On a fight card salted with promising prospects from the former Soviet Union, Sergey Lipinets, a former kickboxing champion from Kazakhstan, made the most impressing showing, emerging as a serious contender in the welterweight division in only his ninth professional bout. Lipinets dispatched Levan Ghvamichava with a wicked left hook to the liver in the fifth frame in the main event of a four-bout card at the Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino in Nice, California. A Premier Boxing Champions promotion, the show was part of the “Toe to Toe Tuesdays” series that airs on Fox Sports 1.
At age 26, Lipinets is on the fast track. His last three opponents – Kendal Mena, Haskell Rhodes, and Ghvamichava – were a combined 59-2-2 going in. His fight with Ghvamichava was even on two of the scorecards though four rounds, but one could sense that Lipinets was the stronger fighter with more guns in his arsenal. The deciding punch, which dropped Ghvamichava to his knees, unable to beat the count, harked to Micky Ward, a boxer whose chief asset, other than his stamina and grit, was the “solar plexus” punch. It was the seventh win inside the distance for the fast-rising Lipinets.
Another Eastern European import, super middleweight Sergiy Derevyanchenko, also made an impressive showing. Derevyanchenko, who represented the Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, advanced to 8-0 (6 KOs) with an eighth round stoppage of Sacramento’s Mike Guy who was 8-1-1 going in. Dominant from the get-go, Derevyanchenko had Guy down twice in the eighth and final round before the referee called a halt. The stoppage seemed a tad slow.
In a super lightweight affair scheduled for eight rounds, Kevin Watts improved to 11-0 with a fifth round TKO of Poland’s Michal Chudecki. Watts knocked Chudecki off his pins with a hard left hook in round five. Chudecki was up in a flash, but went on his bicycle as Watts revved up his attack, landing several hard punches before the referee intervened.
In an off-TV bout, Cuban defector Leduan Barthelemy improved to 9-0 (5 KOs) with a first round stoppage of Tijuana trial horse Pedro Melo. Barthelemy, a 26-year-old featherweight, is the younger brother of IBF World lightweight champion Rances Barthelemy.