WBC cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (48-2-1, 34 KO’s) successfully defended the world title, stopping previously undefeated Rakhim Chakhkiev (16-1, 12 KO’s) in the eighth round Friday night at the Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia.
Chakhkiev was the aggressor throughout, and had the champion cut and bloodied by the end of the first round. In the third, he managed to drop Wlodarczyk with a right hook that appeared to be more forearm then fist, but Wlodarczyk beat the count, and fought on, weathering the continued onslaught from Russia’s 2008 Olympic gold medalist.
It wasn’t until the sixth round that Chakhkiev would get the first real scare of his professional career, and taste the canvas for the first time courtesy of a left hook Wlodarczyk managed to get in while the two were at close quarters.
In the seventh round, another left hook would drop the Russian for the second time, and in the eighth frame Wlodarczyk would seal the deal, and drop Chakhkiev twice more; a right hand causing the first knockdown of the round and yet another left hook that would drop Chakhkiev face first, prompting referee Daniel Van de Wiele to wave off the bout before Chakhkiev could get to his feet.
It was an entertaining bout for the Moscow fans, both men fought with great heart and determination. For the second time in his five title defenses, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk thumbed his nose at the home field advantage and stopped his challenger on their own turf. He’s now won seven straight, and is unbeaten in his last 12 outings.
For Rakhim Chakhkiev, this being his first defeat as a professional, he’ll go back to the drawing board…the same drawing board, pick up a win or two, and we’ll most likely see him challenge for another world title within a year.