Heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic (13-0, 11 KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact with a brilliant third round stoppage win over the heavy-handed Marko Radonjic (22-1, 22 KOs) in a scheduled 12 round fight at the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria.
The fight was terribly one-sided, with Hrgovic knocking the 31-year-old Radonjic down five times in the contest.
Four of the knockdowns came in round two, and the final in the third. At the start of the fourth, the referee took one look at Radonjic and waved it off without a punch being thrown.
What’s unclear is why the referee didn’t pull the plug on the fight in the second round when Hrgovic was knocking Radonjic down over and over again.
The heavyset Radonjic could barely get up off the canvas, partly because of being hurt and but also because he’s carrying around a lot of extra weight.
In round one, Hrgovic stunned Radonjic with a right hand to the head that caused him to lose balance and stumble for a second. Hrgovic was wary of going after him because he looked like he was afraid of getting clipped.
Radonjic had been throwing wild left hands that had knockout written all of them, and Hrgovic didn’t want to get hit with one of them.
In the second round, Hrgovic dropped Radonjic with a short right hand that put him on his backside. Radondic struggled to get back up off the canvas because his legs looked weak and instead.
After the action resumed, Hrgovic dropped him three more times with shots that didn’t look all that power, but it didn’t matter.
Radonjic’s balance and legs were gone by that point. Despite being hurt, Radonjic was still swinging for the fences and occasionally landing shots.
At the start of the third, Hrgovic dropped Radonjic with a shot behind the head. He got up well this time and made it through the round in fairly good shape. Hrgovic was trying to finish Radonjic, but he struggled to connect cleanly with his power shots. His accuracy wasn’t there tonight.
With the victory, Hrgovic could be fighting an IBF title eliminator next if his promoter Kalle Sauerland can find a contender willing to face ‘El Animal.’
Kalle went into a big rant this week during an interview in which he complained about how numerous contenders had said no to fighting Hrgovic. If Kalle has to find someone at the bottom of the IBF’s rankings, so be it as long as the IBF sanctions the fight to be a title eliminator.
Other results on Friday’s card:
Super middleweight contender John Ryder (30-5, 17 KOs) went up to 175 and defeated Jozef Jurko (8-2, 6 KOs) by a fifth round stoppage. The time of the stoppage was at 1:29.
Ryder is now expected to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol for his title next. That’ll be a size mismatch for Bivol, as Ryder is small, even a super middleweight.
Super middleweight Abass Baraou (10-1, 7 KOs) beat Jay Spencer (11-2, 7 KOs) by a first round knockout.
Undefeated light welterweight Dalton Smith (9-0, 7 KOs) boxed his way to a ten round unanimous decision over Brian Pelaez (10-6, 1 KO) to win the WBA Intercontinental title. The judge’s scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 99-91.