The Japanese Super Bantamweight scene is one of the most deep and interesting scenes out there, and it has been for years with great fight after great fight after great fight. One of the things that has stood out has been the competitiveness of those fights, and we have been getting a really consistent run of fantastic, competitive, back and forth fights. The division really has been pouring out some absolute thrillers over the last few years, both in title bouts and none title bouts. Today we go into the Closet and draw out a brilliant Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight from 2016, and it really is a lost modern classic.
Yasutaka Ishimoto (28-8, 7) vs Gakuya Furuhashi (18-7-1, 8) II
In August 2015 Yasutaka Ishimoto, best known by US fans for his bouts in Macao against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and Chris Avalos, scored a razor thin win over Gakuya Furuhashi in a thrilling 8 round bout. The result of that win was a Japanese title fight for Ishimoto who would narrowly beat Yusaku Kuga in a thriller to claim the vacant Japanese title. After winning the belt he would make his first defense against Furuhashi, who had fought to a draw in a previous title bout against Yukinori Oguni.
Fans outside of Japan may have heard of Ishimoto but not many will have seen him, outside of his Macao fights. To those in Japan however he was a hugely popular domestic level fighter and a man who had some of the noisiest fans in the sport at the time. When he fought the Korakuen Hall was packed, loud and had an even louder more excited atmosphere than usual. Although Ishimoto wasn't a world class talent, or a banger, his following was massive, and his style was nothing short of thrilling, with every fight being an action packed brawl.
Furuhashi wasn't quite a popular as Ishimoto, though like Ishimoto his style was based around action, brawling and fighting at a high pace, trading blows and engaging in a really fun stylistic match up. It was a style suited to fighters with more power, but one he used and one fans enjoyed. Like Ishimoto he was popular, and was popular, in part due to his ability to get involved in a tear up.
With two fighters who enjoyed a war facing off, with history from their first bout, it's self a thriller, we were expecting something special here. And it delivered!
The first round was high paced feeling out round, that got better and better as the round went on. The crowd buying into the action with applause and cheers almost from the first noteworthy punch. Through round two we were beginning to see a high tempo contest fought at mid range, both guys firing off jabs and trying to follow them up. It was a fight that suited Ishimoto and one that Furuhashi knew he had to change, and change he did stepping up the pace, and then being punished on the inside. He knew that for him to win he had to grit it out and turn it into a war, and by the mid rounds that was exactly what had happened, with Furuhashi raiding on the champion.
From there on the bout just became something special with grit and determination driving Furuhashi on, as he looked to win the title and avenge his prior loss to Ishimoto whilst Ishimoto himself sought to break down the challenger and in what was becoming a hotly contest fight. The crowd were cheering on the action, supporting a great fight and there was hardly an empty seat in the Hall as it began bouncing.
With Furuhashi pressing in the second half of the fight the it seemed like he could, potentially turn things around as the men began exchanging combinations of headshots.
In the end one man would stay standing, but both would walk out of the ring with their reputations enhanced and fans desperate to see more of both fighters, who had let it all hang out in a forgotten yet brilliant modern day war.
Please note - The sound used in this video was subdued due to the recording method, though the image should be excellent.
By Eric Armit
-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr returns with a quick win
-Vergil Ortiz continues his winning ways as he dismantles Antonio Orozco in six rounds
-Jason Sosa continues to rebuild as he stops Haskell Rhodes
-Joshua Franco and Oscar Negrete fight to a draw in the third bout of their series
-Argentinian puncher Marcelino Lopez puts away Daniel Echevarria in five rounds
-Middleweight banger Edgar Berlanga makes it twelve first round wins in a row
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2) W TKO 12 Shohei Omori (20-3). Teshigawara retains the OPBF title with late stoppage of Omori. The challenger was competitive in the first round but Teshigawara was quicker and was scoring well with hooks from both hands and after four rounds was 40-36 up on two cards and 39-37 on the other. Omori was cut over the right eye in the fifth and Teshigawara continued to outscore him in the sixth. Omori connected well with jabs and body punches in the seventh but Teshigawara had a good eighth to stay in front 79-73 on two cards and 78-74 on the third. Omori stormed back scoring well with uppercuts and body punches over the ninth and tenth but Teshigawara was stronger at the finish and by the last was able to drive Omari to the ropes and beat on him until the referee stopped the fight. This victory in his second title defence gives “Golden Yasha” Teshigawara eight wins in a row, seven by KO/TKO. He is No 8(7) with the IBF. Former WBO bantam challenger Omori was No 15 with the WBC but this loss will knock him back as he suffers his third inside the distance loss.
Melbourne, Australia: Light Heavy: Blake Caparello (30-3-1) W TKO 8 Reece Papuni (13-3). Local southpaw Caparello makes it four wins on the trot as he stops New Zealander Papuni in eight rounds in a defence of the WBA Oceania belt. The former 32-year-old WBO light heavy title challenger is rated WBC 8/WBO 10/WBA 11 and his title hopes has to rely on getting selected as an opponent in a voluntary defence by one of the champions. Papuni was having his first fight in almost three years and suffers his third defeat by KO/TKO.
Accra, Ghana: Middle: Obodai Sai (35-3-1) DRE W 12 Mardochee Kuvesa Katembo (13-2). Feather: Felix Williams (28-1) W RTD 1 Waidi Usman (15-4). Super Bantam: Theo Tetteh (12-1) W PTS 12 Ray Commey (19-9) Super Light: Kpakpo Allotey (15-1) W KO 2 Deo Samwel (12-9-7,1ND).
Sai vs. Katembo
This one was declared a draw but ignore that. Katembo won this fight and won it easily. I have watched it twice and struggled to give Sai any round if I was feeling really generous I might have given him two at the most but even that was stretching things. Katembo ouboxed Sai from bell to bell. He was giving away lots of height and reach to the local fighter but since Sai was not using his jab that was never a handicap. Sai persisted in trundling forward behind a high guard and not throwing any punches on the way in. Katembo was constantly moving around the static Sai scoring both left and right jabs as he regularly switched stances. Apart from threading a pile of jabs though the guard of the advancing Sai he was also peppering Sai with other straight punches from both hands. For round after round Sai just walked into Katembo’s punches. They were not hard and Sai blocked many of them but Katembo landed more than Sai by quite a big margin in every round as Sai never managed to catch up with the fleet Katembo. In the last Katembo was dancing and still outboxing Sai and at the bell there was glee in Katembo’s corner and gloom in Sai’s-until the scores were read out. Sai did not celebrate like a winner and he was very fortunate to get a draw he did not deserve and retain his WBO African title. DRC fighter Katembo had won 5 of his last 6 fights. He is no world beater but Sai made him look like one.
Williams vs. Usman
This one was a farce as Williams had huge edges in height and reach and floored late substitute Usman three times with Usman retiring at the end of the opening round. The tall Ghanaian southpaw was landing with left hooks to the body with poor Usman going backwards at a fast lick hiding behind a high guard and hardly throwing a punch. Body blows saw Usman drop to the floor twice but he seemed to be looking for an excuse to go down. On the third knockdown even as the referee was kneeling in front of him giving Usman the count the Nigerian still held his gloves high in front of his face-did he think the referee was going to hit him?. After the third count Usman’s corner threw in the towel but the referee threw it out and then the bell went and Usman retired in his corner. Williams makes it 21 wins by KO/TKO and wins the vacant IBO International title. Usman was pathetic on this night but he was a late substitute and is a former ABU champion and has a decent record.
Tetteh vs. Commey
Tetteh retains the National title with wide unanimous verdict over more experienced Commey. No real problems for Tetteh apart from the second round. He had a much longer reach than the smaller Commey and outboxed him. Commey kept trying to take the fight to Tetteh but just never found a way of getting past Tetteh’s jab often enough to be in the fight. In the second Commey launches a fierce attack and had Tetteh pinned to the ropes for much of the round. He was bombarding Tetteh with punches and with little coming back from Tetteh the referee looked close to stepping in. Then Commey paid for his all-out attack as he left himself wide open and a right from Tetteh put him down. He made it to his feet and survived the round but his chance to win was gone. Scores 120-107, 120-108 and 119-109 for Tetteh. He has eleven wins in a row but against very modest opposition. Commey, 32, has won only one of his last six fights
Allotey vs. Samwell
Allotey knocks out Tanzanian Samwell in the second round. Little Samwell was coming forward aggressively in the first throwing lots of punches but Allotey stayed cool and looked dangerous with counters. In the second Samwell trapped Allotey in a corner but when he piled forward Allotey turned out of the corner and landed a series of head punches ending with right to the head that sent Samwell down on his side. He managed to climb up but had not quite made it all the way as the referee reached ten. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for former Ghanaian champion Allotey. His loss was a stoppage against unbeaten Robert Quaye in October which cost him his National title. First inside the distance loss for Samwell.
Hinckley. MN, USA: DeLorien Caraway (13-2) W PTS 10 Rondale Hubbert (13-9-2). Cruiser: Al Sands (20-4-1) DREW 8 DeShon Webster (12-2-1). Heavy: Mladen Miljas (12-0) W TKO 1 Aaron Chavers (8-9-1). Feather: Ramiro Hernandez W KO 1 Antwan Robertson (10-18-1).
Caraway vs. Hubbert
Caraway wins the Minnesota State title with unanimous decision over Hubbert. Their respective styles did not make for a good fight with too much feinting and too little fighting as they each tried to fool the other into making a mistake. Although smaller Caraway was much quicker and set a higher work rate and Hubbert never really got into the fight so there were very few highlights. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Caraway. He has won 6 of his last 7 fights. Fourth bout this year for Hubbert who is 1-2-1 in those matches.
Sands vs. Webster
Sands and Webster draw in a very low key affair. With his experience and physical edges Sands should have been able to box his way to victory but at times he was being out jabbed by the smaller man. There were plenty of exchanges but of the slow and ponderous kind with neither fight really taking control and neither able to rock the other and the draw was a fair result. Scores 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Sands. Haitian-born Sands was having his first outing for ten months after losing consecutive fights to Yury Kashinsky in Russia and Krzys Wlodarczyk. Webster has mostly spent his time in boxing backwoods such as Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas. He was3-2 in his previous 5 fights with the losses to unbeaten Ali Akhmedov and Steven Nelson.
Miljas vs. Chavers
A waste of time is the only way to describe this one. Miljas landed a couple of body punches and Chavers sped back across the ring to the ropes and quickly fell down as Miljas landed a couple more punches. He made it to his feet reluctantly and just tried to cover up. Miljas connected with a clubbing punch and Chaves slid along the ropes from one corner to another and was bent double by two more body punches and the referee stopped the slaughter. The 6’6” former undefeated Canadian champion Miljas has twelve wins by KO/TKO. A former law student he never defended the Canadian title which is unfortunate as with Simon Kean, Adam Braidwood and former victim Dillon Carman around there might have been some good fights for him but instead he is fighting some very poor opposition. Now six losses on the trot and five of those by KO/TKO for Chavers.
Hernandez vs. Robertson
Hernandez brushes aside poor little Robertson inside a round. After connecting with some left jabs Hernandez scored with a couple of rights to the body. He then forced Robertson to the ropes and landed two rights to the ribs and Robertson went down on one knee in some pain and indicated he was not getting up. Cleveland-based Hernandez goes to ten wins by KO/TKO but this was a mismatch. Robertson now has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Super Light: Jamaine Ortiz (12-0) W PTS 8 Romain Couture (8-1-1). Heavy: Steve Vukosa (12-1) W PTS 8 Joe Cusumano (18-3).
Ortiz vs. Couture
Ortiz outclasses French visitor Couture. The local prospect had too much speed and skill for a determined but limited Couture. A sparkling performance from the WBC Youth champion as he outboxed and outworked Couture in every round. Scores 80-72 for Ortiz on all three cards. The 23-year-old from Worcester was an elite level amateur. Winning a bronze medal at the US Championships earned him a place at the US Olympic Trials for Rio where he finally lost out to Gary Antuanne Russell. Couture was 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights and this was his first bout outside of France.
Vukosa vs. Cusumano
Vukosa gets majority decision over Cusumano. It was a close fight all the way. Cusumano made the better opening moves and looked to have taken the first two rounds but that lead was wiped out when a right from Vukosa floored Cusumano in the third. Cusumano fought his way back in to the contest over the middle rounds but was in trouble in the seventh and Vukosa looked to have taken the last. Scores 76-75 twice for Vukosa and 77-74 for Cusumano so it was the knockdown that gave Vukosa the verdict and the vacant WBC USNBC belt. Now 42 Vukosa “The Gentle Giant” won the National Golden Gloves super heavyweight title way back in 2000 and turned pro in 2001. He won eight fights before being inactive from 2002 until 2014. After losing to Donovan Dennis in 2015 he did not fight again until July this year. Cusumano, 31, had won 17 of his last 18 fights and came close here.
Rogoznica, Croatia: Heavy: Mark De Mori (37-2-2) W KO 1 Laszlo Penzes (10-6).Light Heavy: Hrvoje Sep (8-0) W TKO 1 Sinisa Kondic (10-13).
De Mori vs. Penzes
Australian-born Croat De Mori wipes out Hungarian oldie Penzes inside a round. As Penzes tried to take the fight to De Mori he was met with a combination of head punches and went down on his back and was counted out. The 37-year-old “Dominator” gets his seventh inside the distance win in a row since being wiped out inside a round by David Haye in 2016. His recent opposition would be flattered to be described as poor. Penzes, 40, has six losses by KO/TKO. He was issued a licence by the Croatian Federation in June although there is still an indefinite suspension by the Ontario Commission showing against him.
