Michael Conlan dominates and stops Sofiane Takoucht in 10
In what became an eventful encounter, due in large part to infringements, former amateur standout Michael Conlan dominated Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht to a 10th-round stoppage at the BT Sports studios in London on Saturday. The bout was contested at featherweight.
A huge left hand from Conlan in the final round set up a ferocious assault to body and head and referee Steve Gray jumped in to halt the action. The official time was 1:54.
“I said I wouldn’t rush it,” said Conlan in his post-fight interview with BT Sport in the U.K. “I said I would break him down and take him out and I did that.”
Conlan (14-0, 8 knockouts) started fast in Round 1, displaying his vaunted switch-hitting ability to take away the southpaw stance advantage of Tacoucht. The lefty posture also created an avenue for body punching and the Frenchman was being opened up very early.
The old saying is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” There was no need to change anything, although such was the relentlessness of Conlan’s body assault that he strayed low on a few occasions. Steve Gray was initially patient but finally deducted a point in the fourth. That was manageable, but there was serious urgency after Conlan was penalized another point in the fifth. He was now flirting with disqualification.
“I didn’t mean the low blows,” said Conlan afterwards. “I just love to hit them right on the sweet spot and there’s a fine line.”
Understandably Conlan went head-hunting for a round or so, which created a false sense of security for the visitor. Suddenly a massive left hand to the body doubled Tacoucht over in the seventh frame – and that one was legal. Conlan followed up well but was unable to secure the stoppage at that point.
It looked like Tacoucht (35-5-1, 13 KOs) was going to get over the finishing line but it was not to be. The stoppage was warranted and there was no argument from the Frenchman’s corner.
Tacoucht, who was coming off a brutal second-round stoppage loss to IBF featherweight titleholder Josh Warrington in October, was never really in it. Conlan was quicker, sharper and punched with more authority in every single session.
Conlan is looking for a world title opportunity at 122 pounds and trainer Adam Booth feels that he is ready now.
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing