By Alexey Sukachev
According to Boxko.ru, a relatively new source of boxing info, which is strictly linked to the top Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov, IBO super bantamweight titlist Alexander Bakhtin (30-0, 11 KOs) will put his title at risk for the first time on March 31 in his adopted hometown of Balashikha. An opponent is still to be named.
“It’s a nice tradition for our fighters to take part in Victor Ageev’s annual tourney to support various types of boxing in the Moscow Region. Denis Lebedev did it in 2009, taking his first big step in a road back to the cruiserweight elite. Sasha, who now represents the local city of Balashikha, will be a welcome addition to the tournament – both for the fans and the Russian boxing community. His opponent will be named soon”, said Hryunov.
Bakhtin, now 31 and undefeated over 12 years as a pro, is a perennial contender in the bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions. He was once a long-time Japanese 118lb champion (breaking the national record for the biggest number of title defenses), but has been competing in Russia since 2009. Bakhtin, who is now ranked #3 by the IBF and #4 by the WBA and the WBC, acquired the IBO title in September 2012 by beating hard-nosed Filipino Roli Gasca over twelve very heated and dirty rounds in Moscow, Russia.
Balashikha is a satellite city, situated several kilometers to the east of Moscow. Victor Ageev is a former Soviet amateur superstar, who was four-time national (1963, 1965-1967) and two-time European (1965, 1967) middleweight champion.