By Alexey Sukachev and Andrey Bazdrev
WBC #30 middleweight Anton Novikov (15-0, 6 KOs), 22, successfully defended his WBC Youth minor title for the second time dominating 25-year old Tanzanian Karama Nyilawila (11-7-1, 6 KOs) over ten pretty one-sided rounds this past Saturday at “Znamya” Palace of Sports in the Noginsk, Moscow Region. This contest headlined a major show, promoted by Ural Boxing Promotions (Evgueny Vainshtein) and dedicated to the memory of soviet amateur star Stanislav Sorokin (Tokyo 1964 bronze medalist), which also contained another title match-up and five non-title bouts with a number of local talent and accomplished boxers too.
Photos: Alexander Kolesnikov (akboxing.ru)
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Novikov, a smooth southpaw counter-puncher, is too small for his current weight class. He opted not to work as a pressure fighter and not to bring the fight to the bigger and stronger Nyilawila but to lure out of his defense into attack. The Russian fighter was able to outwork raw Tanzanian over the first four rounds but experienced some problems when Nyilawila, changing his stance to southpaw, started his unorthodox way forward. However, Novikov’s experience, both pro and amateur, resulted in several stopping blows to keep African at his bay. Round seven was huge for Novikov who scored several times with liver shots and added a number of hard blows to the head. Sensing the fight was flowing away, Nyilawila increased his tempo in the last round bit it was too little and obviously too late to change anything. All three judges saw it in favor of the Russia, who started his career as a welterweight.
“We understand, Anton is too small for this weight division,” told Alexey Vasilyev (Ural Boxing match-maker) after the fight. “But we were given a chance to fight for the minor title and we thought it could be a nice school for our youngster. Anton is now coming back to junior middleweight and even a move to 147 lbs is possible in the near future.” That surely will be a wise move to accomplish.
In the most entertaining contest of the night Enem veteran Timur Nergadze (13-1-1, 2 KOs), coming off a draw and a loss to world-ranked Uzbek Sherzod Husanov, bounced back with a hard-fought ten-round victory over Khanlar Azizov (6-3-1, 1 KO). After the tedious first round, Nergadze found a sport for his frequent but light jab which spoilt Azizov’s attack in the second. Azizov answered with several double right hooks to the body in the third and started to dig to the corpse once and again. In round six Azizov rocked Nergadze badly with a major overhand right and almost had him down but Timur recovered well and used his counter-punching to take the next round. The winner was defined in the final rounds and it was Nergadze who wobbled rushing Azizov with a hard counter but failed to make the job done. After ten rounds three judges scored this battle for heavily tattooed Nergadze, the Russian new light middleweight champion.
Rising heavyweight Murad Khalidov (9-0, 4 KOs) did what he should have done, stopping crowd-pleasing Kazakh champion Tolgat Dosanov (13-14-1, 6 KOs) in three rounds. Despite clowning as usual veteran Dosanov was taking a huge punishment before the stoppage. It looks like he is getting old.
19-year old crushing puncher Khetag Kozaev (9-0, 8 KOs) was forced to go the distance (six rounds) for the first time in his career against extremely durable Belarussian Konstantin Makhankov (15-20-1, 6 KOs), who survived through battles against a handful of the super middleweight (and neighboring) elite, including Karoly Balzsay, Sergey Tatevosyan and Dmitry Sukhtosky. In fact his only premature loss came by the hands of feared kayo-artist Victor Oganov, when he was stopped on his feet. Kozaev tried hard but was unable to kayo Makhankov, who started aggressively but turned in spoiler mode after the first telling blow by the Russian.
Khetag’s elder brother Aslanbek (10-0, 4 KOs) was better than Maxim Smirnov (5-3-2, 2 KOs) but heard the final bell as well and even faced some circumstances, clinching a unanimous decision over eight rounds.
Aslanbek Tlatov (3-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Igor Ryabichev (1-1)
Ahror Muralimov (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 3 Vagap Vagapov (0-1)