After competing in more than 400 bouts as an amateur, Sergiy Derevyanchenko has needed less than 10 as a professional to establish himself as a title contender at 160 pounds.
With seven knockouts in nine wins, the 2008 Olympian is on a rapid climb up the rankings since making his pro debut in July 2014.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (9-0, 7 KOs) now hopes to put himself in line for a shot at a world championship on March 14 when he takes on Kemahl Russell (10-0, 8 KOs) in a 10-round headlining matchup of unbeaten knockout artists at the Fitz Tunica Casino & Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi (FS1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Televised undercard action will feature 175-pound prospect Ahmed Elbiali (14-0, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bout, plus 147-pound southpaw Jamontay Clark (10-0, 6 KOs) will compete in another eight-rounder.
Derevyanchenko, 31, is coming off his biggest professional win in July, when he gained three knockdowns of former 160-pound world champion Sam Soliman en route to earning a second-round TKO.
“I am thrilled to be returning to the ring and I'm determined to put on a great performance for all the fans watching,” Derevyanchenko said. “I know that I'm facing a tough, undefeated fighter with power, but I'm very close to a world title opportunity and no one will stop me from achieving my dream.”
Nicknamed “The Technician,” Derevyanchenko earned a bronze medal at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships before representing his native Ukraine at the Beijing Olympics.
Now living and training in Brooklyn, New York, Derevyanchenko will have to avoid the power of Russell if he is to move closer to a title shot.
Russell, 27, gained famed in his native Jamaica by winning his country’s version of The Contender in 2015 with a fourth-round TKO of Richard Holmes. He built on that momentum by earning two more stoppages in 2016, including a second-round KO of Henry Mercer in Macon, Georgia, in October in his U.S. debut.
“I believe that I have the tools to win this fight and I'm coming to show the world that me and my Jamaican countrymen belong on this big stage,” Russell said. “I'm ready to step up to this challenge and make my country proud.
“This has been one of the best training camps I've had and I'm looking forward to this opportunity. I only want to fight the best, and I'm ready to prove it on March 14.”
For a complete look at Derevyanchenko vs Russell, visit our fight page.