Mineev brings another kickboxing title to Russia
Nine years ago the best hand-to-hand fighters from the former Soviet republics first came face-to-face in the Moscow region to find out who was the best. That is how this kickboxing tournament started. Now it has grown into a big open-air showdown with international titles at stake.
Some domestic affairs were settled first though. The 2012 event's supercard opened with the Russian light welterweight championship. Five rounds of a tough rumble saw Dmitry Grafov clawing out victory over his compatriot Evgeny Kalinin.
Some bigger guys, Aleksey Rybkin and Halim Chiabani, were next to do battle, with the W5 European cruiserweight title at stake. The Russian dominated the first two rounds of the bout. However, the French champion found his touch later on and was even to toy with his opponent. It was a hard decision for the judges, who finally ruled in Rybkin's favor.
That's how it came to some world titles on the line with Russia's Ilya Usachev and Ukraine's Roman Mailov setting up arguably the most furious clash of the night. Both gave their all to secure the W5 welterweight belt, but it was the Ukrainian thunder who had more to offer.
“I took my time in the early rounds to take a closer look at my opponent's moves. I realized he was faster than me, so I had to rely on my cardio and just try to break him down. I kept moving on always putting him under pressure. I just did more in the ring – that's what gave me the edge,” said Mailov.
After that one of Russia's biggest heavyweight prospects, Vladimir Mineev, took to the ring to clash with Daniel Dorrer for the WKA title. The German proved to be a tough nut to crack. After a devastating right hook by Mineev in the second round the brave fighter managed to recover and stay up till the end of the fight and although he was beaten, Dorrer left the ring with his head held high.
It was Mineev who best summed up what was happening in the ring. “He was hitting hard, really hard but I had better timing. That's why my punches landed on his body and head, and his on my elbows,” he said smiling.