On Saturday, Aug. 24, Moldova-based kickboxing promotion FEA held its first event in Ukraine, touching down in Odessa. Despite losing notables Serhii Adamchuk and Iraj Azizpour prior to the event, the night’s four-man tournament gathered a large audience and presented many high-class competitive fights for the Ukrainian public on Independence day.
In the main event, Pavel Zhuravlev easily handled his Turkish opponent Mehmet Ozer. The Ukrainian took a high pace and was very aggressive from the first seconds of the fight. Zhuravlev started attacks with explosive hands combinations, often finishing with low kicks. Ozer tried to land counter strikes, but there was huge difference of sportsmen class. As a result, Zhuravlev delivered a knockdown at the end of the first round and finished Ozer by TKO at the beginning of the second. Zhuravlev earned cheering of the crowd and the interim FEA heavyweight title. During the pre-fight press conference, Zhuravlev said that presently he is free from his GLORY contract and expects to fight for FEA title. Now he’ll get the right to fight Roman Kryklia who holds FEA heavyweight belt.
However, there were other triumphs on this kickboxing evening. Andrey Gridin, Belarussian trainer of Chingiz Allazov and Roman Kryklia, brought two fighters to Odessa. Young featherweight prospect Oleg Likhtorovich outclassed his Ukrainian opponent Zakhar Pavelko, adding one more victory to Gridin Gym. Another Gridin’s fighter Zhora Akopyan showed fighter heart, gaining a split decision victory in the tournament semifinal against experienced local fighter Stanislav Kazantsev and delivering a real war against Moldavian star Konstantin Rusu in the final, which resulted in the Armenian winning in the extra round.
Two years ago, Zhuravlev complained that there is no professional kickboxing in Ukraine. Now the veteran brought the biggest promotion of Eastern Europe to his homeland and did it in high-class manner.