By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
It was time to decide who would take home the World Series of Boxing trophy as the Cuba Domadores went into the second leg 3-2 up against the Astana Arlans in JiJiang, China.
Kicking off the action at flyweight (52kg) it was Jorge Grinan versus Saken Bibossinov. The opening round was evenly matched with Grinan beginning brightly before Bibossinov finished slightly the stronger. Round 2 was another close one with Bibossinov slightly the more accurate. Bibossinov landed well to the body in the 3rd as Grinan was repeatedly caught on the way in. Bibossinov looked to load up a bit in the last couple of rounds but the Kazak safely brought it home, taking the unanimous decision to level up proceedings at 3-3.
In a rematch from last year’s final at lightweight (60kg) Lazaro Alvarez faced Zakir Safiullin. Nothing of any note was landed in the first 3 minutes with Alvarez possibly the slightly busier of the 2. Alvarez out landed Safiullin in the 2nd but this was developing into a contest that was far too close to call. Safiullin attempted to close the distance in the 3rd but found the Cuban a difficult target to pin down. Safiullin continued to try and apply intelligent pressure but it simply wasn’t enough and Alvarez got the unanimous verdict to put the Domadores 4-3 up.
Up at welterweight (69kg) Roniel Iglesias squared off against Aslambek Shymbergenov. Iglesias looked sharp from the off and scored with the better shots in the opening stanza. Round 2 was a physical affair as Shymbergenov tried to rough up Iglesias and make him feel uncomfortable. The tactics from Shymbergenov were proving fruitful and Iglesias was really feeling the pace at the end of the 4th. The Kazak flew out of the blocks at the start of the 5th, forcing the Cuban to hold on and although both began to tire it was Iglesias who somewhat surprisingly claimed the unanimous decision to leave the Domadores 1 win away from victory.
In now a pivotal bout at light heavyweight (81kg) Julio La Cruz had the chance the seal the win for his side if he could overcome Bek Nurmaganbet. Round 1 was really what we’ve been accustomed to seeing from La Cruz as he controlled the tempo and the distance. Nurmaganbet had more success in the 2nd but La Cruz was still landing the cleaner punches. Nurmaganbet did his best to try and turn things around but it was La Cruz who got the unanimous points win to give his team an unassailable 6-3 lead.
Rounding off this season’s competition at super heavyweight (+91kg) Jose Larduet took on Kanshybek Kunkabayev. Larduet imposed himself on Kunkabayev in the opening stanza and he continued to bang away with clubbing blows to the body in round 2. Round 3 was rather untidy but a few big shots from Larduet were the highlight. The Kazak continued to eat some more heavy leather as Larduet powered his way to a unanimous decision to put the icing on the cake for the Cuba Domadores.
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
The first leg of the World Series of Boxing final took place today in Xiamen, China as the Astana Arlans squared off against the Cuba Domadores.
Opening up proceedings were the light flyweights (49kg) as Temirtas Zhussupov was up against Damian Arce. Very little on ote was landed in the opening 3 minutes with Arce the aggressor whilst Zhussupov attempted to fight at range. Again Arce pressed his man throughout round 2 with Zhussupov landing the occasional combination. The extra bit of quality came from Zhussupov in round 3 and he controlled the range pretty well in the 4th although again quality scoring punches were at a premium. Zhussupov used clever foot work to evade the attacks of Arce and it was the Kazak who prevailed via unanimous decision to give his side the early lead.
Next up at bantamweight (56kg) Ilyas Suleimenov faced Osvel Caballero. A very untidy first round saw Suleimenov attempt to bully Caballero who to his credit responded well near the end of the opening stanza. Caballero continued his impressive end from round 1 into round 2, using an excellent jab and quick hands. Suleimenov carried on going forward but again the extra quality was coming from the Cuban in the 3rd. The 4th was a bit of a war of attrition as Suleimenov tried to rough up his opponent who stuck to his task and showed great resilience. Caballero’s extra class again proved the difference in the final 3 minutes and he deservedly took the unanimous verdict to level up the scores.
In the light welterweight division (64kg) Dilmurat Mizhitov was up against the formidable Andy Cruz. Despite the best efforts of Mizhitov, Cruz eased through the opening round and also ttok the 2nd even though the Kazak did have a bit more success. Cruz landed with some fabulous chopping right hands in the 3rd and was proving to be a level above Mizhitov. Fair play to the Kazak who never gave in but Cruz got the split decision to put the Domadores 2-1 up. It really must be said that the judge who scored it for Mizhitov really needs to take a long hard look at themselves as it was an absurd a card as you will ever see.
In now a crucial clash at middleweight (75kg) Abilkhan Amankul went up against Osleys Iglesias. A very entertaining opening round could have gone either way with both landing with the jab as well as some solid shots. Iglesias scored with some good right hands but Amankul dug in some hard body shots in round 2. The next 2 rounds were again close with Amankuk just doing that little bit extra. The Cuban had a good final stanza but it was Amankul who won the unanimous decision to once again level up the scores.
The final bout of the evening came at heavyweight (91kg) with Nurbol Altayev coming up against reigning world champion Erislandy Savon. From the opening seconds Savon really had his way with Altayev who looked out of his depth. Round 2 was again target practise for the Cuban who did as he pleased. The one way traffic continued in round 3 with Altayev receiving a standing 8 count and the corner really should have pulled him out at this stage. Altayev bravely clung on until the end but Savon was the unanimous victor giving the Domadores the slender 3-2 lead, setting things up wonderfully for Fridays second leg.
(Image courtesy of WSB Press Service)
By Eric Armit-
-Saul Alvarez gets controversial majority decision over Gennady Golovkin
-Jose Ramirez retains the WBC super light title with scintillating display against unbeaten Antonio Orozco
-Jaime Munguia crushes Canadian Brandon Cook in WBO super welter title defence
-Roman Gonzalez signals that he is back with spectacular kayo of Moises Fuentes
-David Lemieux wins grudge match as he stops Gary O’Sullivan inside a round
-Avni Yildirim outpoints Lolenga Mock to move in sight of a WBC title fight
-Dmitry Kudryashov obliterates Alexandru Jur inside a round
WORLD TITLE SHOWS:
Fresno, CA, USA: Super Light: Jose Ramirez (23-0) W PTS 12 Antonio Orozco (27-1). Welter: Alex Besputin (11-0) W KO 9 Alan Sanchez (20-3-1). Super Light: Hiroki Okada (19-0) W PTS 10 Cristian Coria (27-7-2). Super Feather: Jamel Herring (18-2) W PTS 10 John Moralde (20-2). Super Feather: Bryan Vasquez (37-3) W PTS 10 Carlos Cardenas (23-15-1).Light: Gabriel Flores Jr (10-0) W PTS 6 Roger Gutierrez (7-1-1).
Ramirez vs. Orozco
Ramirez too quick, too accurate and the harder puncher as he wins wide unanimous decision over a game Orozco on the first defence of his WBC title.
Orozco came out fast trying to hustle Ramirez but the champion was banging home his left jabs and going to the body with left hooks. Orozco continued to come forward and landed some hard left hooks to head and body but even when on the back foot Ramirez was doing most of the scoring with right to the head and searing body punches. Eventually the power and accuracy of Ramirez forced Orozco to dial back his offensive. Three all-action minutes.
Score 10-9 Ramirez
In the first exchange a left to the head sent Orozco back on his heels and Ramirez landed another similar punch seconds later. Orozco shrugged them off and drove forward again and began to find the target with hooks and long rights. Ramirez showed stiff accurate jabs in a very close round with Ramirez early work just giving him the edge.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 20-18
There was a calmer start to this round after the furious action in the first two. The dominant punch in the period was the ramrod jab of Ramirez. He was outboxing Orozco rattling Orozco’s head with jabs, landing left hooks and moving rather than standing and trading. Ramirez landed a heavy punch to the head and dug in yet another left hook to the body to take the round.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 30-27
Orozco got his wish in this one but be careful what you wish for. He wanted Ramirez to stand and trade and Ramirez did. That allowed Orozco to work inside with hooks and uppercuts. Ramirez was bossing the exchanges throwing and landing more. He cut loose with a ferocious attack bouncing punches off the head of a retreating Orozco. Whilst on the retreat Orozco landed a hard right counter and then Ramirez exploded a thumping right which sent Orozco down on his back. Orozco climbed to one knee and arose at the count of nine. There was just under a minute to go in the round and Ramirez jumped on Orozco firing from both hands. He snapped Orozco’s head back with a left hook and pounded on Orozco but Orozco took the punishment and even managed to fire back. Orozco had also been cut over his left eye by a punch.
Score 10-8 Ramirez Ramirez 40-35
They both boxed their way through this round which gave Ramirez the edge. Orozco had no answer to the speed of Ramirez’s jab and hurtful left hooks to the ribs. Ramirez kept changing angles and firing quick combinations shaking Orozco with rights and easily taking the round.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 50-44
Ramirez was again slotting home jabs but Orozco changed his tactics completely. He went onto the back foot countering Ramirez and the champion’s work rate dropped. It was a close round Orozco edged it but was cut over his right eye by a punch
Score 10-9 Orozco Ramirez 59-54
Ramirez took this one. Again Orozco cut back on his aggression. Ramirez was firing jabs through the middle of Orozco’s defence and jarring Orozco with some heavy rights. He was not as accurate as before but outworked and outscored Orozco.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 69-63
Big round for Ramirez. Orozco again chose to box. He was getting through with some punches but whereas he was stringing together a couple of punches at a time Ramirez was firing four and five punch combinations. Ramirez threw three left hooks Orozco blocked the first, the second thudded into the left side of his body and the third hit him in the chest as he turned away. The delayed effect of the one that landed to the body kicked in and Orozco slumped to his knees but rolled up immediately. After the eight count Ramirez stormed in firing a stream of punches and it looked like it might be the end but Orozco survived.
Score 10-8 Ramirez Ramirez 79-71
Before the start of the round the referee asked the doctor to examine Orozco and he passed the inspection. Surviving seemed to spark Orozco. He upped his punch output and used some clever upper body movement to get under Ramirez’s punches with Ramirez showing some sign of tiring from the exhausting pace of the fight. A right uppercut from Orozco, his best punch in the fight so far, jerked Ramirez’s head back to make it a good round for the challenger
Scores 10-9 Orozco Ramirez 88-81
Orozco had the better of the early action in this one but Ramirez dominated the second half. Orozco was now letting his hands fly putting together 5/6 punch combinations. Both were digging in left hooks and one sequence saw Orozco score with four successive head punches only for Ramirez to immediately counter with three harder head punches. A brutal exchange. Orozco was now cut over his left eye and Ramirez finished the round with more shots to head and body to earn the points.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 98-90
Ramirez was proving stronger and he took this round. He was again using the jab and letting his hands go with real power. Orozco’s punches now lacked any crispness and he was the one breaking off the exchange as Ramirez hammered away with both hands.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 108-99
Ramirez was on his toes just too quick on his feet and too quick with his punches. He was again putting together some flashing combination. Orozco continued fighting to the end but just before the bell he was badly shaken by a couple of punches and under pressure to the bell.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 118-108
Official scores: 119-107, 119-107 and 119-107 all for Ramirez
Impressive performance from 26-year-old Ramirez against the WBC No 3. He showed great lateral movement, a high level of accuracy through a whole range of punches and real power. With both the WBC interim champion Regis Prograis and their No 1 Josh Taylor committed to the WBSS a defence against No 2 Adrien Broner would make sense so it will be interesting to see where Ramirez heads from here. Orozco did his part in making this a furious and entertaining contest. He did well to recover from two knockdowns and fought hard in every round but was well beaten by a much better fighter on the night. He is 30 but could recover enough to be in the chance with a title fight in 2019-but not against Ramirez.
Besputin vs. Sanchez
Besputin ended this one just as soon as he was able to catch the fleet-footed survival focused Sanchez. Besputin just kept the pressure on as he tracked the retreating Sanchez for round after round. He looked to have scored a genuine knockdown with a right in the fourth but it was ruled a slip. Sanchez was burning energy trying to stay out of trouble and eventually that caught up with him. Besputin landed some hard lefts in the ninth and with Sanchez in badly shaken and blood pouring from a nose injury his corner indicated that they wanted the fight stopped and it was ended after 1:44 of the ninth. Russian Besputin wins the vacant IBF USBA title with his ninth win by KO/TKO. Besputin was a gold medal winner at the European Youth and Senior Championships and won a silver medal at the 2015 European Games. First loss inside the distance for Mexican Sanchez who had won his last eight fights.
Okada vs. Coria
Recent Top Rank signing Okada was looking to impress on his first fight in the USA and he got the win but only just .Although Coria does not figure in the Argentinian ratings he was a much tougher opponent than expected and made the better start to the fight outworking Okada. In the fourth a left shook Coria and Okada built from there with Coria starting to fade out of the fight. Okada had a comfortable lead going into the tenth and was also taking that round and heading for victory but was floored late in the round making the fight much closer on the cards. Scores 95-94 for Okada from the three judges. Okada, 28, scored a good win in December stopping the 40-2-1 Jason Pagara in six rounds and is No 4 with the WBA and No 9 with the WBC but if the aim was to showcase him for a shot at Jose Ramirez this performance won’t have helped his cause. Coria, 36, was having his first fight since being floored and losing by a very wide unanimous decision against the WBO’s No 1 welterweight Custio Clayton.
Herring vs. Moralde
Herring wins the vacant USBA title with wide unanimous decision over Filipino Moralde. Herring has dropped down from lightweight and showed here that he is going to be a force at the new weight. The former Marine very quickly got into his stride and was finding gaps for his strong southpaw lefts from the second round. An effective body attack had Moralde hurt in the fifth and Herring continued to dominate the action. He was on his way to an uneventful victory when a clash of heads in the last saw Herring cut over the right eye but it posed no real danger. The three judges all came up with the same score-makes a pleasant change- of 100-90 for Herring. The 2012 Olympian, a team mate of Ramirez in London, takes his “Semper Fi” nickname from his time in the Marine Corp where he served two tours in Iraq. After 15 wins in a row Herring then went 1-2 in his next three losing to Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller. He was out for nine months after the Miller loss but came back with a win in May this year over experienced Juan Pablo Sanchez. Moralde, 20, has a similar track record having won his first 19 fights before losing in seven rounds against Toka Kahn Clary in December. He outpointed 19-0 Ismail Muwendo in May so is 1-2 in his last 3.
Vasquez vs. Cardenas
Vasquez gets unanimous decision over Cardenas, Former interim WBA super feather champion Vasquez made this one closer than it had to be. He had the better of the exchanges early scoring with some impressive body punches but also allowed his work rate to drop too often. Cardenas was able to take advantage of that to pick up some rounds but never really threatened to win the fight. Vasquez had the better skills and the harder punch but if he is going to get into position for another title shot he will have to work harder and focus harder. Scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 all for Vasquez. The 31-year-old Costa Rican scored important wins over Rene Gonzalez, Jose Felix Jr and Sergio Thompson but lost to Takashi Uchiyama and Javier Fortuna in WBA title fights. After moving up to lightweight he lost a majority decision to Ray Beltran in August last year but halted Miguel Angel Gonzalez in February. Mexican-based Venezuelan Cardenas is on that slippery downward slope being 2-7 in his last 9 fights.
