Italian icon Clemente Russo seeks Heavyweight supremacy over the dangerous Anton Pinchuk10 July 2015
The glamorous Heavyweight (91 kg) division of AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) will complete their Cycle I Round 2 series of matches on Saturday night in Milan, Italy, and fans around the world can watch all four bouts live and free from 20:30 (GMT +2) at https://www.youtube.com/user/AIBAproboxingTV.
Italian legend Clemente Russo (ITA) competes in the headline bout against Anton Pinchuk (KAZ), with the winner scheduled to earn both a title match against Heavyweight Champion Aleksey Egorov (RUS), plus a qualification quota for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
A two-time AIBA World Champion, Russo has also twice won silver at the Olympic Games, and will be itching to earn the chance to make it a golden treble next year in Rio.
Pinchuk has won four of his five APB matches, with his lone defeat in the competition coming against Russo back in December.
Russo won that bout via unanimous decision, but lost the last round against his Kazakh opponent, which will give Pinchuk confidence that he can outperform the Italian more consistently when they fight again.
The rematch will take place over two more rounds in Milan, a distance both boxers seemed to have no trouble with in their Cycle I Round 1 matches.
In front of a hugely supportive crowd in Italy, Russo comprehensively outboxed Roman Golovashchenko (UKR), while 2013 Asian Championships gold medalist Pinchuk outpointed Chouaib Bouloudintas (ALG).
As he has experienced throughout many of his APB matches, Russo will have a size disadvantage against Pinchuk who is three inches taller, but the Italian excels at cutting down the ring when he meets larger opponents, and has the power to exploit any openings.
Pinchuk often keeps his hands low while using his remarkable footwork to evade shots, and his long reach and damaging right hand will be a dangerous proposition for Russo to deal with across each round.
Will the youthful confidence of Pinchuk take him through to the Olympic Games and a title shot with Egorov? Or will Russo’s ample experience in high level competition result in yet another APB victory, and another titlematch with the dominant Russian Champion?
Three further Heavyweight matches will emanate from Milan, including a much awaited contest between London 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Tervel Pulev (BUL) and David Graf (GER).
Pulev’s pawing jab and powerful flurries proved decisive against Marko Calic (CRO) last time out, while Graf’s memorable entrance to the ring dressed as a Gladiator was as impressive as his victory over Yamil Peralta (ARG).
Calic and Peralta will battle against each other on the undercard, as will Roman Golovashchenko (UKR) and Chouaib Bouloudintas (ALG).