By Eric Armit
Sometimes a draw can be a fair reflection of a fight but it rarely satisfies either boxer and rarely settles anything. That is certainly the case for the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight. I thought Fury won by four points and it seems that the majority of observers-but not all- also thought Fury won. It is nice to feel you are in a majority but also irrelevant because in boxing the result is decided by three judges and not by popular vote. Effectively the draw in the Wilder vs. Fury fight meant that Wilder remained the WBC champion and Fury having relinquished the WBA and WBO titles in 2016, and been stripped off the IBF title the same year, had no title. The best thing for boxing would have been a win for either fighter which would almost certainly have guaranteed a fight with Anthony Joshua next year to unify the heavyweight title for the first time since 5 May 1989. On that date Mike Tyson held the IBF, WBA and WBC titles but on 6 May Francesco Damiani won the inaugural WBO title and no one has held all four titles since then. Up until Fury’s win over Wlad Klitschko Lennox Lewis and Klitschko were the only fighters to have held three of the four titles.
There is no guarantee of a unification fight in 2019. Already no one can be sure whether Wilder and Fury will go straight into a return match. The WBC after a unanimous vote of their Board of Governors ordering the rematch then fudged the issue by saying that if Wilder requested permission to fight Joshua in a unification fight they would vote again. It is also a fact that such a unification match is not solely in the WBC’s hands. It would need the WBO to ignore the claims to a fight with Joshua for their No 1 Dillian White-and the WBC to do the same as he is No 1 with them in their ratings published after the draw with Fury-and the IBF to let their No 1 Kubrat Pulev, who beat Hughie Fury in an eliminator, be by-passed and the WBA to do the same for secondary champion Manuel Charr and interim champion Trevor Bryan. It is a simple fact that despite what they may say none of the four sanctioning bodies want a unified title-in any division. The fans might want it and the media may want it but for commercial and prestige reasons each sanctioning body wants its own champion. After his win over Klitschko It took the IBF only ten days for them to find a reason to strip Fury of their title. There is no benefit whatsoever for a sanctioning body in a unified title.
As far as money is concerned the basic figures saw Wilder getting$4 million and Fury $3 million and as they were willing to fight each other for that then the favoured fight on money alone for Wilder must be Joshua. Wilder’s team had been willing to accept a flat fee of $15 million to fight Joshua last year and talked about offering Joshua $80 million. The Wilder vs. Fury fight was a great heavyweight fight so they would both expect to be paid a lot more for the return but there would be a lot more money on the table if they fought Joshua ‘
There was mention of Fury being the linear champion but I have problems with the “Linear” concept of “the man who beat the man”. For me if there is or has been a linear champion then when he retires that line is broken. If the linear champion is the holder of the WBC title then when he retires the WBC will nominate two fighters to fight for the WBC title. The supporters of the linear champion theory will have no say in who those fighters are so effectively the WBC will be the decision makers on the linear champion and if there are stronger IBF, WBO or WBA champions-stronger than the two the WBC nominate-then hard luck on them as the new WBC champion will be recognised as the linear champion irrespective of his quality. Olek Usyk is the first truly unified champion of the cruiser title since Evander Holyfield back in 1988 when there was no WBO and since Usyk’s first title was the WBO title then presumably when he gives up his cruiser titles the WBO will rule of who is the linear champion!
On the subject of titles the WBA went their usual mercenary way. They had more champions than titles at cruiser with Usyk as super champion, Beibut Shumenov as their secondary champion, Arsen Goulamirian as interim champion and Denis Lebedev as champion in recess. With Lebedev having escaped from “recess” they have invented yet another title for Goulamirian-he is no longer interim champion he is now Gold champion. Does that mean that having been interim world champion he drops the word “world” or is he now the WBA Gold World champion? A great idea by the WBA going for gold you might say. As of last month there are 118 elements listed in the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. Apart from gold silver and bronze there are beauties such as Praseodymium, Molybdenum and even Krypton (ite), which might scare their super champions, so plenty of scope for more titles for the WBA.
Let’s be fair to the WBA it was Jose Sulaiman who first introduced interim titles as well as things such as champion in recess and champion emeritus.
The very thought of any of the sanctioning bodies wanting to take the place of the AIBA is enough to send shivers down the back of any boxing lover. They have made a mockery of the concept of a world champion and it would be a disaster if they got any control over Olympic boxing.
If the rumours that the WBSS is in trouble and may go no further are true then it is a big loss for the fighters and the fans. There are no dates showing for the next round of the cruiserweight, super light or bantam semi-finals and there should have been by now. They have given us some great fights that would probably either not otherwise been made or taken a long time to put together. It has been a high quality product but also a very expensive one and the signs are not good.
