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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Ostroumov in Tough against Ergashev

Israel-born super middleweight Mikhael Ostroumov is scheduled to face Ravshan Ergashev on September 4 at USC Soviet Wings in Moscow, Russia. Russia has had nearly a million cases of coronavirus and 16,000 deaths. Over 4,000 new cases and 100 death were reported today. If it takes place, this will be a battle between undefeated fighters just starting their professional careers.

Ostroumov, a 22 year old southpaw based in Russia, won his pro debut by TKO in June against a journeyman. Ergashev is 5-0 with two KOs. Born in Uzbekistan, the 28 year old fought for Russia as an amateur.

Uzbekistan has been a hotbed for prospects recently producing Israil Madrimov, Bektemir Melikuziev, and Murodjon Akhmadaliev to name a few. Ergashev fought Madrimov in the amateurs. Madrimov outboxed a game and competitive Ergashev to win by decision.

Ergashev is an aggressive pressure fighter and volume puncher. In his five pro fights, he has shown an indomitable determination and a propensity to wear down his foes. He is far from the most accurate puncher, but his misses often set up his best shot, a chopping counter right. Defensively, he keeps a high guard when pressing forward, and bounces and wiggles his upperbody so he's not a stationary target. In his first four fights, Ergashev's opponents all entered with a winning ledger, combining for a 9-1 record.

The tough Russian has experience against southpaws as well. Madrimov, the amateur standoff, is one. In Ergashev's debut, Rustam Svayev switched stances, but Svayev had been worn down by the second round and spent most of the fight squared up. Ergashev's third opponent, Artem Sarbei, was a full-fledged lefty. In a tiny ring, Sarbei used the ropes to scratch his back for most of the fight, so Ergashev hasn't truly been tested by a southpaw such as Ostroumov in the pros.

Ergashev has his flaws which Ostroumov can exploit. In the fifth round of his fight against Cuban Raiko Santana, Ergashev became frustrated with Santana's movement and slipperiness. Santana's problem was he only occasionally threw a potshot or a counter. The Uzbek Russian has already been cut twice as a pro, once in his second fight against Ilya Baladin and again against Santana. Ergashev has a bad habit of yelling when he punches which requires him to open his mouth. That leaves him susceptible to a broken jaw if Ostroumov can land on the chin as Ergashev yelps.

None of Ergashev's opponents have targeted his body, the typical way to slow down a pressure fighter. A body attack is likely Ostroumov's best hope. He showed a willingness to punish the midsection in his pro debut. Though Ravshan has boxed 25 pro rounds to Ostroumov's one and change, he hasn't stepped in the ring for money in over a year and has fought just under three minutes in the past two years. Though he turned pro in 2017, strangely he has been active as an amateur boxer in the past year as the lines between pro and amateur continue to blur.

This bout is set for six rounds. Ergashev has fought two six-rounders and one eight-rounder, but he did fade late in two of those contests. Ostromouv has fought for a total of three minutes and 34 seconds.

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