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Ogawa-Cordina undercard results: Zelfa Barrett wins European title at 130

Barrett, right, is looking to box clever against Rakhimov
04
Jun

CARDIFF, WALES – Zelfa Barrett used his slick boxing skills to outbox Faroukh Kourbanov and claim the European junior lightweight title by 12-round unanimous decision at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday.

Both men had their moments in the early going, though Barrett’s work was cleaner and more eye-catching.

The 28-year-old challenger boxed well off the backfoot but also dictated the pace and he was in a handy lead by the halfway stage.

Kourbanov, who was making the first defense of his European title that he won in December, came forward and never stopped trying but he was second best for much of the encounter.



Barrett was given room to pick his shots and although a knockout never looked likely, the scorecards were a formality. Barrett emulated his trainer and uncle, Pat, by becoming European champion. He was awarded the decision 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110.

Barrett (28-1, 16 knockouts) is primed to face the winner of the main event in the second half of the year. Kourbanov (19-4, 3 KOs) can come again, as all of his loses have come at European level.

Dalton Smith (left) against Mauro Perouene. Photo by Mark Robinson/ Matchroom Boxing

The classy junior welterweight Dalton Smith remained unbeaten with an impressive sixth-round stoppage over hard-nosed Mauro Perouene.

Smith, who is widely considered one of the best prospects on British shores, picked apart his game but overmatched opponent throughout. The Sheffield-based fighter softened up Perouene and began to pick him a part by the fourth round, bloodying the Argentinian’s face.

Smith (11-0, 9 KOs) continued to put it on Perouene (14-6-1, 7 KOs) over the next couple of rounds, finally dropping him with a right hand in the closing seconds of the sixth. The visitor’s corner wisely called a halt and pulled their man out before the seventh round began.

Former European junior featherweight titleholder Gamal Yafai returned to winning ways with a fourth-round stoppage against Sean Cairns.

Yafai, who lost to EBU title to Jason Cunningham in May 2021, knocked off any ring rust in the first two rounds before stepping things up in the third. He dropped Cairns with a minute left in the third round although his journeyman opponent survived the session.

However, it didn’t take long for the middle of three fighting brothers from Birmingham to close proceedings and he dispatched Cairns at 1:55 of the fourth. Yafai moves to (19-2, 11 KOs), while Cairns drops to (8-4, 2 KOs).

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright

 

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