Weigh-In Results from Moscow:
Denis Lebedev 198.7 vs. Victor Emilio Ramirez 198.6
Felix Valera 174.6 vs. Dmitry Bivol 174.25
Umar Salamov 174.6 vs. Bob Ajisafe 174.5
Dmitry Kudryashov 201.6 vs. Julio Cesar Dos Santos 197.75
Rakhim Chakhkiev 198.5 vs. Tamas Lodi 198.5
The WBC heavyweight title clash between champ Deontay Wilder and mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin might be off – and the two camps are now in a war of words over when/if this fight will still go ahead at a later date – but fans will still see a good card take place at The Ice Palace in Moscow on Saturday. Now topping the bill will be the cruiserweight unification showdown between WBA 200-pound champ Denis Lebedev and IBF ruler Victor Emilio Ramirez.
This fight, one that has the look of a headliner, will now get such a distinction. Two good, action fighters, both with a legit belt on the line, will now possibly save the show in grand style with a great fight. Also in action on the once massive now biggish show, will be cruiserweight slugger Dmitry Kudryashov against fellow puncher Julio Cesar dos Santos, WBA interim light-heavyweight champ Felix Valera against Dmitry Bivol, in a battle of unbeatens, and Rakhim Chakhkiev against Tamas Lodi in yet another cruiserweight bout.
The card will always have a feel of something lacking in light of the big one being absent, but the fights that will go ahead should be more than worth tuning in for. It is to be hoped BoxNation in the UK still televise the show. Lebedev, 28-1(21) is seemingly never in a bad fight and Ramirez, 22-2-1(17) is also a fan-friendly operator. Together, they could give us a memorable fight.
Kudryashov, 18-1(18) was, before his November upset loss at the hands of Olanrewaju Durodola, being looked at as the next big thing at 200-pounds. Against Dos Santos, 30-5(27) in his first fight back since his sole setback, the destroyer finds himself in a must-win fight. Fans are likely to get a night of exciting knockouts on Saturday, in even-looking match-ups that could go either way.
The fallout from the Wilder-Povetkin letdown won’t be washed away any time soon, but a good old night of KO’s might wash away some of the bad taste fans currently have in their mouths.
Look for Lebedev to prevail by late stoppage, and Kudryashov to get back on track with another explosive win. Valera will retain his belt, also by relatively quick stoppage. Chakhkiev-Lodi could be the fight of the night.