By Alexey Uralets (ringside) and Alexey Sukachev
The second stage of the annual International Kostya Tszyu Cup was held Saturday at the Ice Palace of Tyumen, Russia. The show was promoted by Kira Plotnikova, the pairs were rendered by Stanislav Bukhlov, and the living legend himself found a time to visit the city and open the tournament himself. In what was destined to be a special attraction, light welterweight prospect and former amateur standout ‘King’ Khabib Allakhverdiev (10-0, 5 KOs) looked spectacular in the fifth-round stoppage of Uzbek Abdulaziz Matazimov (8-2, 3 KOs). The first three rounds were pretty even with Allakhverdiev using his sharp jab to constantly bother his opponent and the Uzbek fighter countering him well. However, in the fourth round ‘King’ Khabib increased the tempo and dropped Matazimov at the end of the round. Allakhverdiev decked his opponent again in round five and after another blistering series the referee stopped the one-sided contest.
In the first official semifinal, young Ukrainian junior welterweight Anatoly Sidorov (4-1-1, no KOs) survived the last round knockdown to capture an upset majority decision over local favorite Timur Gimaev (8-2-1, 2 KOs). Gimaev was by far the most aggressive of two but he was also less accurate and less consistent with his tough although single-punched pressing being ineffective against slick 21-year old southpaw. The first two rounds were, however, in his favor. Sidorov turned the tide in the third round by scoring frequently with his light but sharp counter combos. The midst of the fight was visually for the marching Gimaev but it was Anatoly indeed who really controlled the bout. Gimaev started to work put his punches together in the seventh and he dropped his opponent in the final eighth round but it was too little and too late to earn him a victory.
In the second semifinal, Fariz Kazimov (9-1-1, 2 KOs) scored his most important victory so far by stopping previously unbeaten Karen Tevosyan (11-1-3, 6 KOs) in seven heated rounds. All stanzas were very close and the fan-friendly brawl was held in close quarters. Both combatants delivered their A-game but for the first five rounds the collision was pretty even. Finally, Kazimov started to dominate Tevosyan in the sixth round and dropped his with a combo at the starters of the seventh. Karen was immediately down again after a huge left hand to the head. The knockdown was pretty scary but Tevosyan somehow rose on his wobbly legs only to be saved by the referee moments later in round seven. Big win for Kazimov, who will face Anatoly Sidorov in the final later this year.
Also, Murad Bekov (4-2) scored an unanimous decision against Unid Soliev (1-3) over four rounds.