By Alexey Sukachev
Romexpo, Bucharest, Romania - IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (29-0, 24KOs) retained his title with a blazing fourth round knockout of previously undefeated Jean Paul Mendy (29-1-1, 16KOs). Bute landed a crushing left hand to the chin and Mendy fell face first. The referee came to Mendy's aid and waved off the contest.
Mendy was ranked #1 by the International Boxing Federation, and this was a mandatory defense for the champion. Bute didn't start particularly fast, buying some time to both adjust to the unorthodox style of his fellow southpaw and to feel out the partisan crowd, which supported him vehemently.
The first round was more of a jabbing contest but Mendy looked incertain. In round two, the Canada-based Romanian started to deliver more. There were several exchanges, and Bute landed some solid shots (particularly his left uppercut), though Mendy, 37, connected with some telling blows of his own.
In the third stanza, Bute chose to get more aggressive and began to throw bombs with really bad intentions. Mendy tried to retaliate at the 31-year old champion, but when he went too far - Bute connected with a beautiful series of left uppercuts and rigth hooks to stagger the Frenchman, who grew more and more unsteady with each passing second.
Finally, in the fourth, Bute started to deliver more leather, and Mendy struggled to find an answer. The Romanian hero, however, waited until the very end of the round, when he landed a killer overhand left to the jaw of Mendy and sent him down face first. Mendy was almost unconscious when he landed, and to no surprise he wasn't able to get to his feet as the referee counted him out.
Another (his eighth) impressive title defense for the IBF champion. Mendy suffered his first career loss, although his DQ victory over Sakio Bika in the IBF eliminator last summer was a clear indication of how poor the veteran really is. Referee was Marlon B. Wright from Canada.
Viorel Simion (14-0, 6 KOs), 29, is now a legitimate player in the talented featherweight division after an impressive ninth-round kayo of durable Filipino Jun Talape (20-8-1, 8 KOs). Former amateur standout and 2004 Olympian for Romanian national team acquired Talape's WBC International title after this win and should be expected to enter the top-15 of the ranks after another successful contest.
Both combatants started this bout quickly, trying to outpunch each other in rapid exchanges. Southpaw Talape, however, was a bit too reserved and a bit too inactive to lose the end of the round slightly. Simion was also a better man at the conclusion of the second stanza. From round three, the Romanian started to visibly outwork his opponent. Talape, 25, was hit numerous times in the next couple of rounds but thanks to Simion's feather fists, he was able to avoid any danger.
In round six, referee Daniel Van De Viele deducted apoint from the Filipino for a dangerous use of his head. In the seventh stanza, Talape was very lucky to survive till the bell after a continuous onslaught by Simion at the end of the round. Sensing that he has spent too much energy hunting Talape down, Simion allowed himself to take the eighth off but dramatically came back in the ninth with a barrage of body punches. Midst into the round, the Romanian caught Talape with a crushing blow to the liver. The Pinoy enforcer went down and was counted out in pain. Good victory for Viorel Simion.
WBO #15 bantamweight Sahib Usarov (16-0, 6 KOs), who recently signed with promoter Joe DeGuardia, came back to the boxing business after more than a year of inactivity and decisively outpointed Nicaraguan Sergio Gomez (16-9, 12 KOs) over eight rounds with a unanimous scoresheet in his favor. Usarov is from Kanibadam, Tajikistan, but represents Russia in the ring
Towering local heavyweight Bogdan Dinu (6-0, 3 KOs) proved that he was not a joke after his impressive knockout of the Sweden-based Tanzanian Awadh Tamim (12-3, 7 KOs) in the very first round of the scheduled four. Tamim tried to induce a slugfest but Dinu remained calm under pressure and punished his opponent for each thrown punch. The Romanian steadily incresed his leather output and finally ended matters during the third minute of the opening round with a couple of hard right hands, which sent Tamim down for a count. The Tanzanian managed to get up but referee saw enough and waved the fight off at 2:28.
Flashy Canadian Pier Olivier Cote (17-0, 11 KOs) easily improved his record with yet another victory but it wasn't a pleasant performance on behalf of the 27-year old Colombia-born fighter. Cote just didn't let his fast hands fly during an uneventful, tactical unanimous decision over mediocre Mexican journeyman Pedro Navarrete (26-12-3, 15 KOs). However, he hadn't any need to pull all the strings as the Mexican was content to just circle around without throwing any meaningful punches and his only visible goal was to survive inside the ring.
Round one was extremely cautious, and in the second stanza it was all the same except for Cote landing a couple of hard right hands. If it was any indication, the francophone chose not to open up, and the fight instantly turned into ugly melee with an assortment of clinches, holding and various dirty tricks. Cote showcased some goods in the sixth and in the seventh rounds connecting with a couple of monstrous left hooks to no effect. At the end, all three judges had it unanimously for the Canadian: 80-75, 80-73 and 80-71. BoxingScene is in agreement with the second official.
Middleweight veteran Renan St. Juste (23-2-1, 15 KOs) has defeated Mexican journeyman Jaudiel Zepeda (12-5-1, 9 KOs) with a seemingly unanimous decision over eight rounds.