By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Samuel Salva (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #1 / WBA #7
Salva defeated Rene Mark Cuarto (16-2), on March 23rd, to secure a future IBF world title shot.
-Lito Dante (16-10): WBC #10 / IBF #12
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 (10-0): WBA #5 / WBO #15
”ArAr” captured the vacant WBA Asia title earlier this year and defended it for the first time on April 13 against Cris Ganoza (17-3).
-Melvin Jerusalem (14-2): WBC #2 / IBF #8 / WBO #12
Jerusalem got a unanimous decision victory over 2 time world title challenger Toto Landero (10-4) this past November.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #2
Paradero beat Jonathan Almacen (5-3) on April 5th.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #4 / WBC #6 / WBO #9
Taduran hasn’t competed since last year.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (16-2): IBF #7
As mentioned above, Cuarto lost to Samuel Salva (17-0) in Manila.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): IBF #3 / WBC #8
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship in December.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-3): WBC #1 / WBA #3 / WBO #3 / IBF #12
The WBC International champion Taconing will be challenging the WBC World champion Ken Shiro (15-0) on July 12.
-Tanawat Nakoon (11-0): WBA #10
Muay Thai phenom turned pro boxer, the former Lumpinee & Rajadamnern Stadium champion challenges Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0) for the WBA Super World championship, on June 19.
-Jing Xiang (16-4): WBA #5 / WBC #8
Xiang successfully defended his WBC Silver title against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-7), on January 5th, in China.
-Edward Heno (14-0): WBO #2 / WBC #2 / WBA #2
Heno made his third successful OPBF title defense, in February, against Koji Itagaki (18-14).
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (16-0): WBA #4
“Sabu” became the WBA Asia champion on April 6.
-Randy Petalcorin (29-3): IBF #9 / WBA #15
The former interim WBA World champion will return to the ring, on June 9, as he takes on Worawatchai Boonjan (14-21).
-Christian Araneta (17-0): IBF #3 / WBA #7 / WBO #9 / WBC #11
Araneta added 3 more wins to his perfect record, in 2018.
-Ivan Soriano (20-2): IBF #10 / WBO #10
Soriano has won twice since losing to Wenfeng Ge (11-1) in 2018.
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-1): WBA #1
Undefeated since September of 2014, Thawornkham will go on to challenge Artem Dalakian (18-0) for the WBA World championship on June 15.
-Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3): WBA #4
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 26.
-Jayson Mama (13-0): IBF #9 / WBO #10
The undefeated Filipino prospect earned a major victory over the former WBA Strawweight World champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7) on June 9.
-Giemel Magramo (23-1): WBO #2 / WBC #4 / IBF #4 / WBA #7
Magramo defeated Wenfeng Ge (11-1) for the WBO International title on January 5th.
-Nare Yianleang (70-5): WBA #2 / WBC #7
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, Yianleang has won 8 fights in a row.
-Komgrich Nantapech (25-5): IBF #3
No news yet on what’s next for the former IBF Pan Pacific champion.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (54-4): WBA #6 / WBC #15
The former WBA interim World champion has been 4-0 since losing to Dalakian.
-Aston Palicte (25-2): WBO #1 / WBC #7
Palicte stopped Jose Martinez (20-1) on January 31st, in a WBO world title eliminator. He is set to meet Kazuto Ioka (23-2) for the vacant championship, on June 19.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBA #3
The former WBC, The Ring & Lineal champion already finds himself again at the top of the world rankings.
-Donnie Nietes (42-1): IBF #4 / WBC #4
The 4 division world champion decided to relinquish his WBO strap. No news on his return yet.
-Arthur Villanueva (32-3): WBO #4 / WBC #15
Villanueva will challenge Nordine Oubaali (15-0), on July 6, for the WBC World title.
-Michael Dasmarinas (29-2): IBF #1 / WBC #12
Dasmarinas picked up a unanimous decision over Kenny Demecillo (14-5), on March 23rd, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Tasana Salapat (49-1): WBC #8 / WBA #8
After failing to capture the interim WBC title in December, Salapat returned to the ring on April 24 and became the OPBF Silver champion.
-Reymart Gaballo (21-0): WBA #10
The former interim WBA World champion made short work of Yuya Nakamura (9-3) in February.
-Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-10): IBF #5
“Sukkasem Kietyongyuth’s” suffered a defeat at the hands of the former IBF Super Bantamweight World champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2) on May 8.
- Ben Mananquil (17-2): WBO #7 / IBF #9
The Filipino lost the WBO Asia Pacific championship to Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8), on May 26.
-Kenny Demecillo (14-5): IBF #10
Demecillo lost to Michael Dasmarinas (29-2) in Singapore, as mentioned above.
-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).
-Marlon Tapales (33-2): IBF #3 / WBO #4
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion has 3 stoppage wins since moving up a weight class.
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #1 / IBF #7
The WBO Intercontinental champion hasn’t been active close to 6 months now.
-Jeo Santisima (17-2): WBO #9
The Filipino won the vacant WBO Oriental title this past summer and has defended it only once.
-Jhack Tepora (23-0): IBF #4
The former interim WBA World champion earned a unanimous decision victory over Jose Luis Gallegos (16-7), on June 1st.
-Dave Penalosa (15-0): WBO #10
Penalosa stopped Marcos Cardenas (19-7) this past February, to become the new WBO Oriental champion.
-Joe Noynay (17-2): WBO #7
Noynay TKOed Kosuke Saka (18-5) this past April, to earn the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title. His inaugural defense will take place in Japan, on July 12, against Olympic Bronze Medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-0).
-Apinun Khongsong (15-0): IBF #1
The undefeated Thai fighter stopped former WBO Asia Pacific champion Akihiro Kondo (31-8) with a thunderous uppercut, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Meng Fanlong (15-0): IBF #1 / WBA #12 / WBO #12
Meng won an IBF world title eliminator, on June 1st, against Adam Deines (17-1) and he’s now next in line to challenge Artur Beterbiev (14-0).
-Zhilei Zhang (20-0): WBO #5
The 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist has signed with Matchroom.
Later this week we'll see Japan's Kazuto Ioka battle against Aston Palicte for the WBO Super Flyweight title. With that bout coming up it seems like this is a perfect time to talk about Kazuto Ioka's most notable bout to date, his 2012 battle with Akira Yaegashi, a true Closet Classic and a major bout in Japanese boxing history. The bout holds a unique status in Japan, and despite being relatively recent the bout has notable sub-story behind it, regarding the mentors of the two men involved. As well all the stories surrounding it, the bout also managed to deliver, in a big way.
Kazuto Ioka (9-0, 6) vs Akira Yaegashi (15-2, 8)
In the late 1980's Japanese boxing had a number of notable fighters making their way to the top of the sport. They included Hideyuki Ohashi and Hiroki Ioka, who both debuted in the mid 1980's and has success in the 1990's, with Ioka becoming a 2-weight champion and Ohashi becoming a 2-time Minimumweight champion.
When they were both professionals Ioka and Ohashi both held Minimumweight world titles, though not the same time, and a bout between the two would have been huge for Japan, pitting Osaka against Kanagawa.
When both Ohashi and Ioka ended their careers they set up gyms, and have had a lot of success as gym owners. Among their star hopefuls were Akira Yaegashi, the big hope of the Ohashi gym, and Kazuto Ioka, Hiroki Ioka's nephew. Both were former stand out amateurs, both were tipped to be stars and in 2011 both held world titles at the same weight, Minimumweight.
Kazuto Ioka, then 23 years old, had raced away to the WBC Minimumweight title, winning the belt in early 2011 when he stopped Oleydong Sithsamerchai, in what was just his 7th professional bout. He had managed to make a couple of defenses, including one over future Flyweight title holder Juan Hernandez. With those wins he had already a star in the Japanese scene, and a man who was starting to get spoken about the hardcore fans, who were impressed by the fact he had ended the reign of Oleydong, who was 35-0-1 when Ioka dethroned him.
Akira Yaegashi on the other hand was 15-2, he had held OPBF and Japanese titles before winning the WBA title in an incredible bout with Pornsawan Porpramook in July 2011. For what it's worth that bout will be covered in a future Closet Classic article. He hadn't managed to make a defense of the title since beating Pornsawan but was was well regarded by those in the know in Japan, and had himself challenged for a world title in his 7th bout, losing to Eagle Den Junlaphan in that title effort due in part to a nasty injury to his temporomandibular join.
With the two men holding world titles the bout was made, it was the first, and still only, time two world titles, from different bodies, were unified in a bout between two Japanese fighters, and it was an incredible bout. It mixed skills, excitement, heart, determination and two different styles.
In one corner we had Ioka, a brilliant young boxer-puncher who had a sensational array of shots and fantastic ring craft. In the other we had Yaegashi, an aggressive, swarming fighter, who picked his spots and launched 2-handed flurries, using his speed to get shots off and try to get away.
The bout started quickly but really grew and grew as it went on, taking on a personality of it's own and pushing both fighters all the way. Ioka, for the first time, was being pushed hard by a fighter determined to upset him, Yaegashi on the other hand was forced to fight with some horrific facial swelling around his left eye. As they began to tire their footwork began to slow whilst their output remained high and the bout really was something incredibly special. It's not an all out war but it's a thrilling, highly skilled battle that every fight fan deserves to watch before Ioka's up coming contest.
Amazingly since this bout both men have become 3-weight champions, picking up titles at Light Flyweight and Flyweight, and both are looking to add Super Flyweight titles to their collections. Ioka get his second shot at a Super Flyweight title when he faces Palicte, whilst Yaegashi is hoping to get his first shot at 115lb title later in the year.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Alexander Povetkin (34-2): WBC #7 / WBA #11
The former Olympic & World champion has started training for his next match. (Opponent TBA)
-Evgeny Romanov (12-0): WBO #10
Romanov knocked Dillon Carman (14-4) out this past February in order to become the inaugural WBO Global champion. He will now face Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (9-2) on June 16.
-Sergey Kuzmin (14-0): WBA #7 / IBF 10 / WBC #15
Kuzmin won the WBA Intercontinental title last year, after he defeated David Price (24-6), and defended it for the first time against LaRon Mitchell (16-2). He marked his second one on March 9 against Joey Dawejko (19-7).
-Dmitry Kudryashov (23-2): WBC #5
A clash of former WBC Silver champions will take place in Russia, as Kudryashov meets Ilunga Makabu (24-2), on June 16, for the now vacant Silver crown.
-Aleksei Egorov (8-0): WBA #7
The 2013 European champion will go head to head with Roman Golovashchenko (20-3) on June 16, for the vacant WBA Gold belt.
-Maxim Vlasov (44-3): WBO #8
Vlasov stopped Lenin Castillo (20-3) on May 19.
-Yury Kashinsky (17-0): IBF #4 / WBA #4 / WBO #5 / WBC #8
Kashinsky will compete for the vacant IBF Intercontinental title, on June 16, against Olivier Vautrain (14-1).
-Ruslan Fayfer (23-1): IBF #7 / WBC #13
Ruslan defeated Serhiy Radchenko (7-4) on May 19.
-Umar Salamov (24-1): WBO #4 / WBA #6
Salamov successfully defended the WBO International title against Norbert Dabrowski (22-8) on April 18.
-Igor Mikhalkin (22-2): WBC #
Mikhalkin returns to the ring after almost an entire year of absence and faces Timur Nikarkhoev (21-2) for the interim IBO title, on July 6.
-Fedor Chudinov (20-2): WBA #3 / IBF #6 / WBC #6
The former WBA World champion has already fought twice in 2019, earning victories over Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-3) & Rafael Bejaran (26-4), while also winning the vacant WBA Continental title. He is aiming to compete again around July 20-July 22.
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (11-0): WBA #8 / WBO #11
The Kazakh defeated Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2) on March 24, to become the WBA International champion. Aidos already holds the WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental titles.
-Aslambek Idigov (16-0): WBO #9
Idigov picked up a majority decision victory over Ronny Landaeta (16-2), on April 18, to become the WBO & IBF European champion.
-Vladimir Shishkin (8-0): WBC #10 / WBA #15
No news yet on what’s next for the Russian prospect.
-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 8.
-Magomed Madiev (12-0): WBA #6
Madiev remained undefeated in 2018 while also winning the WBA Asia title.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0): WBO #4 / IBF #7
Murtazaliev successfully 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) on April 18.
-Aram Amirkhanyan (12-0): WBO #7 / WBA #8
Amirkhanyan earned his biggest victory to date against Khuseyn Baysangurov (14-1), this past December, to become the unified WBO International, WBA Continental & IBF International champion.
-Magomed Kurbanov (17-0): IBF #3 / WBA #7 / WBC #11
The former WBO International & Intercontinental champion earned a unanimous decision victory over Damian Ezequiel Bonelli (23-6) on February 22nd.
-Israil Madrimov (3-0): WBA #6
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).
