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Russian News: Mamontov, Novikov, Mikhailenko, Nugaev

By Alexey Sukachev and Evgueny Solodov (ringside)

Three minor events have been staged this week in Russia. Nothing serious but two regional titles were at stake in two different and one big competition got finally over after almost nine months of fighting.

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On Wednesday, February 23, which is Defender of the Fatherland Day (national military holiday), formerly known as Red Army Day, Ural Boxing Promotions got back to their Chelyabinsk citadel with a tiny but nice-packed little event, organized by matchmaker Alexey Vasilyev.

In the main fight of the night, 23-year old Russian prospect Anton “The Pick Hammer” Novikov (20-0, 7 KOs) continued his transformation into a world-class welterweight contender with the seventh round TKO over Australian import Steve Maxwell (9-5, 6 KOs). Novikov, a busy hitter with underrated technique and toughness, started his career as welterweight, and then moved all way up to the middleweight division before gradually shrinking down back to 147 lbs. Known as a light puncher at middleweight limit Novikov turned out to be quite dangerous at lower weight limit. Maxwell, who showed tremendous heart during the contest, was hurt in rounds one and three and then got stopped helpless on the ropes in the seventh round by referee Predrag Aleksic. Novikov acquired Maxwell’s WBC Asian Boxing Council welterweight belt after this victory.

Also victorious was rising light welterweight Aslanbek Kozaev (15-0, 5 KOs) who left no chances to Tanzanian journeyman Pascal Kimaru Bruno (15-14-3, 4 KOs). Kozaev put his opponent down in the fifth and dominated the rest of the way to three identical shutout scores: 80-71. Kozaev is tremendously active this year getting his already third win in less than two months. Both Kozaev and Novikov also got wins less than four weeks ago in Chicago, Illinois.

Finally, 18-year old junior welterweight Konstantin Ponomarev achieved his most impressive result in the short career with the fourth-round stoppage of capable Victor Izhak (3-3-1, 2 KOs). It was also his second win this year.

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Promoter Kira Plotnikova arranged a small but curious little show in Nefteyugansk, Russia. There were just three fights in the card but all three were quite interesting.

The main event was a final of a nine-month marathon, recently re-named as the SuperCup. It was previously known as the International Kostya Tszyu Cup and it is being staged on an annual basis. 2010 SuperCup started in May with eight four-rounders to determine quarter-finalists, continued in September with four six-rounders and in December with eight-round semifinals.

The final was scheduled for ten rounds and saw Titov-promoted Dmitry Mikhailenko (10-0, 3 KOs) coming out as a winner after the eighth-round TKO over sensational 2010 debutant Alexey Glukhov (now 3-1, 1 KO). 21-year old Glukhov debuted in the first stage of the tournament and sensationally upset world-ranked lightweight Dmitry Ganiev (12-0-1, 5 KOs at the time) in the quarterfinal albeit due to a foot injury of the latter. He later knocked out Ukrainian Fedor Mushtranov in the semifinal. Mikhailenko’s road to the recognition was way smoother but it evolved into a highway just in time. More experienced 24-year old dominated Glukhov all the way until the end of the eighth round when Glukhov took a knee after steady punishment and was counted out at 2:35. Mikhailenko is the 2010 SuperCup owner.

In the main support of the night, dangerous lightweight Rustam Nugaev (21-5-1, 12 KOs) came back to the ring after more than a year and a half of hiatus to shut out Kenyan Peter Oluoch (10-3-2, 6 KOs) on all judges’ scorecards with identical margins: 80-72. Nugaev is infamous for a ring tragedy in summer 2005 when his opponent Martin Sanchez died after being stopped by Rustam’s heavy punishment.  However, Nugaev, a young and modest man, is also a good grinder and quite a puncher which was proved by his kayo wins over Jose Izquierdo, Justin Juuko, Anthony Mora and Luis Arceo just to name a few.

Finally, welterweight Maxim Smirnov (8-3-2, 4 KOs) knocked out Uzbek Mamasoli Kimsanbayev (11-6, 4 KOs) at 1:12 of the seventh round in another undercard contest.

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Sergey Stepkin of Union Boxing Management opened 2011 boxing season in Russian capital with a seven-fight pugilistic card which saw a vacant national title at stake in its featured bout. The entire show was held at legendary “Krilya Sovetov” sports arena, a Soviet Mecca of boxing, in the very centre of Moscow.

In the only title fight of the evening, unheralded Barnaul policeman Pavel Mamontov (4-1-1, no KOs) got his biggest career victory so far and seized a vacant Russian 154lb belt after an upset win over experienced journeyman Robert Dasoyan (15-8-4, 5 KOs) of Vanadzor, Armenia. The fellow-townsman of popular bantamweight powerhouse Vic Darchinyan is best known for his five-fight series (two wins, two losses and a draw) versus Carl Cockerham, two spirited losses to Enrique Ornelas and KO 2 defeat to future middleweight king Kelly Pavlik. Dasoyan took seven years off after the last setback before coming back in 2009.

This time Dasoyan was nowhere near as good as he was on his best nights. Soft and slow he was a target for Mamontov’s jab and a sneaky right hand. Dasoyan lost the first two rounds and was slightly wobbled a couple of time after big overhand rights by the Barnaul native. He also lost rounds three and four before mounting a relative comeback in the next couple of stanzas. But from round seven it was once again only Pavel in the ring. He was way better at the distance and wisely clinched with arguably better-punching and bigger Dasoyan on his way in. The Armenian fighter had even tried some showboating but to no avail. At the end, all three judges gave a decision to the new Russian light middleweight champion Pavel Mamontov: 98-93 (Evgueny Gorstkov), 99-91 (Baban Nadyrov) and 97-95 (Vladimir Nazarov). BoxingScene saw it 98-92 – also for Mamontov. Referee was Alexander Kalinkin.

There were five more boxing matches on the card. Notably, two undefeated prospects Vusal Aliev (6-0, 3 KOs) and Ruslan Khayrtdinov (9-0, 3 KOs) got their next victories.

Below are the technical results:

154 lbs: Vusal Aliyev (6-0, 3 KOs) TKO 3 Vadim Peshekhonov (1-6, 1 KO). Referee was Evgueny Gorstkov. Time was 1:39. There were no knockdowns. Notably, promoter of the event Sergey Stepkin also fought Vadim Peshekhonov and outpointed him unanimously over six almost nine years ago.

147 lbs: Ruslan Khayrtdinov (9-0, 3 KOs) UD 6 Alexander Ivakhnov (2-2). Referee was Evgueny Gorstkov. Scores were: 77-74 (Baban Nadyrov), 78-74 (Alexander Kalinkin) and 80-73 (Vladimir Nazarov). Ivakhnov was deducted a point in round three for continuous spitting off his mouthpiece.

130 lbs: Ruslan Berchuk (3-1, 1 KO) UD 6 Kazbek Shebzukhov (4-1-1, 3 KOs). Referee was Baban Nadyrov. Evgueny Gorstkov, Alexander Kalinkin and Vladimir Nazarov – all scored it 59-55 – for Berchuk.

160 lbs: Mikhail Rysin (1-9) UD 6 Sergey Starkov (16-57-2, 2 KOs). Referee was Alexander Kalinkin. Scorecards: 60-54 (Baban Nadyrov and Evgueny Gorstkov) and 59-55 (Vladimir Nazarov)

115 lbs: Raud Aghayev (2-1, 1 KO) TKO 3 Ravil Shalagin (0-10-1). Referee was Baban Nadyrov.

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