By Alexey Sukachev

Eastern European fight scene got back to its busy schedule the past week with three different promotions in Kiev (Ukraine), Grozny (Russia) and at the outskirts of Moscow, also Russia. There were no world-class superstars in the ring but several world-rated contenders took their parts in corresponding events.

Thursday, April 18, Grozny

Umar Salamov, the star of locally based Akhmat Promotions (which is named in honour of Akhmat Kadyrov, the father of the current leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his predecessor as the president of Chechnya), shone again, making a prolonged, yet easy work of Polish import Norbert Dabrowski. WBO #4, IBF #6 and WBA #7 light heavyweight dropped the Warsaw native once in the fourth and twice in the eighth, prompting another Pole Leszek Jankowiak to halt action at 2:02 of the round.

Salamov (24-1, 18 KOs) retained his WBO International title and became the first one to stop Dabrowski, who falls down to 22-8-2, 9 KOs.

WBO #11 Aslambek Idigov (16-0, 7 KOs) barely edged Spain-based Venezuelan Ronny Landaeta (16-2, 10 KOs) with a majority decision over twelve rounds to acquire vacant IBF and WBO European super middleweight titles. Scores were 118-110, 115-113 and 114-114 – for Idigov.

Hulking Chechen heavyweight Apti Davtaev (17-0-1, 16 KOs) scored his arguably best career win by knocking out previously world-rated Brazilian Pedro Otas (32-5-1, 28 KOs) at 1:18 of the fifth round for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental heavyweight title.

Rising flyweight Mekhdi Abdurashedov (6-0, 3 KOs), just 20, blitzed Ugandan import Frank Kiwalabye (17-2, 13 KOs) in less than two rounds – time of stoppage was 2:41 – to acquire a vacant WBC International 112lb title and a possible spot amongst top WBC-rated flyweights.

In one of the best Russian fights this year so far, local light middleweight Islam Edisultanov (8-0, 6 KOs), 33, a former amateur standout long in making as a pro, dug deep into his reservoir of resources to get something in him needed to stop Alexey “Rocky” Evchenko (18-12-1, 8 KOs) early into the tenth and final round of their fight for a vacant national title. Evchenko, 35, who had a plethora of upset wins previously in his career, has never been stopped before.

WBO #5, IBF #10 and WBC #15 light middleweight Bakhram Murtazaliev improved his credentials with the first-round stoppage of Argentinean Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-7, 18 KOs), dropping him twice in process. Murtazaliev is now 16-0, 13 KOs, while Romay loses his third straight, being stopped before by aforementioned veteran Evchenko.

Welterweight Aslanbek Kozaev (33-2-1, 8 KOs) cruised to an easy win over 21-year old Ghanaian import Abdul Aziz Quartey (18-5, 17 KOs). Quartey was dropped in the first, deducted a point in the second and pummeled for every minute of every round as Kozaev got a unanimous decision with almost identical scores: 80-70, 80-70, and 80-71.

Super middleweight Apti Ustarkhanov (16-3-3, 4 KOs) outpointed Belarussian Dmitry Atrokhov (16-5, 7 KOs) unanimously over eight: 80-72, 79-73, and 77-75.

Viskhan “Little Tyson” Murzabekov continued his roller-coaster career with the second-round stoppage of Ugandan Mudde Ntambi Robinson (23-8-1, 7 KOs). Murzabekov (now 19-4, 13 KOs) dropped Robinson twice in the first.

In a minor upset, Venezuelan Omar Garcia (14-1, 12 KOs) interrupted local celebrations with the fifth-round kayo of previously undefeated light heavyweight Movsur Yusupov (14-1, 6 KOs).

It took local kayo master Rizvan Elikhanov (8-0, 8 KOs) just 42 seconds to annihilate formerly ranked Ugandan Badru Lusambya (26-6-2, 24 KOs).

Also, former amateur talent and 2016 Russian Olympian Adlan Abdurashidov (2-0, 2 KOs) blitzed Tanzanian Max Moshi (9-2, 7 KOs) within a round.

Other results:

Yunadiy Ismailov (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 1 Nurislan Khalikov (0-1)

Idris Shakhmanov (1-0) UD 4 Daniel Negat (1-26)

Sadam Elbiev (2-0, 1 KO) TKO 2 Julius Nsofor (0-1)

Shamil Khataev (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 2 Shamil Badirov (0-2)

Said Khussein Musalipov (1-0) UD 4 Murat Malkarov (1-1)

Saturday, April 20, Kiev

2011 World championship and 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist Denis Berinchyk starred in the main event of the show, promoted by K2 Ukraine Promotions, with legendary Vitali Klitschko observing his triumph at ringside.

