By Alexey Sukachev
Moscow, Russia - In one of the best fights of 2017, undefeated sluggers Arnold Khegai and Valery Tretyakov wrecked havoc to produce a thriller, which won't be soon forgotten by anyone who saw it if ever. In a fight reminiscent of Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Meldrick Taylor drama, Khegai knocked Tretyakov out cold with two seconds left in the tenth and final round.
Both combatants chose to brawl from round one, which clearly favoured hard-built kayo master Khegai, who was also the faster of the two. But Tretyakov, nicknamed Lynx, gave him fits with his agility, technique and smarts. And on top of that - his will.
Khegai landed the harder blows but Tretyakov matched them with their number. The Odessa native meanwhile showed an assortment of dirty tricks, which would have made legends of the past like Harry Greb and Fritzie Zivic proud. He was never penalized by referee Irakly Malazonia.
As the bout progressed, the firepower of Khegai became well felt by his opponent. Tretyakov was badly hurt in the seventh and in the ninth again with a left hook but somehow survived and refused to go down and continued to throw punches.
In the tenth, a badly faded Tretyakov fought on instinct and was being pummeled all around the ring but still not going down. Finally, when the ten-second bell sounded, Tretyakov made the wrong choice to slug it out one last time, ate a monstrous left, was fully out cold on his feet, then went down hard after two more hooks.
Featherweight Tretyakov showing a heart of the champion gets down to 11-1, 4 KOs. Khegai is now 12-0-1, 8 KOs.
Welterweight prospect Sergey Lubkovich (7-0, 6 KOs) made another step up in his education, stopping veteran Ukrainian Victor Plotnikov (34-5, 16 KOs) in eight rounds.
Young gun Lubkovich dominated the first several rounds but Plitnkov survived by constant movement and sudden counters. The midst was lazy with Lubkovich trying to generate thrill but being unable to do that against defensive-minded opponent. However, Lubkovich cut the Ukrainian over a right eye in the eighth forcing Plotnikov to retire during the subsequent break.