Ilunga Makabu moved one step closer to challenging for a cruiserweight world title after an action-packed fight in Russia.
Makabu traveled to Russia and stopped Dmitry Kudryashov late in the fifth round to become the new WBC Silver champion. The fight headlined a boxing card in Ekaterinburg that featured a number of notable cruiserweights in action.
Halfway through the second round, Kudryashov staggered Makabu with a series of punches and pressured to the corner. Makabu did not give up and decided to fight back and even hurt Kudryashov in the ensuing exchange, leading to Makabu landing a left hand to drop his opponent to the canvas. Makabu, still reeling from the initial onslaught of punches that landed on him, managed to nearly drop Kudryashov at the end of the second round with another left hand.
The third round saw both men trade big punches back and forth but it was Makabu who nearly got another knockdown in the last 15 seconds when he landed a furious combination of punches with Kudryashov's back to the ropes. Kudryashov's face was completely battered, bruised and filled with blood by the fourth round. The two boxers continued to brawl in the fifth round, but Makabu dominated the second half of the fight and ultimately led to the referee stepping in and stopping the bout with less than 30 seconds remaining in the round.
This was Makabu's sixth straight win ever since he was unsuccessful in capturing the WBC cruiserweight world title back in 2016. All six of Makabu's wins since that loss to The full fight between Makabu and Kudryashov can be seen in the video at the top of the page.
In the co-main event, Aleksei Egorov scored a third-round stoppage win over Roman Golovashchenko to capture the now-vacant WBA Gold title. The WBA Gold title is a belt that has been making the rounds across boxing in recent months with the likes of Joe Joyce, Lennox Allen and Joseph Diaz Jr. having won the belt. The WBA Gold cruiserweight title was previously held by Arsen Goulamrian, but it then vacant after Goulamirian was elevated to "Regular" world champion.