By Alexey Sukachev
German Titov, and his son Alexey, are prepared for yet another huge local show, which is about to take place at the DIVS in Ekaterinburg, Russia, under RCC Boxing Promotions, on April 22. As always, the card will feature a number of competitive bouts – at least on paper – and a chance to witness a rise of a new generation of fighters.
In the main event, once-troubled but now re-born Russian lightweight Pavel Malikov (13-0, 5 KOs) will face his toughest opponent to date in former IBO champion and world title challenger Daud “Cino” Yordan (37-3, 25 KOs). The fight is scheduled for twelve.
Malikov, 32, is rated #8 by both the WBO and the IBF, and his also the #13th rated contender in the WBA 135lb rankings. He is coming off a pair of back-to-back split decisions over Deiner Berrio and Daiki Kaneko, and the Yordan fight is considered a major leap up in class.
WBA #6 Yordan, 30 but a twelve year veteran, fought Robert Guerrero to an unsatisfying “No Contest” in February 2009, then dropped decisions – a one-sided to Celestino Caballero in a non-title match-up in April 2010, and a close one in his biggest career fight, which was an unsuccessful challenge of his fellow compatriot and long-time world featherweight champion Chris John in April 2011 in an all-Indonesian showdown. He later bounced back, winning the IBO 126lb belt with an emphatic TKO over 22-0 Lorenzo Villanueva and defended it against rugged Mongolian veteran Choi Tseveenpurev before being stopped in twelve by Simphiwe Vetyeka, who later went to crush John the same year. Yordan, meanwhile, went up in weight, got another IBO belt and then won several minor titles.
In a co-featured bout of the night, up-and-coming Russian lightweight Zaur Abdullaev (8-0, 6 KOs) faces Colombian import Deiner Berrio (20-1-1, 11 KOs). Abdullaev, 24, debuted as a pro the last year and racked up an impressive streak, getting several solid wins, including those over 13-3-1 Dmitry Ganiev, 27-3 Roberto Gonzalez and 18-1-2 Ardie Boyose. Berrio will fight in Russia for the third consecutive time. In May 2017 he outboxed experienced slugger Rustam Nugaev, and in December 2017 he dropped a decision to Pavel Malikov, who fights in the main event this time.
Light middleweight Magomed Kurbanov (13-0, 10 KOs), one of the Russia’s hottest prospects, stays busy with a tune-up ten-rounder against presumably overmatched Georgian Nikoloz Gviniashvili (19-10-4, 15 KOs). Nicknamed “The Black Lion” Kurbanov, 22, is rated #7 by the WBA and #8 by the IBF.
Kyrgyz import Akzhol Sulaymanbek Uulu (10-0, 5 KOs), who was long fighting in local club shows under supervision of the RCC Boxing Promotions, will transit to a semi-main event in a ten-round bout with fellow undefeated Venezuelan Leonardo Padilla (16-0, 12 KOs). Padilla will fight for the first time out of his native land and neighboring Columbia.
WBO #7 super featherweight Mikhail Alexeev (11-0, 4 KOs) engages Argentinean journeyman Sergio Manuel Gil (19-10-2, 13 KOs) over eight. Alexeev had wins over then-undefeated Filipino Romero Duno and IBF super featherweight ex-champion Malcolm Klaaseen previously in his career.
A battle of the Past and Present will take place in a heavyweight cross-roader. It’s where undefeated former amateur standout (best known for his kayo win over reigning WBC champion Deontay Wilder) Evgueny Romanov (8-0, 5 KOs), 32, takes on very experienced and hard-nosed former PABA champion Denis Bakhtov (39-12, 26 KOs), 38, also over eight.
Light welterweight Viskhan Murzabekov (16-3, 10 KOs) will look to further recover after recent setbacks of 2016 and 2017 by taking on undefeated but totally untested Georgian Bagrat Berkatsashvili (8-0, 3 KOs). This fight is also scheduled for eight.
Ravshanbek Umurzakov (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. Merab Turkadze (5-0, 2 KOs) – 8 rounds, light welterweights
Murad Arslanov (8-3, 4 KOs) vs. Sardor Muzafarrov (1-1, 1 KO) – 6 rounds, super bantamweights
Mekhdi Abdurashedov (1-0) vs. Iwan Zoda (14-3-1, 13 KOs) – 6 rounds, flyweights