WBC cruiserweight titlist Krzysztof Wlodarczyk retained his title with an 11th round stoppage of Danny Green in Australia this morning.
Wlodarczyk (46-2-1, 33 KO) was behind on scores of 97-93, 97-93 and 96-93 when he blasted an exhausted Green (31-5, 27 KO) with a counter left hook in the final minute of the 11th. Green returned to his feet, but was visibly out of it to the point that it took a serious effort just to rise from the canvas, and referee Michael Griffin made the right call to stop the fight as blood gushed from Green's nose, pouring onto the referee's shoulder as he embraced the fighter and led him to his corner.
If the fight had finished and Green had won a decision, I suspect quite a few would have told a tale of Aussie home cooking after the fight. Wlodarczyk, 30, was largely in control of the fight save for a spirited fifth round from Green. The Aussie had his moments along the way, but this was Wlodarczyk's fight from where I sit, as he was simply more effective, and to the Pole's credit, he finished things on the road and left no questions or debates.
After the fight, Green called Wlodarczyk the best fighter in the weight class, which would be up for serious debate, except Danny probably just meant that Wlodarczyk holds the WBC belt, which he does, and if not, well, what can you expect him to say? "Gosh, guys, I thought I'd picked the easiest dude to beat."
The 38-year-old Aussie didn't announce a retirement, but did hint that one could be in his near future.
It's hard to tell just how big of a win this is for Wlodarczyk, who struggled in victories over Francisco Palacios and Jason Robinson in his last two bouts. Green has been an overrated cruiserweight ever since he conked a shot Roy Jones Jr on the head in the first round of a 180-pound catchweight fight in December 2009, and when you get down to it, his only quality win north of light heavyweight came against BJ Flores. He was dominated by an old Antonio Tarver in July, and lost here to a guy who, again, had struggled in his last two against iffy competitors.
Here's the final two rounds of the fight:
Undercard Results: Chris John, Daud Yordan, Will Tomlinson Victorious
WBA featherweight titlist (SUPER CHAMPION!!!) Chris John stayed undefeated and kept his long, mediocre title reign alive, outpointing Stanisalv Medov of Ukraine on scores of 116-111, 116-111 and 115-112. It was a typical Chris John title defense, against an irrelevant challenger. The only wild card was that the fight took place in Australia, but he didn't fight a native son or anything. He just had some stiff challenger travel to Australia to fight him. Medov (32-8, 24 KO) had no notable record coming into this fight, unless you count wins over Daniel Kodjo Sassou and Yuri Voronin as something to celebrate. John improves to 46-0-2 (22 KO).
In the fight of the night, Will Tomlinson (18-0-1, 12 KO) won a gut-check against untested and unheralded Mexican Alan Herrera (26-4, 17 KO) over 12 rounds. Tomlinson, 25, is a decent super featherweight prospect, but may be one of those guys who gets overhyped simply because he's one of relatively few potentially serious prospects in his base of operations. It's not as if Australia is bursting with super featherweight talent, although Paul Fleming (12-0, 9 KO) is also out there. Tomlinson and Herrera had quite a fight with this one, both leaving blood on the canvas and one another, with the nothing-to-lose road fighter giving an effort that reflected that, well, he had nothing to lose in this fight.
Indonesian featherweight Daud Yordan (28-2, 22 KO) picked up an easy fourth-round stoppage of Frankie Archuleta (27-9-1, 14 KO) to win the vacant IBO Asia Pacific featherweight title. Again, I only mention this title at all because it makes no sense to me: How was the vacant Asia Pacific title contested between and Indonesian guy and a dude from New Mexico who has never once fought outside of the United States until this fight?
The last three times I'd seen Archuleta, he was a TV opponent for Martin Honorio, John Molina, and Juan Carlos Burgos. In none of those fights did he look like he really wanted to be there. As for Yordan, this is a guy who turned a few heads in March 2009 with less than two no-contest rounds against Robert Guerrero. The fact that he actually showed up to fight was impressive, and Guerrero kind of quitting on the fight when he was cut gave Yordan further strong press. But at this point I think we've read his fortune, and he's a hair below the true world class guys. But Jhonny Gonzalez fights worse challengers, like, all the time, so if he got that title shot, I wouldn't complain.