Yoursi Belgaroui is the new middleweight contender
Published on Apr 29, 2017
Yoursi Belgaroui (22-3, 10 KO's) took a unanimous decision victory over Alex 'Po Atan' Pereira (24-6, 15 KO's) in the final of the GLORY 40 COPENHAGEN to win the Ramon Dekkers Memorial Trophy and the title shot which goes along with it.
The Dutch-Tunisian and the Brazilian had a close fight but one which all five judges felt confident Belgaroui had won conclusively, every judge awarding him every round on their scorecards to make it a clean sweep.
Key to Belgaroui's victory was his level of output; his work was constant throughout all three rounds and meant that he massively outlanded and outscored his Brazilian opponent, who seemed more intent on looking for power shots over volume.
Entering the ring, Belgaroui looked to be wearing some damage from his semi-final win, having apparently hurt his foot when throwing a kick. Aside from that they were fairly even in terms of strikes absorbed during the semi-finals, neither fighter having a particularly clear advantage on paper.
The injury didn't affect him in the slightest though. He blocked it out as he went to work on scoring against Pereira. Belgaroui had to weather the storm on occasion though, as Pereira had moments where he exploded into action and landed some of his dangerous power-shots.
By the time three rounds was over, however, it was clear that Pereira had not done enough. He hadn't found the decisive blows he needed and had not been able to score a knockdown; the gamble – conservative volume of output but with high power – had not paid off. Belgaroui's steady consistent workrate won him the fight and the title shot.
Both fighters dominated their respective semi-final match ups. In the first, Belgaroui was untroubled as he picked apart the debuting Agron Pretini (21-5-1, 6 KO's) of Croatia with long-range jabs and straight kicks complemented by knees and powerful low kicks. Preteni's legs took a hammering and one Belgaroui low kick in the second round forced him down for an eight-count.
In the second semi-final, Pereira dominated Sweden's Burim Rama (37-15-1, 15 KO's) on the way to a third-round stoppage. Rama had never been knocked down before in his career but Pereira put him down three times in the final two rounds of their match to score a stoppage under the 'three knockdowns in a tournament fight' rule.
Pereira has professional boxing experience as well as kickboxing and former middleweight champion Artem Levin has previously said that Pereira is the hardest puncher he has ever faced. Rama felt the full force of that but to his credit did his best to meet fire with fire when he could. He demonstrated grit and will surely be back in the GLORY ring later this year.
Yousri Belgaroui def. Alex Pereira by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)