The fight started very well for the defending champion who used his movement and jab early on to establish his style of fight. It was the start that was expected of the champion and one that really saw him fight to his strengths and make Zhakiyanov look like the limited fighter that we'd seen numerous times before.
The champion's early work had established him the lead during the early rounds however in round Zhakiyanov began to up the pressure cause Parejo some trouble. Those troubles continued into rounds 5 and 6 as the challenger began to find his range and get to a slowing Parejo. It was earlier than expected for Zhakiyanov to get success, but it did show that he had the style to really trouble Parejo.
With Zhakiyanov coming back into the fight it was an interesting middle section of the fight as each guy had their successes in what was a competitive section of the fight. It seemed that Parejo had just done enough, with his movement and range control, to take a good portion of the middle rounds but they were close and sharing them between the two fighters was certainly not out of the question.
In the later rounds it seemed that Zhakiyanov was the one pushing the action, trying to over-turn the slight disadvantage he had faced in the middle rounds. It seemed he did just enough but the fight could easily have been scored any which way with the sheer number of competitive rounds.
The judges seemed to agree that it was close, though did split the two men with two of the judges favouring the challenger, with scores of 113-115 and 113-116 to Zahkiyanov whilst the dissenting judge had it 116-112 to Parejo, all reasonable scores for what was a close bout, though one that we thought Parejo perhaps deserved.