Russian Evgeny Romanov defeated compatriot Dmitry Kudryashov in the new bridgeweight category (101.6 kg) at the first GAZFIGHT tournament – promoted by rapper Basta. The fight lasted all 12 rounds, but the referees by unanimous decision gave preference to 35-year-old Romanov. He became the owner of the WBC Silver belt and a contender for the WBC world title. Also in Khimki some more interesting fights took place. The live broadcast of the main fights of the boxing evening could be seen on the REN TV channel.
The favorite met expectations
Romanov was considered the undisputed favorite of the bookmaker’s fight. Betting accepted at the rate of 1 to 5. The quotes are unexpected, considering that Kudryashov is a rather dangerous opponent. Before the fight, Dmitry had 24 victories in professional boxing, 23 of which were by knockout. He is one of the hardest hitting Russian boxers. It is clear that Kudryashov also has a lot of disadvantages: he box too openly, lost three times by knockout, is not variable in battle.
Romanov has a 15-0 pro record, but Evgeny’s opposition was far from top. Sergei Lyakhovich, knocked out by him in November 2020, is, of course, a serious boxer, but he is 44 years old, and of the last 12 fights he lost eight. Eugene also has a knockout victory over the famous boxer Deontay Wilder – in amateurs, but it was a long time ago – in February 2008, and Wilder was boxing for only 2.5 years then.
but the fight began as if Romanov was really a super favorite. Evgeny started off actively, easily breaking through Kudryashov’s defense. Actually Dmitry seemed to have no defense at all – in the first round, in the subsequent… Romanov is smaller than Kudryashov, his arms are shorter, but almost every jab hit the target. If Wilder, once beaten by him, had been in his place, everything could have ended in the first round. But Dmitry kept Eugene’s blows. And he almost did not attack.
In the corner of Kudryashov, coach Andrei Ivichuk was raging. He could not understand why his ward is so passive and practically does not attack his opponent.
Indeed, in fact, undersized for the heavyweight Romanov (183 cm) won the fight with one left, front hand. Kudryashov seemed to be counting on lacquer punch. However, he did not succeed in hitting tightly – so that the opponent was shocked. Starting from the 10th round, Romanov began to act very carefully, number two, fearing a counterattack by Kudryashov. That did not stop him from taking both the 10th round and the 11th. BUT in the 12th Kudryashov showed his best three minutes in this fight. But the knockout did not happen – and not to say that he hit more often.
As a result, a convincing victory for Romanov: 120-108, 119-109, 119-109… That is, one of the judges gave him all the rounds, the other two – 11. He is now a contender for the WBC Bridgerway World Title… And for Dmitry, this was probably the last opportunity to compete for the world belt. In 2019, he was called to MMA, they even appointed a fight, but due to injury, the fight fell through.
— I was rooting for Dmitry [Кудряшова] and wished him victory, – ex-world champion Grigory Droz admitted to Izvestia– But Dima was not ready yet again. The referee’s score reflected this. He has lost some thread, I do not understand what is happening to him. He continues to miss and hits a little himself. A sad sight. It is clear that he stood to the end, fought, but lost from the first round. Was there a knockout? I thought there would be an early victory, but that’s how it happened. Zhenya Romanov got in, but apparently not so tightly. Dima didn’t have many chances. The fight was interesting, but I would like to see a different picture.
Make way for the young
In another fight of the evening, Vasily Voitsekhovsky defeated Nigerian Kabiru Tovalawi in light heavyweight by TKO… Voitsekhovsky confidently started the fight, being faster than the enemy and closing the distance. Tovalawi missed several punches in the second round and soon could not continue the fight – the Russian won by technical knockout. This was the second battle of Wojciechowski in 2021. In January, he performed at a tournament in Yekaterinburg, where he defeated Anatoly Belyakov.
Ivan Kozlovsky fought with boxer from Tanzania Adam Kipenga in the fight for the vacant WBC Silver international champion title in the 1st welterweight (up to 63.5 kg). The fight lasted all six rounds and ended with the victory of the Russian by the decision of the judges.
In the confrontation between Russian boxers Batal Chezhiya and Oleg Misyur, the victory remained with the latter… Misyura knocked out his opponent in the third round and became the new champion of Russia in the second middle weight.
“All the fights were of good quality, as it seemed to me, the picture was also cool – a lot of light and sound,” continued Grigory Drozd. – There was also Basta’s concert, so we can say that this is a kind of boxing show format. Everything looked decent. Congratulations to Vasily and his team on their debut as promoters. It will be better further.
Himself Basta also stated that he has big plans for boxing.
“Colleagues talked about plans to create a new format,” Basta said at a press conference after the tournament. – We will now regroup, create something very interesting. We will need a lot of strength for this, but, in my opinion, it will be an amazing and interesting decision, and an opportunity for young boxers. It makes no sense to talk about superstars, since they are always interesting, and there is an insane number of young and talented boxers for whom the attention is not yet so high. Here is the desire for our boys to become stars from 20, to 22, maybe even earlier. The desire to devote my life and my time to this.
In addition to Basta’s performance, the audience in Khimki also saw performances by T-Fest, Anik (ANIKV) and Matrang. It was a unique music and sports show.