The night of the WBA lightweight title bout in Helsinki, Finland started out in dramatic circumstances and not in the way boxing fans or the promoters of the event would’ve liked.
The train service around Helsinki broke down just as the first undercard fight was getting underway, stranding fight fans at train stations around the city and inside trains en route to the venue. As for the fans who had stayed home to watch the fight on television, the pay-per-view provider’s fight feed crashed just as the first undercard bout was beginning, sending social media into a frenzy and the organizers into a panic.
All’s well that ends well, about an hour before the main event the trains around Helsinki started moving and during the last undercard bout the pay per view service began to work.
When the main event began Tatli, the challenger, entered to loud applause from the 7000 strong partisan Finnish crowd followed by the champion Abril who was walked to the stage by three very pretty salsa dancers.
As the first round began Abril, with his shoulders loose, looked very much the relaxed champion while Tatli appeared tight and nervous. As the fight progressed it settled into a rhythm, Tatli relaxing somewhat and Abril controlling the distance making Tatli miss and then countering with single and double punches. Whenever Tatli did have success in connecting with Abril, the champion would immediately step up his tempo and fire back with power punches, showing that he was still in control.
As the rounds went on Tatli’s frustration at not being able to catch the champion began to show. Tatli would sporadically try to catch Abril with a wide swinging right hand which Abril would easily evade.
When the final bell rang, the winner was in little doubt. Though the fight was close, Abril appeared poised and in control through out, while Tatli simply could not get close enough to warrant taking the championship. The judge’s awarded Abril a majority decision with scores of 116-112, 117-111 and one judge scoring it a draw 114-114.
Jay Vaananen covered Richar Abril v Edis Tatli fight week for WBN. Follow Jay on Twitter @DaGuvna