Flores vs. Gutierrez
Flores climbs off the floor to register his tenth win. A right from Gutierrez in the opening round put Flores down. He was not badly hurt and dominated the round so much that two judges made it 10-9 not 10-8. From there the speed of his jab and accuracy of his rights saw Flores win each of the remaining rounds. He did not look to mix it with Gutierrez but used excellent footwork to have Gutierrez struggling to counter. Scores 59-54 twice and 58-54 for Flores. The 18-year-old Flores is certainly one to watch. In 2015 he won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships and gold at the US Junior Championships on the way to compiling a 91-7 amateur record. When Top Rank signed him in 2016 at the age of 16 he was the youngest fighter they had ever signed. He was unable to box in his home State of California as 18 is the minimum age for professionals there so he fought under a special licence in Texas and Nevada until after his 18th birthday in July this year. There is a family tragedy spurring him on as his mother was killed by a stray bullet in 2013 in a dispute in which she was not involved. Gutierrez was 3-0,1ND in his last four fights.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Welterweight: Saul Alvarez (50-1-2) W PTS 12 Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1).Middle: Super Welter: Jaime Munguia (31-0) W TKO 3 Brandon Cook (20-2). Middle: David Lemieux (40-4) W TKO 1 Gary O’Sullivan (28-3). Super Fly: Roman Gonzalez (47-2) W KO 5 Moises Fuentes (25-6-1). Super Light: Vergil Ortiz Jr (11-0) W TKO 2 Roberto Ortiz (35-4-2).
Alvarez vs. Golovkin
Alvarez takes disputed majority decision in return with Golovkin with most neutral observers seeing Golovkin the winner but the judges giving Alvarez the decision leading to talk of a third episode in this boxing drama.
A cagey opening round saw both fighters probing with their jab. Alvarez was looking more to stand his ground than in the first fight and threw a good left hook but. Golovkin found the range and just outlanded Alvarez on jabs.
Score 10-9 Golovkin
Once again Alvarez showed he was going to use different tactics in this fight. He was the one coming forward taking the fight to Golovkin. A couple of stiff jabs and a neat right uppercut saw Golovkin do the better work early. Alvarez came on over the second half of the round. Golovkin was still finding gaps but Alvarez scored with a good left hook which curved around Golovkin’s guard and later with a another solid left hook to the body to make it his round. Golovkin was showing a small bump under his left eye.
Score 10-9 Alvarez Even 19-19
Golovkin worked well with his jab and landed a quick left hook. Alvarez was moving in behind a high guard and out jabbing Golovkin. He was scoring with hooks to the body and took this round too.
Score 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 29-38
Alvarez was pressing in this one stabbing home his jab. Golovkin then began to pick and place some class hooks and uppercuts and landed a right uppercut that turned Alvarez half way around. There were some furious exchanges with both landing well but Golovkin was the one landing most. Alvarez showing a small cut over his left eye.
Score 10-9 Golovkin Even 38-38
Official scores 38-38, 38-38, 38-38
Not a wasted punch here as both boxers showed great technique and timing. The role reversal from the first fight continued with Alvarez walking Golovkin down. Alvarez scored with a right cross to the head and a left hook to the body. They both landed short hooks and exchanged jarring punches at the end of the round. Very close round. Alvarez cut on his left eyelid wider now.
Score 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 48-47
A battle of jabs in this one with Golovkin quicker and more accurate. Not action packed but a fascinating battle between two well matched highest quality fighters. Both were landing single punches in this round with Golovkin’s early work just giving him the edge in yet another close round.
Scores 10-9 Golovkin Even 57-57
Some toe-to-toe stuff to start this round with Alvarez scoring with a couple of uppercuts and a right cross and Golovkin again sharp and accurate with his jab. Alvarez scored with a left hook to the body and a straight right. Golovkin continued to work with his jab with Alvarez going to the body and it was his round.
Score 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 67-66
Alvarez really loading up on his left hooks and lands two hard punches to the side of Golovkin’s head. Alvarez is the stronger man and Golovkin is blowing a bit. Both work rates dropped with Golovkin just edging this one. Alvarez now has blood trickling down his face from the cut on his left eyelid.
Score 10-9 Golovkin Even 76-76
Official scores: 77-75, 78-74 and 78-75 all for Alvarez
Alvarez thumping in body punches and Golovkin working behind his jab. Golovkin is the more accurate and throwing more punches. They are not as heavy as Alvarez’s but still count. As they come together Alvarez complains that Golovkin tried to butt him. Golovkin outworks Alvarez.
Score 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 86-85
More heavy loads from Alvarez in this one. Golovkin came back with strong accurate shots with Alvarez showing some clever bobbing and weaving but still having to take some stick. Both were looking tired. Alvarez was throwing one punch at a time with Golovkin firing punches from both hands piercing Alvarez’s guard as Alvarez marches forward and it is Golovkin’s round.
Score 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 96-94
Golovkin was piling on the punches in this one. Alvarez was tired and Golovkin was banging home jabs and straight rights. Alvarez was walking onto punches and his own attacks were laboured. It was all about heart here with both fighters exhausted.
Score 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 106-103
They battled hard in this one. At first the jabs and quick rights from Golovkin gave him the edge but gradually Alvarez took over. He was coming forward whacking Golovkin to the body with hooks and uppercuts with Golovkin trying to punch back but getting the worst of the exchanges. Alvarez finished the stronger with blood dripping from a cut over Golovkin’s right eye.
Score 10-9 Alvarez Golovkin 115-113
Official scores: 115-113 Alvarez, 114-114 even, 115-113 Alvarez
Alvarez wins the WBA and WBC titles. I had Golovkin winning the first fight and I had him winning this one. For me the fight was close and any cry of robbery is misplaced but Golovkin can consider himself very unlucky. Both fighters seem willing to go for a third fight but Golovkin must wonder if it is worthwhile as he thought he won the first two and did not get the decision. Alvarez changed his tactics for this fight and the changed worked for him. At 28 he has plenty of years of boxing ahead. Golovkin is 36 so if there is to be another fight then it has to be early next year for the Kazak boxer. This was a much better fight than the first one. Both fighters went for quality rather than quantity with few extended exchanges but the very fact that it was Golovkin vs. Alvarez created a special excitement to make it memorable.
Munguia vs. Cook
Munguia gives another power performance as he destroys Cook inside three rounds to retain the WBO title.
Both fighters prodded out their jabs early but neither was on target. Munguia came forward with a right and then landed a left hook that was low enough to hit Cook on the thigh. Cook was not hurt but the referee gave him a very brief respite. Cook threw a couple of rights but then Munguia drove him to the ropes and unloaded some heavy punches. Cook got off the ropes but was forced across the ring to the ropes again. Munguia landed a big right cross and then pounded Cook with body punches, going low again with one, and Cook looked in trouble as the bell went
Score 10-9 Munguia
Cook came out aggressively getting inside to try to work on the champion’s body. Munguia soon had Cook under pressure again. With Cook on the ropes Munguia was letting fly with rights and slinging left hooks. Cook came off the ropes and took the fight to Munguia getting inside to deny Munguia the space to get any leverage on his punches. Munguia landed a hard right and then raked Cook with body punches at the bell.
Score 10-9 Munguia Munguia 20-18
Once again Cook came out of the corner in a rush forcing Munguia back. He tracked Munguia around the ring then came in close throwing punches to the body. Munguia landed clubbing rights to the head two of which landed on the back of Cook’s head, He went down on his hands and knees but was up quickly. After the eight count Munguia jumped on Cook landing heavy lefts and rights and with Cook bent double under the storm the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
The 21-year-old from Tijuana again looked so big and strong at the weight-and he is still a growing lad. This is his second defence in four months in fact if you include his win over Sadam Ali his third world title fight in four months and he is talking about defending his title again in November or December. He obviously likes to be busy. He has won 25 of his fights by KO/TKO giving him a very impressive 84% KO ratio. Naturally he wants Saul Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin at some stage but says he wants to unify the super welterweight titles first. Cook was vastly outgunned. He tried to get inside to work but Munguia just punched too hard for him. His other loss was a stoppage against Kanat Islam in September and wins over Hector Santana and Miguel Suarez should not have been enough to get him a No 3 rating. At 32 he is unlikely to get another title chance,
Lemieux vs. O’Sullivan
Lemieux crushes O’Sullivan inside a round to get back into the big picture.
Lemieux came out stabbing with his jab and he tried a right cross. O’Sullivan was using a high guard but Lemieux was finding gaps. The action slowed fleetingly with Lemieux again working with his jab and O’Sullivan not letting his punches go. They exchanged jabs and then Lemieux was throwing hooks to the body. As O’Sullivan came forward Lemieux landed a short left to the chin and O’Sullivan fell sideways to the floor on his hands and knees. A badly dazed O’Sullivan was turning his head to see where the referee was to establish what the count was. The referee had reached five but when he looked into O’Sullivan’s eyes he waived the fight off with no protest from O’Sullivan. Lemieux showed he still has punching power. After being outclassed by Billy Joe Saunders in December he had a big rebuilding job to do. He took the first step with a points win over Karim Achour in May but this was a much more impressive performance. If a third Alvarez vs. Golovkin fight does go ahead the middleweight division is in danger of stagnating. With O’Sullivan being rated No 3 by both the WBA and WBO this win could put Lemieux’s name up as a challenger to Ryota Murata the holder of the secondary WBA title or WBC interim title holder Jermall Charlo. Huge blow for “Spike” O’Sullivan. A win would have given him a good chance of a title fight in 2019 but he has now lost huge fights against Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr and now Lemieux so he has a hill to climb if he is to get back to the top of the ratings.
Gonzalez vs. Fuentes
Early days but some of the old Gonzalez shines through as he dismantles the bigger Fuentes and finish the fight with a “Punch of the Year” candidate. Cautious start in the opening round from both fighters. Gonzalez naturally the smaller man was giving away height and reach to Fuentes, The action picked up in the second half of the round with Gonzalez throwing some body punches and as they traded shots before the bell Gonzalez landed the better punches. Fuentes pressed the action at the start of the second scoring with jabs and straight right using his strength to force Gonzalez back. Once Gonzalez got into his stride he was peppering Fuentes with hooks and uppercuts. He shook Fuentes with a right and opened a cut over the right eye of Fuentes with a left hook. He looked more like his old self as he pinned Fuentes to the ropes and bombarded him with a variety of short punches. The blood from the cut on his right eyebrow was hampering Fuentes vision and he was being rocked by shots to the head. Fuentes took the fight to Gonzalez in the third but was soon put on the back foot by rapid, accurate combinations piercing his guard. It was more of the same in the fourth with Gonzalez landing with almost every punch he threw. A blooded Fuentes was unable to stem the attacks or block the punches. Gonzalez continued to bounce punches off the head of Fuentes until he backed Fuentes to the ropes and landed a crushing short right hook that put Fuentes down on his back spread-eagled and out of the fight. The referee started to count but then just signalled it was over. It was a perfect punch. Sparking performance by the four division champion as he had his combinations flowing again on the way to win No 39 by KO/TKO. There are tougher tests ahead but after seeming hesitant at the start of this fight his confidence grew with each round and he is ready to get into the mix for bigger fights. Fuentes, a former WBO minimumweight champion, fought a draw with Donnie Nietes for the WBO light flyweight title but was knocked out in a return match. His form had flat-lined to 1-2 going into this one with two of the losses in world title fights but there are still some good paydays for him to collect.
Ortiz vs. Ortiz
Another destructive display by young Vergil. He ended this fight with two knock downs in the second round to make it eleven wins by KO/TKO in eleven fights. The 20-year-old from Dallas already has wins over experienced battlers in Jesus Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Salgado. Roberto Ortiz was right up at the top of the ratings after going 31-0-1 in his first 32 fights but a crushing second round kayo by Lucas Matthysse brought some realism to bear and coming into this one he had lost two in a row against Cletus Seldin and Jose Lopez.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Pablo Cano (31-7-1,1ND) W TEC DEC 5 Ruslan Madiev (12-1). Feather: Can Xu (15-2) W PTS 8 Enrique Bernache (24-11). Feather: Isaac Zarate (16-3-3) W PTS 8 Horacio Garcia (34-5-1). Super Middle: Bilal Akkawy (18-0-1) W PTS 8 Cristian Olivas (17-3).
Cano vs. Madiev
Cano gets technical decision over Madiev. Cano used his longer reach and superior speed to outwork Madiev. He was slotting home his jab and scoring with quick rights. Madiev was throwing plenty of big rights but missing the target. Cano had been trouble d by cuts in the past and a clash of heads in the first opened a cut over his left eye. He continued to outbox and outmanoeuvre Madiev putting together some quick combinations but the young Kazak boxer was now landing a few of his rights and they were worsening Cano’s cut. In the fourth Cano was cut on the forehead again above the left eye and his face was smeared with blood. Late in the fifth Madiev connected with a hard right that knocked the mouthguard out of Cano’s mouth. In the interval before the start of the sixth the doctor examined the gash of Cano’s forehead and ruled it too serious for the fight to continue so it was decided by the judges’ cards with all three giving the decision to Cano 49-46. Cano, 28, a former WBA interim super lightweight champion is recovering for a poor 2017 that saw him suffer consecutive losses against Fidel Maldonado and Marcelino Lopez. Madiev has scored wins over useful opponents in 23-1-1 Abdiel Ramirez and 21-0 Jesus Perez Campos
Xu vs. Bernache
Chinese “Monster” Xu gets a reality check as he only just scrapes past experienced Mexican Bernache on a split decision. It was an entertaining contest with the better skills of Xu just giving him the edge. Although No 2 with the WBA his struggle to get by Bernache must have scuppered thoughts of Xu fighting Leo Santa Cruz or Jesus Rojas any time soon, Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Xu and 77-75 for Bernache. The 24-year-old Xu has useful wins over Jack Asis and Nehomar Cermeno. Bernache, 29, was an impressive 15-1 when he set out on his career but has fallen away badly since then.
Zarate vs. Garcia
Zarate outpoints more experienced Garcia in another entertaining fight which was also ended on a split decision with identical scores to Xu vs. Bernache. This was a gruelling close quarters battle most of the way. Garcia was taller and forced the fight. Southpaw Zarate had to soak up some hard left hooks from Garcia but fought well on the back foot both when countering and when moving inside and his left hook proved a more potent weapon than that of Garcia. There was never much in the fight but Zarate outfought Garcia over the late rounds. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Zarate and 77-75 for Garcia. The 26-year-old Californian Zarate is on a good run being 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights including a win over WBC bantamweight title challenger Carlos Carlson with the draw being a technical one. Garcia, 28, was like a shooting-star as he won his first 29 fights. Then the opposition got tougher and he is now 5-5-1in his last 11contests but it does not get much tougher than Hozumi Hasegawa, Joseph Diaz and Carl Frampton and Garcia went the distance with all three of them.
Akkawy vs. Olivas
Australian hope Akkawy floor and decisions Mexican Olivas in his first pro fight outside of Australia. It was a dominating performance from Akkawy who won every round and floored Olivas in the second. Akkawy used a strong jab to control the fight and landed a series of head punches in the second to put Olivas down. Olivas beat the count and survived the round-just-but was never any threat to the much stronger Akkawy. Scores 80-71 from all three judges for Akkawy. The 25-year-old from Sydney broke Kerry Hope’s jaw in beating him in 2016 and took a wide decision over tough Italian Giovanni De Carolis a former holder of the secondary WBA title. Akkawy has 15 wins by KO/TKO. Legendary trainer Johnny Lewis said that Bilal’s father Mahmoud (Michael) was one of the hardest punchers he ever saw but sadly Michael’s career was brought to an end after just two fights when he was badly injured in a car crash. Bilal is now training under Eddy Reynoso who trains Saul Alvarez and he will relocate to Mexico. Olivas, 26, had been fed on some low level opposition in Mexico and was never in with the sniff of a chance here.
Zhengzhou, China: Super Middle: Ainiwaer Yilixiati (14-1) W TKO 1 Mada Maugo (23-17). Welter: Adam Diu Abdulhamid (13-6) W PTS 10 Youli Dong (12-1-1).
