When people think of this weekend's boxing a lot of the focus is, rightfully, on Macau and the UK. Both of those places have huge cards on Saturday, genuinely those two shows could very easily over-shadow almost any other she we're getting this year and will certainly over-shadow the action we're getting over the rest of the weekend.
Despite being over-shadowed however we do have some pretty decent action on Sunday in Russia with two world title fights, including a very, very interesting Female Light Welterweight title fight that will see Unbeaten Russian bombshell Svetlana Kulakova (9-0, 1) attempting to unify her WBA interim title with the WBA regular title held by Ana Laura Esteche (10-3-1, 2).
Although technically the "challenger" Kulakova will be strongly favoured for this fight considering she is fighting at home in Russia, is unbeaten and, from what we understand, the taller and rangier fighter as well as the more traditionally skilled fighter. Despite her advantages she is also the fighter stepping up, notably, in class and is fighting an opponent who is a nightmare for someone with her style.
At her best Kulakova is a technically strong boxer. It may sound over the top by stylistically she bears a resemblance to Wladimir Klitschko with her rangy attacks, good work at distance and frustrating ability to neutralise an opponent. It may not be exciting but it's a winning formula which has helped her claim and interim world title and a 9 fight winning run to begin her professional career.
The one big difference between the Russian and Klitschko is power. Whilst Wladimir Klitschko has thunder like power in his right hand Kulakova is a relatively light puncher. She doesn't put her weight, which admittedly is no more than 140lbs, behind a shot like Klitschko does with his 250lb frame though she does seem to be able to get respect of her opponents more often than not.
In Esteche we have a fighter who is like a terrier in the ring. Technically she's crude, she's basic and fundamentally flawed though she makes up for that in her refusal to back down attitude. It was this attitude that saw her defeating Argentinian compatriot Monica Silvina Acosta back in January, going into that bout Acosta was an unbeaten fighter who had been a long reigning champion prior to fighting Esteche.
Esteche's aggressiveness, toughness and determination makes her a genuinely tough opponent for anyone. She's always been happy to take a shot to get inside and inside she's a really tough foe who is going to unload shots in an attempt to break down an opponent. Her power, as with Kulakova, is lacking but her work rate is much higher than that of the Russian and it's that work rate, as well as her Latin spirit, that could swing the fight in her favour.
With Esteche's style we're expecting her to Kulakova her toughest test to date though we've got to favour the Russian's style, size and strength to help her take home a very well earned and hard fought decision in a bout that could well put Kulakova in the running for a fight with Norwegian boxing queen Cecilia Braekhus in a fight that could well be one of the biggest ever female fights out there right now.
(Image courtesy of VK.com)
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.