Lebanon’s first professional boxer Nadim Salloum scored an emphatic victory in New York, winning comfortably by technical knockout in the fifth round of his super middleweight contest against Canadian Kenny Chery.
Salloum dominated throughout the Friday night fight, his precise combinations and variety of punches proving too much for his opponent, who ran out of steam.
The 27-year-old Salloum had been aiming for a knockout and set his intention early in the first round, hurting Chery with a stinging right that seemed to wound the Canadian, and set the tone for the rest of the encounter.
Chery responded, at times showing why he had the potential to be a dangerous match-up for up-and-coming Salloum. However, as the fight progressed, ‘The Unpredictable’ gradually wore away at the Canadian, with a series of body shots that weakened his opponent and restricted his movements.
Each combination of well-placed blows stirred a roar from the crowd of Lebanese flag-waving supporters, whose chanting provided much of the atmosphere in the Amazura in Queens, New York.
By the end of the fourth round, Salloum was well in control, his uppercuts continuing to connect with the chin of the Chery, so much so that the 33-year-old had to be checked by the doctor before starting the penultimate round.
With less than 20 seconds to go in the fifth, Salloum launched another blistering flurry of jabs and uppercuts landing on an exhausted Chery, who had nothing left to give. The referee stepped in between the fighters with 12 seconds to go, awarding the win to Salloum by technical knockout.
The ruling sent the ecstatic five-time Lebanon National Champion to climb the corner ropes of the ring to celebrate in front of his fans.
“It was a good fight, with a good opponent,” Nadim said afterwards, “[Chery] came here to win, he did his best. But we train hard and hard work pays off.
“I was patient, I picked my punches and we got the job done. I saw the knockout coming, and I went for it. We broke him down, round after round.”
Salloum’s first victory under the management of Adam Glenn brings his official record to seven wins and one loss.
“And there we are, winning another one and on to the next one. I can’t wait,” added Salloum.