By Andrey Bazdrev, Vladimir Begun Jr. and Alexey Sukachev
Video by Andrey Bazdrev
A huge tournament billed “Gladiators of the Ring” and arranged by Jab Promotions will be held tonight at “Yubileyniy” Palace of Sports in the biggest Russian city (second-to-Moscow) of Saint Petersburg. Three twelve-round title fights, including a major showdown between Enzo Maccarinelli and Alexander Kotlobay for a vacant European cruiserweight title are scheduled to compile an exciting triple header of the event while one more ten-rounder for another belt will probably take its place during the evening as well. Nine bouts as total are pre-planned, and the weigh-in for them was carried out yesterday at “Warsaw Express” mall.
Enzo Maccarinelli 197.8 vs. Alexander Kotlobay 193
(vacant EBU cruiserweight title)
Dmitry Sukhotsky 175 vs. Pablo Daniel Zamora Nievas 173.7
(vacant IBF International light heavyweight title)
Sherali Mamadaliev 146 vs. Herve De Luca 145
(WBO European and PABA welterweight titles)
Sergey Melis 160 vs. Dmitry Pirog 160
(WBC Baltic middleweight title)
Hurshid Abdullaev 155 vs. Alexey Kulikov 154.7
Elis Idrisov 179 vs. Andrey Barabanov 176.4
Ivan Maslov 166 vs. Serkomil Rakhimov 156.7
Maxim Vlasov 173 vs. Vasyl Kondor 172.7
Note: contrary to the previously published info, the fight between WBC #30 Baltic champion Sergey Melis and highly regarded WBC #10 Russian Dmitry Pirog will also take its place during the show and will feature Melis’ title at stake. The clash will most probably be held under the supervision of the Estonian Professional Boxing Federation.
The entire show will be webcast live by Allboxing.ru portal; the start of the webcast is approximately 7:30 PM LT, which corresponds to 4:30 PM in London and 11:30 AM in New York.
Both Maccarinelli and Kotlobay gave their comments about the upcoming showdown to Andrey Bazdrev right at the weigh-in procedure.
“I hope both Kotlobay and Jab Promotions don’t consider me a spent bullet. Surely I recognize this is my last title opportunity and the victory tonight will clear a road for me to more important showdowns, including another fight for a world title,” said Maccarinelli (31-4, 24 KOs).
“I don’t feel like I’m empty and have no fight left in me even despite a string of losses recently. I’m sure I can pull it out. I have been preparing for this fight with heavyweights like Derek Chisora and Sam Sexton; I’m confident in getting a victory. Being a home fighter? Nah, I don’t think so. I’m here in St. Petersburg and I’m ready to get the job done. I’m not worried about possible judging issues just because there will be only me and Alexander in the ring and nobody between us.”
“Kotlobay is a good fighter,” praised Macca his opponent. “I shall go that far and say that we both fight the same way: trading punches in middle quarters; can punch hard and take a blow well; can sustain psychological pressure. My losses were hard for me. The battle with Afolabi was all bad since the outset; however, I controlled it till the very end. I was ensured I was ready to take Denis Lebedev as well but it was what it was. The most difficult fight for me wasn’t Lebedev or Afolabi bouts but a collision with Marcelo Fabian Dominguez. Now I’m ready to come back to the place, where I was after that fight.”
“I sparred with Denis Bakhtov, Andrey Fedosov and Valery Brudov. I also watched Enzo’s tapes and I noticed some interesting facts which I’m prepared to use during our clash,” said Kotlobay.
“I’m not a slow-starter, I just take my time to evaluate my opponents, to take control of the fight. I know Maccarinelli doesn’t start his attacks often. He is waiting for his chance as a counterpuncher and maybe I’ll use it to surprise him,” continued Kotlobay. “The biggest problem for me was Mikhail Nasyrov in what was my most difficult career fight to date. Ordiales? No, he wasn’t that dangerous. He dropped me down hard but I was never fully shocked or rocked. He was easy to read with his straightforward aggression.”