-Kudratillo Abduqaxorov (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #4 / WBO #9
The undefeated former WBC Silver champion earned a decision win over the 2 time WBO Asia Pacific champion Keita Obara (20-4), in an IBF world title eliminator, on March 30.
-Sergey Lipinets (15-1): WBC #3 / WBO #4 / IBF #7
Lipinets earned a significant victory this March, against 2 division World champion Lamont Peterson (35-5), after he stopped him in the 10th round. He now goes up against John Molina Jr. (30-8) on July 20.
-David Avanesyan (24-3): WBC #8
The former interim WBA World title holder TKOed Kerman Lejarraga (27-1), to become the EBU European champion, on March 30.
-Alexander Besputin (13-0): WBA #1 / IBF #5
The 2013 European champion defended his USBA title for the second time against Alfredo Blanco (20-8) on April 12.
-Radzhab Butaev (11-0): WBA #6
Butaev knocked out 50 plus fight veteran Lanardo Tyner (35-16) on March 8. His latest win took place on May 3rd against Sliverio Ortiz (37-25).
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (7-0): WBA #10
Zhangabayev won the vacant WBA Intercontinental championship after defeating Matute (28-2) on March 24.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-0): WBA #2
After stopping former interim WBA World Lightweight champion Ismael Barroso (21-3), Akhmedov successfully kicked 2019 off, with victories over Viktor Plotnikov (33-6) as well as Francisco Gabriel Pina (14-15).
-Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0): WBA #4 / IBF #7
The former WBA International champion returned to the ring on February 15, defeating Mykal Fox (20-1).
-Maxim Dadashev (13-0): IBF #3 / WBC #3
Unbeaten Top Rank fighter Dadashev earned his 11th stoppage win over Ricky Sismundo (35-13) on March 23rd. His next opponent will be fellow undefeated boxer Subriel Matias (13-0) as both collide on July 19.
-Georgi Chelokhsaev (16-1): WBO #9
Chelokhsaev won the Eurasian title in 2018.
-Eduard Troyanovsky (27-2): WBC #6
The former World champion failed to capture the WBA title last year.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #3 / IBF #11
Top Russian contender defeated Jesus Cuadro (17-5) on May 16.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-0): WBC #2
The WBC Silver title holder stopped Humberto Martinez (33-9) on February 22nd.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (14-0): WBC #5 / IBF #6
Rakhimov marked his 3rd IBO title defense, against Rofhiwa Maemu (18-8), on March 23rd.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (14-0): WBA #4
Sulaimanbek stopped Pipat Chaiporn (46-13) in Russia, to defend his WBA Asia championship.
-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 #8
The 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist recently defeated Claudio Marrero (23-3) to earn the vacant IBO belt. Prior to that, Nyambayar stopped 2 division champion Oscar Escandon (25-5). He’s now next in to challenge Gary Russell (30-1) for the WBC title.
-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).
-Nikolai Potapov (20-1): WBO #3 / IBF #12
Potapov fought on March 30, scoring another win, this time against Adam Mbega (9-2).
(Image courtesy of the WBSS)
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Norihito Tanaka (18-7): IBF #6 / WBC #7 / WBO #10 / WBA #13
Tanaka won the Japanese title, this past January, and will defend it on June 13 against Naoya Haruguchi (15-10).
-Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-7): WBC #4
The former World champion came up short at his second shot against Chayaphon Moonsri (53-0) for the WBC title on May 31st.
-Masataka Taniguchi (11-3): WBO #7
Taniguchi unsuccessfully challenged the WBO World champion Vic Saludar (19-3) this past February.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-9): WBA #1 / WBO #1 / WBC #3 / IBF #7
Hisada is rumored to be challenging Angel Acosta (19-1) for the WBO title, potentially this Summer.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-18): WBC #5 / IBF #6
Horikawa won the Japanese title, on February 14, for the second time in his career. He made his inaugural defense on May 19 against Masashi Tada (13-6).
-Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4): WBC #6
The former WBA & IBF champion failed to win the World championship against the WBO title holder Kosei Tanaka (13-0) on March 16.
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8
Konishi didn’t manage to capture the IBF title from Felix Alvarado (35-2) when they clashed in Japan.
-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, this May, in China.
-Junto Nakatani (19-0): WBC #3 / WBO #4 / IBF #11 / WBA #14
Nakatani stopped Naoki Mochizuki (15-4) in February, for the vacant Japanese crown and scored a stay busy win on June 1st, against Philip Luis Cuerdo (11-7).
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-8): IBF #10
Kuroda went to war with Moruti Mthalane (38-2) for the IBF World title, on May 13, but couldn’t bring the belt back home.
-Kazuto Ioka (23-2): WBO #2
The 3 division world champion will meet Aston Palicte (25-2) at the Makuhari Messe arena in Japan, for the vacant WBO World championship.
-Akira Yaegashi (28-6): WBA #10 / WBO #10 / WBC #14
Yaegashi moved up to Super Flyweight in 2018 and has since been undefeated in the division with 3 consecutive TKO victories. He finally makes it back into the world rankings as he aims to become a 4 division champion.
-Koki Eto (24-4): WBO #4 / WBA #7 / IBF #8
Eto’s KO win over Jeyvier Cintron (10-0) on May 25th for the WBO International title got overturned, due to an accidental headbutt.
-Sho Ishida (28-1): WBO #3 / IBF #5 / WBA #6 / WBC #10
Since losing to Khalid Yafai (25-0) in 2017, Ishida has earned 4 victories over the likes of Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3), Richard Claveras (18-6), world title contender Warlito Parrenas (26-10) as well as Ikuro Sadatsune (9-4).
-Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3): IBF #1
Iwasa won an IBF title eliminator against Cesar Juarez (23-7), on February 16.
-Shingo Wake (26-5): WBC #2 / IBF #3
The former Japanese & OPBF champion has been on a 6 fight winning streak since losing to Jonathan Guzman (23-1) in 2016.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2): IBF #9 / WBO #15
Teshigawara made his Super Bantamweight debut last year, stopping Glenn Suminguit (21-4) to win the OPBF championship. He marked his first successful title defense on February 14, against Yuki Iriguchi (10-3).
-Yukinori Oguni (20-2): WBA #4
The former IBF World champion defeated Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-10) on May 8.
-Satoshi Shimizu (8-0): IBF #9
The 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist won the OPBF title back in 2017 and has successfully defended it 4 times. He will now challenge the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Joe Noynay (17-2) on July 12.
-Musashi Mori (9-0): WBO #9
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-10) on April 14.
-Hiroshige Osawa (35-5): WBA #1 / IBF #13
The former OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion finds himself once again in the world rankings, since losing to WBO World champion Oscar Valdez (24-0) in 2016. He fought Indonesian journeyman Ahmad Lahizab (4-8) on April 7.
-Reiya Abe (19-2): IBF #5 / WBC #13
Abe fought the Japanese champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5), on May 1st, to a draw.
-Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1): WBO #3
Sueyoshi defended his Japanese championship for the 4th time, against Ken Osato (15-3), on May 4th.
-Kenichi Ogawa (23-1): IBF #4
The former Japanese champion returned to ring, after his one year suspension, and defeated Roldan Aldea (12-7) this past February. Ogawa will face the undefeated IBF Intercontinental champion Azinga Fuzile (14-0) in an IBF world title eliminator, on July 6, at the Korakuen Hall in Japan.
-Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0): IBF #3 / WBC #8 / WBO #10
Nakatani marked his 11th successful OPBF title defense this past December, by stopping former WBC International champion Hurricane Futa (25-8). He takes on Teofimo Lopez (13-0), on July 6, for a future shot at the IBF World championship.
-Nihito Arakawa (32-7): WBO #8
The former Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion failed to obtain the WBO International title from Denys Berinchyk (11-0) on April 20.
-Takeshi Inoue (13-1): WBO #9
The former Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion unsuccessfully challenged Jaime Munguia (32-0) for the WBO World title this January. He is scheduled to return to the ring on August 3rd.
-Ryota Murata (14-2): WBA #4
The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist will get his chance for revenge on July 12 as he goes up against Rob Brant (25-1) in Osaka for the WBA (Regular) World championship.
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBO #9 / WBA #12
The former K-1 champion has unified the Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight titles. He is now looking for a World championship fight before he retires from the sport.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
By Eric Armit
-Gennady Golovkin crushes Steve Rolls in four rounds
-Oscar Valdez retains the WBO feather title with win over Jason Sanchez
-Kevin Lerena retains the IBO cruiser title with victory over Vasil Ducar
-Antonio Gago wins the European featherweight title with split verdict over Jesus Sanchez and Kerman Lejarraga returns with an inside the distance victory
-Olympians Robinson Conceicao and Charles Conwell extended their winning starts as pros
-Unbeaten Australian hopes Liam Paro, Steve Ng and Demsey McKean all win
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Reno, NV, USA: Feather: Oscar Valdez (26-0) W PTS 12 Jason Sanchez (14-1). Light Heavy: Michael Seals (23-2) W KO 2 Chris Brooker (14-7). Feather: Robinson Conceicao (13-0) W PTS 8 Carlos Ruiz (16-7-2). Light: Gabriel Flores (14-0) W PTS 8 Salvador Briceno (15-4).
Valdez vs. Sanchez
Valdez outpoints a competitive but out of his depth Sanchez to retain the WBO title
Valdez used a snappy jab to put Sanchez on the back foot. Sanchez was looking draw the jab and then move in quickly throw a couple of punches and get out. Valdez jab was on target and he connected with a sharp left hook as he took the round.
Score: 10-9 Valdez
Valdez again took this round with strong, accurate jabbing. He also connected with some left hooks and overhand rights but the jab was the main weapon. Sanchez tried to get inside but Valdez was anticipating the attacks and stepping back out of range.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 20-18
Sanchez was more aggressive in this one and landed a heavy right early. That led to a much better round for Sanchez. He was still on the back foot but was launching more attacks and throwing more punches. Valdez landed a sharp left hook late but was not using his jab so much and it was Sanchez’s round.
Score: 10-9 Sanchez Valdez 29-28
Valdez worked well with the jab and threw more left hooks than in the early rounds. Sanchez was not coming forward so much and although he connected with a couple of right the round belonged to Valdez.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 39-37
Inside the first five seconds of the round after throwing a jab Valdez landed a classic left hook that sent Sanchez down. He bounced up and did not look shaky. After the count he traded punches with Valdez for the rest of the round. He threw more but Valdez was more accurate but Sanchez saw made it to the bell without any further discomfort.
Score: 10-8 Valdez Valdez 49-45
This was a close round. Sanchez was again throwing lots of punches but good defensive work from Valdez plus his jabs and left hooks which were more accurate both giving him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 59-54
There seemed to be more purpose behind Valdez’s work in this one and he landed a stinging right to the head and a left hook that had Sanchez backing up. Sanchez then changed tactics and came lunging forward throwing punches. He kept coming forcing Valdez back across the ring and pinning Valdez to the ropes. Valdez was ducking, bobbing and weaving and Sanchez just could not land anything significant. When the storm blew over once again it was Valdez landing left hooks and straight rights.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 69-63
Valdez was working the jab again and Sanchez really had no answer to it. Valdez rocked Sanchez with a right/left combination and then went back to the jab to clearly take the round.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 79-72
Jab, jab, jab that was winning the fight for Valdez. He was quicker and more mobile getting through with the jab. He was either side-stepping or taking a couple of steps back to frustrate Sanchez’s attacks and then going back to the jab and banging home some left hooks. Sanchez now had a bloody bruise under his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 89-81
A close round. Sanchez was taking the fight to Valdez. His accuracy level was not high but he was making up for that in quantity and Valdez output dropped accordingly with Sanchez just doing enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Sanchez Valdez 98-91
A champion’s performance from Valdez in this one. The jab was working well but now he was hooking off the jab and also landing with clubbing rights and uppercuts inside. Sanchez was under fire all the way. He kept trying to punch back but had to absorb a lot of punishment.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 108-100
Sanchez started the last aggressively but a big right from Valdez rocked him badly and he retreated with Valdez in pursuit. Sanchez moved and held until his head cleared and then punched back. Valdez scored with some more heavy head punches and had Sanchez on the ropes under fire when the bell went.
Score 10-9 Valdez Valdez 118-109
The 28-year-old from Nogales was making the sixth defence of the WBO belt. This win, together with his victory over Carmine Tommasone in January, makes it two outings since returning from an injury which kept him out of the ring for almost a year. I felt he never really moved into top gear in this one but he is hoping to get Leo Santa Cruz in a unification match and if that comes off he will be in top form for that. Sanchez was not ready for a fight at this level. He found his way into the WBO ratings for a win over unbeaten Jean Carlos Rivera for their Youth title and just that one ten round fight did not prepaid him for facing Valdez. At 24 he can regroup and take a couple of steps then rebuild.
