By Alexey Sukachev
Sochi, Russia - Maxim Vlasov, arguably the best cruiserweight in the world who doesn't compete as a regular entrant to the World Boxing Super Series, further positioned himself as both a primary back-up for any of the finalists and also for almost immediate shot at the unified title in future. Vlasov accomplished this by stopping dangerously punching Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola (27-5, 25 KOs) in ten increasingly one-sided rounds.
Vlasov, 31, is not known as a puncher. His style is more of a swarmer, affinity to a machine-gun, mixing soft ones with hard ones but mostly throwing softer punches in bunches. Vlasov is doing his work with increasing tempo or, maybe, with the same tempo throughout the whole fight, and it was exactly what he was doing against WBC #5 Durodola. Meanwhile, Durodola was effectively losing both his concentration and punch output with each fought round.
The key was Durodola's ability to land knockout blows. However, Vlasov was too elusive despite staying at the tip of the Nigerian's punches, which missed a bit (then, later, by a landslide). Vlasov blocked some, ducked some and took whatever was left of Durodola's blows remarkably well. Durodola was taking more blows in succession. he was eating each and everyone of them well at the starters but overall punishment mounted with each fought minutes.
Vlasov's domination became clearer after the sixth round. Durodola was eating more and more, and rarely that he was able to land anything of note. His age - 37 - was also showing its effect on the Nigerian, while Vlasov was as energetic as usual.
Durodola began to considerable decline under Vlasov's pressure in the eighth and his beating continued into the ninth. Durodola was almost finished at the end of the ninth, eating more and more shots. The tenth was utterly one-sided, as Durodola was hit from pillar to post, his head going from one of Vlasov's gloves to the other. At the end of the tenth Durodola was completely lost, and he retired on his stool before the start of the eleventh.
WBO #2, WBC/WBA #3 and IBF #5 ranked cruiserweight Vlasov (42-2, 25 KOs) is on a very impressive roll at 200lbs. He is 12-0, 10 KOs, since moving up to cruiserweight in October 2015.
Not known as a puncher while competing as a super middleweight, Vlasov has scored eight consecutive knockout wins since June 2016, which included stoppages of a number of cruiserweight contenders, including Durodola, Ismayl Sillakh, Rakhim Chakhkiev and Denton Daley.
Vlasov has also captured a vacant WBC silver cruiserweight title in process.