Popular East London super-featherweight prospect Frank “The Tank” Arnold lost his unbeaten record as he was knocked out cold by Nicaragua’s Brayan Mairena in the fourth round on the Bentley-Morrison undercard at York Hall in London.
Arnold, despite his bravery, simply could not resist the power of Mairena. But the brutal finish, which saw Mairena land on his face after being knocked out cold, could have been avoided had the fight been stopped in the third round, when Arnold was knocked down heavily and then forced to take a series of big punches when he seemed on unsteady legs.
Both referee Chas Coakley and Arnold’s corner decided to let the action go on. Giving him “a chance” when clearly hurt, could be much more damaging to Arnold’s long-term prospects than had the fight ended then.
Mairena, who is based in Spain, went for it from the opening bell and nailed Arnold with a series of hard rights in the first 90 seconds, before a huge right with 30 seconds left in the round rocked Arnold back against the ropes. That inspired Mairena further as he threw a huge number of punches as Arnold tried to cover up and see out the round.
Arnold boxed much better in the second but Mairena was still throwing the rights and had some success.
But Arnold was not through the woods and, as he backed up on the ropes in the third round, he was knocked down by a big right, Mairena landing another big right as he fell. Arnold was given a longer break while his gumshield was replaced, but he looked unsteady as Coakley waved him back in. Mairena was right on him, throwing punches non-stop and landing two big lefts and another two hard rights before the round ended as Arnold tried to survive.
Mairena landed another good right at the start of the fourth as Arnold could not keep him off. Arnold did look to gain some momentum, but then Mairena landed another huge right that ended it and knocked Arnold out cold. The fighter bounced off the ropes and fell on his face. Coakley waved it off straight away, while a towel was thrown from the Arnold corner, almost landing on the unconscious boxer. It was a chilling finish.
A stretcher was brought to the ring, but after receiving oxygen, Arnold was able to regain his feet and walk out of the ring. The official time was 2:13 of round four.
Featherweight Masood Abdulah secured his fifth stoppage in six fights as a pro (all wins) as he stopped Stefan Nicolae in the fourth round.
Nicolae, originally from Romania, is adept as a survivor but Abdulah didn’t give him much room to breathe, as he dominated from the opening bell. Early in the fourth, as Abdulah rocked him with a left hook, referee Chas Coakley waved it off at 1:11.
Bantamweight hope Adan Mohamed moved to 7-0 and secured his second stoppage as Reiss Taylor was pulled out in the fifth round of a scheduled six.
At 4ft 11in, Taylor is used to being the smaller fighter and at 5ft 8in, Mohamed towered over him. In the first two rounds, Mohamed bullied him around and Taylor was deducted a point in the second round by referee Sean McAvoy for holding.
The action was messy but one-sided as Mohamed loaded up on right hands. So it was a wise move when the corner came in from Taylor’s corner 2:34 into the fifth round.
Arnold Obodai, who won his debut inside a round in March, but he was taken the distance by Poland’s Pawel Strykowski in a cruiserweight four-rounder that never really lifted above the pace of a sparring session.
Strykowski was negative, backing away and Obodai at times let him get away with not engaging by not putting him under pressure. He landed one big right at the start of the third round, but tended to wait too long before committing. Referee McAvoy scored it 40-36.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 – covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.