On July 19th we'll see unbeaten Japanese fighter Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) make his US debut, as he takes on the fast rising Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11) in an IBF Lightweight world title eliminator. Since the bout was announced we've been asked a lot about Nakatani, making him an ideal candidate for a "Fighter Focus", and a chance for us to talk about Nakatani, and try to educate though who aren't as well versed on the unbeaten Osakan fight.
As is our usual format for the "Fighter Focus" we'll give give some simple details and then work our way through Nakatani's career, experienced and successes in more detail trying to give as much information on him as possible. Though please note we will not talk about the upcoming bout in too much detail, as we'll be previewing the contest separately.
Now lets dig deeper into the career of Masayoshi Nakatani, the Osakan Lightweight hopeful.
Nakatani was born in Osaka and whilst his amateur career isn't the most well reported he did run up an impressive looking 45-15 (30) amateur record whilst competing on both the domestic and international scene. He was boxing as an amateur out of the Apollo Gym, when he began boxing in primary school, and made a mark thanks to being part of 5 notable hopefuls from the Kiyokuni High School, along with Kazuto Ioka, Ryo Miyazaki Yuta Uetani and Ryo Okayama.
Specific results have been hard to find, though we did find that he'd reached the last 8 of the Tammer Tournament in 2008, winning a preliminary bout before losing to the eventual runner up Georgian Popescu of Romania.
It would be a few years after the Tammer Tournament that Nakatani would turn professional signing with the Ioka gym, which was run by Kazunori Ioka. The gym's focus at the time was Kazunori's son, Kazuto Ioka, who had claimed the WBC Minimumweight title at the start of 2011 and had been part of the Kyokuni High School 5 along with Nakatani.
Nakatani's debut came on the under-card of Ryo Miyazaki's OPBF Light Flyweight title defense against Donny Mabao at the IMP Hall in Osaka in June 2011. At the time Miyazaki was the second most notable name at the Ioka gym, and this was a good opportunity for Nakatani. The debuting Nakatani would stop Katsuhisa Shiokawa in the 4th round, of a scheduled 4 rounder, and send Shiokawa into retirement.
Nakatani would return to the IMP Hall for another Miyazaki under-card in November 2011, and go the 6 round distance to take a unanimous decision over the durable Tetsuto Sebiyo Tonomura. He would actually fight his third at the same venue, stopping his first international opponent, Filipino Roel Laguna, in the 5th round, in March 2012.
It was the win over Laguna that first seemed to suggest that Nakatani had some spite on his punches, in March 2012. It was the win over Laguna that first seemed to suggest that Nakatani had some spite on his punches, and that was shown again 5 months later when he stopped Ronnel Esparas inside a round, at the Central Gym in Kobe, on a Shinsei promoted card.
In April 2013 Nakatani took his third straight stoppage, taking out Thai foe Nampol Sor Chantasith in 2 rounds, whilst against fighting at the Central gym in Kobe. This served a bit of a stay busy fight for Nakatani before a major step up bout in July 2013, as he travelled to Tokyo to fight and the legendary Korakuen Hall. His Korakuen Hall debut saw him take on the hard hitting Shuhsei Tsuchiya, who had won the 2010 All Japan Rookie of the Year at Lightweight and boasted a record of 14-1 (12). Coming into this bout Nakatani was 5-0 (4) as a professional, and wasn't just the less experienced man but was also fighting in enemy territory, with Tsuchiya being based on Tokyo at the time.
Despite stepping up Nakatani made this look easy, using his hight, reach and speed to neutralise Tsuchiya, who was surprisingly broken down by body shots from Nakatani. It was the body shots of Nakatani that left Tsuchiya in agony, and sent him to the canvas several times. Tsuchiya, a true warrior, tried to get to battle on but was counted out whilst rising to his feet, giving Nakatani a huge win.
Nakatani would return to the Korakuen Hall for his seventh professional bout, and his next step up in class, taking on the JBC and OPBF unifed Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato. This was a massive step up, and was a huge risk, though Nakatani would do enough to take a decision win over the tough Kato, who tested Nakatani hard over 12 rounds. Despite Kato being a double champion Nakatani was only challenging for the OPBF title, claiming the belt with a majority decision over Kato.
The win over Kato was a mixed bag. It showed how good Nakatani was, but also saw him getting rocked, and showed that whilst he had an excellent jab his defense was poor and he was easy to hit.
Nakatani would build on his wins over Tsuchiya and Kato by defending the OPBF title against the very testing Filipino Ricky Simsundo. This was a great first defense and saw Nakatani out box, out speed and out jab the aggressive Sismundo to record a third solid win. Sadly though since then we've not seen Nakatani's team really risk him against top regional contenders. Instead of facing the best the region has Nakatani has defended the belt against the likes of Accel Sumiyoshi, a solid but unspectacular Japanese fighter, Tosho Makoto Aoki, a chinny but hard hitting local veteran, Allan Tanada, an under-sized Filipino, and Hurricane Futa, a tough but crude Japanese puncher.
The one real test Nakatani has had since beating Sismundo was the then unbeaten Izuki Tomioka, who was similar in stature to Nakatani, but much quicker, and the speed of Tomioka gave Nakatani fits over 8 rounds, before the difference in experienced played a part. It was Tomioka's 7th bout and he was stopped in the 11th round, whilst running Nakatani incredibly close on the scorecards. This showed that Nakatani could be out jabbed, out moved, out sped, as well as hit clean and really was a worry, despite him pulling the win out of the bag late on.
When we watch Nakatani we see a talented, tall, rangy fighter with a nice jab, surprisingly good body shots, a hurtful straight right hand over the top and solid hooks when he unloads. We also however see a defensively open fighter who can get over-excited when he has his man hurt. Given his jab is such a key weapon it's no surprise that he looks to create space to work from, often preferring to work from range, until he has his man hurt. His footwork to create space is decent, but not amazing and he can look negative at times when creating space, though he has been effective with it so far.
What's pretty notable is the lack of TV footage of Nakatani, with many of his bouts only having fan cam footage. Whilst this is better than nothing we are disappointed by the lack of multiple-camera angles and we do wonder whether he has intentionally been kept away from TV to minimise the flaws opponents can pick out, other than the fact he is very open when he goes for a finish.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
By Eric Armit
-Nourdine Oubaali beats Arthur Villanueva on a sixth round retirement in WBC bantam title defence
-Kanat Islam returns to action with a 14 second blow out of Dominican Julio De Jesus
-Sebastian Formella wins the IBO welterweight title with decision over champion Thulani Mbenge and on the same show Igor Mikhaylenko wins the vacant IBO interim light heavy title with unanimous decision over Timur Nikarkhoev
-Nick Hannig keeps hold of the WBC International title with draw against Ryno Liebenberg
-Tommy Frank retains the Commonwealth super flyweight title with stoppage of John Chuwa
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Astana, Kazakhstan: Bantam: Nordine Oubaali (16-0) W RTD 6 Arthur Villanueva (32-4-1). Welter: Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) W TKO 3 Mauro Godoy (31-5-1). Feather: David Oliver Joyce (11-0) W PTS 10 Breilor Teran (27-18-1). Light: Viktor Kotochigov (11-0) W PTS 10 Jairo Lopez (24-12,1ND).Light: Sultan Zaurbek (8-0) W TKO 7 Giorgio Gachechiladze (11-34-1).Cruiser: Ali Baloyev (9-0) W PTS 8 Hamilton Ventura (15-7-1). Super Welter: Abilkhaiyr Shegaliyev (6-0) W PTS 8 Elvin Akhundzada (4-2).
Oubaali vs. Villanueva
Oubaali retains the WBC title with classy and powerful performance against Filipino challenger Villanueva who retires after six rounds.
Oubaali quickly put Villanueva on the back foot. The Filipino tried some right leads but Oubaali picked them off and connected with lefts.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali
The second was a bit closer. Villanueva managed to get on the front foot and connected with some rights. Oubaali had the quicker hands and when he cornered Villanueva he scored with right hooks and a straight left. Oubaali was the one landing at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 20-18
Oubaali upped the pace in this one. He was marching in firing clusters of hooks and uppercuts. Villanueva fired back but was taking a lot more than he was giving and was again being caught with quick combinations at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 30-27
The pace dropped a little with Oubaali throwing less but still with speed and accuracy. Villanueva continued to try to get close to nullify Oubaali’s speed but the champion was landing rapid right jabs and straight lefts.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 40-36
Oubaali move up a gear in this round. He was forcing Villanueva back with jabs and then connecting with lefts to the head. Anytime Villanueva threw a punch and missed he was made to pay by a range of counters and although he fought back hard at the end of the round he was taking plenty of punishment.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 50-45
Oubaali was boxing smoothly in the sixth and finding gaps in the Filipino’s guard. As Villanueva took a step forward Oubaali countered him with a left and a right to the temple and Villanueva dropped to one knee. He was up quickly and ready to resume after the count. Oubaali stormed after Villanueva connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Villanueva fired back enough to be able to stay on his feet but was rocked with hooks just before the bell.
Score 10-8 Oubaali Oubaali 60-53
Villanueva retired in the corner.
Impressive display by 32-year-old Frenchman Oubaali in his first defence of the WBC title which he won with a points decision over Rau’shee Warren in January. He showed quick skills and strong, accurate punching. There are tougher tests out there in the shape of WBC No 1 Luis Nery, No 2 Carlos Cuadras and No 3 Jason Moloney but on this form he is a match for them. In 2017 Villanueva, 30, lost on points to Zolani Tete for the interim WBO bantam title and was also stopped by Luis Nery. He had a win and a draw in two low level fights in 2018 so his credentials as a challenger were questionable.
Turarov vs. Godoy
Local fighter Turarov crushes Godoy in third round. Turarov was hunting down a retreating Godoy in the first and connected with some rights to the body. Godoy caught Turarov with a sneaky right counter but Turarov landed a hard combination before Godoy launched a series of punches just before the bell with a couple landing but lacking snap. Turarov had looked dangerous with rights in the opener and he was throwing more of those in the second but Godoy was moving and jabbing and Turarov just could not nail the Argentinian. Turarov continued to prowl after the back-peddling Godoy in the third with a quick left hook right cross combination signalling danger. Turarov forced Godoy to the ropes and an overhand right to the temple saw Godoy start to drop and a last left hook caught Godoy as he fell to his knees and was counted out. The 28-year-old Florida-based Kazak wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title which should get him a rating. He had dropped out of the rankings after almost two years of inactivity which he ended with a victory over Ghanaian Richmond Djarbeng last month. He has 17 wins by KO/TKO. “King” Godoy fails to last the distance for only the second time in his 37 fights.
Joyce vs. Teran
Joyce outpoints Venezuelan Teran. No problems for the former star of Irish boxing as he took the decision on scores of 100-86, 100-87 and 100-89. Teran was dangerous at times with counters but Joyce was always in command. As Teran tired over the second half of the fight he was deducted a point for holding in the seventh and the rounds were one-sided enough for a couple of the judges to score those 10-8 without a knockdown. The 32-year-old Irishman won a gold medal three times at the European Union Championships competed at the 2016 Olympics and scored wins over Luke Campbell and Carl Frampton in the amateurs. In both this and a fight in April he was still officially under suspension from the New York Commission. The 34-year-old Teran has mixed in high quality company but has always come up short.
Kotochigov vs. Lopez
Important win for Kotochigov as he takes unanimous decision over tough Mexican Lopez to win the vacant WBC International title. Kotochigov took the decision on scores of 99-91, 99-93 and 98-93. Already a world traveller Kazak Kotochigov, 26, has fought as a pro in Uzbekistan, China, Russia, Germany, Abkhazia, Poland, United Kingdom and Kazakhstan. Lopez has been in with tough competition including Luke Campbell, Jose Felix and Tomas Rojas.
Zaurbek vs. Gachechiladze
Zaurbek halts Georgian Gachechiladze for his sixth win by KO/TKO. It almost ended early as Zaurbek floored the little Georgian in the first round but Gachechiladze survive before being beaten in submission in the seventh. The 23-year-old UK-based Zaurbek was a silver medallist at the World Youth Championships. The 5’3” Gachechiladze broke a 15 bout losing streak with a win in Spain in last month.
Baloyev vs. Ventura
Kyrgyzstan born Kazak Baloyev is taken the distance for only the second time as he outpoints Brazilian Ventura. The decision was unanimous for the Las Vegas-based 26-year-old Baloyev. Ventura, 36, has lost four in a row all against unbeaten fighters.
Shegaliyev vs. Akhundzada
Shegaliyev had won his last four fights each inside the first round and he came close to doing the same here as he put Azeri Akhundzada down twice in the opening round. Akhundzada made it out of the round but was on the floor again in the second. Having survived those three knockdowns he went on to take Shegaliyev the distance although losing a very wide unanimous decision. The 24-year-old Uzbekistan-born Shegaliyev effectively doubled his number of pro rounds in this fight so some useful ring time. Second loss in a row for Akhundzada.
Almatay, Kazakhstan: Super Welter: Kanat Islam (26-0) W KO 1 Julio De Jesus (27-2). Islam crushes De Jesus in just 14 seconds. The first punch Islam landed was a crushing overhand right that sent De Jesus reeling into a corner. Two more chopping rights sent De Jesus face down on the canvas and the referee immediately waived the fight over. Islam, 34, Chinese-born of Kazak ancestry, wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title with victory No 21 by KO/TKO. As Hanati Silamu he won bronze medals for China at the 2008 Olympics and the 2007 World Championships. This is his first fight since September 2017 so he has dropped out of the ratings but is a real danger man. Dominican De Jesus, 37, has impressive looking statistics but had never met any fighter of note and was unrated.
