December is just around the corner and it is set to be one of the most hectic months in memory for fight fans with huge shows through out the month. The month is so packed with action that we've done a Japanese TV guide, to try and make sure you catch all the action on Japanese services this coming month.
Please note - Specific days for tape delay events haven't yet been confirmed, please keep an eye on our news section for those. Also note International events are only listed if being shown live.
Tokyo, Japan [Televised live on G+]
Osaka, Japan [Tape delay on Boxing Raise]
California, USA [Live on WOWOW]
Aichi, Japan [Tape delay on Boxing raise]
Tokyo, Japan [Televised tape delayed on Fuji TV - Date to be confirmed, but expected to be December 8th]Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) Vs Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [Preview]
New York, USA [Live on WOWOW]
Osaka, Japan [Tape delay Boxing Raise]
Osaka, Japan [Yet to be confirmed, potentially tape delay on TBS in January]
Tokyo, Japan [Tape delay Fuji TV - Date to be confirmed, but expected to be December 15th]
Tokyo, Japan [Live on Boxingraise]
Osaka, Japan [Live on G+]
Tokyo, Japan [Live on G+]
Osaka, Japan [Tape delay Boxingraise]
Osaka, Japan [Tape delay on Boxing raise]
Tokyo, Japan [Live on Fuji TV]
Macau [Live on TBS]
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
With HBO exiting the boxing business after their final card on December 8, US boxing is in an intriguing spot with 3 main entities jockeying for supremacy.
Top Rank has a long term deal with ESPN and the ESPN+ App also streams shows from the US and abroad, the PBC has extended its agreement with Showtime and inked a deal with Fox and streaming service DAZN has Matchroom and Golden Boy as their boxing providers along with the World Boxing Super Series.
For those outsiders there are actually some fabulous opportunities with the 3 above entities looking to snap up any available world class talent so as to fill the many dates and provide the best possible boxing content. One of those is World of Boxing, founded by Russian businessman Andriy Ryabinskiy, with well-known manager Vadim Kornilov managing the day-to-day operations. Their stable includes Alexander Povetkin, Denis Lebedev, Eduart Troyanovsky, Dmitry Kudryashov and Sergey Kuzmin amongst others. Hardcore fans, especially those in the UK where it was broadcast on Boxnation may remember the November 2015 Wednesday marathon afternoon of action from Russia which provided plenty of thrills and spills. You can view the show I’m referring to
Arguably the company’s biggest star Dmitry Bivol defended his light heavyweight title this past weekend in Atlantic City, out pointing Jean Pascal over 12 rounds. With his contract with HBO now expired, Bivol is a free agent and there surely won’t be a shortage of takers in an interesting 175 lb mix.
Adonis Stevenson defends his WBC belt against Oleksandr Gvozdyk this weekend with Stevenson aligned with the PBC and Gvozdyk signed with Top Rank. The rematch between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev will take place on ESPN in February whilst IBF titlist Artur Beterbiev plies his trade on DAZN.
On the Bivol Pascal undercard, 3 of the brightest prospects in world boxing featured as a trio of Uzbeks all scored knockout wins.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev won medals at every major tournament which was no mean feat given the truly elite bantamweight mix in the amateur ranks. He notched up his 5th professional win, breaking down Isaac Zarate in 9 rounds and he is already world ranked at super bantamweight and has a very fan friendly style which viewers in the US should enjoy.
Shakhram Giyasov won Olympic silver in 2016 and gold at the 2017 world championships and was a flashy stylist with plenty of charisma as an amateur. In his 6 pro contests he really has adapted extremely quickly and he blitzed Miguel Zamudio inside a round in Atlantic City.
Making his debut was Israil Madrimov who stopped Vladimir Hernandez in the 6th of a scheduled 10 rounder. As an amateur Madrimov won gold at the Asian Games and Asian Championships and when in full flow his relentless attacks are a joy to watch.
Whilst it’s fair to say that Povetkin and Lebedev are at the tail end of their careers, the likes of Bivol, Akhmadaliev, Giyasov and Madrimov are supreme talents and if either of the 3 major networks can strike a deal with World of Boxing then it will only enhance their quality of product.
By Eric Armit
-Khalid Yafai retains the WBA super fly title with win over a competitive Israel Gonzalez
-Dmitry Bivol successfully defends his secondary WBA light heavyweight title with wide decision over Jean Pascal
-Denis Lebedev outpoints Mike Wilson in non-title fight
-Chinese hope Fanlong Meng halts Frank Buglioni on a cut
-Michael Hunter fells another giant as he stops Alex Ustinov
-Mexican Carlos Diaz and Puerto Rican Christopher return form unsuccessful world title fights with wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS:
Monte Carlo, Monaco: Super Fly: Khalid Yafai (25-0) W PTS 12 Israel Gonzalez (23-3). Cruiser: Denis Lebedev (32-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Mike Wilson (19-1). Light Heavy: Fanlong Meng (14-0) W TKO 5 Frank Buglioni (22-4-1). Heavy: Michael Hunter (16-1) W TKO 9 Alexander Ustinov (34-3). Welter: Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0) W TKO 3 Marcos Mojica (16-3-2).
Yafai vs. Gonzalez
Yafai makes a successful defence of his WBA title but this was not one of his most impressive performances and one he will be happy to put behind him as he looks for some career defining fights. Yafai was on the front foot for much of the fight but from the opening round Gonzalez showed some clever movement and quick hands and Yafai had trouble pinning him down. If anything Gonzalez speeded up in the second but Yafai attacked hard and his strong jab and left hooks were enough to have taken both of the opening rounds. Gonzalez had more success in the third and despite some sharp left hooks from Yafai he looked to have edged it and some flashing combinations made the fourth a good round for the challenger. The scores at that juncture were 39-37 for Yafai and 38-38 and 38-38. Yafai was back on top in the fifth with a series of stinging hooks and a clash of heads saw Gonzalez suffer a serious cut over his left eye. The sixth, seventh and eighth were all close rounds featuring a high work rate and more quick combinations from Gonzalez against the constant pressure, hard jabs and hurtful left hooks from Yafai. At the end of the eighth the fight was still very close as the scores were 78-74, 77-75 and 77-75 all for Yafai. From that point Yafai really controlled the action. His pressure was wearing down Gonzalez and Yafai had the advantage of having gone twelve rounds five times so knew better how to judge the pace of the fight. Even when Gonzalez had been winning early rounds he was having to fight hard to do so and the pace began to tell. A left hook from Yafai had Gonzalez in some discomfort in the tenth and his strong jab gave him the eleventh but Gonzalez had enough left to put in a big effort in the last and took the round on the three cards but it was not enough. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 for Yafai. Fourth defence of his WBA title for the 29-year-old from Birmingham but not one of his best nights. His mandatory challenger is Norberto Jimenez a fight which constitutes a degree of risk for very little reward. A fight with WBC champion Srisaket is unlikely and the WBA No 2 Kazuto Ioka is facing Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO title on 31 December. With Roman Gonzalez injured and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas having just defended his title the cupboard looks a bit bare but who knows what is going to happen in boxing. Although Gonzalez’s two wins this year were over fighters with combined records of 13-18 the WBA parachuted him into the rating at No 14 to justify this as a title fight. Despite that Gonzalez put up a very good showing and hopefully will get some good matches on the back of this fight.
Lebedev vs. Wilson
Lebedev gets his second win after returning to action but his performance here will not send any shivers down the backs of the top level cruisers. The relatively inexperienced Wilson did well over the first two rounds using deft jabs and he opened a cut over Lebedev’s left eye in the second. That was as good as things got for Wilson as southpaw Lebedev took control of the fight and never relinquished it. Lebedev was too strong for Wilson and began to land some crunching hooks and uppercuts rocking Wilson in the fourth. It was a big round for Lebedev as he looked to have badly injured the nose of Wilson and also opened a cut by the American’s left eye. Lebedev dominated the middle rounds but he could not entirely subdue the limited Wilson who managed to score with occasional attacks and some solid counters. As the rounds progressed Wilson’s work became more untidy and his relative lack of experience saw him tire. Despite his dominance Lebedev was not able to really put Wilson on the verge of a stoppage and the one-sided nature of the fight saw very few highlights. Lebedev did not seem to be putting in 100% effort being willing to settle for getting twelve rounds under his belt. Scores 119-109-twice and 117-111 for Lebedev. The 39-year-old Russian has emerged from his “Champion in Recess” condition and in theory should get next shot at Olek Usyk if Usyk decides to fight again at cruiser. Lebedev’s choices are limited as most of the top cruisers are engaged in the WBSS tournament so he might end up facing the holder of the WBA secondary title Beibut Shumenov which is a fight that would garner very little interest. At 35 “White Delight” Wilson is going nowhere. He jumped into the WBA ratings at No 11 for beating Mario Aguilar who had lost 2 of his previous 3 fights by KO/TKO so the only saving grace is that at least this Lebedev outing was not being sold as a title fight.
Meng vs. Buglioni
A disappointing end for Buglioni as a bad cut rules him out of the fight although Meng did look to be in control. In the first Buglioni came out aggressively trying to get past the long southpaw reach of Meng but the Chinese fighter scored with accurate left counters. Meng’s quick footwork and speedy southpaw lefts were frustrating Buglioni’s efforts to get inside in the second and Meng was threading stiff jabs through Buglioni’s guard with Buglioni’s face redden from the attention of Meng’s left. The third was a much better round for Buglioni. He was chasing Meng down getting in close and scoring with hooks from both hands. Meng was still finding the target with his lefts but it was Buglioni’s round. Meng changed his tactics in the fourth. Over the first three rounds he had let Buglioni come to him and countered now he took the fight to Buglioni. He was scoring with straight lefts, hooks and uppercuts and had blood dripping from Buglioni’s nose. Buglioni tried to fire back but Meng had faster hands and a higher level of accuracy. Early in the fifth after some more jarring lefts Buglioni was cut over his right eye and on his right cheek. He survived a doctor’s inspection but knowing the cut was bad Buglioni went after Meng but once again he was caught with fast lefts. The cut had worsened and this time the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Big win for the Inner Mongolia-born “Cold Blood” Meng as he retains his IBF Inter-Continental title and has a chance of improving on his No 10 rating with that body. He showed some very good skills, quick movement and a sound defence. He has a good jab but it was his fast, accurate lefts that impressed here. He was twice Chinese champion and represented China at the World Junior and 2009 and 2011 Senior Championships and at the 2012 Olympics. Former British light heavyweight champion Buglioni lost to Fedor Chudinov for the secondary WBA super middle title and was stopped in one round by Callum Johnson for the British and Commonwealth light heavyweight titles in March this year. He is an entertaining and exciting fighter so hopefully he will rebuild with some lower level fights and try again.
Hunter vs. Ustinov
Hunter’s father was known as “The Bounty Hunter” well son Mike is establishing himself as the “New Goliath” after his second win in a row over opponents much bigger and heavier than himself. Hunter took this fight with Ustinov at just two weeks notice which was plenty of time when you consider how slow and untalented Ustinov is. The Russian was over 5” taller than Hunter and 66lbs heavier and glacially slow. Hunter was able to buzz around landing stinging jabs long rights and easily evading the ponderous punches from Ustinov. Hunter shook Ustinov with a left hook in the fourth and rocked him numerous other times. Ustinov’s tactics consisted of rumbling forward trying to get a grip of Hunter and lean on him so that he could use his weight to tire Hunter. Those tactics were nullified by the superior foot and hand speed of Hunter. Ustinov showed guts in taking the punishment and trying to get close but Hunter’s punches were having an effect and Ustinov was put down by a right to the head in the eighth. He beat the count but was all over the place and in a bad way but saw out the round. In the ninth a left hook dropped Ustinov to his knees and the referee stopped the fight. Hunter’s only loss was on points against Olek Usyk for the WBO cruiser title in April last year. This is his fourth fight at heavyweight including his stoppage of the bigger and heavier unbeaten Martin Bakole Illunga last month Ustinov was No 14 with the WBA so Hunter will enter the ratings but he may struggle against the better heavyweights who may not be bigger but will certainly be faster than Illunga and Ustinov. At 41 it is difficult to see a future for Ustinov. He was knocked out in eleven rounds by Kubrat Pulev for the European title in 2012 and lost on points to Manuel Charr for the vacant secondary WBA title in November. The rest of his opposition has either been old or inept-or both.
Yeleussinov vs. Mojica
It is taking former amateur star Yeleussinov a while to adjust to the pros but really he had nothing to beat in Nicaraguan Mojica. Yeleussinov was stalking Mojica in the first with Mojica circling the perimeter of the ring trying to stay out of trouble but he was sent staggering by a straight left from the Kazak southpaw. In the second a chopping left to the head dropped Mojica. He quickly got up then changed his mind and sat down again. After the eight count Mojica showed some signs of aggression as he marched forward throwing punches. That did not last long and he was on the retreat again. A left hook from Yeleussinov which seemed to land low and a left to the top of the head dumped Mojica on the floor and the bell went as he made it to his feet. Three straight lefts felled Mojica in the third. He was up at six but there was some confusion over whether he wanted to fight on or not and almost by default the fight continued until a head-snapping uppercut from Yeleussinov saw the referee stop the fight. It is the third win by KO/TKO for the former World and Olympic champion so early days to say how he will adjust. Mojica was in way over his head and gets his second loss by KO/TKO. Sloppy corner work saw him come out for both the second and third rounds without his mouthguard
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Light Heavy: Dimity Bivol (15-0) W PTS 12 Jean Pascal (33-6-1). Heavy: Sergey Kuzmin (14-0,1ND) W TKO 6 LaRon Mitchell (16-2). Super Bantam: Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0) W TKO 9 Isaac Zarate (16-3-3). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (1-0) W TKO 9 Vladimir Hernandez (10-3). Light: Karl Dragan (19-1) W PTS 8 Moises Delgadillo (17-17-2). Heavy: Evgeny Tischenko (3-0) W KO 2 Christian Mariscal (11-2)
Bivol vs. Pascal
Bivol retains the secondary WBA title with wide unanimous decision over Pascal in a monotonous and one-sided fight. From the first round Bivol was stabbing his jab into Pascal’s face and the Canadian veteran had little answer to it. Pascal was just too slow with his counters. He tried some leaping hooks but they did not connect. Bivol’s jab had Pascal on the back foot for all of the second round and he added with some heavy rights to the head. Pascal tried to hide behind a high guard in the third but Bivol was able to pick his spots and move back too quickly for Pascal to land an y counters. The fourth was a closer round with Pascal more active. He was coming forward and ducking under Bivol’s jab. Pascal overdid a lunging left hook and tumbled to the floor. Bivol was more accurate and although not getting through as often as in the other rounds he did enough to take the round. The scores after four rounds saw Bivol in front on the three cards 39-37 twice and 40-36. The fifth and sixth were easy rounds for Bivol. He was back on target with his jab and Pascal just could not get past it. Bivol was getting through with speedy rights and using quick footwork to bounce back out of range when Pascal tried to counter. Bivol controlled the eighth spearing Pascal with his jab and landing a thumping right to the head just before the bell. Pascal came briefly to life in the eighth storming forward and landing a few hard swipes. Bivol was unshaken and finished the round strongly. After eight rounds the scores reflected the one-side nature of the fight at 79-73, 78-74 and 80-72 for Bivol. Pascal put in big efforts in the ninth and tenth trying to brawl and maul Bivol out of his comfort zone but the young Russian just kept sticking Pascal with his jab and banging home rights. Pascal’s face was heavily swollen from the accurate punches Bivol was slotting home but he hung in there. It was disappointing that with such ascendancy Bivol seemed unwilling to take any chances but was content to just outbox Pascal. Bivol took the last two rounds threading his jabs through Pascal’s guard and landing rights to head and body. Pascal threw a few punches just before the bell but Bivol was untroubled. Scores 119-109 twice and a generous to Pascal 117-111. Third defence for the 27-year-old Kyrgyzstan-born Russian but it was a flat uninspiring effort by Bivol. He has shown some real power in other fights but was too cautious in this one. Former WBC light heavyweight champion Pascal, 36, has had a great career. Just last year he took Eleider Alvarez to a majority decision but this was one fight too far for the Haitian-born warrior.
