November 4: From Russia with Love

By Ted Sares on October 21, 2015
November 4: From Russia with Love
If Golovkin beats Wach, the pressure will mount on Deontay Wilder to stand and deliver.

Visiting fighters from Argentina, Poland, Nigeria, the UK, and Kansas (yes Kansas) will be fighting some of the best Russia has to offer…

I’ll be travelling to the Maritimes (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) on that date and that’s pretty neat, but if I could be in one other place, it would be ringside at the Basket-Hall Arena in Kazan, Russia.

Kazan, by the way, is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, and lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers. With a population of 1,143,535, it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. It is about 150 years older than Moscow and is known as the “Istanbul of the Volga” with beauty and culture aplenty.

It so happens that there is a boxing venue on November 4 in Kazan and it looks to be a uniquely intriguing one. Visiting fighters from Argentina, Poland, Nigeria, the UK, and Kansas (yes Kansas) will be fighting some of the best Russia has to offer this side of SPECTRE. With nicknames like “Fist,” “Sasha,” “White Lion,” “Zar,” ”The Eagle,” “The Machine,” and “Hammer,” it’s a wonder the visitors will even show.

The combined won-loss record of those fighting on this marvelous venue is 283-15-8, with the Russian total at 130-4-1.

The only thing missing is Petrossian Caviar and some Stolichnaya Elit.


Kulakova (10-0-1) vs. Esteche (11-4-2)

Getting things started will be a mouthwatering tiff between the appropriately named Svetlana Kulakova (kulak means “fist”) against Argentinean Ana Laura “Little Blonde” Esteche—also known as “La Monita.” At stake will be the WBA World female super lightweight title. “La Monita” made mild news recently when she publicly came out as the partner of fellow female boxer Johana “Yoki” Gimenez (3-3-1).

The last time these two met (also in Russia) they fought to a free-swinging draw but Kulakova was deducted a point in rounds 5 and 8 for Klitschko-like holding. Here is the YouTube:

This one will be for Russian redemption as “Fist” meets the “Little Blonde.”

Afolabi (21-4-4) vs. Chakhkiev (24-1)

Rakhim “The Machine” Chakiev is on an eight-fight win streak and might be intersecting with the well-traveled Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi (who amazingly once beat Orlin Norris way back in 2005) at just the right time. However, aside from nemesis Marco Huck, “Kryptonite” can beat any cruiserweight on any given night. As a point of comparison, both have stoppage wins over rugged Valery Brudov. The heavy punching Chakhkiev floored Brudov in round three. Brudov suffered a bad cut in round four and then Chakhkiev brutally waxed him.

While Afolabi’s last outing—a 12-round loss to Victor Ramirez—does not bode well for him, Ola possesses a chin made of, well, Kryptonite, and an overhand right that can do serious damage if it connects. See:

Here, he use the same signature overhand right to switch off the light on Enzo Maccarinelli:

This should be 12 rounds or less of fan-friendly action.

Kudryashov (18-0) vs. Durodola (21-2)

The aptly-nicknamed Dmitry “The Russian Hammer” Kudryashov is still another exciting monster from Eastern Europe and specializes in quick, spectacular and scary knockout wins. On April 10 in Moscow on the Denis Lebedev (speaking of scary) vs. Youri Kalenga undercard , he defended his WBA International cruiserweight title against Francisco Palacios who twice previously had gone the distance with former WBC World champ Krzysztof “Diablo” Wlodarczyk and was supposed to present a major challenge for the “Hammer.” The challenge lasted less than a minute as a monster left hook ended the fight spectacularly with Palacios on the canvas out cold and in prolonged distress when he awoke. Enjoy:

The Russian has won all of his fights by stoppage including a first round, 22-second one-punch knockout over Juan Carlos Gomez (55-3 and ice cold coming in) forcing Gomez to do a variation of the “Trevor Berbick three-step.” Here it is:

This time around, Kudryashov takes on Olanrewaju “God’s Power” Durodola who hails from Kansas City by way of Nigeria. A close review of Duradola’s ledger suggest that notwithstanding his Andre Ward-type moniker,  it will be more than daunting for him to leave with the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight title intact.

Color this one “early knockout.”

Lebedev (27-2) vs. Kayode (21-0)

“The worst thing possible hasn’t happened yet.”—Jim Lampley

Denis Lebedev is a heavy punching cruiserweight who is rarely in a dull fight. He has bounced back nicely from the shocking and savage beating he absorbed at the equally heavy hands of 8-1 underdog Panamanian Guillermo “El Jefe” Jones in a May 2013 classic where the gritty Lebedev’s face was punched into bloody pulp.  And to add to the surreal atmosphere of that fight—heightened by the scary mugs of both Lebedev and Jones—a spooky looking Don King was lurking ringside. Here is the brutal fight with Russian hip hop in the background.  In particular, check it out at the 4:30 mark and also at the 50 second mark of round nine:

The towering Jones tested positive for Furosemide after this fight. Later, in a display of uncommon hubris, there was the issue of the rematch where incredibly Jones again tested positive for the same substance in a pre-fight test

The following curious and implication-filled paragraph appears in Wikipedia:

“Denis Lebedev was left with a shocking eye injury after losing his WBA World cruiserweight title to Guillermo Jones. By the end of the bout, he could not see out of the injured eye but two judges had him winning 96-94 while the third had scored the bout 97-93 before he was knocked out in the eleventh round. According to most experts, Jones should have been winning clearly, and the suspicion is that the Russian Federation had fixed the bout. This would also explain the fact that the bout was not stopped, even after Lebedev’s eye was grotesquely disfigured. However, Jones was stripped of his title later in the year for failing a drug test for this fight, resulting in Lebedev being reinstated as Champion by the WBA despite the result not being overturned to a [N]. This is also considered highly suspect.” see:

Lateef “Power” Kayode, who has wisely returned to the cruiserweight division, has also been on the victim side of PEDs. He was abruptly mugged, mauled and TKO’d by Cuban Luis Ortiz, aka The Real King Kong, in September 2014, but the outcome was changed to an “N” after Ortiz failed a drug test. In June 2012, he and Antonio Tarver fought to a dreary draw but this one also was declared an “N” because Tarver tested positive for Drostalonone Maseron, an ancillary steroid drug used to combat estrogenic side effects caused by mass-building steroids such as water retention.

The outcome of this fight could turn on who has grown older overnight.

Cuenca (48-0) vs. Troyanovsky (22-0)

“His record means nothing when he gets into the ring with me. Who cares if he has 46 or 47 wins?”—Yang Lianhui

Color this one very intriguing. Argentinean Cesar Rene Cuenca is scheduled to fight Russian Eduard “The Eagle” Troyanovsky on November 4, 2015, with the IBF and IBO World super lightweight titles at risk. The powerful “Eagle” has a KO percentage of 86% while Cuenca’s is a mindboggling 4%, yes, 4% but “El Distinto,” as he is called, is an excellent defensive fighter and technician who knows how to do one thing very well; namely, win.

Cuenca is on the verge of matching Floyd Mayweather’s record of 49-0 but because he has done this without glitter or bling, he is virtually unknown.  Said another way, “El Distinto” will never be included in the killer group of recent Argentinean fighters like Martinez, Matthysse, and Maidana, but he could well exceed Mayweather as the one who reaches 50-0 first—yet be destined to wither on the vine of relative obscurity.

Touted and cocky Chinese prospect and Freddie Roach-trained Ik “Wild Man” Yang (19-0) was surprisingly outclassed and tamed by the 34-year-old “El Distinto” in his (Yang’s) unsuccessful challenge for the vacant IBF light welterweight title. Southpaw Cuenca was savvy, stylish and knew his way around the ring, as he used effective foot movement, an accurate jab and sharp combos to frustrate his Chinese opponent in Macau, even decking him in the first round. Cuenca himself hit the deck down in the 5th but won the decision by a wide margin.

The Main Event: Povetkin (29-1) vs. Wach (31-1)

“The recent success of European knockout artists Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Kovalev in capturing the American boxing public’s imagination means there is now a market for Povetkin to break into.”—John O’Donovan

“After watching the last fights of Povetkin and Wilder, I think Povetkin beats him.”—Jason Gavern.

It’s time for Alexander “Sasha” Povetkin to face giant Pole Mariusz “The Viking” Wach in what could be a precursor for a Povetkin-Wilder fight given Wach’s height of 6’7½”. The globe-trotting Wach has won four straight against okay opposition since being badly butchered by Wladimir Klitschko in November 2112.

The broad-shouldered Povetkin, a huge hero in Russia and former WBA World heavyweight champion, has won three in a row since being beaten by a holding and mugging Klitschko in 2013. The combined record of Povetkin’s last three opponents coming in was 77-3-2. Many of his earlier opponents came in either undefeated or with just one loss. He is a physically strong, hard hitting, and skilled pressure fighter who blends boxing ferocity with humility outside the ring. Adding to his charisma, or mystique if you will, Povetkin has declared himself a rodnover and wears a Perun axe necklace and has the star of Rus tattoo.

Sasha won the world title, as well as Athens Olympic gold, and finished 125-7 as an amateur with all his losses avenged. He also has worked out with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and was wanted by all of the world’s top promoters when he turned professional. At 35, he is now at a point where it is make or break for him in terms of becoming heavyweight champion and a crossover star, and if he beats Wach, the pressure will mount on WBC champion Deontay Wilder to stand and deliver.

Of this potential match, Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook says, “Maybe Povetkin deserves to be the favorite in this matchup, if and when it happens. But this isn’t some Mayweather-Berto situation, or Klitschko-anyone. It’s a better fight than you might believe, and I don’t see an inevitable outcome.” 

A Wilder-Povetkin fight would be mega in an era filled with big ones.