Madrid, Spain: Super Bantam: Alvaro Rodriguez (10-3-1,1ND) W PTS 10 David Sanchez (14-9). 5
Rodriguez retains the Spanish title with win over former victim Sanchez. Over the first two rounds the fight saw plenty of action with Rodriguez working well at distance and Sanchez having success inside with hooks. In the third a left hook from Rodriguez put Sanchez over. Sanchez beat the count but in trying to get back into the fight was caught with hard counters. After four rounds Rodriguez was up 39-36 on two cards and 38-37 on the third. Sanchez tried to take the fight to Rodriguez but the champion was stronger and Sanchez was under constant pressure spending too much time against the ropes. At the end of seven rounds Rodriguez had increased his lead being in front 69-62, 69-63 and 68-63 and he continued to outscore Sanchez in the eighth and ninth then just concentrated on avoiding Sanchez in the last. Scores 98-91, 97-91 and 95-93. The 33-year-old “Ardi” is 4-0-1,1ND in six title fights including a points win over Sanchez in 2017. Sanchez 35 was having his first fight since November 2017.
Sheffield, England: Super Fly: Tommy Frank (11) W TKO 7 John Chuwa (17-4). Feather: Josh Wale (28-11-2) W KO 1 Ekow Wilson (18-4).
Frank vs. Chuwa
Frank breaks down and halts Chuwa in seven rounds to retain the Commonwealth title. Frank was marching forward in the opening round with Chuwa showing plenty of defensive movement and throwing jabs but lacking any power. Frank continued to hunt Chuwa in the second but he was being frustrated by Chuwa’s clever upper body movement and wide hooks. In the third Chuwa was ducking under Frank’s punches and ended up ducking so low he was sitting on the bottom ropes so was given a count. Frank was starting to find the target with stiff jabs and left hooks Frank kept up the pressure and Chuwa began to tire in the fourth and all of his earlier movement was gone. Frank began to score with jabs, hooks and uppercuts on an arm-weary Chuwa in the fifth and sixth. Frank finished it in the seventh. He walked forward landing strong left hooks to the body and clubbing rights to the head. He walked Chuwa into a corner connecting with rights and as an exhausted Chuwa dropped to a knee the referee stopped the fight. Frank, 25, fighting in his home city, was making the first defence of the title he won with a victory over Luke Wilton in March. Chuwa, 21 suffers his first inside the distance loss and his third defeat in his last four fights.
Wale vs. Wilson
Wale beats Ghanaian Wilson inside a round. Both fighters stood and traded some hard punches with left hooks to the body from Frank catching the eye. Eventually those hooks and some head punches forced Wilson across the ring and into a corner. Wale kept him trapped there switching punches to head and body. Just as Wilson seemed to have escaped from the corner a left hook to the ribs saw him turn away and collapse to his knees. The referee started the count but it was obvious Wilson was in too much pain to get up and the referee waived the fight over. The 31-year-old Wale gets win No 14 by KO/TKO. This was a Commonwealth title eliminator so Wale, a former British champion, will get a third shot at winning the title that has eluded him so far. Wilson loses when he tries to step up but he had gone into the tenth round before being stopped by former world champion Joseph Agbeko in September.
Santiago, Chile: Super Bantam: Jose Velasquez (26-6-2) W TKO 7 Ramon Averanga (9-1). Velasquez extends his winning streak to 18 with seventh round stoppage of Bolivian Averanga. The little Chilean as usually gave away lots of height and reach and Averanga proved a tough opponent over the first three rounds. From the fourth Velasquez’s greater strength and fitness told and Averanga began to fade. Velasquez was walking through Averanga’s punches in the seventh and bludgeoned the Bolivian to the canvas. Averanga was up at eight. The referee stepped back and signalled Averanga to walk towards him. Instead Averanga started walking away but the referee caught him and turned him to face him and then signalled for the fight to continue. Velasquez continued to drive Averanga along the ropes until the Bolivian dropped to one knee and the towel came in from his corner. The 5’ 2 ½” Velasquez wins the WBO Latino belt and has 18 wins by KO/TKO. Although No 15 with the WBO his opposition has not been strong and his defence is leaky. Averanga is now 3-1 in fights in Chile.
Aviles vs. Godoy
Grugliasco, Italy: Feather: Francesco Grandelli (12-1-1) W PTS 10 Nicola Cipolletta (14-8-2). Grandelli wins the vacant Italian title with victory over Cipolletta. Grandelli made the better start and floored Cipolletta in the third to move into a commanding lead. He had Cipolletta in trouble later in the fight and Cipolletta was deducted a point after losing his mouthguard four times. Cipolletta fought hard trying to get back into the fight but the heavier punching from Grandelli gave him an edge and he emerged a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 98-91for Grandelli/ The 24-year old from Naples was inactive for a year before returning with a win in April. Former national featherweight champion Cipolletta falls to 1-4 in his last 5 fights
Weisbaden, Germany: Light Heavy: Nick Hannig (7-0-1) DREW 12 Ryno Liebenberg (19-6-1).Light: Howik Bebraham (15-1) W KO 1 David Berna (17-9). Welter: Roman Belaev (19-3) W PTS 8 Betuel Ushona (36-9-1).
Hannig vs. Liebenberg
Hannig retains the WBC International title with a majority draw against South African Liebenberg. The Berliner took position in the centre of the ring and edged the first round with some crisp hooks. Liebenberg put on plenty of pressure in the second and third but Hannig was working well inside. Liebenberg landed some of his best punches so far in the fourth but was behind on two cards 40-36 and 39-37 with the third cards seeing them tied at 38-38. Liebenberg looked to have clawed back the points with a strong attack in the fifth and sixth but Hannig found his rhythm again in the seventh and eighth which were close. After the eighth Hannig had held on to his lead at 78-74 and 77-75 with once again the third official having them level at 76-76. The fight swung one way and then the other in the closing rounds with Hannig landing well with body shots but Liebenberg doing most of the scoring finding gaps for some hard rights and doing enough to come from behind to get a well deserved draw. Scores 114-114 twice and 115113 for Hannig. Hannig was making the first defence of the title he won with a close decision over Canadian Ryan Ford in February. Hannig has only just scraped through in winning that fight and at 32 may find it difficult to climb any higher. The 35-year-old Liebenberg has had no luck in Germany. He lost a split decision to Enrico Koelling and was stopped on a cut against Vincent Feigenbutz when he looked to be taking control of the fight. He is the ABU champion having won that with a stoppage of Alfonso Tissen in September.
Bebraham vs. Berna
In a horrible mismatch Bebraham stops the china-chinned Berna. Bebraham was on target quickly with left jabs and left hooks. Berna tried some jabs but every time Bebraham threw a punch Berna seemed to get his feet tangled and staggered. After some more sparring Bebraham threw a right cross that looked to just brush past Berna’s chin but he fell face down on the floor. He was up at eight but when the referee asked him to step forward he was unsteady and the referee stopped the fight after 111 seconds. Fourth inside the distance win for Bebraham but no real surprise as Hungarian Berna has lost his last four fights inside the first round. He needs someone to save him from himself.
Belaev vs. Ushona
Belaev gets a revenge win over Ushona. It was pressure, pressure and more pressure from Belaev. Ushona was reluctant to back up so there were plenty of meaty exchanges. Although spending much of the fight pinned to the ropes Ushona used his experience to stay in the fight and was always dangerous with counters but was outlanded by the aggressive Belaev who took the unanimous decision. Germany-based Russian Belaev won his first 14 fights but he then found Africa rings a inhospitable place as he lost to Ali Funeka and Paul Kamanga in South Africa and to Ushona in Namibia for the WBFederation title. He was having his first fight for 17 months here but intends to be more active. Now 37 Ushona has found German rings inhospitable as this is his third loss in a row in Germany
Hamburg, Germany: Welter: Sebastian Formella (21-0) W PTS 12 Thulani Mbenge (15-1). Light Heavy: Igor Mikhalkin (23-2) W PTS 12 Timur Nikarkhoev (21-3).Cruiser: Nikola Milacic (20-1) W KO 1 Kai Kurzawa (38-8). Heavy: Erik Pfeifer (6-0) W TKO 3 Epifiano Mendoza (43-29-1).
Formella vs. Mbenge
Formella wins the IBO title with unanimous decision over champion Mbenge. Formella boxed cleverly early showing good movement and quick hands. Mbenge started to roll from the third connecting with hard rights. Over the middle rounds Mbenge began to build a lead with a focused body attack. Unfortunately Formella constantly claimed that many of the legal blows were landing low which both led to Mbenge being cautious about going to the body too often and more importantly led to the referee deducting a point from Mbenge in the ninth. Formella staged a strong finish as Mbenge seemed to lose some impetus and that just gave the Germany the edge in the scoring. The judges saw it 116-112, 115-112 and 114-113 for Formella. The 32-year-old German gets his biggest win to date. Mbenge was making the second defence of his title. He has inside the distance wins over Diego Chaves and Miguel Vazquez. The contract included a return clause and Mbenge’s team say they will enforce that.
Mikhalkin vs. Nikarkhoev
IBO have followed the course of the other sanctioning fee seekers by introducing interim titles and Russian Mikhalkin picked up their interim title here with a win over Belgian-based Nikarkhoev. Mikhalkin was just too accomplished for Nikarkhoev to really threaten Mikhalkin’s dominance. The Russian out boxed Nikarkhoev behind a stiff, accurate right jab and potent left hooks. He had Nikarkhoev rocking in the sixth but apart from that he never really looked likely to halt Nikarkhoev and had to settle for a points victory. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 tell the story. The 34-year-old Mikhalkin served a one year ban after testing positive for a banned substance in a European title defence against Patrick Bois in 2016. He scored good wins over Thomas Oosthuizen and Doudou Ngumbu before losing on a seventh round stoppage when challenging Sergey Kovalev for the WBO title in March last year. Nikarkhoev had won his last seven fights but this was too big a step up for him.
Milacic vs. Kurzawa
Milacic gets speedy win as he puts veteran Kurzawa down and out in 40 seconds. Kurzawa was coming forward when Milacic exploded a right to his chin and Kurzawa went down and was counted out. The 6’5” German has provided early endings in nine of his last ten fights but needs stiffer tests. Kurzawa, 42, has been stopped early in four of his last five contests.
Pfeifer vs. Mendoza
Pfeifer gets his fourth inside the distance win over a fat and old Mendoza. After a couple of one-sided rounds Mendoza’s corner pulled their man out of the fight in the third. The 32-year-old 6’3” Russian-born German competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and twice won a bronze medal at the World Championships. Mendoza, 43, weighed down at 150lbs when he turned pro but is now up around 250lbs. This is seventh loss in his last eight fights.
Barranquilla, Colombia: Fly: Rober Barrera (23-2) W PTS 10 Josber Perez (16-2). Super Welter: Gabriel Maestre (1-0) W TKO 2Jeovanis Barraza (20-1). Super Feather: Angel Rodriguez (18-1) W TKO 5 Julian Aristule (34-11,1ND). Bantam: Yoel Finol (1-0) W KO 4 Jeyson Cervantes (8-18-1).
Barrera vs. Perez
Barrera was the only Colombian to win one of the major fights on the night. The local fighter was give a torrid night by Venezuelan Perez. There was never much between these two but the body punching from Barrera proved decisive. A left hook to the body put Perez on the floor in the fifth and although he beat the count it was enough to give Barrera the impetus to push on to a narrow victory. Scores 97-92 , 96-93 and 95-94 for Barrera. The 26-year-old Colombian has won 11 of his last 12 fights with the loss being a ninth round stoppage against Ryoichi Taguchi for the WBA light Fly title in 2017. Perez had won his last 13 fights but against moderate level foes.
Maestre vs. Barraza
When you see a fighter having his first pro fight being matched with a guy with a 20-0 record you know there is more to it than meets the eye. This marked the first pro fight for one of Venezuela’s most successful amateurs. Maestre got this one over quickly but with a bit of controversy. Maestre shook Barraza with a right to the head in the first then had him hurt again in the second as he connected with shots switching from body to head. A body punch put Barraza down with the Colombian protesting the punch was low. He beat the count but was put down again. He made it to his feet but Maestre was punishing him heavily and the referee stopped the fight. Maestre wins the vacant WBA Fedebol title. Maestre was a quarter-finalist at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He also won gold medals at the Pan American Games and the South American Games and a bronze at the World Championships. All good stuff but at 32 he has left it too late to turn pro. Colombian welter champion Barraza had not met anyone nearly as high quality as Maestre.
Rodriguez v. Aristule
Mexican-based Venezuelan Rodriguez halted Argentinian southpaw Aristule in five rounds. Rodriguez came out fired-up but Aristule initially held his own as they went toe-to-toe. Gradually the harder punching of Rodriguez put him in charge and as he focused on body punching Aristule wilted and he was under heavy pressure in the fifth when the referee stopped the fight. Ninth win by KO/TKO for Rodriguez, a former Pan American Games bronze medallist He registers his tenth win on the bounce. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for former Argentinian super bantam champion Aristule
Finol vs. Cervantes
Finol makes it a double for debuting former members of the Venezuelan amateur elite ranks. Finol hurt Cervantes with body punches in each of the first two rounds and put him down with a left hook in the third. Cervantes managed to get to his feet and survived to the bell. In the fourth another body shot floored Cervantes and this time he stayed down for the full ten. The 22-year-old Venezuelan won bronze medals at the World Championships, the Pan American Games and the 2016 Olympics. Seventh loss in his last eight bouts for Colombian Cervantes. Both Maestre and Finol have both said they expect to fight at the 2020 Olympics.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Kenichi Ogawa (24-1,1ND) W RTD 4 Glenn Medura (10-6-1). Super Feather: Shuya Masaki (13-1) W PTS 10 Al Toyogon (10-4-1).
