Denis Lebedev made quick work of Victor Ramirez this afternoon, scoring a second round stoppage win to unify the WBA and IBF cruiserweight titles, as well as moving forward in the WBA's cruiserweight title tournament.
Lebedev (29-2, 22 KO) dropped Ramirez (22-3-1, 17 KO) hard a little less than halfway into the second round, and Ramirez never got his legs back, though he did try to fight on, leaning into Lebedev's uppercuts as the Russian continued the punishment. Ramirez turned his back on the fight, but referee Steve Smoger let it continue for whatever reason, letting Ramirez take a few more shots before stopping the fight.
Lebedev will now have to face the winner of tonight's Beibut Shumenov-Junior Anthony Wright fight in Las Vegas, with that mandated to come within the next 120 days. Lebedev certainly didn't suffer any cuts or anything here, so he'll be ready. The winner of that fight will then be obligated to face Yunier Dorticos, who stopped Youri Kalenga yesterday in Paris.
Dmitry Kudryashov TKO-4 Julio Cesar Dos Santos
Dos Santos (30-6, 27 KO) came out to Sepultura, which was the highlight of his night. Kudryashov (19-1, 19 KO) dropped him in both the third and fourth rounds, rebounding nicely from a TKO-2 loss last November to Olanrewaju Durodola, beginning his quest to get back into the cruiserweight race.
Rakhim Chakhkiev UD-8 Tamas Lodi
Chakhkiev (25-2, 18 KO) won on scores of 79-73, 80-72, and 80-72, and it was pretty easy work for him, but he looked like the same fighter as always, a guy who doesn't really improve and hasn't in some time, making the same mistakes he always makes, mistakes that got him stopped last November against Ola Afolabi, and in 2013 against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, both fights he was winning. Chakhkiev could very well win a cruiserweight title on the right night, but will always leave himself open to losing against better fighters. Lodi (18-7-2, 15 KO) was not that level of fighter.
Dmitry Bivol UD-12 Felix Valera
Valera (13-1, 12 KO) took a pretty nasty beating in this fight, giving a great effort and showing some incredibly durability, but blown away by Bivol (7-0, 6 KO), who won on scores of 116-111, 119-107, and 119-107. Valera was dropped in the sixth and eighth rounds. Bivol now holds the interim WBA light heavyweight title, which does not need to exist, as the organization already has a "super world" champion (Sergey Kovalev) and a "world" champion (Juergen Braehmer), and both are plenty active. But it puts Bivol into position for some other WBA "tournament," if they decide to hold one at 175 like they have at cruiserweight. Anything there would have to wait until 2017, as Kovalev is locked up for the rest of 2016 against Isaac Chilemba in July and, if he beats Chilemba, Andre Ward in November.
- Umar Salamov UD-12 Bob Ajisafe (115-113, 115-113, 117-111)
- Dilmurod Satybaldiev UD-12 Claudio Ariel Abalos
- Sofya Ochigava UD-8 Firuza Sharipova
- Alexey Papin UD-6 Yury Bykhautsou
- Rashid Kodzoev UD-4 Kostyantyn Dovbyshchenko