Sergey Derevyanchenko set to see action tonight in California

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When Lou DiBella signed Sergey Derevyanchenko with Fight Promotions Inc., the outspoken promoter confidently stated, “Sergey is one of the most decorated amateurs in the world and absolutely one of the best middleweight prospects in all of boxing. We feel that in one year’s time, he will be ready to fight on the highest levels in boxing.”

Derevyanchenko, who was 23-1 in the World Series of Boxing, made his official pro debut this summer and looked every bit as advertised, destroying Cromwell Gordon, making Gordon quit after the second stanza of their scheduled six rounder. A former 2008 Olympian for his native Ukraine, Derevyanchenko compiled an outstanding 390-20 record as an amateur, winning a number of National titles as well as the 2007 bronze medal at the World Championships.

Derevyanchenko’s rise up the rankings is expected to be meteoric, and the next stop along his path to stardom will take place tonight in California. Derevyanchenko is set to take on battle-tested Laatekwei Hammond (21-7, 14KO’s) in a six-round middleweight special attraction on Michael King’s King Sports-promoted world card at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Headlining the card is the IBF middleweight title elimination bout between Curtis Stevens and former world champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, televised by ESPN.

“I am excited to have this opportunity to fight on a card like this and to showcase my skills to everyone that will be in attendance. I have trained for over two months for this fight and am ready to give the fans a very exciting fight. I plan on quickly moving up the ranks of the middleweight division and challenging for a world title in the not so distant future. I am confident that my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. will provide me with that opportunity, and my trainers Andre Rozier and Gary Stark will have me ready when the time comes,” said Derevyanchenko.

“Sergey Derevyanchenko is a future superstar,” said Lou DiBella. “He will prove it tonight in fighting the tough and experienced 21-7 Laatekwei Hammond in only his second professional fight. In a very short time, all boxing fans will know who Sergey Derevyanchenko is.”

Famous Fighter of the Week: Cocoa Kid

zz Boxing Pulse

By Matthew Baker

There aren’t many prospects for a black Puerto Rican orphan, growing up in 1920’s Georgia. Herbert Lewis Hardwick’s father had disappeared at sea during World War I and his mother died shortly later. Raised by his aunt and uncle in Atlanta, he walked into his first boxing gym at age 14. There, he would find both his salvation and his downfall.

In a 19-year career of a whopping 245 fights (176-56-11), Hardwick went by the nickname “Cocoa Kid” and became one of the famed Black Murderers Row, a handful of the most talented and most avoided fighters of their era. These men resorted to fighting each other multiple times and Cocoa Kid’s epic 13-bout rivalry with Holman Williams became the stuff of legend. The saga ended in Hardwick’s favor with 8 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws. He is the only member of the Row ever to beat Williams.

Earning money as a sparring partner for better fighters defined Hardwick’s career during its hopeful beginning and bleak end. But the time in between was defined by his most vicious opponents outside of the ring: the Mob. Intimidated into carrying white opponents through fights where he clearly outclassed them, he was unwilling to take a dive. In 1935, he reported that Big Lou Viscusi had attempted to bribe him. It is widely believed that this, as much as his color and his ability,  was the reason he was never given a shot at a world title (neither against Barney Ross in the 1930’s, nor Henry Armstrong in the 1940’s). He was effectively blacklisted. Later, in 1949, the desperate Hardwick took a very transparent dive and refused to say who had bullied him into it. He was permanently suspended from boxing in California. To this day, no one knows for certain who he was protecting.

But Hardwick’s worst loss was to pugilistic dementia. And it came early. 245 fights in 19 years is a lot. He was diagnosed with the dreaded condition while serving in the navy during World War II. He was 30 years old desperately in need of a good purse. He hid the diagnosis so he could continue boxing. By the time he retired and hit his 40’s, he no longer knew his own name. Homeless in the streets of Chicago, he was finally taken in by a Veterans’ Administration shelter. He died there at age 52.

Heather “The Heat” Hardy Headlines Boxing Card October 15

Heather Hardy - courtesy of Ed DillerDiBella Entertainment

On Wednesday, October 15, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) will return to NYC’s famed B.B. King Blues Club & Grill for the latest edition of its Broadway Boxing series, hosting a special event in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in which Everlast will be donating pink and black boxing gloves to show their support.

Once dubbed “a female Arturo Gatti” by promoter Lou DiBella, the always-exciting Heather “The Heat” Hardy (10-0, 2KO’s) will headline a seven-bout card, facing off against Crystal Hoy, of Las Vegas, in a 10-round junior featherweight contest. Last time out, Hardy engaged a very game Jackie Trivilino in a seven-round war held at the Barclays Center, in front of hometown fans in Brooklyn, on June 14. The fight was stopped after the seventh round due to a cut that Hardy suffered over her right eye from an accidental head butt. Going to the scorecards, Hardy won a technical decision. In November of 2013, Hardy picked up her first title belt when she knocked out Ana Gomez in two rounds for the UBF International super bantamweight championship. Now, she will attempt to seize the vacant WBC International junior featherweight title against Hoy, in what will be her first bout scheduled for 10 rounds.

“It is an honor to be fighting for a WBC title,” said Hardy. “It’s what every boxer dreams of when they are starting out. I know that Crystal Hoy will be tough and that she has been around for a long time. I’ve been working hard, putting in extra long hours at the gym. With regard to breast cancer awareness, I’m happy to do what I can, as this really hits home for me and my family.”