Ogawa vs. Medura
Ogawa was to have faced South African Azinga Fuzile in an IBF title eliminator but Fuzile was unable to get his visa in time so Filipino Medura stepped in at short notice. Ogawa landed some right hooks in the first and then sent Medura down with a couple of body punches in the second. Ogawa had Medura trapped against the ropes for periods in the third and Medura took another count. Ogawa continued to paste Medura with punches in the fourth and the Filipino retired before the start of the fifth. The 31year-old Ogawa scored a unanimous points win over Tevin Farmer for the vacant IBF super feather title in December 2017 but the verdict was changed to No Decision as Ogawa tested positive for a banned substance. Ogawa was then inactive until returning with a win in February. It remains to be seen whether the Fuzile fight will be rescheduled. Medura, who came in as a late substitute, falls to 2-5 in his last 7 fights with all 5 losses coming by way of KO/TKO.
Masaki vs. Toyogon
Masaki moves up to ten rounds and gets wide decision over young Filipino Toyogon. Masaki had edges in height and reach and was much more mobile than Toyogon. He worked well to the body and connected with plenty of hard combinations but Toyogon took the lumps and lasted the distance. Scores 100-90 for Masaki on the three cards. The 25-year-old from Osaka was 54-8 as an amateur and is No 3 in the Japanese ratings. At 5’4” the 21-year-old Toyogon is small for a super feather but was a decent 5-1 in his last 6.
Rzeszow, Poland: Heavy: Lukasz Rozanski (11-0) W KO 4 Izuagbe Ugonoh (18-2). Light Heavy: Marek Matyja (16-1-2) DREW 10 Pawel Stepien (12-0-1). Middle: Fedir Cherkashyn (13-0) W PTS 10 Wes Capper (20-3-1). Middle: Kamil Szeremeta (20-0) W PTS 8 Edwin Palacios (12-10-1).
Rozanski vs. Ugonoh
Rozanski steam rollers Ugonoh to defeat in four rounds. Rozanski was marching forward taking the fight to Ugonoh in the first and dominated the round with Ugonoh not throwing much and seemingly waiting for an opening that did not come. Rozanski continued to plough into Ugonoh in the second and although Ugonoh did land some rights they did not stop Rozanski and he put Ugonoh down in the third. In the fourth Rozanski drove Ugonoh to the ropes and kept punching until Ugonoh collapse to the canvas and was counted out. Rozanski, 33, gets his ninth win in a row by KO/TKO. Ugonoh, a Pole of Nigerian descent, won 17 consecutive victories before being knocked out in five rounds by Dominic Breazeale in February 2017. He had one fight in May 2016 and this was his first fight since then.
Matyja vs. Stepien
This one ended all even with a controversial drawn verdict. Stepien boxed well on the outside to take the first before Matyja found a way into the fight by moving inside late in the second. Stepien scored well with his jab and long rights to edge the third and the fifth with Matyja connecting with hooks to even things up taking the fourth and sixth. Over the last four rounds Stepien chose to box and counter and his good defensive work offered few chances to Matyja and he looked to have done enough to take the decision. The judges scored it 96-94 for Stepien, 97-93 for Matyja which looked way out, and 95-95 so the Polish title remains vacant. Matyja is no stranger to split verdicts as his loss and his other draw have both been splits. Stepien had won his last seven by KO/TKO and already holds the Polish International title.
Cherkashyn vs. Capper
Cherkashyn takes every round in contest against former undefeated Australian champion Capper. The unconventional style of Cherkashyn made it difficult for Capper to settle into the fight. The young Ukrainian was landing with strong left hooks to the body and straight rights in every round. His hands down style features lots of ducking and dodging and changing of angles. Capper had trouble finding the target but he stuck to his task pressing hard and scoring well in the fourth and sixth but that was not quite enough to win him even those rounds as Cherkashyn outlanded him. Capper seemed to fade over the closing rounds as Cherkashyn cruised to victory, Scores 100-90 from all three judges. First ten round fight for twenty-three-year-old Cherkashyn who had stopped oldie Kassim Ouma, a former IBF super welter champion, in March. Capper, 30, was 9-0-1 going into this one with a draw against Sam Soliman in March last year.
Szeremeta vs. Palacios
European champion Szeremeta gets in some paid sparring as he waits for a big fight to emerge. He really never really shifted out of low gear in this bout easily outboxing Nicaraguan Palacios. The visitor managed to land a few punches in the fourth and from the sixth Szeremeta shifted from first to second gear rocking Palacios with hooks and the Nicaraguan went deep into his shell to survive to the last. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Szeremeta. The 29-year-old Pole is ranked WBC 3/IBF 4(3)/WBA 5 but would probably have to go to America and beat a name fighter to raise his profile. Six losses in a row for Palacios.
Doncaster, England: Light: Maxi Hughes (19-4-2) W TKO 4 Kieran McLaren (12-1-1). Local southpaw boxer Hughes makes an impressive return to action as he floors and halts unbeaten McLaren in the fourth round. Hughes was sharp from the start. He boxed with speed and accuracy over the first two rounds and began breaking McLaren down in the third. He was opening up McLaren’s guard and landing with hooks and lefts to the head. A series of punches put McLaren down early in the fourth. McLaren beat the count but was dropped again by a shot to the body and the referee stopped the fight. Hughes has lost in two challenges for the British super feather title and is now aiming for a chance at the lightweight belt. McLaren was coming off a creditable draw with Lee Appleyard but Hughes was just too good for him on the night.
Fight of the week (Significance): Nordine Oubaali’s successful defence of his WBC title wins this award and it will hopefully lead to stiffer tests or a unification fight.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Roman Belaev vs. Betuel Ushona was an entertaining eight rounder
Fighter of the week: Nordine Oubaali with honourable mention to Kanat Islam who sent out danger signals to other super welters
Punch of the week: The devastating overhand right from Islam that led to his 14 second win over Julio de Jesus
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: Although only 1-0 as a pro Venezuelan Yoel Finol is worth watching.
There are few fighters as revered with Japanese fight fans as the legendary Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. In the 1990's he was as close to a boxing mega star that Japan had, and in many ways his charisma and style was something totally different. He was able to draw audiences that other Japanese fighters could only dream of, and even in defeat he remained hugely popular. In 1997 he took part in one of his most iconic bouts, and one of the most exciting bouts to ever be staged in a Japanese ring. Not only that but he ripped up the form books and put in one of the best performances of his career, despite being seen as being a man on the slide.
Sirimongkol Singwancha (16-0, 6) Vs Joichiro Tatsuyoshi (14-4-1, 11)
Thailand's unbeaten Sirimongkol Singwancha had won the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title in 1996 but was upgraded swiftly and defended the full version of the title just 6 months later, defeating Jesus Sarabia. In his third defense he would go on to defeat Victor Rabanales before heading on to Japan to take on Tatsuyoshi. He was beginning to get a reputation as a very talented fighter, and although he lacked fire power hee was highly skilled and strong at Bantamweight, and like many Thai's seemed to be able to drain himself down much lower than a typical fighter would.
Tatsuyoshi on the other hand was a former champion, who had beaten Greg Richardson in 1991 for the WBC Bantamweight title, but had lost it in his first defense to the aforementioned Rabanales. He would go on to claim the interim title but lose in a unification bout to Yasuei Yakushiji and his career then meandered with 2 losses to Daniel Zaragoza, in 1996 and 1997. It seemed like his career was fading. He had had eye injuries, defeats and a very hard career, not helped by his aggressive style and poor defense.
The bout started somewhat slowly, though not with a typical feeling out round, with the youth and energy of Sirimongkol looking like it was a little bit too much for a weary Tatsuyoshi. The Japanese fighter certainly didn't look terrible, but the crisp connects were most from the Thai who lacked the issues coming in that "Joe of Naniwa" had. From the bout got progressively more exciting and through rounds 4 and 5 the touch paper really got lit as Tatsuyoshi began to force his fight on the action. From there on the fight was just something special, with Sirimongkol slowing down and being forced to fight the wrong fight.
With the fight being fought at close range we had none stop excitement as the two men went on to deliver one of the greatest back and forth wars of 1996.
Amazingly after the bout both had significant success, with Sigimongkol later going on to win a world title at Super Featherweight and, in 2018, fighting as a Light Heavyweight, whilst Tatsuyoshi had an Indian summer in his career.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Evgeny Romanov (13-0): WBO #10
Romanov defended his WBO Global title against Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (9-3) on June 16.
-Sergey Kuzmin (14-0): WBA #6 / IBF 10
The WBA Intercontinental champion marked his second defense, on March 9, against Joey Dawejko (19-7).
-Alexander Povetkin (34-2): WBC #7 / WBA #10
The former Olympic & World champion has started training for his next match. (Opponent TBA)
-Yury Kashinsky (18-0): IBF #3 / WBA #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #8
Kashinsky won the vacant IBF Intercontinental title, on June 16.
-Ruslan Fayfer (24-1): IBF #6 / WBC #13
Ruslan defeated Serhiy Radchenko (7-4) on May 19.
-Dmitry Kudryashov (23-3): WBC #5
Kudryashov went to war with Ilunga Makabu (25-2) in Russia but came up short.
-Maxim Vlasov (43-3): WBO #7 / IBF #14
The former WBC Silver & WBA International Cruiserweight champion will make his Light Heavyweight return on July 20 as he takes on 2 time world title challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-6).
-Umar Salamov (24-1): WBO #4 / WBA #6
Salamov successfully defended the WBO International title against Norbert Dabrowski (22-8) this past April.
-Igor Mikhalkin (22-2): WBC #3
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. His next one will be on July 22nd as he faces Mike Gavronski (25-3).
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (11-0): WBA #6 / WBO #10
The Kazakh defeated Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2) in March, to become the WBA International champion. Aidos already holds the WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental titles as well. He will put his WBA belt on the line, against Rocky Jerkic (17-1) in Australia, on August 14.
-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.
-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 will collide with fellow Russian fighter Evgeny Terentiev (14-1), on July 22, with the National & the WBA Asia titles at stake.
-Magomed Kurbanov (17-0): WBA #7 / WBC #12
The undefeated Russian will meet Michel Soro (33-2) on July 20, for the vacant WBA (Regular) World championship,
-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).
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0): WBO #4 / IBF #6
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) in April.
-Aram Amirkhanyan (12-0): WBO #7 / WBA #10
The unified WBO International & WBA Continental champion hasn’t fought since December of last year.
-Kudratillo Abduqaxorov (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #4 / WBO #9
Kudratillo defeated Keita Obara (21-4) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Sergey Lipinets (15-1): WBC #3 / WBO #4 / IBF #5 / WBA #11
Lipinets earned a significant victory on March 24, 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 / WBA #12 / WBO #13
The former interim WBA World title holder stopped Kerman Lejarraga (28-1), to win the EBU European championship, on March 30.
-Alexander Besputin (13-0): WBA #1 / IBF #4
Besputin defended his USBA title for the second time against Alfredo Blanco (20-8) on April 12. Odds are we are going to see him and Butaev fight each other for the now vacant WBA (Regular) title, probably this August.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (7-0): WBA #10
Zhangabayev won the vacant WBA Intercontinental title after beating Ivan Matute (30-2) in March. He’s scheduled to make his Australian debut on August 14, when he goes toe to toe with the IBF Pan Pacific champion Steve Gago (11-0).
-Radzhab Butaev (12-0): WBA #6
Butaev knocked out Lanardo Tyner (35-16) in March and then defeated Sliverio Ortiz (37-26) 2 months later. As said above, the 2 undefeated Russians might go at it for the WBA (Regular) crown.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-0): WBA #2
Akhmedov has continued his undefeated streak in 2019, with victories over Viktor Plotnikov (33-6) as well as Francisco Gabriel Pina (14-15). The WBA has now ordered him and Mario Barrios (24-0) to fight for the Regular title.
-Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0): WBA #5 / IBF #7 / WBO #8
The former WBA International champion returned to the ring on February 15, defeating Mykal Fox (20-1). He will compete again on July 20. (Opponent TBA)
-Maxim Dadashev (13-0): IBF #3 / WBC #4
Dadashev earned his 11th stoppage over Ricky Sismundo (35-13) on March 23rd. His next match will be on July 19 with Subriel Matias (13-0).
-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 #3 / WBO #15
The WBC Silver title holder stopped Humberto Martinez (33-9) on February 22nd.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (14-0): WBC #4 / 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 #9
The 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist defeated Claudio Marrero (24-3) in January, to earn the vacant IBO belt. If Gary Russell (30-1) moves up a weight class, Tug could be facing top contender Scott Quigg (35-2) 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). Their match could take place in September.
-Nikolai Potapov (20-1): WBO #3 / IBF #11
Potapov will fight the WBC Continental Americas champion Joshua Greer Jr. (20-1) on July 13.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (20-0): WBO #8
The 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist has signed with Matchroom and could be facing the undefeated Australian champion Demsey McKean (15-0) this Fall.
-Meng Fanlong (15-0): IBF #1
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).
-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.
-Romero Duno (20-1): WBO #10
The Filipino Golden Boy fighter recently won the WBO NABO title in the States.
-Joe Noynay (17-2): WBO #6
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).
-Jhack Tepora (23-0): IBF #4 / WBA #13
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 (20-7) this past February, to become the new WBO Oriental champion. The Filipino will clash with Lerato Dlamini (12-1), on July 12, for the vacant WBC Silver title.
-Mark Magsayo (19-0): WBC #8
The former WBO International champion and #1 contender made a successful in ring return on April 12 against Ery Subiyasno (12-5).
-Marlon Tapales (33-2): WBO #1 / IBF #3
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion has 3 stoppage wins since moving up a weight class.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1): WBO #2
Elorde has been the WBO Asia Pacific champion since 2015 and has defended it successfully 4 times, most recently against Shohei Kawashima (17-3).
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #3
The WBO Intercontinental champion hasn’t been active close to 8 months now.
-Jeo Santisima (17-2): WBO #8
The Filipino won the vacant WBO Oriental title this past summer and has defended it only once.
