In the second scrap of the night at Wembley, local David Price, the beloved “Pricey” to good number of fans in the stands, took on Sergey Kuzmin, in a heavyweight tango set for 10 or fewer rounds.
Fewer it was; after four rounds, the Price corner informed the ref that their man had an injured arm, and couldn’t continue.
He sat with ice tucked in his right bicep after the announcement.
The Liverpudlian Price (age 35; 265 pounds) entered with a 22-5 mark, having been stopped out five times. On social media, he hears it from punters who think she should hang up the mitts. Now, more so…
Kuzmin, the younger gun, at 31, entered at 12-0. The Russian’s best win to date had been a W over Amir Mansour.
Price was coming off a loss to Alexander Povetkin, but fighting is ingrained in his fiber.
In the first, Price piled up the jabs, and managed a few combos. Kuzmin…
..wanted to blind him with jabs and hurl power rights.
In the second, a right hook slipped through on Price, he took it well. He stayed with the jab, fired some twos behind the ones. Price’s left hook to the body landed meaningfully a few times. Kuz came forward, edged forward, and went to the body with the hook, too. Price was backing up a bit quicker at the end of the round.
In the third, they tore it up center ring at 1:30. Kuz was smart-cautious, and was investing in body work, and his left hook to the head landed sharp late.
In round four, Price…
…stood his ground as Kuzmin edged in. His high guard wasn’t impregnable, right hands snuck around the left glove in front of his face and attached at times to his ear. Price landed a mean counter right in the third, and again in the fourth, showing good timing for such a gargantua. (He’s 6-8). Replays showed a counter right landed flush on Price’s chin and his rooters were overjoyed he took it just fine.
And then it was over…the ref waved it off after visiting the Price corner.
To open the wet and atypically chilly evening, Shakram Giyasov won by a 4th-round TKO after smacking Julio Laguna with a flurry of blows. Uzbekistan bettered Nicaragua in this welterweight faceoff.
In the third scrap of the night at Wembley Stadium, Lawrence Okolie met 23-3-1 Matty Askin, in a cruiserweight faceoff.
The Londoner Okolie, aka “The Sauce,” entering at 9-0, was the more heralded man entering, though Askin held the British cruiser crown.
Okolie left with the win, but hadn't bolstered his rep. The mashup was a dreary waltz, featuring more clinches than power punches landed.
After 12 rounds which left the fans resoundingly drowsy, the scores were tabulated and shared: 116-110, 114-112, 114-113…for Okolie.
Okolie is 25, while Askin, residing in Lancashire, is 29. Askin is tabbed “The Assassin,” and boasted 15 stoppages to his credit.
In the first, Okolie was the more active man. He looked maybe a little nervous, and loaded up a missed bad a few times. The duo entered into several clinches.
In the second, we saw more clinches. Askin looked to grab on more than counter, or find openings. Bad style match.
In the third, Okolie was moving more but he still clinched when in close. He was warned for a shoulder butt late.
In the fourth, we saw Okolie being better with distance. His corner told him to use his legs more.
In the fifth, too much of the same. Okolie was not having anyone demanding to see more of him. The ref warned Okolie again.
In the sixth, and seventh, we saw too much holding. Not to over do the critique, but this was an opportunity lost to Okolie. A replay showed a straight right landing on Askin, and Askin took it well.
In round 8, we saw the ref AGAIN warned the two, for not being busy enough. A counter right cross from Okolie was the best punch of the round. Okolie had a point taken late in the round and the crowd didn’t react at all. They traded some at 40 seconds, and we appreciated the uptick in action.
To the ninth; jab and hold from Okolie. He wanted to land that right cross on incoming Askin…
To the tenth, Okolie showed more of the same, and Askin too spent more time in clinch mindset than was appropriate. Round 11 saw the youger man show slower hands than earlier. In the 12th, the action looked much the same. No one would pull a rabbit out of a sad hat…We went to the cards. The crowd was so unmoved they couldn't even muster the energy to boo. They sat indifferently as the final bell tolled.
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