Russia’s new bridgerweight star Evgeny Romanov, the man who stopped Deontay Wilder in the amateurs, is off and running after a weight drop.
The 16-0 puncher won a unanimous points triumph over ex-challenger Dmitry Kudryashov to move closer to a shot at the recently-created WBC title.
Reporter Eric Armit picks up the story.
Romanov vs. Kudryashov
Romanov clearly outpoints Kudryashov to win the vacant WBC Silver title and opens the way to be the first challenger to the winner of the WBC bridgerweight title fight between Oscar Rivas and Bryant Jennings.
Kudryashov opened brightly, moving around Romanov and stabbing out jabs. Romanov moved less and threw less, but he was accurate and had more power.
Kudryashov very quickly ran out of ideas. Romanov was doing nothing spectacular, but what he was doing, he was doing well and was effective.
He was constantly finding gaps for solid jabs, and curling left hooks around Kudryashov’s guard. He also connected with rights over the top of Kudryashov’s left, and Kudryashov’s activity level dropped off.
DEONTAY WILDER KO
Romanov is not quick, but he does have power (he knocked out Deontay Wilder in the amateurs back in 2008. Deontay Wilder later won a bronze medal to become The Bronze Bomber). Kudryashov’s work became messy as he dropped his hands to throw careless punches and wasted his time with too much movement.
Romanov was cruising to victory in the last until a punch sliced open a nasty cut over his right eye, and the eye also began to close rapidly, but the injury came too late to have any impact on the result.
Scores 120-108, 119-109, and 119-109 all for Romanov.
At 6’0” tall, the bridgerweight limit of 225lbs is just right for Romanov, but he will find either Rivas or Jennings a tougher test.
Kudryashov has lost the big fights, beaten by Yuniel Dorticos for the secondary WBA title and Ilunga Makabu for the WBC Silver title.
Kozlovsky vs. Kipenga
Southpaw Kozlovsky lifts the vacant WBC International Silver title with a points victory over Tanzanian Kipenga. This did not look like a difficult task for former star amateur Kozlovsky as he had a 5” height advantage over the 5’4” Kipenga, another southpaw.
It looked as though it would be a short fight as Kozlovsky put Kipenga down in the first and bossed the next three rounds. However, when Kipenga refused to succumb, Kozlovsky found he fought with his hands.
His work became untidy, and Kipenga was able to get through with some good punches. Kozlovsky retrenched and then retook control and ended strongly as Kipenga tired.
Scores 100-89, 99-90, and 98-91 for Kozlovsky. The decision was right, but the scores are a little harsh on Kipenga.
The 24-year-old Kozlovsky won gold medals at the Russian Junior, World Junior, and Russian Youth Championships.
Kipenga gave an excellent account of himself. His other loss was against unbeaten Rajesh Kumar in India.
Madiev vs. Voshkov
Madiev scrapes past Voshkov with a majority decision. In contrast of styles, Madiev was forced to chase down the clever and elusive Voshkov.
There was never much between them, with both having good spells. In the end, the aggressive approach of Madiev just gave him a fragile advantage, but the decision could just as easily have gone to Voshkov.
Scores 96-94 twice and 95-95 for Madiev. The 26-year-old Madiev takes possession of the vacant WBC International Silver title.
Madiev drew against Artur Osipov in a Russian title defense in his last fight in July 2020, yet Madiev is somehow No 2 with the WBA-and Osipov is not in the first fifteen.
It seems as though the WBA has decided to ignore that fight results as it would just be too much trouble to rate Osipov.
Southpaw Voshkov, 24, showed some good skills. He can still be a force in this division.