By Alexey Sukachev
After a lazy summer, Russian boxing is as active as it’s ever been. Having reached its pinnacle in a mega-fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin for a unified heavyweight championship on October 5, it continues to thrive in November. With two weeks left in the month, no less than six tiny but well-packed club shows are scheduled, while several more have already taken their places in late October and early November. Some plans and fixtures are reviewed below.
October 25, Podolsk
Russia-based Armenian Arman Ovsepian (14-3, 11 KOs) continued his road back after several heart-breaking defeats with a hard win over journeyman Vyacheslav Yakovenko (7-18-1, 3 KOs). Scores were: 60-54 (twice) and 58-57. Sergey Stepkin promoted the event, with two more bouts rounding up an undercard.
Ovsepyan, 27, is also known overseas for several wins but mostly – for a split decision loss to 2000 Sydney silver medalist Ricardo Williams Jr. in June 2011.
November 4, Krasnodar
Several results have been previously reported by BoxingScene as a part of the event’s online coverage as off-TV fights. Some of the reported results were incorrect due to misinterpretation and confusion of local witnesses as well as a sad tradition of Russian ring announcers not to announce actual scorecards. Here are the updated results of the show.
Oleg Maskaev (39-7, 28 KOs) UD 10 Danny Williams (44-19, 33 KOs). Scores: 98-92 (x3).
David Avanesyan (16-1-1, 9 KOs) KO 2 Carlos Leonardo Herrera (24-6, 10 KOs). Time: 1:46.
Aik Shakhnazaryan (9-0, 2 KOs) UD 10 Behzod Nabiyev (22-6-1, 16 KOs). Scores: 99-91, 100-90 and 100-89
Fedor Papazov (14-0, 9 KOs) UD 10 Sergio Javier Escobar (25-20-3, 19 KOs). Scores: 99-90 (x2) and 99-93
WBC #3, IBF #7 and WBO #12 super middleweight Maxim Vlasov (27-1, 13 KOs) made another step forward and stopped Ukrainian import Artiom Red’ko (20-3-3, 11 KOs) in six rounds. Vlasov dominated all the round before halting previously unstoppable Red’ko at 2:42 od the sixth.
Uzbek light middleweight Sherzod Husanov (18-0-1, 8 KOs), 2004 Olympian for his nation, scored a cut-induced technical decision over Argentinean Amilcar Edgardo Funes Mellian (22-14, 17 KOs). Scores were: 50-45 (twice) and 50-46 – at the time of stoppage.
Felix Amoev (7-1, 4 KOs) imposed a terrible beating on Estonian import Sergey Melis (22-14, 8 KOs). The latter was dropped down twice in the fifth, twice in the seventh and once in the eighth rounds but managed to last till the final bell. Scores were: 79-70 and 79-67 (twice).
Ruslan Faifer (2-0, 1 KO) put down Valentun Trostyanchuk four times in round two, before the latter was waved off at 1:45. The Ukrainian is now 0-8 and yet to hear the final bell.
November 4, St. Petersburg
Once a powerful promoter, now limited to regional competitions, Igor Shafer of Neva Glove continued to hone his latest pupils, helping them to win international contests at the Leningrad Youth Palace.
WBC #11 middleweight Andrey Meryasev (15-0, 11 KOs) continued his improvement with a convincing win over Argentinean veteran Sergio Jose Sanders (21-10-2, 12 KOs), outpointing him in a ten-rounder. Scores were: 100-90, 100-92 and 98-92. Sanders has a win over 26-0 Billy Facundo Godoy a year ago.
In another ten-rounder, Mexican super bantamweight Danny Flores (14-5-1, 8 KOs) was stopped in nine by rising super bantamweight Vladimir Tikhonov (10-0, 4 KOs).
