Joel’s Jabs and Hooks

We had a star-studded card from Scotland this past weekend as Julius Indongo came into the SSE Hydro and completely outclassed Ricky Burns to a points decision victory. Ricky Burns had hit a wall at lightweight beginning in 2013. After losing his title in 2014 to one of the pound for pound best, Terence Crawford, he had one more fight at lightweight, losing a split to Dejan Zlaticanin, he decided to move up to super lightweight and campaign there, having mostly positive results against lower opposition. Burns was hoping Indongo was the kind of guy, who might have won with a lucky punch, when he won his title in December against Eduard Troyanovsky in enemy territory, in Russia. Saturday in Scotland, where Indongo, was again on enemy territory, proved he’s one of the best in the 140-pound division. Unifying titles and making a run for a possible fight with Junior welterweight king Terence Crawford. It was a great performance that may make Ricky Burns think about his future as a professional boxer.

We were treated to a shock upset when Robbie Barrett, who was expected to be brought in for Scott Cardle, to make a routine defense of his British Lightweight title, lost a majority decision. Cardle knocked down Barrett in the second and fifth round of the bout, but Barrett had too much heart to let the fight get away and fought on like he a true fighter to win on the cards, 115-113, 114-112 while the third judge had it a draw, 114-114. Barrett improves to 15-2-1, while Cardle suffered his first loss of his pro career, dropping to 21-1-1.

Josh Kelly made his pro debut under the Eddie Hearn umbrella yesterday as well, getting his first victory in the paid ranks, defeating tough Jay Byrne over six rounds.

Lawrence Okolie moved to 2-0 when he defeated polish journeyman, Lukasz Rusiewicz in the first round. Okolie is an imitating force in the cruiserweight division with blitzing power. He is 6’5 and has good speed. He will return in two weeks on the Joshua vs. Klitschko undercard at Wembley Stadium before 90,000 fans on the undercard for his third pro bout.

Meanwhile, interim WBA light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol made his stateside TV debut, in the main event of a Shobox card in Maryland, facing Samuel Clarkson. Clarkson has been known to be the underdog upset fighter, beating guys, who are supposed to come in and beat Clarkson to get to that contender phase of their career, but losing their dreams when Clarkson defeats them and brings them back to reality. Bivol showed he is the real deal, knocking down Clarkson twice in the first, and putting him away in the fourth. This was a very impressive performance for the Kyrgyzstan born, Russian based light heavyweight, who, afterwards called for a fight with Nathan Cleverly, who has a secondary WBA light heavyweight title. Bivol, who now has 10 fights under his belt, is moving along very well and very fast. A fight with Cleverly is very interesting and a winnable fight for Bivol. If he can keep this up, future fights with Beterbiev, Barrera and other top contenders will be on his horizon.


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