Cruiseweight WBO #10 Maxim Vlasov (37-2, 19 KOs) knocked WBO #11, IBF #12 Rakhim Chakhkiev (26-3, 19 KOs) down four times in the process of stopping him in the 7th round on Saturday night at the MegaSport Arena in Moscow, Russia. The end came in the 7th round when Vlasov unloaded on the 33-year-old Chakhkiev with a flurry of punches that sent him down on the canvas.
Chakhkiev then followed onto his stomach and stayed down until the referee Robert Laine stopped the contest. The official time of the stoppage was at 0:17 of the 7th round.
Vlasov also knocked Chakhkiev down in rounds 2, 5 and 6. Suffice to say, the southpaw Chakhkiev had a really tough night out there last Saturday. However, Chakhkiev did drop the 30-year-old Vlasov down in the 6th with a left to the body. However, Vlasov got back to his feet and returned the favor by knocking Chakhkiev down with two hard rights at the end of the round just moments later.
The 2008 Olympic Russian gold medalist Chakhkiev was having problems from the 1st round with the fast hands and the combination punching of the 6’3” Vlasov. It wasn’t so much the power of Vlasov that gave Chakhkiev so much trouble. It was the hand speed and the combination punching he was doing.
Chakhkiev didn’t help his case by the way he was coming forward and throwing wild lefts and rights that left him off balance and vulnerable. In some of the knockdowns, Vlasov merely tapped Chakhkiev with short right hands after he’d thrown his looping shots. Chakhkiev would be off balance and would fall over from the punches that Vlasov hit him with.
In round one, Chakhkiev appeared to be in control of the round until the last 20 seconds of the round. Vlasov attacked Chakhkiev with a speedy three-punch combination that backed him up and had him on the verge of going down.
At the start of the 2nd round, Vlasov dropped Chakhkiev with a short right hand to the head that he landed after Chakhkiev had thrown a shot and missed. Chakhkiev wasn’t hurt. Late in the round, Vlasov staggered Chakhkiev with a flurry of shots to the head that had him backing up and looking weak on his legs. In the same round, Chakhkiev threw a wild left hand that missed badly causing him to fall down. Chakhkiev looked uncoordinated.
Chakhkiev was cut over his right eye in the 3rd round after getting hit with a flurry of shots from Vlasov. Again, these weren’t huge punches that Vlasov was hitting Chakhkiev with. They were just speedy combinations that were hitting Chakhkiev flush due to his horrible defensive skills.
Chakhkiev did have his moments late in the 3rd when he hit with four good lefts to the head and body. Other than that, it was another Vlasov round.
In the 4th, Chakhkiev awkwardly attacked Vlasov with a badly telegraphed left hand that he threw from long range. The shot left Chakhkiev off balance and unprepared for a hard right uppercut that Vlasov hit him with as he was backing away. Vlasov finished the round really strong by hammering Chakhkiev with left hands and uppercuts.
In the last seconds of the 5th, Vlasov knocked Chakhkiev down with a short right hand to the head. Chakhkiev’s right eye was badly bruised by the end of the round. Chakhkiev looked beaten up and more than a little discouraged as he went back to his corner.
In the 6th, Chakhkiev caught Vlasov with a hard left to the body that put him down on the canvas. Vlasov got back to his feet and dominated the remainder of the round with fast combinations. In the last seconds of the 6th, Vlasov backed Chakhkiev to the ropes with shots and knocked him down with two rights to the head. Chakhkiev got back to his feet and looked really hurt despite the fact that he wasn’t hit by particularly hard punches in the knockdown.
At the start of the 7th, Vlasov charged Chakhkiev and unloaded on him with a 5-punch flurry that put him down for the final time in the fight. The finishing punch was a right hand to the head. Chakhkiev didn’t look that badly hurt, but he showed no interest in getting up to resume fighting.
All in all, it was a terrible performance from Chakhkiev. It was his third knockout loss of his seven-year pro a career, and a sign that he should start thinking about retirement.
Chakhkiev’s punch resistance does not seem good at this point in his career. The shots that Chakhkiev is getting hurt with now are punches that he would have handled easily earlier in his career. Chakhkiev was knocked out by past his best Ola Afolabi last year in the 5th round, and by Krzystof Wlodarczyk in the 8th round in 2013. I think it’s pretty clear that Chakhkiev is probably not going to ever win a world title. I think his ship has sailed at this point in his career.
As for Vlasov, he’s a decent fighter, but I think he would be beaten badly by the champions in the division. If Murat Gassiev and Oleksandr Usyk were able to hit Vlasov with the shots that Chakhkiev was hitting him with, he’d be knocked out.