By Alexey Sukachev
Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia - Former four division world champion Roy Jones Jr. (57-8, 40KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf (17-4-1, 8KOs) of France to acquire Germnay's version of the World Boxing Union cruiserweight title.
Scores were 120-108, 120-107, 118-111 in a bout that carried "Winner Take All" stipulations, where the winner received all of the purse money.
Showing some glimpses of his former greatness, Jones closed 2013 with a convincing win over the overmatched (or, maybe, badly faded) Benmakhlouf.
The pre-fight entourage peaked in the Algerian boxer Benmakhlouf, who was earlier presented as a French fighter, ignoring the French national anthem during the initial announcement. Bemakhlouf later proved to be angered enough to debate with the referee Ingo Barrabas in a number of rounds, to mimic Jones' showboating (with an angry core of his own) and to use some dirty tricks in the ring.
The Algerian, however, failed to back up his words with corresponding skills and power. He tried to stalk Jones but, fighting for the first time in 21 months, he was unable to chase him appropriately. His speed wasn't enough to trouble Jones whenever he cornered him or pinned him to the ropes. Jones also showed his trademark showboating, angering a very emotional Benmakhlouf time and time again.
Roy's best round was the third, when he connected with a short but powerful left hook early on to shake the Algerian hard. Moments later Zine Eddine was forced to take a knee, being issued a count. Benmakhlouf was also wobbled at the end of the round. Rounds four and five were also in Jones Jr's favor but Benmakhlouf had some mild success in the next two rounds. After a short break Jones got back to work in the eighth round. He was often found in corners but the Algerian couldn't land any significant punches and hit air instead of the legend's head.
Roy Jones looked like a shell of his former self in the closing rounds but it was more than enough to frustrate and to outbox his limited opponent. Benmakhlouf fought to the end and had a good round twelve but it was too little, too late. BoxingScene had it 117-110.
Jones, once known as the "most belted fighter (most titles) in boxing history", is now the proud owner of a WBU cruiserweight title. This is not the same World Boxing Union, which was regularly contested in the 1990's but rather the version of a German sanctioning body, one of at least two with the same name and probably the most recognized.
Lightweight terror Eduard Troyanovskiy continued his unique series of the second-round kayos, having scored his fifth straight with just 13 seconds remaining in the session. The Russian slugger immediately started to connect with heavy leather to the head of Tanzanian import Allan Kamote (23-7-4, 13 KOs). The latter was brave but his chin couldn't match his toughness. Kamote was dropped late into the first with the counter right hand. WBA #4 Russian floored him again at the end of the first minute of the second round. The Tanzanian continued to fight back with zeal but his luck wasn't in active mode, when Troyanovskiy (17-0, 14 KOs) connected with yet another right hand, which twisted Kamote around, got him down and prompted referee Alexander Kalinkin to stop the bout immediately. The Russian boxer is in strong need of better opponents.
Super middleweight and light heavyweight Russian gatekeeper Konstantin Piternov (15-5, 6 KOs) continued his roller coaster with a disappointing loss to Sergey Ekimov (8-0, 3 KOs) in two rounds. Ekimov, 28, who was fighting for the second time after a two-year break, was better in the first. Early into the second he landed a hard left jab, which opened a deep cut on the bridge of Piternov's nose. After a short examination, referee Evgueny Gorstkov waved this fight off. Piternov finished this year on a negative note, going just 2-3 in 2013.
Hard-hitting Russian middleweight Fedor Chudinov (9-0, 7 KOs), the younger brother of Dmitry Chudinov, continued his Russian homecoming with a classy third-round stoppage of Tanzanian Francis Cheka (30-8-1, 16 KOs). Chudinov, 26, was in Cheka's face from the opening bell. He pressed forward, landing heavy accurate punches. The Tanzanian, who defeated American import Phil Williams in his last fight, did his best to survive the onslaught but his high guard and his tight block wasn't that tight and that high to prevent Chudinov from dealing damage. Cheka spent a majority of the time, standing in the corner, getting punished, throwing little in return. There were no knockdowns, but the corner of the Tanzanian saw enough and retired their fighter after three complete rounds.
In a heated encounter between representatives of two enemy nations - Armenia and Azerbaijan - local Armenian Sevak Bagdasaryan (0-2) looked like the better fighter against former amateur standout Ramal Amanov (4-0) but was held to a controversial split decision loss in four rounds. There was no animosity between the boxers but Amanov simply didn't box but rather ran from his Armenian counterpart, throwing very few jabs (not much power punches either). Azerbaijani got better in the third but was outfought again in the fourth. BoxingScene had it 39-38 - for Bagdasaryan.
Ruslan Semenov's recent streak of upset wins has been put to a halt by the recent debutant Ily Rolgeyzer (2-0), who scored a close unanimous decision over veteran journeyman in a six-round cruiserweight fight. "Tyson" Semenov (now 5-26-1, 3 KOs) started fast, throwing big looping shots to the head of his towering opponent. Rolgeyzer struggled to keep his distance for the first three rounds, getting hit more often than Semenov. However, as the time passed by, Rolgeyzer's jab began more and more effective, peppering Tyson's face since the start of the fourth. Much shorter Semenov got tired, decreased his efficiency and was soundly outboxed in the last three stanzas. No scores were announced but BoxingScene had it 57-57 - a draw.