and was countered by Derevyanchenko with more shots to the head. On to the twelfth and final round the contest would go.
Each man came to the ring’s center with swollen and reddened faces. Moments into the twelfth, Sergiy got the punch for which he’d worked so hard to gain. Unanswered potshots to head sent Johnson to the canvas, after which referee Gary Ritter immediately waved his hands to end the contest at the forty second mark to grant the TKO victory to Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Co-Main Report - Centeno, Jr. KO’s Aleem in Three
In the evening’s co-main event, Hugo "The Boss" Centeno, Jr. scored a third round knockout win over previously unbeaten Immanuel Aleem in a middleweight contest scheduled for ten rounds.
Each fighter began with a high guard and a bit of tension, although the jabs began to fly shortly thereafter. Centeno, Jr. (26-1, 14 KO’s) possessed nearly a six inch reach advantage and snapped the left jab as Aleem (17-1-1, 10 KO’s) looked to move inside to land body shots. Hugo continued to work behind his jab in the second as he put his four inch difference in height to good use. The Oxnard, California fighter broke through to land a nice combination to the head of his Richmond, Virginia opponent.
Immanuel looked to utilize the closeness he gained during clinches as he threw hard shots on the inside. It seemed to be his best shot. With just over thirty seconds to go in the third, Centeno, Jr. connected with a crushing left hook which sent Aleem straight to the canvas. Referee Gerald Ritter reached a count of ten, although it didn’t appear to be necessary.
Additional Results from Oklahoma
Austin Dulay TKO 3 Carlos Padilla - Lightweights
Demond Nicholson KO 2 Josue Obando - Light Heavyweights
James M. Morrison KO 1 Roberto White - Heavyweights
Alejandro Guerrero TKO 2 Darin Hampton - Lightweights