Lebedev beats Kayode to retain WBA cruiserweight belt

KAZAN, Russia (AP) Russia's Denis Lebedev retained his WBA cruiserweight title Wednesday with a win by stoppage over previously undefeated Nigerian Lateef Kayode.

Lebedev was in control throughout the fight and knocked down Kayode three times before the referee stopped the fight in the eighth round with the Nigerian taking punishment against the ropes.

''I'm enjoying the win,'' Lebedev said, adding that he was usually good friends with Kayode but ''today we said to each other, November 4, we're not friends.''

Kayode started aggressively in the first round but Lebedev, who was fighting in front of a passionate home crowd on a Russian public holiday, soon asserted control.

Kayode faced his first count in the seventh after a Lebedev left hook sent him sprawling, although he claimed he had been pushed. The Nigerian went down twice in the eighth from a body blow and another left hook. He kept fighting but could not hold on until the bell.

Lebedev improves to a 28-2 record. His last defeat came in 2013 against Panamanian Guillermo Jones, who failed a doping test after that fight. After inheriting the belt when Jones again tested positive, Lebedev defended it twice before the fight with Kayode.

Kayode*s loss drops him to 21-1 with two no contests, including a defeat last year to Luis Ortiz that was struck down when the Cuban tested positive for a steroid.

Also Wednesday, Russia's Eduard Troyanovsky won the IBF light welterweight title on a hotly disputed technical knockout ruling against reigning champion Cesar Rene Cuenca of Argentina.

In a fight between two previously unbeaten boxers, Troyanovsky rattled Cuenca with two heavy blows in the sixth round before the Argentine appeared to slip and his head made contact with the advancing Troyanovsky's elbow.

The referee then spoke with Cuenca, who seemed reluctant to continue, before awarding the fight to Troyanovsky. That sparked furious protests from Cuenca's team, who appeared to want Troyanovsky disqualified.

Troyanovsky is 23-0, while Cuenca drops to 48-1 with two no contests after only his second fight outside Argentina.

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