Just moments ago fans in Macau got their second world title fight of the day as Jamaica's hard hitting Nicholas "The Axeman" Walters (24-0, 20) retained his title in eye catching fashion against the shop worn Vic "The Raging Bull" Darchinyan (39-7-1, 28)
The fight promised a lot, with the heavy hitting champion taking on the usually aggressive and exciting Australian based Armenian, though it started slowly with neither really managing to use their skills in opening round ortwo. Despite the slow start it seemed that the bout was one punch from away from really waking up
That punch looked like it would come in round 2 when Walters landed a monster uppercut that sent Darchinyan down. The Armenia quickly got to his feet and in the following round Darchninyan went after Walters early looking to land his hard, looping left hand though unfortunately he couldn't cut the distance and seemed to spend much of the round posturing rather than letting his hands go and in fact the best shot of the round was by Walters right on the bell.
By round 4 it looked like Darchinyan was really struggling with the style and size of Walters which was too much to over-come as show in round 5 when Darchinyan had his senses scrambled. The brave challenger from a knockdown and tried to fight on but didn't get enough time to recover before Walters landed a frightening shot that will be featured on KO reels for the rest of this year. Genuinely frightening KO.
Walters isn't ready for one of the top Featherweights but with his power he will always have a chance with anyone in the division and with that sort of power he will always have fans and people interested in watching him.
(Image courtesy of http://www.venetianmacao.com)
When an opponent changes, twice, for a fight a fighter can sometime struggle with an opponent they should have been able to beat with out too many problems. That was shown earlier today when Hong Kong's popular Rex Tso (13-0, 8) fought Thailand's game Ratchasak Kokietgym (22-3-1, 10) and was given arguably his second toughest bout so far.
Tso started by looking very good and for two rounds it did look like Tso was going to have his own way with the Thai who was brought into the fight with around a weeks notice. Unfortunately for Tso the Thai fighter wasn't just here to make up the numbers and in round 3 Ratchasak managed to twice drop Tso who looked like he was unable to take the power of the Thai.
Ratchasak continued to have success in round 4, the most competitive round of the fight, though soon afterwards Tso rediscovered his rhythm and began to use his fast feet, fast hands and sharper punches which helped him put the 10-7 round behind him and re-establish control of the bout.
Although often in control of the action Tso was dragged into some really exciting exchanges, especially in round 10 as both let there hands go to start the final round, By then though it seemed Ratchasak was too tired to really unload on Tso like he did in round 3.
Having reached the final bell there was only one winner and with scores of 97-91, 97-91, 96-92 Tso maintained his unbeaten record though was given a scare.
For those wondering about Tso's toughest bout that was his controversial victory over Ratchasak's compatriot Rusalee Samor, a bout we felt Tso was very lucky to win.
Tso's victory on the card followed opening round blow out victories for IK Yang (15-0-0-1, 10) and Kuok Kun Ng (4-0, 2) earlier on the same card.
Former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (20-3-3, 13) returned to the ring earlier today for his first contest since his excellent encounter with Takashi Uchiyama last December. Unfortunately for Kaneko he dropped from fighting for a world title to fighting a domestic foe who was a long way beneath him and it showed as he swiftly took care of Shogo Ishikawa (10-7, 3) in just 4 rounds.
Whilst this victory doesn't directly lead Kaneko back into the title picture it's very hard to imagine him not mixing it at title level sooner rather than later. Whether that is a case of him chasing Rikki Naito for the Japanese title, hunting the OPBF title, currently held by Jomthong Chuwatana or returning to the world level for a possible fight with Takashi Miura. Trust us when we say this but we'd really, really love Kaneko Vs Miura in what would be a tremendous all action bout.
On the same card as Kaneko's victory there was also success for another former world title challenger in the form Ryo Akaho (23-1-2, 16) who made very light work of the massively over-matched Songseanglek Phosuwangym (1-11). Akaho took control of the bout immediately and the Thai, who folded after a body shot, had had enough after just 88 seconds.
Akaho, like Kaneko, will be looking for title fights by the end of the year and could well be back to world level if the right opponent arises. Interestingly a fight between Akaho and the winner of the Srisaket/Cuadras fight would be a really great Super Flyweight title fight, though it does seem possible that Akaho could be competing at Bantamweight in the foreseeable future.
It wasn't all good news for Japanese fighters however as former Japanese Middleweight champion Tomohiro Ebisu (12-4, 12) suffered a real set back as he was stopped by Frenchman Kevin Thomas Cojean (14-5-1, 5). The bout was an exciting affair, as every Ebisu bout is, but the monster puncher couldn't finish off the more skills Cojean who scored a beautiful KO with a wonderful counter shot which left Ebisu unable to continue.
(Image, of Kaneko, courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today saw Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-7, 7) returning to the scene of his career defining victory over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Sadly for the popular and hard working Japanese he couldn't repeat the feat of scoring a major upset in Macau and was sadly stopped in the 8th round by hard hitting American Chris Avalos (24-2, 18).
Avalos was simply too strong for the Japanese fighter who had never previously been stopped. The American was able to walk through the shots of the Japanese fighter and managed to beat him down force the referee to stop the action.
The bout, an IBF Super Bantamweight title eliminator, was being fought to decide the next challenger for Kiko Martinez, who recently defeated Hozumi Hasegawa. Sadly for IShimoto he won't be able to avenge Hasegawa's loss.
Also on the under-card Korean Super Middleweight champion Eun Chang Lee (7-4, 3) was defeated. Lee was fighting Brazilian star Esquiva Falcao (3-0, 1), a former amateur rival of Ryota Murata, and although he went the distance with the Brazilian Lee did put up a good effort taking Falcao the distance.
Late yesterday saw the weigh in, in Mexico, for the WBC Super Flyweight fight between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (27-3-1, 25) and Carlos Cuadras (29-0, 24).
The results of the weigh in saw both men coming in at the same weight, 114.60lbs, both comfortably inside the weight limit.
The bout, which takes place much later today is the final world title bout of a ridiculously busy Saturday in the boxing world.
Despite being the champion Srisaket is the under-dog and overnight his odds have drifted to 7/4 having been 6/4 late last night. Likewise Cuadras's odds have fallen slightly from 8/15 to 4/9. It's only a subtle shift from the odds we reported last night but they are significant in the fact that the bookies must have had money on Cuadras over night.
(Image courtesy of Pepe Rodriguez)
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