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Alexander Bakhtin-Sergio Santillan on 3/31 in Balashikha

By Alexey Sukachev

IBO super bantamweight titlist Alexander “Sasha” Bakhtin (30-0, 11 KOs) is back in action on March 31 in Balashikha, a satellite city of Moscow, Russia, to headline an annual night of boxing for local fans, named after former amateur superstar and current Professional Boxing Federation of Russia president Victor Petrovich Ageev.

Bakhtin, 31, who is ranked very high in the 122lb division (WBA and IBF #3, WBC #4) will defend his title against Argentinean veteran Sergio Carlos Santillan (30-12-3, 14 KOs). The 39-year old fighter from Buenos Aires is a former IBF I/C flyweight, two-time Argentinean super flyweight, South American super flyweight, WBC Fecarbox (Interim) super bantamweight and reigning South American super bantamweight champion. He has been previously stopped just once in his career.

Santillan is a not-so-welcome choice for Bakhtin, who has been hunting for the world title opportunity for about eight years at this point. According to boxko.ru, Bakhtin’s promoter Vladimir Hryunov was negotiating with former world champions Joseph Agbeko and Vic Darchinyan, but the respected teams were unable to reach an agreement.

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