By Alexey Sukachev
Moscow, Russia - Eight years since his best career win, Russian Olympic heavyweight champion Rakhim Chakhkiev has hit his lowest in a classic cross-roader and one of the best domestic scraps in years. WBO #10 Chakhkiev, 2008 Beijing gold medalist, was dropped three times en route to a crushing defeat to fellow contender and IBF #12 cruiser weight Maxim Vlasov in seven rounds.
It wasn't an easy night for a fighter, who started as a middleweight. Chakhkiev, still recovering from a hard loss to Ola Afolabi a year ago, managed to rock Vlasov with a left in the opener. Chakhkiev landed hard punches in the second but went down on a right hand by Vlasov in an exchange late in round two.
Vlasov, 30, heavily dominated Chakhkiev, 33, in the next three rounds, peppering him with the jab, landing hard right hands and opening minor cuts at the right side of Rakhim's face.
In a wild sixth, Chakhkiev landed a body shot that dropped his foe and almost ended the fight but Vlasov not only survived but dropped Chakhkiev with a combo of his own at the very end of the stanza. Still hurt Rakhim was easily finished off with another right at 0:17 of the round.
Vlasov got his fifth win in 2016, his second sound after a kayo of Ismayl Sillakh, acquired a vacant WBA international title and improved to 37-2, 20 KOs. Chakhkiev, his prospects extremely foggy now, drops down to 26-3, 19 KOs.
Russian female light welterweight local favorite Svetlana Kulakova (11-0-1, 1 KO) decisioned French import Prisca Vicot over ten for a vacant IBO 140lb title. Scores were: 100-91, 99-91, and 99-91 - for Svetlana Kulakova.
Two Russian amateur prodigies made their pro debut in the deep undercard of the show.
Heavyweight Andrey Afonin (1-0, 1 KO) easily knocked out Argentinean journeyman Emilio Ezequil Zarate (20-18-3, 11 KOs) at 0:28 of the second round.
Cruiserweight Alexey Yegorov (1-0, 1 KO) was matched considerably tougher but managed to halt usually durable Polish opponent Lukasz Rusiewicz at 2:23 of the second round.