The Sky Friday fights are still going on (sorry about no live thread, but I just couldn't fit it in today). This post will update throughout the evening.
- In a very entertaining fight, Darren Barker won the vacant European middleweight title over Affif Belghecham. Barker (22-0, 14 KO) won on scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 116-114. The scores were awful. Barker clearly lost at least rounds seven through eleven, and I gave the third and 12th rounds to Belghecham, too. I had it 115-113 for Belghecham, but could see a draw, and could even see a 115-113 Barker card. 118-110 in this fight is just as pathetic as 118-110 Diaz over Malignaggi from last August. There is no way in hell that Barker won 10 of 12 rounds. That's absurd. I like Darren Barker, and I think he's definitely the better fighter, but he didn't fight a smart fight in this one. He wore himself out, ran around the ring for the second half of the fight, and couldn't deter Belghecham. This fight was obviously set up to make Barker the new European champ at 160, and they accomplished that. Belghecham didn't really have a legitimate chance outside of a knockout, and he can't punch.
Audley Harrison won the vacant European heavyweight title (Albert Sosnowski gave it up to fight Vitali Klitschko) with a dramatic, thudding 12th round TKO of Michael Sprott. Sprott was en route to a second win over Harrison until the concussive shot that ended it. All this showed me was that Harrison hasn't really ever gotten better. It was a great KO shot, a brutal left, but he was 1:55 away from losing to Sprott, who had lost four of six coming in. Harrison said his shoulder went out in the second round, and went on and on about how much heart he showed. He wasn't lying, but of course Audley Harrison spent the entire post-fight interview rambling about how great and courageous Audley Harrison is.
- IBF super flyweight titlist Simphiwe Nongqayi had a majority draw with European bantamweight titlist Malik Bouziane in Nongqayi's first defense. From reports, both men fought a cautious fight, more often going back and forth than actually exchanging, and despite the fight having been in Bouziane's backyard, the scoring appears to have been fair.
- Jan Zaveck retained the IBF welterweight title with a TKO-12 win over Rodolfo Ezequiel Martinez, the Argentine challenger who, like a lot of guys, really had no business fighting for a world title.
- Juan Carlos Gomez and Konstantin Airich won stay-busy fights in Germany.
- Manuel Quezada, who was somehow ranked by some sanctioning bodies after knocking out Travis Walker, had his own bubble burst, losing a split decision to journeyman Jason Gavern.
- On the off-TV Sky undercard, Michael Lomax and Gavin Rees both won.
- Piotr Wilczewski beat Aziz Daari (UD-10) in Poland.
We'll have more results as they come in.