On Thursday night, DiBella Entertainment hosted a special edition of its Broadway Boxing Summer Series, titled “Night of the Contenders”, from the Monroeville Convention Center, in Monroeville, PA. The event was promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Pinnacle Fighting Championships, and presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, Christos Steak House and Gagliardi Insurance. The action was streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports.
Returning to the ring for the first time since competing for “The Contender”, Ievgen “The Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov, 167.6 lbs., of Brooklyn, NY, moved up to the super middleweight division to face Gabriel Pham, 167.6 lbs., of Atlantic City, NJ, in the main event. Khytrov turned in a tremendous performance, pressuring his way inside the tall 6’3″ frame of southpaw Pham for the entire fight. Continually backing Pham against the ropes, Khytrov pounded the body with stinging jabs and followed up with hooks to the head. Pham attempted to counter off of the ropes, but an undeterred Khytrov maintained control and focused on cutting off the ring. Needing to offset Khytrov’s aggression to find any success, Pham increased his work rate near the midway point, attempting uppercuts as the Ukrainian pressed forward, but was never able to shift the momentum. By round six, Pham was growing fatigued and Khytrov’s left hook to the body resulted in three knockdowns. The referee waved the contest over following the third trip to the canvas at the 2:38 mark. With the win, Khytrov, now 19-2 (16 KOs), seized the WBC USNBC super middleweight title. Pham’s record is now 11-2 (5 KOs). The heavy-handed Khytrov, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., defeated both Morgan Fitch and Malcolm McAllister by knockout on “The Contender” series last year.
Also fighting in his post-Contender ring return, Eric “The Baby Faced Assassin” Walker, 154.2 lbs., of Plaquemine, LA, took on Jose Antonio “Bachata” Abreu, 155 lbs., of La Romana, Dominican Republic, in the co-featured bout. Walker and Abreu began the contest trading their jab-straight right combinations. Whenever he found an opening, Walker launched powerful overhand rights as well. In the third frame, Walker set up his looping right hands over the top with stiff jabs downstairs. Now in full control, Walker let Abreu walk to him with an attack while he countered off of the ropes with accuracy. In the fourth, Abreu injured his right hand during an exchange and, after issuing an eight-count, the referee stopped the bout due to the Dominican being unable to continue. The time of the stoppage was 1:28. The TKO victory upped Walker’s record to 19-2 (9 KOs), with Abreu dropping to 14-6 (8 KOs). While on “The Contender”, Walker defeated John Jackson and John Thompson before losing a hard-fought majority decision over five rounds to tournament champion Brandon Adams on May 22, 2018, in Los Angeles.
Ukrainian welterweight contender Ivan “The Volk” Golub, 148.6 lbs., of Brooklyn, NY, used pressure and a varied arsenal of punches to dominate a game Joaquim Carneiro, 150.4 lbs., of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., the southpaw Golub stalked Carneiro and consistently landed in combination, with jabs, straight lefts and right hooks to the midsection throughout the contest. To his credit, Carneiro fought back as best he could, attempting to work the body and trade shots with Golub, but never landed anything significant. In the fourth, Carneiro tried to counter Golub’s offense with haymaker overhand lefts. In round five, Golub shifted his focus downstairs and a sneaky right jab sent Carneiro to his knees for a knockdown. Once he arose, a few more lefts and rights to the ribs convinced the referee to halt the bout at the 1:52 mark. The victory improved Golub’s ledger to 17-1 (13 KOs), while Carneiro left the ring at 25-11 (23 KOs). In April, Golub captured the WBC USNBC welterweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision against Manuel Reyes. As an amateur, Golub accumulated a 270-32 record, while becoming a five-time Ukrainian National champion, and won bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in 2006 and at the World Championships in 2009. He also participated in the World Series of Boxing, winning all five of his bouts.
In his DiBella Entertainment debut, 20-year-old Puerto Rican junior welterweight prospect Victor Padilla, 139.4 lbs., ended a near two-year ring absence in devastating fashion, stopping Benjamin Borteye, 140.4 lbs., of Silver Spring, MD, inside the opening frame. The southpaw Padilla quickly stunned Borteye with his first jab-straight left then patiently cut off the ring until he had his foe trapped near a corner. Padilla then threw a right jab that decked Borteye. A follow-up barrage to the head and body forced a stoppage at the 1:12 mark to up Padilla’s record to 5-0 (5 KOs), while Borteye dropped to 4-8 (4 KOs). Now living in Berlin, NJ, Padilla was born in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and had a stellar amateur career, compiling a 90-7 record while becoming a three-time National champion. He is trained by Raul “Chino” Rivas and fights out of the same camp as IBF Super Featherweight World Champion Tevin Farmer.
Heavyweight prospect Mike Balogun, 233.6 lbs., of Upper Marlboro, MD, overcame a first-round knockdown in the toughest test of his career against Ed Fountain, 240.6 lbs., of St. Louis, MO, to earn a unanimous decision victory. After recovering from his trip to the canvas via a Fountain right hand, the southpaw Balogun found the proper distance to dictate the action with his jab and ring generalship. Over the second half, Balogun began to throw jabs to the body and come back upstairs with straight lefts to keep Fountain from closing the gap, in what was his first scheduled eight-rounder. Scorecards read 78-73, and 77-74 twice, all for Balogun. Now 14-0 (10 KOs), Balogun is a former college football standout who started for the Oklahoma Sooners before playing in the NFL for three years. Fountain’s record dipped to 12-6 (5KOs).
Local fan favorite Bill Hutchinson, 134.4 lbs., of Pittsburgh, PA, improved to 17-4-2 (6 KOs) with a third-round stoppage of Charlie Serrano, 127.6 lbs., of Tampa, FL, who fell to 16-5-2 (5 KOs).
Heavyweight Bob Weisen, 195.8 lbs., of Pittsburgh, PA, made his pro debut a successful one, winning a four-round split decision against Dennis Vance (1-1, 1 KO), 235 lbs., of Detroit, MI. Scorecards read 40-36 each way, and 39-37 Weisen.
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