Undefeated Knockout Artist Victor Oganov Looking For 27th Consecutive KO on September 1; Kirkland Looks To Keep Going, In Co-Feature
NEW YORK (Aug. 15, 2007) – Victor Oganov is “The Destroyer.” The World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 8 super middleweight contender has fought 26 times and knocked out each of his opponents in seven rounds or less personifying his nickname. Oganov (26-0, 26 KOs), of Syktyvkar, Russia, will look to continue that dominance when he battles former world title challenger Fulgencio Zuniga (19-2-1, 16 KOs), of Padilla, Colombia, for the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight championship on Saturday, Sept. 1, in a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation (SHOWTIME, 10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Article posted on 16.08.2007
In the co-feature, hard-hitting WBO No. 10 junior middleweight contender James Kirkland (19-0, 16 KOs), of Austin, Texas, will continue to make his case for world title contention when he takes on Mohammad Said (22-5-1, 14 KOs), of Secaucus, N.J., by way of Brazil.
Gary Shaw Productions, LLC in association with Brian Halquist Productions will present the doubleheader from Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.
This is Oganov’s opportunity to show America what Russia, Australia and others around the world have known since he turned pro in 1998: that the power-punching, Russian knockout artist is a legitimate world-class fighter.
“September 1 is going to be just my second fight in America,” the 31-year-old Oganov said. “I want to prove that I deserve to be a world champion. It will be fun, and it will definitely be interesting.
“It also will be a very hard fight because Zuniga is a good fighter. He gets knocked down, and he gets back up. He just keeps going and going. We cannot promise a knockout, but we can promise one thing and that’s a good fight.”
Oganov began preparation for the scheduled 12-round bout in Australia, but recently arrived in Los Angeles where he is sparring with, among others, former world champion Julio Gonzalez.
(Fulgencio Zuniga, in photo) “There is good sparring in Los Angeles,” Oganov said. “Some of the best super middleweights in the world are here right now. I will be prepared.”
On Jan. 21, 2006, in Australia, Oganov won the WBO Asia Pacific 168-pound crown with a fifth- round TKO over Sunday King.
In his last start, Oganov made his United States debut and demolished Richard Grant in two rounds on Jan. 27, 2007, in Anaheim, Calif. Grant once had gone the distance against former International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight kingpin Jeff Lacy.
The hard-hitting, more-experienced, always-dangerous Zuniga, 30, is confident of pulling off an upset. “Oganov will have his hands full against me,” he said. “This is his first real test, but not mine. In the end, I will come out victorious.
“I look forward to fighting him. I know Oganov is a hard puncher and has a lot of knockouts, but he hasn’t been against the same level of opposition as I have.”
On March 30, 2002, in Columbia, Zuniga won the WBO Latin American 154-pound belt with a second-round knockout over Luis Bastardo. He successfully defended the title twice that same year.
Zuniga earned his first world title shot on June 28, 2003, but dropped a hard-fought, close 12-round decision to defending champion Daniel Santos in a fight for the WBO 154-pound crown.
Two fights after suffering his first pro loss, Zuniga scored a 12-round TKO over David Lopez to capture the International Boxing Association (IBA) middleweight title on Jan. 6, 2005, in Tucson, Ariz.
In his first defense three months later on April 8, 2005, Zuniga boxed to a 12-round draw against Jose Zertuche in Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Six months later on Oct. 7, in Las Vegas, Nev., Zuniga took on undefeated, world-ranked Kelly Pavlik in a memorable slugfest for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight crown. The fight was called when Zuniga could not continue due to a severe cut in the ninth round.
Since the TKO loss, Zuniga has defeated his last two opponents and is excited about his upcoming scrap with Oganov for the IBO championship.
“This is a great opportunity to fight in the main event on SHOWTIME,” Zuniga said. “I will bring it to him. I am not a runner. With the two of us, there will definitely be a lot of banging.”
The co-feature should prove to be another crowd pleaser. Kirkland, 23, has knocked out 16 of his 19 opponents but is up against a determined fighter, Said, who has never been stopped and has dominated his last four fights, winning them all via knockout within three rounds.
“It is going to be a tough fight,” said Kirkland, who will make his third consecutive ShoBox appearance. “Said is a real tough opponent, so it is going to be a heck of a fight. I think I am tougher, but both of us are right there. We are ready to put on a hell of a fight for fans across the country.
“It doesn’t matter who I fight. I am just trying to get to the top.”
In his ShoBox debut, southpaw Kirkland used the courageous Billy Lyell as a human punching bag en route to scoring an eighth-round knockout Feb. 2, 2007, on SHOWTIME.
Four months later in his second “ShoBox” appearance, Kirkland, who fights with Mike Tysonesque ferocity, defeated Ossie Duran via 10-round decision in a hard-fought battle.
“I know that I have to perform on ShoBox to get my chance to get on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING,” said Kirkland, who will take on his ninth opponent in the past 17 months. “This is what Nonito Donaire did. If I perform well, I will get my big shot. September 1 is another shot to prove that I am ready.”
Said, 33, is a capable and dangerous fighter who has established himself in his homeland of Brazil. He hopes to use this fight as his chance to prove he can contend with the best junior middleweights.
“I am fighting a good opponent,” Said said. “The good thing for me is that Kirkland will come inside to fight, and I am a good inside fighter. I am happy to fight him because I am a better boxer. I have a great chance to beat this guy, and, if I do, I will knock him out.”
Said has been training diligently for his chance to perform on national television. He vows that win or lose, he will come to fight. “I know that if I put on a big show on SHOWTIME it will be huge for me,” Said said. “I really want to knock this guy out.”
Nick Charles (blow by blow) and Steve Farhood (color commentator) will call the action from ringside. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing.
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.
About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, “ShoBox: The New Generation” has featured young talent matched tough. The “ShoBox” philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. The growing list of fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes Leonard Dorin, Scott Harrison, Juan Diaz, Jeff Lacy, Ricky Hatton, Joan Guzman, Juan Urango, David Diaz (interim) and Robert Guerrero.
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