By Alex Hermann
Unbeaten, but unheralded light heavyweight Luke Blackledge (10-0, 4 KOs) scored the best win of his career when he stopped former European champ Mads Larsen (51-4, 38 KOs) in round four on Saturday night at the Herning Kongrescenter in Herning, Denmark. Blackledge is an aggressive fighter – as Mads Larsen likes. In the opening round Larsen controlled Blackledge with his jab, and he landed several good left shots to the body. In round two Larsen was cut over his left eye by a headbutt from Blackledge. The Englishman continued fighting hard, and Larsen didn’t succeed to keep him away with his jab. Larsen was moving well, and after three rounds he was ahead on the cards. In round four Blackledge pressured Larsen to the ropes, and the Dane went down. Larsen looked like he could get up, but decided to stay down. The referee counted him out at 1:20 of the round.
WBA/WBC/WBO female welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus retained her titles with a unanimous decision over Jessica Balogun. Braekhus and Balogun have sparred together many times, but in a real fight Braekhus was a level above. Balogun worked hard, and several rounds were quite close, but without a doubt Braekhus won most of the exchanges. Braekhus was the dominating fighter in a fight without too many highlights, and a KO victory wasn’t even close. The scores were 97-93 twice and 99-92 for Braekhus (20-0, 5 KO).
“Contender: Season One” fighter Ahmed “Baby Face” Kaddour won a majority decision over Gary Boulden after eight hard fought rounds. Kaddour started great and won the opening round, but already from round two he looked a bit tired. Kaddour was definitely out of shape, and Boulden, a brave but limited fighter, won the middle rounds. In the late rounds Kaddour got up again, and he won a majority decision with the scores of 76-76 (wrongly announced as 76-75 for Kaddour), 78-74 and 79-73 for Kaddour.
Reda Zam Zam got the third straight victory after his comeback, when he stopped Italian Giuseppe Langella in round three. Zam Zam (26-1, 13 KO) looked good, and with his quick hands he won the two first rounds. In round three Langella injuried his leg in infight, and he was unable to continue.
Torben Keller (4-0-1, 1 KO) and Luca Arrigo (2-1-2, 0 KO) drew over four rounds. Keller was the better boxer, but he had an off day, and he was shaken in the rounds one and three. It seemed like Keller had problems with Arrigo’s southpaw style, but most of the time he took advantage of his longer reach. The scores were 38-38 twice and 39-37 for Keller. This writer scored it 38-38.
Swedish prospect Erik Skoglund (11-0, 6 KO) stopped overmatched Fouad Nasri in two. Nasri was down in round one and again in round two, and he was stopped after 0.42 of the round.
The show was opened by IBF #2 Karo Murat, who stopped Sandro Siproshvili (25-13, 12 KO) in seven. The Georgian was outboxed and outclassed, and already in the opening round he was knocked with a left to the chin. In round four, Siproshvili was very hurt, and the fight could have been stopped. It happened in round seven, when the referee stopped him standing on his legs. Time was 2.21.