Fans who were anticipating Isaac Chilemba vs Artur Beterbiev were almost certainly disappointed in the man who replaced Beterbiev, undefeated Russian prospect Vasily Lepikhin. Lepikhin (17-1, 9 KO) looked to be a stiff challenge in the first round, moving forward behind heavy punches and taking the round on two judges' scorecards. After that, however, the fight became a thoroughly one-sided affair.
Chilemba (24-2-2, 10 KO) put on a tremendous performance, moving side-to-side and turning the bigger Lepikhin to prevent him from getting off more than a dozen or so punches per round. At times he seemed content to simply bank rounds, but trainer Buddy McGirt kept him fighting hard, and consequently kept Lepikhin from ever working his way back into the fight. "You can rest tomorrow," McGirt told him, and Chilemba took his words to heart, gaining confidence and walking the Russian down more and more with each passing round.
It wasn't a thrilling contest, but an entertaining boxing clinic from the veteran Chilemba, who could very well get a step up in competition after this effortless victory.
Isaac Chilemba defeats Vasily Lepikhin by Unanimous Decision (100-90, 99-91 x 2)
Bad Left Hook scored it 100-90 in favor of Chilemba.