By Alexey Sukachev
After a tedious one-and-a-half-month break without any significant fights in late December and January, Russian boxing promoters will resume their activities in February with an increased tempo. It all starts on February 13th, when former world title challenger-turned-promoter Andrey Shkalikov will present Russia’s first boxing event in 2009 at Triumph Sports Palace in Lyubertsy, several kilometers from Moscow.
Headlining the show is a promising super middleweight Dmitry Sukhotsky (11-0, 6 KOs), best known for his win over former European titleholder David Gogiya the last year. Sukhotsky takes on dangerous Ghanaian kayo artist James Obede Toney (23-3-1, 19 KOs) in a scheduled twelve-rounder.
Filling in the undercard is a bunch of prospects and journeymen, including Russian welterweight champion Alexey Yevchenko (6-6-1, 2 KOs) and Uzbek pugilists Ravshan Hudoinazarov (5-0, 4 KOs) and Doniyor Rakhmatullaev (9-3-1, 4 KOs). Also talented welterweight Ruslan Amirov (5-0, 2 KOs) will come back after a year-long hiatus against Russian junior middleweight champion Khan Azizov (5-2-1, 1 KO) in a non-title six-rounder.
A day later, one of the top Russian prospects Denis Shafikov (17-0, 9 KOs) will make his return to the ring in a main event of P3 Boxing promoted fight card “Beatings for the Valentine II” at Pynikin Pallloiluhalli in Tampere, Finland. Shafikov, 23, who easily defeated former world champion Raul Horacio Balbi in his last outing, faces Thai import and fellow peer Decho Bankluaygym (30-11-2, 19 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Recent EBU title challenger Juho Tolppola (21-5-1, 9 KOs) and rising prospect Edis Tatli (6-0) will see action in an undercard.
Six days later Alexander Yagupov’s Colosseum Box Promotions in association with Vitaly Supichenko’s Jab Promotion will arrange a local show at Casino Conti in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In a headliner, WBO #15 middleweight Gennady Martirosian (15-1, 5 KOs) will test his skills against Thailand’s Kiatchai Singwancha (26-5, 16 KOs) over ten rounds. Cruiserweight Alexander Kotlobay (12-1-1, 7 KOs) is slated to face Hungary’s Jozsef Nagy (20-3-1, 14 KOs) also in a ten rounder. Hard-hitting Uzbek super featherweight Sherzod Nazarov (10-3-1, 9 KOs) and young heavyweight gun Maxim Maslov (6-0, 4 KOs) will take part in the show as well.
On February 21st, Stanislav Bukhlov and German Titov will unite their efforts to compile the first stage of annual International Tszyu Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Tszyu Fund for Sport Support and Development provides an overall control over the whole tournament. This year Tszyu Cup will apply a complicated formula to define its successor. During the first three stages eight boxers will eliminate each other in a knockout tournament with the last man making it to the final fourth stage. In the final he will collide with a renowned foreign fighter to be announced later. The winner of the whole competition will be awarded with a solid paycheck of $100,000.
Four pairs of the first staged have already been defined. Rising light welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov (10-0, 7 KOs) faces Mokhammadsoli Kimsanbayev (8-1, 2 KOs) of Uzbekistan. Unbeaten Russian Kahren Tevosyan (10-0-3, 5 KOs) will take on Thai Parinya Jockeygym (1-4-1). Albert Valeev (6-1, 3 KOs) clashes with Ukrainian Anatoly Sidorov (2-1-1) and, finally, Timur Gimaev (7-1-1, 2 KOs) collides with Kenyan Geoffrey Gaya (3-1, 1 KO). The second stage is pre-scheduled on May 9th, while the third one is preliminarily is secured for the 31st of September.
Finally, a week later Oleg Bondar of Ural Boxing Promotions will set the 15th annual tournament in a name of former amateur standout Stanislav Sorokin in Noginsk, Russia. For the first time this then-amateur competition will be arranged as a pro boxing card. In a main event, WBC CISBB light middleweight titlist Timur Nergadze (10-0, 2 KOs) defends his regalia against Uzbek upset master Tursunboy Ablyakimov (10-1, 3 KOs) in a twelve-rounder. Also Anton Novikov (11-0, 5 KOs) contests the vacant WBC youth junior middleweight title with Ghanaian Isaac Sackey (4-3, 2 KOs). A bunch of local prospects will shape up the undercard.