WBO #11 Berinchyk (11-0, 7 KOs) outboxed and dominated his toughest challenge to date in grizzled, rugged Japanese veteran Nihito Arakawa (32-7-2, 18 KOs). Berinchik was better in every department but failed to stop an almost unstoppable opponent, cruising to a wide decision instead. Scores were: 120-107, 120-107, and 118-109 – for him. Arakawa was deducted a point in round nine for continuous holding. Berinchyk retained his WBO International lightweight title for the first time.

2016 Ukrainian Olympian Dmytro Mitrofanov (5-0-1, 3 KOs) stormed through Spaniard Jorge “El Tiburon” Valiejo (7-6, 3 KOs) dropping him thrice in round two for a quick TKO victory.

Light welterweight Shamil Galaev (11-0-1, 7 KOs) didn’t overly impress with his hard-fought unanimous decision over Georgian traveler Ambrosi Sutidze (4-16-5, 2 KOs). Scores were: 78-74, 78-75, and 77-75.

Other results:

Dzhamal Usmanov (5-0, 3 KOs) UD 6 Yaroslav Manuilov (1-1). Scores: 60-54, 59-55, 59-55

Yuri Vishnyakov (3-0, 2 KOs) SD 6 Artem Ayvazidi (12-15-1, 5 KOs). Scores: 59-55, 58-56, 57-58

Shokhbozbek Isakov (1-0) UD 4 Konstantin Stadnik (2-1, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36, 40-37, 39-37

Dmytro Scherbina (3-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Maksim Onyshenko (4-10, 3 KOs). Scores: 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37

Vasyl Chebotar (1-0) UD 4 Salokhiddin Fozilov. Scores: 40-36 (x3)


Saturday, April 20, Zhukovka

In the main event of the show, promoted by the World of Boxing Promotions and the Floyd Mayweather Boxing Academy on the outskirts of Moscow in Zhukovka luxury village, Pavel Malikov (15-1-1, 6 KOs) barely retained his Eurasian Boxing Parliament lightweight title with a split decision over willing and ready Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-2-1, 2 KOs).

Malikov was heavily reeling and barely standing after his opponent’s onslaught in the opening round, then went down hard after a right bomb in the fourth. Yet, Malikov got himself up and continued fighting Gadzhialiev on even terms after that. Final scores were: 96-93, 96-94, and 93-95 – for the defending champion.

An always heated (and this time respectful) encounter between an Armenian and an Azerbaijani boxers went to an anticlimactic ending, when WBC/IBF #14 and WBA #15 rated lightweight Aik Shakhnazaryan (23-3, 11 KOs) suffered an injury to his rib section and was forced to retire on his stool after the eighth round of his battle versus Elnur Samedov (9-1, 2 KOs).

That has nothing to distract from Samedov, who showed great fighting skills and was slightly edging equally charged Shakhnazaryan at the time of stoppage. Samedov acquired Aik’s WBA Continental lightweight title in process. Shakhnazaryan suffered his first loss in four years since being stopped by Eduard Troyanovskiy.

In a minor upset, always-ready journeyman Mark Chimidov (5-6-2, 2 KOs) overcame solid points deficit to suddenly stop Ibragim Tsurov (6-3, 1 KO) in the fifth round.

Welterweight Petros Ananyan (14-1-2, 7 KOs) came back to a winning column nine months since his razor-thin unanimous decision loss to Steve Claggett, with the sixth-round stoppage of Arkadiy Harutyunyan (3-6).

WIBA lightweight champion Firuza Sharipova (10-1, 5 KOs) debuted in the light welterweight class with an easy stoppage of debutant Anastasia Trisheva (0-1) in the third round. Kazakhstani’s Sharipova is 10-0 since losing her debut to former amateur talent Sofya Ochigava.

Other results:

Arslan Yallyev (4-0, 1 KO) UD 6 German Skobenko (5-4-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 60-53, 60-53, 59-54

Ilya Scherbakov (2-2, 1 KO) TKO 1 Ibrohim Kholmurodov (0-1)

Vladimir Myshev (8-0, 5 KOs) TKO 3 Vladislav Maksyuchenko (3-1)

Vyacheslav Letovaltsev (4-0) UD 6 Akhmadjon Inakov (1-3-1). Scores: 60-55, 60-55, 59-55

Arslan Magomedov (4-1-1, 4 KOs) TKO 3 Stanislav Maksyuchenko (2-1-1, 1 KO)

Eldor Abdukodirov (1-0) MD 4 Vyacheslav Nazarov (0-1). Scores: 39-37, 39-37, 38-38