Matchroom and HBO hosted a night of Championship Boxing at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday night.
Top of the bill was Daniel Jacobs taking on Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF Middleweight Title. It was expected to be a technical affair, but there was a lot more action thankfully. Jacobs scored a first round knockdown, with a big looping overhand right causing the Ukrainian to touch down and take a count right at the end of the round. Derevyanchenko had success of his own in the next, with a massive right landing flush on Jacobs’ head. The pair met head at various times with good toe to toe action, and Jacobs switched to southpaw several times through the fight. It looked as though Jacobs had done enough to win, and in the end it was the knockdown that proved vital. One judge gave the fight 114-113 to Derevyanchenko, over ruled by two scores of 115-112, as Jacobs became a two time World Champion.
Freddie Roach trained WBA Super Featherweight Champion, Alberto Machado, wiped out Yuandale Evans inside a round to enhance his growing reputation. Machado is a massively tall Featherweight, at 5 feet 10 inches, and Evans was put down in the opener with a hard right-left one-two combination.
Evans was caught again almost immediately on the resumption, with a blinding combination of punches. Another mesmerising combination rendered Evans unconscious, a massive right hook causing the damage, with Evans out before he hit the floor. The Puerto Rican is certainly one to watch, and will be hard to beat on this evidence.
Heather “The Heat” Hardy renewed old acquaintances with Shelly Vincent, this time with the vacant WBO Featherweight Title on the line. It was a rematch of their August 2016 classic, with Hardy edging home. Vincent was on the attack from the off, and the pace was ferocious.
Vincent was determined to be in Hardy’s face throughout, but Hardy was able to diffuse these attacks with accurate shots when she made room for herself. The pattern was set for the fight, as Vincent’s wild assaults were constantly being picked off by Hardy. It was ten rounds of non stop action, and Hardy deservedly got the nod by scores of 97-93 (twice) and 99-91 to become World Champion.
Catch up on the full highlights of fight from Saturday night below.