Shavkat Rakhimov makes superb comeback to knock Zelfa Barrett out and claim IBF title

Tajikistan boxer Shavkat Rakhimov recovered from an early knockdown to flatten Zelfa Barrett in the ninth round and win the IBF junior lightweight title.

It was even more impressive given the disruptive preparation process Rakhimov had for the fight.

Initially, he was supposed to fight Joe Cordina but the Welshman was stripped of the title after breaking his hand and being unable to box.

That meant a quick change was needed and at short notice, Rakhimov was set up against Barrett to fight for the unclaimed title.

Consequently, it took some time for the unbeaten left-hander to adapt and he was knocked to the canvas in the third round.

However, he eventually found settled in and made things very difficult for Barrett. By the ninth round, the Tajikistani was in complete control and fully deserved the win when he knocked the Englishman out cold.

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