Yilixiati vs. Maugo
Chinese fighter Yilixiati blows away poor Maugo inside a round. Maugo made a bright start throwing lots of punches but a counter hook saw him stumble and touch the canvas with a glove. After the eight count Yilixiati put Maugo down twice with body punches and the referee waived the fight off with just five seconds left in the first round. The 25-year-old Yilixiati retains the WBC Asian Boxing Council title and adds the vacant WBA Asian title to his collection. He has 11 wins by KO/TKO. His loss came in a fight with Australian Jayde Mitchell for the OPBF title in 2017 with Mitchell winning every round on two cards. Now four wins in a row since the Mitchell fight for Yilixiati Ninth loss by KO/TKO for Maugo.
Abdulhamid vs. Dong
Abdulhamid wins majority verdict over Dong in a competitive clash to take the WBO Asia Pacific title. The Filipino used a strong aggressive attack to win this one. Dong had height and reach and kept the fight close early. He scored on the advancing Abdulhamid with some cracking counters but Abdulhamid was walking through the punches and hammering at Dong’s body inside. The middle rounds were close but Abdulhamid rocked Dong in the seventh. Dong had a better eighth but Abdulhamid then came back working the body and outscored Dong over the ninth and tenth. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Abdulhamid and 95-95. The 23-year-old “Big Daddy” Abdulhamid from General Santos City went 2-5 in a rocky patch but has now won his last two fights. Champion Dong, also 23, was unbeaten but no real tests before this fight with his twelve previous opponents only having 22 wins between them.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Welter: Terrell Williams (17-0) W PTS 10 David Grayton (15-3-1). Three knockdowns in the first six rounds are enough to see Williams safely to a wide unanimous decision. The opening two rounds were a nightmare for Grayton as he hit the floor twice. He recovered to be competitive over the fourth and fifth but was put down again in the sixth. Grayton stayed out of trouble in the seventh and came into the fight more over the last three rounds as Williams tired but there was no way he could overcome those three knockdowns which cost him six points in the scoring. The judges saw it 98-89, 99-90 and 97-92 for Williams. The tall Californian was the opponent in October 2015 when Prichard Colon was injured with it being alleged that blows to the back of the head caused the brain injury to Colon. Williams did not fight again for two years but is now rebuilding his career. Southpaw Grayton won his first 14 fights but is now 1-3-1 in his last 5 with his other two losses being against Bryant Perrella and Miguel Cruz.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Super Light: Nick DeLomba (14-2) W PTS 8 Chris Singleton (18-6-2). Local fighter DeLomba gets comfortable win over substitute Singleton. The visitor was in the fight over the first couple of rounds forcing the better boxer DeLomba to fight inside but then DeLomba outboxed and outlanded Singleton the rest of the way. He was able to pierce Singleton’s defence with well placed jabs, hooks and uppercuts with Singleton just too slow to block or counter many of the punches. DeLomba is not a big puncher so Singleton was rarely in trouble but never really in the fight with a chance. Scores79-73 twice and 78-74for DeLomba. The Rhode Island native gets his third win in a row and retains the UBF All American title. Singleton was a replacement for Irelands’ Ray Moylette who withdrew a few weeks before with an injury. He is 3-3-2 in his last 8 fights.
Glasgow, Scotland: Super Welter: Stefan Sanderson (5-0) W PTS 10 Paul Kean (8-1). The BBB of C Area titles continue to provide a path for young local fighters to get good experience and prepare themselves for moving up to challenge for the next level titles. They also tend to be hotly contested and competitive matches. This contest between two undefeated boxers for the vacant Scottish Area title was one example. The 6’0” tall Kean had the edge in reach against southpaw Sanderson so Sanderson was looking to take the fight inside with Kean working cleverly with his jab on the back foot. The styles gelled well to make it an interesting contest with the deciding moment coming early with Sanderson scoring a knockdown in the second. It was close all the way with that knockdown making the difference as the referee scored the fight 96-94 for Sanderson. It was close enough for both boxers to come away with credit and to go forward with confidence. Both fighters were going ten rounds for the first time and that will also help build their confidence.
Concordia, Argentina: Super Welter: Adrian Veron (22-3) W KO 6 Luis Tejerina (16-7-3). Veron wins the vacant South American title with kayo of Tejerina. Southpaw Veron had the longer reach and more power. Veron used smart lateral movement to avoid the punches from Tejerina and was able to land regularly with his right jab and lefts to the head. He slowly eroded Tejerina’s resistance and was scoring easily. In the sixth he staggered Tejerina with a right jab then backed him into a corner and threw a whole bundle of punches none of which were very heavy but with Tejerina not punching back the referee stepped in and gave Tejerina a standing count. When the action resumed a left to the temple from Veron sent Tejerina down on his back and he was counted out. Veron, the Argentinian No 6, was coming off consecutive kayo losses to Cesar Barrionuevo. He gets his fourteenth win by KO/TKO. Fourth inside the distance loss for Tejerina
Budakalasz, Hungary: Light Heavy: Mate Kis (12-0-2) W RTD 8 Richard Baranyi (19-4). Super Welter: Balasz Bacskai (8-0) W PTS 8 Nkululeko Mhlongo (16-7).
Kis vs. Baranyi
Kis and Baryani clash in a return match with the National title on the line and Kis wins again. Baranyi made the better start. He looked an improved fighter from his loss to Kis in November and boxed well early. Kis was forcing the fight and ready to take punches to land his own with Baranyi boxing and countering. That made for entertaining clash with Kis gradually getting on top. He landed some booming rights and caustic uppercuts with Baranyi firing back but getting the worst of the exchanges. In the eighth after scoring with a combination to the head Kis banged home a wicked left hook to Baranyi’s body. Baranyi folded in half with his gloves almost touching the canvas. It looked as though he was going down and for a couple of seconds both Kis and the referee stood waiting for him to fall. When he managed to straighten himself he was in pain and Kis took him to the ropes and landed some neck-jerking head shots. The bell went saving Baranyi but he retired in his corner. Kis, 25, retains the National title with his fifth win on the bounce by KO/TKO. Baranyi was a top level amateur but is now 1-3 in his last 4 fights with all three losses inside the distance. Apart from the two losses to Kis he was stopped inside a round by Anthony Yarde in July last year.
Bacskai vs. Mhlongo
Bacskai wins every round against South African Mhlongo but the height and reach of Mhlongo posed some problems for the local fighter. Bacskai was scoring with fast combinations in the first but Mhlongo did not fold and fought back hard. Head clashes in the second round saw Mhlongo suffer a bad cut over his left eye with the blood hampering his vision. Bacskai continued to outscore Mhlongo and the cut worsened with the referee asking the doctor to examine Mhlongo in the fifth round. The fight was allowed to continue and Bacskai handed out some fearsome punishment to Mhlongo often trapping him on the ropes and rocking him with booming rights and uppercuts. Mhlongo took his lumps and tried to fight back but the power and hand speed of Bacskai were too much for him but he gamely stayed there to the last bell, Scores 80-72 for Bacskai on the three cards. The 30-year-old “Benji” was a prominent member of the Hungarian National squad in the amateurs winning gold medals at the World and European Youth Championships, the European and European Union Championships and was Hungarian national champion seven years in a row. “Bulldog” Mhlongo did well to go the distance with such a handicap but is now 1-4 in his last 5 fights.
Cusano Mutri. Italy: Domenico Valentino (6-0) W TEC DEC 5 Benoit Manno (17-2) Former star amateur Valentino wins the vacant Italian title in his sixth fight with technical decision over Manno. With Valentino by far the more skilled boxer Manno had to try to take the fight to Valentino and hustle him out of his comfort zone or hope that Valentino tired as he had never been past six rounds before. In the end his first option proved impossible and the second never came into play because the fight did not go past the fifth round. Valentino took control of the centre of the ring and outboxed Manno from there. Manno’s aggression was enough to win him a round but he ran out of time after Valentino suffered a cut on his left eyebrow from a clash of heads and the doctor ruled the injury was too severe for the fight to continue. The judges saw it 49-47 twice and 49-46 for Valentino. He is 34 so he has had to move up quickly. It is a pity he left it so late to turn pro. He won gold medals at the World Military games, the European Union Championships the Mediterranean Games and medalled at every World Championships from 2005 through to 2013 winning the gold medal in 2009 beating Jose Pedraza in the final but never won a medal at the three Olympic Games he competed at. He scored wins over both Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor but that’s history and I can’t see him staying around long enough to win a world title. Southpaw Manno was 11-1 going into this one with the loss being to Emilio Marsili for the European title in 2014..
Bialystok, Poland: Middle: Robert Swierzbinski (21-7-2) W PTS 10 Rafal Jackiewicz (50-20-2) Fighting in his home town Swierzbinski wins the vacant Polish title with his second victory in four months over veteran Jackiewicz. Swierzbinski made this look easy over the first four rounds as he raked Jackiewicz with jabs and dug home body punches.. Jackiewicz was just too slow to get within range against the naturally bigger man. Luckily for Jackiewicz Swierzbinski was going for quantity rather than power but he was unable to get into the fight. That changed in the fifth with Swierzbinski’s work rate dropping and Jackiewicz finding gaps in Swierzbinski’s defence. Jackiewicz continued his good work in to the sixth mixing up his attacks and showing the benefit of his greater experience. He closed the points gap further in the seventh Swierzbinski was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads but staged a late rally in the round. The eighth and ninth were close and could have gone to either fighter . Swierzbinski tried to stage a big finish in the tenth and Jackiewicz seemed to be coasting but he still did the better work and looked to have just done enough to take a very close decision, Scores 99-92 and 96-94 for Swierzbinski and 96-94 for Jackiewicz but Jackiewicz looked worth at least a draw. Swierzbinski has had some very testing assignments against world champions such David Lemieux, Chris Eubank and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam but is now 5-1-1 in his last 7 fights losing only to French prospect Christian Mbilli. Now 41 Jackiewicz, a former European champion and IBF title challenger at welterweight, again announced his retirement but he has done that before.
Ludwigshaffen, Germany: Super Middle: Avni Yildirim (21-1) W PTS 12 Lolenga Mock (42-42-1). Super Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (29-2) W RTD 5 Yusuf Kanguel (16-3-1). Welter: Deniz Ilbay (20-1) W PTS 8 Jean Pierre Habimana (9-14-3).
Yildirim vs. Mock
Mock in a close entertaining contest Yildirim retains the WBC International title and moves within touching distance of WBC champion David Benavidez with majority victory over Mock. Yildirim made the perfect start flooring Mock with a right hook in the first round. It was not a heavy knockdown and Mock quickly recovered but he was already two points down. Yildrim likes to fight inside and although Mock had the better jab he was quickly forced to meet the Turkish fighter literally head on. That suited Yildirim but Mock was working well enough to make all of the rounds close. Yildirim looked to be in front but Mock was coming on strongly over the middle rounds. Mock gradually came into the fight more and was eating into Yildirim’s lead. Yildirim responded with a good eighth round but in the ninth a right from Mock knocked Yildirim off balance and his glove brushed the canvas. It could have been counted as a knockdown but the referee saw it as a slip so did not apply a count and that proved a huge factor in the outcome. The rounds continued to be close and both fighters lost a point in the eleventh for hitting on the break. Mock attacked strongly in the twelfth and looked to have won that one but it was not enough. Scores 116-111 and 113-112 for Yildirim and 113-113. Yildirim was making the second defence of the WBC International title. He was No 5 in the latest WBC ratings with Mock at No 15 but a challenge to David Benavidez looks set to come early next year. The 46-year-old Mock will feel he was worth at least a draw out of this and time is not on his side. However he has kept himself active whilst scoring eleven wins in a row and came close enough here not to give up on his hopes of a title fight.
Feigenbutz vs. Kanguel
Feigenbutz beats late substitute Kanguel. Feigenbutz was looking for a quick win and attacked strongly from the outset. He continually forced Kanguel to the ropes and scored with some heavy body punches. Kanguel fought back well when he could get some space to build his own attacks and landed some of good punches late in the round. Feigenbutz continued to press in the second and third rounds. Kanguel also had more success but he was leaving himself too open and taking punishment. The fourth was Kanguel’s best round as he was the one taking Feigenbutz to the ropes but Feigenbutz was countering with hard punches to head and body and a tiring Kanguel lost a point for spitting out his mouthguard. Feigenbutz was on top as Kanguel faded in the fifth. He scored early with a couple of cracking head punches and dug in a hook to the body. Kanguel punched back but a straight right from Feigenbutz had him backing off. He looked very tired and was rocked by another right just before the bell and his team retired their man at the end of the round. Former interim WBA champion Feigenbutz retains the Global Boxing Union Inter-Continental title with his 26th win by KO/TKO. He is rated WBA 2/IBF 3(4)/WBO 4 but his No 8 with the EBU is a more representative reflection of his opposition and performances at this stage. He is still only 23 so there is no need to rush him. German-based Kanguel had the handicap of being a substitute for a substitute. Going into this fight he had won nine fights in a row, eight of them inside the distance, so with more time to prepare he might have been a danger to Feigenbutz.
Ilbay vs. Habimana
Ilbay returns to action and outpoints Rwandan-born Belgian Habimana. Ilbay had the speed and the power but Habimana came to fight and threw plenty of punches. Ilbay had better skills and a harder punch and won every round but Habimana was still trying to fight back to the final bell. First fight for Ilbay for ten months so the eight rounds will help him shed any rust. He beat Bethuel Ushona for the WBFederation title back in 2016 and is the current Global Boxing Union champion. His only loss is against WBO No 2 Egidijus Kavaliauskas in 2016. Habimana is 2-5 in his last 7 fights but has only lost inside the distance once.
Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Tom Schwarz (22-0) W KO 2 Julian Fernandez (11-1). Light Heavy: Adam Deines (16-0-1) W PTS 12 Mustafa Chadlioui (12-4-2). Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (6-0) W PTS 8 Anderson Clayton (41-13-2).
Schwarz vs. Fernandez
Too easy for Schwarz as he blows away overmatched Mexican novice Fernandez. Schwarz was too big and too strong for the very limited Fernandez landing big punches in the first with Fernandez lucky to last the three minutes. Schwarz used his weight advantage to bull Fernandez to the ropes in the second and bombarded him with head punches. A left to the head sent Fernandez staggering across the ring and Schwarz followed him and landed a huge overhand right that sent Fernandez into the ropes and down to the canvas with the referee immediately stopping the fight. The 24-year-old 6’5 ½” (197cm) Schwarz boxing in his home city retained the WBO Inter-Continental title with his fourteenth win by KO/TKO. He has wins over moderately good opposition but is still largely untested. Fernandez was a lamb to the slaughter. He is basically a prelim fighter. Nine of his victims had only six wins between them and another was 10-14-2. The only one with a positive record, 11-4-5, was a fat, flabby 286 ½ lbs. Schwarz gets nothing out of rubbish like this.
Deines vs. Chadlioui
Deines wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with unanimous decision over rough and tough Chadlioui. Deines had to box a disciplined fight here against the unpredictable Chadlioui as he could not afford to get down in the trenches with the wildly unpredictable Moroccan. Sticking with his jab and scoring well to head and body Deines had some spells of discomfort from the crude, wild swings of Chadlioui and his carless head work but never really lost control of the fight and won handily. Scores 118-110, 117-112 and 117-113 all for the 27-year-old local southpaw. He won the vacant German title with a victory over unbeaten Stefan Haertel in March and is progressing well. Spanish champion Chadlioui lost a close decision to Albanian Orial Kolaj in for the European Union title in February and can be a dangerous opponent.
