Boxing


Can Scott Lawton Defeat The Lethal-Punching Leva Kirakosyan?

by James Slater - A fascinating fight that will decide the vacant European super-featherweight title takes place this coming Friday night in Staffordshire, UK. Fighting on a Hatton Promotions bill will be local man Scott Lawton, the former English lightweight champion, and Russia's former European belt holder at 130-pounds, Leva Kirakosyan.

Very much a tough night's work for Lawton, or so one would think, this big opportunity has pretty much come right out of the blue for the 33-year-old with the 27-5-1(6) pro record.. Lawton has three possible advantages: he is the younger man by three years, he is the taller man at 5'10" to 5'5.5" and he is boxing at home. Kirakosyan's withering power could well obliterate these advantages, however.

In his last trip to the UK, the Russian who now lives in France blew away Leeds warrior Carl Johannesson inside four-rounds. This fight, in July of 2007, was a return meeting with "Ingemar," Kirakosyan having got the job done inside a single round back in December of 2004. So, British fight fans are well aware of the power Lawton will be up against on Friday night.

Since the second won over Johanneson, which saw him make a second defence of his European 130-pound crown, Kirakosyan has been beaten just once; on points by Sergey Gulyakevich of Belarus. Since losing his European title, however, the big-hitter has won five straight, all but one by stoppage - against limited opposition, it must be said. Now 31-5(21), Kirakosyan is hungry to regain his old belt.

Lawton, a good boxer, will need all his skills in this fight. With virtually no chance of getting Kirakosyan out of there (just those 6 KO's for Lawton), it seems the man from Stoke must box a perfect fight in which he never allows himself to get tagged, and wins on points. But can he do it?

Kirakosyan is not invincible; far from it. The 36-year-old has even been stopped before - twice. Another man from these shores managed to halt the man born in Armenia, when tough guy Michael Gomez, after being shaken up badly early on in the October 2004 fight, stopped Kirakosyan on cuts inside six-rounds. Aside from that, the visiting fighter has a stoppage loss to Spaniard Sergio Blanco on his record (KO by 2, way back in what was Kirakosyan's ninth pro fight). So Lawton will have confidence going into his big opportunity-of-a-fight in a few days time.

Lawton has been stopped three times, and this is where the danger signs flash most brightly. Jon Thaxton (TKO 7) Amir Khan (TKO 4) and, most recently, John Murray (TKO 6) all proved way too powerful for Lawton, and the thinking is, Kirakosyan will do likewise. All three of these stoppage losses occurred up at lightweight, though, so maybe Lawton will be stronger and prove more durable down at super-feather - and Lawton did look good last time out, when he halted Derry Matthews inside six-rounds down at 131-pounds in November.

Assuming he does not get caught by a big shot in the early going (a real possibility), Lawton can box and move, fire out jabs and the occasional combination and pick up an early lead. But will he be able to avoid the former champion's power all night? If he can, Lawton can score a fine British victory. Something tells me that Kirakosyan will get to him at some time, though!

Article posted on 16.02.2010



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