Starting his career in 2012 at the age of 32 Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3, 6) was always up against it in regards to Fight of the Decade honours, and in fact a general chance to shine. He was too old, and turned pro way too late in the decade to really achieve much. At least that's what we'd have assumed. In fact he only just missed out on the top 10, and did more in 8 years as a professional than most do in significantly longer careers. During his title run he had made a mark on the sport with 2 huge upsets on foreign soil, and notched a couple of other notable wins. Though he he didn't exactly shine, or look great in some of those wins.
Amnat won the IBF Flyweight title in January 2014, in his 12th professional bout. He had only debuted in May 2012 and had raced through the IBF rankings to become the mandatory challenger for Muroti Mthalane. Sadly Mthalane and Amnat wouldn't clash, with Mthalane vacating the belt, rather than travelling to Thailand for a poor payday. That lead to Amnat beating Filipino veteran Rocky Fuentes for the title and begin his messy yet remarkable reign.
Less than 4 months after winning the title Amnat travelled to Osaka and beat Kazuto Ioka in his first defense. The bout was a close one, but given he had travelled to Japan and still got the decision it was an impressive result, even if the performance wasn't amazing. Amnat's second defense was a foul filled, ugly affair against McWilliam's Arroyo. This was controversial and messy, but another big name on his record. Amnat's third defense saw him to Macao and upset local star Zou Shiming, to get a second huge road win. Another messy win followed as he defeat John Riel Casimer in another messy and foul filled wrestling contest.
After an easy defense against Myung Ho Lee we would see Amnat lose in a rematch to Casimero, ending his remarkably messy reign. From there he never really bounced back, going 3-2 (1) in the professional ranks, whilst dipping his toes in kick boxing and Olympic boxing.
Amnat will be remembered for his foul filled bouts, his use of the dark arts, judge throws, headlocks, bear hugs and bending the rules as often as possible. His big wins tended to come with an asterisk due to how badly officiated the bouts were, but few fighters can claim a run like he had over Ioka, Arroyo, Shiming and Casimero. For a guy who turned pro in his 30's his achievements are brilliant, but not quite enough to get his way into our top 10 fighters for the decade.
With the decade coming to an end we've already posted our first honourable mention for our Fighter of the Decade, and there are more to come over the coming weeks before we get into the top 10 countdown!
What we haven't yet done is look at the female side of boxing, though as with the male version of our Fighter of the Decade we will be posting a count down later in the year. Ahead of that however we will be posting several honourable mentions for our Female Boxer of the Decade.
We're kicking this off with the now sadly forgotten Naoko Yamaguchi (22-4-3, 18), who was a rare female fighter with brutal power, and exciting style, albeit one that was very rough around the edges.
Going into the decade Yamaguchi, who was promoted by the Yoko Gushiken and the Shirai Gushiken Gym, was 12-2-3 (10) and 31 years old. She hadn't really done anything of note as a fighter, despite having debuted in 2001, well before the JBC recognised female boxing.
Despite the uninspired start to her career Yamaguchi would make a real made in the last decade, running up a very good looking 10-2 (8) record and losing to two genuine legends of female boxing. Not only that but she went on to have genuine success, before her retirement part way through the decade.
Yamaguchi began the decade with a 9th round TKO win over Rie Fujimoto, to claim the OPBF Super Flyweight title. She would defend that belt twice, against limited Thai opposition, before getting a shot at the then WBC Super Flyweight champion Ana Maria Torres. Sadly for Yamaguchi the jump up in class, from regional title level to world class, proved too much and she was widely beaten by Torres over 10 rounds.
Following the loss to Torres we saw Yamaguchi return to defending the OPBF title, which she twice more, before getting her second world title bout. This time Yamaguchi would take on WBA champion Tenkai Tsunami, and managed to win the title with a competitive decision win. This saw the then 34 year old Yamaguchi become a world champion and show that belonged at that level. She would further enhance her reputation by successfully defending the title against Judith Rodriguez and Loredana Piazza, becoming the only fighter to stop Piazza who later become a European champion at Flyweight.
Sadly for Yamaguchi her title reign came to an end in late 2013 when she was beaten by the brilliant Naoko Fujioka, who had moved from Minimumweight to Super Flyweight. The fight between the two was fantastic but with Yamaguchi losing a very clear loss. More than a year later she announced her retirement.
Yamaguchi won't be the best remembered fighter out there but wins over Fujimoto, Tsunami and Rodriguez earns Yamaguchi a notable mention here.
One of the great things about digging into the Closet for a Classic is that we can often find gems that really do deserve to be rewatched even if both of the fighters involved are relatively forgotten today. Today we look at one such bout that took place in the early 1980's and was all out action bout that was fought at an excellent skill level and despite the fact neither man had a great deal of power the bout was fantastic, high tempo, high level chess.
Katsuo Tokashiki (17-1-1, 3) vs Hwan Jin Kim (22-1-2, 8) II
In December 1981 Japan's Katsuo Tokashiki dethroned Korean Hwan Jin Kim, to become the WBA Light Flyweight champion. Notably Kim had won the title just 5 months earlier, stopping Pedro Flores who was known in Japan for ending the lengthy reign of Yoko Gushiken. Despite winning the belt in July he had managed to fit in a defense before losing to Tokashiki.
We're not going to talk about that first bout however, but their second bout, which took place just 13 months later. By this Tokashiki had ran up 3 defenses whilst Kim had bounced back with 2 low level wins.
Unlike most fights this didn't have a feeling out round, instead we saw both men looking to establish their jabs at a high tempo, from there on things only got better as they moved in and out of range, trading sharp punches on the inside and exchanging jabs as they tried to get close.
Through the rounds the jabs started to drop off a little bit in terms of number, however that was due to the fact the two men were getting closer to each other, and the middle rounds saw both men working more on the inside and trading more hooks and uppercuts up close. Despite the increase in power shots both stayed technical, there wasn't any significant drop in form, shots remained crisp and sharp from both, though neither had the power to really shake the other.
The form of both men only really began to falter in the later rounds as both began to tire.
Despite the bout going on long, and with Kim fighting with a bust nose in the later stages, the two men only got more intense in the later rounds, rather than slowing down, giving us an amazing 15 round bout, and a brilliant, exciting, thrilling battle of wills and skills.
If you've never seen this one, we can't recommend it enough. A genuinely brilliant fight!
With the current decade running down, we've decided to begin looking for who is the Asian Fighter of the Decade. As part of that we have come up with a list of honourable mentions, and will be posting these before we begin our count down to the top 10 later in the year, and very early next year (due to needing to wait for some fights at the very end of the decade to fully come to our ordering of the top 10).
For our Fighter of the Decade, we have tried to weigh up quality of wins, longevity at the top during the decade, and what they've achieved during the decade. Whilst we might refer to their work before January 1st 2010, we won't be considering that in their standing for the Fighter of the Decade.
With that in mind let us bring you the first of our honourable mentions, with more being posted in the coming weeks.
The "Hawaiian Punch" Brian Viloria (38-6-0-2, 23) was rarely known for his consistency. He blew hot and cold through much of his career, and when he was hot he was red hot, as he was for a small, but notable, run during decade. Sadly his overall body of work from the decade was under-whelming, but at one point over a 16 month span, he was one of the most under-rated fighters in the sport.
During the decade Viloria, an American-Filipino, went 12-4 (8). That's not an amazing record, by any stretch, but in terms of opposition few could compete with the fighters he faced. In fact on competition alone he would have been the clear #1...had he beaten them all. Sadly though in his biggest bouts he tended to come up short, and he went 4-4 in world title bouts during the decade.
The decade got off on the wrong foot for Viloria, as he lost just days into the decade to Carlos Tamara, suffering a final round TKO in a bout he was leading. It saw him losing the IBF Light Flyweight title. The following year however he became a world champion once again, out pointing the dangerous Julio Cesar Miranda for the WBO Flyweight title.
The win over Miranda was followed by successive stoppage wins over Giovani Segura, Omar Nino Romero and Hernan Marquez, to unify the WBO and WBA titles. Those 4 wins, coming in the space of just over 16 months, were brilliant. Sadly though they were about it for notable wins for Viloria.
The talented Viloria would lose in his next bout, to Juan Francisco Estrada. A short winning run over lesser competition followed before he was stopped by Roman Gonzalez in 2015 and he would later lose to Artem Dalakian.
Not many fighters in recent years can say they fought fighters on the level of Tamara, Miranda, Segura, Romero, Marquez, Estrada, Gonzalez and Dalakian. Had Viloria gone 8-0 against those, and done nothing else, he would have likely been #1, but going 4-4, whilst understandable, does drop him out of the top 10 and earns him only an honourable mention.
The domestic Japanese boxing scene has given us so many thrillers over the years and has seen fighters develop individual reputations as men who need to be watched due to their exciting styles, all action bouts and never say die attitudes. They are the fighters who are the life blood of the Japanese scene and are the ones who attract fans and help keep fans. They are a special breed of fighter who are the fighters who provide thrills and spills, and the high octane action that we all love. Today we look at a bout between two such fighters, who fought twice in the 1980's and gave us two amazing battles.
Naoto Takahashi (11-0, 7) vs Mitsuo Imazato (22-10, 12) II
In February 1987 the rising, exciting, and good looking Naoto Takahashi stopped veteran Mitsuo Imazato in 5 rounds to become the Japanese Bantamweight champion. That first bout was tremendous, and just 4 months later they would meet again in a rematch that was short but all action.
Takahashi, for those who aren't aware, was developing a reputation as the type of fighter who provided action. He was a very talented boxer-puncher but found himself being dragged into wars, giving up his skills and speed to engage in battles, going punch for punch with opponents and put on a show for fans. He was technically solid as an outside fighter, boxing behind his jab, but all too often ended up in the wrong type of fight, something that plagued him through his career and eventually curtailed a promising career way too early.
Imazato on the other hand was 24 year old veteran of the Japanese scene. He was a 2-time Bantamweight champion and had been a fairly dominant force on the domestic title picture, with a 9-1 (7) record in Japanese title fights. He had faltered when he had stepped up, to either Super Bantamweight or OPBF title level, but was a very good domestic championship level fighter who had given a lot of excitement through his career, and had taken a lot of punishment since his debut in 1979.
