May 8, 2021

Eastern Europe Round-Up: Chaniev, Stepien Win, Moscow Aug. 10 Show

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A year after their first fight, Polish light heavyweight Pawel Stepien erased the only blemish of his career by overcoming fellow prospect Marek Matyja with a split decision – which in fact should have been a unanimous one – over ten rounds.

The bout headlined a nice-packed little show in Augustow, promoted by Andrzej Wasilweski of the KnockOut Promotions on Saturday, July 25.

Stepien fought Matyja to a draw on July 6 of 2019. This time the Szczecin native was more successful in putting the fight under his control. A taller of the two, Stepien utilized an in-and-out approach to battle Matyja, and it proved to be a success story even despite a fact aggression was missing to a certain degree.

 Stepien was better during the first half and immediately after the mid-point, while Matyja rallied hard as the contest was nearing its end.

While on judge had it totally unrealistic (98-93) – for Marek Matyja (17-2-2, 8 KOs), they were overruled by the remaining duo: 97-93 (twice). Stepien is now 14-0-1, 11 KOs, and the Republic of Poland light heavyweight titlist.

In the main undercard performance, undefeated cruiserweight Adam Balski retained his perfect record and improved it to 14-0, 8 KOs, with a close unanimous decision over journeyman Mateusz Kubiszin (3-4, 2 KOs). All three scorecards of the close contest read as 58-56 – for Balski.

Other results of note:

Kamil Bednarek (4-0, 2 KOs) TKO 5 Bartolomiej Grafka (22-38-3, 10 KOs)
Przemyslaw Zysk (13-0, 4 KOs) UD 6 Ivans Levickis (31-35-0, 19 KOs). Scores were: 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55.

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Former world title challenger Isa Chaniev (14-3, 6 KOs) came back in the win column following to back-to-back losses to Richard Commey and Pavel Malikov last Wednesday in Minsk, Belarus, with a hard-fought unanimous decision over young Ukrainian Vladyslav Melnik.

Chaniev, 27, started fast, using lateral movement and sneaky punches to keep Melnyk, 21, at bay. The latter accelerated after the mid-point and finished the fight strong but Chaniev’s experience prevailed with not-so-close scores: 99-92, 98-93 and 98-94. Melnyk drops down to 11-2, 6 KOs. Chaniev challenged Richard Commey for the vacant IBF lightweight title last February but was kayoed in two.

Super middleweight Sergey Gorokhov (10-2-2, 6 KOs) followed his other two draws of 2020 with a close unanimous decision over Georgian journeyman Levan Shonia (15-19, 11 KOs), who is just 2-15 lately but has never been stopped in his career. Scores were: 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94.

Also, Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (7-2-1, 3 KOs) stopped overmatched Ukrainian Artem Ayvazidi (12-19-1, 5 KOs) in eight rounds. Ayvazidi, who is just 2-19-1 in his latest fights, was down twice, while Gadzhialiev was deducted a point for punching below the belt line.

Sports Studio Top Gym and Siesta Boxing co-promoted the event. 

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Yuka Promotions is proud to present the next installment of the KO Kings series, which is about to take place on August 10 in Moscow, Russia.

The main event is a long-awaited showdown between hard-punching light middleweight Khuseyn Baysangurov (16-1, 14 KOs) and Kazakh fight veteran Alexander Zhuravskiy (13-6-1, 11 KOs) over ten rounds, which was first scheduled for July 27 but later postponed.

Two fights will constitute a pre-main part of the tournament. Germany-based super middleweight Evgueny Shvedenko (13-0, 6 KOs) aims at always durable veteran boxer and kickboxer Maxim Smirnov (8-7-3, 4 KOs), who has never lost inside the distance. Also, cruiserweight heavy hitter Rashid Kodzoev (7-0, 4 KOs) will battle veteran contender and former two-time world title challenger Dmitry Sukhotskiy (23-8, 16 KOs), who is on a prolonged losing streak recently though. Both fights are set for eight rounds.

Undercard:

Vitaliy Petrakov (7-0, 6 KOs) vs. Shadrack Ignas (16-7-1, 9 KOs)
Basir Abakarov (5-0, 4 KOs) vs. German Skobenko (5-6-2, 2 KOs)
Isamy Mesa (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Karen Avetisyan (9-34-4, 4 KOs)
Vyacheslav Letovaltsev (4-1) vs. Ruslan Kerimov (0-2)
Edgard Moskvichev (9-1-2, 4 KOs) vs. Pele Sadoyan (8-1-2, 3 KOs)