The GLORY 64 main card from Strasbourg, France opened with a light heavyweight affair between Suriname’s Donegi Abena (24-5, 6 KO’s) and Dutch veteran Michael Duut (43-11, 20 KO’s).
Duut swung for the fences early, just missing a massive left hook. Abena looked for a straight right, but Duut blocked it.
A right hand from the Dutchman got through Abena’s guard. After blocking a low kick, Abena flurried with punches to back Duut against the ring ropes. Duut returned to the center of the ring, but showcased patience with his strikes. A late right hand from Abena popped the head of Duut as the bell sounded.
The high guard of Abena appeared to frustrate Duut. He fired power shots, but could not find many openings. Duut looked for his patented left hook, but Abena answered with a right of his own. An uppercut from Abena caught Duut flush.
Duut answered with a left hook that hurt Abena for a moment. Blood trickled from below the eye of Duut. An off balance Duut slipped to the canvas and the referee accurately ruled against a knockdown.
Abena’s boxing was on display early in round three. Duut marched through it, prompting Abena to throw low kicks. A brief clash of heads paused the action for a moment, but both fighters were okay.
The uppercuts of Abena found their mark again, slowing the advance of Duut. In the final moments of the bout, Duut went for broke, but Abena never went down.
The judges were divided, but three felt that Abena did enough to claim the decision nod.
“I won rounds one and three,” said Abena. “Where’s [GLORY lightweight champion] Vakhitov?”
Donegi Abena def. Michael Duut by split decision (27-30, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28)