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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lazarev to Fight in July in Albania

Lightweight Igor Lazarev is scheduled to fight Kristian Bejko on July 25 in Vlore, Albania. Of course a global pandemic, coronavirus-2019, continues to impact sporting events worldwide. Currently, Albania has about 2,500 cases of the virus and 62 people have died as a result. Daily infection rates have increased in the country in the last two weeks.

Lazarev (6-0, 2 KOs) is a 34 year old resident of Ashdod, Israel. A pressure fighter who attacks the body, Lazarev has fought in Albania twice before. In his last fight, he defeated Stefan Nicolae by majority decision in Kashar, Albania.

Bejko (3-4) is 20 year old  native of Tirana, Albania. He has quicker feet and hands than one might suspect of a 3-4 fighter. Bejko is a counter puncher who looks to land big punches. He doesn't display a lot of nuance in his game. Defensively, he keeps his hands low and relies on his foot-speed to avoid incoming fire. Occasionally he'll try to slip and duck under the punches, but his preferred method is to pull straight back in a haste. That could play right into Lazarev's hands. Igor doesn't possess the fastest hands, but if he follows Bejko when the Albania flees backwards, Lazarev could be in for a big night.

All of Bejko's seven fights have gone the distance. He has power, but doesn't have much imagination when it comes to initiating offense. His best idea thus far has been to try to land a loaded shot from the outside using his foot and hand speed. He rarely jabs and doesn't focus on the body much. He has shown a good chin.

All three of Bejko's wins have come in Albania. In his pro debut, he beat Leandro Xhelili by majority decision in 2018. Lazarev beat Xhelili by split decision last October although the one card that favored Xhelili smelled like home cooking. All four of Bejko's losses have come outside of Albania. Two took place in Italy, one in Denmark, and the other in the Netherlands. His opponents were a combined 4-0 when he faced them with two making their debuts against the young Albanian.

Bejko's flaws seem to play into Lazarev's strengths, but he's no pushover. He has the quickness to land big counters. This contest is slated for four rounds.

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