Russia's Khabib Allakhverdiev won the vacant World Boxing Association super-lightweight title on Friday, beating Joan Guzman of the Dominican Republic on a technical decision.
Guzman, the former two-division champion, fell to canvas as he tried to avoid a punch in the eighth round at the BB&T Center. Guzman gingerly walked to a corner, favoring his left leg, but informed referee Luis Pabon he wanted to resume the fight.
Allakhderviev (18-0) quickly pursued Guzman (33-1) and landed a left to the head that appeared to have knocked down Guzman. Pabon didn't rule it a knockdown, but Guzman told Pabon and his trainer, Herman Caicedo, he could not continue fighting because of the leg injury.
Judges Michael Pernick and Mark Streisand had Allakhverdiev ahead, 76-75, at the time of the stoppage. Judge Nelson Vazquez was scoring the fight for Guzman, 76-75.
Allakhverdiev scored with two straight rights and a left hook to the head that sent Guzman to the canvas in the third round for the fight's only genuine knockdown. Guzman landed shots to the body in an attempt to neutralize the taller Allakhverdiev in the fourth.
The 29-year-old Allakhverdiev had another strong round in the fifth, keeping Guzman on the defensive and connecting with lefts to the head.
After ending his reigns as junior-bantamweight and junior-featherweight champion, Guzman twice failed to make weight in two title bids. He also was suspended for eight months after testing positive for a banned substance following his second-round TKO win over Jason Davis in December 2010. The result was reversed to a no-contest.
The win meant Allakhverdiev also retained the IBO light-welterweight title.