Alekseev Beats Licina in Dominant but Mechanical Fashion for the EBU Cruiserweight Belt

by Pavel Yakovlev: Alexander Alekseev won the vacant European Boxing Union (EBU) cruiserweight title by outpointing Enad Licina in Frankfurt, Germany. The scores favored Alekseev unanimously by margins of 118-110, 116-112, and 118-112. Alekseev (WBC #10, WBA #12, WBO #6) enjoyed considerable advantages over his foe in height, reach, skill, and experience, and consequently dominated nearly every round of the match. Nonetheless, Licina, a stocky, rugged Serbian fighter, showed tenacity and fought on gamely during the early and middle rounds.

This writer scored the bout 120-108 for Alekseev. Essentially, the Russian pounded Licina (WBA #8, IBF #5, WBO #11) with nearly every punch in the book for much of the fight. Still, despite his overwhelming superiority, Alekseev’s performance seemed mechanical, and was not especially impressive.

Over the first six rounds, Alekseev steadily and systematically outworked his plucky opponent, constantly jarring Licina with stiff right jabs, long left crosses, and sneaky left uppercuts through the middle of the guard. The southpaw Russian circled to his right regularly, thus depriving Licina chances to score with left jabs. Alekseev also connected frequently with right hooks to the body. The bull-like Licina proved durable and absorbed the punishment well. Licina also kept his guard high and his elbows tucked in, thus minimizing punishment as best as he could. The Serbian showed quick hands, and possibly had his best round in the third, when he landed several good jabs and rights to the head. Overall, though, Alekseev was simply the higher-class fighter, and had no trouble controlling the action from long and medium range.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds were noteworthy in that Alekseev stopped circling to his right, abandoned his use of footwork to maintain command of the distance, and moved inside to maul Licina on the ropes. The shorter Licina capitalized by landing some punches of his own at close quarters, but overall, he was as badly outgunned inside as at long range.

From the seventh onward, Licina’s capacity to return fire deteriorated, and he soaked up punishment for the remainder for the fight. During the second half of the bout Alekseev returned to distance fighting, where he was able to control the action with greater efficiency than at close quarters.

Although Alekseev deserves credit for beating the highly-rated Licina with relative ease, he did reveal weaknesses of his own. Overall, Alekseev’s body movement looked somewhat plodding, his hand and foot speed seemed only above average, and he appeared hittable.

The victory improves Alekseev’s record to 23-2 (20 KO’s). Licina falls to 21-4 (11 KO’s). Alekseev weighed 198 ¾ lbs against Licina’s 195 lbs.

Article posted on 05.02.2012

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