DALLAS, APRIL 17 – Eimantas Stanionis has won the WBA world welterweight title and created boxing history in the process.
The 27-year-old deservedly dethroned champion Radzhab Butaev on a split decision after 12 rounds at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, on Saturday night.
Stanionis was awarded the victory by two of the ringside judges, with scores of 116-111 and 117-110, and as a result becomes Lithuania’s first ever professional boxing world champion.
The 2016 Olympian, now 14-0, has also made himself mandatory challenger for the WBA’s Super champion at 147lbs Errol Spence Jnr, who forced the stoppage of Yordenis Ugas in the headlining bout.
Speaking about his historic victory, Stanionis said:
“I still can’t believe it. It was a dream come true to hear, ‘and the new.’ When I was a kid, I visualized what this would look like and how it would feel to become a champion.
“It’s because of the hard work, dedication, belief in myself and my team to get me to this big stage. I want to thank my team for everything. What I did in the ring, they did just as much outside the ring.
“I’m very happy. I just want to tell everybody that dreams do come true. If you believe in it and give your everything, it will happen.”
One judge gave the fight to defending champion Butaev but Stanionis was the rightful winner on a historic evening.
Stanionis – the first Probellum fighter to win a world title – dictated the pace for much of the contest and his accuracy and aggression were too much for Butaev to cope with.
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