There’s no better way to end this year with a bang than to showcase some of the nation’s brightest talent within one nicely packed card.
Sergey Strelkov of Dynamo Boxing Promotions is about to do just that on December 24 at the legendary “Krilya Sovetov” sports arena in the central part of Moscow.
Strelkov will be aided by several other promotional groups, which will have their fighters as parts of the 14-fight huge Friday card. The entire show will be aired live by the MatchTV channel.
“Krilya Sovetov” – a small and a bit dilapidated but always a boxing-friendly venue – for years had been one of the hotbeds of Soviet boxing and one of the shrines of the old Soviet boxing school, which both were entirely amateur. One can hardly find a better place to present the new wave of pugilistic talent, coming from the very heights of Olympic boxing into the pro game.
Khariton Agrba (6-0, 3 KOs), an educated southpaw switch-hitter with underrated firepower, will be showcased in the main event. Agrba, 26, faces a twenty-one-year veteran Petr Petrov (42-6-2, 23 KOs), who – at the age of 38 – will fight at his original homeland for the very first time as a pro. A vacant IBF European light welterweight title is about to be contested over ten rounds.
Former amateur standout Agrba kicked off his pro career in December 2019 with a solid decision over 7-0-1 Shokhrukh Abdiev. He hasn’t looked back ever since, winning all of the rounds throughout his young pro career. The only setback for the Abkhazia-born fighter came in June of this year, when he was forced to withdraw from a bout due to health issues. Those issues are left behind for now.
The Spain-based and Spain-polished Petr Petrov of Ryazan, Russia, debuted as a pro at a tender age of 17, when Khariton was just five years old. Petrov, nicknamed Czar, overcame early career setbacks to establish himself as a fringe contender in the lightweight and light welterweight division by the end of the 00’s.
Petrov’s biggest single achievement was winning 2014 ESPN-powered Boxcino 135lb tourney. He has also scored wins over several solid opponents, including former WBC super featherweight titlist Gamaliel Diaz. The Russian Spaniard twice challenged for major titles, losing on a kayo to Argentinean knockout artist Marcos Maidana in 2011 for the WBA light welterweight title and on points to then-WBO champion Terry Flanagan in 2017.
A true star will be showcased in a co-main event. 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Albert Batyrgaziev (4-0, 4 KOs) will make his fifth ring appearance and the second one since winning in Tokyo. The aggressive and spirited southpaw slugger will clash against dangerous Venezuelan veteran Franklin Manzanilla (20-7-2, 19 KOs) for a vacant IBF International featherweight title.
Batyrgaziev, 23, debuted as a pro in July of 2020 but also retained his amateur opportunities, which finally led him to the Olympic gold medal. Batyrgaziev decisioned fellow rookie prizefighter Duke Ragan in the finals. As a pro, the fighter, nicknamed ALBA, won all of his fights inside the distance – albeit against limited opposition. Manzanilla, 33, will present an entirely different quality of battle tests for the promising Russian.
The Venezuelan, who fought all over the Latin America, got his biggest win in 2018, stopping dangerous Mexican Julio Ceja within four rounds. Which led to the only title fight of his career so far – a unanimous decision loss to WBC 122lb champion Rey Vargas almost a year later. Manzanilla scored all but one of his twenty wins inside the scheduled distance.
The most accomplished fighter on the card has more wins than all other feature prospects combined. Maxim Vlasov (45-4, 26 KOs), a perennial contender in several neighboring weight classes, will make his return to the ring eight months after his close (and some say – controversial) loss to Joe Smith Jr. in a bid for a vacant WBO Light heavyweight title. Vlasov, 35, had scored three consecutive wins in his new/old weight class before that.
WBO #4 rated 175lber will test his skills against an upset-minded Dominican Felix Valera (19-4, 16 KOs), a former holder of the WBA interim title in the very same weight class. Valera, 33, started his career with twelve consecutive knockouts, ten of them coming in the very first round. Then he scored his biggest win – a road split decision over 33-1 Stas Kashtanov in Russia. He lost the title nine months after that, being dominated to a wide unanimous decision by Dmitry Bivol in Bivol’s first attempt at a portion of the WBA title.
Arguably, the most awaited ring appearance belongs to cruiserweight Muslim Gadzhimagomedov. A versatile amateur star will make his pro debut against an opponent to be named soon. Towering Gazdhimagomedov, 24, is a silver medalist of the Tokyo Olympics, losing only to legendary Cuban performer Julio Cesar La Cruz. He is also a gold medalist of the 2019 World amateur championship. Testing Muslim will be Petr Budiszewski (4-0, 2 KOs) of Poland. The bout is scheduled for six rounds.
A number of both local and international talent will see action in the undercard of the event.
Evgueny Pavlov (5-0, 4 KOs), the 22-year-old prodigy from Kazakhstan, will risk his record against Venezuelan import Edixon Perez (24-7, 18 KOs), a well-travelled fighter, who has competed all across the Americas but who has never fought in the Old World. WBA #7 rated super bantamweight Pavlov is on a fast track to his first major title challenge. The fight is penciled for eight rounds.
WBA #12 ranked super middleweight Bek Nurmaganbet (5-0, 3 KOs) also of Kazakhstan, will see action versus Argentinean veteran Rolando Wenceslao Mansilla (17-9-4, 7 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder. Nurmaganbet, 23, is an equally talented and fast rising prospect to Pavlov.
One fighter, who has been sharing one camp with Batyrgaziev, will also see action in the card. Erdenebatyn Tsendbaatar, a two-time Olympian from Mongolian and 2019 WC bronze medalist, will be in for tough against undefeated but untested slugger Aslan Kabisov (7-0, 4 KOs). Ironically, Tsendbaatar (2-0, 1 KOs) lost to Batyrgaziev in the quarterfinal of the Tokyo Olympics. It’s also an eight-rounder.
Russia-based Cuban cruiserweight prospect Lenar Perez (9-0, 9 KOs) will look to erase bad memories of his fight versus Igor Vilchitskiy against tough-and-ready Kureysh Sagov (5-1, 2 KOs). Perez was trailing badly on the judges’ scorecard when he stopped Vilchitsky with a body punch exactly a year ago. The fight is scheduled for eight.
In another eight-rounder, heavyweight stylist Vladimir Ivanov (5-0, 4 KOs) will be pit against Alexander Zubkov (5-4, 5 KOs), who has just given Yaroslav Doronichev a run for his money in Ekaterinburg.
Also on the card, is another Kazakh prospect – heavyweight Danila Semenov (4-0, 2 KOs). He is set to fight Pablo Oscar Natalio Farias of Argentina over six. Farias, 33, is best known for his kayo loss to King Arthur Abraham almost ten years ago.
Nachyn Chambaldoo (4-0-1, 2 KOs) vs. TBA – 8 rounds, lightweights
Biyarslan Biyasrlanov (debut) vs. Alexey Skomorokha (0-2) – 6 rounds, welterweights
Akhmed Abdulkadirov (debut) vs. Khikmet Garaev (debut) – 6 rounds, welterweights
Sharaputdin Ataev (debut) vs. TBA – 4 rounds, cruiserweights