Alexander Povetkin (30-1) overcame a towering Mariusz Wach (31-2) in the 12th round of their clash today in Kazan, Russia.
Povetkin clearly dominated the bout with superior footwork and powerful combinations – but he didn’t seem to tire. Eventually, the accumulated damage of Povetkin’s combinations took it’s toll on Wach and in the tenth round he received a cut below his left eye. Early in the 12th round, referee Jay Nady asked the ringside physician to take a look at Wach’s cut and the fight was stopped.
Prior to this bout, both fighters had only ever tasted defeat at the hands of current IBF, WBO, IBO, and WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Povetkin is now likely to seek a much-anticipated encounter with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
The co-main event saw WBA cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (28-2) stop Lateef Kayode (21-1) in the eigth round.
The early rounds were competitively pugnacious. In the third round Lebedev started to gain control, the Russian chipped away at Kayode and in the seventh round he had him on the canvas. In the following round, Lebedev was able to seriously hurt his opponent with some fierce lefts, leaving him on the ropes and causing referee, Steve Smoger, to stop the bout.
Cesar Rene Cuenca (48-1) was aiming to join both Floyd Mayweather Jr and Rocky Marciano on 49-0. However, his dreams were shattered when he was stopped during the sixth round of his bout with IBO super lightweight champion Eduard Troyanovsky (23-0).
Troyanovsky used his reach advantage well during the encounter and it’s fair to say he took every round too. In the sixth he was able to land some powerful shots on Cuenca before sending him to the canvas in a curious fashion. Cuenca seemed to have lost his heart after he got to his feet and the referee stopped the bout. Cuenca’s corner was furious, but Troyanovsky walked away with Cuenca’s ‘0’ and his IBF title.
Ola Afolabi (24-4-4) put on a tremendous display, sending Rakhim Chakhkiev (24-2) to sleep in the fifth round and snatching his IBO cruiserweight title.
Early in the bout, Chakhkiev took the upper hand and arguably won the first few rounds. In the fourth and fifth rounds, Afolabi was relentless and was able to stop Chakhiev with a vicious KO.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening came when Olanrewaju Durodola (22-2) stopped Dmitry Kudryashov (18-1) to win the WBC silver cruiserweight belt.
Kudryashov had Durodola in serious trouble during the opening round – and you got the sense the fight could be brought to a halt. However, Duradola came out fighting in the second round and, in turn, gave Kudryashov his first taste of defeat.