IBA Champions Night

Undefeated Agrba to receive title shot after IBA Champions’ Night victory in Sochi

March 3rd, 2024 / IBA Champions Night

Khariton Agrba has claimed a IBA Pro World Champion title shot, after defeating Jose Miguel Borrego of Mexico at the IBA Champions’ Night in Sochi in a 10-round Eliminator at the Academy of Martial Arts “Sirius”.

Heading into the fight, the Russian looked to keep distance from Borrego, with the Mexican infamous for knocking his opponents out. A variety of punches and precise footwork from Agrba showed he had control of the bout early on. His stick-and-move tactic worked well, but first showed weakness at the end of the third round where Borrego was able to corner him with a flurry of punches, with Agrba saved by the bell.

After stabilizing in the fourth, Agrba was again shook at the end of the fifth, with Borrego connected well with the right hook, chasing him around the ring. Just when the Mexican seemed to have momentum coming, the Russian would not relent. Refusing to stay stationary, Agrba would reply with a flurry of punches.

A testament to his endurance throughout the fight and his ability to land the right strikes, Agrba would have his arm raised via unanimous decision to remain undefeated, impressively resisting the hard blows of Borrego, who was unable to add him to his knockout list.

With Agrba looking ahead on points, Borrego pursued his opponent, catching him early against the ropes in the eighth round in what was the Mexican’s best three minutes.

Gabil Mamedov would gain retribution against his long-time rival Dzmitriy Asanau of Belarus to become the IBA European champion at 63.5kg.

The Russian had lost all three previous bouts against Asanau, who was the 2019 European Games gold medallist.

Asanau would take a back foot stance, spiritedly moving throughout the bout, as Mamedov preferred to be the aggressor.

Nearing the end of the fourth round, Mamedov cranked up the heat, cornering the Belarusian and exerting even more pressure. The Russian had strong finishes to the fourth and fifth rounds, catching Asanau with strong combinations. Despite the activity of Mamedov, the evasiveness and selective striking of Asanau was as impressive. Little could split the pair at the end of eight quality rounds of boxing. The nod would go the way of Mamedov, ending the losing streak against his foe.

A resolved Murad Allahverdiyev from Azerbaijan would surprise home favourite Beshto Shavlaev in the 80kg bout by split decision.

The Russian continually struck Allahverdiyev throughout the fight and looked as if a knockdown would be imminent, yet the Azerbaijan boxer stood his ground when it seemed he was seconds from being dropped. Shavlaev punished Allahverdiyev’s mistakes, landing hooks to the head when he chose to turn away from his opponent.

Despite looking behind, Allahverdiyev did not concede, putting his best boxing at the end of the six-round fight. Some of the cleanest punches came in the last two rounds, in favor of the Azerbaijan boxer, who curried favor with judges in the end.

World Championships bronze medallist from Russia Dmitry Dvali would be victorious in his 54kg contest with three-time world medallist Jasurbek Latipov from Uzbekistan.

The fourth round ended with Dvali catching the Uzbek to tip the balance in his favour. That victory would be sealed soon after as Latipov faced a count of eight in the fifth round, having taken a flurry of body blows, which caused him to keel over. Things went from bad to worse later in the round, when further strikes led to the doctor stopping the match, giving the Russian the technical knockout win.

Another Russian victory came for Tarkhan Idigov on his IBA professional debut against Mongolian Misheelt Battumur in the 67kg division.

The first piece of drama came in the second round, when Idigov cleanly caught the chin of Battumur, momentarily shaking him, but miraculously he maintained his stance. As if the strike was a wake-up call, the Mongolian changed his tune and confronted his foe, closing the space, which initially paid dividends. As Idigov had the better of the first two rounds, the tide turned.

Yet the winner was predictable in the end despite the closeness between the fighters. Battumur’s change in stance opened him up to strikes to the face, which dislodged his mouthpiece four times, giving him two points deductions. This made the final round particularly exciting as he frequently checked the head of Idigov, who only had to stay on his feet. After taking so much punishment for the majority of the bout, Idigov endured to win on his debut.

The quickest win of the night saw Khuseyn Baysangurov of Russia defeat Nigeria’s Taiwo Olowu within two minutes of what was supposed to be a 10-round contest.

Baysangurov added another victim to the knockout list, surprisingly for the crowd by landing a blow to the stomach of Olowu in the 66.7kg bout, who had a delayed reaction to putting a knee to the canvas. While most boxers respond enthusiastically to the first referee’s count, Olowu could not stand, absolutely stunned by the Russian’s punch.

One of the best contests of the night saw Cheerav Ashalaev defeat Uganda’s Shadiri Musa Bwogi at 75kg. Both athletes could lay early claim to the victory with respective flashes of glory. Bwogi was the star coming out from the bell, but Ashalaev’s endurance showed in the third round, catching the Ugandan with an uppercut that forced his opponent to go in for a clinch to buy time. With significant reach advantage, the Russian had control by the end. What was a bout that could go either way in the early stages, was a unanimous decision win for the 2023 European U22 Championships victor, Ashalaev.

Odiljon Aslonov remained undefeated professionally with victory over Pele Sadoyan of Georgia. The Uzbekistan boxer made it eight victories in a row, also at the 75kg weight. The opening round had both boxers giving little space to the other, locked in a blow-for-blow stance, but as the rounds wore on, Aslonov asserted himself as the favorite to win. Needing a big last round, Sadoyan was the aggressor, aiming to knock his opponent down if he had any hope of winning, but it would be Aslonov with his arm raised in the end.