Florian Marku, who these days calls himself the Albanian King, kept his unbeaten run going at the expense of Maxim Prodan in a welterweight ten-rounder that promised to be a barn-burner, turned into a slightly frustrating affair and produced some wildly differing scorelines on the Joshua-Usyk undercard at Tottenham.
Marku won a split decision to claim, for what it’s worth, the IBF international belt, but only won one round on the scorecard Matteo Montella, who was obviously unimpressed by his rather negative approach in his 99-91 card.
The other two judges, Steve Weisfeld and Howard Foster both went for Marku by 97-93 and 96-94 respectively.
Certainly, Prodan looked frustrated. Marku had promised to do all sorts to him at Thursday’s press conference but after a competitive opening two rounds, Marku took over the fight with his jab and generally fiddled his way through, walking Prodan into punches as he was forced to take chances.
There was a good start by Marku, who found Prodan with some pinging rights, but Prodan forced his way back in during the second round as Marku struggled to stop his advance.
The next two rounds were close, as Marku searched in vain for openings, but in the fifth round, Marku controlled matters with his jab and he began to find some rhythm in the sixth round, as he opened up, landing some flashy combinations.
Prodan came back in the seventh round, but when Marku worked the jab, he gained some control, as the Italy-based Ukrainian just could not stop it landing. Still, it was the only thing he really was landing, though, as Prodan marched toward looking to land his heavy right in the eighth, he was looking a frustrated figure.
In the last round, Marku went on the move, throwing his hands in the air and playing to the crowd, which resulted in a chorus of boos.
In the show-opener, which started before the stadium doors opened, Christopher Ousley recorded his 13th straight win as a professional as won a ten-round majority points decision over Khasan Baysangurov.
Ousley started the better and busier and the lead the poached them stood him in good stead as he began to tire in the last three rounds.
Ousley took it on the scorecard, two judges going 97-94 and one 95-95.