Bader Samreen picked up the quickest win of his young career.
The unbeaten 22-year-old Dubai-based Jordanian scored a first-round knockout of veteran fringe contender Viorel Simion. A right hand shot forced Romanian to the canvas, with the fight subsequently halted at 1:26 of round one in the opening bout of an ESPN+ Pay-Per-View event Sunday evening from Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The lightweight contest saw Samreen fight calmly under pressure. Simion (23-10, 9KOs) has several notable names but the 41-year-old boxer was little more than a stepping stone even in his heyday. He was no match for the skills and power possessed by Samreen, who crashed home a right hand over the top of Simion’s guard.
The sequence marked the final punch thrown in the fight. Simion hit the deck, at which point referee Daniel Van de Wiele realized the fallen boxer was in no condition to continue.
Samreen advanced to 8-0 (7KOs) with the win and has now stopped each of his past five opponents. Included in that stretch is a second-round stoppage of Fuad Tarverdi on the undercard of the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch last August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Headlining the show, Jake Paul (6-0, 4KOs) and Tommy Fury (8-0, 4KOs) will collide in a scheduled eight-round cruiserweight contest.
Also on the show, WBC cruiserweight titlist Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu (29-2, 25KOs) attempts his third title defense versus former two-division titleholder Badou Jack (27-3-3, 16KOs).
UNDERCARD BOUTS STILL TO COME
Ziyad Almaayouf (1-0, 1KO), Los Angeles via Saudi Arabia, 145.6 pounds vs. Ronnald Martinez (3-1-1, 0KOs), Quito, Ecuador, 142 ½ pounds—4 rounds, junior welterweight
Muhsin Cason (10-0. 7KOs), Baltimore, Maryland, 199.1 pounds vs. Taryel Jafarov (18-5, 17KOs), Qazakh, Azerbaijan, 200 ½ pounds—eight rounds, cruiserweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox