Following a few struggles early, Ankalaev started to use his straight punches to really give Oezdemir trouble as the Russian was just landing at will any time his opponent moved forward on him throughout the majority of the fight. Ankalaev also managed to open a very nasty cut on Oezdemir’s eyebrow that continued dripping blood until the final belt.
When it was over, Ankalaev was clearly the winner with the judges scoring the contest 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 in his favor after three rounds.
“I expected a more exciting fight but something went wrong. But a win is a win,” Ankalaev said after notching his seventh straight victory. “I’m already asking for a top-five opponent. We’ve already started hunting for the belt.”
Showing no fear standing in front of a noted striker, Oezdemir was quick to get aggressive and come after Ankalaev with his combinations in the opening round. Oezdemir connected with a couple of stiff shots that definitely caught Ankalaev’s attention, which had the Russian on his back foot.
The early success from Oezdemir didn’t rattle Ankalev as he quickly fired back with a crushing straight left hand down the middle that put the former title contender down on the canvas momentarily. Back on his feet, Oezdemir was a little more cautious this time around as Ankalaev continued to attack with his jab and that same straight punch that was consistently landing on target.
Ankalaev was doing a masterful job setting up his punches and Oezdemir was struggling to stay out of the way, which also resulted in a right hook opening a nasty cut over his left eye. Despite blood streaming down his face, Oezdemir was still willing to trade shots with Ankalaev as he started chipping away with a good leg kick and then throwing his hands.
With time ticking away in the final round, Ankalaev was moving forward and looking to counter Oezdemir, which is when many of his best strikes were landing. Ankalaev continued with that same plan of attack but Oezdemir never gave him enough of an opening to potentially stop the fight.
Either way, Ankalaev did enough to get the decision and he’s now riding a seven-fight win streak with title contention on the horizon as he continues to climb up the light heavyweight ladder.