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Makhmudov knocks out Akpejiori in round 2

Makhmudov knocks out Akpejiori in round 2

Heavy-hitting Russian boxing heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov secured his 17th professional win after brutally knocking out Nigerian boxer, Rafael Akpejiori, in round two of their highly anticipated fight at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio on Sunday morning. 

The 34-year-old Russian, though clumsy, was the more aggressive fighter. He landed a couple of early shots at the start of the first round to take the upper hand against the Nigerian who looked timid all through the fight.

The loss is Akpejiori’s first in 16 professional fights having previously amassed 15 wins with 14 of them coming by way of knockout. The fight against unbeaten Makhmudov was the toughest he’s faced, a test he was unable to surmount. 

Makhmudov was the bookmaker’s favorite to win the fight due to his experience and the number of known fighters he’s defeated and the Russian did not disappoint as he scored two knockdowns against the Nigerian in the first round sending the 6 feet 8 inches former basketballer turned boxer to the canvass with a flurry of punches almost sending him out of the ring for the second knockdown.

Akpejiori (left)

The fight was stopped by referee Robert Hoyle at 1.43 of the second round after Makhmudov’s punch sent Akpejiori to the canvas for the third time in two rounds. The Nigerian was up and beat the count but the referee waved the fight over after noticing the 32-year-old was still wobbling despite eating the count. 

The win for Makhmudov who is ranked No. 5 in the WBC and WBA list will further propel him towards a title fight. The 10-round bout served as the co-feature on the Jared Anderson vs Charles Martin fight.

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