Contentious main event draw on ‘KOLD WARS’ third installment

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There were three distance victories and a contentious main event draw as the third evening of boxing’s ‘KOLD WARS’ series went off in Belarus. Promoter Al Siesta once again matched an electric mix of hungry prospects and battle-hardened veterans who put on a show for fans watching live on Fite TV.

In the main event, KINGSLEY EGBUNIKE can count himself fairly unlucky not to have had his hand raised after eight rounds of action against SERGEY SHIGASHEV. Two of the three judges had it all square at 75-75, which overruled the third scoring of 76-75 in favour of Egbunike.

Switch-hitting Shigashev was constantly looking for ways to close down the distance and negate the significant height and reach advantages enjoyed by his opponent. Egbunike, meanwhile, tried to get his telephone pole left jab firing.

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The momentum shifted rapidly in round two when Shigashev was dropped by a cracking left hook as he came inside. Shigashev was hurt as well in the third by a right hand and cut across the right eye. Egbunike was very much in the driving seat. In a scheduled eight-rounder it was imperative that the Russian showed some urgency to close the points gap.

Egbunike (5-1-1, 1 KO) was boxing with a spring in his step, whipping out the jab, not allowing Shigashev (9-0-1, 4 KOs) into range. Sergey tried some rough house tactics in the fifth and was mauling again in the sixth until Egbunike landed a chopping right hook on the inside.

Shigashev was still throwing heavy shots in the final round but was unable to ruffle the Londoner. It looked like travelling Kingsley had done enough to take the victory back home. It was not to be and a majority draw was the verdict.

In a quality matchup between boxer and puncher LUCAS BALLINGALL (13-1, 3 KOs) suffered his first pro defeat as ARSLAN MAGOMEDOV (5-1-1, 4 KOs) won a points decision. The judges posted scores of 78-74, 78-75 and 78-74 all in favour of the Russian, much to the chagrin of a disappointed Ballingall.

Ballingall boxed nicely in the opening round, stepping out of range as Magomedov motored forward looking to land his power shots. The Russian turned up the heat in round two, marching out with some heavy hooks, pushing the UK man against the ropes.

Analysing the contest, former world champion Barry Jones suggested Ballingall should use his superior skill set to land shots and get off the ropes. Dissuading Magomedov was no easy task. Arslan landed a solid right hand in the fourth and repeated the trick in the sixth. Ballingall was slightly tiring but pulled out some neat shots at the end of the seventh.

Magomedov went for it in the eighth, desperate to find the big KO. Lucas picked him off some sneaky shots but it was in the balance as the final bell rang. All three judges ultimately preferred Magomedov’s work.

RAMZAN BAYSAROV defeated KONRAD STEMPKOWSKI after a gruelling six rounds. Baysarov (11-1, 6 KOs) was a clear winner on the cards at 60-55, 59-55 and 58-56 but he tired significantly as the rounds went on.

Starting off behind his stiff left jab, Baysarov steadily cranked up the pace but he was blowing hard after the third, offering UK-based Stempkowski (9-4) some potential glimmers of hope. Both men swung hard and often but it was Baysarov’s fight to lose. He made it through to the end and claimed a unanimous decision success.

Opening the event was an eight-round affair between Russia’s ALEKSEI EVCHENKO (19-13-1, 8 KOs) and Ukraine’s VIKTOR PLOTNIKOV (33-9, 15 KOs). Evchenko won on points and was well worth his 19th professional victory.

Evchenko gradually cranked up the pace, trying to take advantage of any defensive gaps left by former European welterweight title challenger Plotnikov.

Plotnikov’s nose was a bloody mess by the final round and Evchenko was happily jabbing away at the Ukrainian’s stationary head. Evchenko chased Plotnikov around the ring in the final session but the cagey visitor was able to fiddle his way through to hear the bell.

Fans can catch every punch from the August 4 card on and secure a ringside view, in multi-camera HD, for just $7.99 per show. Coverage begins at 20:20 UK time.

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