APB Cycle I Round 2 gears up for an exciting series of top-notch boxing matches09 July 2015
AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) progressed even further after the hugely successful Pre-Ranking Competitions, as the historic Cycle I Round 1 APB matches produced many bouts of unprecedented quality.
Round 2 begins on July 10 in Guiyang, China with Light Flyweight (49 kg) stars Carlos Quipo (ECU) and Birzhan Zhakypov (KAZ) meeting for an opportunity to face Champion Bin LV (CHI) in World Title Match.
Quipo has happy memories of competing in Guiyang as he memorably defeated the Chinese star Zhonglin Wu in Round 1, while current AIBA World Champion Zhakypov enjoyed a comfortable victory over Patrick Lourenco (BRA).
Wu and Lourenco will both aim to bounce back from defeat as they battle each other in China, while the exciting Ariunbold Ganselem (MGL) is seeking a second successive victory against Leandro Blanc (ARG).
A key Flyweight (52 kg) battle will emanate from Mexico City, Mexico on July 26, with Elias Emigdio (MEX) and Ilyas Suleimenov (KAZ) both vying for a title match against Misha Aloian (RUS).
Formerly a hugely successful athlete in the World Series of Boxing, Emigdio beat Fernando Martinez (ARG) for the second time in this competition during Round 1, and the popular star enjoys tremendous support in his native Mexico.
Suleimenov stopped Jasurbek Latipov (UZB) in round four of his last contest to achieve a third TKO success in APB, with the former Olympian perhaps the most powerful puncher in the division.
Two further Flyweight matches take place a week prior in Sofia, Bulgaria, where 2013 AIBA World Championships silver medalist Mohamed Flissi (ALG) meets Redouane Asloum (FRA), before local star Aleksandar Aleksandrov (BUL) faces the confident Sajad Mohammadpour (IRI), who surprisingly defeated Flissi in Round 1.
Guiyang, China will host the pivotal Bantamweight (56 kg) bout between Alberto Melian (ARG) and Jiawei Zhang (CHI) on July 10, where the winner will fight the Champion, Khedafi Djelkhir (FRA).
The Round 1 series of Bantamweight matches also took place in China, and home star Zhang was awarded a victory over Benson Gicharu Njangiru (KEN) to book his place in Round 2.
WSB veteran Melian is a master of the long round format, with his endless stamina perfectly encapsulated in his latest victory against AIBA World Champion Javid Chalabiyev (AZB).
Both Hakan Erseker (GER) and Sangmyeong Ham (KOR) impressed in the last round of the Bantamweight competition, and the winner of their bout on the same evening will move up the all-important rankings.
On July 18, Lightweight (60 kg) Hurshid Tojibaev (UZE) competes in Tashkent, Uzbekistan against Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS), with Berik Abdrakhmanov (RUS) awaiting the victor.
Tojibaev kick-started Round 1 with a composed victory over David Oliver Joyce (IRE) and has the opportunity to fight again in front of his home fans in Round 2.
Polyanskiy has only lost one of his five APB matches, and produced an impressive performance over the decorated Robson Conceicao (BRA) last time out.
Conceicao and Joyce will also meet in Tashkent, while multiple AIBA World Championships medalist Domenico Valentino (ITA) is hunting a third successive APB victory against the in-form Charly Suarez (PHI).
The main Light Welterweight (64 kg) match will emanate from Hamburg, Germany on July 30, as Artem Harutyunyan (GER) aims to defeat Abdelkader Chadi (ALG) in order to secure a bout with Champion Armen Zakaryan (RUS).
A bronze medalist from the 2013 European Championships, Harutyunyan is a crowd-pleasing brawler who also hopes to earn a Rio 2016 quota in front of his home fans in Germany, while Chadi used his experience to great effect in his Round 1 bout with Carlos Aquino (ARG).
Another crucial Light Welterweight bout takes place in Mexico City on July 26, when Juan Pablo Romero (MEX) looks to make it two wins in a row in his home country against Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn (UKR).
Kemerovo, Russia will welcome the Welterweight (69 kg) division on July 24, as Gyula Kate (HUN) and Andrey Zamkovoy (RUS) will compete to earn a title bout against Onur Sipal (TUR).
Although he struggled in his opening APB matches, the 33-year-old two-time AIBA World Championships bronze medalist Kate was phenomenal in Round 1 as he turned on the style superbly against number one ranked Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Okwiri (KEN).
