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Bilal Akkawy breaks Kerry Hope’s jaw, forces stoppage

Super middleweight prospect makes a big statement, proves he’s one worth watching

Mundine vs Toliver and SBW v Liava'a Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Going into this fight, there were a lot of questions about Bilal Akkawy (14(12)-0-1). Was his draw to journeyman Joe Rea firmly in the past? Does he have potential beyond the Australian domestic scene? Does he have enough ability to overcome Kerry Hope’s experience?

Definitively, Akkawy answered these questions by not just beating Kerry Hope (23(2)-9), but forcing him to retire. Hope, it should be said, has a reputation as a spoiler. He was the first man to defeat former top 10 ranked middleweight Grzegorz Proksa. In his last outing, Hope took heavily hyped Indian prospect Vijender Singh (7(6)-0) to the distance.

Akkawy has undeniable power. Not only did he break Hope’s jaw, he dislodged several teeth. He now sports an 80% KO ratio. The last time Akkawy went the distance, he knocked his opponent down four times in rounds 2, 6, 8, and 9.

Australian journalist Ray Wheatley states that Hope-Akkawy should be considered as “one of the best Australian contests” of 2016. It featured see-saw action, punctuated by impressive power shots. Though many people considered Akkawy the underdog, he stepped up and made a big statement.

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