Nieky Holzken stops Bernard Donfack – Results
By Jim Dower: Super middleweight Nieky Holzken (14-1, 11 KOs) defeated 37-year-old journeyman fighter Bernard Donfack (23-19-4, 11 KOs) by a 3rd round knockout on Saturday night in a scheduled 8 round fight on the undercard of the Arthur Abraham vs. Patrick Nielsen fight at the Baden-Arena in Offenburg, Germany.
Holzken, 34, knocked Donfack down with a right hand rabbit shot in the 3rd. Holzken then hit Donfack when he got up from the knockdown. The referee chose not to penalize Holzken for hitting Donfack after he regained his feet, although he could have. It was a clear foul by Holzken. It’s unknown why Holzken hit Donfack after he got up. Perhaps Holzken didn’t realize that in boxing you’re not allowed to hit your opponent after they get back up until the referee restarts the action. When the referee finally did resume the fight, Holzken backed Donfack up against the ropes and started hitting. At that moment, Donfack’s corner threw in the towel, but Holden didn’t see it and kept fighting. After a brief moment, Holzken finally stopped throwing punches. He wasn’t penalized because he didn’t see the towel being thrown in.
Donfack was able to land a lot of shots in rounds 1 and 2. However, he was mostly throwing slow arm shots that Holzken easily blocked.
In round 3, Holzken seemed to hurt Donfack with a body shot. Holzken continued to throw periodic punches to the midsection until he dropped Donfack with a punch to the back of his head. Donfack got to his feet and was clobbered right away by Holzken directly in front of the referee. Only the referee knows why didn’t penalize Holzken. It wouldn’t have likely mattered anyway, as Holzken was going to win the fight regardless, but it’s nice to have the referee in front of the fight making sure the fighters follow the rules.
This was Holzken’s first fight since losing to Callum Smith by a 12 round unanimous decision last February in the World Boxing Super Series tournament semifinals in Nurnberg, Germany. Holzken was the replacement opponent for Juergen Braehmer, who had pulled out at the last minute due to an illness. Holzken wasn’t expected to be competitive with Smith, but surprisingly he gave him a good fight despite losing by scores 117-111, 118-110 and 117-111. In some respects, Holzken did a better job against Smith than the far more experienced Erik Skoglund did in his quarterfinals match in the World Boxing Super Series.
Holzken looks like a decent 2nd tier fighter. He probably should move down in weight to 160, because he’s too weak of a puncher for him to be a factor at 168. Holzken is not going to beat too many good super middleweights with his lack of power, inexperience and his advancing age.
In the main event, former super middleweight and super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (47-6, 30 KOs) beat Patrick Nielsen (29-3, 14 KOs) by a 12 round split decision by the scores 114-113 for Nielsen, and 116-111, 116-111 for Abraham. The judges were more impressed with Abraham’s harder landing shots than they were with the high work rate from Nielson.