Light heavyweight Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic will face unbeaten southpaw Travis “The Notorious” Peterkin in the 10-round main event of a stacked ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, Sept. 23, from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
The combined record of the eight boxers on the televised card is 114-3-1 with 78 knockouts.
Kalajdzic, 25, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Peterkin, 26, of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y., will be making their ShoBox debuts and initial 10-round starts.
This is Kalajdzic’s first fight since losing a highly controversial and questionable eight-round split decision to unbeaten 2012 Olympian Marcus Browne last April 16 in Brooklyn. Kalajdzic is clamoring for a rematch with the world-ranked Browne, but he can’t overlook the strong, athletic Peterkin, who is coming off a shutout decision over Larry Pryor last March 30 and is looking for a breakout performance.
In the ShoBox co-feature, super lightweight powerhouse Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (11-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., faces Roc Nation prospect’s Wang Zhimin (7-0, 3 KOs, 7-1 WSB), of Nutley, N.J. by way of Ningbo, China, in a 10-rounder for the vacant USBA 140-pound title. In a scheduled eight-round bout, Ukrainian welterweight Ivan “The Volk” Golub (12-0, 10 KOs, 5-0 WSB), of Brooklyn, takes on James “Keep’em Sleepin” Stevenson (23-2, 16 KOs), of Baltimore, Md.
Local favorite and son of the late former world heavyweight champion, Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, heavyweight Trey Lippe Morrison (11-0, 11 KOs) makes his highly anticipated television debut against fellow unbeaten and Roc Nation prospect Ed Latimore (13-0, 7 KOs), of Pittsburgh, Pa., in the six-round telecast opener.
Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KOs), a 6-foot-2 native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, turned pro in June 2011. He won his first 21 fights before losing to Browne in a bout in which many felt he won easily. Browne (18-0) landed an occasional hard shot, but Kalajdzic seemed to control the fight with his power and awkward style. Both boxers hit the deck, Kalajdzic (from what appeared to be a slip) in the first, Browne (clearly) in the sixth from a right hand to the head. Receiving credit for a knockdown in which no punch appeared to connect was the difference, and the fans booed when the scores of 76-75, 76-74 and 74-76 were announced.
“I am really excited about this fight and that I am on television again fighting another undefeated southpaw,” said Kalajdzic. “I am continuing where I left off with training camp from my previous fight since it’s another southpaw, so I will be more than prepared. Hopefully, Peterkin comes to fight and not hug like my last opponent did so we can give the fans a good fight.”
Peterkin (16-0-1, 7 KOs) would still have an unblemished record if not for losing two points in an eight-round majority draw with 2008 Dominican Olympian Lenin Castillo (12-0) on Aug. 1, 2015 at Barclays Center. Peterkin had a point deducted in the fourth for hitting after the break and in the fifth for a low blow. The scores were 76-74 and 75-75 twice.
Despite the draw in his outing before last, Peterkin considered this the most gratifying moment of his life. From 2012-14, he stocked and served food in the suites at Barclays. In his most recent effort, Peterkin easily outpointed Pryor by the scores of 80-72 three times in New York. This will be Peterkin’s first fight outside of his home state.
A good boxer with excellent technique, Peterkin was introduced to boxing by his father, Bernard, a 1987 heavyweight Golden Gloves semifinalist, in 2001. He went 95-7 in the amateurs; after winning the 2010 New York Golden Gloves, he went pro in January 2011.
“I was ringside at Hot Rod’s last fight. I respect him, but I saw what his flaws are and will exploit them,” said Peterkin. “I am anticipating a war. Brooklyn is coming to Oklahoma and I will not disappoint. On Sept. 23, greatness beckons.”
Baranchyk, an offensive-minded fighting machine, packs outstanding power in both hands. He’s making his third appearance on ShoBox and third in a row at Buffalo Run. His other ShoBox starts, both first-round knockouts versus undefeated opponents, totaled a combined 2:49.
The highly regarded, all-action Baranchyk registered a brutal, two-punch, 21-second stoppage over Nicholas Givhan (16-0-1) last March 25 on ShoBox at Buffalo Run. He scored a 2:28, first-round knockout over Shadi Shawareb (9-0-2) in his ShoBox debut last Dec. 11 in Houston, Texas.
Baranchyk was born in Minsk, Byelorussia and lives in Brooklyn. He’s won eight straight by knockout, including a third-round TKO over previously undefeated Joaquim “Eliseo” Cruz (9-0-1) last June 25 at Buffalo Run. Dominant with his speed and power from the outset, Baranchyk dropped Cruz in the second. Cruz’s corner threw in the towel at 1:07 of the third.
All 10 of the 5-foot-7, 23-year-old Baranchyk’s knockouts have come inside three full rounds, including six in the first. He’s fought 22 rounds in an 11-fight career. The only time he went the distance was in his third fight, a four-rounder in December 2014. Baranchyk, a former European amateur standout, turned pro in June ‘14 and relocated to the United States a few months later.
