By Alexey Sukachev (at ringside)
28-year old Dmitry "Hammer" Kudriashov improved his record to astonishing 12 KOs in as many fights, after knocking out a presumed-to-be-tough Congolese import Zack Mwekassa in just 50 secs. The true power and skill level of the UBO/GBU cruiserweight champion remains to be seen though. Mwekassa, same to a former world title challenger Shawn Cox, who was vaporized by Kudriashov the last month in two, either refused to behave like a fighter, falling down on punches, which didn't look to be all that cracking, or had a very fragile chin.
Meanwhile, Mwekassa, a vital part of two hidden classics versus Jozsef Nagy and Paul Jennette (as well as an upset winner of Thabiso Mnchunu two years ago), was an opponent, powerful and willy enough to match Kudriashov's imposing physics and arguably great punching power. On paper. In reality, Mwekassa moved in with a wild swing and immediately fell down on what was hardly a meaningful punch - fifteen seconds after the start of the round. He got up only to be pinned to the ropes and went down again after a left hook, twisting his leg, while trying to hang the upper rope. He was up at the count of six but referee Eugeny Gorstkov indicated he was in no position to continue even though Mwekassa wished to go on. Time was 0:50 of the very first round to a displeasure of both the fans and Kudriashov, who was unable to showcase the best of him. Dmitry, 28, is 12-0, 12 KOs, and badly needs a step up in class. Mwekassa is now 14-4, 13 KOs, now with a questionable reputation and a very questionable chin.
In a fight for a vacant Russian super featherweight title between Ekaterinburg's own Evgueny Chuprakov and St. Petersburg native Alexey Shorokhov, there was nothing to be excited about for the first nine rounds. Chuprakov, 23, a young talent, co-managed by Vadim Kornilov and Andrey Napolskikh, was boxing circles over tough and willing but little-skilled Shorokhov, nicknamed "Pitbull". The latter was marching forward but used no jab to match his aggressiveness with a positive outcome. Chuprakov's jab was on display, and he wasn't hit cleanly in a majority of exchanges. BoxingScene had it 88-82 after the ninth - for Chuprakov, who was twice showcased in the States this year.
The pattern changed drastically in the tenth and final round, when both combatants, tired of waiting and anxious to give the crowd their due, began to trade punches furiously. At the start of the last minute, Chuprakov experienced a cut left eye and was taken to the ringside physician. Immediately after that he jumped at Shorokhov, and both fighters started to swing freely. The end came suddenly after one of Chuprakov's punches, which had Shorokhov down. He rose on wobbly legs and was clearly in no position to continue as the referee (and former stellar amateur) Andrey Kurniavka waved the contest off. The official time was 2:30 of the tenth. Chuprakov is now 7-0, 3 KOs. Shorokhov is at considerably less stellar 5-7, 3 KOs. He was stopped for the first time in his career.
Ukrainian light middleweight Maksim Ponomarev (9-1) outboxed Russian Alexey Kovalev (2-4, 1 KO) over six rounds. Kovalev was an aggressor but Ponomarev used his left hook to the body, lateral movement and elusiveness to avoid being tagged and fooled Kovalev to a six-round unanimous decision. BoxingScene had it 58-56 - for Ponomarev.
A fight between Gor Arutunyan (0-1) and Arkadiy Arutunyan (3-0) - no relationship between two - was called a "No contest", after a bad cut over Gor's left eye moments into the first round.
The show at the "Triumph" Palace of Sports in Lyuberts, Russia, was promoted by Alexander Polguy.