Sep vs. Kondic
Sep gets his sixth win by KO/TKO as he stops poor Kondic in the opening round. The 33-year-old was a top level amateur but has left it far too late to turn pro. He competed at the 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. Additionally he was a European bronze medal winner and had plenty of success fighting for the Paris United and Astana Arlans teams in the WSB. Kondic has suffered twelve losses by KO/TKO including four in his last four fights.
Olavinlinna, Finland; Light: Edis Tatli (31-3) W Berman Sanchez (29-8-3). Tatli eases his way back with points win over Sanchez. After a couple of slow rounds Tatli picked up the pace in the third but there was still not a lot of activity. Tatli was getting some work but Sanchez was mainly looking to survive and both fighters were tending to throw single shots. Tatli rocked Sanchez in the fifth and had a good seventh. He had done enough to win the earlier rounds but it was a flat performance from Tatli and a passive one from Sanchez. Scores 80-73 twice and 79-73 for Tatli. Sanchez came in 2 kg over the contract weight and although he tried he could not make the weight so there was a mutual agreement to lift the target weight slightly. Not an impressive performance in Tatli’s first fight since losing in five rounds against Teo Lopez in April but he will get sharper and having lost and won in title fights against current European champion Francesco Patera a third fight might be the aim. Nicaraguan Sanchez has brave management which has put him in with both Miguel Berchelt and Jorge Linares.
San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico: Super Middle; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (51-3-1) W KO 1 Evert Bravo (25-11-1).
Chavez vs. Bravo
Chavez returns with a win. Bravo was brave but foolish. The Colombian chose to stand and trade punches with Chavez. He had Chavez on the back foot for a short while but then hooks and uppercuts from Chavez forced Bravo to the ropes. They traded hooks until Chavez landed a brutal left hook to the ribs. For a split second there was no reaction from Bravo but then the pain kicked in and he turned away and dropped to his knees and was counted out after just 82 seconds. Chavez was given a celebratory kiss from Chavez Snr who was working for Box Azteca at the show. Chavez, 33, weighed 175 ½ for this fight 11lbs more than in his last fight in May 2017 when he was halted by Saul Alvarez. There was no chance tonight to see how the layoff had affected him but there will be tougher tests to come. Tenth loss inside the distance for Bravo, who gets well beaten whenever he faces quality opposition,
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Feather: Jason Sosa (23-3-4) W TKO 7 Haskell Rhodes (27-4-1). Middle: Edgar Berlanga (12-0) W TKO 1 Gregory Trenel (11-5-2). Feather: Adan Gonzales (5-2-2) W PTS 4 Robeisy Ramirez (0-1).
Sosa vs. Rhodes
Sosa hunts and hounds Rhodes to defeat. Sosa applied constant pressure focusing on the body. Rhodes was forced to try to match Sosa’s work rate and power but by the end of the fourth he was starting to weaken. A left hook put Rhodes down in the fifth and he went down heavily but somehow made it to his feet. Sosa landed a series of punches and Rhodes went down again. He was in a bad way when he arose but it was too close to the bell for Sosa to end the fight. Sosa attacked strongly again in the sixth but a clash of heads opened a cut over his left eye. A left uppercut dumped Rhodes on the canvas in the seventh which should have been the end but Rhodes got up and Sosa was allowed to pound on him some more until Rhodes trainer climbed onto the apron to call for the fight to be stopped. After consecutive losses to Vasyl Lomachenko and Yuriorkis Gamboa Sosa has a rebuilding job to do and this is his third win along that path. Rhodes had won 4 of his last 5 fights but when he has tried to move up he has lost to Sergey Lipinets, Edner Cherry and Omar Douglas. This is the first time he has failed to go the distance.
Berlanga vs. Trenel
Berlanga has yet to hear the bell for the second round and he makes it twelve first round wins with stoppage of Frenchman Trenel. Berlanga put Trenel over early with a left to the head and after the French fighter beat the count Berlanga bombarded him with punches and the referee had seen enough and halted the fight with 36 seconds remaining in the round. “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 22, a fighter of Puerto Rican antecedents who was brought up in Brooklyn, made a habit of having to settle for silver medals in the amateurs. He turned pro at 18 after losing out at the US Olympic Trials for a place in Rio. He needs better opposition before we can judge how far he can go. He also needs seven more first round wins in a row to equal the record of 19 first round wins in a row held by Tyrone Brunson. First inside the distance defeat for Trenel who was 9-1-2 in his previous 12 fights.
Gonzales vs. Ramirez
Oh dear! This was not supposed to happen as Gonzalez ruins the first appearance as a pro of 25-year-old Cuban Ramirez. The Cuban had won gold medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics beating both Michael Conlan and Shakur Stevens. Gonzales threw the script away from the outset as he landed a left to the head in the first which saw Ramirez topple back and put his gloves on the floor to stop going down and was given a count. Ramirez never seemed to recover and was well beaten. Scores 40-35 and 39-36 for Gonzalez and 38-37 for Ramirez.
The 22-year-old Gonzales just really a moderate prelim fighter looked a safe ask for Ramirez now the Cuban has some questions to answer.
Grand Prairie, TX, USA: Welter: Vergil Ortiz (14-0) W TKO 6 Antonio Orozco (28-2). Bantam: Joshua Franco (15-1-2) DRE W 10 Oscar Negrete (18-3-1). Light: Hector Tanajara (18-0) W PTS 10 Ezequiel Aviles (16-4-3). Super Light: Marcelino Lopez (36-2-1) W KO 5 Daniel Echeverria (21-9).
Ortiz vs. Orozco
In front of his home town fans Ortiz marches on as he stops Orozco although for three rounds Orozco attacked hard and was a good test. Ortiz made a strong start in the first marching forward behind his jab and landing with a couple of left hooks to the body. He had Orozco under fire on the ropes and as Orozco dropped to his haunches it could have led to a count as Orozco was sitting on the bottom rope. Orozco then took the fight to Ortiz and they traded body punches to the bell. In the second Ortiz wanted to box and Orozco wanted to brawl and they both had some success. Ortiz used his jab and lots of movement to frustrate Orozco’s swarming attacks in the third and was hooking well to the body. Late in the round Orozco managed to pin Ortiz on the ropes and connected with body punches. Ortiz really found the range in the fourth as he upped his pace and began to land with heavy rights and Orozco was finding it difficult to get inside. The fifth was a slower round with Ortiz still sticking with the jab and some left hooks to the body and a lot of the fire seemed to have gone out of Orozco. Ortiz went to work in the sixth. He connected with two fierce left hooks to the body and Orozco went down on one knee. Orozco only just beat the count and then Ortiz bombarded him with lefts and rights to the head until a wicked right to the head forced Orozco to take a knee. Again Orozco was late getting up and when the action resumed another right had him dipping at the knees. He did not go down but another series from Ortiz ending with a right to the head floored Orozco and the referee waived off the fight. The 21-year-old Texan is an outstanding prospect and the way he took Orozco apart in the sixth was impressive. He has wins over experienced fighters in Jorge Salgado, who once stopped Jorge Linares inside a round, Roberto Ortiz and Mauricio Herrera and this is the first time he had had to go past the third round for a victory. Orozco lived up to his “Relentless” nickname over those first three rounds but was then just overpowered. His only other loss was on points against Jose Carlos Ramirez in a challenge for the WBC title.
Franco vs. Negrete
This is one of those pairings where they could fight each other ten times and they would all be close fights. In their two previous meeting Franco Had won the first on a split decision and they then fought to a split draw. There was never much between them here. All of the rounds were close and neither fighter was really able to dominate and the draw looked the right outcome. It was the swarming attacks of Negron against the lower punch rate but more accuracy from Franco as they traded punches from bell to bell. Scores 96-94 Franco, 96-94 Negrete and 95-95. Texan Franco was making the second defence of his NABF title and the first of his WBA International title so he still has two belts. Colombian Negrete lost on points to Rey Vargas for the WBC title in December 2017 and is now 1-1-2 in his four fights since then
Tanajara vs. Aviles
Stylish boxing from San Antonio’s Tanajara sees him outbox Aviles and retain the WBC USNBC belt. In the early rounds Aviles tried to pressure and hustle Tanajara out of his stride but the youngster stuck to his boxing using a powerful jab and clever movement to frustrate Aviles. Over the middle rounds as Aviles continued to come forward Tanajara was landing heavy counters. He is not a big puncher but had Aviles hurt a couple of times as Aviles left himself open in his desperation to land a big punch to swing the fight his way. Aviles never found that punch and Tanajara cruised to victory. Scores 100-90 for Tanajara on all three cards. The 22-year-old Tanajara already has impressive wins over 19-1-1 Roger Gutierrez and 36-2 Roberto Manzanarez so is worth following. After putting together a 14-bout unbeaten streak Aviles has now suffered three consecutive defeats.
Lopez vs. Echeverria
Seasoned Argentinian puncher Lopez makes it four inside the distance wins in his last four fights as he knocks out Mexican Echeverria. For a couple of rounds southpaw Echeverria by far the taller man boxed well on the outside against the dangerous Lopez. The Argentinian finally found openings in the fourth and put Echeverria down twice and on each occasion he also knocked Echevarria’s mouthguard out. A thumping straight right put Echeverria down in the fifth and this time he was counted out. Lopez, 33, a former Argentinian and South American champion who went 29-0-1 in his first 30 fights, has now won 7 of his last 8 contests with all seven wins coming by KO/TKO and the loss being a split decision against Michael Perez. Echeverria also made an impressive start to his career by winning his first 18 fights before tasting defeat against Jorge Paez Jr. He then lost his next seven fights but coming into this bout had scored two wins.
Accra, Ghana: Heavy: Ebenezer Tetteh (20-0) W RTD 6 Morris Okolla (11-4). Tetteh gets a win but is very far from impressive. Against an aging and portly Okolla Tetteh did not look good. Okolla proved to be a better fighter than he looked and at times out jabbed the taller Tetteh and although Tetteh downloaded some big rights in every round Okolla never really seemed to be really shaken in the fight. It was a slow paced bout with Tetteh clearly the harder puncher but lacking footwork and throwing one punch at a time. He slowly broke Okolla down and the Kenyan failed to come out for the seventh round due to bruising around his eyes and a nose injury. The 31-year-old Tetteh gets his seventeenth win by KO/TKO but he will have to improve a very great deal if he is going to give Daniel Dubois any kind of fight. Okolla, 37 had scored a low level win in December but that was his first fight in almost two years. This was a curious fight. Tetteh was to have fought Okolla on this night on the undercard of a fight between Patrick Allotey and Eric Kapai Mukadi for the WBO African super welter title at Accra Sports Stadium. However it was announced on the morning of the 10th that the show was cancelled due to “some unfortunate health issues with regard to the main bout on the card”. However the Tetteh fight did take place but in a gymnasium or small hall and not at the Stadium and I can only assume it went ahead as it was being billed as a Commonwealth title eliminator with Tetteh already announced as fighting Daniel Dubois on 27 September for the vacant title. As for the cancellation of the Allotey fight it is not impossible with Allotey just having been announced as the next challenger for Jamie Munguia that it was too risky to take this fight.
Fight of the week (Significance): I guess the return of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr might count but it was a very low key week.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Even if it was the third time they had met Joshua Franco vs. Oscar Negrete provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Vergil Ortiz was impressive in halting Antonio Orozco
Punch of the week: The left hook from Chavez that ended his fight with Evert Bravo was a rib-bender
Upset of the week: Only a four round fight but there is no way Adan Gonzales was supposed to beat Cuban Robeisy Ramirez
Prospect watch: lightweight Hector Tanajara 18-0 has class
By Eric Armit
Most sports fans are lucky because in most sports they know the best are going to meet the best. Whether it is the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Olympic Games the World Series, Wimbledon or The Masters at some stage the best will be pitted against the best when the contestants are at their peak. Pity we poor boxing fans who can only watch in envy as our “best” rarely meet the “best” or when they do too often they are past their best or at least one of them is. An example is that when Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao eventually fought both of them were past their peak. Still great fighters but a couple of years past their best. British examples would be Ricky Hatton vs. Junior Witter and Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook big fights at the time that never happened. There is usually more than one factor that frustrates these fights. Different TV commitments, different promotional ties, ego and of course money.
The mandated IBF middleweight title defence for Saul Alvarez against Sergey Derevyanchenko hardly compares to Mayweather vs. Pacquiao but it was interesting match and for me Derevyanchenko was capable of giving Alvarez a very tough fight. Since Alvarez did not want to give Gennady Golovkin a third match-at this time-it was as good a middleweight title fight as we could expect. But of course it is not going to happen because the respective teams could not come to a commercial agreement and the IBF stripped Alvarez of their title. So was it down to different TV commitments, promotional issues or ego. No this was purely about money. With the $300+ million contract deal Alvarez has with DAZN whoever he fights there is going to be very big money involved. If the promotion of the bout is decided on a bidding process then Derevyanchenko would be entitle to 35% of the winning bid. Golden Boy did not want the fight to go to purse offers because they would face competition from Derevyanchenko’s promoter and would therefore be forced to put in a high bid to ensure they won. Not surprisingly they chose to negotiate with Derevyanchenko’s team aiming to get Derevyanchenko’s team to accept a figure which would fall far short of the 35% in a purse bid. The IBF gave extension after extension to the date by which there needed to be an agreement as the two side played brinkmanship. You had Golden Boy’s position being we are not going to get anything like 35% but we will offer a lot more money than you have ever made for a fight and Derevyanchenko’s team saying the gap between the 35% and what you are offering is too wide we are worth more. Nobody blinked so there was no deal and with Golden Boy not interested in a purse bidding the IBF had no alternative but to strip Alvarez because his team walked away from the table making no commitment to defend the title. Oscar De La Hoya branded the IBF decision “an insult to boxing” which is a strange way to say Derevyanchenko wanted more money than we were willing to give him so we effectively gave up the title by walking away.
