While the majority of boxing communities around the world are slowly recovering from the pandemic which shook the planet in 2020, the Belarussian boxing scene is alive and well.
For the third straight time in just a bit more than a week, DiaMond Club in Minsk hosted world boxing, with mostly Russian fighters taking their part. Al Siesta and his Belarussian partners from Sports Studio Top Gym promoted another event on July 30.
In the main event of the night, hard-hitting Ossetian Georgy Chelokhsaev (19-1-1, 12 KOs) just barely got past very determined former contender Aik "Kadj" Shakhnazaryan (23-4, 11 KOs), who has lost his last fight on an injury.
Shorter but more aggressive Shakhnazaryan pressed the action from the get go. Chelokhsaev was able to control distance in the opening rounds but after the first third of the fight Aik started to drill Georgy with well-timed punches on the inside exchanges.
Chelokhsaev dealt his own level of damage, specifically with his smashing left hook and diligent body-punching. Rounds were close, as neither boxer could claim the upper-hand, and both combatants ended the dog fight with fireworks, exchanging with determination up to the final bell.
At the end, two judges had it for Chelokhsaev: 96-95 and 97-94, while the third awarded it to the Russian Armenian: 96-95. Thus, Georgy Chelokhsaev banked a split decision win.
In a co-main event, veteran combatant Andrey Sirotkin, 35, improved his record to 18-1, 6 KOs, after a knockout victory over sliding Ukrainian Artem Karpets, who followed his career-opening 21 wins (6 inside the distance) with 15 straight losses.
Sirotkin was a bit better in the first three rounds but it wasn't a matter of skill but a matter of will.
Karpets just didn't want to put himself into a fight, meaning he wasn't going to win it. Then in the fourth, Sirotkin connected with a huge left bomb, which went a little bit low but was defined as a legal punch.
Karpets went down in pain and showed he was in no position to continue, thus making it a stoppage for Sirotkin.