Ionut Baluta seems to enjoy boxing at York Hall and recorded perhaps the best win of his career as he claimed a unanimous ten-round decision over Brad Foster to claim the WBC international super-bantamweight belt.
In a messy fight, Baluta got the reward for pushing the pace, while Foster boed for the second half of the fight with a damaged right hand.
Foster had not boxed since October, when he lost his British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight titles in a close decision to Jason Cunningham – a fight that was also for Cunningham’s European title. And while he might be keen on the rematch, Cunningham is looking at other things.
Baluta, beat Irish pair David Oliver Joyce at York Hall and TJ Doheny in Dubai, before losing a majority decision to Michael Conlan in the same ring last year.
But Foster began well, drawing Baluta in and landing with the left hook, but the action was scrappy as Baluta threw plenty of punches, few of which tended to land, and Foster picked up a warning in the fourth round for throwing Baluta to the canvas.
Things started to warm up in the sixth round, though, as both had success, Baluta leading off before Foster successfully closed the distance to land with hooks.
But as things got messy again in the seventh, Foster picked up a warning for using the head, while Baluta tagged him with a good right.
It was the Romanian who tended to lead off, though, so when the pair did hold, Baluta was often the one who was doing the work. But the clean shots were the rarity. Baluta would often come forward, miss as Foster ducked and they would then hold.
With Foster not throwing the right hand, Baluta went all out on the attack in the last round, which was another messy round.
The judges all had it for Baluta by four rounds. Victor Loughlin scored it 98-94, Francisco Rosa and Kieran McCann had it 97-93.
Andrew Cain continued his wrecking spree, knocking down Mexico’s Luis Moreno twice on the way to a victory in only 122 seconds.
The Liverpudlian, who won his previous fight in 19 seconds, came out with his hands low, hoping to draw the Mexican in and dropped him with a right uppercut. After Moreno rose, Cain went after him, battering him back to the ropes as he was dropped by two right hands, referee Victor Loughlin counted him out on his knees.
The winner saw Cain retain the WBC international silver super-bantamweight belt as he moved to 10-0, with nine stoppages.
“I’m just putting out there who I am, this is what I have done since I was a little boy,” Cain said. “I want to go to bantam, collect as many belts as I can, then smash these super-bantams when the time is good.”
Super-welterweight Micky Burke Jr returned from ten months out as h e knocked out Ivica Gogosevic in the fourth of a scheduled six.
Burke was awarded a knockdown in the first round, when Gogosevic seemed to dramatically over-balance and fall over, but the Croatian was completely outgunned by his bigger opponent.
It took him until the fourth to end matters, when a brutal left to the body dropped Gogosevic in his face to be counted out by referee Kieran McCann at 1:03 of the round.
Charles Frankham moved to 6-0 with a hard-fought points win over Sandeep Singh Bhatti, of India, over six rounds at featherweight. Frankham dropped the incredibly tough Bhatti at the end of the fifth round to earn a 60-53 verdict from referee Kieran McCann, which didn’t give Bhatti the credit he deserved having stood with Frankham throughout.
Frankham’s cousin, Joshua Frankham, a welterweight, is also now 6-0 after a 40-36 points decision over Naeem Ali. The referee was Mark Bates.
Raven Chapman took only 58 seconds to win her first fight since signing with Queensberry Promotions.
Her very first attack was enough to count for Gabriella Mezei, of Romania, as Chapman dropped her with a right to the body, followed by a right to the side of the head, for the full count. Chapman is now 3-0, with two stoppages. The referee was Kieran McCann. The super-bantamweight fight was scheduled for six rounds.
Super-bantamweight Adan Mohamed moved to 5-0 with a 40-36 decision over Stefan Nicolae.
Sean Noakes made a successful professional debut, with a 40-36 decision over Lee Hallett at welterweight.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 – covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.