The Heavyweight (91 kg) installment of the APB World Championship Matches was held on September 18 in Moscow, Russia where home star Aleksey Egorov (RUS) successfully defended his title against Clemente Russo (ITA).
Egorov had previously defeated Russo twice in APB, and claimed his third triumph after the two-time AIBA World Champion was forced to pull out of the bout at the beginning of the sixth round following an injury to his midsection.
Russo came out to the ring to the sounds of Madonna, and proceeded to use swift footwork, solid left hands and immaculate timing to win the first round on two scorecards.
The Russian Champion rallied in the second round however, and the accuracy of his attacks began to frustrate the constantly moving Italian challenger. Both men had success with hooks throughout the opening rounds, but it was always Egorov who was getting the better of the exchanges.
His power stunned Russo on several occasions, and he won the fourth and fifth rounds across the board to the delight of the loud audience in Moscow.
The bell had barely rung in the sixth round before Russo was examined by Dr Thorsten Dolla at ringside, and a decision was made to remove the Italian from the contest as a result of his injury.
Bauderlique knocks out Rouzbahani
Also on Friday Moscow, Russia was treated to one of the greatest boxing matches of the year, where Mathieu Bauderlique (FRA) sensationally knocked out APB’s defending Light Heavyweight Champion Ehsan Rouzbahani (IRI). Rouzbahani had previously defeated Bauderlique last December, but was shocked by the energy and power from the challenger in their rematch.
After an opening round of blistering action which saw both men attack with fierce intensity, the momentum of the bout swung dramatically in the second frame. Wearing the colours of France on his shorts, Bauderlique dropped Rouzbahani in the first minute of the round with a short left hook reminiscent of a prime Mike Tyson.
The brave Iranian returned to his feet before the count had been completed, and managed to survive the round despite a continued onslaught from the Frenchman.
Just as Bauderlique was getting comfortable, the tide turned again in the third frame when he too was knocked down following a big right hand from the resilient Rouzbahani.
Each man continued to force the pressure in the middle stages of the bout, where the defending champion consistently snapped hard shots to the body, while the aspiring title holder continued to threaten with his lethal left hand.
Bauderlique’s previous three opponents had all failed to hear the final bell in APB, and that record advanced to four following the eighth round in Moscow, when yet another left hook heavily dropped his bloodied rival.
Just as he had before, the valiant Rouzbahani rose off the canvas, but was in no position to continue, and the referee stopped the bout 71 seconds into the eighth round.
It was a much needed knock out, as just one point separated the two fighters on all three scorecards, and the two warriors both shared their respect after the phenomenal bout had finished.
Finally, a delighted Bauderlique received his belt and officially became the second French Champion in APB history.
Tojibaev wins APB title in Tashkent
A sold out crowd in Tashkent, Uzbekistan experienced an APB title change on September 19, when Hurshid Tojibaev (UZE) become the new APB Lightweight (60 kg) Champion after defeating Berik Abdrakhmanov (KAZ).
This was the third title change of the AIBA World Championship Matches series, and perhaps the most one-sided as the challenger dominated the defending Champion throughout.
The Uzbek crowd favourite had previously lost to Abdrakhmanov last January, but started their rematch in phenomenal fashion as he won the first four rounds in decisive fashion. Tojibaev quickly took control of the center of the ring, and frequently troubled his decorated rival with sharp left hooks and outstanding reflexes.
Abdrakhmanov was previously undefeated in APB but could not respond to the constant barrage from Tojibaev, and it took until the fifth round before he was able to enjoy any success in the bout.
His momentum could not last however, and cheered on by a boisterous venue, Tojibaev retook control of the contest in the sixth round.
Tremendous head movement and a well planned defence enabled the Uzbek star to dictate the pace of the bout, while the variety of his shots was also exceptional.
Although Abdrakhmanov won the 10th round across the board, in his quest for a knockout finish he was constantly beaten to the punch in the latter stages by his dynamic opponent. After all 12 rounds has been completed, it was the hand of Tojibaev which was raised in victory after a wide unanimous decision verdict, and he was later awarded the APB belt to the delight of his many fans in Tashkent.
Sipal defeats Zamkovoy to defend welterweight crown
APB Welterweight (69 kg) Champion Onur Sipal (TUR) successfully defended his title for the first time on Saturday night against London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medalist and number one contender Andrey Zamkovoy (RUS).
Backed with passionate support from the thousands of fans inside the Erzurum Stadium Sports Center, Sipal opened the bout in confident fashion as he aggressively hunted down the talented Russian.
The champion won the first three rounds on every scorecard, where his excellent hooks and pressure impressed the watching judges.
Zamkovoy enjoyed his best form in the opening stages of the fourth round, but was forced to withdraw from the bout midway through the frame after suffering a head injury.
On doctors’ orders the bout was stopped, and the result was decided on the scores from the four rounds of action. After Sipal’s control of the majority of the match he was awarded the victory, and wore his belt with pride in the ring along with a replica shirt of his beloved Fenerbahce football team.
Three further fights took place on the undercard, where Onur’s brother Onder Sipal (TUR) defeated Besir Ay (TUR) on points, while Ali Eren Demirezen (TUR) and Batuhan Gozgec (TUR) both picked up victories.