Their first bout had been thrilling, with Imazato being taken out in the 5th round, the best round of the fight and he was desperate to reclaim his title. He applied pressure and tried to control the bout with his stiff, hard jabs. He however lacked the speed of Takahashi who got to his range and boxed behind his jab for much of the first round. By the end of the round however Takahashi was getting cocky and Imazato was starting to get closer, the tempo was heating up.
In round 2 the tempo heated up drastically. Again the key punches in the early going was the jab but with Imazato pressing the he was able to drag Takahashi into a fire fight and by the mid-way point of the round we were seeing a tear up. Sadly for Imazato he was on the wrong end of it and a sharp left hook dropped him. With a minute of the round left when then saw the two men stand trade bombs. Again Takahashi got the better of it, sending his man down again, but their was no quit in Imazato.
The bout was already matching up to the first between the two as we entered round 3...which is where we'll leave you with something of this Closet Classic to enjoy without us spoiling the entire contest.
This is a must watch, and a great example of how exciting the Japanese domestic scene can be and how brutal the finishing can be.
By Eric Armit
The Past Week in Action 9 October 2019
Gennady Golovkin takes unanimous decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko to win vacant IBF and IBO middleweight titles
-Unbeaten Ali Akhmedov stops Andy Hernandez in 44 seconds
-Former IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk returns with a win as he stops Gabriel Bracero
-Ryan Walsh, Leigh Wood, James Dickens and Tyrone McCullagh win in quarter finals of MTK Tournament
- Unbeaten prospects Junto Nakatani, Jaron Ennis, Jermaine Franklin, Oleg Malynovskyi and Brian Ceballo also score wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
New York, NY, USA: Middle: Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1) W PTS 12 Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2). Super Middle: Ali Akhmedov (16-0) W TKO 1 W Andy Hernandez (20-8-2,2ND). Super Light: Ivan Baranchyk (20-1) W TKO 4 Gabriel Bracero (25-4-1). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (4-0) W TKO 5 Alejandro Barrera (29-5). Welter: Brian Ceballo (11-0) W TKO 3 Ramal Amanov (16-1).Middle: Kamil Szeremeta (21-0) W TKO 2 Oscar Cortes (27-5).
Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko
A great fight sees Golovkin squash any thoughts that he might be slipping with a hard-fought victory over Derevyanchenko who just came up short for the second time in a fight for a vacant title having lost a split decision against Daniel Jacobs for the IBF title in October.
After some probing with jabs Golovkin was the first to come to life with a couple of hooks. Derevyanchenko was on target with some stiff jabs but as he worked inside Golovkin connected with a good right uppercut and two cuffing rights to the head and Derevyanchenko seemed to go down off balance from trying to duck the punches. He was up immediately and when the action resumed he took the fight to Golovkin and had Golovkin on the back foot at the bell.
Score: 10-8 Golovkin
Derevyanchenko started the round with a series of jabs and left hooks to the body with Golovkin again on the back foot. Over the second half of the round Golovkin picked up the pace and got though with his own jabs a left hook to the head and some body punches to just edge a close round. Derevyanchenko was showing a bad cut over his right eye probably from a punch.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 20-17
Derevyanchenko launched a furious attack at the start of the round. He was driving Golovkin back with powerful hooks and uppercuts to the body. Golovkin rallied but Derevyanchenko’s jab was working well and it was his round.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Golovkin 29-27
Derevyanchenko’s jab was hard and accurate again. Golovkin was forced onto the back foot as Derevyanchenko connected with short hooks. Golovkin rallied briefly but then Derevyanchenko landed some clubbing rights and a jarring combinations. He was dabbing at the blood from the cut but had been in charge in each the last two rounds.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Golovkin 38-37
Official scores: Judge Frank Lombardi 38-37 Golovkin, Judge Eric Marlinski 38-37 Golovkin, Judge Kevin Morgan 39-36 Golovkin
Derevyanchenko survived a doctor’s examination and when the round started he bossed the early action with a stabbing jab that Golovkin just could not get past. Golovkin did land a tasty uppercut but Derevyanchenko replied with a crunching left to the body and was chasing Golovkin down at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko TIED 47-47
Another round for Derevyanchenko. Golovkin’s jab has been an important tool for him in the past but he was being out-jabbed and caught by straight rights as Derevyanchenko followed in behind his jab. Golovkin tried to up his pace but Derevyanchenko was quicker and stronger.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Derevyanchenko 57-56
It was pick up or pack up time for Golovkin and he responded well. He finally had his own jab working and was also leading with left hooks. Derevyanchenko was fighting back in bursts but was ignoring his jab and Golovkin took the round with a bunch of punches before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin TIED 66-66
Now it was Golovkin on the font foot and connecting with jabs. He was slotting jabs through Derevyanchenko’s guard and banging to the body. Derevyanchenko’s jab was absent and his work his rate dropped off as though he way paying for setting such a fast pace in round three to six.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 76-75
Official scores: Lombardi 76-75 Golovkin, Marlinski 76-75 Golovkin, Morgan 77-74 Golovkin
Derevyanchenko tried to turn the tide bringing his jab back into play but Golovkin was on a roll and was quicker and more accurate. Derevyanchenko attacked fiercely in the middle of the round and looked as though he might take it but Golovkin finished strongly scoring with hooks and just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 86-84
A great round and a crucial one. If Golovkin took it he would be three points in front on my card with two rounds to go. If Derevyanchenko won it he would cut the gap to one point with two rounds remaining in which to snatch the fight. It was three minutes of savage action as Derevyanchenko would launch a furious attack and then Golovkin would battle back to put Derevyanchenko on the retreat. The advantage swung one way and then the other and in the end a strong finish from Golovkin deservedly won him the round but now he too was cut over his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 96-93
Derevyanchenko was far from finished; He put in a huge effort in this round marching forward firing hooks and uppercuts. Golovkin was scoring with accurate counters but he just could not keep Derevyanchenko off and was outscored.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Golovkin 105-103
It was not a classic round. Both fighters were tired and often fell into a clinch. Derevyanchenko probably threw more punches but Golovkin was more accurate and that was enough for him to edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 115-112
Official scores: Lombardi 115-112, Marlinski 115-112 Golovkin, Morgan 114-113 Golovkin
Golovkin wins the vacant IBF and IBO titles and now has plenty of options other than to fight Saul Alvarez again. At 37 he has slowed a bit but his experience saw him pace the fight better than Derevyanchenko and that was a big factor in his victory. Once again Ukrainian
Again Derevyanchenko comes up short. So close yet so far. The flash knockdown in the first and the cut over his right eye both played a part in his defeat. I would take him to beat Demetrius Andrade, Ryota Murata and Jermall Charlo and it seems inevitable that he will get a shot at a version of the middleweight title next year.
Akhmedov vs. Hernandez
This one was over quickly. Just 30 seconds into the first round Akhmedov landed a right to the head the saw Hernandez go down on one knee. Hernandez climbed to his feet at nine but the referee waived the fight off as Hernandez still looked shaken. All over in 44 seconds and the twelfth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Kazak as he retains the WBC International Silver title. Experienced Hernandez suffers his fourth defeat by KO/TKO.
Baranchyk vs. Bracero
After his disappointing loss to Josh Taylor Baranchyk needed to get a win and his sense of purpose showed here as he attacked hard from the start. He alternated between some quick stinging hooks and some wild swipes from both hands and he twice fell to the floor after missing with those shots. Bracero tried to box but was on the back foot and his punches did nothing to deter the Belarusian’s attacks. Baranchyk chased in vain early in the second and on one occasion Bracero ducked under a punch from Baranchyk wrapped his hands around the back of Baranchyk’s knees and tossed him to the canvas. Baranchyk got his revenge at the end of the round with some fierce attacks that saw him pin Bracero to the ropes and score with a succession of head punches. Bracero was cut over his left eye but it was difficult to see whether it was caused by a punch or a clash of heads. Baranchyk hustled and harried Bracero for the full three minutes of the third. He shook Bracero with a right to the head and raked him with punches until late in the round when Bracero fired back with some hooks of his own. Baranchyk ended it in the fourth. With Bracero trapped on the ropes Baranchyk landed a thudding left hook to the body and a booming right to the head. Bracero pitched forward grabbing Baranchyk and being dragged half way across the ring before Baranchyk shrugged him off. Bracero went face down on the canvas and although he beat the count the referee stopped the one-sided fight. Baranchyk wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title with his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. His wide decision lost to Taylor cost Baranchyk his IBF title and a place in the World Boxing Super Series final but you can be sure he will be fighting for a title again in 2020. Bracero is 38 and it showed. He did not have the power or movement to match Baranchyk but it is difficult to argue he should retire after his draw with 25-2 Thomas LaManna and inside the distance victory over 25-2 Artemio Reyes in his previous two fights.
Madrimov vs. Barrera
It looked as though Uzbek “The Dream” Madrimov might get this one over in the first round when he connected with a solid leaping left hook to the head that dropped the Mexican to one knee. Barrera was up at eight and then fought on equal terms with the unorthodox and sometimes crude Uzbek who continually used exaggerated lateral leaps to change his punching angles. In the second Barrera exposed some of Marimov’s faults as he boxed behind his jab avoided the wild lunging attacks of Madrimov and did enough to take the round. Barrera tried to stick to his boxing in the third but he lacked the power to keep the strong Madrimov out and the Uzbek was roughing Barrera up inside and turning the fight into a wild brawl. Barrera was finding it impossible to box in the fourth as Madrimov was getting past Barrera’s jab and using his strength to tire Barrera. Madrimov was spending a lot of time waving his arms about and feinting but the few punches he threw were generally on target. Madrimov was landing with clubbing punches in the fifth and Barrera began to fall apart. He was being driven across the ring with Madrimov bouncing punches off his head when the referee made a good stoppage. With his power and his awkward, eccentric style Madrimov is a handful for anyone. He was defending the WBA Inter-Continental title which he won in only his second pro fight knocking out 24-2 Frank Rojas in two rounds and he is yet to be taken the distance. Only the second loss by KO/TKO for Barrera who is now 1-4 in his most recent activity.
