In what was viewed as the main event on Frank Warren’s Magnificent Seven card in Birmingham, Nathan Cleverly (20-0, 10 KO) took a huge step towards a shot at Juergen Braehmer’s WBO light heavyweight title with a ninth-round doctor stoppage victory over previously undefeated Karo Murat (22-1, 13 KO).
Instead of making the most of his height and reach advantage, Cleverly decided to trade with the plodding Murat, which was a confusing, if entertaining tactic to employ. Murat was slightly tentative when Cleverly worked behind the jab, and it was Cleverly’s straight shots that caused Murat’s nose to bleed in the fight, which eventually lead to the stoppage.
It was an all-action fight that showed more about the fighters’ ability to take shots than their attacking qualities. Cleverly has now solidified his position as a top-ten light heavyweight fighter, and is set to face Braehmer in 2011, unless the German vacates.
Elsewhere on the card, BTBC House Fighter at super middleweight, James DeGale (8-0, 6 KO) kicked the show off in style by taking out Carl Dilks (14-3, 5 KO) in a round. A win over Dilks is an impressive win at domestic level, who represented a step up in class for DeGale, and was dealt with similar ease. Time of the stoppage was at 2:54.
Kell Brook (22-0, 15 KO) came out on top against domestic rival Michael Jennings (36-3, 17 KO) after the fight was stopped in the fifth due to a cut above Jennings’ right eye. After all the hype that surrounded the on-and-off fight, it turned out to be a major disappointment. Brook didn’t dominate and Jennings didn’t trouble. Brook is now the mandatory to Manny Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title, believe it or not.
He may not be the most likeable character in the sport, but there’s no doubting Derek Chisora’s (14-0, 9 KO) talent. ‘Del Boy’ came out on top in the rematch with Sam Sexton (13-2, 6 KO), jumping on a tired Sexton in the ninth, overwhelming him with hard shots to force the stoppage from the referee. In my view, Chisora is the second best heavyweight in the UK, behind David Haye, of course.
The career of Enzo Maccarinelli (32-5, 25 KO) seems well and truly over. The Welshman was ahead on two cards with the other even against Alexander Frenkel (23-0, 18 KO), before the German-based Ukrainian produced a violent knockout in the seventh round. Maccarinelli had been allowed to continue on unsteady legs and was pummelled to the canvas by a head-snapping counter left hook. Rumours are that Enzo Maccarinelli collapsed in his dressing room following the fight, and was taken to hospital.
Lukas Konecny (45-3, 22 KO) went home with the European junior middleweight title after stopping Matthew Hall (23-3, 16 KO) in six. It was a good fight, with Konecny the more experienced fighter getting the better of the exchanges. Hall didn’t back down, and traded until the stoppage. Matthew Macklin also won in the sixth round.