by Tamas Pradarics
Latvia - Danish cruiserweight Micki Nielsen may grabbed his 25th pro victory but his performance was far from dominant against rugged Latvian Ricards Bolotniks. Nielsen (25-1, 15 KOs) was painfully inaccurate and seemed to have issues with his condition in the later rounds on an eight-round bout. Bolotniks (10-4-1, 4 KOs) was willing to take punishment to put himself in position to land his own bombs.
The Latvian stunned his foe more than once during the get-go. At the end, two of the judges scored it 77-75 for Nielsen while the third one gave the nod to Bolotniks to 78-74. The crowd heavily booed the official verdict.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Yoann Kongolo easily defended his WBC International Silver belt after ten one-sided rounds against Latvian fan-favorite journeyman Andrejs Pokumeiko. Kongolo (11-0, 4 KOs) was simply the better fighter there, using his footwork and more precise punches to keep his opponent from taking the control.
The pro-Latvian crowd tried its best to give extra motivation to its countryman but a bloody Pokumeiko (15-13-1, 11 KOs) was unable to pull the trigger. Kongolo dropped his foe once in round seven. In the same round he lost a point for a foul. Scores were 99-90, 98-91, 99-89 all for Kongolo.
175-pound prospect Jevgenijs Aleksejevs kept his 'O' with a hard-fought six-round split decision over Frenchmen Maurice Possiti. The Riga-based hometown favorite Aleksejevs (8-0, 6 KOs) started well in round one and took the heat with his aggressive combinations. Possiti (17-13, 7 KOs) found his rhythm in round two.
In the third the French fighter got rocked by a short right hook but finished the round on the attack. The Latvian boxer suffered a bad cut over his right eye in round four but managed to regain his confidence in the fifth. The combatants traded heavy blows in the ultimate stanza. Judges scores were 58-56, 58-56, 56-58 for Aleksejevs.
Heavyweight prospect Filip Hrgovic (3-0, 3 KOs) continued his destruction charge by battering and stopping British veteran Tom Little (10-5) in the fourth round.
The 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic collected more experience in his bout against Little than he had in his first two bouts combined in the pro ranks. The Croatian heavyweight prospect seemed to be a bit over-anxious in the first frame before he found his distance in round two. Hrgovic landed his straight right hand hard and often until referee Daniel Van de Wiele called a halt to the bout in round four. Official time was 2:15.
Heavyweight prospect Otto Wallin improved his unbeaten streak to 19 with a third round TKO win over journeyman Srdan Govedarica.
The 27-year-old Swedish pugilist settled his jab early in round one and dropped Govedarica (6-6, 5 KOs) in the second and third frames respectively thanks to calculated left hooks to the body. Wallin (19-0, 13 KOs), who is promoted by Sauerland Event, is on his way to become a challenger for the EBU title this year.
In a low-placed tactical fight, Araik Marutjan secured his second pro win against Richard Hegyi (4-3, 3 KOs). The middleweight combatants used all four frames to try to out think the other. Marutjan (2-0) got a unanimous verdict over his Hungarian opponent.
Nigerian-born, London-based cruiserweight Mikael Lawal kept his unbeaten record with a six-round unanimous decision win over Hungarian journeyman Istvan Orsos.
The 22-year-old Lawal (5-0, 3 KOs) started to land his powerful right hooks and uppercuts in the second frame. He dropped Orsos (16-43-2, 6 KOs) in round two, three and five respectively, but was unable to finish his helpless foe. No scorecards were announced but it is more than likely that all three judges scored the bout 60-51 for Lawal.