On Sunday evening VaughanJK Promotions partners Stephen Vaughan and Kevin Buttieg really pulled out all the stops, with their sumptuous pre Christmas Malta Boxing Commission sanctioned, WBF Championship headed, dinner event at the luxurious Titanic Hotel in Liverpool, sponsored by Remax.
Opening bout of the night see exceptional young Russian Featherweight David Agadzhanyan thrill the packed house with a sensational performance against the Czech Republic’s Petr Gyna.
Right from the off Agadzhanyan got down to work, showcasing his exceptional and oh so accurate skills, Gyna barely had time to settle before the Russian started firing pin point accurate bombs to the body, the Czech lad tried to work behind his jab but each time there was any form of a gap Agadzhanyan would let rip to the body once more to force Gyna to tighten his defense.
After just about 90 seconds it was clear that the body shots were really hurting Gyna, so it came as no surprise to anyone that it was just a matter of time before he was going to go down from one of the unbelievably accurate exocets, and sure enough on the one minute fifty second mark the Czech lad crumpled to the canvas in a lot of pain.
They make them tough in the Czech Republic, as the brave Gyna beat the count to continue, albeit not for too much longer, as Agadzhanyan went straight back to firing powerful body shots at every opportunity, then on the two minute and thirty five seconds the inevitable happened, the Russia threw a pin point accurate shot under Gyna’s guard and into the ribs to send the Czech to the canvas for a second time.
Nobody really expected Gyna to be able to continue, but the tough lad made it clear to the referee Ken Curtis that he could still continue, which he did to see the round out.
However, Gyna still appeared quite distressed in the corner during the break, to which his team decided he wasn’t able to continue and retired him on the stool.
It may have been a very short fight but Agadzhanyan proved without doubt what a destructive and powerful force he is – definitely a future star and one to watch based on his performance on Sunday.
Second fight of the night see Liverpool’s very own Jay Carney make his professional debut and boy oh boy did he do it in style, against the Czech Republic’s Patrik Gadzo.
Carney and Gadzo went toe to toe right from the opening bell, with neither man conceding a centimeter of centre ground for the first minute or so, then the Czech lad sent Carney on to the back foot with a cracking overhand right, which seemed to fire up the Liverpudlian who came straight back with a double handed flurry to force Gadzo on to the ropes, where Carney kept up the double handed assault for a good ten seconds or so before letting rip with a massive right to send Gadzo to the deck, on the one minute and thirty two second mark.
Gadzo was clearly distressed, leaving referee Ken Curtis no option but to stop the fight, handing the excellent young Carney his first victory with a first round TKO, much to the delight of promoter Stephen Vaughan and British, Commonwealth and WBA Continental Lightweight Champion ‘Dirty’ Derry Matthews, who was on hand showing vehement support for his fellow Scouser.
So with the first two fights, out the five, finishing rather quickly, it was now the turn of Russia’s Vladimir Tikhonov and Ghana’s Isaac Quaye to entertain the enthusiastic crowd.
For the first couple of minutes of the first round both fighters took it slow, feeling out the other with the odd jab here and there but not much more in a meaningful way, so referee Ken Curtis stopped the proceedings and had stern words with both protagonists.
From that moment on this became a very different fight, with both attacking purposefully at every conceivable opportunity, much to the delight of the crowd.
Tikhonov really began to exert his authority early in the third, firing seriously solid shots to the body of the Ghanaian, so much so that on the forty-second mark Quaye was heavily sent to the deck.
Being a true warrior Quaye shook it off and made it to his feet before the count concluded and went on the offensive, however Tikhonov was having none of it, the confident Russian thwarted every attack before countering with some beautiful boxing.
More of the same in round four and five, Quaye taking the fight to Tikhonov only to be thwarted in his efforts, don’t get me wrong Quaye landed some cracking shots, just not strong enough to bother the tough Russian.
The sixth and final round was a cracker, a truly entertaining all action affair, as before Quaye trying to outbox the big punching Tikhonov, then with about a minute to go the Russian stepped up another level, forcing the diminutive Ghanaian back towards the rope before letting rip with a massive right, fortunately for Quaye at that very second he slipped, which was probably for the best, as the full force of the shot didn’t come into effect, instead it skimmed of the top of Quaye’s head as he headed to the canvas.
