Earlier today in Russia, fans witnessed a truly stunning slugfest that ended with a sensational comeback KO. Fighting at bridgerweight, this in a WBA eliminator, Zhaoxin Zhang met fan-favourite and local hero Evgeny Romanov. And for a few frightening minutes, Zhang took a hammering.
Dropped heavily in the opening session, Zhang was undoubtedly saved by the bell. In round two, under yet more fire, his head snapped back from hard lefts and rights from the so on top Romanov, Zhang suddenly and unexpectedly turned the fight completely around with a huge right hand to the head, his punch dropping Romanov heavily on his face.
Incredible action in the WBA Bridgerweight Eliminator between Evgeny Romanov (19-1) 🇷🇺 and Zhaoxin Zhang (12-2-1) 🇨🇳. The Chinese fighter was down early and in trouble but managed to land a counter against the former Deontay Wilder KO-puncher in round 2, stopping him in… pic.twitter.com/ibQFlLYljk
— Permante (@PermantexG) February 10, 2024
Romanov tried to get up but he was wobbling all over the place. The stricken warrior did make it to his feet but the referee did the right thing in waving the fight over. There were just :42 clicks left on the clock.
Zhang improved to 12-2-1(7) with what is easily the biggest win of his career. Romanov, the older man by ten years at age 38, loses for the first time in falling to 19-1(12).
Today’s fight was a stark reminder of how pretty much anything can happen when two punchers get into a ring. Zhang, the noticeably taller man, may not have looked anything like a puncher in the opening round, a catcher more like. It was all Romanov, his lefts and rights driving Zhang to the ropes. Taking plenty of leather, Zhang didn’t look like a fighter who would stick around much longer.
Then, as the end of the round approached, Romanov decked his man heavily with a huge left hand to the chin. Zhang somehow got up just before the bell rang.
In round two, Romanov went for the finish he was certain was his, his big shots again landing. Zhang was showing real courage in trying to fight back and he was now bundled over. Romanov again blasted away, Zhang left with no place to go but to the ropes once again. The ending seemed to be just a second or two away, with Zhang shipping a ton of punches, his face now bloodied from an apparent nose injury.
But then, in true ‘Real Life Rocky’ style, Zhang unleashed a right hand that landed flush on Romanov’s head, the blow dropping him instantly. It was an absolute jaw-dropper and Romanov did not know what hit him. Zhang let out a scream of celebration as he climbed the ropes.
Who knows if Zhang can win himself the WBA bridgerweight title, or if Romanov can come back. Zhang sure made a name for himself today. And the 28 year old from China might have scored the Comeback KO of the Year.