Much of the boxing world was sleeping on Sunday as it the busy Saturday took it's lasting affects on a fan base that was just worn out. It was understandable considering just how many fights we had had on Friday and Saturday, that Sunday's action was going to go under-the-radar.
Despite being under the radar to many boxing fans we did have a decent amount of fights in Japan and Russia including a female WBA Light Welterweight unification bout as unbeaten Russian Svetlana Kulakova (9-0-1, 1) attempted to unify her "interim" title with the regular belt of Argentina's rough and and tough Ana Laura Esteche (10-3-2, 2). Sadly for the Russian her attempt to unify came up short but yet she did manage to retain her unbeaten record.
Early on it did look like Kulakova could have been too rangy and technically sound for Esteche as the jab and straights of the Russian kept the Argentinian at bay and saw Kulakova winning the first 3 rounds.
In round 4 the bout took a swing in favour of the Argentinian visitor who managed to slip the jabs more frequently and walked her way inside where she could get off her work and hammer the Russian fighter with damaging hooks that appeared to hurt the Russian on more than one occasion. Unfortunately for Kulakova things turned against her even more in round 5 as she was not put on the back foot by the Argentinian slugger but also deducted a point for holding as her early lead was completely eroded.
Esteche seemed to continue her run through the middle rounds with her aggression often being too much for Kulakova to handle as the Russian had another point deducted in round 8, once again it was due to her octopus like tactics which she was using to cope with the aggressiveness of the Argentinian who appeared to have been inspired by Marco's Meidana's thrilling effort against Floyd Mayweather around a month ago. Unfortunately for the home town fight the two deducted appeared to make things very difficult for her, especially considering she had lost at least several of the rounds between the deductions as well.
Having clearly fallen behind in the middle of the bout Kulakova came back well as a tiring Esteche was unable to get quite as close as she had but by then the Russian's chances of winning had diminished, especially with the deductions. She did however do enough to retain her unbeaten record with one judge favouring Esteche who has right to feel aggrieved by the laughably poor card which saw Kulakova winning 96-92. The other cards which were 94-94 and 95-93 Esteche summed up the bout moderately well but it's clear that Kulakova certainly got to make the most of home advantage here.
Despite a rematch being the "right thing" to do we're not expecting to see these two in the same ring again. It's hard to imagine that Kulakova will want any more of Esteche and, whilst Esteche may want get a win over Kulakova, it's probably not worth the hassle of going back over to Russia and possibly losing her title in a controversial decision.
With the draw we believe that not only does Esteche keep her "regular" title but Kulakova will keep her interim belt as well
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
Russia's stunning Svetlana Kulakova (9-0, 1) proved she was more than just a pretty face and sexy legs as she successfully retained her WBA "interim" Light Welterweight title for the first time.
The leggy Russian who won her title just a few months ago with a decision victory over Kenyan Judy Waguthii faced her second successive Kenyan opponent as she battled Florence Muthoni (8-3-1, 3).
Unfortunately for those in attendance it's fair to admit that highlight of the contest was the model-like-looks of Kulakova as opposed to the fight it's self which lacked good action and real excitement.
Kulakova, which is genuinely a talented boxer, appeared to be fighting with the Wladimir Klitschko blue print. She was landing her jab and straights then neutralising the inside action with regular clinches forces the bout to feel disjointed. The lack of flow was great for Kulakova who was taking the rounds with the ugly action, though for fans this was unexciting to say the least.
The one time where we did get something to remember was late on as Muthoni had her first real success landing a notably eye catching hook, though it really wasn't enough to have anyone worried and was possibly the sole round that Muthoni won as she dropped a clear 99-91 decision.
Although Kulakova is the "interim" WBA champion we really can't see her fighting the "regular" champion, Argentina's excellent Monica Silvina Acosta. It's unfortunate that we won't get to see that, though if Kulakova can keep winning then it's fair to say that fans will want to see her and of course those striking looks of hers.
Courtesy of boxrec.com
The recent career of Lebanese born fighter Rola El Halabi (13-1, 7) has been genuinely remarkable. She has gone from being a gunshot victim to a world champion, and this past weekend she made the first defense of her world title as she stopped Georgian Sopo Putkaradze (6-1-2, 1) in the sixth round.
The bout, coming just a month after El Halabi had won WBF Light Welterweight title title, was a mismatch from the off and it showed. El Halabi took the initiative from the opening bell and by the end of the opening round it looked like she was super-woman compared to her out classed foe.
Although Putkaradze did well to see off the first 5 rounds she wasn't fortunate to see out the sixth with the referee forced to call a halt to proceedings with the Georgian being stopped on her feet.
It's hard to defend mismatches like this, though we do feel that if anyone deserves an easy one it's El Halabi, a fighter who has had bigger fights out of the ring in recent years than she should ever have had.
Courtesy of boxrec.com
Russian blonde bombshell Svetlana Kulakova (8-0, 1) proved there was a lot more to her than a body to die for as she claimed the interim WBA female Light Welterweight title with a commanding victory over Judy Waguthii (12-6-3, 3).
The Russian, fighting for her first real world title set the pace from the off with a busy offensive style that forced the Kenyan into a defensive shell.
With Kulkakova's offensive style it really gave the Kenyan very few chances to launch attacks, she seems to be bombarded from every direction by a torrent of punches from a fighting wanting to prove a point. To make things worse for the Kenyan, every assault of the Russian drew cheers from the crowd who seemed grow in confidence every time the crowd cheered.
It was difficult to give Waguthii any of the first 9 rounds, she may have claimed one but then again there was no guarantee she even managed that.
Despite being in a huge hole Waguthii did manage to show some fight in the final round cutting the Russian late in the fight with a hard, solid punch. Fortunately for Kulkakova she managed to see out the trouble and was the clear winner in the eyes of the judges taking a unanimous decision. Although the cards weren't read out it was a very comfortable decision.
Although Kulkakova claimed the interim title it's very, very unlikely that she will be fighting for the regular title, held by the very good Argentinian Monica Silvina Acosta. The fight is winnable for Kulkakova but she'd likely have to travel to Argentina for the bout and this would be very unlikely given Kulkakova's win here.