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DeMarco Stops Raiymkulov

Almazbek Raiymkulov Antonio DeMarcoBy Chris Williams: Lightweight fringe contender Antonio DeMarco (20-1-1, 14 KOs) stopped Almazbek “Kid Diamond” Raiymkulov (27-2-1, 15 KOs) in the 9th round on Saturday night at the The Pond, Anaheim, in California. DeMarco, 23, got the win after Raiymkulov sustained a broken nose in the 9th round. The fight was then stopped after the 9th by the ringside doctor. Before that, the fight was pretty much close with Raiymkulov to be getting the better of the action up until injuring his nose in the 9th.

DeMarco, ranked #7 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and #12 in the WBO, did little other than jab in most rounds and eat a lot of power shots from Raiymkulov. I had Raiymkulov well ahead in the fight at the time of the stoppage to due to his more meaningful punches in the fight.

DeMarco, who at 5’9″ looks far too thin to ever be more than a contender, looked one-dimensional, only capable of jabbing until he suddenly opened up with some nice straight left hands in the 9th that staggered Raiymkulov.

After hurting him, DeMarco tagged Raiymkulov with some nice left hands for the remainder of the round. After the round ended, Raiymkulov informed his corner that his nose had been injured in the 9th. The ringside doctor moved in shortly thereafter and called a halt to the fight.

It’s too bad the injury had occurred, because I had Raiymkulov comfortably ahead seven rounds to two after the 9th. Who knows? Without the injury, Raiymkulov might have swept the last three rounds, including the 9th. He certainly looked to be the better fighter up until the injury occurred, and was roughing up the praying mantis looking DeMarco.

Raiymkulov, 31, was cut late in the opening round on the ride side of his eye after clashing heads with DeMarco. The cut wasn’t a factor, though it seemed to annoy Raiymkulov, making him dab at the cut from time to time to wipe the blood away. Raiymkulov controlled the first round, landing some nice right hands and walking through DeMarco’s jabs.

For his part, DeMarco, a southpaw, seemed to be holding back with left hand, focusing more on using his jab and moving around the ring. He looked to be intentionally avoiding going to war with Raiymkulov. This was perhaps a smart thing to do, because with his built, looking like a human skeleton, I doubt seriously that DeMarco could handle going to war with a rugged fighter like Raiymkulov for a full 12-rounds without getting knocked out.

Sometimes thin fighters can punch with incredible power, such as Tommy Hearns. However, DeMarco appeared to be only an average puncher at best, and that’s not a good thing for a fighter as rail thin as him.

Raiymkulov continued dominating the fight in the 2nd round, tagging the stick-like DeMarco with big shots and ignoring DeMarco’s jabs.

DeMarco continued his one-dimensional jabbing in the 3rd, hardly throwing anything but jabs. This allowed Raiymkulov to easily win the round based on his heavy right hand shots. It was hard to compare the jabs that DeMarco threw and the power shots that Raiymkulov nailing him with, so I couldn’t score the round for DeMarco because jabs don’t compare to power shots.

In rounds four through eight, Raiymkulov continued his mastery of DeMarco, landing well with his power shots and handling DeMarco’s pesky jabs by ducking or blocking them for the most part. DeMarco occasionally landed forearms and elbows, I couldn’t help but notice. Raiymkulov paid him back in the 6th, but was warned by the referee immediately after. Unfortunately, the referee completely missed the forearms and elbows that DeMarco was throwing.

Early in the 9th, Raiymkulov appeared to be hurt by a straight left to the bridge of his nose. Immediately after, Raiymkulov backed up touching his nose, which started bleeding badly. DeMarco then began teeing off on Raiymkulov with shots for the rest of the round, hurting him with left hands. Though he was staggered, I think it was more of a case of already hurt from the broken nose and stepping back when getting hit on his nose.

Raiymkulov fought back through the pain and landed some nice right hands, but in the last seconds of the round he was taking shots against the ropes and in danger of being stopped. After the round ended, he informed his corner that his nose had been injured. The referee then stepped in and stopped the fight after a back and forth discussion with Raiymkulov and his corner.

DeMarco picked up the little known vacant WBO NABO lightweight title in winning the fight.

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