By Alexey Sukachev
Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine - In the main event of the evening, WBA #1 rated super middleweight (and also WBA super middleweight interim beltholder) Stas Kashtanov (31-1, 17 KOs) further solidified his claim of being a viable opponent for the division's elite boxers with a dominant TKO over determined but overmatched Costa-Rican Jaime Barboza (now 18-8, 8 KOs). Kashtanov experienced some mild problems in the midst of the contest but rallied back relentlessly, dropped Barboza with a liver shot in the seventh and then stopped him on an accumulation of punches late into the tenth. That was the first defense of the title for 29-year old Kashtanov.
Kashtanov, tall at 6'1'', looked to establish his lead early on. He wasn't very successful in doing that as Barboza, a former light middleweight, three inches shorter, did his best to avoid being hit by moving laterally, changing directions in process of doing this. The Ukrainian fighter struggled to mount his jab on a constant basis. Barboza, meanwhile, fought in rare spurts, coming in to land some punches before getting back to the distance. The first couple of rounds have been won by Kashtanov - thanks to his activity and Barboza's low punch output. Later on, however, the Costa-Rican found the target with some crippling body blows and several head shots, evening things up in the midst of the contest.
It became obvious in rounds six and seven, that Kashtanov's punches began to take their toll on a fast-moving Barboza. Sensing that the slower Ukrainian would soon catch him in a very undesirable place of the ring, the Costa-Rican preferred to close the distance and to fight Kashtanov on the inside. He paid a dear price for that, being floored with a huge left hook to the liver late in round seven. From that point on the 35-year old Costa-Rican has never been the same. He did land some punches in rounds eight and nine but it was Kashtanov, who dealt way more punishment - specifically with his thudding right uppercuts.
Fighting on wobbly legs, Barboza engaged into another close-range shoot-out with a bigger local fighter in the tenth stanza. That was his last hoorah, as Kashtanov mixed body blows with uppercuts to rock him again. Another of these big right uppercuts damaged Barboza during the last minute of round ten. Kashtanov followed it up with a brutal series of punches, finally forcing El Indio to take a knee. Barboza was counted out, still sitting on a knee and spitting his blood to the floor. The official time of stoppage was 2:40.
With former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Lennox Lewis and the richest Eastern European billionaire Rinat Akhmetov watching from ringside, another former champion in Vyacheslav Senchenko (34-1, 23 KOs) looked very impressive in a fourth-round stoppage win over rugged Argentinean journeyman Carlos Adan Jerez (37-16-3, 18 KOs).
IBF/WBA #12 and WBC #14 welterweight Senchenko, 36, took his time to adjust to his bigger Argentinean opponent. Jerez had some success with his right hand early on but it was pretty short-lived. After two pretty even rounds, the Ukrainian fighter has finally found his range and started to land the left jab with relative ease. Jerez, 34, moved in and out, trying to avoid being hit on a constant basis but his efforts were futile. Still the end in the fourth came as a surprise. Senchenko connected with a huge right hand behind the ear and immediately followed it with a major left uppercut, sending the Argentinean down. He was up at seven but still very groggy to continue, as the referee waved the bout off.
Official time of stoppage was 2:50 of the fourth round. Next for Senchenko, the latest of Ricky Hatton's conquerors, is a big fight versus another highly regarded Brit Kell Brook (30-0, 20 KOs) on Oct. 26 at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England. Meanwhile, Jerez was stopped just for the third time in his career - and for the first time since 2004.
Reigning WBA Intercontinental and former European featherweight titlist Oleg Yefimovich (24-2, 13 KOs) looked very impressive in his fourth title defense, destroying Argentinean challenger Luis Armando Juarez (17-7-2, 4 KOs) in the very first round.
Yefimovich, 32, immediately went after Juarez but in a very cool mood. After measuring the distance with a couple of hard jabs, the Ukrainian fighter landed a left-right combo putting the Argentinean on a queer street. He then followed it with a left hook to the head, sending Juarez down and out.
Time of stoppage was 2:50. Yefimovich is rated #7 by the WBA at 126 lbs. Juarez was stopped for the second time in his career - and it took recent world title challenger Sergio Thompson five rounds at a heavier weight class to do the same.
WBC #13 light heavyweight Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17 KOs) looked dominant in every department against the Russian import Konstantin Piternov (13-4, 4 KOs). Piternov, 29, retired on his stool after the end of the sixth after taking bad punishment from the hands of Sillakh.
Sillakh, 28, was faster and rougher than Piternov. The latter did little but covered behind a tight head block, leaving his liver opened. Sillakh sensed the weakness early on and immediately checked Piternov's guts with a left hook to the body. Piternov was almost doubled and barely withsttod the punch, never been the same again in the fight. Sillakh was pummelling the Russian all around the ring, doubling up his jab and landing very hard punches. Piternov threw almost no blows in return and ate one punch after another in every round. He was down for the only time late in the fifth after another Sillakh's shot to his rib cage. Following three more minutes of beating he chose to retire in his corner for the good.
