Londoner Ola Afolabi produced a performance full of grit and determination to dethrone IBO world cruiserweight champion Rakhim Chakhkiev in Kazan, Russia on Wednesday afternoon.
The 35-year-old was very much the underdog against the local favourite who had lost just once in 25 contests as a professional.
Afolabi was put under pressure from the first bell by the Russian who set off at a furious pace, throwing huge right hands that the Briton did well to block.
A clash of heads in the third saw both fighters cut on their left eyes, but in the fourth Chakhkiev’s workrate visibly dropped and Afolabi started to score with a solid jab.
At the start of the fifth Afolabi landed two straight rights that dropped the Russian to the canvas, but inexplicably the referee ruled it was not a knockdown.