Ukrainian Viktor Postol took on Selcuk Aydin, a Turk, in the HBO TV opener from the fabulous Forum in LA, on Saturday night. He looked to be a world class sweet scientist, and some in the crowd hooted, because he wasn't flashy, but at 2:52 in round 11, two severe rights finished off Aydin.
Aydin is no joke, and could get the avoidance treatment from smart managers. He's busy--he went 395-1,105 to 118-393 for the loser-- a smart defender, moves the feet well, and yes, carries power into the late rounds.
In the battle of junior welters, it was Aydin who spoke of the tragic mine accident in Turkey which took place last week, and said pre-fight his heart is with those poor souls. The fighter was seen by many in his fight with Robert Guerrero, a bout he lost.
Postol talked pre-fight of sparring with Ruslan Provodnikov, who said he "survived" that experience.
In the first, Aydin looked to press, get inside, get inside the long reach of Postol. A hard left hook wobbled Postol, and he heard from trainer Marvin Samodio after, to keep moving. The left caught him exiting, not swiftly enough.
In the second, Aydin's left hook was again there for him. Postol wanted to crack with a counter right to answer.
In the third, Postol stood straight and tall, ripe for an old school trainer to tape his chin to his upper chest with duct tape in camps. Postol's busy jab had Aydin less sure of himself by this point. In the fourth, Postol stayed calm, used his feet to get out of a danger zone without sweating it. Aydin looked at Postol, saw how hard it is to get close, and started to shut down in long spurts.
In the fifth, the jab and the movement kept Aydin at bay. The crowd hooted some, not digging the sweetly scientific nature of the match.
In the sixth, Postol cracked side to side, with both hands. Aydin's trainer said after the round that time was a wasting, and Aydin needed to get inside the electric fence and get to work. In the seventh, Aydin ate a few more power shots. He was outlanded 221-75 to this point.
In the eighth, Aydin had luck with body shots. He got on the bike and pedaled faster. In the ninth, Postol got busier, and put more on his punches, so Aydin wasn't able to build momentum. He needed a KO and didn't get it in the tenth.
In the 11th, Aydin had a point taken for hitting behind the head, at the one minute mark. Postol looked to be trying to land nasty, maybe close the show here. And he did...an uppercut dropped Aydin, and the ref didn't even bother to count. A right hook, and a right uppercut follow were devastating.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV