Yesterday afternoon in Russia, exciting 130 pound contender Shavkat Rakimov advanced to 13-0(10) with an impressive two-round stoppage win over the experienced Robinson Castellanos. Defending his lightly regarded IBO belt, the southpaw put on a powerful performance that strongly suggests the 24 year old will win a major title one day.
Mexico’s Castellanos, known for scoring good wins over Yuriorkis Gamboa, Rocky Juarez, Celestino Caballero and Ronny Rios, was game but he was knocked down four times in all and the 36 year old was simply overpowered. Castellanos is now 24-14(14).
Rakhimov came out fast from bell-one and he showed excellent speed, power and accuracy. His right jab a formidable weapon, the Russian star in the making used it to set up his hard and stiff left hand, one of which landed to Castellanos’ head and decked him. Already, it looked like it was going to be a short fight.
Rakhimov turned up the heat even more in round-two, again dropping the ageing warrior from Mexico with another hard left. Up once again and showing heart Castellanos tried to fight fire with fire, letting his hands go and even catching the younger man with a decent shot to the head, but the writing was well and truly on the wall. Dropped again from a combination, Castellanos was near to the end. Yet another hard knockdown was swift in coming and this time the fight was over. Time was 1:36 of round-two.
Rakhimov has faced a couple of veterans during his promising career and he does need stiffer tests, but so far it does look as though the power-puncher is the real deal. The current 130 pound division is pretty rich in talent but it could be that Rakhimov climbs to the very top of the weight class in the not too distant future. As exciting as he is, Rakhimov is absolutely a fighter to keep a close eye on.
As for Castellanos, it might be time for the grizzled old warrior to strongly think about calling it a day and retiring.