It is a great pity that HBO has bowed out of boxing. Since 1973 they have featured so many great fights and fighters and they had a top quality boxing team. It is a mark of how the boxing world has changed in that the headline contests in the final HBO show featured two female world title fights. That was never even dreamed about as a possibility when HBO first started covering boxing. Boxers such as Claressa Shields, Cecilia Braekhus, Delfine Persoon, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Katie Taylor, Mariano Juarez, Yessica Bop, Chantelle Cameron, Eva Wahlstrom and others have already or are now building huge followings. The problem in the past has been a lack of depth and the wide gap between the top liners and the others but that is changing slowly.
Oscar Valdez will return to the ring in Tucson on 12 January putting his WBO featherweight title on the line with Spaniard Andoni Gago being mentioned as a possible challenger. It will be the first fight for Valdez since he suffered a broken jaw when defending the WBO title against Scott Quigg in March this year. Officially Gago is listed to fight champion Kiko Martinez for the European title with negotiations underway been the two parties so the Valdez fight is not yet nailed down.
The 2 February return match between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev should be an interesting one. At 35 it is a fight Kovalev can’t afford to lose
Keith Thurman will return to the ring on 16 January with a defence of his WBA welterweight title against Mexican Josesito Lopez in New York. It will be Thurman’s first fight since taking a split verdict over Danny Garcia in a title defence in March 2017
It is amazing how things sometimes turn out in boxing. Back in 2016 Jason Welborn must have wondered if he had a future when he lost on points to William Warburton who had 96 losses on his record. Yes 96! In December 2018 he was fighting in Los Angeles for the WBA and IBF world titles.
Sergey Derevyanchenko may get another shot at IBF champion Daniel Jacobs early next year. Derevyanchenko is No 4 with the IBF and they have ordered a fight with their highest rated challenger No 2 Jack Culcay (the No 1 slot is vacant). It would be a fight where Derevyanchenko would be a heavy favourite and as he is not currently in the WBA or WBO ratings and only No 10 with the WBC it would seem to offer his best chance to a title fight.
A WBO final eliminator between No 2 Shefat Isufi and No 3 Vincent Feigenbutz is set for 22 February to decide who gets the shot at the winner of Gilberto Ramirez vs. Jesse Hart WBO super middleweight title fight tonight. Whoever wins between Isufi and Feigenbutz will never stand a chance against either Ramirez or Hart. It is unusual but Hungarian promoter Felix Racz won the bidding so Feigenbutz will have to fight in Budapest. Normally Sauerland Promotions would be the ones to put in the highest bid for a Feigenbutz contest.
Another top amateur is crossing over. Canadian Arthur Biyarslanov has signed with Lee Baxter and will have his first pro fight on Saturday. “The Chechen Wolf” Biyarslanov Competed at the World Youth Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships. He won big in 2015 getting a gold medal at the Pan American Games beating top Cuban Yasniel Toledo Lopez making him the only Canadian to win gold at those Games. He took gold at the 2016 Americas Qualifier and competed at the 2016 Olympics finishing with an 85-13 amateur record. Another one to watch.
It was a weighty matter when Hemi Ahio and Conrad Lam fought on 24November. Ahio is a reasonable size heavyweight at 6’0” and 246lbs. Lam is 6’4” and weighed in at 434lbs so 680lbs between them. I hope no one matches Lam with Dennis Lewandowski as he comes in around 280lbs.
By Eric Armit
-Vasiliy Lomachenko decisions Jose Pedraza to unify the WBA and WBO lightweight titles
-Emanuel Navarette outpoints Isaac Dogboe to lift the WBO super bantamweight title
-Michele Soro wins the vacant secondary WBA super welterweight title with stoppage of Greg Vendetti
-Kell Brook wins WBA final eliminator with points victory over Michael Zerafa
- Jono Carroll and Guillame Frenois draw in IBF super feather eliminator
-Thabiso Mchunu beats Thomas Oosthuizen and Thulani Mbenge halts Miguel Vazquez in South Africa
Rene Alvarado outpoints Carlos Morales in WBA super featherweight eliminator
-Prospects Alex Besputin, Teo Lopez, Anthony Fowler, Karim Arce, Mohammed Rabii, Mickael Diallo, Filip Hrgovic and Jeyvier Cintron score wins.
