Mark “Canelo” Urvanov overcame tough resistance provided by former WBA 130lb champion Rene Alvarado of Nicaragua to hammer out a ten-round, unanimous decision Saturday at RCC Boxing Academy in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
Alvarado led the fight tune by applying aggression to Urvanov from round one. The 26-year-old Russian did not hesitate to punch with Alvarado but spent the fight more on his back foot than vice versa. The Nicaraguan showed some sophistication in throwing punches, but his technical arsenal was still not enough for Urvanov to be hit consistently. The same could be said of Urvanov as well.
The Nicaraguan, 33, scored his biggest success in the third but cutting Urvanov over the left side of his skull; the gash which was bleeding profusely for quite a while. Urvanov answered with multi-punch combinations that lacked power but were precise enough to tag Alvarado cleanly.
Rounds were mostly identical with the fight being up for grabs until the end. Urvanov (22-3-1, 10 KOs) rallied a bit during the last third by saving more energy in his tank, but Alvarado rumbled it until the end.
As always, no scores were announced as it was not a title fight. BoxingScene had it 96-94 for the Russian fighter, who erased bad memories of his February loss to Venezuela’s Angel Rodriguez in the WBA 130-pound eliminator.
Alvarado, meanwhile, suffered his fifth consecutive setback in falling to 32-13(21KOs). He reached his peak in November 2019, stopping WBA champion Andrew Cancio. The Nicaraguan lost his title in a year to Roger Gutierrez, a fighter he had previously knocked out. Another loss to Gutierrez followed in a rubber match, and Alvarado lost to Lamont Roach and William Zepeda after that.
Pavel Silyagin (12-0, 5 KOs) showed will and character (as well as a handful of significant blemishes and huge room for improvement) in earning a very hard-fought unanimous decision over upset-minded Argentinean Abraham Gabriel Buonarrigo (11-4 , 9 KOs). Scores weren’t announced but BoxingScene had it 96-95 for the Russian in an evenly matched super middleweight fight.
Silyagin, 29, who debuted as a pro in 2020, steam-rolled the 168lb landscape over the last two years, defeating some very solid names such as Isaac Chilemba and Azizbek Abdugofurov. He had also been holding the WBC Silver belt up until recently when the World Boxing Council announced its decision to remove fighters with only Russian citizenship from its ranks. “Turco” Buonarrigo stopped experienced compatriot Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna in December 2021 and was coming off a very close split decision prospect to another undefeated Russian Aslambek Idigov in August 2022.
Buonarrigo, 27, started very aggressively, putting up pressure on the Russian counter-puncher. Silyagin complied, beginning to execute his game plan and to move laterally outside of the hard-punching Buonarrigo. Something was missing though, as Silyagin was often hit by punches he hadn’t been hit before. One of those – a major left hook – landed flush on Silyagin’s chin, rocking him badly. Pavel got back with solid punches of his own in the second round, but the Argentinean continued stalking and took the third with powerful shots.
Silyagin tried to adjust by timing Buonarrigo’s offensive, but his efforts were hampered – at least partially – by the awkwardness of the Argentinean slugger, whose angles gave the Russian problems. However, Pavel found some room for his sneaky jab and also landed some clean shots of his own – a definite sign of Buonarrigo’s lack of sustainable defense.
As rounds went by, Silyagin got more adjusted to the power and angles of the Argentinean, but the guest boxer remained very much in the fight until its end, digging especially deep in rounds nine and ten. The last round was mostly even, but the Russian punctuated it with a flurry of punches at the very end of the bout.
One of Russia’s best prospects light welterweight Khariton Agrba (10-0, 6 KOs) got the biggest win of his career so far with the third-round demolition of former WBA/IBF/IBO 140lb titlist Julius Indongo of Namibia.
Indongo, 39, is a familiar figure to Russian fight fans. In his first fight outside his native country in December 2016, the 2008 Beijing Olympian scorched respected IBF/IBO champion Eduard Troyanovskiy in just 40 seconds. Indongo then unified his titles with the WBA 140lb belt, owned by Ricky Burns, before losing the grand unification to P4P stalwart Terrence Crawford. He started his downside after that.
Agrba, whose previous sound victory occurred against Petr Petrov in December 2021, was considerably faster and also more aggressive than his opponent. He rapidly increased the tempo, delivering punches in bunches to the Namibian veteran. Agrba, 27, showcased a rich selection of punches and also his higher-than-average boxing skills. The end was sudden, however. Midst into the third, Agrba landed several seemingly light punches imploring Indongo to lure forward with a response, and then connected with a smashing left uppercut to put the Namibian down for the count.
The Russian proved again that he can be a player in a very solid weight class. Indongo dropped to 24-7, with 13 KOs, and he is just 2-6 after losing to Crawford.