The IBF World super lightweight title was up for grabs Friday night at the Krylia Sovetov Soccer Club in Moscow, Russia. Champion Eduard Troyanovsky (23-0) was making the first defense of the title he captured last November against Argentina’s Cesar Rene Cuenca (48-1), the man he took the belt from.
Cuenca’s calls for a re-match began immediately after the first fight, as the Argentine saw the fight stopped in the 6th round after a controversial sequence where he hit the ground hard after getting entangled with Troyanovsky. Cuenca not only lost the title, but it was the first loss of his 13 year career and the way it happened was a bitter pill to swallow.
The weigh-ins on Thursday saw both men smiling and joking in a “big event” type of atmosphere, but there still was a great bit of tension surrounding the match. Cuenca weighed in at 63.4 KG or 139.7 lbs and Troyanovsky came in at 63.1 KG, or 139 lbs making the fight for the contested IBF World belt official. The minor IBO 140 lb World title was on the line as well.
From the start of the fight it looked like “Troya” was the bigger fighter. Cuenca had good footwork and movement, but he was having trouble finding the Russian southpaw. Troyanovsky came out patient, but he was banking rounds from the start.
By the third round Troyanovsky started to open up, displaying an uppercut that would work throughout the rest of the fight. Cuenca was down twice, the last time in the sixth round. Without KO power and without an ability to mount much offense, Cuenca started to spit his mouth piece out. The sixth ended with the referee warning Cuenca to keep his mouthpiece in.
Cuenca came out firing in the seventh but the power of Troyanovsky slowed him down in a hurry. Cuenca spit his mouthpiece out again while in his corner, and while the referee admonished the team, they indicated Cuenca had had enough and the referee waved the fight off. Troyanovsky solidified his grip on the IBF 140 lb title.
The IBF title bout was the main event of a seven fight card promoted by Aleksey Stashkov, and the co-feature bout of the evening saw undefeated heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin (6-0) dtop veteran Konstantin Airich (23-15-2) to go home with a vacant regional WBC belt. Kuzmin won the fight via stoppage at the 2:17 mark of the second round. At roughly the round’s halfway mark Kuzmin landed a big right hand that sent Airich down. Airich got up but was wobbly and the referee appeared to wave the fight off. Airich complained and the fight continued, but another pair of big right hands forced the ref to stop it for good.
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