Kuzmin vs. Mitchell
Russian Kuzmin proves to be too much of a step up in opposition quality for Mitchell. After winning the first two rounds Kuzmin overwhelmed Mitchell scoring knockdowns in the third, fifth and sixth rounds before the referee halted the fight. Kuzmin has a fourth round retirement win over David Price. The No Decision on his record was a technical draw against Amir Mansour that was changed to a No Decision when Mansour tested positive for a banned substance. Now 31 Kuzmin was twice Russian champion and won a gold and a silver at European Championships stopping currently unbeaten Joe Joyce inside a round on the way to the silver medal in 2013. Southpaw Mitchell, 38, suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Akhmadaliev vs. Zarate
Akhmadaliev is already making waves after just five pro fights. Against a very useful Zarate he broke down and then halted Zarate giving the Californian his first loss by KO/TKO. Southpaw Akhmadaliev made a fast start putting Zarate under relentless pressure before staggering him with a huge right in the third. Zarate was getting in some licks of his own and eventually Akhmadaliev developed swelling on both cheeks. Akhmadaliev kept rolling forward behind a high guard connecting with rights to the head and left hooks to the body. The end was in sight in the eighth when a right to the body had Zarate hurt. Akhmadaliev jarred and jolted Zarate with punches in the ninth until Zarate sunk to his knees and the referee called a halt giving Akhmadaliev his fourth inside the distance win. The 24-year-old Californian-based Uzbek was defending the WBA Inter-Continental title. Although he has not yet beaten a fighter anywhere near the ratings he is No 3 with the WBA because of the Inter-Continental title. In the amateurs he won a silver at the World Youth Championships at 49kgs, a gold at the Uzbek Championships, a gold at the Asian Championships a silver at the World Championships and a bronze at the 2016 Olympics all at 56kg. Certainly a prospect. Fellow southpaw Zarate had scored three useful wins in eight round fights this year but found the power of Akhmadaliev too much for him.
Madrimov vs. Hernandez
Even in these days when so many top amateurs are moving over to the pros it is unusual for a fighter to go straight into a ten round fight. “The Dream” Madrimov did that here successfully. It looked as though he might make this a quick finish but a gutsy Hernandez did not crumble. By the end of the second round Hernandez had been staggered a couple of times and was cut over his left eye. A bunch of rights floored Hernandez in the third but he survived only to take more punishment in the fourth. At the end of the round he convinced the doctor and the referee that he could continue. Madrimov seemed to take a breather in the fifth but opened up again in the sixth and bombarded Hernandez with punches until the referee stopped the contest. As you might expect the 23-year-old Madrimov has good amateur credentials including a silver medal at the World Junior Championships, Uzbek champion three times, gold medals at the Asian Championships and Asian Games. He was a quarter-finalist at the 2017 World Championships and was 5-1 in two seasons of the WBS. Denver-based Mexican Hernandez had scored wins over reasonable level opposition in his last three fights.
Dargan vs. Delgadillo
Dargan turns in another cameo appearance as despite his talent he seems to be just letting his career slip away. He had no trouble in getting past Mexican Delgadillo winning on scores of 78-73 on each of the three cards. The former Pan American Games gold medallist and two-time US national champion turned pro eleven years ago and won his first 17 fights before losing to Tony Lopez in January 2015. He was then inactive until returning with a win in August this year and at 33 has probably left it too late to make any impression. Delgadillo really just prelim level but usually goes the distance.
Tischenko vs. Mariscal
I guess Tischenko has to fight someone as he adjusts to the pro ranks but this was ridiculous. Tischenko ended the fight with a right hook in the second round. With Tischenko at 6’5” and 38-year-old Mexican Mariscal carrying loads of flab at 5’10” and 246 lbs it was not a fight for a match-maker to feel proud off. The former World and Olympic champion will have learned nothing from this. Six of Mariscal's victims had either never had a fight or never won a fight.
Moreno, Argentina: Super Welter: Diego Chaves (27-4-1) W KO 2 Jean Prada (36-10-1). In a repeat of their fight in June last year Chaves demolishes poor Prada inside two rounds. In the opening round a right saw a reluctant Prada fall backwards into a corner and then drop on his knees on the canvas in a delayed action effect. He survived the round but in the second Chaves drove Prada along the ropes with a series of punches before a right dumped Prada on his backside on the canvas propped up against the ropes and he was counted out. The 32-year-old “Jewell moves to 23 wins by KO/TKO. The Argentinian No 6 welter, a former interim WBA champion, was coming off back-to-back losses to Jamal James and Thulani Mbenge. Venezuelan southpaw Prada suffers his fourth defeat in a row by KO/TKO.
Lessines, Belgium: Welter: Meriton Karaxha (21-5-2) W TKO 1 Jean Moraiti (17-15-4). Karaxha punches much too hard for Frenchman Moraiti. The local fighter was firing jabs through the defence of Moraiti but it was the strong hooks from both hands that had Moraiti retreating. The Frenchman tried to counter with left hooks but was being driven around the ring under a barrage of punches from Karaxha. He was trapped in his own cornet and a big left hook the head shook Moraiti badly and he took a knee with Karaxha landing a left hook to the back of Moraiti’s head when Moraiti was already kneeling on the canvas. Despite that the referee started the count. Moraiti’s second threw the towel on the canvas but the referee picked it up and threw it out again. Moraiti was on his feet and Karaxha having seen the towel being thrown in was standing on the ropes celebrating his victory when the referee signalled for both to continue the fight. Moraiti protested that his corner had already thrown in the towel and only then did the referee waive the fight over. Albanian-born Karaxha wins the vacant WBFederation International title with his eighth win by KO/TKO. He is now 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights. Moraiti is now 0-4 in fights this year including two challenges for the French title.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Ganigan Lopez (35-8) W PTS 10 Ricardo Rodriguez (16-7). Former WBC light fly champion Lopez eases his way back into action as he moves up to flyweight and takes a unanimous decision over less experienced Rodriguez. Lopez put that edge in experience to good use against the younger Rodriguez who pressed hard. He took the fight to Lopez but was outboxed from the start. After four rounds Lopez had already established a good lead being up on two cards at 39-37 and a wider 40-36. Rodriguez continued to march forward over the next four rounds but the countering and defensive work from Lopez served to widen the points gap so that after eight rounds with the scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 Rodriguez needed a stoppage to win. That was never on the cards and Lopez was a comfortable winner by scores of 98-92 twice and 97-93. The 37-year-old southpaw will be hoping to build to one more title fight. Rodriguez has now lost his last four fights but put in a creditable performance in taking Jonathan Gonzalez to split decision in February.
Singapore: Super Bantam: Muhammad Ashiq (6-0) W KO 5 Galih Susanto (16-8-1). Singapore’s “ Mr Fantastique” has to get off the floor to win this one. Just one minute into the fight a heavy right from Indonesian Susanto put Ashiq on the canvas. Susanto tried desperately to end it then but Ashiq survived. Susanto was on top again in the second and had Ashiq down but as Ashiq was wrestled to the floor there was no count but Ashiq did not escape unscathed as an elbow from Susanto opened a cut over the Singaporean’s left eye. Susanto’s chance for a win had gone and Ashiq took the fourth and fifth rounds before putting Susanto down and out with a left to the body in round five. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 23-year-old Ashiq who wins the vacant WBC International Silver title, his first pro title. Susanto had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Durban, South Africa: Cruiser: Akani Phuzi (7-0) W PTS 12 Afinni Abidun (6-1-1). Light: Ayanda Nkosi (11-1) W PTS 12 Steven Bagwasi (4-1).
Phuzi vs. Abidun
South African “Prime” Phuzi outboxes Nigerian Abidun in the first defence of his WBA Pan African title. Phuzi had too much skill for the limited Abidun and after making a cautious start he proceeded to hand out a severe beating to the visitor. Phuzi took control with flashing combinations and a strong body attack and Abidun did well to last the distance with Phuzi a clear victor.. Although this is only Phuzi’s seventh fight he has now gone the full twelve rounds twice. He was a top flight amateur being South African champion in 2012 and 2015 and winning a bronze medal at the African Cup of Nations. He turned pro after failing to get through the final World Qualifier for the 2016 Olympics. Abidun, 33, turned pro in 2013 but has had difficulty getting fights and was inactive in 2014 and 2015. He had never been past six rounds before.
Nkosi vs. Bagwasi
In another WBA Pan African title fight South African Nkosi extended his winning run to eight bouts with points decision over Botswanan boxer Bagwasi. Nkosi had height and reach over “Small” Bagwasi and that gave him the edge. Bagwasi fought hard to get inside and work the body with Nkosi getting the best of the exchanges when he could use his longer reach to outbox Bagwasi, They fought at a high pace over the early rounds and Nkosi’s experience of having gone both ten rounds and twelve gave him the edge over the inexperienced Bagwasi. Nkosi floored a tired Bagwasi in the last round and was a good winner. Second title defence for Greyhound” Nkosi. Bagwasi was going past the sixth round for the first time but will improve with experience.
Rimouski, Canada: Middle: Steven Butler (26-1-1) W KO 2 Jesus Gutierrez (25-3-2). Feather: Andranik Grigoryan (9-0) W PTS 8 Javier Franco (34-20-5). Super Welter: Artem Oganesyan (8-0) W TKO 6 Juan Mares (20-16). Super Middle: Nurzat Sabirov (8-0) W TKO 2 Rocky Montoya (32-3,1ND). Cruiser: Arutyun Avetisyan (12-0) W PTS 8 Demetrius Banks (10-7,1ND).
Butler vs. Gutierrez
Butler blows away Mexican Gutierrez inside four minutes. Gutierrez tried to take the fight to Butler in the first and paid the price. Butler cut loose with a barrage of head punches that left Gutierrez slumped on the canvas propped up against the ropes. He looked finished and Butler was climbing the ropes to celebrate his victory. However Gutierrez had somehow dragged himself to his feet before the eight count was completed and the bell went before the action could resume. In the second a couple of thunderous rights to the head and a left to the body saw Gutierrez going back and down on his knees and he sat out the count. Butler continues to live up to his “BANG BANG” nickname with this being win No 23 by KO/TKO. Since losing to Brandon Cook in January 2017 the 23-year-old Butler has scored eight consecutive victories by KO/TKO. He is No 5 with the WBO. Tijuana’s Gutierrez was 5-0-1 in his last 6 fights.
Grigoryan vs. Franco
Grigoryan outboxes Mexican Franco. The Armenian-born Grigoryan varied his attacks cleverly creating angles and firing home combinations. Franco stuck to his job but was never in the fight. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for the dominant Grigoryan. If there is a question over the Montreal-based Grigoryan it is over his power with just one win by KO/TKO. Franco had won his last nine fights but the opposition had been poor,
Oganesyan vs. Mares
Young Russian prospect Oganesyan impresses in stoppage of Mares. Oganesyan controlled the fight from the outset. He outpunched and out boxed Mares before finishing the fight in style in the sixth. A series of seven consecutive uppercuts crashed through the Mexican’s guard and had him reeling with the referee stepping in to save Mares from more punishment. The 19-year-old Russian is a former Russian and European Schoolboys Champion and World Junior Champion and this is his seventh win by KO/TKO. Mares now has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Sabirov vs. Montoya
Sabirov takes on experienced Montoya and stops him in two rounds. The youth and power of the Kazak fighter just overwhelmed the seasoned Mexican who finally took a knee under the fierce attacks of Sabirov with the referee stopping the fight at that point. The 24-year-old Kazak won a number of tournaments as an amateur and has won seven of his eight fights by KO/TKO. Once a good class fighter the 36-year-old Montoya has huge gaps in his activity. He was 28-0 at one time but was inactive for nine years between 2007 and 2016 and was having only his second fight in over two years.
Avetisyan vs. Banks
In only his second fight since moving his base to Montreal Avetisyan took a wide unanimous verdict over Banks. Scores 79-71 twice and 77-73. The 6’3” 23-year-old Armenian-born Russian records his seventh win by KO/TKO. Banks, 38, has turned his career around-but in the wrong direction. He was 9-0, 1No Decision but is now 1-7 in his last 8.
Cebu City, Philippines: Super Bantam: Jeo Santisima (17-2) W PTS 12 Victor Lopez (13-7-1). Super Bantam: Albert Pagara (31-1) WKO 1 George Kampah (14-4). Super Fly: Jonas Sultan (15-4) W PTS 10 Ardin Diale (34-13-4). Bantam: Arthur Villanueva (32-3-1) DREW 10 Carlo Demecillo (11-5-1). Super Fly: K J Cataraja (9-0) W PTS 10 Victor Reyes (9-2-1)
Santisima vs. Lopez
Santisima boxes his way to victory against an aggressive and competitive Lopez. Santisima boxed with real quality early scoring to head and body on the advancing Lopez. Mexican Lopez took the punishment but started to get into the fight more from the fourth by setting a high work rate. Santisima was still the one landing the better quality shots but was being outworked and looked to be tiring. However Santisima got back in control as Lopez was shaken badly in the ninth and looked ready to go but showed a great chin. Both fighters connected with heavy punches in a wild tenth and although the pace dropped in the eleventh they went to war again in the last. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-112 for Santisima. The 22-year-old Filipino prospect retains the WBO Oriental title. This is his fifteenth win in a row. He is currently No 13 with the WBO but has the talent to climb higher with the possibly of a world title fight somewhere down the road. Lopez made Santisima fight for hard for the win. He had lost only one of his last six fights that was in return with Japanese prospect Ryo Matsumoto who was 17-0 when Lopez scored an upset win over him in 2016.
Pagara vs. Kampah
Pagara makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO as he blows away Ghanaian Kampah inside a round in a WBO Inter-Continental title defence. Pagara found the target with his rights early and staggered Kampah a couple of times. A vicious left to the body had Kampah badly hurt and Pagara followed that with a barrage that sent Kampah down and out. “Prince Albert” has rebuilt after a shock kayo loss to Cesar Juarez in 2016. He has now scored five wins and is No 5 with the WBO but he will need stiffer opposition before he is ready for a title shot. Kampah was stopped in seven rounds by Isaac Dogboe in December 2015 but had been in only one fight in the almost three years since then.
Sultan vs. Diale
Sultan outboxes experienced Diale. Sultan had a big edge in skill and was quicker and more accurate than Diale. A clash of heads in the second saw Diale with a bad cut over his right eye and Sultan was able to make that a target as he connected with accurate and hurtful shots from both hands. Diale kept coming and began to get into the fight from the sixth as he was connecting with some heavy punches of his own. That made Sultan up his game and despite Diale’s best efforts he never really threatened Sultan. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for “Zorro” Sultan. He was having his first fight since losing to Jerwin Ancajas in a challenge for the IBF title in May. In this crazy, cynical world of sanctioning bodies Sultan went from No 5 to out of the top 15 for losing to the world champion. Diale was 3-3-1 going into this one with the losses being to Daigo Higa, Andrew Selby and Moruti Mthalane.
Villanueva vs. Demecillo
This turned out to be a much closer fight than expected and in fact almost a major upset as Villanueva had to fight hard to get a majority draw against unfancied Demecillo. Undeterred by being the outsider in the betting Demecillo took the offensive from the first round. Villanueva was comfortable boxing on the back foot and countering but Demecillo’s work rate was much higher and he built a lead. Villanueva realised he was handing Demecillo the initiative so from the fourth he went onto the front foot and battled his way into the fight. Even then Demecillo had a good fifth and Villanueva began to run out of rounds. They both fought hard over the last three rounds and it was obviously close. Demecillo seemed to have just done enough to hold on to his lead but it was not to be. Scores 95-95 twice and 96-94 for Demecillo so a majority draw. The 29-year-old “King Arthur” won his first 27 fights but he has lost some important fights since then. He lost on a technical decision against McJoe Arroyo in 2015 for the vacant IBF super fly title, to Zolani Tete in April 2017 for the interim WBO title and was stopped by Luis Nery in November. He had a low level win in June and was hoping to build on that but at least he avoided the banana skin of a loss here and the ALA team will be looking to get him back into the ratings.. Demecillo, 22, had won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss being a split decision in Indonesia now he will be hoping to build on the outstanding performance.
