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Kuzmin vs. Mansour ends in technical draw

By Jim Dower: Amir Mansour (23-2-1, 16 KOs) and unbeaten Sergey Kuzmin (11-0, 8 KOs) fought to a 3 round no contest on Monday night in a fight for the vacant WBC International heavyweight title at the Luzhniki, in Moscow, Russia.

The fight ended with both guys suffering bad cuts from a clash of heads in round 3. The cut was bad enough for the fight to be halted. The clash of heads arguably saved Kuzmin from losing the fight. He wasn’t in the same league as Mansour. the difference in talent and power between the two fighters was wide. Kuzmin looked like an overweight former amateur fighting a fringe world class fighter. He didn’t belong in there with Mansour. Whether the head clash was on purpose is unclear. It helped Kuzmin, because he was getting worked over.

Mansour, 45, was cut above his right eye. For his part, Kuzmin, 30, suffered a cut to his forehead.

At the time of the stoppage, Mansour appeared to have won both first two rounds of the fight. Mansour was landing the far cleaner shots that had Kuzmin looking flustered. Had the fight continued at this pace, Mansour likely would have won easily.

There’s no word whether the two heavyweights will fight a rematch. Kuzmin needs to fight a lot better if he wants to compete with Mansour, because tonight he didn’t look like he was in the same league as him.

Despite the fight ending prematurely as a technical draw, you must see it as a minor victory for Mansour. He looked good against a fighter that is 15 years younger than him, and who was fighting at home. Kuzmin had a little hype behind him going into Monday night’s contest with Mansour. Some boxing fans believe Kuzmin as talented enough to be one of the major players in the heavyweight division within a brief time.

Mansour showed that Kuzmin is not nearly ready to be considered among the elite in the heavyweight division. Unless Kuzmin can improve upon tonight’s effort, he’s probably not going to go anywhere in the heavyweight division. By the age 30, a fighter is as powerful and as far as they’re ever going to be. Kuzmin didn’t look fast tonight, and he didn’t look powerful compared to Mansour and the other top fighters in the heavyweight division.

Kuzmin’s management needs to decide whether to setup a rematch with Mansour. It’s a bad style match-up for Kuzmin due to Mansour being a southpaw. Mansour has a style that Kuzmin will likely always have problems against no matter how many times they fight. It would be better if Kuzmin moves on and looks to fight someone like Tomasz Adamek or Fred Kassi.

In other boxing action on the card, former IBF World light welterweight champion Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24 KOs) destroyed #3 WBA Carlos Portillo (21-1, 16 KOs) by a 1st round knockout in a WBA 140 lb. title eliminator bout.

The 37-year-old Troyanovsky dropped the previously unbeaten Portillo with a right hand to the head. The fight was then stopped by referee Leszek Janowiak.

For Troyanovsky, this was his second consecutive win since he lost his IBF title last December in losing a 1st round knockout defeat at the hands of Julius Indongo on December 3, 2016. Since that loss, Troyanovsky has beaten Michele Di Rocco and Portillo by early round knockout.

Also on Monday’s card, undefeated cruiserweight prospect Aleksei Papin (9-0, 8 KOs) defeated former light heavyweight world title challenger Ismayl Sillakh (25-5, 19 KO) by a 1st round knockout. The 32-year-old Sillakh’s once promising career has gone downhill dramatically since his 2nd round knockout loss to WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on November 30, 2013. Sillakh has lost 3 out of his last 7 fights since that time.

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