Krasniqi Decisions Minto

17.03.07 - By Kevin Dinkins: Heavyweight Luan Krasniqi (30-2-1, 14 KO’s) came on strong in the second half a 12-round bout with Brian Minto, knocking him in the 12th round to earn a unanimous decision victory and capturing the WBO Intercontinental boxing title in the process, at the Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday night. Minto (27-2, 16 KO’s) began the bout with his usual all out attack, charging forward like a bull and hammering Krasniqi with hooks. Krasniqi, who fights in a European style, one that relies on fighting from a distance and stranding straight up rather than a crouch, seemed unprepared for Minto’s aggressive inside fighting tactics.

Krasniqi, nevertheless, moved away from Minto at every chance he could get, trying to get some punching room for his long arms, to better take advantage of his 6’3” height over the shorter, 5’11” Minto.

For much of the first half of the fight, Minto’s aggressive attack was effective, as he was able to trap Krasniqi up against the ropes time after time, and punish him to the body and head. In response, Krasniqi was forced to shorten up on his punches in order to land, thus taking much of the sting from his otherwise excellent power.

However, by the seventh round, Minto appeared to be tiring slightly and in turn, Krasniqi had started throwing a short, whipping uppercut on the inside with which to snap Minto’s head back and earn his respect. Additionally, when Minto would bull his way inside, Krasniqi would quickly tie him up in a chinch, keeping him from landing more than one punch at a time. Once they were separated by the referee, Krasniqi quickly got to the outside where he would start landing jabs and straight right hands.

In rounds eight through eleven, the action went back and forth with both fighters trading shots and trying to gain the upper hand. However, Krasniqi appeared to be doing a little more and was able to land his powerful lead right hand without any problems.

As the 12th round started, Minto, who has become wildly popular in Germany due to his aggressive, attack-dog style of fighting, and for the fact that he beat Axel Schultz, a popular German heavyweight, came out strong against Krasniqi, trying to bull him into the ropes. However, after taking several body shots from Minto, Krasniqi stepped forward and landed stunning right hand, thrown with perfect form, which immediately stopped Minto in his tracks. Krasniqi followed with another straight right, completely forgoing the use of jab in front of it, and then another straight right hand. At this point, Minto resembled a punching bag, as he was taking huge shots from Krasniqi and walking slowly forward without offering anything in return. Krasniqi then landed a left jab, followed by a huge right uppercut that snapped Minto’s head back and causing him to stumble forward. Krasniqi then landed a short, clubbing right hand that send Minto forward, face first into the canvas. Though hurt, he was able to stagger to his feet and continue fighting. He was immediately greeted with another straight right hand from Krasniqi, who by this time was going right hand crazy, figuring, I suppose, if it’s working, why change it. After eating half a dozen more right hand shots, the rounded, perhaps to the relief of Minto, who looked dazed from all the shots he had absorbed during the round.

The final judges’ scores were 116-111, 116-111, 115-112, all for Krasniqi.

Article posted on 17.03.2007

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