Cataraja vs. Reyes
Cebu City hope Cataraja collects his first title as he takes unanimous decision over Tijuana’s Reyes. In a confident, composed performance Cataraja raked the aggressive Mexican with a range of hard, accurate punches as he tried to make it six inside the distance wins in a row. Reyes did not crumble and although being outboxed he kept pressing Cataraja. That policy almost paid off as Cataraja tired over the last three rounds having very little left in the last. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Catamarca. He wins the vacant WBO Youth title in a good learning fight. Reyes had won his last two fights
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Super Feather: Christopher Diaz (24-1) W KO 1 David Berna (17-6). Feather: Luis Lebron (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Luis May (21-11-1). Light: Joseph Adorno (11-0) W TKO 4 Luis Avila (8-14-3). Light: Henry Lebron (7-0) W TKO 2 Mark Szoros (5-5).
Diaz vs. Berna
“Smurf” Diaz begins his campaign to work his way back to another world title fight as he demolishes Hungarian Berna inside a round. Just one left hook to the temple was all that was needed to put Berna down and out after just 68 seconds although the punch did not look that hard. After scoring good wins over Bryant Cruz and Braulio Rodriguez the 24-year-old Diaz lost on points to Masayuki Ito in July for the vacant WBO super feather title. He has now passed hurdle No 1, albeit a low hurdle, on his way back. Fifteen of Bern’s fights have ended in the first round and he is ahead 12-3 on that score but this is his third loss by KO/TKO in his last four fights.
Lebron vs. May
Lebron won every round against May but had problems fining the target at times. Lebron was 5” taller than May so was able to work on the outside. However the height difference and the crouching style of May made it difficult for Lebron to score consistently and he was often caught by the upward trajectory of the punches from the Mexican. Despite that Lebron outscored May in every round. All three judges saw it 100-90 for “Popeye” Lebron. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican makes it eight wins in a row. Former NABF champion May came in as a very late substitute and is now 2-2- in fights this year.
Adorno vs. Avila
Adorno batters Avila to defeat. The red hot young prospect put Avila down twice in the opening round. The first came from a left hook to the head and the second from a left to the body. Adorno lost his way a little in the second and third allowing Avila to land some counters but an ear bashing from his corner saw him on fire in the fourth and he scored another knockdown to finish the fight. The 19-year-old “Blessed Hands” makes it ten wins by KO/TKO. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Avila who had taken Henry Lebron the distance in September.
Lebron vs. Szoros
Lebron takes out poor Hungarian Szoros in two rounds. Lebron came close to finishing it when he floored Szoros with left hook in the first but with less than thirty seconds to go in the round Szoros survived. It was over in the second as a left hook put Szoros down early in the round. Szoros was over again from a combination to head and body and the third knockdown in the round came from a similar series of punches. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old former Pan America and Puerto Rican Youth champion and World Youth bronze medallist. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for poor Szoros.
Catamarca, Argentina: Super Middle: Sebastian Papeschi (14-1) W PTS 12 Cristian Rios (22-11-3). Super Feather: Javier Herrera (16-2) W PTS 10 Fabian Orozco (27-9-4).
Papeschi vs. Rio
Papeschi takes unanimous decision over experienced former Argentinian middleweight champion Rios. In this all-southpaw scrap Papeschi had the better jab and more accuracy and was rarely troubled by Rios. Rios pressed the fight for much of the time but lacked the power to seriously hurt Papeschi and was out-worked in most of the rounds. Scores 120-110 ½, 119-111 ½ 1119 ½ -110. All for Papeschi. He adds the previously vacant South American title to the WBC Latino Silver title he already holds. His only loss was a disqualification and he is the Argentinian No 1 but slow and limited. Rios, the Argentinian No 4 middleweight, has lost four of his last five contests.
Herrera vs. Orozco
Neighbourhood fighter Herrera gets the win as Orozco throws away the chance of a draw with a stupid infraction. Although Herrera made a promising start Orozco used his bag of trick to confuse Herrera and nullify his better skills. In the fourth Orozco turned his back to avoid punches from Herrera, which he had done a couple of times before and this time the referee deducted a vital point. The fight was close all the way with Orozco tiring at the end but with Herrera not really being able to box as well as he is capable of and in the end he took the decision on scores of 95-94 twice and 97-93 with that fourth round point deduction costing Orozco a draw. Herrera, the Argentinian No 7, put together a run of nine wins before losing on points to Jose Romero in August in a contest for the vacant national title. Orozco,33, is on the slide and is now 04-1 in his last five fights but the fights have been against high standard domestic opposition.
Melbourne, Australia: Welter; Joel Camilleri (16-5-1) W PTS 10 Adam Diu Abdulhamid (13-7). Super Light: Terry Tzouramanis (21-4-3) W PTS 10 Victor Odindo (5-2).
Camilleri vs. Abdulhamid
Camilleri returns to the winning column as he lifts the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with unanimous decision over Filipino Abdulhamid. Camilleri, the Australian No 6, lost a very close decision to 17-1 Dwight Ritchie in August . Filipino Abdulhamid had won his last two contests
Tzouramanis vs. Odindo
Australian No 4Tzouramanis also gets a needed win and picks up a title as he outpoints Kenyan Odindo. Tzouramanis, 33, lost a close verdict against 16-1 Filipino Jayar Inson in Kuala Lumpur in July. His only loss in his last seven fights. Australian-based Odindo was in his first ten round fight.
Montreal, Canada: Middle: Jose de Jesus Macias (24-9-2) W PTS 8 Francis Lafreniere (17-7-2) W. Light: Tony Luis (26-3) W TKO 6 Edgar Ramirez (17-14-1)
Macias vs. Lafreniere
Macias had shown in a fight in February in Montreal against 29-1 Mikael Zewski that he could be a tough handful on his night and he proved that again here as he outpointed local favourite Lafreniere. It was a close fight over the opening two rounds but Macias came on strong in the third and fourth and had Lafreniere in trouble in the fifth. Lafreniere rallied late but Macias deserved the majority decision. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Macias and 76-76. Good road win for the 26-year-old Mexican who was coming off a severe beating against French prospect Souleymane Cissokho in April. A big blow for Lafreniere who had compiled a run of 13 wins before losing on a majority decision to Albert Onolunose in March.
Luis vs. Ramirez
Luis too strong for Ramirez. The Mexican had gained a creditable draw against Logan McGuinness on a previous visit to Canada but Luis ground him down over six rounds. Luis kept walking past the jab of the taller Ramirez and scoring with short clubbing hooks to head and body inside. Ramirez was on the floor in the third and in the sixth he could not get off the ropes as Luis walked him around the ring scoring with chopping shots. Ramirez was trapped in a corner under fire and not throwing anything back and the referee stopped the fight. Now seven wins in a row for the Canadian No 1 since his loss to Derry Mathews for the interim WBA title in 2015. Ramirez usually goes the distance and this is only his third loss by KO/TKO.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Cruiser: Ditlev Rossing (10-0) W TKO 3 Miguel Peralta (9-2). Super Middle: Patrick Mendy (18-13-3) W PTS 8 Dmitri Chudinov (21-4-2). Super Light: Enock Poulsen (9-0) W KO 5 Kelvin Dotel (13-4).
Rossing vs. Peralta
Rossing retains his WBC Youth title with stoppage of Argentinian Peralta. Rossing was determined to end this one early and was too anxious to find that big punch instead of working his openings. Despite that Peralta was a poor opponent and Rossing had him over in the second round. Peralta survived but was on the floor twice more in the third and the fight was over. The 23-year-old Danish hope gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. A former Danish amateur champion Rossing needs stiffer tests than this. Second loss by KO/TKO for Peralta. He has a heavily padded record with six of his victims never having won a fight.
Mendy vs. Chudinov
If there is one thing you can predict about Mendy is that he will be unpredictable. This was meant to be a routine outing for Chudinov but Mendy had other plans and probably felt confident having fought a draw with the then unbeaten Chudinov in 2013.The British-based Gambian was 1-5-2 in his previous 8 fights but he outfought and outthought former interim WBA middleweight champion Chudinov. In typical style Chudinov marched forward looking to work inside and for the first two rounds Mendy obliged him and beat him at his own game. Mendy then made things easier for himself by moving more and boxing more. He was much quicker than the Russian and had Chudinov cut over his left eye and badly shaken in the fifth. If Chudinov was hoping his pressure would slow Mendy that was his mistake as Mendy was moving and punching to the final bell. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Mendy. The 28-year-old Gambian has taken plenty of short-notice fights and fought guys in their own back yard from one end of Europe to the other. This is his third fight in Demark having lost a wide decision to Patrick Nielsen and only losing on a majority decision against Lolenga Mock so a good and well deserved win here. Chudinov looks to be on the edge of a slide now being 1-3 this year.
Poulsen vs. Dotel
Considered one of the best prospects in Danish boxing Poulsen gets inside the distance win over Dotel. There was some controversy early in the fight with Poulsen putting Dotel down at the end of the first round with a left hook that seemed to land just after the bell. However the referee gave Dotel a count. He beat the count only to ship more punishment in the second and third as Poulsen rocked Dotel a couple of times. Dotel tried to press Poulsen but the Dane is an excellent counter puncher so was comfortable with that. In the fifth an uppercut put Dotel down again. He made it to his feet but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 26-year-old Poulsen gets his third win by KO/TKO. He was an outstanding amateur but under the name of Enock Mwandila. He was born in Zambia but moved the Denmark with his family when he was four. He is a former Danish amateur champion who lost at both the European and World Qualifiers so did not make it to Rio and turned pro. Spanish-based Dominican Dotel suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Serifontaine, France: Super Bantam: Adel Hadjouis (11-6-1) W PTS 10 Hugo Legros (9-1-2). Hadjouis retains the French title with unanimous decision over Legros. Scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 for Hadjouis. Legros gave it a good try and the fight was much closer than the last score indicates. He pressed hard but admitted that with Hadjouis being a neighbourhood fighter he probably needed to do more to get the victory. Hadjouis was making the first defence of the title and is 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights. Tough for Legros to have come so close but lose but he was going ten rounds for the first time and will probably get another title shot next year.
Cancun, Mexic0: Super Light: Carlos Diaz (27-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Jose Perez (22-2). Diaz outpoints Perez in a war. No study time in this fight. It was bombs away from the start. The opener was a big round for Diaz. As Perez came forward throwing punches a hard left hook sent him tumbling back to the canvas. Perez was up at four and after the count he plunged into Diaz holding on tight. Diaz turned and threw Perez to the floor which spoiled his good start as the referee deducted a point from Diaz. Perez had recovered and traded punches with Diaz in the second ending the round with a shower of punches. Diaz rocked Perez with a huge right uppercut in the third and was targeting the body for much of the round. Just before the bell a series of punches unbalanced Diaz and he touched the canvas trying to right himself and was lucky that the referee did not count it as a knockdown. Diaz boxed more over the middle rounds with Perez particularly strong when he could get inside and he was landing some heavy hooks and giving Diaz a torrid time. Perez continued to attack in the eighth doing some good work to the body but getting caught with sharp counters from Diaz and despite a brave effort from Perez the more accurate punching from Diaz was winning him the rounds. Scores 96-92 twice and 97-91 for Diaz. First win for 23-year-old Diaz as he starts again after a fifth round kayo loss to Jose Zepeda in June. Similar story for Perez who won his first 21 fights before losing on points to unbeaten Russian Ruslan Madiev in May.
St Johns, New Zealand: Heavy: Lucas Browne (27-1) W KO 5 Junior Paul (12-23-1,1ND) . If you like a farce then this was one for you as Browne knocks out an overmatched Paul. Browne was a full head taller than the overweight roly-poly Paul whose tactics, if you can call them that, were to bull his way inside and hold. Browne was really putting in very little effort and the longer the fight went on the more Paul was holding. He would wrap his arms around Browne and only let go very reluctantly Paul threw a few jabs but they were all short. Browne began to land some better punches in the fourth and in the fifth dropped Paul with a right uppercut inside. Paul went down on his back and the referee counted to ten. Browne wins the vacant WBC Asian Council Silver title and gets his second win since his crushing kayo loss to Dillian Whyte in March. Eleven losses by KO/TKO for Samoan Paul who had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Light: Sandor Martin (32-2) W PTS 10 Mauro Godoy (30-4-1). European No 2 Martin keeps busy with win over seasoned Argentinian Godoy in the first fight held in Las Arenas de Barcelona for 47 years. . Martin had a game plan and he stuck to it most of the way. He boxed cleverly taking no chances against the tough Godoy. Martin slowly wound up his work rate and was much too quick and skilful for Godoy. In the eighth Godoy pressed harder and in this round and the ninth Martin choose to stand and trade. He took those rounds but went back to his boxing in the last for an easy victory. Scores 100-90 on the three cards for Martin. The 25-year-old local, a former European Union champion, has lost only one of his last nineteen fights and that was in September last year on points against Anthony Yigit in a challenge for the European title. With European No 1 Josh Taylor involved in the WBSS Martin will be hoping to get a shot at the winner of the fight this coming weekend between Joe Hughes and Andrea Scarp for the vacant European title. Godoy, twice a holder of the Argentinian title, falls to 1-3-1 in his last five fights.
Doncaster, England: Super Light: Bilal Rehman (12-0) W PTS 10 Lee Appleyard (14-5). Rehman wins the vacant BBB of C Central Area title with close points win over local boxer Appleyard. Rehman used his edges in height and reach and some good defensive boxing to hold off the constant attacks from Appleyard. Rehman tired late and lost a point for holding in the ninth but took the referee’s verdict by 96 to 94. Good win for “Billy the Kid” who was going ten rounds for the first time. Former Commonwealth title challenger Appleyard had won 4 of his last 5 fights and was hoping a victory here would lead to another Commonwealth title shot.
Windhoek, Namibia: Cruiser: Harry Simon W TKO 1 Kaminja Ramadhan (12-9-1). Heavy: Vikapita Meroro (29-7) W PTS 8 Mussa Ajibu (28-12-5). Super Light Harry Simon Jr (7-0) W TKO 2 Meshak Kondwani (20-21).
Simon vs. Ramadhan
It has been 15 years since Simon held the WBO middleweight title but he seems determined to keep fighting. He had a very early night here as he flattened poor Ramadhan with a left hook after just 69 seconds. A farcical match on a night of very poor matches on a show for which Simon was the promoter. This was only the second fight in five years for the 41-year-old Namibian who was 189lbs for this fight. Tanzanian Ramadhan, 42 suffers his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Meroro vs. Ajibu
A hugely overweight Meroro outpointed Malawian Ajibu in a boring wrestling match taking the win on scores of 77-75 twice and 79-73. This was supposed to be a cruiserweight fight but Meroro, who turned pro as a super middleweight, weighed 225lbs. This was his first fight since being knocked out in one round by Maksim Vlasov in 106 seconds in December. Fifth loss in a row for Ajibu
Simon vs. Kondwani
Simon Jr gets his fourth inside the distance win in a row as he halts elderly Zimbabwean Kondwani. In two rounds. Impossible to say how good Simon Jr is. His other six victims had only three wins between them and 44-year-old Kondwani has now lost his last 16 fights. Terrible show.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Not much entertainment around but the Carlos Diaz vs. Jose Perez had ten rounds of typical Mexican fire and Jeo Santisima vs. Victor Lopez was a goodie
Fight of the week (Significance): The wins for Khalid Yafai, Denis Lebedev and Dmitry Bivol could all lead to bigger and better fights-I hope as none of their fights this week were thrillers
Fighter of the week: Mike Hunter overcame the odds to beat Alex Ustinov and Fanlong Meng impressed against Frank Buglioni
Punch of the week: None stood out
Upset of the week: Patrick Mendy’s win over former interim WBA champion Dmitry Chudinov
Prospect watch: Russian Artem Oganesyan 8-0 looks good and another East European Murodjon Akhmadaliev 5-0 is worth watching
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
In September Indian boxer Vikas Krishan announced he would be turning professional and late last week it was officially confirmed that he had signed with US outfit Top Rank and would be making his debut on January 18 2019 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The 26-year-old southpaw will be trained by Wali Moses, the grandfather of unbeaten Shakur Stevenson.
