By Alexey Sukachev
Eastern Europe fight scene had some time this past weekend with no less than five locally notable club shows being staged in Russia (two), Ukraine (two) and Poland (one), with several more fighters from Uzbekistan making waves in the Far East.
A2 Club, Saint Petersburg (Russia), September 8
Kazakh sportive it-girl Firuza Sharipova, known for her presence both in and out of the ring, retained her WIBA lightweight title for the first time since winning it from Milena Koleva a year ago by outlastin previously undefeated Yulia Kutsenko (7-1-1, 3 KOs) of Zhiguli, Russia, over ten hard-fought, gritty rounds of two-way action. Sharipova was just a notch better, getting a narrow unanimous decision: 96-94, 96-94, and 98-92. Sharipova is 9-1, with 4 KOs now, after losing to a renowned former amateur star Sofya Ochigava in her pro debut in May 2016.
In the show’s billed main event, an upset stroke, as previously undefeated local favorite Evgueny Terentiev was dropped hard in round one and failed to find his course in time, losing on a split to spirited Belarussian import Kirill Samodurov (12-2, 5 KOs). Scores were: 97-93, 97-93, and 94-95 – in favour of the guest fighter. Terentiev, who was looking for a sport in the WBC top-15 by the end of the year, drops down to 12-1, 7 KOs.
Another Kazakh Victor Kotochigov moved up to 7-0, 3 KOs, knocking out hapless Thai Patomsith Pathompothong AKA Aekkawee Kaewmanee (16-11, 6 KOs) at 1:30 of the fourth. The Thai was down once before that. Cruiserweight Ali Baloyev (7-0, 6 KOs) continued his winning streak, stopping debuting Gulhuseyn Agazade (0-1) in round two. Igor Korolev of the ABC Promotions staged the event.
Zhantil Omirbay (2-0, 2 KOs) KO 1 Ruslan Rodivich (15-27, 14 KOs). Time was 0:52.
Eduard Moskvichev (3-0-1, 1 KO) UD 8 Aliklych Kanbolatov (16-6, 7 KOs). Scores: 79-73, 79-73, 78-74
Alexander Kostromin (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 2 Sergey Beloshapkin (11-29-1, 3 KOs). Beloshapkin lost his 20th straight
Dilmurodjon Bozorboev (5-0, 2 KOs) TKO 2 Alexander Saltykov (12-53-3, 7 KOs)
Mukhit Amantayev (1-0) UD 4 Islomjon Khujaev (1-4). Scores: 39-37 (x3)
Vakhid Abbasov (2-0, 1 KOs) TKO 1 Alisher Ashurov (3-22). Ashurov down three times in round one.
Lev Tartenas (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Kirill Danilov (0-5)
Sakharov Square, Barnaul (Russia), September 9
Antonyan brother shone in a local open-air card, conducted by locally famous promoter Petr Rubtsov. In the main event, Vladimir Antonyan (6-1-1, 2 KOs) came back to a winning column after a painful loss to Kirill Samdurov in his most recent fight by dominating Murad Dalkhaev (7-13, 4 KOs) over eight. Scores were: 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73.
Meanwhile, his older brother Leon Antonyan (4-1-2, 2 KOs) also revived his career after a loss with the first-round beatdown of the Uzbek Otabek Ibragimov (6-3, 3 KOs). Time was 2:30.
Young middleweight Maxim Voshkov (7-0, 3 KOs) was tested mightily by capable local all-round veteran Karen Avetisyan (9-19-4, 4 KOs) and was forced to work really hard for a close split decision over still-dangerous opponent. Scores were: 76-75, 77-75, and 75-77, and a decisive factor was a knockdown, scored by Voshkov, in the sixth round.
Three more fights between the debutants rounded up the card.
Poznan (Poland), September 8
It was hard but satisfying at the end, as 2008 Ukrainian Olympian Oleksandr Stretsky (6-1-1, 3 KOs) avenged the sole loss of his career, albeit in a very close, not very spectacular but overly tactical fight against bitter rival Bartolomiej Grafka.
A year ago, Grafka upset previously unblemished Stretskiy over ten rounds for a minor Polish title with a split nod. This time Stretskiy looked better but not dominating again, edging Grafka with a majority decision also over ten: 97-93, 96-94, and 95-95. Grafka drops down to 21-31-3, 10 KOs.
Also, heavyweight Tomasz Duszak knocked out helpless and hapless Ukrainian Olexander Nesterenko (9-11, 4 KOs) at 1:10 of the first round.
Ewelina Pekalska (2-0) UD 6 Catalina Diaz (3-2). Scores: 60-54 x3
Dorota Norek (2-0) UD 4 Enerolisa De Leon (1-1-1). Scores: 40-36 x3
Damian Lawniczak (5-27-1) UD 4 Kamil Jaworek (5-10, 3 KOs). Scores: 39-37 x3
Marcin Kujda (1-0) UD 4 Likasz Kuc (1-6-1, 1 KO)
Polomolok (Philippines), September 9
2016 was a breakthrough year for Uzbekistan, whose representatives captured three gold medals at the Rio Summer Olympics, topping the team chart even despite zero wins in a female tournament. Instantly, Uzbek fighters – and one could hardly name anyone except for Ruslan Chagaev, Artur Grigoryan and Muhammad Abdullaev beforehand – got into a serious demand, being hunted heavily by promoters and managers from all over the Earth.
The cream of the Uzbek boxing went overseas (mostly under the World of Boxing banner) but Qudratillo Abduqaxorov and Azizbek Abdugofurov made sudden moves towards the Far East to find their early luck in such new hotbeds of boxing as Malaysia and Singapore.
Following in their footsteps is a trio of second-tier Uzbek amateurs-turned-pros, managed by Malaysian Vikram Swapragasam from the Vladimir Boxing. All of them have been showcased this Sunday in a local club show in Polomolok city in Philippines, and all were easily victorious.
Recent debutant Bekzod Tursunboev (2-0, 2 KOs) added heavily overmatched Filipino Ryan Maano (3-9-2, 1 KO) to much more heralded former title challenger Roy Mukhlis (20-8-3 at the time) as his new first-round victim. Time was 2:12 of the first.
19-year old Ulugbek Sobirov (8-0, 5 KOs) got his eighth win in his debut year by overcoming rough veteran and upset artist Dondon Sultan on a technical decision after five complete rounds. Sultan (20-24-3, 11 KOs), who is more than twice older than his foe at 40 and best known for his first-round KO of previously unbeaten 12-0 Anton Solopov, was cut after an accidental headbutt in round one, and got his cut worse after the next several rounds before it caused his retirement in conclusion of the fifth round. Sultan was deducted a point for holding in the fourth round.
Finally, Jasur Akhmadjonov (7-0-1, 5 KOs) made it quick with Jose Ocampo (20-11-1, 13 KOs), dropping him down for the count at 1:28 of the first.
Other notable contests:
Mike Plania (16-1, 9 KOs) TKO 4 Angelito Merlin (9-9-3, 3 KOs). Merlin was down in round one.
Dave Apolinario (8-0, 5 KOs) UD 8 Michael Camillion (10-10-1, 8 KOs)
Ernie Sanchez (19-12-1, 10 KOs) TKO 3 Richard Betos (20-21-2, 7 KOs)