By Alexey Sukachev
Krasnodar, Russia - In a very sad, unnecessary and hardly watchable fight between two very shot and faded "has beens", ex-WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev (39-7, 28 KOs) scored a forgettable ten-round unanimous decision over the "Brixton Bomber" Danny Williams (44-19, 33 KOs). No scores were declared by the ring announcer, and BoxingScene had it a draw - 95-95.
Williams, 40, had lost his last eight in one-sided fashion, yet he has proven to be a formidable opponent for the Big O - a clear sign of diminished skills of both combatants. Maskaev, 44, extremely slow but still willing was trying to be an aggressor but just couldn't pull off the trigger any more. His punches were very slow and he looked fatigued after just four rounds. Williams did better but his shaky chin was trembling, and his stiff legs were wobbling after each of extremely rare clean punches by Maskaev.
There were many clinches, multiple low blows by both and nothing but a hard work of two aging spen veterans to earn a bit more money prior inevitable retirement. The only good thing about this certain contest is that Maskaev's farewell could be seen in the nearest future as it would be very hard to find more shot (and celebrated at the same time) opponents, he could risk his "comeback" against. On a sad note, Williams will undoubtedly go on with fighting - maybe even claiming he was robbed against a former champion.
In a pugilistic extravaganza, fired up by the fighters' character, Fedor "Mr. Knockout" Papazov (14-0, 9 KOs) scored a very hard-fought victory over tough Argentinean gatekeeper Sergio Javier Escobar (25-20-3, 10 KOs) in ten spirited rounds. Scores were: 99-90 (twice) and 99-93 - for Papazov, who captured a vacant WBC Baltic lightweight title.
Papazov, a former amateur boxer for Greece, started confidently, trying to showcase his frenetic power. But Escobar, his deceiving record aside, wasn't there to be taken out easily. Nevertheless, Papazov pressed forward with multi-punch combinations, while the Argentinean tried to weather the storm. He survived the onslaught in the first two rounds and began to fight back in the fourth. Late in the fifth, his luck ended momentarily after a huge counter left hook to the chin that put him down hard to the canvas. Escobar got through the fifth but took the sixth off to recover his senses. Papazov began to show signs of fatigue in the seventh, and Escobar marched forward to catch Papazov in heated exchanges. The Russian Greek stood his ground to produce fireworks. The last round thrilled the crowd, presenting the witnesses with action to be remembered long after the fight actually ended. BoxingScene had it 97-92 - for Fedor Papazov in a crowd-pleasing affair.
Russian welterweight champion David Avanesyan (16-1-1, 9 KOs) scored a frightening stoppage of Argentinean Carlos Leonardo Herrera (24-6, 10 KOs) in the second round to acquire a vacant WBC Baltic 147lb title - one, which can hardly be attributed both to the Russia-ased Armenian and his transcontinental opponent.
Herrera, who was earlier stopped in one by Canelo Alvarez, was no match to a much better local battler. Avanesyan combined punching power with hand and foot speed to completely dominate his foe. Herrera tried to bully the Russian Armenian in the second round and paid a dear price. Firstly he was caught with a counter right hook by the local southpaw at the ropes. Then, moments later, Avanesyan landed a multi-punch combination with a finishing right hook, which sent Herrera crushing down and out cold. Several worrying minutes had passed until Herrera showed signs of consciousness before being taken out on stretcher.
Aik "Humanoid" Shakhnazarian (9-0, 2 KOs) made a huge step up in class and beat tough Uzbek opponent Behzod Nabiyev (22-6-1, 16 KOs) in ten hard-fought rounds. Nabiyev, who has recently tested undefeated Thai Teerachai Kratingdaenggym and put him on the brink of defeat before being held to a dubious decision loss, was an aggressor all the way, but Shakhnazarian used his feet to avoid Nabiyev's heavy punches.
Aik utilized a right uppercut to trouble Nabiyev time and again throughout the entire fight, while the Uzbek did well with his stinging left hooks, some of them dealing their share of damage to the Russian youngster. Shakhnazarian increased tempo in the closing rounds and was close to stop the Uzbek inside the scheduled distance but Nabiyev used all his experience to last till the final bell. Behzod was also deducted a point for continuous spitting of his mouthpiece. All three judges scored the bout unanimously for Shakhnazarian. BoxingScene also had it 97-92 - for the Humanoid.
Off-TV Results (Details - rounds&scores - have not yet been reported for all fights of the non-televised part of the card):
WBC #3, IBF #7 and WBO #12 ranked super middleweight Maxim Vlasov (27-1, 13 KOs) continued his way up to the title fight with a convincing kayo over Ukrainian Artiom Red'ko (20-3-3, 11 KO). Vlasov, 27, got the job done with a big right hand. Maxim will be back to the ring in a month (on Dec. 5) against American Maxell Taylor (18-5-1, 8 KOs) in Costa Meza, California.
Uzbek veteran Sherzod Husanov (18-0-1, 8 KOs) got a technical decision win over Argentinean import Amilcar Edgardo Funes Melian (22-14, 17 KOs). The fight was stopped due to a bad cut, suffered by Melian.
Rising middleweight Felix Amoev (7-1, 5 KOs) stopped Estonian Sergey Melis (22-14, 8 KOs) in one of the later rounds.
Recent debutant Ruslan Faifer (2-0, 1 KOs) dropped Ukrainian no-hoper Valentyn Trostyanchuk (0-8) several times en route to the third-round TKO over a fighter, who is yet to hear the final bell.