icon Updated at 11:50 AM EST, Sat Mar 5, 2016

Gerber Crushes Minto: Ali Funeka Shocks Murzabekov

By Alexey Sukachev

Grozny, Russia - Kazakhstani-born German heavyweight Edmund Gerber (26-2, 17 KOs) scored an entertaining second-round kayo of American fight veteran Brian "The Beast" Minto (41-11, 26 KOs).

Both competitors paid little attention to any defensive tricks from the get go. Gerber was faster, while Minto looked (and was found to be at this point of his career) chinny. Both boxers were repeatedly hurt in the first but Gerber's punches were better felt by his foe than vice versa. Minto, 41, was on his way to exhaustion but Gerber, 27, made a shorter work. He dropped Minto midst into the second with a right hand, and soon finished Minto off with a similar punch, which had the American face first. Time of stoppage was 2:14 of the second round.

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Multi-time kickboxing world champion Tyrone Spong improved his record to 3-0, with 3 KOs, with the second-round stoppage of previously undefeated David Gogishvili (12-1, 8 KOs). Spong, 30, of Netherlands, with a record of 74-7-1, 46 KOs, as a kickboxer, turned to conventional boxing after he suffered a broken leg in a bout versus Gokhan Saki.

Former three-time lightweight world title challenger Ali Funeka (38-5-3, 30 KOs) revived his stagnating career once again with a spirited split decision over local favorite Viskhan Murzabekov (12-1, 6 KOs), supported personally by Ramzan Kadyrov, an all-powerful president of the Chechen Republic.A vacant IBO welterweight title was at stake in this contest.

Funeka, a very tall welterweight (an extremely tall for a lightweight he has been for a largest part of his career), dwarfed his much stockier opponent both in stature and in experience. Murzabekov, 25, was fresher and much younger than the 37-year old South African but he lacked polished skills his rival possessed.

The South African started slowly, giving room to Murzabekov for fast and furious spurts on the inside. Murzabekov received dividends by taking the lead and dropping Funeka in one of early rounds. Funeka regroupped and looked considerably better by the end of the first part. Constant pressure fully on, the South African used his jab to control the distance. While cornering his for, Ali used uppercuts and short left hooks to hurt Murzabekov. The latter was partially successful on his way in, throwing punches both to the head and body of the South African. Funeka was better in the seventh and in the eighth, while the ninth was in Viskhan's favour.

Feeling the rush, Rush Hour, as Funeka is often called, summoned up extra abilities to tough Murzabekov out. Murzabekov was rocked several times in the tenth, more in the eleventh, specifically at the ropes. He continued fighting back but also used somewhat dirty tricks, tripping and wrestling. In the twelfth , both fighters gave their all but Funeka looked finer. At the end, judge Sergey Litunov had it 117-111 - for Murzabekov, but he as overruled by two Poles. Leszek Jankowiak had it 115-112 - for Funeka, while Pawel Kardynyi scored the fight 114-113 - for the South African. BoxingScene had it 114-113 - for Murzabekov in what was a very close fight.

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In a match-up for a vacant IBO I/C super middleweight title, former World Boxing Series participant Apti Ustarkhanov (12-2-2, 4 KOs) made a short work of Tanzanian Thomas Mashali (17-4-1, 9 KOs). Ustarkhanov was better in the first, while gradually increasing his pressure. In the second round, his pressure became very well felt by the opponent. Mashali was wilting under fire though still standing. The native of Kurchaloi was more successful after the mid=point of the stanza, when he has finally found a way to tag his opponent cleanly. Mashali was down twice - the second time for good.

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WBO #9 light heavyweight Umar Salamov (15-0, 12 KOs) made a quick stoppage of experienced Ugandan gatekeeper Joey Vegas (17-13-2, 10 KOs). Salamov looked solid against Vegas in the first but was unable to showcase his power and kislls at their fullest. Early into the second, Vegas turned back the tide and started firing back. Unfortunately for him, he was thumbed on his way in and counted out for good at 0:26 due to an eye injury. The injury was defined as a result of a legal punch thus making it the second-round stoppage in favour of the Chechen fighter. Vegas was stopped for the third time in a row.

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Fighting for the first time since November 2014, Uzbek journeyman Bekzod Nabiev (23-9-1, 17 KOs) interrupted his four-fight losing series with a dominant stoppage of inexperienced Ugandan Said Lwanga (0-3-1). Lwanga battled hard but was gradually overpowered and forced to surrender after the sixth round. Nabiev was just 1-7 since May 2012, but was stopped just twice, while fighting against an assortment of fighters with a combined record of 131-0.

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Ultra aggressive 19-year old Chechen middleweight Dzhabrail Muzaev (2-0, 1 KOs) dropped Ugandan Mustapha Katende (11-4, 8 KOs) twice in the first to get a stoppage win.

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Bulat Beshiev (2-0) scored a unanimous decision over Uzbek Fevruz Yuldashev (3-1, 1 KO) in a scheduled four-rounder.

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In a battle of unbeaten heavyweights, the Chechen proud Apti Davtaev (11-0-1, 11 KOs) has quickly destroyed Georgian import Davit Gorgiladze (8-1, 6 KOs). The Georgian was down twice and looked incapable of any resistance. Time was 0:26 of the very first round.

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Former WBF middleweight champion Karama Nyilawila (22-15-2, 13 KOs) of Tanzania gave fits to local hero Movsur Yusupov (10-0, 4 KOs) in the first round but was fastly dismissed in the second one. Yusupov rocked Nyilawila badly with a hard left to the body, then finished him off with a right hand to the jaw. The Tanzanian was down and failed to beat the count in time, sitting on the tip of his pants. Time was 0:32.

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Middleweight Ramzan Baysarov improved to 5-0, 2 KOs, witt the fifth-round stoppage of another Ugandan Hamza Sempewo (13-6, 6 KOs). The African started quickly and tagged Baysarov several times but soon decreased his prodictivity and punch output, began taking much more punches and was finally stopped at 1:56 of the fifth round.

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Former amateur standout Islam Edisultanov (3-0, 1 KO) got his first stoppage win, demolishing incapable Ugandan opponent Patrick Atuhairwe (6-3, 3 KOs) in less than 90 seconds. The African import was down twice after left hooks and several times voluntarily. The fight was halted after the second knockdown. Time was 1:29.