Franjic overpowers McCrary to move into contention for title

Title: Franjic overpowers McCrary to move into contention for title
Date: December 7, 2012
Original Source: The Edmonton Journal
Synopsis: I am doing a short internship over the holidays at The Edmonton Journal. My latest piece was a quick post-game after a local boxing event. This article appeared in the Dec. 8 edition of the Edmonton Journal.

EDMONTON – If Steve Franjic has his way, the Canadian Light Heavyweight Championship won’t be vacant for much longer.

Franjic of Toronto improved to 9-0-1 with a dominant fifth-round TKO victory over Donny McCrary Friday night at KO Boxing’s Sudden Impact card at the Shaw Conference Centre.

Franjic forced McCrary’s corner to throw in the towel after a big left hook floored him for the second time. McCrary was a late replacement after Akinyemi (AK47) Laleye was forced to pull out of the fight due to an injury.

The win should put Franjic squarely in the title picture in the Canadian 175-pound division. Franjic came in as the second-ranked light heavyweight in the country and only North American champion Nicholson Poulard stands between him and a belt.

“I’m just waiting for it,” said Franjic. “I hope it’s coming and I’ll be staying ready.”

Earlier, a tight super featherweight fight left the crowd wanting more, as Cam O’Connell and Lexton Bates fought to a draw. The lightning-quick O’Connell won the fight on one judge’s card, but the other two judges thought Bates, who was making his professional debut, did enough to warrant the split.

Neither camp is walking away pleased with the result.

“Our hats are off to him,” said Jerome Coffee, Bates’ coach. “But anyone who watched the fight without closing their eyes knows who won.

“We need to do it again”

In a rematch of their 2011 split decision, Paul Bzdel won in more convincing fashion over Brad Soanes, utilizing left hooks to the ribs liberally and forcing three knockdowns with body shots. The second go-round was just as active as their first, with the fighters trading combinations and pushing the action through all four rounds.

In the heavyweight division, Jared Kilkenny knocked out Nick Dragich with a vicious right hook in the third round to improve to 4-0-1. Dragich had knocked Kilkenny down three times prior to the finish in an extremely entertaining heavyweight tilt that left both men bloodied.

Former UFC fighter Tim Hague entered the ring after the fight to challenge Kilkenny to a future bout, which he accepted. Hague has beaten Kilkenny twice in mixed martial arts competition.

In women’s action, Maria Bastasin avenged a June loss for her first career victory, defeating Brandy Badry by split decision.

In the opening fight of the night, super middleweight Max Gagne dominated his way to a unanimous decision over the debuting Matt Jelly to improve to 1-1 as a professional.

The scheduled bout between Edmonton’s Steve MacGillivary, 3-0, and the debuting Layne MacTaggart was cancelled at the last minute as MacTaggart came down ill.


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