Joyce, Lasisi pick up wins in Dubai

Aliu Bamidele Lasisi and Davey Oliver Joyce were among the winners on ESPN+.

Nigerian super flyweight Aliu Bamidele Lasisi stayed unbeaten with a win in his home base of Dubai, beating Nicaragua’s Ricardo Blandon on scores of 114-111 across the board. BLH had the fight 114-111 for Lasisi, as well.

Lasisi (13-0, 8 KO) was dropped in the third round on a right hand, but for the most part he was able to outbox the determined Blandon (10-2, 6 KO). He also returned the favor in the 10th round, putting Blandon on the canvas. There was also a point deduction in round four, with Lasisi losing a point due to a clash of heads.

The win gives Lasisi, 28, the WBC’s international super flyweight title, but nothing on display today made him look like any threat to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai or any of the other top 115-pound fighters.

Davey Oliver Joyce TKO-7 Stephen Tiffney

2016 Olympian Joyce (10-0, 8 KO) landed a terrific right hand that dropped Tiffney (10-2, 4 KO) in the seventh round, and then he put him away after, with the referee stepping in. So the battle of Ireland vs Scotland in Dubai goes to the Irishman. Stoppage was at 2:59 of the seventh round. Joyce is a solid fighter, but he’s 32 so the upside is limited.

Majid Al-Naqbi TKO-4 Vladimir Lytkin

Al-Naqbi (1-0, 1 KO), a lightweight, was making his pro debut as just the second pro boxer from the United Arab Emirates. He looked pretty good here, dominating the action, starting fast and staying hot. Lytkin (0-3, 0 KO) was down twice in the fourth round, and the referee called it off at 2:33 of that final frame.

Sultan Zaurbek KO-5 Chenghong Tao

Zaurbek (6-0, 4 KO) is a Kazakh lightweight, 22 years old, and has some skills. He dominated Tao (7-6-1, 5 KO), who just had nothing to trouble Zaurbek whatsoever. The KO came on a right hand, stoppage was 1:16 into the fifth round.

Shakhobidin Zoirov KO-1 Anthony Holt

Uzbekistan’s Zoirov (1-0, 1 KO) was making his pro debut, after winning flyweight gold at the 2016 Olympics. Not much to see here, really; he landed two left hands, the second of which clipped Indonesia’s Holt (5-5-1, 3 KO) and put him down for the count. Time of stoppage was 18 seconds of the first round.

Mateo Tapia TKO-8 Gaganpreet Sharma

Tapia, a Mexican living in Australia, improves to 10-0 (6 KO) with the win. The super middleweight prospect dropped Sharma (8-2, 4 KO) in the first round, but he looked tired by the middle rounds, and was hurt to the body in the seventh. He was landing shots in the eighth when the referee gave Sharma an early hook at 2:20; there was really no particularly good reason to stop it there, but maybe the ref saw something we couldn’t. Tapia’s only 21, so he might have a future. He was OK here, just nothing that really stood out.

Oleksandr Usyk will make heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam on May 25

Carlos Takam will have the honor of welcoming undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to the heavyweight division when they meet on May 25 at the MGM Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Matchroom Boxing announced on Friday.

The fight will be broadcasted in the U.S. by DAZN and on Sky Sports in the U.K.

Usyk (16-0, 12 knockouts), a gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics, had finished all remaining business at 200 pounds, beginning in 2016 when he first win the WBO title over Krzysztof Glowacki, on to his inclusion in the World Boxing Super Series when he defeated Mairis Briedis and then Murat Gassiev to gain possession of all four major belts.

In Usyk’s last fight, he knocked out Tony Bellew in eight rounds in Manchester.

“May 25 marks a major moment in my career when I move to the Heavyweight division…At cruiserweight I did it all and became the undisputed champion and that is my goal now in the heavyweights,” said Usyk in the press release.

“This is the ultimate challenge and it begins on May 25 against Carlos Takam. It’s a tough first fight but I need to test myself against world class opposition on my new road to undisputed.”

Takam (36-5-1, 28 KOs), a France-based Cameroonian, is six years older at 38. While he has been on the losing side in his biggest fights, including stoppages against Anthony Joshua and Dereck Chisora in 2017 and 2018, he will likely have a significant size edge, having weighed 254 pounds for his most recent outing against Senad Gashi, whom he stopped in seven.

“I can promise that this will be a great fight and I will provide Usyk with a huge test on his heavyweight debut. I have huge ambitions of my own in the division and this fight will provide me with the chance to prove that,” Takam is quoted as saying.

Usyk, who is rated no. 4 pound-for-pound by The Ring, will be jumping into a division that is the hottest it’s been in many years. Aside from Joshua, who holds three of the major belts, there is also WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury, who reignited interest in the division stateside with their meeting last December.

Tickets go on pre-sale next Wednesday and will be open for general sale the day after that. Undercard information will be divulged next week as well, the release states.

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