By Alexey Sukachev and Yuri Tarantin (Allboxing.ru)
Four promising fighters from different promotional teams but all heading from former Soviet republics are expected to land on the undercard of an anticipated rubber match between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado, which is expected by many to be another chapter in a masterpiece of savagery, written by this dynamic duo. Rios vs. Alvarado III takes place in Bloomfield, Colorado, on January 24.
Already announced is a co-feature, which pits undefeated Mexican super middleweight prospect Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez (30-0, 24 KOs) in tough against once-defeated Russian Maxim Vlasov (30-1, 24 KOs). Ramirez, 23, is the WBC/WBO #2 and IBF/WBA #3 ranked 168-lber, who is also rated #9 by the TBRB. Vlasov, 28, is 11-0, with 5 KOs, since losing controversially to Isaac Chilemba four years ago. He is rated #6 by the IBF and #9 by the WBO at 168 lbs, and #10 by the WBC at 175 lbs.
Also, on the card is a 22-year old welterweight Konstantin Ponomarev (26-0, 13 KOs), a young prodigy co-promoted by the Ural Boxing Promotions and Top Rank. Unrated Ponomarev went 4-0, 2 KOs, in 2014, with one of his victories being a solid decision over ex-world title challenger Cosme Rivera. Ponomarev is expected to be seen in a ten-rounder against Canadian Steve Claggett (20-2-1, 14 KOs).
Olexander Gvozdyk’s participation has been confirmed to Allboxing’s Yuri Tarantin by his manager Egis Klimas, who also manages Eastern European stars Sergey Kovalev, Evgueny Gradovich and Vasyl Lomachenko among others. 2011 World champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist for Ukraine is 4-0, with 3 KOs, as a pro, including a kayo win over Otis Griffin.
Finally, another bright prospect is expected to fill in the card, as young and talented Russian Armenian Aik “Humanoid” Shakhnazaryan (15-0, 6 KOs), 21, will also make his appearance. Shakhnazaryan, who is promoted by Pushka Promotions and trained by Victor Petrochenko (the same coach, who helped to develop both Vlasov and ex-WBO champion Dmitry Pirog), had extremely busy year of 2014, going 6-0, with 4 KOs, with back-to-back wins against ex-contender Alisher Rakhimov and upset artist Felix Lora. Humanoid is the WBO #10 rated light welterweight.