Williams Stops Airich In 7th Round
By Aaron Klein: In one of the worst refereed fights I’ve ever witnessed, British heavyweight Danny Williams (39-6, 31 KOs) stopped Konstantin Airech (9-1-1, 8 KOs) in the 7th round of a scheduled 8-round bout at the Pabellon Lasearrem Baracaldo, in Pais Vasco, Spain tonight. The fight, a strange one, saw both fighters trade knockdowns, with Williams down in the 4th and Airich down in the 5th round and 6th rounds. Besides that, Williams received two standing eight counts in the 3rd round, along with two separate point deductions for low blows, once in the 2nd and another time in the 5th.
For his part, Airch received a strange standing eight count in the 2nd round, after getting hit with a left hook that was clearly low. The strange part about it, though, is that the referee Alfredo Garcia Perez upon giving the standing eight count to Airich, he then immediately spun around and deducted a point from Williams for a low blow, which would seem to have nullified the standing eight count as far as I can tell. Airich was taking sustained punishment, already having been knocked down earlier in the round, in the 6th round, with his back against the ropes when suddenly the round ended with 1:28 left on the clock.
The timing of the end of the early end of the round worked perfectly for Airich, who looked to be on the verge of a knockout when the bell sounded. Perhaps knowing that his only chance to win was by a knockout, due to strange set of affairs in the bout, Williams came out strong in the 7th round and threw a sustained bombardment of hooks, backing a hurt Airich to the ropes, where the fight was soon stopped when Airich’s corner threw in the towel.
Airich, originally from Kazakhstan and now living in Hamburg, Germany, fought well in the first three rounds, as he hit a stationary Williams with heavy hooks to the head, backing him up and staggering him. Williams, taking big repeated hard combinations from the heavy-handed Airich, backed up to the ropes on several occasions in the 1st round, and pounded him with hooks. With the Spanish crowd egging him on, Airich started out fast in the second round, once again tagging Williams with huge shots and driving him backwards. About midway through the round, Williams landed a hard left hook that strayed low, causing Airich to back away and double over from the pain.
The referee, I suppose not seeing the action, immediately gave Airich a standing eight count while the Spanish crowd booed the referee’s action. The referee, looking as if he finally understood what had happened, turned around after giving the standing eight count and then deducted a point from Williams without any warning. Near the end of the round, Airich landed a hard jab that staggered Williams. Immediately after, Williams fought back fiercely, coming forward with some big combinations as Airich was the one that now retreated to the ropes for safety. While in close, Williams jammed his forearm into the throat of Airch, and then clubbed him with a short right to the head. For this, Williams received a warning from the referee. At the end of the round, Williams threw a wild left uppercut that barely missed.
One minute into the 3rd round, Airich staggered Williams with a hard right-left combination to the head, causing Williams to immediately grab a hold of Airich to prevent him from landing any other shots. Airich then roughly pushed Williams away with his left hand, and then immediately began stalking him. With Williams now in the corner, Airich nailed him with a big right hand just as Williams was attempting to throw a right of his own, causing him to stagger and fall into the ropes. The referee then gave Williams a standing eight count. Upon the action being resumed, Airich came right after Williams, nailing him with powerful combinations. Williams now trying to buy some time to clear his head, showed the referee that the tape had come loose from his left glove. (making a good imitation of Ricky Hatton trying to get additional time by having his shoelaces tied by the referee in the 10th round of Hatton’s recent bout with Juan Lazcano).
The referee then attempted briefly to fix the tape, then gave up and merely wound the tape back around Williams glove, which promptly unraveled as soon as the referee let go of his glove. Airich then started back in with his attack on Williams, tagging him with powerful short left hooks and right hands. Williams grabbed Airich in a clinch, which initiated another stern warning from the referee Perez. After the action resumed, Williams was hit with a series of left hands from Airich, and then a powerful left-right combination that staggered Williams. The referee then jumped in and gave another standing eight count to Williams, rather than allowing Airich to try and finish him off.
After receiving the standing eight, Williams, still with loose tape hanging from his left glove, showed it to the referee to see if he could help him out. Seeing that there would be no help coming from the referee, Williams disgustedly ripped off the tape himself with his right glove. The round ended shortly after that without Airich being able to land any more significant punches.
Williams received a warning in the 4th round for two rabbit punches that he threw while in a clinch. A little later on, Airich began to show serious signs of fatigue, as if he’d punched himself out in the 3rd while attempting to score a knockout. Without much incoming fire, Williams unleashed a hard flurry of shots, hitting Airich with hard combinations and driving him to the ropes. Then while unloading with a flurry of shots, Williams was tagged by a hard right hand from Airch, followed by a short left hook that dropped Williams. Again, the referee gave him another standing eight count, and then attempted the resume the action despite the round having ended.
In the 5th round, Williams now bleeding from the corner of his right eye, went after Airich hard from the start of the round, hitting him with sustained combinations and backing him up across the ring. With Airich now against the ropes taking serious punishment, and Williams looking as if he were on the verge of scoring a knockout, the referee chose this moment to step in and give Williams a a long warning telling him to keep his punches up. The crowd began to both laugh and boo at this moment, seeing the referee interject himself once again at a crucial moment in the fight.
Not being finished with Williams, the referee once again deducted a point from him. When the action was finally resumed, Williams fought with tremendous determination, hitting Airich with huge shots, one after another until finally dropping him with a big right hand. After receiving his customary standing eight count from the referee Perez, Airich went back to his corner to get his mouthpiece reinserted, as the referee had seemed to have missed that part. At this point, instead of allowing the action to resume, the referee went to Airich’s corner and seemingly giving them a scolding for slowing down the fight, this wasting another four to five seconds of valuable time.
In the 6th round, it was all Williams by this point, as Airich was both tired and hurt and unable to defend himself from the heavy shots of Williams. Shortly into the round, Williams dropped Airich with a big right hand. After the action resumed, Williams was in the process of finishing Airich off when the round inexplicably ended early at 1:28 of the round. The referee looked confused, but didn’t allow the round to continue.
Williams, not wanting to let the fight continue any longer, came out full energy in the 7th round and buried Airich under a blizzard of shots, causing Airich’s corner to throw in the towel.