By Alexey Sukachev
Arena Nord, Frederikshavn, Denmark - James DeGale (12-1, 9KOs) stopped Cristian Sanavia (45-6-1, 13KOs) in the fourth round to retain his EBU super middleweight title. DeGale was simply too big, too strong and too fast for Sanavia. In the fourth round, DeGale came out like a man on a mission and let his hands go - and dropped Sanavia four times before the fight was stopped.
Local light middleweight prospect Torben Keller (3-0, 1 KOs) scored his first stoppage win after beating Belarussian Alexander Abramenko (17-30-1, 6 KOs) into submission over five one-sided rounds. There were no knockdowns but the Belarussian hardly offered any resistance.
In a fan-friendly collision of youth and experience, Danish boxer Patrick Nielsen (14-0, 8 KOs), 21, acquired his first "adult" title by scoring a highlight-reel knockout of Argentinean Gaston Alejandro Vega (17-5, 6 KOs) in the tenth round and proved youth will indeed prevail in this particular contest.
The fight was very intense and full of action. Nielsen came out strong in the first but Vega stood his ground. Both fighters were briefly down on separate occasions, both falls were ruled slips by Italian referee Guiseppe Quartarone. In the entertaining second round, Nielsen started big but was soon limited to counterpunching by aggressive Argentinean. He was rocked in the midst of the stanza. At the end of the round, Nielsen landed a punch right after the bell, and Vega went down seemingly motionless. The trick didn't work, and at the beginning of the next round Quartarone deducted a point from Vega for simulation (which shouldn't be considered a surprise, as Vega is a vivid soccer fan)... and a point from Nielsen for hitting after the bell.
Fight continued to heat up in the next few rounds. Nielsen was fighting a measured fight, while Vega was overly aggressive. Both combatants landed solid blows but southpaw Nielsen was a harder hitter. As the fight progressed, the Argentinean got more and more fatigued from his efforts. In round seven he was floored with a counter right hand. The eight round was fairly even, and in the wild ninth stanza both fighters went down - firstly, Vega on a hard left hand by Nielsen, and the Dane was also floored, which should be considered a flash knockdown. Finally in the tenth, Vega went forward and ate a glancing right hand, was frozen for a moment and then finished off with a major league left bomb, which had him down for the count.
Time was 1:05 of the tenth. Nielsen is now the WBA I/C beltholder.
Swede Eric Skoglund (9-0, 5 KOs) scored another impressive stoppage, derailing Italian Stefano Antoneucci (3-4) at 2:05 of the second round with a crushing right counter followed by the left hand and another right.
Continuing his comeback after a four-and-a-half year hiatus, the still fresh Denmark-based Lebanese Reda Zam Zam (25-1, 12 KOs) overcame some adversity to score a dominating stoppage of Czech trialhorse Bronislav Kubin (12-9-1, 7 KOs), who was stopped only for the second time in his career.
Zam Zam, 32, kicked it off pretty quick but Kubin sustained the starting pressure. Zam Zam wasn't derailed and continued his well-measured aggression. In the third he sent the Czech to the canvas with a glaring right hand. Then the adversity came across in the fourth after Zam Zam's right eyebrow was badly cut after an accidental headbutt. Sensing the almost won fight can end in a draw, the Dane increased his pressure and had Kubin reeling all over the place in the fifth. The end came at 2:59 of the round after another knockdown scored by Zam Zam.
Former world title challenger "Irish" Willie Casey (13-2, 9KOs) looked to continue his comeback after a crushing first round knockout loss to super bantamweight star Guillermo Rigondeaux, which took place a year ago. Now in a new weight class, Casey tried hard but saw his attempt derailed by fellow underachiever Andreas Evensen, who notched a very close majority decision victory after twelve very heated rounds.
Casey was more aggressive and his punches were stronger than those of Evensen even though the Colombia-born fighter challenged (and lost a competitive unanimous decision) WBO super featherweight champion Ricky Burns, who was somewhat eight pounds heavier than the Irishman. Evensen looked to be faster and more consistent with his body movements. His punches didn't have any steam but he was active, especially in the first half of the fight. Later on, Casey engaged fully into the action and marked Evensen's face with blood and bruises.
Casey's rally didn't help him in the end. Judge Manuel OliverPalomo had it 114-114 - a draw, but Pawel Kardynyi and Alfredo Garcia Perez both had it 115-113 for the now 16-2-1, 6 KOs, Andreas Evensen, who claims the vacant the WBA international featherweight championship.
Super middleweight Simen Smaadal (1-0, 1KO) won in his pro debut, stopping Pavel Staravoltau (11-16) in the first round.