World title shows
New York, NY, USA: Light: Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1) W PTS 12 Jose Pedraza (25-2). Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (26-1) W PTS 12 Isaac Dogboe (20-1). Welter Alex Besputin (12-0) W PTS 12 Juan Carlos Abreu (21-5-1,1ND). Light Teo Lopez (11-0) W KO 1 Mason Menard (34-4). Super Light: Abdiel Ramirez (24-3-1) W TKO 8 Michael Perez (25-3-2). Heavy: Guido Vianello (1-0) W KO 2 Luke Lyons (5-2-1).
Lomachenko vs. Pedraza
After a studied start Lomachenko gets into his stride and outboxes and outscores a clever Pedraza. He comes close to an inside the distance win with two knockdowns in the eleventh round and takes the decision to unify the WBA and WBO titles.
A very cautious opening from both fighters. Pedraza probed with his jab and landed a couple of light straight rights. Lomachenko came to life late in the round and scored with three lefts which was just enough to have him edge the round.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko
A good round by Pedraza. He boxed cleverly with plenty of movement, jabbed sharply and slotted home some straight rights. Lomachenko landed a hard straight left late in the round but this time that was not enough.
Score 10-9 Pedraza Tied 19-19
Pedraza again boxed well at the start of the round and Lomachenko’s face was already red from the attentions of Pedraza’s jab. Lomachenko fired home some bursts of punches to take the round but all three rounds had been close.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 29-28
Lomachenko was finding Pedraza a difficult target. The Puerto Rican was switching guards, employing lots of upper body movement and landing light jabs and straight rights. Lomachenko was getting much closer and he landed some hefty lefts in the round to take it.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 39-37
Official scores: 39-37, 40-36 and 39-37 for Lomachenko
Pedraza’s round for me. He kept stabbing out his jab and adding straight lefts with Lomachenko finding it hard to penetrate Pedraza's tight defence. Pedraza’s punches were not hard but he landed a lot more than Lomachenko in this round.
Score 10-9 Pedraza. Lomachenko 48-47
Best round so far for Lomachenko. He had his jab working and began to land some hard straight lefts rocking Pedraza a couple of times. Pedraza kept throwing light punches but Lomachenko was blocking or ducking them
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 58-56
Lomachenko was now in control. He was pressurising Pedraza for the whole three minutes bobbing and weaving around and under the Puerto Ricans punches and then rocking Pedraza with quick bursts of hooks and speedy jabs
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 68-65
More pressure from Lomachenko. With the angles he was creating Pedraza was often not even seeing the punch coming. Lomachenko took him to the ropes and unloaded with hooks until Pedraza forced his out into the ring centre but he was soon back on the ropes again under fire.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 78-74
Official scores: 78-74, 80-72 and 78-74 for Lomachenko
Pedraza boxed well enough to stay out of trouble for much of the round but was not landing anything. Lomachenko unleashed bursts of punches over the last 30 seconds. Pedraza was dodging and diving but plenty got through in another dominant round for Lomachenko
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 88-83
Unexpectedly a round for Pedraza and he won it well. He stayed in the centre of the ring firing right jabs and left hooks. When Lomachenko tried to press he moved back quickly firing counters and Lomachenko just could not get close enough to really land anything of note.
Score 10-9 Pedraza Lomachenko 97-93
Perhaps his success in the last round made Pedraza a bit overconfident and he paid for it. Just past the minute mark Lomachenko shook him with a couple of left uppercuts. When another left staggered Pedraza Lomachenko poured on the punches landing time and again with hooks, uppercuts and overarm rights. Pedraza was being blown one way and then the other until dropping to one knee. He was up at eight but when the action resumed there were just twenty seconds left in the round. Lomachenko went after Pedraza and he went down again but it looked like a case of just trying to buy time to the bell. He timed it just right with the bell going as he got up at the count of eight.
Score 10-7 Lomachenko Lomachenko 107-100
Lomachenko managed to land some heavy lefts in the last but Pedraza survived by moving and moving and deserved in the end to go the distance.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 117-109
Official scores: 117-109, 119-107 and 117-109 for Lomachenko`
The 30-year-old Ukrainian continues to set new record with his fourth different title over three divisions in just thirteen fights. If the fight with Mikey Garcia can be made it would unify the four lightweight titles and would be a great fight. Pedraza, a two-division champion himself said he was proud of the effort he put on in this fight against such a great fighter as Lomachenko. He certainly posed some problems early with his movement and snappy jabs and can hold his head up high and look for some more big fights when he returns to action.
Navarette vs. Dogboe
Navarette lifts the WBO title as he uses his speed, longer reach and a high work rate to decision champion Dogboe who fades badly over the last four rounds.