Ceballo vs. Amanov
Ceballo outclasses Amanov before the fight is stopped in the third round. In the first it was immediately apparent that Ceballo had much quicker hand speed both when taking the fight to Amanov and when countering and his slick movement frustrated the few attacks that the crude Amanov launched. Ceballo totally dominated the second. He was driving Amanov around the ring sending straight rights through Amanov’s defence and connecting with combinations to head and body. The referee was already tracking the action and looking ready to step in to save Amanov. The doctor examined Amanov before the start of the third, in the second Amanov had dabbed at his eyes. There was no cut but he seemed to have a problem with his vision. The doctor examined both eyes closely but let the fight continue. Ceballo was again connecting with hard rights and as Amanov reeled back from another attack the referee stopped the fight and took Amanov over to the doctor and this time the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Another outstanding performance from Puerto Rican Ceballo and his sixth win by KO/TKO. In the amateurs he won gold medals at the National Golden Gloves, the US national Championships and the Police Athletic League National Championships. Tougher opposition is needed but he has the look of a future world champion. Azeri Amanov was disappointing. His footwork was poor and he was too slow to pose any kind of threat to Ceballo.
Szeremeta vs. Cortes
Pole Szeremeta makes a successful debut in the USA with stoppage of Cortes. Szeremeta had Cortes on the back foot for much of the first round before flooring the Mexican with a wide left hook. Szeremeta
Strove to end it then but he was too anxious and missing with his shots and Cortes was in no further trouble. Early in the second Szeremeta
rocked Cortes with a big right and connect with two hooks as Cortes dropped to one knee. The Pole landed another left hook when Cortes clearly had one knee on the canvas and Szeremeta
Luckily missed with another which would probably have led to his disqualification if it had landed. Cortes rolled over and over on the canvas and he seemed to be waiting for Szeremeta to be disqualified. When he saw that was not going to happen he quickly got half way up but his corner signalled for him to go down again and the referee stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Pole relinquished the European title to chase a world title shot. With Golovkin and Derevyanchenko the only fighters rated above him in the IBF ratings this was by way of a showcasing of the Pole with a view to a fight with the winner. After turning pro at 16 and winning his first 21 fights Cortes activity dropped off and he is now 6-5 in his last 11
London, England: Feather: Ryan Walsh (25-2-2) W TKO 9 Hairon Socarras (22-0-3). Feather: Leigh Wood (23-1 W TKO 9 David Oliver Joyce (11-1). Feather: James Dickens (28-3) W PTS 10 Carlos Ramos (11-2). Feather: Tyrone McCullagh (14-0) W PTS 10 Razaq Najib (11-4).
Walsh vs. Socarras
Walsh’s power wins though as he halts Socarras in the ninth round of a herd-fought close fight in the MTK Golden Contract Tournament. Socarras made a fast, confident start taking the fight to Walsh stabbing out jabs and getting inside with hooks to the body. An oddity is that although both are orthodox they both boxed southpaw. In the second Walsh was getting inside and working the body well as again both fighters switched to southpaw near the end of the round. Walsh outscored Socarras in third connecting with some crisp hooks and knocking Socarras back on his heels with a left hook and an overhand right. Socarras had a good fourth snapping out his jab and landing some quick rights. To level up the scores. Walsh had a big fifth. Boxing southpaw he shook Socarras with a right to the head then they both blatantly landed low before a left hook from Walsh sent Socarras staggering back into the ropes which prevented him going down. However it was obvious the ropes had held him up so the referee gave Socarras an eight count. Walsh dominated the rest of the round with Socarras getting a warning for a very low left hook. They fought on even terms in the sixth with Socarras just having the edge but getting another warning for a low punch. Walsh took the seventh and eighth with some wicked body punching. A confident Socarras was dancing around Walsh in the ninth firing jabs and rocking Walsh with a right. Walsh fired back a big left hook sent Socarras crashing into the ropes. Walsh fired punch after punch and with nothing coming back from Socarras the fight was stopped. Important win for the 33-year-old British champion, the WBO No 6, who gets win No 12 by KO/TKO. He is 9-1-1 in his last 11 fights. Socarras has been plagued by draws but had won his last six fights and was No 7 with the WBA.
Wood vs. Joyce
Wood gets unexpected stoppage over former amateur star Joyce. When your opponent knows what to expect-do something different. As both are aggressive fighters it was expected that Wood’s tactics would be to go toe-to-toe with the equally aggressive Joyce but instead he boxed more. Wood took charge early flooring Joyce with a left in the second round. Joyce continued to march forward but was being countered by Wood and they constantly traded punches with Joyce trying to turn the fight into a brawl and Wood dominating when he boxed on the outside. Wood had built a lead. Joyce fought back strongly in the sixth but he was badly shaken by a right early in the seventh and floored late in the round. Joyce survived and returned to the attack in the eighth and it seemed as though his pressure tactics were working as Wood looked to be tiring in the ninth until he blitzed Joyce with a ferocious attack and with Joyce under fire on the ropes the fight was stopped. The 31-year-old Wood, the Commonwealth champion, wins the WBO European title and qualifies for the semi-finals of the MTK Golden Contract tournament. If the tournament provides fight such as this it will be a big win for boxing. Joyce, 32, was making the first defence of the WBO European title.
Dickens vs. Ramos
Dickens also moved through to the semi-finals of the featherweight section of the MTK Tournament with points victory over Ecuadorian-born Ramos in a clash of southpaws. The visitor did well in the first scoring with some crisp left hooks but from the second the quicker hands and better mobility saw Dickens take charge. He was slotting jabs through the guard of Ramos and firing quick lefts. As he came under pressure the Ecuadorian’s work began to unravel and his work rate dropped. Ramos was trying to confuse Dickens by fighting with his hands at thigh level and he paid for that when a crunching left cross dropped him heavily in the fourth. Ramos survived and remained competitive although being outboxed. He shook Dickens with a left to the head in the eighth but was leaving himself open with his hands down approach. Ramos landed a cracking combination at the start of the ninth but Dickens was piercing his guard with right jabs and straight lefts and Ramos was looking exhausted. Dickens took the last with some classy boxing and also took the decision. Scores 97-92 twice and 99-91 for Dickens. He retains the IBF European title with his sixth win in a row. He lost on a second round retirement suffered a broken jaw when challenging Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA super bantam title in 2016 and obviously apart from wanting to win the Golden Contract Tournament another world title shot has to be the long term aim. European Union champion Ramos proved strong if limited and gave Dickens a few problems to solve.
McCullagh vs. Najib
In a fourth quarter final of the MTK Tournament McCullough outpoints late substitute Najib. In what was a scrappy contest at times McCullagh used his superior skills to box and score on the outside. Najib was coming forward for the whole ten rounds but was being picked off at range by McCullagh and tied up inside leading too many clinches. More experience might have made Najib better prepared for the awkward southpaw style of the WBO European champion but he compensated for his deficiencies with his aggression and that aggression saw him pick up a round here and there and meant that McCullagh had to stay focused in a disappointing contest. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for McCullagh. The 29-year-old WBO No 8super bantam took this fight at featherweight attracted by the promised rewards for the winner of the Tournament offering a lucrative contract and some big fights. Najib, 25, came in at very short notice when Mexican Carlos Araujo could not make the weight. He had lost a wide unanimous verdict to Carlos Ramos for the EU title in June and it would be unfair to judge him on the substitute outing.
Los Hornos, Argentina: Super Bantam: Ckarl Mansilla (14-1) W TKO 4 Diego Silva (29-6-4).
Good win for Mansilla as he floors experienced Silva twice on the way to victory. Despite being floored in the second Silva continued to take the fight to Mansilla. Experienced or not Silva made a basic mistake in the sixth. He was moving in throwing punches but forgetting to keep his guard in place and a left hook knocked him down. He was up quickly but was a little unsteady and that was enough for the referee to waive the fight over at the end of the eight count. Fourth win on the trot by KO/TKO for Argentinian No 1 Mansilla. For No 8 Silva it is now four losses in a row.
Northbridge, Australia: Super Light: Terry Tzouramanis (23-4-3) W PTS 10 Brandon Ogilvie (22-3-1). Light Fly: John Humberdross (2-0) W PTS 10 Michael Kaplan (8-1).
Tzouramanis vs. Ogilvie
Tzouramanis wins this clash of highly rated Australians as he floors Ogilvie in the sixth on the way to a split decision over the local fighter. The fight was for the interim WBA Oceania title and Tzouramanis registers his eighth win in his last nine fights. The 25-year-old Ogilvie was also on a good run being 17-1-1 in his last 18 contests. He was No 3 in the Australian ratings and Tzouramanis No 4 and despite their ratings they are probably the best two in Australia in this division.
Humberdross vs. Kaplan
The Australian National Boxing Federation works hard to keep the activity high in national title fights. In this one for the vacant light flyweight title Humberdross made it an away double as he copied Tzouramanis and beat a local fighter. Humberdross took the unanimous decision over home town fighter Kaplan to win the national title in only his second fight with an 17 months gap between the first and second. Kaplan had scored victories in his last six fight but they were all at six rounds or less.
Ghent, Belgium: Middle: Kevin Ongenae (11-6-3) DREW 10W Junior Wabaga (6-1-1). Welter: Meriton Karaxha (25-5-2) W PTS 8 Renald Garrido (24-26-3).
Ongenae vs. Wabaga
In a good mix of styles Ongenae and Wabaga fight to a spilt draw in a Belgian title match. In an entertaining contest Ongenae was putting together some sharp combinations and constantly switched guards but it was the speed and accuracy of his jab that was his strongest weapon. Wabaga was warned twice in the second for low blows but other than that it was a clean open fight. Wabaga came forward aggressively throughout and landed a cracking right to the head in the fourth and worked hard all the way but with that jab and some clever footwork Ongenae looked to have done enough to be a clear winner but the judges saw it differently with one turning in a score of 97-93 for Ongenae one 96-94 for Wabaga and third scored it 95-95 so Ongenae retains the Belgian title. He is a clever tactical boxer but his lack of power is a drawback. Wabaga had won his last five fights but looked fortunate to get a draw here
Karaxha vs. Garrido
Another away loss for Frenchman Garrido as he drops a split decision against Karaxha. A clash of heads in the first saw Garrido cut over his left eye and that bothered him for the rest of the fight. Karaxha had slight edges in height and reach and more importantly a better defence. Garrido was his usual aggressive self throwing lots of punches but also wide open to counters. Karaxha’s better skills really made the difference here but he also indulged in some of his usual illegal tactics flirting with disqualification but just staying on the right side of the line. Garrido’s wide open style makes for entertaining fights but he pays the price in eating counters and Karaxha outboxed him for what should have been a unanimous decision. Scores 78-74 twice for Karaxha and 77-76 for Garrido. Albanian Karaxha is 7-0-1 in his last eight fights. Former French champion Garrido has lost his last five with three of them being split decisions.
