Zhanat Zhakiyanov came from behind to defeat Rau’Shee Warren via split decision for the WBA/IBO world bantamweight titles in Toledo, Ohio.
At the end of the contest, the judges at ringside scored the contest, 115-111/116-110 in favour of Zhakiyanov and 115-111 for Warren.
In the opening round Warren was able to send Zhakiyanov to the canvas twice, however, the tough Kazakh showed true heart and survived the round.
It was in the third round when Zhakiyanov began to grab the bull by the horns, landing two solid rights on the champion, who quickly found himself on the canvas. However, the knockdown would not stand, as referee, Gary Rosato, ruled that Warren had been pushed.
After this, Warren found himself being hunted by Zhakiyanov for the rest of the night and failed to replicate the success he found in the opening two rounds.
Warren, the wounded champion, in his first defence, could not escape the barrages of intense body shots and generally spiteful punches Zhakiyanov was unloading.
In the end, Warren’s inability to soak up the pressure and find his rhythm cost him not only the bout but also the world titles.