In the culmination of another installment of the KO Kings, held at the Vegas City Hall in Moscow, Russia, under the YUKA Promotions, debutant super middleweight Magomed Magomedov made a propelling start to his pro career by winning an eight-boxer, three-lap elimination tournament, which – unlike the famed British Prizefighter series – featured fighters in four-round, not three-round fights.
Magomedov (3-0, 1 KO after the tourney) also received 500,000 rubles (approximately 6,000 USD) as a bonus for his performance.
In the final, Magomedov showed guts of a warrior to overcome a first-round knockdown for a majority decision over Arest Saakyan (5-1, 4 KOs), the Thailand-based Armenian slugger.
Early into the fight, Tysonesque hitter Saakyan dropped Magomedov hard with a right hook. Working through harsh situation, the debutant regrouped and started to fire back. Magomedov’s piston-like combinations landed cleanly and rocked Saakyan several times but he didn’t go down and lasted until the final bell.
Magomedov landed decisive blows in the second and in the third rounds, and had the Armenian all but off his feet during the first minute of the last round. It took heart, however, to overcome Saakyan’s late surge, which indeed was too late. Boxing Scene also had it 38-37 – for Magomedov.
1. In a sound upset, Magomed Magomedov (2-0, 1 KO) scored a sensational second-round stoppage of Ravshan Ergashev (6-1-1, 2 KOs). Ergashev tried to aggressively stalk his opponent but Magomedov, a highly unconventional southpaw with some tendency to work as a pure spoiler, was just too elusive. Ergashev turned reckless and paid a dear price. He was put down on the seat of his pants in the first after a left cross by Magomedov. Then, he aggressively jumped in in the second to eat a huge left uppercut and to go down again. Magomedov easily finished him off after that. Time was 1:00.
2. Arest Saakyan (5-0, 4 KOs) enjoyed yet another easy ride to get to the final. His opponent Sergey Chernyak (1-1) didn’t look bad and actually landed more and cleaner but was in no condition to continue even after the first being extremely weight-drained to the point of severe danger to his health. Midst into the second he spit out his mouthpiece and was almost immediate;y retire by his corner. He looked better than Saakyan at the time of the finish.
1. Debutant Sergey Chernyak (1-0) made a solid start with a nice-performed win over Denis Pogodin (2-2, 1 KO), who hadn’t fought as a pro for exactly six years. Chernyak dropped him late into the fourth but lacked conditions to finish him off
2. Uzbek powerhouse Ravshan Ergashev (6-0-1, 2 KOs) imposed his will on the defensive-minded Pavel Lisenkov (2-1, 1 KO) of Kondrovo, Russia, to get a workmanlike decision on his sheer aggression.
3. Ultra active (during a COVID-raided year) journeyman Maxim Smirnov (8-10-3, 4 KOs) was determined but not skillful enough to spoil Magomed Magomedov’s pro debut, losing on a majority decision, despite showing determination and pressure.
4. Thailand-based Armenian import Arest Saakyan (4-0, 3 KOs) got through to the semifinals on a walkover, when his proposed opponent failed to make a ring entrance.