Fabio Costa said his team masterminded the perfect game plan to beat Nikki Bascome after studying video footage of the Bermudian’s previous fights.
Costa executed a dazzling three-punch combination to canvas Bascome in the fourth round of their explosive contest — a sequence of punches the Portuguese had worked tirelessly on in the gym.
The 25-year-old said his team suspected Bascome was susceptible to uppercuts and knew he had the power to take advantage of his opponent’s defensive weaknesses.
“We watched quite a lot of videos of Nikki in preparation and knew exactly what to do in this situation,” said Costa, speaking through a translator.
“It’s a combination I practised a lot. I followed [the uppercut] with a left hook and then a right — that was the idea I had to take him down.
“Once he fell to the floor I knew he wouldn’t have the strength to get up. I knew that was going to be it.”
Costa has described the victory as the most satisfying of his professional career and would love to return to Bermuda for a rematch.
“It’s the best win so far for me,” said Costa, who extended his undefeated streak to six wins.
“Boxing is not one of the big sports in Portugal, so to come and fight in Bermuda was a great opportunity for me.
“I’d fight Nikki in a rematch out of respect for him. I’m just waiting for him to say when.”
Costa, whose punches always carried the greater menace, floored Bascome at the end of a one-sided opening round before outgunning the Bermudian during a scintillating second stanza.
Bascome looked to have claimed the third, connecting with a flurry of eye-catching blows, but Costa insists he was merely bidding his time before his next onslaught.
“I did very well in the first two rounds and then recuperated in the third so I could come at him with full force in the fourth,” Costa explained.
“Nikki is a good athlete and he took quite a few blows. But I knew I was much stronger than him and would win.”
Costa was roared on by a passionate portion of the island’s Portuguese community at the Fairmont Southampton on Saturday night.
He said the warm hospitality he received from Bermuda’s large base of Portuguese descendants had blown him away, and he dedicated his victory to them.
“I’m happy to win and I’m happy to be in Bermuda with these people who have treated me so well,” Costa said.
“I was very surprised with how the Portuguese people here accepted me.
“I didn’t realise there was such a big Portuguese community here and I want to thank everyone who supported me and watched the fight.”