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Oleksandr Usyk defeats Andrey Knyazev

By Jim Dower: Undefeated World Boxing Organization #3 contender Oleksandr Usyk (7-0, 7 KOs) put on a good performance tonight in beating WBO #15 Andrey Knyazev (11-2, 6 KOs) by an 8th round stoppage to keep pressure on WBO champion Marco Huck at the Sports Palace in Kiev, Ukraine.

Usyk, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, battered the 29-year-old Knyazev at will for seven rounds until the referee Mickey Vann halted the fight in the 8th round due to the punishment that Knyazev was taking.

The win keeps the big 6’3” Usyk hot on the trail of WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck, who will soon need to make up his mind about whether he values his WBO cruiserweight title enough to defend it against Usyk or give it up in order to move up to the heavyweight division to try and get a world title shot against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in the future. Usyk looks good enough to give both Huck and Klitschko a lot of problems.

In other boxing news on the card, 168 pound fighter Max Bursak (31-3-1, 14 KOs) defeated a badly over-matched Chris Herrmann (19-6-1, 10 KOs) by a 1st round knockout. In the process of winning the fight, Bursak put Herman on the canvas several times before the bout was mercifully halted.

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