European boxing continued its revival on Thursday evening in Minsk, Belarus, as former IBF 135lbs title challenger Isa Chaniev (14-3, 6 KOs) claimed a unanimous decision over Vladyslav Melnyk (11-2, 6 KOs) at the top of Al Siesta’s ‘Kold Wars’ bill.
The switch-hitting Chaniev enjoyed success from the southpaw stance in the early exchanges, as his size advantage over Melnyk swiftly became apparent. Melynk was inviting his foe to engage throughout, yet the experienced Chaniev was content to box behind his jab.
Melnyk’s output increased through the middle rounds as he pushed Chaniev back, implementing a stronger jab of his own. The Ukrainian youngster was full of raw enthusiasm, and rallied well with an eye-catching flurry in round six.
Russian Chaniev resumed control down the home straight and began picking his shots as the fight came to a close. Melnyk exited the ring with credit after his strong showing, while Chaniev will have his eyes on another jaunt up to world level after scores of 98-94, 99-92 and 98-93 handed him a unanimous verdict.
In the chief support, Gaibatulla Gadzhialiev was too sharp for Arerm Ayvazidi, stopping the Ukrainian in round seven of the scheduled eight-rounder.
A former quality amateur and World Series of Boxing participant, Gadzhialiev displayed good head movement and a varied attack to both the head and body of his experienced foe. Ayvazidi enjoyed a solid amateur career before opting to take his talents around Europe as a professional.
Gadzhialiev started the third round well, landing with hard shots and maintaining clear control of the contest. Ayvazidi looked tentative in his own assaults as Gadzhialiev countered the Ukrainian’s work with better shots. Competing in his 12th year as a pro, the 38-year-old Ayvazidi (12-19-1, 5 KOs) has experienced many different styles, including the talents of Viktor Postol and Kiryl Relikh.
Gadzhialiev had a spring in his step midway through the fourth as Ayvazidi hit the deck from a low blow. The referee called it a legal body shot and Ayvazidi received a count. To his credit, Ayvazidi sucked it up and continued slugging without complaint.
Gadzhialiev (7-2-1, 3 KOs) returned to the body in round five dropping Ayvazidi twice; the second again looking on the low side. Whether he was landing north or south of the beltline, Gadzhialiev was certainly landing, widening the points margin as the minutes flew by.
Any thoughts of a points verdict was rendered void in the seventh as the referee saved Ayvazidi from further punishment, following a right hand to the body that sent the away man down to the canvas once again.