By Alexey Sukachev
For the second time in Russian history, Red Square, an epitome of national statehood and one of the most known Muscovite symbols, will be a host for the pro boxing tournament. Last September Yuri Fedorov Sports Lab brought a former heavyweight champion of the world in, Oleg Maskaev, and added a couple of prospects to shape up a highly-hyped boxing card, dedicated to the Day of the City. While those fights weren’t of any notable significance, the overall response was benevolent to the initiative. This Sunday night newly created “Ural Boxing Promotions” (founded in 2008) will follow Fedorov in his footsteps to arrange a compact but thrilling event with two minor title fights and two non-title bouts in the undercard.
The banner battle of the night will see 21 year old Russian middleweight, Anton Novikov (12-0, 5 KOs) defending his recently acquired WBC Youth title against 23 year old Tanzanian banger and former national champion Mada Maugo (8-2, 6 KOs). The fight is scheduled for ten rounds. Southpaw Novikov, still a developing pugilist and former amateur standout, captured the junior WBC belt this February outpointing Ghanaian Isaac Sackey also over ten rounds.
In the semi-main clash of the evening, former Uzbek Olympian and two time WC medalist Sherzod Husanov (13-0, 7 KOs) collides with fellow unbeaten Timur Nergadze (12-0, 2 KOs) in the initial defense of his WBO Asia Pacific junior middleweight title.
WBO #10 Husanov, 29, was once a highly decorated amateur fighter, capturing the bronze medal in 2001 Belfast world championship and going one step higher two years later in Bangkok-2003. He was also a member of Uzbekistan Olympian team in 2004, losing only to a two time gold medalist Oleg Saitov in quarter finals. Husanov joined the paid ranks in 2007 under German Titov promotion and quickly emerged as a contender at 154lbs. Sherzod was earlier scheduled to face Croatian Ante Bilic on July 2, also in Moscow, but that fight was later cancelled for yet undisclosed reasons.
Meanwhile, Nergadze, 30, will probably be Husanov’s most dangerous opponent to the date. Nergadze, a well equipped stylist with feather fists but considerable boxing skills, is the WBC CISBB light middleweight champion and barely lost a single round during his pro career.
The show will be open at 4 PM LT with the fifth appearance of the thunderous super middleweight kayo artist Hetag Kozaev (4-0, 4 KOs). Only 18 years old, Kozaev has never stopped delivering mayhem to the ring, dispatching his opponents in a thrilling and frightful way. He is yet to see the second round and chances are high that Russian Niklay Mirov (1-3) will not be the man to stop this Ossetic crushing machine. Six rounds scheduled.
In the second non-title bout of the evening, unbeaten heavyweight Murad Khalidov (6-0, 3 KOs) will test his skills against Kazakh Kanat Altaev (3-1-2, 2 KOs), who is coming off a disappointing kayo loss to well known journeyman Talgat Dosanov this April for the national title.
“We hope to stage a classy show which will fill all the supporters with positive feelings and thrill the audience. All pairs are well matched and we undoubtedly will see an exciting action on Sunday night”, announced matchmaker Alexey Vasilyev.
This boxing tournament will be a part of the fifth military sportive forum, which is set to be held on the coming weekend, and will be presented in association with the “Ready for Labour and Defense of Russia” military sportive foundation. The entrance is free for all and a major crowd is expected to visit an open-air boxing card and other sportive festivities.