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Second WBF Twin-Bill In Ukraine July 14

Posted on July 4 2012                                              Bookmark and Share
By: Clive Baum           


For the second time in less than four months, Ukrainian promoter Oleg Bruskov is staging a big World Boxing Federation title twin-bill in Kiev. And, as was the case the first time, local stars Vitali Kopylenko and Timur Akhundov will headline against tough opposition.

On July 14, Kopylenko, who currently holds the WBF Intercontinental title, will get his first shot at a World championship when he squares off with former WBF world title-challenger and reigning Portuguese Champion Vitor Sa for the vacant WBF World Middleweight title.

In the co-featured attraction WBF Intercontinental Featherweight Champion Akhundov is set to make the first defense of his belt against Frenchman Leonus Marie Francoise.

28-year-old Vitali Kopylenko, 17-0 (8), won his Intercontinental title on March 17 by stopping undefeated (22-0-1) compatriot Vasyl Tarabarov in four rounds, and looked impressive in the process. In Vitor Sa, 27-7 (5), he will be in with another stern challenge, as the Portuguese enters his sixth title bout compared to Kopylenko’s second. 

As recent as this past February Sa lost on points for the WBF World title against Cagri Ermis in Germany, but did well enough to qualify for a crack at the now vacant title. In April he won the Portuguese national title when he decisioned Ricardo Fernandes, but at 39 years of age he won’t have many opportunities like this left.

Timur Akhundov, 13-2-1 (5), stopped Hungarian Arpad Vass in the third round to win his WBF title, and he is hoping that another impressive performance on July 14 will also put him in line for a WBF World Championship opportunity. He is undefeated in his last eleven bouts, and has every intention of doing a number on his French challenger.

Leonus Marie Francoise, 8-6-1 (2), doesn’t exactly bring a record that sends chills down the spines of many, but, as is often the case with French professional boxers, he has not been protected on his way to what will be his first title-shot.

His losses have come against good opponents, several who were undefeated, and none of them were able to beat Francoise inside the distance.

In his most recent outing Francoise travelled to Montreal, Canada to take on undefeated (8-0) local prospect Baha Laham, in a fight that was televised by ESPN in North America, and came away with a controversial draw. Famed trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas had Francoise winning the fight clearly, scoring the six-rounder 59-55 for Francoise. 

So, despite the mediocre statistics, Francoise will undoubtedly give Akhundov a serious run for his money. Just like on March 17, it looks like promoter Bruskov has put together another exiting show for the Ukrainian boxing fans on July 14.

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