-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 #11
Dasmarinas picked up a unanimous decision over Kenny Demecillo (14-5), on March 23rd, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (45-1): WBC #4
Kaikanha marked a second defense of his WBC Asia title against former World champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) on May 18.
-Tasana Salapat (49-1): WBC #8 / WBA #9
After failing to capture the interim WBC title in December, Salapat returned to the ring on April 24 and became the OPBF Silver champion.
-Sukpraserd Ponpitak (23-10): 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. He then defeated Anucha Noithong (0-6) a month later.
-Kenny Demecillo (14-5): IBF #10
Demecillo lost to Michael Dasmarinas (29-2) in Singapore, as mentioned above.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBA #2
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.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (54-4): WBA #4
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion has been 4-0 since losing to Dalakian. Thaiyen will jump to Super Flyweight and fight Marzon Cabilla (17-18) for the OPBF Silver title, on July 18.
-Aston Palicte (25-3): WBO #8
Palicte lost to Kazuto Ioka (24-2) and failed once again to capture the WBO crown.
-Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3): WBA #3 / WBO #12
The WBC Silver champion fought Japanese standout Ryota Yamauchi (4-1) in March, to win the vacant WBA International title. He marked his first WBA defense against former OPBF champion Ardin Diale (35-14) on May 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 #5
Magramo defeated Wenfeng Ge (11-1) for the WBO International title on January 5th.
-Nare Yianleang (70-5): WBA #1 / 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.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-3): WBC #1
The WBC International champion Taconing will be challenging the WBC World champion Ken Shiro (15-0) on July 12.
-Edward Heno (14-0): WBO #1 / WBC #2 / WBA #2 / IBF #14
Heno made his third successful OPBF title defense, in February, against Koji Itagaki (18-14). There’s a good chance that the Filipino meets the newly crowned WBO World champion Elwin Soto (15-1), possibly in October.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (16-0): WBA #4
“Sabu” became the WBA Asia champion on April 6.
-Randy Petalcorin (30-3): IBF #9 / WBA #13
The former interim WBA World champion beat Thai journeyman Worawatchai Boonjan (14-22) on June 9.
-Christian Araneta (17-0): IBF #3 / WBA #7 / WBO #12 / WBC #11
Araneta hasn’t been active since December of last year.
-Ivan Soriano (20-2): IBF #10 / WBO #11
Soriano defeated Bonjun Loperez (12-12) this past January.
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-2): WBA #6
Sarawut came up short in his match against Artem Dalakian (19-0) for the WBA World championship on June 15.
-Jing Xiang (16-4): WBO #5
Xiang successfully defended his WBC Silver Light Flyweight title against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-7), on January 5th, in China. He will make his Strawweight debut on August 17 as he faces Jomar Caindog (9-1) for the inaugural WBO Global championship.
-Samuel Salva (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #2
Salva challenges DeeJay Kriel (15-1) for the IBF World title on August 24.
-Lito Dante (16-10): WBC #8 / 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 #13
”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 #7 / WBO #10
Jerusalem got a unanimous decision victory over 2 time world title challenger Toto Landero (10-4) this past November.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #3 / WBA #13
Paradero beat Jonathan Almacen (5-3) on April 5th.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #3 / WBC #4 / WBO #8
Taduran hasn’t competed since last year.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (17-2): IBF #6
Cuarto defeated Mike Kinaadman (6-10) on June 28.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): IBF #8 / WBC #6 / WBO #15
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship in December.
-Joey Canoy (14-3): WBO #9
Canoy hasn’t fought since December.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Ryota Murata (14-2): WBA #4
The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist will get his chance at revenge on July 12 as he goes up against Rob Brant (25-1) in Osaka for the WBA (Regular) World championship.
-Takeshi Inoue (13-1): WBO #9
The former Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion unsuccessfully challenged Jaime Munguia (33-0) for the WBO World title this January. He is scheduled to return to the ring on August 3rd
-Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0): IBF #3 / WBC #7 / WBO #14
Longtime OPBF king Nakatani takes on Teofimo Lopez (13-0), on July 19, for a future shot at the IBF World title.
-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. He will now meet another Filipino journeyman in Glenn Medura (10-5) on July 6.
-Masayuki Ito (25-2): WBO #9 / WBC #11
Ito lost his WBO title recently to Jamel Herring (20-2).
-Satoshi Shimizu (8-0): IBF #10
The 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist won the OPBF title back in 2017 and has successfully defended it 4 times. Shimizu will next 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 #2 / IBF #14
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 #7 / WBC #10
Abe will square off with Ryo Sagawa (7-1) for the vacant Japanese title, on September 13.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3): IBF #1
Iwasa won an IBF title eliminator against Cesar Juarez (24-7), on February 16.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2): IBF #8
Teshigawara will mark his second defense of the OPBF championship against former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-2) on August 8.
-Shingo Wake (26-5): WBC #2 / IBF #4 / WBA #11
The former Japanese & OPBF champion has been on a 6 fight winning streak since losing to Jonathan Guzman (23-1) in 2016.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #4
The former IBF World champion defeated Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-10) on May 8.
-Ryo Akaho (34-2): WBO #2
Akaho has been undefeated since 2016, amassing 8 wins. It’s worth noting that the former Japanese & OPBF champion is currently fighting at Featherweight. We aren’t 100% sure if this is a mistake by the WBO or he is intending to go down again at Bantamweight.
-Akira Yaegashi (28-6): WBO #9 / WBA #11 / WBC #13
Yaegashi moved up to Super Flyweight in 2018 and has since been undefeated in the division with 3 consecutive TKO victories.
-Koki Eto (24-4): WBO #2 / WBA #3 / WBC #7 / IBF #8
Eto’s KO win over Jeyvier Cintron (10-0) was called a no contest, due to an accidental headbutt. A rematch has been set for August 2nd. The victor will be next in line for a match with the newly crowned WBO World champion Kazuto Ioka (24-2).
-Sho Ishida (28-1): WBO #1 / IBF #5 / WBA #5 / WBC #10
Ishida has been 4-0 since losing to Khalid Yafai (26-0) in 2017.
-Junto Nakatani (19-0): WBC #3 / WBO #4 / WBA #8 / IBF #11
Nakatani stopped Naoki Mochizuki (15-4) in February, for the vacant Japanese crown and last fought on June 1st, against Philip Luis Cuerdo (11-7).
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-8): IBF #10 / WBC #12
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.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-9): WBA #1 / WBO #3 / WBC #3 / IBF #7
Hisada has been on an impressive 13 fight winning streak. The Japanese star could very well be the 1st challenger of the new WBO champion Elwin Soto (15-1).
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-15): 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.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-7): IBF #5 / WBO #6 / WBC #7 / WBA #12
Tanaka won the Japanese title, this past January, and defended it on June 13 against Naoya Haruguchi (15-11).
-Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-7): WBC #5
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 / WBC #15
Taniguchi unsuccessfully challenged the WBO World champion Vic Saludar (19-3) this past February.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #10
Koura surprisingly lost his OPBF title to Lito Dante (16-10, this March.
Not all of our Closet Classics are all out wars and some are just amazing bouts of technical brilliance, exciting back and forth battles and are simply thrilling must watch bouts. Today we want to break into the Cloest and share a modern classic which combined two unbeaten men, both with a lot of promise at the time. Entering the bout one man was the unbeaten OPBF champion whilst the other fighter was a man tipped for stardom, and a man who has since become one of the most men in Japanese boxing. Today we give you what was arguably the best Japanese bout of 2014.
Ryui Hara (18-0, 10) vs Kosei Tanaka (3-0, 1)
The date was October 30th 2014 and the then OPBF Minimumweight champion Ryuji Hara, who was on the verge of a world title fight, was facing off with the fast rising Kosei Tanaka. Both men were talented, speedy fighters, each looking to move forward with their careers. A win for Hara, would be his first OPBF title defense, whilst a win for Tanaka would see him create history as the quickest Japanese fighter to claim an OPBF belt.
Hara had been a solid amateur but unlike most successful amateurs he actually only got a C class license when hr turned professional in 2010. Later that year he would go on to win the All Japan Rookie of the Year, at Minimumeight, before taking the Japanese title in 2012, with a win over Kenishi Horikawa, then the OPBF title in the spring of 2014. By the time of this fight he was universally world ranked and looked like a potential star for the Ohashi Gym, which by then was seeing Naoya Inoue racing through the ranks. Through his first 18 bouts Hara looked a very tidy, talented and quick boxer, though liked in terms of fire power and physicality.
Whilst Inoue had been getting fanfare and attention in the Kanto region of Japan the fans in Chubu seemed to know they had a special talent in the form of Kosei Tanaka, a very skilled youngster who had signed up with former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka in 2013 and scored 3 solid wins to begin his career. In a major step up he the faced off with Hara, looking to announce himself and taking an OPBF title in 4 fights, something that Inoue took 5 fights to do. He was seen as a man clearly on the tail of Inoue, but had to get through the "Monster's" stablemate here.
What we got was here was an incredibly bout, showing the speed and technique of both, in what was a technical buy thrilling, aggressive and exciting fight with both men looking like they were on fast forward at times. The bout had amazing back and forth and for 9 rounds it was almost impossible to split them, before finally seeing one man's strength and accuracy finally forced the other to wilt.
In many ways this is the start of Kosei Tanaka's incredible climb to becoming a 3 weight world champion, and is a bout that every fan, especially those of the lower weights, deserves to see.
By Eric Armit
There seems to be no end to the greed and stupidity of the major sanctioning bodies. It does not matter how many or how contrived the existing titles are there is always room for more titles and for more sanctioning fees. When at cruiserweight the WBA found they had four champions but only three “world” titles–super, secondary and interim-they invented a Gold title. This from the guys who proudly trumpeted their intention to have only one champion in every division. Hypocrisy rules OK! Of course if the WBA have a new title then the WBO have to have one as well. We have already had Gold, Silver and Diamond titles foisted on us so the WBO to top those have introduced a Global title. According to my dictionary Global means “worldwide”. Which raises the question of what a World title covers? I pity any boxing enthusiast who finds himself trying to explain to someone who does not follow boxing just what the difference is between being a World champion and a Global champion.
The latest effort from the WBC just beggars belief. They have now designated Saul Alvarez as their “Franchise Champion”. According to the WBC missive their Franchise Champion (and of course there will be yet more Franchise Champions to follow) will:
“Proudly represent the WBC in every single fight as a reigning WBC champion, regardless of any specific conditions or titles being associated with all future fights. WBC rules and regulations will govern under the traditional conditions of boxing in the Franchise champion’s fights. WBC will approve through the Franchise champion’s promoter every opponent scheduled to fight.”
What that means is that even if Saul Alvarez were to challenge Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title then as it involves their Franchise champion, that fight will be under the rules and regulations of the WBC-even though Alvarez is the challenger and fighting out of his division-and the WBC will have to approve of Kovalev or any other fighter/champion who intends to fight Alvarez. No mention there of who gets the sanctioning fee! I can’t imagine the IBF, WBA or WBO accepting such a thing and neither can I envisage Alvarez walking away from a big fight for an IBF, WBA or WBO title just because the WBC have invented a title aimed at associating themselves with every title Alvarez fights for. As if that is not bad enough the WBC reserves the right to also recognise a (another) champion in a division or divisions in which Alvarez (or any other Franchise champion they may appoint) competes and that effectively could mean the WBC having a world champion and a Franchise champion in as many divisions as they like and so devaluing the title even further.
Alvarez next fight is scheduled for 14 September and there all types of hats being thrown in the ring. Golden Boy have stated their interest in an Alvarez vs. Kovalev fight for the WBO light heavy title but the barrier there is that Kovalev is mandated to defend the WBO title against Anthony Yarde and negotiations for that fight are said to be well advanced. Obviously Alvarez vs. Kovalev would be a huge fight much bigger than Kovalev vs. Yarde as the British challenger is still relatively unknown. Kovalev could choose to go ahead with the Yarde fight and face Alvarez at a later date, but that would be a risky choice. Alternatively Kovalev could relinquish the WBO title or Yarde could be offered a sum of money to stand aside and let the Alvarez vs. Kovalev fight take place with a guarantee he could fight the winner but that too would be risky for Yarde as guarantees can sometimes turn out to be pie in the sky. ESPN want Alvarez for Demetrius Andrade. Even as a two-division champion Andrade’s profile is not mega high yet but obviously a win over Alvarez would change that. His fight with Brandon Adams last week was not one to set the pulses racing but in the end whether he lands the Alvarez fight will come down to money. Brits Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders would love the chance as would a certain Mr Golovkin. Everyone wants a piece of Canelo.
For any fight involving Alvarez you are talking serious money but not all fights are multi-million dollar affairs. For his title defence against Ray Beltran IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey’s purse was $350K and it was boosted by a further $20K from Beltran’s original purse of $160K due to Beltran failing to make the weight. Other purses were £50K for Patrick Day, $30K for his opponent Carlos Adames, $30K for Saul Rodriguez, which will not really soften the blow of his suffering his first pro defeat, just $5K for his conqueror Miguel Angel Gonzalez and $15K each for heavyweights Junior Fa and Dominic Guinn.
The build up to Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman continues with Thurman constituting a much bigger danger to Pacquiao than Adrien Broner. Whilst the focus is on Pacquiao the boxer he is also still an active force in Philippines politics and this week Pacquiao introduced a bill in the legislator to reintroduce capital punishment for major drug trafficking convictions. In the next session of Congress reportedly Pacquiao also intends to introduce bills banning smoking in public places and one to set up in the Philippines an equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security.
The undercard for the Pacquiao vs. Thurman WBA title fight also features another world title fight with Caleb Plant defending the IBF super middle title against unbeaten Mike Lee. Also on the card are fights between Yordenis Ugas and Omar Figueroa Jr at welter, Luis Nery and Juan Carlos Payano at bantam, Sergey Lipinets vs. John Molina Jr at welter and unbeaten heavy Efe Ajagba vs. Ali Eren Demirezen.
