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Kopylenko World Champ, Akhundov Retains

Posted on July 15 2012                                              Bookmark and Share
By: Clive Baum         



Ukrainian stars Vitaliy Kopylenko and Timur Akhundov delighted their fans on Saturday night at the Club Sportlife in Kiev, putting on impressive performances in World Boxing Federation title fights.

Kopylenko won the vacant World Middleweight title, while Akhundov retained his Intercontinental Featherweight crown.

Undefeated Kopylenko dominated Portuguese Champion Vitor Sa with excellent boxing, and never let his experienced opponent into the bout.

In the first two rounds he kept Sa at bay and delivered his own shots with accuracy and determination, and in the third he went for the finish and delivered a perfect left hook to the liver that send Sa to the canvas for the full count.

It was a magnificent display of skills and power from Kopylenko, who joins Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko as Ukraineís only reigning world champions and improved his record to 18-0 (9). Sa, who had lost on points in two previous world title challenges, returns to Portugal with a 27-8 (5) ledger.

Timur Akhundov made a successful first defense of his WBF Intercontinental Featherweight title with a clear, but competitive, unanimous decision over game French challenger Leonus Marie Francoise. Akhundov boxed well from the outside as well as on the inside and mostly controlled the action, but Francoise always tried to get the upper hand and made it and entertaining affair.

Akhundov was clearly the better technician of the two, and fought a smart fight from the start. Francoise didnít have the tools to seriously threaten the champion, but he never looked like a man resigned to just going the distance. However, in the tenth round it did look like Akhundov would finish him as the Ukrainian floored Francoise with a beautiful body-shot, but Francoise beat the count and eventually made it to the final bell.

Judges Jean Marcel Nartz, Olena Pobyvailo and Oleg Kuderov scored the bout 117-110, 116-111 and 119-108 respectively. Akhundov, who could be in line to fight for the WBF World title in the near future, is now 14-2-1 (5) in the professional ranks, while Francoise dropped to 8-7-1 (2).

The show was promoted by Oleg Bruskov, who for the second time this year put on a great WBF title double-header.

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