Undefeated top ten rated Light-Heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi scored a devastating fourth round knockout over previously unbeaten Daniel Dos Santos on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The difference in punching power was almost immediately apparent as Buatsi immediately put Dos Santos on the defensive. In round two, Buatsi dropped Dos Santos with a right hand to the temple. Dos Santos was able to survive the round, but he was unable to land anything to keep Buatsi from stalking forward. Buatsi continued to walk Dos Santos down and in round four, Buatsi ended the fight with a brutal overhand right to the jaw that knocked Dos Santos out cold before he hit the canvas. The was no count and the fight was immediately stopped.
Dos Santos was down for a few moments, but did regain his senses and was able to leave the ring under his own power. Official time of the stoppage was 2:44 of round four. Joshua Buatsi advances to 14-0, with 12 Knockouts. Daniel Dos Santos falls to 15-1, with 8 Knockouts.
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In a battle for the vacant European Super-Middleweight championship undefeated Lerrone Richards scored a one-sided twelve rounds unanimous decision over Giovanni De Carolis. From start to finish, Richards used lateral movement, timing and combination punching to out box De Carolis to earn a unanimous decision where two of three official judges scored every round in his favor. Official scores were: 120-108, (On two scorecards) and 119-109 in favor of Richards, Lerrone Richards advances to 15-0, with 3 Knockouts. Giovanni De Carolis falls to 28-10-1, with 13 Knockouts.
In an upset former two-time Commonwealth Jr. Featherweight champion Jason Cunningham on three weeks notice scored a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over European Jr. Featherweight champion Gamal Yafai to win the championship. From the opening bell, the southpaw Cunningham implemented an effective fight plan with an emphasis on defense and counter punching. Despite being under constant pressure from the champion and not being known as a power puncher, Cunningham found a home for his left hand and it was a straight left hand that dropped the champion in round two. This opened a cut over Yafai’s right eye. A near identical sequence occurred in round four when Yafai was dropped for the second time with a counter left cross to the head. In round six, Cunningham dropped Yafai for the third time in the fight with a counter left hook to the jaw.
With the fight numerically won with three knockdowns scored in terms of points after six rounds, Cunningham continued to box effectively throughout the second half of the fight and boxed his way to a convincing unanimous decision victory to win the championship. Official scores were: 115-110, and 114-111 (On two scorecards) in favor of Cunningham. Jason Cunningham advances to 29-6, with 6 Knockouts. Gamal Yafai falls to 18-2, with 10 Knockouts.
European Cruiserweight champion Tommy McCarthy scored a sixth round knockout over Alexandru Jur to retain his title. McCarthy was patient in waiting for openings even though he did not face much resistance in terms of hand speed. The champion consistently beat Jur to the punch. One exchange nearly brought the fight to its conclusion when McCarthy landed a left hook to the body that sent Jur down in round four. Jur was able to beat the count and the fight continued. In round six however, McCarthy landed another left hook to the body that sent Jur down for the second time, this time for the full ten count. Official time of the stoppage was 2:08 of round six. Tommy McCarthy advances to 18-2, with 9 Knockouts. Alexandru Jur falls to 19-5, with 7 Knockouts.
In a battle for the vacant British English Jr. Welterweight championship, undefeated Dalton Smith scored a sixth round stoppage of former English Lightweight champion Lee Appleyard. Initially what was shaping up as a tactical contest with Appleyard, attempting to bait Smith into corners and appearing to be content to stay at distance, gradually evolved to Smith systematically breaking Appleyard down with a full arsenal of offense to the body and head. As the fight became increasingly one-sided, Smith continued his assault until Referee Mark Lyson finally stepped in and stopped the fight at 2:44 of round six. Dalton Smith advances to 8-0, with 7 Knockouts. Lee Appleyard falls to 16-6-1, with 5 Knockouts.
Heavyweight Solomon Dacres successfully made his professional debut by scoring a six round decision over veteran Mladen Manev. Dacres put in a workmanlike performance as he pounded Manev over six rounds. As all non-title bouts that do not have an impact on regional or world rankings are solely scored by the referee officiating a bout, Referee John Latham scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Dacres. Solomon Dacres advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Mladen Manev falls to 3-9, with 2 Knockouts.
Women’s Jr. Middleweight Ellis Hopkins began the evening by scoring a four round decision in her professional debut over veteran Borislava Goranova. Referee John Latham scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Hopkins. Ellis Hopkins advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Borislava Goranova falls to 11-65-4, with 0 Knockouts.
As fighters in both the 168lb. Super-Middleweight and 175lb. Light-Heavyweight divisions continue to angle in the hopes of attracting the interest of a marquee star in either division including, but not limited to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the emphasis might be on statement making performances. Joshua Buatsi may not be ready for the likes of Alvarez or Dmitry Bivol, but his performance against Daniel Dos Santos is definitely the type that will get the Boxing public talking. Whether or not Buatsi, who has said he wants to fight three times in 2021 will be closer to a world championship fight by year’s end remains to be seen.
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