A 3-time national champion at lightweight, welterweight and middleweight, a 2-time Olympian, a 2018 Commonwealth gold Medallist, a 2011 world championship Bronze medallist and a double Asian Championship medallist, Krishan’s amateur achievements speak for themselves and he also reached the podium at the last 3 Asian Games. Krishan can coast at times during fights, but he is an excellent and vicious body puncher and likes to use uppercuts and he certainly possesses enough traits to have a successful pro career.
Top Rank and especially Bob Arum have always been way ahead of the game in exploring and attempting to open up new markets and embracing the globalisation of boxing. Of course we saw Top Ranks venture into China with double Olympic gold Medallist Zou Shiming heading the charge and big cards in Macao featuring the likes of Manny Pacquiao. People will correctly point out that Shiming’s professional career was a bit of a busted flush but winning a world title was a good achievement given his limitations and hopefully he can inspire the next generation of boxers from his country.
Many may compare China and India but there are major differences between the 2 countries boxing and sporting cultures. Whilst India doesn’t have the infrastructure such as professional gyms and coaches compared to China, their amateur system is churning out so much more talent and the results have shown that in the last couple of years at senior, youth and junior level in both men’s and women’s boxing. India also generates an atmosphere at sporting events that is unrivalled anywhere in the world and given the mind boggling sums paid for IPL and Indian home cricket rites, if boxing can generate just a fraction of that interest then the sky’s the limit.
Vijender Singh has been an important cog in putting the key in the lock to try to swing the door wide open for Indian professional boxing and he has now signed a multi-year agreement with Top Rank and will make his US debut sometime in early 2019. With his last bout coming last December and a proposed July Commonwealth title fight being cancelled, Singh’s career had ground to a halt but hopefully this new deal can breathe new life into it.
With his notable profile and popularity and his last 4 contests all taking place in India and being broadcast on either Star Sports and Sony, a potential clash with WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez would be a truly historic event. If Top Rank can secure a long term deal with either of the previously mentioned TV channels to broadcast Krishan and Singh’s fights then not only does that give them a chance to build professional boxing in India but it also potentially opens up the biggest untapped market on the planet for the rest of their fighters.
Lastly, another intriguing intangible is the ongoing saga between AIBA and the IOC which has left boxing’s place at the Tokyo Olympics hanging by a thread. If boxing is ditched and a rival body isn’t established to cobble together an Olympic tournament then with no real professional scene to speak of, the Indian amateurs could be in limbo but with Top Rank now showing interest, this could be a much needed gateway for the nations numerous talented pugilists to pursue.
By Eric Armit
-Oleg Usyk knocks out Tony Bellew to retain his four cruiserweight titles and end Bellew’s career
- Mairis Breidis and Krzys Glowacki win through to the WBSS cruiserweight semi-finals with wins over Noel Gevor and Maksim Vlasov
-Anthony Crolla moves nearer to another title fight with a win over Daud Yordan in a WBA eliminator
-Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez score wins in Miami and seem headed to a March meeting
-Ricky Burns keeps his hopes of a fight with Crolla alive with stoppage of Scott Cardle and Josh Kelly again impresses with one round blow out of Argentinian Walter Castillo
-Brandon Adams beats Shane Mosley Jr to win the latest The Contender series.
-Artur Szpilka outpoints Mariusz Wach in clash of Poland’s top heavyweights
-Felix Verdejo returns with a win
WORLD TITLE CARDS
Manchester, England; Cruiser: Oleg Usyk (16-0) W KO 8 Tony Bellew (30-3-1). Light: Anthony Crolla (34-6-3) W PTS 12 Daud Yordan (38-4,1ND). Light: Ricky Burns (43-7-1) W TKO 3 Scott Cardle (23-3-1). Welter: Josh Kelly (8-0) W TKO 1 Walter Castillo (13-3). Heavy: Dave Allen (16-4-2) W RTD 7 Ariel Bracamonte (8-2). Cruiser: Richard Riakporhe (8-0) W TKO 8 Sam Hyde (13-1-1).
Usyk vs. Bellew
Usyk sends Bellew into retirement with a dramatic knockout to retain all four cruiserweight titles and put the world’s top heavyweights under notice.
Bellew took the lead here. He was poking out his jab finding some gaps and testing Usyk with some straight rights. An overly cautious Usyk hardly threw a punch in the round.
Score 10-9 Bellew
Usyk was a bit more active in this round probing constantly with his jab but not really following through with the punch. Bellew scored with his jab and with a couple of rights and was almost taunting Usyk who seemed reluctant to take any chances. A good right from Bellew gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Bellew Bellew 20-18
Usyk stepped up his pace in this one and finally scored with some southpaw straight lefts. He had the better of the early action but late in the round Bellew was getting through with rights to the body and just edged a close round.
Score 10-9 Bellew Bellew 30-27
Usyk now had his right jab working and was following that with straight rights. Bellew had discarded his jab and was relying on lead rights, most of which missed or were blocked. Usyk was on the front foot and keeping Bellew on the defensive and buckled Bellew’s knees with a left and took the round.
Score 10-9 Usyk Bellew 39-37
Official scores: 39-37, 39-37, 39-37 for Bellew
This was a closer round; Bellew was able to land with his right more than in the last round. Usyk was pressing through the whole three minutes. He was slotting home jabs and landing straight lefts. He looked like a fighter with a game plan whereas Bellew looked as though he was making it up as he went along.
Score 10-9 Usyk Bellew 48-47
A better round by Bellew. After Usyk started the round confidently Bellew began to throw more punches. He was using his jab and letting go with straight rights and was more accurate and finished the round with a strong right to the head.
Score 10-9 Bellew Bellew 58-56
Usyk outworked Bellew in this one. He kept his right in Bellew’s face and scored with thumping lefts to the body. Bellew was dangerous in bursts but Usyk was starting to hound Bellew and two right jabs brought blood from Bellew’s nose.
Score 10-9 Usyk Bellew 67-66
Usyk was working the jab again and then landed a heavy left to the head. Bellew scored with a right and a left to the body but Usyk fired back with two left hooks that had Bellew backing off. Usyk followed landing more lefts and then one finally one sent Bellew down spread-eagled on the floor with his head resting on the bottom rope. He turned looking out into the crowd grabbing the ropes as he struggled to get to his feet but the referee waived the fight over without completing the count.
Official scores at the finish: 68-65 and 67-66 for Bellew and 67-67.
After a slow start Usyk just got better and better and the brutal knockout was scary. It looks as though there are no immediate plans for the fight with Anthony Joshua that Usyk so obviously wants and with the leading cruisers all involved in the WBSS it may mean an outing at heavyweight for Usyk against a rated fighter before a Joshua clash next year. Bellew won the British, European Commonwealth and WBC cruiserweight titles and beat David Haye twice inside the distance so leaves with his head high after an outstanding career.
Crolla vs. Yordan
Crolla wins a unanimous decision over Yordan in this WBA final eliminator. Crolla made a confident start. He was on target with his jab in the first and mixed in hooks to the body and some sharp uppercuts. Yordan was slower off the mark and although increasing his punch output in the second it was the hand speed and some hooks inside that helped Crolla keep the momentum. Yordan had some success when he was able to pin Crolla on the ropes but those were rare occasions. Yordan finally had some significant success in the six. He hurt Crolla with a left to the body and another series of punches had Crolla briefly in trouble. Yordan attacked hard in the seventh which was a close round but Crolla was back in control in the eighth with clever movement, changing angles and slotting home punches. Yordan pressed hard over the closing rounds. He was the heavier puncher and was always dangerous but Crolla matched Yordan’s work rate and with his controlled boxing and greater accuracy he stayed in front to the final bell for a decisive victory. Scores 116-112 from the three judges for Crolla. The former WBA champion has rebounded in style after his back-to-back losses in title fights against Jorge Linares. He scored a good win over Ricky Burns and was No 4 with the WBA going into this fight and this victory over the WBA No 2 rightly gives him in pole position for a fight with Lomachenko. The Ukrainian has a unification fight with WBO champion Jose Pedraza on 8 December and if he gets through that then Crolla will be able to press his case for a title shot. Former IBO champion and WBA title challenger Yordan may have seen his last chance of another title challenge disappear with this loss.
Burns vs. Cardle
A very sharp looking Burns blasts out former British champion Cardle. In a fast-paced first round Burns was using his extra reach to score with his jab and following it in with hard rights one of which shook Cardle. When he could Cardle was slipping Burns jab and scoring with hooks inside. Cardle made a busy start to the second but Burns used his jab to take control and twice connected with left jabs followed by right hooks and landed two more rights to the head at the bell. Burns was throwing rights in the third and a cut was opened under Cardle’s left eye. As Cardle came forward a thunderous right to the head from Burns saw Cardle’s legs go stiff and he toppled down to the canvas. It was a brutal knockdown but somehow Cradle dragged himself to his feet but the referee having counted eight sensibly waived the fight off. The 35-year-old Scot is hoping to get a fight with Anthony Crolla but Crolla is looking towards another world title shot so Burns may have to keep busy and see what transpires but this win will have boosted his confidence. The wheels have really come off for Cardle. He has gone from 21-0-1 and British champion to losing his title and three of last five fights, with two of those losses crushing early stoppages.
Kelly vs. Castillo
Kelly dismantles overmatched Castillo inside the first round. From the opening bell Kelly was snapping out his jab and throwing sharp straight rights. Kelly connected with a left hook to the body and Castillo got through with an overhand right. Kelly then unleashed a series of hooks and uppercuts that had Castillo floundering and a right cross put the Argentinian down. He beat the count but when the action restarted Kelly was driving Castillo around the ring with hooks and uppercuts. Castillo tried to fire back but was on the ropes and under yet another bombardment and the referee stopped the fight despite protests from Castillo. Just a mark-time fight for Commonwealth champion Kelly. His next date is set for 8 December against former IBF title challenger David Avanesyan which will be a much sterner test. Castillo, the Argentinian No 7,suffers his third loss in his last four fights.
Allen vs. Bracamonte
It was all bludgeons and no rapiers here as these two big men tried to beat each other down with Allen coming out the winner. Bracamonte was finding plenty of gaps for his punches in the first but did not seem to have the power to halt Allen’s attacks. Allen landed a very low punch in the first and got away with another in the second. Bracamonte kept landing and seemed on the point of overwhelming Allen in the third but Allen saw out the storm kept coming and just before the bell a thunderous right had Bracamonte seriously shaken. The Argentinian looked exhausted and close to quitting but Allen was just as tired and in a brutal fourth they both landed hefty head shots as the “pace” slowed to less than walking and they both took and landed tired punches. It was a battle of attrition. Bracamonte tried to box in the sixth but did not have the energy to sustain the effort and it was Allen’s bombs that were having the biggest effect. Bracamonte came out wildly throwing punches in the seventh but a counter right from Allen open a gash on the bridge of Bracamonte’s nose. With Allen walking Bracamonte around the ring and connecting with huge right swings the fight needed to be stopped but it wasn’t . Bracamonte’s corner sensibly retired their man at the end of the round. Allen gets the win but he can’t take many more wins like this. His defence was non-existent but he walked through the punishment which is fine against fighters such a Bracamonte but not against quality fighters. Bracamonte is No 1 in the national ratings which tells you all you need to know about the situation of the heavyweight division in Argentina.
Riakporhe vs. Hyde
Unlucky night for Hyde as he is well on his way to victory until a terrible swelling by his left eye sees the fight stopped. Hyde built a good lead he was quicker and had no problem in getting his jabs off first and getting past Riakporhe’s jab and connecting with sharp left hooks. In the sixth Riakporhe finally started to connect with rights and land some heavy body punches. He was pinning Hyde to the ropes and pounding the body. Hyde was still getting through with jabs but it was a much more even fight. Riakporhe was storming forward in the eight landing clubbing head shots and suddenly a swelling formed by the left eye of Hyde which grew at an alarming rate and to a dangerous size and the fight was over as Hyde’s corner threw in the towel. Big win for the 6’5” Riakporhe, his seventh by KO/TKO, and it wins him the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title. Hyde was unlucky to lose to such a freak injury. He had won his last 11 fights and will be back when the injury heals.
Chicago, IL, USA: Cruiser: Mairis Breidis (25-1) W PTS 12 Noel Gevor (23-2). Cruiser Krzys Glowacki (31-1) W PTS 12 Maksim Vlasov (42-3). Cruiser: Artur Mann (15-0) W PTS 10 Alexey Zubov (17-2).
Breidis vs. Gevor
Breidis moves into the WBSS semi-finals with a controversial decision over Gevor in a poor fight where the styles and tactics did not gel with too little scoring and too much wrestling and head clashes. Breidis made the better start making good use of his jab and throwing rights. Gevor showed plenty of movement but was coming up short with his jab. In the second Gevor found the range with his jab and stopped Briedis in his tracks a couple of times with that punch. He also used quick footwork and upper body movement to frustrate the attacks from Briedis. The third was a better round for Breidis. He scored with lead rights before finally getting his jab working whereas Gevor was ignoring his jab and was given a stern warning for a deliberate punch to the back of the head. Gevor had his jab working in the fourth. He rammed the jab into the face of the advancing Breidis but then ruined his good work by twice deliberately landing punches to the back of the head of Breidis and was deducted a point. After four rounds and with the deducted point taken off the scores from the judges was 40-35, 39-36 and 38-37 all for Breidis. The fifth was a poor round with both fighters doing more missing than hitting and there were clinches and head clashes throughout the round. Every time Gevor lunged in his head ended up under the arm of Breidis. In the sixth. Breidis was having trouble with the strong jabbing from Gevor in this round and he was having no more success in countering the jab in the seventh and left hook from Gevor was the best punch in the sixth and a right was the best in the seventh. The pattern of throw a couple of punches and then lunge inside continued in this round. Gevor did some good work on the outside with Breidis waiting too long to let his punches go. After eight rounds the Judges still had Breidis in front with scores of 77-74, 77-74 and 78-73. Again there was very little clean scoring from either fighter making it a close round but Gevor was working hard and just seemed to do a little more than Breidis. A clash of heads resulted in a nasty vertical gash over the right eye of Gevor. Punch and lunge continued to be the tactics in the tenth. As usually Gevor’s head ended up under the left arm of Breidis and this time the referee deducted a point from Breidis for holding Gevor’s head there. The eleventh was another low scoring round. Neither fighter really landed a substantial punch. Gevor twice complained about headwork by Breidis but was guilty of punches to the back of the head. The twelfth was a disappointing end to a disappointing fight. Breidis was the more composed in his work with Gevor throwing wild swings so the Latvian took the last round. Final scores from the judges were 116-110, 115-111, and 114-112 all for Breidis. The former WBC champion will meet Krzys Glowacki in the final but looked a lucky winner here. There was so little sustained action in any round which made the fight difficult to score and the three judges only agreed the scoring in three of the twelve rounds. Gevor, who now wants to be called by his birth name of Norair Mikaeljan, was very much the outsider here but he gave Breidis plenty of problems and looked worth at least a draw.