The two boxers are the real losers in this. Alvarez has lost a title and has no ready opponent. With the WBC “elevating” him to Franchise champion and now replacing him with Jermall Charlo as their champion he no longer has the WBC title. There would be zero interest in fighting Ryota Murata and the WBA No 1 is-Golovkin! The talk is of a fight with Demetrius Andrade to unify the WBA and WBO titles which seems logical but a very hard sell. Derevyanchenko can’t be happy at losing the chance to fight for a huge purse and might be wishing his team had blinked but it now looks like he will get a fight with Golovkin for the vacant IBF title. As the mandatory challenger he will have a strong bargaining position and for me has a good chance of beating Golovkin Money makes the world go around, world go around, world go around-the boxing cabaret but in this case the wheels came off.
Anybody want a lovely belt? The WBC had one specially made for Alvarez’s proposed fight on September 14-15 to celebrate Mexican Independence. Now there is no Alvarez fight on that date. I was going to call for bids for it but perhaps we could negotiate!
You can’t keep the heavyweights out of the news. Disgracefully Jarrell Miller says he expects to fight again in October which makes a complete mockery of all the testing. I am surprised that VADA don’t walk away or at least have a say in whether or not a boxer should be banned and for how long. That’s what the French Agency did over Tony Yoka.
So Tyson Fury is going to fight Otto Wallin and Hughie Fury is going to fight Alex Povetkin-shouldn’t that be the other way around. Wallin is better than Tom Schwarz but probably his best result was outpointing fellow Swede Adrian Granat-who was knocked out inside a round by Alex Dimitrenko. It strikes me that Tyson Fury is now having the fights he should have had before fighting Deontay Wilder but the important thing is that he does not lose between now and the return with Wilder.
Looks like it will be Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz in Cardiff on 14 December. Ruiz is saying he will choose the venue but that depends on what the small print in the original contract said.
The transition from top level amateur to pro success has not always worked out for Cuban boxers. The latest to switch over is 25-year-old Robeisy Ramirez who has his first pro fight in Philadelphia on Saturday. As an amateur Ramirez was Cuban champion five times, won gold medals at the Youth Olympics, the World Youth Championships, the Pan American Games and both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics beating Andrew Selby, Michael Conlan and Shakur Stevenson. Surely he can’t fail-can he?
Stevenson will get a world title shot some time this year. He and Joet Gonzalez have been paired to fight for the WBO feather title recently vacated by Oscar Valdez. There is talk of Jose Carols Ramirez defending the WBC super lightweight title against Jack Catterall on the same show.
Other title fights lined up in date order are John Riel Casimero defending the interim WBO bantam title against Cesar Ramirez in Manila on 24 August with the winner to meet champion Zolani Tete and on the same night in Nagoya Kosei Tanaka puts the WBO flyweight title on the line against Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez whilst in Puerto Rico Vic Saludar defends the IBF minimumweight title against Wilfredo Mendez, Josh Warrington is defending the IBF feather title on 12 October in Leeds. Takoucht is No 5 with the IBF but with the first two slots vacant he is effectively No 3 and owes that high ranking to winning the IBF International title and not the quality of his opposition. He is No 17 with the EBU. There is talk of Jerwin Ancajas facing Carlos Cuadras in October with the Filipino’s IBF super fly title on the line. Now that could be a great fight. Jamel Herring is defending the WBO super feather title against Lamont Roach on 9 November and there will be a return between Julian Williams and Jarrett Hurd on 14 December as Hurd gets a change to regain the IBF, WBA and IBO super welter titles he lost to Williams in May.
It seems to have been just one blow after another for our sport. We had the tragic deaths of Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan then French boxer/actor Jean Claude Bouttier died on 3 August at the age of 74. Bouttier was one of the most popular boxers of his era. He was European champion but had the misfortune of being around at the same time as Carlos Monzon and lost twice to Monzon in world title fights. After he retired he worked as a commentator and then moved in to films and had a very successful career there. One day later former WBC flyweight champion Colombian Prudencio Cardona died on 4 August at the age of 67. He was the fourth Colombian boxer to win a world title –his brother Ricardo was the third. Prudencio had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. There was another death with Polish fighter Dawid Kostecki committing suicide by hanging himself in his prison cell and then the former WBC welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir jailed for sexual abuse of his daughter who was only eight. His crime had nothing to do with boxing but his world title was a convenient hook to make the story bigger.
On a personal level I lost a close friend in Beau Williford who died on 31 July. Beau boxed pro as a heavyweight and then trained and managed fighters but for me the defining aspect of Beau’s life was the work he did with the youth of his home town of Lafayette. He took in many problem kids and turned their lives around. He did not just teach them boxing he taught them discipline. He also insisted on responsible behaviour and that they maintained acceptable school grades. He was teaching boxing but he was also building citizens. That work is done in so many gyms around the world. I dropped into a gym in Dundee run by Greg Menzies a couple of times and saw the same commitment to the youths working there. Last weekend boxers Eric Walker and John Harding Jr had important bouts. Walker won but Harding lost-and yet they are both winners. When younger they both spent long terms in jail. Boxing changed their lives gave them a fresh start that’s a route that many other young men have followed. Yes boxing is a dangerous sport and naturally the tragedies and the bad publicity taint it but in almost every city in the world there are guys like Beau and Greg who give their time to help the local youth but good news is no news so that contribution by boxing to the citizens of the future goes unreported and largely unrecognised.
Last crime report. A mugger in Mexico City mugged a guy and stole his watch. The guy he mugged was Julio Cesar Chavez. Not sure if that counts as bravado or brainless.
There appears to be something about fights that take place in the build up to Christmas, we're not sure what but the last few years the finals days before Christmas have given us some late Fight of the Year contenders. These have included bouts like Makoto Fuchigami Vs Tomohiro Ebisu, Kompayak Porpramook Vs Adrian Hernandez I and today's Closet Classic which came from the end of 2018 and was another incredible fight. In fact this should go down as one of the rare thrillers bouts between southpaws.
Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-1, 8) vs Akinori Watanabe (37-7, 31)
Interim titles, for the WBA, are a source of revenue, but for the JBC they are a way to keep the title picture going when there's been an issue with the champion and their health.
In May 2018 Nobuyuki Shindo won the Japanese Light Middleweight title with a narrow win over Ryosuke Maruki, to become a 2-weight Japanese champion. Despite the win he suffered an injury that would keep him out of the ring for a prolonged time. Rather than have the title sit on the side the JBC allowed Akinori Watanabe to take on the aforementioned Maruki for the interim title in August 2018, with Watanabe stopping Maruki in the opening round. The JBC then matched the two champions in December, in what turned out to be a ridiculously good fight.
Shindo, for those who are unaware, is a freakishly long and tall fighter, who's a southpaw making him even more awkward. Although not a puncher he does land quite regularly on opponent, with good accuracy and good speed. At this point he was 32 and had moved into the weight class that best suited his tall, long frame. Despite not being an out and out warrior, he had been in some fun and entertaining bouts bouts, with a lot of very close contests.
Watanabe on the other hand had a reputation as being a bit of a glass cannon. From his 7 losses entering the bout 6 were inside the distance, including 2 opening round defeats. Of his 44 bouts to this point 14 had failed to see the start of round 2, 20 had ended in the first 2 rounds and 29 had ended in the first 4 rounds. Win or lose he was going out swinging and was almost always in fun, fan friendly bouts, even if they weren't going to last long.
The fight started with Watanabe applying pressure and Shindo trying to box off the back foot, moving and making the most of his reach. On paper that was both men applying their tactics, and strangely the bout actually saw both men apply their tactics through out. Despite the tactics contrasting they managed to work brilliantly here and we ended up with a bout that built from a competitive chess into a bloody and violent war. The shots of Shindo never looked particularly hurtful but they left Watanabe's face a swollen and bloodied mess, Watanabe on the other hand always looked dangerous and it often felt like sooner or later he was going to take his man out...if his face could hold up.
What we ended up getting was something very, very special. It wasn't pretty but it was wonderful violent with some of the later action being nothing short of brutally breath taking as both men gave everything they had to unify the Japanese titles at 154lbs.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Sergey Kuzmin (15-0): WBA #5 / IBF 7
The WBA Intercontinental champion Sergey Kuzmin will clash with the WBA International champion Michael Hunter on September 14th.
-Evgeny Romanov (13-0): WBO #10
Romanov became the 1st ever WBO Global Heavyweight champion this past February and marked his inaugural title defense in June. He will be in action on August 24th. (Opponent TBA)
-Alexander Povetkin (34-2): WBC #7 / WBA #10
The former Olympic & World champion is set to return on August 31st against Hughie Fury (23-2).
-Alexey Egorov (9-0): WBA Gold champion
The 2013 European winner bested Ukranian veteran Roman Golovashchenko (20-4) within 3 rounds to be declared the new WBA Gold champion.
-Yury Kashinsky (18-0): IBF #3 / WBA #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #7
Kashinsky won the vacant IBF Intercontinental title, on June 16th.
-Evgeny Tishchenko (5-0): WBO #11
The 2016 Olympic champion dropped to Cruiserweight and won the vacant WBO Intercontinental title after stopping Abraham Tabul (16-2) in one round.
-Aleksei Papin (11-0): IBF #14
Papin finished Alexandru Jur (18-4) this June to become a 2 time IBF International champion. He will challenge Ilunga Makabu (25-2) on August 24th in Russia for the WBC Silver title.
-Ruslan Fayfer (24-1): IBF #5 / WBC #12
Ruslan defeated Serhiy Radchenko (7-4) on May 19th.
-Sergey Kovalev (33-3): WBO World champion
The Russian legend will defend his WBO title against undefeated top contender Anthony Yarde (18-0) on August 24th.
-Artur Beterbiev (14-0): IBF World champion
Beterbiev will unify with the WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0) on October 18th.
-Dmitry Bivol (16-0): WBA World champion
Bivol made his 4th successful title defense in March against Joe Smith Jr. (24-3).
-Maksim Vlasov (44-3): WBO #7 / IBF #11
Vlasov defended his WBO Global title against former foe & 2 time world title challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-7) on July 20th, thus avenging his 1st professional loss.
-Umar Salamov (24-1): WBO #4 / WBA #7
Salamov successfully retained the WBO International title after knocking out Norbert Dabrowski (22-8) this past April.
-Igor Mikhalkin (23-2): WBC #3 / IBF #13
Mikhalkin earned a unanimous decision victory over Timur Nikarkhoev (21-3) as well as the interim IBO title.
-Fedor Chudinov (20-2): WBA #3 / IBF #6 / WBC #6
The former WBA World champion has fought thrice in 2019, defeating the likes of Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-3), Rafael Bejaran (26-4) and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (26-6).
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (11-0): WBA #6 / WBO #10
The Kazakh defeated Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2) in March, to become the WBA International champion. Aidos already holds the WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental titles as well. He will put his WBA belt on the line, against Rocky Jerkic (17-1) in Australia, on August 14th.
-Aslambek Idigov (16-0): WBO #9
Idigov picked up a majority decision over Ronny Landaeta (16-2) in April, to become the WBO & IBF European champion.
-Azizbek Abdugofurov (12-0): WBC #4
Abdugofurov won the WBC Silver title last year.
-Gennady Golovkin (39-1): WBO #1 / WBA #1 / WBC #1 / IBF #3
Triple G stopped Steve Rolls (19-1) on June 8th. Golovkin will possibly battle for the now vacant IBF title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1) in October.
-Kanat Islam (26-0): WBO #8
The 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist made his triumphant return after a 2 year hiatus and demolished Julio De Jesus (27-2) in 14 seconds to become the new WBO International champion.
-Magomed Madiev (13-0): WBA #5
Madiev went to war with fellow Russian fighter Evgeny Terentiev (14-2) on July 22nd and defended his WBA Asia title for the 3rd time.
-Janibek Alimkhanuly (6-0): WBO #15
The 2013 AIBA World champion defeated Christian Olivas (16-5) to win the inaguaral WBO Global title & the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. He is set to compete on August 17th against Stuart McLellan (27-3).
-Meiirim Nursultanov (11-0): IBF #10
Nursultanov has added 2 more victories, this year, to his already perfect record. He will be back in the ring on August 24th. (Opponent TBA)
-Israil Madrimov (3-0): WBA #8
Accomplished amateur Uzbek boxer Madrimov knocked Frank Rojas (24-3) out in just 2 rounds, to defend the WBA Intercontinental title this past March. He made his successful Madison Square Garden debut, on June 8, against Norberto Gonzalez (24-13).
-Magomed Kurbanov (17-0): WBA #10
Kurbanov was meant to fight Michel Soro (34-2) on July 20th, for the vacant WBA (Regular) World championship in France, but he couldn’t make it in the country due to a visa issue.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0): WBO #4 / IBF #6
Murtazaliev defended his WBC United States championship against Elvin Ayala (29-13) this past February. He then scored a first round finish of Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-7) in April. The Russian will now go toe to toe with Jeison Rosario (19-1) in an IBF title eliminator.
-Aram Amirkhanyan (12-0): WBO #7
The unified WBO International & WBA Continental champion hasn’t fought since December of last year.
-Kudratillo Abduqaxorov (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #4 / WBO #11
Kudratillo bested Keita Obara (21-4) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Sergey Lipinets (16-1): WBC #3 / IBF #3 / WBO #4
Lipinets stopped 2 division World champion Lamont Peterson (35-5) in March.
He added another finish to his record on July 20th after he dropped Jayar Inson (18-3) to win the vacant WBO Intercontinental title.
-David Avanesyan (24-3): WBC #8 / WBO #14
The former interim WBA World title holder defeated Kerman Lejarraga (28-1) in March and became the EBU European champion.
-Alexander Besputin (13-0): WBA #1 / IBF #4
Besputin defended his USBA title for the second time against Alfredo Blanco (20-8) on April 12. Odds are we are going to see him and Butaev fight each other for the now vacant WBA (Regular) title.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (7-0): WBA #9 / IBF #15
Zhangabayev won the vacant WBA Intercontinental title after beating Ivan Matute (30-2) in March. He’s scheduled to make his Australian debut on August 14, against the IBF Pan Pacific champion Steve Gago (11-0).
-Radzhab Butaev (12-0): WBA #2
Butaev knocked out Lanardo Tyner (35-16) in March and then defeated Sliverio Ortiz (37-26) 2 months later. As said above, the 2 undefeated Russians might go at it for the WBA (Regular) crown.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-0): WBA #3
Akhmedov has continued his undefeated streak in 2019, with victories over Viktor Plotnikov (33-6) as well as Francisco Gabriel Pina (14-15). The WBA has now ordered him and Mario Barrios (24-0) to fight for the Regular title.
-Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) WBO #9
Turarov stopped Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (31-5) in July, thus winning the vacant WBO Intercontinental title.
-Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0): WBA #4 / IBF #6 / WBO #8
The unstoppable Uzbek beat Mykal Fox (20-1) this past February. He now faces Abdiel Ramirez (24-4) on August 23rd.
-Shakhram Giyasov (8-0): WBA #10 / IBF #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist picked up his 8th victory as a pro this past April as well as the vacant WBA International title. Giyasov will meet former interim WBA World champion Darleys Perez (34-4) on August 24th in Mexico.
The young Russian rising star unfortunately passed away, after his fierce battle with Subriel Matias, on July 23rd. Dadashev was a true warrior inside the ring and a great family man. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace Mad Max.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #3 / IBF #10
Top Russian contender defeated Jesus Cuadro (17-5) in May.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-0): WBC #3 / WBO #15
The WBC Silver champion stopped Humberto Martinez (33-9) earlier this year. Abdullaev will now collide with Devin Haney (22-0), on September 14th, in a WBC title eliminator.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (14-0): WBC #4 / IBF #5
Rakhimov marked his 3rd IBO title defense, against Rofhiwa Maemu (18-9) in March.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (14-0): WBA #4
Sulaimanbek stopped Pipat Chaiporn (46-13) in Russia, to defend his WBA Asia championship. His next match will take place on August 24th. (Opponent TBA)
-Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (14-0): WBC #13 / IBF #14
The undefeated WBC International champion has scored 2 victories this year against Jhon Gemino (20-12) and former interim WBA World champion Emanuel Lopez (30-11).
-Denis Shafikov (40-4): IBF #9
Shafikov fought Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-2), this past February, to a draw.
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0): WBC #1 / IBF #5
The 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist defeated Claudio Marrero (24-3) in January, to earn the vacant IBO belt. King Tug is next in line for a shot at the WBC World championship.
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0): WBA #2
The 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist made his pro debut last year and has already amassed 6 victories (5 stoppages) as well as the WBA Intercontinental title. He is now targeting the unified WBA & IBF World champion Daniel Roman (27-2). Their match will take place on September 14th.
-Nikolai Potapov (20-2): WBO #8 / IBF #11
Potapov lost to Joshua Greer Jr. (20-2) on July 13th.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Meng Fanlong (15-0): IBF #1
Meng won an IBF title eliminator in June, against Adam Deines (17-1).
-Apinun Khongsong (16-0): IBF #1
The undefeated Thai fighter stopped Japanese veteran Akihiro Kondo (31-9) with a thunderous uppercut, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Romero Duno (20-1): WBO #10
The Filipino prospect defeated world title contender Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-8) in the States, a few months ago. A match with Ryan Garcia (18-0) is being considered to take place this Fall, probably on September 14th.
-Xiangxiang Sun (16-0): IBF #12
Sun defended his IBF Asia championship against Monico Laurente (30-15) this past March.
-Joe Noynay (18-2): WBO #5
Noynay earned the biggest win of his career on July 12th as he dominated the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-1) to defend his WBO Asia Pacific crown.
-Jhack Tepora (23-0): IBF #3 / WBA #13 / WBC #14
The former interim WBA World champion got a unanimous decision over Jose Luis Gallegos (16-7) on June 1st.
-Mark Magsayo (19-0): WBC #8
Magsayo will step into the ring for the second time this year, on August 31st, when he goes up against 2 time World champion Panya Uthok (53-6) with the vacant WBC Asia & IBF Pan Pacific titles on the line.
-Marlon Tapales (33-2): WBO #1 / IBF #3
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion has 3 stoppage wins since moving up a weight class.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1): WBO #2
Elorde has been the WBO Asia Pacific champion since 2015 and has defended it successfully 4 times, most recently against Shohei Kawashima (17-3).
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #3
The WBO Intercontinental champion will face Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3) on August 17th.
-Jeo Santisima (17-2): WBO #7
Santisima fights Alvius Maufani (6-3) on August 17th.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (46-1): WBC #4
Kaikanha marked a second successful defense of his WBC Asia title against former World champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) in May and also knocked out Ryan Lumacad (14-3) on July 20th.
-Michael Dasmarinas (29-2): IBF #1 / WBC #11
Dasmarinas defeated Kenny Demecillo (14-5) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Reymart Gaballo (21-0): WBA #4
The former interim WBA champion destroyed Japanese journeyman Yuya Nakamura (9-3) this past February. Gaballo recently signed with PBC.
-Tasana Salapat (50-1): WBC #8 / WBA #10
Since failing to capture the interim WBC title in December, Salapat has picked up 2 more wins and the OPBF Silver championship.
-Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10): IBF #4
Ponpitak lost to Yukinori Oguni (21-2) in May, but has already bounced back with 2 stoppages over Anucha Noithong (0-6) as well as Hamson Lamandau (10-3) and has also become the IBF Pan Pacific champion.
-Kenny Demecillo (14-5): IBF #10
Demecillo lost to Michael Dasmarinas (29-2) in Singapore, as mentioned above.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBA #2
Srisaket already finds himself again at the top of the world rankings and has recently returned back to his camp, possibly getting ready for his next match.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (55-4): WBA #4
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion has been 5-0 since losing to Dalakian.
-Donnie Nietes (42-1): IBF #4 / WBC #4
No news yet on the 4 division world champion’s return.
-Aston Palicte (25-3): WBO #8 / WBC #9
Palicte lost to Kazuto Ioka (24-2) and failed once again to capture the WBO crown.
-Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3): WBA #3 / WBO #12
The WBC Silver champion fought Japanese standout Ryota Yamauchi (4-1) in March, to win the vacant WBA International title. He marked his first WBA defense against former OPBF champion Ardin Diale (35-14) on May 26th.
-Jayson Mama (13-0): IBF #9 / WBO #10
The undefeated Filipino prospect has had quite an impressive year thus far, with victories over Teeraphong Utaida (38-7) and former WBA Strawweight World champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7).
-Giemel Magramo (23-1): WBO #2 / IBF #4 / WBC #5 / WBA #5
Magramo defeated Wenfeng Ge (11-1) for the WBO International title this past January. He will clash with Komgrich Nantapech (25-5) on September 7th for a shot at the IBF World title.
-Nare Yianleang (71-5): WBA #1 / WBC #7
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, Yianleang has won 9 fights in a row.
-Komgrich Nantapech (25-5): IBF #3
As mentioned above, the Thai boxer will be involved in an IBF eliminator against Giemel Magramo (23-1).
-Edward Heno (14-0): WBO #1 / WBC #2 / WBA #2 / IBF #14
Heno made his third successful OPBF title defense in February, against Koji Itagaki (18-14). There’s a good chance that the Filipino meets the newly crowned WBO World champion Elwin Soto (15-1), possibly in October.
-Christian Araneta (17-0): IBF #3 / WBO #10 / WBC #12
Araneta will go toe to toe with fellow undefeated top contender Agustin Mauro Gauto (12-0) in an IBF eliminator, on October 6th.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (16-0): WBA #4
“D’Golden Boy” became the WBA Asia champion in April.
-Randy Petalcorin (30-3): IBF #9 / WBA #11
The former interim WBA World champion beat Thai journeyman Worawatchai Boonjan (14-22) on June 9th.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-4): WBC #1
Taconing failed to capture the WBC World title from Ken Shiro (16-0).
-Jing Xiang (16-4): WBO #5
Xiang successfully defended his WBC Silver Light Flyweight title against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-7) back in January. The Chinese star will make his Strawweight debut on August 17th against Jomar Caindog (10-1) for the vacant WBO International championship.
-Samuel Salva (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #2
Salva and Pedro Taduran (13-2) will meet on September 7th in an IBF eliminator.
-Lito Dante (16-10): WBC #8 / IBF #11
In a shocking turn of events, Dante managed to TKO top contender Tsubasa Koura (14-1) and not only become the OPBF champion but also place himself in the world rankings.
-Rhenrob Andales (10-1): WBA #5
”ArAr” captured the vacant WBA Asia title earlier this year and defended it for the first time in April against Cris Ganoza (17-3). He now challenges the WBA World champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong (18-0) on August 2nd.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #3 / WBC #4 / WBO #8
As mentioned above, Taduran will be involved in an IBF No.1 contendership match with Samuel Salva (17-0)
-Rene Mark Cuarto (17-2): IBF #6 / WBO #15
Cuarto defeated Mike Kinaadman (6-10) on June 28th.
-Joey Canoy (15-3): WBO #9
Canoy stopped Ryan Makiputin (13-18) on July 11th.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): WBC #6 / IBF #9 / WBO #14
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship in December.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #3 / WBA #13
Paradero beat Jonathan Almacen (5-3) this past April.
-Melvin Jerusalem (14-2): WBC #2 / IBF #7 / WBO #10
Jerusalem hasn’t fought since November.
By Eric Armit
-Jean Pascal takes technical decision over Marcus Browne for the vacant interim WBA light Heavy title
-Adam Kownacki keeps himself in the queue for a shot at a version of the heavyweight title with points victory over Chris Arreola
-Knockout CP Freshmart retains the WBA minimumweight title with technical decision over Filipino ArAr Andales
-Michael Conlan stops Diego Ruiz on a triumphant night in Belfast and Chris Jenkins wins vacant Commonwealth title on a technical verdict against Paddy Gallagher
-Javier Cintron outpoints Koki Eto in WBO super fly eliminator
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Bangkok, Thailand: Minimumweight: Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0) W TEC DEC 8 ArAr Andales (10-0). CP Freshmart (Thammanoon Niyomtrong) retains WBA title with technical decision over Filipino Andales. In a fast-paced opening round CP was already finding the target with sharp jabs and following rights. Andales was getting past the jab occasionally but was not as accurate. Andales pressed hard in the second and scored with some strong right crosses but CP stopped him in his tracks with some crisp left hooks. CP handed out some severe punishment to Andales in the third. Hooks, uppercuts, straight punches from both hands as he drove Andales back but the Filipino just kept pumping out punches of his own. The fourth and fifth were great rounds as now it was Andales marching forward connecting with short punches and CP countering but being forced back by the sheer volume of punches from the challenger. A great little scrap. In the sixth CP used his jab to make some punching room and battered Andales with swinging hooks and uppercuts but the Filipino just kept coming back for more and you wondered how long they could keep up this ferocious pace. In the seventh CP began to show signs that he was tiring. He was holding more inside and although he was still connecting with hard shots Andales just kept coming and a clash of heads opened a cut on the right eyelid of CP. In the eighth although CP was still landing some powerful hooks and uppercuts he was once again holding to smother the attacks of Andales and was under heavy pressure until heads banged together and CP suffered a gash on his left eyelid. The referee stopped the action and asked the doctor too look at the cut. As the doctor was examining the cut one of CP’s seconds was standing beside the doctor trying to treat the cut but he was sent away. The fight was stopped and went to the cards. CP won on scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 and retained the WBA title. The 28-year-old Thai won the WBC Youth title in his first pro fight so presumable switched over from Muay Thai fighting. He won the interim WBA title in his ninth fight and this is his eighth defence of the full WBA title. He is a tough, talented fighter who rarely wastes a punch but he might have been in trouble if this fight had gone on much longer. Andales had done nothing of note despite his No 5 rating from the WBA but on his showing here the 19-year-old could have a great future.
New York, NY, USA: Light Heavy: Jean Pascal (34-6-1) W TEC DEC 8 Marcus Browne (23-1). Heavy: Adam Kownacki (20-0) W PTS 12 Chris Arreola (38-6-1,2ND). Super Welter: Wale Omotoso (28-4,1ND) W TKO 3 Curtis Stevens (30-7). Feather: Cobia Breedy (14-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Lee Allen (10-4-1). Heavy: Brian Howard (15-3) W KO 1Carlos Negron (20-3). Welter: Brian Jones (15-10) W TKO 5 Julian Sosa (13-1-1).
