By Per Ake Persson
Esbjerg, Denmark - Polish cruiser Mateusz Masternak (32-1) was taken the full eight rounds by unheralded Croatian Stjepan Vugdelija (8-3). Vugdelija took everything coming his way - and it was quite a lot especially in the eighth - but kept coming back for more. It was scored 80-72 twice and 80-70 in this no knockdown affair that closed a long evening of boxing. Promoter Frank Warren presents The Power Of London, Championship Boxing from the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London. Live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/HD 490 & Virgin Ch. 546).
Featherweight Dennis Ceylan (11-0) outscored Spaniard Ivan Ruiz Morote (16-5-1) over eight not overly exciting rounds. It was scored 80-72 twice and 77-75 for the neat boxing Dane.
Swedish super lightweight Anthony "Can you dig it" Yigit (10-0-1) won the vacant WBC Baltic title on a technical decision after six completed rounds of boxing over Kasper Bruun (19-1-1) from Denmark. What was a fast paced, exciting fight came to an unfortunate end when heads clashed and Bruun was badly cut around the right eye. After six it was scored 58-56 twice and 58-55 for the Swede. Yigit suffered a flash knockdown early in the third and walked into many counters from the slick Dane but was even slicker himself as he worked over Bruun with long, unanswered bursts of punches. Yigit is an exellent talent but lacks punch and patience. A rematch would be welcome. Bruun have for the most parted been untested in his career but showed here he have what it takes.
Swedish light heavyweight Erik Skoglund (20-0) retained the EU title with a ninth round stoppage over game Italian Danilo D´Agata (12-2-1). D´Agata was out of his league but took everything Skoglund could dish out. The champion tried hard for the stoppage, too hard it seemed and that prolonged the one-sided fight. Finally, in the ninth a short right hook hurt the Italian and Skoglund opened up with all he had and floored D´Agata with a series of rights. D´Agata´s corner threw in what looked like a sponge but the referee kicked it out and continued his count but then stopped it after 2.37. Skoglund was after eight ahead by 80-72, 79-73 and a too close 78-75.
Danish middleweight Abdul Khattab (7-0) had among others Mikkel Kessler cheering him on and didn´t disappoint in stopping tough Brit Chris Jenkinson (6-13-1) who didn´t come out for the fifth due to a bad gash on the scalp. Jenkinson stunned Khattab in the third but other than that it was Abdul´s fight all the way. Khattab has been sparring with Kessler and began his career at the CIK Gym just like the Viking Warrior.
Norwegian Andreas Evensen (18-3-1) lost his comeback fight and had a tough time with experienced Georgian Kakhaber Avetisian (around 31-22-1) over eight. Evensen suffered a busted nose early in the fight, was shaken in the third and was cut as well but worked very hard. It wasn´t enough though as Avetisian won a split decision on scores of 78-74 and 77-75 with a 78-74 vote for Andreas.
Lightweight Rashid "the Dream" Kasseem (5-0) officially knocked out Gogo "Dinamita" Koshkelishvili (2-1) at of the sixth and final round but the story was that the Madrid based Georgian threw a left and went down in pain from an apparently dislocated shoulder and was counted out. Kasseem had dominated the fight all the way winning all the completed rounds clearly but couldn´t hurt his brave but limited opponent.
British heavyweight David Price (17-2) knocked out Ondrey Pala (33-5) at 0.33 of the third after flooring him earlier in the round as well. Price was down in the first and it was ruled a knockdown but it was more an off-balance slip. Pala was aggressive and Price seemed to have problems finding the range in the first two but he came out for the third as a new man, used his jab and landing with heavy, straight rights. Pala was badly out of it after the second knockdown and the referee stopped it without a count.
Irish middleweight Andy Lee (32-2) was awarded a majority eight rounds against Frenchman Franck Haroche Horta (34-13-5). It was scored 77-76 twice and 76-76 - all scores that looked opposite to what went on in reality where Lee was given a sound beating, especially in the last round when he was shaken and on wobbly legs.
Fair enough, Lee made a good start but was from the third round outhustled by Haroche Horta in this all southpaw clash. Haroche Horta got better with each round although he couldn´t hurt his opponent. Lee, to his credit, kept punching back but the Frenchman had a sound defense and not much from Lee got through.
Lee finished swollen and cut while his opponent was unmarked
Ukrainian cruiserweight Igor Pylylpenko (4-16-2) was taking stick from local man Peter Gram (2-1) for half of the first round but then landed with a short sneaky right that hurt Gram. Gram was backed into his own corner and floored after a barrage of punches. He got up and was allowed to continue but took a bad beating and it was eventually called off at 2.59 of the first with Gram defenseless on the ropes. It was scheduled for four.
Super middleweight debutant Landry Kore and Nikola Matic (9-22) opened Sauerland Promotion´s big show at the Blue Water Dokken with a hardfought four rounder won by Kore on scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37.