By Alexey Sukachev
Leeds - Bob Ajisafe (13-2, 4 KOs) became the second finalist of the MaxiNutrition Knockout tourney at the light heavyweight limit and will face Travis Dickinson, a lucky survivor of the first semifinal. To do this Ajisafe used his power and boxing skills to stop Irish Leon Senior (10-3-1) at 0:57 of the fourth round.
Ajisafe gradually got bigger as the fight progressed. After the first mediocre couple of rounds he stepped up his game in the third. He was more accurate and punched with more determination than Senior. It resulted in him hurting the Irishman midst into the fifth. Ajisafe continued to pound Senior, pummeled him to the corner and then convinced referee to step in for good.
In a brilliant reminiscent of a bitterly controversial stoppage in the first Carl Froch vs. George Groves fight, the brawl between BBBofC English light heavyweight champion Travis Dickinson (17-1, 7 KOs) and his challenger Matty Clarkson (12-2-2, 3 KOs), which was quickly turning into a co-runner (alongside Tommy Coyle vs. Daniel Brizuela fiesta) for the domestic (maybe even international) FOTY, was highly controversially stopped by referee Michael Alexander at 2:25 of the sixth round in the champion's favour. The bout featured six knockdowns - two for Clarkson and four - for Dickinson.
Clarkson started confidently but was soon put down with a major right uppercut in the first round, which was a brief knockdown. More damaging was the knockdown in round two, when the champion put Clarkson down with a big counter left. The challenger got up and fought zealously in return but those rounds were both in favour of Dickinson.
Situation has started to turn around in the third. Clarkson was able to convert the quantity of his return fire into quality, putting Dickinson down with a major right hand. The fourth stanza was also in favour of the challenger bit it was way closer. The next round turned into a natural catastrophe for Dickinson, as Clarkson has found a weak spot in his liver section. He landed one painful shot that decked Dickinson down during the first minute of the round, then continued to pound the champion. Dickinson fought on with a devilish grimace of pain and despair and was floored two more times. Every time he was put down, the feeling was he was millisecs of being counted out for good.
Instead he survived, not even knowing that the next round will be his and his opponent's last. But a big swelling on the Clarkson's left cheek played cards for him. On the first glance, the ringside physician allowed the fight to go. Dickinson jumped on Clarkson and landed several punches. Clarkson was hurt but wasn't unconscious or put down. Yet the referee dared to step in, provoking an extra round of booes.
All in all, it was a great fight with an unnecessary stoppage. It was also the first semifinal of a light heavyweight tourney, promoted by Mick Hennessy.
Also on the show, Eddie Chambers s(39-4, 21KOs) stopped Carl Baker (10-8, 7KOs) in three rounds.