Cape Town - South Africa’s Malcolm Klassen was stopped in the eighth round by IBO junior-lightweight champion Shavkatdzhon “Shavkat” Rakhimov from Russia at the DIVS Arena in Ekatering, Russia on Saturday night.
It was reported that the classy South African was never in the fight against the much stronger 23-year-old Rakhimov, who was in control throughout, before referee Giustino Di Giovanni stopped the fight at one minute 31 seconds into the eighth round.
Rakhimov, who was making the first defence of his belt, improved his record to (12-0; 9) and Klassen’s record dropped to (33-8-2; 17).
This must be the end of an outstanding career for one of South Africa’s most talented fighters in recent years, who never truly realised his full potential.
The 37-year-old Klassen made his pro debut on May 22, 1999, and in an illustrious career won the South African featherweight, WBO International lightweight and WBA International lightweight titles.
He also captured the IBF junior-lightweight belt on two occasions, and the IBO and WBF junior-lightweight belts.