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Tokarev Stops Hayes

LatestCruiserweight challenger Vadim Tokarev (24-1-1, 17 KOs) stopped former middleweight Marlon Hayes (23-10, 11 KOs) in the 3rd round tonight at the Khodynka Ice Palace, in Moscow, Russia. Tokarev, 35, hurt Hayes with a right hand in the third round, staggering him and then landed a series of crushing blows that prompted the referee to move in and put a stop to the bout. This was the first bout for Tokarev since losing a controversial majority decision to German-based Marco Huck in May 2007. Tokarev was in fine form tonight, showing no ill effects of the bad decision that went against him in his last fight, as he punished Hayes badly in rounds two and three.

In the first round, Hayes, 36, showed an effective jab and good movement that kept Tokarev on the outside, unable to draw a bead on the elusive Hayes. Mixing in powerful body shots, Hayes was able to easily win the round over the slower Tokarev, who seemed somewhat confused.

In the second round, Hayes started off well, landing rights to the head and body. However, shortly after, Hayes made the mistake of bending too low, enabling to land a chopping right hand that staggered him momentarily. Tokarev would continue to spend the better part of the round landing more chopping right hands as Hayes foolishly continued to bend low in front of him, presenting the back of his head for Tokarev to punch. Angered by the fact that Tokarev landed a large number of punches to the back of his head, Hayes complained on numerous occasions to the referee. However, the referee failed to do anything about it, obviously seeing that it was the fault of Hayes for dipping so low.

In the third round, Tokarev staggered Hayes with a right hand at the mid point of the round. However, Hayes, instead of grabbing Tokarev and trying to clinch, so that he could clear his head, he continued to try and fight it out with him, though he wasn’t throwing any punches and was in survival mode. Tokarev, sensing blood, went after him with powerful left and right hands, chopping down on the bending Hayes and landing huge bombs. Hayes continued to stagger around like a drunk for almost a full minute until the referee finally moved in and halted the fight after seeing Hayes get hit with a nasty uppercut that whipped his head back.

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