At 39, Tomas “Gusano” Rojas isn’t what he once used to be - but he is still capable of testing young fighter and prospects on the rise. Younger but fresher Tajik Mukhammadkhuja Yakubov (16-0, 9 KOs) experienced the present best of an always-tough former WBC super flyweight champion, as he cruised to a convincing but hard-fought unanimous decision in what was a huge learning experience for the 24-year old native of Isfara.

Rojas vs. Yakubov served as the main event of the evening, promoted by the Titov/RCC Boxing promotions at the RCC Boxing Academy in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The fight was fought Rojas way but under the control of the WBC #7, WBO #9 and IBF #15 ranked super featherweight. Yakubov tried not to engage into a street brawl in close quarters but to box an orthodox way against a fighter, which spirit and punching power was still intact. The Mexican warrior tried to corkscrew Tajik’s heavy defense but got little success.

The fight was very methodical until the ninth, when the Tajik boxer suddenly engaged in some blow-by-blow encounters and had his sound moments in exchanges. Rojas survived the onslaught and lasted to the final bell.

After twelve complete rounds, judges had it unanimously for Mukhammadkhuja Yakuov, who retained his WBC International title for the third time: 119-110, 118-110 and 117-111. Gusano Rojas is now 51-19-1, 34 KOs.


In an important domestic clash between two of Russia’s finest light middleweights, WBA #5, WBO #7 and WBC #10 rated Magomed Kurbanov just barely outpointed determined Ismail Iliev unanimously over ten rounds.

Iliev scored more with his sneaky and numerous but light punches – specifically during the first five minutes of the fight. His assault was halted during the last minute of the second round, when Kurbanov, 24, dropped his opponent with several big shots, the last one coming to the back of the head of Iliev, 26.

Iliev continued to march forward and landed his share of leather but Kurbanov’s tonnage was felt more by the Kara-Bulyk native. Kurbanov was landing sometimes at will but his defense was also exposed, as Iliev remained a tough nut to crack.

Kurbanov got serious in rounds seven and eight, while Iliev showed signs of fatigue but continued to fight through despite being slightly wobbly on several occasions. The Ingush, however, opened several cuts to mark Kurbanov’s face, his left eye being in a specifically poor shape. Both combatants threw all they had during the last stanza, and Kurbanov looked to be a better fighter, and surely he was a better puncher of the two.

All three judges had it unanimously for Kurbanov (19-0, 11 KOs): 97-92, 96-93, and 95-94. Iliev has nothing to ashamed off but he is now at a not-so-sound record of 12-2-1, 3 KOs.

WBO #9 and IBF #13 ranked cruiserweight Evgeny Tishchenko, 28, continued to follow fellow Olympic gold medalist Oleksandr Usyk in the latter’s footsteps by moving an inch closer to an occasional prompt shot at one of the major trinkets. However, 2016 Rio heavyweight gold medalist (Usyk is 2012 London Olympics heavyweight champion) didn’t look that good in the third-round stoppage of Argentinean import Marcos Antonio Ahumada (21-9, 16 KOs).

Lanky Tischenko was pressurized by the brute Argentinean throughout the first two rounds. Ahumada, 33, wasn’t landing much of note but he was active and he was doing his work fairly well. Tischenko wasn’t able to adjust his style to his awkward foe, and looked a bit lost. It looked like the third would be going the same way but early into the round, the Russian landed what seemed to be a very short left blow to the liver, which forced Ahumada to take a knee.

The Argentinean continued to box through serious pain but it was just a matter of time. The time has come at 1:41 of the round, when Tischenko troubled the Argentinean one more time and sent him down on a knee for a full count of ten. Tischenko retained his WBO I/C 200lb title for the second time and goes up to 7-0, 5 KOs.


Unlike the vast majority of RCC-promoted fighters, super featherweight Mark Urvanov is one who is often matched up with his teammates. Another of those intra-team collisions resulted in one of Urvanov’s greater wins with a chilling kayo of Akzhol Sulaymanbek Uulu of Kyrgyzstan during the seventh round.

Urvanov was crowned WBA Gold super featherweight champion after this huge win.

Ginger-headed Urvanov, not surprisingly nicknamed “Canelo” was doing well right from the starters, playing with his tough but stiff opponent. With his hands down and his reflexes high, WBO #13 and WBA #15 Urvanov, 23, was light on his feet, peppered the WBA #6 ranked Kyrgyz with his jab and added big left hooks on an occasion.

Sulaymanbek, 29, was willing to trade, but this trade was a one-way street, and the slow Kyrgyz fighter was on a receiving end of it. He was on a short revival during the fifth, when the Russian got too cocky and was caught solidly several times (but has never been in danger of being stopped). The end came at 2:04 of the seventh, when both fighters decided to swing freely, and Urvanov was one to place his pin-pointed picture-prefect left bomb right to the chin of Sulaymanbek. Referee Yuri Koptsev didn’t bother to count the Kyrgyz out, as the end was as evident as it could have been.

Urvanov, who has only lost to teammates Mikhail Alexeev and Mukhammadkhuja Yakubov and drew with Nikita Kuznetsov, followed his stoppage win over Evgueny Chuprakov with yet another kayo. He is now 18-2-1, 10 KOs. Sulaymanbek suffers his first career loss and goes down to 15-1, 8 KOs.


