Kerman Lejarraga retained his European junior middleweight title with a brutal ninth round knockout of Jack Flatley today in Bilbao, Spain, a briefly scary scene that did see Flatley up and OK after quickly receiving medical attention.
Lejarraga (34-2, 26 KO) dropped Flatley (17-2-1, 4 KO) in the first round and again in the eighth, and was just out-gunning the Brit through the whole fight, but Flatley stayed game and worked hard.
That also meant that by the ninth round, he was not only beaten up but also pretty exhausted, and when Lejarraga dropped him again with a right hand, Flatley’s head bounced off the canvas, which is always dangerous.
A HUGE punch from Kerman Lejarraga pic.twitter.com/3XHfjeuvry— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 3, 2021
Lejarraga quickly called for medical attention to get to Flatley, and the professionals got there as fast as they could. Flatley was down for a bit to be safe, but was sitting up not long after, and was able to speak with Lejarraga after the official announcement of the outcome. Lejarraga showed him great respect, raising Flatley’s hands, and Flatley received a nice ovation from the Spanish crowd for his efforts, too.
Lejarraga once again delivered entertainment, which is pretty much a given, and you have to wonder when he might look to get past European level and take a world stage shot at 154 lbs. That was the plan for him at 147 before he was bashed twice by David Avanesyan in 2019, and he’s got an ordered rematch with Dylan Charrat, but he could vacate and look for a bigger fight. There won’t be a world title shot immediately available, though, as titleholders Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano are set to rematch in early 2022.
Undercard Results and Highlights
- Damian Biacho RTD-7 Guillermo Rivero: Biacho isn’t a big puncher, but he dropped Rivero four times overall in this fight and was mostly pretty dominant here, as Rivero (8-1-1, 1 KO) is even less of a puncher, was out-classed in skill, and thus had to really just kind of go after Biacho constantly — and to his credit, he did just that, it just didn’t work. The 30-year-old Biacho (12-0, 3 KO) doesn’t have much upside beyond being Spanish super middleweight champion, probably, but in the right situation a European title could be his for the taking.
- Jonathan Alonso UD-8 Mohamed El Marcouchi: Fought at a catchweight of 143, with Alonso (21-1, 7 KO) winning 80-72 on all three cards, and El Marcouchi falling to 28-3 (11 KO). Neither guy is exactly headed for the bright lights of world title fights, but it was an entertaining enough eight rounds, with Alonso mostly having his way.
- Campbell Hatton TKO-2 Attila Csereklye: The first stoppage for Hatton, who is now 5-0 (1 KO) after battering the Hungarian Csereklye (10-25, 8 KO) in this one. Hatton doesn’t have the pop of his dad by any means, but looked here like he had plenty more than we’d seen, and his offense was much more focused, much tighter in this fight, including some really nice body work that put Csereklye down twice in the first and again in the second. Hatton, 20, was very honest about his last fight, a debatable (at best) win over Sonni Martinez on the Joshua-Usyk card, admitting that he didn’t fight well and that going out in front of 60,000 people at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was “a bit much.” If I were Matchroom, I’d have Hatton fighting in Spain and Italy, probably Australia next year if they expand as planned, some smaller US and UK shows — he’s not adding money to something like Joshua-Usyk just because his last name is Hatton. By the time “Hatton” means money for him and Matchroom, he’ll either have gotten there or not.
- Samuel Carmona TKO-1 Luis Fernando Villa Padilla: Carmona, who was a very good amateur and beat Paddy Barnes at Rio 2016 before losing to Yuberjen Martinez, trounced the Mexican road fighter here, stopping it at 1:30 with a variation of shots, doing damage to the body and landing to the head. Referee jumped in. It maybe could have gone further but also, like, whatever. Carmona (6-0, 4 KO) was clearly levels above Padilla (13-3-2, 2 KO), and the 25-year-old Carmona is a legit guy to keep an eye on at 112/115.