By Alexey Sukachev
Fighting through severe cuts over both eyes, WBA (regular) champion Vyacheslav Senchenko (30-0, 20 KOs) of Ukraine retained his welterweight title with a lopsided unanimous decision over WBA #15 Japanese Motoki Sasaki (32-8-1, 20 KOs) on Saturday night at Druzhba Palace of Sports in his hometown of Donetsk during a huge “Pro Boxing Show V”, staged in the city by Union Boxing Promotions. European featherweight champion Oleg Yefimovich, however, was the most impressive prizefighter of the event, scoring a brutal stoppage of once-capable Brit Esham Pickering.
Local hero Senchenko controlled the action from the distance till the sixth round of the fight, when shorter Sasaki cut his right eyebrow with what seemed to be an intentional headbutt. The Japanese fighter was deducted two points for that illegal foul, and the cut hadn’t helped him much either, as Senchenko continued to dominate his shorter opponent till the final bell yet without an earlier ease. However, it was later revealed that the cut over his right eye bothered champion badly as he was reportedly on the verge of quitting after round ten because of the impaired vision. It was the superior work of the cutman that helped him not only to last till the final bell (with a second cut over his left eyebrow) but also to prevent Sasaki from sapping energy from him.
Scores were 119-107 (thrice) for the local hero by judges Ignacio Robles, Steve Weisfeld and Robert Hoyle. Referee in the ring was IBHOF entrée Stanley Christodoulou from RSA. “Sugar” Shane Mosley is the WBA super champion in this weight class.
EBU featherweight champion Oleg Yefimovich (now 17-1, 11 KOs) continued his reign of terror in Europe by becoming only the second fighter to stop durable Brit Esham Pickering (34-9, 13 KOs) inside the distance. The former world title challenger was down twice after left hands in round two and was finally knocked out by highly ranked (WBO #7, IBF #9, WBC #10 and WBA #11) Yefimovich in the third after a powerful left hook. Time was 1:01 of the third. It was the third consecutive defense for a rising Ukrainian star.
EBU-EE junior welterweight champion Vladimir Kravets (20-0, 13 KOs) retired his younger Georgian opponent Beka Sadjaia (18-9-1, 3 KOs) after the fourth with his constant aggression and masterful pin-punching ability. Kravets retained his title for the fifth time since December 2006.
Georgian cruiserweight Yago Kiladze (11-0, 8 KOs) acquired the vacant WBC Youth intercontinental belt with the tenth-round unanimous decision over rugged Uzbek cruiserweight champion Isroil Kurbonov (5-5-1) over ten workmanlike rounds with scores 100-89 and 100-90 (twice).
WBO #11 and WBC #14 super middleweight Stas Kashtanov (25-0, 14 KOs) failed to become the first one to stop ultra-durable Russian journeyman Vasily Andriyanov (7-22, 1 KO) outpointing him over eight rounds: 80-72 (twice) and 80-73.
Former European lightweight champion Andrey Kudriavtsev (32-7, 13 KOs) destroyed Russian Alexander Saltykov (8-18-3, 5 KOs) in exactly two minutes of the very first round.
Artem Karpets (6-0, 4 KOs) UD 8 Fayzullo Akhmedov (7-6, 4 KOs). Scores were 78-74 and 78-76 (twice).
Server Yemurlayev (14-0, 5 KOs) UD 8 Sergey Beloshapkin (7-5, 2 KOs). Scores were 79-74, 80-73 and 80-72.
Alexander Nesterenko (7-1, 4 KOs) UD 6 Ayvaz Rustamov (2-3). Scores were 60-56 (thrice).
Olexander Chervyak (8-0, 1 KO) MD 6 Artem Redko (15-2-1, 8 KOs).
Stanislav Merdov (28-7, 22 KOs) TKO 6 Farhod Oripov (9-5-1, 4 KOs).
Sherzodbek Alimjanov (16-1, 10 KOs) UD 4 Vladimir Scherban (0-3).