KAZAKH Powerhouse Zhanat Zhakiyanov won the WBA International title and scored his 12 successive stoppage when he halted Argentina’s Hector Guzman in the sixth round in Vratsa, Bulgaria on Saturday night (May 9).
The Ricky Hatton-trained bantamweight looked set to have an early night when he dropped Guzman with a wide-arching left hook in the opening round. But things nearly turned around when Zhakiyanov suffered a flash knockdown from a counter right a round later.
Unhurt, Zhakiyanov quickly took control of the contest and by the fourth it was only a matter of time before he found the blows to close the show.
The end came in the sixth when Zhanat rocked Guzman with a hellacious left hook and then knocked him flat onto his back with a pair of rights.
The victory takes his record to 24-1 (17 KOs) and will move him closer to a world title shot. At present, Zhakiyanov is rated at number three by the WBA, number one by the WBC, number seven by the IBF and number five by the WBO.
On the same bill, Hatton Promotions’ unbeaten light-welterweight prospect Kiryl Relikh extended his record to 19-0 (17 KOs) and picked up his first professional title with a two-round blowout of experienced Brazilian Lazaro Santos de Jesus.
Contesting the vacant WBA Inter-Continental crown, Relikh sent his opponent to the canvas in the opening round with a right hook followed by a jolting jab, and he finished things a session later by again dropping Santos de Jesus with a left before the Brazilian’s corner man entered to the ring to save his many from further punishment.
The bill also saw the return of popular Belarusian Sergey Rabchenko following his highly controversial points defeat to Anthony Mundine last November.
Rabchenko, 29, took his time to get the measure of Walter Osvaldo Gaston Calvo before halting him in the fourth of a scheduled six. A solid uppercut followed by a right rocked Calvo and the visitor’s corner decided to throw the towel in despite the fact their man was still swinging.