By Alexey Sukachev and Andrey Bazdrev
A five-bout show has taken place on Saturday night in Samara, Russia, making it a huge present for local fans of boxing. The event was promoted by Kira Plotnikova, the widow of late promoter Alexey Plotnikov, who has tragically died two years ago, with the help of German Titov and Kirill Pchelnikov from German Titov Promotions and Pushka Promotions respectively. The tournament became a nice aftermath of the 2009 International Kostya Tszyu Cup. The most acclaimed Russian pro fighter visited Samara himself and gave six rounds of action to three local amateur standouts, schooling and teaching them priceless tricks and maneuvers.
In the main contest of the night, junior welterweight hard-hitter Ruslan Provodnikov (14-0, 9 KOs) shone brightly and acquired his first professional title with an easy destruction of Argentinean Victor Hugo Castro (29-7, 12 KOs). 25-year old Provodnikov, who starred a few times in ESPN broadcasts, went right after his foe and dropped him in the first round with the barrage of punches. The end came in the second round after another powerful combination of stocky Russian fighter. With the win Provodnikov grabbed a vacant WBO Intercontinental 140lb belt.
Fariz Kazimov, 140lb national champion and 2009 Tszyu Cup winner, dubiously made a solid leap up in class with a controversial victory over former champion DeMarcus “Chop-Chop” Corley (36-12-1, 21 KOs). Kazimov (11-1-1, 3 KOs) moved forward behind the block but was unable to tag elusive Corley decisively. On the other hand, the American fighter penetrated Kazimov’s defense with light but frequent jabs and combinations to score often and, sometimes, at will. Nevertheless, two of three judges saw it in favor of Azerbaijani native 97-93, while the third one gave the same edge to the WBO ex-champion, making it a split decision. Most observers though saw it as a close fight, slightly in Corley’s favor.
Also, pressure specialist Roman Simakov (9-1-1, 5 KOs) has equalized his record with that of Kazakh’s Mikhail Krinistin after a hard-fought eight-round points victory over him. The bout was held at light heavyweight limit. Local favorite Maxim Vlasov (15-0, 6 KOs), who was also showcased overseas, stopped Nodir Ikramov (1-2, 1 KO) in five rounds. Karen Tevosyan (13-1-3, 8 KOs) knocked out Kenyan import James Kimori (13-3, 9 KOs) in the starting fight of the night.