A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday in Indio, California
Dmitry Mikhaylenko TKO8 Johan Perez
Records: Mikhaylenko (20-0, 9 KOs); Perez (20-3-1, 13 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Mikhaylenko, 29, of Russia, who already had beaten gatekeeper opponents Ronald Cruz (by knockout) and Sechew Powell (by decision) in 2014, scored the most notable win of his career against Perez, a former interim junior welterweight titleholder, in the HBO Latino-televised main event.
Mikhaylenko pressed the action from the outset and had Perez going backward throughout the first round. He was relentless the entire fight and basically wore out Perez, 32, of Venezuela, who has lost two of his past three fights; the other defeat was a decision to Mauricio Herrera for an interim junior welterweight belt 13 months ago.
Mikhaylenko and Perez had some exciting exchanges but Mikhaylenko seemed to get the better of them and snapped Perez's head back several times. With Perez, who was cut over his left eye, seemingly running out of gas in the eighth round and Mikhaylenko continuing to pressure him -- he drove him into the ropes with a flurry of punches and never left up -- referee Ray Corona stepped in and stopped the bout at 1 minute, 21 seconds. This is a very good win for Mikhaylenko, who claimed a regional belt that will move him up a sanctioning body's rankings and closer to a shot at a world title.
Manuel Avila TKO6 Yoandris Salinas
Records: Avila (18-0, 7 KOs); Salinas (21-2-2, 14 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Avila, 23, of Fairfield, California, notched the most significant win of his career as he made Salinas, a former world title challenger, quit on his stool. In the second round, Salinas, 29, a Cuban defector living in Miami, ran into a right hand to the chin and went down to his rear end, although he did not appear badly hurt. Avila scored well with his right hand throughout the fight.
He was control of the fight when Salinas quit after the sixth round, citing a right hand injury. He said he hurt his hand in the fourth round. With the win in the books, Avila said he would like a world title shot. He probably won't get one next but it's not out of the question one could come his way before too long.
Salinas dropped to 1-2-1 in his past four bouts. The draw, which kicked off the rut, came in 2013 when he traveled to London and fought Scott Quigg in a junior featherweight world title bout.
Tevin Farmer KO8 Daulis Prescott
Records: Farmer (20-4-1, 5 KOs); Prescott (30-3, 22 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Farmer, a 25-year-old Philadelphia southpaw, was supposed to face Mexico's Juan Rodriguez but he dropped out a week before the fight and was replaced by former world title challenger Prescott, 28, of Colombia, the brother of Breidis Prescott, best known for his first-round knockout of Amir Khan in 2008. Farmer had no problems, extending his winning streak to 13 fights in a row (since an eighth-round knockout loss in 2012 to Jose Pedraza, who went on to win a 130-pound world title in June) and looked good in the process.
Farmer got a little bonus off the victory, too, as Lou DiBella, his promoter, promised him an all-expense paid vacation if he scored the knockout, which he did. Farmer scored a knockdown with about 35 seconds left in the fourth round, nailing Prescott with a fast left hand he never saw coming. He was lucky to make it out of the round. Farmer scored another knockdown in the sixth round with a short right hand but he landed a left hand while Prescott was already down, so he got credit for the knockdown but referee Ray Corona also took a point from Farmer for the foul and gave Prescott time to recover, even though the illegal punch did not appear too severe. Farmer continued to dominate the fight before ending the fight in the eighth round as he scored the third knockdown of the fight when he landed a thudding left hand to Prescott's head. He went down face first and Corona did not bother to count, instead immediately waving off the fight at 52 seconds -- and setting Farmer up for a nice vacation courtesy of DiBella.
Prescott, who got knocked out in the seventh round in challenging Nicholas Walters for a vacant featherweight belt in December 2012, saw his four-fight winning streak since that loss to Walters come to an end.