Rabbi vs. Clayton
Moroccan Rabii easily outpoints shop worn Clayton. Rabii was too young, too quick and too accurate for the Brazilian and won on scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. The 25-year-old 2016 Olympics bronze medal winner won gold at the World Championships and is a former World Boxing Series Fighter of the Year. Clayton, 39, was inactive throughout 2017 and this is his second loss this year.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Middle; Marcelo Caceres (18-3) W TKO 7 Gaston Vega (28-14-2,1ND). Caceres stops Vega and keeps the South American title. Caceres attacked veteran Vega from the first round. Initially he was wild with his work and head hunting but once he settled the fight was soon over. Vega landed a hard right to the head in the sixth which stopped Caceres in his tracks but he quickly recovered. In the seventh a right to the body saw Vega on the floor. He beat the count but another couple of punches put him down again and the fight was halted. Now eleven wins in a row for the Argentinian No 2 and his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. Former undefeated South American super middleweight champion Vega slides on down the slope under his eleventh loss by KO/TKO.
Brisbane, Australia: Light Heavy: Rohan Murdock (23-1) W TKO 4 Pablo Nieves (33-16-1). Murdock marches on. The local fighter extends his winning run to 20 as he floored Nievas twice in the fourth to bring the curtain down. Murdock gets win No 16 by KO/TKO. He is rated WBO 7/IBF 15(14). Argentinian Nievas is 2-4 in his last 6 fights all of which have ended early with two wins by KO/TKO and four losses by KO/TKO
Qinzhou, China: Light Fly: Jing Xiang (15-4-2) W PTS 12 Merlito Sabillo (27-6-1). Heavy: Zhiyu Wu (9-2-1) W PTs 10 Kotatsu Takehara (15-12-3).
Xiang vs. Sabillo
Xiang outpoints a fading Sabillo to get important win. The younger Chinese boxer was in charge for much of the fight. Sabillo was competitive early and occasionally threatened but then tired. Xiang pressed all the way taking the fight to southpaw Sabillo and getting the better of some fiery exchanges as he worked his way to a wide unanimous verdict. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 all for 28-year-old Xiang. The win gets him the WBC Silver title. He was No 30 in the latest WBC ratings but will get a big boost for winning the Silver title. Sabillo, 34, is a former WBO Minimumweight champion. He was 23-0-1 at the start of his career but is now 4-6 in his last10 fights which shows how he has slipped.
Wu vs. Takehara
Wu wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council (WBC ABC) title with tight decision over Japan’s Takehara. Don’t take this one too seriously as basically it was a very chubby Chinese fighter vs. an elderly Japanese one. Despite that it was entertaining at times with the local fighter getting a slim verdict. Scores 96-94 for Wu from all three judges. The 35-year-old 5’11” Wu won his first seven fight s actually winning the WBC ABC title at cruiserweight in only his second fight but is 2-2-1 in his last 5. Takehara, 40, had won his last five fights but against very modest opposition.
Hamburg, Germany: Christian Hammer (23 -5) W RTD 3 Tornike Puritchamiashvili (11-11). Heavy: Erik Pfeifer (1-0) W TKO 2 Davit Gogishvili (22-12).
Hammer vs. Puritchamiashvili
Hammer beats Puritchamiashvili (thank goodness for cut and paste) on a third round retirement. If you paid to see this then you should ask for your money back. It was dreadful and an insult to Hammer to put him in fights like this. Puritchamiashvili is fat slow and hardly threw a punch. Hammer never got beyond a plodding pace. He was able to score with his jab when he liked and could not miss Puritchamiashvili with body punches. For a very short period in the second and third rounds Hammer cut loose with some uppercuts and hooks to the body but it was not even useful sparring for him. Puritchamiashvili had never been down or in any serious trouble but retired after the third round. German-based Romanian Hammer has scored wins over Erkan Teper and David Price but was beaten in seven round by Tyson Fury and in his last fight in December he was outclassed by Alex Povetkin but went the full ten rounds. Georgian Puritchamiashvili was to have fought Pfeifer but he switched places with Gogishvili. He is 6’3” and weighs around 315lbs-you get the picture?
Pfeifer vs. Gogishvili
This fight was just as bad. Former amateur star Pfeifer floored Gogishvili three times before the fight was stopped. Pfeifer had a much longer reach and lots of height on his side. He was able to pierce the southpaw guard of Gogishvili with ease and was measuring him for right hands. One of these landed but did not look to be more than a glancing blow and Gogishvili went down. Pfeifer tracked Gogishvili throwing more rights before taking Gogishvili to the roes and landing a series of lefts and rights that sent Gogishvili down once more. He made it to his feet as the bell went, Just after the bell to start the second Pfeifer landed another half power right and Gogishvili was on the floor again. When he got up the referee just waived the fight over-thankfully. I guess Pfeifer had to fight someone in his first pro fight but this was pitiful. The 31-year-old Russian-born German Pfeifer is another high level amateur entering the pro heavyweight rankings. He won bronze medals at both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships, gold at the European Union Championships and competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He lost in the semi-finals of the 2011 to World Championships to Anthony Joshua when Joshua broke Pfeifer’s nose in the first round. He is 6’3” and was German champion three times.
Heerlerheide, Holland: Middle: Gevorg Khatchikian (28-2) W TKO 2 Volodymyr Romanenko (8-8). Heavy: Ricardo Snijders (14-0) W RTD 5 Paul Zummach (3-2).
Khatchikian vs. Romanenko
Khatchikian brushes aside Ukrainian Romanenko inside two rounds. The Armenian-born Dutchman was not looking to spend too long in the ring. In the first he drove Romanenko to a corner late in the round and dropped him with a rib busting body punch. Romanenko survived but in the second a thumping right put him down again and the referee stopped the fight. Khatchikian wins the vacant BeNeLux title (for fighters from Belgium, Netherlands/Holland and Luxemburg) and now has 14 wins by KO/TKO. The champion Josemir Poulino refused to face the challenge of Khatchikian and was stripped of the title. As no fighter from the BeNeLux was willing to tackle Khatchikian the Ukrainian was brought in. Khatchikian’s two losses have come in fights against James DeGale for the WBC Silver title and Gilberto Ramirez for the NABF title. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Romanenko.
Snijders vs. Zummach
Dutch champion Snijders dominates all the way and forces retirement by Zummach. Snijders worked patiently breaking down the heavier Zummach who tried unsuccessfully to bully Snijders. Snijders used a strong jab and good technical ability to dominate the action and really cut loose in the fourth and fifth rocking Zummach with some booming punches and the German did not come out for the sixth round. Former national amateur champion at 91kg Snijders was Dutch and BeNeLux champion at cruiserweight before moving up to heavyweight earlier this year. He has won his last four fights by KO/TKO but will now probably move down to cruiser again. Novice Zummach in over his head.
Kemerovo, Russia: Cruiser: Dmitry Kudryashov (23-2) W KO 1 Alexandru Jur (17-2). Light: Vyacheslav Gusev (25-5) W TKO 2 Yotchanchai Yakaeo (26-13,1ND).
Kudryashov vs. Jur
In his second fight in ten days Kudryashov Obliterates Jur inside a round. Jur showed some nice touches early jabbing well and landing a couple of rights. With about 30 seconds to go in the round Kudryashov staggered Jur with a left hook and then sent Jur sprawling on the canvas with a right to the head and he was counted out. The “Russian Hammer” moves to 23 wins by KO/TKO. The second round stoppage loss to Yunier Dorticos in September for the secondary WBA title saw him drop out of the ratings with only the WBC featuring him at No 11. He is dangerous and is fighting his way back and could very well compete for a title in 2019. Romanian Jur is the WBC Mediterranean champion with his only loss being a split decision against Taylor Mabika in Gabon.
Gusev vs. Yodchanchai
Gusev scores win over a dancing Thai Yodchanchai (Yakaeo). This one was amusing. The veteran Thai flitted around the ring like the Sugar Plum Fairy on speed with some very strange but clever movement. Gusev just kept walking Yotchanchai down with Yodchanchai throwing lots of light punches from some very strange angles. Gusev eventually caught up with Yodchanchai in the second and landed a left to the side of Yodchanchai’s head and the Thai dropped to one knee complaining the punch had landed on the back of his head. When the action restarted two booming rights from Gusev sent Yodchanchai down heavily and almost out under the bottom rope. His body slid from the rope until only his head was resting on the bottom rope and that was enough for the referee to immediately stop the fight. Russian Gusev, 32, a former European title challenger has lost important fights against Gary Russell Jr and Guillaume Frenois but less impressively lost last time out to inexperience Peruvian Frank Urquiaga. Yodchanchai, 39, is 1-4 in his last five fights.
Hockessin, DE, USA: Super Middle: Derrick Webster (28-1) W PTS 8 Milton Nunez (35-20-1). Tall southpaw Webster has no problems with Colombian Nunez and boxes his way to victory. At 6’4” (193cm) Webster had a big edges in height and reach over the 5’9” (175cm) Nunez. Webster was able to keep Nunez on the end of his jab for most of the fight and found plenty of gaps for his jab, hooks and uppercuts. He had Nunez badly shaken in the fifth and outpunched him all the way to be a wide winner. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73. The 36-year-old Webster has useful victories over Frankie Filippone and Les Sherrington and this is his fourth win this year but at 36 he has to make a move soon. Nunez went 21-1-1 at the start of his career but in fight No 24 in 2010 he was knocked out in 58 seconds by Gennady Golovkin in a challenge for the interim WBA title. He has never won a fight outside of Colombia.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Jose Ramirez vs. Antonio Orozco. Despite the wide scores there was three minute of action in every round.
Fight of the week (Significance): Saul Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin
Fighter of the week: Jose Ramirez with honourable mention to David Lemieux for his one round demolition of Gary O’Sullivan
Punch of the week: Plenty to choose from. The enormous right from Tom Schwarz which flattened Julian Fernandez and the right from Ramirez that put Orozco down in the fourth round but I go for the perfect short right hook from Roman Gonzalez that shattered Moises Fuentes.
Upset of the week: None at all this week
One to watch: Australian Bilal Akkawy 18-0-1 with honourable mention to teenager Gabriel Flores
By Eric Armit
-Shawn Porter decisions Danny Garcia to win the vacant WBC welter title
-Donnie Nietes fights a draw with Aston Palicte so the WBO super flyweight title remains vacant and Nietes must try again if he is to become a four-division champion
-Amir Khan gets off the canvas to outpoint Samuel Vargas
-Juan Francisco Estrada decisions Felipe Orucuta in Super Fly3
-Yordenis Ugas outpoints Cesar Barrionuevo to move into the mandatory challengers spot for Errol Spence’s IBF title
-Denis Lebedev gets an inside the distance and the WBA four cruiserweight champions and the titles!
-Kazuto Ioka outpoints McWilliams Arroyo
-Andrew Moloney impresses with inside the distance win over Luis Concepcion
-Adam Kownacki wins over former IBF champion Charles Martin in an entertaining heavyweight ten
-Jason Welborn retains the British middle title in yet another war with Tommy Langford
WORLD TITLE FIGHT SHOWS:
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Shawn Porter (29-2-1) W PTS 12 Danny Garcia (34-2). Welter: Yordenis Ugas (23-3) W PTS 12 Cesar Barrionuevo (34-4-2,1ND). Heavy: Adam Kownacki (18-0) W PTS 10 Charles Martin (25-2-1). Feather: Chris Colbert (9-0) W PTS 8 Fatiou Fassinou (28-11-3). Middle: Brandon Quarles (20-4-1) W PTS 8 Marcus Willis (18-6-2).
Porter vs. Garcia
Porter wins the vacant WBC title with unanimous decision over Garcia.
Both fighters were cagey at the start. Porter was bouncing around and making some lunging attacks. Garcia was countering and scored with a good combination. Those were the best punches in the round giving Garcia the edge
Score 10-9 Garcia
Porter made good use of his jab early in the round. Garcia was waiting too long. He did land a left hook, the best punch in the round, but Porter was busier and his work with the jab gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Porter Even 19-19
The fight finally came to life in the third. Garcia caught Porter early with a short right hook. Porter was letting his punches fly but Garcia was showing some classy defensive work and did enough to take a close round.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 29-28
Porter made a fast start to this round getting through with his jab and some combinations. He hustled and bustled Garcia getting home with left hooks to the body. He continued to be the one doing the scoring and he took the round clearly.
Score 10-9 Porter Even 38-38
Official scores: 38-38, 38-38, 38-38
Porter’s round. He was getting his punches off first. Garcia was waiting too long and Porter was able to come in behind his jab, land a couple of punches and get out again.
Score 10-9 Porter Porter 48-47
Another round for Porter. After banging home a big right early he was outworking Garcia swinging hooks from both hands and again hustling Garcia out of his stride. Garcia’s punch output was low and he was throwing just one punch at a time with no sustained attacks.
Score 10-9 Porter Porter 58-56
Porter was warned early after his head banged into Garcia’s face and Garcia was given some recovery time. From there it was Porter’s round. His mobility was giving Garcia problems. Porter was marching forward throwing hooks and uppercuts. Whilst Garcia was waiting Porter was working.
Score 10-9 Porter Porter 68-65
Porter’s again. He was walking forward letting fly with left and right hooks. Garcia was getting close but then either throwing nothing or only one punch at a time before a series of punches from Porter drove him back. Porter was missing a lot but still throwing more and landing more.
Score 10-9 Porter Porter 78-74
Official scores: 77-75, 77-75 and 77-75- all for Porter
Garcia came back into the fight in this one. He was letting his hands go more and was more accurate than the wild swinging Porter countering Porter’s rushes with short, crisp counters.
Score 10-9 Garcia Porter 87-84
This was the best round so far. Porter started out wading forward pumping out punches with Garcia unable to do much attacking of his own. Then Garcia began to time Porter’s rushes and was scoring with some blistering counters that rocked Porter’s head and his more accurate punching gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Garcia Porter 96-94
The same tactics but a different outcome in this round. Porter was still surging forward throwing punches but was landing more. Garcia was countering but his timing was off and it was Porter’s round.
Score 10-9 Porter Porter 106-103
No big dramatic finish. Porter took the round with his lunging attacks with Garcia just being outworked. It was close but Porters’ round.
Score 10-9 Porter Porter 116-112
Official scores: 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 all for Porter
Close but deserved victory for Porter. Garcia lost the fight over the middle rounds and just did not throw enough punches. Former IBF champion “Showtime Porter, 30, lost his IBF title on a majority decision against Kell Brook and also lost to Keith Thurman for the secondary WBA title but now he is in the pole position with a fight against Errol Spence already being talked about as well as a title defence against Yordenis Ugas.. Garcia already a two division champion will regroup and come back strongly and almost certainly fight for a title again in 2019
Ugas vs. Barrionuevo
Cuban Ugas takes wide unanimous decision over a disappointing and outclassed southpaw Barrionuevo. With the possibility of a fight with the winner of Porter vs. Garcia Ugas was looking to impress but against a negative opponent he was unable to close the one-sided fight out early and the crowd was less than enthralled by the lack of any fire in the fight. Ugas had to be the aggressor as Barrionuevo chose not to engage but retreat on the back foot and throw counters. He threw plenty of punches but they had no power and very little accuracy. Ugas controlled the fight with his jab and was effective with slashing hooks from both hands. The one-sided nature of the fight and the lack of any sustained action had the crowd booing periodically. Ugas pressed hard and had Barrionuevo shaken badly in the sixth and worked him over thoroughly in the eighth but other than that the Argentinian managed to avoid serious trouble and kept up his negative tactics to the final bell. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109. The 32-year-old Ugas was a star of the Cuban amateur team before defecting and making his way to the USA on a raft. During his time with the Cuban team he won gold medals at the Pan American Games, the Central American and Caribbean Games and the World Championships beating fighters such as Terrence Crawford, Everton Lopes, Jose Pedraza and Sadam Ali. He looked a cert to be a success as a pro but made a stuttering start losing an early fight to Johnny Garcia and then two on the bounce in 2014 to Emanuel Rodrigues and Amir Imam and disappeared from the scene for two years. Since returning and moving up to welterweight he has scored wins over Jamal James, Bryant Perrella, Thomas Dulorme and Ray Robinson. Going into the fight he was No 2 with the IBF with the No 1 spot vacant. By beating Barrionuevo who was No 10 he has met the qualification to go into the No 1 spot and become the mandatory challenger to Errol Spence. Barrionuevo, the Argentinian champion, had won his last ten fights but mostly against modest domestic opposition and like many Argentinian fighters when they try to move up from domestic class to a higher level they disappoint.
