By Jake Tiernan: Heavyweight Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic (10-0, 10 KOs) had to deal with a bit of drama in his sixth round knockout victory over the much bigger David Spilmont (11-8-1, 7 KOs), an opponent he admits he “underestimated” during their eighth round fight last Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Outweighed by 36 lbs by the 252-lb southpaw Spilmont, the 216-lb Babic was staggered in the second round after eating several hard left hands that the French fighter tagged him with.
Although the 31-year-old Babic denies being hurt by the 6’3″ Spilmont, it sure looked like he was staggering and close to being dropped by the tough journeyman.
Ultimately, Babic came back to drop Spilmont in the fourth and sixth round to score a knockout, but it wasn’t the type of performance that would put fear in the heart of Oscar Rivas.
That’s a fighter that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is eyeing as a future opponent for the Croatian Babic for the WBC bridgerweight title, provided he first defeats #4 WBC Lukasz Rozanski.
The Polish fighter Rozanski (14-0, 13 KOs) is a mirror image of Babic with the same all-out slugging style as Babic.
A fight between those two will be a 50-50 affair, and it won’t be surprising in the least if Rozanski comes out victorious. He’s the bigger puncher than Babic.
Babic says he wasn’t hurt by Spilmont
“He’s now tough because he fought me. Everyone thinks I’m invincible. I’m not,” said Alen Babic to iFL TV. “And I’m not perfect. I’m a grinder just like this, and this is my kind of fight. All my big fights are going to be like this.
“I lost the sight of him for one second,” said Babic about being hurt by Spilmont in the second round. “I saw him, and then I didn’t see him. It scared me, it was the first time it happened, but I wasn’t in trouble.
“I knew exactly where I was after one second. So it wasn’t a big deal because I spar like that every day.
“I spar much tougher than this every day,” said Babic. “And I don’t do this because of the money. I do this because I want to be entertaining. When I brought this guy in, I thought he was going to fall. He didn’t even have boxing shoes on. I totally underestimated him,” said Babic about Spilmont.
It sounds like Babic is in denial about him being hurt by Spilmont, but it doesn’t matter. The fans saw what happened, and they’re not going to listen to Babic try and whitewash what happened to him.
Alen is targeting the Bridgerweight title
The way that Babic looked against Spilmont, he’s nowhere near ready to take on Oscar Rivas for the WBC bridgerweight title.
Even his boss Dillian Whyte was almost beaten by Rivas in 2019, and he might have lost that fight if not for the referee stopping the action in the 12th round to give Dillian a breather after he was hurt with a body shot.
The referee mistakenly thought Rivas had hit Whyte with a low blow, but on replay, it was a legal punch to the midsection, and he was severely hurt.
“The guy was f**** tough. I hit him, look at my hand,” said Babic. “I hit him with these f*** punches. He’s a f*** tough guy. I was in shock. ‘Sixth round, what? When is he going to fall?’”
Spilmont nailed Babic with some equally hard shots that had him looking dazed from what I could see.
“But all credit to him. It was a good fight for the fans. I’m not injured or dazed or anything, so it’s all good,” said Babic.
“For a year, nobody wanted to fight me, and now everyone is going to fight me. It’s good,” said Babic.
“I think I’m going to have a little break from heavyweight because this guy was also 30 kilos heavier than me. People forget that because I made them too.
“I put a lot into it and broke my body, so I’m going to go down to Bridgerweight and see what’s up. I’m #3 right there, and I want to fight with the best. I want to fight someone that will motivate me. I didn’t even train for this fight.
“And I didn’t do anything special for this fight, and I didn’t even know he was a southpaw. I didn’t care. The heavyweight fights are in my blood, and I’m always going to be a heavyweight fighter.
“I still want to be a heavyweight champion. Nobody believed me. Eddie Hearn doesn’t believe me, but I want it. I want to get that bridgerweight belt and then return straight back to heavyweight.
“It’s not going to look like me coming in and knocking these guys out. It’s going to look like this; it’s going to be a war,” Babic continued. “No matter who, this guy [Spilmont] gave me a war,” said Babic.
Babic doesn’t want to be protected
Alen says he doesn’t want Dillian Whyte to protect him by matching him against weak opposition.
However, if Whyte does throw him in with the killers at heavyweight and bridgerweight, his career may quickly fizzle out, and he’ll be washed up and no longer useful for Matchroom’s cards.
“Whoever says something about this guy doesn’t know s*** about boxing. He never stopped one time. I think he was only stopped one time. He’s a very, very tough time. He took some bombs. When I punched, I felt it in my elbow.
“I went through the core. They’re going to kill me about the way I won, but I liked it. The persona I made like I’m invincible, but I’m not. I keep saying to these people that I’m not invincible.
“And I don’t want to be the perfect guy. I like this fight. I like these kinds of fights; I like to be in them. Dillian wants to protect me, but I don’t want to be protected.
“I like these kinds of fights. This is boxing; this is my job that I signed up for. I know the consequences. I’m going to be knocked out sooner or later. I know that,” said Alen Babic.
“[Eric] Molina didn’t want to be knocked out, so I knocked him the f*** out. Since I signed with Matchroom, everyone is shouting my name. It’s a dream come true,” said Babic.
It’s too bad Babic isn’t willing to admit that Spilmont badly hurt him because it would be refreshing for boxing fans to hear him tell it like it is.
The fans saw what happened and noted that Babic was on the verge of being upended by the little-known Spilmont, and he’s lucky that the Frenchman missed with a couple of his coup de grace left hands that would have likely finished the job in the second.
Alen admits he’s not perfect
“I don’t want anybody to think I’m perfect and the best puncher and the best defense,” said Babic. “No, I’m s***. If you want to watch me, I’m going to fight.
“Obviously, you do want to watch me because I’ve fought four times in five months, so I’m doing something right. Thank you for supporting an average Joe like me.
“When they raise my hand, it’s a dream come true. I’m just a dreamer. I’m nothing perfect. And I’m not a KO machine. And I’m just a dreamer, and I’m going to give my all to every fighter. If you like that fight, that’s it. My job is done,” said Babic.