Brooklyn-native, unbeaten Frank “Notorious” Galarza (16-0-2, 10 KOs) returns to the ring to battle Belgium’s Sheldon “The Closer” Moore (13-2-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight bout headlining ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader on Friday, April 10 from the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Galarza, regarded by many as “The Brooklyn Rocky,” continues to make up for lost time. His shocking second-round knockout victory over the favored John Thompson on his ShoBox: The New Generation debut, was one of the most memorable knockouts of the year. Galarza has been on a tear since.
“Galarza was a fortuitous find by ShoBox,’’ acknowledged boxing historian and ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood. “Since he upset Thompson, he’s won four more times, and looked better each time. The level of his opposition doesn’t allow him to be called a contender yet, but he’s made major strides. I would think at age 29 he would try to make this a breakthrough year for him.”
The Galarza-Moore bout is one of three scheduled eight-rounders on a telecast that has a distinct Brooklyn flavor to it. Undefeated power-punching middleweight Ievgen “The Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov (9-0, 9 KOs) and stablemate, blue-chip super middleweight prospect Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko (4-0, 3 KOs/World Series of Boxing: 23-1, 7 KOs) also reside in Brooklyn.
Khytrov takes on fellow unbeaten Aaron “Heavy Metal” Coley (9-0-1, 6 KOs), of Hayward, Calif., while the world-ranked Derevyanchenko will box once-beaten Alan “Amenaza/Threat” Campa (13-1, 1 NC, 9 KOs), of Sonora, Mexico.
Tickets for the event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Fight Promotions Inc. and New Legend Boxing are on sale and priced at $100, $70 and $35. Tickets can be purchased by calling DiBella Entertainment at (212) 947-2577. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. ET, with the first bout scheduled for 6:45 p.m. ET.
For Galarza, who’s creeping up in the world rankings, the recent surge couldn’t come at a better time. A physically strong, aggressive boxer-puncher, Galarza got a late start in boxing and had only 11 amateur fights.
“The time for me is definitely now,’’ he said. “My first ShoBox fight set the platform for me. I didn’t just win a fight that absolutely nobody thought I could, I won it in grand style. I made a statement. I’ve continued to grow and feel I’ve gotten better since that fight. But I’m here to show people what I’m all about, continue to train very hard and just take it little by little, one fight at a time.
“It’s exciting to fight in the televised main event in my backyard. I’ve never been more motivated for a match. I want to thank SHOWTIME for giving me another opportunity to fight on ShoBox.’’
Style-wise, Galarza believes this is a great matchup for him. “Moore looks physically big and strong, tough and hungry and comes to fight,’’ he said. “He’s aggressive and that’s the best part about it – it should make for a great fight. I can be aggressive, too. I know he’s coming to fight and everybody knows I’m not moving backwards, so I expect fireworks.
“I come to fight every time, especially on SHOWTIME, on ShoBox where they give you opponents of good caliber who are expected to put on a show and expected to make a good fight.
“It’s in Brooklyn, my hometown, and I want to entertain the people. This is my show, my homecoming, and I will defend my home turf. I have a job to do on April 10, but after that, the big names of the division are going to be forced to deal with me. I’m 29 and laying it all on the line.’’
In his most recent ShoBox appearance, Galarza won a unanimous eight-round decision over previously unbeaten Sebastien Bouchard (8-0 going in) on May 16, 2014, by the scores of 78-73 and 77-74 twice despite having a point deducted for a low blow in the final round.
Galarza’s opponent, 27-years-old Moore, is making his ShoBox debut and fourth start in the United States where he is 1-1-1. He last appeared in the U.S. in June 2012.
“This is a huge opportunity for me and my career, hands down this is the biggest fight of my life,” Moore said. “It is a must-win fight for me. I have seen a few of Galarza’s fights and I am fully confident that I have what it takes to upset him in his backyard. This is a dream come true for me, fighting on national television, and I plan on showing the boxing world that I belong at the elite level of this division.
“My style is definitely aggressive. I like to walk down my opponent. Galarza has good movement and good reach. But this fight will be the first fight where I don’t have to work on the side during the preparation. I’m 100 percent dedicated to the sport and set to go on April 10.”
The 5-foot-10 Moore has won his last two fights, the most recent on a first-round knockout over Janos Varga last Dec. 20 in Belgium. Just like Galarza, he got a late start in boxing and had a limited amateur career (27 bouts). He did kickboxing when he was 15, but didn’t have his first amateur fight until the age of 19.
Khytrov (pronounced HE-trov) was a phenomenal amateur with reportedly 500 amateur bouts. He was the 2011 amateur world champion and a representative for Ukraine in the 2012 Olympic Games.
This will be his second appearance on ShoBox. In his debut on Jan. 9, he destroyed the previously undefeated Maurice Louishomme, winning by third-round TKO. He lit up Louishomme with right hands and uppercuts to the body, staggering him on multiple occasions in a one-sided affair that was stopped at 0:24 in the third round.
Aggressive, offensive-minded Khytrov has fought a total of 27 rounds in nine starts, an average of three rounds a fight – and that includes his career-best eighth-round TKO over always-tough Puerto Rican Jorge Melendez on March 6.
