Zhakiyanov Takes Title From Warren
In a rough and tumble bout that saw both combatants hurt and bloody, Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1, 18 KOs) managed to overcome an early onslaught from Rau’shee Warren (14-2, 4 KOs) and win a split decision in Warren’s home state of Ohio.
Warren came out of his corner in the first round absolutely smoking. Warren, a fighter who is by no means known for his knockout power, completely overwhelmed his Kazakh opponent, flooring him twice in the first round. It appeared the whole bout would be all Warren from then on and a knockout was in sight.
But Zhakiyanov and his trainer Ricky Hatton had different plans as they took their minute’s rest seriously and came out in the following round with a much more sound and realistic game plan. For the remainder of the fight, Zhakiyanov stopped chasing Warren, opting to find his way inside with volume punching and then workin Warren on the inside.
Warren appeared to be bothered by Zhakiyanov’s success. By the middle rounds he was looking to referee Gary Rosato for help, but there was none to be found as Zhakiyanov continued relentlessly, bloodying the previously confident Warren.
At the end of 12 rounds, the judges had the bout in favor of Zhakiyanov by two scores of 115-111 and 116-110 for Zhakiyanov and one card as 115-111 for Warren.
Zhakiyanov, who himself seemed shocked that he got a decision in the champion’s hometown, is now the WBA Bantamweight champion.