The world’s best AIBA Pro Boxers are set to do battle to be the first Champions of the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) competition running from 23 January to 19 February for each of the 10 weight categories.
Launched in October 2014, APB is a ground breaking new Pro Boxing competition based on individual rankings that offers elite boxers an unprecedented new career opportunity as well as a new route to qualify for the Olympics, with a total of 20 quota places on offer to APB boxers.
APB is the first and only individual competition in the history of boxing that allows Pro Boxers to compete whilst retaining their Olympic eligibility, with Rio 2016 set to be the first Olympic Games in history with Pro Boxers competing.
The matches of the initial pre-ranking and ranking phases of the competition took place in Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey – and provided many epic bouts, as well as often producing surprising results.
The APB Inaugural Champion contenders, per weight, are as follows:
- LIGHT FLY 49kg (Foshan, China – 05/02): Zhonglin WU (China) vs Bin LYU (China)
- FLY 52kg (Novosibirsk, Russia – 30/01): Misha ALOIAN (Russia) vs Elias EMIGDIO (Mexico)
- BANTAM 56kg (Paris, France – 19/02): Khedafi Djelkhir (FRA) vs Alberto MELIAN (ARG)
- LIGHT 60kg (Astana, Kazakhstan – 30/01): Berik ABDRAKHMANOV (Kazakhstan) vs Hershid TOJIBAEV (Uzbekistan)
- LIGHT WELTER 64kg (Novosibirsk, Russia – 31/01): Armen ZAKARYAN (Russia) vs Artem HARUTYUNYAN (Germany)
- WELTER 69kg (Baku, Azerbaijan – 24/01): Onur SIPAL (Turkey) vs Rayton OKWIRI (Kenya)
- MIDDLE 75kg (Istanbul, Turkey – 23/01): Adem KILICCI (Turkey) vs Artem CHEBOTAREV (Russia)
- LIGHT HEAVY 81kg (Sofia, Bulgaria – 30/01): Ehsan ROUZBAHANI (Iran) vs Kennedy SAINT PIERRE (Mauritius)
- HEAVY 91kg (Catania, Italy – 30/01): Aleksei EGOROV (RUS) vs Clemente RUSSO (ITA)
SUPER HEAVY 91+kg (Baku, Azerbaijan – 23/01): Mohammed ARJAOUI (Morocco) vs Erik PFEIFER (Germany)
SEE BELOW FOR A ROUND UP OF THIS WEEK’S ACTION IN THE APB:
SUPER HEAVY 91+ KG – FRIDAY, 23 JANUARY (19:30 GMT+4)
Location: Baku – Venue: Sarhadchi Complex
The two undefeated APB Super Heavyweights (91+ kg), Mohammed Arjaoui (MAR) and Erik Pfeifer (GER) will clash in Baku with the objective of winning the APB Inaugural Title Belt.
Pfeifer is a two-time AIBA World Championship bronze medalist, and started his APB career off with a dominant victory over Egypt’s Ahmed Samir. He followed that up in week two with a close points win over France’s Tony Yoka, and the German secured his part in the Inaugural Title Match during the Matches for Champions series, when he stopped Romanian Mihai Nistor in round three of the contest.
Mohammed Arjaoui also boasts an unblemished 3-0 APB record, and he began with a close victory over Ukrainian Sergiy Verveyko in week one. One win turned into two as he won on points against Mihai Nistor, and the Olympian made sure of his place in the title picture during week three as he defeated Tony Yoka on points.
- 19:30: Ahmed SAMIR (EGY) W.O. vs Sergiy VERVEYKO (UKR) (Exhibition Match)
- 20:00: Tony YOKA (FRA) vs Mihai NISTOR (ROM)
- 20:30: Magomedrasul MEDZHIDOV (AZE) vs Magomed OMAROV (RUS)
- 21:00: Mohammed ARJAOUI (MAR) vs Erik PFEIFER (GER) (APB Inaugural Title Match)
MIDDLE 75 KG – FRIDAY, 23 JANUARY (21:00 GMT+2)
Location: Istanbul – Venue: Caferaga Spor Salonu
Local hero Adem Kilicci (TUR) will fight to offer his fans the APB Inaugural Title Belt this Friday. Kilicci has been one of the most impressive APB boxers so far in the competition. With an unblemished 3-0 record, he fought against Kenya’s Nickson Abaka, Hosam Abdin (EGY) and also Artem Chebotarev (RUS) his opponent for the Title.
Artem Chebotarev opened his account with a disqualification win against Ecuador’s Marlo Delgado, and then lost in week two against Kilicci. The Russian earned his ticket for the final by defeating Dmytro Mitrofanov in the Matches for Champions in a close match.
- 21:00: Marlo DELGADO (ECU) vs Nickson ABAKA (KEN)
- 21:30: Hosam ABDIN (EGY) vs Dmytro MYTROFANOV (UKR)
- 22:00: Michel TAVARES (FRA) vs Bogdan JURATONI (ROM)
- 22:30: Adem KILICCI (TUR) vs Artem CHEBOTAREV (RUS) (APB Inaugural Title Match)
WELTER 69 KG – SATURDAY, 24 JANUARY (19:30 GMT+4)
Location: Baku – Venue: Sarhadchi Complex
The APB Welter Inaugural Title Match will see the battle between Onur Sipal (TUR) and Rayton Okwiri (KEN).
2008 Beijing Olympian Onur Sipal is one of Turkey’s most promising boxing talents, and the 25-year-old has won all three of his APB matches so far against Eimantas Stanionis (LTU), Okwiri and Denys Lazarev (UKR).
In the first week of the competition, the Kenyan Rayton Okwiri shocked the world by knocking out one of the favourites for Welterweight glory, Austria’s Marcos Nader in round two of their fight. After his loss to Sipal in November, Kenya’s superstar rebounded magnificently to quality for the title bout when he won five of the six rounds against Russia’s Olympic bronze medalist Andrey Zamkovoy in December.
- 19:30: Gyula KATE (HUN) vs Marcos NADER (AUT)
- 20:00: Denys LAZAREV (UKR) vs Andrei ZAMKOVOY (RUS)
- 20:30: Eimantas STANIONIS (LTU) vs Tamerlan ABDULLAYEV (AZE)
21:00: Onur SIPAL (TUR) vs Rayton OKWIRI (KEN) (APB Inaugural Title Match)