Crotone, Italy: Welter: Tobia Loriga (30-8-3) W PTS 10 Emanuele Cavallucci (11-1-1). In front of his home fans Loriga proves that age is just a number as he regains the Italian title with majority decision over champion Cavallucci. It was a fast-paced fight early with plenty of exciting exchanges. Southpaw Cavallucci kept switching guards and with his clever boxing and better mobility went in front. A clash of heads saw Loriga suffer a cut over his left eye in the third and things got worse when it later turned out he had also injured his right hand. When a punch from Cavallucci shook Loriga in the fourth it looked as though the champion was on his way to victory. Loriga took the fifth and sixth as he began to exert stronger pressure and was forcing Cavallucci to the ropes more often. Cavallucci looked to have edged the seventh and done enough to share the ninth but Loriga outscored the champion in the eighth and won the tenth clearly and the decision. Score 96-94 twice for Loriga and 95-95. Loriga is 42 and has been a pro for 16 years previously holding the Italian super welter title and has shown there is still plenty of fight in him. Cavallucci, 31had won his last eight fights and was making the first defence of the title. He had never gone past the sixth round in a fight and that proved to be a disadvantage here but he deserves a return.
.Tlalpan, Mexico: Fly: Adrian Curiel (15-2) W PTS 10 Mario Andrade (15-10-6). Super Light: Denilson Valtierra (11-0) W PTS 8 Cesar Soriano (15-3).
Curiel vs. Andrade
Curiel boxes his way to majority decision victory over an aggressive Andrade. No knockdowns but the young prospect was pushed hard all the way but some sharp countering just gave him the edge over the more experienced fighter. Scores 96-94 twice and 95-95. The 20-year-old “Cat” gets his third win in a row. Andrade going the other way with his third loss in a row.
Valtierra vs. Soriano
Valtierra builds an early lead but then has to work hard to get a close unanimous verdict over Soriano. Valtierra totally dominated early having Soriano in deep trouble a number of times. Soriano survived and as Valtierra faded Soriano staged a strong finish but it was just not enough. Scores 77-75 and 78-75 for Valtierra and 77-75 for Soriano. The 17-year-old “Kaiser” Valtierra takes the WBC Latino title from champion Soriano who was making his first defence.
Czestochowa, Poland: Super Middle: Robert Parzeczewski (24-1) W PTS 10 Patrick Mendy (18-15-3). Middle: Patryk Szymanski (20-2) W PTS 8 Denis Krieger (14-9-2). Super Welter: Louis Greene (11-1) W TKO 2 Lukasz Wierzbicki (18-1). Heavy: Marcin Siwy (20-0) W PTS 8 Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko (6-5-1).
Parzeczewski vs. Mendy
Neighbourhood fighter Parzeczewski gets by Mendy but the Gambian-born Mendy made it a close fight and an uncomfortable night for the Pole. Parzeczewski made a cautious start and had trouble dealing with the aggressive and awkward attacks of Mendy. The local fighter had a good third knocking Mendy into the ropes with a solid right and he worked well to the body in the fourth. Mendy looked to be in trouble from a Parzeczewski attack in the fifth but rebounded to take the sixth landing well to head and body. It looked as though Parzeczewski was tiring in the seventh with Mendy in charge of the exchanges. Parzeczewski came back strongly in the eighth but Mendy took the ninth. Parzeczewski put in a big effort in the last which was enough to get him the win but only just. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94 for Parzeczewski. The 25-year-old Pole retains the Polish International title with his fifteenth win in a row. He has scored useful wins over Dariusz Sek and Dmitry Chudinov but has still not made it into the EBU ratings. English-based Mendy is a far better fighter than his record indicates and he has scored a few upsets along the way.
Szymanski vs. Krieger
After two inside the distance losses in a row this was a must win fight for Szymanski and he did manage to come out on top but it was not a sparkling performance. Szymanski made a good start piercing Krieger’s guard with accurate jabs in the opener and mixing in some hard hooks in the second round. Krieger did better in the third with some hooks to head and body but Szymanski took the fourth as he again jabbed strongly. Over the middle rounds Szymanski’s jab was being countered strongly by Krieger and the Pole often had to clinch to stifle Krieger’s attacks. Szymanski outboxed Krieger at the start of the seventh but shipped some heavy punches late in the round and looked shaky at the bell. Szymanski finished with a good eighth and was a deserving winner. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 although it looked a closer fight than that. Those inside the distance losses last against Fouad El Massoudi and Robert Talarek have left big questions over how far Szymanski can go. German-based Moldovan Krieger has won only two of his last ten fights but has yet to lose by KO/TKO.
Greene vs. Wierzbicki
Big shock for the locals as England’s Greene blasts out unbeaten southpaw Wierzbicki in two rounds. The upset was on the cards from the time that Greene floored Wierzbicki with a right hook in the first round. Wierzbicki beat the count but Greene landed some more heavy punches. Wierzbicki tried to use his jab to get into the fight but at the bell was showing a cut over his right eye. Wierzbicki made a strong start in the second but a brutal right from Greene put Wierzbicki down heavily. He made it to his feet but after the eight count Greene was connecting with more heavy punches and with Wierzbicki unable to defend himself the fight was stopped. Huge win for Greene and his sixth victory by KO/TKO. His only loss was on points against highly rated Larry Ekundayo. Wierzbicki had met and beaten some experienced opposition but was blown away in quick time here.
Siwy vs. Dovbyshchenko
Czestochowa resident Siwy maintains his 100% record of wins against carefully selected low grade opposition. Over the first three rounds it looked as though Siwy might end this inside the distance. He rattled Ukrainian Dovbyshchenko with strong jabs and right crosses and impressed with some sharp left hooks. In the fourth Dovbyshchenko came into the fight more and Siwy’s old problem with stamina reared its head. In the fifth and sixth Siwy slowed down only fighting in bursts and puffing heavily. Dovbyshchenko took advantage of that and pressed hard until Siwy found the energy for a strong finish over the seventh and eighth. Scores 78-75 twice and 78-74. Siwy marches on with a heavily padded record but it is about time he faced something resembling a test. Dovbyshchenko is really just a four and six round prelim fighter but he can still boast that he has not lost a fight inside the distance.
Malamulele. South Africa: Super Feather: Sibusiso Zingange (14-3-2,1ND) W TKO 8 Mziwodumo Mangxilana (6-7-5). Super Feather: Rofhiwa Maemu (18-9-3) DREW 10 Koos Sibiya (23-14-5).
Zingange vs. Mangxilana
Zingange retains the WBA Pan African title with stoppage of Mangxilana. Not a noted puncher Zingange seems to have picked up some power under his new trainer Harold Volbrecht. He has lost only one of his last ten fights. Second loss in a row for Mangxilana.
Maemu vs. Sibiya
Sowetan Maemu was expected to be too young and too quick for oldie Sibiya but in the end had to settle for a draw which snapped his six-bout winning streak. At 38 Sibiya still has some life left in him.
Doncaster, England: Light: Gavin McDonnell (22-2-2) W TKO 7 Nathan Kirk (12-4). Home town favourite McDonnell keeps busy with stoppage of a game Kirk. McDonnell had height, reach, experience and quality over Kirk and was never really troubled. In the seventh he connected with a series of shots to head and body and with Kirk against the ropes and just covering up the referee stopped the contest. The 33-year-old McDonnell, a former British, European and WBC Silver champion lost in world title shots against Rey Vargas and Daniel Roman and is rebuilding slowly. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Kirk.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Yomar Alamo (17-0-1) DREW 10 Antonio Moran (24-4-1).
Alamo vs. Moran
Alamo keeps his unbeaten label but only just. In this contest of two speedy, solid technical fighters Moran seemed to settle quicker in what was a battle of jabs over the opening round. Alamo forced the pace harder in the second and third pinning Moran to the ropes and belting him to head and body. Moran had his jab working well in the fourth but pressure from Alamo helped him build a lead over the middle rounds. Moran then finished strongly over the late rounds to close the gap. Scores 97-93 Alamo, 96-94 Moran and 95-95. Puerto Rican Alamo, the WBO No 8, was defending the WBO NABO title and for me just did enough to win this one. Mexican Moran gave Jose Pedraza a tough fight in June last year only losing by scores of 96-94 on the three cards but was knocked out in the seventh round by Devin Haney in his last fight in May.
Houston, TX, USA: Super Light: Darwin Price (16-0) W TKO 5 Breidis Prescott (31-18) Local fighter Price floors Prescott twice on his way to an inside the distance win. Prescott is well over the hill now and just a scalp for fighters such as Price. A right to the head sent Prescott down the first time but the finisher was a destructive left hook to the body that saw Prescott writhing on the canvas in agony. After being inactive in 2018 Price has scored three wins this year. Ten losses in his last eleven fights for Prescott
Brovari, Ukraine: Light: Denys Berinchyk (12-0) W PTS 12 Patricio Lopez (26-3). Super Middle: Max Bursak (35-5-2) W TKO 5 Beka Mukhulishvili (5-8). Feather: Oleg Malynovskyi (25-0) W PTS 8 Vittorio Parrinello (11-4). Super Light: Mishiko Beselia (19-1) W TKO 4 Eduard Merinets (4-9-1). Middle: Dmytro Mytrofanov (7-0-1) W TKO 4 Novak Radulovic (9-5-1).