Evgeny Chuprakov’s sliding career took another solid hit with an upset (but was it truly an upset?) majority decision loss to unheralded local journeyman Vladislav Krasnoshein, 24.

The 2018 world-title challenger (he lost in seven rounds to IBF super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito on the 2019 eve), who is promptly becoming a gatekeeper at best, looked well in the first. Krasnoshein got better in the second and edged his experienced opponent to the mid-point.

The southpaw’s prospects were put in danger late into the fifth, when Chuprakov rocked and then decked him with several big shots. Krasnoshein survived and looked even to his opponent during the next couple of rounds but got a major success early into the eighth, when his short left hand put Chuprakov, 29, down. Krasnoshein outworked his foe in the closing seconds of the round.

Final scores were: 75-75, 77-73, and 78-72 – for Krasnoshein, who is now 7-2-1, 2 KOs. Chuprakov goes down to 21-3, 11 KOs, and he is now just 1-3 lately with a clear indication of some uneasy career choices ahead.


Just like Mexico and Puerto-Rico, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have no known geographical borders. But just like any encounter between any of Central Asian nations, Kazakh and Tajik fighters are usually engaged in two-way bloody action for the sake of pride, desire and pure entertainment for the fans. That was the case in a unanimous decision win by Tajik Asror Vokhidov over determined once-defeated Kazakh Erzhan Zalilov in a scheduled six-rounder.

Super bantamweight Vokhidov (listed 24 in his BoxRec profile, which doesn’t seem to be correct both due to his look and his 16-21 loss to future megastar Naoya Inoue in a semifinal of 2012 London qualifier – Vokhidov should have been 16 at the time) used his vast amateur experience to take the first half of the fight. “The Rocket” Zalilov, 27 and out of the ring for a year and a half, turned the tide early into the fifth with a right cross, which wobbled the Tajik and had him down after the follow-up. Vokhidov, however, got up, calmed down and outboxed Zalilov during the sixth round. He is now 7-0, 3 KOs. Zalilov gets down to 11-2-1, 5 KOs).


In a stunner, former Russian lightweight champion Nikita Kuznetsov (11-1-2, 5 KOs) lost his unbeaten record and a good share of future prospects with an unexpected stoppage defeat to unheralded Ossetian opponent Dmitry Khasiev at 1:38 of the second round.

Kuznetsov, 25, looked solid during the first round, measuring his southpaw opponent with hard right jab. During the break, coach Valery Efremov implored Kuznetsov to use his right hand to an extent, and Kuznetsov obliged at the start of the second. The round was going his way, when Khasiev, also 25, exploded with a big left to the whiskers, which had Nikita on a queer street. The following barrage sent Kuznetsov down.

Up and pumped, the unbeaten competitor went in and tried to avenge his letdown but instead was down for real and for the second time after a huge straight left, which penetrated his defense. Khasiev immediately jumped on his wounded opponent and forced referee Roman Petrov to stop the action following yet another combination. Dmitry Khasiev improves to 9-2-1, with 3 KOs and a showing, which is unrivaled to his previous resume.


West Coast-based, Uzbek-born Russian lightweight Dmitry Yun (4-0, 1 KO) was awarded his first career stoppage win, when his younger, 21-year old Ukrainian opponent Stanislav Maksyuchenko (2-2-1, 1 KO) retired in his corner after four complete rounds.

Yun, 26, relied too much on his power (which was statistically negligible coming into the fight with all his former encounters going the whole distance) in the opening round allowing Maksyuchenko to find short-term salvation in clinches. The favorite changed his tactics during the second round, setting traps and forcing his prey into them. Maksyuchenko was outfought in rounds two and three, and then punished mercilessly during the fourth with hard body shots, which he was unable to recover from, making an easy night for Yun.


Undefeated light heavyweights Vasiliy Voytsekhovskiy and Vladimir Kotlyarov, both 23, engaged into a fan-friendly six-round two-way encounter, and the former came out as a close winner with a majority decision.

Voystekhovskiy of Moscow took the first half of the fight with his activity and overall pressure, which kept Kotlyarov at bay and on the defensive. The Donetsk native took a lead during the following two rounds and outboxed him on the outside. Both fighters tried hard to outwill each other during the sixth stanza, and the Muscovite just narrowly edged his hard-nosed opponent during the closing brawl, moving to 3-0,1 KO. Kotlyarov drops down to 2-1-1.


In the opener, Russia-based Abkhazian welterweight Igor Adleiba, 21, cruised to an uneasy stoppage of upset-minded Arkadi Harutyunyan (4-9, 1 KO), a native of Vanadzor, Armenia, a birthplace of former multi-time two-division world champion Vakhtang Darchinyan. The fight was stopped at 2:47 of the fourth after a deep cut on the left side of the Armenian’s forehead following an accidental headbutt.

Adleiba (now 10-0, 3 KOs) was in control of the fight, but game Harutyunyan, who stopped former world-title challenger Andrey Klimov just three weeks ago, boxed diligently and made the Abkhazian boxer work hard throughout the bout. Midst into the fourth, Harutyunyan, 35, instigated a close-quarter collision, and then seemingly headbutted his opponent. However the veteran fighter suffered a cut himself despite opening a gash over Adleiba’s right eye as well. After a short examination of a ringside physician, the fight was stopped for good by the referee.