Benmakhlouf stops late replacement Buchholz in Algiers
World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Cruiserweight Champion Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf from Algeria was scheduled to defend his title against Alejandro Emilio Valori on Thursday March 31, but when the Argentinean pulled out at short notice, Lars Buchholz from Germany accepted to step in on short notice to save the day.
With an extremely loud and enthusiastic capacity crowd at the Salle Harcha in Algiers, Benmakhlouf didn’t disappoint his many fans and started the fight focused, forcing Buchholz to fight on the back foot. While Benmakhlouf was the aggressor, the German challenger didn’t look intimidated and countered well with left hooks.
From the second round on the defending champion upped the tempo even further, and Buchholz attempted to keep him away by repeatedly changing his stance and launching a few surprise attacks. But Benmakhlouf had most of the success, and often found a home for his left and right hooks.
Just when it looked as if Benmakhlouf was on his way to take definitive control, Buchholz came back strong in round four and scored well with single shots. It was clearly his best round in the fight, but Benmakhlouf regained momentum in the fifth and boxed well with sharp combinations.
Round six started at a high pace, and Buchholz began to look a spend force. A body-shot and a right hook to the temple clearly hurt him, and he did well to survive the round. But it was the end of the line for the brave man from Berlin, and he didn’t come out for round seven, making Benmakhlouf the winner by technical knockout.
As the fight was waved off, fans stormed the ring to celebrate their world champion, and some had to be removed to make way for Algerian minister of Youth & Sport, Mr. Ouldali Elhadi, who gave the WBF world title belt to the victorious champion.
Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf, making his first title-defense, improved his professional record to 22-4-1 (12), while Lars Buchholz falls to 27-8 (20) after an admirable effort. The fight was promoted by Mohammed Kerrouche and BMA Production.