On Saturday night at the Club Sportlife in Kiev, Ukrainians Vitaliy Kopylenko and Timur Akhundov captured World Boxing Federation Intercontinental titles with stoppage victories over Vasyl Tarabarov, also from Ukraine, and Hungarian Arpad Vass.
Kopylenko, based in Switzerland and fighting in his native country for the first time since his professional debut four years ago, won the vacant Middleweight version when he outworked Tarabarov for four rounds, taking the initiative and landing the heavier shots. Before the fifth, Tarabarov´s corner stopped the fight when their fighter claimed to be unable to continue due to the affects of a liver-punch landed in the final stages of the fourth round, making the official result a TKO in round five.
With the victory Kopylenko won his first professional championship, and improved his unbeaten record to 17-0 (8). Tarabarov, a former IBF and WBC regional belt-holder and Ukrainian national champion, lost for the first time and dropped to 22-1-1 (8).
In the second WBF title fight of the show promoted by Oleg Bruskov, Timur Akhundov also won his first title in the pros as he stopped Budapest’s Arpad Vass in three rounds for the vacant Featherweight strap. Both boxers were active in the first two rounds, but Akhundov had the most success and the visitor looked tired already at the end of the second.
After three knockdowns in the third round, referee Victor Panin from Russia decided enough was enough and declared Akhundov, now 13-2-1 (5), the winner by technical knockout. Arpad Vass fell to 8-4 (6).