Burns defeats Lepelley; Rose stops Fraga; Warrington crushes Dieli
By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten Josh Warrington (19-0, 3 KOs) picked up a rare knockout win in defeated 35-year-old Davide Dieli (15-4, 5 KOs) by a 4th round stoppage on Saturday night to capture the vacant European featherweight title at the First Direct Arena, Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
The fight was halted by Dieli’s corner in the 4th round after he’d been knocked down. Dieli got back to his feet and was taking punishment from the 23-year-old Warrington until Dieli’s corner threw in the towell to stop the fight.
Warrington knocked Dieli down with a right hand to the head after backing him up against the ropes. Dieli barely beat the count in getting up at the count of 8. Warrington then tore into the badly hurt Dieli in nailing him with combinations until the fight was stopped. The referee stopped the fight at 1:42 of the round.
“He can bring a world title back to Leeds,” said promoter Eddie Hearn after the fight.
I don’t see Warrington being ready to take on any of the featherweight champions. If you put Warrington in with the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters, Nonito Donaire and Jhonny Gonzalez, bad things will happen for Warrington. I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but that’s pretty much the cold reality. He just beat a 35-year-old guy in Dieli, but let’s get real about this. Warrington would be out of his league if he were to take on any of the featherweight champions.
A fleshy looking former two division world champion Ricky Burns (37-4-1, 11 KOs) had to struggle to defeat little known 2nd tier fighter Alexandre Lepelley (17-2-1, 3 KOs). The referee scored it 79-71.
Burns knocked Lepelley down in the 1st round after hitting him with a right hand followed by a left that pushed him over. Lepelley was docked a point in the 7th round after his head made contact with Burns’ head. It was a pretty poor call given that Burns was the one that rammed Lepelley rather than the other way around. In the big scheme of things, it didn’t really matter because Lepelley had lost pretty much every round in the fight so it wasn’t like the point deduction had any overall effect in the fight.
After the 1st round, Burns began to look sluggish in dealing with the constant pressure from Lepelley. Burns was winning every round due to his superior size and power, but he still looked tired and laboring with the weight that he was carrying. The thing that was immediately obvious in looking at Burns’ physique at 140 was how thick he was around the middle. Instead of gaining muscle weight, Burns appeared to have put on flab around his midsection. To me, Burns looked like a lightweight with 10 pounds of fat.
After the fight, Burns said that he was going to talk to his team about moving back down to lightweight, because he made weight too easily.
“If I can make lightweight comfortable then it’s game on,” Burns said after the fight.
“There’s still fights for him domestically against Anthony Crolla, Luke Campbell, [Michael] Katsidis,” said Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn.
It’s interesting that Hearn wasn’t trying to pretend that Burns has a chance for a world title in the near future. Hearn was talking straight truth in saying that it’s domestic level for Burns right now.
Frankly, I think Burns needs to try and move back down to super featherweight, because there’s no place for him to go at lightweight right now. If you put him in with the likes of Mickey Bey, Terence Crawford, Raymundo Beltran, Omar Figueroa, and Richard Abril, he’s going to lose to all of those guys. At least if Burns fights at super featherweight, he would have a slight chance of winning a world title.
Burns really needs to melt off that flab that he put on around his midsection. He’s been complaining about having problems making weight at lightweight. Well, I can see that considering he’s got all that flab around his midsection. If Burns would lose that spare tire around his belly, he’d be able to make super featherweight easily. He wouldn’t need to go backd down to lightweight where he has no chance of competing.
#10 WBC super middleweight Callum Smith (14-0, 11 KOs) destroyed journeyman Rafael Sosa Pintos (48-11, 19 KOs) in the 3rd round of scheduled 8 round fight. Smith knocked Pintos down three times before the fight was halted.
This was a one-sided fight with Smith plodding after Pintos for three rounds, and nailing him with mostly body shots. It was slow stuff and hardly impressive. Pintos wasn’t throwing punches back, and he was mostly just covering up like a sparring partner. It wasn’t even a fight.
“I think everyone knows in the country he’s going all the way,” Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight. “He has an eliminator coming up against Sjekloca. He’ll be ready for a world title next spring. Hopefully it’ll be against George Groves.”
The eliminator bout against Nikola Sjekloca will be an eliminator for the WBC super middleweight title held by Anthony Dirrell, but it won’t be a final eliminator. Smith will need to fight someone else in a final eliminator before he can get a title shot against Dirrell. It’s interesting that Hearn is hoping that Groves will be the guy that Smith will be fighting, because I just don’t see it happening. Dirrell will be a nightmare for Groves.
In a horrible mismatch, former world title challenger Brian Rose (26-2-1, 8 KOs) totally obliterated a badly over-matched journeyman Ignacio Lucero Fraga (11-8-3, 5 KOs) by a 1st round knockout.
Rose knocked Fraga down three times with rabbit shots to the back of the head. After the final knockdown, the referee halted the fight at 2:58 of the 1st.
“I’m back and it’s a nice feeling. I can only beat who they put in front of me,” Rose said. “I think I’m punching harder. I’ve been doing weights. Hopefully the next time I fight for a world title it’ll be against a straight forward fighter with someone that comes right at you, not against a slick southpaw. I still have nightmares.”
Rose’s promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight “He’ll be back on the Liverpool card on November 22nd. I’d like to get him another world title shot.”
At #15 WBO, I think a title shot for Rose is out of the question. Hearn spoke about wanting to match Rose up potentially against #12 WBO Liam Smith. That might be Rose’s best hope for a future fight.