By Per Ake Persson
Sundsvall, Sweden - Heavyweight Otto Wallin, 18-0, stopped Italian champ Gianluca Mandras, 12-5, at 1.18 into the fifth of this scheduled ten-rounder to win the vacant WBA Continental title.
Mandras, a strong but slow fighter, came forward at all times but was countered by Wallin, a southpaw. Mandras kept walking into Wallin´s left hand caved in midway through the fourth and went down twice. He was down twice more in the fifth before it was stopped.
Wallin sent a special thanks to trainer Joey Gamache afterwards and of the fighters Gamache has trained since coming to Scandinavia Otto is the one who´s made most progress. It must be said that it will take a tougher opponent than Mandras to test Wallin, who it must be said, is quite untested.
WBC female super welterweight Emeritius champion Mikaela Lauren outscored American Kira Watkins over six on scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55. Watkins came in as a substitute for reigning champ Ewa Piatkowska, who pulled out with an injury, and put up a brave performance battling both her hair that was at the end all over her face and Lauren´s steady pressure and right hand.
Light heavyweight Oscar Ahlin, 14-2, returned after another injury related layoff and stopped Bosnian Ermin Avdic, 10-3. Avdic was down twice in the second but landed with decent shots himself as Ahlin tried to follow up. However as the bell sounded one could see that Avdic had a badly swollen left eye and when the bell rang for the third round a timeout was called and after the ringside physician had inspected the injury he recommended the referee to stop it. Official time was 0.08. It was scheduled for four.
Cruiserweight Kennedy Katende, 2-0 and a two-time Olympian, showed impressive handspeed and good skills as he at times toyed with overmatched Croatian Ivan Brkljaca, 2-4, for a stoppage win at 1.18 of the fifth in another six two minute round fight. Brklijaca was hurt by a bodyshot and retired claiming an injured leg - one couldn´t blame him: Katende dominated every second of this fight and should have finished it earlier but opted to showboat and try to impress his fans (which he did).
Crowd pleasing local hero and super middleweight Rocco Wadell, 2-0, slugged it for six two minute rounds with Czech southpaw Petr Chmelik, 2-3-1, and won a unanimous decision. It was scored 59-55 on all cards in a fast paced, hard fought battle where Chmelik tried to bulldoze his opponent but could never pin him down long enough. Chmelik scored with a number of good punches as Wadell waded in but was not strong enough to keep the Swede off.
Another 6x2 fight was over in 18 seconds when Serbian lightweight lady Mirjana Vujic retired against Patricia Berghult with an injured nose. Vujic may in fact have entered the ring with the injury as there were no punches nor head clashes in the short time the fight lasted. Vujic did however bleed from the nose and refused to continue. It was ruled a tko win for Berghult.
In the show opener to Sauerland Promotion´s show at the sporthall, the first professional boxing event in this town since 1964, Icelandic heavyweight Gunnar Kolbeinn Kristinsson, fresh in from the Robert Helenius training camp in Mariehamn, moved to 9-0 with a four round unanimous decision over Bosnian Jasmin Hasic, 8-4.
Kristinsson dominated the fight behind his heavy jab and floored Hasic in the second with his right. There was a knockdown in the third as well but it wasn´t called for some reason. Hasic, overweight but a decent 4-6 round level fighter, did better after that and scored with a few punches. It was scored 40-35 on all cards.