By Alexey Sukachev
Hamburg, Germany - European light heavyweight beltholder and former WBO champion Juergen Braehmer (40-2, 31 KOs) saved the show for Sauerland Event by impressively annihilating his French counterpart Tony Averlant (18-8-2, 4 KOs) in the second round. Thus Braehmer put a halt to a two-fight upset streak, which saw the German team losing tow undefeated records (of Dustin Dirks and Jack Culcay-Keth) in back-to-back fights.
WBO #2, WBA/IBF #3 and WBC #13 rated German fighter was dominant over his lanky but weak opponent. Averlant, 29, looked much worse than in his previous collision with Juergen's teammates Artur Hein (D 12 and TKO 11) and Eduard Gutknecht (LSD 12). The 34-year old favorite moved in, throwing multiple combinations, and Averlant's return fire wasn't impressive. The first round was all for the German. In the second stanza, Braehmer continued to press forward, throwing mean, meaty punches. Finally, he caught the Frenchman with a big hook to the liver, and down went Averlant. He got up at the count of "nine" but referee Howard John Foster rightfully stopped the contest at this point. Official time of stoppage was 2:36 of the third stanza.
A huge night of upsets in Hamburg, Germany, moved on with another stunning surprise, as an unheralded Argentinean light middleweight Guido Nicolas Pitto (18-1, 7 KOs) scored a close but well-earned split decision over the "Golden Jack" Culcay-Keth, who suffered his first ever career loss.
Culcay-Keth, 27, 2009 Milano world amateur champion, was making the third defense of his WBA I/C 154lb against the upset-minded import, who stopped 27-1 favorite Reda Zam Zam just twp fights before. Pitto, 25, immediately got off to work hard, pressing Culcay to the ropes. Pitto wasn't accurate and looked amateurish at times but he was active and willing. Oppositely, Culcay-Keth, definitely a better boxer of the two, showboated over the limit, was inactive and relied more on his mercurial reflexes and flexible defense than on his fight technique. It was a big mistake, because it allowed Pitto to gain extra confidence and deluded Culcay into false hopes and wrong expectations.
Pitto continued to press forward all fight long, despite eating hard blows - especially jabs and uppercuts from the Golden Jack. However, the German prospect wasn't consistent and preferred to counter his rushing opponent instead of taking the control himself. Pitto was cut over his left eye and had his nose bleeding but he never lost his focus and determination. Late into the fight, it became obvious Culcay-Keth was unable to change his switch-hitting tactics and to work more in order to throw and land more meaningful punches. At the end, that cost him a win. Judge Ingo Barrabas, not surpisingly, had it 115-113 - for the German. Belgian judge Philippe Verbecke scored the bout 116-112 - for Pitto, and the British judge Howard John Foster awarded his score and an entire fight to the Argentinean: 115-113. BoxingScene was in agreement with the Belgian judge.
In a very huge (on paper) light heavyweight upset, highly ranked and positively regarded German prospect Dustin Dirks (27-1, 20 KOs) was stopped in the tenth by the Ukrainian upset artist Olexander Cherviak (11-2-1, 4 KOs), but he didn't acquire Dustin's WBA I/C title, because he was a bit overweight on Friday.
WBO #3, WBA #6 and IBF #13 rated Dirks, 24, came in, having scored 8 stoppages wins in nine fights since the beginning of 2011. On the other hand, the 32-year old Ukrainian has fought just once in a year and a half, barely got past 10-3-1 fighter with a split decision in his latest outing, and was held to a split draw by 9-6-2 in his penultimate bout. However, Dirks looked very sluggish against mediocre Cleiton Conceicao and Georgian import Sandro Siproshvili lately, while Cherviak had two wins (UD 8 and KO 1) against fellow countryman Vitaliy Rusal (27-1 and 27-2 at the time).
The Ukrainian boxer proved to be every bit as awkward and as inconvenient as advertised - right from round one. Cherviak stood upright, didn't move to his sides and threw pitty-pat punches but, amazingly, Dirks had huge problems dealing with this stuff. Cherviak forced the German counterpart to throw less and to cover his head behind a tight block. It wasn't enough to prevent Cherviak from landing not a huge but a very well-timed right hand to the whiskers late in round two. Dirks wobbled to the ropes, where referee Ingo Barrabas issued an eight-count. Cherviak continued to land more in the third stanza.