Seals vs. Brooker
Seals may not be the most fleet-footed of boxers but he has power and ended this one with a brutal kayo. Seals had the longer reach but Brooker caught him with a sneaky long right in the early action. Seals was tracking Brooker but only pawing with his left and it was Brooker who did the scoring in quick in-and-out attacks. In the second Seals was still tracking Brooker but throwing a few more punches. He has quick hands but his footwork is pedestrian. He took Brooker to the ropes and landed a left to the body. As Brooker ducked to cover his body a chopping right from Seals seemed to land on the back of Brooker’s head. He dropped down and hung suspended over the bottom rope with half of his body outside the ropes. The referee immediately waived off the action and it was some time before Brooker recovered. The 36-year-old 6’3” Seals makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO. Seals won his first 19 fights before losing on a stoppage against Edwin Rodriguez in 2015 in a fight that saw both contestants on the floor. His only other defeat was against Michael Gbenga in May last year when he was disqualified for hitting on the break. A former linebacker for Alabama A & M University Seals only turned to boxing late and had only five amateur fights. Third loss by KO/TKO for Booker.
Conceicao vs. Ruiz
Brazilian Conceicao stacks up another win. Conceicao was much quicker and in the first was using his longer reach and jabbing well to head and body and connected with a couple of rights but still has a tendency to slap with the right. The action picked up in the second and third with some fierce exchanges with Conceicao getting the better of the trading but Ruiz connecting with hooks inside. Over the fourth and fifth they continued to provide entertainment as they both threw some wild shots with Conceicao firing combinations and Ruiz largely single shots. Conceicao continued to out throw and outland Ruiz over the sixth and seventh but never seemed to land with enough power to shake the Mexican. Conceicao pressed hard in the eighth forcing Ruiz back and letting fly with hooks from both hands with Ruiz scoring with an occasional counter and never looking in any trouble. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Conceicao. The30-year-old Rio gold medallist has some very good skills and is steadily adjusting to the pro side of the sport but just does not seem to have the power he should have and tends to be wild with his attacks. He will have to tighten his work if he is to progress further. Ruiz keeps his record of not losing inside the distance but is now 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Flores vs. Briceno
Flores negotiates an important test as he decisions Briceno over eight rounds. Movement, hand speed sharp reflexes Flores has them all. He was beating the bigger man to the punch and outjabbing him before stepping inside with four and five punch combinations. Briceno kept marching forward behind his jab and throwing straight rights but Flores was quick enough to slip the jab and connect with rights over the top. Briceno attacked hard enough with left hooks to the body to take the fourth and fifth but Flores was back in control in the sixth moving and countering and had opened a cut over Briceno’s right eye. Briceno was still strong and still coming forward over the last two rounds but the quality work of Flores was frustrating his attacks and making him pay with flashing jabs and counters and connecting with some neck-snapping rights and lefts. Briceno was tiring and his work rate dropped but he kept pressing and was giving Flores a real test but Flores boxed and countered slickly in the last. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Flores. The 19-year-old Flores, the youngest fighter ever to be signed-up by Top Rank, was going eight rounds for the first time and paced the fight well. He oozes talent but Top Rank will build him sensibly as they did in getting a tough determined Briceno for this fight.
New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1) W KO 4 Steve Rolls (19-1). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (3-0) W TKO 6 Norberto Gonzalez (24-13). Super Middle: Ali Akhmedov (15-0) W TKO 3 Marcus McDaniel (15-1). Super Welter: Charles Conwell (10-0) W PTS 10 Courtney Pennington (12-4-3). Welter: Brian Ceballo (9-0) W PTS 8 Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-1-1,1ND).
Golovkin vs. Rolls
This one did not look likely to last long so it was no surprise when Golovkin put Rolls down and out with a brutal left hook in the fourth.
After the usual prodding with jabs Golovkin began to fire hooks to the body. Rolls was on the back foot jabbing without conviction and in a late spurt Golovkin connected with some hard left hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin
Rolls tried some jabs and straight rights but was short. Golovkin began to put together sets of hooks and uppercuts. Rolls threw some good combinations and landed a couple of good head punches but they lacked power and Golovkin was finding gaps for hooks and uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 20-18
Golovkin continued to apply pressure walking forward connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Rolls was trying to hide behind a high guard but Golovkin was finding gaps and a right looked to have shaken Rolls for a second but he was still trying to punch back and landed a good right counter.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 30-27
Rolls was forced to stand and trade but did not have the power to do that. Golovkin drove him to the ropes with left hooks and landed a looping left to the head and then a right to the head. Rolls came off the ropes but Golovkin sensed Rolls was badly shaken and forced him back. Rolls tried to fight his way off the ropes but was pressed back and a pulverising left hook to the head put his lights out and he went down on the canvas face first. Somehow he managed to get to his knees then to one knee but as he groped for the ropes he missed and tumbled into the ropes and was counted out.
First outing for Golovkin after his majority decision loss to Saul Alvarez in September. Both Golovkin-163lbs-and Rolls-163 ¾ lbs came in a few pounds over the middleweight limit but whichever weight Alvarez wants to be in Golovkin will be right there ready to accommodate him. Rolls lacked both the punch and the experience to trouble a focused and fired-up Golovkin.
Madrimov vs. Gonzalez
Uzbek Madrimov break down and halts Mexican veteran Gonzalez. Madrimov was just too strong for Gonzalez. He had Gonzalez under heavy pressure in the first and although Gonzalez had a good spell in the second again it was Madrimov landing the heavier stuff in that round and the third. Madrimov had Gonzalez shaken and in trouble from a left hook early in the fourth and then hammered him with a right hook just before the round ended. The fifth was a painful round for Gonzalez as Madrimov pounded him with hooks to head and body and early in the sixth with Gonzalez under fire the referee halted the fight. The 24-year-old “The Dream” was a top ranked amateur before turning pro in November. He won the WBA Inter-Continental title with a stoppage of 24-2 Frank Rojas in only his second pro fight. He looks a real danger. Now 38 Gonzalez gets only his third inside the distance loss. He had fought and won a fight in Nuevo Laredo on 30 May and was given a standard suspension between bouts. That would have led to him fighting here whilst under suspension but the local Commission reduced the suspension time to eliminate the problem.
Akhmedov vs. McDaniel
Akhmedov’s relentless aggression proves too much for McDaniel and the fight is stopped in the third round. In the first McDaniel was fitting around the ring poking out jabs with Akhmedov shadowing him but not throwing punches. When Akhmedov did start to let his hands go McDaniel slipped to the floor trying to avoid a right but no count was applied as it was rightly ruled a slip. Akhmedov continued to hunt McDaniel in the second with McDaniel moving, ducking and holding to survive. Akhmedov drove forward in the third forcing McDaniel to the ropes and kept punching until McDaniel dropped to his knees. He beat the count but when the referee indicated them to continue the action instead of walking forward McDaniel walked away along the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Kazak now has 11 wins by KO/TKO and is the owner of the WBC International Silver title. He has extensive amateur experience behind him and is ready to move up. McDaniel showed some good skills but was overwhelmed by the power of Akhmedov.
Conwell vs. Pennington
Conwell comes through his first ten round fight with flying colours as he outpoints Pennington. After an even start in the first Conwell began to move into the driver’s seat with some vicious body punches. Pennington connected with some right counters as the aggressive Conwell forced the pace over the middle rounds and Pennington lost a point in the fifth for holding. Conwell continued to go to the body and was also connecting with left hooks to the head. A clash of heads saw Pennington cut over his right eye in the eighth and he was rocked by a couple of rights in the ninth. Both landed with some heavy shots in the last but the final word came from Conwell as he shook Pennington with a left hook on his way to a clear victory. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-93 all for Conwell. The 21-year-old from Cleveland, a 2016 Olympian, is a former National Golden Gloves champion. One of nine children in his family he was still at High Scholl when he qualified for the Rio Olympics but lost there to Indian Vikas Krishnan. Pennington was 4-0-1 going into this fight.
Ceballo vs. Eyubov
A risky fight this for former top level amateur Ceballo as he took on unbeaten Kazak Eyubov and registered a wide unanimous decision. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 for Ceballo. The tall New Yorker won gold medals at the three major US Championships: the National Golden Gloves, the US National Championships and the National Police Athletic League. He also competed at the 2015 Pan American Games but fell short at the US Olympic Trials. Definitely one to follow. Eyubov has stumbled lately having to settle for a draw against experienced Jose Luis Rodriguez and now losing this one.
Verona, NY, USA: Super Light: Cletus Seldin (23-1) W TKO 11 Zab Judah (44-10,2ND). Middle: James McGirt (27-3-2,1ND) DREW 10 David Papot (22-0-1).
Seldin vs. Judah
Seldin too young and strong for an ageing Judah. After a fairly even first round Seldin was taking the fight to Judah getting close and working the body. Judah was showing some good defensive work but late in the third he was shaken by a right and a left hook. Seldin kept up the body punching in the fourth as they traded hard shots. In the fifth Judah was already showing signs of slowing and he was rocked by a big right. Judah was using his vast experience to stay in the fight and land some counters but Seldin was relentless. Judah put in a big effort in the eighth but he could not keep Seldin out. An exhausted Judah survived the tenth but in the eleventh Seldin landed a series of head punches wobbling Judah and the referee stepped in and halted the fight. Big win for Seldin. He had gone 21-0 before losing to Yves Ulysse in December. He had scored two first round wins in 2018 against low grade opposition so needed a significant win to get back into the ratings. At 41 it is unfortunately the end of the road as a boxer for Judah. After the fight he felt unwell and went to the hospital but was released. He then felt unwell and returned to the hospital where the doctor’s reportedly found a bleed on the brain. He has recovered well and left the hospital today.
McGirt vs. Papot
McGirt and Papot end up all even as the judges rule this one a split draw. This all-southpaw scrap was a slow burner but exciting once it warmed up. McGirt made good use of his longer reach and it took a few rounds for Papot to find his confidence and start to roll. From the fifth Papot was getting past McGirt’s jab and working him over inside and on the ropes. McGirt was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the sixth and in response to the pressure from Papot McGirt upped his own output and it was war from there. The ninth was a great round as first Papot pounded McGirt and then McGirt pounded Papot. They continued to trade punches fiercely in the tenth and eleventh with Papot just seeming to have more left in the last to make up for McGirt’s better start. Scores 117-111 for Papot, 115-113 for McGirt and 114-114. A good showing in his first fight in the USA and his first fight for 13 months for Papot. If he intends to continue to campaign in the USA then this was a good start. McGirt is now 36. He has talent but had only one fight in 2015, was inactive in 2016and had only one fight in 2017 and his only fight in 2018 was in February so had been out of the ring foe 16 months. He needs to decide if he has a career. It was a nice touch having McGirt Jr fighting in Verona, just down the road from Canastota, in the same week that his father was being inaugurated into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Quilmes, Argentina: Bantam: Fernando Martinez (10-0) W PTS 10 Abel Silva (5-5-3).
Former leading amateur Martinez suffers a hand injury in the fourth round but it makes no difference to the outcome as he outpoints Silva for the second time this year. The “Little Lion” had won the first two rounds connecting with hooks from both hands. Silva attacked hard in the third and edged that round but from there it was Martinez’s fight. He kept Silva under pressure with those hooks and showed some good defensive work when Silva banged back and Silva was competitive to the end. Scores 99-91 for Martinez. In the amateurs Martinez, 27, competed in both the World Junior and Senior Championships and also fought in the World Series of Boxing and the AIBA Pro Boxing. Silva suffers his fifth loss in a row in his first ten round fight.
Cutral Co, Argentina: Welter: Luis Veron (17-0-2) DREW 10 Max Veron (11-3-1,1ND).This battle of the unrelated “Verons” ended in a highly controversial draw. Max V had a good first round connecting early with a hard right to the head. Luis V took over in the second round. His better boxing a greater accuracy saw him sweep the next four rounds to build a good lead. Max V struggled to get into the fight. He was strong and attacked hard but was being outboxed. Luis V continued to boss the fight in the sixth and seventh with a strong left hook probably just enough to give Max V the eighth. Luis V was back in charge over the ninth and tenth and looked to have won by a wide margin-but no. Scores 97-93 Luis V, 96-94 Max V and 95-95 so the vacant WBC Latino title remains vacant. That makes it two split draws in consecutive fights for Luis V a former amateur international and member of the Argentina Condors in the WSB. There were high hopes for him as a pro so possible these will just be two bumps on the road to the top. Max V snaps a three-bout losing run.
Athens, Greece: Light: George Kambosos (17-0) W TKO 6 Richard Pena (11-3-1). Australian Kambosos has his first fight in the land of his parents and stops Venezuelan Pena in six rounds. Kambosos was in charge from the start and floored Pena with left hooks in the fourth and sixth rounds before the referee stopped he fight. In his last four fights the 25-year-old from Sydney has fought and won in America twice, Malaysia and now Greece. He is rated 5 (3) by the IBF and No 9 by the WBO. Pena’s record a typical Venezuelan farce with the eleven guys he has beaten having just two wins between them.
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico: Super Fly: Jonathan Rodriguez (21-1) W TKO 10 Felipe Orucuta (36-6). Rodriguez wins this one but the result is overshadowed by the injury sustained by Orucuta. The fight was stopped in the tenth round with Rodriguez the winner but Orucuta collapsed. He was given immediate medical attention with the doctors performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the ring. Orucuta was stabilised and then taken to hospital. He was operated on to remove a clot from his brain and then put into an induced coma with the next 48 hours being critical to his recovery.
Rotterdam, Holland: Super Welter: Stephen Danyo (16-3-3) W PTS 8 Alex Benidez (13-26-3). Fighting in his home city Danyo comfortably outpoints Georgian Benidez. The referee scored the fight 80-72. The 30-year-old “Chosen One”, has had a tough twelve months losing to Custio Clayton in Canada, Felix Cash in England and in April on a split decision to Orlando Fiordigiglio in Italy. Danyo represented Holland at the European and World Championships but has had to fight abroad in most of his pro fights. Poor Benidez is 0-13-1 in his last 14 fights.
Oviedo, Spain: Middle: Sergio Fernandez (9-0-1) W PTS 10 Javier Garcia Roche (19-6-1). Neighbourhood fighter Fernandez retains the Spanish title with a unanimous verdict over Roche. In an entertaining contests Fernandez used his reach to build a lead but Roche just kept pressing and was throwing more punches. Fernandez’s accuracy was the factor which saw him take the early rounds but then the fierce attacks from Roche slowed Fernandez. Roche continued to march forward throwing punches and although not throwing as much once again the precision of Fernandez’s counter punches was what impressed the judges. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for “Kaiser” Fernandez. The Oviedo Policeman is now hoping to move up to challenge for the EU title. Garcia, 37, a former Spanish super welter champion, was having his first fight since November 2017.
Detroit, MI, USA: Cruiser: Taylor Duerr (9-0-2) DREW 10 Lyubomyr Pinchuk (10-1-1). Middle: Darryl Cunningham (42-9) W KO 3 Raul Casarez (22-10,1ND). Heavy: Rydell Booker (26-3) W TKO 3 Dieuly Aristilde (9-10).
Duerr vs. Pinchuk
Duerr and Pinchuk starred in an entertaining match here. The early pressure came from Pinchuk but with Duerr connecting with solid counters. The rounds and the fight were close. Pinchuk was cut below his left eye in the fifth but looked to be in front. Despite Pinchuk’s early lead Duerr continued to land hard counters and finished strongly to put the decision in doubt with quite a spread in the how the judges saw the fight. Scores 98-92 Pinchuk, 96-94 Duerr and 95-95. The WBC United States title was up for grabs but remains vacant. Detroit’s “Machine Gun” Duerr had won his last nine fights. He skipped straight past eight rounds and moved from six to ten for this fight. Pittsburg-based Ukrainian Pinchuk had won six on the bounce and was also in his first tenner.
Cunningham vs. Casarez
Southpaw Cunningham kayos Casarez for the second time but this time takes almost two minutes longer to get the job done. Early in the third a big punch from Cunningham put Casarez down and out with his leg folding painfully under him. Cunningham had stopped Casarez in two rounds in October. Now 44 Cunningham has won nine in a row by playing the big fish in the little pond. Nine of the ten losses suffered by Texan Casarez have been by KO/TKO.
Booker vs. Aristilde
Booker rebounds from a points loss to 17-0 Jermaine Franklin with a stoppage of Aristilde in the third round. Booker ended it was just a couple of seconds to go in the round. Now 38 he is keeping busy after being released from a long prison sentence in February last year. US-based Haitian Aristilde, 42, hardly counts as active as this is was his first fight for over two years and only his third in six years.
South Africa: Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (23-1) W PTS 12 Vasil Ducar (7-1-1). Lerena has no trouble in holding onto his IBO title against Czech novice Ducar. It was a slow-paced gruelling fight with the greater strength and experience of Lerena giving him big edges. He attacked Ducar’s body throughout the fight with some hefty shots but Ducar absorbed them well without ever looking in trouble. The challenger showed a useful jab but naturally tired over the late rounds. Although Lerena tried hard he could not get the tough Ducar out of there so had to settle for twelve useful if not too testing rounds of work. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111.for Lerena. This is his fourth defence of the IBO title and his eleventh win in a row. It is hard to chart a course through the cruiserweight division right now with Olek Usyk out of the picture. The WBSS is tying up Krzys Glowacki, Mairis Breidis, Yuniel Dorticos and Andrew Tabiti and a re-instated Dennis Lebedev is defending the WBA title against Arsen Goulamirian but when the smoke clears there should be an opportunity in there for Lerena who is rated in the top 10 by the IBF, WBC and WBO. Ducar did better than might have been expected considering his lack of pro experience but he was Czech champion as an amateur and up until recently also competed in MMA and professional kickboxing. He is also as a member of the Czech equivalent of a US SWAT team so was never likely to fold easily. He lost but he won as after the fight and whilst still in the ring he dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend who accepted his proposal.
Bilbao, Spain: Feather: Andoni Gago (22-3-3) W PTS 12 Jesus Sanchez (10-2). Super Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (28-1) W KO 4 Luis Solis (25-10-4). Feather: Oleg Malynovskyi (24-0) W PTS 8 Alex Mora (10-12-6), Super Welter: Isaac Real (19-3-1) W David Makaradze (18-10-1).
Gago vs. Sanchez
Gago wins the vacant European title with a split verdict over Sanchez. Fighting in front of his home fans Gago was his usual strong aggressive self. Sanchez had the better technique so it went with the script with Gago barrelling forward and Sanchez boxing cleverly and countering. It was a close contest which warmed into a real war over the second half of the fight as neither had the power to end the fight so were able to trade regularly. As hard as Gago pressed Sanchez always found an answer until the closing rounds when he was almost overwhelmed by Gago’s late push. Overall it was Gago’s aggression that won out. Scores 115-113 and 115-114 for Gago and 116-112 for Sanchez. Gago, 34, a former EU champion, is now 6-0-1 since losing to Lee Selby in 2017. He wins the title relinquished by Kiko Martinez when he chose to challenge Gary Russell for the WBC title. Madrid’s Sanchez earned his right to be in the opposite corner with a stoppage of former European champion Denis Ceylan in January and hopefully will get another shot at the EBU title.
Lejarraga vs. Solis
Lejarraga gets back into winning ways with stoppage of Solis. “Revolver” took a more measured approach than in the past but was still producing hurtful lefts to the body The taller Solis countered when he could but in the fourth a left to the body dropped Solis to his knees and the fight was over. Lejarraga wins the vacant WBC Latino title. This is the first fight for Lejarraga since losing inside the distance to David Avanesyan which cost him his European title. Avanesyan was there on this night and climbed into the ring to congratulate Lejarraga so there might be a return in the air. Mexican Solis was 9-2 in his last 11 fight including a win over Nery Saguilan and losses to Antonio DeMarco and unbeaten Antonio Barboza.
Malynovskyi vs. Mora
Ukrainian southpaw Malynovskyi floors Mora on the way to a wide unanimous victory. Scores 79-71 for Malynovskyi from all three judges. Malynovskyi, 31, won a gold and three bronze medals in the Ukrainian championships but since turning pro has avoided anything remotely like a test. Madrid-based Dominican Mora drops to 2-5-1 in his last 8 bouts.
Real vs. Makaradze
In his first fight for almost a year Real gets stoppage win over Georgian Makaradze. Real was comfortably in front but the cause of the stoppage was a cut on the left eyebrow of Makaradze. Real 37, suffered defeats in high level fights against Cedric Vitu and Sergio Garcia and injury has kept him out of the ring. As for Makaradze this is his first fight for three years.
Broadbeach, Australia: Super Light: Liam Paro (17-0) W PTS 10 Fatih Keles (11-1-1,1ND). Light: Jacob Ng (11-0) W PTS 10 Ricardo Lara (19-6). Heavy: Demsey McKean (15-0) W KO 2 Dominic Musil (3-3).
Paro vs. Keles
Paro continues to make progress and is rapidly becoming one of the best prospects in Australian boxing. He outboxed unbeaten Turk Keles to win the vacant IBF International title. Paro was a comfortable winner over the former Olympian Keles and looks ready for sterner tests. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93 for Paro. The 23-year-old southpaw has beaten good level opposition in Robert Tlatlik, Massimiliano Ballisai and now Keles. The German-based Keles was European Champion as an amateur and competed at the 2012 Olympics but has struggled so far as a pro.
Ng vs. Lara
Queenslander Ng was much too good for useful Mexican Lara and lifts the vacant IBF International title with wide unanimous decision but was unable to continue his run of inside the distance victories. The local boxer took the verdict on scores of 99-91 twice and 100-90. The 24-year-old 5’11 ½” Ng is making steady progress and had won his last five by KO/TKO. His father was also a pro. Lara had won 7 of his last 8 fights.
McKean vs. Musil
McKean puts away late substitute Musil in the second round. Musil was a poor opponent but McKean got the job done in style. In the second round as Musil advanced McKean bombed him with a heavy southpaw left to the head that put Musil down and out. Fifth win in a row by KO/TKO and ninth inside the distance win in total. The 28-year-old 6’6” “Machine”, a former MMA competitor, has done all that has been asked of him but is yet to face a test of any substance. Third loss in a row for Czech Musil. All against unbeaten opponents and his first loss by KO/TKO.
Montreal, Canada: Super Middle: Shakeel Phinn (21-2-1) W TKO 10 Elio German Rafael (15-3). Phinn “The Jamaican Juggernaut” rolls over Argentinian southpaw Rafael. Phinn was going to the body early but Rafael was competitive. The body punching started to pay dividends and a body punch from Phinn dropped Rafael in the sixth. Phinn’s only loss had been on a majority decision so he kept pressing trying to get this over inside the distance. It looked as though Rafael was going to make it to the final bell but Phinn floored him again in the tenth and although Rafael arose a couple more punches from Phinn saw the referee stop the fight with 26 seconds to go. The 28-year-old Phinn gets his nickname from his Jamaican parents. This is his fifteenth win by KO/TKO and he lifts both the IBF North American and NABF titles which were vacant. Mexican-based Argentinian Rafael suffers his first loss by KO/TKO. He had won 4 of his last 5 fights with the loss coming on points against then unbeaten Adam Deines in Germany in 2017
Garin, Argentina: Welter: Walter Castillo (14-4) W PTS 10 Adolfo Moreschi (11-4). Super Light: German Benitez (22-4,1ND) W TKO 2 Jonathan Leyes (6-7).
Castillo vs. Moreschi
Castillo comes in at very short notice and outpoints Moreschi. Castillo took the place of Moreschi’s original opponent who just two days before the fight suffered a leg injury. Southpaw Moreschi built an early lead aided by a point deduction from Castillo in the sixth for a butt. Castillo staged a strong finish over the last four rounds to swing the fight his way. Scores 95-94 twice and 97-92 for Castillo. He had lost 4 of his last 5 fights including a first round stoppage by Josh Kelly in November. Moreschi drops to 3 losses in his last 4 fights.
Benitez vs. Leyes
Home town fighter Benitez stops poor Leyes in two rounds. Benitez did not shine in the first round being careless with his head and having to absorb a couple of hard rights. In the second a short left hook inside suddenly turned the legs of Leyes into spaghetti and as he stumbled to the ropes catching the top one to keep him up the towel came in from his corner. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Benitez who was coming off a points loss to Lewis Ritson in London in March. Leyes really just a prelim fighter who has now won only 2 of his last 8 fights
Fight of the week (Significance): The wins for both Gennady Golovkin and Oscar Valdez could lead to more big fights down the line.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Buddy McGirt vs. David Papot provided plenty to enjoy.
Fighter of the week: Can’t choose between Golovkin and Valdez. Both outclassed modest opposition
Punch of the week: The left hook from Oscar Valdez that floored Jason Sanchez in the fifth was a peach and Golovkin’s left hook that put Steve Rolls out of the fight had real power. Demsey McKean’s thunderbolt straight left that dumped Dominic Musil on the floor was spectacular
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: Super Welter Israil Madrimov is only 3-0 as a pro but is already up at ten round level and welterweight Brian Ceballo 9-0 will go far
Closet Classics will typically feature fights that hardcore fans might be aware of, or at least have a fighter that fans know about. Today however we look at a genuinely obscure fight that we were lucky to find recently, and immediately decided that it would be featured in an upcoming Closet Classic. It will, probably, hold a unique role in this series as being the only all debutant bout to be featured, and one of the very few 4 rounds, but the reality is that it is something special, and was dubbed in Japan as the greatest 4 rounder ever. Coming from a country that gives us an annual Rookie of the Year event that praise is indeed very, very high, and may well be very accurate.
