Moscow, Russia - Edgard Moskvichev (13-1-2, 4 KOs) is a new Russian middleweight champion after a solid ten-round unanimous decision over fellow compatriot Andrey Kalyuzhnyy.
Fighting for the first time in his last four fights against a boxer of an origin that is different to Armenian, Moskvichev applied pressure against Kalyuzhnyy from the opening bell. Kalyuzhnyy dropped down two weight classes since his latest outing - a split decision loss to Server Emurlayev just a month ago. Against Moskvichev, who was very aggressive - especially early on - Kalyuzhnyy looked fatigued and weary. He had some success in mid rounds though, also opening a cut over Moskvichev's left eye, but fought very defensively. Moskvichev didn't hesitate to take several punches to land his share of damage and was pumped up and fueled with enthusiasm.
Moskvichev's pressure was well felt by his opponent - particularly, in the closing rounds, and Kalyuzhnyy spent the end of the fight in survival mode, dropping down to 14-4, 12 KOs. Scores were: 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91 - for Edgard Moskvichev.
Super bantamweight Vladimir Nikitin is a relentless fighter but not a great puncher. That didn't prevent him from scoring his first stoppage victory against a fighter with a solid record (on paper) but diminished skills in Azerbaijani Rauf Aghayev.
Nikitin, 31, best known for his heated rivalry against and very questionable Olympic win over Irish Michael Conlan, pressed the action against veteran Aghayev form the very first round. The Azerbaijani, 37, is nicknamed "The Lion" but he looked more like a tortoise, slowly moving along the ropes and trying to cover in a shell against Nikitin's offensive.
For the first two rounds he was relatively successful despite showing zero counterpunching but in the third round Nikitin finally got to Aghayev and troubled him several times. Notably, Aghayev landed some hard blows of his own in heated exchanges but was a bit wobbly after the bell, which turned out to be the last bell of the fight as he retired in the corner during the break. Aghayev loses for the third straight time and drops down to 31-10, 14 KOs, and Nikitin moves up to 5-1-1, 1 KO.
NABA featherweight champion Andranik Grigoryan (14-0, 3 KOs), a light-punching but undeterred Armenian, who competes in Russia after three years spent in Canada, was his usual pressurizing self against elusive but skillful Namibian Nathaniel Kakololo. Grigoryan drove the action and forced Kakololo to retreat under fire. The Namibian boxed successfully on his way out though Grigoryan still landed a lot of punches. Taller and arguably harder-punching Namibian troubled the Armenian a few times on the latter's way in with sudden right uppercuts. Grigoryan had more success at the ropes, specifically during the ninth round but Kakololo (11-3-1, 4 KOs) survived the onslaught.
After ten rounds of two-way action, all three judges had it for Andranik Grigoryan, 27, but no scores were announced. 97-93 and 96-94 seem to be the best choice for the scorecards but a right man was declared a winner to a grain of dismay by Nathaniel Kakololo, 32, and his cornermen.
Unlucky Ukrainian traveller Sergey Shevchuk was a predicted victim for the rising 22-year old light heavyweight David Dzukaev. It took Dzukaev (now 4-0, 3 KOs) just 160 seconds to transform the prediction into reality by knocking Shevchuk out in the very first round. The finishing touch was a left jab to the torso, which put Shevchuk on a knee for a count. The Ukrainian, 33, is now 2-13-1, 2 KOs.
Vagif Abbasov, arguably a top-five amateur light middleweight in the world, came back to the pro ring three years after his latest paid encounter and convincingly outpointed veteran rookie Anatoly Bogomolov over six rounds. The decision was unanimous but no scores were announced. Abbasov, 24, is now 3-0, 1 KO, while Bogomolov, ten years his senior, is 0-1-1.