Navarette had a 5” height advantage and a longer reach so Dogboe was quickly moving forward getting past the jab and landing hooks inside. He did a good job of cutting the ring off and although Navarette launched a late attack it was the champions round
Score 10-9 Dogboe
A much better round from Navarette as he dominated the round. He took the fight to Dogboe stabbing his jab and landing a nice left hook. He kept up the pressure with Dogboe never able to get on the front foot and Navarette landing with hooks and uppercuts knocking Dogboe off balance with a left and forcing Dogboe around the ring.
Score 10-9 Navarette Tied 19-19
Dogboe made some adjustments coming in low and refusing to be backed up for much of the round. Over the second half of the round Navarette again took over with long swinging hooks. He landed a hurtful right to the head followed by a left to the body and took the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 29-28
A good round for Dogboe. He moved inside Navarette’s reach firing clusters of hooks to the body. He continued to slip Navarette’s jab and rocked the Mexican with a left hook to the head and connected with more body punches.
Score 10-9 Dogboe Tied 38-38
Navarette gave Dogboe a torrid time in this round. He crowded and pressed for the whole three minutes He was landing hooks and uppercuts using his larger physique to push Dogboe back and pumping out punch after punch with Dogboe almost overwhelmed.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 48-47
Another round for Navarette. He was setting a frantic pace almost running forward and pumping out punches. He was constantly switching guards and outworking Dogboe. The champion stood his ground more than in the fifth and managed to dig in some body punches.
Score 10-9 Navarette ` Navarette 58-56
Strange tactics from Navarette. In this round he boxed on the retreat which allowed Dogboe to get inside and score with jabs and uppercuts. Navarette’s punch output dropped and he was even being out jabbed in a round won by Dogboe
Score 10-9 Dogboe Navarette 67-66
Really strange as Navarette took another round off. He never took a forward step and threw very few punches. Dogboe was able to get through with jabs and work inside with body punches. A gift round for the Ghanaian.
Score 10-9 Dogboe ` Tied 76-76
A closer round. Dogboe scored well over the early part and looked to have knocked Navarette over with a right to the side of the head. Navarette complained it landed on the back of his head and the referee agreed not applying a count and warning Dogboe. That seemed to wake up Navarette and he went onto the attack storming forward with hooks and uppercuts forcing Dogboe back and doing enough to just take the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 86-85
Dogboe had swelling around his eyes and the referee asked the doctor to examine the Ghanaian but he was passed as OK. Dogboe made a lively start scoring with straight rights and Navarette was replying with swinging hooks from both hands. The referee had insisted that water be mopped up from Dogboe’s corner before the round started and as Navarette forced Dogboe back he slipped on the remaining water and slid to the floor awkwardly. That seemed to unsettle him and Navarette dominated the rest of the round landing three clubbing head punches that rattled Dogboe.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 96-94
Navarette pursued Dogboe throughout the round. He was almost running after the champion never letting him get set to fire any counters and pumping out left and right hooks with Dogboe just being outworked and outscored. Once again Dogboe slipped badly on water in his own corner. They both tumbled to the floor just before the bell but neither was hurt.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 106-103
Dogboe fought the last round like a fighter who thought he only had to stay on his feet to be the winner. He was on the retreat for the whole three minutes doing more holding than punching. Once again Navarette was letting fly with hooks and uppercut and driving Dogboe back before throwing Dogboe to the canvas late in the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 116-112
The 23-year-old “Cowboy” from Mexico City was a bit if a surprise package. He had won his last 20 fights and the last eight of those by KO/TKO and was No 2 with the WBO but there was not a single rated fighter anywhere in his record. He was just too big for the 5’2” Dogboe and it will be interesting to see how he handles some of the other champions/rated fighters. Diego De La Hoya is the WBO No 1 and that will be an interesting fight if it can be made. Dogboe’s loss will be a huge disappointment for boxing fans in Ghana who had celebrated and feted him for his upset victory over Jessie Magdaleno and his crushing of Hidenori Otake. With the form he showed in those fights the 24-year-old Ghanaian will be back looking for a title fight in 2019.
