Greek Boxer Katzourakis Advances to Semi-finals of OTX Tournament

Katzourakis advances to semi-finals of OTX boxing middleweight competition.
Katzourakis advances to semi-finals of OTX boxing middleweight competition. Credit: Andreas Katzourakis’ Instagram

Despite a tough bout and a near-defeat on Friday night in Houston, Andreas Katzourakis won a majority decision over Kudratillo Abdukakhorov to advance to the next round of the OTX junior middleweight tournament.

Judges scored the match 98-92, 96-94 and 95-95 for Katzourakis. The bout was the main event of OTX 7 and a quarter-final matchup in the 154-pound tournament at Red Owl Boxing Arena. With the win, Katzourakis advanced to the semi-finals where he will face Robert Terry, who won earlier in the evening in the joint main event.

Speaking on his potential matchup with Terry, Katzourakis said, “He has a nice boxing ability. I think it is going to be an easier fight than Abdukakhorov.”

Katzourakis (13-0, 10 KOs), originally from Athens, Greece, now trains in Houston. He is thought to be one of the stars of OTX Boxing and arrived at the fight to cheers and Greek flags waving in the arena crowd.

Oppositely, Abdukakhorov (20-3, 12KOs), from Uzbekistan, entered as an underdog with little fanfare. Despite Katzourakis’ passionate following, local fans saw a difficult fight emerge for their favored fighter.

What Happened in the Katzourakis Fight?

Abdukakhorov was not there to mess around and nearly floored Katzourakis in the second round when the Greek did a full squat, without touching the canvas. Abdukakhorov’s strategic punching and calculated attack troubled Katzourakis, who employed a come-forward approach.

At the same time, Katzourakis also appeared willing to let his opponent’s punches land, perhaps due to their lack of power. “I don’t know if he was better than I expected or if it was harder for me to connect with some punches,” said Katzourakis after the fight.

In a previous fight, at welterweight, Abdukakhorov had faded against pressure fighter Cody Crowley. By the fifth round, fans were excited as Katzourakis found his rhythm and looked confident, throwing fluid, hard combinations and changing Abdukakhorov’s fighting personality.

Abdukakhorov’s combinations lacked the aggression they had earlier in the fight. Katzourakis seemed to be breaking down the Uzbek fighter, however, in the seventh round, Abdukakhorov exhibited another fluid round of boxing and prevented Katzourakis from landing big shots – casting some doubt.

Abdukakhorov seemed tired as Katzourakis – blood covering his left eye – chased him until the final bell.

After the decision, Abdukakhorov seemed dejected about what he thought was a win. He has good reason to contest the 98-92 score, which didn’t reflect the close nature of the bout.

The Greek boxer made his professional debut in June 2018 at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California, knocking out Chukwuka Willis in the first round of a scheduled four-round bout. In only his fourth professional fight, Katzourakis took on former World Title challenger Walter Wright in Montebello, California.

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