The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
|Michalczewski stops Griffin in four rounds: Fabian Weber|
Bremen - 28 August 1999. In front of 6900 spectators at the Stadthalle Bremen Dariusz Michalczewski scored his most impressive win last Saturday since defeating Virgil Hill in 1997. Walking through the punches of a mobile and highly motivated Montell Griffin for three rounds, "The Tiger" upped the pace in the fourth and stopped his American challenger seconds before the bell ended the round.
Griffin took the first round with speedy combinations and had the better part of the second round again, until Michalczewski pushed the American into a neutral corner and landed two consecutive powerful jabs, the second one opening a cut over the challenger's right eye. The man from Chicago won the third round clearly, when he landed left hooks and combinations from different angles to the head of the German.
But even though taking a lot of solid shots in the third, Michalczewski seemed unimpressed, upped the pace in round four and landed a solid right hand to Griffin's head. The punch made the American bend down his upper body until he almost touched the floor with his left glove. Seconds later a hard right hand counter from Michalczewski deeply rocked Griffin again, who stumbled backwards against the ropes, where the champion snapped back Griffin’s head with six more solid shots. When Joseph Cortez stepped in to call a halt to the bout 2:59 into round four, the dazed Griffin fell into his chest of the American referee.
"Griffin felt treated unjust in the Olympic Games and in the second Jones fight, where he was rushed into the ring before he could warm up. But there is no doubt that he lost tonight", Montell's rational older brother Tim summarized after the fight.
It was Michalczewski’s 16th successful defense of his WBO 175 lbs. title. He improved his unbeaten record to 41-0 with 34 KO4s, whereas Griffin, #3 of the Independent World Boxing Rankings, dropped to 38-3 with 27 KO4s. Number 1 and 2 of these rankings are Michalczewski and Roy Jones, the man who "The Tiger" wants to face since years.
"The time when critics blamed us for selecting Michalczewski's challengers carefully are over", promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl stated. "We don't hide from anybody. Our aim is to get Roy Jones into the ring against Michalczewski. Everybody who saw Dariusz' performance tonight knows that he can beat him."
Meanwhile Roy Jones, who eventually should have run out of arguments for avoiding Michalczewski, first has a mandatory defense coming up against another German - Graciano Rocchigiani - in November. Michalczewski will be making another voluntary defense in December, setting up a possible showdown against Jones in February 2000.
"Ko-Ko" Kovacs outclasses former African champion
On the undercard of Dariusz Michalczewski's victory over Montell Griffin, Hungarian featherweight sensation Istvan "Ko-Ko" Kovacs scored a unanimous decision over eight rounds against former African featherweight champion Kimoun Kouassi from the Ivory Coast.
Kovacs, 57kg / 125=lb, won every round against the competent but outclassed Kouassi, 57.2kg / 126lb, who caused the Hungarian some trouble early on because of his long arms. But as the fight went on, Ko-Ko's dominance became more obvious until he came close to knock his opponent out in the final round.
The 29-year-old Kovacs improved his unbeaten record to 14-0 (5 KO4s). He is ranked #3 by the WBO, #8 by the WBC and #2 in Europe.
Kovacs, the reigning WBC international featherweight champion, will approach a fight for another title this year, possibly for the European crown. Current European featherweight champion is the experienced Brit Steve Robinson.
Kovacs' great aim for next year is a title shot at British featherweight sensation Naseem Hamed. The WBO champion is considered the best fighter of his weightclass worldwide.
In two further contests on the undercard, German heavyweight contenders Kim Weber and Willi Fischer scored wins inside the distance. Weber, 99.5kg / 219=lb, knocked out American Exum Speight, 97kg / 214lb, with a mighty right cross in round two (1:57), whereas Fischer, 106kg / 233=lb, wore down Alexei Osokin, 101.5kg / 224lb, and scored two knockdowns in the fifth until the Russian quit 1:50 into the round.
Weber improved to 27-1 (20 KO4s), whereas Fischer upped his record to 25-2-1 (19 KO4s).
Weber and international German champion Fischer will fight each other on 23 October in Frankfurt in a rematch of their encounter in 1996 that Weber won by a close decision.
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