Stanyslav Kashtanov has defeated Jaime Barboza via a 10th-round knockout to retain the interim WBA Super Middleweight title. This was Kashtanov's first title defense since defeating Semer Yemurlayev to win the belt in November of 2012.
Here's how it all transpired.
Kashtanov targeted the body throughout the fight, looking to break through and weaken his opponent's stance. He succeeded in that regard, bringing Barboza's hands down and pummeling him with stiff blows to the head.
In the end, that opened the door for Kashtanov to clobber Barboza with a right uppercut and pick up the win in the 10th round.
Kashtanov moves to 31-1-0 with 17 knockouts, while Barboza drops to 18-8-0.
Kashtanov wasn't at his best, but he was methodical and targeted each of Barboza's openings. During the seventh round, Kashtanov knocked his opponent down with a deep body punch that ended up creating the opening he needed to close out.
Kashtanov was relentless, showing why he's champion.
There wasn't much doubt as to whether or not he'd win this fight once it was started, but he's still an unknown commodity. Due to his status as a fighter from the Ukraine, most in the United States are unfamiliar with his work.
After tonight, Barboza will tell you that Kashtanov is as real as they come.
This is yet another victory for Kashtanov, who made a successful opening title defense and proved that he is a force to be reckoned with. It's unclear whether or not he'll draw some of the top competition, but he's certainly made a name for himself with this win in Ukraine.
It may even earn him new recognition, as Dan Rafael of ESPN ranks Kashtanov outside of the top 10 in the super middleweight division.
On the surface, Kashtanov, 29, would be wise to take on other up-and-comers such as the 16-1 Jamie DeGale or 24-0 Edwin Rodriguez. Pending the result of the fight between George Groves and Carl Froch, he could potentially challenge one of those two fighters with bigger cards in sight.
Expect the latter to transpire.
Froch holds the "other" WBA super middleweight title, which means that a fight to determine the real title holder is needed. Both men are looking for some form of validity, and fighting each other is the only way to determine such.
In the end, the goal is clearly for Kashtanov to work his way up and face Super Middleweight king Andre Ward, who remains 26-0 and is likely hopeful to remove the interim title from Kashtanov's name and win it back.
Where he goes from here is unclear, but Kashtanov has displayed promise and does warrant consideration for top names. If Ward or Froch is to hope to take down an opponent in the title picture, Kashtanov would be the ideal target due to his interim status.
Until then, this was yet another win to add to a growing resume.
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