Dennis McCann vs Ionut Baluta fight breakdown
“The Menace” meets “The Boss” in Bethnal Green
Dennis “The Menace” McCann (14-0,8KO) and Ionut “Il Capo” Baluta (16-4, 2KO) will clash over 10-rounds for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super-bantamweight title at the iconic York Hall in the heart of the East End on Friday, August 18, live on TNT Sports.
The headlining championship contest on the Queensberry promoted Friday Fight Night event will see one of the UK’s top prospects collide with one of the sport’s biggest banana skins.
Hailing from a family of boxing champions, the Maidstone man recalls first going to the boxing gym at the age of three and, by 10, he was winning titles for London club, Repton ABC, collecting nine national titles by the time he decided to dismiss the prospects of going to the Olympics to turn pro instead.
Promoter Frank Warren’s faith in the talented youngster has been repaid already with 14 wins, no losses, and three titles in the bag. Nand not forgetting the fact this fresh-faced, charismatic kid can sell out shows.
Already likened to Prince Naseem, the 22-year-old Kent puncher, who trains with Alan Smith in Bromley, has earned six stoppages within the first two rounds, and his last two bouts were back to back eighth round knockouts over very respectable domestic competition in 17-3 Joe Ham and 14-2 James Beech Jnr.
The skilful, slick, stylish southpaw has it all – fantastic footwork; matrix-style head movement; sound judgement of range; fast, heavy, accurate hands; wide variety of shot selection; and a killer instinct to finish fights off.
His 15th foe comes in the form or Romanian ‘upsetter’ Ionut Baluta, who has a bad habit of coming to the UK and ruining undefeated records. He did so in his very last fight, in March, when he beat highly regarded Andrew Cain. The 29-year-old was able to secure a split decision victory despite being down twice in the opening round.
The European is aggressive and energetic. He doesn’t stop throwing, he has a V12 engine, and he boxes every round like it’s his last, so the tempo of his fights is always high-paced regardless of who his opponents are.
He boxes with his hands hovering around his hips, either slightly above the hips or just lower. His shots are wide, seldom straight, and he is looking to come forward to knock out his opponent with every single blow.
In his last seven contests, he has beaten an English champion; a former world champion; an Olympian; a British champion; and, most recently, the impressive, heavy-handed, wrecking machine, Andy Cain. It has to be mentioned that Cain scored two first-round knockdowns then promptly broke his hand, unable to then capitalise upon his success.
His only defeats in the past six years include a spirited mixed decision loss against Michael Conlan, where one judge scored it a draw, and a thrilling UD reversal against undefeated Liam Davies, now ranked No.1 super-bantamweight in the UK.
Betting Odds (Betway Sports)
Unbeaten McCann is 2/9 to win and Baluta is 7/2. Odds for a draw at 16/1 is pretty low meaning the bookies accept it as a viable outcome.
McCann is the better boxer, that’s a fact from the very outset, which is why he is the heavy favourite, but the reason the odds for a draw are so low is because Romanian always comes to make a real fight of it and can never be written off.
Baluta is tough and shows no respect in the ring, which isn’t a criticism, it’s a compliment, because he will go in against anyone and go for them like a red flag to a bull. He charges forward and swings his way around the ring from the first bell to the last.
Baluta has lost four times but never been stopped, he is durable, mean and brave. I think his style with his wide shots should suit McCann’s style perfectly, who can dip down low and come up through the middle with accurate, stinging shots, due to his outstanding balance and agility, but he’ll also be winging in unseen, hurtful blows from around the side too, which Baluta won’t see while he’s already being punched.
Baluta’s head is often present on the firing line and that’s a target McCann shouldn’t fail to miss all fight long. He is stronger, quicker, and better than Baluta, and this should be a tough test for him, but one that he could look very impressive in.
McCann will have no problem landing on Baluta, but will also be able to evade and roll under the return fire, which predominantly comes via left and right hooks, which are never that accurate or damaging.
Once McCann gets into his rhythm, he could really put on a show for his fans in the crammed, hostile, heated cauldron that is the York Hall.
Verdict: Dennis McCann to win by knockout in rounds 6-10.