Imre Szello Stopped Hall Jr in Nine, Bacskai Still Unbeaten

by Tamas Pradarics

Imre Szello successfully defended his WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title for the second time with a ninth-round TKO win against Robert Hall Jr last Friday in Salgotarjan, Hungary. Szello (19-0, 12 KO’s) took the center of the ring in round one and controlled the bout with his calculated aggression. The American Hall Jr (11-1, 8 KO’s) tried his best to figure out his opponent but came up short in all areas.

Szello used his precise jab to set up his distance and landed his well-placed straight rights that staggered Hall several times during the bout. In round nine the 34 years old Hungarian contender rocked his foe with a short right to the jaw. Hall tried to leave the spot on unsteady legs but Szello landed a pair of left hooks that dropped the American hard under the ropes. Referee Bence Kovacs quickly waved off the bout after Hall laid moveless during the count.

With the win, Szello is expected to hold his No. 6 position by the WBO at 200 pounds and hopes to secure a world title fight in the near future.


Mate Kis did not waste a minute during his bout with Richard Baranyi to showcase his aggressive style to his loud fans. The light heavyweight pugilists with vastly different styles fought for the vacant Hungarian title in a scheduled ten round match.

Kis (10-0-2, 7 KO’s) battered his more experienced opponent from round one with hard bombs to the body. Baranyi (19-3, 13 KO’s) tried his best to create a distance for his straight punches but fell short against his hyperactive counterpart. Kis ended matters in round eight with a left hook to the ribs.

Reigning 160-pound Hungarian champion Balazs Bacskai schooled Tanzanian Joseph Sinkala (13-11-1, 7 KO’s) in six one-sided rounds. The 29-year-old

Bacskai (3-0, 1 KO) showed skills, patience and presence in his return to the middleweight division and proved he is ready to take a step ahead in competition.

WBO Youth super middleweight titlist Renato Egedi had a tough time against Salehe Mkalekwa. The 22-year-old Hungarian youngster had a fast start but struggled to take his momentum in the second part of a six-rounder. Mkalekwa (10-4, 2 KO’s), who was fighting the first time out of his native Africa, found his rhythm and gave a quality experience to his young opponent. Judges scored it 58-56, 58-56 for Egedi, 57-57 draw.

With the majority decision win, Egedi (11-1-2, 5 KO’s) continues his run to become a world-rated contender by the WBO at 168 pounds.

On the undercard Jozsef Darmos, Balazs Marton, Zoltan Surman Jr, Gabor Detre and Attila Koros all grabbed stay-busy TKO wins, with Elvio Antonietti successfully debuted with a decision win in a four-rounder against durable Krisztian Duka.

The event was promoted by Felix Racz’s Felix Promotion and televised live by national Hungarian sports broadcaster, M4 Sport.

You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.

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