By Alexey Sukachev
Olimp, Krasnodar, Russia - Junior welterweight "King" Khabib Allakhverdiev (15-0, 6 KOs) got the biggest win of his professional career after a sixth-round technical decision over former WBC/WBA/IBF lightweight champion Nate Campbell (34-9-1, 25 KOs). The end, however, was disastrous rather than satisfying for the occassional winner, as the contest was stopped in the middle of the sixth round after a horrible cut over the left eyebrow, sustained by Campbell.
The stoppage was induced by an accidental headbutt, thus the judges' scorecards were rendered and former amateur star Allakhverdiev got a well-deserved unanimous decision: 60-55 (Evgueny Drobyshev and Alexander Margushin) and 60-56 (Mikhail Sakharyan) - for the Russian fighter.
The fight was a bit closer than the scores but it was going Khabib's way nevertheless. Allakhverdiev, 28, a tricky, fast southpaw with considerable skills and sharp reflexes, circled around the slower Campbell, 39, and landed crisp combinations mixed in with hard jabs. The American fighter appeared to be a spent bullet and offered little offense in return.
Things got more interesting for the fans in rounds four and five, when Campbell used his superior experience to turn back the tide, at least to a degree. Allakhverdiev was a better fighter but the fight was now fought on relatively even terms. Allakhverdiev preferred to put punches together in short but sharp combinations, while Campbell tried to engage the Russian into a brawl at a short distance. The sixth round was even until the stoppage. BoxingScene had it 59-56 - for Khabib Allakhverdiev at the time of stoppage.