November 15, Barnaul
We used to think in Russia, that Vladimir Hryunov stages only huge cards, filled-in with former stars, local stalwarts and multiple interim, regular and full-fledged titles. His events in Moscow (Lebedev vs. Jones in May, Klitschko vs. Povetkin in October), co-organized with a financial support of Andrey Ryabinskiy, were the biggest (and the best) nights of prizefighting in Russian boxing this year. However, the flamboyant promoter also promotes relatively small events with local heroes and minor titles at stake – like this one in a remote Altay city of Barnaul, near the Chinese border. He will associate with Petr Rubtsov of Accent Group to get the event going.
Headlining the show is the hometown boy and Russian light middleweight champion Pavel Mamontov (7-1-1, 1 KO), who will be pitted against Kazakh veteran Kanat Kartenbayev (10-6-2, 4 KOs) in a bid for a vacant PABA interim 154lb title. Kartenbayev is an experienced fighter, who has lost his last three, however. The bout is scheduled for twelve.
Four more ten-rounders will constitute a primary undercard of the show. Possibly the most important clash is one between rising prospect Fedor Chudinov (7-0, 6 KOs) and Frenchman Jimmy Colas (32-9, 13 KOs). Fedor, from a neighboring city of Bratsk, is a younger brother of world-rated middleweight Dmitry Chudinov. He has kicked off his career in the States in 2009, then took a two-year break and came back to Russia. His opponent, originally from Haiti, is a well-known European journeyman, who has fought (and lost) to a number of familiar names, including Lukas Konecny and Serhiy Dzinziruk. He is a two-time French national champion and he has never been stopped inside the distance. If this fight does take place, it should be a major step up in class for Chudinov, 26.
Hot blonde Svetlana Kulakova (8-0, 1 KO) will risk her recently acquired WBA interim lightweight title against rugged Kenyan import Florence Muthoni (8-2-1, 3 KOs). Muthoni is coming off a road draw with 12-1 German Jennifer Retzke in her latest fight.
WBA #4 lightweight Edurar Troyanovkisy (15-0, 12 KOs) looks to continue his series of fast knockouts (he has won his last three with second-round TKOs) against Kenyan Michael “Tyson” Odhiambo (11-4, 9 KOs). Considering the fact, Odhiambo is fighting for the first time outside Africa, it the Russian slugger can extend his impressive streak.
Finally, Armenian-born Russian super middleweight champion Karen Avetisyan (7-6-1, 3 KOs) faces Uzbek Bekzod Yunusov (6-2, 3 KOs) in a rematch of their June encounter, which ended closely in favour of Avetisyan – also in Barnaul.
Artem Merzlikin (2-0-1, 2 KOs) vs. Ruslan Sirazhev (1-1) – 6 rounds, middleweights
Alexander Gomon (pro debut) vs. Denis Kenzhegaliev (0-2) – 4 rounds, welterweights
Yuri Kashynskiy (pro debut) vs. Yerbol Zholdybayev (pro debut) – 4 rounds
The show is expected to be aired live by Russia 2 TV channel.
November 16, Podolsk
Pavel Popov and Dmitry Bogomolov of Podolsk Fighting League are going to stage an international match-up between Russian and Tanzanian fighters at Ivanhoe Country Club on Saturday night.
Leading the field is undefeated lightweight Roman Andreev (14-0, 11 KOs), who takes on Ramadhani Shauri (16-3-1, 9 KOs) for a vacant PABA 135lb title. Unbeaten bantamweight Nikolay Potapov will be tested by Nasibu Ramadhani (12-3, 5 KOs) over ten.
Russian middleweight champion Arif Magomedov (7-0, 5 KOs) will try to end his debuting year in style by putting out Thomas Mashali (9-1-1, 5 KOs). Magomedov is coming off the first round kayo over experienced Marat Khuzeev (20-7-1, 8 KOs) on Oct. 19 – the fight he has won his belt in.
Quite probably the most intriguing match-up of the night will be a showdown between well-travelled journeyman Ruslan Semenov (4-25-1, 2 KOs) and Alphonce Mchumiatumbo (10-1-1, 9 KOs) at the cruiserweight limit. Semenov’s record is deceiving – he is a better fighter than it suggests which was proved on Oct. 19 in a majority decision over 3-0 Murad Dalkhaev. The Tanzanian, on the other hand, has scored all of his wins in Africa, which proposes an even match-up.
