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Hrgovic defeats Radonjic, Ryder, Smith & Baraou Win

Image: Hrgovic defeats Radonjic, Ryder, Smith & Baraou Win

By Matt Lieberman: IBF International heavyweight champion Filip ‘El Animal Hrgovic (13-0, 11 KOs) put on a devastating display of power in stopping previously unbeaten knockout artist Marko Radonjic (22-1, 22 KOs) at the end of three rounds on Friday night at the Worthersee Stadium, Klagenfurt, Austria.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic dropped the southpaw Radonjic five times in the fight. Four of the knockdowns occurred in the fourth, and the final in the third. After the round ended, the contest was halted.

The brave 31-year-old Radonjic looked like he wanted to continue, but his balance wasn’t there after being dropped so many times by the tall 6’5″ Hrgovic. Radonjic was swinging wildly with left-hand bombs, but he couldn’t find his mark.

#4 IBF Hrgovic could be facing Martin Bakole next in an IBF title eliminator in December. Bakole wants to get a tune-up fight first before fighting Hrgovic.

Hrgovic’s promoter Kalle Sauerland expressed disappointment this week about the many contenders that turned down this fight with ‘El Animal.’ Michael Hunter was the contender that Sauerland and Hrgovic seemed to be most upset with because they couldn’t understand why he would turn down a fight that could earn him a payday of millions if he won.

In other results on Friday’s card:

Former super middleweight world title challenger John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder (30-5, 17 KOs) moved up to light heavyweight to defeat Jozef Jurko (8-2, 6 KOs)0 by a fifth round knockout.

Ryder used his superior skills to pummel the over-matched Jurko until stopping him. The time of the stoppage was at 1:29 of round five.

Ryder’s victory was his second consecutive since losing a controversial 12 round unanimous decision to former WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith in November 2019.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn wants to have Ryder challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol for his title. If that fight happens, it’s going to be a bit of a size mismatch in favor of Bivol, but the payday will be good for Ryder.

Ryder is ranked #3 WBA, #11 WBC, and #14 WBO. There was recently talk of Ryder challenging WBA ‘regular’ 168-lb champion David Morrell Jr. for his title. The World Boxing Association has now ordered that fight, but it’s unlikely to happen.

Super middleweight prospect Abass Baraou (10-1, 7 KOs) defeated Jay Spence (11-2, 7 KOs) by a first round knockout.

In a fun fight, unbeaten light welterweight Dalton Smith (9-0, 7 KOs) used his slick boxing skills to defeat journeyman Brian Pelaez (10-6, 1 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision to capture the WBA Intercontinental belt.

The scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 99-91. It was a good performance from Smith. He doesn’t have much punching power, but he’s a slick fighter with many skills.


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