By Alexey Sukachev
Former British superstar and starting promoter Ricky Hatton ("Hatton Promotions") has come back with a bang at the Deeside Leisure Center in Queensferry, Wales. Hatton staged a nice-packed little show with an interesting international collision as its main event and a few prospects to support the headliner.
Sergey Rabchenko (17-0, 12 KOs) of Minsk, Belarus, endured a punishing experience against tough local veteran Bradley Pryce (31-10, 18 KOs) to get a contorversial unanimous decision, and also grabs the vacant WBA intercontinental light middleweight title.
The fight wasn't a walk in the park for previously undefeated 25-year old Belarussian, who was once known as an amateur star (217 wins in 238 fights) but fought mostly limited opposition throughout his 5-year long professional career. Experience meant much in the fight. "Sweet Sugar" Pryce fought mostly at the ropes in the starting rounds. he was able to land some decent shots at uncharacteristically slow and undetermined Rabchenko, who forgot to connect with his trademark liver shots. Pryce was better in a jabbing contest and landed several big uppercuts. However, Rabchenko was the stronger fighter of the two.
The Belarussian continued to stalk Pryce despite being hit much and it worked for him in the midst of the fight. Rabchenko wobbled Pryce badly at the end of the sixth stanza and took over in the seventh. The last quarter of the fight saw a relative revival for the local boy, who caught his second wind and started to find room for punching counter hooks to the durable guest. He was hitting Rabchenko hard but the Belarussian just refused to go down and tried to change stanzas to box more effectively. Both fighters gave their all in the last round, and Rabchenko was just a nod better.
Nevertheless, BoxingScene saw it 114-115 - for Bradly Pryce. However, official officials scored the fight otherwise: John Coyle - 117-112, Paul Thomas - 116-113 and the third judge - 116-112 - all for Sergey Rabchenko, who is promoted by Hatton Promotions. Referee was Terry O'Connor.
In a horrific shootout, Tom Doran (10-0, 3 KOs) scored a remarkable but disputed first-round stoppage of "Mad" Max Maxwell (14-10-3, 9 KOs) to become an official challenger to the British light middleweight crown. Doran started to hit Maxwell from the very beginning and was successful doing so. However, when Mad Max retaliated Doran felt the power to the very core of his bones. Soon Doran momentarily touched the canvas after a nice counter of his opponent. Maxwell went in for the stoppage, rocked Doran but was tagged by a smashing right in close quarters. Maxwell went to the ropes and was rather defenseless in protecting himself. Seeing this, referee Howard Foster stepped in and controversially (and too early) waved the fight off at 2:42 of the first. Hugely disappointed Maxwell was still conscious and willing to trade with Tom Doran.
James Dickens (3-0, 1 KO) PTS 4 Stoyan Serbezov (4-16, 3 KOs). Score was 40-36.
Rob Hunt (15-1-1, 1 KO) PTS 4 Matt Seawright (3-47-2). Score was 40-37.