Brähmer Stays on Course for Cleverly Clash

Deontay Wilder finished Audley Harrison off early with his devastating punch power. Photo: Tony MaygerFor the second weekend in a row, boxing fans were treated to a bumper night of action with plenty of leather and gold laid on the line. Perhaps the pick of the night was Danny Garcia's (26-0) successful defence of his WBA & WBC light welterweight belts in his defeat of former IBF champion Zab Judah (42-8). After dominating the first six rounds and knocking Judah to the canvas in the eighth, Garcia was wobbled by the challenger in the later rounds. The champ kept his focus though, and won a unanimous decision over an expereinced campaigner who dug deep just to stay in the fight to hear the final bell.

On the same card at The Barclays centre in New York, WBO middleweight champ Peter 'Kid Chocolate' Quillin stretched his unbeaten record to 29-0 with a seventh round TKO victory over Fernando Guerrero (25-2). Guerrero was put down twice in the second and seventh round before the referee called a halt to proceedings.

On the other side of the Atlantic the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena played host to Amir Khan's (28-3) first fight in the UK for two years and welcomed American heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (28-0) over to face Prizefighter winner Audley Harrison (31-7). Wilder is somewhat of a knockout specialist having won all of his previous 27 bouts by knocking out all challengers. He kept that impressive record in tact when in little over a minute of the first round Harrison was caught by a big right from the 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner. Wilder moved in and swung his arms uncontrollably before the referee came to the rescue and waved it all off.

Khan had a similarly torried night but did extremely well to stay on his feet and win a unanimous decision over skilled Mexican Julio Diaz (40-8-1). Bolton's Olympic champion was down in round four after being caught with a left hook which had him fall over his own feet. Khan ate more hooks in the later rounds and had him dancing with spaghetti legs as a result, but somehow he stayed up, clinched his way out of trouble and ran away from Diaz who was hunting him down. The judges were convinced that Khan had worked enough to steal the majority of rounds and gave him the nod.

In Germany, European light heavyweight champion Jürgen Brähmer (40-2) kept himself on course to reclaim the WBO world title he was stripped of in 2009. Frenchman Tony Averlant (18-8-2) was the man who was given the chance to spoil Brähmer's ambitions but he lasted little over a round when he was floored with a lethal, left hook to the body. It was a massive shot that knocked the stuffing out of Averlant who failed to beat the referee's count. Britain's Nathan Cleverly, who defeated Robin Krasniqi only last weekend, must face Brähmer as his next mandatory challenger.

Jack Culcay's defeat was the biggest upset of the evening. Photo: Tony MaygerThere were two surprise defeats for Sauerland fighters in Hamburg. First Jack Culcay (14-1) lost his WBA Inter-Continental light middleweight title along with his unbeaten record to Argentine Guido Nicolas Pitto (18-1). In his first fight with legendary trainer Fritz Sdunek in his corner (famous for training Vitali Klitschko and Felix Sturm) his boxing style had changed and not visably for the better. In the early half of the fight, Culcay was elusive and moved well in and out of range but failed to pressure his visitor and landed few meaningful shots. He was light on his feet and shuffled around the ring nicely but there was little in the way of aggression from the 2009 world amateur champion. In the latter stages Pitto, who had plodded away steadily and effectively from the opening bell, was bloodied but dug deep to keep Culcay at bay and win a split decision.

Another '0' was lost when light heavyweight prospect Dustin Dirks (27-1) was given a step up in opposition in the shape of 32-year old Oleksandr Cherviak (11-2-1). Dirks struggled to handle the style of the wiley Ukranian and his corner waved the towel after a big upper cut in the tenth round nearly took the young German's head off. Dirks remains the WBA Inter-Continental light heavyweight title holder because Cherviak came in slightly over weight for the fight.

Next weekend sees the world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko defend his collection of belts against former sparring partner Francesco Pianeta at the SAP Arena in Mannheim while undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather defends his welterweight strap against Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero in Las Vegas.


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