Negotiations for the Denis Lebedev vs. Arsen Goulamirian fight have broken down. Lebedev was recently reinstated as Super champion at cruiser by the WBA and Goulamirian was promoted from Gold champion to secondary champion. It looks likely now that the WBA will put the fight out to purse offers
One purse bidding process that was completed saw World of Boxing win the right to stage Danny Romero’s WBA super bantam title defence against Uzbek Murodjon Akhmadaliev with a bid of $145,000. There was only one bidder and with Akhmadaliev having had just six fights and being virtually unknown it was not too surprising the bid was relatively low and there was only one bid receive.
Whilst much of the interest in the bantamweight division is cantered on the fight between Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire WBC champion Nordine Oubaali will defend his title on Saturday against Filipino Arthur Villanueva on a big show in Kazakhstan. There are some excellent local prospects on the undercard. MTK Global, Top Rank and ESPN are all touting Kazakhstan as the next big growth area in boxing. Oubaali will be making the first defence of the title he won with unanimous points decision over Rau’shee Warren in January. He is managed by his brother Ali Oubaali who fought for the European super featherweight title back in 2004 and ended with a 26-3 record. Filipino Villanueva has lost in previous title shots for the IBF super fly and interim WBO bantam titles.
Frenchman Michel Soro will get another chance to win a version of the WBA super welter title when he faces Russian Magomed Kurbanov in Marseilles on 20 July for the secondary title. The Ivory Coast-born Soro lost a split decision against Argentinian Brian Castano for the interim title in 2017 his only loss in his last 17 fights. Russian Kurbanov, 23, has won all of his 17 fights.
Still on the France scene heavyweight prospect Tony Yoka is scheduled to return to the ring on 13 July in Antibes against Alex Dimitrenko but there could be a problem with the big Russian. He retired after five rounds in his fight in Carson, California with Andy Ruiz on 20 April. Due to a suspected shoulder fracture the Californian Commission gave Dimitrenko a 180 day suspension. However if Dimitrenko can pass a medical the suspension will be lifted so he could still be Yoka’s opponent. The Antibes show will also feature former European super welter champion Cedric Vitu and unbeaten prospects Elie Konki, Souleymane Cissokho and Michel Tavares,
As far as injured boxers goes it is a good news-bad news scenario. Former WBC light heavy champion Adonis Stevenson is back with his family and making a very good recovery from the brain operation he had following his loss to Olek Gvozdyk in December. Stevenson is already talking about going back to the gym but as a trainer.
The news about heavyweight Denis Boytsov is not good at all. His injuries are not boxing related but he is in dire straits. Four years after being found on a Berlin subway track with serious head and leg injuries Boytsov in still unable to stand upright , has great difficulty speaking and very little mobility. In the space of just a few hours Boytsov went from being a promising heavyweight with a 36-1 record to an invalid with no real future. Life can be very cruel at times.
By Eric Armit
-Richard Commey stops Ray Beltran in IBF title defence
-Demetrius Andrade outclasses Maciej Sulecki in WBO middleweight title defence
-Jermall Charlo makes successful first defence of the WBC middleweight title with wide unanimous decision over Brandon Adams
-Khalid Yafai makes fifth defence of the WBA super fly title with points verdict over Norbelto Jimenez
-Joseph Parker returns to action with stoppage of Alex Leapai
-ERIC Lubin beats Zakaria Attou and Claudio Marrero win title eliminators
-Francesco Patera retains the European lightweight title with kayo of Paul Hyland Jr
-Ryan Walsh keeps the British featherweight title with split decision over Lewis Paulin
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Temecula, CA, USA: Light: Richard Commey (29-2) W TKO 9 Ray Beltran (36-9-1). Super Welter: Carlos Adames (18-0) W PTS 10 Patrick Day (17-3-1). Heavy: Junior Fa (18-0) W PTS 10 Dominick Guinn (37-12-1). Super Feather: Miguel Angel Gonzalez (25-4) W TKO 3 Saul Rodriguez (23-1-1)
Commey vs. Beltran
Commey stops Beltran in eight rounds in IBF title defence. Beltran failed to make the weight so could not win the title and was knocked down four times before the stoppage.
After some early probing with their jabs a chopping down hand right from Commey dumped Beltran on his rump. He was up at four but when the eight count was over Commey drove Beltran to the ropes and unloaded with both hands. Beltran slumped down and with the ropes preventing him from falling the referee stepped in and gave Beltran a standing count. Beltran used his experience to hold and box his way out of trouble but he was cornered by Commey just before the bell and took some more heavy punishment.
Score: 10-7 Commey
Beltran looked to have recovered from a disastrous round and tried to take the fight to Commey. The champion used a strong, stiff jab and better hand speed to control the exchanges and was slipping under Beltran’s hooks and countering with rights.
Score:10-9 Commey Commey 20-16
Beltran outboxed Commey in this one. Beltran was quicker with his jab and was moving in giving Commey no punching space. Commey’s jab was off target and Beltran was connecting with chopping lefts and rights inside and keeping Commey on the back foot.
Score:10-9 Beltran Commey 29-26
Commey went back to his jab in the fourth and had it working well. A clash of heads luckily caused no damage. Commey continued to connect with his jab until a right to the head staggered Beltran. Commey landed a couple more punches and Beltran spent the rest of the round circling the ring trying to stay out of trouble.
Score: 10-9 Commey Commey 39-35
Commey rocked Beltran with hooks and uppercuts early in this one and Beltran dropped to the canvas to avoid the fire. When the count was over Commey continued to be the sharper and more accurate. Late in the round a long right cross made Beltran dip at the knees and another sent him into the ropes. Commey flailed away with punches but with little power or accuracy and Beltran was able to punch his way off the ropes.
Score: 10-8 Commey Commey 49-43
Commey made a strong start to the round forcing Beltran back with stiff jabs. A clash of heads saw Commey step back out of the action but luckily he was not cut. There were some lively exchanges with Commey’s jab again prominent and Beltran scoring with short hooks but Commey did enough with his jab and straight rights to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Commey Commey 59-52
A better round for Beltran. Commey once more stopped using his jab and allowed himself to get dragged into a brawl. Neither fighter did much clean work but Beltran was busier inside.
Score: 10-9 Beltran Commey 68-62
They both came out firing. Commey began to rattle Beltran with head punches and as Beltran took a couple of paces forward Commey met him with a perfect left hook that knocked Beltran over. He made it to his feet but after taking a close look at him the referee waived the fight over.
First defence of the title for the 32-year-old Ghanaian and win No 26 by KO/TKO. Teofimo Lopez was in attendance and that looks to be the next title challenge facing Commey- and a tough one. Former WBO champion Beltran, 38, suffers only his third loss by KO/TKO and his first in almost eleven years. He is tough but at 38 it is questionable how much more he has to give.
Adames vs. Day
Adames continues to edge his way towards a world title fight with a unanimous points victory over Day. Day had better skills and used his superior speed and a busier work rate to flit around the stronger Adames over the first two rounds. Gradually the harder punches and constant pressure from Adames saw him take control with Day fading badly over the middle rounds. Day stuck to his boxing but was being raked by heavy hooks and clubbing shots from Adames in a brutal ninth. Late In the tenth a booming right staggered Day and Adames piled on the punches battering Day around the ring but he left the effort too late allowing Day to survive. The 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic retains the NABF and NABO titles. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for Adames. He is No 4 with the WBA,No 5 with both WBC and WBO and 8(7) with the IBF. If he continues winning then a title shot should came his way in 2020. Former top amateur Day had won his last six fights.
Fa vs. Guinn
Fa recovers from shock knockdown to decision oldie Guinn. Fa was controlling a low key fight with comfort over the first three rounds but was then given a jolting wake-up call in the fourth. A long left from Guinn floored Fe and although he beat the count he was hurt and badly dazed. He survived thanks in part to some holding and in part to some wildness from Guinn as he strived to find one more big punch. Fa made it to the bell and then took no more chances from there. Guinn had put a lot into his desperate effort to land a finisher in the fourth and his already low work rated dropped even further allowing Fa to control the rest of the fight. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Fa. The 29-year-old 6’5” New Zealander is No 7 with the WBO but has yet to meet a “name” opponent. Somewhere down the line a fight with fellow New Zealander Joseph Parker would be a big fight as a win by Fa over Parker at the Oceania Olympic Qualifier cost Parker a place at the 2012 Olympics. Guinn, 44, found the combination of height, weight and age too much to overcome but he keeps his record of never losing by KO/TKO.
Gonzalez vs. Rodriguez
Upset time as Gonzalez hands Rodriguez his first loss. Rodriguez found himself on the floor before the ringing of the bell to start the fight had faded. A left hook from Gonzalez put him there but Rodriguez made it to his feet and although Gonzalez landed some more heavy stuff Rodriguez had steadied himself. Rodriguez worked his way into the fight in the second ramming home a hard right and opening a cut over Gonzalez’s left eye. Rodriguez was looking to build on that in the third and rocked Gonzalez with a right. When he tried to follow in behind that success he was nailed by a left hook that deposited him flat on his back on the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight without a count with Rodriguez needing a couple of minutes to recover. An important win for the 24-year-old from Los Mochis and his 22nd by KO/TKO. He turned pro at 16 and won 16 of his first 17 fights but then suffered losses in fights he needed to win to progress and had slipped back to six round level before this victory. Rodriguez, 26 had scored wins over some good opposition and will rebound from this.
Providence, RI, USA: Middle: Demetrius Andrade (28-0) W PTS 12 Maciej Sulecki (28-2). Super Fly: Khalid Yafai (26-0) W PTS 12 Norbelto Jimenez (29-9-4). Heavy: Joseph Parker (26-2) W TKO 10 Alex Leapai (32-8-4) . Super Welter: Mark DeLuca (24-1) W PTS 10 Brandon Brewer (23-1-1).
Andrade vs. Sulecki
Andrade retains WBO title with wide unanimous decision over Pole Sulecki in a fight that is too one-sided to entertain.
Andrade was off the mark quickly scoring with quick punches from both hands and less than a minute into the fight he floored Sulecki with a left to the head. Sulecki regained his feet quickly and did not look too shaken. Andrade landed some more lefts but Sulecki was able to move and box to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Andrade
Andrade used a quicker jab to take this one. Neither fighter landed much but Andrade’s jab and following lefts gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Andrade 20-17
There was too much probing and feinting and not enough punching. Very little happened until the last thirty seconds when Andrade staged a furious attack and connected with some lefts. Sulecki’s round consisted of some tentative jabs and some rights with which he missed.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 30-26
After a start to the round which saw the fighters trading punches the action cooled again. Sulecki just did not have the hand or foot speed to land anything and Andrade was content to land his jab and occasional straight lefts. Once again Andrade launched a late sortie but he was swinging wide punches with little power.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 40-35
Andrade spent much of this round dancing and clowning instead of fighting. His movement was too much for Sulecki who just could not find the target. Andrade landed a couple of good lefts late but did not even bother with the wild finish he had used in other rounds. Andrade seemed more concerned with demonstrating his skills than using them
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 50-44
Another low activity round. Andrade did what scoring there was with his right jabs and occasional straight left. He showed what he could do with a peach of a right uppercut but did not sustain his attacks. Sulecki was poking out jabs but either falling short or seeing Andrade duck under them.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 60-53
Sulecki took this one. He was livelier and showed more purpose connecting with some jabs and straight rights. Andrade threw very few punches and those he did throw missed the target.
Score: 10-9 Sulecki Andrade 69-63
Andrade spent most of this round showcasing his defensive skills with a frustrated Sulecki jabbing fresh air. Andrade threw very few punches and missed with many of those but he did land an occasional punch which Sulecki was unable to do.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 79-72
This was a closer round. Sulecki had some success early with rights but then the speed and movement of Andrade frustrated any further efforts from the Pole. Andrade scored with occasional jabs and connected with a few straight lefts to take another low tension round.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 89-81
Andrade connected with some hard lefts in the early part of this one. He then went into a crouch with both hands down at about knee level. He was throwing wild lefts from that stance and they were well telegraphed. His early work gave him the round but again the exaggerated crouch and wild swings were more comedy than clout. Sulecki hardly landed a punch.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 99-90
Easy round for Andrade and one in which he threw more punches. He was stabbing jabs through Sulecki’s defence and clipping him with straight lefts. Sulecki just could not land on the elusive champion but there was no sign that Andrade was looking to win inside the distance and he was just fighting in bursts.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 109-99
Andrade chose to pose and clown his way through the last. He restricted himself to the occasional jab and some caveman-style crouching swipes. Sulecki worked throughout thro und and managed to land some jabs and rights and just deserved to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Sulecki Andrade 118-109
Official Scores: 120-107, 120-107 and 120-107 all for Andrade
Perhaps since he was fighting in his home town the audience might have enjoyed this but there was very little to enjoy for non-committed watchers. Andrade never really forced the fight or sustained his attacks so there was absence of any highlights. Andrade was making the second defence of his WBO title but this performance will not have moved him any closer to any really big fights. Sulecki was too predictable and had no idea or plan to deal with the side-on forward leaning stance and speed of Andrade. He has wins over Jack Culcay and Gabriel Rosado and is better than he fought here.
Yafai vs. Jimenez
Yafai retains the WBA title as he scores two knockdowns and gets comfortable win over his mandatory challenger Jimenez
Excellent first round from Yafai. He was much quicker with his jab and was moving inside Jimenez’s jab to land left hooks to the body. He pinned the ever retreating Jimenez to the ropes and landed hooks to the body before stepping back. Jimenez gestured for Yafai to come back and fight and Yafai again landed well to the body.
Score: 10-9 Yafai
Yafai landed a left hook early in the round that staggered Jimenez. The challenger clinched until his head cleared and Yafai was a little wild as he tried to land another big shot. He continued to pursue Jimenez landing sharp rights and also caught Jimenez with a left hook to the head.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 20-18
Yafai continued to dominate the action in the third. He was shadowing Jimenez as the Dominican retreated around the ring and rocked Jimenez with two hooks. Jimenez connected with a couple of jabs and a right counter but he was soon under pressure from hooks and uppercuts and was continually looking to hold.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 30-27
Yafai was chasing Jimenez down but not having much success. Jimenez was jabbing and moving and clinching whenever Yafai came close. After giving Jimenez a number of warnings for holding the referee finally deducted a point from Jimenez but as Jimenez had outscored Yafai in the round I saw it as a 9-9 round with the deduction
Score: 9-9 tied Yafai 39-36
Yafai was hunting hard again in this one. He landed a slightly low punch and as Jimenez looked towards the referee Yafai landed one even lower. The referee paused the action until Jimenez had recovered. Before the stoppage a clash of head opened a cut high on Yafai’s forehead and blood was trickling down his head and then down the left side of nose with some affecting Yafai’s left eye. When the action restarted a fired up Jimenez went after Yafai throwing punches. That did not last long and Yafai was then the one doing the chasing with Jimenez holding again. Yafai was scoring with hooks to the body with Jimenez poking out light jabs. On the bell Yafai landed another low punch and Jimenez went down on one knee. Since the bell had gone the referee just sent them to their corners
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 49-45
All of the pressure came from Yafai in the sixth. He was connecting with left hooks to the body and clipping Jimenez with rights to the head. Jimenez was boxing and countering better than in the early rounds but was still getting away with too much holding.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 59-54
Another round for Yafai. He was chasing down Jimenez and landing left hooks and rights to the head. Jimenez was showing some crafty work and scoring with some sneaky punches but Yafai was landing more and cleaner
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 69-63
Best round so far for Jimenez. He was boxing well on the back foot scoring with jabs and moving laterally and clipping Yafai with punches from both hands. Yafai kept coming forward but Jimenez was ducking inside Yafai’s punches and countering. Yafai landed two hooks, both low, and Jimenez went down but was able to continue after a period to recover.
Score: 10-9 Jimenez Yafai 78-73
Yafai took over again. He was more accurate with his jab and connecting with overhand rights. He rocked Jimenez with a left hook and a tiring Jimenez was looking sloppy with some of his work.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 88-82
Yafai’s round. He outboxed Jimenez slotting home his jab and catching the Dominican with clubbing head punches from both hands. Jimenez was countering but lacked power and Yafai was able to walk past Jimenez’s guard to punch inside.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 98-91
Jimenez put in a big effort at the start of the round coming forward taking the fight to Yafai. He had some success with jabs and uppercuts but Yafai countered well and again landed some heavy shots to the head which shook Jimenez and Yafai ended the round strongly.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 108-100
Jimenez tried to force the fight in the last. Yafai was content to box and stay out of trouble until he turned Jimenez onto the ropes and landed three hard punches. He was then connecting with lefts and rights and as Jimenez fought back a left to the head put Jimenez down. The punch actually landed with Yafai’s wrist and despite Jimenez looking disgusted when he got up it counted and Yafai danced to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Yafai Yafai 118-108
Official Scores: 117-109, 119-117, and 118-108
The 30-year-old from Birmingham was making the fifth defence of his WBA title. Chances of a unification fight with WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada, IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas or WBO champion Kazuto Ioka look remote but a once talked about fight with Roman Gonzalez would be attractive. Jimenez had turned his carer around in amazing fashion going from 2-8-1 to a 30 bout unbeaten run of 27-0-3.He only showed glimpses of any class here and did not possess the punch to keep Yafai off.
Parker vs. Leapai
Parker batters a very durable but very limited Leapai to defeat in ten rounds. In the opening round Leapai lumbered forward trying to get close and was willing to walk through Parker’s punches to do so. Parker drove Leapai into a corner and belted him with hooks and uppercuts snapping Leapai’s head back and rocking his head from side to side. Leapai survived and that became the pattern for the fight. Leapai was much shorter with a very limited reach so he had no other tactic but walking forward into the storm. Parker knocked Leapai’s mouthguard out in the second and was given a stern warning for a low punch in the third. Leapai was on the floor in the fifth from what looked to be a left hook but it was ruled a slip. For much of the time it was target practice with Leapai actually making Andy Ruiz looked svelte and nifty by comparison. Leapai’s only chance was to keep marching forward throwing sweeping punches and hope to get lucky although he did seem to improve a little as the fight went on. Parker was peppering Leapai with punches but had to stay focused and not wear himself punching Leapai. It really was a case of how much punishment Leapai could take or be allowed to take. Parker crashed a series of rights to Leapai's head in the ninth and he did so again in the tenth before connected with a couple of hooks. Those set Leapai back on his heels and the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight despite Leapai’s protest. This was no real test for Parker and neither was Alex Flores who he knocked out in December. The important thing is that the 27-year-old New Zealander keeps his name in the frame for any title opportunity that comes up. Samoan Leapai is incredibly durable but also very slow and limited. He was stopped in five rounds by Wlad Klitschko for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in 2014 and had done nothing of note since then.
DeLuca vs. Brewer
Southpaw DeLuca gets a good win as he decisions previously unbeaten Brewer. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for DeLuca. The 31-year-old southpaw from Massachusetts had a 21 bout winning streak busted by a split decision defeat against Walter Wright in June last year but he scored a revenge win over Wright in October. Canadian “L-Jack” Brewer, 34, was out of the ring from August 2107 until returning with a win in May this year.
Houston. TX, USA: Middle: Jermall Charlo (29-0) W PTS 12 Brandon Adams (21-3). Super Welter: Erickson Lubin (21-1) W TKO 4 Zakaria Attou (29-7-2). Feather: Claudio Marrero (24-3) W PTS 10 Eduardo Ramirez (22-2-3) W. Super Feather: Miguel Flores (24-2) W TKO 6 Luis May (21-15-1).
Charlo vs. Adams
In a low action opener Charlo managed to connect with some jabs and rights. Charlo was taller with a good advantage in reach and Adams was too often lunging forward and falling short with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Charlo
Charlo was catching Adams with counters as Adams tried to dart inside. Adams was coming in low making it impossible for him to land any punches on the taller man but Charlo was having difficulty connecting when punching down.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 20-18
Charlo was again countering the rushing Adams and connecting but not often. Instead of using his reach to attacking he was countering. Adams was still lunging in and coming up short. He pinned Charlo to the ropes late in the round but Charlo outlanded him
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 30-27
Charlo connected with a couple of left hooks and clubbing rights but both fighters were tending to throw one punch at a time. Adams was much more aggressive but no more effective. He was coming in behind a jab that fell short and then holding inside. Charlo was the one doing what scoring there was but after four rounds there was no sign of a fight breaking out.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 40-36
In this one Charlo finally began to land some stiff punches. He was following his jab with right crosses and landing left hooks inside. Adams was still trying to dive inside but was not working when he got there and Charlo was finding the target with left hooks and had Adams on the ropes for a while unloading lefts and rights until Adams dived forward to get off the ropes. Adams showed some good defensive moves but very little offensively.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 50-45
The opening action saw Charlo landing some clubbing head punches and a sharp right uppercut. At this stage Adams was more interested in not getting hit. However Adams came on strongly at the end of the round scoring with a good left cross and hooks inside and hustling Charlo out of his stride. It was a close round but Adams just did enough to pinch it.
Score: 10-9 Adams Charlo 59-55
Charlo let his punches flow in the seventh. He was letting Adams get close and then landing hooks and uppercuts and when he went forward was connecting with jabs and chopping rights. Adams was trying to drive in low but missing with his punches and having to take counters from Charlo.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 69-64
Adams just could not get past Charlo’s jab and Charlo was following the jab with straight rights. He was anticipating Adams’ rushes and countering him with left hooks and uppercuts on the way in. Adams drove forward at the end of the round and connected with an overhand right but Charlo slipped his other punches and countered with a right and a left.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 79-73
Charlo used his jab to keep Adams from driving forward or stepping back and countering the advancing Adams with uppercuts. He trapped Adams in a corner and for a change sustained his attack unloading with both hands until Adams escaped from the trap. Charlo was then happy go onto the back foot and spear Adams with jabs.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 89-82
For most of the round Charlo was content to let Adams come forward and stab home jabs. When Charlo did wake up he had Adams retreating under a barrage of lefts and rights. It was then back to jab and move for Charlo before he again landed a burst of punches late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 99-91
Charlo dominated the early part of the round with his jab. When Adams did try to get past the jab Charlo was taking a step back and landing a hook or an uppercut. Adams forced Charlo to the ropes near the bell and landed a couple of good hooks but Charlo was landing more and heavier punches until Adams backed off.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 109-100
No fireworks in the last from Adams. He tried a couple of rushes but it was Charlo who opened up on Adams when he had him in a corner and landed a series of shots. After the round trickled to a predictable end.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 119-109
Official Scores: 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109 all for Charlo
Charlo had been upgraded before the fight from interim to full WBC champion so this was his first title defence and he will rarely have an easier one. His No 1 ranked challenger is Gennady Golovkin and No 2 is Daniel Jacobs but it remains to be seen whether either of these fights can be made. Adams had scored reasonable level wins over Ievgen Khytrov and Eric Walker but need a help from the WBC ratings elevator to get him from No 23 to No 12 so that this fight could take place and he really did not pose a serious challenge to Charlo.
Lubin vs. Attou
Lubin wins IBF title eliminator with stoppage of Attou when the Frenchman’s corner throw in the towel due to an injury to Attou’s right bicep. Both fighters were tentative at the start. Lubin was shadowing the French fighter and managed to score with a couple of punches as Attou slid along the ropes Attou tried some rights late in the rounds but did not connect. In the second Lubin cornered Attou and banged home a couple of southpaw lefts. Attou was showing nothing and Lubin continued to hunt him along the ropes and scored with long lefts to the body. Attou managed to stay off the ropes for much of the third and tried a few attacks but the action was scrappy. Attou seemed to indicate he had injured his right bicep and his corner applied some ice to the arm in the interval. In the fourth Attou tried to punch with Lubin but was driven to a corner and Lubin unleashed a rain of punches until Attou dropped to the canvas. He was up at four and looked able to continue but his corner threw in the towel as it was pointless him trying to tackle Lubin with only one arm. Lubin was heading for a stoppage before Attou suffered the injury. He gets his third win since a humiliating first round kayo loss to
Jermell Charlo for the WBC title in October 2017. He should now get a shot at the IBF title and he will have a good chance of winning the title against Julian Williams. Former undefeated European champion Attou had been in good form being 10-0-1 in his last 11 fights but he was in over his head against a focused Lubin.
Ramirez vs. Marrero
Marrero gets a needed win as he outpoints Ramirez. Both southpaws were cagey at the start with both feeling their way with jabs but not looking to commit themselves .Marrero just had a slight edge in the action. Marrero was also sharper in the second coming in behind his jab and landing hooks. Marrero stepped up the pace in the third attacking strongly but Ramirez was boxing well and countering and just did enough to take the round. Marrero kept the pressure on Ramirez in the fourth and he was hunting Ramirez down in the fifth. They both landed heavily as they traded with Marrero getting the better of the exchanges. Ramirez outworked Marrero in the sixth but at the half way mark Marrero had built a lead. Ramirez fought back strong outworking Marrero in the seventh and was the aggressor as they fought inside in the eighth. The ninth was wild as they were both throwing lots of punches. Marrero was fighting in bursts firing hooks from both hands. Ramirez was throwing punches constantly and the volume of punches from the Mexican was enough to give him the points and make the fight very close. Ramirez looked to be tiring in the tenth and Marrero continued to connect with body punches inside. A couple of low punches saw Marrero get a warning and although Ramirez staged a fiery finish it was Marrero’s round. Ramirez came roaring out for the eleventh but Marrero withstood the pressure and began again to dig with hooks to the body. Marrero was landing the better punches and Ramirez was visibly wilting. Marrero had more left in the last and whereas Ramirez was just pumping his arms Marrero was on target with hooks and uppercuts and was a clear winner. Scores 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 for Marrero with the middle score looking about right. The 30-year-old Marrero, a former interim WBA champion needed to win this one. He had dropped his interim title on a seventh round kayo against Jesus Lopez in 2017and then lost on points against Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar for the IBO title in January this year. This win puts him in line for a shot at either WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz or secondary title holder Can Xu. Ramirez, 25, had given a good account of himself in losing on points to Lee Selby for the IBF title in 2017 and had scored an important win over Bryan Gracia in March this year.
Flores vs. May
Flores keeps his hopes of a title shot very much alive with stoppage of May. Flores hammered the fight out of May by pounding away at May’s body for five rounds. By the sixth May had nothing left and was taking punishment when the referee stepped in to save him. When the Houston-based Mexican had a 22 bout winning streak snapped in losses to Dat Nguyen and Chris Avalos he looked to have a long rebuilding programme ahead. However he was hastily slipped into the WBA ratings for a title shot against Leo Santa Cruz in February but an ankle injury forced him to pull out and he may have to wait a long time for the chance to come again. Sixth loss in a row for May.
Milan, Italy: Light: Francesco Patera (22-3) W KO 6 Paul Hyland Jr (20-2). Super Middle: Daniele Scardina (17-0) W PTS 10 Alessandro Goddi (35-5-1). Welter: Dario Morello (15-0) W PTS 10 Ahmed El Hamwi (19-9-2). Feather: Jamie McDonnell (30-3-1) W PTS 6 Cristian Narvaez (15-16-4). Super Middle: Ivan Zucco (8-0) W TKO 3 Borislav Zankov (10-26-1).