Kownacki vs. Martin
Kownacki takes close unanimous decision over former IBF champion Martin in a punch fest. Kownacki quickly had Martin on the back foot as he padded forward throwing heavy punches. Martin was quicker and more skilful but nothing he hit Kownacki with halted the Pole’s forward march. There is nothing pretty about Kownacki. He is slow and predictable but he is strong throws lots of punches and takes a very good punch. The constant pressure from Kownacki forced Martin to stand and trade or be overwhelmed and the result was that they spent much of the fight standing in the centre of the ring trading clubbing shots to head and body. With his longer reach and far superior skills it was the wrong tactics for Martin but the relentless pressure from Kownacki made it difficult for Martin to create enough space to box so the crowd was getting their money’s worth in a rousing battle. Kownacki wins by wearing his opponent down and he was landing thudding body punches but Martin was matching him. Kownacki did seem to have built a lead by the half way mark but as they both tired Martin cut into that lead over the second half of the fight and it was very close going into the last. A brutal round saw Kownacki clobbering Martin with rights, often thrown off the wrong foot, only for Martin to land a whole series of head punches that had the Pole floundering before banging back to shake Martin as they pounded each other to the bell after an amazing three minutes. Brooklyn-based Kownacki, 29, took the decision but only just as all three judges gave it to him 96-94. Rated WBC 10/IBF 12(11). Kownacki’s strength has taken him to inside the distance wins over Artur Szpilka and Iago Kiladze and this victory over Martin is his biggest so far. He is 6’3” (191) but is no toned svelte figure weighing 263lbs (119kgs) with a lot of that weight around his waist. He walks in on a straight line and has a very weak defence so whether his chin will be able to stand up to big punchers such as Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz is questionable. Martin, 32, will feel he should have gotten something out of this fight. After losing his IBF title to Anthony Joshua ain 2016 Martin was inactive for a year before returning with two wins over modest opposition in 2017. He was No 9 with the WBC but had been dropped by the other three bodies. If he is going to get anywhere close to a title fight he is going to have to take some tough fights against other rated challengers.
Colbert vs. Fassinou
Classy southpaw prospect Colbert much too good for late substitute Fassinou. From the first the hand speed and movement of Colbert had Fassinou floundering. The Brooklyn youngster was firing quick, accurate combinations that soon had Fassinou looking to defence rather than attack. A body punch had Fassinou hurt in the second and throughout the fight Colbert was able to get through with quick punches from both hands. He forced the fight hard for a while but seemed to ease up late before trying hard to finish things in the last. Scores a predictable 80-72 for Colbert. He was a New York Golden Gloves champion and went on to win the US National title in 2015 before turning pro. Fassinou, 32, also a southpaw, is now 1-7 in his last 8 fights.
Quarles vs. Willis
Quarles gets split decision over Willis. Not a great deal between these two in a gruelling fight which was mainly a close-quarters scrap. Quarles was as little stronger over the middle rounds and busier late and that made the difference. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Quarles and 76-74 for Willis. Quarles improves to 7 wins in his last 8 fights. The loss was a split verdict against Tyrone Brunson in March last year. Willis had been in good form with 5 wins in his last 6 fights.
Inglewood, CA, USA: Super Fly: Donnie Nietes (41-1-5) DREW 12 Aston Palicte (24-2-1).Super Fly: Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3) W PTS 12 Felipe Orucuta (36-5). Super Fly: Kazuto Ioka (23-1) W PTS 10 McWilliams Arroyo (17-4). Super Fly: Alexandru Marin (17-0) W PTS 10 Bruno Escalante (17-4-1). Fly: Joselito Velasquez (6-0) W PTS 6 Jose Flores Chanez (6-7).
Nietes vs. Palicte
The WBIO super fly title remains vacant after Nietes and Palicte finish up all even.
Nietes was giving away lots of height at 5’3” to 5’7” for Palicte, The taller man made good use of the longer reach to put Nietes on the back foot and followed his jab with some long, straight rights. Nietes used good upper body movement to slip Palicte’s punches and jabbed to the body.
Score 10-9 Palicte
A pacey second round saw Nietes using excellent ring craft to get past or under Palicte’s jab and score with some sharp punches. Palicte kept working the jab and long rights but Nietes edged it.
Score 10-9 Nietes Even 19-19
Palicte was in control in the third. Again his jab was keeping Nietes on the outside. Palicte forced the fight hard and mixed in some left hooks. Nietes slotted home some classy counters but was outscored.
Score Palicte 10-9 Palicte 29-28
Palicte had a very good round. He was following the jab with more long rights and landing with hooks from both hands. Nietes was stuck on the end of the jab and unable to land anything of significance
Score Palicte 10-9 Palicte 39-37
Official scores : 38-38, 39-37 Palicte, 39-37 Palicte
Nietes took this one. He was getting past Palicte’s jab and in mid round landed four hard head punches which shook Palicte. He was nipping in quickly and landing hooks inside and then blocking or dodging Palicte's punches.
Score 10-9 Nietes Palicte 48-47
This one was a bit closer but again Nietes took it. His ring craft was exceptional. He was timing his attacks getting inside with a short burst of hooks and out again before Palicte could counter. Nietes sparkled with a right cross/left hook sequence, the two best punches of the round. Nietes did go down but it was a slip so not counted.
Score 10-9 Nietes Even 58-58
Palicte outworked Nietes. He was back on target with his jab and Nietes had difficulty getting through with his counters and almost seemed to take the round off . Although landing a couple of counters Nietes was largely ineffectual.
Score 10-9 Palicte Palicte 68-67
One for Nietes. He used his timing and hand speed to out jab Palicte. Again he was stepping in quickly with quick bursts of hooks and ducking and bobbing away from Palicte’s jab and Palicte was struggling to find the target.
Score 10-9 Nietes Even 77-77
Official scores 78-74 Nietes, 78-74 Palicte, and 76-76 Even
Great defensive work from Nietes as he slipped and slid around Palicte’s punches. There was very little variety in Palicte ‘s work and he was marching in on a straight line which made him an easy target for the snappy penetrating punches of Nietes .
Score 10-9 Nietes Nietes 87-86
Great round by Nietes. The experience of over 300 rounds of competitive boxing came into play as he constantly opened up Palicte’s defence then slotted home quick accurate punches and with the younger man Palicte beginning to tire he rocked him with a big right and a left hook.
Score 10-9 Nietes Nietes 97-95
Palicte worked hard in this one. He was coming forward pressing Nietes with Nietes work rate not as high the last few rounds. Palicte did most of the scoring. Nietes rallied a little at the end of the round but it was Palicte’s.
Score 10-9 Palicte Nietes 106-105
On the official scorecards Nietes needed to win this round to get a draw. Not the way I saw it but it is those official scores that count. After a cautious 90 seconds Nietes went on the rampage he was forcing Palicte back around the ring landing long rights with Palicte just trying to avoid getting nailed like a man who though he had already won the fight.
Score 10-9 Nietes Nietes 116-114.
Official scores 116-110 Nietes, 116-112 Palicte, 114-114
Great disappointment for the 36-year-old Nietes. A victory here would have made him a four division champion equalling the achievements of Nonito Donaire. It has been fourteen years since he lost a fight and he is now 30-0-4 in his 34 fights and is 16-0-2 in his 18 world title fights. Hopefully he will get another chance to make history and soon. Palicte, 27, lost this fight over the championship rounds having only gone twelve rounds once before. He is 14-1-1 in his last 16 fights and was No 2 in the WBO ratings behind Nietes so it is likely they will fight again in 2019.
Estrada vs. Orucuta
Estrada wins this SuperFly3 main event with unanimous points victory over fellow Mexican Orucuta. This was a fight that started as an easy night for Estrada and then became an entertaining, typical Mexican war. Estrada was superior in every department and over the first three rounds he was able to outbox Orucuta landing constantly with his jab, left hooks and straight rights on his slower opponent. Estrada was totally dominant and running in second gear over those first three rounds. Although it looked a possibility that this one could end early Orucuta refused to buckle. Slowly from the fourth he livened up and began to take the fight to Estrada more and land some heavy punches. Estrada soon found out that second gear was not enough and the fight really came to life. Estrada was now facing an opponent who was still mostly coming off worst in the exchanges but undeterred was rolling forward and handing out plenty of punishment of his own. They traded punches throughout the seventh and eight which were both close. Estrada was doing the higher quality work and shook Orucuta occasionally with rights but he never came close to subduing Orucuta. Whilst Estrada was winning most of the rounds he was having to work much harder to do so. It was the eleventh before Estrada turned the fight back to what it had been over the early rounds. He clearly outscored Orucuta in that round and then dominated the last. He landed time and again with hard punches shaking Orucuta with a series of rights to the head with Orucuta just making it to the final bell. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110 for Estrada. The former undefeated WBA and WBO flyweight champion has his sights set on getting revenge against Srisaket who took a majority decision over him in a challenge for the WBC title in February. Srisaket has a voluntary defence against Iran Diaz on 6 October and as Estrada is WBC No 1 their return fight should happen early in 2019. Orucuta was largely dismissed as an opponent for Estrada which is harsh. He twice challenged Omar Narvaez in Argentina for the WBO super fly title losing the first in 2013 on a split decision and the second in 2014 on a majority decision and was unlucky both times. He suffered a disappointing loss to Jose Cayetano in 2015 but had scored five inside the distance wins against solid opposition since then and was No 7 with the WBC.
Ioka vs. Arroyo
Ioka wins the vacant WBC Silver title with unanimous decision over Arroyo. After an even first round where they both scored well with body punches the second saw Ioka in control. Having started out as a minimum weight he was the smaller man but he was out jabbing Arroyo and digging in some hard left hooks to the body. In the third Arroyo’s work with his jab had Ioka backing up and Arroyo was throwing bunches of hooks and uppercuts. Ioka then took over and put Arroyo on the back foot. He was again landing savage left hooks to the body just seconds before the bell a right to the head saw Arroyo go half way to the canvas using his glove to keep him from going all the way down. He was up immediately and the round was over as the eight count was completed. Arroyo worked well with the jab early in the fourth but eventually Ioka was walking through the jab and scoring with left hooks to the body and straight rights. Ioka kept the pressure on in the sixth and seventh. The rounds were close but he was swarming in throwing hooks from both hands. Arroyo did better when he stayed outside and used his jab. He was able to counter Ioka who was not really concerned about defence. Ioka was not loading up on his punches but was throwing enough to shut down Arroyo’s attacks. Arroyo fought hard and despite suffering a cut over his right eye from a punch he remained competitive enough to deserved to take a few rounds but it was not enough and Ioka was a good winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 99-90 all for Ioka. The 29-year-old Ioka is a former WBA and WBC minimumweight champion and also held WBA secondary titles at light fly and fly. He never lost any of those titles but instead vacated them. His lone loss came in a challenge for the IBF flyweight title in 2014 losing on a split decision to Amnat Ruenroeng. This is his ninth win since then and he is rated No 2 by the WBA. Puerto Rican Arroyo, 32, was coming off a win in February when he decisioned Carlos Cuadras and was No 3 with both the WBC and WBO. After winning a gold medal at both the World Championships and the Pan American Games a world title as a pro looked a real possibility but now looks a forlorn hope. His twin brother McJoe had less success as an amateur but won the IBF super fly title.
Marin vs. Escalante
Romanian Marin wins split decision over Filipino Escalante. Marin is tall for a super fly at 5’7” (170cm) and had height and reach edges over the 5’2” (157cm) Escalante. Marin made good use of those advantages early but Escalante was quick enough and aggressive enough to keep the fight close. Marin was cut over his right eye in the fourth and allowed himself to be dragged into fighting Escalante’s fight late but he looked to have done enough to deserve the verdict. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Marin and 96-94 for Escalante. Marin, 26, competed at the European and World Youth Championships and won a bronze medal at the World Youth Olympics. Californian-based Escalante was looking for his fourth win in a row but just came up short.
Velasquez vs. Flores
Mexican Olympian “El Huracan” Velasquez wins every round but has to go the distance for the first time as a pro. Scores 60-54 from all the judges for Velasquez but some good ring time. Prelim fighter Flores did well to go six but drops to 2-5 in his last 7 outings.
Grozny, Russia: Light Heavy: Umar Salamov (22-1) W KO 2 Denis Liebau (24-3). Welter: Aslanbek Kozaev (32-2-1) W PTS 10 Alex Kotov (8-5-1). Cruiser: Dmitry Kudryashov 22-2) W TKO 6 Mauricio Barragan (17-4). Heavy: Apti Davtaev (16-0-1) W TKO 6 German Skobenko (5-2-2). Super Middle: Aslambek Idigov (14-0) W TKO 2 Daniel Wanyonyi (27-13-2).
Salamov vs. Liebau
Salamov much too good for Liebau and finishes him with a body punch in the second..Salamov had the longer reach and reddened Liebau’s face with jabs in the first. Liebau showed plenty of movement and fired a couple of quick combinations but neither fighter opened up. It was the same in the early action in the second with Salamov again jabbing strongly and Liebau jumping in with quick attacks. Salamov started to let his right go and when Liebau lifted his guard to defend against the right Salamov dug a left hook to the body that put Liebau down on one knee. He tried to rise half way through the count but dropped again and the referee waived the fight off. The 24-year-old Nevada-based Russian wins the vacant WBO International title and makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO. Third win for Salamov since losing a close decision to Australian Damien Hooper in July last year. He is current at No 11(9) with the IBF and 14 with the WBO. He will move higher and could fight for a title next year. German Liebau, 37, falls to two losses by KO/TKO in his last three fights.
Kozaev vs. Kotov
No problems for Russian “Lion” Kozaev as he has too much power for fellow Russian Kotov. Kozaev used left hooks and overhand rights to dominate the fight. Kotov fought back but did not have the punch to match Kozaev. Despite being rocked a few times Kotov scored with some good body punches of his own but Kozaev was able to use his strength to put Kotov on the back foot and outscored him in every round. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Kozaev. Wide points defeats against Ray Robinson and Taras Shelestyuk put a big dent in Kozaev’s hopes but he has rebuilt with six win over very modest opposition. Kotov “ The Caspian Tiger” falls to 2-3 in his last 5 fights.