The only down point regarding the contest was the way one fighters out of the ring activity marred any hope of him having a notable career,
Ieyasu Yashiro (0-0) vs Ricardo Arredondo Jr (0-0)
The date was November 25th 1996, fans were heading to the Korakuen Hall to see OPBF Middleweight champion Kevin Palmer defending his title against Armando Andales, and former world champion Manny Melchor take on the enigmatic Masamori Tokuyama. Those who arrived at the Hall early got a few preliminary bouts, including an all debutant bout between Ieyasu Yashiro and Ricardo Arredondo Jr.
Both men were 19 years old and there was little to really say about either, with Arredondo being the more notable due to the fact his father, and uncle, were a former world champions. His father was popular in Japan with 7 of his bouts taking place there whilst his uncle Rene Arrdeondo, had twice fought in Japan.
With neither having much attention the two fight fought like they had a point to prove, and straight from the opening bell bombs were beign thrown, the crowd were ultra loud and the fighters, who showed a lot of technical flaws, just went at it. It was a fight, a true fight between novices each looking to leave a lasting impression, each looking to prove their machismo and each chasing the win.
Although the pace wasn't hectic for all 4 rounds it seemed like the bout just got better and better and round 4 was just as entertaining as round 1, with defense continually taking a back seat to long straights, hard hooks and crazy and back forth action as we some how went to the bell.
Sadly in the years that followed neither fighter would go on to have particularly memorable careers. Yashiro technically had the better career. He went 8-1 (1) fighting through to 1999. He wouldn't get a title fight before ending his career. Arredondo however had the more "interesting" career.
Arredondo had actually fought this fight under the name Ricardo Chiba and in 1998 he was arrested for killing a man in Chiba with a kitchen knife. Arredondo would essentially be sent packing from Japan follow his sentence and would fight again until 2006. He managed to fight 8 times in 2006, running up a 7-2 (7) record before leaving the sport himself at the age of 29.
One of the best things about being able to do this Closet Classics series is our ability to look at fights that no one else would really think about shining a light on. Yeah, of course, we include some amazing FOTY bouts, great comebacks and historically significant bouts, but we can also pick the occasional bout from deep in the back of the closet and share the bouts that really won't have seen much attention from outside of Asia. Today we bring you one of the oddest Closet Classics we're ever likely to bring you, and it's true family affair!
Kusuo Eguchi (10-3, 4) vs Katsuaki Eguchi (10-4, 1)
As you can likely tell from the surname of the fighters these two men knew each other, in fact Kusuo Eguchi and Katsuaki Eguchi were brothers, who met on June 5th 1993 in a fight for the then vacant Japanese Minimumweight title. Despite being brothers they delivered a real fight, with both men wanting to take home the win and both men wanting to claim bragging rights ahead of their sibling.
At 24 years old Kusuo was the older man, with Katsuaki set to turn 21 weeks after this fight. Kusuo was also a southpaw, and had competed at a higher level to his brother, beating Korean champion Tae-Yung Kim and losing to former world title challenger Andy Tabanas. Kusuo also boasted more power than his younger brother, havign 4 stoppages in 13 bouts to his brother's 1 stoppage in 14. Katsuaki however Katsuaki however was no push over himself and had scored a very notable domestic win over Keitaro Hoshino prior to this bout, with Hoshino later going on to world title honours.
It was clear from the opening moments that both knew they were in a strange fight, fighting their brother, rarely looking at each other during the introductions and even looking down to the canvas during the referee's final instructions.
Despite the fact both seemed to realise they would be punching their own brother the fight was highly entertaining from the first round, with the men throwing a lot of leather from the off. Katsuaki was the one applying pressure, trying to take the fight to his older brother, with Kusuo fighting on the back foot, countering and, and breaking through with a knockdown part way through the round. Despite dropping his brother Kusuo looked away whilst the count took place, showing some concern to his brother. The fight would resume when Katsuaki got to his feet, and Kusuo would go to work, looking to close the show.
Round 2 started with the Kusuo scoring a knockdown, leavelling the knockdown counter and going to work himself, on closing the show and finishign things off. From there on the bout became a compelling battle between two men, who looked eager to impress and win, but thoroughly concerned about the health of the. It seemed that both thought it better to finish the bout early than go for a long and gruelling 10 round affair, and it was that mentality that gave us this brilliant Closet Classic.
By Eric Armit
-Andy Ruiz shakes the boxing world to its foundations as he stops Anthony Joshua to win the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles
-Callum Smith stops Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in WBA super middle title defence
-Thai Wanheng gets win No 53 and retains his WBC minimumweight title with technical decision over Tatsuya Fukuhara
-Fanlong Meng outpoints Adam Deines in IBF final eliminator to put himself in line to challenger Artur Beterbiev for the light heavy title
-Willie Monroe returns to action with a decision over Hugo Centeno
-Ivan Redkach surprises with stoppage of former champion Devon Alexander
-Unbeaten Josh Kelly and Ray Robinson fight to a majority draw
- Former champion Chris Algieri rekindles his title hopes with win over Tommy Coyle
-Unbeaten Welshman Jay Harris decisions Spaniard Angel Moreno to win the vacant European flyweight title
-Unbeaten hopes Joshua Buatsi and Frenchman Souleymane Cissokho score wins in New York
-World rated Filipinos Jhack Tepora and Marlon Tapales register wins in California
WORLD TITLE/MAJOR SHOWS
Chachoengsao, Thailand: Minimumweight: Wanheng (53-0) W TEC DEC 8 Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-7-6). Fly: Yodmongkol (54-4) W PTS 8 Dionatha Santos Tobias (0-1). Super Fly: Kongfah CP Freshmart (26-1) W TKO 5 Sumet Jaroenrob (0-1)
Wanheng vs. Fukuhara
Wanheng takes unanimous technical decision over Fukuhara in a return match. Japanese southpaw Fukuhara had height and reach over the champion but Wanheng was quicker drawing Fukuhara’s lead and getting inside to connect with hooks. Fukuhara was also landing well to the body. In the second a clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Fukuhara. The referee had the doctor examine the damage but the fight was allowed to continue. Wanheng landed a number of straight rights to increase the damage but Fukuhara hung tough and stayed in the fight scoring well to the body. Slick foot work and quick hands were giving Wanheng the edge but in their first fight Wanheng had tired badly over the late rounds so Fukuhara kept pressing. The challenger passed another doctor’s inspection but there was also some swelling around his left eye. In the seventh and eighth Fukuhara was continually charging in with his head down and eventually in the eighth his head crashed into Wanheng’s face opening a cut over the champions left eye. The referee immediately stopped the action and took Wanheng over for the doctor to assess the damage and it was ruled that the cut was too severe for Wanheng to continue so the fight was decided on the cards with the eighth round being scored. Wanheng was the winner with the three cards coming out at 78-74, 78-74 and 79-73 for Wanheng. The 31-year-old Thai was making the eleventh defence of the WBC title. He had outpointed Fukuhara in 2017. Fukuhara, the WBC No 4, was having his first fight for ten months.
Yodmongkol vs. Tobias
Only in Thailand do you find matches like this where a former interim world champion meets an opponent with no traceable record. Really just paid sparring for Yodmongkol. The former WBA interim flyweight champion has lost only 2 of his last 50 fights and they were in WBA title matches against Juan Reveco and Artem Dalakian. His last four opponents have had total records of 0-5 and 19-year-old Brazilian Tobias fits right in there.
Kongfah vs. Jaroenrob
This one every bit as bad as world rated Kongfah stops debutant Jaroenrob in four rounds. Twelve wins in a row for Kongfah since being knocked out in seven rounds by Daigo Higa for the WBC Youth title in 2015. Thai Jaroenrob again no traceable record.
New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Andy Ruiz (33-1) W TKO 7Anthony Joshua (22-1). Super Middle: Callum Smith W TKO 3Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-4). Super Light: Chris Algieri (24-3) W RTD 8 Tommy Coyle (25-5). Welter: Josh Kelly (9-0-1) DREW 10 Ray Robinson (24-3-2). Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (11-0) W TKO 4 Marco Periban (25-5-1). Middle: Souleymane Cissokho (9-0) W PTS 8 Vlad Hernandez (10-4).
Ruiz vs. Joshua
Huge upset as Ruiz climbs off the canvas and then floors Joshua four times before the bout is ended in the seventh round. He becomes the first Mexican to hold the heavyweight title and changes the dynamics of the current heavyweight scene.
A first round of study. Ruiz was tracking Joshua around the perimeter of the ring with Joshua using his longer reach to score with his jab. Both fighters tried big rights but missed and Joshua’s jabs won him the round
Score: 10-9 Joshua
After an early flurry of punches from Ruiz there was not much action in this round. Joshua was again circling the ring probing with his jab. He clipped Ruiz with a right to the chin but Ruiz just ignored it. Not much in the round but I gave it to Joshua again because of his jabs.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 20-18
Study time over in a big way in a dramatic round. After exchanging jabs again Joshua walked inside and put Ruiz down with a left hook. Ruiz was up at four and did not look too badly shaken but when the action started again Joshua landed a heavy right. He continued to throw punches looking to finish Ruiz but was wide open and a left hook from Ruiz saw Joshua’s knees buckle. Now Ruiz was storming forward throwing punches and Joshua went down. He watched the count and was up at eight. Joshua then proceeded to hold to smother Ruiz’s attacks but was wobbled again by a left. He tried to hold Ruiz off with his jab but Ruiz took him to the ropes and piled on punches until Joshua dropped just as the three minutes were up. He was up at eight but looked shaky. The round was over so Ruiz had no chance to capitalise on the two knockdowns
Score: 10-8 Ruiz Tied 28-28
Joshua was not looking to engage at all in this one. He stayed out of range hardly throwing a punch. Ruiz landed a couple of jabs but was not able to pressure hard enough but took a low action round.
Score: 10-9 Ruiz Ruiz 38-37
Joshua boxed his way through this one. He kept stabbing out the jab and moving. Ruiz was just tracking Joshua but hardly threw a single punch in the round. Late in the round Joshua landed a right and threw a couple more punches but again it was a low activity round. If not for the tension created by the dramatic third the crowd would have been calling for more action.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Tied 47-47
Better round for Ruiz. He was letting go with hooks and connecting. Joshua was just retreating and pushing out a weak jab. Ruiz was able to get inside with hooks to the head and Joshua was making no real effort to keep him off. He seemed to have lost his focus and almost seemed to be sleep-walking.
Score: 10-9 Ruiz Ruiz 57-56
Early in the seventh a left hook to the head from Ruiz un-hinged Joshua’s legs and Ruiz battered him with punches until Joshua dropped to the floor. He was up at four but again did not seem to be focused. After the eight count Joshua tried to keep Ruiz away with his jab but when he then tried to move inside to punch Ruiz again connected with head punches and Joshua went down again. Joshua made it to his feet then walked to a corner and stood with both arms resting on the top ropes. When the referee completed the eight count Joshua was still in that position not lifting his gloves as he should have down and the referee waived the fight over. Ruiz gets his reward for agreeing to fight Joshua at relatively short notice and now he can thumb his nose at those who turned down the chance. This must rate as one of the biggest shocks in the history of heavyweight boxing. Now they will all be knocking on Ruiz’s door. Where he goes from here is difficult to predict. Naturally Joshua wants a return but whereas the IBF, WBA and WBO were happy to ride on the coat-tails of Joshua the IBF may now insist that Ruiz fights their No 1 Kubrat Pulev, the WBA that he fights the winner of Manuel Charr vs. Trevor Bryan and the WBO that he fights the winner and Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas and since he can’t do all three we there will be no unified heavyweight titles. Joshua performed poorly both tactically and physically. His strong jab was reduced a weak prodding device devoid of snap, he rarely threw a right with any purpose and he spent most of the fight going backwards. At times he did not seem to be focusing on the fight and his punch resistance was low. He wants a return but may have to wait and he has a lot to work to do if he is to recover from this.
Smith vs. N’Jikam
Smith retains the WBA title with third round stoppage. Smith just too big and too powerful for a lightweight N’Jikam who hardly puts up any kind of fight and is floored in each of the three rounds.
The size discrepancy here was every bit as big as that between Joshua and Ruiz. Smith was the bigger man and he was able to connect early with left hooks to the body with N’Jikam trying to dart inside without success. Just before the bell N’Jikam suddenly launched an attack. Smith met him with a left hook to the head and N’Jikam fell to the floor. He struggled to get to his feet but raised his gloves when asked. There were only ten seconds left in the round. Smith took N’Jikam to the ropes trying to land a finishing punch. N’Jikam dropped forward to the canvas but the referee decided it was a slip and did not count and then the bell went.
Score: 10-8 Smith
N’Jikam tried a lunging attack early in this round and ran onto another left hook and was dropped on his rump. After the count N’Jikam tried to stay inside to deny Smith leverage but was rocked by another left hook. N’Jikam then used plenty of movement to stay out of further trouble.
Score: 10-8 Smith Smith 20-16
Smith shook N’Jikam with a right and worked him over on the ropes. N’Jikam fought his way of the ropes but was soon under pressure again. Smith landed a left hook to the body and some clubbing rights but N’Jikam escaped. It looked as though the challenger might make it to the bell but a huge right hook put him down on his back. He rolled over and got up but his legs wobbled and the referee stopped the fight.
