Indongo Unifies Super Lightweight Titles
Ricky Burns made history last year, when he became the first Scottish boxer to win titles in three different weight classes. Burns looked to make history again on Saturday, attempting to become the newest member of a small class of fighters from the U.K. to win title unification bouts.
If Burns makes history in that matter, it will have to wait, however. Julius Indongo put on a dominating performance, getting a decision to retain his IBF and IBO super lightweight titles, and to win Burns’ WBA title.
The fight began with Burns mostly playing defense to Indongo’s attack, and it paid off somewhat early on when Indongo reached in and Burns caught him with a right hand. Indongo, who had the clear reach advantage, followed Burns around the ring. Indongo definitely threw wilder, but he seemed to land more shots than Burns in the opening round.
Round two started off similar, with Indongo doing a lot of following Burns around the ring. Definitely a little bit more of defensive work from both fighters in the second, and it looked like Burns was hoping for Indongo to punch himself out.
Both men came out throwing jabs, attempting to catch the other with either a power punch or counterpunch. A combination from Indongo lands. Burns goes back to retreating with Indongo following him. Burns fires away with a combination of his own, as Indongo looked to target the body. Burns seemed to have a couple of counterpunch opportunities, but didn’t capitalize on any of them. Burns continued this in round four, and a big change of strategy was needed — Burns couldn’t just wait for Indongo to tire.
Indongo used his reach advantage wisely, landing several hard shots on Burns in the fifth. Burns failed to get on the inside in the sixth, and he was clearly hurt more by several Indongo shots.
Burns looked to do a little more offense in during the seventh, but he was met with several more shots to the head from Indongo. He hadn’t done enough to get Indongo to slow down and change strategy. Burns seemed to be hurt once again in the eighth, and the Scotsman did little to nothing offensively the whole round, instead moving around the ring against the ropes and corners.
Burns continued to get hammered in the ninth, though Burns managed to get Indongo against the ropes and landed combinations on him. But that was really the only highlight from Burns at the moment in this fight. Indongo began to pace himself in the 10th. As the fight then entered the championship rounds, it was clear Burns needed to do something.
The two traded blows throughout the 11th, as Burns actually did get some offense in, clearly putting in a lot of effort and heart into finding something to somehow get a knockout.
Burns fell down early in the 12th, but it was ruled a slip. Burns still tried everything, but all the effort and heart in the last two rounds was for naught.
Indongo was given the decision, as the judges ruled the bout 120-108, 118-110, 116-112, all in his favor.