Tomorrow, February 10th, RCC Boxing Promotions, arguably the most resilient Russian promotional company in recent years, led by indomitable German Titov, will host one of the biggest boxing events in Russia since the beginning of the Ukrainian war. Fourteen fights constitute the card of the event, five of them being ten-rounders, and the main event is scheduled for twelve rounds. There will be no major or minor title bouts, but several international encounters will draw solid attention.

In the featured clash of the tourney, small heavyweights Evgeny Romanov (19-0, 12 KOs) of Volgograd, Russia, and Zhaoxin Zhang (11-2-1, 6 KOs) from China, will collide in what is billed the WBA eliminator in a recently created bridgerweight division. The WBA champion in this weight class is 2016 Olympic champion Evgeny Tishchenko, also from Russia.

WBA #2 Romanov is an undefeated veteran fighter, competing solely as a heavyweight since his pro debut in July 2016. At 38, Romanov has never fought outside Russia but scored some locally sound wins on the home turf. His biggest pro wins came against over-aged former WBO titlist Sergey Lyakovich (KO 2), veteran gatekeeper Denis Bakhtov (TKO 1), and hammer-fisted but fragile cruiserweight-turned-heavyweight Dmitry Kudryashov on points. His soundest victory overall was a kayo over the future long-time WBC champion Deontay Wilder more than fifteen years ago in their amateur days.

WBA #3 Zhang, 28, started his career in China but fought sporadically abroad in recent years. In July 2021 he challenged WBA “regular” cruiserweight titleholder Ryad Merhy and was stopped in eight. He took a layoff for two years before coming back with a points win over Rolly Fogoum last August.

In a co-feature, highly-ranked lightweight Zaur Abdullaev (18-1, 11 KOs), who is competing under the Armenian license, will test his skills against former WBA super featherweight title holder Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez (27-5-1, 21 KOs) of Venezuela in a ten-rounder.

WBO #9, WBA #10, WBC #12, and IBF #14 Abdullaev, 29, is 7-0, 4 KOs, since losing to Devin Haney in September 2019, including a unanimous decision over former WBC beltholder Dejan Zlaticanin and a dramatic come-from-behind twelfth-round TKO over ex-three-time champion of the world and Gutierrez’s compatriot Jorge Linares.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez, 28, is coming off a stoppage loss to Georgian prospect Otar Eranosyan in August 2023. He is best known for his back-to-back wins over Rene Alvarado in 2021, allowing him to win and defend the WBA super featherweight title.

WBA #12 light welterweight Khariton Agrba (12-0, 8 KOs), a former amateur standout, was originally scheduled to fight Argentinean veteran Marcelino Nicolas Lopez (37-4-1, 22 KOs), but Lopez was forced to withdraw. He will be replaced by Russia-based Armenian Vage Sarukhanyan (20-3-2, 4 KOs).

Southpaw Agrba, 28, has only fought fighters with positive records since his start as a pro four years ago. His ledger is decorated with stoppage wins over a long-time contender and former title challenger Petr Petrov and former unified WBA/IBF champion Julius Indongo. Both were stopped in three. Sarukhanyan’s record is less impressive but he also holds a win over former titleholder Gamaliel Diaz, as well as decision wins over Ignacio Mendoza and Jovanny Straffon among others. He cannot match Agrba’s punching power, but his footwork and technique are no less impressive.

WBA #12 super middleweight Pavel Silyagin (13-0-1, 6 KOs) has built up a solid resume since his pro debut in 2020. Wins over highly ranked/regarded opponents, like Azizbek Abdugofurov or Isaac Chilemba, earned him a high #7 in the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s ratings. However, in his most recent outing against fellow Russian Evgueny Shvedenko, Silyagin earned just a draw. He will try to overcome this blemish against another compatriot Rizvan Elikhanov (14-0, 13 KOs), 25, in a scheduled ten-rounder. Elikhanov’s record looks very solid but his opposition isn’t on par with Silyagin’s. Still, it’ll be a nice test for both combatants.

Flamboyant light heavyweight Vasiliy Voytsekhovskiy (12-0, 7 KOs) will take on his toughest challenge to day in 2008 Olympian for Argentina Ezequiel Oswaldo Maderna (31-11-0, 21 KOs) also over ten. Maderna started as a prospect but turned into a journeyman in the late 10’s. 2023 was, however, a solid year for him as he scored two road stoppage wins over hometown favorites Karol Itauma and Timur Nirakhoev. 

In the fifth ten-rounder, two undefeated welterweights Russian Sergey Lubkovich (16-0, 10 KOs) and Maxim Chernichuk (6-0, 1 KO), originally from Moldova, clash in what will be an interesting match-up of a slugger in Lubkovich and a stylist in Chernichuk. Lubkovich has recently lost some steam, while Chernichuk scored solid wins over previously undefeated Vadim Lubasnov (4-0) and Igor Adleiba (14-0-2).

Two more eight-rounders are worth of notion. Once-defeated lightweight Vildan Minasov (12-1, 7 KOs), who lost only to highly-touted Tajik prospect Bahodur Usmonov, battles against battle-proven former IBF title challenger Isa Chaniev (15-5-1, 7 KO), whose record is worse than his skills and performances. Also, KO-oriented Russian super middleweight Nikita Zon’ (7-0-1, 5 KOs) takes on Iranian upset artist Sajad Mehrabi (4-1-1, 3 KOs) also over eight.

Scale watch for main bouts:

Evgueny Romanov 221.2 vs. Zhaoxin Zhang 221.2 – 12 rounds, heavyweights (“bridgerweight”)

Zaur Abdullaev 136.8 vs. Roger Gutierrez 136.5 – 10 rounds

Khariton Argba 142.9 vs. Vage Sarukhanyan 143.2 – 10 rounds

Pavel Silyagin 167.8 vs. Rizvan Elikhanov 166.7 – 10 rounds

Vasiliy Voytsekhovskiy 175.3 vs. Ezequiel Oswaldo Maderna 176 – 10 rounds

Other fights: 

Denis Savitskiy (8-0-1, 6 KOs) vs. Sergey Ekimov (18-4, 9 KOs) – 8 rounds, cruiserweights

Odiljon Aslonov (6-0-1, 2 KOs) vs. Rafi Khchoyan (2-1-1) – 8 rounds, super middleweights

Bobousmon Baturov (2-0-1) vs. Tikhon Netesov (11-5, 3 KOs) – 8 rounds, welterweights

Georgiy Yunovidov (8-1, 5 KOs) vs. Mirzohidjon Abdullaev (3-2-1, 1 KO) – 8 rounds, heavyweights

Alexey Kiselev (pro debut) vs. Rasul Dzhaaev – 4 rounds, super bantamweights

Georgiy Chigladze (pro debut) vs. Igor Vilchitskiy (7-8, 1 KO) – 4 rounds, cruiserweights