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Hide Stops Halasz; Pirog Defeats Jantuah

Dmitry Pirog Herbie HideBy Erik Schmidt: Cruiserweight contender Herbie Hide (48-4, 43 KO’s) continued with his successful three year comeback with a 3rd round stoppage win over journeyman Gabor Halasz (26-13, 10 KO’s) on Friday night at the Hermann-Neuberger-Halle, in Voelklingen, Saarland, Germany. Hide, 37, knocked Halasz down twice in the fight, once in the 1st and a final time in the 3rd.

After the second knockdown, the fight was stopped at 2:23 in the 3rd round by referee Ingo Barrabas. The fight was entirely one-sided with Hide doing virtually all the punching and landing in the fight, and Halasz serving as the punching bag for Hide to look good against.

Hide, is currently ranked #2 in the WBO and World Boxing Council, despite having fought largely no one since staging his comeback in 2006. It had been hoped that Hide would finally get a top contender to have his skills tested against in Matt Godfrey, but unfortunately that fight fell through and boxing fans instead had to settle for watching Hide fight yet another journeyman opponent.

He did, however, look good in beating his journeyman. However, Hide ended up throwing a lot of rabbit punches (punches to the back of the head) against Halasz, and he fought out of control a lot of the time. Hide will have to be able to contain himself a little better if he is to have any hope of beating WBC cruiserweight champion Giacobbe Fragomeni and WBO title holder Ola Afolabi. Both are very vulnerable, but are polished enough to give Hide big problems if he fights wild and out of control the way he’s been fighting since staging his comeback.

In the 1st round, Hide came out looking really sloppy throwing slow clubbing shots and succeeding in hitting Halasz in the back of the head not once but twice in the opening seconds of the round. A short while later, Hide knocked Halasz down with a clubbing right hand to the head.

After Halasz got to his feet, Hide went all out trying to finish him off and ended up hitting him with four more rabbit punches to the back of the head. Incredibly, Hide wasn’t warned for the punches. The referee took a point away from Halasz, who he said was turning his back to Hide when being attacked.

I didn’t see any such case of Halasz turning his back. What I saw was Hide getting in close to him and hooking around the back of his head with right hands. It was a similar move that heavyweight Samuel Peter likes to use. However, in this case Hide’s shots were even more to the back of the head than what I’ve seen from Peter.

Hide ended the first round landing two more rabbit punches out of the last four punches he threw. In the 2nd round, Halasz was cut over the left eye by one of Hide’s looping shots. Hide continued to throw rabbit punches and landed two nice textbook rabbit shots in the opening moments of the round, one of which elicited a warning from the referee.

Hide then backed Halasz up against the ropes and bludgeoned him with chopping punches as Halasz’s left eye bled profusely. The referee then stopped the action to have the cut examined. However, he then let the fight continue. Hide then trapped Halasz in the corner and landed a series of big looping punches to the head of Halasz.

In the 3rd round, Hide went right hand crazy, hitting Halasz with one right hand after another as if trying to chop down a slender tree. Halasz, 31, looked beaten and was taking a terrific beating for a fighter that came in the fight strictly for the sole purpose of getting a small paycheck and making Hide look good. He was giving the crowd their money’s worth that’s for sure. Hide finally finished matters when he landed a hard left hook and then a big right hand that sent Halasz down for the final time.

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Undefeated middleweight contender Dmitry Pirog (14-0, 11 KO’s) dominated former middleweight title challenger 35-year-old Kofi Jantuah (32-4-1, 21 KO’s) in a 12-round unanimous decision victory in the undercard to capture the World Boxing Council International middleweight belt.

The final judges’ scores were 120-109, 120-109 and 120-108. Jantuah has to get a lot of credit for standing up to Pirog and not quitting, because he took an enormous amount of punishment in this fight and wasn’t ever even close to being competitive in any of the rounds.

Pirog, 29, used a lot of head movement and angles to keep Jantuah from landing his bigger shots. Pirog looked great in the 1st round, ducking shots, moving his torso and bombarding Jantuah from the outside with jabs and combinations.

Pirog doubled and tripled up with hooks to the head and body. And while Pirog had no power to speak of, his high work rate and good punch accuracy still did a lot of damage. In rounds two through four, the bout stayed entirely one-sided with Pirog pounding Jantuah at will with shots.

Jantuah’s left eye began to show signs of swelling in the 4th round. In the 5th, Jantuah was able to land a handful of power shots, but still not close to being enough to win the round. Jantuah fought hard in the 10th round, trying to connect with his shots to take Pirog out.

However, Pirog was far too skilful and easily avoided most of Jantuah’s slow efforts at connecting. He did land a few big shots, but he well behind in the fight by this point and taking a ton of punishment as he came forward.

In the 11th and 12th rounds, Pirog continued with the one-sided beating and had few problems with the punches that Jantuah did connect with. In the 12th, Jantuah fought incredibly hard and was able to land a small handful of punches, but it was too little, too late, and not enough to win the round or get Pirog out of there.

Pirog looks good for a contender, and with his number #3 ranking in the World Boxing Organization, he’s going to get a shot at champion Kelly Pavlik sooner or later. I don’t like Pirog’s chances when that time comes, but he’ll get a good payday out of it even in a losing effort. He doesn’t have the power to compete against Pavlik, and will get knocked when the time comes for that fight to happen.


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