In a battle for the vacant WBO European Bantamweight championship Ionut Baluta scored a close ten round split decision over local favorite Kyle Williams on Friday night at the Hangar Events Venue in Wolverhampton, England. Baluta dropped Williams with a counter left hook to the jaw in the first round. Despite facing an early deficit on the scorecards, Williams fought back well by using his aggression and angles to pressure Baluta. Williams however, would suffer a cut over the right eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads in round five. Although Williams had success, particularly when he was able push Baluta back against the ropes, Baluta generally landed the cleaner punches and seemed to get the better of the exchanges between the two. Baluta was penalized a point in round nine for deliberately spitting out his mouthpiece. A second point deduction for the same foul would follow in round ten. Despite this, Baluta, who was fighting for the first time outside of his native Romania,was able to get the nod of two official judges by scores of 96-92 and 95-93, while the third judge scored the fight 95-92 for Williams giving Baluta a hard-fought victory. Ionut Baluta advances to 12-2, with 2 Knockouts. Kyle Williams falls to 11-2, with 3 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Welterweight Sid Bowater scored a six round decision over Artur Devaytan. Both fighters were able have their moments throughout exchanging combinations, but Bowater was able to out work Devaytan down the stretch to secure the win. Sid Bowater advances to 5-1, with 1 Knockout. Artur Devaytan falls to 1-4, with 0 Knockouts.
Also in the Welterweight division rising prospect Conah Walker scored a lopsided six round decision over a very “Game” Edvinas Puplauskas. The story of this fight was Walker’s consistent attack to the body of Puplauskas throughout the entire fight. Consistent pressure allowed Walker to earn the convincing win as Puplauskas simply could not find a way to keep Walker off of him. Conah Walker advances to 6-0-1, with 2 Knockouts. Edvinas Puplauskas falls to 6-26, with 4 Knockouts.
Undefeated Middleweight Shaka Thompson scored a dominant six round decision over Bryn Wain. Thompson dropped Wain with a short left hook in the second round and carried the action from the opening bell on his way to the victory. Shaka Thompson advances to 7-0, with 0 Knockouts. Bryn Wain falls to 0-30, with 0 Knockouts.
Lightweight Stu Greener successfully made his professional debut by scoring a four round decision over Clayton Bricknell. Bricknell was the aggressor early in the fight throwing and landing combinations, but Greener was able to match his offense and by the end of the bout seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges. Stu Greener advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Clayton Bricknell falls to 2-2-1, with 0 Knockouts.
Women’s Welterweight Kirstie Bavington scored a second round stoppage of Monika Antonik. Bavington scored a knockdown in the first round when Antonki’s glove touched the canvas while she was trying to evade punches on the ropes. The fight was stopped in round two when Antonik turned her back appearing to submit rather than take further punishment. Official time of the stoppage was 1:28 of round two.Kirstie Bavington advances to 3-1-1, with 2 Knockouts. Monika Antonik falls to 1-18, with 0 Knockouts.
In the Cruiserweight division Antony Woolery scored a four round decision over Elvis Dube. Woolery controlled the tempo of the combat with his jab throughout and generally kept Dube on the defensive. Antony Woolery advances to 2-2, with 0 Knockouts. Elvis Dube falls to 8-80-2, with 5 Knockouts.
Middleweight Ashlee Eales successfully made his professional debut with a workmanlike four round decision over two hundred twenty-five fight veteran Kevin McCauley. Ashlee Eales advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Kevin McCauley falls to 15-199-12, with 0 Knockouts.
Undefeated Featherweight James Beach scored a four round decision over veteran Michael Mooney. James Beach advances to 11-0, with 2 Knockouts. Michael Mooney falls to 9-69-2, with 3 Knockouts.
Although most knowledgeable Boxing fans probably associate the European championship as being that, that is recognized by the European Boxing Union (EBU), the original version of the European championship in Professional Boxing, recent years have seen the sport’s respective sanctioning organizations introduce their own versions of the European championship. While this in no way diminishes the prestige and importance of the original European championship, what it does is create an alternative path for European fighters to enter into the world rankings. For Ionut Baluta, his victory over Kyle Williams will now earn him a place in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) rankings in the 118lb. Bantamweight division. While no one knows for certain whether it will ultimately lead to a world championship fight for Baluta remains to be seen, but he has now officially stepped up a level and it will be up to him to show that he is among the best Bantamweights in the world going forward. It is a task that can indeed be easier said than done.
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