By Alexey Sukachev
The entire card is finalized for hyped event, which is set to close the 2015 boxing year in Moscow. Roy Jones Jr. (62-8, 45 KOs) will fight for the first time as a Russian citizen against his most accomplished opponent in years – former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli (40-7, 32 KOs).
The bout will headline a six-fight card, which will be promoted by Vlad Hrunov Promotion (although BoxRec lists Hryunov’s companion Umar Kremlev as an official organizer of the event), and take its place on Dec. 12 at a newly built VTB Ice Palace on the outskirts of the Third Ring Road in Moscow, Russia.
The status of the main event has been changing ever since it was announced a couple of months ago. Firstly, Antonio Tarver was announced as Jones Jr.’s next (and bitter) opponent. When he failing the drug test following his draw against Steve Cunningham, the Welsh veteran was called in as a late booking replacement.
The fight was also believed to be Jones Jr.’s final last attempt at a world title in his fifth weight class, and the WBA 'super' cruiserweight belt was somehow proposed as a prize – but this distinction was later being dismissed by the WBA headquarters.
As a result of the WBA's ruling, this clash will be a non-title twelve-rounder (at least, at this point) unless another sanctioning body is willing to participate.
The American icon is 8-0 since being knocked out cold by his last world-class opponent Denis Lebedev in May 2011. Roy Jones started his comeback with three hard-fought decision wins in 2011-2013, then posted five stoppage victories in a row in 2014 and 2015.
Maccarinelli himself is 2-0, 2 KOs, in 2015, following his latest major setback – a technical knockout loss to WBA light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in April 2014. Prior to that the Welshman managed to get a TKO 7 victory over Courtney Fry – the same fighter, who was stopped by Jones Jr. in five rounds half a year after that.
In the second most talked-about clash of the night, two heavyweight veterans will collide in a cross-roader for a vacant WBA international title. Samuel Peter (35-5, 28 KOs), 35, a former WBC heavyweight champion, will fight for the second time in four and a half years. Opposing him will be a long-time Belarussian fringe contender Alexander Ustinov (32-1, 23 KOs), who is rated #7 by the WBA. Ustinov is 3-0, 2 KOs, since his transition from K2 Ukraine to Vladimir Hryunov.
WBA #11 Crimea-based Kyrgyz Dilmurod Satybaldiev (9-1, 2 KOs), 21, who also holds Russian citizenship, will risk his WBA super middleweight continental belt against Ukrainian journeyman Roman Shkarupa (27-4-2, 11 KOs), 36, who fought mostly in Poland throughout his career. Satybaldiev’s biggest win came in his last fight when he edged former two-time world title challenger Dmitry Sukhotskiy over twelve rounds.
Former WBA interim super middleweight champion Stanislav Kashtanov (33-2, 19 KOs), who has just come up short of winning another interim title one division heavier, losing on a split decision to Felix Valera, will try to rebound where he stopped – against Germany-based Cameroonian veteran Bernard Donfack (22-13-3, 11 KOs). The fight is scheduled for ten.
Ex-WBA interim middleweight champion Dmitry Chudinov (16-1-2, 10 KOs) will be pit against German kayo artist “Iron” Benjamin Simon (26-2, 25 KOs). It’s to be noted that all of Simon’s wins came against limited opposition. When he tried to step up in April this year he was stopped in seven by Karo Murat.
Finally, recent debutant Magomed Madiev (4-0, 3 KOs) will clash against Croatian Ivan Jukic (22-6, 15 KOs) over six.
Timing of Events
Dec. 8 (2 PM LT) – a press conference will be held at Raddison Royal Hotel Moscow.
Dec. 9 (3 PM LT) – an open workout is scheduled to take place at Dr. Loader fitness club.
Dec. 11 (4 PM LT) – a weigh-in to be arranged at the Afimall City trade center.