Saturday in St. Louis
Charles Ellis W10 James Toney
Scores: 99-91, 98-92, 97-93
Records: Ellis (10-3-1, 8 KOs); Toney (76-10-3, 46 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: At one point in the early 1990s, many considered Toney the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. Toney won world titles at middleweight, super middleweight and cruiserweight; his title win at heavyweight was erased by a positive steroid test in 2005. But the bottom line is that for a long time, Toney was really, really good -- Hall of Fame-worthy good (unless you hold two failed steroids tests against him). Now he is one of the saddest cases in boxing.
Toney, 46, of Los Angeles, can no longer fight much. His speech is unintelligible, based on interviews posted on YouTube that he gave in the past few weeks. How this man was licensed in Missouri -- or anywhere -- is scandalous. He hadn't fought since a loss nearly two years ago and wound up having his own promotional company put on this club show in a hotel ballroom against Ellis, a 40-year-old journeyman from Wichita, Kansas, who entered the fight coming off back-to-back losses, including one by knockout.
Ellis was picked as the opponent because he was supposed to be easy picking for Toney, who, if you can understand what heck he is saying (which is not easy), bloviates about wanting a shot at heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Instead, Toney lost the wide decision to the obscure Ellis in a fight that should, hopefully, signal the long overdue end of Toney's career. He has been a pro for 27 years, has nearly 100 fights, boxed nearly 700 pro rounds (an astronomical total), probably sparred upwards of 10,000 rounds in the gym, taken countless blows to the head and is some 70 pounds heavier than when he turned pro. Whether he passed medical tests for this bout, or any of the fightf he has had in recent years, this is a common-sense thing. Listen to him speak in any recent interview, and it will disgust you that this man was licensed. The system has failed him.
Friday in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Sergiy Derevyanchenko W8 Elvin Ayala
Scores: 80-72, 80-71 (twice)
Records: Derevyanchenko (6-0, 4 KOs); Ayala (28-7-1 12 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Derevyanchenko, 29, who is from Ukraine but now fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, had a monster amateur career. He was reportedly 390-20 as an amateur, a 2008 Olympian and then went 23-1 with seven knockouts during his stint in the World Series of Boxing. So even though he only has a few professional fights, he has vast experience and is being moved quickly.
Headlining on Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation," Derevyanchenko was matched against the very experienced pro Ayala, of New Haven, Connecticut, who has faced (and lost to) Arthur Abraham (in a world title bout), David Lemieux (who later won a world title) and Curtis Stevens (who challenged for a world title). Ayala, 34, came into the fight having won two bouts in a row and was coming off an eight-round decision against prospect Ronald Gavril in a March upset. But Ayala, slow and with little pop on his punches, had nothing much to offer Derevyanchenko, and got knocked around the ring in a one-sided fight. Derevyanchenko got what he needed -- true professional experience. He went past the fourth round for the first time and made it look easy.
"I am happy with my performance. I would have liked to have scored the knockout, but Elvin showed he has a lot of heart," Derevyanchenko said. "I was able to work on a lot of different things and show a lot of different dimensions to my game. This was my first time going eight rounds and I feel great. My stamina was great and I was able to do pretty much everything that I wanted to do in there. Elvin was my toughest opponent to date and I think that I passed this test with flying colors."
Ievgen Khytrov TKO8 Nick Brinson
Records: Khytrov (11-0, 10 KOs); Brinson (17-4-2, 7 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Khytrov, 26, a 2012 Ukrainian Olympian and 2011 world amateur champion now fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, reportedly had 500 amateur fights, going 480-20. With all the amateur experience, he is being moved quickly as a professional, but Brinson, 27, gave him a very tough fight, perhaps the toughest of his career so far. He used his jab well, moved nicely and worked the body. Brinson, of Albany, New York, was basically even up with Khytrov through six rounds. But one thing Khytrov has shown as a pro is that he is sometimes a slow starter who picks up steam as the fight moves along. That is exactly what happened against Brinson, who began to wilt under Khytrov's intense pressure. He worked Brinson over in the seventh round, which easily could have been scored 10-8 even though Khytrov did not score a knockdown. But Brinson took big punishment in the round, so it's a credit to his heart that he stayed on his feet.
