Saturday, 20 February 2010

Friday Fight Night - Stoke Review - Leva Kirakosyan vs Scott Lawton

Tonight was a night of domination, peppered with some hard-fought, close calls.

First up we had Russia's Leva Kirakosyan facing Britain's Scott Lawton for the vacant European Super-Featherweight title. Lawton never stood a chance, with Kirakosyan delivering perfect shots filled with power and accuracy. Every time Lawton got hit flush, his sense were robbed from him, evident when within 40 seconds he was knocked to the floor.

In the second round, Kirakosyan again caught the Brit and, were it not for the ropes, chances are Lawton would have been knocked down and out. However, the ropes saved the man from falling, the referee delivering a well-deserved 'standing 8 count'. I personally feel that the fight should have ended here, but Lawton was saved by the bell and went on to fight a further 20 seconds of the third round, before the referee finally, and wisely, called a halt to proceedings.

36 year old Kirakosyan is now 32(22)-5(2)-0 while 33 year old Lawton stands at 27(6)-6(4)-1.

Continuing with the domination theme, Danny McIntosh made light work of defending his English Light-Heavyweight belt against Tony Oakey. Although lacking the precise style of Kirakosyan, McIntosh was heavily in charge of this bout, knocking Oakey down twice in the second round. In a stunning display of foolishness, Oakey remained on his knee while being counted by the ref, continually looking over to his corner, and then attempted to rise at '9'.

It is very debatable whether Oakey made the count or not, the fact remains that he had no control over the fight. Chances are he could have went on to mount a stunning victory, but I highly doubt that. McIntosh finds himself at 11(5)-1(1)-0 and hopefully the 29 year old can sharpen up his technique and precision and find himself back in British/Commonwealth/European rankings after suffering his first, and only, defeat last year to Nathan Cleverly.

Meanwhile, 34 year old Oakey is expected to take on Isaac Chilemba next month for the WBC International Light-Heavyweight belt. Whether he can shake off the pangs of defeat and rise up to the occasion remains to be seen, but judging by tonight's performance, he simply hasn't got the legs nor stability to stand up to any real pressure. His record now reads 29(8)-5(2)-1.

Moving on from the brutality of domination, we were treated to a few fights that managed to last the distance tonight. Chris Edwards (14(4)-14(3)-3, 33yr) managed to win the vacant Commonwealth Flyweight title by besting Abmerk Shindjuu (7(2)-3-2) in a very close unanimous decision - all judges scored it 115-114 to Edwards.

In a fantastic display that essentially ended in both fighters going head-to-head in a battle of rolling shoulders and a balanced act of defense and offense, Gary Buckland (18(6)-1-0, 23yr) faced Sam Rukundo (15(6)-1-1, 29yr). Although Buckland had a great start in the fight, I felt that the scores were very close towards the end, and certainly the fight should have ended within 3 points. However, the official judges felt differently and awarded Buckland the unanimous decision with scores of 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112. This fight was an eliminator for the Commonwealth Lightweight title.

Finally, one last word for domination - Scott Quigg (17(11)-0-0, 21yr) knocked out Nikita Lukin (10(3)-18(1)-2, 26yr) in under one minute. With an impressive record, hopefully Quigg will next face an impressive opponent.

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