The first night of AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Pre-Ranking action started with a top-class performance of Lightweights in Astana and Super Heavyweights Baku.
Romanian Mihai Nistor will enter APB history as the first Super Heavyweight to taste the flavor of victory. The Romanian boxer imposed his way with strong punches to Germany’s Ali Kiydin’s face and body. The Romanian superstar won on points with a unanimous judges’ decision and the final score of this fight clearly reflects the great performance of Nistor in his first APB challenge.
In the second bout of the night, Moroccan Mohammed Arjaoui defeated tall Ukrainian Sergiy Verveyko in one of the closest bouts of the night. The first two rounds were for the Moroccan and even if Verveyko showed all his courage in the four final rounds, it wasn’t enough to win.
The next fight saw the impressive victory of French poster boy Tony Yoka who overcame the strong Russian Magomed Omarov. The Russian entered better in the fight and in the second round he found a space in Yoka’s guard and he sent the French to the canvas. However the Frenchman managed to recover and started to control the fight to finally win 2-1 in a close decision.
The last fight in Baku could be called a highlight of the night. The seed number two in his category, German Erik Pfeifer controlled all the fight with his precise movements around the ring. His opponent was the New-York based Egyptian Ahmed Samir, who had got a strong professional record before entering APB. The “Prince of Egypt” answered Pfeifer with dangerous counter-attacks. But the German delivered an incredible right at the end of the second round and Samir kissed the canvas. The Egyptian managed to get up, but Pfeifer didn’t give him any opportunity anymore and clearly won the fight according to all judges.
In the meantime the APB Lightweights offered incredible emotions to the local public in Astana.
The Filipino Charly Suarez became the sensation of the night overcoming his Italian opponent – with an impressive palmares – Domenico Valentino.
The following fight brought victory to the Uzbek Hurshid Tojibaev who managed to overcome by points his Russian opponent Dmitry Polyanskiy.
This night in Astana provoked a wave of joy in South America as Brazil’s great Lightweight Robson Conceicao won by points his first APB fight against Germany’s Artur Bril.
Kazakhstan’s Berik Abdrakhmanov pleased the local attendance by disposing of Irish APB boxer David Oliver Joyce.
The SKK “Sever” in Russia’s Novosibirsk provided the floor to a great performance of AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Flyweights in Week One of the Pre-Ranking stage of the competition.
The first fight brought together the best of the America’s APB Flyweights – Elias Emiglio from Mexico and Argentina’s Fernando Martínez. It was a tremendous start of the night as both boxers were constantly throwing back to back punches throughout all six rounds. The 21-years-old boxing technician Martínez, was using his well-planned, calculated attacks showing great combination and style. However the freshness and aggressive style of the Mexican boxer made the difference and brought him his first victory in the brand-new APB competition. Martínez and Emigdio, who are both WSB veterans came out of this battle exhausted, and made it clear that they had given it all in the opposite corner of the world to prove their worth to take part in APB ranks.
The night continued with a derby between the Mediterranean boxing stars – Mohamed Flissi from Algeria and Redouane Asloum from France. The boxers entered the ring with full confidence and started to act straight with technical punches without losing time to observe each other. The Algerian boxer though was touching very precisely and much more his opponent since the beginning. This fight was the shortest of the night as already in Round Two Flissi managed to send Asloum down on the canvas. The Frenchman, who reacted by getting up and was counted to 8, had been attacked straight away by Flissi’s heavy combination, which left Asloum almost out of breath. As the French boxer could not find anymore his balance, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight at the second minute of Round Two, thus giving Flissi his first victory in APB by TKO.
“I am really glad for my victory in the fight with Redouane Asloum, who is a great boxer, – stated Flissi right after his debut fight in APB. – It is very significant victory for my country Algeria as I overcame a French boxer. I have been training really hard ahead of this fight and it brought its fruits. It has been almost two months that I have been getting ready for this night and this preparation included work on my moral, technical and physical conditions. At this moment I can say that it is with my heart that I won. I am already looking forward to having my next fight in APB and I will do my best to be in a great shape for it.”
