The lineup also saw Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen (15-1, 12 KOs) score a career-best victory with an eighth-round stoppage of former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (20-5-1, 13 KOs).
"We prepared very well for this fight,” said Demirezen. “I knew that I was going to go out there and get a dominating victory. I'm very happy and proud of my performance tonight. This is a great night for my country of Turkey.”
Washington got off to a strong start in the fight, connecting with combinations early through the high guard of Demirezen and showing superior activity on his way to a 48-34 edge in punches landed over the first three rounds. As the fight went into the middle rounds, Demirezen was able to close the distance against his taller opponent and increased his activity as Washington tried to evade him around the ring.
By the end of round five, the power-punching onslaught from Demirezen slowed Washington down significantly and caused swelling in both eyes in addition to a cut below Washington’s right eye. Demirezen out landed Washington in each of rounds four through seven, piling up an 84 to 59 edge in power punches landed.
Early in round eight, Demirezen connected on a sharp straight right hand that immediately appeared to hurt Washington, who began to wobble as he tried to avoid a follow-up attack. Washington’s corner had seen enough at that point, as they signaled to referee Frank Santore Jr. to stop the fight, with the final stoppage coming 27 seconds into the round. Washington led 67-66 on two cards at the time of the stoppage, with the third card scored 67-66 for Demirezen.
"This is my dream, I'm going to keep fighting the U.S. and become a world champion,” said Demirezen. “I'm going to take it fight by fight and keep winning. I'm here to stay."