Boxing - Brave attempt from Purdy ends in bruising defeat

Lee Purdy’s attempt to take the European welterweight title from Leonard Bundu ended in bruising defeat at the ExCel, London.

The Colchester fighter was stopped by referee Jurgen Langos seven seconds from hearing the final bell after being beaten to the punch for the majority of the contest, although he never stopped trying to upset the odds.

Italy based Sierra Leonean Bundu was making the fifth defence of his European title, and his first away from home. Purdy (10st 6lbs 5oz) was the certainly the underdog coming in, but there were no issues with his weight this time, and he perhaps felt he had a point to prove after retirement by his corner in the late notice fight with (then) IBF champion Devon Alexander back in May.

Bundu (10st 6lbs 1oz) got off to a fast start and just about outworked Purdy in a close, explosive opening round in which both fighters took solid shots. Bundu switched stances and stood in front of Purdy, whose plan was to stage a close range brawl.

Purdy was outworked in the second, and a head clash opened up a cut above his left eye. In the third and fourth rounds, Purdy’s plan started to bear some fruit and he landed his best work to the body. When he ventured Northwards, however, Bundu could see the right hand coming, and decided to box from range.

Purdy was effective at getting into position to throw, and made southpaw Bundu work hard on the back foot to take the fifth and sixth rounds. Almost every time the champion landed, Purdy shook his head in defiance, but his own successes were too infrequent.

A dogged effort from Purdy in the seventh was undone by Bundu in the eighth and ninth rounds as the champion grew increasingly comfortable, throwing fast, accurate combinations from the back foot. When Purdy did land, the ferocity had disappeared from his shots and his defences were much slower. He was repeatedly caught with jabs and hooks.

Purdy put in a brave shift to make the eleventh round close, but he was wobbling in the final stanza before a right hand eventually sent him to the canvas in the final minute. He hauled himself up, but was defenceless and under attack when referee Jurgen Langos waved it off with seven seconds remaining.

After the fight, Bundu said: “He was a very tough, especially with those body shots. After a while I knew I shouldn't go near him, just like my coach told me. It was a good stoppage but he's a tough guy and will come again.

He's younger and stronger than I was so I had to use my experience and outbox him. I am 39 years old. I cannot permit myself to lose.”

Bundu is now 30 unbeaten, and is a good shout for some sort of world title shot. A European defence against Frankie Gavin would appeal to UK viewers .

There’s no shortage of guts from Purdy, and holds a shot very well indeed but lacks the skills that maybe would have been acquired from an amateur career. For me, the contest could have been ended a while before it was. From the ninth round onwards, Purdy took too much punishment - more so than in his fight with Devon Alexander.

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