Glowacki vs. Vlasov
Glowacki scores emphatic win over Vlasov in this WBSS quarter-final. In the first round Vlasov made good use of his longer reach and sneaked home a couple of straight rights. The harder punches came from southpaw Glowacki who seemed to shake Vlasov temporarily with two lefts. The second was a close round. Vlasov worked hardest and threw more punches scoring with a neat burst of hooks. Glowacki was picking his punches and scored with left counters and just edged the round. Vlasov was doing good work in the third connecting with his jab and getting through with straight rights but with just seconds to go in the round after they both landed good punches Vlasov went over. It looked to have been from a left from Glowacki but the video showed that their legs were tangled and Vlasov overbalanced trying to avoid the punch. He was unhurt and protested the count and the bell went when the eight count was complete. The fourth saw both fighters scoring well. Vlasov was throwing more but Glowacki was more accurate and his counter lefts were the power punches. After the fourth scores were 39-36 twice and 40-36 all for Glowacki. Vlasov got back into the fight by out working Glowacki in the fifth but the Pole took the sixth with stiff jabs and some solid hooks to the body and although the seventh was a fairly balance round it was another one to Glowacki on the basis of his harder punches. A tired looking Vlasov had abandoned his jab in the eighth and at one point was wrestled to the floor. Glowacki was the one doing the scoring and he landed some hard kooks to the body. After eight rounds the Pole was ahead on all cards at 79-73, 78-73 and 78-73. Both fought like tired man in the ninth with Vlasov improving his accuracy to claw his way back into the fight and he outlanded Glowacki in a tenth that saw some furious exchanges late in the round with Vlasov outscoring Glowacki. The Pole’s strength gave him the eleventh. Despite suffering a gash on his left cheek and a cut over his left eye under his left eye Glowacki landed some powerful lefts to have Vlasov holding on. The Russian came back in the twelfth. He had that bit more left in the tank and kept pumping his arms with Glowacki only firing back with tired punches. Scores 118-110, 117-110 and 115-112 all for Glowacki. This had been a gruelling entertaining fight and Glowacki was a clear winner. He goes on to meet Breidis in the semi-finals and wins the interim WBO title. After losing to future WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez back in 2015 Vlasov had compiled a run of twelve wins and was No 2 with both the WBC and WBA and can still play a part in the division once the mists of the WBSS disperse.
Mann vs. Zubov
Mann wins an open entertaining fight with wide unanimous decision over southpaw Zubov. In a lively opener Zubov was moving well and scoring with quick jabs but just before the bell a powerful right cross from Mann put Zubov down. Zubov was badly shaken and when the eight count was over Mann scored with more head shots and put Zubov down again with a right cross. Zubov did well to make it to his feet and the bell went as the eight count was finished. Despite the two knockdowns the fight was far from over and Zubov staggered Mann with a right in the second. From there these two contested an entertaining contest with Zubov the busier and more accurate but Mann the heavier puncher. Zubov worked tirelessly with his jab and was more than happy to stand and trade. The heavy rights from Mann were more eye-catching and were enough to get him the decisions but the scores did not give enough credit to Zubov’s gutsy display after that near disaster in the first round. Scores 98-89 twice and 96-91 for Mann. The Kazak-born German Mann, 28, is ready to move up and take on tougher tasks. Michigan-based Russian Zubov had won his last seven fights.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Welter: Jesus Soto Karass (29-13-4,1ND) W PTS 10 Neeco Macias (17-1). Feather: Emilio Sanchez (17-1) W TEC DEC 10 Enrique Bernache (24-12). Feather: Manny Robles (17-0) W PTS 10 Jose Santos Gonzalez (23-7). Super Middle: Demetrius Ballard (19-0,1ND) W Alan Campa (17-4,1ND).
Karass vs. Macias
Veteran Karass outlasts younger Macias to take the majority decision. These two missed out on a commercial opportunity. They could have rented out the centre of the ring because after they touched gloves at the start of the contest neither ventured there again. Macias seemed to have decided to simply overwhelm Karass and he went straight into the attack forcing Karass to the ropes and the rest of the fight was a close-quarters scrap with Karass hardly ever getting his back off the ropes. Even a cut caused by a clash of heads in the second round did not get Macias to change his tactics. He kept pouring on the punches with Karass finding it hard to move from defence to attack but he was doing a better job of blocking punches and although outlanded his shots were harder. The slow start from Karass was not unexpected as he was having his first fight for a year but over the second half of the fight he gradually stepped up his punch output and although Macias kept throwing punches the power was with Karass. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Karass and 95-95. Karass, 36, had walked away after a run of five losses and a draw, all against top-notch opposition, but now there will be fights there for him. Californian “Rooster” Macias, 27, was fighting his first “name” opponent and came very close to victory. His stock-in-trade is all-out aggression so he is unlikely to change his tactics but some added experience will help him improve.
Sanchez vs. Bernache
Sanchez gets a technical decision over Bernache as the fight is stopped in the last round when Sanchez already had the win in his pocket. In an assured performance Sanchez always had control of the fight. He was able to use his longer reach to outscore Bernache snapping out his jab and connecting with right crosses. When Bernache did get past the jab he was outworked on the inside. Early in the final round it was decided that a cut over Bernache’s left eye was too serious for the fight to continue so with that round also being scored the cards read 100-91, 99-92 and 97-94 for Sanchez. This win constitutes the second brick in the rebuilding of Sanchez after he suffered a shock second round kayo loss against modest Eugene Lagos in March. The 24-year-old Californian is a former US Junior champion who competed at the Olympic Trials for the 2012 US Team. Seasoned pro Bernache is now 4-5 in his last 9 fights.
Robles vs. Gonzalez
Robles keeps his 100% record but in a flat performance as he gets a split decision over Gonzalez. It was Gonzalez who showed most fire early in the fight and Robles had problems settling as Gonzalez constantly switched guards and found gaps for his jabs. Robles just did not work hard enough over those early rounds but after stunning Gonzalez in the sixth he finally started to roll and was able to eat into Gonzalez’s early lead. It is questionable as to whether he did enough but two of the judges thought so and that was enough. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Robles and 96-94 for Gonzalez. The 24-year-old “Chato” retains the WBC NABF title. Boxing is very much in the blood for Robles as his father until recently trained Oscar Valdez and his grandfather was also a well respected trainer. Gonzalez is 1-4 in his last 5 fights but the opposition has been strong with Zolani Tete and Duke Micah both getting wins over him.
Ballard vs. Campa
Ballard returns with a win as he decisions Campa. In his first fight for just over a year Ballard had some rust to shed and Campa was very much in the fight over the first two rounds. Ballard began to find the range in the third only for Campa to land a heavy right in the fourth. Ballard shook that off and his heavier punching gave him control of the action. As Ballard got into gear Campa slipped out of the fight and his work rate dropped. Ballard finished strongly and won a clear-cut decision although Campa gave him a tougher fight than the scores indicate. Ballard took the verdict on scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. The 25-year-old “Big Meech” from Maryland was an outstanding amateur winning gold medal at the 2012 National Golden Gloves and 2009, 2010 and 2012 Ringside World Championships and at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 National Police Athletic League Championships but he failed to get through the US Olympic Trials for the London Games and turned pro in 2013. Campa has only lost twice inside the distance and those losses were against Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Jesse Hart
Inglewood, CA, USA: Brandon Adams (21-2) W PTS 10 Shane Mosley Jr (11-3). Middle: Eric Walker (18-2) W PTS 8 Michael Moore (16-2). Middle: Tyrone Brunson (27-7-2) W PTS 6 Devaun Lee (10-5-1). Middle: Gerald Sherrell (10-0) W PTS 6 Morgan Fitch (18-3-1). Middle: Ivan Khytrov (18-2) W KO 4 Malcolm McAllister (9-3).
Adams vs. Mosley
Adams outclasses Mosley to win the The Contender series. After a close first round it was all Adams. He increased his work rate from the second and Mosley was never in the fight in any meaningful way. Adams had a disappointing Mosley under constant pressure and shook Mosley in the sixth in a big round for the winner. Adams was outboxing and out landing Mosley who was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in the seventh when it looked as though a stoppage might be on the cards. Mosley hung on and made it the final bell but was well beaten. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. “Cannon” Adams, 29, lost to Willie Monroe in the final of the ESPN Boxcino Tournament in 2014 and to John Thompson in the final of 2015 Boxcino but will now pick up a $250,000 prize and get a top 10 rating from the WBA. Adams made his way to the final by beating Tyrone Brunson, Ievgen Khytrov and Eric Walker. After losing a split decision to unbeaten Australian David Toussaint on the Jeff Horn vs. Manny Pacquiao undercard Mosley was inactive until knocking out Devaun Lee, the only fight he had in the Tournament prior to this final.
Walker vs. Moore
This was expected to be a close one but Walker simply outboxed Moore. Walker had big advantages in height and reach and was too quick and slick for Moore who never threw enough punches to be competitive. The clever movement and body punching from Walker saw him collecting the rounds. Moore had a good spell in the sixth but even then Walker banged back and won the round. Moore tried to stage a strong finish which resulted in some of the best action of the fight with Walker a winner by a large margin on all cards. Scores 80-72 twice and 80-73. Louisiana’s Walker, 35, only lost to Adams on a majority decision in the semi-final. His other loss is to Patrick Day, again on a close decision. Moore is just not active enough. He was inactive in 2014, had one fight each in years 2015, 2016 and 2017 so was a very strange choice for the Tournament.
Brunson vs. Lee
Brunson beats Lee in a contest between two “Contender” competitors who did not make the final. Brunson took the verdict by scores of 59-55 from all three judges. Now 33 Brunson still has that record of 19 consecutive first round wins at the start of his career and knocked out Kermit Cintron last year but was knocked out by Adams in May in the Tournament. Lee went out of the Tournament by a fifth round kayo against Mosley and has now lost his last three fights.
Sherrell vs. Fitch
This was the most competitive contest of the night. Both fighters were eliminated early in the Tournament but fought hard to make this a close fight with Sherrell getting a split verdict on scores of 58-56 twice for Sherrell and 58-56 for Fitch. Sherrell won his only Tournament fight but was unable to go further. Fitch had lost a wide unanimous decision to Yamaguchi Falcao before the Tournament and was knocked out in four rounds by Ievgen Khytrov in his first Tournament fight.
Khytrov vs. McAllister
Brooklyn-based Ukrainian Khytrov overcame the early scare of a cut over his left eye from a punch in the second round before showing his power with a fourth round kayo of McAllister. Khytrov was one of the favourites for the Tournament but after knocking out Fitch he lost to Adams in their semi-final. McAllister lost on points to Moore in his Tournament fight.
Cahors, France: Middle: Diego Natchoo (17-1-4,1ND) W PTS 10 Peter Kramer (10-2-1). Super Feather: Florian Montels (13-2-2,1ND) ND 3 Rachid Sali (6-7-2,1ND). Super Light: Bastien Ballesta (17-0-1,1ND) W KO 4 Giorgi Bliadze (8-9)
Natchoo vs. Kramer
Natchoo wins the vacant IBO Continental title with unanimous decision over Kramer. No real problems here for the strong, aggressive French champion who took the decision by 98-92 on all three cards. The 26-year-old L’Indien” is now 7-0-1 in his last eight fights and it is only four weeks ago that he stopped Michel Mothmora to win the French title. This is Hungarian Kramer’s eighth fight this year. He put up a good performance in getting a draw with Peter McDonagh in May but was halted in four rounds by Sam Eggington in June,
Montels vs. Sali
Disappointing end to this French title fight as a clash of heads results in a cut that forces an early end. Montels retains the title he won in May. He had won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss being to Yvon Mendy in May. Sali was 1-6-2 in his previous 9 fights but was No 1 in the French ratings
Ballesta vs. Bliadze
Only the second win inside the distance for Beziers southpaw Ballesta. After a draw in his first pro fight he is now 17-0 1ND in his last 18 and is No 1 in the French ratings. Georgian Bliadze, 20, is 1-4 in his last 5 fights including three losses by KO/TKO.
Accra, Ghana: Feather: Ray Commey (19-7) W PTS 12 Isaac Netty (28-12-1). Light: Felix Ajom (10-1-1) W Ben Ankrah (17-21).
Commey wins the vacant Ghanaian title with points victory over Netty. Scores 118-111, 117-111 and 117-113 for Commey. Much needed win for Commey as in his previous two fighters this year he had lost to Isaac Sackey for the WBO African title and to Wasiru Mohammed for the Ghanaian super bantam title. Netty a former Ghanaian bantam champion and Commonwealth title challenger had won his last four fights.
Prato, Italy: Super Middle: Dragan Lepei (16-1-2) W TKO 2 Alex Marongiu (7-11-1).
Lepei wins the Italian title with stoppage of Marongiu. “Fury” Lepei was pressing hard and throwing bombs in the first but “Speed” Marongiu showed some neat defence moves to stay out of trouble. The second round was following the same pattern until a right hook sent Marongiu down heavily. He struggled to his feet but the referee decided he was in no condition to continue and waived the fight over. Ninth win by KO/TKO for Lepei who extends his unbeaten run to eight bouts. Marongiu falls to 1-4-1 in his last 6.
Konin, Poland: Cruiser: Nikodem Jezewski (16-0-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Lance Bryant (12-5). Middle: Kamil Gardzielik (9-0) W PTS 8 Marcos Cornejo (19-5). Cruiser: Igor Jakubowski (1-0) W PTS 6 Oleksil Zhuk (2-1).
Jezewski vs. Bryant
Jezewski gets the win as he outpoints New Zealander Bryant. Jezewski boxed cleverly over the first four rounds. He scored well with strong, powerful counters constantly finding gaps in Bryant’s defence. A couple of times it looked as though Jezewski would break down Bryant for a stoppage but Bryant stayed in the fight. Jezewski fell away in the second half of the fight and Bryant was able to pinch a round here and there and was never really in any trouble after that as Jezewski ran out a clear winner. Scores 79=72, 78-73 and 76-75 but the last score looked too generous to Bryant. Jezewski’s next fight will be for the Polish title. Bryant, who was stopped in three rounds by Blake Caparello in August, was having his first fight in Poland.
Gardzielik vs. Cornejo
Gardzielik easily gets past Cornejo but in the end disappoints. The local fighter looked on his way to an early night when he floored the visitor with a right late in the opening round. Cornejo survived but took a pasting again in the second. Cornejo was down but the referee decided it was a slip but it looked a genuine knockdown. Gardzielik then dropped the pace and his work rate and that allowed Cornejo to go the distance without further scares. Scores 80-71 for Gardzielik on all three cards. The 26-year-old from Konin is still seeking his first inside the distance win. Four losses on the bounce for Cornejo.
Jakubowski vs. Zuka
Yet another former high level amateur turns pro as Jakubowski outpoints Ukrainian novice Zuka. There was never any doubt that the Konin fighter would win but he struggled at times as he adjusts to the pro ranks. He took too many punches and seemed to tire early but had a strong last round. Scores 59-55 twice and 58-56 for Jakubowski. He was Polish champion at Cadet, Junior, Under-23 and Senior level, won a gold medal at the European Union Championships, competed at the World Championships and at the 2016 Olympic where he lost to Briton Lawrence Okolie.
Miami, FL, USA: Light: Yuriorkis Gamboa (29-2) W PTS 10 Miguel Beltran (33-7,1ND). Light: Juan Manuel Lopez (36-6) W PTS 10 Cristian Mino (19-3). Welter: Harold Calderon (18-0) W KO 7 Emiliano Martin (16-3).
Gamboa vs. Beltran
Cuban Gamboa returns to action with a win as he outpoints fading Mexican Beltran. Gamboa looked sharp from the start. Although it was his first fight for almost a year Gamboa was on target early with his jab and late in the first he put Beltran down with a right hook. A promising beginning but it flattered to deceive. Beltran survived and was never really in any further danger in the fight. Gamboa continued to showcase his excellent skills outboxing the aggressive Mexican in every round but not really upping his work rate or pressing his attacks hard. It was a case of Gamboa needing the ring time and not wanting to take any risks against an opponent who posed no real danger. Gamboa was content to just work to the bell and take the win. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91 for Gamboa. At 36 time is not on Gamboa’s side. It seems unfair to say that in winning the WBA and IBF featherweight titles and WBA interim super feather and lightweight titles he has under achieved but his outstanding amateur career and early pro performances seemed to promise so much more. Inside the distance losses to Terrence Crawford and particularly Robinson Castellanos put question marks over his dedication so he will have to win something big and this his last chance to do so. Beltran set off with a 27-1 1ND start to his career before losing a split decision to Roman Martinez for the WBO super feather title in 2012. Since that set-back he has gone 6-5 and lost to some very ordinary opposition.
