By Alexey Sukachev
In the main event of a big night of boxing at the Aren Riga in Riga, Latvia, WBO #5 and IBF #11 rated Russian Isa Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) took an important step up in class and further re-affirmed his high positing in ratings with a solid win over dangerous Venezuelan kayo artist and former WBA interim lightweight champion Ismael Barroso (20-2-2, 19 KOs), outboxing him unanimously over twelve heated rounds.
Despite some added running, Chaniev, 25, also showed very solid tactical ability by changing the flow of the fight when it was needed and against a veteran puncher.
Barroso, 35, who had previously scored a kayo over Kevin Mitchell in 2015, was the aggressor, and so was Chaniev, who tried to exchange blows with the Venezuelan early on. By doing so Chaniev got himself into trouble, as he was rocked by a left hand bomb of Barroso in the first round.
The second round was even but in the third Chaniev got overanxious and paid a price by going down briefly after a big left counter hook of Barroso. Luckily for the Russian, he was awarded a bit of a controversial knockdown, when he hit Barroso with a punch while also tripping him, in the same round.
Realizing that the Venezuelan was in possession of that type of punching power, which could rock him, Chaniev re-grouped and employed a more scientific approach by moving constantly out of Barroso's power while trying to land some big shots on rare but accurate rush-ins. Sometimes he ran, sometimes he danced, and sometimes he stood his ground.
At 35, Barroso had little stamina left in his tank after he mostly hit air and missed the majority of his big bombs. Rounds went by and both Barroso and his corner got frustrated. The boxer himself answered almost predictable, trying to do something illegal to turn back the tide. Unfortunately, he paid a price without getting his contribution - as referee Yuri Koptsev deducted a point from Venezuelan for hitting low in the ninth.
In the tenth, Barroso was briefly down after a slip with a subsequent punch of Chaniev. Both boxers threw all they had in the twelfth round.
The following scorecards were announced: 117-109, 116-108, and 115-112 - all for Isa Chaniev. BoxingScene had it 116-110 - also for Chaniev.