Prepelita Wins Lightweight Grand Prix
Alexandru Prepelita and Andrei Leustean competed in what might be one of the greatest, closest bouts in KOK history.
But in the end, Prepelita got the split decision win to win KOK 49’s lightweight grand prix tournament and a future title shot. The four-man tournaments featured Prepelita, Leustean, Giorgos Kostanidis and Vyacheslav Tevinsh.
Kostanidis and Prepelita’s first round was non-stop action. From the opening bell, the two traded away, with both each getting in their fair share of low kicks and strikes. Prepelita got in the last blow, however, with a hard kick to the head as the bell sounded. Kostanidis did a cartwheel kick early on in the second. Prepelita landed several hard strikes throughout the second round. Kostanidis went down at about the halfway mark, but the referee ruled it a slip. Prepelita tested Kostanidis’ chin later on in the round, getting his back to the ropes before a clinch forced the two to break. Throughout the early part of round three, Prepelita countered practically every shot from Kostanidis with two shots to the solar plexus and stomach. The two traded blows once again throughout the last minute of the fight. Prepelita won the bout via unanimous decision.
Tevinsh brought out his speedy combinations early on in the opening round, but Leustean’s solo punches were filled with power. Tevinsh’s speed went down as the round went on, and he seemed to end up doing more blocking. When the end of the round came, both brought out their speedy punch combos, but Leustean’s blows clearly shook up Tevinsh before the round-ending bell. Both came out firing right from the second round, and a cut developed under Tevinsh’s right eye. The fight needed to be paused in order to get blood out of Tevinsh’s eye. Leustean landed many blows on Tevinsh before switching stances, and Tevinsh was clearly slowed by the damage. Throughout the last minute, Leustean looked to continue to work on the cut that developed. Leustean seemed to slow his role in the third, not doing much other than defending. Tevinsh was firing more shots, but it was clear he was tired. Leustean, however, managed to fire out a flurry of shots within the last 30 seconds or so. Leustean was given the win via unanimous decision.
Prepelita and Leustean started their grand prix final bout slow, with few moves being made. But with about a minute to go, things began to pick up, with the two trading quick blow after quick blow. Leustean delivered a powerful flying knee late in the round against Prepelita, and he followed up with several shots. Prepelita showed off his chin there, but it was clear it rocked him a bit. The pace slowed again to start the second round, but things picked up, with both fighters getting power shots in and nearly knocking down the other. It looked to be a very even bout throughout the second half of the second round, and that continued into the final round, where both fighters didn’t let up with a flurry of shots. Many thought this fight would go an extra round. And it did.
The extra round saw a return to the slower pace, and it looked like the last 15-20 seconds would see a flurry of action that could determine the winner. It was just about even once again, though Prepelita seemed to slightly get more offense in.
Oleg Likhtorovich and Stanislav Renita spent some of the first round feeling each other out, but when the two connected, they spent time trading shots tit-for-tat. Likhtorovich, however, may have won more people over in the first round due to powerful upper body and head kicks, as well as counterpunching. The second round saw the fight become more of a brawl, with both firing away at the same time on more than one instance. Late in the third, Renita was opened up with a cut above the eye, which began to drip rapidly down his body, to his chest. The medical team made the quick decision to stop the fight, giving Likhtorovich a medical-stoppage TKO win.
Noah Apituley and Aurel Ignat spent some time feeling each other out early on in their bout, but soon after, Apituley began to really get on the attack. After Apituley slipped, Ignat landed a hard combination to his head, knocking Apituley down. Apituley, who looked to his corner during the ref’s count, just failed to make the 10 count, giving Ignat the knockout win.
Dorel Cristian brought out everything to Amine Doudou in the first round. While the two traded shots, by the final minute, it was Cristian delivering hard punches and flying knee, forcing Doudou’s back to the ropes more than once. Cristian continued with this into the second round, but by the halfway mark the fight became more of Cristian backing up anytime Doudou got in some offense. Soon enough, however, it was back to Cristian picking his shots off well. The third round saw both competitors come out firing, but it soon turned into a repeat of the first two rounds. Unsurprisingly, Cristian swept the judges’ scorecards and won via unanimous decision.
KOK 49 Results:
Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament Final: Alexandru Prepelita def. Andrei Leustean via split decision
Oleg Likhtorovich def. Stanislav Renita via TKO (medical stoppage) (Rd. 3, 2:13)
Aurel Ignat def. Noah Apituley via KO (Rd. 1, 1:51)
Dorel Cristian def. Amine Doudou via unanimous decision
Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament Semifinal: Andrei Leustean def. Vyacheslav Tevinsh via unanimous decision
Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament Semifinal: Alexandru Prepelita def. Giorgos Kostanidis via unanimous decision