Jorge Sebastian Heiland stunned a passionate Dublin crowd on Saturday night, when he knocked out Matthew Macklin in the tenth round of their WBC International middleweight title bout.
The 27-year-old Argentinian southpaw set a fast pace from the outset and consistently forced the seasoned Macklin onto the back foot. Fast and stinging combinations to head and body throughout the contest visibly made the former three-time world title challenger uncomfortable, and Heiland showed no signs of relenting.
Macklin battled bravely from start to finish, but the skills and bullheadedness that saw him drop a controversial decision to Felix Sturm simply aren't there any more.
Brave Macklin comes up short
Knowing he was behind on the scorecards after eight rounds, the 32-year-old Macklin (31-6, 20KO's) endeavoured to grab the bull by the horns. However, Heiland took some heavy and clean shots that may have stunned lesser men, and he carried on regardless.
The defending champion invested in the body of Macklin in the early exchanges, and that work paid off in the championship rounds when a heavy legged Englishman ran out of steam and ideas. A crushing countering right hook flattened Macklin in his own corner and put paid to any remaining ambition the challenger possessed.
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Ryder eyed for step up
The events promoter, Eddie Hearn, immediately expressed his desire to make a fight between Heiland and John Ryder, who recently claimed the WBO International middleweight title.
On the undercard, Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan ended his bitter rivalry with Anthony Fitzgerald by scoring a sensational one punch knockout in the first round.
The Cork man answered the opening bell with his hands down by his waist and he unleashed powerful swings immediately. Fitzgerald never got in on the action and the fight was over after little more than a minute, when O'Sullivan detonated a perfect right uppercut on the chin of his foe.
Spike leaves his mark
Fitzgerald collapsed to the canvas and Team Spike began their celebrations.
In an ugly turn of events, a thug launched a stool at O'Sullivan whilst he took the applause of the largely appreciative crowd. Fortunately, the stool only clipped the victor on his arm and no injuries were sustained by the heinous act.
Khalid Yafai continued his winning streak by outclassing and outpointing a brave and tough Everth Briceno to retain the IBF Inter-continental super flyweight strap.
Yafai was the much better man from start to finish, but he couldn't break the fighting spirit of the battle hardened Nicaraguan. Nevertheless, three knockdowns and a solid boxing display eased the former Olympian to a comfortable unanimous decision (119-106, 118-105 and 120-104).