Venezuela's Ismael Barroso came in an unknown quantity today in London, an undefeated fighter with a great KO percentage, and he proved his power and talent are the real deal with a fifth round stoppage of Kevin Mitchell at the O2 Arena.
Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KO) made Mitchell feel his power in the opening round with one good left hand, a jolting shot that Mitchell clearly felt. From there, the home favorite boxed pretty tentatively, save for a few reckless lunges, and had pretty minimal success on offense.
Barroso, 32, scored an official knockdown in the fourth round, a clipping shot that came as the feet of the two fighters became a bit entangled. But in the fifth, Barroso sent Mitchell (39-4, 29 KO) down hard, and there was no disputing that one. Though Mitchell got up and continued on, the 31-year-old veteran was on bad legs, and Barroso pounced for the finish. He unloaded a cluster of unanswered shots until beginning to go down again, at which point referee Howard John Foster stepped in for the stoppage.
Tony Bellew (26-2-1, 16 KO) picked up the vacant European cruiserweight title with a decision win over Poland's Mateusz Masternak on scores of 115-113, 115-112, and 115-112. Masternak (36-4, 26 KO) was in trouble in the 12th and final round, but survived.