Light-heavyweight prospect Karol Itauma extended his unbeaten record to nine fights as he stopped Vladimir Belujsky just 102 seconds from the end of his eight-rounder on the Fury-Chisora undercard at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in what was oddly a fight between two boxers born in a small town in Slovakia.
Itauma, moved to Kent as a child and Beluksky lives in Ireland, but remarkably they were both born in the Slovakian town of Kezmarok, which has a population of only 16,000 people. That Itauma’s younger brother, Enriko – a world youths gold medallist - was ringside, it came close to counting as a town meeting.
There were few niceties, though, as Itauma, 22, a Youth Olympic gold medallist for Great Britain as an amateur, wasted no time taking the fight to Belujsky as he worked behind his southpaw jab and followed in with sharp lefts. It was more of the same in the second as Belujsky struggled to land.
Belujsky made a big effort to turn the tide in the third, but he could not get past Itauma’s jab, which never seemed to miss and landed with serious intent.
Rounds four and five followed the pattern, with Belujsky trying to land but nailed when he left himself open and Itauma finished the fifth with a good burst as he got by far the better of an exchange.
After another one-sided sixth round, Itauma went through the gears in the seventh as he floored Belujsky with a good left, followed by two-fisted assault. Belujsky beat the count and desperately clung on as Itauma went for the finish.
He made it through the round and took more stick in the eighth with Lee Every jumping in at 1:18 of the eighth and final round after Belujsky was rocked in a neutral corner.
Royston Barney-Smith made short work of Cruz Perez, a Nicaraguan based in Spain, who was stopped after just 62 seconds of the first round.
Barney-Smith spent 30 seconds finding his range before he dropped Perez with the first shot he threw with menace, a long southpaw left after Perez had lunged in with a right of his own. Perez beat the count but was not allowed to continue by referee Mark Bates. It was scheduled for four rounds.
The 18-year-old super-featherweight moves to 4-0.
Isaac Lowe, who has been a fixture on Fury undercards over the years, got the evening underway as he pounded out a six-round decision against game Indian opponent Sandeep Singh Bhatti.
Referee Mark Bates scored it 60-54, although Bhatti was always competitive and throwing back. It was Lowe’s first fight since losing to Nick Ball on the Fury-Dillian Whyte undercard in April.
Former British light-heavyweight champion Hosea Burton went through the motions on the way to a six-round decision over late substitute Darryl Sharp, who was having his 103rd fight (only six of them wins). The action never really strayed above sparring pace, as Burton took a 60-54 decision from referee Every.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.