Longtime Heavyweight contender and former world title challenger Dereck Chisora avenged a split decision loss six years ago to former world title challenger and top contender Kubrat Pulev in a rematch by scoring his own twelve round split decision on Saturday night at the 02 Arena in London, England. In contrast to the first fight where Pulev was able to keep Chisora on the end of his punches with his longer reach for the majority of the fight, this time Chisora had head movement in his favor working from the outset and that allowed him to get in close and launch a consistent attack to the body of Pulev.
It was this consistency that carried the fight. As the fight progressed, Pulev was able to have periodic success in landing his right hand on Chisora, but in the middle and late rounds, Chisora began to land regularly with his own right hand to the head of Pulev. This was no doubt was a result of the body work that Chisora kept landing on Pulev throughout. With both fighters fighting fatigue in the latter rounds, Chisora landed his right hand on Pulev frequently off the ropes and was able to hang on earning the decision victory on two of three official scorecards. Official scores were 116-112, (Pulev) and 116-112, 116-114 in favor of Chisora. Dereck Chisora advances to 33-12, with 22 Knockouts. Kubrat Pulev falls to 29-3, with 14 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
A Jr. Middleweight rematch billed as a final eliminator for the WBA Jr. Middleweight championship between undefeated top contender Israil Madrimov and former world title challenger Michel Soro ended in a three round technical draw. The first encounter between the two ended in controversial fashion last December when Madrimov was declared the victor by ninth round stoppage even though punches that landed on Soro that led to the stoppage occurred after the bell ending the round. This time it appeared as though Madrimov was on the verge of scoring his second stoppage of Soro, as he had the former world title challenger hurt in the second round after connecting with a flush overhand right to the head. Shortly after the start of round three, Soro suffered a gushing cut over the left eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads. The bout was halted immediately on advice of the ringside physician. Official time of the stoppage was :05 of round three. Israil Madrimov advances to 8-0-1, with 6 Knockouts. Michel Soro advances to 35-3-2, with 24 Knockouts.
Undefeated Women’s Jr. Featherweight Ramla Ali scored an eight round decision over a very “Game” Augustina Rojas. Ali landed the cleaner shots over the course of eight rounds, but Rojas did bring the fight to her and was periodically successful in landing hooks throughout. As all non-title bouts held in the United Kingdom that do not impact regional or world rankings are scored solely by the referee officiating a bout, Referee Chas Coakley scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Ali. Ramla Ali advances to 6-0, with 1 Knockout. Augustina Rojas falls to 6-2, with 0 Knockouts.
In his Jr. Middleweight debut, unbeaten prospect Caoimhin Agyarko scored a dominant ten round unanimous decision over veteran Lukasz Maciec. From the opening bell, Agyarko, who previously competed in the 160lb. Middleweight division, showed that his movement and angles were as present in the 154lb. Jr. Middleweight division as they were at Middleweight. Agyarko displayed a full range of offense and lateral movement to consistently keep Maciec on the defensive. Agyarko’s attack consisted of a mix of offense to the body and the head often being thrown in combination. Maciec periodically caught Agyarko with looping right hands, but was unable to land anything to really cause concern of the undefeated prospect. Despite appearing as though he may have been on the verge of being stopped at times due to the effect Agyarko’s body punches were having on him, Maciec was able to go the distance. Official scores were: 100-90, (On two scorecards) and 99-93 in favor of Agyarko. Caoimhin Agyarko advances to 12-0, with 7 Knockouts. Lukasz Maciec falls to 28-5-1, with 5 Knockouts.
Undefeated Heavyweight Fabio Wardley scored a second round knockout of an overmatched late substitute Chris Healey, who took the bout on twenty four hours notice. Wardley scored knockdowns in rounds one and two each with a short right hand to the head. After the second knockdown early in round two, Healey’s corner threw the towel in to prevent their fighter from further punishment. Official time of the stoppage was :40 of round two. Fabio Wardley advances to 14-0, with 13 Knockouts. Chris Healey falls to 9-10, with 2 Knockouts.
Heavyweight Solomon Dacres moved to 4-0 in his career by outworking veteran Kevin Espindola over eight rounds to earn a decision victory... Referee Mark Bates scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Dacres. Solomon Dacres advances to 4-0, with 1 Knockout. Kevin Espindola falls to 7-5, with 2 Knockouts.
Unbeaten Jr. Featherweight Yousuf Ibrahim began the evening by scoring a four round decision over veteran Francisco Rodriguez. Ibrahim dominated the fight with lateral movement, picking his shots and throwing combinations. Rodriguez was simply not quick handed enough to land the type of punches that would have turned the ebb and flow in his favor. Referee Chas Coakley scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Ibrahim. Yousuf Ibrahim advances to 2-0, with 0 Knockouts. Francisco Rodriguez falls to 1-7, with 1 Knockout.
A scheduled ten round Middleweight bout between unbeaten Felix Cash and Vaughn Alexander was cancelled prior to the card due to Cash coming down with an undisclosed illness. As of this writing, there is no word as to when or if there will be an attempt to reschedule the bout.
In previewing the rematch between Dereck Chisora and Kubrat Pulev, this observer questioned whether there could be a different outcome this time around compared to when these two met for the first time over six years ago. Although Chisora was coming off of three straight losses and by all appearances appears to be nearing the end of a fine career, he was able to turn back the clock and produced what some might call a career-defining performance. The primary difference between this rematch and their first encounter was Kubrat Pulev never seemed to get into a rhythm.
In the first encounter, Pulev was able to keep Chisora at distance with his jab and frequently landed his right hand throughout. Although much like the first fight, the rematch ended in a split decision, Chisora’s head movement and body punching were the key components that catapulted him to victory. For his part, the thirty-eight year old Chisora said shortly after being declared the winner that he does not have too many fights left in him, he has proven that no matter what a fighter might go through in terms of setbacks inside the ring, they are always one fight away from revitalizing their career. For Dereck Chisora, the twilight of his career could well lead to further opportunities at or near the top of the Heavyweight division.
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