Rising 160-pound prospect Derevyanchenko to battle ex-champ Soliman on July 21

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Sergiy Derevyanchenko certainly hasn’t shied away from facing veteran competition in his budding pro boxing career. Now the undefeated 160-pound prospect is set to test his skills against his most experienced opponent to date.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Sergiy Derevyanchenko digs a left hook into the rib cage of Mike Guy during their March 15 clash. Derevyanchenko scored a TKO in the eighth and final round to improve to 8-0. (Dave Nadkarni/Premier Boxing Champions)

A 30-year-old Ukrainian now based in Brooklyn, New York, Sergiy Derevyanchenko (8-0, 6 KOs) will take on former 160-pound champion Sam Soliman (44-13, 18 KOs) on July 21 in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

Derevyanchenko, a decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, has stopped five of six opponents since December 2014. Three of those six foes were veterans Raul Munoz, Elvin Ayala and Jessie Nicklow, all of whom had 35 or more pro fights under their belts when they faced Derevyanchenko.

However, none of those opponents once held a world title like Soliman, a 42-year-old Australian who in May 2014 dethroned Felix Sturm by unanimous decision in a 160-pound title clash. That marked Soliman’s ninth consecutive victory, but his winning streak and title reign ended four months later when he lost a unanimous decision to Jermain Taylor.

Soliman, a onetime kickboxing champion, followed that defeat with a split-decision loss to then-unbeaten Dominic Wade last June in his most recent fight.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to headline against an experienced former champion,” said Derevyanchenko, who is coming off an eighth-round TKO of Mike Guy on March 15. “Soliman has accomplished a lot, but right now he is standing in the way of me being a world champion.

“You will see the best version of me on July 21, and I will show why I am a dangerous fighter in this division.”

Said Soliman: “This is a crossroads fight, so I am leaving nothing to chance and will do every bit of training needed to win this fight. We are both fighting for world-title position, and I know Sergiy will fight hard for this win. This all makes it a great contest.”

Serving as the lead-in to Derevyanchenko-Soliman will be another clash of hard-hitting 160-pounders, as Ievgen Khytrov (13-0, 11 KOs)—another Ukraine native fighting out of Brooklyn—risks his perfect record against Paul Mendez (19-9-2, 9 KOs) of Delano, California, in a scheduled 10-rounder.

For a complete overview of Derevyanchenko vs Soliman, visit our fight page.

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