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Boxing Results: Burns Defeats O’Hara; Arthur Destroys Benbiou

Alex Arthur Ricky BurnsBy Jason Kim: In a rather dull fight filled with constant clinching by the champion, super featherweight Commonwealth title holder Ricky Burns (27-2, 7 KO’s) defeated challenger Kevin O’Hara (16-5, 5 KO’s) by a 12-round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Bellahouston Sports Centre, in Glasgow, Scotland. The final judges’ scores were 117-110, 115-113 and 116-111.

Burns, 26, probably should have been penalized and ultimately disqualified for his constant clinching in the bout, which took away from the fight and made it difficult for O’Hara to get more than a one or two punches in at a time before being grabbed by Burns.

There wasn’t much action in the opening round as Burns steadily backpedaled looking to escape from the huge looping left hooks from O’Hara in the round. Burns mostly jabbed and attempted to grab at every opportunity.

O’Hara landed some big left hooks in the 2nd round, nailing Burns repeatedly with jarring shots that snapped his head around. O’Hara continued to fight well in the 3rd, tagging Burns with big left hooks over and over again in the round. Burns landed several right hands in the closing seconds of the round but not enough to overcome the big shots he had been hit with earlier.

Rounds four though six were difficult to score as Burns landed at a slightly higher margin, but it was O’Hara who was landing the much harder shots. At the same time, Burns began to clinch for all he was worth, slowing down O’Hara’s offensive attacks, but making the fight all but unwatchable.

The referee stood idly by and let Burns tie O’Hara up again and again without issuing a warning. By the end of the 6th, Burns had turned the fight into a one huge bore. Since he was clinching most of the time, I couldn’t give him any of the rounds even though he was landing at a slightly higher pace.

In rounds seven and eight, O’Hara continued to take the fight to Burns, hitting him hard with big shots. However, Burns was now clinching at an even higher rate and not giving O’Hara more than enough time to hit him once before being grabbed.

Burns was good at hitting and immediately holding onto O’Hara to prevent counter shots. Again, it was a horrible fight to watch because of Burns’ tactics. In rounds nine through twelve, Burns stifled O’Hara’s offense completely by the punch and grab technique, shutting him down almost entirely.

When Burns wasn’t grabbing and clinching, he was moving around the ring in circles. All in all, a poor fight for Burns. A performance like that would likely have made it difficult for Burns’s future fights to be shown in places like the United States, who prefer action to clinching and running. I think Burns should have been disqualified for the clinching or at least been penalized until he discontinued with the holding.

In other action, former World Boxing Organization super featherweight Alex Arthur (27-2, 20 KO’s) destroyed journeyman Mohamed Benbiou (15-15, 8 KO’s) in the 1st round of a scheduled eight round lightweight bout. Making his first appearance at lightweight, Arthur, 30, knocked his over-matched opponent down three times before the bout was ultimately stopped at 1:33 of the 1st round by referee Phil Edwards .

Arthur, who lost his WBO super featherweight title in a 12 round decision loss to Nicky Cook last year in September 2008, came out firing on all cylinders in the 1st round, landing hard hooks to Benbiou’s body. A mere 25 seconds into the round, Arthur dropped Benbiou with a left to the body.

Benbiou got up but was almost immediately put down again after getting hit with two left hooks, a right hand and then another big left to the body that deposited Benbiou on the canvas. Benbiou got up and was able to survive for a little while longer despite getting hit with some wicked combinations from Arthur as he followed him around the ring punishing him.

However, Arthur trapped Benbiou near the ropes and landed a big left to the body that sent Benbiou down for the third and final time in the bout. The referee then stepped in and stopped the bout at this point.

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