Croatian heavyweight Filip Hrgović (28) has beaten Rydell Booker (39) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida, to record his 12th professional win.
It was obvious from the beginning that Booker was not in Hrgović’s class, and the only surprise was that he survived in the ring until the beginning of the fifth round.
After receiving 73 punches from the Croatian known as ‘El Animal’, most to the head, the judges wanted to prevent possible more serious consequences for Booker and stopped the fight 40 seconds into the fifth round.
Booker, who pushed World title challenger Kubrat Pulev to a points decision last November in Fresno, is a former sparring partner of Hrgović.
“Booker was one of my sparring partners before I fought Gregory Corbin. I know him well and he knows me, so I’m looking forward to the fight. He has good skills and technique, but I will be better prepared and in better shape. I don’t think he’ll be able to handle my power and my pressure,” Hrgović said before the fight and he was right, doing most of his damage to the American in the second round.
In the end, it was an easy night’s work for Hrgović who now has 12 victories in 12 professional fights. It was his second fight on US soil after he beat Gregory Corbin at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
After the fight, Hrgović listed off a number of boxers he would fight before fighting for a world title against the likes of Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury.
“Michael Hunter, Zhang Zhilei, Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois, anyone … Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Chisora … I want to beat all those guys. It will be my preparation for the best in the category,” Hrgovic said.
The loss was Booker’s fourth in 30 professional fights.
You can see highlights from the fight on the link here.