“I couldn’t be more excited about returning to ShoBox,” said Baranchyk. “Zhimin is a very skilled fighter and he will be my toughest opponent yet. However, I intend on ending this bout in devastating fashion. I guarantee you will see Zhimin on his back when the fight is over. I am looking to send a message to the rest of the junior welterweight division that I am someone to be feared.”
Zhimin, 30, turned pro in November 2010 and fought eight times in the WSB through 2011. After a three-year layoff, he relocated to the U.S. and has gone 7-0. He’s coming off an eight-round decision over Matthew Doherty last June 11. Zhimin had great success in the WSB, winning the gold in 2011 in his native China, defeating Yerzhan Mussafirov of Kazakhstan in the tightly contested lightweight final. Before that, he reached the final in the Chinese National Boxing Championship in 2010, where he received a silver medal. In 2012, he won another silver medal, this time at the Erdos International Boxing Competition.
“It’s an honor for me to be a part of this great event,” said Zhimin. “I want to thank the promoters, my team and everyone who gave me this opportunity. My goal is to get that belt. I know it’s a process full of challenges, but I am not afraid of what lies ahead. I know that I will make it. I have faith in myself. I will do whatever I can to prepare myself for this title showdown and give the fans my best performance and bring home the belt.”
Golub, a 27-year-old who, at 6-feet, is tall for a welterweight, turned pro as a middleweight in November 2012. At the outset of his career, he went 5-0 in the WSB. He’s gone 12-0 since, winning 10 by knockout, including his last six in a row, the last three as a welterweight.
In his ShoBox debut, he touched the canvas for the first time in his career, but bounced back to blast out Marlon Aguas with a series of combinations in the closing seconds of the sixth. He won by TKO.
Golub, a southpaw who’s coming off a second-round TKO over Ernesto Ortiz last July 21, was an outstanding amateur. He went 270-32 as an amateur, was a five-time national champion in Ukraine and won bronze at the 2009 World Amateur Championships.
“Stevenson has a lot of experience and I am preparing for a very tough fight,” said Golub. “He is a guy that likes to sit on his punches and trade, which is exactly what I want. Once he feels my power, he is going to be in trouble. This will be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts.”
Stevenson is making his ShoBox debut. A pro since 2008, he won his first 21 scraps until losing by ninth-round TKO to then-undefeated Sammy Vasquez on Aug. 8, 2014. The fight was competitive for five rounds before Vasquez took over. Stevenson went down in the ninth.
The 5-foot-11, 33-year-old Stevenson has won two-of-three since, including a fifth-round TKO over Kevin Womack last May 14 in his first fight in 13 months. A hard-hitting boxer-puncher, Stevenson has feasted on modest opposition and is still seeking a signature victory.
Stevenson has produced a respectable record in spite of his career getting sidetracked by a series of setbacks and tragedies. In 2011, during a routine jog, a dog viciously attacked him, requiring Stevenson to get more than 20 stitches. Shortly thereafter, his father James Stevenson Sr. passed away, as did his mother-in-law.
“I appreciate the opportunity,” said Stevenson. “But they made a big mistake giving me the time to get ready for this fight. I’m training real hard and I’m coming to make a statement. I’m not scared of Golub and I promise it won’t go the distance. I’m putting him to sleep.”
Morrison has registered eight first-round knockouts, two second-round knockouts and one fourth-round KO in a career that began in February 2014. Morrison, who bears a striking resemblance to his late father facially, physique-wise and with his fighting style, turns 27 on Sept. 27. He’s fought all but one of his fights in Oklahoma; this is his 10th start at Buffalo Run.
A popular member of Holden’s Four State Franchise stable, the 6-foot-2 Morrison is fighting for the first time since he underwent surgery on his right tendon from an injury suffered in his most recent bout, a fourth-round TKO over Thomas Hawkins last Jan. 23.
“I have worked so hard to get to this point and now this is my chance to show the world who I am. I want to thank SHOWTIME for the opportunity,” said Morrison. “Latimore is a huge step up in class for me, but I am ready for it. Once I hear those Oklahoma fans and feel the energy inside the arena, I flip a switch and it’s go-time. This is going to be my coming-out party.”
Latimore, who majored in physics in college, is a boxer-puncher expected to give Morrison his toughest test. Latimore is making his ShoBox debut and fourth start this year. He’s coming off an eight-round split decision over Juan Goode last July 15.
The 6-foot-1, 31-year-old Latimore turned pro in January 2013. As an amateur, he won the Pennsylvania Golden Gloves, National PAL and Ringside Championships, and was victorious over 2012 Olympian Dominic Breazeale and former IBF Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin.
“Morrison will be a real test for me,” said Latimore. “It’s never easy to fight someone in their backyard. I just fought in my hometown of Pittsburgh so I know the feeling coming into it and the momentum on fight night. I am looking forward to putting on a good show for all the fans in Oklahoma and those watching on ShoBox.”