Stanyslav Kashtanov vs. Jaime Barboza: Preview and Prediction for Title Fight
On Saturday in Donetsk, Ukraine, interim WBA super middleweight champion Stanyslav Kashtanov will defend his belt in front of a hometown crowd in front of Jaime Barboza of Costa Rica.
Kashtanov is not well known in the west, and Barboza can more accurately be described as a journeyman than a legitimate world title challenger. But 168 is a division with established stars but not enough fresh blood.
So Kashtanov's performance this weekend will be worth noting.
Tale of the Tape
|Per Boxrec||Stanyslav Kashtanov||Jaime Barboza|
|Record:||30-1, 16 KOs||18-7, 8 KOs|
|Weight:||168 lbs||168 lbs|
|Hometown:||Donetsk, Ukraine||San Jose, Costa Rica|
Kashtanov has below average reach for a man of 6'1". I've always heard that, on average, inches of reach roughly correspond to inches of height.
And most boxers have above-average reach. Floyd Mayweather is 5'8" but has the reach of a 6' tall man. Bryant Jennings, at just under 6'2", has the reach of a 7-footer.
Kashtanov has the reach of a guy who's 5'10". Barboza is unlisted, but he has some success landing wide, looping punches as he presses forward, so I wouldn't be shocked if he has an edge over Kashtanov in reach.
I've got Barboza's weight listed at 168 pounds because that is the limit for this fight. But he's been mostly a junior middleweight in his career.
Observant readers at this point are no doubt a little bit confused. "Wait a minute," our observant readers are saying. "There's a WBA interim champion? But I thought Carl Froch was the WBA super middleweight champion. I thought he won that title in his exciting, unanimous-decision victory over Mikkel Kessler."
I was under that impression. But upon closer examination, it turns out that Froch is now the WBA "super" super middleweight champion.
So with Froch promoted, the "regular" world title was necessarily vacated and Kashtanov is the interim holder of that title.
Technically, I think that means a win should make him a mandatory for Froch, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that fight happening any time soon.
Boxing is popular in the Ukraine, and now it has another world champion, of sorts, to add to its proud tradition. That's good for selling a lot of tickets in the Ukraine.
Barboza should be a game challenger. It's the opportunity of the lifetime for him.
He's lost four of his past six fights, and a win here makes him perhaps the most unlikely belt holder in the entire sport.
Kashtanov looks very much like a classic Eastern European fighter to me. He has a good jab and uses head movement well.
He has solid footwork and feints well. He is good at controlling the distance and lets got with accurate scoring combinations when he spots an opening.
Barboza has fought all over Latin America. He won some rounds and went the distance in a hometown fight with Brian Magee in July of 2011, when Magee was becoming somebody worth getting knocked out by Mikkel Kessler. Barboza has traded TKOs with Jorge Pinzon, most recently coming out on the losing end.
He's a tough professional who knows his way around the ring. He's a relatively unknown commodity, facing a belt holder who is relatively untested himself.
Kashtanov has a tendency to punch a little bit too much like an amateur. He seems to focus on scoring with quick, arm-punch combinations before moving out of range, rather than taking the extra split second to sit down on his punches and do more serious damage.
It can be tough to discourage a tough, come-forward fighter punching like that.
Barboza looks like a relatively crude craftsman in the video I have seen of him. He has a habit of circling on the outside and then lunging suddenly forward behind a wild punch.
His opponents have plenty of time to avoid him or counter him before he gets to them.
He plays for the home run, a strategy that is even more unlikely to pay off for him when he's fighting two weight classes up from where he normally fights.
Stanyslav Kashtanov Will Win If...
Kashtanov looks to have pretty solid boxing skills, and if he's anything near a legitimate world champion at 168, he better be able to stand up to the power of a career junior middleweight who has only knocked out eight opponents in 25 fights.
Kashtanov should use his boxing to control the distance, but when he finds himself in a good position to score on Barboza, he should look to score hard.
He should take advantage of this opportunity to look good in front of his hometown crowd and fight a measured but aggressive fight, with the intention of winning the fight by stoppage.
Jaime Barboza Will Win If...
Barboza should roll the dice and try to hurt Kashtanov early in the fight. I think his best chance is to catch the hometown champ in the first few rounds.
Barboza should assume that as a former junior middleweight, he'll be the quicker man. Kashtanov will score on him with regularity as he attempts to press forward, and he can't win taking one and waiting to give one all night long.
The longer the fight goes on, the less I think it will favor Barboza.
Neither of these fighters have ever fought in the United States, and I've found limited information on them. Kashtanov has lost just once, by split decision. He's collected various minor belts and now has secured some piece of the world title in Andre Ward's division before even many hardcore fans had taken note of him.
BoxRec.com only has him ranked at No. 25 in the division.
Still, if he keeps winnings and holding onto that belt, eventually somebody is going to match him against world-class talent.
Barboza, meanwhile, would appear to be something less than world-class talent. I think Kashtanov will be too big and too skilled to be seriously threatened by anything Barboza will throw.
This looks to me like a one-sided fight.
Kashtanov by unanimous decision, 118-110.