Kubrat Pulev versus Bogdan Dinu turned out to be a more compelling and impressive heavyweight bout that Jab Hook had anticipated. The war of the jabs, the power vs speed, the punch vs counter-punch, the rally of the contender, the drama of the champion's severe facial laceration, the closing of the show. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, as witnessed in this prizefight.
The bout opened with Pulev doing his thing, pressuring with power, jab-jab, 1-2, POW! Dinu counter-punching quickly, but giving ground. Like their 2007 amateur bout in Romania, Pulev was out boxing and out landing Dinu. Unforgettable scene in the 1st break when Bogdan sits down, but his trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad notices Pulev standing rather than sitting, he yells, “You don't want no chair! Take the chair out!” Eddie “The Flame” once held the WBA World Light Heavyweight Title and is a treasure among boxing's old school survivors.
The 2nd and 3rd rounds followed a similar design with “The Cobra” using superior footwork and control of distance to back up a game Bogdan Dinu, and land more punches. Dinu kept trying and also landed counter-punches, but his shots didn't seem to trouble Pulev at all.
Dinu came out swinging in the 4th and Pulev retreated, only to be caught in the barrage by a short, slashing, overhand right that burst Kubrat's face over his left cheekbone, bordering his eye. The Y-shaped laceration was dangerous due its depth and the three flap configuration of injury. Pulev clinched, fought back hard and tried to save the round. Without cutman Rudy Hernandez, Pulev would have been done. But Hernandez mastered the wound, which leaked some, but did not hinder Kubrat.
Behaving like a Champion comes from a place within the boxer, and not from a fancy leather belt. “The Cobra” came out in the 5th round with a serpentine's evil urgency. He created massive forward pressure and landed his 1-2, jab-jab repeatedly as Dinu seemed shocked by the force of the Bulgarian. The 6th saw Pulev turn up the heat, as Bogdan tried to survive. In the 7th round a wilted Dinu was getting overwhelmed by Pulev and was ready to go. The knockdown came with a flurry that ended on Dinu's head as he was already down.
Referee Raul Caiz Sr took a point, but would not allow Dinu to just sit there. Correctly ruling it an “unintentional foul”, Caiz Sr brought in the ringside physician and told Dinu he had time. A DQ is not possible in this case, so going to the cards could have been the result, but the Romanian got up. The point penalty paid, Kubrat kontinued knock, knock, knocking Dinu down, at 01:42 left for the 2nd time. A shaken Bogdan Dinu now seemed again resigned to his fate, which finally befell him. A 3rd knockdown became KO with 0:24 remaining in the 7th round as Dinu collapsed to the canvas and flopped against the ropes.
Kubrat Pulev would not be denied. He now looks more determined and tougher than ever. AJ may be next, but whoever it is better be ready for anything. Props to Bogdan Dinu, who fought better and with more courage than in his last defeat, while losing via KO the 2nd time-in-a-row. Never a contender, now only a opponent. Damn Dinu! Boxing is such a thankless endeavor.
Jab accurately predicted, “Pulev will dominate and likely stop a disheartened opponent who fully embraces his losing role.”
“Jessie“ Magdaleno vs Rico Ramos failed to provide the action and style that Jab Hook had hoped for in this match up of former super bantamweight titleholders. Maybe 11 months off did cause a bit of ring-rust for “Jessie”. Magdaleno did enough to win rounds, but did not appear to shine so brightly. He took mostly what Ramos gave him as “Suavecito“ lived up to his nickname. Getting outworked by “Jessie” didn't bother Ramos at all. Rico looked satisfied to just be along for the ride, as he failed to mount anything of substance and kindly preserved the leather on his gloves.
Expectations can color the interpretation of the outcome of a boxing match up. Though Jab had “Jessie” winning 99:91 over Ramos, that looks better on paper than it did in the ring. Magdaleno could have done more against such a passive foe, but he went with the flow and won without a problem.
Jab Hook predicted the winner correctly, but was wrong when he thought it would be an entertaining bout with a TKO win for “Jessie”.
Undercard prospect alert:
Maxim Dadashev switched from trainer Marco Contreras to Buddy McGirt before this bout, but whoever picked Ricky Sismundo found the perfect opponent. The Filipino boxer called “Chocolate Hills Mondo Harada“, lasted somewhat longer than his nickname. He was awkward and aggressive and forced “Mad Max” to practice his defense and his footwork to avoid the volume punching from Sismundo. “CHMH” even managed to drop an off-balance Dadashev near the end of round 2. Maxim took it in stride and boxed carefully for the 3rd round.
In the 4th the pesky punk punched profusely, profoundly pissing off the prospect. Dadashev was angry and focused as the round opened. “Mad Max” had been timing Sismundo as he back-pedaled. So the next time the Filipino boxer lunged, Dadashev stopped short, planted his feet nicely, and dropped a left-right combination square on his jaw.
From the land of shooting-stars and fuzzy consciousness Sismundo awoke on the floor, rolled to his knees and tried to focus on two, overlapping referees kneeling and counting in front of him. Ref Tom Taylor allowed an 8 count, but waved the bout off with 30 seconds left in the 4th round as “Chocolate Hills Mondo Harada“ stood on shaky legs.
Jab Hook predicted this KO win for “Mad Max”, but believed it would come later in the fight.
Jab was 3 for 3 on this card, and the same for earlier London card.
Jab Hook's 2019 predictions: 39 of 47 correct on March 24th = 83%
(2018: 92 of 112 correct = 82.1%, to date 131 of 159 correct = 82.4%)
“Jab Hook”, aka “Brooklyn” Joe Healy is a boxing writer, an expert commentator for DAZN.de, a professional cutman from the BOXWERK gym, and a licensed referee/judge in amateur boxing. A lifelong aficionado born in Brooklyn and living in Munich, “The Sweet Science” is his passion. Please feel free to contact him as Jab Hook on, FaceBook or https://www.linkedin.com/in/