Lasisi puts Dubai on the map with WBC belt
The 28-year-old came through an attritional battle against 27-year-old Nicaraguan.
Two homegrown boxers, both training at the same club, one winning on his pro debut and the other winning a title belt, Dubai couldn't have asked for a better advertisement to put itself on the world boxing map.
'The Fight DXB Uncovered,' drew a packed crowd at the Emirates Golf Club and Nigerian-born and Dubai-based Aliu Bamidele Lasisi provided the icing on the cake, quite literally, winning the vacant WBC International super-flyweight crown.
The 28-year-old, who trains at the Round 10 Boxing Club in Al Quoz, came through an attritional battle against 27-year-old Nicaraguan Ricardo Blandon by unanimous decision.
It was a scrappy encounter with Lasisi matched quite admirably by Blandon in each and every round. The 12-round contest ebbed and flowed before Lasisi, who was fighting for the fifth time in Dubai, had a score of 114-111 in his favour, despite a knockdown and a point deduction over the course of the fight.
"I'm very happy to fight in my hometown in front of all of these fans, and I'm pleased to win the WBC International super-flyweight title," Lasisi said after the bout.
Lasisi also praised his opponent who suffered a gash on his right eye during the contest.
"Ricardo Blandon is a good fighter and was a very tough guy. I thought I would knock him out but he gave me a very good fight," he added.
The win extended Lasisi's unbeaten record to 13 wins with eight KOs. Lasisi had turned pro in 2015 and the belt was the culmination of a journey which began with his victory on pro debut over Thailand's Teepakorn Kongyoui at the World Trade Centre in Dubai.
Meanwhile, the WBO European featherweight title too was on the line and Irish Olympian David Oliver Joyce came through a top-quality affair against Scotsman Stephen Tiffney.
The bout was quite identical to the Lasisi-Blandon encounter before Joyce 'The Punisher' went all over Tiffney. The referee stopped the bout at 2.59 seconds in the seventh round and Joyce won by a TKO.
"It was an unbelievable performance. I was confident going into the fight because I was on weight, and everything was perfect," said Joyce.
"For the past 14 weeks, I've lived like a professional. For the first-time ever I've had all of the right meals and the right amount of training and sleep, so I have to credit my nutritionist for getting me in this fantastic shape," he added.
Meanwhile, the undercard saw some intense fights. Rio Olympics gold medallist Shakhobidin Zoirov arrived in a flashy attire and the Uzbek sent out an ominous warning, knocking down his Indonesian opponent Anthony Holt just 18 seconds into the first round.
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