By Rich Lopez
Boxing action will pick up right after Thanksgiving and DAZN will have a live card in store on Saturday. Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing will host a card at the Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin, in Monaco, Monte Carlo. The fight card will feature a pair of undefeated welterweights fighting for a vacant title. In addition, the world’s best female fighter Cecilia Braekhus is back, Hughie Fury returns, and other undefeated prospects will be featured.
Photo Credit: WBA Boxing Twitter Account
The main event will be for the vacant WBA Welterweight title and it will be a battle of the undefeated Russians. Radzhab Butaev (12-0, 9 KO’s) will face off with Alexander Besputin (13-0, 9 KO’s). Radzhab “The Python” Butaev, who now fights out of Brooklyn, New York was an outstanding amateur with a reported record of 453-9. He started as a professional in 2016 and the 25 year old has climbed up the rankings rapidly. Within the last year, he has beaten fighters such as: Ramses Agaton, Lanardo Tyner, and Silverio Ortiz. Butaev has punching power and always looks for the knockout. His opponent, Alexander Besputin was an outstanding amateur as well with a reported record of 300-15. He started professional in 2015 and has been fighting out of Oxnard, California.
Besputin has climbed the rankings quick and has beaten fighters such as: Juan Carlos Abreu, Saul Corral, and Breidis Prescott. The 28 year old southpaw also has power and looks for the knockout. As you can see both fighters are nearly identical which makes for a good pick’em fight. Manny Pacquiao is the “Super” WBA World Welterweight Champion and the two Russians are fighting for the regular WBA Welterweight title. Yes the belt situation does not make any sense. However, we should look at the Butaev vs Besputin fight as an exciting fight between two upcoming stars in the welterweight division.
The co-feature will showcase the return of Cecilia “First Lady” Braekhus, who is considered the world’s best female fighter today. Why is she the best female fighter? Braekhus (35-0, 9 KO’s) of Norway, has been boxing professionally for twelve years and has been a world champion for ten of those years. She won the vacant WBC and WBA World Female Welterweight titles in 2009 by defeating Vinni Skovgaard. Then she won the WBO title in 2010 by defeating Victoria Cisneros. Later on she became the undisputed champion when she added the IBF title in 2014 by defeating Ivana Habazin. To sum it up, she has made 22 defenses of the WBA title, 23 defenses of the WBC title, 20 defenses of the WBO title, and 8 defenses of the IBF title. More than half of her pro fights were championship fights and she is not stopping yet. Braekhus is also considered one of the best technical fighters in women’s boxing. Braekhus has been off almost for a whole year since her last fight on HBO’s final telecast. The 38 year old will be taking on Victoria Noelia Bustos (19-5) of Argentina. Bustos will try to pull the upset but will be at a disadvantage as she is moving up from the super lightweight to the welterweight division. Bustos most recently lost to Katie Taylor last year but bounced back with a win back in December of 2018.
Also on the undercard will be undefeated Chinese heavyweight Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang (20-0, 16 KO’s). Zhang has a good amateur background and was a silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the super heavyweight division. He also competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Zhang has been inactive and his last fight was in September of last year. He will be stepping up in competition as he faces late replacement Andriy Rudenko (32-4, 20 KO’s) of Ukraine. Zhang will need to be impressive if he wants to remain a force in the heavyweight division.
Also in the heavyweight division, Hughie Fury (23-3, 13 KO’s) of United Kingdom is back in action less than three months from his last fight. Like his cousin Tyson Fury, Hughie would like to make a name for himself in the heavyweight division. He has been a solid pro for six years but has come up short when stepping up in competition. In his last fight, he lost a unanimous decision against Alexander Povetkin. Fury will take on Pavel Sour (11-2, 6 KO’s) of the Czech Republic to stay busy and try to set himself up for another big fight.
Also on the card will be 2016 Olympian super featherweight Joe Cordina (10-0, 7 KO’s) of Wales. Since turning pro in 2017, Cordina has kept a busy schedule and will look to continue his winning ways. Cordina will face his biggest test up to date as he will face off with Mario Enrique Tinoco (18-5-4, 13 KO’s) of Mexico. Most notably, Tinoco stopped the British prospect Jordan Gill last year in an upset. They will battle for the vacant WBA Continental Super Featherweight title.
Also Olympian Thulasi “Tiger” Tharumalingam (6-0, 4 KO’s) of Germany, will be featured on the card. Thulasi was the first Qatari boxer to compete in the Olympic Games. The super welterweight fighter will look to shine and stay undefeated.