Lopez vs. Mino
“Jaunma” Lopez also gets back into the action. He scores four knockdowns but has to settle for a points victory over Argentinian Mino. In between the knockdowns Mino was actually quite competitive but Lopez’s power was just too much for him to overcome. Punches from southpaw Lopez put Mino down twice in the third. The first knockdown came from a southpaw right hook and the second from a left. Another left hook put Mino down in the fourth but the Argentinian shook Lopez with a right in the fifth. Lopez 36-6 (32) scored his fourth knockdown with a body punch in the sixth. From there Mino managed to stay on his feet and forced Lopez to work hard to the end. Scores 96-89 twice and 97-88 for Lopez. The former WBO super bantam and featherweight champion walked away after inside the distance losses to Mikey Garcia, Francisco Vargas and Jesus Cuellar before returning to the ring in March when he was stopped by Jayson Velez. He has now challenged Gamboa to a fight and that may happen in March. Mino’s domestic victims had been very low standard and this his third consecutive bout outside Argentina sees him gets his third loss.
Calderon vs. Martin
Honduran hope Calderon moves to 18 wins with seventh round kayo of Argentinian Martin. Calderon scored three knockdowns on the way to victory. Southpaw Calderon was Honduran amateur champion and turned pro after winning a silver medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2013. Martin’s record has been built on abysmal opposition but he has also been thrown to the wolves a couple of times being put in with Denys Berinchyk and Kye MacKenzie and losing both fights on fourth round stoppages
Tokyo, Japan: Super Fly: Ryuichi Funai (31-7) W TKO 2 Victor Olivo (15-3-1).
Funai wrecks poor Olivo inside two rounds. Funai took the first with some strong jabs and then floored Olivo with a right cross in the second. Olivo somehow made it to his feet and was allowed to continue but was dropped immediately by a right hook and the fight was stopped. The 33-year-old from Tokyo has won his last seven fights. Olivo suffers his first loss by KO/TKO. With the help of the magic IBF ratings elevator Funai went from No 7 to No 3 without fighting. With positions 1 and 2 vacant that made Funai the top rated fighter but he could not be put into the mandatory spot because he had not beaten someone in the IBF top 10. No problem-Olivo steps on the elevator in the basement i.e. not even in the IBF top 15 and the magic elevator takes him to No 7 even though he had not fought since beating the 4-2 Irving Fierro in June. By beating “No 7” Olivo Funai qualifies to challenge Jerwin Ancajas. Wonderful how efficiently an elevator works when there is a sanction in fee looming.
Corregidora, Mexico: Super Feather: Andres Gutierrez (37-2-1) W PTS 12 Ramiro Blanco (18-4-3). Light: Isaac Cruz (16-1-1) W TKO 3 Jose Felix (36-4-1).
Gutierrez vs. Blanco
Gutierrez wins the vacant interim WBC International title as he takes every round against a game but outclassed Blanco. Gutierrez was able to find gaps in the Nicaraguan’s defence in every round slotting home jabs and connecting with powerful uppercuts. Despite his total dominance Gutierrez was unable to add to his impressive total of inside the distance wins. Blanco showed a good chin and was always willing to trade but took a beating. Exhaustion saw him spitting out his mouthguard three times for which he lost a point as well as losing every round. All three cards read 120-107 for Gutierrez. The 25-year-old Gutierrez was unbeaten in his first 35 fights before losing a majority decision to Cristian Mijares in 2016 for the WBC Silver title. He challenged Abner Mares for the WBA feather title in October 2017 but lost a wide technical decision. This is his second win this year and he is No 13 at feather with the WBC. Three of Blanc’s losses have been on his travels in China, Switzerland and now Mexico.
Cruz vs. Felix
Surprisingly easy win for Cruz against former WBA title challenger Felix. He put the more experienced Felix down three times before the referee called a halt in the third to save Felix from further punishment. “Pitbull” Cruz, 21, was taking a big step up in quality of opposition but gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. He is 10-0-1 in his last 11 fights. Felix, who lost to Bryan Vazquez for the secondary WBA super feather title in 2014, then put together a run of eight wins but has fallen back now with 3 losses in his last 4 fights.
Gliwice, Poland: Heavy: Artur Szpilka (22-3) W PTS 10 Mariusz Wach (33-4). Light Heavy: Pawel Stepien (12-0) W KO 9 Dmitry Sukhotsky (23-7). Middle: Maciej Sulecki (27-1) W TKO 2 Jean Hamilcaro (26-10-3).
Szpilka vs. Wach
Szpilka survives last round crisis to win on a split decision over fellow Pole Wach. Southpaw Szpilka just edged the first with his superior speed overcoming the height and reach advantages of Wach but the bigger man got through with a heavy right late in the second. Szpilka again used his speed and skills to outwork Wach in the third but was trapped on the ropes and had to absorb a couple of hard punches in the fourth. Szpilka was in control for much of the fifth but again Wach connected with some power shots late in the round. The fast pace he was setting seemed to catch up with Szpilka in the sixth and he allowed his hands to drop resulting in some success for Wach. It was Wach whose work rate dropped in the seventh. He landed a hard right to the body but a left hook from Szpilka was the best punch of the round. The eighth and ninth were close with Szpilka in control early in the rounds and Wach dangerous late with rights. After nine Szpilka seemed to have the fight won and all he had to do was see out the final three minutes. Easier said than done as Wach was launching fierce attacks. Late in the round a right from Wach put an exhausted Szpilka down. He beat the count but was in a bad way. There were just forty seconds left in the fight with Szpilka out on his feet but he managed to make it to the bell. Scores 97-93 and 95-94 for Szpilka and 96-93 for Wach. After a knockout loss to Deontay Wilder for the WBC title and a stoppage by Adam Kownacki Szpilka had rebounded modestly with a win over Dominic Guinn in May this year but a loss here would have been a huge blow. With so much heavyweight action going on Szpilka has put himself back in the mix. Naturally Wach is looking for a return as he tries to rebuild after inside the distance losses to Alex Povetkin and Jarrell Miller.
Stepien vs. Sukhotsky
Stepien climbs off the canvas to get his best win so far. The first three rounds were close as Stepien countered the aggressive early attacks by Sukhotsky. The Russian had a big fourth round as he connected with some good body punches and then floored Stepien late in the round with a left hook. Stepien was up quickly and made it to the bell with no further scares. The impetus was now with Sukhotsky and he attacked strongly in the fifth and sixth but by the seventh Stepien had clawed his way back into the fight. In the ninth a left hook staggered Sukhotsky and a series of punches put him down. Sukhotsky was hurt but he seemed really to be able to get up in time only to misjudge the count and despite his protests the fight was over. The Pole makes it eleven wins by KO/TKO and his seventh in a row. Kazak-born Russian Sukhotsky was knocked out in five rounds by Adonis Stevenson in a fight for the WBC title in 2014 but at 37 he is a long way from world class now and this is his third loss on the bounce.
Sulecki vs. Hamilcaro
Frenchman Hamilcaro was expected to provide a reasonable but not too difficult task for Sulecki but was blown away in two rounds. Sulecki was already finding the target with some hurtful shots in the first and a body punch dropped Hamilcaro in the second. The Frenchman beat the count but from there it was a massacre with Hamilcaro down three more times before the fight was stopped. Sulecki easing his way back after his loss to Daniel Jacobs in April. He will be looking to get into more big fights after his New York showing. Fifth loss inside the distance for Hamilcaro who was stopped in six rounds by Josh Kelly in December.
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Light: Felix Verdejo (24-1) W KO 2 Yardley Armenta (24-12,1ND).
Verdejo signals his return as he obliterates Mexican Armenta inside two rounds. Verdejo was hunting Armenta down in the first with Armenta under a constant barrage and rarely getting off the ropes. Early in the second a left hook to the chin dumped Armenta on the canvas and the fight was over. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican was tipped as a future world champion as he rattled off 23 straight wins. He was rated No 1 by the WBO so the mandatory challenger to Terry Flanagan. The fight was all set for 16 September last year but had to be postponed due to an injury suffered by Flanagan. Verdejo was then injured and when he recovered he was put in a keep busy fight against Mexican Antonio Lozada in March this year only for Lozada to do the unthinkable and stop Verdejo in the last round. After a couple more fight it is expected that Verdejo will finally get a title shot. Ninth loss by KO/TKO for Armenta who was halted in two rounds by Richard Commey in August.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Middle: Artem Chebotarev (6-0) W PTS 10 Javier Maciel (33-8). Super Light: Georgi Chelokhsaev (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-1).
Chebotarev vs. Maciel
Russian Chebotarev hands out a solid beating to seasoned Argentinian Maciel to win the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92. The 30-year-old Chebotarev was Russian champion four times, won a bronze medal at the World Championships and gold at the European Championships. He also won an AIBA Pro Boxing title and competed at the 2106 Olympics so some good grounding. Former Argentinian champion Maciel is now 2-2 this year with the other loss coming against Willie Monroe Jr in August.
Chelokhsaev vs. Gadzhialiev
Chelokhsaev wins the strange vacant Eurasian Boxing Parliament title with close verdict over fellow Russian Gadzhialiev. Although he floored Gadzhialiev in the first round Chelokhsaev had a battle on his hands and only just took the verdict on scores of 96-93 twice and 95-94.The Russian champion Chelokhsaev put together a run of seven wins in a row by KO/TKO but has now had to go the distance twice in his most recent fights. Gadzhialiev has already fought in Azerbaijan, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the USA as well as Russia and he had won his last seven fights.
Marcos Paz, Argentina: Super Welter: Rodrigo Maizares (7-3) W PTS 10 Henrri Polanco (13-4-1).
Minor upset as Maizares easily outscores Polanco to win the vacant WBC Latino title. Southpaw Maizares led from the start finding the target throughout the fight with his jab and following lefts. Polanco just never got into the fight and in his frustration landed a very low punch in the fifth and was deducted a point. A static Polanco never posed a threat as Maizares closed the fight strongly for an emphatic victory. Scores 97-92 twice and 100-89 for Maizares on the three cards. Maizares is building a small run as this was the fourth win in a row. Argentinian-based Dominican Polanco was 3-0-1 in his last four fights.
Rio Cuarto, Argentina: Light: Javier Clavero (25-4) W PTS12 Carlos Cordoba (10-4,1ND)
Argentinian champion Clavero adds the South American title to his collection with victory over Cordoba. Clavero won this one on the back of a knockdown and a standing count in what was mostly a close fight. Cordoba used some skilled work to build a slight lead but in the sixth he was put down by a body punch. In the seventh Clavero had Cordoba in serious trouble and a stoppage looked likely but the referee gave Cordoba a chance to regroup by applying a standing count. The remaining rounds were close but both fighters dropped a point in the last Clavero for a low punch and Cordoba for spitting out his mouthguard. Scores 113-111 ½ twice and 114-110 for Clavero. The new champion is 3-1 in fights this year. Cordoba was on a good run being 7-0,1ND in his last eight fights.
Sydney, Australia: Light Heavy: Reagan Dessaix (16-1) W TKO 2 Steve Lovett (17-3,1ND).
Important domestic victory for Dessaix as he halts Lovett in two rounds. The tall 22-year-old “President” Dessaix moves to eleven wins by KO/TKO and this is tenth win in a row as he retains the WBA Oceania title. He is No 15 with the WBA. Dessaix was a good level amateur winning six Queensland State titles, two Australian Youth titles and competed at the World Youth Championships. Lovett tried his luck in the USA but after back-to-back losses to Craig Baker and Lionell Thompson returned home and had won his last two fights.
Sydney, Australia: Super Feather: Joel Brunker 34-3) W TKO 3 Rivo Rengkung (37-28-6).
Brunker starts his rebuilding with stoppage of experienced Indonesian loser Rengkung. Two of Brunker’s losses have been against world class opposition in Lee Selby and Josh Warrington but a defeat in July to New Zealander Nort Beauchamp was a surprise. Twelfth loss by KO/TKO for Rengkung.
Santo Domingo, DR: Light: Jackson Marinez (15-0) W TKO 10 Jesus Arevalo (27-4-1). Feather: Hector Garcia (10-0,1ND) W KO 2 Robin Zamora (13-5,1ND). Super Light: Alberto Puello (16-0) W RTD 3 David Bency (14-10-1,1ND). Light Heavy: Felix Varela (17-2) W PTS 10 Bryan Perez (11-1).
Marinez vs. Arevalo
Marinez much too good for Mexican Arevalo and after controlling the fight all the way he turns on the power in the tenth for a stoppage. Arvelo kept taking the fight to local boxer Marinez but he was leaning too far in with his jabs making himself an easy target for counters from Marinez. By the fifth Marinez was the one coming forward and landing left hooks to the body of Arevalo .and he had Arevalo in trouble on the ropes at the bell. Marines continued the beat down in the sixth with Arevalo reduced to wild swipes and Marinez dominated the seventh eighth and again had Arevalo in trouble on the ropes at the end of the ninth. Arevalo rallied in the tenth but then body punches from Marinez had him backing off. After a spell of showmanship Marinez then drove Arevalo back to the ropes and the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Local boxer Marinez was making the first defence of the WBA Fedelatin title. Arevalo was overmatched last year in losing to Cristian Mijares and Yvon Mendy and was never really in with a chance in this fight.
Garcia vs. Zamora
Garcia blasts out Zamora in two rounds. Both fighters are southpaws but there the resemblance ends. Former amateur star Garcia had some problems with Zamora in the first round but was unloading heavy punches in the second. Zamora poked out a weal right jab and Garcia came over the top with a stunning left which put Zamora on his rump and he sat out the count . Garcia, 27, won a silver medal at the PanAmerican Games and competed for the Republic at the 2016 Olympics. This is his eighth win by KO/TKO and he takes Zamora’s WBA Fedelatin title. Zamora had won his last five fights.
Puello vs. Bency
Southpaw Puello is very tall for a super lightweight and Nicaraguan Bency was giving away a ridiculous amount in height and reach. When Bency tried to get inside Puello was landing left counters and when Bency stayed outside he was getting nailed by long jabs and straight lefts. Bency did a bit better in the second. He was willing to take punches to get inside and he scored with some hooks. Puello was still using his jab to score at range and punishing Bency with lefts as the Nicaraguan marched forward. Puello started to look for Bency in the third and was coming forward scoring with left hooks and straight rights. The fight was halted due to a cut over the right eye of Bency. After a long examination by the doctor the fight was allowed to continue amazingly Bency’s corner man had climbed onto the ring apron and was about to daub Vaseline onto the cut when the referee pulled Bency away so that the fight could continue. Worried the fight might be stopped Bency threw himself forward slinging punches and paid for it as counters from Puello twice sent him staggering. Bency did not come out for the fourth due to the cut. Puello, the Dominican “Wasp” is rated No 5 by the WBA and No 15 by the WBC and is not being rushed. Bency had won 3 of his last 4 fights.
Varela vs. Perez
Varela gets the win but has to come from behind. The former interim WBA champion found novice Perez a much tougher foe than expected. He was heading for an upset loss after eight rounds but he staged a strong finish as Perez tired and escaped with a very close unanimous decision. Scores 96-94 for Varela from all three judges. After losing his interim WBA title to Dmitry Bivol Varela was then pushed further down the ratings after losing to Sullivan Barrera. This is second win this year but fellow-Dominican Perez, who had never been past the sixth round before this fight ,looked worth a draw and will be hoping for a return.
Nuremberg, Germany: Middle: Wanik Awdijan (24-1) W PTS 10 Maono Ally (8-3-1).
Awdijan wins the vacant IBF Youth title with decision over Tanzanian Ally. Awdijan used a sharp jab to keep the aggressive Ally out over the early rounds. It was the fourth before Ally really made any impression and he was wild with his punches. Awdijan stuck mainly to the jab as his right hand had been in plaster until a few weeks before the show so he used it sparingly. He was a comfortable winner on scores of 97-93 twice and 99-91. The Armenian-born Awdijan had also suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the year so is now hoping to be injury free and more active. Ally had won 5 of his last 6 fights and did his job here of giving Awdijan ten rounds of work.
Cave, Italy: Super Feather: Michael Magnesi (13-0) W PTS 10 Giuseppe Carafa (10-3-1).