Kudryashov vs. Barragan
Kudryashov wins but does not impress as Barragan folds too easily. Barragan had the longer reach and scored with his jab early. Kudryashov tested Barragan with a couple of rights but it was a pedestrian start from the world rated Russian. Kudryashov stalked Barragan in the second and third but was not quick enough to cut off the ring and was just looking to land one big right. Barragan was throwing more and was more accurate but his punches lacked power. Kudryashov pushed harder in the fourth and fifth but was still too slow to land anything of note. In the sixth a left to the head, which did not look too heavy, seemed to stun Barragan and he swayed on his feet. Kudryashov leaped in trying to capitalise on that but before he could land another punch Barragan backed to the ropes and dropped to one knee. He was up at eight but needed his mouthguard replaced which gave him a few seconds to recover before a right from Kudryashov that seemed to just brush across Barragan’s forehead saw him drop to one knee. He indicated to the referee that he was finished and the fight was stopped. First fight for Kudryashov since his two round loss to Yunier Dorticos in September and the rust showed. Obviously this was not seen as any test as Kudryashov has another fight scheduled for 15 September. Uruguayan Barragan showed some nice touches but collapsed too easily and this is his third loss by KO/TKO in his last five fights
Davtaev vs. Skobenko
Davtaev remains unbeaten with sixth round win over Ukrainian Skobenko. The 6’5” (196cm) Davtaev had lots of height and reach on his side and pounded the portly Skobenko all the way. Skobenko took the punishment and kept walking back in for more. The one-sided fight ended in the sixth. Davtaev pummelled Skobenko with some wicked hooks and uppercuts and Skobenko stopped fighting back With just 15 seconds left in the round Skobenko’s corner finally threw in the towel. Win No 15 by KO/TKO for Davtaev including 7 in his last 8 fights but against medium to low grade opposition. The 6’0” (184cm) Skobenko just carries to much weight for his height and is 1-2-2 in his last 5 fights.
Idigov vs. Wanyonyi
Idigov destroys Kenyan Wanyonyi in two rounds. Idigov rocked Wanyonyi a couple of time in the first and brutally ended the fight in the second. A right to the head and a left hook saw Wanyonyi slide down the ropes to the canvas. He was up at nine and tried to box his way out of peril but a straight right put him down again and the referee stopped the fight. Home town fighter Idigov wins the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title with his sixth win by KO/TKO. Still nothing resembling a real test for him so far. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for 35-year0-old Wanyonyi
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Fly: Charlie Hoy (15-0) W KO 4 Donny Garcia (16-4). Hoy retains the WBA Fedelatin title with kayo of local boxer Garcia. Englishman Hoy overcame the height reach and more skilful Garcia thanks to some vicious body punches. Garcia looked comfortable over the first two rounds but that changed when Hoy started to land heavily to the body in the third. Hoy continued to press in the fourth until a wicked right to the body put Garcia down and he was unable to beat the count. Hoy, 27, turned pro in England but after being inactive in 2015 started fighting out of the Dominican Republic. This is his seventh win there all by KO/TKO. Because he has won a WBA Regional title he is at No 7 in their ratings. Garcia was a late substitute. He was 16-1 over his first 17 fights but this is his third loss in a row by KO/TKO all against tough opposition,
Monterrey, Mexico: Super Fly: Jonathan Rodriguez (18-1) W TKO 3 Alejandro Perez (10-4). Super Feather: Jairo Lopez (23-9) W TKO 4 Cipriano Garcia (7-11).
Rodriguez vs. Perez
Rodriguez gets off the floor and scores three knockdowns to beat Perez. Rodriguez used a strong jab and some useful hooks to take the first. He was coming forward confidently in the second and landed a good left hook. As they trade punches a counter right from Perez put Rodriguez on the floor. Rodriguez recovered quickly and ended the fight in the third. He shook Perez with a couple of rights and Perez backed up to the ropes. A right to the head put him down and although he beat the count Rodriguez was on to him immediately and two more rights put Perez on the canvas. He again made it to his feet but two rights and a left hook floored him for the third time and the referee just waived the fight over. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the 23-year-old “Titan” from San Luis Potosi as he retains the WBC Fecombox title. He gets his second win in a row since a poor performance in March when he lost on points to an opponent with a 5-2-1 record. Three losses in his last four fights for Perez.
Lopez vs. Garcia
“Doberman” Lopez chews up Garcia in four rounds. Lopez was much the bigger puncher but Garcia tried to take the fight to him. In a fiery fourth first Lopez had Garcia on the ropes and hurt with a left hook with Garcia urging Lopez to stay and trade. Then Garcia had Lopez under fire but Lopez, the bigger man, took over again. A straight left put Garcia on the floor and although he made it to his feet he was badly shaken and the referee stopped the fight. Fifteen wins inside the distance for Lopez who had lost three of his last four fights but with tough jobs against Luke Campbell, Jose Felix and 19-0 Joseph Aguirre no surprise he lost those. Poor Garcia now has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Chelyabinsk, Russia: Cruiser: Denis Lebedev (31-2,1ND) W KO 3 Hinzi Altunkaya (30-3), Light: Zaur Abdullaev (10-0) W PTS 12 Henry Lundy (29-7-1).Super Feather: Mark Urvanov (13-2-1) DREW 10 Nikita Kuznetsov (9-1-1). Welter: Alexey Evchenko (17-11-1) W RTD 6 Bruno Romay (21-6). Middle: Artem Chebotarev (5-0) W TKO 3 Carmelito De Jesus (18-6),
Lebedev vs. Altunkaya
Lebedev returns to action with a stoppage of Altunkaya. Lebedev trailed Altunkaya around the ring in the first looking to score with his southpaw left. Altunkaya kept on the move not looking to engage and a fleshy Lebedev just could not land anything heavy. Lebedev caught up with Altunkaya early in the second and Altunkaya went down although the left to the chest did not look hard enough for the knockdown. He was up quickly but did not look a happy bunny. He managed to stay out of further trouble to the bell. In the third Lebedev continued to hunt a negative Altunkaya until he landed a left to the head. Again it did not look a strong punch but Altunkaya collapsed on his back and was counted out. Lebedev, 38, says he now wants to fight Oleg Usyk and the WBA will mandate that fight. They have to as they are in the embarrassing position of having a super champion, a secondary champion and an interim champion and now that Lebedev is no longer “in recess” they have no more titles for him. Altunkaya was poor. After being very protected during a run of 29 wins he has now been exposed with three loses in his last four fights.
Abdullaev vs. Lundy
Important win for Abdullaev as he takes unanimous decision over experienced Lundy. The fight set off at a fast pace with both fighters plying their jab and landing hooks inside. Abdullaev seemed a little more accurate but the rounds were very even. Abdullaev had a better third. Lundy started the round by scoring with some good counters but Abdullaev launched a big attack late in the round to take it, Lundy was on the back foot in the fourth and fifth with Abdullaev forcing the fight. Lundy was scoring well with his jab and some precise counters but a clash of heads opened a cut over his right eye. Abdullaev continued to take the fight to Lundy but the American showed the benefit of his experience with some excellent defensive work and had a good eighth putting Abdullaev on the back foot. A right from Abdullaev in the ninth dislodged Lundy’s mouthguard. Lundy had paced the fight better and he came on strong over the last three rounds to make the fight close-much closer than the judges saw it. Scores 118-110, 117-112 and 115-113 for Abdullaev. The 24-year-old Russian retains the WBC Silver title. He is No 4 with that body.. Lundy is now No 17. Despite his small number of pro contests Abdullaev has already met some experienced opponents with the previous three having combined records of 65-5-3. Obviously a setback for Lundy who had scored three wins since his loss to Terrence Crawford for the WBO super light title in 2016.
Urvanov vs. Kuznetsov
“Canelo” Urvanov and Kuznetsov fight to a draw. This was a cracking scrap between two well matched fighters. Both were looking to stamp their authority on the fight early and it was a wild battle from there Urvanov was quicker and more accurate but the strong Kuznetsov rocked Urvanov with big rights to the head and they just stood and traded hooks for much of the fight. Both fighters had spells on top and every round was close giving the judges a hard task. Each judge seemed to see a different fight but it was one neither deserved to lose. Scores 99-91 for Urvanov, 97-94 for Kuznetsov and 95-95. There were vacant versions of three minor titles on the line. The very strange Eurasian Boxing Parliament, IBF Youth and WBC CISBB titles. Ginger-headed Urvanov, 22, is now 1-1-1 in his most recent outings. Russian champion Kuznetsov remains unbeaten.
Evchenko vs. Romay
Evchenko breaks down Argentinian southpaw Romay to force the win. The Russian just kept coming and Romay was gutsy but did not have the power to keep Evchenko out. Romay fought hard but by the sixth he had blood seeping from a cut over his left eye hampering his vision. Evchenko rocked Romay with a couple of left jabs that were thrown as more like a left cross and Romay nearly went down twice from those hammer hits. He sensibly retired at the end of the round. Evchenko’s record does not look strong but he had a run of seven wins including a victory in New York in March over Khiary Gray before losing a very close decision to Ahmed El Mousaoui in June. Romay was 13-1 in his last 14 fights with the loss being in September last year against 21-0 Zhankosh Turarov on points in Kazakhstan.
Chebotarev vs, De Jesus
Hidden down the bill former top amateur Chebotarev batters Brazilian De Jesus to defeat. The hard-punching Russian had De Jesus under pressure from the start digging in hurtful hooks to the body. Pretty soon De Jesus was in survival mode. In the third Chebottarev proceeded to bounce De Jesus around the ring with De Jesus only throwing an occasional right. Finally Chebottarev pinned de Jesus to the ropes and cut loose with a series of hooks and uppercuts until De Jesus dropped to one knee and stayed there for the full count. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 29-year-old Chebottarev who did not turn pro until he was 28. As an amateur he was three times Russian champion, was a gold medallist at the European Cadet Championships and took a silver at both the European Juniors and Senior Championships. He represented Russia at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships losing in the semi-final to Jason Quigley in 2013. He won the AIBA Pro Boxing Championship and competed at the Olympic Games in 2016 but will have to take some shortcuts to make it as a pro. De Jesus gets his second loss by KO/TKO but this was his first fight since losing on points to Orlando Fiordigiglio in July 2016.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Jayde Mitchell (17-1) W PTS 10 Kerry Foley (19-4-1). Cruiser: Kane Watts (20-3) W TKO 8 Kuldep Singh (2-2-1).
Mitchell vs. Foley
Mitchell overcomes Foley in a tough ten rounds to retain his two titles and win a third. Great movement and hand speed had Mitchell outboxing Foley early. Mitchell was banging home jabs and left hooks and constantly changing angles to keep Foley off balance and doubling up on his jab. He was ducking and weaving under Foley’s punches. Foley stayed strong and began to land some hurtful left hooks to the body and head putting Mitchell under pressure before Mitchell went back to the jab and boxed his way to the unanimous decision. Scores 97-93 on all three cards for Mitchell. He retains the OPBF and Interim WBA Oceania titles and wins the vacant IBF Pan Pacific belt. Now twelve wins in a row for Mitchell who is rated No 12 by both the WBA and WBC..Former Australian light heavy champion Foley had won his last two fights in the first round.
Watts vs. Singh
In his first fight since November 2016 former Australian champion Watts halts Indian novice Singh in the last round. Watts put together a nine-fight winning streak before losing on points to Danny Green in August 2016 . First fight in Australia for Singh and he was over-matched.
Edmonton, Canada: Light: Cam O’Connell (17-2-1) W PTS 8 Jesus Laguna (22-12-3). Canadian No 5 O’Connell starts the long road back with unanimous decision over Mexican Laguna. The 29-year-old from Red Deer is rebuilding after a crushing eighth round stoppage loss to Mathieu Germain in Quebec in February. He was 15-0-1 until losing to Tony Luis in June last year so two losses in three fights have set him back a long way. Laguna was knocked out in five rounds by WBA No 3 Evens Pierre in October but fought a creditable draw with Canadian Roody Pierre Paul in March.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Welter: Bowyn Morgan (18-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Luke Woods (5-2). New Zealander “BoMan” Morgan retains the IBO Asia Pacific title with unanimous decision over Australian Woods. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Morgan. Now eleven wins in a row for 29-year-old Morgan and first defence of his IBO title. He is now looking for some big fights overseas. Tasmanian southpaw Woods was Australian amateur champion and competed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games so his record is a disappointment considering his amateur pedigree.
Cardiff, Wales: Super Welter: Liam Williams (18-2-1) W KO 2 Craig Nicholson (4-3-1). Super Light: Craig Evans (18-2-2) W PTS 6 Jordan Ellison (10-17).
Williams vs. Nicholson
A gutsy Nicholson came in as a very late pick and was in way over his head. Well not quite as he was much taller than Williams, In the first Williams was trying to find a big punch but Nicholson proved awkward and although shaken managed to stay to the bell, In the second as Williams moved in on Nicholson they got tangled up and went over the top rope onto the apron breaking the top rope. There was a delay whilst that was fixed and then Williams chased Nicholson down and landed a left hook to the body that puts Nicholson down and out. Second win this year for Williams as he rebuilds after consecutive losses to Liam Smith in 2017. Nicholson is now 0-3-1 in four.
Evans vs. Ellison
Evans returns with a win as he outpoints Ellison. This was an entertaining six rounds. Ellison came looking for the fight and was constantly marching forward behind a high guard. Southpaw Evans was content to counter with accurate right jabs and long lefts. When Evans did open up his quick accurate punches had Ellison backing up but only briefly before marching forward again. Evans showed real quality in the speed and accuracy of his punches and was a clear winner but never quite subdued Ellison. Referee’s score 60-55. Welshmen Evans. A former WBO European champion had six tough fights in a row over 2015, 2016 and 2017 losing to Scott Cardle for the British title, going 1-0-2 in three fights with Tom Stalker and beating Stephen Ormond but then lost his WBO European title in February this year being halted in nine rounds by Roman Andreev. This is the second time Ellison has taken Evans the distance and he came in as a very late substitute here and did his job well.
Birmingham, England: Super Welter: Amir Khan (33-4) W PTS 12 Samuel Vargas (29-4-2). Middle: Jason Welborn (24-6) W PTS 12 Tommy Langford (20-3). Super Welter: Scott Fitzgerald (11-0) W TKO 10 Craig Morris (10-2-1). Super Welter: Hassan Mwakinyo (12-2) W TKO 2 Sam Eggington (23-5). Super Welter: Ryan Kelly (12-1) W TKO 1 Kelcie Ball (9-1). Super Bantam: Gamal Yafai (16-1) W KO 7 Brayan Mairena (10-2-1). Light: Lewis Ritson (17-0) W TKO 3 Oscar Amador (10-8).
