Melian vs Chalabiyev and Njangiru vs Zhang headline the battle of the Bantamweights

05 June 2015 News
APB Belt Champion

APB Belt Champion

The AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) bantamweight (56 kg) division will compete in Cycle I Round 1 this weekend, as Guiyang, China hosts four matches over two days.

All bouts can be watched live at, with the first two contests taking place on Saturday night at 18:00 (GMT +8).

Germany’s Hakan Erseker competes against Venezuela’s Yoni Blanco, while Sangmyeong Ham battles Finland’s Matti Koota.

The headline match take places the following evening at 17:30 (GMT +8), with Alberto Melian facing Javid Chalabiyev.

Melian is one of the most successful boxers in World Series of Boxing (WSB) history, and began his APB career with three successive victories.

His first defeat came in the bantamweight Inaugural Title Match where he fell to Khedafi Djelkhir, an opponent he had already beaten in the Ranking Phase.

Chalabiyev is the reigning AIBA World Champion, and though he has won twice in APB, he has not yet performed to his world class best in this format.


Melian frequently begins his fights with great intent, and his tenacious and relentless pressure-based style is one of his most crucial attributes.

Such rapid attacks can come at a cost however, with Melian often fading towards the latter stages of his bouts in APB.

Three times in four fights the Argentine has lost the last round of the contest, and after winning two of the first four rounds of his title match with Djelkhir, the South American then lost the remaining four frames.

This match will also be held over eight rounds, which should suit Chalabiyev whose cerebral and composed approach to boxing enables him to conserve energy, and wear out his opponents in the process.

Whoever wins between Melian and Chalabiyev will next face the victor of Benson Gicharu Njangiru vs Jiawei Zhang who also compete in Guiyang.

Two-time Asian Games silver medalist Zhang will have the backing of his home fans in China, but Njangiru is one of the toughest boxers in APB, and will not be overawed by the grand occasion.

Match schedule Saturday:

18:00: Yoni BLANCO (ECU) vs Hakan ERSEKER (GER)
18:30: Sangmyeong HAM (KOR) vs Matti KOOTA (FIN)
Match schedule Sunday:

17:30: Alberto MELIAN (ARG) vs Javid CHALABIYEV (AZE)
18:00: Jiawei ZHANG (CHN) vs Benson NJANGIRU (KEN)

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