Eduard Gutknecht wins tight but clear points verdict over Vyacheslav Uzelkov, Tony Bellew possible opponent in future

4 Feb

Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen

Eduard Gutknecht overcame the challenge of his mandatory EBU opponent Vyacheslav Uzelkov at the Fraport Arena in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday, February 4 due to a superior boxing ability that was ever so slight. Uzelkov had the far greater power, demonstrated by the marks on Gutknecht’s face, and the Ukrainian fought well in the middle stages but it was not enough to take possession of Eduard’s European light heavyweight belt.

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Kirsch’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Gutknecht
10 10 9 10 10 9 9 9 10 10
10 9
Uzelkov
10 9 10
9 9 10 10 10 9 9 9 10

Official verdict: Gutknecht wins a unanimous decision (115-114, 116-112, 117-111).

Uzelkov and Gutknecht opened their argument by fighting to a good tempo, with lots of shots fired, however, the most common – short-range hooking punches aimed at mid-level – were easily thwarted by the defending party’s elbows. Both 175lb campaigners demonstrated a good defence but, in the second round, openings began to be found, particularly be reigning EBU light heavyweight king, Gutknecht, who located Uzelkov’s jawline with a thudding right cross.

Both men boxed with that classic European upright stance yet Uzelkov showed minor head swaying head movement which occasionally confounded Gutknecht’s jab. For the main part, though, when one-two combinations were fired, Uzelkov – instead of head movement – raised his forearms to block shots rather than evade. With this shield, though, Gutknecht figured out it was easier to hook around the guard rather than attempt to punch through it with straight punches.

Gutknecht became more of a moving target in the third round, perhaps due to Uzelkov’s attempt to up his punch output and determination having been implored by his corner to be more aggressive as he was not assertive enough in the opening six minutes. Uzelkov loaded up on power, yet Gutknecht was the ring general in the final 60 seconds through the use of his jab. As a result of Uzelkov’s strength and sheer force, Gutknecht was found on his stool between rounds receiving treatment for a bloodied nose.

In round four, Uzelkov was forced onto the backfoot by Gutknecht but, in round five, Uzelkov played his part in the back-and-forth encounter by relying on work-rate instead of power, however, Gutknecht was still the fighter connecting with the cleaner shots.

In the sixth, Uzelkov, who had taken full control of the pace of combat, scored the round’s first meaningful punch with a heavy right hand hooked around Gutknecht’s guard. The defending EBU titlist, a 29-year-old born in Kazakhstan but – for boxing purposes – a legitimate German having adopted the country as his own, began reddening and swelling by the fight’s midway stage. Gutknecht, pre-fight, was regarded to be the finer technician of the two and, judging from the exchange, this was an accurate assessment, however, his face was unmistakeable… he was in the ring with a man with genuine power.

In round seven, it was Uzelkov who was chasing Gutknecht around the ring… a contrast to the fight slipping away from the latter who could, in the championship rounds, be forced to chase the actual fight. Gutknecht returned to the stool again with a marked nose and fierce reddening over his right eye.

The one area, Gutknecht appeared genuinely superior in for the majority of the bout was in jabbing yet in rounds eight and nine, it was Uzelkov who was beating Eduard to the lead shot. Gutknecht, though, would have won favour with the ringside judges as it was he who panicked his opponent by hounding and harrassing him with a pressured attack (led in by swift footwork) which provided the catalyst for a slip and awkward fall, thus allowing Uzelkov a momentary respite.

In round ten, Gutknecht forced a strong body attack and boxed on the front-foot. Uzelkov, in the final stages, clubbed a right hand over the top but it was the champion who took the ten score because of his effective pressure. In the penultimate stanza, Gutknecht, like he did in the round prior, backed Uzelkov into retreat, particularly when he threw the combination of a jab and right hand, or double jab and the right.

Uzelkov, in an acknowledgment he was behind in the bout, entered the final round in an aggressive manner but, even on the backfoot, Gutknecht was able to box his way to the final bell and keep his man away from him with two tactics – the jab and also the clinch. Gutknecht, though, did do enough to claim the ten score, primarily because of the sheer number of punches he threw (some of which were blocked by a guard employed by Gutknecht that was still rigid despite 36 minutes of fighting), however, it was the defending titlist who did enough over the course of the contest to retain possession of the coveted blue belt.

With the deserved triumph, Gutknecht moved to 23-1-0, 9ko and could be aligned with Britain’s big-hitter and appropriately named Tony ‘The Bomber’ Bellew should the latter prevail over Danny McIntosh – a Gutknecht victim – for the British belt at 175lbs in April. In defeat, Uzelkov dropped to 25-2-0, 16ko.

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One Response to “Eduard Gutknecht wins tight but clear points verdict over Vyacheslav Uzelkov, Tony Bellew possible opponent in future”

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  1. News: Jan – June « On The Beak - November 18, 2012

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