Russian Zaurbek Baysangurov (28-1, 20) successfully defended the WBO Light Middleweight title as he defeated Czech Lukas Konecny (48-4, 23) in a thoroughly enjoy and hard fought bout.
The bout started excellently for the challenger who applied constant pressure and appeared to win the first two rounds with a high work rate and some excellent movement as Baysangurov tried to trade with him. In these early rounds it appeared as if Konecny just had too much experience, skill and toughness, sadly for the challenger however it didn't take long before the champion changed his tactics.
In round 3 Baysangurov started to utilise his significant reach and height advantage and used his jab to keep Konecny at a safe distance. Although many of Baysangurov's shots were taken on the guard he was starting to stay away from Konecny's relentless attack and whilst also beginning to control the distance. By the end of the 3rd Konecny's nose was starting to trickle blood, though it was nothing too noticeable it still seemed noteworthy.
Through the middle rounds Baysangurov started to take control of the bout and although Konecny kept the rounds close and competitive it just appeared as if Baysangurov had a bit too much movement, energy and reach. As Baysangurov started to take the rounds he was also upping his own work rate whilst Konecny was becoming less active as well as less successful.
Having fallen well behind, Konecny tried to turn the fight around in the championship rounds but unfortunately had left himself too much to do and had suffered a number of cuts, including a nasty one on his nose an usual one on top of his head and, in round 12, a very nasty one around his eye. The eye cut forced the referee to take Konecny over to the Dr but with less than 2 minutes left the Dr let the fight continue as Konecny attempted to turn the fight around but failed.
Despite being an excellent and high tempo bout with a lot of competitiveness it was fought with a lot of mutual respect by both men who both seemed to respect not only each other but the actual fight it's self. There was only 1 notable foul (a low blow by Baysangurov in round 11) and nothing deliberately dirty by either man, sadly however it seemed like Konecny, at 34 years old, was a fighter who was starting to genuinely look like a man on the slide. Hopefully it won't be the last we see of him.