The next derby was contested between Asian boxers – the recent Incheon 2014 Asian Games Champion Ilyas Suleimenov from Kazakhstan and number two seed of the category Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov. This fight was less dynamic than the previous two as both boxers were constantly observing their opponent. Suleimenov managed to convince the judges with his more precise punches and was granted victory on points after six exhaustive rounds.
The Kazakh boxer was not hiding his contentment and shared his satisfaction with us some minutes after his sensational start in APB: “I am really satisfied about the warm welcome I received here in Novosibirsk and a great organisation of the event. As for my fight, I knew my opponent already, and I am really happy that my tactics was right and everything went exactly as I had planned. Finally, I would like to wish a lot of luck and success to all athletes of this tournament”
The night reached the culminating point when the Novosibirsk-born Russian boxing hero and seed number one of Flyweight category Mikhail Aloian entered the SKK Sever arena. The packed 1600-seater venue completely supported Aloian since the very first seconds of the fight. The two-time AIBA World Boxing Champion and London 2012 Mikhail Aloian debuted in APB by taking on Italy’s Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Vincenzo Picardi. Although the Italian was fighting hard, it seemed almost mission-impossible to beat a confident Aloian at home The Russian boxer was technically superior and even slowed down at some point his pace in order to throw fewer but heavier punches.
Aloian was smartly counter-attacking all moves of the Italian, and it resulted into a great start in APB for him with a doubtless victory by unanimous decision.
“First of all, I would like to say thank you for such a great project! This is really a spectacular Pro Boxing program with eight of the strongest elite level boxers per category, who can showcase themselves as pro. I really enjoyed fighting over six rounds, and even felt some reserves left at the end of fight. I like it a lot and I feel that this format of boxing suits me perfectly,” – shared Mikhail Aloian wrapping up the APB boxing night in Novosibirsk.
The Light Heavyweights delivered an incredible show in Sofia, Bulgaria, while the performance of Heavyweights (91kg) in Rome wrapped up the APB night with a Technical Knock-Out by the local superstar Clemente Russo.
The first fight of Light Heavyweight involved Oybek Mamazulunov of Uzbekistan and Ehsan Rouzbahani of Iran.
The Iranian boxer – who has gained a lot of followers since he became one of the key boxers of Kazakhstan’s Astana Arlans Franchise, was hitting really hard all the way. His opponent was always coming forward returning blow for blow with his hands up. Their action resulted in a super explosive and high paced fight
The second fight took place between Joseph Kennedy St Pierre from Mauritius and the German Serge Michel and offered the Bulgarian audience slow paced but still very exciting action.
The German boxer was clearly more active in the ring while his opponent was delivering heavy punches hoping for a perfect opportunity for knock-out. Michel was impressing with his continuous combinations with left body hook and left and right uppercuts followed a hard straight right, which seemed to be his favourite move. St Pierre found his rhythm only in the third round, taking advantage of his head movement, but the volume of punches from his opponent was much higher, and this is certainly why the Mauritius boxer did not managed to overcome the German bulldozer.
The next fight of the night brought together Kazakh Adilbek Niyazymbetov and French Mathieu Bauderlique.
Niyazymbetov, who is well known to the boxing audience for his silver London 2012 record had an advantage as he was greatly supported by the local audience, which was cheering him on throughout the bout. .
The boxers were not taking too many risks and Bauderlique was getting stronger and stronger as the rounds kept going on and he was looking for a KO. That was the high level technical fight of the night, which ended up with a victory on points for a Frenchman.
The last fight of the night between Russian Nikita Ivanov and Irish Joseph Ward offered a lot of excitement to Sofia’s boxing lovers.
Since the very start one could see that the Russian boxer was there for business as he puts his body into the shots. He rocked the Irish boxer with every punch, but did expose himself to a few good hits from Ward.
By the middle of the fight both boxers get tired, but it was clear that Ward has difficulty to keep up with the power of his opponent.
The last 10 seconds of this fight were really explosive as both boxers threw everything in the Russian boxer got a deserved victory.
The last fight of the night took place in Rome showcasing a great performance of APB Heavyweights.
The night brought together eight top-class boxers of the division, who contested in their first pre-ranking match on the way to APB glory.
