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Junior bantamweight contender Aliu Bamidele Lasisi defeated Ricardo Blandon by unanimous decision in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday night.

The bout provided some compelling moments, as both fighters hit the canvas as they battled through 12 tough-rounds. In the end, all three judges had the fight 114-111 for Lasisi. ESPN.com had it 113-112 for the winner.

Lasisi (13-0, 8 KOs) was constantly pressured by Blandon, who scored a knockdown in the third round as he clipped Lasisi with a short right hand. In the fourth round, a point was deducted from Lasisi as an accidental clash of heads cut Blandon near his right eye.

While he had the superior skills and technical ability, Lasisi had issues dealing with the size and strength of his opponent from Nicaragua, who repeatedly backed him up along the ropes and attacked the body. But just as the tide seemed to be turning towards Blandon (10-2, 6 KOs), a left hook from Lasisi knocked him down in Round 10.

The final two rounds were nip-and-tuck with both men having their moments, but it was Lasisi, who began his career in Dubai after emigrating from Nigeria, that had his hands raised in victory.

“[Blandon] gave me a good fight,” Lasisi said after his victory. “He’s a tough guy.”

Joyce Stops Tiffney

In the co-feature, David Oliver Joyce scored a hard-fought TKO victory over Stephen Tiffney in the seventh round.

After a relatively even start to the fight where both men had their moments, the overall activity and superior punching power of Joyce (10-0, 8 KOs) wore down Tiffney (10-2, 4 KOs), who got knockdown in Round 7. He was able to continue, but Tiffney received a barrage of punches from Joyce before the end of the round, forcing referee Giustino Di Giovanni to wave off the fight just as the bell sounded.

Joyce is a well-conditioned fighter who is now looking to face some of the best at 126 pounds. His performance served notice to the rest of the featherweight division that he will give anyone a tough night at the office.

“I can mix it up with the best,” said Joyce of titleholders Oscar Valdez and Josh Warrington. “They all know I can mix it up with them. David Joyce is in town.”

Also on this card, junior featherweight, Shakhobidin Zoirov, who captured a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics for Uzbekistan, made a successful pro debut with an 18-second knockout of Anthony Hold.

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