By Alexey Sukachev
Troitsk, Russia - Lanky super middleweight boxer-puncher Maxim Vlasov (24-1, 12 KOs) earned his second W in 2012 by outboxing crude German/Armenian veteran Khoren Gevor in mostly a one-sidef affair. He also retained his WBC Baltic title for the first time.
Shorter four-time world title challenger Gevor, 32, couldn't find his distance against tall WBC #8 and WBO #15 Vlasov. He tried to land combinations but he leaned too much forward, and his punches lacked snap. The Russian, meanwhile, fired fron the distance and connected well.
Gevor rocked his opponent in the second and put him down in the fifth, which was ruled a slip by referee Victor Panin. The Armenian faded down the stretch, taking punishment against the ropes. However, he came back big in the last two stanzas, turned wild and engaged Vlasov in a brawl. Both combatants gave their all but Vlasov was better (and luckier) of the two.
Scores were unanimous and lopsided: 99-91 (Tamm) and 100-90 (Nasibulin and Makushin) - for Vlasov, 26. BoxingScene had it 98-92 - also for him. Gevor (32-9, 17 KOs) is just 2-6 in his last fights but still is a stiff test for everyone.
WBO #12 lightweight Alisher Rakhimov (25-1, 12 KOs) continued the road back to the world title contention - after his May loss to Ji-Hoon Kim in an IBF eliminator - with a hard-fought win over rugged Czech Michal Dufek (9-2-1, 6 KOs) over ten rounds.
The Uzbek veteran was easily the better of the two, but Dufek didn't make it easy for Rakhimov, using every dirty trick in a textbook and clinching at every occasion. He also used offensive bursts at the end of the rounds but it wasn't enough to snatch any. Nevertheless, Alisher got his hands full with a nasty Czech, who was deducted a point in the ninth for going too low with his head.
At the end all three judges scored the fight for Rakhimov: 99-91 (Nasibulin), 100-90 (Panin) and 100-89 (Makushin). The Uzbek acquired a vacant WBC Baltic lightweight belt.
Fighting Orthodox priest Sergiy Akimov (0-3) showed tremendous character in his fight with Ilshat "Obama" Khusnulgatin (6-0, 3 KOs) to hear the final bell on his feet, but his insufficient skills resulted in a one-sided loss. Akimov was down in the third after a hard left hook, and lost all but one round on the judges' scorecards: 60-53 (twice) and 59-54. Lanky (6'4'') southpaw light heavyweight Khusnulgatin looks like a prospect to watch after but not a boxer to collide with.
Aik Shakhnazaryan (2-0) put up a nice show for the local fans to convincingly outpoint his counterpart Dmitry Lavrinenko (1-4) unanimously over four. Scores were: 40-36 (twice) and 40-37.
In a city of Troitsk, 20 kms to the south of Moscow, Bahruz Kazimov made a successful pro debut, overcoming his determined opponent Akhmed Dzakhurov with a split decision in a crowd-pleasing affair. Scores were: 40-37 (twice) - for Kazimov, and 37-39 - for Dzakhurov, who is now 0-2.