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Full Report

Airich-Salif Photo Report

By Uwe Betker

Last Saturday, Arena Box Promotion presented a boxing event in Cuxhaven, Germany and showed an entertaining and attractive mostly heavyweight program for boxing fans. Konstantin Airich met Cisse Salif in the main event.

Photos: Claudius Schell

Click the photo to go to the next photo

The first fight of the evening was quite unusual: Hamid Rahimi (10-0-0, KOs 1) from Afghanistan was up against the Latvian Jevgenis Kiselevs (3-4-0, KOs 2). Rahimi tried his luck with more or less blind assaults on his opponent, mostly hitting with the inside hand. During the infight Rahimi appeared passive if not downright helpless. Only once, in the third round, did he manage to land a hard blow on Kiselev. Rahimi fought like a puncher, his problem being that he has no punch at all. After four rounds the fight was judged a draw, a decision that probably reflected the course of the fight. After the match Rahimi’s corner protested the verdict und later it was changed into a win for Rahimi.

In the second fight of the evening female boxer Ozlem Sahin (6-0-1, KOs 3), impressively showed that a ten-month break has not robbed her of her speed and punch. Sahin, who boxes in light flyweight and had her first six-rounder fought against Janina Benz (3-2-0, KOs 1). Sahin dominated the experienced and successful kickboxer Benz with her right-left combinations. Benz was severely shaken in round four and six, but both times managed to recover quickly. The judges scored the light flyweight fight 60:54, 60:54, 58:56. It is to be hoped that more fights of Ozlem Sahin, who is probably Germany’s biggest talent in female boxing, can be seen in future.

Next Magomed Yangubaev (4-0-1, KOs 0) from Kazakhstan was up against Valentin Morozovs (4-0-1, KOs 3) from Latvia, who had his first fight against a non-beginner. The lightweight match started cautiously and ended abruptly. Yangubaev’s first combination to the head sent Morozovs to the floor. Unsteadily, he got up and tried to take up the fight again, only to be dazed by a series of punches. To protect the Latvian, who was completely unable to defend himself, the referee stopped the fight. The official verdict was TKO 1 (2.40 min.).

The fourth match of the evening was a rather one-sided affair. In super middleweight, Christian Pawlak (13-3-9, KOs 7) from Germany fought Czech Michal Bilak (19-10-0, KOs 10). Pawlak boxed systematically and controlled his opponent, whereas Bilak only occasionally managed to land one or two punches without much behind them. Pawlak, who is coached by Graciano Rocchigiani, scored with good combinations but his opponent hung in there and gave Pawlak a tough time even after suffering a bad cut over the left eye. The score was 80:72, 80:72 and 79:73.

In the following match, the undefeated Turkish heavyweight Yakup Saglam (20-0-0, KOs 17) had problems with Czech Ladislav Kovarik (8-3-0, KOs 3), who was not only overweight and considerably shorter than Saglam but also clearly not fit. Kovarik, who was bleeding from the nose from the second round, tried his luck with wide haymakers. Saglam, on the other hand, managed not more than hooks. Besides, he failed to use his jab to prepare his left punch and the majority of his punches went wide. In the fifth round Kovarik finally ran out of breath. Before any serious harm was done the referee stopped the fight (TKO 5, 2:28 min).

The sixth fight of the evening showed Wladimir Virchis, who returned after his defeat against Juan Carlos Gomez in the world eliminator a year ago. Unfortunately, the long break did him no good. An opponent like the Latvian Edgar Kalnars (20-19-0, KOs 11) should have been no problem for a heavyweight fighter like Virchis, but not so this evening. Virchis tried to live up to his nom-de-guerre “The Hunter”, but was too slow for his prey and rather lumbered around the ring. Meanwhile his opponent tried hard to survive. In the third round Kalnars used an imaginary low blow for a little rest, which probably got him thinking and gave him the idea that he might defend himself. Anyway, from there on he got more active and even managed to land some punches, which made the rest of the six-rounder more lively and even entertaining. The judges scored the match 59:55, 59:55 and 59:56.

Low blows should play an important role also in the next heavyweight match featuring the Ukrainian boxer Alex Mazikin (13-2-1, KOs 3) and Ondrej Pala (24-2-0, KOs 18) from the Czech Republic. As Mazikin had no concept against Pala, who was the better and faster boxer, he concentrated on throwing body punches. Some of these went too low, which had him a point deducted in the fifth. Others, although not too low, brought out Pala’s innate acting talent, which resulted in a standing eight count against him in the sixth. The hard fought eight-rounder ended with a points win (77:75, 80:69 and 80:72) and a contract with Arena for Pala.

In the eight and last match of the evening local champion Konstantin Airich (12-2-1, KOs 10) fought Cisse Salif (23-16-2, KOs 21) from Mali. Airich had lost his penultimate fight against Ondrea Pala on points and found Salif, who had gone the distance with Tua, Akinwande and Solis, a tough opponent. Airich could make up for his disadvantage in reach with his speed, aggressiveness and relentlessness, but Salif was waiting for his chance as a knockout artist. Although he got tired at the end of the eight-rounder heavyweight encounter, Salif almost managed to floor Airich, who at the end of that round was staggering around the ring. But at the sounding of the gong Airich was still standing and could celebrate a clear points win. The score was 79:73, 79:75 and 78:74.

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