Sillakh is 4-0 this year after ten months off the ring following his first and only career loss to Denis Grachev. Piternov, on the other hand, has lost his last three in a row.
Undefeated super bantamweight Olexander Yegorov (13-0-1, 6 KOs) scored yet another win, outpointing Argentinean import Diego Herminio Alejandro Sananco (17-14-4, 5 KOs) unanimously over ten rounds.
Heavyweight Yuri Voynilenko (3-0, 2 KOs) was taken to the full distance for the first time in his career, scoring unanimous decision over Latvian veteran Edgars Kalnars (22-25, 13 KOs) in a four-rounder. Kalnars has been fighting for the first time in 21 months. His previous six fights has ended within the opening stanza (two wins and four losses).
Debuting super featherweight Oleksiy Murashkin (0-0-1) was held to a draw against Dmytro Kostenko (0-1-1) over four.
WBA #9 flyweight Olexander Gryschuk (13-0, 5 KOs) was very lucky to get an undeserved technical decision over rugged Filipino super flyweight national champion Jason Canoy (16-4-2, 11 KOs). The fight was stopped due to a bad cut over Canoy's left eye following an accidental headbut in round seven. Official scores - 70-63, 69-64 and 69-65 for the Ukrainian fighter - didn't reflect an actual flow of the bout.
Gryschuk, 27, is a light-punching stylist with a sound amateur pedigree but with a visible lack of punching power. Oppositely, Canoy was worse in technical department but his punches were way harder than Gryschuk's blows. The difference in firepower was well felt immediately after the startes, as the Ukrainian was forced to move backwards with Canoy chasing him around the ring. Canoy landed several body punches to trouble Gryschuk in rounds two and four. The Ukrainian fighter stood his ground and returned fire well in the third and in the fifth. However, in round six the Philippinean was once again a better fighter, throwing and landing more. Gryschuk found temporary salvation in clinches at the end of the stanza.
Early in round seven, both combatants went inside, and an accidental headbutt occured - in the Ukrainian's favour. BoxingScene had the fight 66-67 - for Canoy - at the time of stoppage, with the Asian fighter taking the lead rapidly.
Undefeated Artiom Karpets, 29, made the successful transition from the domestic arena onto the international fight scene by scoring a hard-fought decision over tough Italian veteran Tobia Guiseppe Loriga, 36. Karpets acquired a vacant WBA I/C light middleweight title in this twelve-rounder and improved his record to 19-0, with 6 KOs.
Karpets was a favorite coming in, as Loriga, best known for his spirited loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2008, was fighting just for the fourth time since a four-year long layoff. Loriga was predictably rusty in the opening round, eating jabs and right hands from the Ukrainian national champion. The fight saw a major turnaround in the second stanza, when Loriga was credited with an undeserved knockdown after a slip of Karpets. The determined and inspired Italian began to fight back with zeal and took the third as well. The midst of the fight was rather even with both boxers landing their best punches flush but being unable to hurt the opponent. Karpets was more mobile and his punches were a bit harder, while Loriga made up for those disadvantages with his heer activity. Karpets tagged and rocked Loriga several times, and both fighters were bleeding: Loriga from his nose, and Karpets - from a cut over his right eye.
The bout was up for grabs before the final third. It's when the Ukrainian boxer found some inner resources to turn back the tide. Karpets looked slightly superior to his opponent in the ninth and in the tenth stanzas, then suddenly exploded to wobble Loriga in the eleventh and finished the fight very well in the twelfth. All three judges were unanimous in their opinion: 117-110 (twice) and 116-112 - for the Ukrainian. BoxingScene is in agreement with the latter judge.
Former Ukrainian national Artiom Dalakian (8-0, 5 KOs) looked impressive, scoring three knockdowns against Filipino national champion Juan Purisima (11-4-1, 4 KOs) en route to a lopsided unanimous decision over twelve rounds. Dalakian, 26, made the first defense of his WBA International flyweight title and is expected to enter the WBA ranks after this victory.
Both combatants fought in spurts early on, showing grit and poise at times, but mostly just waited for their opponents' turns in a tactical beginning. As rounds went by, Dalakian started to deliver his punches more consistently, while Purisima relied too much on his wild, looping swings but to little effect. In round seven, Purisima was floored on a combination of punches by Dalakian, and once again - in round nine. Both times French referee Jean-Louis Legland ruled those falls as knockdowns, though Purisima was caught off-balance and slipped to the canvas both times. In the twelfth, however, he was rocked badly with a hard right hand by the Ukrainian and was saved by the ropes, being issued yet another count. Dalakian ended the fight in a futile hunt of a stoppage win but otherwise looked quite spectacular.
All three judges scored it for Dalakian: 120-105, 120-106 and 119-106. BoxingScene had it 118-107 - also for the UBP-fighter.