Also, Konstantin Piternov (13-4, 4 KOs) will try to take his career back on track after three consecutive losses in an eight-round fight versus Varazdat Chernikov (5-1, 1 KO).
November 30, Pskov
Local promoter Igor Sudelainen revives careers of former contenders within his night of boxing in Pskov, his hometown. There will be six fights at the show, all but one featuring locally (and internationally) known fighters, whose careers stagnated a bit. Their opponents are unknown at the moment.
Leading the field is a former European champion and perennial contender Yuri Romanov of Belarus. He came into prominence during his first year as a pro, scoring upset stoppage wins over British favorites Steve Murray (21-1) and Bobbie Vanzie (24-1-1) in 2002/2003. Romanov won his EBU belt in November 2006 with a knockout of 31-0 Spaniard Juan Carlos Diaz Melero and then defended it thrice against prominent veterans Tontcho Tontchev, Stefano Zoff (ex-WBA titlist) and Jon Thaxton, gaining a #1 spot at the WBA ranks. However, his career fell into abyss soon after an ill-wised decision to sign with Don King. Romanov has fought just twice since April 2008, stopping 11-20 Darien Ford in 2011 and losing on a majority decision to 15-2 Jeremy Bryan in January 2013. Romanov is just 31 years of age with a record of 22-3, with 14 KOs.
Also on the card is a former WBO middleweight title challenger Gennady Martirosyan (23-3, 11 KOs), who has recently come back following two years of inactivity and decisioned 1-0 Omar Marabayev over six. Tajik welterweight Sherali “The Lion” Mamadaliev (17-2, 10 KOs) looks to continue his recent winning streak as well.
Thrilling up the local crowd will be Russian cruiserweight champion Andrey Knyazev (9-0, 4 Kos), who acquired his belt with the eighth-round stoppage of capable Vitaliy Mugunov (12-4, 1 KO) on Sep. 13. Rounding up the card are light middleweight Artur Akavov (8-1) and cruiserweight Sergey Gorokhov (1-1, 1 KO).
November 30, Ekaterinburg
Fresh off his stellar protégé’s recent success – Ruslan Provodnikov continued his American tour with the bang and (now) WBO light welterweight title – German Titov, his Russian co-promoter, is back to his local activities, alongside his son and matchmaker Alexey Titov.
On November 30, there will be three fights at the Rings arena. Firstly, Russian light heavyweight and former BBU 175lb champion Vasily Lepikhin (14-0, 7 KOs) looks to continue his streak of first-round kayos against experienced but shot veteran Alexey Varakin (28-18-3, 16 KOs), originally a heavyweight. Lepikhin, 28, has come back after a three-year long, injury-induced lay-off in April of this year. The bout is scheduled for eight rounds.
Also on the card is Belarussian featherweight Andrey Isaev (23-4, 7 KOs), who is taking on Suhrob Usmonov (4-11) over six. Another star of the show is Dmitry Mikhailenko (14-0, 5 KOs), who hasn’t fought for a year and a half.
November 30, Lyubertsy
A small satellite city of Lyubertsy will host a small but nice-packed little card at the Triumph Palace of Sports under the promotion of Alexander Polguy. Leading the field is cruiserweight kayo artist Dmitry Kudriashov (11-0, 11 KOs), who will be featured in a rough fight against Congolese action hero Zack Mwekassa (14-3, 13 KOs), known best for hidden fistic gems against Jozsef Nagy (6 knockdowns from both sides in a TKO 6 loss) and Paul Jeannete, and an upset TKO over world-rated South African Thabiso Mnchunu.
Super featherweight Evgueny Chuprakov (6-0, 2 KOs) can be featured against Ruslan Berchuk (7-3, 4 KOs) but his fight isn’t solidified over licensing issues. Finally, light middleweight Maksym Ponomarev (8-1) is set to face Alexey Kovalev (2-3, 1 KO) over six.