By Jake Donovan
London’s Daniel DuBois (17-0, 12KOs) looked far more impressive in his 2019 debut than was the case in his final fight of his 2018 campaign.
The unbeaten heavyweight prospect from London made quick work of Romania’s Razvan Cojanu, stopping the former title challenger in the second round of their co-feature attraction Friday evening at Royal Albert Hall in Kensington, England.
A barrage of punches along the ropes capped by a right hand shot ended Cojanu’s night at 2:48 of round two.
Whereas he was forced to go 10 laboring rounds with a disinterested Kevin Johnson last October, DuBois found an all-too willing target in Cojanu, a 6’7″ Romanian heavyweight now based in California. The opening round saw DuBois stick with the basics, not going out of his way to look for the knockout but rather score often enough to shrink his much taller foe down to his size. Cojanu desperately attempted to have his say, but his awkwardness and lack of coordination made him an inviting target for the unbeaten Brit.
DuBois significantly closed the gap in round two, pinning Cojanu along the ropes and well on his way to an early stoppage only to receive a warning for an errant left hook which strayed low. DuBois acknowledged the foul before regrouping and finishing what he started. Cojanu remained with his back against the ropes, leaving him a sitting duck for a barrage of power punches before slumping to the canvas.
Cojanu tried in vain to rise to his feet, but was counted out at 2:48 of round two. The journeyman heavyweight—who turns 32 this weekend—suffers his fourth consecutive defeat in falling to 16-6 (9KOs).
Meanwhile, DuBois (10-0, 8KOs) returns to the knockout column after his previous eight-fight stoppage streak was halted by Johnson being content to go rounds rather than actually fight back. His early night at the office matches that of veteran heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz who last July scored a 2nd round stoppage over a foe who’d previously extended then-unbeaten heavyweight titlist Joseph Parker 12 rounds.
The bout served as the televised co-feature to a light heavyweight crossroads bout between unbeaten Anthony Yarde (17-0) and Baltimore’s Travis Reeves (17-3-2). Both are part of a card which airs live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN+ in the United States.
Teenaged super welterweight prospect Hamzah Sheeraz made quick work of countryman Rod Douglas Jr., needing just 70 seconds to retain his perfect pro record.
A mismatch was evident from jump, with the unbeaten Sheeraz (7-0, 3KOs) scoring a knockdown with his first clean punch, a right cross which felled Douglas Jr. seconds into the contest. A barrage of punches produced the bout’s second knockdown, along with a warning issued to the 19-year old by the referee for hitting his foe while on the deck.
It rendered moot as a three-punch combo followed by a clean-up left hook forced Douglas (2-2) to his knees, prompting his corner to literally throw in the towel. The official time was 1:10 of round one.
Opening the telecast, Chris Jenkins became the third British welterweight title claimant in as many fights, as the Welshman dethroned Johnny Garton in a lopsided 12-round affair.
Scores were 119-109, 117-112 and 116-112 in favor Jenkins, the latter two scores perhaps a bit generous to the exiting titlist as Garton struggled to keep pace over the long haul.
Jenkins employed lateral movement to befuddle Garton (23-2-1, 19KOS), who was attempting the first defense of the British welterweight strap he acquired in an 11th round stoppage win over Gary Corcoran last October. There was no such luck for the Londoner, as Jenkins put on a boxing clinic, working his jab and never providing a stationary target for the type of incoming needed to turn the tide.
With the fight seemingly out of reach, Jenkins (21-3-2) strangely took unnecessary risks down the stretch. The tactic made for fun two-way action, but nowhere nearly enough for Garton to overcome the early deficit or leave with his title still intact.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox