The inaugural International Boxing Association (AIBA) Pro Boxing competition got underway with bouts taking place across four European capital cities in the super heavyweight, heavyweight, light heavyweight and lightweight divisions respectively.
A total of 16 bouts signalled the start of the pre-ranking phase of the competition that will see boxers fight professionally across 10 weight categories in six-round contests while being allowed to retain eligibility to take part in the Olympic Games.
In Azerbaijani capital Baku, host city for the first European Games next year, the super heavyweights took to the ring with all four fights going the distance.
Romanian Mihai Nestor and Germany's Ali Kiyidin were the first to square-up and it was the man from Romania who prevailed via a unanimous decision, while Moroccan Mohammed Arjaoui came through a much closer contest against the rangy Ukrainian Sergiy Nerveyko via a split decision.
Another split decision saw France's Tony Yoka overcome the powerful Russian Magomed Omarov, who had floored his opponent in the second round.
But Yoka cleared his head and managed to keep tagging Omarov in the remaining four rounds to do enough for victory.
The final bout of the night in Baku followed a similar path but had a different outcome as number two seed Erik Pfeifer of Germany had American-based Egyptian Ahmed Samir on the canvas in round number two.
But Pfeifer kept the pressure on and was a unanimous points winner as Samir was clearly still feeling the effects of absorbing such a big hit.
Italian capital Rome was the scene for the first heavyweight bouts of the competition and there was no doubting the most popular winner on the card as two-time world champion Clemente Russo pummelled Ukrainian Roman Golovashchenko for four relentless rounds to force a stoppage.
The night began with a third round technical knockout win for Emir Ahmatovic of Germany over American Charles Javonta while the middle two fights went the full distance.
Kazakh Anton Pinchuk had too much in the tank for Argentina's Yamil Alberto Peralta Jara while Russian Aleksey Egorov won a unanimous decision against Algerian Chouaib Bouloudintas.
There was also Russian success in the light heavyweight division over in Sofia, Bulgaria as Mikita Ivanov overcame Ireland's Joseph Ward in a bruising encounter.
Both men exchanged some heavy blows but it was the Russian who was more accurate and ran out a unanimous winner.
Kazakhstan's Adilbek Niyazymbetov and Frenchman Mathieu Bauderlique were involved in a much more cagey affair, with Bauderlique eventually getting the decision on all three judges' score cards and it was a similar story for Germany's Serge Michel as he despatched Joseph Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius.
The first fight on the night in Sofia provided the most excitement as Ehsan Rouzbahani of Iran and Uzbekistan's Oybek Mamazulunov matched each other blow for blow throughout six high-quality rounds.
In the end, however, it was the Iranian who got the nod after the tightest of split decisions.
The lightweights got their campaign underway in Kazakh capital Astana and there was joy for the home crowd as Berik Abdrakhmanov overcame Irishman David Joyce, although he needed a split decision to do so.
The first bout on the night was also decided via a split decision with Filipino Charly Suarez doing just enough to impress the judges against Italy's Domenico Valentino.
The other two fights were much more straight-forward as the class and skill of Uzbekistan's Hurshid Tojibaev and Brazilian Robson Conceicao saw them cruise to unanimous points wins over Russia's Dmitry Polyanskiy and German Artur Bril respectively.
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