Russian prizefighting is back after three months off - not actually with a bang but at least with a minor title fight and several prospects in a well-packed five-bout show, produced by the Patriot. All safety protocols were in place - for officials, cameramen and even for military-style dressed ring card girls, all of whom wore flu masks and latex gloves.
In the main event, rising prospect / amateur standout (he competes simultaneously in paid and unpaid boxing) Khariton Agrba (3-0, 1 KOs) both remained undefeated and acquired his first career belt with a shutout over Russia-based Armenian Manuk Dilanyan (11-4-1, 4 KOs).
Agrba, 24, earned a vacant WBA Continental light welterweight title by dominating the fight against the taller but slower opponent. Agrba was fast in combos, elusive and, most of all, consistent to win almost every minute of every round. Dilanyan was losing little by little until Argba's lead became unreachable. He tried a late-fight surge but his attempt was futile, allowing Khariton to sweep it with identical 100-90 scores.
40-year old featherweight is as old as Methuselah but Belarussian Andrey Isaev has proven firmly what it means to be solid and resilient at this respected age. It was enough to be competitive against Canada-based Russian Armenian Andranik Grigoryan but not enough to put him in trouble much less to win a fight.
Grigoryan, 26, was specifically successful against an 18-year veteran in the opening rounds but Isaev was always game and had his sparse moments as well. Grigoryan has neither been in danger of getting down, nor he was close to stop Isaev.
At the end, all three judges had it unanimously for Grigoryan, who is now 12-0, 2 KOs. Isaev drops down to 30-16, 9 KOs.
Ukrainian heavyweight Igor Vlichitskiy (4-1, 1 KO) started well against hulking Russian powerhouse Vladimir Ivanov (2-0, 2 KOs) but succumbed to the power of the latter in the fifth round.
Vilchitskiy used his uppercut to force heavy bleeding on Ivanov’s nose in the opening round. Then Ivanov adjusted and started to deliver power-over-power without precision but with real intensity, finally putting the Ukrainian down with a huge right in the fifth.
Recent debutant Pavel Silyagin made it look easy against durable but limited part-time boxer / part-time kickboxer Maxim Smirnov, who was fighting just for the fourth time in nine years. Silyagin (2-0) controlled smaller super middleweight Smirnov (8-7-3, 4 KOs) with jab and hard combos but was unable to finish him off. It was a unanimous decision over six rounds for Silyagin.
Middleweight Vadim Tukov (2-0, 1 KO) used his solid reach advantage to cruise past stocky Uzbek native Farrukh Juraev (5-3-1, 2 KOs), beating him for the punch from the safe distance. The fight was scheduled as an eight-round super middleweight bout but Tukov was way under the deadline, while pudgy Juraev failed to make even the light heavyweight limit. Tukov earned a unanimous decision but no scores were announced.