By Alexey Sukachev
Inselparkhalle,Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, Germany - In a grueling war of attrition, as the majority of his recent contests have been, Karo Murat summoned the rest of his power in the very crucial moment, stopping American import Travis Reeves (15-3-2, 7 KOs) with approximately forty seconds left in the twelfth and final round to acquire a vacant IBO light heavyweight title.
WBA #4, WBC #7, WBO #8 and IBF #11 Murat, 34, entered this fight on a four-bout winning streak since losing on a kayo to Sullivan Barrera in December 2015.
This series included a late TKO over fellow German Dominic Boesel. IBF #8 Reeves, 37, had never fought out of the States and is best known for his win over then 0-1 Steve Geffrard, now a world-rated contender.
Both pugilists chose to exchange viscous, lazy yet rather powerful punches at a slow rate. It looked like Murat's power was dominant over Reeves but he also ate too many punches for him to punctuate his lead.
Reeves was determined and cautious at the same time, while Murat was inconsistent at close quarters but did well on his way out and also with his body punches. Rounds were mostly identical with both fighters rumbling it hard in a phone booth affair. Murat, meanwhile, looked dead tired but his visible fatigue didn't affect his punch rate as it was already rather low.
Murat caught his second win in championship rounds, while Reeves started to gas out. The American was wobbly on his legs at the conclusion of the eleventh. The twelfth started slowly as Reeves decided to turn back the heat. Murat was lethargic for the first two minutes but then exploded with a powerful right hand and a left hook. Reeves, clearly stunned, was pinned to the ropes and continued to eat leather before the referee has stepped in, maybe a bit too early. Murat improves to 32-3-1, with 21 KOs.
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