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Bursak Stops De Carolis

LatestBy Erik Schmidt: Undefeated middleweight Maksim Bursak (15-0, 5 KOs) was too much for his Italian opponent Giovanni De Carolis (6-1, 2 KOs), stopping him in the 8th round of a scheduled 10-round bout to win the IBF Youth middleweight title on Saturday night at the Sports Palace, in Kiev, Ukraine. The bout, held by the Klitshko brother’s K2 East Promotions, pitted one of the best fighters in Ukraine, the 23 year-old Bursak against one of the rising stars from Italy, De Carolis, also 23. Bursak hurt De Carolis with a big left hook in the 8th round and then followed up with a flurry of shots as he lay trapped and helpless against the ropes. The referee Nikolay Puchkov then moved in and halted the bout with De Carolis still on his feet.

Bursak, from Ukraine, used a fierce body attack in the opening rounds of the fight to keep De Carolis busy on the defensive. Only 5’8″, Bursak, quite short for a middleweight, had to make sure the action was at close quarters where he could land with his shorter arms. De Carolis despite being the much taller fighter at 6’0” rarely used his height by trying to take advantage of it by jabbing Bursak. In hindsight, he should because Bursak was all over him landing powerful body shots and not giving him much room to land anything of his own.

After a fairly even first round in which both fighters traded big shots, Bursak began to take over the fight in the 2nd round, using a hard body attack to back De Carolis up to the ropes where Bursak was able to flail away at him. Mursak also threw a lot of head shots, although his power upstairs wasn’t as close to being as good as when he went to the body. Perhaps this is why Bursak has so few knockouts on his record. In the 4th round, Bursak continued to stalk De Carolis, hitting with powerful hooks and looking a little like Kostya Tszyu in his fighting style.

De Carolis, who was really getting worked over by this point in the fight, was showing that he wasn’t up the mark and could neither handle the rough slugging style on the inside favored by Bursak, nor could he using any of his boxing skills to take advantage of his long reach to keep Bursak off of him. De Carolis could at times box when he wanted to, yet he would almost immediately go back to trying to slug it out with Bursak on the inside, and getting by far the worst of it every time.

In rounds six and seven, Bursak began to turn it up a notch, no doubt trying to impress the large Ukrainian crowd, which had former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko as a member of the audience. During these rounds, Bursak was landing devastating body shots and it was remarkable that De Carolis could take the shots without going down, for he was getting hammered over and over again. In the 6th round, De Carolis tried loading up on his own shots, and often missed badly with wild hooks. On one occasion, he missed with a sloppy-looking hook and spun all the way around and fell to the canvas, causing the Ukrainian crowd to burst out laughing.

By the 7th round, it seemed clear that the fight wouldn’t be lasting too much further. De Carolis was taking a vicious beating, so much so that the referee began to watch him closely while De Carolis was getting battered and looked as if he were going to be stepping in to stop it.

In the 8th round, after pounding away at De Carolis nonstop for the first minute of the fight, Bursak finally succeeded in hurting him with a left hook to the head, which caused De Carolis to back up against the ropes. Bursak then moved in and fired off a six-punch combination prompting for the referee to step in and halt the fight while De Carolis was helpless against the ropes.

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