The 6’3” from Liverpool was making the first defence of the WBA title he won with a knockout of George Groves in September. The big fight for Smith would be against Saul Alvarez who holds the secondary WBA title but if that fight can’t be made then from a domestic point of view John Ryder is No 1 with the WBA and Chris Eubank is No 2 and of course Billy Joe Saunders is the WBO champion. Additionally he would be favoured to beat WBC champion Anthony Dirrell and IBF champion Caleb Plant. Plenty of choices and all much harder than this fight with N’Jikam. The Cameroon-born French fighter has spent most of his career fighting at middleweight and in his last fight when he outpointed Martin Murray he weighed 157 ½ lbs. He had not fought at super middle since 2016 and the WBA did not pop him into their ratings at all until after this fight was agreed. A gift for Smith.
Algieri vs. Coyle
Algieri keeps the door open to another world title fight with win over Britain’s Coyle. With Coyle you know what you are getting. He is a tough aggressive fighter who always provides entertainment. The expectation was that Algieri would try to outbox Coyle but he had said his aim was to knock Coyle out so he also began aggressively. After a close first round Coyle shook Algeria with a right in the second and as he piled on the punches Algieri looked to be in trouble but was fighting back by the end of the round. In the fourth Algieri got through with a heavy right to the body and Coyle went down. Her beat the count and this time Coyle was the one surviving to the bell. Both scored with good body punches in the fifth. Algieri looked to be getting on top boxing more and connecting with good body punches but Coyle banged back late in the sixth forcing Algieri to the ropes under a series of punches. Algieri dominated the action in the seventh and eighth and although Coyle fought back hard he was looking tired and fading out of the fight and his corner retired their man at the end of the eighth. Now 35 the former WBO super light champion retains the WBO International title. He is currently No 5 with the WBO and is still a” name” and entertaining so another title shot is not out of the question. Coyle suffered set-backs when losing to Luke Campbell and Tyrone Nurse but had fought his way back winning the Commonwealth title with a stoppage of Sean Dodd and outpointing Ryan Kielczewski but after this defeat he may go back to domestic action.
Kelly vs. Robinson
In his first pro fight in the USA British prospect Kelly has to fight hard to get a draw with Robinson to retain the WBA International title. Kelly began the fight with his usual hands-down style showing plenty of movement and quick hands and he set out to dazzle Robinson early. The Philadelphian found the constantly shifting Kelly an elusive target and was being caught by some of the unorthodox punches Kelly conjures up. Robinson found his best tactic was to go to the body and he began to land some solid shots of his own. Both fighters had their moments over the middle rounds. Solid work from Robinson was proving an effective antidote to the flashier work from Kelly but the rounds were very close. Robinson was cut over the left eye in the seventh but had pinned Kelly in a corner for much of that round. Both landed with hard punches in the eighth, Robinson with a straight left and Kelly with a cracking right just before the bell. Kelly was cut over his right eye and they both stepped up their output trying to pull what they knew would be a close decision their way. Going into the final round two judges had Robinson in front by one point and the other had them even. Kelly did enough to take the round and saved the fight. Scores 95-95 twice and 95-94 for Kelly. With his dazzling skills Kelly has breezed by all of his opposition so far but this close call will give him some things to work on if he is to progress further. In his only fight in 2018 Robinson was floored twice and stopped by Yordenis Ugas but did much better in March this year with a draw against WBO No 1 Egidijus Kavaliauskas. That result by Robinson enhances somewhat Kelly’s performance here in only his tenth fight.
Buatsi vs. Periban
Buatsi and Callum Smith brightened what was an otherwise very disappointing /disastrous night for British boxing. Buatsi had no problems in dealing with a very faded Periban. Buatsi seems to improve with every fight. He wound up the pressure and the punishment in each round. Periban lacked the speed and power to pose a real threat and as this was his first fight for two years his reaction timing was off. Buatsi wrapped things up in the fourth. He felled Periban with a right and although Periban managed to get to his feet he was being pounded with more rights and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’2” Ghanaian-born Buatsi gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. A silver medal winner in Rio Buatsi has won his last six fights by KO/TKO and is already rated WBA 5/IBF 9(7)/WBO 13 but he has yet to be in with a name fighter so hopefully won’t be rushed. Periban, 34, won his first 20 fights before losing a majority decision to Sakio Bika for the WBC title in 2013. Later the same year he drew with the unbeaten Badou Jack but in 2015 and 2016 consecutive losses to J’Leon Love and James DeGale in 2014 knocked him back and a loss to Avni Yildirim in May 2017 sent him into semi-retirement.
Cissokho vs. Hernandez
French hope Cissokho gets a win in his first fight as a pro in the USA. He took a round and a half to get into the groove but after that he was in the driving seat controlling the fight comfortably outboxing and outscoring southpaw Hernandez. It was disappointing that Cissokho did not press harder and try for a stoppage as Hernandez had lost by TKO in his last fight but a win is a win and he will have better nights. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Cissokho. He was Captain of the French Boxing Team in Rio and won a bronze medal there. Hernandez falls to 3-4 in his last 7 fights,
San Jacinto, CA, USA: Middle: Willie Monroe Jr (24-3) W PTS 10 Hugo Centeno (27-3,1ND) W. Welter: Ivan Redkach (23-4-1,1ND) W TKO 6 Devon Alexander (27-6-1). Feather: Jhack Tepora (23-0) W PTS 10 Jose Gallegos (16-7). Feather: Marlon Tapales (33-2) W TKO 3 Roberto Castaneda (23-12-2). Heavy: Rodney Hernandez (13-7-2) W KO 1Onoriode Ehwarieme (17-1).
Monroe vs. Centeno
Monroe takes another step along the road to a title shot with unanimous decision over Centeno. Southpaw Monroe has plenty of skill, an awkward style and lots of tricks. Centeno just could not get to grips with Monroe who kept moving kept jabbing and outworked the Californian. Unfortunately Monroe’s awkward style rarely produces an entertaining fight and that is what happened here. Centeno was cut in the fourth round and had a heavy nosebleed for much of the fight. He gave away too many early rounds before getting into the fight and sweeping the middle rounds. The pace quickened over the last two rounds as Monroe took control again sliding his jab home and using slick movement to frustrate Centeno’s attacks. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Monroe. He climbed to No 2 in the WBO ratings before challenging Billy Joe Saunders for their title in 2017. He lost on points and by the next month had gone from No 2 to nowhere. He scored a couple of wins last year but a December eliminator with Jermall Charlo fell through when Monroe tested positive for high testosterone levels. At one time Centeno was 24-0 but inside the distance losses to Maciej Sulecki and Jermall Charlo meant that this was a fight he could not afford to lose.
Redkach vs. Alexander
Important win for Redkach as he floors and halts Alexander in a battle of southpaws. Under the tutelage of Roy Jones Alexander adopted a more aggressive approach in this fight which suited Redkach. Alexander’s aggression and better skills saw him edge the opening round but in the second Redkach knocked him off balance with a right and was able to find a home for some hooks from both hands. Alexander took the lead again by outscoring Redkach in the third. He was accurate with both his right jab and did some good work to the body. Redkach had more success in the fourth and fifth but Alexander looked to still be in front. Early in the sixth Redkach landed a right uppercut that sent Alexander face down on the canvas. Alexander arose and tried to buy some time by grappling with Redkach but a left hook put him on the floor again. He made it to his feet but was floored again and the referee immediately halted the contest. The 33-year-old Los Angeles-based Ukrainian looked to have lost his way suffering defeats against Tevin Farmer, Argenis Mendez and a fourth round kayo by John Molina. He steadied things with two wins and victory here should see him back in the world ratings. Alexander, 32, may be at the end of the road. Last year he drew with Victor Ortiz and lost a split verdict to Andre Berto which was good form but this is a crushing defeat.
Tepora vs. Gallegos
Tepora starts to rebuild his career and his reputation with a comfortable victory over Gallegos. Tepora was quicker and more accurate but Gallegos moved enough and landed enough to keep it a close over the first two rounds. Tepora really began to motor over the third and fourth. He was landing southpaw jabs and left hooks to the body and Gallegos just could not find the space to counter effectively. Gallegos had a bit more success in the fourth and fifth but took a beating in the sixth with a left counter from southpaw Tepora sending him back on his heels. Gallegos just could not figure out the crouching, side-on style of Tepora and was caught continually with lead lefts but he did land a cracking right hook in the eighth and Tepora had a swelling under his left eye from the punch. Tepora seemed to be aiming to get in some ring time and he did not really press his attacks in the ninth and tenth content to just do enough to win the rounds. Scores 99-91 for Tepora from all three judges. The 24-year-old Filipino southpaw is a former interim WBA featherweight champion. Winning that title was expected to lead to bigger things for Tepora but instead led to him losing his title when he came in 5 ½ lbs over the limit for a defence in January with the indiscipline casting a shadow over his career. He came in at 127lbs for this fight which was within the weight stipulated in the contract so hopefully he will quickly get back to title action. Three defeats in a row for Gallegos following losses to Ricardo Lara and Erick De Leon.
Tapales vs. Castaneda
Former WBO bantam champion Tapales steamrollers a gutsy but shop-worn Castaneda to defeat in three rounds. Castaneda was coming forward aggressively in the first but he was slow and predictable. Tapales was ducking under Castaneda’s swings and coming up with body punches. One landed low and Castaneda was allowed a bit of recovery time. In the next exchange Castaneda glanced at the referee to indicate Tapales had gone low again but Tapales took him to the ropes and dropped him with a left and right to the head. Castaneda was up at eight and used his experience to get through the rest of the round. In the second Castaneda was blasted with right hooks, straight lefts and uppercuts but kept swinging just enough to convince the referee he was still able to fight back. The doctor checked Castaneda in his corner before the start of the third but cleared him to continue. Castaneda was rocked by punch after punch in the third but kept throwing wild swings. Eventually yet another left to the head sent him into a corner where he slumped against the ropes and the referee then came in and stopped the fight. The 27-year-old Filipino won the WBO title with an eleventh round kayo of Pungluang in 2016 but lost it in 2017. Although he stopped challenger Shoei Omori he had failed to make the weight and lost the title on the scales. He was then inactive for seventeen months before coming back with a win last September. He is now on a twelve bout winning streak and has lost only once, on a majority decision, in his last 26 fights. He is No 4 with both the IBF and WBO so an interesting addition to a division where some good fights can be made. Castaneda is a very old looking 27 and has been in too many tough matches. He is now 2-6-1 in his last 9 fights.
Hernandez vs. Ehwarieme
As an upset in a heavyweight fight this was not in the same class as Ruiz vs. Joshua but it was an upset. The 6’7” Ehwarieme was able to use his reach early against the 6’3” Hernandez and when Hernandez bulled his way inside Ehwarieme tied him up then shoved him off. With less than ten seconds to go in the round Hernandez forced Ehwarieme to the ropes and landed a punch to the body and then nailed him with a left hook to the head. That started Ehwarieme on his way to the floor and Hernandez landed another left hook to help him on his way. Ehwarieme went to the canvas face down. He managed to struggle to his feet but was still very shaky and the referee stopped the fight. Hernandez had a 0-3-1 spell in 2016/2017 but last June he took a split decision over unbeaten 16-0 LaRon Mitchell. Nigerian Ehwarieme has certainly travelled. He turned pro in Indonesia and has since fought in Ghana, Nigeria, Argentina and now the USA. His opposition has been mediocre at best so it remains to be seen in if he is better than he showed here.
Concordia, Argentina: Welter: Gustavo Vittori (23-5-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Santana (15-3). Neighbourhood fighter Vittorio overcome handicap from a swelling that severely restricted his vision to win the vacant WBC Latino title. Having said that Santana looked very unlucky not to get the decision. A clash of heads in the first round started a swelling around the right eye of Vittori and bit by bit the swelling increased so that he could only see out of a slit. Punches from Santana had Vittori bleeding from nose and mouth by the third and Santana moved further in front when Vittorio was deducted a point for punches to the back of the head in the fourth. The middle rounds were close and Vittori survived examinations of his reduced vision in the eighth and ninth. He came into the fight more as Santana tired to make it close but still did not seem to have done enough to take the decision. Scores 96-93 for Vittori from all three judges. The 29-year-old “Puppy” Vittori levels his recent form to 3-3 with two of the three losses suffered against unbeaten Alex Saucedo and Mikkel LesPierre in the USA. He is No 6 with the Argentinian Federation. Santana was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and hopefully will get a return. He is No 9 super light in the national ratings.
