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Lebedev-Toney Card: Bakhtin, Sillakh, Braithwaite, More

By Alexey Sukachev

The undercard for one of the biggest boxing events in Russian history is slowly shaping up. The “Not a Step Back!” event, penciled in to take place at the Khodynka Palace of sports on November 4 and headlined by a local mega-fight between WBO #2 ranked cruiserweight Denis Lebedev (22-1, 17 KOs) and three-time / three-division world champion James Toney (73-6-3, 44 KOs). The main event will be supported by several quality match-ups with Russian, Ukrainian and foreign standouts.

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In what seems to be the second most important fight of the night, WBC #3 ranked Russian Alexander “Knight” Bakhtin (27-0, 11 KOs) collides with lanky Guyanese hitter Leon Moore (28-2, 22 KOs) for the vacant WBC Silver super bantamweight crown.

Bakhtin is known outside of Russia for being… the national record breaker in Japan. In 2003-2006, he retained his Japanese (national) bantamweight title record nine times before being taken away from boxing by legal proceedings. Bakhtin, 30, came back in style by scoring four stoppages in a row (including Filipino veteran Jess Maca and former world title challenger Hidenobu Honda), then defended his OPBF title twice before making a comeback move to his Homeland. In his latest fight, Bakhtin scored a lopsided victory over upset artist Jose Angel Beranza.

Southpaw Moore, 32, is a quality boxer as well. He has lost only twice in his career – both times via questionable road decisions against former flyweight king Irene Pacheco and world-ranked Kyrgyz Timur Shailezov. He is undefeated in his last ten fights since the last loss in 2007.

“This fight has already been signed”, commented Vladimir Hryunov.

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Another world-ranked participant on the show is Ukrainian light heavyweight hope and the NABF beltholder Ismayl Sillakh (16-0, 13 KOs), who shined in May in the third-round blowout of Ugandan Hamza Wandera. The opponent of WBC #3 and IBF #7 Sillakh, 26, is still uncertain despite chains of rumors around the Web.

Sillakh was one of the best Ukrainian amateur fighters in history. The same can also be said about 2008 Beijing Olympics super heavyweight bronze medalist Vyacheslav Glazkov (9-0, 6 KOs). Glazkov, 26, won big in March of this year on the Dmitry Pirog vs. Javier Maciel undercard against powerful Russian slugger Denis Bakhtov. Now the Ukrainian giant is preparing for another quantum leap up in class.

“We’ve made an offer to Samuel Peter”, said Hryunov to this reporter. “The fight is still not done. Right now we are waiting for a reply of Team Peter”. The Nigerian Nightmare (34-5, 27 KOs), who is still relatively young at 31, is coming off two consecutive crushing defeats to Wladimir Klitschko and Robert Helenius.

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James Toney will not be the only former world champion to populate the show. Another one is comebacking former cruiserweight king Wayne Braithwaite (24-4, 20 KOs). The Big Truck was fairly inactive in recent years and hasn’t fought since March 2010 but took part mostly in important match-ups before that, sandwiching his stunning upset of reigning IBF champion Yoan Hernandez between one-sided losses to Enzo Maccarinelli and Steve Cunningham. The Guyanese, 36, takes on fellow veteran Ali Ismailov (18-7-1, 13 KOs) of Azerbaijan.

Ismailov, 37, is known for a controversial loss to WBO champion Victor Ramirez in May 2009. He's been on a huge downslide since then, losing four his last fights in a row – all by the way of knockout. This fight was also confirmed by Vladimir Hryunov.

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The card will also feature two foreigners against yet undefined opponents. One of them is 39-year old Bahamian Sherman “Tank” Williams (34-11-2, 19 KOs), 39, who is currently helping Lebedev to prepare himself for James Toney. Another one is undefeated 27-year old Montenegrin lightweight Dejan Zlaticanin (13-0, 10 KOs).

Finally, there will be two quality domestic match-ups. Light heavyweight Igor Mikhalkin (11-1, 7 KOs), 26, comes back after a year of inactivity against durable Sergey Ekimov (6-0, 2 KOs), 25. And in a return bout of their 2010 October collision, bantamweight crowd-pleaser Nikolay Potapov (4-0, 4 KOs), 21, battles Rauf Aghayev (4-1, 1 KO), 28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mikhnienko on 10-10-2011

Man if Peter accepts and Syllakh gets a decent opponent this card will be epic.

Comment by Klobberbot on 10-10-2011

Wasn't Sillakh supposed to fight Chris Henry? Whatever happened to that?

Comment by UglyPug on 10-10-2011

AMAZING CARD! My favorite newcomer is Ismayl Sillakh!!! Dude is such a beast. . . This is a night for TSZYU CREW!!!

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (3)
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