Ismayl faces Despaigne on March 4th

Emergence as boxing's next superstar is imminent now that light heavyweight contender, Ismayl "The Black Russian" Sillakh (14-0, 12 KOs) is scheduled to face fellow new contender Yordanis Despaigne (8-0, 4 KOs) in a March 4 main event on ESPN2.

This fight features two of the only three undefeated fighters currently ranked in the top ten by the World Boxing Council (WBC) in the light heavyweight division. The winner will be poised for stardom.

Both Sillakh and Despaigne were also amateur boxing stars. As an unpaid competitor, Sillakh won the U17 world championships in 2001, and took silver in the 2005 and 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships while Cuba's Despaigne won a world amateur championships bronze medal.

"This will be as good as a world title fight," said Sillakh's manager, Ivaylo Gotzev of the battle. "And when Ismayl dominates the way I know he will, it will be a wake-up call to the world's light heavyweights that a new star has arrived."

The light heavyweight division is currently enjoying a revitalization of talented fighters and intriguing match-ups including WBC Champion Jean Pascal; IBF Champion Tavoris Cloud; World Boxing Association (WBA) Champion Beibut Shumenov and WBO Champion Jurgen Brähmer, who are set to unify their titles on January 8 at the Ice Mansion in Chimkent, Kazakhstan; as well as hall-of-famer Bernard Hopkins and former champion Chad Dawson.

The emergence of Sillakh will only add to the division's new-found luster.

Sillakh is coming off a dominant unanimous decision over respected veteran Rayco Saunders at the Monroeville Convention Center in Saunders' home state of Pennsylvania. Saunders, who has previously fought WBC #3, WBA #2 and IBF #5 contender Chris Henry to a split decision and given many other world-class opponents a very difficult challenge, was down twice in round 10 and thoroughly outclassed by Sillakh.

"Ismayl will be looking to impress on March 4 and I know he's going to handle the Cuban just fine," continued Gotzev. "For those who will be getting their first look at Ismayl, the two words that best describe him are Muhammad Ali."

Team Sillakh says their fighter will not turn down any challenges and is hoping to fight for a world title some time next year."

Article posted on 23.12.2010

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