With Vitali Klitschko watching on, Denys Berinchyk, a 2012 London Olympics silver medalist, did not disappoint the mayor of Kiev (and the head of the company that promotes him) by stopping Romanian fight veteran Viorel Simion after seven rounds to retain the WBO international lightweight title for the fourth time. The bout took place at the Equides Club in Lesniki, Ukraine.
WBO #4 Berinchyk (14-0, 8 KOs) isn’t a defensive genius but for all his lapses he knows his offensive craft well. Eating wide shots, loosening his guard, the Ukrainian marched forward and rumbled whenever he could. More subtle and refined but also slower and less powerful Simion (22-4, 9 KOs) was forced to oblige.
Berinchyk was slowly getting over Simion up until the sixth when the latter has finally started to fade. Berinchyk pushed the Romanian from pillar to post, finally putting him down with seconds remaining. The pressure continued in the seventh and was unbearable by that point. Simion was decked again late in the round but got up to survive it through the bell... only to retire in his corner during the break.
In a battle of undefeated youngsters, 18-year old Odessa native Vasyl Chebotar (6-0, 2 KOs) edged battle-hardened compatriot Olexander Abramian (4-1, 2 KOs) over eight rounds with a majority decision.
Abramian, 20, worked on the inside against sneaky counterpuncher Chebotar. The Red Lion moved well, engaged when needed but often put his punches well too low. Abramian landed some shots but was inconsistent despite being aggressive. Final scores were: 76-76 - a draw, and also 78-74 and 79-73 - for Chebotar.
Former two-time world title challenger and ex-EBU middleweight champion Max “Tiger” Bursak (37-6-2, 16 KOs) continued his lengthy professional route with a workmanlike unanimous decision over rugged compatriot Dmytro Semernin (14-7-1, 8 KOs).
As aggressive as usual, stocky slugger Bursak, 36, pressed the action, trying to break Semernin’s lanky body on the inside. The 32-year old struggled to keep the Tiger at bay but did well enough to survive through - not a casual feat, given that his last four losses were via stoppages.