Milan, Italy: Feather: Mauro Forte (13-0-1) W RTD 6 Michael Pappoe (24-6). Southpaw Forte too clever and, as his name says, too strong for tough but limited Pappoe. From the outset as Pappoe advanced behind a high but not tight guard. Forte was slotting jabs home, changing angles and landing hooks to the body of the Ghanaian. Forte used those same tactics over the opening four rounds with a frustrated Pappoe unable to really find a solution. In the fifth Pappoe launched himself forward but Forte side-stepped and landed a punch on the back of the Ghanaian’s head. Pappoe went down complaining about the punch but the referee continued the count. Pappoe arose but took some more punishment and his legs were unsteady as he returned to his corner. In the sixth Forte was driving Pappoe back and connecting with punches to head and body with Pappoe really just covering up and after the bell he retired. Forte, 25, a former undefeated Italian champion, adds the IBF International title to the WBC Mediterranean title he already holds. Pappoe, 34, now has two losses by KO/TKO and he loses every time he tries to move up.
Panama City, Panama: Super Fly: Elton Dharry (24-5-1) W PTS 10 Gilberto Pedroza (18-5-2). Dharry wins two titles in the same night with unanimous decision over local fighter Pedraza. It was a simple case of Pedraza just being too small and too light to tackle Dharry. The visitor was able to bull Pedraza in the clinches and Pedraza lacked the power to change that. Dharry had Pedraza down in the seventh and was a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and a too close 95-94 all for Dharry. He wins the WBA Fedecentro and WBC Fecarbox titles. Dharry, 33, has been a pro for fourteen years and is unbeaten in his last 20 fights. That’s a long time to have made so little progress with never a hint of a world title shot but if you never take the risk you never get the reward. Pedraza was stopped in four rounds by Ken Shiro in a WBC light flyweight title challenge in December 2017 and his manager said he will go back down in weight in his next fight.
Warsaw, Poland: Cruiser: Michal Cieslak (19-0,1ND) W TKO 2 Olan Durodola (29-7). Cieslak stops Durodola in two rounds. The Pole was fired up for this one. He was on the front foot switching guards scoring with both left and right jabs and then connecting with hooks landing heavily to the head just before the bell to end the first round. In the second Cieslak connected with a clubbing right to the head that sent Durodola stumbling to the ropes on shaky legs. He hung on the ropes with his right arm hooked over the top rope holding him up. Cieslak clobbered the Nigerian with head punches and as Durodola’s right arm came free of the ropes he started to slump to the floor. The referee stepped in and halted the fight with Durodola protesting he was able to continue but it was the right decision. The 30-year-old EBU No 1 collects the vacant Polish International title. He is coming off a career best win over Youri Kayembre Kalenga in March and with Durodola rated No 11 by the WBC that should enable him to get a rating. Durodola, 38, was 4-3 going into this one but the 4 were unimportant matches and the three were losses to Dmitry Kudryashov, Maksim Vlasov and Krzys Wlodarczyk. I haven’t seen it before but there was wire fence around the ring from the bottom rope to the canvas presumably to stop a fighter rolling on to the ring apron and thence to the floor.
Belgrade, Serbia: Light Heavy: Marko Nikolic (24-0) W PTS 10 Adriano Sperandio (11-1). Heavy: Bogdan Filipovic (26-1) W TKO 2 Marino Goles (24-9).
Nikolic vs. Sperandio
Nikolic wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title with unanimous decision over Italian Sperandio. This was a hard fought, entertaining contest which was close all the way with local fighter Nikolic building a lead and then resisting a strong finish by Italian Sperandio to win his first pro title. Sperandio faced a crisis in the second being badly shaken and only just avoiding a knockdown. The Italian rallied over the third and fourth after which two judges had the scores at 38-38 each and the third judge had Nikolic in front 39-37. Nikolic effectively won the fight with a strong showing over the next three rounds to now lead on all three cards at 68-65 twice and 67-66. Sperandio battled hard trying to claw back the deficit over the last three rounds but just coming up short. Scores 96-94 twice and 96-95 all for Nikolic. The 30-year-old Serbian fireman was a top level amateur winning Serbian titles at Junior and Senior level and competing at the World and European Championships, He mainly fought at 81kgs but moved down to light heavyweight for this fight. He is hoping to use his first title as a springboard to winning others. Sperandio has a similar amateur background being a former Italian champion with over 100 fights behind him and with the result so close he naturally felt he had won but Nikolic deserved the decision.
Former top level amateur Sperandio, 31, may look inexperienced but he had over 100 amateur fights and is a former Italian amateur champion.
Filipovic vs. Goles
Serb oldie Filipovic wins the vacant WBC CIS and Slovak belt with stoppage of anther aging fighter in Goles. Filipovic, 42, has won 24 of his fights by KO/TKO but being stopped in three rounds in February by 45-year-old Danny Williams puts him into context. Croatian Gomes, 39, loses whenever he tries to step up and this is his eighth loss by KO/TKO.
Scunthorpe, England: Light Heavy: Dec Spelman (16-2) W PTS 10 Kirk Garvey (12-3). Spelman takes the English title from Garvey on a unanimous decision. The 6’3” Garvey was at his best when he could create some space to use his jab. Spelman was marching forward strongly and he rocked Garvey in the second. Spelman’s aggression kept Garvey on the back foot but he was jabbing well and mixing in straight rights. Spelman just kept on coming and was scoring with hard jabs of his own. He had Garvey in trouble at the end of the fifth but was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads and it bled for the rest of the fight. Spelman’s relentless pressure kept him in control but Garvey fought back hard. It was an excellent contest but Spelman was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 97-94 for home town fighter Spelman. On his shorts Spelman wears a tribute to Scott Westgarth who outpointed Spelman in February last year but then collapsed in the dressing room and was taken to the hospital but died two days later. Garvey was making the first defence of the English title he won in March with a victory over Mike Shinkwin.
Glasgow, Scotland: Welter: Martin Harkin (10-0) W KO 4 Ally Black (9-5-1). Harkin wins the vacant BBB of C Celtic title with savage kayo of Black in an all-Scottish clash. This was an entertaining scrap while it lasted. Black was busier in the first pumping out jabs and moving in with hooks. Harkin had the longer reach and was dangerous with right crosses and left hooks. Harkin showed his power in the second dropping Black with a right to the head. Black beat the count and although he made it to the bell he suffered severe punishment from hooks and neck-jarring uppercuts. Despite that bad round Black was not about to cave in and he took the fight to Harkin in the third connecting with some hefty rights to the head. He was often forcing Harkin back but he just did not have the power to match Harkin who continued to land some hurtful hooks. A gutsy Black tried to punch with Harkin in the fourth. He was rocked a couple of times and then shaken by a left hook. Harking threw another left hook to the head and Black went down like a puppet that had his strings cut and the referee immediately waived the fight off. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 27-year-old from Dumbarton who was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. Black, a former Scottish Area champion. was 4-1 in his last 5 fights
Harare, Zimbabwe: Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2,1ND ) W KO 4 Liberty Muwani (4-4). Namibian Ndafoluma wipes out seriously overmatched local fighter Muwani. It was clear from the start that Ndafoluma was streets ahead of the Zimbabwean novice who had very little technique and no power. Ndafoluma hunted Muwani down in the first and looked to have scored a knockdown in the second but the referee ruled it was a slip. Muwani had a good third as Ndafoluma seemed to lose focus. The Namibian woke up again the in fourth forcing Muwani to a corner and landing a thunderous right putting Muwani down to the floor against the ropes and he was counted out. The 6’2” 33-year-old Ndafoluma now has 11 wins on the bounce but wins like this are meaningless. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Muwani.
Cardiff, Wales: Fly: Jay Harris (16-0) W PTS 12 Angel Moreno (19-4-2). Super Light: Kieran Gething (9-2-1) W PTS 10 Craig Woodruff (7-5). Light: Craig Evans (20-2-2) W PTS 10 Stephen Ormond (27-5). Light: Sultan Zaurbek (7-0) W TKO 8 Sergio Gonzalez (10-16-5). Welter: Zhankosh Turarov (23-0) W RTD 2 Richmond Djarbeng (29-4-1). Super Bantam: Sean McGoldrick (9-0) W PTS 6 Moises Mojica (9-6-2).
Harris vs. Moreno
Harris wins the vacant European title with wide unanimous decision over a gutsy and competitive Moreno. It was bombs away at the bell from this one. Moreno piled into Harris firing punches from both hands. Harris banged back and they traded punches for most of the three minutes. Twice Harris had Moreno pinned against the ropes with Moreno looking to be in trouble but Moreno punched his way off the ropes as they traded to the bell of a hectic opening round. Harris kept up the pressure in the second with Moreno now having to show his clever defensive work as Harris worked him over on the ropes. A clash of heads saw Harris cut over his left eye. Harris was proving too strong for Moreno. The Spaniard was standing and exchanging punches occasionally but Harris was sustaining his attacks and continually forcing Moreno to give ground and was obviously the harder puncher. Only Moreno’s foot work and clever bobbing and weaving were keeping him in the fight. Harris was pressing all of the time with Moreno only attacking in very short bursts or leaping in with one punch and darting out again but it was Harris winning the rounds. Harris rocked Moreno with some heavy rights in the middle rounds but Moreno took the punishment and remained in the fight. Harris continued to dominate the exchanges and by the tenth Moreno was showing a swelling under his right eye and he had been cut beside the same eye in a clash of heads in the ninth. Despite the dominance enjoyed by Harris and the punishment he handed out there was never any doubt that Moreno would last the distance. The little gutsy Spaniard just kept coming back for more and was still fighting hard at the end of the twelfth. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 for Harris who already holds the Commonwealth title. The 28-year-old from Swansea is rated IBF 9 (8)/WBO 13/WBC 14 and needs to kick on from here against some tougher opposition if he is going to land a shot at a world title with WBC champion Charlie Edwards an obvious target. The 35-year-old Moreno, who fights under the banner of Sergio Martinez, needed two attempts to make the weight. He was floored and outpointed by Edwards in March but has plenty of fight left in him and is an entertaining performer.
Gething vs. Woodruff
Gething holds on to his Welsh title with narrow points victory over Woodruff. The 6’0” Woodruff had height and reach over Gethin and worked his jab well. Gething kept storming forward looking to get inside a land with hooks. The rounds were close with neither fighter having the power to dominate. Woodruff did his best work when he was moving and countering and Gethin when getting past Woodruff’s jab and firing hooks to the body. As they tired things became a bit untidy as Woodruff looked to tie Gething up. The decision could have gone either way but Gethin had been just a little bit busier and took the decision. Referee’s score 97-95 for Gethin. First defence of the Welsh title for Gethin and third win in a row. Wood was inactive for four years but had scored two wins after returning to action in November last year.
Evans vs. Ormond
Evans gets repeat win over Ormond. The better boxing from Evans put him in the driving seat and he never really lost control. As usual Ormond fought hard but just could not match the work rate or accuracy of the Welsh southpaw. Knowing he was behind Ormond staged a storming finish pressing hard enough for Evans to lose a point for holding in the last but by then Evans was already assured of victory. Scores 98-92, 97-92 and 95 94 for Evans. He retains the WBO European title. He had Ormond on the floor twice in the last round when they fought in 2017 but could not keep him there and won on points. Ormond, 36, announced his retirement after the fight. Irish boxing will miss “The Rock”
Zaurbek vs. Gonzalez
Southpaw Zaurbek was much too quick for Gonzalez. He was daring in landing right jabs and lefts to head and body and getting out before Gonzalez could counter. Gonzalez kept trying to close the distance but he was eating counters and a sustained attack from Zaurbek in the third had the referee looking closely at Gonzalez to see if he needed to be rescued. Gonzalez took more punishment in the fourth but connected with two rights to the head at the bell. It was target practice for Zaurbek in the fifth and a punch opened a cut over the left eye of Gonzalez. Zaurbek took time in the sixth to mock Gonzalez for his wild swings. In the seventh as Zaurbek put some flashing combinations together it looked as though he could end the fight whenever he chose. Zaurbek cut loose in the eighth driving Gonzalez around the ring with hurtful shots to head and body. The referee watched the action very closely and with blood running down Gonzalez face and heavy shots landing from Zaurbek he stopped the fight. A former World Youth Championships silver medallist the 23-year-old London-based Kazak is another to follow. Gonzalez just one more game but outclassed member of the Nicaraguan/ Barcelona “losers supplied” club.
Turarov vs. Djarbeng
Kazakh Turarov returns to action with an easy victory over Ghanaian Djarbeng. The menacing looking Turarov was tracking the retreating Djarbeng around the ropes looking to land overhand right and left hooks. Djarbeng just poked out his jab and tried a couple off right crosses but looked slow. Turarov continued to hunt Djarbeng in the second and scored with some powerful rights to the head. In the interval Djarbeng would not let his second insert his mouthguard insisting that he was suffering body cramps and he retired from the fight. The 28-year-old Turarov turned pro at 18 and has fought in the Dominican Republic and the USA as well as Kazakhstan but has not faced a name opponent or really been tested. He has also had periods of low activity fighting only once in 2014 and 2015 and was inactive in 2018. Now based in Florida he looked very good here and hopefully will be more active under the MTK banner. Djarbeng has a heavily padded record and the only other time he has tried to step up was a fight with Jeff Horn in 2015 where he was floored three times and halted in the third round.
