By Ken Hissner: At the Manchester Arena, Manchester, Lancashire, UK, Saturday, Matchroom Boxing – Eddie Hearn over DAZN presented three European title bouts, but the Main Event was unbeaten WBA International Light Heavyweight champion Joshua Buatsi knocked out Daniel “Panthere” Blenda Dos Santos in the fourth round.
In the Main Event WBA International Light Heavyweight champion and 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Joshua Buatsi, 14-0 (21), #174, of Ghana and Croydon, London, UK, knocked out Daniel “Panthere” Dos Santos, 15-1 (8), #172¾, of Pont-Sainte-Maxence, Oise, France, at 2:44 of the fourth round of a scheduled 10 rounds.
In a minute into the second round, a pair of chopping rights from Buatsi on the side of the head and down went Dos Santos for an 8-count from referee Victor Loughlin. For some reason, Dos Santos finished the round southpaw. In the third round, Dos Santos put his head into the body of Buatsi, driving him to the canvas receiving a warning from referee Loughlin. In the fourth round having Dos Santos backed into a corner an overhand right from Buatsi on the chin following with a right as Dos Santos was going down and out! After getting Dos Santos to a stool, Buatsi went over kneeling next to him, comforting him. Dos Santos had never fought over a scheduled 6 rounds prior to this bout.
“I just landed the right-hand shot at the right time. I’m just glad he’s okay and hope to be back in June or July,” said Buatsi. His new trainer Virgil Hunter said, “Dos Santos looked better than he showed tonight in previous fights on film. Inside of one year or 12-14 months, Joshua will be ready for a title fight. He listed to instructions well, and I’m happy with his performance tonight,” said Hunter. Promoter Eddie Hearn added, “Dos Santos was tricky. In June or July in America, I plan to have him ready in the future to go against Dmitry Bivol. You have to remember he’s been out of the ring for nearly seven months and with a new trainer in Virgil Hunter.”
In the co-feature Super Middleweight southpaw Lerrone “Sniper The Boss” Richards, 15-0 (3), #166¾, of London, UK, pitched a shutout over former WBA Super Middle champ Giovanni De Carolis, 28-10-1 (13), #167 ¼, of Rome, Italy, for the vacant EBU title, over 12 rounds.
In the first nine rounds, Richards used combinations off an effective jab against the defensive-minded De Carolis. In the seventh round, De Carolis landed 3 rights to the body in his best offense of the fight. In the tenth and eleventh rounds, De Carolis tried landing punches, but Richards slipped all of them, countering him in return. In the twelfth and final round, De Carolis tried landing lead rights against the elusive southpaw Richards with no success. Richards pitched a shutout, but his power is in question.
Scores were John-Lewis and Perajoki 120-108 and Rosa 119-109, with this writer 120-108. The referee was John Latham.
“I can do this to anyone in the division. I punch harder than people think (questioning his power),” said Richards. He went onto sing for his son, “hot crossed buns!”
EBU Cruiserweight champion Tommy “Mac Attack” McCarthy, 18-2 (9), #199¼, of Belfast, No. Ireland stopped Alexandru Jur, 19-5 (7), #198¼, of Oradea, Romania, at 2:09 of the sixth round retaining his title of a scheduled 12 rounds.
In the fourth round, with 20 seconds left, a left hook from McCarthy to the ribs and down went Jur. Referee Ian John-Lewis gave him an 8-count. To his credit Jur for the first time in the fight, got up and started fighting back to the bell. In the sixth round with Jur on the retreat, McCarthy landed a left hook to the body and down went Jur on his knees, taking the count from referee Ian John-Lewis.
EBU European Super Bantam champion and 2008 Olympian Gamal “The Beast” Yafai, 18-2 (10), #121½, of Birmingham, UK, survived 3 knockdowns in losing his title to southpaw Jason “The Iceman” Cunningham, 29-6 (6), #121½, of Doncaster, UK, over 12 rounds.
In the second round southpaw, Cunningham landed a straight left after a jab on the chin of Yafai, and he went down for an 8-count from referee Victor Loughlin. He was up and managed to get through the round. In the third round, Yafai finally started landing to the body, having Cunningham slowing down. And in the fourth round, after 30 seconds, a counter left from Cunningham on the chin of Yafai, and down he went for the second time in the fight for an 8-count. In the sixth round, a left uppercut from Cunningham followed by a left on the chin of Yafai, and down he went for the third time in the fight.
Yafai came back taking the seventh and eighth rounds. In the tenth round, Yafai had his best round of the fight hurting Cunningham with body shots. In the eleventh and twelfth rounds, Yafai continued outworking the late sub (on 3 weeks notice) Cunningham, but it seemed like too little too late trying to overcome three knockdowns.
Scores were Lyson 115-110 while Lewis and Latham had it 114-111. This writer had it 113-112.
Super Lightweight Dalton “Thunder” Smith, 8-0 (7), #139½, of Sheffield, UK, stopped Lee Appleyard, 16-6-1 (5), #139½, of Rotherham, UK, for the vacant BBBofC English title, at 2:44 of the sixth round of a scheduled 10 rounds.
In the third round, Smith had Appleyard in trouble, starting with a right on the chin in the last 20 seconds followed up with a flurry at the bell. In the fifth round, inside a minute, Appleyard turned his back (low blow), going to his corner with referee Mark Langston giving Smith a warning. All of a sudden, Appleyard, for the first time in the fight, went on the offense. In the sixth round with Appleyard’s face full of blood from the nose had taken a brutal beating, with fans yelling to stop it. Finally, the referee waved it off after Smith gave a flurry of punches without a return from the game Appleyard.
Heavyweight Solomon Dacres, 1-0 (0), #222½ of Warley, UK, easily defeated Mladen Manev, 3-9 (2), #233, of Sofia, Bulgaria, over 4 rounds. It was all Dacres for all 4 rounds, with Manev covering up. The score was 60-54. The ref was John Latham.