The midst of the bout saw a slight change of control by Dirks. The German finally re-groupped and mounted his offensive arsenal to land more punches to the head of the Ukrainian, specifically right uppercuts. Cherviak, who had never been past eight, was losing his power and emptying his gas tank rapidly but Dirks wasn't accurate enough to get the better of it, despite putting points in his bank. In the eighth round, Cherviak found his rhythm and caught the second win. The ninth stanza was good for him as he landed a good share of power punches, while Dirks showed signs of fatigue as well. Early in round ten, Cherviak landed several jabs and a couple of well-laced body punches, forcing Dirks to put his hands down, and then connected with a very hard right uppercut, almost slicing Dirks' head off. The German wobbled to the ropes, where his head coach was already waving a towel. Time of stoppage was 1:15 of the tenth round. Another huge upset by the very underrated Ukrainian stylist.
In his previous fight, former WBA cruiserweight champion Firat Arslan (33-6-2, 21 KOs) produced one of his finest career performances by pushing Marko Huck, arguably division's most feared terror, to the limit and losing what was thought by many to be a very bad decision. It looks like that fight was his swan song. Against very limited fellow countryman Varol Vekiloglu (20-5-1, 12 KOs), the WBO #2 rated cruiserweight looked and felt every bit of his 42 years of age despite scoring a wide unanimous decision on the judges' scorecards.
Arslan was as aggressive as usual from the opening bell. The "Relentless Lion" Vekiloglu, 29, was content to box outwards, circling his way out of danger. He wasn't very successful but at least Arslan didn't land any sighnificant punches. He got bigger success in the midst of the fight, when he cornered Vekiloglu several times and landed punches at will. However, his power wasn't enough to prevent Varol from moving around the ring. Later in the fight, Vekiloglu tried to stand his ground against a much more experienced opponent and didn't look that bad, despite getting worse of the most exchanges. At the end, all three judges saw it nearly identically for the veteran fighter: 99-91, 99-92 and 98-92. BoxingScene had it 97-93 - also for Arslan.
Hard-hitting German super middleweight Tyron Zeuge (7-0, 5 KOs) was forced to go the distance for the second time in his career, and he did it with ease, outpointing previously undefeated American counterpart Mike Guy (5-1-1, 3 KOs) unanimously over eight rounds. Zeuge, 20, was in full control of the action. He landed a number of clean, meaningful punches, while Guy was very inactive and from the third round on (when he was decked with a hard right hand to the head) concentrated solely on the survival. He achieved his goal but didn't create any problems for the rapidly improving German youngster.
Former German Olympian Enrico Koelling (6-0) has yet to score a knockout win after six fights as a pro. This time, the German light heavyweight outboxed Cameroonian expatriate Leo Tchula (9-3, 8 KOs) unanimously over eight. Koelling was aggressive and fought behind a good jab. But he failed to land any significant punches and got his a couple of times by Tchoula. After six bouts as a prizefighter Koelling doesn't look either like a future champion or like a fighter to entertain fight fans in Germany.
Danish super featherweight (and 2012 Olympian) Dennis Ceylan impressively stopped Hungarian Nandor Seres (2-5) at 2:49 of the third round. Seres was down late in the first, barely survived the second round and was knocked down again in the third after a hard right hand to the chin. The Hungarian got up at the count of ten but was in no position to continue, prompting the referee to wave it off. It was Seres's first ever stoppage loss. Ceylan is now 5-0, 3 KOs.
21-year old Swede Anthony Yigit (2-0, 1 KO) looked dominant but failed to stop his overmatched Belarussian opponent Andrey Gromyko (9-6-3, 9 KOs) in the opening bout of a big night of boxing in Hamburg, Germany, promoted by Sauerland Event. Yigit looked superior in every department, cut his opponent's nose in the second round and cruised to an easy unanimous decision. Gromyko dropped his fifth straight