30.11.03 – By Olaf Schroeder at Ringside: Middleweight starlet Dirk Dzemski last night retained his unbeaten record when he finally sorted out 37-year-old former IBF lightwelterweight title challenger Virgil McClendon, blasting him to the canvas in round nine in Cottbus, near the Polish border. It was an ambitous challenge by the semi-retired American from the start, but nobody can accuse him of not trying to capitalize on every trick he ever learned.

Dzemski, holding all physical advantages over the dimunitive McClendon, dictated early with his jab, but seemed to be put out of his stride by the crouching style of the always-smiling visitor. Virgil repeatedly shook his head when hit, even inviting the German to punch harder, and started to counter with fast left hooks off the ropes – actually surprising Dzemski more often that his trainer Werner Kirsch would have liked. With all his cunning, the Ohio man simply did not allow the hometown boy to fully exploit his height and reach advantages. Though Dirk’s punching power seemed to be put into perspective, he suddenly nailed Virgil cleanly on the ropes in round eight with three eye-catching hooks. The brutal combination put McClendon on the floor, but the bell rang soon after he bravely got to his feet. However, there was no escape. One murderous – and sensationally looking – left cross early in the ninth almost seemed to take McClendon’s head off and it was clear to everyone that his couragous challenge was over on impact before he even hit the canvas. The all-southpaw clash improved Dzemski’s record to 21-0 (12) and his fourth defence of his NBA title again proved that he is, if not the best, certainly one of the most entertaining German TV fighters.

In the second main event, supermiddleweight Malik Dziarra, now 18-1 (16), picked up the NBA Intercontinental title when Argentina’s Gustavo Javier Kapusi refused to come out for round five because of a bad cut over his left eye. Dziarra looked good and because of Kapusi’s contribution, fans just started to look forward to an interesting match. But suddenly in round four, Malik’s precise fists opened the cut and though Kapusi survived the immediate inspection and even would have been allowed to come out for the fifth, the Argentinian’s corner decided not to let their man back in the frame.

Upset of the night was the shock knockout loss of 16-0 (12) International German heavyweight champion Konstantin Onofrei by the heavy fists of French journeyman Thierry Guezouli. Romanian Onofrei (handled by Universum Box-Promotion, who have hit a dire bad-luck streak with their heavyweights) won every minute of every round, but in the third decided to offer Guezouli, 6-10 (5) going in, his only chance to win on a silver plate. Arrogantly, he stood in range, hands down, chin up and the Frenchman from Bordeaux, having bravely soaked up everything thrown at him so far, didn’t bother to ask for a second invitation. One monster right hook crashed against Onofrei’s unprotected jaw, leaving the huge favourite’s career in shatters. The fans celebrated the pre-fight underdog in amazement.

Other results on this SES Boxing promotion:

Lukas Konecny (Czechia) W 6 Raimundas Petrauskas (Lithuania) – superwelterweights
Jan Zaveck (Slovenia) TKO 5 Rozalin Nasibullin (Russia) – welterweights
Robert Stieglitz (Germany) KO 1 Marcin Radola (Poland) – supermiddleweights
Dariusz Snarski (Poland) W 4 Konstantin Flachbart (Czechia) – lightwelterweights
Enrico Rausch (Germany) KO 1 Frantisek Vasak (Czechia) – heavyweights