For this Treasure Trove we continue to stay away from Japan as we head over to Kazan in Russia for another genuine hidden gem of a fight featuring a Kazakh fighter and a Belorussian. Although the bout was certainly not a big one, and the names involved were certainly not well known ones outside of the hardcore boxing fans the two men put on a genuinely thrilling 2-way back and forth war. The bout didn’t last long but it had more action in it than many 12 rounds, and for the most part it was fought at a really high level with both men showing tools they developed in their days as amateurs.
Arman Rysbek (7-0, 6) vs Mikhail Dauhaliavets (2-0, 2)
For this bout we go back to September 27th and a show promoted by “All Champions”, the promotional company serum by Artem Evseenko. The card was a pretty interesting one with a number of competitive bouts, a few shocks and several really, really good bouts, with this being the pick of them. It was also a super rare thrilling all-southpaw bout, with both fighters being lefties.
In one corner war unbeaten 29 year old Kazakh hopeful Arman Rysbek. Rysbek was a fighter who had been slowly making his name. After debuting in the US he had also gone on to fight in Argentina and Kazakhstan whilst compiling his 7-0 (6) record. From his 7 bouts he had scored 5 wins in the opening round, but had faced mostly very poor opposition since his 2018 debut. Prior to turning professional he had been a solid amateur competing in numerous international competitions and had also been successful domestically, with notable amateur wins against the likes of Magomed Madiev, Tursynbay Kulakhmet, Ali Akhmedov and Adilbek Niyazymbetov. He had also impressed in the WSB, winning 5 of his 7 bouts in the pro-style tournament.
The opposite corner was hosting 30 year old Mikhail Dauhaliavets from Belarus. He had turned professional at the start of 2020 and his competition was terrible, with both of his early opponents being taken out very early on. Despite his professional competition being low level he, like Rysbek, had been a solid amateur and had been involved in the WSB. As an amateur Dauhaliavets had competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and had well over 100 amateur fights. Those included wins against the likes of Dmitry Bivol, Damien Hooper, Vladimir Shishkin, Serge Michel, Oleksandr Khyzhniak. Sadly in the WSB he went a less than stellar 3-6, though did beat the well regarded Carlos Mina giving him his only loss in the WSB. As well as his two professional bouts in 2020, prior to facing Rysbek, Dauhaliavets had also fought in a number of amateur bouts at the start of the year.
On paper this looked like it could be interesting, especially given their amateur pedigree, but we didn’t expect what we got which went well beyond “interesting” as the two men traded blows for the lightly regarded Eurasian Boxing Parliament Super Middleweight title.
From the opening seconds the men met in the center of the ring and immediately got down to business, fighting up close and personal with big shots traded pretty much from the opening seconds. There was no feeling out process at all with the two men banging in hooks and uppercuts almost immediately. The balding Dauhaliavets looked the more technical and classy but Rysbek looked the more aggressive and heavy handed. The entire round almost was fought with the two men never more than a step or two away from each other and rarely was their time to breathe in what was one of the best rounds seen in Russia all year. This was technical, exciting, action packed and a fantastic way to start the fight.
The first round was genuinely brilliant, and logic suggested that both men were going to slow down in round 2, especially given the fact that between them they had scored 7 of their combined 9 wins in the opening round. That logic failed and they continued to fight at a fantastic pace through round 2. It was slightly slower than the opening round, but it was still a high tempo round with heavy shots from both. Jabs were used to set up the heavier artillery at times, but they came at a premium as hooks and uppercuts continued to be the order of the day and a counter right hook from Dauhaliavets snapped Rysbek’s head back about 2 minutes into the round. By the end of the round Rybek’s face was visibly reddening.
Round 3 saw the pace continue to be a hot one, with both men giving and taking some solid leather. It was again the more technical stuff from Dauhaliavets that seemed the more eye-catching, but Rysbek looked like a man who was willing to walk through anything to land his own shots and got through with some very nice single shots up top, despite taking combinations in return. Right through the round the two men barely left the All Champions logo in the centre of the ring, and they were damn knee toe-to-toe for the entire 3 minutes.
Despite the action being relatively even through the first 3 rounds it was Dauhaliavets who seemed to be doing enough to edge in front as we entered round 4. Despite the great action neither man had looked in too much trouble, despite Rysbek being rocked in round 2. In round 4 however Dauhaliavets really began to put Rysbek to the sword, finding holes in his defense and leaving his face even more red than it had been earlier in the bout. By the end of the round Rysbek was starting to look like a man whose body was still in the fight but his mind knew he was up against someone better than himself. He also seemed to have some sort of issue with his eyes when he went to the corner.
Rather than continue on his team made the right move and pulled Rysbek from the bout between rounds 4 and 5 giving us an anti-climactic ending to what had been a very fun fight through 4 rounds.
It was a sad ending, but that shouldn’t overshadow what we had seen prior to the stoppage, and that top tier action. This was genuinely a hidden gem of a fight and despite the Asian fighter losing the bout is one that fight fans deserve to watch. It really is a shame that there wasn’t a louder audience for such a thrilling, action packed contest.
Note - Fight begins about 5 minutes into the video
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.