By Alexey Sukachev / Photos: Grigory Stangrit (Allboxing.ru)
“Real Boxing” is the name of the huge upcoming show, organized by promoter Vladimir Hryunov at the “Krylia Sovetov” sports arena in Moscow, Russia. The date of the event is set for February 8 (the opening bell sounds at 7 PM LT), and the hype is slowly rising before the beginning of the event.
Unlike some of the usual boxing events, much of the hype was produced not by the organizers or by the promoter of the show but by the star of a very different kind of sport. Roberto Carlos, a world-class soccer superstar and 2002 World Cup owner for Brazil, who now competes for Anzhi Makhachkala, addressed a few words of support for Khabib Allakhverdiev, a native of Dagestan, which capital is Makhachkala.
“I have never boxed myself but I do love various athletics, and prizefighting is no exception. I wish to address a few warm words for Khabib Allakhverdiev. I like to watch his fights. I’m not sure I’ll have a chance to catch his next outing but I’ll try for sure. I hope to see him live in the nearest future too”, said Roberto Carlos. Video of the Brazilian’s interview can be seen here.
Khabib Allakhverdiev (15-0, 6 KOs) battles WBA #9 Columbian light welterweight upset specialist Ignacio Mendoza (33-6-2, 21 KOs) in the main event of the evening. Two other featured bouts of the night will pit two Russian fighters of totally different experience against hard-nosed Jamaican veterans of the highest quality. Comebacking Russian cruiserweight Grigory Drozd (33-1, 23 KOs) fights former WBA light heavyweight interim champion Richard Hall (30-8, 28 KOs) in a non-title ten-rounder, while 29-year old former amateur standout Sergey Rozhnov makes his ambitious debut over six rounds against former WBA world title challenger Owen beck (29-9, 20 KOs), who is still dangerous despite losing his last six fights.
Eduard Troyanovskiy (9-0, 7 KOs) is matched up with hard-hitting Russian Rustam Nugaev (22-6-1, 12 KOs) over eight, and also Oleg Liseev (2-1, 2 KOs) is scheduled for eight against durable Ukrainian Mykola Korenev (2-12).
Recently, Rozhnov and Drozd took part in an unusual presser to announce the show. They were supported by Alexander Povetkin’s chief sparring partner Justin Jones, who became the main figure in the entertainment. Both Drozd and Rozhnov, alongside Vladimir Hryunov, displayed some playful tricks and surprises to heat up the audience.