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Kenneth Sims defeats Batyr Akhmedov by majority decision in entertaining bout

Kenneth Sims Jr. has arrived.

The 29-year-old from Chicago took the biggest step in his career on the Rolando Romero-Ismael Barroso card Saturday in Las Vegas, defeating fellow 140-pound contender Batyr Akhmedov by a majority decision in a brilliant, back-and-forth fight.

One judge scored it a draw, 114-114. The other two had Sims winning, 116-112 and 115-113.

The slick Sims (20-2-1, 7 KOs) had success with his sharp jab and counter punches to the head of Akhmedov (9-3, 8 KOs) early in the fight.

Then Akhmedov, the former amateur star from Uzbekistan, seemed to take control of the fight by the third or fourth round as a result of his relentless pressure and superior activity.

However, Sims wouldn’t concede anything. He continued to stand his ground and began to turn the momentum back in his favor around Round 8 even though his right eye was swollen shut.

The last several rounds were fought at a feverish pace, with both fighters having success. That left the decision in doubt.

When it was announced, Sims dropped to the canvas in ecstasy because he understood the magnitude of the victory.

He said afterward that he would now like to meet the winner of the main event for the WBA belt. Romero and Barroso were set to fight for the vacant title.

Akhmedov was coming off a disputed split-decision loss to Albert Puello for the WBA belt in August, after which Puello lost the title when he tested positive for a banned substance.

“This is what I’ve been waiting on for years,” Sims said. “Like I said before, I thought he won the title in his last fight so I thought he should be a world champion.

“So this just showed I’m ready for whatever. I’m ready to be world champion.”

Akhmedov has now lost three close decisions, following setbacks against Mario Barrios and Puello. He feels he did enough to win on Saturday.

“I felt confident that I’m winning the fight,” he said through a translator. “But it’s like every time I don’t stop my opponent it’s like they win. It seems like it’s a goal against me. If they reach the 12th round it’s like they already won and they’re already celebrating because the judges give it to them.

“Look at the punch stats. It’s the third time in a row. I won again. I’m winning rounds, I’m throwing more, I’m hurting him more.”

Akhmedov outlanded Sims 331-309, according to CompuBox.

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie