29.03.08 - Andrew Walker: Arthur Abraham 26-0-(21) defeated Elvin Ayala 18-3-1-(1) to retain his IBF middleweight title with a decisive twelfth round knockout in the Sparkassen Arena, Kiel, Germany tonight. The challenger Ayala made a good start to the fight and won the opening rounds on my card with his busier work rate but throughout the fight he never looked like he could hurt the champion who was also blocking a lot of Ayala’s work with his guard. As the fight progressed Abraham began to find his target and was landing the more hurtful shots, knocking down the challenger in the fifth to take the lead in the fight..
Abraham was warned twice for separate incidents in the sixth but again won the round from the still busy Ayala. In the seventh Abraham almost put Ayala down for a second time but the bell saved the challenger as they continued to fight on with the referee having to step in between them to stop the action. Abraham won the next three rounds again almost putting Ayala down in the tenth but the challenger remained on his feet and although still busy he just did not have the power to hurt the champion.
The action was halted at the beginning of round eleven whilst the floor was cleaned after a slip and as the fight re-started it appeared as if Abraham was now cruising to victory. In the final round Abraham’s power eventually caught up with Ayala and a left upper cut ended the fight by knockout in the final seconds of the round denying the challenger from going the distance and finishing the fight on his feet. Ayala was quickly back on his feet and was gracious in defeat paying tribute to the champion. As for Abraham a unification bout towards the end of the year with WBO & WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik could now be a possibility depending on the outcome of Pavlik’s June fight with WBU champion Gary Lockett. Although a defeat for Pavlik would be a huge upset at the hands of the Enzo Calzaghe trained Lockett.
Wayne Braithwaite vs. Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Wayne Braithwaite 23-3-(19) handed Yoan Pablo Hernandez 14-1-(8) his first defeat to claim the WBA Fedelatin and the WBC Latino cruiserweight titles tonight in the Sparkassen Arena, Kiel, Germany with a stunning third round TKO. Braithwaite started the fight on the back foot and was knocked down in the first round by the hard hitting Hernandez who went looking for a quick victory. The former world champion Braithwaite sucked it up and finished the round but looked stunned by the fast starting Hernandez. Round two was closer with Hernandez continuing to throw the bigger punches earning him the round on my card but Braithwaite was beginning to find his feet now after the early knockdown.
The third round started with Braithwaite looking far more confident then the previous rounds and he quickly put the increasingly careless Hernandez down. The referee was very generous in his count as well as helping the dazed Hernandez to his feet but he still had not had enough time to recover and Braithwaite once more sent Hernandez to the canvas. At this point it was obvious that the fight was over but the referee began his count and then waved the fight back on. For a third time Braithwaite despatched Hernandez to the ring floor and incredibly the referee once more began a count.
Thankfully for Hernandez he stopped counting and the fight, with Braithwaite winning by TKO in round three. This was a good win for Braithwaite and should move him back into the top ten of the cruiserweight picture.