McGoldrick vs. Mojica
McGoldrick wins decision over a feisty Mojica. The visitor from Nicaragua made a bright start with plenty of jabs as he continually switched guards. McGoldrick worked behind his jab and was digging in left hooks to the body. McGoldrick was in control in the second and third adding clubbing rights to the head to his arsenal but Mojica continued to be happy to trade punches. McGoldrick was attacking the body again in the fourth but strayed low and lost a point. The pressure was wearing Mojica down. He rallied briefly at the start of the fifth but from there to the final bell was still competitive but taking a beating to the body. Referee’s score 59-55 for McGoldrick. The 27-yerar-old Welshman won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games-originally a silver but was upgraded to gold when his opponent tested positive for a banned substance- and a bronze at the Commonwealth’s in 2014, he competed at the European and World Championships and is developing well as a pro. Mojica was having his first fight under the “Barcelona loser’s” squad banner and fought well making McGoldrick work for his win.
Vicente Lopez, Argentina: Feather: Diego Ruiz (21-2.) W PTS 10 Luis Cusolito (27-4,1ND). Substitute Ruiz wins the vacant WBC Latino title and heads on into the final of the national featherweight tournament with split verdict over Cusolito. Over the first four rounds Cusolito used his longer reach to outbox the smaller Ruiz who kept pressing but with little success. That changed over the next four rounds as Ruiz worked his jab and pressed a tiring Cusolito. The closing two rounds were very close with Cusolito rallying and looking to have just done enough to turn the fight his way but it was very close and the decision went to Ruiz. Score 96-94 twice for Ruiz and 96-94 for Cusolito. Ruiz “The Prophet” ,a former undefeated national bantamweight champion, took this fight at just one week notice. He gets his ninth win in a row. He is No 4 at super bantam with Argentinian Federation. Cusolito, the Argentinian No 5 lost to Moises Fuentes in a challenge for the interim WBA super bantam title in 2015 and is a former South American champion.
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tommy Browne (41-7-2) W PTS 12 Jorge Miranda (56-19). Browne makes a successful first defence of the WBFoundation title with wide unanimous decision over Argentinian Miranda. The Argentinian proved to be tough and experienced but limited. Browne was the busier fighter all the way. He had a handicap from early in the fight when a punch from Miranda caused bleeding inside Browne’s mouth but his corner managed to control that. Browne had height and reach over Miranda and that plus faster hand speed saw him build an unassailable lead. Miranda had a big eleventh but never really threatened Browne’s title. Scores 120-108, 120-109 and 119-109 all for Browne. The 36-year-old Australian has now won his last five fights. He is aiming to fight in the USA and is currently based there. Miranda, 35, is closing in on celebrating 16 years as a pro but this is only his fourth fight in the last four years.
Offenbach, Germany: Cruiser: Semir Bajrovic (19-1-2) W TKO 3 Sami Enbom (18-3). Serbian Bajrovic extends his current unbeaten run to 12 with stoppage of Finnish southpaw Enbom. The 28-year-old Bajrovic gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. Bajrovic, really a super middle was fight two divisions above his normal weight and says he will go back down to super middle now. Bajrovic had only beaten one other fighter with a positive record and this counts as his best win so far but with just one fight in 2017 and one in 2018 he needs to get serious about his career. Enbon was coming off a first round stoppage by Fabio Turchi in April.
Varpalota, Hungary: Cruiser: Imre Szello (24-0) W TKO 2 Juan Basualdo (11-5-1). Super Middle: Mate Kris (15-0-2) W PTS 8 Geard Ajetovic (31-22-1)
Szello vs. Basualdo
No threat to Szello’s WBO No 1 rating here as he wipes the floor with Argentinian Basualdo. Szello had no trouble brushing aside the weak jabs of the South American southpaw. He put Basualdo down twice in the first and after Basualdo went to the floor another two times in the second the fight was stopped. The 35-year-old “Imo” is just waiting for the smoke to clear after the WBSS Tournament is over . With Oleg Usyk moving up to heavyweight but not yet having relinquished the WBO cruiser title Szello is in limbo. Four overseas trips and four losses in a row for Basualdo
Kris vs. Ajetovic
Local fighter Kiss takes unanimous decision over Serb veteran Ajetovic. The experienced Serb is playing the role of imported loser now and has had some tough assignments. Kiss dominated seven of the eight rounds with Ajetovic coming to life in the seventh round and giving Kiss a couple of anxious moments but ending a clear loser. Kris, 25, has scored useful domestic wins over Richard Baranyi in Hungarian title fights and has collected eight wins in a row. Ajetovic, 38, has now lost five fight in a row in five different countries.
Udine, Italy: Light Heavy: Davide Faraci (13-0) W TKO 7 Nicola Ciriani (17-3-1). Faraci invades the home town of Ciriani and leaves with Ciriani’s Italian title. This match lacked real entertainment with both fighters looking to use their jabs and their styles not really gelling. There was too much wrestling, with both fighters on the floor and too much holding. Both scored with heavy rights at the end of the sixth and in the seventh a hard right cross from Faraci sent Ciriani down on his knees. Ciriani climbed off the floor but after the count another right shook him. Faraci followed that with a deadly right uppercut inside which floored Ciriani for a second time with the fight being stopped. Swiss-born Faraci, 27, makes it seven wins by KO/TKO. He splits his fighting time between Switzerland and Italy and is a former Swiss amateur champion who turned pro after failing to qualify for Rio. Second loss by KO/TKO for Ciriani who is a former undefeated Italian cruiser champion who moved down a division to win the light heavy title.
Tokyo, Japan: Fly: Junto Nakatani (19-0) W KO 1 Philip Cuerdo (11-7-1). Super Welter: Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2) W PTS 8 Charles Bellamy (28-4-2).
Nakatani vs. Cuerdo
Nakatani blows away substitute Cuerdo in just 83 minutes. Nakatani landed some early jabs and then forced Cuerdo to the ropes and sunk home a powerful left hook to the body. Cuerdo slumped to the floor and was counted out. The 21-year-old Japanese champion, the WBO No 3, has 14 wins by KO/TKO. The 5’7” southpaw won a couple of Junior titles and when he left High School in Japan he travelled on his own to the USA to train under and live with Rudy Hernandez. He looks a very good prospect. Filipino Cuerdo suffers his second one round defeat in a row. He came in at short notice after Nakatani’s original opponent pulled out after being diagnosed with a detached retina.
Shimizu vs. Bellamy
When these two clashed in September Bellamy took a very narrow split decision. This time it was Shimizu who came out on top but with a unanimous decision- but again a very tight one. The tactics didn’t change with Bellamy striding forward and Shimizu boxing slotting home jabs, left hooks and quick counters. Bellamy’s had a 7lbs weight advantage here and although heavy rights had helped him take the verdict in September Shimizu’s boxing impressed the judges more this time. Scores 78-74, 77-75 and 77-76 for Shimizu. With only one fight in each of years 2016 and 2017 and his losing to Bellamy in his only fight in 2018 Shimizu was unrated but with former OPBF and Japanese champion Bellamy No 8 in the Japanese ratings Shimizu should find himself allocated a slot. New York-born Bellamy had hopes of a world title shot but those ended when he lost to Jermell Charlo and Yuki Nonaka in 2014 and at 37 he won’t be getting a chance.
Macao, S.A.R, and China: Light Heavy: Fanlong Meng (15-0) W PTS 12 Adam Deines (17-1-1). Important win for Meng as he aims for a shot at the IBF title. This one started as a cagey tactical contest between two southpaws and never real changed much. Meng was quicker working away with his jab and stepping in with long lefts. Deines was just not throwing enough punches and trying the old tactic of finishing a round with a flurry of activity but rarely connected. Meng had the longer reach and better hand speed. Deines scored with some counters in the fourth and fifth but was not putting Meng under any pressure and allowing the Chinese fighter too much room. In the eighth it could be that Meng became complacent because after easily finding the target with right jabs and hooks he was knocked down by a heavy right from Deines. He was immediately and after the count Deines stormed forward trying to land another big punch. Meng looked shaky but by the end of the round he had forced Deines back and was letting rip with some punches of his own. Meng clearly took the ninth and despite a big effort from Deines in the tenth Meng was getting the better of the exchanges. Deines was just looking to connect with big lefts in the eleventh but Meng had no trouble ducking inside those punches and finding gaps for his jabs and straight lefts. In the twelfth Deines was already a long way behind and his position worsened when he was harshly penalised for hitting on the break and Meng was more accurate as they swapped punches to the bell. Scores 117-109, 116-110 and 115-111 all for Meng. The 31-year-old 6’2” “Cold Blood” was making the second defence of his IBF Inter-Continental but more important was the status of this fight as a final eliminator making Meng the mandatory challenger for Artur Beterbiev’s IBF title. The only recognisable name on Meng’s record is Frank Buglioni who he stopped in five rounds in November but he is tall and tough and as Callum Johnson showed Beterbiev does not have a water-tight defence. It is a similar story with Deines as again there is an absence of any notable opponents on his record with a split decision over Stefan Haertel his best result. He is 28 and his management has influence so he will be rebuilt as a contender.
Linares. Mexico: Super Fly: Francisco Rodriguez (31-4-1) W TKO 2 David Barreto (12-1). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (10-0) W KO 3 Eduardo Cordovez (12-1-1).
Rodriguez vs. Barreto
Rodriguez much too good for Venezuelan novice Barreto. The visitor had won all twelve of his fights by KO/TKO which made him look a danger but Rodriguez just brushed him aside. Rodriguez put Barreto down in the first with a wicked right to the body. The Venezuelan made it to his feet and tried to drive Rodriguez back but was trapped in a corner and Rodriguez kept punching until Barreto fell forward on his knees. Again Barreto beat the count and was saved by the bell. In the second Rodriguez . had Barreto backing along the ropes taking plenty of punishment. Barreto escaped but Rodriguez connected with two body punches and Barreto went down on one knee. He beat the count and for a while had Rodriguez in a corner and showered him with punches. Rodriguez was not even mildly shaken and then he opened up and drove Barreto to the floor and the referee halted the massacre. The 25-year-old Rodriguez wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with his 22nd win by KO/TKO. A former undefeated WBO and IBF minimum champion Rodriguez suffered consecutive losses in 2015 to Donnie Nietes for the WBO light fly title and to Moises Fuentes. He has rebuilt steadily since then with twelve wins and is at No 5 super fly with the WBC and No 6 with the WBO. Barreto’s record was built on poor opposition with 11 of his 12 victims never having won a fight
Delgado vs. Cordovez
Olympian Delgado was fed another Venezuelan with a heavily padded record and also won inside the distance. Delgado had Cordovez down twice in the second round from fearsome rights to the body. In the third as Cordovez walked forward Delgado met him with a rib-bending left hook to the body with Cordovez going down on his knees and being counted out. All ten of the 24-year-old Delgado’s fights have ended early and his body punching here was savage. As with Barreto eleven of the guys Cordovez beat had never won a fight.
Berne, Switzerland: Welter: Ricardo Silva (17-2-1) DREW 10 Andranik Hakobyan (13-1-2). Super Light: Alain Chervet (16-1-2) W PTS 8 Edgar Jimenez (23-15-2).
Silva vs. Hakobyan
These two faced each other when they were amateurs with each registering a win and they knew each other well so well that they largely cancelled each other out and had to settle for a draw. It was a hard fought contests with many rounds being close but with neither fight able to dominate a draw looked about right and the Swiss title remains vacant. Scores 96-94 for Silva and 95-95 twice. Portuguese-born southpaw Silva is 4-1-1 in his last 6 fight with his two losses both against unbeaten French fighters in France. Armenian-born Hakobyan, a former Swiss super light champion, had won his last three fight against experienced but not too threatening opponents.
Chervet vs. Jimenez
Chervet still carries into the ring the name of one of the greatest Swiss fighters and is doing what he can to live up to the reputation of Fritz. Chervet had lost of height and reach over Jimenez and that plus a lack of activity were too much for Jimenez to overcome. Chervet won every round clearly able to hold off the lunging attacks of Jimenez. He had Jimenez on the floor cracking the little Mexican with a left to the body and right to the head that saw Jimenez backing off and then going down on one knee but he got up and lasted the distance. Chervet wins his third fight in a row on points. He has not yet fought for a Swiss title so that might be the logical next step. First fight in almost 13 months for Jimenez.
Fight of the week (Significance): It has to be Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing really stood out
Fighter of the week: Andy Ruiz
Punches of the week: Callum Smith’s short right hook that ended his fight with Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, the left hook from Martin Harkin that dropped Ally Black like a sack of potatoes and the left hook from Lukas Ndafoluma that laid out Liberty Muwani were all spectacular.
Upset of the week: Has to be Andy Ruiz stopping Anthony Joshua.
Prospect watch: Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado a super lightweight who is now 10-0 10 wins by KO/TKO.
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