Pascal vs. Browne
Pascal wins the vacant interim WBA title as he floors Brown three times but in the end has to settle for a wafer thin technical decision after Browne is cut in a clash of heads.
Southpaw Brown was using his longer reach and quicker hands to score in the early action. Pascal was too slow with his footwork allowing Browne able to take a couple of steps back out of reach and then counter. Browne sidestepped a Pascal rush and connected with a right and left.
Score: 10-9 Browne
Pascal landed a couple of punches at the start of the round but then Browne started to ping Pascal with right jabs and then come in quickly with lefts. Pascal was trying to draw Browne forward and counter but was not quick enough and it was Brown landing punches before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 20-18
Browne really let his hands go in this one connecting early and then wobbling Pascal with a straight left. He hurt Pascal with two more hooks but then went back to working on the outside with his right jab and straight lefts and was now taking the fight to Pascal instead of using his jab from distance.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 30-27
Browne was moving and jabbing again but when he moved in behind his jab Pascal met him with a counter right that sent Browne flying and down on his back. He rolled up immediately and did not look too shaken. After the count he held and jabbed for the rest of the round with Pascal too wild in his attacks to land another punch of any consequence.
Score: 10-8 Pascal Browne 38-37
Browne dominated this one. He was spearing Pascal with right jabs and banging straight lefts through Pascal’s guard. He cut loose with a series of hooks that had Pascal seeking cover and just swinging wild punches.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 48-46
Another round for Browne as he continued to land his jab and straight lefts with Pascal looking dangerous but just waiting to land one big punch and not working hard enough.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 58-55
Browne was outboxing Pascal in the seventh. Slotting home jabs and straight lefts with very little coming back from Pascal. Browne upped his attacks but with just 30 seconds to go in the round once again as he moved in he was nailed by a thunderous right and went down heavily on his back. As he got up he staggered across the ring to the ropes peering out into the crowd. He looked ready to continue after the eight count but Pascal bundled him to the floor and tumbled over himself so for a brief moment both boxers were on the floor and Browne was given another count. The bell had gone so when the referee completed the eight count the round was over.
Score: 10-7 Pascal Tied 65-65
The referee had the doctor examine Browne before the start of the round but Browne seemed fine. So the fight continued. Browne was very tentative whereas Pascal was storming forward. Their heads banged together with the top of Pascal’s head banging into Browne’s face opening a gash on Browne’s left eyelid. Browne was shaken by the head clash and Pascal landed four good punches which effectively won him the fight. The cut was much too severe for Browne to continue. Initially Pascal thought he had won on a stoppage but as it was a clash of heads it was going to be a technical decision decided on the score cards with the eighth round scored which is where those punches Pascal scored after the clash of heads were so important. Scores 75-74 for Pascal from all three judges giving him the interim WBA title
Haitian-born Canadian Pascal looked a man on the road to retirement after being outclassed by Dmitry Bivol for the secondary WBA title in November. He was down at No 15 in the WBA ratings but again showed his ability to bounce back. At 36 and with comprehensive losses to Bivol and twice to Sergey Kovalev a return with Browne would make sense but Pascal will want to make the most money he can so that will be the driver. A Browne supporter might point out that he was winning the fight easily-when he wasn’t being knocked down! He was outboxing Pascal but on a couple of occasions allowed his left hand to drift away from his chin leaving himself wide open and paid the price. He has beaten Thomas Williams, Sean Monaghan and Badou Jack and will be back and fight for a title next year.
Kownacki vs. Arreola
Kownacki and Arreola exceed expectations as they produce an entertaining and action filled scrap with Kownacki the clear winner but Arreola also boosting his stock. As usual Kownacki was marching forward punching and although on the back foot Arreola was throwing plenty of counters. With neither man paying any attention to defence they had between them landed more than seventy punches over the first three minutes. That level was to carry on for the whole twelve rounds. If anything the pace increased in the second with Arreola taking the fight to Kownacki. The Pole had edged the first and just outlanded Arreola in the second. It was all inside work with hooks and uppercuts and the occasional straight punch and Kownacki had the lead after the third already having landed over 100 punches with Arreola not far behind. There was not much variety in what was happening with two big men clubbing away at each other and the fourth and fifth saw both men rocked but still firing punches. It was slow motion stuff but they were just standing trading ponderous punches at a rate that was ridiculous for two big heavyweights and it did not seem possible that it could go the distance. Kownacki had built a good lead early but Arreola looked to have taken the fifth and although Kownacki was pumping out more punches in the sixth Arreola came back to take the seventh connecting with a huge right that hardly registered with Kownacki. Arreola was coming forward in the eighth but was eating counters and surprisingly at this stage Arreola had thrown more punches than Kownacki but it was Kownacki’s accuracy was making the difference in the scoring. Both were tired in the tenth. Normally Kownacki’s work rate grinds down the opposition but Arreola was still punching away and visibly enjoying the fight and just did enough to take the round.. The doctor examined Arreola at the start of the eleventh but he was ruled fit to continue and proceeded to stage a strong finish over the last two rounds. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110 for Kownacki. He keeps himself in the queue for a title shot lying at IBF 4(3)/WBC 6/WBA 12 but is unlikely to get a shot before 2020. In losing Arreola put in the best performance he has produced for a very long time. He threw 1125 punches in this fight which is the highest number of punches thrown in a fight by a heavyweight in the 34 years that CompuBox have been registering these statistics and although he is unlikely to ever get another title shot he must have boosted his chances of some good paydays against any of the leading pack.
Omotoso vs. Stevens
After going 2-3 in his previous five fights Omotoso needed a win here and he got it by flooring Stevens in each round before the stoppage. Omotoso had height and reach over Stevens which meant Stevens had to work his way inside. He was trying to do that in the first when what looked just a cuffing punch to the side of the head had Stevens slumping forward and putting his hands down to keep him from going over. Stevens saw out the round easily enough but worse was to follow. Omotoso was the one landing punches early in the second and a left jab sent Stevens down. He made it to his feet but again it did not look a hard punch. In the third Stevens came out firing. He was connecting with some heavy shots and drove Omotoso around the ring but a couple of Omotoso’s counters shook Stevens. Stevens continued to try to take the fight to Omotoso but a pile-driver right cross dumped Stevens on the floor. He climbed to his feet but after the eight count the referee had a hard look at him and waived the fight off with no complaint from Stevens over the ending. The 34-year-old Nigerian looked to be on his way to a title fight after going 23-0,1ND in his first 24 fights but after losing to Jessie Vargas he seemed to be drifting. He suffered losses against Sammy Vasquez and Jamal James having just one fight in 2016 and one in 2017. He was inactive in 2018 and when he returned in May this year after 17 months out he lost to Chordale Booker. This was a must win fight for Omotoso and could lead to some bigger paydays. For Steven’s it could be the end. The former WBA/IBO title challenger’s punch resistance looks to have been seriously eroded and it is difficult to see him rebounding from this crushing loss.
Breedy vs. Allen
Barbadian Breedy moves up to ten rounds and gets decision over Adams. The unbeaten 27-year-old represented Barbados at the World Championships, the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and the World Military Championships and this is his first fight outside of the small halls circuit. Allen had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Howard vs. Negron
Howard catches Negron early and bombs him out inside a round. Howard shook Negron badly with a right and forced him to the ropes. Another right put Negron on the floor and the fight was over in just 66 seconds. Although he had eleven wins by KO/TKO Howard should have been an easy night for the 6-6” Puerto Rican. Howard had gone through a spell of just four fights in six years and was 1-1 since his return. This upset should get him a few paydays. Negron had been knocked out in nine rounds by Dominic Breazeale in December and his three losses have all come inside the distance. He turned pro weighing 183lbs and was 242lbs for this fight but even then he should have had no trouble beating Howard.
Jones vs. Sosa
The way the scripts were being torn up there must have been a lot of loose papers flying about in the Barclay’s Centre. Jones was just here to pad out Sosa’s record and extend his winning run to twelve. Jones put Sosa down in the fourth and although Sosa got up and survived to the bell in the fifth a ferocious attack from Jones had Sosa trapped on the ropes and not punching back and the fight was stopped. Texan Jones had lost four on the bounce before this fight and Sosa was looking for his twelfth win in a row so an unscripted ending along with Omotoso over Stevens and Howard over Negron.
Monroeville, PA, USA: Super Middle; Ievgen Khytrov (19-2) W TKO 6 Gabriel Pham (11-2). Super Welter: Ed Walker (19-2) W TKO 4 Jose Abreu (14-6). Welter: Ivan Golub (17-1) W TKO 5 Joaquim Carniero (25-20,1ND).Heavy: Mike Balogun (14-0) W PTS 8 Ed Fountain (12-6). Light: Bill Hutchinson (18-2-4) W TKO 3 Charlie Serrano (16-5-2).
Khytrov vs. Pham
New York-based “Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov takes charge early and wins all the way until ending it in the sixth. Khytrov was stalking the taller southpaw. Pham used plenty of movement and kept sticking out his jab but he did not have the power to keep Khytrov off. Khytrov kept Pham trapped on the ropes in the sixth and dropped him with a left to the body. Pham was up at eight ready to continue but a left to the body floored him again. Pham made it to his feet but was driven to the ropes and a wicked left to the ribs sent him down on one knee and the referee stopped the fight. Sixteenth win by KO/TKO for 30-year-old Khytrov. In the amateurs Khytrov beat Ryota Murata in the final of the World Championships but in the pros losses to Immanuwel Aleem and Brandon Adams have seen him drop out of the ratings. He wins the vacant WBC United States title. Southpaw Pham was inactive in 2018 but had scored two wins this year.
Walker vs. Abreu
Walker gets a stoppage win as Abreu is unable to continue due to an injury to his right hand. After a spirited start from both fighters Walker began to take charge. He was out jabbing Abreu and catching him with right hand counters and building a good lead. In the fourth Abreu turned away from the action indicating an injury to his hand. The referee gave him a standing eight count and when he could not continue the fight was stopped with Walker the winner. Walker’s story is a “boxing saved me” one. His brother was sent to prison for 25 years for murder and Walker, when only 16, was jailed for a series of robberies and spent 13 years in prison. When inside he entered the prison boxing programme and immediately on release the 36-year-old from Louisiana had his first pro fight. He was a competitor in the 2018 The Contender series beating good level opposition in John Jackson and John Thompson before losing a majority decision to Brandon Adams in the final. Two fights later Adams fought Jermall Charlo for the WBC title. Abreu has lost 5 of his last 6.
Golub vs. Carniero
Golub makes it four wins on the trot as he floors and halts fellow southpaw Brazilian Carniero. The Ukrainian had big edges in height and reach and although Camero connected with a good over hand left in the first Golub was scoring with right jabs and straight lefts. Camero kept walking forward but was taking punishment with little to show in the way of success. Golub began to press hard in the fourth with Camero resorting to wild swings and spending much of the time against the ropes. A body shot saw Camero drop to his knees in the fifth. After the count Golub drove him back with body punches and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Golub, 30, another New York-based Ukrainian, lost his unbeaten tag when beaten a very close decision to Jamontay Clark in June 2017 but has rebounded with four wins. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for Carniero but he has been in tough matches against Kiryl Relikh, Joel Diaz and Subriel Matias.
Balogun vs. Fountain
Former Buffalo Bills linebacker Balogun gets off the floor to outpoint fellow-southpaw Fountain. After being put down by a right from Fountain in the first round Balogun steadied the ship in the second and then outboxed Fountain with accurate right jabs and lefts to the body dominating the remaining rounds. Scores 77-74 twice and 78-73 for Balogun who did not turn pro until he was 31. At 6’0” and 233lbs he is not big by today’s standards. Fourth loss in a row for Fountain three of them against unbeaten fighters.
Hutchinson vs. Serrano
Pittsburgh’s Hutchinson stretches his winning run to eight with third round stoppage of Floridian Serrano. Hutchinson had a much longer reach but in the end it was a hook to the body inside that finished Serrano. This is Hutchinson’s eighth win by KO/TKO. Third loss by KO/TKO for Serrano.
Liverpool, England: Middle; Anthony Fowler (10-1) W PTS 10 Brian Rose (31-6-1). Middle: Jack Cullen (17-1) W TKO 8 John Harding (7-1-1). Bantam: Thomas Essomba (9-5) W PTS 10 Sean McGoldrick (9-1). Super Light: Lewis Ritson (19-1) W TKO 3 Marek Jedrzejewski (14-3). Heavy: Martin Bakole Ilunga (13-1) W TKO 1 Ytalo Perea (11-5-2). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (7-0) W PTS 8 Sean Davis (14-4). Super Light: Robbie Davies (19-1) W TKO 3 Michal Dufek (25-22-2).
