Boxing evening “REN TV Fight Club. Super Series” will be held on May 27 in Omsk, at the academy of the Avangard hockey club. The arena has a capacity of 1,200 spectators, and tickets are no longer available. The tournament will be broadcast live on REN TV at 22:00 Moscow time. The main event of the evening will be the confrontation between the Russian Alexei Papin, who is one step away from the WBC champion title, and the strong striker Dilan Prashovich from Montenegro. The audience will also see the first professional fight of the two-time Olympic champion, a native of Omsk, Alexei Tishchenko, and the battle of strongman Bruce Khlebnikov against the star of fisticuffs Pavel Shulsky. But the co-main fight of the evening almost broke.
The main fight of the evening will be held in the format of 10 rounds. 34-year-old Alexei Papin has 13 wins and one loss in professional boxing. 27-year-old Dylan Prashovich has 15 wins and two losses. Note that the Montenegrin agreed to this fight on a short notice – he learned about it a month before entering the ring. Initially, the Russian was supposed to fight Johnny Muller, but five weeks before the scheduled date, the South African boxer refused to fly to Russia. Under Muller, sparring partners were selected from Panin, so the preparation for the fight can hardly be called complete for both boxers. Viewers will only benefit from this.
“I think that it’s time for big fights for Alexei, and Prashovich will be a good test for him,” Kamil Gadzhiev, president of the Fight Nights Global promotion company, told Izvestia. – I look forward to a convincing victory for Alexei, ahead of schedule. He is gaining form from fight to fight.
Alexei Panin himself, in an interview with Izvestia, paid tribute to the enemy.
“I am glad that in such a difficult time in the world, Dylan did not refuse to fly to Russia,” said the Russian boxer. Will I be able to end the fight quickly? I never think ahead, I always prepare for the whole fight. The opponent is not easy, with a good record, and he has even more fights than me. If there is an opportunity to end the fight ahead of schedule, I will not miss this opportunity.
Bookmakers with a slight margin prefer the Russian boxer. However, this fact does not bother the Montenegrin.
“Papin is a great boxer,” says Dilan Prashovich. – I saw him in the ring even before I accepted the invitation to fight. I came to Russia to show myself, to show who I am. I will give my best in our battle. Our fight will turn out great, there will be a lot of power punches, and I, of course, rely on my speed as well. I will try to finish it after the eighth round.
If Panin beats the Montenegrin, he will receive additional confidence before the upcoming fight for the WBC world heavyweight title. And if Prasovic wins, his career will skyrocket. He will significantly increase his position in the rankings.
Alexey Tishchenko is a two-time Olympic champion (2004, 2008), world champion (2005) and European champion (2006). In 2010, at the age of 26, Alexei decided to end his career. He says he is tired of boxing, plus numerous injuries have affected him. And on May 27, his debut in professional boxing will take place – against the Venezuelan Neomar Sermeno (27-8-1).
– Probably, this is not quite a professional fight – rather an exhibition one, – 37-year-old Alexei Tishchenko told Izvestia. But the winner will be announced. Four rounds. Why agreed? The fact that the fight will take place in my hometown, near Omsk, played a big role. If it were another region or city, I definitely would not agree to enter the ring.
Sermeno has never been considered a top boxer, having lost every key fight in his career. Including Alexander Bakhtin, Christian Mijares and Joandris Salinas. In addition, the Venezuelan is 42 years old, the peak of his career has long been passed. Although given that this will be a debut for Tishchenko, everything is possible.
– Can I win? Wait and see. The ring will show, – summed up Tishchenko.
The confrontation between Bruce Khlebnikov and Pavel Shulsky is also expected in Omsk. The first became famous back in the 90s, when he was in elementary school: he showed incredible strength for his age. He tore up thick calendars and reference books, hauled construction cranes and airplanes. In recent years, nothing has been heard about Bruce, but in 2020 he reminded himself of himself – he began to fight in pop MMA. In 2021, he fought at the REN TV Fight Club – his boxing match with 180-kilogram Denis Vildanov ended in a draw. Bruce has, to put it mildly, imperfect boxing technique, but he fights well and has a knockout punch.
“This card is very cool,” Bruce Khlebnikov said at a press conference. – Yes, people are interested in how we will beat each other. But first of all, this is an example for the younger generation. All the guys who will enter the ring will show maximum dedication.
Bruce’s opponent is the star of fisticuffs Pavel Shulsky. He is a basic boxer, he has had a lot of amateur fights, but lately he looks much better in the cam, so, probably, Khlebnikov will be able to compete with him.
In the co-main bout of the evening, everyone was waiting for the duel of famous Russian MMA fighters Ivan Shtyrkov and Mikhail Mokhnatkin. The fight was supposed to take place according to the rules of boxing in the format of four rounds of three minutes each. Both debuted in the new discipline and promised to demonstrate “collective-farm felling”.
However, the fight was canceled the day before entering the ring. Ivan Shtyrkov did not appear at the official weigh-in due to non-compliance with the agreements on the part of the local organizer. The REN TV channel, which acquired the rights to broadcast the tournament, tried to resolve the situation and assume the obligations of the organizers, however, by mutual agreement with the fighter, they decided to postpone the boxing debut of the Ural Hulk to one of the following tournaments.
Two candidates were considered to replace Shtyrkov: pop-MMA star Islam Karimov and Storm team fighter Ruslan Chobanov (33 years old, 96 kg, 1-0 in MMA, master of sports in boxing). It was the creation of another Omsk legend, ex-Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko. As a result, the choice of the organizers fell on Karimov, who will try to impose serious competition on Mokhnatkin.