South Africa-based Malawian light heavyweight boxer, Isaac Chilemba, failed to regain the North America Boxing Federation (Nabf) title after retiring in the eighth round against Ukrainian champion, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, in America on Sunday.
At T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the unbeaten Gvozdyk continued to underline his growing reputation having retained the Nab flight heavyweight title by a technical knockout.
It was Chilemba’s second successive defeat and the first knock-out he has suffered in his professional career which started in 2005.
Gvozdyk is now the first man to stop Chilemba before the scheduled distance.
In July, Chilemba lost a unification title fight to Russian Sergey Kovalev on a unanimous decision.
Many were expecting that Chilemba would bounce back to claim the title he first won in 2015 when he defeated Vasily Lephikin in Montreal, Canada.
According to www.heavy. com/sports, Chilemba’s corner, led by his trainer Roy Jones Jr, stopped the fight at the end of round eight.
The Malawian was said to have suffered a broken right hand, and the injury was too much for him to continue with the fight.
Gvozdyk has now won 12 straight fights in the professional ranks.
Chilemba’s record has since dropped to 24 wins five defeats and two draws.
According to Skysports, the Ukranian looked good against the familiar, awkward and frustrating Chilemba.
After a cautious start, the London 2012 bronze medalist opened up with rapid combinations, pinning Chilemba back but also had to go through the experience of handling the Malawian’s awkward approach.
At times he eased off, letting Chilemba land his usual sharp shots but the fourth round, in particular, saw Gvozdyk continue to jab his way into range and then let loose.
Chilemba threw plenty but never really tested the Ukranian’s chin and although he did not win every round, he looked like he was ready to increase the pace only for the surprise finish coming at the end of the eighth.
Chilemba went to his corner-and head down, told trainer Jones Jr that he had had enough, leaving Gvozdyk’s unbeaten record intact.
He told reporters at the end of the bout that he had sustained the injury in the third round and was forced to fight all the way up to the eighth when it worsened.
Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) President, Lonzoe Zimba, advised Chilemba to quickly return to the drawing board to rediscover his winning formula.
“Obviously, as Malawians we are disappointed that he did not get the belt. He is talented but he needs to find out what is affecting his performance,” he said.
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