By Alexey Sukachev at ringside
Moscow-based Tajik Sahib Usarov (now 13-0, 6 KOs) delivered the best performance of his short pro career to capture a vacant WBO European bantamweight title tonight in the Montreal Night Club at the All-Russian Exposition Centre, Moscow, Russia.
Click the photo to go to the next photo
Shorter (5’4”) southpaw Usarov, 26, was better than his Miami-based Russian opponent Alexander Fedorov (19-7-1, 12 KOs), 32 and standing tall at 5’7”, throughout the whole night with his busy punching, tricky combinational style and underrated defense. Usarov, who is also the reigning Russian bantamweight champion, was also quicker than his older opponent beating him to the left hand and overhand right time and again. Fedorov had some local success in the middle rounds but his Tajik counterpart was better with his ring generalship anyway. In closing rounds, Usarov went in for kill to stop slowly fading Fedorov but failed to get the job done inside the distance. At the end, all three judges had the fight Usarov’s way, nevertheless, with the scores 120-108 (twice) and 120-109, which makes this lopsided loss the bitterest defeat in Fedorov’s career except for a TKO loss to the current IBF mandatory Yohnny Perez in September 2007.
In the main supportive bout of the evening, comebacking heavyweight Alexey Soloviev moved up to 16-0 with 11 kayos after an easy third-round destruction of hugely overmatched Latvian Pavels Dolgovs (1-2, 1 KO). Dolgovs barely survived through the opening round only to be hardly floored twice in the second with Alexey’s huge left uppercuts. The end came early in round three after a monstrous overhand right, which sent the guest fighter flush onto the canvas, prompting referee to wave the contest off immediately.
Three more amateur bouts between young talents have rounded up the card. Maha Shermat, who is also Usarov’s head coach, promoted the whole event.