By Alexey Sukachev
Arena, Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany - WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (34-1, 25KOs) knocked out Rogelio Omar Rossi (17-3, 11KOs) in the sixth round.
Huck's jab busted Rossi's nose by the second round. Rossi lost a point in the third for repeated low blows. After Rossi lost the point, Huck attacked and landed a flurry of punches to send Rossi down. The knockdown wasn't clean, but the referee issued a count.
At the end of the fourth round, Huck drilled Rossi with a left hand that came after the bell. Rossi went down and appeared to be very hurt once he rised. The ref took away two points from Huck, gave Rossi extra time to recover, and warned the champion that another foul would cause a disqualification.
Huck and Rossi started traded big punches in the fifth. Rossi went down after a big exchange of shots. Rossi did well for a moment, but went down for a second time after a good shot to the body. Rossi made it up at the bell.
At the start of a sixth, a vicious combination dropped Rossi down hard and he was out cold for several minutes. The ref waved it off as soon as Rossi hit the mat. He made it up, eventually, but he was taken away on a stretcher.
Another controversy took place in Germany (which surely is no surprise) as tough and tremendously determined Irish-American Billy Lyell (24-10, 5 KOs) was arguably robbed of a deserved win over previously "and still" undefeated German prospect Dominik Britsch (26-0, 9 KOs). Ultra active IBF #9 Britsch retained his IBF I/C title with this dubious victory over the former IBF world title challenger.
Lyell, 27, who is best known for his win over John Duddy and a tough challenge to reigning WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez in a non-title fight, never stopped coming and pressing the action against the bigger man. He was resolute but not that skillful as Britsch landed stiff jabs coupled with dangerous uppercuts to stop Lyell in his tracks.
However, Lyell was also successful in the fight, and he was also more active and the more aggressive boxer of the two. He also didn't allow his power to drain in the later rounds and brought the fight to Britsch. He puffed the left eye of the unbeaten prospect in middle rounds and wobbled him momentarily at the very end of the fight.
In the end, his actions weren't praised by the judges. While Italian judge reasonably scored the bout a draw - 114-114, he was overruled by the Hollander (116-113) and by the German (117-111, which was way off the mark). BoxingScene scored the fight 116-113 - for Lyell.
Kubrat Pulev, arguably the best Bulgarian prizefighter of all time, continued his heavyweight education with another nice win - this time over experienced American gatekeeper and fringe contender Travis Walker (38-7-1, 30 KOs). He also captured his first ever belt, the vacant IBF International heavyweight regalia. However, the bout wasn't a walk in the park for the Bulgarian by any means and even in victory Pulev (14-0, 6 KOs) didn't prove he is ready to take on the cream of the sport's glamour division.
The first couple of rounds were pretty cautious with neither boxer willing to mix it up seriously. However, Pulev was slightly better with his right hand. Things started to heat up in the third stanza, the most thrilling period of the fight. Midst into the round Pulev was seriously wobbled (possibly for the first time in his career) with a crushing right hand by Walker. His legs started to dance around but the American failed to make it really dangerous for his 30-year old counterpart. Moreover, at the end of the round the Bulgarian landed a keering one-two combination to almost have him on his knees.
Rounds four-to-six were fought in measured tempo. Both fighters tried their best in spurts but neither was successful in scoring something meaningful. The seventh stanza was different and it was also Walker's best span of the fight. He landed several hard haymakers, and one of them - a huge left hook - was thereason for an annoying cut over his right eyebrow. In rounds eight and nine Pulev got back in his tracks while Walker stared to get tired quickly. He was tagged by several big shots and thus was froced to showboat in order to avoid more punishment. He also was deducted a point in the ninth for continuous spitting of his mouthpiece.
Both boxers gave their all in the championship rounds, and Walker also demonstarted a surprisingly solid chin and sheer determination to survive in chinches under heavy fire. After twelve rounds, all three judges (one local judge, one - from Netherlands and one - from Belgium) gave it to WBO #11 and WBC/IBF #15 Bulgarian: 117-110, 118-109 and 119-109. BoxingScene was in agreement with them: 118-109 - for Kubrat Pulev.
Highly regarded cruiserweight Enad Licina (21-3, 11 KOs) didn't impress in his entertaining but hardly satisfying (for the local fans) scrap with barely meaningful Welshman Hari Miles (6-4, 2 KOs). Licina, 31, who is ranked #5 by the IBF and #9 by the WBA, is best known for several quality wins over second-tier opposition and the tough test he delivered to then-cruiserweight king Steven Cunningham.
This time Licina looked in fine shape but was ultimately unfocused and even rusty against a fighter he should have easily dispatched. The Serbian fighter was rather inactive and he also ate a steady diet of leather, especially right hands, from the towering Welshman. He has certainly dominated his opponent nevertheless thanks to his overall precision and fighting spirit but he has never looked what he once used to be. After eight rounds, all three judges had it for Licina: 78-74, 79-73 and 78-76, while BoxingScene was closer to the latter judge: 78-75.
Light-punching middleweight Marcos Nader (13-0, 2 KOs) continued his funny Italian ride with a convincing eight-round unanimous decision over durable but even less-powerful opponent Lorenzo Cosseddu (27-7-5, 3 KOs). Cosseddu was the fourth Italian fighter this year to test Nader and... the fourth Italian fighter to be easily outboxed by the 21-year old native of Ibiza, who represents Spain inside the squared circle. Both fighters worked with honorable zeal but Nader was slightly better in all aspects, especially with his tight defense. He grew tired down the stretch but defensive-minded Cosseddu was unable to make him pay for that. He wasn't tagged badly either, and he is still to be defeated inside the distance depsite his seventh loss.
In an opener of another big Sauerland card in Ludwigsburg, Germany, rising light heavyweight Robert Woge (6-0, 5 KOs), who is now working with the best German promoter, got another early stoppage against overmatched Irish fighter John Waldron (5-6, 2 KOs), who oppositely suffered his fourth loss in a row.Woge dominated Waldron from the opening belt, and the native of Ballyhaunis was lucky to see the end of round one. In the second, however, Woge upped his pressure and stunned Waldron badly with his uppercut. Waldron, who also sustained a big cut over his left eye in the episode, was issued a count, which he struggled to beat so referee Jorg Milke stopped the contest at 2:00 of the second stanza.