By Alexey Sukachev
Here is a country-by-country roundup of the latest news. In the Ukraine, plans are big this summer for junior middleweight contender Zaurbek Baysangurov (20-1, 15 KOs). Last April Baysangurov, coming back from the upset loss to Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage in an IBF eliminator for the second spot, forced his opponent Mikheil Khucishvili to retire after the only complete round of fighting. And now it’s time for the real comeback. On May 30 in Kiev, Ukraine, the 24-year-old locally based Russian banger will headline the fourth K2 East tournament this year squaring up to Italian veteran Christian De Martinis (22-2, 10 KOs) for the vacant WBA Intercontinental title. If successful against Martinis, Baysangurov will make his overseas debut this August against Contender II successor Grady Brewer (25-11, 14 KOs) for the vacant IBO belt.
“Our country is in need of great sportive achievements. We hope Zaur will defeat his opponent on May 30 and by doing so he will make an exceptional present on the eve of Kiev City Day”, encouraged Vitali Klitschko.
“This February Baysangurov spent a long time at Wild Card Gym honing his skills under the guidance of such a great coach as Freddie Roach. I’m sure his will show us these new tricks against Martinis”, said K2 East general director Alexander Krasyuk.
In the main support fight of the evening, middleweight Max ‘The Tormentor’ Bursak (17-0-1, 6 KOs) will test his mastership versus tough German journeyman Alexander Sipos (19-6-2, 9 KOs) over ten rounds. Prospects Alexander Spirko (4-0, 2 KOs), Dmitry Nikulin (17-0, 6 KOs) and Mario Preskar (15-0-2, 10 KOs) will also take their parts in the show. Salambek Baysangurov (1-0), the younger brother of the headliner, will be showcased as well.
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In other K2 East news, on May 14 Marina Uzelkova gave a birth to her first son. Marina is a wife of highly ranked (WBA #2, WBO #5, WBC #11 and IBF #12) light heavyweight contender Vyacheslav Uzelkov (20-0, 12 KOs).
The second stage of the annual International Kostya Tszyu Cup will be held on May 30 at Ice Palace in Tyumen, Russia. The tournament will be promoted by Kira Plotnikova, the widow of late promoter Alexey Plotnikov, who tragically died in auto accident one and a half years ago.
In the first semifinal, Karen Tevosyan (11-0-3, 6 KOs) squares up to Fariz Kasimov (8-1-1, 1 KO) who replaces favorite Ruslan Provodnikov in the tournament. Provodnikov, dominating the first quarterfinal, is preparing for his graduation work right now and has to withdraw from the Cup. In the second semifinal, Timur Gimaev (8-1-1, 2 KOs) faces Ukrainian Anatoly Sidorov (3-1-1). Also, in light welterweight special attraction undefeated ‘King’ Khabib Allakhverdiev (9-0, 4 KOs) will collide with Uzbek native Abdulaziz Matazimov (8-1, 3 KOs). All these fights are scheduled for eight rounds.
Sergey Stepkin of Union Boxing Management and Oleg Bogdanov will unite their efforts to stage a small show in Vyborg, Russia, on this Sunday night. Unbeaten prospects Ulugbek Buribaev (11-0, 10 KOs) and Mikhail Makarov (9-0, 4 KOs) as well as the experienced veteran Marat Khuzeev (17-4-1, 6 KOs) will be showcased in separate bouts.
Alexander Polguy, the new face in Russian boxing community, will stage his first ever pugilistic tournament on June 4 at Triumph Palace of Sports in Lyubertsy, Russia, with the help of established Jab Promotions Company.
In the main event, Rudolf Asaturyan (8-1, 4 KOs), the former light heavyweight national champion, will move down to super middleweight to challenge unbeaten former amateur standout Konstantin Piternov (6-0, 1 KO) for the vacant Russian title in this weight class. Piternov was 306-22 at unpaid ranks.
Also, young heavyweight gun Maxim Maslov (8-0, 6 KOs) will go against his most dangerous opponent to date in Danish Claus Bertino (11-1, 8 KOs). The fight is scheduled for eight rounds. Finally, welterweight prospect Sherali Mamadaliev (5-0, 3 KOs) of Tajikistan will clash against Argentinean journeyman Norberto Adrian Acosta (15-19-3, 4 KOs) also over eight.
Super flyweight contender-turned-promoter Marat Mazimbaev will stage his second tournament this year on May 30 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A number of local prospects will face tough opponents.
In the main event, Kanat Kartenbaev (8-3-2, 2 KOs) will go twelve against Indonesian Tia Coswara (16-8-2, 9 KOs). Middleweight Simeon Uporov (8-1, 5 KOs) faces Russian Alexey Chirkov (18-5, 11 KOs) over six, and lightweight Berik Kaliev (3-0, 2 KOs) collides with much more experienced Kyrgyz Jahongir Abdullaev (17-2, 5 KOs) also over six. Finally, 2005 Mianyang light flyweight bronze medalist and 2008 Beijing Olympian Mirat Sarsembaev will make his much awaited pro debut as a bantamweight.
WBA #8 super flyweight Timor Shailezov (15-2-1, 3 KOs), who is also the WBA intercontinental titlist, will clash against much bigger local lightweight Damir Konushbaev (6-6-1, 3 KOs) on June 5 at Metro bar in Bishkek, Kyrgyz capital. Heavyweight Marat Jumanaliev (7-0-1, 2 KOs) will go ten rounds against ever dangerous TBA in the main support fight of the evening.
Two undefeated prospects will headline a small show, promoted by Vitaly Maslennikovs, this Saturday night in Riga. Russian bantamweight Sakhib Usarov (10-0, 5 KOs) and heavyweight Alexey Soloviev (15-0, 10 KOs) both are scheduled for six round tune-ups against local pro losers.
Also on May 23, local promoter Vidoje Sjekloca will arrange a nice-packed little show in Herceg Novi. Nicola Sjekloca (14-0, 5 KOs) will defend his WBC Mediterranean super middleweight belt against yet undefined opponent in the twelve-round main event. Super featherweight Dejan Zlaticanin (7-0, 5 KOs) and hard-hitting 18-year old Russian 168lb sensation Hetag Kozaev (4-0, 4 KOs), who is yet to enter the second round, will shape up the undercard.
Only 9-0, with 7 KOs, light welterweight Karlo Tabaghua is indeed a cosmopolitan. Born in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, 24-year old fighter resides in Sweden, and has already fought in Poland, Germany and Bulgaria. This Saturday Tabaghua faces Latvian journeyman Sergejs Volodins (3-7, 2 KOs) over six in Elbląg, Poland. In July Tabaghua will continue his Eastern European tour by fighting in Hungary and Croatia.