By Alexey Sukachev
Russia - Feelings were mixed about a pro debut of Evgeny Tishchenko, the Russia's only Olympic gold medalist at the recent Olympics in Rio.
The towering boxer (6'5''), who has won his honours in controversial fashion while competing in the heavyweight division as an amateur (which corresponds to the cruiserweight limit in prizefighting, dominated his overmatched opponent Williams Okando (19-7, 16 KOs) and finally stopped him standing midst into the fifth.
Despite a stoppage win, Tishchenko didn't show he was ready for a pro game just yet, landing relatively soft punches and being unable to finish off his shaky opponent, who had been stopped in five of his six previous wins.
Tishchenko, 27, however, has physical tools, amateur experience and, most importantly, some time to his side for further improvement.
Lightweight hitter Ravshanbek "The Prince" Umurzakov of Uzbekistan made a very short work of young Filipino veteran Eden Sonsona (36-9-2, 13 KOs), stopping him within the first round. Umurzakov is now 5-0, 4 KOs.
In a storm of the fight between two Ukrainian expatriates, undefeated welterweight Eduard Skavinskiy (9-0, 6 KOs) overcame both the tough resistance of Olexander Ivanov (15-4, 8 KOs) and a badly cut left eye to get a spirited unanimous decision over ten rounds.
Skavinskiy rocked Ivanov several times early on but in the mid rounds the latter fighter found his range and began to land counter shots at Skavinskiy. One of the - a flashy left hook - got Eduard cut badly over his left eye. Skavinskiy was on the verge of being stopped on a cut but he vehemently pressed the ringside physician to give him more time. He was offered some extra time and it had paid off, as he started to turn back the tide once again.
In the wild ninth round, both boxers were dropped: Skavinskiy - on a questionable body punch, and Ivanov - on a hard right uppercut followed by a left hook. Ivanov was also deducted a point for a dangerous use of his head in the same and was almost stopped by spirited Skavinskiy in the tenth and final round.
After ten rounds, all three judges had it for Skavinskiy: 99-90, 98-91, and 97-91. Skavinskiy, 27, is now the WBO Oriental and IBF Baltic welterweight titlist,