Elite Boxing are quietly establishing themselves as quite a name in the Muay Thai world. With their first event in Russia only two days away and another in Germany on the 17th, things are looking good for the promotion.
Elite Boxing established their Russian subsidiary, Elite Boxing Russia recently and are already kicking things off with an "Elite Fight Night" series event on the 8th. Stanislav Bukhlov, the company director quickly made big moves, acquiring the Russian promotion Ice Storm. Ice Storm is set to be rebranded as Elite Fight Night Russia. The format will stay the same as when it was under Ice Storm, in the same venue and same city at the Tyumen Circus Arena in the Russian city of Tyumen.
Also, in another good move for the company, all events held under the Elite Boxing Russia banner will be filmed in high definition and "distributed to 180 countries around the world through Elite Boxing’s network of broadcast partners, including ESPN/Star Sports and Eurosport." Anytime Muay Thai can get on television is good for the sport, as it definitely lacks exposure to more eyes.
Here's the fight card for Elite Boxing's Russian debut on September 8th:
|1||Ruslan Berdiev||vs||Titipong Daengsi||63 kg||5 rounds|
|2||Alexei Ulyanov||vs||Chalermdet Infinity||66 kg||5 rounds|
|3||Marsel Adzhiniyazov||vs||Chutimant Maneejak||71 kg||5 rounds|
|4||Vladislav Popov||vs||Cheick Sidibé||86 kg||5 rounds|
|5||Stanislav Popov||vs||Issam Reghi||86 kg||5 rounds|
And here's the full press release:
The growing popularity of muaythai in Russia is about to receive a major boost as Elite Boxing Russia—a recently established subsidiary of Bangkok-based Elite Boxing—has announced it is set to launch a new series of muaythai events. Under the brand name Elite Fight Night Russia, events will be held every 3 months at the 1,600-seat Tyumen Circus Arena in the central Russian city of Tyumen. The first event is scheduled for September 8, 2011.
Following the recent establishment of Elite Boxing Russia, company director Stanislav Bukhlov has quickly made his mark in the potentially very lucrative Russian market by negotiating the acquisition of the popular Ice Storm muaythai series. Under the agreement, Ice Storm will be rebranded as Elite Fight Night Russia.
Each EFN Russia event will be filmed in HD and distributed to 180 countries around the world through Elite Boxing’s network of broadcast partners, including ESPN/Star Sports and Eurosport.
The fights will also feature the best muaythai talent from across Russia and will provide the Elite Boxing Group with better access to the finest Russian fighters for its annual Thailand VS Russia event in the company’s flagship Thailand VS Challenger Series. This year’s Thailand VS Russia event is scheduled for October, just a month after the first EFN Russia event.
In addition to providing fighters for Thailand VS Russia, EFN Russia also offers Elite Boxing a strategic and cost-effective marketing tool that can be used to raise awareness of the Thailand VS Challenger brand as Elite Boxing looks to penetrate the huge Russian market.
Despite only taking on his new role as head of Elite Boxing Russia in June of this year, Bukhlov is already repaying the faith placed in him by Elite Boxing. Bukhlov is a very experienced promoter, matchmaker and judge, and although his background is primarily in Western boxing, he—along with many other Russians—has become increasingly interested in muaythai in recent years.
One of Bukhlov’s biggest assets is his network of contacts and this played a big part in allowing him to negotiate the acquisition of Ice Storm. Under the new name of EFN Russia, the events will continue to be supported by the local police chief, who is a big fan of muaythai and just one of Bukhlov’s many influential contacts.
Bukhlov’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Speaking from Bangkok, where he is preparing for the upcoming TVC at the Queen’s Cup event, Elite Boxing co-founder Seth Fishman was full of praise for Bukhlov. “Stani really has a great pedigree in the world of martial arts and we are honoured and proud to have him in the EB team,” said Fishman.
“He is a very pro-active guy and we have to say a big thank you for the work he has already done in establishing both EB and TVC in Russia,” continued Fishman. “We are very excited about the future of muaythai and EB in Russia, and Stani is the perfect person to help us achieve our goals there.”
So far from the outside looking in, Elite Boxing is building a strong brand. With their Thailand vs. Challengers and Elite Fight Night series being held regularly, more hopefully start to take notice. I wouldn't be surprised to see Elite Boxing start picking up bigger name fighters for their events if they can garner success from their expansion into new territory. They've already picked up names for their events such as It's Showtime 95MAX champ Danyo Ilunga, who fights on their Thailand vs. Europe event on September 17th.