By Antonín Vavrda – POUTÁK: KARLOVY VARY – Tomas Bezvoda (4-1-0, 1 KOs) notched his second win over the Hunanyan boxing clan when he beat Tolja Hunanyan (7-2-0, 4 KOs) Saturday at the BOX LIVE card in Karlovy Vary, thus adding to his victory over Tolja’s younger brother David claimed at the national amateur championships in 2013. Also in action, Fabiana Bytyqi (9-0-0, 3 KOs) easily defended her WBC Youth female title, with her teammate Lucie Sedlackova (8-0-1, 4 KOs) also adding the same belt to her title collection.
Eleven interesting fights were scheduled for the boxing fans Saturday at the BOX LIVE card in Karlovy Vary. Staged at a big and glitzy arena of Grandhotel Pupp, they surely proved worth of its surroundings.
The undercard bouts didn’t see any major upsets. Andrej Sveridov (2-0-0, 0 KOs) beat the Czech veteran Tomas Kugler (15-37-2, 9 KOs), Marco Calic (2-0-0, 1 KOs) then followed suit with an easy victory over Vojtech Konticik (2-2-0, 1 KOs). Amateur experience then triumphed over the professional one in bouts between Vit Kral (2-0-0, 0 KOs) and Bronislav Kubin (19-22-2, 12 KOs) and David Hosek (3-0-0, 1 KOs) and Jindrich Velecky (19-44-0, 18 KOs), respectively, even though both Czech veterans offered more than tough resistance to their younger countrymen in four rounds of action.
The next bout between Michal Durovic (5-30-1, 0 KOs) and Lukas Radic (3-9-1, 3 KOs) offered tremendous battle, with the latter surviving a knockdown and then bringing his opponent, who was fighting home, to the brink of defeat in rounds three and four. Neither athlete was willing to give up, but in the end, the Karlovy Vary fighter took a unanimous decision win.
Heart and durability were also the features of the youngster Sebastian Bytyqi (8-0-1, 7 KOs), who literally struggled to a draw against the experienced Tanzanian Francis Miyeyusho (41-16-4, 24 KOs). The home fighter began the fight in brilliant fashion – only to find himself in trouble in rounds two and three. He was maybe able to win them on the scorecards, but the second half of the fight clearly belonged to his opponent who almost forced a count on Bytyqi.
But he was unable to do that, so the fight eventually ended in a draw. By the professional boxing standards, the result seemed pretty fair, but even Bytyqi himself admitted after the fight that his opponent looked like the better man in the ring. “He was very awkward. I really struggled with his southpaw stance and speed. I’m still a newbie and as such have a lot of things to work on. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone in the arena. Without their support, I surely wouldn’t be able to bring this one to a draw,” said the 19-year-old talent to a sold out arena.
On the contrary, the bout between Anatoli Hunanyan and Tomas Bezvoda saw a battle of two vastly experienced fighters – even though their professional records would maybe say otherwise. After the initial feel out round, Bezvoda was able to continue to stalk and hit his taller and more skillful opponent who mainly relied on counters, but many of his shots landed only on Hunanyan’s perfectly positioned high guard. In the end, Bezvoda managed to withstand this pace for the full six rounds, so the fight’s fate went to the scorecards.
The verdict of the judges read: a close but unanimous victory for the Znojmo bruiser, who evidently matched up well against Hunanyan – whose younger brother he beat three years ago at a national amateur championship – and also profited from coming down from the light heavyweight limit to below the 75 kg mark. “It definitely showed on my speed and condition. I’m very happy and would like to thank the fans. I hope they got their money’s worth,” said the victor.
Hunanyan, on the other side, didn’t try to hide his disappointment from his first loss on home soil. “I somehow don’t get it how the judges could see Tomas winning the fight. A rematch? Why? Because it was an even fight? Maybe yes, if you look at it this way,” said a very frustrated 34-year-old fighter in his post-match interview to Nova Sport television.
