Lebedev TKOs Kayode

by
Lebedev TKOs Kayode
Fighting out of the red corner in black trunks, Lebedev has been in more battles than Georgy Zhukov. (Photo: Courtesy)

Lebedev TKOs Kayode

by
Lebedev TKOs Kayode
Fighting out of the red corner in black trunks, Lebedev has been in more battles than Georgy Zhukov. (Photo: Courtesy)

Fighting out of the red corner in black trunks, Lebedev has been in more battles than Georgy Zhukov. (Photo: Courtesy)
Fighting out of the red corner in black trunks, Lebedev has been in more battles than Georgy Zhukov. (Photo: Courtesy)

Wednesday night at Basket-Hall Arena in Kazan, Russia, WBA World cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (28-1, 21 KOs) , from Chekhov, Russia, successfully defended his title by stopping formerly undefeated Lateef Kayode (21-1, 16 KOs), from Los Angeles, California, by way of Lagos, Nigeria, in the eighth round, after dropping him in rounds seven and eight before delivering the coup de grâce.

Fighting out of the red corner in black trunks, Lebedev has been in more battles than General Georgy Zhukov and entered the ring armed to the teeth.

Kayode, fighting out of the blue corner in green trunks with white trim, is no stranger to war, but he was like an infantryman getting it on with a battalion.

There wasn’t much action in the opening round. The southpaw Lebedev landed a body shot and straight left to the head, which was enough to win the first.

Lebedev’s southpaw stance appeared to pose problems for Kayode in round two. Effectively using the right hand jab to keep the challenger at bay, the champion scored repeatedly with that punch, while adding an occasional right hook and straight left to the head and body. Whenever Kayode tried to mount an offense, waving Lededev in and telling him to fight, the champion adroitly stepped back to avoid his punches and landed a body shot at the bell.

Lebedev turned up the heat in round three. He connected with a quick right-left 10 seconds in that caught Kayode looking. He landed a punch to the midriff 20 seconds later. At the one-minute mark, Lebedev landed a hard right to the body, followed by a looping left hand that caught Kayode on the chin. The champion had found the range and continued to land punches with bad intentions, an onslaught for which the challenger had no answer.

In rounds four through six Lebedev continued to dismantle Kayode. He was too quick, too clever, too skilled, too much of a lefty for the one-dimensional Nigerian.

A quick right followed by a hard left rocked Kayode at the start of the seventh. He retreated to the ropes where the champ unloaded the big guns. Kayode pushed Lebedev back to the center of the ring. Lebedev snuck in a right uppercut followed by a right to the head at the 1:15 mark. A picture perfect lead right hook followed by a looping left that was wide dropped Kayode at 52 seconds. Referee Steve Smoger counted to two and Kayode was on his feet, somewhat unsteadily, his arms outstretched, his face registering disbelief, claiming he was pushed to the canvas. Lebedev continued to pace himself and fight smart. Kayode caught the champion with a right at the bell.

Lebedev landed a straight left less than 10 seconds into round eight. Kayode stumbled backwards. He threw a lazy left jab in the direction of the champ who connected with a straight left that deposited the challenger on the canvas. Kayode made it to his feet, barely, and another left dropped him again. He made it to his feet at the count of three and the ref let the fight continue. Twenty seconds later, with Lebedev landing blistering punches, Smoger stepped in and waved it off.

This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.


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