Ilunga Makabu sitting pretty after beating Dmitry Kudryashov
There were no surprises when the WBC Silver cruiserweight bout between Ilunga "Junior" Makabu and Dmitry "The Hammer" Kudryashov did not last the distance at the weekend.
The two boxers are regarded as the hardest hitters in their weight class and it was the left-handed Makabu who emerged victorious after he pulverised Kudryashov into submission in round five.
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A vicious three-punch combination that jolted Kudryashov's head forced referee Hector Afu from Panama to step in between the two visibly exhausted fighters‚ and he intervened for the vanquished Russian.
Makabu lost the first round.
They both connected with their left hooks simultaneously in round two and the Russian hit the canvas.
Makabu was hardly upright and wobbled to the neutral corner on dancing legs to allow Afu to conduct his mandatory eight count.
But Makabu recovered well and continued firing blows‚ and Kudryashov was actually saved by the bell.
The Russian was on the receiving end in round three as Makabu's right hand jab landed cleanly without being troubled.
Kudryashov‚ whose face had several cuts and was also bleeding from his nose‚ landed some good shots in round four‚ but mostly in exchanges.
Makabu was also bleeding from his nose at that stage.
Both boxers were not steady on their feet.
They stood in the middle of the ring in round five and exchanged heavy blows‚ and that is where Kudryashov paid a heavy price.
The 31-year-old Makabu went into the fight in Russia holding the WBC International belt and he improved his record to 24 knockouts in 25 wins against two losses‚ both by stoppages.
Kudryashov‚ a former Global Boxing Union champion‚ suffered his third stoppage loss against 23 wins which were all by knockouts.
Victory puts Makabu in a comfortable position to challenge for the vacant WBC belt.