Katzourakis Survives Scare, Edges Out Abdukakhorov in OTX Quarterfinal Thriller

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Andreas Katzourakis, despite being pushed to the limit, secured a hard-fought majority decision victory over a determined Kudratillo Abdukakhorov in their OTX junior middleweight tournament quarterfinal clash Friday night at Houston's Red Owl Boxing Arena.

The judges' scorecards read 98-92, 96-94, and a surprising even 95-95, reflecting the closely contested nature of the bout. Katzourakis, the hometown favorite, entered the ring to a hero's welcome, complete with roaring cheers and a sea of Greek flags. Abdukakhorov, the underdog from Uzbekistan, faced a much different reception, entering with little fanfare.

The fight itself proved to be a grueling affair. Abdukakhorov defied expectations, nearly scoring a knockdown in the second round and consistently troubling Katzourakis with his strategic punching and calculated attacks. Katzourakis, known for his come-forward style, seemed uncharacteristically willing to absorb punches, perhaps underestimating his opponent's power.

Despite a strong start from Abdukakhorov, Katzourakis found his rhythm by the fifth round, unleashing fluid combinations that visibly shook the Uzbek fighter. However, Abdukakhorov rallied in the seventh, showcasing impressive boxing skills that prevented Katzourakis from landing any decisive blows.

The final rounds saw a bloodied but determined Katzourakis relentlessly pursue a visibly tiring Abdukakhorov. In the end, Katzourakis' pressure and late-round surge earned him the victory, albeit a controversial one.

Abdukakhorov, visibly dejected at the decision, seemed to believe he had done enough to win, particularly taking issue with the wide 98-92 scorecard.

With this victory, Katzourakis advances to the semifinals, where he will face Robert Terry, who emerged victorious earlier in the evening's co-main event. Despite the tough challenge presented by Abdukakhorov, Katzourakis expressed confidence, stating, "He [Terry] has nice boxing ability. I think it is going to be an easier fight than Abdukakhorov."

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