Berinchyk vs. Lopez
After Berinchyk’s ring entry everything else was going to seem tame. He was wheeled into the arena in a big iron cage wearing a Hanibal Lecter mask! Whether that scared Mexican Lopez or not he certainly never really posed any threat to the local fighter. Berinchyk started at a fast pace constantly marching forward throwing punches ignoring Lopez’s jabs. Southpaw Lopez, who had big advantages in height and reach, was livelier in the second but was often pinned to the ropes. Lopez started the third much more brightly scoring with a series of head punches but under pressure from Berinchyk his work became sloppy. Lopez found himself on the ropes again in the fourth. Berinchyk battered away at the Mexican’s defence before backing off with Lopez urging Berinchyk to came back and fight. The pattern did not change over the middle rounds as Berinchyk ‘s attacks ebbed and flowed like the tide marching forward then backing off and then striding forward again and with Lopez tiring from the intensity of Berinchyk’s attacks the fight was one-sided. Berinchyk slipped to the floor in the eighth and Lopez did the same in the ninth and both fighters seemed to take a round off in the tenth. Berinchyk was back on the attack in the eleventh sending Lopez’s mouthguard flying with a punch and he swarmed all over Lopez in the last. Scores: 120-108 twice and 120-109 for Berinchyk. Second defence of the WBO International title for Berinchyk who is rated No 7 by them. As an amateur the 31-year-old Ukrainian won silver medals at the World Championships and the 2012 Olympics, where he beat Jeff Horn and Anthony Yigit, but after four years as a pro I would have expected him to have progressed more. Lopez had won his last four fights but was under-powered to be competitive in this one.
Bursak vs. Mukhulishvili
Bursak too strong for Georgian novice Mukhulishvili. Bursak handed out a beating to Mukhulishvili in every round and the Georgian did well to stay in the fight. By the fifth Mukhulishvili was taking heavy punishment and his face was battered, bruised and bloody. The referee halted the action to get the doctor to examine Mukhulishvili’s nose which was pouring bloody and the fight was stopped. Since losing to Gilberto Ramirez for the WBO title in 2017Bursak has dropped the level of his opposition but has failed to impress even then. Eighth consecutive loss for Mukhulishvili.
Malynovskyi vs. Parrinello
Although an elite level amateur Parrinello has struggled as a pro and he found Malynovskyi too strong for him. Parrinello has some slick skills built over a long time in the amateur ranks-too long a time. After a close first round Malynovskyi pressed from the second being able to get inside due Parrinello’s to the lack of power. Malynovskyi rattled Parrinello with some hard rights in the third and bossed the fight from there. Parrinello showed some fine movement and defensive skills but was always on the back foot and although over the second half of the fight many rounds were close Malynovskyi was a comfortable winner. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 79-74 for Malynovskyi. Second win this year for the Ukrainian who had only one fight in 2018. After having great success in the amateur ranks, including competing at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, Parrinello did not switch to the pros until he was 31 so left it much too late.
Beselia vs. Merinets
Beselia beats up on poor Merinets for three rounds for victory. Merinets was in way over his head. Beselia was showering him with punches over the first two rounds and ended it in the third. He was driving Merinets around the ring with Merinets just covering up and not throwing anything back. Beselia had Merinets pinned to the ropes and was unloading with hooks when the referee stopped the fight just as the towel came fluttering in from Merinets corner. Ukrainian-based Beselia has impressive figures as long as you don’t look too closely. The opposition has been of very inferior standard and he was exposed by his inside the distance loss to Spanish-based Dominican Kelvin Dotel in December. Ukrainian Merinets is 1-7 in his last 8 fights.
Mytrofanov vs. Radulovic
Mytrofanov gets his fourth win on the bounce by KO/TKO as he scores brutal kayo of Radulovic. Mytrofanov raked the Serb with shots to head and body over the first three rounds attacking relentlessly. Radulovic tried to counter but was under too much pressure to get his punches away and by the end of the third already looked to be fading. In the fourth Mytrofanov took Radulovic to the ropes and pummelled him with light punches before driving home a left hook to the body and then connecting with a booming left hook to the chin that sent Radulovic down flat on this back. The referee instantly waived the fight over. Radulovic was badly hurt and finally had to be carried from the ring on a stretcher. No report yet on his condition. Mytrofanov, a Ukrainian based in Oxnard, is a former double Ukrainian amateur champion who won a bronze medal at the European Championships. He competed for the Mexican Guerreros and Ukrainian Otamans in the WSB and fought at the 2016 Olympics. Kosovon-born Radulovic has three losses by KO/TKO.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Fly: Junto Nakatani (20-0) W TKO 6 Milan Melindo (37-5). Feather: Ryo Akaho (35-2-2) W TKO 6 Kyung Min Kwon (7-6).
Nakatani vs. Melindo
Some consider Nakatani to be the best young prospect in Japan and he impressed again here as he crushed a sliding Melindo. He was tracking Melindo around the ring in the first two rounds using his height and long reach to score with southpaw jabs and then following with straight lefts with nothing of consequence coming back from Melindo. The action was one-sided with Nakatani landing with heavy lefts in the third and jarring Melindo with hooks in the fourth. Melindo was looking to counter but could not get past the jab. Melindo soaked up some hurtful punishment in the fifth and looked to have very little left. In the sixth Nakatani drove home a whole series of powerful straight lefts through the guard of Melindo until the referee stepped in to save the brave little Filipino. At 5’7” the 21-year-old Nakatani, a former Japanese flyweight champion, is almost freakishly tall and with his height, reach and power (15 wins by KO/TKO) he can be a real force in the division. He is rated WBA 2/WBC and WBO 3 but now needs to step up to tougher opposition. Third loss in a row in Japan for Melindo but in fairness two of those were world title fights. At 31 and in the twilight of a distinguished career Melindo needs to think where he goes from here.
Akaho vs. Kwon
Akaho brushes aside the slow and limited Kwon with ease. Akaho tempered his usual wild aggression and showed some skill in methodically beating down Kwon who was never in the fight. With Akaho landing punch after punch in the sixth the referee stopped the uneven battering. Akaho has come up short in challenges for the WBC flyweight and WBO bantamweight belts but a run of nine wins over carefully vetted opposition has him in the IBF ratings at No 12 but still a long way away from another title fight. Second loss by KO/TKO for Kwon. It seems impossible to believe that at one time South Korea was a major force in world boxing and now they don’t have a single world level fighter now.
Brisbane, Australia: Super Welter: Adrian Rodriguez (12-2-2) W TKO 10 Billy Limov (5-2-1).
Former MMA fighter “Road Rage” Rodriguez wins the vacant Australian title with late stoppage of Limov. These two had fought a draw in October for the Queensland State title and it looked as this one would also go to the scorecards before Rodriguez ended it with just two minutes remaining in the fight. Limov landed a strong right cross but then Rodriguez rocked Limov with a right before putting him down on his back with a devastating combination of a left hook and a right cross. Somehow Limov made it to his feet at eight but he staggered back to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Rodriguez had lost to Samuel Colomban when challenging for this same vacant title in 2017. New Zealand-born Limov was also having his second shot at the title have been stopped by Joel Camilleri in February this year.
Blois, France: Middle: Michel Mothmora (31-28-2) W PTS 10 Francis Tchoffo (19-16-1). To the delight of his home fans Mothmora lives up to his nickname of “The Phoenix” as he rises again and finally wins the French title at the seventh attempt. After a slow start giving away lots of height and reach Mothmora was badly shaken in the third but in a big fourth he twice forced Tchoffo to drop to a knee. Tchoffo banged back in the fifth and this time it was Mothmora who was in trouble and he touched the canvas with both gloves and was given a standing count. Mothmora slowed in the sixth as Tchoffo looked to be taking control but Mothmora found new strength and after a close seventh he dominated the eighth and ninth and then danced his way to victory in the last. The 39-year-old Mothmora “improves” to 1-6 in French title fights but the 1 in those figures caused great celebrations. Cameroon-born Tchoffo was having his second shot at the title.
Enghien, France: Welter: Yannick Dehez (21-1-1) W PTS 8 Vasyl Kurasov (9-2). Southpaw Dehez gets unanimous decision over Ukrainian Kurasov in a fight of contrasting styles. Dehez has quick hands and some classy movement but lacks any kind of punch. Kurasov was able to come forward and put pressure on Dehez connecting with some good rights and forcing Dehez to fight hard in every round. They fought at a fast pace with all eight rounds being strongly contested and although Dehez deserved the verdict Kurasov was competitive all the way. Scores 79-73.78-74 and 77-75 for Dehez. The former undefeated French champion had his reputation dented when he lost to modest Yahya Tlaouziti in November. This is his fourth win this year but he has a major reconstruction job to do. Also the fourth fight this year for 21- year-old Kurasov who is 2-2.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Super Light: Danielito Zorrilla (13-0) W PTS 10 Jesus Perez (23-4). Zorrilla wins the vacant interim WBO NABO super light title with comprehensive victory over Mexican Perez. The Puerto Rican floored Perez with a right in the first and then rocked him again before the end of the round. A great start but at a price as Zorrilla damaged his right hand with the first knockdown and had to rely heavily on his left for the rest of the fight. Over the remaining rounds Perez focused his attacks on Zorrilla’s body. Zorrilla showed he could use the right if he needed to hurting Perez with a hook to the body in the fourth and he used some solid, accurate jabbing and left hooks to keep Perez out emerging as a clear victor. Scores 100-89 twice and 98-91 for Zorrilla. He will now be looking to challenge fellow Puerto Rican Yomar Alamo who defended the real WBO NABO title with a draw against Antonio Moran on Friday. Perez went 21-0 at the start of his career but as the going gets tougher fighters such as Perez get beaten.
Bristol, England: Bantam: Lee Haskins (36-4) W PTS 6 Sergio Gonzalez (10-19-5). In his first fight since December 2017 Haskins eases his way back as he wins every round against poor Gonzalez. Haskins put Gonzalez on the floor in the first but then reigned back and made use of the remaining round to shed some rust. Referee’s score 60-53 for Haskins. The former IBF bantam champion is aiming for another title shot. Spanish-based Nicaraguan (that’s long hand for perennial loser) is now 0-10-1 in his last 11. In a another bout on the show Lee’s son Anton Haskins scored a win. Father and son on the same show.
