Nadejda Cantir SD5 Esma Hasshass (Cantir wins 51kg Female KOK Title)
KOK’s first ever female title fight was marred by some questionable judging, as
Morocco’s Esma Hasshass appeared to clearly outbox local Nadejda Cantir only to lose a split decision. Cantir is the first ever KOK 51kg female champion.
Cantir came forward throughout the fight and landed some solid shots. But the taller and quicker Hasshass was able to pick her off coming forward, and used movement and slipped a lot of shots. When the two exchanged, it was Hasshass who seemed to have the harder punches. The loss sets up a rubber match between the two fighters. Hasshass won the first bout by split decision and now Cantir has evened the score. Still, it seemed a clear win for the 20-year-old Hasshass, who seems more disciplined and relaxed in the ring from a couple of years ago.
Dmitrii Sirbu UD3 Issam Laazibi (KOK 65 kg Tournament Final)
Sirbu came out applying pressure to Laazibi, who had the far tougher fight in the semifinals. Sirbu landed some leg kicks in the second round that seemed to have an effect on Laazibi. In the third, Sirbu connected with some good body punches and cruised at the end for the win. Sirbu is now in position to challenge KOK 65 kg champion Stanislav Renita. Renita previously defeated Sirbu.
Alexandru Burduja (MOL) WD3 Danut Hurduc (ROM) 95kg Superfight
Burduja outlanded Hurduc by a wide margin in a rematch of a 2016 bout won by Burduja. Hurduc came forward with a tight defense, but didn’t throw a lot of punches and kicks. Burduja attacked the body early with punches and knees, and used his height and reach advantages well. Hurduc is now 29-6. Burduja improves to 10-7(3).
Vitalie Matei (MOL) KO1 Giovanni Spanu (ITA) 71kg Superfight
Matei moved closer to a title shot with a body shot knockout win over Spanu. The fighters felt each other out early, and Matei threw a left upstairs followed by a right hand to the body that dropped Spanu for the count. Official time was 51 seconds. Spanu was clearly in pain from the punch. Looked like a liver shot. Matei, who won a four man tournament last month at KOK 54, improves to 17-11. Spanu’s record is now 20-4.
Issam Laazibi (MOR) WD3 Hristiyan Andonov (BUL) (KOK 65 kg Tournament Semi-final 2)
Laazibi advanced to the 65kg tournament finals with a close decision. The shorter Andonov was the busier fighter in the first two rounds, and connected with some solid punches. Laazibi clearly won the third-as a tired Andonov reached with his shots and Laazibi landed some good left hands and looked for jumping knees. Andonov’s record slips to 11-2.
Dmitrii Sirbu (MOL) KO2 Valdis Beleavskii (BLR) (KOK 65 kg Tournament Semi-Final 1)
The 20-year-old Beleavskii fought defensively and used a lot of movement against the stronger Sirbu. Sirbu seemed to edge the first round with the harder shots. Sirbu hurt Beleavskii with a body kick in the second round and the referee issued an eight count. Beleavskii was unable to continue, and the fight was halted at the 1:13 mark. Beleavskii is now 6-2(5).