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Chris Kongo Survives Cut To Outpoint Florian Marku


Chris Kongo secured the finest victory of his career with perhaps his finest performance when he was awarded a unanimous decision at the conclusion of 10 entertaining rounds with Florian Marku.

The welterweight, 31, was cut by his right eye in the second round but, for all of Marku’s aggression, boxed to his potential to deservedly earn scores of 96-94, 96-93 and 98-82. 

Their fight swiftly established the pattern that had come to be expected, through Marku, also 31, fighting with aggression and attempting to pressure his opponent, and Kongo using his superior height and reach to negate him. 

Where in the early rounds Marku succeeded in closing the distance between them and threatened to outwork his opponent, after the halfway stage Kongo increasingly held his feet and started to attempt to hurt his Albanian opponent.

It was in the third when he landed a clean uppercut on the inside that punished Marku’s attempts to close the distance between them, and in the fourth when his cleaner punching again impressed until absorbing a left uppercut and a punch to the body.

That Marku made a sustained effort to establish his jab in the sixth was perhaps recognition that he wasn’t yet having the impression he had hoped, and while he refused to be deterred, the accuracy of Kongo’s punches meant he was showing increasing swelling around both eyes.

When, in the eighth Kongo, succeeded with successive combinations, Marku responded by throwing behind the head and was deducted a point by the referee Howard Foster. Kongo thereafter took fewer risks, slowed the pace of their fight, and saw out victory against an increasingly tired opponent with relative ease. 

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