The night started with a great fight between German Emir Ahmatovic and American Charles Javonta. The German dominated in the first two rounds, and managed to send his opponent in Technical Knockout and get his victory in the first APB challenge.
The second fight brought a victory to the Kazakh boxer Anton Pinchuk who overcame his Argentinian boxer since the very first rounds. After the unanimous decision of the judges Pinchuk will meet on the 21st of November in Bergamo German Ahmatovic and Peralta will meet in the ring American Charles.
The show continued with a performance of Russian Aleksei Egorov who won decisively by unanimous decision against his Algerian opponent Chouaib Bouloudintas.
The culmination of the night was clearly the fight between the Italian superstar Clemente Russo and the Ukrainian Roman Golovashchenko.
The Ukrainian boxer tried to put in difficulty home-cheered Russo, but Italian boxer offered a grand finale to the crowd in Palazzetto dello Sport winning by TKO at the eight’s second of Round 5.
Week One continued with the performance of Welterweights (69kg) in the Sarhadchi Complex in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The first fight of the night was one of the biggest surprises of Week One as Kenya’s Rayton Nduku Okwiri knocked out the Austrian boxer with a glittering pro record of 18-1-1 Marcos Nader. The Kenyan boxer, considered as an outsider in his weight category, in particular in comparison to his Week One opponent, EBU European Union belt holder and Welterweights’ seed number one Nader. His right hand hook in Round 2 turned out to be a shock for his Austrian opponent. Nader, who is the only Austrian boxer in APB ranks now bears a tremendous responsibility in front of his home-country supporters and will be looking forward to get back on track on his way to APB glory. Okwiri, who enjoys phenomenal support from his fans in Kenya, gained tonight even more supporters from around the globe and will do now everything he can to make them feel proud and earn the chance to represent his nation’s colours in Rio 2016.
In the second contest of the night, Turkey’s Onur Sipal met Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis. The 2008 Beijing Olympian Sipal won a silver medal at the World University Boxing Championships in 2010 whilst campaigning as a lightweight and also a bronze three years later in the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia. His young opponent from Lithuania entered APB after having won his second National Championship, and the silver medal in the European Union Championships.
However Sipal’s experience talked for himself since the very first seconds of the fight. His strength which echoed in every single punch and self-confidence let him set the pace of this dynamic bout, and left almost no chances to his opponent. The 6-rounds contest has been wrapped up with a victory by points of thebhard Turkish hitter by unanimous decision of the judges.
The third fight saw 24-year-old Ukrainian Denys Lazarev, who boasts WSB experience with Ukraine Otamans, face Hungary’s 32-year-old veteran Gyula Kate, who won the gold medal at the 2000 World Junior Boxing Championships before graduating to win bronze medals at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in 2003 and 2009.
Lazarev opened the contest as a forward moving machine and dominated the ring all the fight long. His constant forward movement convinced all the judges of his supremacy in this contest.
Two-time Olympian, and four-time European medallist Kate, who was looking most of this fight for the one punch knock-out, did not manage to take advantage of his reflexes and experience against his young and furious Ukrainian opponent.
Lazarev won by points with a wide margin in his first APB encounter and confirmed to have a huge potential and still a lot to show to his numerous boxing fans.
The last fight was expected to be a final flourish of the night as the local crowd in Sarhadchi Complex in Baku saw their compatriot Fariz Mammadov taking on Russian opponent Andrey Zamkovoy. The 34-years-old current WBO European Welterweight champion and number two seed in his category has built up a very solid professional career, amassing a 16-1-1 record. With 100 professional rounds to his name, and ten stoppages, the Azeri athlete made his APB debut against Russia’s Zamkovoy, who won the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the silver medal at the 2009 AIBA World Championships.
The true clash between professional boxing pedigrees, and Olympic style prowess has been a very close contest.
The first 4 Rounds were highly competitive until the Russian landed a heavy right hook in Mammedov’s nose in the fifth Round. Nonetheless, the Azeri boxer, cheered by Sarhadchi’s audience, was trying really hard in last round, Zamkovoy, who was dominating in the last two Rounds got his deserved victory by points delivering the second biggest surprise of the night.