As for Wach, based on a comparative analysis, it appears the Pole may be in for a long—or maybe short—night.

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several world and state records. He enjoys writing about boxing.

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  1. KB 04:56pm, 10/22/2015

    Prov and FD, do you two want me to put you together via email re live streaming?

  2. KB 08:27am, 10/22/2015

    Thanks for you kind comments gents. Much of what I like on is found in the posts. Uncommon bunch of posters who know boxing.

  3. Don from Prov 06:54am, 10/22/2015

    Will admit, Mr. S, I’ll watch these fighters—gladly—when they start putting them on television that I can get.  Do not like watching YouTube fights.

    So, FrankinDallas, what is this streaming device and can you screen to TV?
    Would appreciate some information on it,  Thanks

  4. SweetScience 09:03pm, 10/21/2015

    A favor to ask of all ya’ll…
    Other than povetkin (since ive seen a few of his), if you have any good suggestions on watching any certain matchups from any of the fighters listed above, lemme know. Im intrigued.
    Especially, i would like to witness why chakhkiev should stay the heck away from kudryashov. Any fights i should start with to see why? Cuz thats a tall order i would like to see why that should be

  5. SweetScience 08:57pm, 10/21/2015

    Nail on the head, IRISH.
    And thank u so muchTed Sares. The age of truly informative, picturesque words, and explanation of scenery/background is truly still alive in the greatest of pockets.
    Thank you for a write-up that is not fowl with the scent of trying to prove that knowledge comes in the form of being the first person to find error in its subject. Thank you for, in your own words, true as they are, for the Labor Of Love.
    I was inches from believing that the only reason to view this forum is for the connection to the commenters. Since the actual essays were close to becoming nothing more than negative rants. I will always chime in after a good fight, onto this forum, to see what my favorite returning commenters have to say. But thank u for keeping close the actual amazingness the origin essasy have to say.

  6. FrankinDallas 07:33pm, 10/21/2015

    I’ve got a new device with which I can stream any TV show from anywhere
    in the world…and it’s legal… I"ll be sure to tune in on this one.

  7. KB 04:37pm, 10/21/2015

    Koolz, Povetkin is my favorite heavyweight after Wladimir. He reminds me of a modern day Jerry Quarry except he is bigger and stronger. He is the perfect example of a modern-day Eastern-euro trained heavyweight who blends technique with power and then adds in strength to form an Atomic cocktail, Wilder would do well to avoid this guy and Luis Ortiz for that matter.

    Povetkin must make his move now.

  8. KB 04:33pm, 10/21/2015


  9. KB 04:32pm, 10/21/2015

    Meinhard, take me with you. We can visit with the “Fist.”

  10. Koolz 03:12pm, 10/21/2015

    I also need to say if Povetkin ever rematched Clinchko….Wladimir he would knock him out.  I don’t think a rematch will happen but i see Povetkin being the one to take over in the Heavy Weight Division.  Povetkin is a skilled and intelligent boxer.

  11. EZ E 01:28pm, 10/21/2015

    Different and refreshing great piece Uncle Teddy. Really put me back on track with fighters that I’ve kind’a been overlooking. GRACIAS!!!

  12. Meinhard 01:00pm, 10/21/2015

    nice article, well written and researched. makes me want to fly to kazan!!

  13. KB 11:39am, 10/21/2015 the real MONSTER


  14. Koolz 11:36am, 10/21/2015

    Irish has Got it!  I need to see if Wach is a better fighter now and hopefully his team doesn’t drug him again.

  15. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:31am, 10/21/2015

    Chakhkiev better stay the heck away from Kudryashov.

  16. Dollarbond 10:11am, 10/21/2015

    A remarkable piece of research and attention to detail plus I love the double meanings in the first one.

  17. KB 08:02am, 10/21/2015

    Holy shite. Loathsome is back

  18. Rabdy Loathsome 07:57am, 10/21/2015

    Cueca - great boxer!
    Nice article, Sir Ted

  19. Ted 07:11am, 10/21/2015

    Irish, thank you for your kind words. I really enjoyed doing this one.

  20. KB 06:48am, 10/21/2015

    Ha, Yes I did

  21. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:41am, 10/21/2015

    Ted Sares-I gotta say this….I don’t feel that either Canelo or Cotto matches up with GGG worth a shit….these two are little guys.and if they couldn’t deal with Floyd then what? For that matter both would have a devil of a time with either Quillin or Jacobs but I guess we have to follow the money. Did you ever consider promoting fights?

  22. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:27am, 10/21/2015

    When I think of Tony Grano KOing Travis Kauffman and then read that they are matching him with Arreola this harkens up images of the seedy ass carnival side shows I watched as a hard up for entertainment teenager back in the early Fifties.

  23. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 04:42am, 10/21/2015

    Ted Sares-Goodness, Gracious Great Balls of Fire! Some heavy lifting here (research and writing)’re the Eiffel Tower! “Curious and implication filled”....I love it!

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