Khan vs. Vargas
Khan floors Vargas and then has to climb of the canvas himself before winning this one by big margins on all three of the judge’s cards. Khan was impressive in the first. He was moving well and showing his usual hand speed. A flashing combination saw Vargas shaking his head to show his disdain but Khan landed another burst of punches just before the bell. Vargas came out aggressively for the second but Khan landed a volley of punches and then a hard left hook which sent Vargas stumbling into the ropes. As he came off Khan met him with more left hooks and after another left and a right Vargas went down. He was up quickly and after the eight count Khan jumped in trying to end the fight. Vargas held on and Khan almost wrestled him to the floor. Khan continued to blast Vargas with left hooks in the second. Vargas was bleeding from the nose but seemed to have recovered. He landed a couple of good body punches and then a right cross to the head sent Khan down. He rolled over and got up but it was a heavy knockdown. The bell went as the eight count ended so Vargas had no chance to capitalise on that big right. Vargas came storming out in the third but a right from Khan which seemed to land behind the ear of Vargas put him over. He was up and complaining that the punch was to the back of the head. Vargas landed a couple of good rights in the fourth but it was the blazing hand speed of Kahn that impressed even though he was sacrificing leverage for speed. Vargas began the fifth with some hooks to the body but then Khan exploded. He had Vargas retreating and floundering across the under a storm of hooks and uppercuts and a stoppage looked possible. Vargas survived but had taken a lot of punishment. The Colombian had a much better sixth trapping Khan in a corner and working to the body. Khan’s work rate dropped in the seventh but he did the scoring with more fast combinations and caught Vargas with a hurtful left hook. Vargas was more competitive in the eighth as he hunted Khan down but he had no answer to the speed and accuracy of Khan’s punches. The ninth was more even. Vargas scored well to the body early and although Khan again landed with some short bursts of punches his punch output was lower than in other rounds. Khan took the tenth. He was back to using his jab and threw more combinations. When Vargas did corner him he used some good defensive work to frustrate Vargas but Vargas did land a right to the head that had Khan stumbling. Khan outboxed Vargas in the eleventh stabbing home jabs and fast flurries his footwork was leaving Vargas swishing air. When Vargas did pin Khan to the ropes Khan punched his way of and outlanded Vargas. Khan took no chances in the twelfth. He used plenty of movement to avoid the attacks of Vargas and scored with bunches of light punches to take the round. Scores 119-108, 119-109 and 118-110 for Khan. This was just the test Khan needed after blasting out Phil Lo Greco in 39 seconds in April. Vargas made him fight three minutes of every round. We saw the good and the not so goods. Khan showed he still has great hand speed and great movement but the right in the second also showed he sometimes stands right in front of an opponent and lets his left glove drift and pays the price. Manny Pacquiao and Kell Brook are the only two names that interest Khan but it might be hard to make either fight. There are other names Pacquiao could look at and weight might be a deciding factor in making the Brook fight. Brook may not want to sweat down to welter and he might be too big for Khan at super welter although a catchweight contest could be viable. Toronto-based Vargas pushed Khan hard all the way but just lacked the hand and foot speed to really threaten –except of course for a right in the second round. His inside the distance losses have been to Danny Garcia and Errol Spence in non-title fights and he scored four wins over decent level opposition in 2017.
Welborn vs. Langford
Welborn retains the British title with a split decision over Tommy Langford in a fight even better than their thrilling encounter in May. Langford started well using his longer reach to spear Welborn with jabs and then stepping in with hooks. Welborn landed a couple of rights as he tried to get inside. Langford looked on the way to pocketing the round but with less than twenty seconds to go a straight right to the head from Welborn put Langford down. He was up at seven and the bell went without Welborn being able to land another good punch. Langford rebounded in the second. He outboxed Welborn landing continually with the left and mixing in a variety of punches. Welborn was waiting too long and just looking to land another big punch. Langford was boxing well in the third but Welborn was letting his punches go more and landed a couple of thumping rights. They both landed some quality punches but as Langford moved in Welborn nailed him with a counter right and Langford stopped then went down face first before rolling and getting up on one knee. He was up at eight but badly shaken. A barrage of hooks and uppercuts had Langford in trouble on the ropes at the bell. Once again after avoiding disaster Langford came back and he took the fourth raking Welborn with jabs and hooks. Welborn remained dangerous and in the fifth he staggered Langford with rights to the head and opened a cut over the left eye of Langford but Langford connected with a variety of hooks and uppercuts as they battled through three minutes of action. Langford made the sixth and seventh his. He jarred the advancing Welborn with jabs and whacked him with body punches. Welborn was still dangerous but was taking punishment and looked slow. Langford had the best of the fierce exchanges in the eighth sending Welborn stumbling back with a straight right and snapping his neck with a right uppercut. Welborn came back strongly in the ninth with some heavy rights and they both had good spells in the tenth. Langford edged ahead with his more varied and accurate work in the eleventh. The last was a brutal three minutes as two tired warriors dragged up the last vestiges of their strength and punched away to the final bell. Scores 115-114 and 114-113 for Welborn and 114-113 for Langford. Welborn hangs on to the British title but it was a pity there had to be a loser. A third match?-Yes please.
Fitzgerald vs. Morris
Fitzgerald wins with late stoppage of game southpaw Morris. Fitzgerald was the favourite here and he made the better start using superior speed and better skills. Both landed some good punches in the second and third with Morris impressing with his body punching in the fourth only for Fitzgerald to bang back with a left hook in the fifth and an eye-catching right to the head in the sixth. Fitzgerald had but a good lead but he was bleeding from the nose and his work rate dropped over the seventh and eighth. Fitzgerald dug deep to take the important ninth. In the tenth Fitzgerald ended the fight. He landed a couple of swift hooks then a hard left followed by a right which sent a tiring Morris into the ropes and down and the fight was stopped. The 26-year-old from Preston was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and now has eight wins by KO/TKO. He is a former Commonwealth gold medal winner beating current successful pros Bowyn Morgan and Thabiso Mbenge on his way to the gold. Former BBB of c Midlands Area champion Morris gave Fitzgerald a real test. He was 3-0-1 technical draw going in and is the IBO Continental champion
Eggington vs. Mwakinyo
Huge shock as unsung Tanzanian stops Eggington in two rounds. Eggington made a confident start moving in behind his jab but Mwakinyo gave an early indication of danger with a couple of right hand counters. Eggington was forcing Mwakinyo back with his jab but again the Tanzanian scored with crisp counters. Eggington still looked in control until the last 20 seconds of the round when both fighters threw a left hook. Mwakinyo’s landed first. Eggington’s legs shook and he backed to the ropes. Mwakinyo pounced throwing punches until the bell many of which missed but some which landed on Eggington’s head. Mwakinyo attacked fiercely in the second throwing looking hooks from both hands driving Eggington back. The Tanzanian just kept throwing punches. Eggington tried to fight back but his head was being snapped about by punch after punch and he looked ready to go down when the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. There was nothing in Mwakinyo’s record to indicate he was a danger. He had seven wins by KO/TKO but he had been floored and lost every round against the 8-0 Russian Lendrush Akopian in December so a huge upset and a huge result for Mwakinyo. Eggington is only 24 and is a former Commonwealth, British, European and WBC International champion with a win over Paul Malignaggi so he should be able to recover from this in time but right now that time might seem a long way away for Eggington as this loss ended any talk of a big money fight with Brandon Rios.
Kelly vs. Ball
Kelly retains the BBB of C Midland’s Area title as he halts Ball inside a round. This looked a good match on paper but Kelly just blew Ball away. He staggered Ball with a booming right cross which knocked Ball back into the ropes. Kelly then stormed into Ball landed a whole pile of head punches until the referee stepped in to save Ball with just 89 seconds gone in the round. The 24-year-old local fighter lived up to his “Ruthless” nickname and makes it six wins by KO/TKO. First loss inside the distance for Ball.
Yafai vs. Mairena
Yafai gets win over another Nicaraguan lamb to the slaughter. It was not one of Yafai’s best nights but it did not have to be. He dominated every round before sending Mairena down and out with a heavy left in the eighth. Second win in a row for Yafai since losing a biggie to Gavin McDonnell in March. The former undefeated Commonwealth and WBC International champion will be aiming to be fighting for a title again next year. First fight outside of Nicaragua for Mairena who was just a four and six round fighter back home and will now become yet another dull dish for British boxers to beat up.
Ritson vs. Amador
Just a warm-up for Ritson who fights for the European title next month. Nicaraguan Amador posed no threat except for a careless head. Ritson needed to get at least a couple of round of work for this to be in any way a useful night so he was content to dominate the first two rounds with some punishing uppercuts before putting Amador down out of the fight early in the third with a left to the body . The 24-year-old Ritson will face Belgian Francesco Patera, a former European champion, in Newcastle on 13 October. Patera lost to Sean Dodd in Liverpool in 2016 but sprang a big surprise last year by beating champion Edis Tatli in front of Tatli’s own fans only to lose the title to Tatli in December by 10,10 and 9 points on the cards. First fight outside of Nicaragua for Amador but he will now join the losers squad in Barcelona and become cheap cannon fodder.
Bendigo, Australia: Super Fly: Andrew Moloney (18-0) W TKO 10 Luis Concepcion (37-7). Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (11-0) W TKO 1 Marcos Cronejo (19-4).
Moloney vs. Concepcion
“The Monster” Moloney chews up former champion Concepcion. Moloney established his domination from the first round. He used quick movement to both step away from Concepcion’s punches and to move inside to land his own. He was quicker with his jab and landed well with both hands. Concepcion did better in the second pressing hard and testing the Australian’s chin with a couple of rights but again hand speed and accuracy saw Moloney outboxing the Panamanian veteran. Concepcion upped his pace in the third but so did Moloney. The Panamanian chased after the fleet-footed Moloney and was effective with uppercuts but Moloney was spearing him with jabs landing hooks to the body and overhand rights. Moloney changed tactics in the fourth and fifth... He used his superior strength to force Concepcion to the ropes and worked to the body with hooks and uppercuts. When Concepcion did get off the ropes Moloney stood and traded until Concepcion was forced back to the ropes again. Moloney continued the pressure in the sixth. Concepcion landed some hard uppercuts and a stinging right but body punches from Moloney were sapping his strength. Moloney seemed to ease up a little over the seventh and eighth but was back on the charge in the ninth with Concepcion starting to fade. Moloney rocked Concepcion with three straight rights in a row. Concepcion landed a hard left hook but there was now no snap in the Panamanian’s punches. Concepcion came out swinging in the last round determined to stage a big finish . A right to the head from Moloney stiffened his legs and took a lot of the fight out of him. Moloney battered him with hooks to the head and then with Concepcion trapped against the ropes Moloney landed a series of rights that saw the referee step in to stop the fight-just as Concepcion threw a couple of punches but it was a good stoppage. Moloney, 27, retains the WBA Oceania title and gets his best win so far. His tactics were spot on; he paced the fight well, showed real power and good defensive work. He is No 6 with the WBA and champion Khalid Yafai is a natural target in what would make a great little fight. His twin brother Jason is entered in the WBSS bantam tournament so heady times for the twins. Former WBA champion Concepcion, 32, lost his title when he failed to make the weight for a defence against Yafai in December 2016. He had a mixed 2017 winning two fights but losing a unanimous decision to a very average Iran Diaz. He has been in some wars and it is beginning to show.
Tszyu vs. Cornejo
Tszyu stops Cornejo in farcical “fight.” Tszyu tried some strong jabs and immediately became apparent that Cornejo was inept with no idea of how to throw a jab. He dropped his head with each of the few punches he threw and tried some crude swings. An overhand right staggered Cornejo and he backed up to the ropes. Tszyu went after him and some wicked uppercuts had Cornejo badly hurt and the referee stepped in and saved him. Since Tszyu is only 23 there is no need to rush him but this was a waste of time. The Australian No 3 gets his ninth win by KO/TKO but needs better tests than this. There must be an awful lot of abysmal quality fighters in Argentine for 37-year-old Cornejo to have nineteen wins. Having said that he had run up 16 wins in a row before going the distance in losing to 39-0-1 Damian Jonak but those 16 victims only had 24 wins between them. He was pathetic here,
Zagreb, Croatia: Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (6-0) W KO 3 Amir Mansour (23-3-1,1ND). Cruiser: Damir Beljo (25-0) W PTS 10 Lukas Paszkowski (10-3).
Hrgovic vs. Mansour
Hrgovic gets the biggest win in his short career as he floors and halts a disappointing Mansour. In the first the much taller Hrgovic was positioning himself and using his jab to try to move Mansour into his big right hand punches. Southpaw Mansour used his experience to avoid the trap but threw very few punches of his own. Hrgovic did land a couple of rights but other than that he either he came up short or Mansour ducked under them. Hrgovic was warned for a punch after the bell but luckily it missed. Mansour opened the second with some wild lunges then Hrgovic began to let his hands go and landed a couple of rights but he was still finding the retreating Mansour a difficult target. Hrgovic landed a punch to the back of Mansour’s head and whilst the referee was warning Hrgovic Mansour dropped to one knee. He was given some recovery time and managed to avoids rights from Hrgovic to the bell. Mansour rushed out in a rage in the third throwing wild punches and trying to ram his head into Hrgovic’s face. Hrgovic saw out the storm and scored with some quick combinations. A left to the head staggered Mansour who dropped to one knee. Mansour was up at six. When the action resumed a straight right wobbled Mansour’s legs. A couple of rights saw Mansour bend his knees as if to go down but then he changed his mind and threw some wild punches. He was staggered again and then went to one knee and sat out the count. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 6’5” (198cm) Croat hope and his biggest scalp so far. He got the job done but Mansour was unimpressive and there are sterner tests to come for Hrgovic. At 46-years-old and just 6’1” (185cm) Mansour was too small, too slow and too crude and never a threat. This was Mansour’s first fight since being caught cheating against Sergey Kuzmin for the vacant WBC International title in November. The Kuzmin fight was firstly ruled a technical draw but when Mansour’s post fight sample tested positive for a banned substance the WBC asked the AIBA Russian Federation to change the result to No Decision.
Beljo vs. Paszkowski
Another win over very modest opposition for the 33-year-oldBosnian Beljo.. He has 20 wins by KO/TKO but the lack of quality in his list of victims makes the statistic meaningless. Paszkowski was stopped in two rounds by Jai Opetaia in April.
Ho, Ghana: Bantam: Joseph Agbeko (35-5) W TKO 10 Ekow Wilson (18-3).
Agbeko retains the WBO African title with tenth round stoppage of fellow Ghanaian Wilson. In the tenth Agbeko hammered home rights to the head and Wilson was allowed to take too many of those before the referee halted the fight. Sixth win in a row for the former BF champion. He promises to keep active. Wilson’s record heavily padded with poor opposition and when he has tried to move up he has been stopped twice by Duke Micah.
Fight of the week (Entertainment); Jason Welborn vs. Tommy Langford II with honourable mention to Adam Kownacki vs. Charles Martin
Fight of the week (Significance); Shawn Porter’s win over Danny Garcia with honourable mention to Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas with plenty of exciting options opening up for both winners
Fighter of the week: Andrew Moloney for his crushing victory over Luis Concepcion
Punch of the week: The right from Vargas that put Khan down was a good one
Upset of the week: Tanzanian Hassan Mwakinyo beating Sam Eggington was a huge shock
One to watch: Chris Colbert 9-0 with honourable mention to Charlie Hoy15-0
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
The boxing at the Asian Games took place from August 24 to September 1 in Jakarta, Indonesia and it was a tournament full of surprises, shocks and upsets with new faces as well as established names making their mark.
We begin our recap in the men’s competition where there were 7 weights being contested from light flyweight to middleweight.
Despite losing the services of elite duo Shakhram Giyasov and Murodjon Akhmadaliev with both turning pro, Uzbekistan performed out of their skin with all 7 of their male boxers reaching the final and bringing home a medal. Middleweight Israil Madrimov, light welterweight Ikboljon Kholdarov and flyweight Jasurbek Latipov all came away with gold and are now regular members of the Uzbek team so expectations are high for this trio. Light flyweight Hasanboy Dusmatov only coming away with silver was a slight surprise and the Olympic champion has suffered a few defeats in recent times.
More encouragingly were the performances of bantamweight Mirazizbek Mirzakhlilov, welterweight Bobousmon Boturov who claimed gold and lightweight Shunkor Abdurasulov who took silver with all 3 making their debut in a major tournament and this bodes very well for the future.
Fellow Asian powerhouse Kazakhstan left with a paltry 2 silver’s which was completely unexpected with welterweight Aslambek Shymbergenov and middleweight Abilkhan Amankul the only medallists. Amankul lost to Israil Madrimov in the final and fitness and form permitting expect this rivalry to continue right until the Tokyo Olympics. The Kazak squad selected was a mixture of youth and experience but current world champion Kairat Yeraliyev being knocked out in his first contest by Chatchai Butdee wouldn’t have been in the script. With a copious amount of depth and options available don’t expect such a medal drought in future major competitions.
