In a clash for the vacant interim WBO jr middleweight title, former European champion and hometown favorite Lukas Konecny (48-3, 23 KOs) took advantage of his long awaited world title fight by scorng a seventh round KO over Salim Larbi (17-2-1, 4 KOs) on Thursday night at the Vodova Arena in Brno, Czech Republic. Konecny pressured Larbi from the opening bell. In round three, both fighters stood toe-to-toe with Konecny getting the better of it, although he came out of it with cuts over the left eye and the bridge of the nose. That was pretty much Larbi’s last hurrah as the cuts spurred Konecny to up his aggression even more in rounds four and five. A right hand to the body in the seventh finally put Larbi on the deck and as referee Andre Van Grootenbruel reached the count of ten.
Long time mandatory challenger Konecny was originally slated to face WBO jr middleweight champion Zaurbek Baysangurov last month in Kiev, Ukraine, but Baysangurov suffered a back injury in training shortly before the fight. Last year Konecny had a title shot against then-WBO champion Serhiy Dzinziruk canceled an injury in training shortly before the fight.
By Karl Freitag
Photos: Eroll Popova