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“Champions League” in Zaporizhya

By Alexey Sukachev

Living up to their promise to stage no less than ten big boxing cards in 2009, K2 East Promotions, undoubtedly and overwhelmingly the most active Ukrainian boxing company, will load yet another show at Yunost’ Palace of Sports in Zaporizhya on this coming Saturday with the help of Nemiroff and an inter-media group. It will be billed “Champions League,” and a number of K2 East local diamonds will be brought into the spotlight during the evening.

The main event of the show will see Kiev-based Russian fighter of Chechen origin Zaurbek Baysangurov (22-1, 16 KOs) defending his WBA I/C 154lb title against German-based Kosovo expatriate Frank Shabani (18-1, 6 KOs). 24-year old Baysangurov, ranked #1 by the EBU, #6 by the WBA, #7 by the WBC and #12 by the WBO, is a former European and WBC International titlist. He was one step from fighting for the IBF light middleweight title but unexpectedly lost to Cornelius Bundrage last December via a shocking technical knockout in the IBF eliminator for the second place. Redeeming himself well with two first-round blowouts of mediocre opposition, Baysangurov proved his toughness in a sweep decision over rugged Nigerian Eromosele Albert in August in his native Chechnya in front of a roaring crowd, Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov and K2 East chief partner and coordinator Wladimir Klitschko.

Meanwhile, Baysangurov won’t be the first Russian to test the skill of the German fighter. A year ago Shabani, then the undefeated welterweight prospect collided with the battle-tested and ultra-tough Russian upset artist Roman Seliverstov only to be awarded a dubious unanimous decision in what was a very close fight. The first loss was, however, ahead for Shabani and he suffered it this May in Helsinki, dropping yet again a unanimous decision to Italian veteran Leonard Bundu in a close tactical contest.

In the main supportive bout of the evening, 25-year old Ukrainian junior middleweight Dmitry Nikulin (19-0, 6 KOs), who has recently relocated himself under the K2 East aegis, will duke it out with Uzbek Abdulaziz Matazimov (10-3, 4 KOs) for the vacant WBO Europe 154lb belt. Matazimov has lost only three times in his career to Sherali Mamadaliev, Ruslan Provodnikov and Khabib Allakhverdiev with a combined record of 25-0.

In a four-round special attraction Beijing super heavyweight bronze medalist Vyacheslav Glazkov (2-0), fighting under German Titov and Kirill Pchenlnikov promotion, meets fellow countryman Stas Belokon (3-2, 1 KO). Light heavyweight Vitaly Rusal (24-1, 17 KOs) faces another Uzbek Abror Oripov (3-1-1) in an eight-round tune-up. Undefeated heavyweight Andrey Rudenko (15-0, 8 KOs) takes on Uzbek heavyweight champion Isroil Kurbonov (5-5-1). Also, Sergey “Professor” Fedchenko (23-1, 11 KOs) will try to eliminate dark thoughts from his memory after an upset major decision loss to unheralded South African Kaizer Mabuza this September. Fedchenko collides with, not surprisingly, Uzbek Sherzodbek Mamajanov (8-2-4, 5 KOs). Three more of K2 East talent pool will see action in an undercard, including Alexander Spirko (6-0, 3 KOs), Vitaly Nevesely (3-0, 2 KOs) and Salambek Baysangurov (3-0, 2 KOs). Doors open at 6 PM LT.




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