Fowler vs. Rose
Fowler gets back on track with imposing victory over former WBO title challenger Rose. Fowler stamped his authority on the fight early with a strong jab that Rose never really found an answer to. Fowler swept the first two rounds with precise jabs and in the third was landing with well-timed body punches. Rose had his own jab working in the third but then Fowler upped the pace again going to the body and was in full “The Machine” mode slotting home jabs and attacking the body over the fourth and fifth with Rose finding it hard to make any impression. Rose was trying to counter but was being outworked. Rose upped his pace over the seventh and eighth but could not match Fowler for power and Fowler was connecting with some solid uppercuts. The ninth finally saw Rose having significant success as he was finding the target with rights and Fowler was cut over the right eye. Rose needed a knockout but it was Fowler who came close to that in the tenth. A left had Rose reeling with Fowler pouring on the punches trying for a stoppage but Rose did not crumble and was still there at the bell. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Fowler. The 28-year-old former Commonwealth Games gold medal winner made the smart decision to get quickly back into action after losing to Scott Fitzgerald in March. He collects the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title and will now build on this with a revenge fight against Fitzgerald somewhere in the future. For Rose a loss to Demetrius Andrade for the WBO title in 2014 was followed by domestic defeats against Matthew Macklin and Jack Arnfield. He had won his last two fights but after this defeat the future looks bleak for the former British champion.
Cullen vs. Harding
Cullen retains the English title as he gradually dismantles and then stops Harding. The 6’3” Cullen had oodles of advantages over Harding but was also a class above the challenger. Cullen made use of his longer reach early staying calm against the attacks of Harding and mixing left hooks with his dominant jab. Harding put in a big effort in the fourth with a series of uppercuts but again Cullen was composed and jabbing strongly. In the fifth a right and a left had Harding tumbling back and he put his glove on the canvas to prevent going down. He took the count and fired back to survive the crisis. With Harding tiring badly Cullen dominated the sixth and seventh with a mixture of jabs and left hooks and finished the fight in the seventh. Two left hooks, the second a crippling body punch, had Harding backing off across the ring and reeling into the ropes and as Cullen was about to unload on Harding the referee had seen enough and came in to stop the fight. Sixth win in a row for the 25-year-old Cullen and his eighth win by KO/TKO. His loss came last year against former amateur star Ray Sheehan when he was stopped inside a round in the final of a “Last Man Standing “competition but he looked a good prospect here. He lost precious experience time in the amateur when he fell off a ladder at work and suffered a punctured lung and a serious knee injury. Harding is one of those good news stories where after spending lengthy spells in prison he is finding his way to a better life through boxing.
Essomba vs. McGoldrick
Definitely an upset here as Essomba outworks top prospect McGoldrick to take the unanimous decision. Not a great deal of action in the first but the little man from Cameroon just did enough to take it. Both fighters were letting their hands go in the second and targeting the body and in a lively third it was Essomba who impressed with his straight lefts. The fourth was another round for Essomba as he added left hooks to the mix and looked to be the harder puncher. McGoldrick went to the body again in the fifth as they stood and traded but Essomba was just that bit busier. McGoldrick picked up the pace in the sixth sensing that this fight was getting away from him. He had a good round but a clash of heads opened a cut over his left eye. McGoldrick’s cut fired up Essomba and he attacked hard in the seventh with the cut bothering McGoldrick and then was on top in the eighth and ninth. McGoldrick put in a big effort in the last but Essomba could taste victory and he was the one staging the stronger finish. Scores 98-93, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Essomba. The little 31-year-old two-time Olympian Essomba, a former Commonwealth champion, had lost 4 of his last 5 fights but against opponents such as Jay Harris and Lee McGregor they were fights he was expected to lose but he is never in a bad fight and he showed here that if he gets a sniff of a chance that he can win he is different fighter. Welshman McGoldrick, 27, a former Commonwealth gold medallist who competed at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships had won his last five fights on points and seemed a bit short on power here.
Ritson vs. Jedrzejewski
Ritson continues his rebuilding project with stoppage of useful Pole Jedrzejewski. Ritson made a steady start working well with the jab, switching to the body and looking sharp. Jedrzejewski showed some good movement but despite having 13 wins by KO/TKO he was not able to keep Ritson out. In the third Ritson was landing hurtful left hooks to the body. Jedrzejewski tried switching southpaw but a left to the body put him down on his hands and knees. After the count Ritson drove Jedrzejewski along the ropes and then unloaded with hooks and uppercuts and with Jedrzejewski not punching back the fight was halted. Second win for the former undefeated British champion since his stoppage defeat against Francesco Patera for the vacant European title in October. Second loss in a row for Jedrzejewski.
Ilunga vs. Perea
Ilunga wastes no time in disposing of a poor Perea. A right to the head and then a crunching left to the head knocked Perea sprawling. He climbed to his feet and moved forward when the referee asked him to but did not lift his gloves. Ilunga landed a couple of punches and with Perea just static and not punching back the referee stopped the fight after just 90 seconds. The DRC-born Scottish based Ilunga makes it ten wins by KO/TKO. Last time out he had stopped Polish giant Mariusz Wach in eight rounds. Ecuadorian Perea was an elite class boxer in the amateurs beating Dominic Breazeale and Simon Kean to qualify for the 2012 Olympics but here at 6’0” and 257lbs he was just fat and slow.
Ashfaq vs. Davis
Outstanding prospect Ashfaq moves up to eight rounds for the first time and gets good win over useful Davis. Referee’s score 79-73 for Ashfaq. The 26-year-old Leeds southpaw is a former English and Great Britain champion and took silver at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships. As a former WBC International and English super bantamweight champion Davis was a good test.
Davies vs. Dufek
With domestic rival Ritson having finished his fight in three rounds Davies was out to at least match that. He was whacking Dufek to head and body in the first two rounds with the Czech having to soak up punishment and being cut on his left eyebrow. In the third Davies took Dufek to the ropes and bombarded him with a cluster of hooks, uppercuts and straight lefts with Dufek crouching lower and lower trying to escape the punches until the referee intervened. The 29-year-old Davies, a former undefeated Commonwealth and European champion, is rated No 9 with the WBA. He had a confrontation with Ritson after this fight and there were enough insults exchanged to guarantee a match between them being put together soon. Dufek, 36 drops to 1-6 in his last 7 fights.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Fly: Jeyvier Cintron (11-0) W PTS 10 Koki Eto (24-5-1). Super Light: Yomar Alamo (17-0) W PTS 10 Salvador Briceno (15-5).
Cintron vs. Eto
Cintron wins WBO eliminator with wide unanimous decision over former foe Eto. When these two met in May Eto was initially declared the winner on a fist round knockout. However the replays showed that it was not a punch but a clash of head that put Cintron down so it was declared a No Decision. There was no doubt about the decision in this fight as the fleet-footed Puerto Rican was just too quick for the slowed and cruder Japanese fighter. Cintron was getting inside landing his punches and leaving Eto swishing air. Eto has plenty of experience and exerted pressure all night but was unable to pin down the speedy Cintron and in his eagerness he left himself open and was floored in the second round. Even when Eto did get close some slick defensive work from Cintron saw the Puerto Rican spinning and diving away from danger. Cintron took no chances and stuck to his boxing all the way so the fight lacked excitement but the result was all important. Scores 99-90 for Cintron from all three judges. Despite winning an eliminator Cintron will still only be second in line for a shot at WBO champion Kazuto Ioka as it seems likely that Ioka will defend against No 1Sho Ishida in a big show at the end of the year so Cintron will have to wait until 2020 for his shot. Former interim WBA champion Eto had won seven in a row before the No Decision with Cintron and was No 2 with the WBO but may never get another title chance.
Alamo vs. Briceno
Alamo makes it a double for Puerto Rico as he retains the WBO NABO title by decisioning Mexican Briceno. Alamo looked a comfortable winner although one card had it close. Briceno came in as a very late replacement and fought hard but Alamo was too quick and too skilful. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Alamo. Being the NABO champion gets him a No 10 rating with the WBO-he is also Puerto Rican as well which helps-but he is till to face any significant opponents. Briceno is now 2-4 in his last 6 fights but the losses have all been against tougher opposition than Alamo has faced.
Belfast. Northern Ireland: Feather: Michael Conlan (12-0) W TKO 9 Diego Ruiz (21-3). Welter: Chris Jenkins (22-3-2) W TEC DEC 9 Paddy Gallagher (16-6). Middle: Luke Keeler (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Luis Arias (18-2-1,1ND. Super Light: Sean McComb (8-0) W PTS 8 Renaldo Garrido (24-25-3). Middle: Alfredo Meli (17-0-1) W PTS 8 Araik Marutjan (8-1). Super Middle: Padraig McCrory (9-0) W TKO 8 Steve Collins Jr (14-3-1). Bantam: Paddy Barnes (6-2) W PTS 6 Joel Sanchez (4-7-1).
Conlan vs. Ruiz
Conlan has the locals in raptures as he showcases his talent and also provides an inside the distance finish. Conlan was in charge straight away. He was probing with his jab and quickly had Ruiz’s face reddened. Conlan tried a couple of rights but Diaz was constantly going back and the Argentinian hardly threw a punch and did not land one. Ruiz was a bit livelier in the second but he could not get past Conlan’s jab-either of them as Conlan switched to southpaw in the round-and Conlan’s nifty footwork had Ruiz missing badly leaving himself open for some counters. Conlan continually switched guards in the third and began to land some meaty rights. Ruiz was restricted to some wild lunges which Conlan dealt with easily. A punishing fourth saw Conlan warming to his task and connecting with hooks, uppercuts, jabs and straight rights and although he seemed to take his foot off the pedal in the fifth Ruiz still could not get a toe-hold in the fight. Conlan picked up the pace again in the sixth scoring with some clubbing rights. Ruiz was trying hard to launch attacks but Conlan was just too quick and too clever for him. Conlan landed a punch to the back of Ruiz’s head which brought Ruiz’s second up on to the ring apron in protest but he was sent back down the steps and given a warning by the referee. Conlan was loading up more on his punches in the seventh and had Ruiz under heavy fire at the end of the eighth. Conlan ended it in the ninth. A right to the body saw Ruiz take a step back and go down on one knee. He beat the count but as Conlan powered forward with more body punches the referee stopped the fight. The 27-year-old former amateur star wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title with his seventh inside the distance victory. He is already rated WBO 5/WBA 6/IBF 12(10) and has wins over Jason Cunningham and Ruben Garcia but there are much tougher tests ahead. Ruiz “The Prophet” had won his last ten fights and had not been beaten inside the distance before this fight.
Jenkins vs. Gallagher
Jenkins climbs off the floor to retain the British title and pick up the vacant Commonwealth title with a technical verdict over home fighter Gallagher. The early rounds were close with Jenkins just having the edge over the first four rounds. He was quicker and more accurate but Gallagher was the harder punch and was forcing the fight with his aggression. Gallagher upped his pace and started to have more success in the fifth and at the end of the round Jenkins was showing a cut over his right eye from a clash of heads. Gallagher had a big sixth. He scored well early and then just before the bell floored Jenkins with a left hook to the body. The seventh was a close round. Gallagher was on a roll but there was a break in the action after Gallagher landed a low punch and for the rest of the round Jenkins used his jab and good movement to have the edge. Jenkins seemed to have found his rhythm again in the eighth but as heads banged together a bad cut was opened over the left eye of Jenkins. He was allowed out for the ninth but the cut was too bad for the fight to go on much longer and the referee stopped the action. It was decided on the cards with all three judges giving it to Jenkins 86-85. This is the fifth time Jenkins has suffered cuts in a title fight so it is a handicap he is used to dealing with. It took the 30-year-old Welshman three attempts to win the British title and now he has two titles. Gallagher, 30, lost a split decision to Brad Solomon in the now defunct WBC welterweight tournament and lost a majority verdict to Freddy Kiwitt for the vacant WBO European title in February. His strength and aggression might have eventually swung this fight his way and hopefully he will get a chance at revenge.
Keeler vs. Arias
Minor upset as Keeler floors Arias twice on the way to a unanimous points victory. Keeler could not have asked for a better start as floored Arias in the first with a left hook and shook him again later in the round. Arias recovered well and boxed his way through the second although being rocked with a right. Arias had a good third and this time he was the one scoring with a strong right as they traded punches. Keeler took the fourth as he boxed well on the outside but the fifth saw Arias land a cracking right and then Keeler lose a point for a punch to the back of the head. Keeler rebounded to do some good early work and then finished strongly to edge the sixth and seventh. The eighth proved important as with the exchanges tight Arias lost a point for hitting on the break. The fight was put beyond Arias’ reach in the ninth with a flash knockdown which looked more like a push and despite a storming finish from Arias Keeler was a good winner. Referee’s score 96-91 for Keeler. A career best win for the 32-year-old WBO European champion who is now 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights. After 18 wins in a row Arias is now 0-2-1but the loss was to Daniel Jacobs and the draw against Gabriel Rosado and he will regroup and come back.
McComb vs. Garrido
Imperious display from McComb as he outboxes tough Garrido. The young Belfast southpaw used slick movement and fast hands to pepper the tough Frenchman in the first. Garrido kept marching forward but was too slow to pin down McComb and was having to soak up a succession of punches without getting into the fight in any meaningful way. Garrido’s pressure brought a little bit of success in the fourth as a heads clattered together and McComb was cut over his right eye. McComb’s boxing was flawless over the remaining rounds as he danced around Garrido raking him with punches and then swirling away from Garrido’s attempts to counter. Garrido put everything into the last round and might just have done enough to edge it but there was only one winner. Referee’s score 79-73 for McComb. The 26-year-old southpaw is a former Irish champion and competed at the World Championships, European Championships, European Games and Commonwealth Games and looks very promising. Former French champion Garrido’s record moves into the negative but he is a warrior and popular fighter who always gives value for money.
