By Alexey Sukachev
It wasn’t easy but Ruslan Fayfer has made it to the #2 position of the IBF cruiserweight ranks. This happened as part of a show on Friday night in Krasnodar, Russia, in the main event of a multi-fight cross-over card, which constituted of both MMA and pugilistic encounters.
Opposing IBF #8, WBA #9 and WBO #14 200lber of Dzhugba was former two-time world title challenger Junior Anthony Wright (16-3-1, 13 KOs) of Evanston, Illinois, who lost to IBO champion Rakhim Chakhkiev in May 2015 and to WBA “regular” titlist Beibut Shumenov a year later – both times via knockouts.
This time IBF #14 cruiserweight was game and sound stylistically, while Fayfer pressed the action to be more active of the two and to land harder blows. Fayfer (21-0, 14 KOs) was a bit better than his opponent in doing so, but the Russian fighter still has a lot to learn about prize fighting.
Nevertheless, all three judges had it unanimously for the still undefeated prospect: 117-111 (Pawel Kardynyi), 117-112 (Yuri Koptsev) and 116-112 (John Basile). Referee was Victor Panin, and the fight was said to be supervised by Mikhail Denisov.
In a co-main event, well-travelled Serbian upset artist Geard Ajetovic (30-16-1, 15 KOs) suffered another setback of his roller-coaster career, being taken to school by light-punching but talented Russian stylist Andrey Sirotkin.
Scores were: 100-90, 100-90, and 98-92 – for the Russian, who improves his record to 13-0, 3 KOs, and acquires a vacant WBO European super middleweight title in process. Ajetovic is still to be stopped after 49 conducted fights. Referee was Joerg Milke, and the bout was supervised by reportedly Igor Mazurov.