Adrien Broner (31-2, 23KOs) captured the vacant WBA World Super-Lightweight title with a twelfth round technical knockout of Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-2, 9KOs) at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday night.
The action began tentatively as with both fighters boxing cautiously, Broner’s last fight was a point’s loss to Shawn Porter in June and Allakhverdiev was coming off an eighteen month lay-off.
The fight sprang into action in the fourth with both fighters exchanging solid right hands. Broner began to dominate the fight with his quick jab and overhand rights. These were having a visible effect on the face of Allakhverdiev.
Broner must have sensed that he had the measure of his opponent as he became the aggressor taking the fight to Allakhverdiev landing body shots and solid rights to the head.
The punishment continued in a similar fashion until a weary and bloodied nosed Allakhverdiev was rescued by the referee in the final round.
With this win Broner becomes a four weight world champion having previously won titles in the Super-Featherweight, Lightweight and Welterweight divisions.
Also on the same night, Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) upset Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) with a tenth round knockout to win the vacant WBC World Super-Lightweight title at the StubHub Centre, Carson, California.
The fight was an awkward mesh of styles, creating an ugly clinch filled affair. Postol who is trained by Freddie Roach came to the fight with a game plan and was intent on executing it. The rangy Ukrainian boxing from an upright stance adopted a jab and grab strategy in an effort to stifle the boxer-puncher Matthysse.
Matthysse was frustrated by his opponent’s tactics and in retaliation he landed several rabbit punches behind Postol’s head. However, Postol’s game plan was effective as he continued to box from distance and take the opening rounds.
In the fifth, Matthysse had success with a straight left to the body followed by a right cross that rattled Postol. Matthysse’s constant rabbit punches caused a great deal of consternation for Postol who complained to the referee Jack Weiss who informed him that if he stopped holding he wouldn’t get hit.
The tempo increased in the sixth with Postol firing off combinations and having some success fighting on the inside but it was Matthysse’s best round as he unleashed a solid straight right that rattled his opponent again.
In the seventh, Matthysse landed a series of stinging straight rights that rocked Postol. There was an unintentional clash of heads but it caused no visible damage. The round closed with Matthysse landing a thudding left hook before Postol flurried in the final seconds.
There was a dramatic change in momentum from the beginning of round eight as Matthysse failed to build on his previous success and Postol dominated with four and five punch combinations. It was a similar story in the ninth before Postol forced the stoppage in the tenth by feinting with the left and hitting Matthyse with a straight right.
Matthysse fell to the canvas and was bleeding badly from his nose. He failed to rise from one knee and Jack Weiss counted him out. It was a sudden and shocking end to the fight particularly as Matthysse carried the reputation for being the puncher going into this bout.
Subsequent reports indicate that Matthysse had suffered an eye injury that forced him to take the ten count. It was an unfortunate climax to the bout and has probably cost Matthysse a potential fight against Manny Pacquiao who is due to return to the ring in February next year.
The win for Postol could potentially put him in the frame for a showdown with Pacquiao, but even a fight against the former pound for pound king could be a tough sell to the fans because of the rangy Ukrainian’s awkward style.
There are any number of fights to be made in a division that features the likes of Lamont Peterson, Terence Crawford and now Adrien Broner. The Super-Lightweight division is crying out for a dominant, even dare say, a unified champion now that Danny Garcia has moved up to Welterweight.
It’s unlikely to be Adrien Broner, as he does not seem willing to risk his title anytime soon. Having won the title this weekend he is intent on fighting Ashley Theoplane the sparring partner of Broner’s mentor; Floyd Mayweather Jr. The British fighter is unranked by the major world boxing organisations and if the fight did materialise it would reek of manipulation within the WBA as a sanctioning body.
Boxing fans just want to see great fights which is why it may take the fighters and promoters to get their act together and produce the next great star of the division.