Meli vs. Marutjan
Belfast southpaw Meli just squeezes past Marutjan in a clash of unbeaten fighters. This was a very close one and Marutjan can feel unlucky to lose his unbeaten tag. Meli was busy from the first and it was quantity vs. quality and that gave him the edge over the first half of the fight. Marutjan began to connect with solid punches in the fifth and floored Mali with a right in the sixth. The Armenian-born German was outworked in the seventh but was landing the quality punches. In the last after Marutjan scored early Meli finished strongly. Referee’s score 77-76 for Meli. Second win for Mali after a year of inactivity so he had a little dust to shift. Marutjan won a silver medal at the European championships and bronze at the World Championships and competed at the 2016 Olympics so he will go back to Germany and win more fights.
McCrory vs. Collins
McCrory gets late stoppage victory over Collins. This was a much anticipated fight and it lived up to expectations. Both were getting through with heavy shots early in the fight with McCrory showing the higher work rate and going to the body and Collins pacing himself and finding gaps to counter. Collins had a good fourth stalking and outlanding McCrory but McCrory scored with a big punch just before the bell. In the fifth the early body punching from McCrory started to take effect and Collins slowed but the fight was still close. McCrory was on top in the sixth. He was on the front foot and connecting heavily with both hands. McCrory was in his first eight round fight and he also looked to be tiring in the seventh as they just stood and slugged away at each other. McCrory ended it in the eighth. As Collins padded forward McCrory landed a huge right cross. Collins staggered but kept coming only to walk onto two more rights. McCrory pushed him to the ropes and unleashed a series of head punches and when one snapped Collins’s head back the referee jumped in and halted the fight. Big win for “The Hammer”. He wins the vacant Boxing Union of Ireland title with his fourth victory by KO/TKO. First inside the distance defeat for Collins.
Barnes vs. Sanchez
Barnes eases his way back after shock defeat in New York. Nicaraguan Sanchez proved lively but limited. After getting cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the first Barnes took a little while to get into his stride. By the third he was working Sanchez over with quick combinations and strong body punches. Barnes tried hard to get Sanchez out of there over the last two rounds but Sanchez made it to the final bell. Referee’s score 60-55 for Barnes. His loss to Cristofer Rosales in an ambitious shot at the WBC flyweight title in August last year was no big surprise but his points defeat against 11-5-1 Oscar Mojica in New York in March was. At 32 Barnes can’t afford too many rebuilding fights so will have to step up to better opposition fairly soon. Seven losses in a row for Nicaraguan Sanchez.
Rio Gallegos, Argentina: Welter: Adrian Veron (25-3) W PTS 10 Marcello Bzowski (10-10-3). Fighting in his home town Veron is just too good for unrated Bzowski. The speed and accuracy of Veron’s punching quickly put Bzowski on the back foot and he was never really able to challenge Veron’s dominance. Veron shook Bzowski the sixth and ninth rounds but never looked likely to finish it early. Scores 100-93, 99-94, and 99 ½ -92 ½ for Veron. He retains the South American title and is now 3-0 in fights against Bzowski who is now 2-7-1 in his last 10 fights.
Accra, Ghana: Heavy: Super middle: Delali Miledzi (13-0) W PTS 12 Iddrisa Amadu (13-4). Middle: Issah Samir (19-0) W TKO 7 John Akulugu (16-6). Light: Michael Ansah (18-9-2) W KO 1 Fatiou Sarouna (2-4-1).
Miledzi vs. Amadu
Miledzi gets second victory over Amadu having outpointed Amadu on a split decision in October. With this win Miledzi retains the Ghanaian and West African titles. This is his fifth win this year with the others coming inside the distance. Amadu had won 4 of his last 5 contests.
Samir vs. Akulugu
Unbeaten Samir moves to 16 wins by KO/TKO with stoppage of fellow Ghanaian Akulugu. The 30-year-old Samir was inactive in 2016 and 2017 but has now scored five win since returning in June last year. He is nominally based in Las Vegas but has yet to fight outside of Ghana. Akulugu had won 15 fights by KO/TKO but loses whenever he tries to tackle tougher opposition.
Ansah vs. Sarouna
“One Bullet” Ansah fed an easy one as he halts ancient Sarouna inside a round. The 29-year-old Ghanaian moves to twelve wins by KO/TKO and has now won 6 of his last 7 fights including an upset stoppage of 17-1-1 Sherrif Quaye. Benin’s Sarouna has probably had a lot more fights than his record shows but at 39 is going nowhere.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Welter: Takeshi Inoue (14-1-1) W KO 2 Komsan Polsan (38-11-1). Middle: Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1) W RTD 8 Shuji Kato (10-2-2).
Inoue vs. Polsan
Inoue brushes aside Thai Polsan (Patomsuk). Inoue used a strong jab and blocked some fierce left hooks from Polsan to take the first round. In the second he punished Polsan with two hefty rights and then put him down with a left to the body and the Thai was counted out. First fight for Inoue after losing a wide unanimous decision to Jamie Munguia for the WBO title in January. He regains the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title, Polsan drops to seven losses by KO/TKO.
Takesako vs. Kato
Takesako retains the Japanese title in his third defence. Takesako was the aggressor from the start showering southpaw Kato with punches to head and body. Kato fired back with left jabs and lefts to the body but was being outpunched. After five rounds Takesako was in front 49-46 on two cards and 50-46 on the other. Kato hit back hard in the seventh putting pressure on Takesako but he was also taking punishment from Takesako’s counters. Kato again attack hard in the eighth but Takesako was getting the better of the exchanges. Takesako landed a punch after the bell which dropped Kato. It should have resulted in a point deduction against Takesako but Kato had taken so much punishment that his corner just decided to pull him out of the fight. These two had fought a split draw in March and there could be a third match due to the controversy over that last punch. All of Takesako’s wins have come by KO/TKO. Kato was 8-0-2 going into this challenge.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Welter: Roberto Arriaza (18-1) W KO 2 Addir Sanchez (12-21-3).
Just a gift for Arriaza as he demolishes poor Sanchez inside two rounds. Arriaza was tracking the retreating Sanchez for most of the opening round. He used a stiff jab to keep Sanchez going back but just could not find the range with his right. Sanchez stopped a couple of times to throw a few of punches but he has no real power and Arriaza walked through them. Arriaza began to connect with his right in the second. Sanchez tried to punch with him but a crunching left hook put Sanchez face down on the canvas and he was counted out. Arriaza’s only loss was on a third round kayo in November against Egidijus Kavaliauskas. Dominican Sanchez has managed just one win in his last fourteen fights
Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Bantam: Denver Cuello (38-5-6) W RTD 2 Detnarong Omkrathok (3-10). Body punches from Cuello break down and stop poor Thai opponent Omkrathok. The little southpaw was walking forward behind a high guard and then thumping Omkrathok with left and right hooks to the body. He was largely ignoring Omkrathok’s punches as the Thai had no leverage behind them. Cuello pounded Omkrathok throughout the second mixing southpaw left hooks to the body with straight rights and after the bell Omkrathok’s corner retired their man. “The Excitement” Cuello, 32, a former WBC minimumweight title challenger, was out of the ring for almost four years before returning in March winning the Vacant Asian Boxing federation title in his comeback fight. This is his first defence of that title. Omkrathok should not be fighting for any title and this is his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Marbella, Spain: Light: Samuel Molina (12-0) W TKO 7 Carlos Perez (14-6-1). Super Welter: Jorge Fortea (20-1-1) W RTD 5 Khalid Habchane (7-3-1). Middle: Navid Mansouri (20-2-2) W PTS 6 Wilmer Gonzalez (19-16-1). Cruiser: Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid (13-1-1) W TKO 2 Jose Nunez (2-21).
Molina vs. Perez
Molina wins the vacant Spanish title with stoppage of Perez. It was a close fight early but Molina began to take control from the fifth and opened a cut over Perez’s left eye in the sixth. The cut worsened in the seventh and Perez was unable to continue. First pro title for the 20-year-old Molina. Perez was having his second title shot.
Fortea vs. Habchane
Fortea goes to seven wins in a row with victory over Habchane. Fortea had dominated the fight all the way and Habchane decided not to come out for the sixth round. The 28-year-old from Valencia is the Spanish champion. Moroccan Habchane, 41, is a world champion-OK it is only the Global Boxing Federation title which he won in his last fight in 2017!
Mansouri vs. Gonzalez
Routine six rounds of work for Mansour as he outpoints Nicaraguan Gonzalez. The 30-year-old former undefeated English champion lost a split decision to Fortea in February, which broke a twelve bout unbeaten run for Mansouri. The 37-year-old Gonzalez has settled into the role of travelling loser and this one makes it seven on the spin.
Farid vs. Nunez
With their respective records this one was only going to end one way and end early with Farid getting another inside the distance victory. German-based Farid, one of the few pro boxers from Iran has scored all of his victories by KO/TKO. His current run stands at nine with six of those ending in the first round. Spanish-based Venezuelan Nunez has lost his last 15 and the only kind thing to say is that he usually goes the distance.
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA: Super Light: Julius Indongo (23-2) W TKO 2 Carltavius Jones Johnson (4-2). Heavy: Robert Alfonso (19-0-1) W TKO 3 Steven Lyons (5-5).
Indongo vs. Johnson
Former IBF and IBO champion Indongo sheds some rust in the first round and then floors and halts novice Johnson in the second to force the stoppage. First fight for the Namibian since being blown away in two rounds by Regis Prograis in March last year. Even with the inactivity it is silly putting him in with a five fight novice.
Alfonso vs. Lyons
This match was every bit as bad as Alfonso is fed an inexperienced prelim level opponent and gets a fifth round stoppage. After seven years as a pro the 32-year-old Cuban is wasting his time in matches as bad as this.
Fight of the week (Significance): Jean Pascal’s win over Marcus Browne gives him a title as a bargaining chip at light heavy and Adam Kownacki’s win over Chris Arreola keeps him in the heavyweight picture
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Kownacki and Arreola went at it hard for twelve rounds with honourable mention to Knockout CP Freshmart vs. ArAr Andales which was a thriller.
Fighter of the week: Jean Pascal who showed you can never write off a puncher.
Punch of the week: Pascal’s right in the seventh was a real thunderbolt with honourable mention to the left hook from Martin Bakole Ilunga that effectively finished his fight with Italo Perez.
Upset of the week: Pascal was an outsider against Browne and Thomas Essomba’s win over unbeaten Sean McGoldrick was a surprise
Prospect watch: Sean McComb showed impressive skills against Renaldo Garrido
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBA #11
The former K-1 star and reigning WBO Asia Pacific champion has vacated his Japanese & OPBF titles recently. Kyotaro is looking to secure a world title match in the near future.
-Ryota Murata (15-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The 2012 Olympic champion got his revenge on Rob Brant (25-2) in Osaka, reclaiming his WBA title.
-Takeshi Inoue (14-1): WBO #11
Inoue made short work of Thai veteran Komsan Polsan (38-11) on August 3rd, to become the WBO Asia Pacific champion for the second time.
-Keita Obara (21-4): IBF #8
After losing to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0) earlier this year, Obara beat Indonesian journeyman Yosmar Kefi (9-12) in June.
-Yusuke Konno (15-4): WBA #15
Konno earned a huge win on March 30th when he stopped Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-3) in China to become the new WBA Asia champion.
-Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1): IBF #7 / WBC #7 / WBO #14
Nakatani came up short against Teofimo Lopez (14-0), ending his undefeated streak.
-Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1): WBO #3
Sueyoshi will meet Kosuke Saka (18-5), on September 2nd, for the 5th defense of his Japanese title. [Ed's note - This bout has been postponed due to Sueyoshi suffering an injury]
-Kenichi Ogawa (24-1): IBF #3 / WBA #4 / WBO #11
The uncrowned IBF king returned to the ring earlier this year and has already amassed 2 victories. His next match has been scheduled for September 7th. (Opponent TBA) [Ed's note - This scheduled bout also appears to have been cancelled, though the reason is unclear]
-Musashi Mori (9-0): WBO #9
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-10) this past April.
-Hiroshige Osawa (35-5): WBA #1 / IBF #14
Osawa fought and beat Indonesian journeyman Ahmad Lahizab (4-8) on April 7th.
-Reiya Abe (19-2): IBF #6 / WBC #10
Abe will square off with Ryo Sagawa (7-1) for the vacant Japanese title, on September 13th.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3): IBF #1
Iwasa won an IBF title eliminator against Cesar Juarez (24-7) in February.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2): IBF #8
Teshigawara will mark his second defense of the OPBF championship against former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-2) on August 8th.
-Shingo Wake (26-5): WBC #2 / IBF #4 / WBA #10
Wake has been on a 6 fight winning streak since losing to Jonathan Guzman (23-1) in 2016.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #3
The former IBF World champion defeated Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-10) on May 8.
-Yusaku Kuga (18-3): WBC #10
Kuga became once again the Japanese champion after earning a unanimous decision over Ryoichi Tamura (12-4) on May 18th.
-Naoya Inoue (18-0): IBF World champion
Inoue is set to clash with the WBA Super & WBC Diamond champion Nonito Donaire (40-5) in the WBSS Bantamweight final, on November 7th.
-Takuma Inoue (13-0): WBC Interim World champion
Takuma is expected to unify with Nordine Oubaali (16-0) before the year is over.
-Ryo Akaho (34-2): WBO #2
Akaho has been undefeated since 2016, amassing 8 wins. It’s worth noting that the former Japanese & OPBF champion is currently fighting at Featherweight. We aren’t 100% sure if this is a mistake by the WBO or he is intending to go down again at Bantamweight. He is scheduled to compete on October 5th.
-Keita Kurihara (14-5): IBF #9 / WBC #12
Kurihara defended his OPBF crown in May, after knocking out former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (21-10).
-Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8): IBF #12
Kobayashi won the WBO Asia Pacific title, this past May, from Ben Mananquil (17-2).
-Kazuto Ioka (24-2): WBO World champion.
Ioka defeated Aston Palicte (25-3) in June to win the vacant WBO strap and to become the 1st ever Japanese 4 division World champion.
-Akira Yaegashi (28-6): WBO #9 / WBA #12 / WBC #14
The 3 division World champion has been undefeated as a Super Flyweight, with 3 consecutive TKO victories under his belt. His next fight will probably be this coming November.
-Sho Ishida (28-1): WBO #1 / IBF #5 / WBA #5 / WBC #10
Ishida has been 4-0 since losing to Khalid Yafai (26-0) in 2017.
-Koki Eto (24-5): WBO #2 / WBA #3 / WBC #7 / IBF #7
Eto lost to Jeyvier Cintron (11-0) on August 2nd, in a WBO #1 contenders’ match.
-Kosei Tanaka (13-0): WBO World champion
Tanaka defends against Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2) on August 24th.
-Junto Nakatani (19-0): WBC #3 / WBO #4 / WBA #7 / IBF #11
Nakatani’s biggest fight yet will take place on October 5th, when he tests himself against former IBF Light Flyweight World champion Milan Melindo (37-4).
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-8): IBF #10 / WBC #13
Kuroda went to war with Moruti Mthalane (38-2) for the IBF World title, this past May, but couldn’t bring the belt back home.
-Yusuke Sakashita (18-8): WBO #15
Sakashita stopped former world title contender Masahiro Sakamoto (13-3) to become the new WBO Asia Pacific champion.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0): WBA World champion.
Kyoguchi successfully defended the WBA title for the 1st time, this June, against Muay Thai champion Tanawat Nakoon (11-1). Tetsuya Hisada will be next.
-Ken Shiro (16-0): WBC World champion.
The unstoppable Ken Shiro made short work of Jonathan Taconing (28-4) on July 12th, to mark his 6th title defense.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-9): WBA #1 / WBO #3 / WBC #3 / IBF #6
Hisada has been on an impressive 13 fight winning streak. His big opportunity finally has arrived as he challenges Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0) for the WBA (Super) title, on October 1st.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-15): WBC #5 / IBF #5
Horikawa won the Japanese title earlier this year, for the second time in his career. He made his inaugural defense in May and will mark his second one, on August 8th, against Ryuto Oho (12-5).
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8
Konishi didn’t manage to capture the IBF title from Felix Alvarado (35-2).
-Sho Kimura (18-3): WBA #8
The former WBO Flyweight World champion lost a unanimous decision to Carlos Canizales (22-0) for the WBA (Regular) World title in China.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-7): IBF #5 / WBO #6 / WBA #12
Tanaka won the Japanese title, this past January, and defended it on June 13 against Naoya Haruguchi (15-11).
-Masataka Taniguchi (11-3): WBO #7
Taniguchi will face rising star Kai Ishizawa (6-0) on September 21st.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #10 / IBF #14
Koura surprisingly lost his OPBF title to Lito Dante (16-10) a few months ago.
Over the last few years the Light Flyweight division has been red hot. It has simply been on fire with great fights, amazing match ups, fighters at the top taking on legitimate contenders and whilst we have lacked unification bouts we've never felt like the division was on a stand still, like we see with some other divisions. Contenders aren't being frozen out, but are getting shots, thanks to the activity and mentality of the champions, who all want to improve their standing in the sport. For today's closest classic we roll back to 2011 for maybe the best Light Flyweight bout of the last decade, and one of the best bouts of the last decade, full stop.
Kompayak Porpramook (43-3, 29) Vs Adrian Hernandez (22-1-1, 14) I
It's December 23rd 2011, just days from Crhistmas and WBC Light Flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez, who would later fighter Naoya Inoue, was looking to make his second defense of the title. He had won the belt less than 8 months earlier, stopping Gilberto Keb Baas and had made his first defense in September, stopping Gideon Buthelezi. He had looked like the new rising star of Mexican boxing at the weight. He was more than 3 years removed from his sole loss and looked like he was going to be a major player in the division.
Kompayak on the other hand was a relative unknown outside of Asia. Like many Thai he had a great looking record, a throw back record if you will, but you'd have been hard pushed to have recognised many of his opponents up to this point. They were, for the most part, the mixture of Thai and Indonesian journeymen that did the Thai circuit, and Hussein Hussein, who stopped Kompayakin 4 rounds. Even those actively follow the Asian scene would have struggled to have picked out more than 10 of Kompayak's opponents, and of those 10 almost all, Hussein aside, would have been known as journeyman and losers. He had done nothing to deserve a shot at a world title, and it seemed as if the Mexican's team thought this would be an easy defense.
As we all know by now no bout in Thailand is easy, especially not a bout outdoors in the baking sun. The average mean temperature in Thailand in December is 26.5°C (79.7°F), add in the fact the humidity is around the mid 60's and the bout is outdoors and you have conditions weighed heavily against the visitor. Despite those conditions we got something special.
The fight started with Kompayak pressing the action and Hernandez responded. This was no typical opening round. This wasn't a feeling out round. Instead it was an action packed round that set the foundations for an hellacious back and forth brawl.
Round after round the two men would stand in the pocket and let shots go, fighting a truly scary tempo given the conditions, and it wasn't just Kompayak pressing forward, with Hernandez giving just as good, if not better, than he was taking. It seemed as if the Mexican's confidence of beating the little known Thai drove him on, making him dig deeper and deeper to win what was supposed to be an easy bout.
As the bout went on both men refused to show signs of tiring, it was a war, a battle of attrition and eventually every was has a loser, with the battle and conditions finally taking their toll on one of the men.
Interestingly the two men would later have a rematch, less than a year later in Mexico. That rematch wasn't as good as this fight, it was another action packed war and well worth watching as well!
By Eric Armit
What a week it has been for boxing. Two tragedies, a farce, yet another reported positive test for a leading heavyweight and finally a triumph.
The tragedies concerned Russian Maxim Dadashev and Argentinian Hugo Santillan. With hindsight there were danger signs in Dadashev’s case. He was very tired and had taken a great deal of punishment but had still been throwing punches up to the bell at the end of the eleventh round of his fight with Subriel Matias. He stumbled on his way back to his corner and it was not until he was on the point of collapse after leaving the ring that he was put on a stretcher so it is a case of asking whether the signs should have been spotted earlier. The ESPN team covering the fight thought everything had been done correctly although Tim Bradley felt there should have been some earlier involvement of the doctor.
There is no such grey area with regard to the death of Santillan. From before until after there was just so much wrong about this fight.
The Argentinian took the fight at very short notice but much more serious he took the fight whilst under a medical suspension. Santillan had fought Artem Harutyunyan in Germany on 15 June and lost on points. He took such a beating that the Bund Deutscher Berufsboxer slapped Santillan with a 45 day suspension for “many blows to the head” which appeared on Santillan’s record on BoxRec. Box Rec took steps to try to get this drawn to the attention of the local authorities prior to the fight. Despite this the fight went ahead and ended in a draw. Initially there were no signs of distress from Santillan as he actually climbed on the ropes in a corner to show he thought he had won. He then collapsed. The result had not been announced so Santillan's seconds half carried half dragged him to the centre of the ring and held him up. He was totally unresponsive with his head sagging on his shoulders. The result was a draw so the referee grasped Santillan’s hand and pulled it as high as he could then the referee and Santillan’s seconds dragged him back to his corner and tried to sit him on his stool;. He was unconscious and slid off the stool and onto the canvas. It was only when lying there prone did a doctor finally enter the ring. He was taken to hospital but had to be resuscitated twice and was then operated on for a serious brain injury. He never recovered consciousness and died early Thursday morning. He was just 23 and was failed by those whose duty it was to protect him.
R.I.P Maxim and Hugo.
Farce: The farce came in France-and naturally involved the WBA. Frenchman Michel Soro was to fight Russian Magomed Kurbanov for the vacant secondary WBA super welter title. There was a whole story behind that from which no one involved any credit. Kurbanov had his visa on the morning of the fight-but was in Russia. He had a private plane supplied to fly him to France but his trainer did not have his visa so Kurbanov refused to travel. Panic ensued as this was to be a world title fight and TV cameras were there to cover the event. French middleweight champion Anderson Prestot had weighed in at 161lbs for a six round fight in the show. He was told that if he could get down to 154lbs on the day of the fight he could then fight for this vacant version of the WBA title. It was stated that Prestot had got down to 154lbs by 10.30am on the day of the fight so the title fight went on. However in view of the circumstances with Prestot not being in their ratings the WBA rapidly had a contract drawn up which said that the fight would be a defence by Soro of the Gold title he already held. Soro won and the French TV and newspapers were delighted that they had another world champion- because no one had told them that the fight had been downgraded. Cue rage the next day from French TV and newspapers and Soro was not particularly happy either. The WBA have already approved a contest between Erislandy Lara and Roberto Alvarez for the vacant interim title so the mess goes on.
Naturally the report that Dillian Whyte’s A sample had tested positive for a banned substance was big news. One of the problems associated with test results from an A sample on its own is that a fighter has a right to insist his B sample is tested. Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (ADA) covers this in its Results and Management Policy as follows
“Sufficient proof of a doping violation is established by either of the following: presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in the Athlete’s A Sample where the Athlete waives analysis of the B Sample and the B Sample is not analyzed; or, where the Athlete’s B Sample is analyzed and the analysis of the Athlete’s B Sample confirms the presence of the prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers found in the athlete’s A Sample.”
That means that where the athlete insists the B sample is tested he is not technically guilty until the results of the B Sample test is known. On that basis there were no grounds for suspending Whyte prior to the Oscar Rivas fight and there would have been some very costly legal actions flying around if Whyte had been prevented from fighting only for his B sample to be clean. Already Rivas and his team are calling for the result of the fight to be changed and Andy Ruiz is citing this case as a reason for not fighting Anthony Joshua in the UK but until the results of the B sample are known it is all just speculation.
Triumph: There is no other word than triumph to describe the victory for Manny Pacquiao over Keith Thurman and over Old Father Time. It was good to see Pacquiao still had much of his old hand speed and he fought a brilliant tactical battle. His eight-division champion feat consist of being recognised as champion in six divisions by one or other of the sanctioning bodies and in two other divisions by Ring Magazine. Truly amazing achievements. The only down side is that before he has even had his gloves removed he is exchanging jibes with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Please no Manny. You have introduced a bill in the Philippines to set up a Philippines Boxing Commission-currently control of boxing falls under the Philippines Games and Amusements Board-focus on the day job. It would be great for you to get a big win next year but please not Mayweather again.
The purses for the Pacquiao show were Manny $10 million, Thurman $2.5 million, Caleb Plant $750k, Mike Lee $250k,Yordenis Ugas $300k, Omar Figueroa $300k, Sergey Lipinets $250k, Jayar Inson $10k, Luis Nery $150k, Juan Carlos Payano $25k,Efe Ajagba $15k, Ali Eren Demirezen $10k so Manny took home more than the rest of the bill put together and there will have been other ancillary money for Manny.
One source has stated that Thurman suffered a rib injury prior to the fight with Pacquiao. If so I am surprised it wasn’t until the tenth round before a punch from Pacquiao to the body visibly hurt Thurman.
I can remember in the days under Chairman Mao when any sniff of capitalism would lead to banishment- if you were lucky. How the old man must be twitching in his mausoleum. The Chinese Boxing Federation has engaged the services of Mayweather Jr to help them improve on the three medals they won in the Rio Olympics. It is difficult to think of anyone who so personifies everything Chairmen Mao was against than Mr Money. How the world has changed!
Great to see Joe Frazier being honoured again in Philadelphia. The Mural Arts Philadelphia has completed an impressive mural which is sited near the Boxer’s Trail gym in Fairmont Park where Frazier trained. I am sure it is partially nostalgia but it seems to me that the best did fight the best in those days and Frazier’s use of positive substance refereed to his left hook.
The WBO have ordered purse bids for Oscar Valdez’s defence of his featherweight title against Shakur Stevenson. The closing date for bids is August 2 with the minimal acceptable bid at $150,000. Both fighters are promoted by Top Rank but are under different management.
Still on purse offers the EBU have set a deadline of September 3 for bids for Agit Kabayel’s defence of the heavyweight title against Joe Joyce and July 31 for bids for Yves Ngabu’s defence of the cruiser title against Lawrence Okolie. Other European title fights lined up include Stefan Haertel defending the super middleweight title against Juergen Brahmer in October, Dominic Boesel putting his light heavy title on the line against Igor Mikhalkin with this one under negotiation and a tasty defence by Sergio Garcia against Cedric Vitu at super welter.
Amir Khan has another fight lined up in Saudi Arabia for November. No opponent named yet but it won’t be Manny Pacquiao that’s for sure.
Farce time again with Anthony Mundine un-retiring to fight 43-year-oldMuay Thai exponent John Wayne Park in November.
Mexican-based American Dewayne Beamon is getting an undeserved shot at Juan Francisco Estrada’s WBC super fly title on August 24. Losing and winning last year against Martin Tecuapetla and not fighting for eight month hardly constitutes grounds for elevating him from 27 to 15.
Discussing his options WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz has said he is looking for a unification fights against Josh Warrington or Gary Russell and if that does not happen then perhaps a third fight with Carl Frampton. Hey Leo why don’t you unify the WBA title by facing Can Xu-sorry now I am just being silly.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features