By Alexey Sukachev
In a heated heavyweight rematch, local favorite Konstantin Airich (13-2-2, 10 KOs) failed to avenge his first career draw and seemingly dropped a wide decision to Ukrainian prospect-turned-journeyman Alexey Mazikin (13-4-2, 3 KOs) everywhere except for judges’ scorecards. Mazikin dominated almost the whole fight with his slow yet effective pressure. He was especially successful in landing big overhand rights through Airich’s defense and penetrated his shell with lean left jabs to the stomach as well. Airich had some success in later rounds thanks to his will and probably desperation but it was clearly not enough to earn him a decision. However, two cards played in his favour; the first being a nasty cut over Mazikin’s right eye, and the second one was a deduction of two points from the Ukrainian giant in round three for low blows, which put him on the brink of disqualification. After eight rounds, two judges scored the fight a draw 76-76, while the third one saw it in Airich’s favour 77-75. Fightnews scorecard differed much and looked like 79-73 – for Mazikin.
In what probably should have been a major upset and what turned out to be a dubious decision, local favorite Mahir Oral (27-2-2, 10 KOs) scored a controversial eight-round majority decision over extremely crude but determined to the same degree Italian Fabio Liggieri (11-5-4, 2 KOs). Oral looked a better fighter for the first two rounds but as the bout progressed he didn’t press the “gas” button enough. Liggieri, on the other hand, marched forward without any breaks throwing wild hooks combined with pretty effective body pucnhes to both sides of Oral’s body. It looked like the Italian was sharper in rounds three and four, and the fifth stanza was even. The locally supported Turk was successful with his uppercuts in close quarters a bit instead of circling around the wild Italian enforcer and using his height advantage. Oral did even less in the ring down the stretch, while the dirty but very active Liggieri used every angle to hit his reluctant opponent. The last two rounds were also in his favour as he kept coming while Oral did little except for clinching and holding. Surprisingly, two of three judges had it in favour of Oral with scores 78-76 and 77-76, while the third one scored the fight a draw 76-76. Fightnews saw it 78-75 – for Liggieri, who should be proud of his performance tonight. Oral was previously ranked #11 by the WBC and #13 by the IBF at 160lb.
Beijing gold medalist Felix Diaz (4-0, 3 KOs) of Dominican Republic, who is co-promoted by German Titov and Kirill Pchelnikov, showed his natural talent once again in impressive destruction of previously unstopped Czech Bronislav Kubin (9-2, 5 KOs). After the cautious first round, the southpaw Dominican started to apply his trademark pressure to Kubin in round two and dropped him for the first time in the midst of the stanza. The third round saw wobbly kubin down again, and the end came after a punishing left hook by Diaz at 1:49 of the third round. Referee Daniel Van de Viele issued no count waving the fight off immediately.