Frank Galarza, Ukrainians Rule ShoBox Friday

Frank Galarza exploded for a knockout Friday on ShoBox, while two newish pro Ukrainian fighters had comparatively different wins on Showtime’s prospect-oriented program.

Galarza (pictured above, via @shosports) has shown a knack for sudden knockouts on ShoBox, having pulled a similar trick to start 2014. The junior middleweight’s victim this time was Sheldon Moore, and he lasted longer than the previous victim, even giving him two competitive rounds. In the 3rd, however, Moore got stunned by a big left hook, and Galarza dropped him with a destructive combination, every punch landing flush — right to the head, left to the head, left to the body. Moore (who, coincidentally has a win over a Boxcino finalist who won Friday night, John Thompson) was confused about something, pointing to his mouth while laying on his back with his legs spread eagle, and didn’t manage to rise by the count of 10. Galarza is, at minimum, plenty fun, and he’s a passionate, demonstrative sort, rallying his fans in Brooklyn with a stirring performance. What kind of prospect he is — that’s still unclear.

Ievgen Khytrov, one of the most celebrated prospects in the whole sport — the Ukrainian draws constant comparisons to fellow middleweight Gennady Golovkin — had a little trouble with a cool, calm lefty in Aaron Cooley. He might have only lost a couple rounds (one judge had him losing two, another just one) but all of Cooley’s movement and countering seemed to frustrate Khytrov. By the 3rd he had fully established his right hand, however, and by the 6th he was hurting Cooley with it; in between, he started doing good work to the body. Making matters worse for Cooley, he was warned for excessive holding. The hype on Khytrov might slow a little after this, but some credit belongs with Cooley for providing a boxer with fewer than 10 fights with the kind of test he needed to put that hype in proper context.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko, a Ukrainian one division up from Khytrov, was, by contrast, super-good against his opponent, Alan Campa. The much taller Campa tried boxing and moving, tried moving forward, and none of it worked; he landed about one solid punch for the three rounds in which he wasn’t stopped. Derevyanchenko was very accurate, very composed, and did damage when he landed. He dropped Campa with a right hand in the 3rd, then dropped him with a combo in the 4th, and finally forced the ref to step in and call it off in that selfsame 4th. It’d be easier to get excited about Derevyanchenko if he wasn’t a 5’7″ super middleweight, which is going to put him at a severe height disadvantage every single fight. He managed it pretty well Friday. That might not be so easy when he steps up the competition.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.