New York Golden Gloves champion Travis Peterkin (12-0, 5KO’s) competes in an eight-round light heavyweight matchup. Brooklyn’s Peterkin has already picked up two wins thus far in 2014. In his last fight on August 13, on Broadway Boxing, Peterkin displayed a piston-like jab, as he broke down Lamont Williams over six rounds to earn a unanimous decision.

Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions, Inc., the 25-year-old Ukrainian Ivan Golub, now living and training in Brooklyn, NY, had amassed an astonishing record of 270-32 during his amateur career. He became a five-time Ukrainian National champion, won bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in 2006 and at the World Championships in 2009. He also participated in the World Series of Boxing, winning all five of his bouts. Now 1-0 as a pro, the former amateur standout made his professional debut on June 27, at the Ameristar Casino, in Saint Charles, MO, earning a four-round unanimous decision over Javon Wright. Poised to take the professional ranks by storm, Golub will face Kirk Huff (3-1, 1KO), of Arnold, MO, in a four-round middleweight contest. Continue reading

Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Threw Out First Pitch at Nationals vs. Marlins

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Last Friday, Washington D.C. native and undefeated Welterweight sensation, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, threw out the first pitch for the National League East Champions, Washington Nationals.

WBC Youth Welterweight World Champion, Hernandez-Harrison (23-0, 12 KO’s), grew up just on the other side of the bridge from where National’s Park stands today. At just 20 years old, Hernandez-Harrison relates to the dedication and passion that it takes in the aspirations of winning a World Championship.

“I am honored to had stepped on the same field as the Nationals’ players because I know what their success means to all of us in the community,” said Dusty.

Hernandez-Harrison’s promoter, Jeff Fried of All In Entertainment, noted that “an athlete’s competitive side is always present contributing to their elite status in their sport: as Dusty practiced which of his repertoire of pitches to throw!”

Hernandez-Harrison was originally scheduled to take on Hector Muñoz on September 27 at DAR Constitution Hall for the WBC Continental Americas title; however, due to an ankle injury sustained by Hernandez-Harrison, the championship bout has been rescheduled for later in the fall in Washington, D.C. Also scheduled to compete on the championship boxing card are undefeated welterweight Larry Recio, Baltimore’s cruiserweight contender, Venroy July, rising heavyweight, Dwayne McRae and lightweight undefeated sensation, Mykal Fox, among many other exciting boxers from the DMV.

Crawford vs. Beltran is On!

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Undefeated WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford, Omaha’s favorite son, will make an encore hometown title defense on the heels of his wildly successful victory over previously undefeated world champion and Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford will defend his title against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Ray Beltran on Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 29, at the CenturyLink Center. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Crawford successfully defended his title on June 28, at the CenturyLink Center, knocking out previously undefeated world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in front of an energized crowd. The fight, a candidate for Fight of the Year honors, was televised live on HBO®, and according to Nielsen Media Research, garnered an average audience of 1.208 million viewers to the live, first-time airing, making it the second most-watched fight of the year so far. Crawford vs. Gamboa was the first world championship fight the city of Omaha had hosted in 42 years when Joe Frazier defended his World Heavyweight Championship crown against Ron Stander in 1972. Continue reading

Tyrone Brunson-DeCarlo Perez Middleweight Battle Tops October 18 Prelim Card‏ in Philadelphia

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Hidden beneath the publicity surrounding the NBCSN-televised twin main events on Saturday, Oct 18, is an intriguing eight-round middleweight match.

It features Tyrone Brunson, of Philadelphia, and DeCarlo Perez, of Atlantic City, NJ, in what figures to be an explosive contest at the 2300 Arena at 2300 South Swanson Street.

The Brunson-Perez showdown will serve as the main preliminary contest to the doubleheader main event: Steve “USS” Cunningham, of Philadelphia, vs. Natu Visinia, Lakewood, CA, 10 rounds, heavyweights; Edner Cherry, Wauchula, FL, vs. Jerry Belmontes, Corpus Christi, TX, 10 rounds, lightweights. NBCSN will televise Cunningham-Visinia and Cherry-Belmontes on its popular Fight Night series beginning at 9pm (EST). Continue reading

Antoine Douglas to take on Jose Medina on October 24 in Somerset, New Jersey‏

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On Friday night, October 24, undefeated Middleweight Antoine “Action” Douglas will take on veteran Jose Medina in the main event of a great night of boxing at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Somerset, New Jersey.

The scheduled 8-round bout will be the main event of a card promoted by GH3 Promotions.

Douglas of Burke, Virginia has a record of 14-0-1 been one of the most talked about Middleweight prospects in the United States. The 21-year old has quality wins over undefeated Colby Courter (4-0) and Marquis Davis (8-0-2). Douglas was impressive in scoring a sensational 2nd round stoppage over former world title challenger Luca Messi (37-9-1) on April 4 in Parsippany, New Jersey.

In his last bout, Douglas and former world title challenger Michel Soro (23-1) fought at highly contested draw in a bout that Douglas dominated over the first half of the bout.

That bout headlined the 200th episode of the highly acclaimed ShoBox: The New Generation series on July 25 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

Medina of Tilton, New Hampshire has a deceiving record of 18-15-1 with 7 knockouts.

Douglas with be the 9th undefeated foe that Medina will have faced. Continue reading