Chinese & Russian Boxers to Watch in Fanlong Meng & Egor Mekhontsev
By: Ken Hissner
Back in 2012 this writer was in New York watching USA vs China. Two boxers stood out one from each team. From team USA it was Philadelphia’s Jesse “Hard Work” Hart, now 22-1. He lost that fight in his September title shot to Gilberto Ramirez the WBO Super middle champion. The Chinese team had a boxer I thought may have been from Mongolia but I was wrong for he was from Chifeng, China.
I have seen Meng, fight professionally in Atlantic City, NJ, when he defeated Zab Judah’s brother Daniel, 24-10-3, in July of 2016, scoring a fifth round knockout. That was his 8th fight. I saw him in his third fight at Beach Haven, NJ, beat Michael Mitchell, 3-5-2, of Paterson, NJ. Mitchell defeated Wildwood’s Chuckie Mussachio, 19-3-2, in January of 2017.
Meng’s first four fights were in the US then one in Puerto Rico. Then back to the US then China and when he beat Judah. In April of 2017 in his last US appearance he won all eight rounds defeating Brad Austin, 12-23, from Tennessee, right after Austin beat Greg Brady 5-1.
After the Judah fight in September of 2016 Meng defeated Zura Mekereshvili, 18-5, from the country of Georgia. Meng came off the canvas twice to win an eight round majority decision. Zura now has 22 wins with 18 by KO. In Meng’s next fight which was in January of 2017 Meng won the vacant WBO Oriental light heavyweight title with a first round knockout in his first ten rounder over Russian Gasan Gasanov, 12-4-1, in April of 2017.
In Meng’s next fight he returned to the US beating Austin. Next in his last fight in October he defeated Emmanuel Danso, 28-1 (23), from Ghana, winning all ten rounds in Macao as the co-feature to an IBF Female world title fight. He is now 12-0 with 7 knockouts.
Meng represented China in the 2012 Olympic Games defeating a Moroccan, 17-8, then came a Brazilian that ended 17-17 and they gave it to the Brazilian. Meng fought in the 2009 and 2011 World Amateur Championships. In 2009 he was 1-1 and in 2012 he won his first three matches then losing to a boxer from KAZ named Adilbek Niyazymbetov. This brings me to my other prospect who defeated Niyazymbetov when they ended up 15-15 in the Gold Medal round of the 2012 Olympics.
That fighter is Egor Mekhontsev from Asbest, Russia who is 13-0-1 as a professional with 8 knockouts. He’s a 33 year-old light heavyweight southpaw now living in Los Angeles, CA.
Mekhontsev was a quarter-finalist in the 2005 World Amateur Championship going 2-1, in China. In 2009 he moved up to heavyweight and won the same tournament defeating among others the current WBO World Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk from the Ukraine, who won the 2012 Olympics defeating the boxer who defeated him in the 2008 Olympics Clemente Russo of Italy, in Milan, Italy.
In 2011 Mekhontsev was a Bronze medalist as a light heavyweight in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he won his first three matches including defeating Marcus Browne of the US, 14-6, who is 20-0 (15) as a pro. Mekhontsev then beat a boxer from the Ukraine but lost to the Cuban Julio Cesar la Cruz 20-15, who won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2016, the World Amateur Championships in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Mekhontsev was the Gold Medalist in the European Amateur Championships in 2008 in the UK and in 2012 in Russia. In the 2012 final he defeated Tervel Pulev, now a cruiserweight from Bulgaria who is 6-0 (6), as a pro, and lost to Usyk in the semi-final round of the 2012 Olympics. Tervel is the older brother of Kubrat Pulev, 25-1, only losing to Wladimir Klitschko in a world title bout.
Mekhontsev’s first six fights ended in knockouts with four of them in the US, one in Macao, where he stopped Thailand’s Atthaporn Jaritram, 4-0, February of 2014. Only in his first bout did he fight someone with a losing record in December of 2013. He was 6-0 in 2014 stopping boxers Dwayne Williams 5-1, Mike Mirafuentes, 2-0, Samuel Miller 28-8 and Jinner Guerrero 7-2 while decisioning Joey Vargas 17-9-1, winning 7 or 8 of the 8 rounds.
In 2015 Mekhontsev was 3-0 stopping Marcelo Leandro Da Silva, 21-3 (dislocated left arm), of Brazil, Hakim Zoulikha, 21-5 of France, and Jackson Junior 17-3, of France. In 2016 he was 2-0-1 Felipe Romero, 19-10-1, of Mexico and knocking out Victor Barragan 12-9-1, then drawing in a majority decision with Alexander Johnson, 16-4, while getting a 78-74 in his favor.
It was close to a year without fight with his only 2017 fight in Moscow in July. Top Rank released him two years ago. Mekhontsev’s opponents as a pro are 105-55-6.
Sosa Dared to Believe
Sosa Dared to Believe
By: Ben Underwood
The site was Beijing ,China , the favourite was Javier Fortuna and the script was ripped apart by Jason Sosa. Although Sosa seemed alarmingly easy to hit and Fortuna was hiding behind his Mayweather- esque front shoulder, it was Sosa who seemed to want it more as he moved forward and put pressure on the relaxed Fortuna from the first bell.
Southpaw Javier seemed to fight with the attitude that he only needed to turn up to win for the first two rounds ,while Sosa was making the most of the opportunity with wild swings and catching Fortuna with the left hook as the latter tried to back off. The WBA Super Featherweight champion suddenly woke up and let his hands go, landing a clubbing right at the end of the second but it was a belated attempt and the bell provided a get out of jail free card for Jason (19-1-4,15 KO’s).
El canito was showing great head movement but it was Fortuna who was taking over and landed a great burst of punches in the fourth making his crude and lunging opponent think. It only seemed a matter of time before Javier (29-0-1,21 KO’s going in) would get to his man and in the fifth, landed a great left hand that he set up from a distracting right hook and felled the brave Sosa that didn’t seem to hurt him too badly. The underdog got up and brushed himself off and immediately set about his work.
By the seventh round Sosa had his best round so far catching Fortuna with straight rights and left hooks, with Fortuna with his jerky movements was looking for that one shot to win in style, this ultimately cost him the round. The contest caught fire in round nine as Fortuna looked to finish Sosa,but after going the distance with Nicholas Walters It seemed that the champion underestimated the toughness of Sosa, as he took all that fortuna could deliver and looked very composed under pressure.By the end of the round both men were exchanging with Javier landing left and rights to Sosa’s head while El canito was landing to both body and head.
The fight was close at this point and by the tenth it was Sosa who ,with his relentless pressure caught Fortuna with a right to the body and a straight right to the head which had Fortuna in all kinds of bother as he went down from a straight right hand. The drama was coming in thick and fast as Javier spat his gumshield to buy some time and the third man in the ring took a point for his troubles. Fortuna looked desperate as he tried to let his hands go and was getting caught in the process by left hooks from Sosa, and by the end of the 10th they were both on the floor as Fortuna did an MMA take down to end the action packed round.
It was the relentless pressure that Fortuna could not get to grips with and right after slashing right were landing and without warning a massive left hook detonated of the jaw of the Dominican Republic native and he fell to the floor. Although he got up he was clearly unsteady as he tried to con Raul Caiz jr ,but the referee made the right decision to wave the fight off and allow Javier Fortuna to fight another night.
Fortuna was making his second defence of the WBA title that he won from Bryan Vasquez and was expected to win. The determination of Sosa is something that cannot be taught in any gym around the world and serves as a testiment to Jason Sosa as he becomes the new WBA Super featherweight champion of the world.