Njangiru beats Chalabiyev in Chinese classic11 July 2015
The final two AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Cycle I Round 2 Bantamweight (56 kg) matches were held on Saturday night in Guiyang, China, where in the main event Benson Gicharu Njangiru (KEN) sensationally defeated reigning AIBA World Champion Javid Chalabiyev (AZE).
Two-time Commonwealth Games medalist Njangiru arrived into the ring wearing a Southampton football jersey with the name of his Kenyan compatriot Victor Wanyama on the back, and he has now added himself to the top echelon of African sporting superstars after his wonderful victory.
The Kenyan was busier from the outset, and his rapid effort resulted in many shots hitting the target of his decorated opponent.
A stiff left jab and scintillating right hooks produced much success for Njangiru in the early frames, with accurate body punching joining the repertoire from round three onwards.
Chalabiyev attempted to take control of the action and was frequently the man pressing forward, but the elusive defence of Njangiru was too slick to infiltrate through the first half of the fight.
Although the Azeri athlete opened round five with blistering combination punching, the majority of shots were blocked by his rival who stayed composed to dominate the rest of the frame.
The previous round clearly inspired Chalabiyev heading into the sixth stanza though, as he produced his best work of the fight with educated pressure enabling him to win the frame on all three scorecards.
Njangiru readjusted his tactics in the seventh round, and achieved considerable success after he began to put more spite and venom into his fast shots.
Stamina had been a question mark for the Kenyan as he had never been past six rounds in APB before, but he passed the test with flying colours in the eighth and final round with more aggressive punches teamed with sublime movement.
All three of the scoring judges awarded the contest to Njangiru 79:73 and 77:75 (x2), which led to the delighted boxer demonstrating some entertaining gymnastics in the ring.
In the exhibition Bantamweight bout of the night, debutant Lunzhi Wang (CHI) outpointed Altangerel Davaadalai (MGL) to achieve his first APB victory.