By Ruslan Chikov
Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia - Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (48-2, 34KOs) weathered a very strong early storm and scored four knockdowns to retain his WBC cruiserweight title with an eight round knockout of previously undefeated Olympic gold medal winner Rakhim Chakhkiev (16-1, 12KOs).
The hard-punching, aggressive style of Chakhkiev was giving Wlodarczyk a lot of problems from the very start. The challenger was pushing the champion back even when his punches were blocked. The champion tasted the challenger's power in the third and went down from a hard combination. After four rounds the Polish veteran was already showing the wounds of battle on his face.
During the sixth round, the Polish champion dropped Chakhkiev to his knees with a hard inside left hook. The knockdown came at the end of the round, luckily for the challenger, and changed the tide of the fight. The champion was picking his shots in the seventh. After the challenger started strong with hard punches from both hands, the final twenty seconds saw the champion land a hard counter left to send Chakhkiev down for a second time.
The challenger continued to attack in the eight. He was pressing hard and the two of them were exchanging hard punches, which saw Chakhkiev dropped two mores times and the referee waved things off.