By Alexey Sukachev
Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield - Revenge was very sweet for the new (and old) European middleweight champion Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 21 KOs) of Poland, who stopped unlikely overachiever Kerry Hope (17-4, 1 KO) in round eight of a heated rematch with a crushing right hook, four months after his upset loss to the same opponent.
The fight was very awkward and dirty from the start. Feather-fisted Hope offered his character, his determination and roughhouse tactics in exchange for Proksa's elusive moves, punching power and unorthodox approach. With his hand down, the Polish version of Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez looked to be an easy target but this time he was way better on the defensive then in their first meeting. Even when Hope was able to start unleashing punches, Proksa ducked about 90% of them and easily smoothered the rest. Hope ate way harder blows but was competitive all way through until round eight. The end came with just a second remaining in the round.
Hope was the higher ranked fighter, coming in, being WBA #3, IBF #7, WBO #9 and WBC #14 ranked, while Proksa was rated #9 by the WBO. Proksa confirmed his interest in fighting Darren Barker afterwards in a post-fight quickie.