Warren Esabe remains without a knockout, though also without a loss in his pro journey.
The 19-year old rookie maintained his unblemished record with a four-round unanimous decision over Mohamed Suleiman Kartoum. Scores were 39-37, 39-37 and 39-38 in favor of Esabe in their battle of undefeated welterweights Friday evening at H Arena in Nantes, France.
Kartoum—who turned pro last February but was fighting for the first time since the pandemic—did his best to smother Esabe throughout an active opening round. Esabe struggled to adapt, forced to play defense as Kartoum throw wide, swarming punches from all angles.
Esabe let his hands go in round two, connecting on the inside while Kartoum continued to charge forward in round two. Esabe was the more effective puncher of the two, scoring with left hooks and straight right hands while effectively picking off the incoming.
Both fighters offered showboating tactics in a furiously-paced round three. Esabe stomped his right leg and waved his right hand in the air, while Kartoum danced around and dared his countryman to come forward. Esabe was quicker to the draw on most exchanges, frequently scoring with his blistering right hand. Kartoum was able to counter with left hooks, though at the expense of failing to defend against counter shots.
Kartoum stood center ring in the fourth and final round. Esabe was game for the cause, beating his foe to the punch and landing the far more telling blows.
Esabe improves to 3-0 (0KOs) with the win, all coming within the past five months since turning pro last October. Kartoum falls to 2-1 (0KOs).
The bout served in supporting capacity to the headlining clash between Paris-bred 2016 Olympic Gold medalist Tony Yoka (9-0, 7KOs) and Joel Tambwe Djeko (17-2-1, 8KOs), a Belgian heavyweight based out of England.
In the evening’s final undercard bout, Farrhad Saad earned an eight-round unanimous decision over Borislav Ivanov in their middleweight bout.
Scores were 80-72, 80-72 and 79-73 in favor of Saad (8-0-1, 0KOs), an unbeaten prospect from Nancy, France who wobbled Ivanov in the opening round and had the Bulgarian in trouble again in round seven but was unable to close the show.
Saad landed at will with his uppercut, with Ivanov—who accepted the fight on ten days’ notice—unable to do more than show a rock solid chin. Ivanov was badly wobbled in round seven, pushed to the ropes but with Saad lacking the power—as evidenced in his ring record—to put him away as he settled for a landslide decision win.
Both bouts served in supporting capacity to the headlining clash between Paris-bred 2016 Olympic Gold medalist Tony Yoka (9-0, 7KOs) and Joel Tambwe Djeko (17-2-1, 8KOs), a Belgian heavyweight based out of England.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox