Filip Hrgovic Destroys Marko Radonjic In Three
Let Matchroom Boxing Chairman Eddie Hearn tell it, hard-hitting Croatian heavyweight prospect Filip “Stone Man” Hrgovic is the next big thing in the division! He dazzled again in his first showing of 2021 with a third round knockout of Montenegrin Marko Radonjic.
FILIP HRGOVIC (13-0, 11KO)
Hrgovic is as rough as they come and isn’t afraid to fight anyone! Not really known for his fundamentals, the undefeated 2016 Olympic bronze medalist makes up for that with his raw power. Although, incorporating highly respected Cuban trainer Pedro Diaz shortly after turning pro in 2017 gives the idea that he is trying to work on the aforementioned weakness.
As an amateur he shared the ring with known up and coming heavyweights like Tony Yoka and Ivan Dychko and even defeated former WBO champion Joseph Parker. Hrgovic would come up short against Yoka in the 2016 Olympics semi-finals after defeating him once before. Then the latter would end up winning the gold medal that year and Hrgovic has vowed to get revenge.
Fan perspective of the Croatian is they respect the power he has but needs a bit more polishing before he can mix it up with the cream of the crop at heavyweight. Although he is ranked #4, #9 and #13 by the IBF, WBC and WBO respectively, given he is backed by a major promotional company, he may be pushed at a rate where a fight against a big name may not come in the near future.
MARKO RADONJIC (22-1, 22KO)
Radonjic previously boasted an perfect record with every fight won by knockout. However, his record is highly deceptive as he mainly feasted on low-level opposition. Out of 22 bouts, only three opponents had winning records! He also only contained a small fraction of the amateur pedigree of Hrgovic. Even the DAZN commentators absolutely did not give the Montenegrin any chance of winning before he stepped into the ring.
On paper this looked like it could be a dangerous fight. However, for boxing enthusiasts that study the sport, this had “disaster” written all over it!
HE WASN’T READY!
This fight lasted three rounds but Hrgovic realistically could have ended it in the first. It looked as if he wanted to incorporate some new techniques he may have learned in training. This led to him being patient behind the jab and being a bit overly cautious. That also could have been indicative of him believing his opponent had concussive knockout power given his “padded” record.
Nevertheless, that all went out the window in round two. All it took was a grazing temple shot to send Radonjic to the canvas midway into the round. At the count of nine, he was still on one knee but jumped to his feet and stumbled backwards. Some referees would have stopped it then but Joerg Milke felt he wanted to see more “pain and suffering!” Indeed that is what we got!
STOP THE FIGHT!
This sparked what would end up being three more knockdowns, a total of four in the round. Each time, it seemed like it was over for the Montenegrin as he looked completely shaky and lethargic. However for some reason, referee Milke kept letting him continue! Although the underdog showed heart, this fight should have been stopped!
Unfortunately, Radonjic made it to the bell and was able to stagger back to his corner with his mouthpiece hanging out of his mouth. Even more unfortunate, his corner let him go out for a third round!
Speaking of the third round, it was eye-wrenching to watch Radonjic swing for the fences with zero technique. Then this guy had the audacity to taunt Hrgovic throughout the round by dropping his hands, sticking his chin out, making faces and throwing his hands in the air! At the one minute mark, a flurry against the ropes dropped the underachiever for a fifth time in the fight.
Not surprisingly, instead of stopping the fight, the referee administered a count and allowed the fight to continue. At this point, the Croatian just cruised to the end of the round, not understanding why this fight had not been stopped yet. Then as Radonjic’s corner let him go out for the fourth, the referee stepped in and waived the bout off!
As far as Hrgovic’s performance, he did what he was supposed to do given the terrible matchmaking by his promotional team. However, his lack of fundamentals still tabs him as a mid-level prospect regardless of his ranking in three major sanctioning bodies.
By: EJ Williams