In a remarkable heavyweight brawl in front of 3,000 enthusiastic fans at Atatürk Spor Salonu in Tekirdag, Turkey, IBF#15 Konstantin Airich stopped WBO#6 Ondrej Pala in the ninth.
Pala started out strong showing that he is technically more skilled than the rough hard-hitter Airich. Especially Pala’s counterpunching was very precise and effective within the first couple of rounds while Airich didn’t seem to get in the right range for his furious power shots.
Pala looked hurt in the third and in the sixth when referee Yuri Koptsev gave him some time to recover after the Czech had lost his mouthpiece. In the seventh and eigth Pala regained control but wasn’t as effective as in the opening rounds.
Still both men connected with some heavy hands. In the ninth Airich battered Pala and pushed him against the ropes before Koptsev saved the Czech yet again after he had lost his mouthpiece. Pala got a point deducted but was still ahead on the scorecards when Airich finished him with another series of hard shots at the ropes.
It was Airich’s 23rd win in his 30th pro-fight while Pala suffered his 3rd loss in 33 fights. Airich added the WBO European Championship to his IBF Intercontinental Champion title and will surely move up in the world ratings bringing him closer to a world title shot.
"I am very proud that I can bring another belt home to my son“, said Airich after the fight. "I thank everybody who kept on believing in me especially in the hard times I went through – foremost, of course, my family and my coach Hans-Jürgen Witte.“
"I am very happy for Konstantin“, says promoter Ahmet Oner. "He is a hard worker who really earned himself this win. After a spectacular performance like this he has bigger paydays coming up. It’s sad for Ondrej Pala that he couldn’t bring home the victory when he was leading on the scorecards but he’s only 27 years old. He will learn from this loss and come back stonger than ever.“
In the co-feature WBC Mediterranean heavyweight champion Erkan Teper added another victory to his resume when his opponent Ivica Perkovic retired on the stool after the fourth round.
Teper was in control of the action from the opening bell putting pressure on his opponent and pushing him back into his corner. Still the former German amateur standout couldn’t find the right distance to seriously impress Perkovic who defended intelligently but suffered an elbow injury in the process which forced him to quit after four.
Cruiserweight contender Varol Vekiloglu knocked out his opponent Christian Schwaeblein in the fourth with a hard left hook to the body.
Unbeaten Turkish middleweight brothers Alptug and Murat Oener scored one-sided decision wins over their Latvian foes Aleksandr Radjuks and Ilja Slahota.