By Alexey Sukachev
MORE LIVE RESULTS TO COME.....................
Sochi, Russia - WBA #3 and WBC #9 ranked super middleweight Fedor Chudinov (17-2, 12 KOs) continued his rebuild with a solid stoppage of late sub Timo Laine (21-10, 6 KOs) in a bid for Fedor's WBA International 168lb title.
Chudinov, 30, dominated Laine with his punch accuracy and also with his punch strength. Laine, 33, was very brave and took it to Chudinov despite being not in his best shape. He did whatever he could but it was still not enough to trouble the Russian. Laine was often moving with his hands down but Chudinov was a bit clumsy and a bit rusty to land conclusively. Still punches were taking effect on Laine, and with each round the Finnish fighter looked more and more of a beaten man, and he WAS a beaten man, and also a bleeding man.
After seven rounds of mostly one-sided action - even though Timo landed some well-placed body shots to command Fedor's attention - Oleg Bogdanov, who was assisting in Timo's corner, implored referee to stop the fight. Laine has never went down and showed character in defeat. Chudinov showed his potential and overall strength but there's still work to be done in order to be better in crucial fights.
Former amateur star Mikhail Aloyan (4-0) continued his fast Nicaraguan track to a world title shot but it's getting harder with each fight. This time Aloyan survived a crisis of the sixth round and cruised to a hard-fought split decision over previously undefeated WBA #8 bantamweight Alexander Espinoza (15-1-2, 7 KOs) in a ten-rounder. Scores were: 94-96, 96-94 and 96-95 - for the Russian.
Aloyan started fast, using his superior, amateur-polished technique to frustrate his opponent. But soon 2009 world champion and 2012/2016 Olympian for Russia found himself in war against a younger opponent. The Nicaraguan matched Aloyan well at a close range, being was especially dangerous with his uppercut. Aloyan used his timing well to counter Espinoza but he was lacking punch output to keep the Nicaraguan at bay.
The biggest scare to Aloyan's undefeated career came in the sixth. The Russian took a small pause in action, which was prolonged till the end of the round. Espinoza was firing at will, landing much despite a tight guard of Aloyan. Espinoza's punches were mostly blocked, slipped or negated but the Latino boxer landed enough to produce some really bad swelling around Aloyan's left eye. The Russian Yazidi connected with zero punches in return (to dozens of Espinoza). Aloyan's lethargic state continued well into the seventh but during the last minute of that round the Russian started to find his second wind.
Both fighters were looking to punctuate their chance but Aloyan was one to land more in round eight and especially in round nine, when the Russian troubled the Nicaraguan with several well-placed combinations. Both combatants fought at a frantic pace at the end.
WBA #7 bantamweight Aloyan retained his WBA International 118lb title in process. The Russian, who has scored all of his wins (the last two via split decisions over unbeaten boxers) against Nicaraguans, is also rated IBF #12 and WBC #15 at 115lbs.
Feather-fisted punching and having a questionable chin led otherwise perfect Russian lightweight Vage Sarukhanyan (17-2-1, 4 KOs) into a disaster, when he was stopped late into the seventh by upset-minded Japanese gatekeeper Hurricane Futa (24-7-1, 15 KOs), who took Vage's WBC International lightweight title in process.
Futa, 30, who holds a win over 25-2-1 ex-IBO champion Will Tomlinson in his past, was all wrong for the WBC #12 rated Samara-based Russian Armenian. His awkward angles and unorthodox punching were his advantages and Sarukhanyan's troubles at the same time. Vage, 27, boxed very good but he was unable to hurt Hurricane with any of his punches. The opposite wasn't true, however.
Futa had firstly shown that Sarukhanyan would be there for a long night in the third, when he dropped Vage with an overhand left. Vage was down hard but re-groupped and boxed his way out of trouble. He came back remarkably well in the fourth, landing some stinging shots, while Futa was too ineffective with his wide, winging shots that missed badly. Sarukhanyan was doing better than Futa at the mid-point, and he was also ahead on the scorecards.
But it was just a trap. In the seventh, Futa started to land more shots when it looked like the fight was finally Vage's. Late into the seventh, Sarukhanyan visibly hurt the Japanese with some shots at the center of the ring, pinned him to the ropes and landed some flush (yet still light) blows to his defenseless opponent. Just when it seemed the fight would soon be waved off in his favour, Vage left himself open, and Futa landed a huge left hook to the jaw of the Russian Armenian, putting him down at 2:42. No count was needed in a virtual reminiscent scenario of 1994 Fight of the year ending between Jorge Fernando Castro and John David Jackson.
In a very hard-fought lightweight affair, Balashikha resident Roman Andreev (21-0, 15 KOs) acquired a vacant WBO International 135lb title and positioned himself further for a world title shot in future with a stoppage win over Welshman Craig Evans at 1:19 of the ninth round.
WBO #3 and IBF #5 Andreev, a crude banger with a very solid right hand, felt uncomfortable against crafty southpaw from Blackwood, Wales, and the latter was specifically effective in the opening rounds. Evans landed a major right hook to punctuate his win in the first round, and also took the third with some crisp and well-placed shots, while Andreev's pressure earned him the second stanza.
WBO #6 Evans was light on his feet and was surprisingly successful in close quarters. It was quite a surprise for the Russian, 31, who was the one who pressed the fight to be a phone-booth affair. Evans used a turtle-shell defense to protect himself from Andreev's onslaught and landed punches in succession in return. Still the fight was relatively close, with Andreev landing heavier punches but eating too much in return.
The Russian got stronger after the mid-point, while the 28-year old Welshman started to fade, seeing his energy dissipating under Andreev's pressure. The Russian looked solid in the seventh, but Evans was once again alive and well in the eighth round. It turned out to be his last hooray. In the ninth, Andreev continued to stalk Evans and finally found him with a glancing right uppercut. The Welshman was hurt and dropped his defense allowing Andreev to land four more right and left hooks without a miss and prompting referee Joerg Milke to call it off.
Ex-WBO European titlist Evans drops down to 17-2-3, 3 KOs. Meanwhile, Andreev is looking forward to face the winner of the upcoming collision for the vacant WBO lightweight belt between WBO #1 Raymundo Beltran and WBO #2 Paulus Moses. It'll happen on February 16 in the States.