Maxi Hughes on his way to victory over Viktor Kotochigov in Dubai
Maxi Hughes on his way to victory over Viktor Kotochigov in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: It wasn’t the favourites that caused a stir as big-time boxing returned to the Caesars Bluewaters in Dubai for Rotunda Rumble IV on Friday night as Briton Maxi Hughes led the underdogs to victory on an action-packed night.

Hughes, who shocked Jono Carroll (21-18-2) in August last year, replicated the feat with a wonderful display of boxing to defeat previously unbeaten Viktor Kotochigov (21-1-9) and become the new WBC international lightweight champion.

The quality D4G Promotions card, which as held in association with Round 10 Boxing and MTK Global, also saw Armenia’s superstar Hovhannes Bachkov make a sensational professional debut, while exciting Indian super welterweight Faizan Anwar and Dubai-based Egyptian fight Mohamad Salah Abdelghany also recorded impressive wins.

One of the most highly anticipated fights on the card was the super lightweight contest where Bachkov, a two-time World Championships bronze medallist who represented Armenia at the 2016 Olympics and won a gold medal at the 2017 European Championships, took on Venezuelan knockout specialist Samuel Gonzalez (22-7, 13 KOs).

Undeterred by Gonzalez’s reputation, Bachkov made every round count as he dominated his rival to overwhelm the judges who scored all eight rounds in his favour.

Bachkov, 27, who lost seven of his first eight fights after making his boxing debut in 2010 has steadily forged an impressive record of 52 wins from 76 fights and looks a very promising prospect in the pro ranks.

Maxi Hughes with his belt in Dubai
Maxi Hughes with his belt in Dubai Image Credit: Twitter

In the main event, Hughes demonstrated his exciting talent with his unanimous decision victory over Kotochigov, having dropped the Kazakh with a huge uppercut in round three of their 10-round contest at the fan-free arena.

The 30-year-old looks to be in incredible form earning his elevation into the top 15 of the WBC after collecting their ‘international title’.

There was a shock in the opening fight of the night, as Abdelghany (4-2) defeated Blane Hyland (3-1) to hand the Liverpool fighter the first defeat of his professional career.

In another dominant performance, Anwar, the unbeaten Indian super-welterweight, record a fifth professional win with a six-round points win over the Philippines’ JR Mendoza.


Maxi Hughes bt Viktor Kotochigov (96-93, 97-92, 95-94)

Hovhannes Bachkov bt Samuel Gonzalez (80-72, 80-72, 80-72)

Faizan Anwar bt JR Mendoza (60-53, 60-53, 60-53)

Mohamad Salah Abdelghany bt Blane Hyland (58-57, 58-56, 58-56)

Faizan Anwar bt JR Mendoza (60-53, 60-53, 60-53)