Stephen Foster Junior Halts Leva Kirakosyan In 3rd-Round, Wins European Super-Featherweight Crown

By James Slater - Last night in Bolton, UK proved to be a great one for 30-year-old Stephen Foster Junior, as the super-featherweight grabbed the European title from known puncher Leva Kirakosyan of Armenia. The Salford man landed a sensational left hook in the 3rd, dropping the 36-year-old heavily. The defending champion beat the count of referee Adrio Zannoni, but he was totally gone, his legs not underneath him. The fight was stopped at the 2-minute, 16-second mark and no-one complained - indeed, Kirakosyan had a look of complete bewilderment on his face!

Now 28-2-1(18) (never stopped) Foster Jnr can look ahead to some good paydays. Kirakosyan is now 33-6(23).

The 1st-round looked to be a tough one for the challenger, as Kirakosyan came out unloading his power shots, forcing Foster to hold. Body shots got home for the older man, and it looked for a short time like Kirakosyan might blow Foster away in quick time - as he has done to a number of other British fighters. But Foster came back in the last minute of the round and he got home with a couple of left hands to the head; one of which opened a cut right between the eyes of the European champ.

Foster was fighting very well in the 2nd, opening up with fast combinations. The fight now looked his and Kirakosyan was already looking old. The action was good to watch, and it had to be remembered how dangerous the Armenian could be at any time.

And Kirakosyan did hurt Foster with his right hand, landing to the head in the 3rd, again forcing him to hold. But Foster then fired back and, after taking another right, landed that sweet left hook to the head. Kirakosyan went down hard, landing awkwardly. The ref really had no option but to call the fight off, as wobbly as the 36-year-old looked upon getting back up. Foster, along with his father and former world class fighter Stephen Foster Senior, went wild, both throwing their arms in the air. And why not? Foster Junior had just pulled off a win many experts felt was beyond him.

Foster Senior said post-fight that he knew his son would win, and that the new champ deserves respect from the “so-called experts,” as well as more exposure by the media. Calling out Ricky Burns (who, of course, scored a great upset win of his own over Roman Martinez a short while back), Foster Senior planted the seed for an excellent fight. It could happen, and who wouldn’t want to see it?

Article posted on 03.10.2010

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