#APB Finals Pre Ranking Phase 1 – Presentation Events 69Kg, 75 Kg and +91 Kg22 January 2015
The Welterweight (69 kg) division in AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) has been one of the most entertaining weight classes during the competition so far, and the Inaugural Title Match to determine the first Welterweight APB Champion is expected to be a classic.
2008 Beijing Olympian Onur Sipal is one of Turkey’s most promising boxing talents, and the 25-year-old has won all three of his APB contests so far, beginning with a comprehensive defeat of Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis.
In his second contest, Sipal beat the man he will face for the APB title, as he won a wide points decision over Kenya’s Rayton Okwiri, and he maintained his undefeated start with a clear win against Ukraine’s Denys Lazarev.
The rematch between Sipal and Okwiri will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan on January 24th, and is eagerly anticipated, especially given the excellent form of the African fighter in APB.
In the first week of competition, Okwiri shocked the world by knocking out one of the favourites for Welterweight glory, Austria’s Marcos Nader in round two of their fight.
After his loss to Sipal in November, Kenya’s superstar rebounded magnificently to quality for the title bout when he won five of the six rounds against Russia’s Olympic bronze medalist Andrey Zamkovoy in December.
Okwiri will also take confidence from winning the last round of his first bout against Sipal on two of the three scorecards, and their top level contest will delight the watching fans.
Kilicci, a 2007 AIBA World Championships bronze medalist has been one of the most impressive APB boxers so far in the competition, with an unblemished 3-0 record, contested against some of the best boxers in the world.
He began his campaign with a crushing victory against Kenya’s Nickson Otieno Abaka, which was followed up with a win over the number one seed Artem Chebotarev, his opponent in Istanbul.
The Turkish star confirmed his involvement in the title bout during the Matches for Champions phase of APB, with a win over Egypt’s All-Africa Games bronze medallist Hosam Abdin on points.
Kilicci just dropped just four rounds according to the judges across his three fights, and won five of the six rounds in his first match with Chebotarev who has perhaps underachieved in his APB career thus far.
The Russian opened his account with a disqualification win against Ecuador’s Marlo Delgado, and then lost in week two against Kilicci.
Therefore, his Matches for Champions bout against Dmytro Mytrofanov was a crucial one, and the European Boxing Champion won a close contest against the Ukrainian, with one judge scoring the fight a draw, and the other two awarding it to Chebotarev.
The quality of the Russian boxer is not in doubt, he is supremely talented and on his day he can defeat anybody in the world, but to beat Kilicci is a tough task for anybody, especially in front of the Turkish crowd, and Chebotarev has failed to get off to a fast start in his last two APB bouts.
There is perhaps not a better sight in boxing than watching two undefeated Super Heavyweights (91+ kg) battle with gold on the line, and January 23rd in Baku, Azerbaijan features the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Inaugural Title Match between Germany’s Erik Pfeifer and Morocco’s Mohammed Arjaoui.
Pfeifer is a two-time AIBA World Championships bronze medalist, and started his APB career off with a dominant victory over Egypt’s Ahmed Samir, dropping his opponent en route to a large points win.
He followed that up in week two with a close points win over France’s Tony Yoka, a victory enabled by Pfeifer’s stamina and resilience, as he recovered well from losing the first two rounds.
The German secured his part in the Inaugural Title Match during the Matches for Champions series, when he stopped Romanian Mihai Nistor in round three of their contest.
Mohammed Arjaoui also boasts an unblemished 3-0 APB record, and he began with a close victory over Ukrainian Sergiy Verveyko in week one.
One win turned into two as he won on points against Mihai Nistor, and the Olympian made sure of his place in the title picture during week three as he defeated Tony Yoka on points.
Looking ahead to their contest, Pfeifer perhaps has a power advantage owing to his stoppage of Nistor, while Arjaoui always keeps busy during his fights, and will look to trouble his German opponent with his movement and sharp jab.
Whatever happens, someone’s 0 has to go as we crown a new Champion in the highest weight class of all.