Fighting in his home neighbourhood Magnesi retains the Italian title as and outpoints Carafa. The aggressive start from Magnesi almost overwhelmed Carafa. In the first round he made Carafa stumble with a right hook and then floored him late in the round with another right. Carafa made it to the bell and used some good skills to stay in the fight. Magnesi continued his storming tactics and Carafa was warned in the sixth for holding and rocked late in the seventh by a combination. Carafa was being forced to stand and trade punches and the eighth and ninth were filled with torrid exchanges but Magnesi’s harder punch saw him on top to the bell. Scores 99-90, 99-91 and 98-91 for Magnesi. The 23-year-old local was making the first defence of the national title and will now look for an opportunity to fight for the EU title. Carafa falls to 1-3 in his last 4 fights.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Anthony Crolla vs. Daud Yordan and Glowacki and Vlasov also provided plenty of entertainment
Fight of the week (Significance): Oleg Usyk in ending Tony Bellew’s career and putting the heavyweight division under notice
Fighter of the week: Usyk
Punch of the week: The left hook from Usyk that ended his fight with Bellew and on the same show the straight right from Ricky Burns that ended his fight with Scott Cardle was a bit special.
Upset of the week: No biggies although Jesus Soto Karass was not expected to beat Neeco Macias and Isaac Cruz did well to beat favourite Jose Felix.
Prospect watch: No one I have not already named in previous reports really stood out.
By Eric Armit
Difficult decision this week on who to vote for as my favourite man/people. The candidates are UFC President Dana White and the Board of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Difficult choice. White has to be a strong candidate for saying that if the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov fight does come off it should be a UFC fight and not a boxing match. He is a candidate for making that statement and will do boxing a big favour if he sticks to that. Of course he can’t force it to be a UFC fight but hopefully his resistance to another boxing match will prove enough to end the speculation that this fight could take place. Mayweather is a genius inside the ring but hopefully, whilst no genius out of the ring still mart enough to realise he could be seriously injured in the cage and we will have dodged another farce. Go for it Dana.
The CAS has given Olympic boxing a lifeline by ordering the AIBA to allow Serik Konakbayev to be a candidate in this week’s presidential election. If interim president Gafur Rahimov had been the sole candidate there is every chance that the Olympic Committee would banish boxing from the Olympics. It is ridiculous that without this court action Rahimov, who is on the US Department of the Treasury’s sanctions list “for providing material support “ to a criminal organisation would have lead such a high profile sports body. You only have to look at the list of current world champions to see the important part Olympic competition has played. Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Oleg Usyk, Artur Beterbiev, Demetrius Andrade, Gary Russell, Errol Spence, Vasyl Lomachenko, Isaac Dogboe, Khalid Yafai and Jose Pedraza were all Olympians. Of course there will still be amateur boxing even if the sport is not an Olympic sport but there must be a huge question over government support to boxing where the return in Olympic medals is a big factor in the support and sponsorship money given to the sport. My fear is that having been pig-headed enough to try to push Rahimov through as a sole candidate many AIBA delegates will react badly to having their plan foiled and vote Rahimov in just to thumb their noses at the CAS and the US Department of Treasury.
It is the next round of the WBSS super lights and bantams this weekend. The competition is already producing some great action and the Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin and Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire fights have the potential to be every bit as entertaining. The WBSS really is making a big impact and they are proving that the fights are more important than any title. With the WBSS in control of the various matches it is taking much of the decision making on who fights for what title and against whom out of the control of the sanctioning bodies but they all want to be associated with it so are playing along and basking in whatever glory comes out. All our own work? No none of your work Mr Sanctioning Body.
The next round of the WBSS cruiser tournament takes place in Chicago on 10 November. It will see the tournament favourite Mairis Breidis face Noel Gevor, or Noel Mikaeljin as he now seems to prefer to be known, and Krzys Glowacki against Maksim Vlasov. They are both very good fights between highly rated fighters. Breidis is No 1 with the WBC, and Vlasov No 2, the WBO have Glowacki No 2 and Vlasov No 5 the WBA have Vlasov No 2 and Glowacki No 3. The No 1 spot with the IBF is vacant with Andrew Tabiti who is already through to the semi-finals at No 3 and Glowacki No 7. Gevor’s only rating is No 14 with the WBC but then he is promoted by Sauerland promotions which explains his inclusion. Of course Yuniel Dorticos is also through to the semi-finals.
The elephant in the room is that on the same night in Manchester Oleg Usyk defends all four titles against Tony Bellew. Whoever wins that fight it is likely that all four titles will become vacant during the life of this WBSS tournament but until after the Usyk vs. Bellew and thee 10 November quarter-finals are over it won’t be clear who will be fighting for three of the four titles. It is impossible to know what is happening with the WBA. In their September ratings they showed Usyk as super champion, Beibut Shumenov as their secondary champion, and Arsen Goulamirian as their interim champion and Denis Lebedev as “champion in recess”. Their October ratings do not show Goulamirian at all and show Dorticos at No 1. I am not sure why Goulamirian has disappeared totally and I am also not sure how Lebedev can be “in recess” as he had a fight in September. It seems likely he will be reinstated and his fight with Mike Wilson on 24 November on a show in Monaco will be a title defence-of some title. Leave it to the WBA to screw things up at least in that they are reliable.
Apart from their headaches in the cruisers the WBA are still struggling to sort out the position on their secondary heavyweight title. Manuel Charr was to have defended the title against Fres Oquendo on 29 September but of course Charr tested positive for a banned substance. That ruled out Charr and as Oquendo rightly turned down a $500,000 offer to fight Jarrell Miller the WBA are still on the hook from the court case where they were ordered to give Oquendo a title fight. Oquendo has not fought for four years and the way it is going I can see him fighting for the title against Anthony Joshua’s grandson. That would be more like Super 88 than Super 8. No WBA title fight for Miller Instead he will fight Romanian Bogdan Dinu in Mulvane, Kansas on 17 November.
It is only natural that Daniel Jacobs should be calling out Saul Alvarez but the IBF may put a spoke in that wheel. Before the Serhiy Derevyanchenko fight Jacobs was rated behind Jack Culcay at No 3 so they may insist he fight Culcay before anyone else.
The Jeff Horn vs. Anthony Mundine fight in Brisbane on 30 November will be a huge fight for Australia. I am amazed by Mundine. At 43 he is still a force but what amazes me is that he started out as a super middle, moved up to middle, went down to super welter, fought Danny Green at cruiser and is now going to fight welterweight Jeff Horn at catchweight. He is a very controversial figure in Australia due to his strong stance on racial matters and he has said that he will not stand during the national anthem in Brisbane.
Juan Francisco will have a keep busy fight as he waits for a return shot at Srisaket. Estrada will face former WBC flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro. The Filipino scored a major upset when he beat Pongsaklek for the WBC title in 2012 but then lost three fights in a row including dropping the WBC title. He has won 10 of his 11 fights since then but at 36 and past his best he should pose no threat to Estrada.
The planned fight for the secondary WBA super welter title between the champion Brian Castano and former champion Erislandy Lara has been postponed until sometime early next year.
Two of Poland’s leading heavyweights, Artur Szpilka and Mariusz Wach will battle it out in Gliwice on 10 November. I don’t like the term “Crossroads” but the loser will find it hard to stay relevant if he loses here. At 29 it is not quite so critical for Szpilka but at 38 time is running out for Wach.
There will an IBF eliminator in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 5 January to find a challenger for Errol Spence. The IBF No 1 spot vacant, No 2 Yordenis Ugas is lined up to challenge Shawn Porter for the WBC title in February and No 3 Jesse Vargas declined to fight an eliminator. The outcome is that Kuala Lumpur-based Uzbek Kudratillo Abdukakhorov the No 4 and Japan’s Keita Obara No 6 will fight each other to fill the No 1 spot. It seems that the Porter vs. Ugas fight will be on the same show as Spence vs. Mikey Garcia.
With Zolani Tete tied up in the WBSS bantam tournament the WBO are already looking to crown an interim champion. Ghanaian Duke Micah is rated No 1 by the WBO with Mexican Ricardo Espinoza No 2. Micah is a certainty but as yet it is not clear if Espinoza will accept the opportunity. If Isaac Dogboe retains his WBO super bantam title against Emanuel Navarrete in New York on 8 December, then with Micha’s title fight and Richard Commey now to meet Russian Isa Chaniev for the IBF light title relinquished by Mikey Garcia Ghana could have three world champion in the first half of 2019.
Plenty of good fights to come for the EBU tiles. From the lighter to the heavier a date is awaited for Andrew Selby’s challenge to Vicente Legrand for the flyweight title. Jeremy Parodi and Luca Rigoldi contest the vacant super bantam title on 17 November, on 14 November Samir Ziani and Juli Giner fight for the vacant super feather title, Francesco Patera, fresh from his upset victory over Lewis Ritson, will defend the lightweight title against Marvin Petit with purse bids due 19 November The super light title is vacant and Joe Hughes and Andrea Scarpa will fight for that on 30 November in Italy, Kerman Lejarraga defends the welterweight title against Frankie Gavin in Bilbao on 17 November, at super welter Sergio Garcia will be allowed a voluntary defence and then has to fight Zakaria Attou, negotiations are ongoing for Kamil Szeremeta to defend his title against Martin Murray, Robin Krasniqi has a voluntary defence of his light heavyweight title against Stefan Haertel on 17 November and if he wins he then has to defend against Juergen Brahmer. Cruiserweight champion Yves Ngabu is defending against Micki Nielsen no date yet for that one and finally if no agreement is reached purse bids are due 13 November for Agit Kabayel’s defence of the heavyweight title against Otto Wallin. Quite a schedule and some high quality fights.
Marcos Maidana is still scoring victories but in the courts not in the ring. The former WBA super light and welter champion sued his former manager claiming that he had defrauded Maidana of over $600,000. The court ruled that his manager had adulterated contracts, forged Maidana’s signature and collected money in the name of Maidana including a $175,000 signing on fee that Maidana should have received as signing on bonus from Universum Media. Whether Maidana will be able to recover the money is a different matter.
On the South African scene it was good to learn that Gideon Buthelezi was finally paid in full for his IBO title defence against Lucas Fernandez. However there is a lesson there that when you bend the rules even with the best of intentions it can rebound on you. This time not insisting on the promoter having the money instead of a promise from a sponsor for the money has ended happily but that has not always been the case in the past.
There was some controversy over Tommy Oosthuizen’s win over Thabiso Mchunu in September so they will fight each other again on a Rodney Berman show on 6 December. On the same show unbeaten Thulani Mbenge will be defending his IBO welterweight title against experienced former IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez.
The Italian Boxing Hall of Fame was formally opened late last month. Nino Benvenuti, Patricio Oliva, Mauricio Stecca and the late Giovanni Parisi were the first inductees. They are unique in that they are the only Italian boxers to win both an Olympic gold medal and a world title. Parisi tragically died in an automobile accident in 2009 at the age of just 41. There have been so many great Italian boxers and boxers of Italian heritage it will interesting to see who else joins this famous four in the Hall.
Not such good news for Italians was the death last month of Piero Del Papa at the age of 80. Del Papa was Italian light heavyweight champion and twice held the European title. In his twelve year 62 fight career he fought Eddie Cotton, Mauro Mina, Carl Bobo Olsen, Giulio Rinaldi, Chic Calderwood, Tom Bogs, Gregorio Peralta, Rudi Lubbers and so many more. His only shot at a world title came in his 55th fight when he was knocked out in one round by Vicente Rondon for the WBA light heavy title. RIP Piero.
Last month also saw the death of one of Kenya’s outstanding boxers in Richard Murunga. He put Kenya on the map when he came out of nowhere to win a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich where Kenya also won a silver and another bronze. He turned pro in 1974 and had a few fights in Europe for Mogen Palle. After he retired despite a spinal injury making him a paraplegic he played a big part in boxing in Kenyan as a trainer and later as a manager and founded the Kenyan Boxing Federation. RIP Richard.
Former world light heavy and cruiser champion Dariusz Michalczewski is entering the ranks of promoters. His first show will be a co-promotion with Erol Celan in Gdansk on 8 December. Michalczewski was 48-2 in his pro career winning his first 48 fights including 25 consecutive victories in WBO WBA and IBF title fights over two divisions.
Always expect the unexpected in boxing. After suffering his seventh loss in his last eight fights Georgian boxer Levan Shonia went back to his corner leaned over the ropes and punched his trainer. That was more than he had managed in six rounds against Spas Genov.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (20-0): WBO #5
The unstoppable Chinese giant has been running roughshod over everyone that has stepped into the ring with him. In just 4 years, the former Olympic champion has accumulated 20 victories, 16 of them via KO, as well as the WBO Oriental title. His next confirmed opponent will be former WBA International champion & world title contender Alexander Ustinov (34-2), on November 24, in Monaco.
Apinan Sakkreerin (12-0): IBF #10
The current IBF Asia & Pan Pacific champion, has knocked out Jason Egera as well as Rusmin Kie Raha this year.
-Daud Yordan (38-3): WBO #2 / WBA #2
Since entering the Lightweight rankings in 2013, Yordan has won all 8 of his fights, including numerous titles. His latest success came this April, when he stopped undefeated Russian prospect Pavel Malikov to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. Standing amongst the top of his division, he’s now facing former World champion Anthony Crolla (33-6) on November 10, in Manchester, for a chance at the WBA World title.
-Mercito Gesta (32-2): WBO #7
After unsuccessfully challenging Jorge Linares for the WBA World championship earlier this year, Gesta defeated Robert Manzanarez for the vacant WBO-NABO title.
-Can Xu (15-2): WBA #2 / WBC #10
The former Super Featherweight, now the reigning Featherweight WBA International champion, has defeated Filipino champion Jelbirt Gomera as well as Mexican champion Enrique Bernache, both in 2018. There were talks of him facing Jesus Rojas for the WBA World title this December, before the latter lost his belt to Joseph Diaz (27-1). Still ranked at the top of the WBA, we could be seeing the Chinese superstar getting a crack at the gold, sooner or later.
-Genesis Servania (32-1): WBO #1 / WBA #3 / IBF #5 / WBC #12
Servania has knocked out all of his opponents, since losing to WBO World champion Oscar Valder in 2017, including World title contender Carlos Carlson in September. He’s now looking for another shot at a World championship, either at Featherweight or at Super Bantamweight. There are rumors of him challenging Isaac Dogboe (20-0) next year.
-Mark Magsayo (18-0): WBC #1 / WBO #5
The reigning WBO International champion is the number 1 contender for Gary Russell’s World title. However, since the WBC has ordered Russell Jr. vs. Leo Santa Cruz, it’s safe to say that this fight won’t happen anytime soon. Maybe at this point, the best option for Magsayo will be to focus on the WBO World title, which has been held by Oscar Valdez (24-0) since 2016.
-Richard Pumicpic (21-8): WBO #8
The WBO Asia Pacific champion already marked his first title defense earlier this year, when he took on Yoshimitsu Kimura. Now he returns to Japan again on November 25, to fight another undefeated prospect in Musashi Mori (7-0).
-Albert Pagara (30-1): WBO #5 / IBF #6 / WBC #18
Pagara stopped Laryea Gabriel Odoi this past June, to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. He will make his inaugural title defense against George Krampah (14-3) in the Philippines, on November 24.
-Tassana Sanpattan (48-0): WBC #2
“Petch Sor Chitpattana” was set to fight Rau'shee Warren (16-2) for the vacant WBC World championship but thus far no date has been set. It’s not guaranteed if the match will take place at this point.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (42-1): WBC #9
Nawaphon earned a huge victory earlier this year when he stopped former IBF World Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng in the third round. He then moved to Bantamweight where he won the WBC Asia title.
-Kenny Demecillo (14-4): IBF #3
Demecillo has fought only once this year, scoring a KO win over Vyacheslav Mirzaev in Russia. He is supposed to clash with former World champion Lee Haskins (35-4) in an IBF World title eliminator on November 17. It’s unclear if the bout will go on as planned.
-Michael Dasmarinas (28-2): IBF #4 / WBC #15
Dasmarinas knocked out former EBU European champion Karim Guerfi this April to gain the IBO “world” title. His latest fight against Manyo Plange came to a draw.
-Donnie Nietes (41-1): WBO #1 / WBC #6
The former 3 division world champion fought Aston Palicte for the vacant WBO world title, this past September, to a draw. Nietes will now be facing fellow 3 division world champion Kazuto Ioka (23-1) for the same vacant crown, on December 31st in Macau.
