Olympic dreams and APB title shots on the line as Tojibaev and Polyanskiy fight in Tashkent18 July 2015
The Lightweight (60 kg) division of AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) will complete their Cycle I Round 2 matches on Saturday night in Tashkent, Uzbekistan headlined by a key bout between Hurshid Tojibaev (UZB) and Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS).
From 20:00 (GMT+5), fans in the arena and those watching around the world live and free at https://www.youtube.com/user/AIBAproboxingTV will be able to watch the match that will determine the number one contender for APB Lightweight Champion Berik Abdrakhmanov (KAZ).
The winner of this contest will additionally earn a qualification quota place for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and both boxers have been training incredibly hard in preparation for this momentous opportunity.
To add even more intrigue to an already significant bout, this will be the second time in APB history that the two boxers have met, after Tojibaev outpointed Polyanskiy in the first week of the competition.
Tojibaev won the first five rounds of that contest before Polyanskiy claimed the last frame, and the Russian will take much confidence from finishing strongly as their rematch will take place over two extra rounds.
Both boxers competed well over the eight round distance in their Cycle I Round 1 matches, where Tojibaev produced an early boxing clinic over David Oliver Joyce (IRI).
Backed by a supportive crowd in Tashkent, Tojibaev showed the full extent of his exceptional ability as he effortlessly switched from defence to attack in the blink of an eye to bamboozle and frustrate his talented Irish opponent.
Although the Uzbek star comfortably won the bout against Joyce on points, he did once again fade towards the latter stages when he lost two of the last three rounds, while Polyanskiy recovered from a slow start in his match with Robson Conceicao (BRA) to dominate the second half of their battle.
Polyanskiy is a busy fighter with a tremendous left hook, but he will need to be full of energy on Saturday night to infiltrate the tight guard of Tojibaev and upset the Uzbek fighter in his home country.
Three further Lightweight matches will be held in Uzbekistan, starting with an APB debut for Shafiq Chitou (BEN) against Artur Bril (GER).
An excellent contest between body shot extraordinaire Charly Suarez (PHI) and 2009 AIBA World Champion Domenico Valentino (ITA) is sure to entertain, while David Oliver Joyce (IRE) vs Robson Conceicao (BRA) should also produce plenty of action.