Bradford, England: Welter: Darren Tetley (19-0) W PTS 6 Chris Jenkinson (11-67-3). Former WBO European champion Tetley gets his second win of the year as he outpoints Jenkinson. Tetley won all the way flooring Jenkinson with a left hook to the body in the last and taking the decision by 60-53 on the referee’s card. The tall Bradford southpaw never defended the WBO European title and was removed from the ratings when he relinquished it but then it was ridiculous that he was rewarded with a world rating for beating someone who is rated at No 42 in the British ratings. Jenkins is a durable journeyman.
Hockessin, DE, USA: Light: Henry Lundy (30-8-1) W PTS 8 Robert Frankel (37-22-1). Light Heavy: Fanlong Meng (16-0) W TKO 2 Gilberto Rubio (9-9).
Lundy vs. Frankel
Lundy revives his career with wide unanimous decision over tough but shopworn Frankel. Lundy outboxed Frankel all the way outjabbing him at distance and outworking him inside. Frankel stuck to his task trying to find a punch to turn the fight his way but he was well beaten. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Lundy. Consecutive losses to modest opponents Zaur Abdullaev and Avery Sparrow made it look as though the former WBO super light title challenger’s career was finished. He still has hopes of another title shot but at 35 time is running out. The 39-year-old Frankel loses more than he wins these days and usually finds himself cast as a stepping stone for unbeaten climbers.
Meng vs. Rubio
Meng blasts out a horribly overmatched Rubio in two rounds. It was a massacre. Meng put Rubio down with a body punch in the first and with a left to the head in the second. Rubio made it to his feet but was being pounded on the ropes when the referee stopped the fight. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the 6’2” Chinaman who after wins over Frank Buglioni and Adam Deines is mandatory challenger to IBF champion Artur Beterbiev.
Mexican Rubio is 2-5 in his last seven fights with all five losses coming inside the distance but against good class opposition
Flint, MI, USA: Welter: Jaron Ennis (24-0) W TKO 3 Demian Fernandez (13-1). Heavy: Jermaine Franklin (20-0) W PTS 10 Pavel Sour (11-1).
Ennis vs. Fernandez
Ennis puts on a sparkling display of speed and power in beating Argentinian Fernandez. Ennis at 5’10” had height over the 5’6” Fernandez and a comparable edge in reach but he did not need them. He was firing flashing combinations to head and body with Fernandez unable to do more than cover up and counter when he could. Ennis was switching stances which confused Fernandez but he was also given a stern warning for two low punches. In the second Ennis continued to score with dazzling combinations and it was clear this one was not going to last long. In the third Ennis jolted Fernandez with left to the head and then fired a barrage of punches which saw Fernandez drop to one knee. When Fernandez got up instead of fighting he indicated he had a problem with his vision in his right eye and the fight was stopped. The 22-year-old “ Boots” Ennis from Philadelphia is a tremendous prospect . He is making up for lost time after a contract dispute slowed his climb. He has 22 wins by KO/TKO including 14 in his last 14 fights. You can expect him to break through in a big way in 2020. Fernandez had won his last nine fights but against substandard domestic opposition.
Franklin vs. Sour
Neighbourhood favourite Franklin floors Sour twice to take a wide unanimous victory. Sour was much the bigger man but also slow with a poor defence. Franklin found it difficult getting through to Sour’s chin due to the height difference but he easily outboxed the Czech boxer. Sour was occasionally dangerous with right crosses but Franklin managed to avoid or block most of them. Franklin almost ended it in the sixth when he connected with a counter right that dropped Sour to his knees. Sour was up immediately but when the action resumed was rocked a couple times more. Sour survived but was put down again in the tenth. A booming right cross snapped Sour’s head back. He tried to hold but two more right sent him crashing into and almost through the ropes. Again he was up quickly and although rocked by another right held and then fought back to the final bell. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-71 for Franklin. A former National Golden Gloves champion the 25-year-old from Saginaw is progressing slowly under the radar. Sour, 37, showed a great chin in this one. He had won his last four fights and the only fighter to beat him inside the distance is Filip Hrgovic
Gilleleje, Denmark: Super Middle: Patrick Nielsen (30-3) W PTS 8 Armen Ypremyan (9-2-2). Middle: Ashley Theophane (48-8-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Kassim Ouma (29-14-1).
Nielsen vs. Ypremyan
Nielsen returns with a win as he decisions Ypremyan. The Dane was having his first fight since losing a split decision against Arthur Abraham in April last year. Nielsen won on scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72 but the rust showed. French-based Armenian Ypremyan is 1-2 in his last two fights.
Theophane vs. Ouma
No problem for Theophane as he wins this battle of oldies who have seen much better days. Scores 100-91, 99-91and 98-92 for Theophane. “Treasure” is 7-0-1ND in his last eight fights with the fights taking place in eight different countries-who needs Thomas Cook? Now 40 former IBF super welter champion Ouma, a Ugandan based in Holland, has lost four in a row.
Fight of the week (Significance): Gennady Golovkin’s win over Sergey Derevyanchenko was a big result in a big fight
Fight of the week (Entertainment). Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko. Twelve rounds of entertaining quality fighting with the result in the balance all the way
Fighter of the week: Gennady Golovkin-a champion again
Punch of the week: The left hook to the body from Darwin Price that finished off Breidis Prescott was a world of pain for the Colombian. The left hook from Dmytro Mytrofanov that knocked Novak Radulovic out cold was frightening
Upset of the week: Londoner Louis Greene (10-1) was brought in to lose to 18-0 Lukasz Wierzbicki but tore up the script and stopped Wierzbicki in two rounds.
Prospect watch: Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin, a former National Golden Gloves champion is now 21-0 and making steady progress.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Muhamad Farkhan (10-0): WBA #15
Farkhan knocked out 50 plus fight veteran Alexander Bajawa (43-9) in June, making him the 1st Malaysian to enter the world rankings in years.
-Meng Fanlong (16-0): IBF #1
Meng won an IBF title eliminator a couple of months ago, against Adam Deines (19-1). He beat Mexican journeyman Gilberto Rubio (9-9) on October 5th.
-Apinun Khongsong (16-0): IBF #1
The undefeated Thai fighter blasted Akihiro Kondo (31-9) to become the #1 contender for the IBF World championship, earlier this year.
-Romero Duno (21-1): WBO #4
The Filipino prospect defeated former world title challenger Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-8) in May and then Ivan Delgado (13-3) last month. He is now scheduled to meet Ryan Garcia (18-0) on November 2nd.
-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 #6
Noynay earned the biggest win of his career this summer as he dominated the 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-1) to defend his WBO Asia Pacific crown. He will return to Japan, on December 7th, in a match against Kenichi Ogawa (24-1).
-Xiao Tao Su (11-1): WBO #15
The Chinese fighter dispatched Shota Yukawa (11-6) in one round to win the vacant WBO Oriental title. He will defend his belt on November 23rd. (Opponent TBA)
-Jhack Tepora (23-0): IBF #3 / WBA #11 / WBC #13
The former interim WBA World champion got a unanimous decision over Jose Luis Gallegos (16-8) on June 1st.
-Mark Magsayo (20-0): WBC #8
Magsayo outclassed the former 2 time World champion Panya Uthok (53-7) on August 31st and also gained the vacant WBC Asia title.
-Marlon Tapales (33-2): WBO #1 / IBF #3
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion has 3 stoppage wins since moving up a weight class.
-Albert Pagara (32-1): WBO #2
The WBO Intercontinental champion made easy work of Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-4) in August.
-Ye Joon Kim (18-1): WBA #12
Joon defeated Ryo Kosaka (17-5) to win the vacant WBA Asia title.
-Jeo Santisima (18-2): WBO #6
Santisima knocked out Alvius Maufani (6-4) in a single round.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (47-1): WBC #3
Nawaphon has been undefeated in his last 11 bouts, including KO victories over former World champions Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) as well as Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3).
-Michael Dasmarinas (29-2): IBF #1 / WBO #7 / WBC #9
Dasmarinas defeated Kenny Demecillo (14-5) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title. He is scheduled to compete on October 26th. (Opponent TBA)
-Reymart Gaballo (22-0): WBA #4 / IBF #10 / WBO #13
The former interim WBA champion destroyed Japanese journeyman Yuya Nakamura (9-3) this past February and then Yeison Vargas (17-2) on August 31st.
-Tasana Salapat (52-1): WBC #7 / WBA #8
Since failing to capture the interim WBC title last year, Salapat has picked up 4 more wins, all stoppages.
-Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10): IBF #4
Ponpitak successfully defended his IBF Pan Pacific title, for the 2nd time, in July. He takes on the OPBF champion Keita Kurihara (14-5) on November 15th.
-Vincent Astrolabio (14-3): WBO #12
Astrolabio dispatched Kevin Aseniero (9-3) on August 24th.
-Jun Zhao (12-2): WBA #15
Zhao has added 2 more knockouts to his record this year, while also winning the WBA Asia title in the process.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1
The former 2 time WBC champion will be in action on October 19th, in Thailand. He is also expected to fight in America this coming December.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (55-4): WBA #2
The former interim WBA Flyweight World titlist 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.
-Froilan Saludar (31-3): WBO #12
Saludar got his 22nd KO against Tsubasa Murachi (4-1) to win the WBO Asia Pacific crown.
-Aston Palicte (25-3): WBO #8 / WBC #8
Palicte lost to Kazuto Ioka (24-2) and failed once again to capture the WBO belt.
-Jakkrawut Majoogoen (29-1): WBA #14
Majoogoen has been on an impressive 15 fight winning streak since losing to Daigo Higa in 2015.
-KJ Cataraja (11-0): WBO #10
Cataraja beat Crison Omayao (24-21) on September 23rd.
-Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3): WBA #4 / WBO #12
Tuolehazi marked his inaugural WBA International title defense against Ardin Diale (35-14) this past May. He now faces Satoshi Tanaka (7-5) on October 17th.
-Jayson Mama (14-0): IBF #6 / WBO #10 / WBA #15
The undefeated Filipino fighter 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 (24-1): WBO #1 / IBF #3 / WBC #5 / WBA #6
The WBO International champion recently defeated Richard Claveras (18-7).
-Nare Yianleang (71-5): WBA #3 / WBC #7
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, Yianleang has won 9 fights in a row.
-Jayr Raquinel (11-1): WBC #12
Raquinel returned after almost an entire year of inactivity, on August 23rd, and stopped former world title challenger Takuya Kogawa (30-6).
-Komgrich Nantapech (25-5): IBF #4
Nantapech hasn’t fought since last December.
-Genisis Libranza (19-1): IBF #8 / WBC #14
Libranza has been 8-0 since losing to the IBF World champion Moruti Mthalane (38-2).
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-2): WBA #7
Sarawut failed to capture the WBA World title from Artem Dalakian (19-0).
-Edward Heno (14-0): WBO #1
The longtime OPBF king will challenge the WBO World champion Elwin Soto (15-1) either on October 24th.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (17-0): WBA #3
“D’Golden Boy” became the WBA Asia champion in April and defended it on August 31st.
-Randy Petalcorin (30-3): IBF #5 / WBA #9
The former interim WBA World champion will fight Wichet Sengprakhon (9-6) on October 19th in Manila.
-Mark Vicelles (11-0): WBO #10
Vicelles defeated Robert Onggocan (12-6) and Jesse Espinas (19-4) this year.
-Tibo Monabesa (20-1): WBC #13
The Indonesian fought and beat Omari Kimweri (17-5) in July to win the IBO title.
-Christian Bacolod (12-0): WBO #11
Christian stopped Garry Rojo (9-13) in July and Michael Camelion (10-13) on September 23rd.
-Xiang Li (7-2): WBO #15
Li won the WBC Asia Continental & WBO Youth titles this past May. He will defend his WBO strap against Ryu Horikawa (2-0) on October 17th.
-Christian Araneta (17-1): IBF #9
Araneta lost an IBF title eliminator against Daniel Valladares (21-1) on September 7th.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-4): WBC #7
Taconing failed to capture the WBC World title from Ken Shiro (16-0).
-Jing Xiang (17-4): WBO #3 / WBC #6
After earning the biggest victory of his career against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-7) in early 2019, the Chinese star made his Strawweight debut on August 17th, capturing the WBO International title.
-Lito Dante (16-10): WBC #8 / IBF #11
In a shocking turn of events, Dante managed to stop Tsubasa Koura (14-1) and become the OPBF champion.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (17-2): IBF #5 / WBO #11
Cuarto fought the undefeated Jayson Vayson (8-0) to a draw.
-Rhenrob Andales (10-1): WBA #7 / WBO #13
”ArAr” unsuccessfully challenged the WBA World champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) on August 2nd.
-Joey Canoy (15-3): WBO #7 / IBF #9
Canoy stopped Ryan Makiputin (13-18) on July 11th.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): WBC #7
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship last year.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #1 / IBF #8 / WBA #13
Paradero beat Jonathan Almacen (5-3) this past April.
-Melvin Jerusalem (15-2): WBC #2 / IBF #6 / WBO #8
Jerusalem defeated Reymark Taday (9-10) on August 17th.
-Samuel Salva (17-1): IBF #10
Salva suffered an injury in his match with Pedro Taduran (14-2), costing him the opportunity to become the IBF champion.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Alexander Povetkin (35-2): WBC #4 / WBA #5 / IBF #10
The former Olympic & World champion defeated Hughie Fury (23-3) to win the vacant WBA International title. He might face Dereck Chisora (31-9) in November.
-Evgeny Romanov (14-0): WBO #11
Romanov has improved his perfect record with 3 more victories this year and also became the 1st ever WBO Global Heavyweight champion.
-Ivan Dychko (9-0): WBA #14
The 2 time Olympic Bronze medalist stopped Nate Heaven (9-3) as well as former world title challenger Ray Austin (29-10) thus far in 2019.
-Sergey Kuzmin (15-1): WBA #11 / IBF 14
Kuzmin suffered his 1st pro loss at the hands of Michael Hunter (18-1) on September 13th.
-Aleksei 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.
-Beibut Shumenov (18-2): WBA (Regular) World Cruiserweight champion
The returning Shumenov’s next fight could take place at a major boxing event, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, promoted by Don King.
-Evgeny Tishchenko (5-0): WBO #11 / IBF #14
The 2016 Olympic champion won the vacant WBO Intercontinental title after knocking out Abraham Tabul (16-2) in the opening round. He will defend his new crown against fellow undefeated fighter Issa Akberbayev (20-0) on November 2nd.
-Yury Kashinsky (18-0): IBF #3 / WBA #3 / WBO #3 / WBC #7
Kashinsky won the vacant IBF Intercontinental title, on June 16th.
-Ruslan Fayfer (24-1): IBF #5 / WBC #10
Ruslan defeated Serhiy Radchenko (7-4) in May.
-Aleksei Papin (11-1): WBC #14
The former Kickboxing world champion & 2 time IBF International champion lost to Ilunga Makabu (26-2) this past August.
-Sergey Kovalev (34-3): WBO World champion
The Russian legend successfully defended his WBO title against Anthony Yarde (18-1) in August and he’s already scheduled to step into the ring again on November 2nd as he faces the unified WBA, WBC & IBF Middleweight World champion Canelo Alvarez (52-1) at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas.
-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’s 5th title defense takes place on October 12 against Lenin Castillo (20-2).
-Maksim Vlasov (44-3): WBO #6 / IBF #11
Vlasov defended his WBO Global title against former foe & 2 time world title challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-7) in July, thus avenging his 1st professional loss.
-Umar Salamov (25-1): WBO #4 / IBF #5 / WBA #10
Salamov retained the WBO International title for the 3rd time after knocking out Emmanuel Danso (31-5) in September.
-Igor Mikhalkin (23-2): WBC #4 / IBF #13
Mikhalkin earned a unanimous decision victory over Timur Nikarkhoev (21-3) thus becoming the interim IBO champion.
-Fedor Chudinov (21-2): WBA #2 / WBC #5 / IBF #6 / WBO #11
The former WBA World champion has fought thrice in 2019, defeating the likes of Wuzhati Nuerlang (12-3), Rafael Bejaran (26-4) and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (26-6). Fedor could be involved in an IBF title eliminator with Jose Uzcategui (29-3) this coming December.
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0): WBA #3 / WBO #8
The unified WBA International, WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental champion successfully defended his belts against Rocky Jerkic (17-2) in August. His next match might be on November 2nd.
-Aslambek Idigov (17-0): WBO #7
Idigov picked up a unanimous decision victory over Robert Racz (21-2) on September 19th and remained the WBO & IBF European champion.
-Vladimir Shishkin (9-0): WBC #10 / WBA #13
The undefeated Russian stopped the WBC Continental Americas champion DeAndre Ware (13-2) in August.
-Evgeny Shvedenko (12-0): IBF #10
Shvedenko beat Nadjib Mohammedi (42-8) this past April.
-Azizbek Abdugofurov (13-0): WBC #4
The WBC Silver champion made a successful comeback on August 24th, against Gasan Gasanov (16-9).
-Gennady Golovkin (40-1): IBF World champion
Triple G earned a decision victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2) on October 5th to become a 2 time IBF champion.
-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. He is expected to clash with former world title challenger Walter Kautondokwa (18-1) on October 26th.
-Magomed Madiev (13-0): WBA #4
Madiev went to war with fellow Russian fighter Evgeny Terentiev (14-2) in July and defended his WBA Asia title for the 3rd time. He will meet Tureano Johnson (21-2) on November 2nd in a WBA eliminator.
-Janibek Alimkhanuly (7-0): WBO #13
The 2013 AIBA World champion stopped Stuart McLellan (27-4) in August to defend his WBO Global & WBC Continental Americas titles. Janibek has issued a challenged to the WBO World champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0).
-Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0): IBF #10
Nursultanov will fight for the 4th time this year, as he meets Christian Olivas (16-5) for the vacant WBC US title.
-Mikalai Vesialou (10-1): WBA #13
The WBA Continental champion will defend against Abdul Khattab (18-2) on October 19th.
-Israil Madrimov (4-0): WBA #6
The undefeated WBA Intercontinental champion defended his belt against Alejandro Barrera (29-6) on October 5th.
-Magomed Kurbanov (17-0): WBA #9 / WBC #10
Kurbanov faces 2 time world title challenger Charlie Navarro (29-9) on November 2nd.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0): WBO #4 / IBF #5
Murtazaliev goes toe to toe with Jorge Fortea (20-1) in an IBF title eliminator on November 2nd.
-Aram Amirkhanyan (12-0): WBO #13
The WBO International champion hasn’t fought since December of last year.
-Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #6 / WBO #11
Kudratillo bested Keita Obara (21-4) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF title. He will be fighting former WBA World champion Luis Collazo (39-7) on October 18th.
-Sergey Lipinets (16-1): IBF #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #5
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. There are talks about him going up against the current WBC Silver & former World champion Danny Garcia (35-2) before the end of the year.
-David Avanesyan (25-3): IBF #6 / WBC #9 / WBO #14
The former interim WBA World title holder defeated Kerman Lejarraga (28-2) in March to become the EBU European champion. Those 2 met again on September 28th with the same result.
-Alexander Besputin (13-0): WBA #1
Besputin defended his USBA title for the second time against Alfredo Blanco (20-8) in April. He is now set to compete for the vacant WBA (Regular) World championship against Butaev on November 30th.
-Radzhab Butaev (12-0): WBA #2
Butaev knocked out Lanardo Tyner (35-16) in March and then beat Sliverio Ortiz (37-26) 2 months later. As said above, the 2 undefeated Russians will go at it for the WBA (Regular) title.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0): WBA #7 / IBF #11
Zhangabayev won the vacant WBA Intercontinental title after beating Ivan Matute (30-3) in March. He defended his belt against the IBF Pan Pacific champion Steve Gago (11-1) on August 14th.
-Shakhram Giyasov (9-0): WBA #5 / IBF #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver medalist knocked out the former interim WBA World champion Darleys Perez (34-5), on August 24th, in less than a minute, to defend his WBA International title.
-Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) WBO #9
Turarov made short work of Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (31-5) in July, thus becoming the new WBO Intercontinental champion. He is expected to fight again on November 22nd in London. (Opponent TBA).
-Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0): WBA #4 / IBF #6 / WBO #11
The unstoppable Uzbek has beaten Mykal Fox (21-1) and Abdiel Ramirez (24-5) in 2019.
