Nzau vs. Kirakosyan For WBF Super Feather Title

15.02.05 - Kenyan super featherweight contender Athanaz “Nita” Nzau (17-4, 6 KOs) will challenge for his first title in three and a half years, when he tackles Spain-based Russian Leva Kirakosyan (14-4, 7 KOs) on neutral ground in Privas, France on March 15. The fight will be for the vacant WBF super featherweight crown, and Eurosport will televise live throughout Europe..

Nzau broke through on the boxing-scene in 2001, when he travelled to Denmark and decisioned current WBA # 4, IBF/WBO # 5, WBC # 7 featherweight contender Spend Abazi. Consequently he secured a crack at the vacant WBA International 130 Lb. title against Silvano Usini in Italy, but was stopped on a cut injury in round five. Since then he lost a rematch with Abazi (L8) after more than a year out of the ring, but managed to drop the Dane, and many felt he gave as good as he got. After that fight his career seemed to be over, and for more than two years he didn’t enter the ring again.

But late last year Nzau signed with Danish management company Risum Boxing, and have since racked up two convincing stoppage victories. One in hometown Nairobi, and the latest on February 11 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The veteran Kenyan knows opportunities like this one against Kirakosyan doesn’t come around too often, so he plans to make the most of it. “I need that belt, and I MUST take it. I am GOING to take it” he says with confidence, and underlines that everything will be put into maximizing the preparations for what is his careers most important bout.

Leva Kirakosyan is sort of the “uncrowned” WBF champion, as he only needed one minute and 41 seconds to destroy then champion Carl Johanneson in a non-title bout this past December in London, England. He will now try to capture the vacant title by all means against Nzau, in this his second international title fight. He won the Russian title in only his fifth bout back in 2000, and challenged England’s Michael Gomez for the WBU belt last October. He hurt Gomez badly that night, but punched himself out trying to finish off the Brit, and had to retire on his stool before the sixth round.

On several previous occasions Kirakosyan have proved his power and quality, and one of his finest wins came when he stopped Italian Giuseppe Lauri (30-3 at the time) in the third round of a fight made all the way up at light welterweight. So he will definitely be a dangerous and formidable opponent for Nzau, but manager Henrik Risum is confident his man will prevail, saying:

“Nzau knows what it takes to win tough fights, and I know he will do everything in his power back in Kenya to be at his very best come March 15. Nobody expected him to beat Abazi, a fight he took on short notice, but he did, and if he hadn’t been for the lay-off before the rematch I think he would have beaten Abazi again. Kirakosyan is not as good as Abazi, although a much bigger puncher, so I am optimistic…”

Article posted on 15.02.2005

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