Robert Coster at ringside
from Amneville-les-Thermes, France
In a battle of former world champions, French hero Mayhar Monshipour (31-3-2, 21 KOs) scored a fifth round stoppage of game Felix Machado (25-10, 12 KOs) of Venezuela at the beautiful Galaxie Arena in this small French town near the German border. Machado’s corner decided to keep their man from continuing at the end of the fourth round due to an ugly cut over the right eye. The bout while it lasted was entertaining as Monshipour attacked his foe from the get-go in his customary aggressive style.
The lanky Venezuelan’s plan was to play torreador to Mahyar’s bull-like offense using his reach and southpaw stance but was, in fact, drawn into a bloody toe-to-toe slugfest at close range, the Frenchman’s favorite territory.
While the brave Machado did land some very telling counter shots, it was obvious that the shorter but sturdier Monshipour was inflicting the greater damage. The South American was wobbled on more than one occasion but pride and guts kept him in the fight and the very fair public (an estimated 2000 fans) applauded his gallant effort.
The faces of both men reflected the violence of the contest but both warriors embraced at the end of the fight, showing mutual respect.
“I expected a tough fight and I got it,” declared Monshipour, “I had to force him into a close range fight and stop him from getting his rythmn; I took my share of punishment but it paid off.”
It was the French-Iranian’s third victory on his comeback trail and he now can look to the future, fighting as he says “for honor” — to win another title either in the bantamweight or super-bantamweight class.
The seven-bout card, televised by French Channel 9, included the first professional bout of featherweight Kedafi Djelkhir, Olympic silver medalist in Beijing 2008. Djelkir disposed of his foe, Krasten Krastanov of Bulgaria, in impressive fashion in just one round.