Making his first fight at cruiserweight, Tony Bellew (21-2, 13 KO’s) was able to stop former WBA interim cruiserweight champion Valery Brudov (41-5, 28 KO’s) in the 12th round tonight to win the vacant WBO International cruiserweight title at the Echo Arena, in Liverpool, UK. Bellew showed good power in dropping Brudov three times in the fight.
In the 12th, Bellew caught the 37-year-old Brudov with a perfectly timed left hook to the head that dropped him on his backside. Brudov tried to get up, but he was far too hurt and the fight was immediately stopped. Bellew also knocked Brudov down once in the 2nd round and another time in the 6th.
Bellew will need to improve dramatically if he’s going to go anywhere in the division. Brudov was an old small guy without a ton of power, and there are much better contenders in the division than this guy and Bellew had major problems against him.
Brudov had Bellew out on his feet in the 7th round after hitting him with a right hand. Luckily for Bellew, Brudov hit him with a low shot while he was trying to finish him off. Bellew then milked the low blow by going to his corner, which he shouldn’t have been allowed to do, and learn over at the ropes and get advice while he was recovering from the shot. On replay, the punch landed on the belt line rather than low, so the referee blew the call and robbed Brudov of a knockout. Brudov could have still finished Bellew off if he had thrown punches, but he appeared to gas out after that and he did little in the last five rounds of the fight. Had this been a good contender like Rakhim Chakhkiev or Thabiso Mchunu, it’s highly doubtful that Bellew would have even made it out of the 7th. Those guys wouldn’t have stopped punching like the aging Brudov did and they have much better power than him as well.
Bellew spent much of the fight swinging wildly and missing with his punches. He loaded up way too much, and it left him open for shots.
Welterweight contender Kell Brook (32-0, 22 KO’s) had his way with the 5’6″ Alvaro Robles (17-3, 15 KO’s) in halting him in the 8th round. Brook was jabbing the smaller Robles at will all fight long, and opening up with hard right hands and big left hooks. From the 6th round on, it was very one-sided with Brook unloading on Robles with him trapped against the ropes. In the 8th, Robles’ corner threw in the towel while he was taking punishment against the ropes. He was bleeding from his left eye and he looked exhausted and worn out from the amount of shots he’d absorbed. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:35 of the 8th.
This was a straight up mismatch, as Robles was someone who shouldn’t even be fighting in the welterweight division. He’s more of a lightweight in size and reminded me a lot of the little lightweight Carlos Molina that Amir Khan fought recently as a tune-up. The difference here is that Brook has never had any important fights during his career for him to be in need of tune-up against someone like Robles level.
Super middleweight Rocky Fielding (18-0, 10 KO’s) failed to make weight for his fight against 36-year-old Charles Adamu (21-6, 15 KO’s), but the fight went ahead anyway with Fielding looking like a huge cruiserweight. With his size, power and youth advantage, Fielding dominated Adamu and easily one every round. He knocked Adama down with a left hand to the head in the 7th round.
The vacant Commonwealth super middleweight title was on the line for the fight, but neither fighter was able to win it.
Fielding is one of those fighters who doesn’t belong in the super middleweight division. With his size, this guy should be fighting at light heavyweight or cruiserweight, but it’s understandable why he might not want to fight in those divisions. Fielding would be massacred by the better contenders at 175, and of course he wouldn’t stand a chance ever against the best light heavyweights like Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson.
Out of all the possible opponents to match Fielding against, you have to wonder why the aging Adamu was selected instead of someone better.
In what could be his last fight before he fights for the IBF lightweight title on May 31st, Kevin Mitchell (37-2, 27 KO’s) blew out journeyman Mikheil Avakyan (21-12-4, 8 KO’s) in 2nd round TKO. Mitchell dropped Avakyan a couple of times before the fight was halted. Mitchell put Avakyan down with a hard left followed closely by a right hand to the head.
With this win, Mitchell could be fighting IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez on the undercard of the Carl Froch vs. George Groves rematch on May 31st at the Wembley Arena. This wasn’t an eliminator bout tonight. Mitchell will be getting the fight with Vazquez as an optional title defense by Vazquez.
Undefeated junior middleweight prospect Neil Perkins (6-0, 1 KO’s) beat Erick Ochieng (14-4, 4 KO’s) by an 8 round points decision. The score was 78-76.