by Tamas Pradarics and Adam Noble-Forcey
After being there as part of Team Mairis Briedis in a huge cruiserweight unification bout against Oleksandr Usyk in the first World Boxing Super Series semi-final bout in late January, promoter Al Siesta is back in Riga, Latvia with a show of his own.
Siesta Boxing and LNK Promotions have announced “The Night of Super Fights” to take place May 12th at Riga Arena, a venue open to accommodate ten-plus thousand fans. In the main event, once beaten Russian Isa Chaniev (12-1, 6 KO) will risk his WBO International belt against his toughest opponent to date in former WBA interim 135-pound titlist Ismael Barroso (20-1-2, 19 KO) in a 12-round lightweight matchup.
The Venezuelan knockout artist is coming off a KO victory against Fidel Maldonado Jr late in 2017 following his unsuccessful try to secure the WBA lightweight title against Anthony Crolla in May 2016.
Chaniev was last seen in action past December when he knocked out Filipino Juan Martin Elorde in six frames to add the WBO International belt next to his IBF regional title in Nazran, Russia.
In the co-main event of the show will be another WBO International title fight between unbeaten welterweights Ismail Iliev (10-0-1, 3 KO) and long-time contender Konstantin Ponomarev (33-0, 13 KO). It will be a sizeable step up in class for the Russian prospect Iliev, who, despite being half a year older at 25, has a mere one third of professional bouts compared to his more experienced foe.
Ponomarev, who trains out of Big Bear in California under the guidance of well-respected coach Abel Sanchez, has built an impressive record and reputation fighting in the USA and Russia consistently, picking up NABF and Russian titles during his pro run of over eight years.
Promising British welterweight prospect Luther Clay (7-1, 3 KO) will face Belgian Jean Pierre Habimana (9-12-3, 4 KO) as Clay looks to build on his impressive victory against Danny Craven on the undercard of George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr WBSS super middleweight semi-final event.
To add to an already exciting night of international boxing, Latvian prospects Jevgenijs Aleksejevs (8-0), Artjoms Ramlavs (6-0), Raitis Sinkevics (2-0), and Milan Volkovs (1-0) will continue to look to build on their promising careers.
Riga, Latvia is fast becoming an international centre for major boxing events. Al Siesta, who guided former WBC cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis to become Latvia’s first world champion has been credited for turning Riga into a force in the European boxing landscape.
Staying true to his philosophy of creating competitive, two-way action fights, Siesta Boxing Promotions will be working alongside Vadim Milov and Jevgenijs Sapronenko of LNK Boxing, who have been responsible to give fight fans of Riga a number of exciting local shows over the years.
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.