Mongolia should be delighted with their gold and silver tally as this tiny country with a population of around 3 million continues to defy the odds. Lightweight Erdenbaat Tsendbaatar topped the podium and the 21-year-old is just getting better and better and is a genuine medal prospect for the 2020 Olympics. Light welterweight Chinzorig Battarsukh came up short against Ikboljon Kholdarov in the final but this experienced campaigner will compete with most fighters in the world and is no easy out.
A silver and 2 bronze presents an excellent achievement for the Philippines and it could have been even better as all 3 boxers lost out in tight contests. Flyweight Rogen Ladon was especially hard done by as his bout with Jasurbek Latipov came to an inconclusive end after just a round with Ladon arguably doing more than enough to claim victory. Light flyweight Carlo Paalam and middleweight Eumir Marcial lost close semi-finals but both are talented pugilists who are more than capable of mixing it at the highest level.
Despite Chatchai Butdee bowing out in the quarter-finals in the bantamweight division Thailand still managed to bring home 4 bronze medals marking a significant improvement from recent major tournaments. China grabbing a trio of bronze medals also represents a vast improvement as for whatever reason the country has been performing poorly at the senior, youth and junior levels.
After all of their 8 male boxers won a medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games confidence in the Indian camp would have been sky high but the harsh reality is that the standard of competition in Indonesia was levels above what they faced in Australia. Still, a gold and a bronze is a solid effort with middleweight Vikas Krishan taking bronze and light flyweight Amit Panghal bringing joy to his nation as he overcame Hasanboy Dusmatov. Amit had given the Uzbek 2 competitive fights in last year’s Asian and World Championships but going one better should give him so much belief and added to his Commonwealth silver, 2018 has been a fabulous one for Amit.
Daisuke Narimatsu is one of the most fan friendly fighters around and given the revelations of funds not being given to him coming to light recently it was very pleasing that this Japanese warrior brought home a very credible bronze at light welterweight. Unfortunately bantamweight Hayato Tsutsumi went out after his first outing but make no mistake this young man is a star of the future and should only grow from his first experience at a major senior event. Finally Jordan, Kyrgyzstan North Korea and Indonesia all picked up a single medal each.
Onto the women’s bracket and the 3 weights on show were flyweight, featherweight at lightweight.
China came away from Jakarta with 2 golds as Chang Yuan prevailed at flyweight and Yin Junhua was victorious at featherweight. The lightweight final was won by South Korea’s Oh Yeon-Ji.
The other medals were shared out between Thailand who won a silver and a bronze, Chinese Taipei 2 bronze, North Korea 2 silver and a bronze and Vietnam and Indonesia a bronze. Surprisingly both India and Kazakhstan came away empty handed but given the outstanding crop of young female talent coming through expect both country’s to be back in the medals in the not so distant future.
Lastly it has subsequently been revealed that AIBA will be reintroducing Judging protests after ugly scenes marred the women’s flyweight final as 2 North Korean coaches refused to leave the ring and had to be escorted away by police. The organisation is under intense scrutiny as the threat of boxing being expelled from the Tokyo Olympics is still a possibility if AIBA doesn’t get its house in order.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (19-1): WBO #7 / WBC #18
The former K-1 champion debuted in 2011 and has had a successful run in the regional scene, currently holding the OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight belts while riding on a 14 fight winning streak. He will defend his championships against Suthat Kalalek (12-9) on September 25. It will be interesting to see him face more worthy opponents like Zhilei Zhang (19-0) in the future.
Super Welterweight / Jr Middleweight:
-Takeshi Inoue (13-0): WBO #4 / IBF #2 / WBA #13 / WBC #20
The undefeated 4-year veteran is climbing the division incredibly fast, managing to place himself as the #4 WBO ranked fighter. A former Japanese title holder and now the unified OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion, may very well be only a few fights away from his first world title opportunity.
-Keita Obara (20-3): IBF #6
The former Japanese/OPBF champion and world title contender, got his revenge on Alvin Lagumbay (10-3), after that shocking KO loss earlier this year, to regain the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight championship, on August 9.
Super Lightweight / Jr Welterweight:
-Hiroki Okada (18-0): WBO #3 / WBA #4 / IBF #5 / WBC #9
One of brightest prospects in Japan right now, Okada has never lost a single bout in his entire career. A bona fide knock out artist (13 KOs), he held the Japanese crown for 32 months and defended it 6 times, before winning the WBO Asia Pacific championship from Jason Pagara (41-3) this past December. Okada’s next confirmed appearance is on September 14, in the US, against Cristian Rafael Coria (27-6)
-Akihiro Kondo (31-7): IBF #4
Kondo has kept his spot at the IBF rankings, even after losing to Sergey Lipinets (14-1) last year, while also having an unimpressive 2018.
-Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0): IBF #5 / WBC #8 / WBO #12
Nakatani defended his OPBF Lightweight title this past July, for the 10th time. A fight for the WBC Silver (with the winner of Zaur Abdullaev/Henry Lundy) or International title with Hurricane Futa would make sense at that point of his career.
-Nihito Arakawa (31-6): WBO #3
Former Japanese, OPBF and reigning WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion, Arakawa has been in many big fights through out his 14-year career. At 36, he is still looking for his second world title opportunity.
Super Featherweight/ Jr Lightweight:
-Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1): WBO #7
The 27 year old is steadily making his mark in Japan, suffering only one loss in his 4th pro bout, Sueyoshi has been victorious in his last 15 outings and even won the Japanese title on October of 2017. Another successful year and we might see him challenge for a world title by the end of 2019/beginning of 2020.
-Satoshi Shimizu (7-0): IBF #5 / WBC #6
The 2012 Olympics Bronze Medalist made his pro debut on September of 2016 and has since then stopped every single one of his opponent, claiming the OPBF Featherweight crown in just his 4th pro fight. Shimizu successfully defended that belt against Shingo Kawamura (16-4) on August 17, making a fight with Gary Russell Jr. (29-1) for the WBC title or with Josh Warrington (27-0) for the IBF title, look more and more plausible.
-Shun Kubo (13-1): WBA #8
The former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion returned this April, after his TKO loss to Daniel Roman in 2017, and won his comeback fight against former OPBF Featherweight champion & world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (33-5) making a huge impact on his Featherweight debut.
-Reiya Abe (18-2): IBF #6 / WBC #19
The young Japanese lion, undefeated in his last 10 bouts, is steadily making his mark in the Featherweight division.
Super Bantamweight / Jr Featherweight:
-Tomoki Kameda (35-2): WBC #2 / IBF #3 / WBO #9
El Mexicanito has been on a 4-fight winning streak since moving up a weight class and is already ranked amongst the top 10 of the division. The newly crowned WBO world champion TJ Doheny (20-0) has expressed an interest in facing Tomoki for the gold.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3): IBF #4
Iwasa lost his IBF world title to DJ Doheny a couple of weeks ago. Whether he tries to reclaim his belt or retire, it’s unknown as of yet.
-Hidenori Otake (31-3): WBO #6
Despite failing to capture the WBO title from Isaac Dogboe (20-0) on August 25th, Otake has maintained his spot at the WBO rankings.
- Shingo Wake (25-5): IBF #5 / WBC #7
The former OPBF champion and world title contender was in a war, this past July, with top ranked boxer Yusaku Kuga (16-3), from which he came out the victor as well as the new Japanese champion. The 12 year veteran has re-established himself at the top of the division as he is aiming for another shot at the big one.
-Takuma Inoue (11-0): WBO #8 / WBC #9
The undefeated former OPBF Super Flyweight champion is set to face reigning OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-12), in a WBC World title eliminator fight on September 11.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (17-2): WBO #5 / WBC #18
Teshigawara knocked out former world title contender, Teiru Kinoshita (26-3) in June, to defend his WBO Asia Pacific crown. Since the WBO world champion Zolani Tete (27-3) is currently involved in the WBSS Tournament, it’s safe to say that Teshigawara won’t be receiving a championship match, any time soon.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Kazuto Ioka (22-1): WBA #2
The recently returned 3 division world champion is scheduled to fight the WBC Silver champion and 2-time world title challenger McWilliams Arroyo (17-3) on September 8, in the States. Arroyo is currently ranked #3 by the WBC, so if Ioka wins here, he won’t just leave California with the Silver title but also with a spot at the WBC rankings. There is no doubt that Ioka will be competing for a world championship again very soon.
-Koki Eto (23-4): WBC #5 / WBO #7 / WBA #8
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion is currently ranked in the top 10 of the division.
-Ryuichi Funai (30-7): IBF #3 / WBO #5 / WBC #10 / WBA #13
Funai knocked out Filipino standout and world title contender Warlito Parrenas (26-8), in impressive fashion this past June, to win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title. The Japanese veteran could be challenging the winner of Donnie Nietes vs. Aston Palicte (vacant WBO Super Flyweight title match) in 2019.
-Sho Ishida (26-1): IBF #5 / WBO #6 / WBA #7 / WBC #14
Since losing to the WBA world champion Khalid Yafai (24-0) last year, Ishida has won both of his 2018 fights, against Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3) and Richard Claveras (18-5), via KO.
-Kosei Tanaka (11-0): WBO #1
Arguably one of the best fighters that have come out of Japan, Tanaka has won 2 world titles in 2 different divisions within 5 years. Now he looks to add a 3rd one to his collection as he goes face to face with Sho Kimura (17-1) for the WBO World Flyweight championship on September 24.
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-7): WBA #1 / WBC #2 / WBO #3 / IBF #5
The current Japanese Flyweight champion has been on a 6-fight winning streak and has defended his belt 5 times since 2017. Kuroda’s next challenge will be against the IBF Pan Pacific champion and former world title contender Komgrich Nantapech (24-5). The 2 fighters will collide in Thailand, on the 21st of November, in an IBF world title eliminator bout.
-Masahiro Sakamoto (13-1): WBO #4
The former WBO Asia Pacific champion will probably be in line for a WBO World title match, against the winner of Sho Kimura vs. Kosei Tanaka, in 2019. Sakamoto has won his last 5 fights, all stoppages, including victories over top Thai boxers like Ekkawit Songnui (48-6) and Wicha Phulaikhao (60-10).
-Ryuji Hara (23-2): WBO #1
Hara has been the #1 ranked Light Flyweight by the WBO since January, despite having only competed once in this division against the debuting Seneey Worachina. Hara was set to face Angel Acosta for the world title on April 7 but an injury prevented him from stepping into the ring.
-Tetsuya Hisada (32-9): WBA #1 / WBO #3 / WBC #4 / IBF #4
The reigning Japanese Flyweight champion, since 2016, recorded a 4th successful defense against Koki Ono (12-5) on July 16, thus improving his streak to 11 consecutive victories. Now as the #1 ranked Light Flyweight by the WBA, he is rumored to face Hekkie Budler (32-3) for the gold, sooner or later.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (10-0): WBA #2 / WBC #3 / IBF #5
The undefeated IBF Minimumweight World champion has decided to move up a weight class and is already sitting at the top of the division. Kyoguchi’s Light Flyweight debut will take place on September 25, in Korakuen Hall, against fellow undefeated fighter Tibo Monabesa (18-0). There are also talks for a potential clash with Budler in the near future.
-Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3): WBC #5 / WBA #4 / IBF #7
Despite losing his 2 world title to Budler, Taguchi is still ranked amongst the top Light Flyweights in the world and without a doubt he will gain another crack at the gold in no time. There are rumors that Taguchi may move up to Flyweight and fight for a world title in December. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet though.
-Reiya Konishi (16-1): WBO #5 / WBA #7 / WBC #14
The former world title challenger and now new WBO Asia Pacific champion is coming closer to once again fight for the world championship.
-Tsubasa Koura (13-0): WBC #3 / IBF #4 / WBA #9 / WBO #11
At only 23 years of age, Koura has already amassed 13 career wins, including 9 KOs, as well as the OPBF Minimumweight championship. His 3rd title defense will take place on September 29 against Daiki Tomita (12-0). A WBC world title match with Chayaphon Moonsri (51-0) in 2019 seems more likely at this point, or even a class with Mark Anthony Barriga (9-0) for the vacant IBF belt.
-Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6): WBC #7 / IBF #13
Fukuhara has been victorious in both of his 2018 fights but he is going to need a few more wins if he wants challenge Chayaphon Moonsri again.
-Shin Ono (22-9): WBO #9 / IBF #11 / WBA #12 / WBC #19
Ono made his first successful Japanese title defense against former world title contender Riku Kano (13-4) on August 24.
-Ryuya Yamanaka (16-3): WBC #5 / WBO #6
This is mostly an honorary mention as Yamanaka announced his retirement, due to a brain injury, a week ago. An absolute tragic turn of events, considering also how young this man is (23). We wish Yamanaka the best in this next chapter of his life.
*The fighters that are ranked here, belong in the top 10 of at least one of the major four.
**Including ONLY the rankings of the divisions that the fighters are currently competing in.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi Gym)
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
The recently concluded World Youth Championships in Hungary proved to be another fruitful one for Asia, with 35 of the available 80 medals being claimed therefore further cementing its position as the number 1 continent in amateur boxing.
In the men’s tournament Kazakhstan lead the way with 6 medals, 1 gold, 4 silvers and a bronze. Given their extremely high standards just 1 gold maybe a disappointment but there were a number of close bouts against Russian opposition that could have gone either way. Asian Youth champion Ermakhan Zhakpekov who won silver impressed yet again and the youngster will be aiming to continue the rich Kazak tradition in the welterweight division.
Uzbekistan captured a gold and 2 bronze but Asian Youth flyweight champion Samandar Kholmurodov coming home empty handed was a huge surprise as he was defeated by eventual gold medallist Asa Stevens of the USA in the quarter-finals. Abdumalik Khalokov was able to match his victory at the Asian Youth Championships as he took gold at bantamweight.
The standout Asian nation were undoubtedly Thailand who produced some outstanding displays to win 2 gold and 2 bronze medals. It could have actually been even better had Asian Youth flyweight champion Sukthet Sarawut not been drawn against Samandar Kholmurodov in the early stages. The success also proved that their high medal tally at home in the Asian Youth Championships this year was no fluke. Arguably the best Asian fighter at the Championships was lightweight Atichai Phoensap who had to overcome home man Adrian Orban in the final and the teenager is now World and Asian Youth champion and could very well be the next star to come from the land of smiles.
India should be fairly satisfied with their 2 bronze medals from flyweight Bhavesh Kattimani and Ankit at lightweight and light flyweight Barun Singh went down in the quarter-finals to eventual victor Thitisan Panmod.
Japan’s Sho Usami showed real potential to win a bronze at welterweight and Ryonsuke Tsutsumi, brother of Hayato also showed real promise at lightweight, eventually going out in the last 8 to Atichai Phoensap however, light welterweight Sora Tanaka going out in the first round will have been a big disappointment. Finally Christian Pitt laurente won a bronze at bantamweight from the Philippines and Jordan’s light welterweight Bader Osman Majed Samreen came away with Bronze in a quite remarkable achievement.
India topped the medal charts in the women’s competition with 2 gold, 2 silvers and 4 bronze as the country continues to make a case for being the number 1 super power in women’s boxing with Russia, England USA and Thailand also achieving great success in Budapest. The success for India backs up an incredible 7 golds claimed at last year’s World Youth Championships in Guwahati and Nitu retained her light flyweight crown. Featherweight Sakshi was highly impressive stopping Croatia’s Nikolina Cachic in the final.
Kazakhstan took home a gold, 2 silver and 2 Bronze and Japan’s Sena Irie won a very credible bronze at featherweight. Finally Thailand again produced excellent results with a silver and 2 bronze but there was no one on the podium from China or either of the Koreas which was maybe a bit of a surprise.
(Image courtesy of AIBA)
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