Gutsy Bazza narrowly denied first victory

By Diarmuid Sherry

The crowd at the Red Cow Moran Hotel were treated to an all-out 4 round war. In a hastily-arranged opening bout between the usual journeymen, Alec Bazza (0-13-1) of Belfast and Bulgarian import, Yordan Vasilev (18-41-2). Referee Mickey Vann scored the fight 39-38 in favour of the ecstatic Vasilev. Bazza is still searching for his maiden win after 14 fights.

A swinging right hook knockdown from Vasilev in the opening 20 seconds of the bout ultimately decided the contest in his favour. The taller Bazza started behind his long left jab, but as soon as he opened to engage he was instantly caught and although the Belfast man was up at 3, was clearly hurt.

The rest of the round was a non-stop battle, with both fighters gaining repeated success. Bazza landing numerous spiteful right uppercuts, and Vasilev targeting the body and head with his left hook.

The action didn’t slow in the second, with Bazza starting the stronger. He was continuing to land big right uppercuts, but while making Vasilev miss, that is until the final minute of the round, when the Bulgarian caught Bazza with a wild shot which landed on his temple, momentarily making the Belfast stumble forwards. Buoyed by his success, Vasilev continued to throw wild and thudding combinations in the third, which hurt Bazza and forced him to cover up.

The result was still likely in the balance before the final stanza started, and a war restarted, with Vasilev pounding Bazza in the opening minute of the round. It was a miracle how Bazza wasn’t floored again. A Vasilev straight right left Bazza almost leaning horizontally, and a further combination clearly buckled Bazza’s knees, yet he remained upright. Vasilev clearly was worn out in the final minute, and was warned by the referee Vann for holding, however Bazza was unable to capitalise.

Winning the contest obviously meant a lot for the Bulgarian, as he cheered loudly and sunk to his knees when the result was announced, with his 18th victory in 61 contests. Alec Bazza also deserves maximum credit for his part in an enthralling fight.

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