Eastern Europe Update: Yagupov Leaves “Jab” and More

By Alexey Sukachev

Russia: It looks like major changes are coming for “Jab Promotions”, one of the biggest and the most powerful Russian boxing companies. “Jab Promotions” was created in 2008 and in just two years it became one of the most notable stars across Russian pugilistic firmament. Two “Jab” boxers (cruiserweight Ali Ismailov and light heavyweight Dmitry Sukhotskiy) fought for WBO belts in 2009, with both losing spirited if controversial decisions to Victor Emilio Martinez and Juergen Braehmer respectively, while middleweight Gennady Martirosyan is one step away from battling for one of major titles in the near future.

“Jab Promotions” was led by its president and business tycoon Vitaly Supichenko, and well-known manager and promoter and former European champion Alexander Yagupov. The latter has recently decided to resign from his position as vice-president.

“I’m done with Jab Promotions for now”, said Yagupov in an exclusive talk with this reporter. “I wish Jab Promotions only the best as it continues its activities but my own beliefs and views are somewhat different from that of Vitaly (Supichenko) and his colleagues. My own point of view is out of the guidelines so it was fair to leave the company. Now I’m back to my own Coliseum Promotions”.

Yagupov will continue to work with both Sukhotskiy and Martirosyan. “The most important thing is that fighters shouldn’t suffer of promotional and managerial inconsistencies. I shall take care of both fighters and maybe some other figures”.

Yagupov's first promotional appearance after a long layoff will take place on March 13 in Kemerovo, Russia, as a part of the annual Nikolay Valuev Boxing Cup.

“I’m going to make a flight to Kemerovo with Nikolay (Valuev) to help him arrange the tournament”. WBA #7, WBO #8 and IBF #14 Dmitry Sukhotskiy (16-1, 11 KOs) will put his WBO I/C title at stake alongside a vacant IBF I/C belt against an opponent to be named. “We aren’t sure about certain belts – EBA light heavyweight championship can also be in play if some moments will be carried out in style”.

Tajik slugger Sherali Mamadaliev (11-1, 7 KOs) will also be a part of the show, which will be supported by German Titov.  


Serbia: Local promoter Luca Popovic is dong a big job of bringing large international boxing back to his Homeland of Serbia. Popovic makes another step up on February 25 at Crystal Hall of “Park” hotel in Novi Sad, Vojvodina.

In the main event of the evening, 32-year old Montenegrin WBC #8 super middleweight Nikola Sjekloca (18-0, 5 KOs) puts his WBC International belt at risk against Spanish national champion Roberto Santos (16-4-1, 8 KOs) in what seems to be an interesting scrap.

Lightweight Dejan Zlaticanin (11-0, 9 KOs) of Montenegro was earlier penciled in to take on Italian Massimiliano Chiofalo (11-4-2, 1 KO) for a vacant WBC Mediterranean title but this fight looks to be off now. Zlaticanin will most probably fight tough Dominican upset master Felix Lora (13-6-5, 7 KOs) in a colossal step up in class. Lora is best known for a tough assignment he gave to a 3-0 Devon Alexander in 2005 and for a chain of sound upsets he created in 2010.

Heavyweights Jacov Gospic (Croatia, 9-2, 8 KOs) and Jovo Pudar (Bosnia, 24-3, 13 KOs) as well as Serbian cruiserweight Drago Janjusevic (16-2, 9 KOs) are also thought to take part in the show as is the case for a couple of other fighters.


Finland: Markus Lammi, former Baltic Boxing Union (BBU) president and starting Finnish promoter, arranged a small but nice card at Royal night club in his hometown of Vaasa a week and two days ago on Jan. 29. There were just three fights but local crowd was reportedly well entertained and roared to support home boxers. In what was the main event, rising heavyweight Janne Katajisto (8-0, 3 KOs) engaged into a slugfest with Latvian opponent Alexanders Selezens (4-11, 2 KOs) and came out as a winner with a unanimous decision: 60-55, 60-57 and 59-54. Katajisto retained his BBU International title in process. He is up for better fights in the future.

Other results:
Jarko Jussila (2-0, 1 KO) TKO 4 Dmitry Pankratov (1-1). Time was 0:50 when Pankratov’s corner threw in a towel.
Teemu Tuominen (1-0, 1 KO) KO 3 Maksims Ivancikovs (0-2-1). Time was 1:48. Tuominen was making his pro debut.


Finland: On the same date, promoter Miika Forsstrom staged his own show at Porvoon Urheiluhalli in Porvvo. There were four fights, and one of them was a title bout.

Cruiserweight Peter Antman (7-1-1, 1 KO) got his biggest career victory with a narrow split decision over veteran southpaw Harri Hakulinen (9-2-1, 4 KOs) in ten rounds: 98-92, 97-96 and 95-97. Referee was well-known Erkki Meronen. Hakulinen returned to the ring in 2009 after ten years in retirement.

Also, comebacking heavyweight Jarno Rosberg (9-0, 4 KOs) moved on with a convincing six-round unanimous decision over Latvian Igoris Borucha (4-7-1): 60-54 (twice) and 60-55. Rosberg was coming off a year-long hiatus induced by a disqualification after a victorious performance in a national heavyweight contest against Juho Haapoja. Rosberg tested positive for illegal substances.

Other results:
Jan Nyholm (13-2-2, 4 KOs) UD 6 Alexanders Radjuks (1-3-1, 1 KO). Nyholm is 48 years of age.
Janne Forsman (1-0) UD 4 Florians Strupits (2-18, 2 KOs)


Germany: On Saturday, January 29, locally-based Azerbaijani light heavyweight Rashad Karimov (17-2, 15 KOs) got his next stoppage win by finishing off Remo Edling (3-18, 2 KOs) in three rounds. Holger Ludwig promoted.


Uzbekistan: Local promoter Ruslan Dadakhanov (“Billur”), more known as a major exporter of Uzbek fighters to Russian and neighboring countries, loaded up a big card for his protégés. In one of the fights, undefeated lightweight Azamat Matkarimov (12-0, 8 KOs) improved his record to 12-0, 8 KOs, after a stoppage win over Ziyaiddin Mamarizayev (2-7) in four.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: On March 5, local featherweight female star Irma Balijagic Adler (12-1, 5 KOs) will attempt a comeback after her loss to 130lb queen Ramona Kuehne last November. Adler is set to fight Kenyan Fatuma Zarika Njeri (23-4-1, 14 KOs) for a vacant WIBA 126lb belt.


Bulgaria: Former successful amateur and now starting promoter, Vasko Vasilev of Alexeev Promotion, is ready to perform big on February 20. Vasilev is planning a relatively big nine-bout fight card at Dunav Hall in a river-port Rousse. In the main event, hard-nut Bulgarian middleweight Alexey Ribchev (7-2, 3 KOs) faces Latvian upset specialist Jurijs Boreiko (14-22-1, 11 KOs) for a vacant UBO International belt. Ribchev is best known for his spirited (yet losing) performance against Jack Culcay-Keth and his road victory over Spaniard Blaz Miguel Martinez.


Slovakia: Well-known Hungarian promoter Feliz Racz continues his slow comeback to the business by making another show February 25 at City Hall of Nitra in neighboring Slovakia. In the main event, undefeated Hungarian/Slovakian light heavyweight Tomas Kovacs (18-0, 13 KOs) battles Ugandan power hitter Hamza Wandera (12-1-2, 11 KOs) for a vacant WBO European title. Racz was best known as a promoter of several world-class local fighters including 28-0 fashion-looked multi-champion Bettina “Princess” Csabi.

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