By Alexey Sukachev
The scene is set for the upcoming mandatory defense of a highly touted light middleweight prospect Sergey Rabchenko (24-0, 18 KOs). The European 154lb champion will face tough-as-nails French contender and a bitter rival Cedric Vitu (36-2, 15 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round rematch on November 16 at the Sport Hall of a small Bulgarian city of Vraza.
Rabchenko’s EBU and WBC Silver titles will be at risk. The event will be staged co-jointly by Ricky Hatton’s “Hatton Promotion” in association with World Sport Promotion.
Rabchenko, 27, a notorious body puncher with prolific boxing skills, has acquired his belt with a dominant win over British veteran Ryan Rhodes in June 2012. His first defense came against Vitu, who posed huge problems in their Nov. ’12 affair. Rabchenko barely topped the Frenchman with a split decision – the win, which has also brought him a vacant WBC Silver title.
The talented Belarusian has since scored back-to-back knockouts in his most recent fights, stopping overmatched Italian Adriano Nicchi in March (KO 2) and then annihilating Georgian journeyman Gary Abajian (TKO 3) in July.
Vitu–on the other hand–fought just once since then, notching a decision win over rugged German Andrey Riemer in April.
“Sergey is presently in deep preparations for the upcoming challenge. He is working out with conditioning guru Nicolas Riffard in the French city of Valence. He has been improving his physical shape for four weeks already. On Satuday he is going back to Hyde to conduct his next six weeks of training under the guidance of Ricky Hatton”, says his advisor and representative Philippe Fondu. “He will be very well prepared on Nov. 16."
The chief support bout of the evening will see EBU-EE title defense of undefeated middleweight Vitaliy Kopylenko (21-0, 12 KOs). EBU #6 Kopylenko will risk his External European title (for EBU competitors outside of the European Union) against Belarussian veteran Sergey Khomitskiy (28-9-2, 11 KOs). The Swiss-based Ukrainian Kopylenko is listed at BoxRec fighting this coming Saturday against Nicaraguan Wilmer Gonzalez (17-10-1, 11 KOs) in Riazzino. Former Russian, Belarussian, WBO A/P and WBC CISBB 160lb beltholder Khomitskiy, 39, is best known for his upset stoppage win over well-known British fighter Jamie Moore in April 2010. He has also got a draw against undefeated Swiss Yves Studer in August 2011 but then was outpointed by aforementioned Rhodes three months later. He is undefeated since.
Also, rising Belarussian light welterweight star Kirill “Mad Bee” Relikh (15-0, 13 KOs), 23, takes on local competitor Chrisian Dochev (6-11, 2 KOs) over eight. Dochev was stopped just twice before but he will be considered very lucky to last the distance against a young kayo artist. Relikh is 5-0 this year, with all of his wins coming inside five rounds with painful and damaging knockouts.
Ricardo Silva (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Rakhim Mingaleev (27-66-2, 8 KOs) – 6 rounds, welterweights
Ryan Burnett (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA – 6 rounds, bantamweights
Sonny Upton (pro debut) vs. TBA – 6 rounds, lightweights