“Ievgen [pronounced YEV-gin, with a hard G] is as fan-friendly a fighter as you’ll find, never takes a backwards step, looks to hurt his opponent with every punch,’’ Farhood said. “After nine fights, he shows all the signs that he’ll be a title contender in a year-to-18 months. His most recent, a stoppage over Jorge Melendez, was a bold move to take on a dangerous and experienced opponent and he took him out, broke him down. What does that tell me?”
One of the top prospects in boxing, the 5-foot-11, 26-year-old Khytrov has been moved at a much faster pace than most other prospects at this stage of their careers. He made his professional debut at age 25 in December 2013 and fought six times in 2014. This is his third fight of 2015. All of his fights have been in the United States.
Khytrov, who relocated to Brooklyn shortly after the 2012 Olympics, is eager for April 10 to arrive. “I am very excited to be returning to the ring on April 10, especially being that the fight is in my adopted home of Brooklyn,’’ he said. “I want to thank my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. and my manager Al Haymon for this opportunity to once again showcase my skills on ShoBox.
“I expect a tough fight out of Coley, who, like myself, has never been defeated as a professional. We knew that 2015 was going to be a big year for myself and my career, and I promise yet another spectacular performance on April 10 as we continue to move up the ranks of my division.”
Khytrov compares his style to one of boxing’s all-time greats. “I’ve got a Roberto Duran style. I’m an all-out brawler,’’ he said. “I attack the body. I love the TV spotlight.’’
Coley is a left-hander and two-year pro who’s taking an immense step up in this fight, his ShoBox and eight-round debut. A prospect at 160 pounds – he moved up from the junior middleweight division in his last fight – he is coming off the sixth knockout of his career, a fifth-round KO over Loren Myers on Oct. 11, 2014.
“I’m very excited about showcasing my skills on a platform like SHOWTIME,’’ said the always well-conditioned Coley, who has never been knocked down as a pro or amateur. “I’ve seen Khytrov fight. From what it looks like, he is a decent fighter. I really don’t think there’s anything special about him. He’s pretty straightforward, an Eastern European dude who just comes in and uses little angles. He’s a hard puncher with good power, but I don’t know the guys he’s been fighting.
“Plus, you can’t hurt what you can’t hit.”
An agile boxer who now works out of Virgil Hunter’s gym in northern California, Coley is making his second start for new trainer Eddie Croft. He had been living and training in Las Vegas. He went 8-0 at the outset of a pro career that began in April 2012.
Regarding his nickname, Coley said, “My dad owns a scrap metal business.”
Derevyanchenko (pronounced der-i-van-CHENK-oh), who is making his ShoBox debut, has the look of a “can’t-miss” contender. One step further, many expect his ascent in the world rankings to be nothing less than meteoric. He’s currently ranked No. 12 in the IBF, No. 25 in the WBC.
“I’m very excited about my first fight on American television,’’ he said. “This will be my first time appearing on ShoBox and I’m absolutely thrilled. This is my coming out party. I’m preparing day and night, and I’m ready to showcase my skills to the world. I’m ready to show them ‘The Technician.’
“My style is very technical, but once I figure my opponent out, I attack viciously. With hard work and a great team behind me, I will become a world champion in my division. There is no doubt in my mind.”
An exceptional amateur, the 5-foot-7 Derevyanchenko compiled an astonishing record of 390-20 while representing his native Ukraine at the 2008 Olympic Games. One year before, he won the bronze medal at the 2007 Amateur World Championships.
This will be Derevyanchenko’s fifth start in a row outside the World Series Of Boxing where he went 23-1. He was the 2012 WSB Team Champion and 2011 and 2012 WSB Individual Champion. He fought in the WSB from November 2010 to April 2014.
Derevyanchenko won his first fight outside the WSB on a second-round TKO over Cromwell Gordon on July 23, 2014. In his last start this past Feb. 20, he scored a one-sided second-round TKO over Vladine Biosse.
As for his opponent, Derevyanchenko said, “Campa is a good fighter – tall, strong. He looks durable, a solid opponent.’’
Campa is making his ShoBox debut on April 10 and it will be his first fight outside of Mexico. He has won four in a row, three by knockout. He knocked out Christian Chavez in the second round in his last outing last Dec. 6.
The 6-foot-1, 23-year-old is taking a gigantic leap in class and the odds are against him, but none of that matters to him once the opening bell sounds.
“I am very excited to finally make my dream a reality and fight in the United States,’’ he said. “This is just the opportunity that I have trained and fought for the last five years. I am versatile; I can fight aggressively or box and move.
“Many promising young prospects got their start on ShoBox and went on to win world titles. On April 10, Alan Campa will start paving the road to join the list of ShoBox world champions.
“I have trained very hard. I know I can win this fight.”
Campa also had a strong amateur background (182-6). Before turning pro in September 2010, he was a five-time Sonoran state champion, a five-time regional champion, and a four-time national champion. He was also the gold medalist at the 2010 Pan American Youth Championships at 165 pounds.