Brad Foster suffered his second successive loss last night after Ionut Baluta got the better of him at York Hall.
In a scrappy and disappointing affair, the two super bantamweights went the ten-round distance, but Baluta had his hand raised at the end with the three judges giving him a unanimous decision (97-93, 98-94, 97-93).
The fight was an opportunity for Foster (14-2-2, 5 KOs) to bounce back from his defeat against Jason Cunningham last October. However, the former British and Commonwealth champion was outworked by the aggressive Romanian who moves to (15-3, 3 KOs) bagging the vacant WBC
International trinket in the process.
Baluta (15-3, 3 KOs) tested Foster by marauding forward throughout which resulted in too much holding. Foster never looked in any real danger of being hurt or dropped but the attacks were causing problems whether the punches landed or not.
The Foster jab fell short, and his accuracy overall was inconsistent. It was a performance that could be described as out of sorts, but he was clearly hindered by a hand injury somewhere around the halfway point.
The 24-year-old always had chances to take control of the fight but too often his best output came from single blows rather than combinations. Baluta gained more confidence as the fight wore on allowing him to take more risks which resulted in bursts of punches where sometimes only one shot
would land but it was more than what Foster was doing.
Foster’s movement was vastly superior, and while he looked for quality from his shot selection Baluta was more interested in quantity.
It will feel like an opportunity missed for Foster and you wouldn’t back against him in a rematch should it happen. At 24 there is plenty of time to recover, reset and go again but the next significant fight now becomes even bigger. Baluta, who upset the odds against TJ Doheny in 2020 and lost to Michael Conlan last year, seized his moment at York Hall on BT Sport and may have earned himself a fight against European champion Jason Cunningham who was ringside last night.