Patera vs. Hyland
Patera retains the European title as he floors Hyland twice with body punches in the sixth to end the fight. The pace on this one was hot from the start. In the first both were jabbing with intent and firing hooks and uppercuts. Patera hardly wasted a punch. He was getting past Hyland’s guard with hooks and uppercuts and sneaky overhand rights. Hyland was setting a high work rate but many of his punches were being blocked by Patera. A clash of heads saw Patera suffer a cut over his right eye and Hyland on the right side of his head. Hyland made a strong start in the second coming forward throwing long punches. He had Patera on the back foot and was connecting with some sharp hooks. He looked to be on the way to winning the round until Patera connected with a sharp right hook to the head. That stopped Hyland in his tracks and stunned him and he went over with his gloves touching the canvas to stay upright. He was given a count and the bell rang when the count finished. Hyland attack again at the start of the third but Patera was scoring with jabs and getting through to the body with hooks from both hands. A punch from Patera went low and the challenger was given some recovery time. Hyland again marched forward but Patera was making him pay with hooks inside from both hands and really putting together some classy combinations. Another low punch hurt Hyland at the bell. Hyland stormed forward in the fourth but Patera was countering with unerring accuracy switching to head and body. An incident filled fifth saw both standing and trading punches. Hyland then slipped badly on water in the canvas in his corner. There then ensued a couple of minutes of chaos whilst a cloth was found to dry the water with referee finally doing the job himself. When action resumed Hyland was hurt by another low punch leading to a break in the action. Hyland attacked fiercely but just before the bell a left to the body dropped Hyland to his knees and he just beat the count with the bell to end the round coming before Patera could follow up. A left to the body put Hyland down at the start of the sixth. He beat the count but yet another left to the body dropped him and he was counted out. Once again Patera shows he has style and power. The 26-year-old Belgian of Italian antecedents has beaten 17-0 Lewis Ritson and 24-1-1 Melvin Petit. He is deceptive as he does not look strong or a power puncher but he hits with speed and accuracy and has a good chin. Hyland’s only other loss was when then unbeaten Lewis Ritson blitzed him inside a round for the British title in June last year.
Scardina vs. Goddi
In a fast, open bout. Scardina made good use of his longer reach to score with jabs and Goddi was quickly getting past the jab and firing hooks inside. Scardina looked stronger and had both his jab and his uppercut working well. Goddi was busy, busy changing angles and rattling Scardina with short punches. Goddi was coming forward the whole time and looked to have built a lead. Scardina had been doing some useful work to the body of the elder man and eventually that told with Goddi slowing over the late rounds. Scardina was making good use of his jab and landing straight rights over the eighth and ninth. Goddi marched forward for the whole three minutes of the last round firing punches. Scardina kept his jab in Goddi’s face but took no chances feeling he had the fight won. Scores 96-94 twice and (a cruel to Goddi) 98-92 all for Scardina who holds on the IBF International belt. Miami-based Italian Scardina, 27, turned pro in the Dominican Republic and has also fought in the USA, and Haiti as well as his home country. He is still a work in progress but shows promise. Goddi, 31, provided an excellent test for Scardina. A former Italian middleweight champion he has lost in two shots at the European middleweight title and although competitive here is past his peak.
Morello vs. El Hamwi
“Spartan” Morello adds another win but will have been glad to get this fight over. French-based Belgian El Hamwi did everything except fight. Morello was by far the better boxer with El Hamwi preferring clinching and wrestling. The tall Italian is one of those fighters who slide easily from southpaw to orthodox and that had El Hamwi confused. Additionally Morello is quick with nifty footwork and El Hamwi struggled to get in the fight . He violently wrestled Morello to the floor in the third and landed a number of punches to the back of the head. Unfortunately Morello is not a puncher-only two wins by KO/TKO-so despite his superiority he could not get El Hamwi out early and had to go ten frustrating rounds,. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 all for Morello. The 25-year-old “Spartan” from Bergamo was Italian champion at Junior, Youth and Elite level and boxed for Milano Thunder in the WSB. He is a former undefeated Italian pro champion. Former undefeated Belgian champion El Hamwi had won his last 7 fights.
McDonnell vs. Narvaez
In his first fight at featherweight McDonnell eases his way back with some paid sparring against Nicaraguan Narvaez. McDonnell hardly got out of first gear as he used Narvaez for target practice. After a couple of low activity rounds McDonnell picked up the pace from the third but was looking for ring time and was content to coast to victory over the game but limited Narvaez. McDonnell, a former holder of the IBF and secondary WBA titles was having his first outing since a crushing one round loss to Naoya Inoue in May last year. Tenth loss on the trot for Narvaez with nine of those on points.
Zucco vs. Zankov
Heavy-handed prospect Zucco gets another inside the distance victory with stoppage of Bulgarian Zankov. The Bulgarian was courageous enough to try to take the fight to Zucco but never quite worked how to deal with Zucco’s right jab. The Bulgarian kept swinging but a left uppercut floored him heavily in the third. He beat the count but took another pounding and the referee stepped in and gave him a standing count before waiving the fight off. Seventh win by KO/TKO for 23-yeaer-old southpaw Zucco who sharpened his skills with some sparring in London last month. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for Zankov.
London, England: Feather: Ryan Walsh (24-2-2) W PTS 12 Lewis Paulin (12-1). Super Light: Ohara Davies (19-2) W PTS 10 Miguel Vasquez (41-7). Super Light: Daniel Egbunike (5-0) W PTS 10 Martin McDonagh (5-1). Super Light: Anthony Yigit (24-1-1) W WPTS 8 Siar Ozgul (15-3).
Walsh vs. Paulin
Walsh make a successful sixth defence of his British title but only just as he edges out Paulin on a split decision. Walsh outboxed his Scottish challenger early with good movement and precise punching. He had Paulin hurt in the third with uppercuts and moved in front. Southpaw Paulin upped his pace over the middle rounds and was beating Walsh to the punch and eating into the champion’s lead. Walsh continued to score with eye-catching uppercuts but the rounds were close. Walsh looked to have Paulin in trouble with more uppercuts in the ninth but Paulin battled back in the tenth to stay in contention. Walsh looked to have taken the eleventh but he suffered a bad cut over his right eye in the last and that spurred Paulin to stage a strong finish to make it close. Scores 117-111 and 115-114 for Walsh and 115-113 for Paulin. Walsh has made a habit of close verdicts as his last three fights have seen him get a split draw against unbeaten Isaac Lowe, a split decision victory over Reece Bellotti and now this split decision. His two losses have been crucial as he dropped a unanimous decision to Lee Selby and a split verdict to Dennis Ceylan. Wins in either of those fights could have led to a world title shot. He is No 7 with the WBO but at 33 his chance may have gone. Very encouraging display by 28-year-old Paulin. He had only once been in a fight scheduled for more than six rounds and this was his first fight for 13 months. Hopefully he will get another title shot.
Davies vs. Vazquez
Davies gets a win but has a bad night and it seems as though even he did not think he had done enough to take the decision. Whilst former IBF lightweight champion Vazquez might be a spent force he still has the guile and style to give an opponent problems. Davies made a good enough start but then the fight slowed and Davies looked flat. Under those circumstances Vazquez found the space to work and a pace that suited him. Whilst Davies had built a small lead from the midway point he was having more trouble holding off a surging Vazquez and it appeared that he had suffered a rib injury that hampered him in his work. It looked as though Vazquez had clawed back Davies’ early lead and built a winning one of his own but the referee disagreed. Referee’s score 97-94 for Davies. When the result was being announced Davies refused to have his arm raised and went over and raised Vazquez’s arm but it is the referee’s score that counts so Davies gets the win. Davies is a talented fighter but losses to Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall have been huge setbacks and he needed to be impressive here. Vazquez, 32, had lost inside the distance to Josh Taylor in 2017 and to Thulani Mbenge for the IBO welter title last December but had given an indication that he was still capable of good performance with a win over Ghislain Maduma in Canada in March.
Egbunike vs. McDonagh
In a fast-paced entertaining clash of unbeaten newcomers Egbunike comes out on top taking the decision. He pressed the fight in every round with the taller McDonagh boxing cleverly on the back foot and landing some useful counters but with Egbunike connecting with hard rights to do enough to deserve the decision. The referee scored it 97-93. Now 29, after a couple of short-ish prison sentences on drugs charges, Egbunike found his salvation in a local gym and is now making up for lost time. He did not turn pro until he was 27 and has moved up to ten round level very quickly. Southpaw McDonagh , 24 was also going ten for the first time.
Yigit vs. Ozgul
Former undefeated European champion Yigit continues his busy schedule with a points win over English-based Turk Ozgul. Yigit had the edges where it mattered and his aggression and high work rate were the difference although the taller Ozgul made the talented Swede work hard for victory. Referee’s score 78-75 for Yigit. Third fight in the last four months for Yigit. In October against Ivan Baranchyk he lost on a seventh round retirement due to an eye that was totally closed. The fight was for the vacant IBF title and was a WBSS Tournament quarter-final. He has a way to go to get back to that level but has the talent to make it. Now 4 losses in his last 5 fights for Ozgul.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Bantam: Angelo Leo (18-0) W PTS 10 Mark John Yap (30-14). Super Light: Keith Hunter (11-0) W PTS 10 Cameron Krael (16-14-3).
Leo vs. Yap
Leo continues to make progress with points victory over seasoned pro Yap. Leo showed an impressive jab and some excellent footwork. He was much quicker and hurt Yap with a right to the head in the first. The accuracy of his jab made it difficult for Yap to get on the front foot. Yap had some success with his own jab and also when he could close the distance but Leon was outboxing him and scoring well inside. Yap had a good fourth as he managed to get his jab working and Leo was less accurate but Leo took charge again in the fifth and sixth hunting down the retreating Yap and scoring well to the body. Yap landed a good counter right in the seventh but Leo closed the round rocking Yap with rights. The pace dropped in the eighth which was a close round and Yap boxed cleverly to edge the ninth before fierce attacks gave Leo the tenth. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Leo, The 25-year-old from Albuquerque is making a habit of beating Filipinos already having scored wins over Glenn Porras and Neil John Tabanao and he looks a good prospect. Japan-based Yap had been in good form winning 11 of his last 12 fights with the loss being to unbeaten Takuma Inoue.
Hunter vs. Krael
In his first sortie into ten round ranks Hunter outscores useful Krael. Hunter had an edge in reach and made use of his jab to keep the ever advancing Krael out. Hunter has a very loose-limbed style and he kept his jab working well throughout the fight also countering Kreal with hooks. Krael had success when he could get Hunter against the ropes and dig to the body. Despite having scored seven wins by KO/TKO Hunter had difficulty keeping Krael out but was throwing more and landing more. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Hunter. He tired at the end but with more experience will get better at pacing a fight. His loose style may find him out against better opposition. Hawaiian Krael was 8-1-1 in his last 10 fights.
Montreal, Canada: Welter: Mike Zewski (33-1) W PTS 10 Abner Lopez (27-10-1). Middle: Francis Lafreniere (19-7-2) W PTS 8 Jose Luis Zuniga (16-5-1).
Zewski vs. Lopez
Zewski comes away with a unanimous verdict over Lopez after being on the floor in the sixth round. As expected Lopez came to fight and Zewski was happy to oblige him in a real war. From the opening round Lopez was marching forward throwing punches with Zewski more that matching him. Zewski’s work was just that bit more accurate and his defence a bit sounder. He caught the oncoming Mexican with hooks and uppercuts but Lopez walked through them to score inside. Zewski had Lopez against the ropes and rocking in the fourth but Lopez had a big sixth. He drove Zewski across the ring to a corner and bombarded him with head punches that forced Zewski to go down on one knee to survive the storm. Zewski came back strongly in the seventh and they traded punches over the closing rounds of an exciting battle. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 all for Zewski who wins the vacant IBF North American and WBO NABO titles. His only loss was a points defeat against Konstantin Ponomarev in 2015 and he has worked his way back with seven wins. As WBC International champion Zewski was No 15 with the WBC but he has relinquished that title to seek ratings by the IBF and WBO. Lopez had a rocky period going 2-5 in a run of seven fights but the losses were to fierce opposition and he was coming off a split draw with 30-1 Pedro Campa in Campa’s home town.
Lafreniere vs. Zuniga
Good win for Lafreniere against very useful opponent in Mexican Zuniga. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73. Majority decision losses in 2018 to Albert Onolunose and experienced Mexican Jose De Jesus Macias have left Lafreniere with a recovery job and this is his second victory this year. Second loss in a row in fights in Canada for Zuniga.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (9-1-1) W PTS 10 Miguel Antin (18-3). Daneff gets surprise win over Argentinian No 3 Antin. In a confident and dominating performance he took a wide unanimous decision. Daneff’s height and reach gave him the edge at distance and he used stinging uppercuts to boss the inside work as well. Southpaw Daneff achieved this despite injuring his right hand in the third round. He had Antin rocking in the fifth and sixth and held off a strong finish from Antin to emerge a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for 23-year-old Daneff. He wins the vacant WBC Latino belt, his first title as a pro. Antin, who sparred with former world champion Omar Narvaez in preparation for this fight, went 17-0 before losing in tough domestic contests against Matias Rueda and Jeremias Ponce last year. He had won the vacant WBC Latino super featherweight title in May.
Puiseux-Pontoise, France: Light Heavy: Kevin Buval (10-12-1) W PTS 10 Eddy Lacrosse (11-6-2). Minor upset as Buval decisions Lacrosse to lift the French title. Neither of these fighters are going to get beyond domestic level but it was a hard-fought contest. Defending champion Lacrosse made a strong start but after a couple of rounds the better skills of Buval put him in the driving seat. Lacrosse kept rolling forward but Buval was more mobile and countered well. Eventually Lacrosse tired and Buval was the one on the front foot and he boxed his way to victory. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Buval who was 2-6 in his last 8 fights before this victory. Lacrosse, who was making the first defence of the French title, had won 6 of his last 7.
