Joshua Buatsi scores spectacular one-punch knockout of Daniel Dos Santos in Round 4
No surprises in the main event.
Talented boxer-puncher Joshua Buatsi proved to be way too much for unheralded Frenchman Daniel Dos Santos, who was ruthlessly halted at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday. The official time was 2:44 of Round 4 and the light heavyweight attraction was scheduled for 10.
Buatsi (14-0, 12 knockouts) decked Dos Santos in the second and closed out with a spectacular right hand shot in the fourth. Referee Victor Loughlin saw need to count as the stricken fighter was out upon impact and fell face-first to the canvas. Such was the brutality of the knockout that Buatsi seemed to get a fright and dropped to his knees in respect for his opponent.
“I took him very serious,” said Buatsi during his post-fight interview. “He was awkward for a few rounds, but I landed the right punch at the right time. I learned on the job, figured him out on the job, and I’m happy that I got the win.”
Dos Santos (15-1, 8 KOs) was decent defensively in spots and some crafty switch-hitting kept him alive through the first three rounds. The visitor was simply unable to get anything off offensively because Buatsi’s face-busting jab and presence made him very pensive.
Buatsi was working with trainer Virgil Hunter for the first and his ceiling could be very high. The sharp-shooting Londoner will be compulsive viewing when he takes the step up to world class.
In a huge upset, Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham (29-6, 6 KOs) claimed the European junior featherweight championship with a dazzling 12-round unanimous decision over Gamal Yafai. The official scores were 115-110, 114-111 and 114-111. Utilizing his cerebral southpaw style to the maximum, Cunningham, who took the fight on three-and-a-half weeks’ notice, dropped the Birmingham man with straight left hands in the second, fourth and sixth rounds and avoided the vast majority of his opponent’s heavy artillery. Yafai (18-2, 10 KOs) was game throughout and punished the body in the late going, but he was unable to secure the knockout he so desperately needed.
Belfast-based Londoner Tommy McCarthy retained his European cruiserweight title for the first time by posting an impressive sixth-round knockout over Alexandru Jur. The official time was 2:09. McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) had things largely his own way before decking the Romanian with a left hook to the body in the fourth. The writing was on the wall and even though Jur (19-5, 7 KOs) engaged reverse gears for the remainder of the contest, McCarthy caught him with the same shot in the sixth and the challenger was unable to rise before referee Ian John-Lewis completed the count. McCarthy will now meet countryman Chris Billam-Smith in the summer.
Lerrone Richards picked up the vacant European super middleweight championship with a routine 12-round unanimous decision win over Italian veteran Giovanni De Carolis. The official scores were 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109. Southpaw Richards (15-0, 3 KOs) barely absorbed a significant punch and was in command with a brisk right jab, an impressive array of power shots and an effective body attack. Any ambition that De Carolis (29-9, 13 KOs) had was knocked out of him very early, and Richards, who has also claimed British and Commonwealth championships in his career, cruised to victory with a tidy and disciplined display.
Fast-rising junior welterweight prospect Dalton Smith dominated Lee Appleyard to capture the English title. The official time of the stoppage was 2:44 of Round 6. Smith (8-0, 7 KOs) has looked like an excellent talent during the embryonic stages of his pro career and this showing was no different. A assault attack in the sixth, culminating in a powerful right to the head, forced referee Mark Lyson to stop the contest. Appleyard falls to 16-6-1 (5 KOs).
Tom Gray is Managing Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing