The Universiada Hall, Sofia hosted the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Light heavyweight (81 kg) World Title Match, where Iran’s Ehsan Rouzbahani dominated number one seed and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Kennedy St Pierre to claim the title.
A fight that was consistently engrossing started as a tactical battle, with both boxers beginning the contest by utilising their movement, with quick flashes of power.
Rouzbahani was perhaps the slower of the two boxers, but his combinations throughout were crisp and concise, which cut the ring off well.
The Iranian fighter battled a bloodied nose early in the fight by taking control in the middle rounds, and though St Pierre tried hard to rally, the cerebral approach of Rouzbahani was too much to handle.
As the battle began to close, both men tired, but again it was Rouzbahani who maintained the momentum, and took the final frames in decisive fashion.
After eight rounds of gruelling action, the judges awarded the contest 78:74, and 78:73 twice to the Iranian icon who wept as he was awarded the Championship belt.
Elsewhere in Sofia, Germany’s Serge Michel took his APB record to 2-0 when he defeated Oybek Mamazulunov, undefeated professional boxer Mathieu Bauderlique stopped Russia’s 2013 European Champion Nikita Ivanov in the sixth round, and Ireland’s Joe Ward went 3-1 with a comfortable win against home star Spas Genov.