This Friday, April 8th Argentina’s Cesar Rene Cuenca (48-1) faces Eduard Troyanovsky (23-0) at the Krylia Sovetov Soccer Club in Moscow with the IBF and IBO World 140-pound titles on the line.
In July of 2015, Cuenca had a gaudy 47-0 record built up completely in his native Argentina when he got the call to fight China’s Ik Yang in China for the vacant IBF title. Despite 47 wins, Cuenca had the odd fact attached to his record that he had scored just two KO's in his entire career. Improbably, he walked out of China with the decision victory and the belt.
This fight is a rematch of their bout in Russia in November of 2015. Cuenca traveled to Russia to face Eduard Troyanovsky in his first title defense.
Troyanovsky was stronger and he started out fast, as Cuenca took a little bit of time to impose his workmanlike style. After the rocky start Cuenca was starting to box better and Troyanovsky had lost some steam. Heading into round 6, Cuenca had regained some of his confidence.
In the sixth round, a bizarre sequence saw the fighters get tangled with Troyanovski on Cuenca´s back as the Argentine was ducking. Cuenca was driven into the canvas and was slow getting up. Get up he did, however, but the referee stopped the fight, awarding the belt to Troyanovksy who was ahead on the scorecards.
Cuenca did not feel that he got a fair shake. His vehement protests led to the re-match being scheduled. It is the main event of a 7-fight card. Promoter Aleksey Stashkov has the match airing on Match TV in Russia and on TyC in Argentina.
Now Cuenca returns to Russia for the re-match he requested. With only two career wins inside the distance, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts his style since he cannot expect to do well with the judges in Troyanovsky’s hometown.
The show will be overseen by the Professional Boxing Federation of Russia, the same organization that oversaw the Lucas Browne-Ruslan Chagaev match earlier this year. That bout saw Browne win the WBA World Heavyweight title only to see him test positive for PEDs afterwards. Browne has claimed tampering somewhere along the testing process, and the whole thing is a mess that will likely see Browne stripped of his title. But if there is any credence to what Browne is claiming, then the Professional Boxing Federation of Russia needs to have some accountability.
Cuenca enters the fight with the experience of having fought in Russia before. Nevertheless, Tyson Fury and Lucas Browne probably would have some advice for Cuenca, starting with “Don´t Drink The Water.” We will see if that experience helps Cuenca come Friday night.