by Alexey Sukachev
Frankfurt, Germany - Russian cruiserweight star Alexander Alekseev (23-2, 20 KOs) has finally proven that he has enough guts to support his extraordinary mastery by winning the most prestigious title in his career to date. Being matched hard, the 30-year old fighter, who was ranked #6 by the WBO, #10 by the WBC and #12 by the WBA coming into his Slavic encounter with ultra durable Serbian Enad Licina (now 21-4, with 11 KOs), acquired the vacant European cruiserweight belt by beating his opponent in style over twelve hard-fought rounds.
Lankier Alekseev was the ring master from round one. His defense was usually weak giving Licina a variety of chances, which weren't realized by the defensive-minded Serb. But his ring generalship and his activity, combined with his punch output, were crucial in determining the winner. Alekseev was specifically effective on the outside, where his long arms did the most damage. Licina took Alekseev's punches well and felt comfortable on the ropes, where he landed series of short hooks and uppercuts.
At the end of the day, it was Alekseev's activity, desire and decision to take punches and soak them up, which allowed him to overcome Licina's hard resistance. He also made a bloody mask of the Serb's face but he himself was marked up as well.
After all. all three judges saw it unanimously: Erkki Meronen - 118-110, Jean-Francois Toupin - 118-112, and Terry O'Connor - 116-112. Licina was rated #5 by the IBF, #8 by the WBA, #11 by the WBO and #16 by the WBC.