Monday, April 22, 2024  |


Joyce stops Stiverne, Selby outpoints Douglas on DeGale-Eubank undercard

Fighters Network

LONDON — Former IBF featherweight titleholder Lee Selby was given an uncomfortable welcome to the lightweight division before scraping through a punishing 12-rounder against Omar Douglas. He won a unanimous decision 116-112 (twice) and 115-114 to capture the IBF Inter-Continental title.

Selby (27-2, 9 KOs) was cut by the left eye in Round 2 and bled from the right eye later in a contest that was scrappy at times but proved that the leap two weight classes up was not going to be easy.

Selby boxed on his toes with Douglas (19-3, 13 KOs) in pursuit in a hard, physical fight. The tassels on his white shorts were stained red by the end and Douglas appeared to more than match him in workrate, industry, strength and power.

There was indignation when Selby’s hand was hoisted in victory. Douglas had raised his arm at the bell, Selby – bloody and swollen – looked dejected.

Heavyweight hopeful Joe Joyce scored a one-sided sixth-round stoppage of former WBC titleholder Bermane Stiverne, who had taken a beating. It was waved off after 2:20.

The first round was wild. Stiverne landed several clubbing rights but Joyce (8-0, 8 KOs) was content to soak them up to get in close to land his combinations to body and head.

Stiverne (25-4-1, 21 KOs) was stiffened by a right uppercut in the second and Joyce poured in, landing everything but the kitchen sink. Stiverne tottered listlessly and referee Howard Foster could have stopped it at any point but the occasional Stiverne swing came back to keep him involved.

A Joyce right dropped Stiverne into the ropes for a count early in Round 3 and the Englishman then came out on top as they exchanged blows in what looked like a ‘do or die’ effort for Stiverne, who somehow made it through another round.

The pace slowed through the fourth. Stiverene’s mouth was a bloody mess, his features were becoming increasingly distorted, and Joyce was picking shots, helping himself to what he wanted, when he wanted.

A pair of clubbing rights in Round 6 eventually caused referee Foster’s intervention.

Stiverne is now an ex-champion who piled on the pounds and wound up trading his name to build a prospect’s record. Joyce looks good but needs to move his head more as he won’t be able to get to where he wants to be bulldozing tired, old and overweight ex-champions. But it will do for now.