Chingiz Allazov retained his ONE Championship featherweight kickboxing title with a unanimous decision win over Marat Grigorian at Lumpinee Stadium this morning. After all the drama this division has produced in recent years this was a more routine win for the champion.
From the opening round it was clear that Grigorian could not cope with Allazov’s speed and movement. The champion was constantly using his footwork to find new angles of attack before circling away from danger.
Allazov also employed a diverse offence and Grigorian was caught in the crossfire as he mixed up knees, kicks and punches. It was a strategy that allowed him to control the first two rounds and take a commanding lead on the scorecards.
Grigorian came out with a renewed sense of urgency in the third round but couldn’t do anything to turn the tide. The two traded punches at the start of the third but Allazov was able to use teeps, knees and low kicks to keep his opponent guessing.
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With so many weapons at his disposal Allazov was too smart to get sucked into a boxing war and circled out as Grigorian found himself chasing shadows. It wasn’t just the champion’s movement that made him elusive, he also switched seamlessly between stances while constantly throwing strikes from different angles.
With Allazov moving constantly the only question was whether his footwork would slow in the championship rounds. Grigorian did manage to trap him against the ropes a couple of times in the fourth but without doing any real damage.
It made for a more even round but by this stage Grigorian needed knockdowns and Allazov never looked uncomfortable. It left the challenger with three minutes to finish the fight and he set about the task at the start of the fifth.
Allazov was backed into the corner and covering up but he didn’t stay there long and saw out the fight by circling away from the onrushing Grigorian. The result was never in doubt with all three judges scoring the contest in favour of the champion.
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The first two rounds had been fairly even but in the closing stages of the fight Lineker landed a huge left hand and then went to work with ground and pound to secure the finish with seconds to spare. The Brazilian, who missed weight, improves to 36-10-0-1 while Kim drops to 13-8.
Meanwhile Oumar Kane scored a decision win over the previously undefeated Marcus Almeida. Their heavyweight fight went the distance and produced some wild exchanges with ‘Reug Reug’ getting the better of them.