WBC Eurasian Pacific middleweight champion Mike Keta defended his title on Saturday in front of a frenetic, sold out crowd in Bulqize (Albania) by stopping Marat Khuzeev with a devastating hook to the liver after 1:03 minutes in the 3rd round.
Thousands of Albanian fans came to support their local hero but couldn't get into the open air Arena in Bulqize which had just been built up for this event. So the fight was broadcasted live on giant video walls outside of the stadium for the people in attendance who later on celebrated Keta's victory with car parades and dancing in the streets.
It was the first time in its long history that the WBC sanctioned and supervised a fight in Albania. "Mike did an outstanding job", said his brother, trainer and promoter Jonny Keta after the show. "I am very proud of him and of everybody who helped to turn this event in such a major success. There was a lot of pressure on Mike in front of his home crowd. Still he showed an excellent performance and got the job done in style. He proved today how strong he really is."
Russia's Khuzeev who had already been in the ring with the likes of Selcuk Aydin and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez started well and managed to stay away from Keta in the first round using his jab and good footwork. But Keta sticked to his game plan and put a lot of pressure on his challenger finally knocking him out in round 3 with a vicious body punch. The hook to the liver turns into Keta's trademark punch. When he captured the EPBC title in July he stopped Mikheil Khutsishvili from Georgia in round 7 with a devastating power punch, too.
In the co-feature, European K1 lightweight champion Mareike Michl from Germany defended her IKBF belt by outworking strong Austrian challenger Nina Scheucher. Michl donated her purse for the title fight to support the construction of a sports complex in Bulqize and was awarded with the honorary citizenship of the small Albanian town.
Credis Bank | Ismail Keta | Kocaj Bulqize | SWIFT: CDISALTRXXX | IBAN: 0000 608 792
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