With a last minute pull-out from the original opponent, French Champion Bastien Rozeaux, it was nerve-wrecking to the end if a suitable substitute would be found to fight Timur Akhundov for the vacant World Boxing Federation World Featherweight title on Saturday (March 30) in Kiev, Ukraine.
In came Belarusian national champion Khavazhy Khatsyhau, who was fit and ready as he was already in training for a bout on the same day, and the visitor didn’t just come to Ukraine to make up the numbers, he made a proper effort and gave Akhundov plenty to think about.
However, Akhundov was clearly the more skilled of the two and won most rounds by boxing beautifully with quick combinations and excellent movement, while Khatsuhau often played the waiting-game and attempted to find that one knockout-punch to end it all.
The contrast in styles made for a very entertaining bout, and Akhundov enjoyed plenty of support from the crowd at the packed AKKO International arena in his hometown. But after twelve rounds of boxing there was no doubt who won, and the unanimous verdict deservedly went to the local man.
Judges Jean-Marcel Nartz and Vladislav Babaian scored it 117-111, while Oleg Kuderov had it 119-109.
With the victory the new world champion improves his professional record to 15-2-1 (5), while the game Khavazhy Khatsyhau drops to 10-2 (6). The fight was promoted by Oleg Bruskov and his Global Box-Promotion.