Entering this bout with a "Bigger is Better" tournament win behind him Lazaridis was expected to take an easy over Romano. Despite the expectations the Greek was made to really dig deep as his stamina seemed to run out after 3 rounds and he was forced to cover up and survive more than fight back. Despite the fact he hardly threw a punch in the final 3 rounds Lazaridis was some how adjudged to have won 60-54, 59-56 and 59-55. Those judges, I'm afraid to say, need glasses! No argument with Lazaridis claiming the victory by a point or two (we had it 58-56) but to have him by a shut out is a disgrace.
In a second "international" Heavyweight bout on the "Bigger is Better" card Mairis Briedis (10-0, 8) over came Jeremy Ouanna (14-8, 3) via a decision. Like Lazaridis, Briedis has left us with question marks about his stamina though we do expect he'll be dropping back to Cruiserweight following this contests. What we did like of Briedis however was his very nice handspeed. With scores of 80-72 and 80-73 we again need to ask what the judges were scoring but the right guy won.
In Britain Scottish giant Gary Cornish (15-0, 7) claimed the International Masters Heavyweight title thanks to a controversial body shot KO over British journeyman Paul Butlin (14-19, 3). We don't expect Cornish to defend that belt too many times though it's still a nice achievement for the still improving Scot, even though it does sound like the finishing shot may have been low.
In an all Bulgarian battle Kristian Kirilov (3-5-1) defeated countryman Deyan Mihailov (0-4-2) via a unanimous decision to possibly prove who was the better journeyman. Whilst in Argentina Emilio Ezequiel Zarate (17-11-3, 8) defeated Luis Oscar Juarez (7-8-1, 4).
Bigger is Better 23
The first fight saw Nikolas Tsoukalas facing Edmond Baltatzis. Although Tsoukalas has seemed to have size and and reach advantages his stances showed his background in kickboxing as he left himself open and Baltatzis landed at will. With Baltatzis landing numerous right hands the .The bout referee called an early ending to the bout in round 2.
This victory saw Baltatzis confirmed as the first semi-finalist.
The second bout in the main tournament saw Özcan Cetinkaya (an experienced professional) taking on Alexander Kartozia. Cetinkaya started badly though appeared to come on strong, especially in the final round. It was the charge of Cetinkaya in rounds 2 and 3 that narrowly saw him taking a highly controversial split decision and confirming a bout with Baltatzis.
In the third "Bigger is Better" quarter final Bogdan Dinu took on Dmitry Bezus. As anyone who had seen Dinu fight before, this was a mismatch from the off and Dinu just did as he wished against an over-matched opponent who repeatedly tried to hold on just to survive. Although Dinu was the clear winner on our cards he was less than impressive, which we will admit was a shock to ourselves. Some how the judges, who have admittedly been bad throughout the card only had Dinu a split decision winner (it beggars belief).
The quarter final was Symon Was against Vladimir Toktasynov. It was an incredibly easy victory for Toktasynov who won by second round TKO after dropping Was twice in the opening 3 minutes.
The first semi final saw Edmond Baltatzis upsetting one of the favourites Ozcan Cetinkaya to become the first finalist, Baltatzis needed just 2 rounds to stop Cetinkaya.
In the second semi final Bogdan Dinu defeated Vladimir Toktasynov. The bout started well for Dinu but the ending was disappointing with Toktasynov catching his arm on the rope and being forced to retire due to an injury soon afterwards.
In the final Dinu scored the sole highlight of the show knocking Baltatzis out cold with a right hand Sadly he didn't look like the potential star some have been beating him as being.