Hard Luck Russian Fighter Nugaev Upsets 19-0 Maicelo on ESPN

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Correspondent


Hard working but unheralded Russian lightweight fighter Rustam Nugaev scored one of televised boxing’s biggest upsets of 2013 thus far with a fantastic eighth round knockout of 19-0 Peruvian prospect Jonathan Maicelo. Nugaev, inactive for 21 months, won the United States Boxing Association Lightweight title on ESPN Friday Night Fights.


Nugaev, now 23-6-1, Perm, Russia, who went pro in 2001 at age 19, finally put himself into the world lightweight ratings in and put himself into world title contention for the first time at age 30 after a career of losing hard luck decisions.


Rugaev lost two split decision in 2002 at six and ten rounds, lost an eight rounder in 2003, a ten rounder in 2005, an eight rounder in 2006, and a 12 rounder WBO regional title bout in 2011, in such locations as Russia, the Ukraine, Las Vegas Nevada, and Manila the Philippines. However, the outcome of these bouts remains questionable, including several split decisions. The Maicelo bout was Nugaev’s seventh bout in the United States in his career, and he made the most of it, knocking out his opponent and taking the outcome out of the hands of the judges for the first time in four years.


Nugaev had slight height advantage at 5’10” to Maicelo’s 5’7″, but used the advantage of effective fighting on the inside to win, a major key in this bout. Nugaev was better conditioned than Maicelo, and came forward putting on pressure and cut off the ring after a few rounds of being tested. Nugaev also discovered early on than Maicelo was throwing combinations, but his punches had no power.


Nugaev took the fight to the inside, throwing power shots as Maicelo tried to counter, but showed holes in his defense when he did. Nugaev’s short power shots began to get through consistently and finally knocked out Maicelo at 2:03 of the eighth round. Maicelo should have tried to outbox Nugaev at range distance, given he had a slight reach advantage. Aware of this disadvantage, the more experienced Nugaev, with 194 rounds boxed to Maicelo’s 110,  took the fight to close quarters, and found the win where he had to. All in all, a fantastic television bout with an explosive result, wit the power puncher taking out the technical boxer with an awesome display of the difference between the two styles and how to use what you’ve got and capitalize on your opponent’s weaknesses and miscues to keen advantage to win, which not all fighters can do.




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