Next up was the first title fight highlight of the evening that featured Lucie Sedlackova (8-0-1, 4 KOs) against the Bosnian Pasa Malagic (11-4-0, 3 KOs). As was expected, Sedlackova had much trouble with her opponent, who in the second half of the fight began using some dirty tactics and visibly frustrated her. But Sedlackova wouldn’t be deterred and in the end claimed a rather comfortable win, adding a WBC Youth featherweight title to her WBO European crown.
“I’m happy. And me not liking a green color? I don’t mind, I’ve already fallen in love with this belt. I’m extremely happy,” said the 22-year-old fighter from Decin in a shaky voice after the fight. Eventually, she would back her words with some action and celebrate her title win with a cry of happiness – contrary to her opponent, who was crying from sorrow.
Apparently, Malagic’s dirty tactics proved to be an inspiration for the Romanian-born now Hungary-based fighter Oszkar Fiko (22-19-0, 12 KOs), who in his fight vs. Josef Zahradnik (6-0-0, 4 KOs) was disqualified in the sixth and last round by the referee Jan Teleki for low blows and excessive clinching, leaning and pulling of his opponent.
“I again had a lot of fun in the ring, but unfortunately, it was difficult for me to box a dirty guy like him. I’m not satisfied with my performance. And as far as the absence of my trainer in my corner goes – well, he’s never ever going to be satisfied with me, so I don’t mind him not being there,” said Zahradnik, whose stable Qwert Boxing was co-promoting the event.
Lubos Suda (35-11-1, 25 KOs) and Daniel Vencl (4-2-0, 2 KOs) too had something to explain to the fans following their fight, even though they didn’t really have to. Both maybe showed a rather tactical and tentative 10-round fight that featured a national title, but whereas Vencl’s efforts were greatly affected by his nervousness and respect for his once-idol, the performance of the departing Czech legend Suda took a hit from a viral infection that the “Pitbull” caught and carried to the spa town from his daughter.
The last fight of the evening that had a WBC Youth female minimumweight title at stake saw Fabiana Bytyqi (9-0-0, 3 KOs) clearly outpoint her Tanzanian opponent Halima Vunjabei (3-3-1, 2 KOs), who nevertheless showed a great desire and durability in Vary.
“I’m still amazed at how many shots she was able to take. I really tried to go for the kill, so now I just pray my trainer and manager will both forgive me for not being able to knock her out,” said Bytyqi after her victory. She of course meant her trainer Lukas Konecny and her manager and owner of the SES Boxing stable Ulf Steinforth, who both urged her several times during the fight to finish Vunjabei off, threatening her with a 20 km long Sunday training run if she wasn’t able to do so. Looking at her in ring performance, however, let’s just hope Bytyqi’s strict trainer had some mercy with his protegee and world champion, since any harder punishment for her would be really out of place here.
Two Czech Champions celebrate at “Casino Royale”
The James Bond movie “Casino Royale” was shot at the famous Grand Hotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Tonight it was not Daniel Craig but Fabiana Bytyqi who played the lead role at the historic setting.
The 20-year-old “Angelface” defended her WBC Youth World Minimumweight Championship by unanimous decision against Halima Vunjabei from Tanzania.
The young African started well stealing the first round with a very aggressive style. But in round two, Bytyqi took over clearly outboxing Vunjabei with sharp jabs, nice hooks and excellent counterpunching. Halima never gave up and kept on coming forward despite being hit with some very hard and clean shots but Bytyqi was clearly in control of the fight. 1,500 fans at the beautiful ballroom were on their feet at the final bell celebrating both fighters with standing ovations.
Judges Maurizio Rinaudo and Bela Florian scored the bout 99-91, Dieter Adam even saw a clear shutout 100-90.
Now Czech Republic has two promising prospects, future superstars and WBC Youth World Champions with Fabiana Bytyqi and Lucie Sedlackova who won the featherweight title by a close decision win over Pasa Malagic.
The wonderful event was promoted by Ulf Steinforth (SES Boxing) in association with Qwert boxing and broadcasted live on the biggest Czech network TV Nova.