Moscow will host a huge boxing event dedicated to a memory of the late WBC vice-president Edmund Lipinski, one of the biggest figures in the history of Russian professional boxing, regarded by many to be its founder within the ex-USSR borders. He passed away abruptly in Germany on March 20, while serving as the WBC supervisor for a heavyweight title match-up between Vitali Klitschko and Juan Carlos Gomez. His memory will be honored by an assortment of WBC minor title match-ups.
The main event, however, will see a fight of different sort. MMA star Alexander Yemelyanenko (younger brother of Fedor) will make his pugilistic debut in a four-rounder against fellow debutant Khizir Pliev. “I hope my debut will bring more attention not only to this certain tournament but also to the whole world of professional boxing in Russia. I don’t care whom I’ll be fighting against; I’m sure I shall defeat any possible opponent to acquire some major belts at heavyweight division. It’ll be a good challenge of my skills.”
Two vacant WBC International titles will be contested in a virtual double-header, which, however, will be put deeper into the card by the aforementioned event. Timur Nergadze (12-0-1, 2 KOs) of Kranodar, Russia, and Russian-based former Uzbek Olympian and amateur star Sherzod Husanov (13-0-1, 7 KOs) collides in a grudge rematch of their June open-air clash. That time WBO Asian Pacific light middleweight beltholder Husanov, 29, who is currently ranked #25 by the WBC and #11 by the WBO, was held to a sensational twelve-round draw by a relative underdog Nergadze (WBC #24), 31. Scores were 113-115 (Nergadze), 114-114 and 119-109 (Husanov).
The second WBC International title fight will see another Uzbek amateur standout Alisher Rakhimov (18-0, 10 KOs) moving up in weight to take on Kyrgyz prospect Jahongir Abdullaev (18-3, 6 KOs) at the lightweight limit. 31-year old Rakhimov is widely considered as one of the best super featherweights in Eurasia. He is currently ranked #14 by the WBO at 130lb and coming off a year-long layoff. Abdullaev, 27, is less successful, having lost thrice in his last four bouts.
Three more WBC Baltic titles will be reportedly contested in an undercard. Remarkably, the tournament will most probably have only one non-title affair but at least 54 title rounds to support it. Moscow-based Georgian Georgi Kevlishvili (11-0, 3 KOs) takes on fellow unbeaten Russian national champion Ayup Arsaev (8-0, 4 KOs) for the featherweight version of the belt. Arsaev best victory came in June 2007 against tough Filipino Pederito Laurente; Kevlishvili delivered his gutsiest performance this July, scoring an extremely hard-fought decision over Thai Saichon Satornpitak (then 10-0). This can easily be the best fight of the evening itself.
Hard-charging super middleweight sensation Hetag Kozaev, 18, who has scored all of his five wins inside the single round, battles Latvian upset specialist Jurijs Boreiko (15-18-1, 5 KOs). Finally, the WBC Baltic light heavyweight belt will be up for grabs between Seifudin Barakhoev (8-2, 5 KOs) and Rudolf Asaturyan (8-2, 4 KOs). All these bouts are scheduled for ten rounds; however, their exact title status and the presence of the WBC Baltic belt at stake is still being discussed between all involved parties. The fourth pre-planned WBC Baltic match-up between unbeaten welterweights Anton Alexeev (3-0, 1 KO) and Ruslan Amirov (5-0, 2 KOs) has fallen through due to an injury, suffered by Amirov.
The whole tournament was inspired and brought into life by newly appointed WBC vice-president Mikhail Denisov, who is also doing his best at unifying WBC presence along former Soviet Republics and neighboring countries. “It’s just the beginning of a long road. We plan to make it the annual tournament, which will feature even more quality title fights in future”, revealed Mikhail Denisov his plans to the media. “Edmund Cheslavovich Lipinski was a special man. He has conducted a terrific job of bringing pro boxing into life in Russia. I consider him the founder of Russian professional boxing. He was my true inspirer and his loyal service to the Sweet Science cannot be forgotten”.
“Maybe for the first time in recent memory top-notch Russian promoters united their efforts to bring fans something really impressive”, continues Denisov. Lipinski Memorial will be organized by the Ural Box Promotions (governed by Evgueny Vainstein) and co-promoted by the Ural Box Promotions, German Titov Promotions, Kirill Pchelnikov’s PUSHKA promotional group and the Kitek fight club (ruled by Marc Meltzer).
The whole card, which will be loaded at Russian State University of Physical Culture (or RGUFK in Russian, RSUPC in English), is sponsored by the Military-Sportive Foundation (chairman is General Victor Komogorov), set by RSUPC (chancellor Alexander Bleer) and is conducted under the guidance and spiritual support of the Russian Orthodox Church. Admission is totally free; the whole income of the show and fan-friendly contests for the audience being presented to the specific cadet corps in charge. The doors will be opened at 5 PM LT. The pre-fight presser is to be conducted at 3 PM on the previous day at the same place.
Edmund Cheslavovich Lipinski, once an amateur fighter himself, was conferred the title “Master of sports of the USSR” in 1959; he was presented with an award of “The Honor Coach of Russia” for his trainer achievements in 1973. Lipinski was a head of Russian Boxing Federation since 1982 till 1989, at the same time being the deputy chairman of USSR Boxing Federation (since 1985). Edmund Lipinski died while being the Deputy General Director of the Moscow City Sports Bureau (since 1990), also the president of the Independent and Slovenian Boxing Bureau (since 1993) and the vice-president of the WBC (1996). He was recognized as one of the most influential personalities in Russian boxing, being one of the reasons why Russia has recently come into power as one of the world’s leading boxing countries.
Note: all bouts are subject of change.