-Batyrzhan Jukembayev (17-0): IBF #11 / WBC #14
Jukembayev earned the biggest win of his career on September 26th by defeating longtime IBF Lightweight World title holder Miguel Vazquez (41-9) to become the WBA Continental & IBF Intercontinental champion.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-1): WBA #3
Akhmedov failed to capture the WBA (Regular) title on September 28th, thus tasting defeat for the first time in his pro career.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #3 / IBF #9
Top Russian contender defeated Jesus Cuadro (18-6) in May.
-Pavel Malikov (15-1): IBF #11
Malikov will face former world title challenger Isa Chaniev on October 12th.
-Isa Chaniev (13-2): IBF #14
Chaniev, as mentioned above, is going to meet the Eurasian champion Malikov in Riga.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-1): WBC #2
Zaur suffered an injury during his interim WBC title fight with Devin Haney (23-0) and couldn’t capture the gold.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (15-0): WBC #3 / IBF #5
Rakhimov knocked out Azinga Fuzile (14-1) on September 29th to become the number 1 contender for the IBF World championship.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (15-0): WBA #7
Sulaimanbek stopped both Pipat Chaiporn (47-13) and Milner Marcano (20-8) this year to defend his WBA Asia title.
-Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (15-0): WBC #11 / IBF #14 / WBO #14
The undefeated WBC International champion marked his inaugural title defense against former interim WBA World titlist Emanuel Lopez (30-12) this past February. He will make his second one against Pablo Vicente (15-1) on November 2nd.
-Denis Shafikov (40-4): IBF #10
Shafikov fought Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-2) to a draw.
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0): WBC #1 / IBF #5
The 2012 Olympic Silver medalist is next in line for a shot at the WBC World championship.
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0): WBA #2
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist has stopped Wilner Soto (22-7) as well as former world title challenger Carlos Carlson (24-6) this year.
-Nikolai Potapov (20-2): WBO #9 / IBF #11
Potapov is set to fight in Russia on October 30th. (Opponent TBA).
-Olimjon Nazarov (19-5): WBO #14
Nazarov has been on a 6 fight winning streak since 2018 and has also recently captured the WBO Oriental championship
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBA #12
The former K-1 star and the reigning WBO Asia Pacific champion will rematch Suthat Kalalek (13-10) on October 21st.
-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 / IBF #15
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. He fights Toshiro Tarumi (12-3) on October 26th.
-Andy Hiraoka (14-0): IBF #14
The Japanese youngster earned the biggest win of his career, this past July, against former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo (31-9). Hiraoka goes up against Rogelio Casarez (13-8) on November 30th.
-Kenichi Ogawa (24-1): IBF #3 / WBO #11
Ogawa will challenge Joe Noynay (18-2) for the WBO Asia Pacific championship, on December 7th, at the legendary Korakuen Hall.
-Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1): WBO #4
Sueyoshi will meet Kosuke Saka (18-5), on December 7th, for the 5th defense of his Japanese title.
-Kazuhiro Nishitani (20-4): IBF #12 / WBO #13
Nishitani has been 5-0 since 2016, knocking out every single one of his opponents.
-Musashi Mori (10-0): WBO #9
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-10) this past April. He then stopped Suntorn Panhom (5-5) on September 15th.
-Hiroshige Osawa (36-5): WBA #1 / IBF #14
The former world title challenger defeated Indonesian veteran Jason Butar Butar (30-27) on October 1st.
-Reiya Abe (19-3): IBF #6 / WBC #10
Abe lost to Ryo Sagawa (8-1) on September 13th, failing to capture the Japanese title.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3): IBF #1
Iwasa won an IBF eliminator against Cesar Juarez (24-7) in February. Since Daniel Roman (27-2) is out with an injury, an interim IBF title fight could be made with Iwasa and Marlon Tapales (33-2).
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2): IBF #8
Teshigawara defended his OPBF championship against former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-3) on August 8th.
-Shingo Wake (26-5): WBC #2 / IBF #4
Wake has been on a 6 fight winning streak since losing to Jonathan Guzman (23-1) in 2016.He faces Jhunriel Ramonal on October 11th.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #4
The former IBF World champion defeated Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10) in May.
-Yusaku Kuga (18-3): WBC #11
Kuga became once again the Japanese champion after earning a unanimous decision over Ryoichi Tamura (12-5) a few months back. He marked his inaugural title defense on September 21st against Yosuke Fujihara (18-7), knocking him out in the opening round.
-Tomoki Kameda (36-3): WBC #8
The former interim WBC champion came up short in his unification bout with Rey Vargas (34-0).
-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 will unify with Nordine Oubaali (16-0) on November 7th.
-Keita Kurihara (14-5): IBF #9 / WBC #13
Kurihara defended his OPBF crown in May, after knocking out former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-10). He will fight the IBF Pan Pacific champion Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10) on November 15th next.
-Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8): IBF #12 / WBO #15
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 capture the vacant WBO strap and to become the 1st ever Japanese 4 division World champion. His inaguaral defense will take place on December 31st, against the undefeated Jeyvier Cintron (11-0), in Japan.
-Akira Yaegashi (28-6): WBO #6 / WBA #11 / WBC #14
The 3 division World champion has been undefeated as a Super Flyweight, with 3 consecutive TKO victories under his belt.
-Sho Ishida (28-1): IBF #5
Ishida has been 4-0 since losing to Khalid Yafai (26-0) in 2017. He was scheduled to meet Israel Gonzalez (24-3) in an IBF eliminator, on October 26th, but the match might end up happening in December.
-Koki Eto (24-5): IBF #7 / WBO #11
Eto lost to Jeyvier Cintron (11-0) in August.
-Takayuki Okumoto (23-8): IBF #15
The Japanese champion defended his title for the 4th time against Dynamic Kenji (11-4) this August.
-Kosei Tanaka (14-0): WBO World champion
Tanaka stopped Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3) on August 24th.
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-8): IBF #10 / WBC #15
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. He will mark his first defense against Naoki Mochizuki (16-4), in a revenge match from 2016, on October 21st.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0): WBA (Super) World champion.
Kyoguchi has successfully defended the WBA title twice this year, against Muay Thai champion Tanawat Nakoon (11-1) as well as 15 year veteran Tetsuya Hisada (34-10).
-Ken Shiro (16-0): WBC World champion.
The unstoppable Ken Shiro made short work of Jonathan Taconing (28-4) in July, to mark his 6th title defense.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-10): WBA #1 / IBF #6
Hisada’s impressive 13 fight winning streak came to an end, when he challenged Hiroto Kyoguchi for the WBA (Super) title, on October 1st.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-15): WBC #2 / IBF #4
Horikawa won the Japanese title earlier this year, for the second time in his career. He made his 1st defense in May and will mark his 2nd one on October 10th against Yuto Takahashi (10-4).
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8
Konishi didn’t manage to capture the IBF title from Felix Alvarado (35-2).
-Sho Kimura (18-3): WBO #9 / WBA #10
The former WBO Flyweight World champion lost a unanimous decision to Carlos Canizales (22-0) for the WBA (Regular) World title in China. There’s a rumor of him facing Olympic champion Shiming Zou in a rematch, although nothing has been confirmed.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-7): WBC #4 / IBF #4 / WBO #5 / WBA #12
Tanaka won the Japanese title, this past January, and defended it in June against Naoya Haruguchi (15-11).
-Masataka Taniguchi (12-3): WBO #6 / WBC #14
Taniguchi defeated rising star Kai Ishizawa (6-1) on September 21st.
-Takumi Sakae (22-3): WBO #12 / IBF #13
Sakae has fought thrice this year. He has knocked out all of his opponents.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #9 / IBF #14
Koura surprisingly lost his OPBF title to Lito Dante (16-10) a few months ago.
One of the big issues with the lower weights are the lack of unification bouts. The divisions are stacked with talent but we rarely see the best face the best, and instead we see a lot of fighters establishing long reigns against lesser fighters. A great case of that is seeing the reign of Wanheng Menayothin, who has faced a string of lesser challengers rather than unifying with the likes of Knockout CP Freshmart. Thankfully when we do see the best fight the best we usually get something spectacular, as we saw in 2014 when the IBF and WBO Minimumweight world titles were unified in one of the best bouts in recent years.
Katsunari Takayama (27-6-0-1, 10) vs Francisco Rodriguez Jr (17-2, 13)
August 9th 2014 will go down in history as the date we got one of the greatest Minimumweight bouts of all time. It saw IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama travel to Mexico to take on WBO champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr. The bout delivered 12 rounds of beautiful brutality from two men who stylistically gelled perfectly and gave us none stop action, some amazing trading sequences and yet a technically solid performance from both.
Entering the bout Takayama was a 31 year old Japanese warrior who had done what most didn't think of. He had handed over his JBC license to pursue the IBF and WBO titles, travelled to South Africa, the Philippines and Mexico in pursuit of those belts. He wanted to be a grandslam champion, he wanted to own all 4 major titles and went about it the right way. Not only did he want to take titles but he also put on great fights, building a reputation with hardcore fans for all action bouts, incredible work rate, amazing toughness and his willingness to battle through adversity.
At 21 years old Rodriguez was a rising youngster who was really only known for 2 fights, in 2013 he had lost to Roman Gonzalez, being stopped in 7 rounds, but had become a world champion just 6 months later, bullying and stopped the then unbeaten WBO champion Merlito Sabillo. Rather than have an easy first defense he looked to unify and just 5 months after his title win he took on Takayama, looking to unify before out growing the division. He had shown real tenacity, incredible strength and size for a Minimumweight but looked like the type of fighter who's time in the division could end at any time due to a struggle to make the limit.
Given the styles of the men we knew this had the potential to be something amazing, and yet the bout easily exceeded the expectations.
At the opening bell Takayama rushed at Rodriguez. It didn't take long however to see Takayama trying to box and move, using his foot work, speed and combinations whilst Rodriguez began to apply pressure, using his physicality to walk down Takayama. Despite the differing styles the two were never apart for more than a few seconds.
This was the type of bout where even those who typically ignore the smaller guys managed to get caught up the action and enjoy a pulsating, 12 round war. This is what the little guys can do, and this is something every fan should watch, rewatch and watch once again.
Enjoy our latest, Closet Classic.
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