IN an intriguing, action-packed battle of Russians, Alexander Besputin defeated Radzhab Butaev via decision to win the vacant WBA regular welterweight title (a belt formerly held by Manny Pacquiao even if not considered a genuine world title). Scores in Monte Carlo were 116-112, 116-112 and 116-112 after 12 fast-paced rounds.
Besputin, a perpetually moving southpaw, started the busier of the two, circling Butaev and firing jabs and hooks to the body. But it was Butaev who made the first breakthrough in the fight when he hurt Besputin in the fifth round and had the favourite on unsteady legs.
Besputin, though, managed to recuperate and finish the round well. He then got his own back in the seventh, momentarily staggering Butaev with a right hook.