By Alexey Sukachev
Donbass Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine - Hometown here Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-0, 21KOs) stopped Venezuelan challenger Marco Avendaño (30-8-1) in the sixth round to retain his WBA welterweight title for the third time.
This fight wasn't a walk in the park for the Ukrainian champion. Avendano, sensing this was his last shot for international glory, gave it his all and was able to mark Senchenko's face and also to induce a bad cut after an accidental headbutt before being waved off by referee Steve Smoger in what seemed to be a bit of premature stoppage. Avendano was ranked #13 by the WBA.
In a complete shocker, previously undefeated local junior welterweight Vladimir Kravets (24-1, 15 KOs) was sensationally destroyed in a single round by Columbian slugger Ignacio "Nacho" Mendoza (31-6-2, 20 KOs). Kravets was ranked #3 by the WBA, coming into this fight, and the vacant WBA international title was at stake in this fight. Mendoza floored Kravets three times in order to get a deserved victory.
In a pitch battle of two elite super middleweights, 27-year old local boxer-puncher Stanislav (Stas) Kashtanov (28-1, 15 KOs) delivered probably the best performance (so far) of his lengthy career and... failed to become the new WBA "regular" super middleweight titleholder after a gutsy and courageous performance against the former champion (and now the reigning champion) of the world Karoly Balzsay (23-3, 17 KOs) from Hungary.
Rounds were mostly close, but Kashtanov looked slightly like the more superior fighter over the 32-year old Hungarian, especially in close quarters with his murderous body punches. WBA #2 and WBA #9 Balzsay, on the other hand, summoned all of his considerable experience and all his boxing skills to outbox WBA #1 and WBO #9 Kashtanov during certain moments.
All three judges saw it for the guest: 115-113 (Pasquale Procopio), 115-114 (Stefano Carrozzo) and 116-111 (Jean-Louis Legland) - for Karoly Balzay, who is the new WBA champion.
Rising cruiserweight hopeful Yago Kiladze (17-0, 11 KOs), who is ranked #15 by the WBA, gave a painful lesson to Argentinean Daniel Alejandro Sanabria (13-2, 9 KOs) in a one-sided drubbing, which lasted a full distance only thanks to a fascinating durability of the Latino fighter, who was floored in the first stanza but gave his all to survive till the final bell. Scores were identical: 120-106 - all in favour of Kiladze.
WBA #14 featherweight Oleg Yefimovich (20-2, 11 KOs) scored a workmanlike and uneventful twelve-round decision over Chilean contender Christian Palma (17-6-1, 5 KOs) to retain his WBA I/C title. Scores were: 119-110 (twice) and 118-110 - for Yefimovich.
In the first title fight of the night, Ukrainian light middleweight champiom Artiom Karpets (14-0, 6 KOs) showed he hadn't a good punch to back up his ambitions but also showed an enormous grit and desire in the fourth-round stoppage of Rizvan Magomedov (7-7-1, 2 KOs). Karpets threw about fifty unanswered punches prompting the stoppage, although Magomedov was barely hurt.
WBA #7 and the EBA super middleweight champion Server Emurlayev (20-0, 8 KOs) made a short work of hugely overmatched Hungarian Norbert Nagy (10-8, 7 KOs) in two easy rounds. Nagy, all of his losses being inside the distance, was floored seven times before the referee said enough is enough.
Andrey Kudriavtsev (37-8, 16 KOs) UD 6 Kakhaber Avetisian (20-14-1, 6 KOs). Georgian Kakhaber Avetisian put up a good performance and gave veteran European contender Kudriavtsev fits throughout an entire contest. Scores, however, were surprisingly one-sided: 60-54 and 59-55 (twice) - for the local hero. Many witnesses at ringside felt it was a controversial desicion.
Artiom Redko (20-2-1, 11 KO) TKO 3 Vladimir Borovskiy (21-43-2, 10 KOs). The fight was stopped on a cut, suffered by the veteran journeyman.
Ruslan Schelev (7-0, 6 KOs) TKO 2 Antal Kubischek (15-26-5, 5 KOs). Slovakian Kubischek was decked thrice before the stoppage.
Olexander Yegorov (6-0-1, 4 KOs) TKO 2 Piotr Kotiazh (pro debutant, now 0-1). Kotiazh was floored with a liver punch in the first round and was finished off with the same shot in the second stanza.
Olexander Gryschuk (6-0, 1 KO) UD 6 Ravil Mukhamadiarov (8-40, 6 KOs)
Artiom Dalakian (pro debutant, now 1-0, 1 KO) TKO 3 Artur Oganesian (pro debutant, now 0-1)