Down on the cards in hostile territory, Shavkat Rakhimov claimed a mandatory crack at IBF super featherweight champ Tevin Farmer yesterday with a brutal knockout of South African prospect Azinga Fuzile.
Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KO), who stepped in for Kenichi Ogawa on just over a month’s notice, pressured constantly but struggled to corner a slicker southpaw in Fuzile (14-1, 8 KO). Good foot and head movement allowed Fuzile to land solid regular counters to the head and body, a strategy that worked extremely well until it didn’t. Midway through the 10th, Rakhimov followed Fuzile’s jab with a crushing left hand that appeared to knock the “Golden Boy” unconscious. He somehow managed to beat the count, only for Rakhimov to shell him with vicious shots on the ropes until he fell face-first.
You can watch a full replay here.
Fuzile definitely has talent and, at 23, there’s plenty of time for him to get back on track. If he comes back stronger from this, watch out. The 25-year-old Rakhimov, whose previous biggest win was a knockout of Robinson Castellanos last year, moves on to challenge the world.
As for Farmer, he’s presently pursuing a fight with JoJo Diaz by the end of 2019. His biggest division rival, Gervonta Davis, recently vacated his WBA title.