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Konstantin Bejenaru Wins Bigger's Better Tourney

By Alexey Sukachev

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The recent editiorn of Bigger's Better boxing tournament, a continental version of the famed British Prizefighter series, took place at Siemens arena in Vilnius (Vilno), the capital of Lithuania. As always, eight cruiserweight/heavyweight fighters (predominantly boxers and kick boxers) collide in a play-off style format with four quarterfinals, two semi-finals and, finally, well... a final. All of the fights are scheduled for three three-minute rounds. Promoter is Egis Klimas, an America-based Lithuanian.

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Konstantin Bejenaru (3-0, 1 KO) went from being an unknown fighter who was making his pro debut, to winning the valuable monetary prize ($15,000) as the winner of the Bigger's Better Boxing series. Bejenaru, a mercurial southpaw cruiserweight, destroyed Maxim Pedyura and outfought Sergey Masloboyev to meet Oleg Krzyzhanovskiy (5-2, 2 KOs) in the final. Bejenaru, 2009 Milano WC participant for Romania, wasted no time and began beating Krzyzhanovskiy to the punch from the very beginning. He was better in the first two starting rounds and punctuated his convincing win with a left-hand bomb, which put the Belarussian down in the third. In the end, all three judges awarded it to Bejenaru as did BoxingScene - 30-26.

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In a striking upset, Konstantin Bejenaru (2-0, 1 KO) sensationally outslugged and outfought visibly fading Maxim Pedyura (14-3-1, 11 KOs) to get a stunning but very well-deserved stoppage at 0:31 of the second round. Pedyura was hit too much from the start and soon found himself down after a thunderous combination by the Romanian. bejenaru landed one huge punch after the another, while the Ukrainian was pinned from pillart to post for an tnrie round. Early in the second, smaller Bejenaru went in for kill, badly wobbled him with a straight right and unleashed an unanswered barrage of punches forcing famed referee Steve Smoger to step in and halt the massacre.

In a second semi-final, Oleg Krzyzhanovskiy (5-1, 2 KOs) got an uneventful unanimous decision over chubby Murad Raid (2-1, 1 KOs). Raid tried to deliver an answer with his tremendous power but ultimately didn't succceed, which allowed the Belarussian to outpoint him in razor-thin fashion. Raid was close to putting Krzyzhanovskiy down in the last round. BoxingScene had it 29-29 - a draw.

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In the first quarter-final between two most experienced boxing specialists, hulking Ukrainian Maxim Pedyura (14-2-1, 11 KOs) got a questionable split decision over soft Germany-based Turk, Ozcan Cetinkaya (20-10-1, 14 KOs), over three. Pedyura dominated the first but he was also too dirty by hitting his neglecting opponent to the back of the head with his mauling, wild punches. Cetinkaya improved his approach in the second, when he was even able to hurt the bigger Ukrainian with some heavy punches. The third round was relatively even with neither fighter getting the edge. BoxingScene had it 28-29 - for Cetinkaya.

In the second collision of the first stage, two debutants clashed against each other, and Romanian Konstantin Bejenaru (1-0) got his first professional achievement with a clear-cut victory over bigger and fitter but by far less skilled boxer in Sergey Masloboyev (0-1). Former M M A specialist Masloboyev was too defensive-minded while still getting his guard penetrated by a quicker-handed in-and-out fighter in Bejenaru. BoxingScene had it 30-27 - for Bejenaru. Official judges scored the fight as a split win for the Romanian.

Active and charging Pole Tomasz Sarara (1-2) looked to be the winner of the fight against Belarussian Oleg Krzyzhanovskiy (4-1, 2 KOs) but the latter got the better of two on all three judges, cruising to a dubious unanimous decision. BoxingScene had it 30-28 - for the Pole, who looked to be a better-skilled fighter than his 37-year old opponent.

Denmark's Murad Raid (2-0, 1 KO) scored a devastating first-round knockout of Swedish debutant Tofan Pirani (0-1). 290lb Raid easily got through his opponent, who looked fit but couldn't prevent a hard-hitter from landing big haymakers on him in the corner of the ring. The Dane swung and connected with crisp punches to put Pirani to the floor three times. Pirani first went down from a huge left hook, then he was decked again and, finally, Raid finished him off with a huge right hand at 2:32 of the first.

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In a preliminary bout of the evening, extra-durable and ultra-tough cruiserweight journeyman Remegijus Ziausys (18-41-3, 9 KOs) easily outpointed little-known fellow countryman Aleksejus Stankiavicjus (2-1, 1 KO) over three with a unanimous decision.

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