Jermall Charlo defended his WBC Middleweight title in a highly watchable unanimous decision win over the teak tough Sergio Derevyanchenko, who had previously lasted the distance with Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs.
Showtime in association with Premier Boxing Champions hosted a bill stacked full of talent at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, which was so talent laden that it had to be split into two separate cards on the same night.
The Ukrainian, labelled as ‘The Technician’ began behind a tight guard, whilst Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) took the first round to study what his opponent had to offer and worked off an effective jab.
Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) made adjustments in the second, landing with a right hand, but it was difficult for him to get inside Charlo’s long reach and he would usually be tagged when he did.
Derevyanchenko had success in round three, as he got the better of some of the exchanges, but Charlo, 30, was also landing good combinations off his jab and right at the end of the round, the unbeaten Texan caught his foe with a chopping right hand that wobbled his legs.
There was no lasting damage and the pair took turns to unload shots, with the fifth seeing Charlo’s jab take its toll, as Derevyanchenko suffered a cut on his right eye.
This served to fire the challenger up and he worked the ‘Hitman’s’ body as he gradually closed the distance in round six.
The 34-year-old found a second wind into the championship rounds, however Charlo wrestled back control off his stiff jab, buckling his opponent a few times without seriously forcing a possible stoppage.
Charlo displayed his boxing skills in the final round and although Derevyanchenko rallied, it looked like he had fallen short as the fight went to the cards.
Scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110 reflected Charlo pulling away from Derevyanchenko down the stretch. Showtime suggested Chris Eubank Jr or WBO champion, Demetrius Andrade as future opponents, but the 30-year-old would not be drawn.
“I made my team proud, I executed the game plan,” said Charlo post-fight.
“I’m not into making fights. The bigger fights are out there and I leave my team to it.”
Charlo unifies against Rosario
The final fight of the night and the second half bill topper saw Jermell Charlo add the WBA (Super), IBF Super Welterweight, and Ring Magazine titles to his WBC crown with an impressive eighth round knockout win against Jeison Rosario.
The drama began quickly, as Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) dumped Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs) on the canvas with just under a minute gone as a short, cuffing left hand forced the back-pedalling Puerto Rican over.
Rosario easily made the count, but the standard had been set. The pair exchanged hard shots and the unified champion decided to go on the attack, enjoying a decent third round.
As much as Rosario tried, he struggled to pin Charlo down, with his best work mainly coming to the body. Rosario was certainly throwing more punches, but it was the 30-year-old who was the more economical of the pair.
The fight came alive again in the sixth, as ‘Iron Man’ stepped up his output and after Rosario was warned for a low blow, the pair exchanged and a jarring short left hook stopped the 25-year-old in his tracks and he hit the canvas for a second time.
The bell came to his rescue, but he was on unsteady legs as he went back to his corner. The knockdown effectively knocked the stuffing out of Rosario, and the end came in bizarre fashion with less than ten seconds gone in the eighth.
A spearing double jab, one to the head, and a more significant one to the body, left Rosario flat on the canvas and struggling to breathe. He failed to beat the count, and Charlo was crowned unified champion.
Rosario thankfully made it to his feet after a few minutes of discomfort.
“I definitely proved that I’m more than just a puncher, but I also showed that I’m a big puncher,” said Charlo post-fight.
“I knew he was going to keep coming after the first knockdown, he kept pressing for four or five rounds until I floored him again.
“Dreams do come true. This is part of my dream, and a part of my destiny and I’m happy.”
Figueroa solves Vazquez puzzle
Brandon Figueroa retained his WBA Super Bantamweight title, stopping the game Damien Vazquez in ten rounds.
Vazquez (15-2-1, 8 KOs) began well enough, but just simply couldn’t keep Figueroa (21-0-1, 16 KOs) at bay for the duration of the fight.
The 23-year-old began to unravel in the second half of the contest and Figueroa unloaded more and more hurtful punches, as he sensed the fight was nearing its conclusion.
The action was mercifully halted just before the halfway mark in the tenth, when a hurtful body assault on the ropes finally forced the referee’s intervention.
Roman back in world title contention
A last round knockdown right on the final bell secured a points win over twelve for Daniel Roman against Juan Carlos Payano in a fight that also served as a WBC Super Bantamweight title eliminator.
Former unified world champion, Roman (28-3-1, 10 KOs) landed a left hand with seconds remaining that toppled Payano (21-4, 9 KOs) off balance and over.
Roman took over in the last four rounds and did enough to take three identical scores of 116-112.
Nery claims WBC crown
Luis Nery (31-0, 24 KOs) moved up to Super Bantamweight and was given a good argument by Aaron Alameda (25-1, 13 KOs) before taking a unanimous points win to secure the vacant WBC title.
Scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 saw the undefeated Mexican become a two-weight world champion and inflict the first defeat of Alameda’s career.
Casemiro too strong for Micah
Opening the mammoth broadcast was the WBO Bantamweight champion, John Riel Casimero, who was making the first defence of the belt he sensationally ripped from Zolani Tete in Birmingham last November.
The Filipino three-weight world champion, displayed serious punching power in a three round stoppage win against the previously undefeated Duke Micah.
In what was a firefight to begin with, Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) dropped Micah (24-1, 19 KOs) heavily with a left hook followed by a right hand in the second.
The Ghanaian rose and absorbed further punishment, as his legs betrayed him, but he somehow survived the round.
The doctor was called by the referee before the third round commenced and he ruled Micah fit to continue despite looking unsteady.
The Ghanian threw what he had left, but the ending was inevitable, and it came with just under a minute of the round gone.
A jolting left uppercut followed by a right hand forced a correct stoppage from referee Steve Willis.
Elsewhere, rising Welterweight Bakhram Murtazaliev (18-0, 14 KOs) remained unbeaten with a fourth round stoppage over Manny Woods (16-10-1, 6 KOs).