After five and a half highly entertaining, all action rounds – well the first half of the first round was rather pedestrian – referee Ken Curtis scored the bout 60 points to 53 in favour of Tikhonov.
Following a short break, which included highly entertaining display of football skills in ring by ‘Mr. Silky Skills’ and a charity auction of boxing and Football memorabilia, including signed shirts from Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard and rising superstar Raheem Sterling on the Football side and signed shorts from local Boxing heroes, the aforementioned Derry Matthews and British and WBO World Title challenger Paul ‘Smigga’ Smith, it was back to the action, with a ten round non-title bout between current WBC Baltic Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan and Poland’s Laszlo Fazekas, who stepped in at short notice after Beka Sutidze pulled out on Friday.
All that needs to be said about this contest is it really should have been a Headlining Championship battle, both protagonists gave their all for every single second of every round, a truly excellent Battle Royale.
No surprise, given his Championship pedigree, Avanesyan put on a seriously classy, one could even say the perfect performance, but to be fair Fazekas made this fight as special and as close as it was, with his do or die attacks throughout.
Every single round was exceptionally close, Avanesyan rightfully getting the nod on the majority of cases, but Fazekas’ performance earned the Polish battler a clear round, as well as a couple of drawn ones, but just came up short on creating the upset victory over the highly rated and supremely talented Russian, he so clearly wanted.
After ten sensational rounds referee Ken Curtis scored the bout 99-93 in favour of the supremely talented David Avanesyan, who is without doubt another future World star and definitely one to watch, he puts me in mind of Keith Thurman, Hmm now there’s a fight I’d love to see happen sometime in the relatively near future – Avanesyan-Thurman – now that really would be pure pugilistic heaven!
So now to the main event, featuring WBC Baltic Middleweight Champion Andrey Meryasev against Polish Champion Sebastian Skrzypczynski for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) International Middleweight Championship.
Right from the opening bell Meryasev came out hard and fast, powering into Skrzypczynski with a variety of massive shots to head and body. Skrzypczynski did his best to counter but was unable to slow, let alone stop, the forward marching Russian’s attacks.
Around the minute mark Meryasev started firing huge shots to the body of Skrzypczynski, one of which, on the one minute and nine second mark, sent the Polish lad to the canvas.
Skrzypczynski made the count but struggled to survive the ensuing onslaught, so much so that he made a second visit to the canvas on the one minute and forty-seven second mark.
Again Skrzypczynski, this time managing to make it to the end of the round, even though the Russian threw everything, including the kitchen sink into his attacks to get the clearly wounded Skrzypczynski out of there.
Skrzypczynski proved to everyone just how tough he is, coming out in the second remarkably composed in his efforts to get back into the fight.
He didn’t do a bad job stifling Meryasev’s attacks, as well as landing some cracking shots of his own, however it was clear that the classy Russian had the upper hand, you just had to look at Skrzypczynski bloodied and bruised face to see just how effective Meryasev’s shots were.
Skrzypczynski stepped it up in the third, taking the fight to Meryasev this time, both boxed their hearts out and after three minutes of non-stop action you couldn’t split them, both deserving the points for that round in my view.
More of the same early in the forth, then Meryasev just stepped it up and started with the power shots again, Skrzypczynski tried to counter but each time he did Meryasev would just land a massive body shot or two, forcing the Skrzypczynski to cover up in an effort to protect his ribs.
Just into the second minute of the round Skrzypczynski failed in an effort to turn the tables, with a big attack of his own, which in turn left him open to an onslaught from Meryasev, who backed him towards the ropes before letting rip with a massive shot, that sent Skrzypczynski down to the deck for the third and final time.
It was clear that Skrzypczynski wasn’t going to make the count, leaving World-renowned referee Mickey Vann no option but to call a halt to the proceedings, with just forty-one seconds of the round to go.
Congratulations to Stephen Vaughan and Kevin Buttieg, they really put together a truly sensational night of quality international boxing. If their future events are going to be of this level I for one can’t wait for the next, I’ll be there no matter where it is, that’s for sure.