Ruslan Fayfer was on his way to a previously proposed showdown with lethal but fragile puncher Dmitry Kudryashov, when an upgrade of the fight happened, coincided with a change of opponent.
In what seems to be a more thrilling proposal for local fans, IBF #1, WBC #4, WBO #6 and WBA #12 ranked Fayfer will take on rising former kickboxing star Alexey Papin in what will be the WBC eliminator as announced by the Russian Boxing Federation.
The show will be held on August 15 in a seaside/skiing resort of Sochi (Krasnaya Polyana) and promoted by “A Angels” outfit at the WOW ARENA with the support of local and national boxing federations and Stoloto state lottery. The event itself is in support of the 58th annual WBC convention, which was previously aimed to take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, but was re-arranged to an online format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemics. Meanwhile, COVID-19, which still rocks a number of Russian regions and is a reason for almost complete shutout of outer frontiers, will force only intrinsic competitions without participants from the other countries.
Ruslan Fayfer (25-1, 16 KOs) is a well-rounded fighter, which doesn’t have any particular strengths but is solid in almost any department. His last showing was a close unanimous decision over previously undefeated compatriot Yuri Kashinskiy (18-0) last November. His only loss came from the hands of then-unbeaten American Andrew Tabiti a year before in the WBSS second season quarterfinal.
WBC #8 and former kickboxing star Alexey Papin (11-1, 10 KOs) rose to prominence with a streak of knockouts, which included a stoppage of faded former prospect Ismayl Sillakh. His best performance, however, was a very close majority decision loss to Congolese Ilunga Makabu in WBC eliminator the last August. Makabu went on to become the new WBC cruiserweight champion of the world.
Three more WBC minor title fights will be showcased in the undercard.
Heavyweight Arslan Yallyev (9-0, 5 KOs), fresh off a solid win over Yuri Bykhovtsev, is set to fight for the WBC Youth title. The announced opponent is Pavel Doroshilov (4-3, 1 KO) but that can change soon as Doroshilov is just coming off a loss to Artem Suslenkov, a fight he was stopped in after a huge cut over his left eye.
Undefeated fighters Sergey Kozhukhar of Russia (8-0-1, 2 KOs) and Abkhazian Batal Chezhiya (9-0-2, 3 KOs) will collide for the WBC super middleweight youth title. Chezhiya’s last two fights were draws. Rustam Tulaganov of Uzbekistan (3-0, 1 KO), 2016 Olympian for his nation, will clash against Russian Sergey Ekimov (18-2, 9 KOs) for a vacant WBC International light heavyweight title.
Also of note are the two other bouts of the card. Rapidly rising Russian Abkhaz Khariton Agrba (3-0, 1 KO) is set to fight Soslan Tedeev (20-1, 13 KOs) over ten rounds in a light welterweight division, while super featherweight Albert Batyrgaziev (1-0, 1 KO), who debuted as a pro yesterday, is still to know his opponent in another ten-rounder.