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Gulyakevich Decisions Kirakosyan, Wins EBU Super Featherweight Title

Super featherweight Sergey Gulyakevich (24-1, 12 KOs) defeated the power-punching Leva Kirakosyan (26-5, 17 KOs) by 12-round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Datch Forum (Sala Gallery), in Assago, Milano, Lombardia, Italy, to win the European Boxing Union super featherweight title. Gulyakevich, 26, from Minsk, Belarus, easily won virtually every round of the fight, befuddling Kirakosyan the whole time. The final judges’ scores were 115-113, 120-108 and 118-110, for Gulyakevich.

However, in way was the bout close, as Gulyakevich used his five inch height advantage and a constant jab to keep Kirakosyan effectively bottled up and helpless on the outside. Whenever Kirakosyan would attempt to get in punching range, Gulyakevich would hit him quickly with one or two fast shots and then grab him in a clinch. Much of the time, Kirakosyan badly missed with his punches, desperately hitting & hoping but coming up empty handed.

The first two rounds were won by Gulyakevich, who pecked away at Kirakosyan with a constant jab, mixing in a straight right hand and uppercut. For his part, Kirakosyan used mostly straight line pressure, using no faints and wild leaping left hooks, throwing himself off balance much of the time. Gulyakevich would easily counter him with right hands when catching him out of position.

By the 3rd round, Kirakosyan’s face was turning red, his nose swelling as well from the constant shots he was getting hit with. The punches weren’t big from Gulyakevich but due to the mass volume of them, it began to have a accumulative effect on Kirakosyan. Occasionally during the 3rd round, Gulyakevich switched to southpaw, trying to give Kirakosyan a different look to try and keep him off balance. It was hardly needed, as Kirakosyan was hopelessly confused to begin with but this tactic made evenb harder for him to solve Gulyakevich’s style.

After the fourth round, Kirakosyan looked badly frustrated, and stood in between rounds while his corner help tried to give him some advice on how to get back into the fight. During the first four rounds, Kirakosyan had only been able to connect with 3-4 punches per round, missing a half dozen or more per round. However, his biggest problem was that he simply was waiting too much and not letting his hands go.

At the end of the 7th round, Kirakosyan connected with a big right hand that snapped Gulyakevich’s head back at the bell. Kirakosyan looked hopeful at the start of the 8th round, but continued to absorb a one-way beating. In the 9th round, Kirakosyan began to take tremendous punishment, getting hit with a large number of uppercuts and right hands from Gulyakevich, who began to really pour on power shots in this round. Kirokosyan looked exhausted and beaten, his mouth wide open much of the time, and his face swollen and reddened.

In rounds 10 and 11, Kirkosyan began fighting despate, throwing even more leaping left hooks, and, of course, missing with most of them. However, due to sheer volume of hard punches he was throwing, occasionally he would land a big shot and it would get Gulyakevich’s attention. However, Kirakosyan’s punches were so infrequent that Gulyakevich wasn’t bothered in the least by them. Kirakosyan continued to miss many of his shots, looking bad in doing so.

In the 12th round, Kirakosyan started off strong, landing several monstrous shots at the start of the round. However, Gulyakevich quickly came back and answered with a constant downpour of combinations, tagging him over and over with shots. By the end of the round, it was Gulyakevich, once again, who was in command.

For his part, Kirakosyan looked every bit of a beaten fighter at the final bell, his nose and left eye bleeding and his face badly swollen. I figured it would be sure fire shut out victory for Gulyakevich, since he easily appeared to win every round of the fight. However, one judge scored it 115-113, seeing the fight as a close victory for Gulyakevich. The other two judges, thankfully, scored the fight correctly, giving Gulyakevich the decision win by the scores 120-108 and 118-110.

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