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21 MAY 2018

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Wahlström Scores Big Win, Tatli Dominates, Lancia Proposes

By Mikko Salo, ringside: The ALL IN Fight Night card in Helsinki´s Hartwall Areena featured the four biggest names in Finnish boxing. Edis Tatli and Eva Wahlström did not disappoint, scoring victories over game opponents.


Robert Helenius took advantage of a gross mismatch and Niklas Räsänen´s rise up the European ranks came to a sudden halt with a shocking stoppage loss.


The first of the main events featured super middleweight Niklas Räsänen
(13-1, 8 KO) slated against Spaniard Mariano Hilario (16-5, 7 KO) with
Hilario´s EBU-EU belt on the line. Räsänen took control of the fight
from the start and was clearly in command for most of the contest,
dropping Hilario for an eight count in the 9th round. The Finn was well
on his way to a comfortable points win when his aggressiveness backfired
in the worst way possible. In the 11th round southpaw Räsänen attacked
with too little care and Hilario´s desperation right hand counter caught
the 30-year-old Helsinki native flush on the chin, depositing the Finn
flat on his back. Räsänen managed to rise up from the canvas but was in
no shape to continue the fight. As a result of Räsänen´s careless attack
Hilario kept his belt in dramatic fashion. Räsänen is left to ponder the
future of his once-promising career.


The ugliest mismatch of the night was on display in the heavyweight
“contest” between former top ten contender Robert Helenius (24-1, 15 KO)
and Argentinian Gonzalo Omar Basile (68-12, 31 KO). Helenius came into
the fight tipping the scales at 262 ¼ pounds, the heaviest of his
career. Basile weighed over 30 pounds less than the “Nordic Nightmare”.
For the brief moment the fight lasted it was obvious that Basile did not
come to Helsinki to fight but to survive for a couple of rounds. That
didn´t happen as Helenius started with a vicious body shot moving on to
pound the head of the hapless Argentinian. Referee stopped the debacle
at 48 seconds of the 1st round. The fight did nothing to enhance
Helenius´s status as a legitimate opponent against current heavyweight
top ten contenders. world #2 at super featherweight Eva Wahlström (19-0-1, 3 KO) faced her toughest opponent to date in Argentina´s previously undefeated #4 Anahi Esther Sanchez (14-1, 6 KO), with Wahlström´s WBC belt being the prize on the line. At 36 years old, Wahlström is at the
tail end of her illustrious career while the 25-year-old Sanchez was
viewed as an energetic up-and-comer ready to dethrone the Finnish crowd


Sanchez did well in the early rounds, being the aggressor and getting
off first in most of the exchanges. The contest was fought at a good
pace with both women vying for the ring generalship. Gradually Wahlström
took control of the fight and started to pocket rounds. In the second
half of the fight the Finn was clearly in command, scoring with the
bigger shots while smothering Sanchez´s efforts on the inside. The
judges´ scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 97-94 reflect the goings-on in the
ring. Wahlström gave credit to her opponent after the match. “She was
harder to counter than I thought and had very good body shots. I had to
constantly worry about her left hook to the body.”


Edis Tatli (29-1, 10 KO) put his EBU European lightweight belt on the
line against Italy`s Manuel Lancia (14-2-1, 3 KO). Lancia gave it a
brave effort but from the onset the difference in the skill level
between the fighters was obvious. Lancia didn´t possess weapons to get
past Tatli´s quick left jab. The Finn controlled the fight and pocketed
round after round while the challenger took on heavy shots from Tatli´s
right cross. Lancia´s face started to puff up after a couple of rounds
and his left eye was swollen shut at the halfway point of the scheduled
12-round contest. The end came in the 9th round with referee Ian John
Lewis stepping in as Tatli pounded on the half-blind challenger. “He
took some hard bombs from me. In the middle rounds I took a breather and tried to relax a bit. In the last rounds he started to seemingly tire
with his face swollen up. The left jab kept scoring well, I tried to do
combinations off of it”, Tatli analyzed after the night´s work was done.

Tatli´s performance was solid but the 29-year-old hasn´t been able to
secure a world-class bout after dropping a majority decision against
Richar Abril in September 2014 for the only loss of his career. His next
fight should be against world top ten opposition, otherwise he is in
danger of stalling at the European level.


On the undercard welterweight debutant Oskari Metz (1-0) scored a
unanimous decision over Marko Nastic (0-2), super lightweight Jesse
Jouhki (4-1, 1 KO) decisioned Dimitrije Djordjevic (0-2), super
welterweight Ken-Tore Halland (5-0-1, 4 KO) TKOed Dimitri Faltin (2-1)
in the 3rd round and light heavyweight Dayron Lester (7-0, 4 KO) KOed
Ivan Jakovljevic (1-3-1, 1 KO) in the 1st round.


For Manuel Lancia, the night ended on a very positive note as he kneeled
on the canvas, swollen face and all, to propose to his girlfriend
Martina. Her acceptance of the proposal brought cheers from the crowd
with Tatli congratulating the sympathetic Italian who had just given it
his all in the ring in more ways than one. While being the loser against
Edis Tatli, Lancia left the ring with a winning smile on his face,
having given the Finnish crowd of about 6000 some romantic touch to end
the night.

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