London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medalist Zamkovoy engaged in a ferociously tight battle with Eimantas Stanionis (LIT) in Round 1, and narrowly defeated his Lithuanian opponent on points.
That same night, the competition also welcomed the legendary boxing nation of Cuba into the APB fold.
“Cuba’s arrival in APB represents a further step forward in making this competition one of the most vital and successful sporting systems in the world,” said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, and the historic Cuban entry resulted in a memorable debut victory for Arisnoidys Despaigne (CUB), as he put on a boxing clinic against Dimitros Tsagrakos (GRE).
A 2013 AIBA World Championships silver medalist, and the man who won the decisive bout in Season IV of the World Series of Boxing, Despaigne is carrying Cuban hopes in APB spectacularly well, and will continue his journey when he competes in Round 2.
Despite his exceptional ability and sterling world class reputation, the Cuban will face a difficult challenge on July 24 when he fights 2013 AIBA World Championships bronze medalist Arajik Marutjan (GER).
On July 26 in Russia the Middleweights (75 kg) complete their APB Cycle I Round 1 matches, headlined by Artem Chebotarev (RUS) vs Bogdan Juratoni (ROU) and Michel Tavares (FRA) vs Dmytro Mytrofanov (UKR).
The integral Light Heavyweight (81 kg) Round 2 bout will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on July 18 as Spas Genov (BUL) and Mathieu Bauderlique (FRA) battle to meet Champion Ehsan Rouzbahani (IRI).
Genov won the 2006 European Championships, before switching to the professional ranks where he experienced an explosive career, recording six stoppage victories in his seven successive wins.
Only APB allows pro boxers to compete in the Olympic Games however, so Genov’s switch to the premier format of boxing has enabled him to stand on the cusp of qualification for Rio 2016, and he can achieve that momentous honour in front of his passionate Bulgarian fanbase.
Strong southpaw Mathieu Bauderlique also boasts an undefeated 9-0 record in the professional ranks, and he too signed with APB in order to achieve his dream of competing in the Olympic Games.
Bauderlique shockingly stopped Joseph Ward (IRE) in round four of their Round 1 bout, while Genov’s strength took him to a well-deserved victory over Kennedy St Pierre (MRI).
A special eye should also be kept out for Light Heavyweight Serge Michel (GER) who stopped Oybek Mamazulunov (UZB) in his last APB appearance and faces former European Champion Nikita Ivanov (RUS) on July 30.
Michel has now won three of his four matches in this competition, and the classically gifted Light Heavyweight is hoping to move up the rankings once more in Round 2.
Two-time AIBA World Champion and twice Olympic Games silver medalist Clemente Russo (ITA) has consistently packed out venues in Italy in his APB career, and he will be hoping his fans can cheer him to victory once more in his Heavyweight (91 kg) rematch with Anton Pinchuk (KAZ) on July 11.
Russo comprehensively outboxed Roman Golovashchenko (UKR) in Round 1, but Pinchuk represents a far more difficult challenge, as the 2013 Asian Championships gold medalist has won four of his five APB matches.
His lone defeat came against Russo over six rounds, but the Kazakh athlete will be confident of performing better over the longer distance, especially as he won the last frame of their opening match.
Undefeated Champion Aleksey Egorov (RUS) will await the winner, as will a place in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Another Heavyweight to follow in APB is David Graf (GER), who attracted much media interest regarding his debut in the competition, when he made his entrance to the ring dressed menacingly in a full Gladiator outfit.
Graf also piqued interest with his in-ring performance after beating Yamil Peralta (ARG), and will engage in a much awaited Round 2 contest with London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medalist Tervel Pulev.
Marrakesh, Morocco hosts a Super Heavyweight (91+ kg) shootout on July 24, with Magomedrasul Medzhidov (AZE) and Mihai Nistor (ROU) both aiming to win a Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota, and a match with Champion Erik Pfeifer (GER).
A two-time AIBA World Champion, Medzhidov is one of the most powerful punchers in the entire boxing world, with his knockout of Ivan Dychko in the 2013 World Championships final viewed over 30,000 times on YouTube.
Medzhidov knocked down Mohammed Arjaoui (MAR) en route to victory in his Round 1 match in Morocco, and despite beating the home favourite, he was treated with respect and admiration by the knowledgeable crowd.
Nistor was the first man in the history of APB to win a match in this format of boxing, and is fresh off another victory over Magomed Omarov (RUS).