By Tris Dixon
Poland’s Michal Syrowatka climbed off the floor in round nine to score a dramatic 12th round stoppage win over WBA No. 4 Robbie Davies Jnr.
Davies lost for the first time as a pro, and tough Syrowatka – who was behind on all three scorecards – claimed the WBA Continental super-lightweight title.
Syrowatka, boxing outside of Poland for the first time in the pros, opened aggressively and landed some heavy right hands in the initial session but Davies tried to give as good as he got with a clean right of his own. He scored with another on the bell to mark a lively session.
Davies was better in the second, more organised and boxing tidily in orthodox and southpaw stances. The Pole was starting to mark up around his eyes. Davies was attempting some flashy work in the third but it was the more structured boxing that was reaping the rewards.
Syrowatka scored with a good left hook in round four as the fight became scrappy. Davies did not appear to respect the visitor’s power, staying in the pocket.
The Kirkby man’s jab was his best shot, that was until he hurt Syrowatka with a delightful short left hook to the body in the fifth. That visibly took something out of the Pole.
Still, they both scored with good shots in the sixth, particularly when they landed a left hook apiece halfway through the round. Davies was in control but took a burst of solid shots with around 30 seconds left in the round, cutting him by the left eye. It was a hard round, though it was determined the wound came from a clash of heads.
They traded bombs in the eighth after a quieter round seven. Davies would have made it easier boxing at range and fighting on the outside but he could not help himself. He wanted to get inside and throw big shots. He left himself open doing it, and was prone to walking onto the occasional heavy punch when he could have been keeping things simple.
With 20 seconds remaining in the ninth, Davies planted his feet and nailed the Pole with a hard left hand. Syrowatka loaded up and landed at the same time but Davies’s shot had more authority and the Pole touched down with one glove. Referee Steve Gray correctly ruled a knockdown.
The 10th was another bruising affair. It was a physical battle if not a fight of the year contender. Syrowatka, an experienced former amateur, was still pitching in the eleventh – a round which was new territory for him – and as the session neared the end the Pole had success with a series of hard, clubbing hooks.
The end came in the last. Syrowatka came out firing, broke through with a left hook and a right and Davies was gone. He fell heavily, rose at 10 but was in dire straits. Syrowatka, 19-1, poured the pressure on and while Davies stayed upright the towel came in. The Englishman left on a stretcher as a precaution.
Davies, now 15-1, had won the title in January, when he defeated Zoltan Szabo in nine rounds in Preston. Syrowatka’s only previous defeat was to experienced Rafael Jackiewicz in 2015 (rsf 4).