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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Lazarev Wins

Lightweight Igor Lazarev defeated Marius Col at the International Casino Hotel in Varna, Bulgaria. Lazarev won by majority decision. Though the fight featured a few slow rounds, Lazarev's boxing skills were on full display. Col spent too much time with his hands in pockets searching for the perfect counter.

The opening round typified the term "feel-out round." Col, the 22 year old Moldovan, planted himself in center ring while Lazarev showed the jab. A toddler could have counted the number of landed punches in the first. A short right uppercut by the 35 year old Israeli likely won him the round.

The next three minutes were far more exciting. They began the round exchanging one-twos in the middle of the ring. Col might have gotten the better of those early moments, but from then on Lazarev attacked Col's body like a lion after a piece of meat. He touched the younger man's ribs with the right, but he ravaged the midsection with left hooks. Towards the end of the round, one such left hook to the body forced Col to gasp in agony.

Lazarev looked a bit tired during the one minute break, and the third was fought at a slower pace. Lazarev carried it with some more body shots and a few jabs. The body work clearly hurt Col who decided to return the favor and landed some rights to the body, after Igor had finished his punches but before he could retreat out of range.

Col decided to box in the fourth. He got the moving part right, but forgot to add the punching part. He almost never threw a jab the entire fight to his detriment. At one point in the fourth, Col had Lazarev trapped against the ropes. He threw a combo and connected with a left hook that Igor felt and didn't enjoy. But Igor had launched his own counter right which rocked Col. He flew backwards and spun around but didn't go down. In a bit of cruel irony referee Georgi Ivanov warned Col for turning his back as if he had a say in the matter.

Lazarev showed off his defensive skills in the final two rounds, but that exhibition came at the expense of his offense. Igor landed a right to the body and right uppercut early in the fifth and then spent much of the round expertly dodging Col's attack. It made for a slow period and one that could have gone either way. Col was more aggressive in the sixth. Igor coasted figuring he had the fight won and Col won the final round as a result.

Two judges scored the bout for Igor: 58-56, 58-57, and one had it even at 57. The JBB scored it 59-56, four rounds to one with one even, for Lazarev. The even card is not a terrible score because the first and fifth were close and Col won the sixth. A lesson for Lazarev is to close the show a bit tighter and not take the judges' scores for granted. Igor’s record is now 8-1 with 3 KOs. Col falls to 2-4.

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