By Alexey Sukachev
Finnish heavyweight champion Juho Haapoja (7-2-1, 5 KOs) will be back to the squared circle on Feb. 21, in Vaasa, Finland, to defend his Baltic Boxing Union belt against an opponent to be named soon in a scheduled eight-rounder. Haapoja, 28, acquired his crown last year with a split decision over Russian journeyman Daniel Peret(yatko). He also won the national title with a ninth-round stoppage of experienced Sami Elovaara last November.
The upcoming show is promoted by a newly-created Finnish pro-boxing team and managerial group Caramelito Promotions which is led by Haapoja´s personal coach Petro Koskimies.
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In other Baltic Boxing Union news, winners of the six 2008 BBU annual awards were defined by the respective leaders of the sanctioning body.
Boxer of the year: Juho Haapoja (Finland, 7-2-1, 5 KOs).
Prospect of the year: Sergey Melis (Estonia, 11-0, 1 KO).
Fight of the year: Matt Zegan (Poland) PTS 8 Dariusz Snarski (Poland), Nov. 7, Wieliczka.
Promoter of the year: Tomasz Babilonski (Poland), Tom Boxing Team
Special nomination: manager Oleg Bogdanov (Russia)
Special nomination: boxer Grzegorz Soszynski (Poland, 11-0-1, 5 KOs)
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As of now, there are four boxers, listed as the BBU champions:
Juho Haapoja (Finland) – heavyweight
Grzegorz Soszynski (Poland) – light heavyweight
Matt Zegan (Poland) – lightweight
Andrey Kostin (Russia) – bantamweight
Mariusz Cendrowski (Poland) -BBU international middleweight titlist