Monaco - Undefeated Chinese Heavyweight star Zhilei Zhang got some much-needed rounds under his belt as he returned from a 14 month absence from the ring to beat Ukraine's Andriy Rudenko over ten rounds to retain his WBO Oriental title. (photos by Mark Robinson)
'Big Bang' dominated the contest to remain unbeaten, taking scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93, but did tire late on and failed to capitalise on some clear stoppage opportunities. The 6' 6", 278-pound Zhang (21-0, 16 KOs) buzzed Rudenko with a straight left hand with just over a minute to go in the third round, but he couldn’t finish off the durable Ukrainian veteran.
Cecilia Braekhus moved closer to a huge showdown against Katie Taylor after successfully defending her undisputed Welterweight crown against tough Argentinian Victoria Bustos.
The Norwegian 38-year-old had been out of the ring for almost a year but returned in style, dominating former two-weight World Champion Victoria Bustos over ten rounds - earning scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.
'First Lady', economical with her variety of punches, went through the gears and showed her class as she made her 25th straight World Title defence. After a glowing start to life under the Matchroom Boxing banner, Braekhus is now set to meet Taylor in a mouthwatering battle of undisputed champions.
Alexander Besputin took three scores of 116-112 to land the vacant WBA Welterweight World Title against fellow Russian Radzhab Butaev at the Casino de Monte-Carlo earlier this evening, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Besputin had that bit more quality, showcasing brilliant footwork and head movement, as he improved his record to 14-0 after a brilliant and brutal battle for the 147lbs crown.