Terme, Italy: Super Feather: Giuseppe Carafa (11-3-2) DREW 10 Nicola Henchiri (8-3-2). Carafa retains the Italian title with draw against local favourite Henchiri. Carafa made a strong start forcing the pace over the first two rounds. Henchiri had a better third and they both had moments in a fierce fourth with Carafa pinning Henchiri on the ropes only for Henchiri to fight his way off with left hooks. A clash of head saw Henchiri cut on his right eyebrow in the sixth and that inspired Carafa to take the seventh. The pace dropped in the eighth and Carafa did enough to edge the ninth but a bloody Henchiri ended the fight strongly taking the last. Scores 96-94 Carafa, 97-96 Henchiri and 95-95. First defence for Carafa. Henchiri had won his last six fights.
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico: Super Light: Jean Carlos Torres (15-0) W Julio Laguna (15-1-0). Southpaw Laguna had slight advantages in height and reach and in the opening round was holding centre ring and using his right jab to keep Torres out. Torres scored with a couple of left hooks to the body late in the round but had made a slow start. In the second Laguna was again quicker stabbing home jabs and stepping back out of range . Torres was not pressing hard until the last thirty seconds when he worked inside with hooks. A left uppercut from Laguna was the best punch of the round but if there was a down side to Laguna it was an apparent lack of power. The Nicaraguan looked to have won the first two rounds and he attacked hard in the third getting in close and connecting with hooks and uppercuts. That success was the undoing of him as he now felt confident enough to stand and trade with the local fighter. Torres began to find the target with clubbing punches to the head. He drove Laguna into a corner and unloaded with both hands. The referee was ready to step in but Laguna fought his way out of the corner. Not for long as Torres drove him back in again and was landing with heavy punches and this time the referee stopped the fight. Home town fighter Torres makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO, including 7 in his last 8 fights and retains the interim WBO Latino title for the second time. He is No 6 with the WBO-being Puerto Rican helps. Second inside the distance loss for Laguna having been halted in four rounds by Uzbek Shakhram Giyasov in London in September.
Timisoara, Romania: Super Welter: Flavius Biea (17-1) W PTS 10 Jesus Gurrola (27-14-3). Middle: Catalin Paraschiveanu (18-1) W KO 2 Ionut Trandafir Ilie (17-33-3). Super Welter: Ashley Theophane (47-8-1,1ND) W TKO 4 Ferenc Hafner (26-17)
Biea vs. Gurrola
Biea boxes his way to victory over seasoned Mexican Gurrola. Biea better skills put him in charge early but once Gurrola got into his stride he kept the pressure on the local fighter. Biea, who trained in England for this fight, had bad patches in the fourth and eighth and many rounds were close but the Romanian deserved the decision. He forced the fight for much of the time and worked continuously with Gurrola mostly on the back foot and fighting in spurts. Scores 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94 for the IBA Inter-Continental champion who retains his title. His only loss was a twelfth round stoppage by Valentyn Golovko in 2017 but he won his four fights last year. He won gold medals at Cadet and Junior level in the World and European championships but is yet to make an impact as a pro. Former IBO title challenger Gurrola is at the stage where he is matched to lose.
Paraschiveanu vs. Ilie
Italian-based Romanian Paraschiveanu stops French-based Romanian Ilie in two rounds for his fifth win by KO/TKO. An easy night for Paraschiveanu as he pinned Ilie to the ropes in the second round hurt him with two right hooks to the body and pounded him with punches from both hands until Ilie went down and took the count resting on one knee. This is Paraschiveanu’s first fight for 13 months. Now 16 losses by KO/TKO for Ilie.
Theophane vs. Hafner
Theophane continues his world tour with stoppage of ancient Hungarian Hafner. Theophane was streets ahead of the limited Hafner in technique and won every minute of every round. He finished the fight in the fourth connecting with two rights to the head that saw Hafner drop to one knee and stay there. The 38-year-old former British champion and secondary WBA title challenger is 7-0-1ND in his last eight fights. They have taken place in Germany, USA, Hungary, Ghana, Poland, Mexico, Dubai and now Romania. Hafner 43 has lost his last eight fights.
Geneva, Switzerland: Super Feather: Patrick Kinigamazi (30-2) W Martin Parlagi (25-3-1). Rwandan-born Kinigamazi extends his winning run to 13 fights with unanimous verdict over Slovakian Parlagi. Kinigamazi put the tough Parlagi down in the ninth but could not find the punch to end the fight so had to settle for a comfortable unanimous decision. Scores 98-91 twice and 96-93 for the 36-year-old Kinigamazi. On the day after this fight he celebrated thirteen years as a pro. He has had at least one fight in every one of those years and is WBF Federation champion but doesn’t seem to have the ambition or opportunity to go further. Czech-based Parlagi suffered his only inside the distance loss when he was stopped in eight rounds by Alex Dilmaghani in Manchester on 25 May. He was one of Slovakia’s best ever amateurs beating fighters such as Andrew Selby and John Joe Nevin.
Ngam Wong Wan, Thailand: Fly: Petchmanee (28-1) W TKO 9 Robert Onggocan (12-6). Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) keeps his OPBF Silver title with stoppage of Filipino southpaw Onggocan in the ninth round. Petchmanee was ahead by five points on the judges’ cards. The stoppage was due to a cut over the Filipino’s left eye caused by a punch. Petchmanee has won ten in a row since a loss in China in 2017. First inside the distance loss for Onggocan
Niagara Falls, Canada: Welter: Custio Clayton (16-0) W PTS 10 Johan Perez (24-6-2,1ND). Welter: Samuel Vargas (31-5-2) W PTS 8 Silverio Ortiz (37-26).
Clayton vs. Perez
Clayton much too strong and punches much too hard for former champion Perez. Clayton set the scene in the first round as he rocked Perez with two rights. Perez showed a good chin throughout the fight but did not have the punch to deter the aggressive Clayton. Perez was credited with a knockdown in the third but to most observers it look like Clayton slipped on the canvas. Clayton continued to find a home for powerful rights and had Perez in trouble in the sixth and the ninth but the Venezuelan is a tough character and did not crumble. Clayton forced the fight the whole way. Perez tended to fight in bursts throwing fast but light punches which did not unduly deter Clayton who emerged a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-91 and 97-93 all for Clayton. The Canadian Olympian collects the NABO and WBO International titles. The 31-year-old from Nova Scotia is rated IBF 6(5)/WBO11 and since Perez was No 15 with the WBA Clayton’s rating should get a boost. Perez is his first “name” victim but there will be more. Perez, 36, a former interim WBA champion, suffered set-backs in the shape of consecutive losses in 2017 against Sadam Ali and Fabian Maidana but had dropped back down a few levels to record two wins last year.
Vargas vs. Ortiz
Vargas take close unanimous decision over Ortiz. Let’s be polite and say the fight was full of incidents and by that I mean plenty of illegal work by both fighters. Vargas pressed hard early being quicker to the punch and built a good lead but Ortiz kept him honest with some hard counters Ortiz was on the floor twice but was given some recovery time as both knockdowns were caused by low punches. Ortiz did his share of illegal work but the fight was an exciting clash of styles. The fight swung one way in the fifth with Vargas scoring heavily with left hooks and the other way in the sixth when a clash of heads saw Vargas cut over his right eye. That cut was enough to give Ortiz some new energy and he began to eat into Vargas’ lead but it was too little too late. Scores 77-75 for Vargas on all three cards. Toronto-based Colombian Vargas was 1-2 going into this one having floored but lost to Amir Khan in September and dropped a split verdict to Luis Collazo in March and those performances could yet lead to some more big fights. Even at 36 and after 63 fights Ortiz can still give anyone a hard fight on his night but time is catching up with him as he is now 1-7 in his last 8 fights
Cancun, Mexico: Super Welter: Omar Chavez (38-5-1) W Oziel Santoyo (10-1-1). Bantam: Eric Gamboa (18-1) W PTS 8 Salvador Juarez (12-7-2). Super Light: Marcelino Lopez (35-2-1) W TKO 2 Jose Garcia (9-7-1).
Santoyo vs. Chavez
This was not supposed to happen. The less experienced and smaller man Santoyo was chosen as just another fighter to be beaten in the process of rehabilitating of “Businessman” Chavez but Santoyo didn’t get the message. Both fighters scored with some heavy shots over the early rounds with Chavez’s better accuracy helping to edge ahead by the half-way stage. Santoyo was finding the target with rights in the second half of the fight. He was constantly changing guards and scoring with rights to the head. Even having dad Julio Cesar leaving his ringside seat to offer advice and encouragement were not enough as Chavez tired late and Santoyo looked a clear winner. Scores 96-95 for Santoyo from all three judges. For the 24-year-old from Monterrey this was a huge step up from the quality of opposition he had been facing with his 13 opponents only having only 27 wins between them. Consecutive losses to Roberto Garcia and Jose Carlos Paz had put question marks over the future of Chavez and although he had won his last two fights this was a big blow.
Gamboa vs. Juarez
Local southpaw Gamboa gets close verdict over Mexico City’s Juarez. It was all offence and no defence as these two battled away. Gamboa was just that bit busier and more accurate and took the unanimous decision. The 24-year-old “Pitbull” has now won eleven on the bounce but against very modest opposition. In two of his last three fights Juarez had lost a split decision to former IBF super fly champion Rodrigo Guerrero and 22-0 Aaron Alameda so the biggest test so far for Gamboa.
Lopez vs. Garcia
Experienced Argentinian Lopez starts his Mexican campaign with second round stoppage of Garcia. The 33-year-old former Argentinian light and South American super light champion had scored knockouts over Pablo Cesar Cano and Breidis Prescott but this was his first fight since his win over Prescott in January 2018. Third loss by KO/TKO for over-matched Garcia.
Mashantucket, CT, USA: Super Bantam: Tramaine Williams (18-0) W PTS 10 Neil John Tabanao (17-6). Light Heavy: Chad Dawson (35-5) W PTS 8 Quinton Rankin (15-6-2).
Williams vs. Tabanao
Tramaine “The Mighty Midget” Williams gets points win over John “The Beast” Tabanao. The 5’4” local southpaw was too quick and too clever for Tabanao. The Filipino found the smaller southpaw a very difficult target . Williams is one of those fighters who holds his lead hand at thigh level and uses head movement to avoid punches whilst leaving him free to throw punches with both hands. Williams was getting home with his right jab and straight lefts before leaving Tabanao swishing air. Williams took the decision on scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92. He has yet to face a main line opponent but is being built sensibly again good level, experienced opponents. The path has not been smooth for former National Golden Gloves champion Williams, 26, who lost almost two year out of his career after being jailed for possession of a concealed weapon and drugs. Second points loss in a row for Tabanao who was beaten by Angelo Leo in April
Dawson vs. Rankin
In an all-southpaw affair Dawson was looking to ease himself back into action but had to climb off the floor to get the win. Southpaw Dawson was far superior to Rankin in skills but the eccentric style of Rankin caused Dawson some problems. Dawson was boxing his way confidently until a cracking left uppercut from southpaw Rankin had Dawson almost dropping to the floor. Dawson put both gloves on the canvas trying to stay upright and Rankin landed an illegal left which thankfully did not fully connect. Rankin was given a warning which gave Dawson time to recover. Rankin then lost a point for holding and hitting and another for use of the elbow. He did land a right in the seventh which caused Dawson’s left eye to close but he was a well beaten fighter. Scores 78-72 twice and 80-68. This is the first fight for former WBC and IBF light heavy champion Dawson since his tenth round stoppage loss against Andrzej Fonfara in March 2017. He did not show enough here to make you think he is going to be a force again. Rankin loses every time he makes even the slightest attempt to move up.
Aulnay-sous-Bois, France: Super Welter: Bilel Jkitou (12-0) W PTS 12 Pavel Semjonov (24-12-2). Frenchman Jkitou wins the vacant WBC Francophone title with a comfortably wide unanimous verdict over Estonian Semjonov. Scores 119-109 twice and 118-110. Jkitou has previously won both the ABU and WBC Mediterranean titles. Durable Semjonov had won his last two fights
Accra, Ghana: Super bantam: Wasiru Mohammed (11-0) W TKO 11 Loren Japhet (9-3-2). Mohammed wins the new WBO Global title with late stoppage of Tanzanian Japhet. The little Tanzanian was competitive early and seemed to have Mohammed hurt in the fifth From the six Mohammed gradually took control and wore Japhet down. In the eleventh Mohammed drove Japhet into the ropes and down with a series of rights. Japhet made it to his feet but was shaky. Mohammed had trouble nailing Japhet again and it looked as though he might survive. Mohammed crushed those hopes as he again took Japhet to the ropes and sent him down with a right to the head. Japhet was up at five but the referee rightly stopped the fight. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Muhammed who also holds the WBO African title. There was talk of a world title fight for Muhammed but with BoxRec having Japhet at No 965 in their world ratings that seems a stretch. Japhet was just too small and lacked the power to win here.
Fight of the week (Significance): The wins for both Andrade and Charlo could lead to unification or other big fights for either man.
Fight of the week (Entertainment). Claudio Marrero vs. Eduardo Ramirez provided plenty of action with honourable mentions to Mike Zewski vs. Abner Lopez and Francesco Patera vs. Paul Hyland Jr
Fighter of the week: Richard Commey for his crushing victory over Ray Beltran
Punch of the week: The left hook from Miguel Angel Gonzalez that laid out Saul Rodriguez was special with honorary mention of the left hook from Richard Commey that finished Ray Beltran and the uppercut from Quinton Rankin that had Chad Dawson touching the floor .
Upset of the week: Miguel Angel Gonzalez’s win over 23-0-1 Saul Rodriguez takes the honours with Oziel Santoyo’s victory over Omar Chavez also a big upset.
Prospect watch: Super Bantam Angelo Leo 18-0 is progressing well
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