-Aston Palicte (24-2): WBO #2 / WBO #8
As mentioned above, Palicte and Nietes fought to a draw for the WBO championship. No news yet on what’s on the horizon for him. He will square off against Jose Martinez (20-0) in a WBO World title eliminator. The victor will fight the winner of Ioka/Nietes.
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-1): WBA #1
The former WBA Asia champion has fought twice in 2018 and has knocked out both of his opponents.
-Nare Yianleang (68-5): WBA #2 / WBC #5
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, “Noknoi Sitthiprasert” has been undefeated in his last 6 fights, but none of them was against a credible opponent.
-Wenfeng Ge (11-0): WBO #9 / IBF #13 / WBC #25
In his first ever Flyweight bout, the undefeated Chinese prospect took the unanimous decision victory over Ivan Soriano as well as the vacant WBO International championship, this past August.
-Froilan Saludar (28-3): WBA #10
The former WBO Asia Pacific & Intercontinental title holder unsuccessfully challenged Sho Kimura in July for the World championship.
-Giemel Magramo (22-1): WBO #7 / WBC #9 / WBA #9 / IBF #10
The Filipino captured the vacant WBO Oriental title in March and successfully defended it on October 29, against Petchchorhae Kokietgym.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (51-4): WBA #8 / WBC #19
The former WBA interim World champion failed the recapture the crown this summer in Ukraine when he fought Artem Dalakian (17-0).
-Jayr Raquinel (10-1): IBF #7 / WBC #24
Earlier this year, Raquinel won the OPBF title from Keisuke Nakayama and in 2 months time, successfully marked his first title defense over Shun Kosaka. However, he failed to capture the vacant WBC Silver championship, when he squared off with Chinese rising star Wulan Tuolehazi, in September.
-Komgrich Nantapech (24-5): IBF #3
The reigning IBF Pan Pacific champion was set to face Japanese champion Masayuki Kuroda (30-7) in an IBF world title eliminator bout, on November 21, but due to a sudden injury, he won’t be able to compete.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-3): WBC #1 / WBO #2 / WBA #3 / IBF #10
Taconing defended his WBC International championship for the second time, this past September, against one time world title challenger Vince Paras. The WBC has ordered a world title eliminator bout against undefeated former IBF World Minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0). The winner of that match will face Ken Shiro in 2019. It’s uncertain if that fight will take place or not, as of yet.
-Edward Heno (13-0): WBO #5 / WBC #6 / WBA #6 / IBF #7
Heno marked 2 successful title defenses of the OPBF championship, within 2018, over Jesse Espinas as well as former World champion Merlito Sabillo. The Filipino breakout star could be fighting for a World title, at some point next year.
-Christian Araneta (16-0): WBC #10 / WBA #10 / WBO #12
Araneta expanded his undefeated streak when he stopped former world title contender Jerry Tomogdan, in August, to win the vacant WBC Asia Silver championship. He has expressed his wish to face Chayaphon Moonsri (51-0) for the WBC World Minimumweight title.
-Jing Xiang (15-4): WBO #8 / WBC #11
2018 has been a quite successful year for Xiang as he, not only captured the vacant WBO Intercontinental title on January, but also earned a huge victory after defeating former World champion Merlito Sabillo, this past September, to become the WBC Silver champion.
-Rey Loreto (24-14): WBC #7
After a failed attempt to dethrone Thammanoon Niyomtrong last year, Loreto returned this past February and knocked out journeyman Arnold Garde.
-Milan Melindo (37-4): WBC #5
The former IBF World champion lost to the defending WBC World champion Ken Shiro this October, after enduring a massive beating for 7 rounds.
-Teeraphong Utaida (37-6): IBF #5
Since losing to Felix Alvarado last year, Utaida has won 3 fights in a row, including the IBF Pan Pacific title.
-Chaozhong Xiong (27-8): WBA #8 / WBC #15
Xiong tried to become a 2time World champion when he fought Thammanoon Niyomtrong in July, but it wasn’t meant to be. No news yet if this was his last match or not.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-0): IBF #1 / WBO #3 / WBA #9
The Filipino rising star earned another huge victory when he defeated 2time World title contender Gabriel Mendoza in May. The biggest fight of his young career will take place on December 1st as he goes up against Carlos Licona (13-0) for vacant IBF World Championship.
-Robert Paradero (17-0): WBO #1 / WBC #26
Paradero will be facing Wilfredo Mendez (11-1), on December 7 in Puerto Rico, in a WBO World title eliminator. The winner will be next in line to challenge Vic Saludar (18-3) for the gold in 2019.
-Panya Pradabsri (24-1): WBO #6 / WBC #12 / WBA #15
Since losing to Chaozhong Xiong in 2017, Pradabsri has amassed 6 wins this year, plus the OPBF Silver title.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1): WBO #9 / WBC #27
Cuarto won his first championship in August after he fought Clyde Azarcon for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
-Pedro Taduran (12-2): IBF #9 / WBC #11
Taduran began 2018 very promising as he dropped former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan in the fifth round, but couldn’t capitalize on that momentum in his World championship bout against Chayaphon Moonsri.
-Samuel Salva (15-0): IBF #8 / WBC #32
The Filipino prospect remained undefeated in 2018 as well, adding 3 more victories to his record.
*Interim World Champions NOT included.
**The focus was on South/East Asian countries.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBO #6 / WBC #2
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 15 fight winning streak. He defended his championships against Suthat Kalalek (12-10) in September.
-Ryota Murata (14-2): WBA #6 / IBF #7
The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist shockingly lost his WBA world title to Rob Brant, on October 20, and once again finds himself in the position of the title chaser. Right now, there are plenty potential interesting choices as for his next opponent, like fellow Olympic champion Esquiva Falcao (22-0), the WBA Asia champion Magomed Madiev (12-0) or the WBA’s top ranked middleweight contender David Lemieux (40-4). We shall see what the future holds for Murata soon.
Super Welterweight / Jr Middleweight:
-Takeshi Inoue (13-0): IBF #2 / WBO #3 / WBA #14 / WBC #19
The undefeated 4-year veteran is climbing the division incredibly fast, managing to place himself at the top of the WBO/IBF rankings. A former Japanese title holder and now the unified OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion, may very well be on his way to the big one, as he’s been rumored to be facing Julian Williams (25-1) in a IBF world title eliminator.
-Keita Obara (20-3): IBF #6 / WBO #14
The former Japanese/OPBF champion and world title contender, recently got his revenge on Alvin Lagumbay (10-3), after that shocking KO loss earlier this year, to regain the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight championship. Obara will take on the WBC Silver champion Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0), on January 4th, in an IBF world title eliminator.
Super Lightweight / Jr Welterweight:
-Hiroki Okada (19-0): WBO #3 / WBA #3 / IBF #5 / WBC #12
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) in 2017. Okada’s latest victory came in September, against Cristian Rafael Coria (27-7), when he made his US debut.
-Akihiro Kondo (31-7): IBF #4
Since losing to Sergey Lipinets (14-1) last year, Kondo has won his last 2 fights against the debuting Rikhit Thunritsa and Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-12).
-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 with Zaur Abdullaev (10-0) for the WBC Silver title or with Isa Chaniev (13-1) for the IBF Intercontinental/WBO International titles, would make much sense at this point of his career.
-Nihito Arakawa (31-6): WBO #5
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 #6 / WBC #22
The 27 year old is steadily making his mark in Japan. 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 challenging for the WBO world title by the end of 2019/beginning of 2020. He fought OPBF champion Hironori Mishiro (6-0) for the Japanese & OPBF titles, on October 6, to a draw.
-Satoshi Shimizu (7-0): IBF #3 / WBC #5
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) in August, for the third time. Shimizu might be looking for a fight with Gary Russell Jr. (29-1) for the WBC world title in the near future. Until then, he has to defend the OPBF championship again this year, against fellow undefeated prospect Takuya Uehara (16-0) on December 3rd.
-Shun Kubo (13-1): WBA #8 / WBC #23
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 in his Featherweight debut. Kubo will compete again on December 1st, as he takes on former world title contender Noldi Manakane (33-25).
-Reiya Abe (18-2): IBF #4 / WBC #20
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 / WBO #8
El Mexicanito has been undefeated since moving up a weight class. He will be facing the current EBU champion Abigail Medina (19-3) for the interim WBC world title, on November 12, in Japan.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3): IBF #3 / WBC #12
Iwasa lost his IBF world title to DJ Doheny (20-0) this past August. Rumor has it that he maybe fighting Cesar Juarez (23-6) in an IBF world title eliminator in the near future.
- Shingo Wake (25-5): IBF #4 / 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.
- Ryohei Takahashi (16-3): IBF #10
Takahashi won the IBF Pan Pacific championship from Pipat Chaiporn (45-12) back in June.
-Takuma Inoue (12-0): WBC #4 / WBO #4
Takuma defeated the reigning OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-13) via unanimous decision, in a WBC World title eliminator fight, on September 11. He is now set to face the winner of Rau'shee Warren (16-2) vs. Nordine Oubaali (14-0), in 2019. If the fight between Warren and Oubaali doesn’t materialize, then Takuma will go up against undefeated Thai boxer Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0) for the title, this year.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Kazuto Ioka (23-1): WBA #2 / WBC #3 / WBO #3
Ioka outclassed 2-time world title contender and accomplished amateur boxer McWilliams Arroyo (17-4), recently in the States, to win the WBC Silver title. The Japanese superstar is on a journey to conquer yet again another division, as a match with fellow 3 division world champion Donnie Nietes (41-1), for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World championship, is almost certain to take place on December 31st in Macau.
-Koki Eto (23-4): WBC #7 / WBO #8 / WBA #8 / IBF #14
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion is currently ranked in the top 10 of the division. Nothing new on the horizon for him at this moment.
-Ryuichi Funai (30-7): IBF #3 / WBO #6 / WBC #14 / WBA #12
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. He will be facing Victor Olivo (15-2) on November 10, in an IBF title eliminator bout. The winner will challenge Jerwin Ancajas (30-1) for the IBF Super Flyweight World Championship next year.
-Sho Ishida (26-1): IBF #5 / WBO #7 / WBA #7 / WBC #17
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. His next opponent will be the aforementioned Warlito Parrenas, on December 9.
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-7): WBC #3 / WBO #2 / IBF #4
The current Japanese Flyweight champion has been on a 6-fight winning streak and has defended his belt 5 times since 2017. Kuroda was scheduled to fight Komgrich Nantapech (24-5) in an IBF world title eliminator bout this November. However, Nantapech was injured and the match was cancelled. Now there’s a possibility that Kuroda may go straight for a world title fight against the IBF world champion Moruti Mthalane (36-2).
-Junto Nakatani (17-0): WBC #4 / WBO #10
The unstoppable Japanese prospect has fought 4 times in 2018 and has won all of his bouts, 2 of them via KO. At this pace, he will be competing for a world title in no time.
-Masahiro Sakamoto (13-1): WBO #4
Sakamoto has been on a 5 fight winning streak, all stoppages, including victories over Ekkawit Songnui (48-6) and Wicha Phulaikhao (60-10). The former WBO Asia Pacific champion will probably be in line for a WBO World title match, against Kosei Tanaka, in 2019.
-Sho Kimura (17-2): WBC #7 / WBO #5
The former WBO world champion lost this title recently to Kosei Tanaka, in a back and forth affair. Already ranked in the top 10 of the WBO & WBC, he will probably find himself in a championship match after one or two fights.
-Tetsuya Hisada (32-9): WBA #2 / WBO #3 / WBC #3 / IBF #3
The reigning Japanese Flyweight champion recorded a 4th successful title 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, probably in 2019. His next fight will be on November 16, against Akihiro Toya (8-4), for the Japanese title.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (11-0): WBA #1 / WBC #2 / IBF #4 / WBO #9
The undefeated IBF Minimumweight World champion recently moved up a weight class and is already sitting at the top of the division. Kyoguchi’s Light Flyweight debut took place on September 25, against top Indonesian boxer Tibo Monabesa (18-1), which ended with a TKO victory for the Japanese star. Recently the WBC has ordered a world title eliminator between Kyoguchi and the reigning WBC International champion Jonathan Taconing (28-3). If this bout goes through, it’s still uncertain. There are also talks of Kyoguchi potentially challenging Angel Acosta (19-1) for the WBO World title.
-Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3): WBC #4 / WBA #4 / IBF #8
There are currently 2 scenarios for the former world champion. Either he moves up to Flyweight and fights for a world title in that division or have his rematch with Hekkie Budler. Nothing has been confirmed thus far.
-Reiya Konishi (16-1): WBA #5 / WBO #6 / IBF #9 / WBC #13
After losing a decision to Carlos Canizales (21-0), for the WBA world title, earlier this year, Konishi came back in July and knocked out Orlie Silvestre (11-4) to become the new WBO Asia Pacific champion. His first title defense will take place on December 1st, against Richard Rosales (13-7).
-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.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-0): WBC #2 / IBF #4 / WBA #10 / WBO #10
At only 23 years of age, Koura has already amassed 14 career wins, including 9 KOs, as well as the OPBF Minimumweight championship. He successfully defended his title, for the 3rd time, against Daiki Tomita (12-1) on September 29. A WBC world title match with Chayaphon Moonsri (51-0) in 2019 could be possible. Koura is set to face Simphiwe Khonco (19-5) in a WBC title eliminator bout (date TBA).
-Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6): WBC #5 / 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 (23-9): WBO #5 / IBF #11 / WBA #13 / WBC #13
Ono made his first successful Japanese title defense against former world title contender Riku Kano (13-4) on August 24. There were rumors that he could be facing
Chayaphon Moonsri in December but these plans may have fallen off since the Thai world champion will have another match coming up this month.
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
If it wasn’t so serious it would be hilarious.
Yes, I am referring to the recent events involving AIBA, the governors of amateur boxing which held their Congress in Moscow this past weekend which saw a new permanent President elected. You may have read on this site just over a week ago that Serik Konakbayev was awaiting a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding his being able to run against Gafur Rakhimov, well the Kazak received the nod from the CAS and we had a contest between the pair for the Presidency.
The first day of the congress on Friday November 2 saw Rakhimov put forward a proposal that a President could temporarily step aside for up to a year and with a successor appointed by the AIBA ruler Executive Committee. Rakhimov would have remained on the Executive Committee whilst also retaining full voting rights however, he fell 2 votes short of the 2-thirds majority needed to push through the proposal.
Let’s be honest this would have been a complete fudge, a way to kick the can down the road and a blatant attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet and this wouldn’t have washed with the IOC anyway.
The next day saw the election take place in what was more resembling of a comedy show rather than a crucial demonstration of the competence of AIBA to the world and more importantly the IOC.
The electronic voting system failed to work despite several attempts and despite the protests of the Konakbayev team and the Kazakh federation eventually a paper ballot was hastily organised.
Several delegates disappeared and failed to vote including India but Rakhimov was victorious, receiving 86 out of the 134 votes. It’s hard to work out whether it was arrogance personified or utter stupidity that lead the 86 federations to choose Rakhimov but the farcical and chaotic nature of proceedings will have only raised more concerns from the IOC.
Shortly afterwards a statement from the IOC was sent to the brilliant insidethegames with Presidential spokesman Mark Adams stating
“We take note of decisions taken by the AIBA Congress in Moscow.” The IOC has made it clear from the outset that there are issues of grave concern with AIBA regarding judging, finance, and the anti- doping programme, and with governance – which includes but is not limited to the election of the AIBA President.”
“As planned, we will now carefully evaluate all these areas at the next IOC Executive Board meeting in Tokyo on the 30 November – 2 December.”
Rumblings of a breakaway organisation possibly headed by Konakbayev being given IOC ratification to organise the boxing in Tokyo have begun to emerge and the IOC once again stated their desire to protect the athletes. Putting this into practise however, presents an uphill task given the short period of time.
Finally if you missed my piece on the potential ramifications of no Olympic boxing in Tokyo then it can be read here - The dire consequences if, no Olympic Boxing in Tokyo
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