Zhang becomes the Jewel of China after defeating Khedafi Djelkhir to become APB Bantamweight Champion
The APB World Championship Matches continued with a spectacular title match on Sunday night, when Jiawei Zhang (CHI) won the APB Bantamweight (56 kg) Championship after defeating Khedafi Djelkhir (FRA).
A packed crowd at the at the Foshan Nanhai Gymnasium eagerly cheered Zhang when he made a grand entrance to the ring, and the noise in the building increased dramatically after their local star impressed in the first round.
Zhang was the busier fighter in round one, where his quick body shots halted the advances of the defending French Champion.
Djelkhir opened the second round sporting a tight guard in an attempt to halt the forward momentum of Zhang, but the pressure soon continued from the challenger, with fierce left hooks regularly hitting Djelkhir’s head and body.
Both boxers are aggressive competitors, and their attacking instincts shone through the opening rounds, with barely a step backwards taken by either man.
The Chinese fighter proceeded to control the third and fourth rounds, before Djelkhir improved to win his first round of the fight in the fifth frame.
Zhang’s initial onslaught seemed to sap his stamina as the contest reached its middle stages, and an improving Djelkhir took advantage by increasing his own output in the sixth round.
A return to his earlier tactics paid dividends for Zhang in the seventh when he stemmed the Djelkhir rise, as his energy and body shots fizzed once more.
Although Djelkhir once again displayed his legendary resilience to win the eighth round by using strength and control, it proved to be the last frame he would enjoy success in.
Zhang simply would not be defeated, and despite having never competed past eight rounds before, he bossed the closing section of the bout by combining fluid attacks with a masterfully honed defence.
By the time the 12th and final round began, Djelkhir needed a knockout to retain his title, but once again he was faced with a dogged and fresh opponent whose relentless onslaught was too much to handle.
The already loud crowd erupted in delight when a delighted Zhang was named the winner of the bout, and the new Bantamweight (56 kg) Champion, by unanimous decision.
Scores of 112:107 x2 and 111:107 reflected the authority the new Champion had on the bout, but both men should be proud of the excellent fight they created.
Misha Aloian retains his APB Flyweight Championship with dominant victory over Elias Emigdio
The sold out Arena Sports and Entertainment Complex in Kemerovo, Russia was treated to one of the greatest performances in APB history on Friday night, when Flyweight (52 kg) Champion Misha Aloian (RUS) delivered a boxing masterclass to retain his title against Elias Emigdio (MEX).
An elaborate and spectacular evening of entertainment had set the scene for the long awaited clash between the two fighters, and each made their way to the ring with a focused look upon their face.
Both boxers had previously met last January when Aloian won the inaugural APB Flyweight Championship over eight rounds, but Emigdio won the last two rounds of that match, and picked up where he had left off in the opening frame of their rematch, as he pressured his way to a first round lead.
It was clear to see in the opening stages of the 12 round bout that Emigdio was keen to press the action, while the Champion seemed content to box off the back-foot and exploit any openings in the Mexican defence.
Aloian, a two-time AIBA World Champion and the undoubted fans favourite in Kemerovo, was unperturbed by the fast start from his opponent, and worked into the contest by applying more control in the second and third rounds.
The supreme fundamentals from Aloian continued to impress in the middle stages of the contest, as he soaked up Emigdio’s wave of attacks with consummate ease.
Despite traveling over 7000 miles for this contest, Emigdio’s stamina remained excellent, but he simply could not tag his Russian rival, who pivoted and moved out of range with phenomenal finesse.
As loud chants of Misha reverberated around the venue, their star boxer continued to build his lead, as the strength differential between the two fighters became more apparent.
Aloian cites influences as diverse as Sergey Kovalev and Roy Jones Jr, and his remarkable footwork and clubbing shots clearly took inspiration from those two boxers throughout the contest.
Even in the last rounds of the fight, the aggression was maintained from the brave Emigdio, but the accuracy was wholly with Aloian, who used a variety of shots to further extend his advantage.
By the time the final bell had rung, Aloian had controlled over 90% of the contest, and was awarded the lopsided unanimous decision victory to considerable acclaim.
Two further matches took place on the undercard, where Karen Arutiunian (RUS) defeated Aleksandar Aleksandrov (BUL), and Spas Genov (BUL) outpointed Dzemal Bosnjak.
The APB World Championship Matches opened in style on Friday night at the Guizhou Arena in Guiyang, China, when Light Flyweight (49 kg) Champion Bin Lyu (CHI) successfully defended his title against Birzhan Zhakypov (KAZ).
Lyu had previously defeated Zhakypov in APB, and looked full of confidence as he made an entertaining entrance to the ring.
Zhakypov, the 2013 AIBA World Champion, had won five matches in a row prior to this bout, but struggled in the opening round as Lyu opened up on the front-foot.
Round two followed a similar pattern to the first, where only the exemplary head movement and defence from Zhakypov enabled him to avoid damage from Lyu’s speedy shots.
Growing in confidence, Lyu began to fight with more aggression in round three, but the clever Zhakypov won his first round of the bout after he exploited the emerging gaps and sat down on his punches.
Lyu soon returned to the style which had proved so effective in the early stages, and proceeded to dominate the middle stages of the bout.
Although Zhakypov was enjoying success in the first 90 seconds of each round, he struggled to maintain his momentum in the second half, which was where his Chinese rival excelled.
By the time the eighth round had finished, both fighters were about to fight in unchartered waters, and though Lyu was vastly ahead on points, he was beginning to get caught by Zhakypov’s fierce bodyshots.
The 31-year-old Kazakh is a tenacious campaigner, and soaked up his fatigue by winning the ninth and tenth rounds to give himself a fighting chance of victory as the spectacular bout neared its conclusion.
Buoyed by the huge support he was experiencing inside the packed venue, Lyu stemmed the tide by controlling the eleventh round, before confirming his deserved triumph with an exceptional final three minutes of the match.
Clad in the flag of his beloved China, Lyu was awarded the unanimous decision victory on all three scorecards, much to the delight of the fans in Guiyang.
Three further matches featured on the undercard, beginning with a TKO triumph for Anton Pinchuk (KAZ) over Dragos Ghionea (ROU).
Elsewhere, Thulasi Tharumalingam (QAT) defeated Tianlong Ding (CHI) by split decision, while Yong Chang (CHI) outpointed Ilyas Suleimenov (KAZ).