By Elliot Foster
Andrea Scarpa outlined his credentials and pushed himself right into the world title picture with an impressive stoppage.
The Torino native outclassed John Wayne Hibbert at London’s O2 Arena, as part of the undercard to Anthony Joshua’s first IBF world heavyweight title defence against undefeated American Dominic Breazeale.
Scarpa was handed the victory –– along with the WBC Silver super-lightweight title –– after the referee, Ian-John Lewis, waved the fight off in with five seconds remaining in the fifth round on the advice of the ringside doctor.
Hibbert, 31, started off the brighter of the two fighters in the first Sky Sports Box Office-aired contests, taking the opener with relative ease.
But it was the second round, which was an horrific one for the Hordon-on-the-Hill man, that proved to be a turning point.
The Italian visitor proved that he was more than just an upright fighter who was rangy as he began to throw looping left hooks and right hands that were causing the home fighter some issues, including a left hand that caused a nasty cut on the bridge of the right eye socket.
That aforementioned cut is what caused the fight to be halted but in the rounds that preceded five –– and after two –– Hibbert took some heavy shots, which maybe warranted him being saved from taking any further punishment, at the hands of the 29-year-old, who is also the IBF Inter-Continental titlist at the weight and will now look to push on to bigger and better things.
“I’m devastated really,” Hibbert told Sky Sports afterwards. “I really wanted that title and move on.
“It’s difficult when you get beat but take nothing away from Andrea.
“I still believe I’ve got a lot to give and I can’t fault anything. It wasn’t my night but we’ll come back stronger.”