By Alexey Sukachev

RCC Boxing Promotions, a relatively new promotional outfit led by familiar faces of well-known Ural boxing stalwarts German (the father) and Alexey (the son) Titov, presents its first installment of 2018 on February 10 at the DIVS sports arena in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

Fighting in the main event is the IBO super featherweight champion Shavkatdzhon "Shavkat" Rakhimov (11-0, 8 KOs), who defends his title against former belt owner Malcom Klassen of South Africa.

Rakhimov, 23 and originally from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, is also rated #13 by the IBF. He acquired his title (as a vacant one) with a unanimous decision over Emanuel Lopez last September. The title was vacated… by Klassen a year before.

Klassen, 36, captured the same belt with a solid win over Australia-based Filipino Jack Asis in April 2015. However, he is better known as the IBF 130lb champion, a title he has owned twice (in 2006/2007 and in 2008/2009). In his latest outing Klassen lost a narrow decision to another RCC-promoted fighter Mikhail Alexeev, on the same card with Rakhimov vs. Lopez.

In a co-main event, two vacant super featherweight titles – IBF Baltic and WBA Continental – will be contested by another Tajik Mukhammadkhuja Yakubov (10-0, 7 KOs) and 12-1, 6 KOs, Russian Mark “Canelo” Urvanov, 21.

Both had solid results in 2017, Urvanov going 4-0, with a single kayo and two split decisions, and Yakubov, being especially effective going 5-0, 4 KOs, including four straight knockout wins.


Former fringe welterweight contender Dmitry “Southern Mechanic” Mikhaylenko (22-2, 10 KOs), who has lost his last fight to up-and-coming Uzbek Qudratillo Abduqaxorov in July 2017, looks forward for a remedy and further re-build versus recent debutant Islam Dumanov (7-1, 4 KOs), whose only loss – on a split decision – came against local upset artist Alexey Evchenko. The bout is planned to be a warm-up for much more experienced Mikhaylenko, who had wins over such notables as Karim Mayfield, Breidis Prescott, Johan Perez and Sechew Powell, but can become a grudge match – depending on Mikaylenko’s shape.


Zaur Abdullaev (7-0, 5 KOs) debuted in March 2017 and had a very solid debut year, which he ended with a bang, stopping 27-3 Filipino Robert Gonzalez. Abdullaev, 23, looks forward to pick up just where he left, taking on another Filipino Ardie Boyose (18-1-2, 14 KOs) for a vacant WBO Youth lightweight title. Boyose has already fought in Russia in December 2016, being stopped in four by Rustam Nugaev.


Speaking of Nugaev, now 29-8-1, 19 KOs, there are some who think he is finished as even a semi-legit gatekeeper. This board of doubtful includes at least Uzbek Ravshanbek “The Prince” Umurzakov (1-0, 1 KO), who will challenge the 35-year old veteran in a scheduled eight-rounder.


Heavyweight Evgueny Romanov (7-0, 4 KOs), who is best known for his KO over reigning WBC champion Deontay Wilder – in amateurs, of course – will look forward to improve his own pro credentials against fellow undefeated German Skobenko (4-0-2, 1 KO) of Ukraine, who ended his latest two in ties. Romanov vs. Skobenko is scheduled for eight.


Other fights:

Vladislav Krasnoshein (2-0-1, 1 KO) vs. Ilya Reutskiy (9-16-1, 5 KOs) – 6 rounds

Daulet Daukenov (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Shamil Dautaev (3-2) – 6 rounds

Alexander Krashenninikov (4-0, 1 KO) vs. Sardor Muzzafarrov (1-0, 1 KO) – 6 rounds

Ilya Balandin (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. Ravshan Ergashev (1-0, 1 KO) – 6 rounds

Stanislav Kalitskiy (3-0, 3 KOs) vs. Denis Lashin (7-5-1, 2 KOs) – 6 rounds


As is a usual case for a majority of recent RCC boxing tourneys, a huge show on Saturday night will be accompanied by a smaller event during the week – this time, a week after the tournament. It will be held on February 13, also in Ekaterinburg, and will feature no less than thirteen fights – mostly between debutants, recent debutants and sophomores.

There will be just one notable collision – an eight-rounder between Kyrgyz Akzhol Sulaymanbek Uulu (9-0, 4 KOs) and 32-year old Columbian journeyman Devis Perez (34-17-4, 24 KOs).