By Erik Schmidt: In a shocking upset super middleweight contender Robert Stieglitz (36-2, 22 KOs) stopped World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight champion Karoly Balzsay (21-1, 15 KOs) in a 11th round stoppage in front of Balzsay’s home audience at the SYMA Sport & Leisure Center, in Budapest, Hungary.
Stieglitz, 28, who had looked anything but impressive in the past two years getting stopped by Alejandro Berrio and Librado Andrade, started off slow in the first half of the fight but then took over in the later rounds, battering Balzsay with power shots in front of his home crowd. Stieglitz hurt Balzsay with a series of big shots in the 9th round, sending him down on the canvas.
The referee Joe Cortez appeared to be shielded from the action and blew the call, ruling it a slip. Balzsay had nothing left in the tank in the 10th round and took some god awful punishment from the Russian Stieglitz, who poured it on with big right hands and hooks to the head.
Following the round, Fritz Sdunek, the trainer for Balzsay, opted to have the fight stopped rather than send Balzsay out for another serving of punishment at the hands of the Russian. Balzsay, although a little hurt, wanted to continue fighting.
However, Sdunek was having none of it and had the fight stopped. In a strange twist, Balzsay was taken out of the ring on a stretcher, even though he looked to be in good condition.
Balzsay dominated the first eight rounds of the bout, throwing the harder combinations and outworking Stieglitz by a significant margin. The problem here was that Balzsay was throwing too many punches and tiring himself out in the process. Instead of using his jab along with a little movement to keep Stieglitz from landing his powerful shots, Balzsay stood in front of him most of the time throwing a lot of punches.
It looked as if Balzsay was hoping to shut Stieglitz down with his high work rate. Although I’ve seen Stieglitz get stopped in the past against Librado Andrade, it took a furious attack from Andrade to take Stieglitz out. Balzsay wasn’t letting his hands go consistently with power punches like Andrade was in his fight with Stiglitz, but instead was wasting a lot of time throwing jabs over and over again.
The effort seemed to take a lot out of Balzsay. At the start of the 9th round, suddenly Balzsay started moving side to side for the first time in the fight, as if signaling that he was tired. Seconds later, a cut opened up over the right eye of Balzsay. For whatever reason, Balzsay seemed to let up at that point and just take shots from Stieglitz.
It was as if he mentally quit for a second there, letting Stieglitz attack him at will with punches. Stieglitz succeeded in landing a nice left-right combination that hurt Balzsay, causing him to back up. Stieglitz hurt Balzsay again later in the round with a hard left-right combination. Somehow, Balzsay made it out of the round without going down, even though he slipped to the canvas after getting hit with a combination. It looked like a knockdown to me, but the referee called it a slip.
In the 10th round, Balzsay took an enormous amount of punishment from Stieglitz all round long. Balzsay looked really tired at this point, too tired to throw more than a handful of punches. Stieglitz looked tired too, but he did a good job of battering Balzsay for the full three minutes of the round. After the round ended, Balzsay’s trainer Fritz Sdunek stopped the fight in between rounds. Balzsay stood as if to continue fighting but staggered into the arms of Sdunek, who alerted the referee to have the fight stopped.
In super bantamweight action, undefeated contender Zsolt Bedak (14-0, 4 KO’s) stopped Yersin Jailauov (20-7-1, 7 KO’s) in the 2nd round of a scheduled 12-round bout for Bedak’s World Boxing Organization European super bantamweight title. Bedak, 25, a 2004 Olympian for the Hungarian amateur team, dropped Jailauov with a big left hook in the 2nd round.
It was made easy because Jailauov was keeping his left hand low by his side practically inviting Bedak to hit him with something. Seconds after dropping Jailauov, Bedak put him down again, this time with a left-right combination. Jailauov got to his feet. He then walked towards referee Genaro Rodriguez but he then stopped the bout after Jailauov staggered as he walked forward.