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Joshua and cousin Ileyemi crack on at the York Hall


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The famous York Hall in Bethnal Green played host to Anthony Joshua MBE’s third pro outing on Thursday, and it was another quick finish for the Olympic champion. Croatian Hrvoje Kisicek (5-7) lasted a little bit longer than Paul Butlin did in Joshua’s second fight, but not much. Referee Marcus McDonnell judged he’d taken too many shots after a knockdown, and waved it off at 1.38 into the second stanza.

Kisicek came in to the Beastie Boys ‘Fight for your Right to Party’ and was kept waiting in the ring while the crowd was whipped up for Joshua’s entrance. Kisicek (15st 9lbs 9oz) gave away a fair bit of height - Joshua’s (16st 5lbs) Marvel superhero-like physique dwarfed him in the ring.

Joshua ploughed forwards, throwing a spiteful jab and stepping away from Kisicek’s counter lunges with ease. He had the Croatian wincing from a body shot and covering up, but Kisicek had made it past the first three minutes with Joshua doing pretty much as he liked.

A left-right sent Kisicek down in the second, but he was ok and up at eight. Joshua stepped in to deliver some lightening fast, vicious shots - Marcus McDonnell was in danger of copping one himself as he split them. Kisicek landed one back. He was still up for it, but Joshua was rampant and it was only a matter of time before the Olympic champion would inflict serious damage. Kisicek lasted 48 seconds longer than Paul Butlin did.

Joshua fights again next week on the stellar Froch v Groves undercard, and again on December 7 against tough Welshman Dorian Darch. His cruiserweight cousin Ben Ileyemi (2-0) opened up the York Hall card over four threes against awkward Belfast-based Ugandan Moses Matovu (4-32-4). Prior to the fight, Ileyemi talked about what boxing at the York Hall means:

“Not a lot of people get to fight here as a professional. I’ve been to Prizefighter here before and the atmosphere was amazing.”

Matovu was a fair enough test for Ileyemi in his second fight, and is very difficult to stop. The Ugandan spent most of the first in retreat from Ileyemi’s fierce jab and sporadic combinations. Occasional swinging returns came in from Matovu, mainly launched from the ropes and well avoided by Ileyemi.

In the third, Matovu tired considerably under the pressure, but was skilled at avoiding the full force of Ileyemi’s shots, and heard the bell at the end of the fourth as usual. Marcus McDonnell scored 36-40 for Ileyemi, who moves to 2-0, looks handy, and is next out on December 14 at the ExCel Arena on Matchroom’s Christmas show.




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