In the eighth round, Khytrov continued the attack, eventually staggering Brinson with a left hook. He continued to unload left hands, drove Brinson to the ropes and kept pounding away until he went down to a knee and referee Earl Brown immediately stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 31 seconds. Brinson bitterly complained about the stoppage, but Brown did the right thing. Brinson, who lost for the third time in his past four bouts, was done and had taken a beating in the final two rounds. When it was over, Khytrov knew he had been in a real fight.
"This was a tough fight for me," he said. "I had some discomfort in my stomach back in the dressing room. I just didn't feel 100 percent, and it took me a couple of rounds to find my rhythm. Brinson had a good game plan and had some success early, but I never worried. I knew I was hurting him with my shots and I felt him breaking down as the rounds wore on.
"This was a good learning experience for me and my career. I fought through some adversity and still was able to secure the victory. I feel that I am ready for some of the biggest names in the 160-pound division."
Regis Prograis W8 Amos Cowart
Scores: 80-72 (twice), 79-71
Records: Prograis (15-0, 12 KOs); Cowart (11-1-1, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In the kind of fight Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" is all about, two prospects faced each other in their toughest test. Despite the one-sided scores, this was a highly entertaining and competitive fight, even if Prograis, 26, of Houston, got the better of the action against fellow southpaw Cowart, 25. Prograis was very busy -- he averaged more than 100 punches thrown per round -- and had a strong body attack. Cowart's game was to counterpunch, which he did, but not enough. He also threw a lot of wild shots that did not connect but helped make for a fun fight. Promoter Lou DiBella saw enough from Cowart, of Groveland, Florida, that he wants to have him drop down to lightweight, where he believes he will be better served. As for Prograis, it should be on to more television exposure.
"I feel great. I am ready to go a couple more rounds," Prograis said after the bout. "This was a great fight for me. I was able to show another dimension and box. I have been going in there and just walking guys down and putting them away, but Amos came to fight. He showed that he has a huge heart and a great chin, because I hit him with some big shots and he kept coming, so I tip my hat off to him. He was a true warrior in there, he hit me with some good shots, but we expected that coming in and were prepared for that. I am very happy with my performance. This is just the beginning for me."
Friday in Ratchaburi, Thailand
Pungluang Sor Singyu KO2 Ryo Akaho
Wins a vacant bantamweight title
Records: Sor Singyu (51-3, 35 KOs); Akaho (26-2-2, 18 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Thailand's Sor Singyu, 27, had the home-field advantage as he took on Akaho, 29, of Japan, for the 118-pound world title vacated by Tomoki Kameda earlier this year. It was the same belt Sor Singyu won, when it was vacant in 2012, with a ninth-round knockout of A.J. Banal before losing it in his first defense to Paulus Ambunda in 2013. In July 2014, Sor Singyu had a chance to win the belt back against Kameda on the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara undercard in Las Vegas, but was knocked out by a brutal body punch in the seventh round. Sor Singyu won his next four bouts to put him in position to once again challenge for the belt.
Akaho was fighting for a world title for the second time. In December 2012, he challenged countryman Yota Sato for his junior bantamweight title and lost a lopsided unanimous decision. Since that defeat, Akaho won seven fights in a row to work his way into position to face Sor Singyu for a vacant title.
The first round started quickly as they both looked to trade. They also wrestled each other to the mat. Referee Robert Byrd was further kept busy breaking clinches and warning them for blows behind the head when they were tied up. In the second round, Sor Singyu took Akaho out in somewhat spectacular fashion. He put his punches together, driving Akaho head-first into the ring post. He basically bounced off of it and into a pair of clean right hands from Singyu, and went down. He rolled over on all fours, put his forehead to the canvas and was counted out by Byrd at 1 minute, 8 seconds. He was down for a few minutes receiving medical attention.