Oganov looking to stay perfect on Shobox


Oganov looking to stay perfect on Shobox

PRESS RELEASE: Victor Oganov, “The Destroyer”, 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 next battle Fulgencio Zuniga (19-2-1, 16 KOs), of Padilla, Colombia, for the vacant IBO super middleweight belt on Saturday, September 1, 2007 in a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).  In the co-feature, hard-hitting junior middleweight 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. 

“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 a regional 168-pound belt 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 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 a regional 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 on Jan. 6, 2005, in Tucson, Ariz. 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 that ended 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.  “This is a great opportunity to fight in the main event,” 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.  

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, 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.