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Red Square Boxing Full Report: Wins, Losses, Scandals

By Alexey Sukachev

Red Square Boxing, organized by the Ural Boxing Promotions (promoter Evgueny Vainstein), has been successfully conducted near the walls of legendary Kremlin and at the bottom of St. Basil’s Cathedral, a true masterpiece of an Old Russian style of architecture with a strong taste of Western Renaissance. Eight fights had been proposed beforehand, but only seven of them have actually taken place at the aforementioned venue; the eighth and the last bout being relocated as a possible result of an ongoing conflict between the local federation and the WBC Baltic Sea branch of the World Boxing Council. An entire event was a vital part of the seventh Military-Sportive forum “Ready for Labour and Defense”.

It was an open-air csrd with free admission, which had been witnessed by numerous fans both ringside and around the central stage. Several well-known Russian promoters, including Sergey Stepkin (Union Boxing Management), Kirill Pchelnikov (KP&GT Boxing Promotions) and Vitaly Supichenko (Jab Promotions), also contributed to this tournament.

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In the main event, a heated fight between two highly underrated and respected Russian journeymen, Roman Seliverstov (13-8, 2 KOs) of Kolomna engaged into a tough collision with WBO European and PABA welterweight titleholder Alexey Evchenko (9-8-1, 5 KOs) from Chelyabinsk and successfully got the better of his durable opponent in twelve close rounds.

Seliverstov, 34, is best known for his victories over former world title challengers Cosme Rivera and Michel Trabant, but he has been inactive for almost a year and half and has just come back after this lengthy hiatus. His rustiness was visible at the beginning of the fight but Seliverstov chose not to follow his sick feelings but to fight through them with zeal. He bullied tough-as-nails Evchenko in close quarters and was smart enough to make steps back when his rival tried to retaliate. Seliverstov did a terrific job of throwing hard, nice-looking uppercuts and used his jab well to trouble Evchenko, whose hands were way too low. Kolomna native looked especially well in the midst of the fight, when he hit his counterpart time and again with some hard leather.

In later rounds Evchenko, 27, tried to mount a comeback and he had his moments in championship rounds but it wasn’t enough to derail Seliverstov and it wasn’t enough even to make this fight closer than it was. At the end, all three judges saw it unanimously for the new champion: 117-111 (Zoltan Enyedi), 117-112 (Evgueny Gorstkov) and 118-113 (Evgueny Moskalev). Referee was Nikolay Talalakin. PABA supervisor was Alan Kim, and WBO was presented by 1996 Atlanta gold medalist Istvan “Ko-Ko” Covacs. BoxingScene had it 116-112 – also for Seliverstov, who is a former Baltic Boxing Union welterweight champion.

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In the top supportive bout of the night, David Avanesyan (8-1, 2 KOs) successfully retained his Russian welterweight title with a spirited win over pressuring and previously undefeated Ruslan Khayrtdinov (9-1, 3 KOs). The fight was close but Pyatigorsk resident prevailed through effective and sharp counterpunching. Khayrtdinov, 27, wasn’t as smart as Seliverstov in keeping his opponent at bay and wasn’t too tricky to pose him irresolvable problems. Oppositely, 22-year old Russian Armenian was elusive and slick and didn’t leave his opponent with many chances to realize. After ten rounds, scores were: 96-94 (Roman Filimonov), 97-94 (Nikolay Talalakin) and 100-92 (Evgueny Moskalev). BoxingScene had it 96-93 – also for Avanesyan. Referee was Evgueny Gorstkov. Khayrtdinov was badly cut at the end, and he also wasn’t credited with a clean knockdown in round two.

In the third title fight of the show, 18-year old Konstantin “Talent” Ponomarev moved up to 10-0, with 5 KOs, after a convincing decision over durable Ukrainian Fedor Mushtranov (4-4, 2 KOs). Ponomarev was better in every aspect of the fight but only slightly in each certain department. However, while Mushtranov was bleeding horribly at the final bell, his opponent was almost unmarked. Official scoring was: 78-74 (Olena Pobyvailo) and 79-73 (Predrag Aleksic and Roman Filimonov). WBC vice-president Rex Walker supervised the fight, and Daniel Van de Wiele worked as the third man in the ring. BoxingScene scored the bout 78-74 – for Ponomarev.

Ossetia native Aslanbek Kozaev (17-0, 5 KOs) was forced to go a distance with durable Belarussian opponent Andrey Stoliarchuk (9-13-1, 1 KO). Kozaev was dominating the bout but Stoliarchuk cut him over his left eye and did everything to make it tough for the Russian. At the end scores were 100-90 (Roman Filimonov and Evgueny Moskalev) and 100-91 (Nikolay Talalakin) – for Kozaev.

Also, fan-friendly light welterweight Karen Tevosyan (18-3-3, 9 KOs) got back to boxing business with an inspiring win over durable trialhorse Vyacheslav Yakovenko (7-16-1, 3 KOs). Tevosyan dropped his foe in the second round and cruised to a lopsided decision across the boards: 80-71 (Talalakin, Gorstkov and Moskalev). Ruslan Provodnikov is the only person to stop Yakovenko.

Other results:

Vusal Aliyev (7-0, 4 KOs) TKO 2 Sherkhomil Rakhimov (1-4). Rakhimov was stopped on a cut.

Vladimir Nikolyan (1-0) MD 6 Ruslan Semenov (2-19-1, 2 KOs)

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Unfortunately, a nice-packed show was marred with a horrible dispute in the conclusion. It was when a walkout (yet a title) bout between WBC #9 ranked cruiserweight Alexander Kotlobay (20-2-1, 14 KOs) and his German opponent Alex Mogylewski (12-8, 8 KOs) was prevented from being held at Red Square and was relocated to KITEK fight gym in northern Moscow. Kotlobay, who is best known for a crushing defeat to Enzo Maccarinelli, non-surprisingly eliminated his overmatched opponent in two rounds of action to retain his WBC Baltic Sea title at 200 lbs. Mogylewski was down in the first and was stopped by referee Daniel Van de Wiele at 1:20 of the second round.

The fight was first proposed to take its place in Red Square Boxing. However, after the end of the main event, local police (militia) forced everyone to move out, closing the ringside, and local servicemen started to de-construct the ring. The scandal is most probably a result of an ongoing dispute between the WBC Baltic Sea championship committee and its president Mikhail Denisov and the Professional Boxing Federation of Russia. Forces involved also included the World Boxing Council itself and the Estonian Boxing Federation (President Alexander Karavayev), which gave its approval for both fighters to proceed further with the collision. The local federation (via its general secretary Igor Mazurov) has explicitly stated many times (both publicly and in written form), that PBFR wouldn’t sanction any fights for the “so-called” WBC Baltic Sea title, and that fighters, licensed by EBU members, aren’t eligible to take part in such contests.

Unsurprisingly, WBC vice-president Rex Walker had a slightly different point of view: “I’m completely confused with this situation. I have nothing to say about this aside of an obvious fact that there are visible tensions between a local sanctioning body and the world organization”. PBFR’s opinion can be read here (in Russian): http://pro-box.ru/sobitiya/news/22317.php .

This author’s position is that – to hell with politics! – such an dispute is just another way to give boxing another black eye. Whoever is guilty for that should be ashamed, and he/they should be profoundly punished for discrediting prizefighting yet another time.

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