For the second straight fight on an ESPN platform, Rob Brant displayed an incredible workrate en route to a dominant victory in a world title fight.
In the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card from Minnesota, Brant stopped Khasan Baysangurov in the 11th round to retain the WBA "Regular" middleweight title. With the win, Brant improves his pro record to 25-1 and picked up his 17th victory from inside the distance.
The fight opened with Brant throwing dozens of punches to Baysangurov, forcing the taller title challenger to defend throughout most of the first half of the fight. Brant attacked the head with several combinations and Baysangurov was bleeding from his nose early on. Brant dropped his opponent in the second round with a right hand at the end of another flurry of punches.
After the knockdown, Brant did not slow down his rapid pace, but Baysangurov was having a better time handling the champion's offense. Baysangurov landed several punches upstairs and managed to bruise Brant's face and caused some swelling under his left eye. As the fight approached the championship rounds, Baysangurov gained more confidence in landing his punches, starting with a left-right combination that landed on Brant's jaw in the 10th round.
Brant would put an end to his opponent's brief momentum and to the fight in the 11th round starting with a knockdown thanks to a flurry of shots to Baysangurov that ended with a right hand to the side of Baysangurov's head. Baysangurov got back up but the moment the fight resumed, Brant landed a pair of right hands upstairs, leading to the bout being stopped by the referee.
This was Brant's first title defense since winning the belt last October in Las Vegas. Brant threw more than 1,200 punches, nearly breaking the all-time middleweight record for punches thrown in a fight, in his title win over Ryota Murata, which headlined a Top Rank card streamed on ESPN+.
While Brant is the current WBA "Regular" champion at 160 pounds, Canelo Alvarez owns the WBA "Super" title. Alvarez is set to unify middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs in May 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the main event of a boxing card streamed on DAZN in the United States. Brant has won his third straight fight since losing to former world champion Juergen Braehmer in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament.