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Euro News: Larsen, Sjekloca, Kostecki, Bursak, More

By Alexey Sukachev

Aging and shot for quite some time British heavyweight Danny Williams (44-11, 33 KOs) continued his downward spiral on Friday night at Pabellon Municipal in Valencia, Spain. Williams, who once defeated Mike Tyson to get a crack at the WBC crown against Vitali Klitschko, was badly beaten by 36-year old Norse boxer Leif Larsen (15-0, 12 KOs) in two rounds. Williams was floored three times. Larsen is largely untested fighter but a well-known all-round athlete, who achieved some international honors in shot put and also played a season for NFL’s Buffalo Bills in early 00’s.

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23-year old Peru-based Kyrgyzstan-born female Valentina “La Bala” (“Bullet”) Shevchenko (1-0) will get her title chance on January 14 in Lima. Shevchenko, formerly 5-time world kick boxing champion, faces experienced American boxer Mary McGee (18-1, 10 KOs) for a vacant WIBA lightweight title. Shevchenko, a blonde Slav with powerful punches, has a steadily rising fan base on her new Homeland.

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Two unbeaten Montenegrin boxers successfully defended/acquired WBC International belts a week ago at Hala Moraca in Podgorica, the country’s capital. The event was arranged by Luca Popovic and turned out to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the state’s history.

In the main event, WBC #6 ranked Nicola Sjekloca (23-0, 7 KOs) barely got past rugged South African Peter Mashamaite (19-9-1, 8 KOs) over twelve rounds with a majority decision. Sjekloca, 33, defended his title for the third time. He is also ranked #13 by the WBO and #14 by the WBA, and he is 5-0 this year with an important win over Khoren Gevor in the summer.

More convincing was a victory, achieved by dangerously punching lightweight Dejan Zlaticanin (14-0, 10 KOs), who defeated another South African Godfrey Nzimande (22-4-3, 14 KOs) with a unanimous decision. Zlaticanin, 27, acquired a vacant WBC International title.

Other notable results:
Goran Gogic (19-3-2, 12 KOs) PTS 6 Tayar Mehmed (4-16-1, 2 KO)
Peter Zivkovic (8-0, 5 KOs) PTS 6 Zoran Didanovic (12-18, 7 KOs)

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Experienced Polish light heavyweight Dawid Kostecki (now 38-1, 25 KOs) continued to exert his killing pressure on the 175lb ranks with yet another quality victory on Saturday. At Hotel Hilton in Warsaw, Poland, “Gypsy” Kostecki, who is presently ranked #2 by the WBA and #4 by the WBC and by the IBF, landed two powerful right hands to knock out former super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell cold in the very beginning of the fourth. Kostecki dominated every second of the fight prior to this effective ending.

Also light-hitting but stylistically sound light heavyweight Pawel Glazewski (17-0, 4 KOs) scored a unanimous decision over British veteran Matthew Barney (26-9-1, 6 KOs) over six.

The show was arranged by leading Polish promoters Andrzej Wasilewski and Piotr Werner of 12 Round KnockOut Promotion.

Other results:
Izuagbe Ugonoh (6-0, 5 KOs) KO 1 Florian Strupits (2-22, 2 KOs)
Kamil Laszczyk (6-0, 5 KOs) KO 1 Isztvan Paszti (0-2)
Krzysztof Zimnoch (9-0-1, 7 KOs) UD 4 Gabor Farkas (6-20-5, 3 KOs). Scores were 40-35 on all cards.

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Former Tomasz Adamek’s chief (also serving as his manager) Andrzej Gmitruk unified his efforts with former amateur standout and career-long journeyman Dariusz Snarski to stage a nice-looking show in Bialystok, Poland, a week ago.

In the main event local favorite Alexey Kuziemski (22-4, 6 KOs), who is best known for two unsuccessful world title challenges (in 2009 against Jurghen Braehmer and this year versus Nathan Cleverly), suffered yet another setback losing a competitive but clear unanimous decision to French road warrior Doudou N’Gumbu (28-3, 11 KOs), who avenged his controversial September loss to Glazewski. With this win N’Gumbu acquired a minor World Boxing Federation light heavyweight title. Kuziemski should think about possible retirement.

In the co-feature, 25-year old Tarnow hopeful Dariusz Sek (14-0-1, 6 KOs) defeated his Lithuanian opponent Mantas Tarvydas (18-12, 12 KOs) in four. Tarvydas went down three times in the fourth, each time after vicious body punches of Sek.

Other important results:
Robert Swierzbinski (7-0, 1 KO) UD 6 Vladimir Borovskiy (20-46-2, 10 KOs)
Maciej Sulecki (8-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Fehti Bentafna (11-5-4, 3 KOs)
Norbert Dabrowski (6-0, 1 KO) UD 6 Anouar Boumejjane (9-8, 3 KOs)

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WBO #2 middleweight Maksim Bursak (23-0-1, 9 KOs) will have a chance to settle his conflict with the Ghanaian champion Laatekwei Hammond (18-5, 11 KOs), who is ranked #15 by the World Boxing Organization, on December 17 at Kiev Palace of Sports under K2 Promotions. Bursak, a quality technician who has a one-sided win over Brian Vera, was first scheduled to fight Hammond in September but the African suffered an injury in his last pre-fight sparring session and was forced to withdraw.

Also on the card are local standouts Victor Plotnikov (26-1, 12 KOs), Vitaliy Nevesioliy (11-0, 6 KOs), Dmitry Nikulin (22-1, 7 KOs) and Olexander Cherviak (9-2, 2 KOs) in separate bouts.

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Three tiny shows were arranged in various Russian cities over the course of the last two weeks.

On December 1, in Barnaul, three local boxers got important wins against reasonable opposition. In the main event, Russian and WBC Asian super middleweight beltholder Karen Avetisyan (5-3-1, 2 KOs) proved once again that his less-than-stellar record speaks little about his actual skills. Avetisyan, who lost only to unbeaten and well-promoted fighters in close fashion in the past, destroyed previously undefeated Uzbek Bobir Mirzaev (5-1, 4 KOs) in the first round. Also, Russian light middleweight champion Pavel Mamontov (6-1-1) outpointed formerly unbeaten Kazakh Asset Aysin (8-1, 5 KOs) unanimously over eight, and Rudolf Asaturyan (10-5, 4 KOs) got his second straight victory after five consecutive losses by outpointing Ravshanbek Jabbarov (9-2, 4 KOs) also over eight.

19-year old welterweight talent Konstantin Ponomarev (12-0, 5 KOs) easily retained his WBC Youth I/C title last Saturday night (November 26) by easily outpointing Georgian opponent Beka Sutidze (8-3-1, 4 KOs) unanimously over eight. Also victorious was 19-0 welterweight Aslanbek Kozaev, who scored a wide decision over durable Ukrainian no-hoper Mikola Korenev (2-11). Next for Kozaev could be a shot at one of European belts the next year.

Finally, 37-year old Russian cruiserweight kayo artist Rodion Pastukh (8-0, 8 KOs) made his smashing international debut by annihilating Tanzanian Mbaruku Kheri (12-7, 11 KOs) in three painful rounds. The fight was held in Rostov-na-Donu on November 19. Pastukh, who is managed by no other than WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog, added a vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council strap to his resume.

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