Zelfa Barrett vs Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov for the IBF Super-Featherweight Title happened this weekend. “Shere Khan ” Rakhimov found himself gold by the end of 9 of 12 rounds. “Brown Flash ” Barrett seemed to be pulling ahead in the match by points. Unfortunately Zelfa couldn’t make it all the way to the 12th bell to find a judge’s decision. Despite this prime Barrett has made it clear that he’s a title contender here to be a problem for everyone. Abu Dhabi and the Emirates Arena witnessed a super spectacle between “Shere Khan” and “The Brown Flash“.
Table Of Contents
Play By Play, IBF Super-Featherweight Title
The Future For The Super-Featherweights
Play By Play, IBF Super-Featherweight Title
Rounds 1 & 2
Zelfa Barrett Vs Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov was a blast of fast-paced action. These two Super-Featherweight contenders launched into the fight with blitz combinations on each other. The first round displayed lightning movement from the Flash corner as Zelfa Barrett was slipping his opponent while landing his own combinations to power down the knockout hunter in Rakhimov. Rakhimov seemed more focused coming into the second round but couldn’t match the pace of the Flash.
Rounds 3 & 4
Rakhimov finally found his feet and began to pressurize Zelfa. But Barrett manages to keep his momentum by sticking to his back feet to evade oncoming jabs by the Tajikistani. Utilizing his opponent’s forward momentum Zelfa lands a powerful uppercut counter to a straight right putting Rakhimov on the canvas in the last minutes of round 3. Round 4 finally saw Rakhimov take a more defensive approach to Zelfa’s counterpunching combinations.
Rounds 5 & 6
Rakhimov begins the round pressuring Zelfa into the corner like the first round but this time is ready for the combinations coming back his way. He slipped the majority of the strikes launched by Barrett and fired back with his own jab, and hook combos. Following this the round ended with Rakhimov getting a powerful lefthanded headshot on Barrett.
Rakhimov regained some of the momentum he had lost in the early rounds of the fight. Shere Khan displayed amazing speed, power, and skill to push back Barrett into the corner. All the while avoiding significant damage himself. The Flash lost a considerable amount of speed and stamina taking those punches to the body and shoulders.
As the seventh round progressed Zelfa seemed to be the fighter managing more connections on the opponent. Rakhimov continued his strategy of forward pressure alongside the jab to make room for combinations and managed to land a few. However, Zelfa turned it back around with a final minute flurry, landing a powerful headshot to take the round.
We saw Rakhimov truly bring the heat back into his striking. He brought out all his drive and striking instinct to pull forward on points. Barrett found himself cornered a few times with very little room to escape, getting struck by the powerful body-to-head combinations he would try to evade.
“Brown Flash” Barrett was still ahead by the points he had scored for rounds 1 to 4 and 7 putting him ahead by 3 points with 3 rounds remaining. With only three rounds remaining Shavkatdzhon took the fuel from his previous round and doubled down on it. He landed a brutal 4 punch combo that unbalanced and knocked down the UK-born Flash.
As the referee counts down Zelfa brings himself back to his feet, clearly shaken and still weak in the legs. Following that the match seemed concluded. Pat Barrett even brought out the towel expecting Zelfa to get back up despite any damage.
Rakhimov landed another combo to seal the deal. Without looking towards the Black Flash corner, referee Mark Nelson waved off the contest. A spectacular TKO victory for the Tajikistani, Shavkatdzhon “Shere Khan ” Rakhimov.
The Future For The Super-Featherweight Title
A disappointing loss for Zelfa, coming so close to the peak of the mountain only to have to find another route. But he’s taken it in stride, accepting his part to play in the loss. Further correlating the loss to his movement coming into the 5th round and 6th round. Zelfa Flash has been positively looking forward to his next challenger who at this stage may be either ranked #4, Kenichi Ogawa or rank #3 Samir Ziani.
On the other hand, Rakhimov may well be facing ex-title holder Joe Cordina. Joe was stripped of the belt a month prior to the match. Cordina was the mandatory challenger assigned for the winner between Barrett vs Rakhimov. For now Shavkatdzhon “Shere Khan ” Rakhimov is the IBF Super-featherweight title holder.
The Flash corner really brought their “A-game” to Abu Dhabi. Despite only being given one month’s notice coming into this fight. Zelfa Barrett looked like a fabulous championship boxer in the ring. Albeit he was unable to last the full 12 rounds against a fighter he didn’t have a full training camp for. Furthermore, given the 9th-round comeback knock-down for Rakhimov, Zelfa may have gotten injured as many fans and analysts are currently speculating. Either way RDX Sports stands in the Young Flash’s corner and will continue to support him on his path to become the World Champion.