Denys Berinchyk capped a memorable night for Ukrainian boxing when he followed Oleksandr Usyk in bringing home more silverware.

Hours earlier, Usyk had become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world in Saudi Arabia with a points win over Tyson Fury. Then, in San Diego, Berinchyk defeated Mexican Emanuel Navarrete by a split decision to claim the vacant WBO lightweight title.

“This is my friend,” Berinchyk said of Usyk, who later watched the San Diego fight on TV. “This is great. Great boxing. It’s a great night for all people of Ukraine because we have undisputed heavyweight world champion and lightweight world champion, it’s amazing.”

Berinchyk is now 19-0 (9 KOs), and he was asked whether he would face his countryman Vasiliy Lomachenko, who holds the IBF version, having said he would welcome a clash last week.  

“Maybe Shakur Stevenson [the WBC champion],” Berinchyk said. “Maybe Keyshawn Davis, [Raymond] Muratalla, I don’t know. I don’t give a fuck. 

“Now we want to rest because we’ve had a very hard camp. We want to rest, go home and see kids, wives and friends.”

A crestfallen Navarrete is now 38-2-1 (31 KOs) and the Mexican was frank about his future.

“I want to congratulate Denys,” he said, having moved up from 130. “I came to this division and I knew it would be difficult for me and it was difficult. Denys moves around a lot. Am I happy with the result? Absolutely not, but I take this as a learning opportunity. I have a lot to improve on, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing. 

“I think I took his punches pretty well, so that actually gives me the confidence moving forwards if I continue to improve. I think I can make noise here at 135lbs.”

But Navarrete, who complained about the tightness of the gloves he wore, also did not rule out returning to 130lbs. 

“I’m going to continue to improve. I know I can get better. You don’t have to be a genius to know I need to improve my technique. Denys came in here and he was a better technician than me. That’s no secret. He used it to his advantage and I can’t lie about that. I need to continue to improve.”

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