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Eastern Europe Update: Churbanov, Perez, Tischenko, More

By Alexey Sukachev

Upset-minded former Russian light middleweight champion Maxim Churbanov almost pulled it off a week ago in Byalystok, Poland. Fighting in his opponent’s backyard, Churbanov used his vast experience and underrated boxing skills to frustrate Michal Syrowatka in a number of rounds but ultimate came short on a very narrow scorecard: 97-94, 97-94, and 94-96.

The fight was scheduled for ten rounds but there were no titles at stake. Churbanov – obviously not a puncher – is now 8-5-1, 0 KOs. Syrowatka, who is best known for his rivalries with fellow Pole Rafal Jackiewicz and Englishman Robbie Davis Junior, is now 21-3, 7 KOs. Dariusz Snarski promoted the event.


Cuban expatriates are common news all over the boxing globe. Those like Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara made names of themselves in the states. Some – like Mike Perez – choose Ireland for a better life. Yoan Pablo Hernandez became a champion in Germany.

Russia has also taken a part of the Cuban fame recently, signing – through the Ural Boxing Promotions – a contract with 6’5’’ Lenar Perez, a promising 21-year old cruiserweight from Holguin. Perez is already 6-0, 6 KOs, since November 2018. In his latest fight in Chelyabinsk, Perez dominated Uzbek pro debutant Akhmad Mamajonov, forcing the stoppage after five complete rounds.


Club boxing is back to Moscow this Monday, as Shamir Petrosyan of Shamo Boxing stages a multi-fight card with no less than fourteen fights at the Korston Hotel near the Gagarin Square. A couple of ten-rounders head the event, which involves mostly newbies and inexperienced boxers.

Cruiserweight Timur Sakulin (7-0, 3 KOs) leads the card. He will fight a well-travelled Uganda journeyman “Fabulous” Joey Vegas (21-17-3, 14 KOs), who will visit Russia for the sixth time over the last five years. Armenian Serezha Akopyan (4-0, 1 KO) clashes against Uzbek Khusan Yuldashev (7-8-1, 4 KOs) in what is expected to be a quick outing.

Also of note: former Kazakh heavyweight amateur standout Zhan Kossobutskiy (10-0, 9 KOs) continues his pro education versus 40-year old South African veteran Osborne Machimana (23-12-2, 17 KOs). And Azerbaijani light middleweight Roman Zakirov (5-0, 3 KOs) faces Tanzanian Twaha Kiduku (14-5-1, 7 KOs). Both fights are scheduled for six.


RCC Boxing Promotions, governed by well-known Uralic boxing enthusiast German Titov, will come back with a bang in Ekaterinburg, Russia, on November 2. A couple of minor title fights will headline another card, staged by the RCC, in support for their constantly growing team of boxers from all over the former USSR.

The star of the night is 2016 Rio gold medalist Evgueny Tischenko (5-0, 3 KOs), who takes on fellow undefeated but much more experienced Issa “The Bumblebee” Akberbayev (20-0, 15 KOs) of Kazakhstan in the first defense of his WBO Intercontinental cruiserweight crown. It’s to be noted that Akberbayev, almost 36 at the time of the fight, hasn’t fought as a pro for two years. Tischenko is placed #11 by the WBO.

WBC #12, IBF #14 and WBO #15 rated super featherweight Mukhammadkhuja Yakubov (14-0, 9 KOs) of Isfara, Tajikistan, will put his WBC International title at risk for the second time – now against hard-punching Panama-based Cuban Pablo Vicente (15-1, 13 KOs) in what should be a very crowd-pleasing affair. Vicente is rated #13 by the WBA and #14 by the WBC.

In a twelve-round fight without a title (as of now) but with some fanfare, long-time light middleweight contender and presently #8 by the WBA Magomed Kurbanov (17-0, 11 KOs) takes on Venezuelan former major title challenger Charlie Navarro (29-9, 22 KOs), who will be 40 at the time of the fight. Rated #10 by the WBA Navarro is presently on an impressive win streak, which includes back-to-back wins over 11-0 Damian Rodriguez and 22-0 Johan Gonzalez.

Former world title challenger Evgueny Chuprakov (21-1, 11 KOs) looks forward to continue his redeem in a ten-round domestic clash with his teammate Mark “Canelo” Urvanov (16-2-1, 8 KOs). Chuprakov, who was stopped in seven by Masayuki Ito for the IBF super featherweight title on the New Year’s Eve, is coming off a stoppage win against former two-time champion Alexander Munoz.

Also on the card is a bunch of prospects, which include Igor Adleiba (8-0, 3 KOs), Mukhammad Shekhov (6-0, 3 KOs) and Asror Vohidov (5-0, 3 KOs) among others.

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