Three weight world champion Ricky Burns (41-5-1, 14KOs) successfully defended his world title last night in Scotland against Kiryl Relikh (21-1, 19KOs), setting up a crunch clash with American Adrien Broner.
Scottish history maker Burns attempted to defend his WBA super lightweight crown against the explosive challenger Relikh at the SSE Hydro Arena.
Relikh started sharply, dominating the first round as he immediately settled into the fight in the Scot’s backyard. The second round continued in a similar manner to the first, with Relikh picking off Burns with ease through out the round. Burns began to make his way back in to the fight during the third and fourth rounds, with the scores level on my card.
Round five saw both men landing some great shots to both the head and body. The fight continued to sway from fighter to fightes, with my scorecard reading 57-57 after six rounds. Round seven was a tight one, with both men having short periods of success through out. As we went into rounds eight and nine, it seemed as if Burns was slowly started to take control of the fight. Despite the fact that Relikh remained on the front foot, Burns was delivering some lovely counter punches.
Just as it seemed as if Burns would start to take control, Relikh came storming out of the corner and dominated the tenth round. He set a ferocious pace through out the round and landed some spiteful shots to both the head and body of the Scotsman. The pressure continued from the challenger in the penultimate round, with Burns being hurt on a number of occasions in the second half of the round. Relikh took the twelfth round with the crisper work, and Burns was shaken on a number of occasions throughout the fight. On my scorecard, I had it 114-114, and we went to the judges cards.
The scorecards read 118-110, 116-112, 116-112 (118-110 being regarded as a ridiculous card by many) to Ricky Burns as he successfully defended WBA super lightweight world title for the first time.
The second British title fight of the night saw the battle of Brixton; Dillian Whyte (19-1, 15KOs) faced Ian Lewison (12-3-1, 8KOs) for the vacant belt over twelve scheduled rounds. Lewison’s game plan was clear from the outset, he was in there to try and land a massive shot on Whyte’s chin to halt the fight early on.
As the fight went on, Whyte began to take control by using the jab and slipping the shots being thrown by his opponent. Lewison surpassed the expectations of many by taking the fight into the second half, but it never looked as if he could cause Whyte any real problems. The inevitable end came after the tenth round, with Lewison retiring on his stool with a suspected broken nose.
Kieran Smith (7-0, 3KOs) fought Robert Asagba (4-1, 0KOs) at super welterweight, and the fight was over after only 18 seconds of the fight with Smith landing a shot to the back of the head of Asagba, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
The first televised fight of the night saw Scotty Cardle (21-0-1, 7KOs) defend his British title for the third time against his mandatory challenger Kevin Hooper (19-4, 4KOs). The fight was quite even in the opening rounds with both men having short periods of success, and blood began to emerge from both Cardle’s nose in the second round and then from under Hooper’s right eye in the fourth.
The fight erupted in the fifth round, with Cardle hurting Hooper to the body. With more than a minute left of the round, the man trained by Joe Gallagher threw a flurry of punches but his opponent stood strong. The six round started the same way as the fifth ended, and Hooper was hurt by a beautifully timed right hand from Cardle. The Grimsby man never recovered, and the referee stopped the contest after 1.53 minutes of round six.
The welterweights Stewart Burt (6-0-1, 0KOs) and Arthurs Geikens (3-6-1, 2KOs) provided the fourth fight of the night, with Burt coming away with the victory; 40-36 on points.
Next up was a clash at featherweight between Lewis Paulin (7-0, 0KOs) and Adrian Fuzesy (6-11, 0KOs). Paulin produced some great work to the body on his way to a shut out 60-54 win on the scorecards.
Scott McCormack (5-2-1, 0KOs) was up next, fighting Luke Fash (2-10-1, 0KOs) in a super bantamweight clash. Despite short spells of success from Fash, McCormack cruised to a 39-37 victory on the scorecards.
The night began with Ross Murray (3-0. 1KO) face Tibor Nadori (9-6-1, 4KOs) at flyweight. Murray looked sharp on his was to a stoppage victory, dropping Nadori twice before he failed to beat the referee’s count.
After the main event had finished, Joe Ham (9-0, 5KOs) faced Elvis Guillen (9-26-4, 6KOs) at featherweight, with Ham cruising to a point victory over the six rounds.
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15