By Alexey Sukachev
Latvia - WBC/IBF #9 and WBA #14 welterweight Konstantin Ponomarev (34-0, 13 KOs) retained his unbeaten record but once again didn't impress in a workmanlike unanimous decision over Georgian Ambrosi Sutidze (11-14-5, 5 KOs).
What makes it even worse, Sutidze was a late sub for Ismail Iliev, a much tougher (WBO #13 and WBC #15) opponent, who suffered a disappointing injury just days prior to the fight.
The fight was never in doubt for Ponomarev, still just 25. Yet he ate too many straight jabs and failed to rock Sutidze, more outworking than outboxing him. At the end, all three judges had it pretty wide: 80-73, 80-73, and 78-74 - for Ponomarev, who hasn't scored a stoppage since 2014, despite winning against solid opponents as 26-0 Michael Zewski and 26-0 Brad Solomon.
Light heavyweight Jevgenijs Alekseevs (9-0, 6 KOs) showed little skill against much smaller but much tougher (mentally) French veteran Garbiel LeCrosnier (21-48-5, 1 KO) despite winning a unanimous decision over six complete rounds. Alekseevs threw numerous punches but landed little. When the Old Lion opened up, he was able to hit Alekseevs quite hard. Scores were: 60-54, 60-54, and more realistic 58-56 - for the Latvian fighter.
Latvian light heavyweight gatekeeper Andrejs Pokumeiko (17-13-1, 13 KOs) easily destroyed late Gaerogian sub Giorgi Zedgenidze (4-3, 3 KOs) in the very first round. Zedgenidze was dropped with a major left hook and stopped after a barrage of hurtful punches later on. Time of stoppage was 1:28 of the first.
Young heavyweight gun Milans Volkovs improved his record to 2-0, 2 KOs, with a stoppage of Belarussian counterpart Alexander Nikhaychuk (1-3). Volkovs, 18, dropped Nikhaychuk through the ropes in round two, and then put him on his knees for the count in round three with wicked body shots. Time of stoppage was 2:47.
Southpaw lightweight Artems Ramlavs (8-0, 5 KOs) continued his winning streak with a decent stoppage of tough but overmatched Belarussian Yevgueny Oleynik (4-6, 3 KOs). Ramlavs used constant pressure and volume punching to both outpunch and outfight Oleynik, who was a bit stiff in his legs. Ramlav's domination got more and more felt with each passed round, finally resulting in Oleynik's retirement after five rounds of action.