By Alexey Sukachev
Former IBO cruiserweight champion and 2008 Beijing heavyweight gold medalist Rakhim Chakhkiev announced his retirement from prizefighting on Saturday, according to the TASS media agency.
“I’m done with boxing after twenty years of fighting. It’s time to hang’em up. I had dedicated twelve years to amateur boxing, reaching its very peak by becoming the Olympic champion. I consider my achievements in prizefighting to be fairly meaningful. Of course, I haven’t realized my full potential [as a pro] – that’s true – but there’s a number of other activities to be involved and achievements to be earned”, said Chakhkiev.
“I’ll be involved in the sport but I doubt I can achieve more and show more [at the competitive level]. It’s logically flawed to compete with younger boxers, as my best days are behind me. I can show something to the fans but I think it’s time to retire for good”.
Rakhim Chakhkiev retires at the age of 34 with a total record of 26-3, 19 KOs. Aside from being the Olympic champion, Chakhkiev also won 2007 Russian nationals and earned a silver medal at the 2007 Chicago WC – as an amateur.
Chakhkiev made his debut as a pro in 2009 and was a wrecking ball for three and a half years before running into defending WBC champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, who stopped him in the eighth round of a memorable war, after getting up in the third round.
Chakhkiev managed to get eight wins in a row after that but he was very lucky to survive with a UD in his battle with little-known Brazilian Hamilton Ventura. In his very next fight Chakhkiev was knocked out hard by Ola Afolabi in the defense of his IBO 200lb belt. His latest fight – and defeat – took place in December 2016, when he was stopped in seven by fellow compatriot Maxim Vlasov.