Besputin vs. Abreu
Besputin scores wide unanimous decision over a tough and rough Abreu. The Russian showed his power early putting Abreu down with a strong straight left in the first round. Abreu has never lost by KO/TKO and he survived this early scare. He wasn’t able to win any rounds but he did make things awkward for Besputin and looked to have shaken the Russian in the fourth. That was momentary success and Besputin had already done enough good work to take the round. Besputin was down in the fifth but he had been thrown there by Abreu. Besputin arose quickly with Abreu looking to land a punch as Besputin was on the way up but he got away with that. Besputin continued to boss the action and had a 10-8 round in the eighth when he knocked Abreu into the ropes and the referee ruled that the ropes had held Abreu up and gave the Dominican another count. There were no more scares for Abreu and Besputin was the winner by 100-88 on the cards and retains the USBA title. Not Besputin’s best performance but Abreu was tough if limited opponent
Lopez vs. Menard
Lopez scores a brutal kayo of Menard. After a few seconds of sparring Lopez landed a right to the head which rocked Menard. He quickly went on the retreat with Lopez tracking him along the ropes. Lopez landed a left hook to the body to the and then an explosive right to the side of Menard’s head that saw Menard falling face down on the canvas so hard that he bounced. The referee started the count but quickly stopped and signalled for assistance to Menard. All finished in 44 seconds. The 21-year-ol Brooklyn-born Lopez wins the vacant NABF title with his ninth victory by KO/TKO. A former National Golden Gloves champion and US Olympic Trials winner he found his way to Rio blocked as fellow American Carlos Balderas had already qualified through the WBS. Lopez entered the America’s qualifier on behalf of Honduras having Honduran parentage and although he made it to Rio he went out in the first round. Going into this fight his only rating was at No 11 with the WBA but this performance should see him get some serious attention by all of the sanctioning bodies. Life has been tough for Menard since he moved into top level matches with this his third loss by KO/TKO in his last five fights. The other two losses were against Ray Beltran and Devin Haney
Ramirez vs. Perez
Good win for Ramirez as he rebounds from two losses in a row with stoppage of Perez. Ramirez had the perfect start flooring Perez in the first and forcing the fight. Perez fought his way back into the fight and floored Ramirez with a right in the fourth. Ramirez was back on top in the fifth and seemed to be on his way to a points victory when he produced a couple of uppercuts early in the eighth which dumped Perez on the floor heavily and the fights was halted without a count being needed. Ramirez had an eight bout winning streak snapped by losses to unbeaten Eastern Europeans Ruslan Madiev and Maxim Dadashev. Perez had beaten Miguel Acosta and Martin Honorio and lost to Petr Petrov. He took a split verdict over 32-1-1 Marcelino Lopez in April last year and this was his first fight since then.
Vianello vs. Lyons
Former amateur star Vianello wastes no time in registering his first pro win. He floored Lyons late in the first with the bell saving Lyons. In the second a right put Lyons down and he was counted out. The 24-year-old 6’6” Vianello was Italian Youth and Senior champion and competed at the European Games and the Rio Olympics. Lyons just a novice and way out of his depth.
Brieve, France: Welter: Jordy Weiss (21-0) W PTS 12 Jose Del Rio (28-8-1). Cruiser: Jean Jacques Olivier (10-2) W PTS 10 Brendon Deslaurier (11-3-1). Heavy: Cyril Leonet (15-10-3) W PTS 10 Dennis Lewandowski (13-3).
Weiss vs. Del Rio
Weiss retains the EU title with unanimous decision over Del Rio. The Frenchman won this with his excellent skills. He was quicker and more accurate with his punches. Southpaw Del Rio pressed hard knowing that Weiss would outbox him unless he could hustle Weiss out of his stride. Del Rio had some success over the first three rounds but by the fourth the stabbing jabs and quick combinations from Weiss had him controlling the fight. The Frenchman was cut on his right eyelid in a clash of heads but his solid defensive work and clean counters saw him outland the Spaniard. Weiss lacks power but makes up for it in speed and skill. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110. First defence of the EU title for the 25-year-old “Gypsy” who is hoping to get a shot at the European title next year. Former Spanish champion Del Rio was challenging for the title for the second time and his constant aggression made this an entertaining match.
Olivier vs. Deslaurier
Unlike the main event power and aggression took this one with Olivier winning the vacant French title on a split decision. Deslaurier boxed neatly constantly switching guard but he lacked the power to keep Olivier out and the bigger stronger man although landing less landed the harder punches and that led two of the judges to score for him by 96-93 and 95-94 with the third going for Deslaurier 96-93. The 30-year-old from far away Martinique gets revenge for a points loss in 2016 and makes it 6 wins in his last 7 fights. “Gypsy Bomber” Deslaurier, 25, had put together a run of nine wins before losing on points to Mairis Breidis in July and will probably get a return with Olivier in 2019.
Leonet vs. Lewandowski
“Aldo” Leonet had no real trouble winning this one as he took every round against the vastly obese Lewandowski. Leonet was just too mobile for the glacial slow Lewandowski who looked like an over-inflated “Michelin Man”. Leonet kept moving and firing home quick punches with Lewandowski too slow to counter or cut off the ring. Leonet won on scores of 100-90 twice and 100-91. The 35-year-old Leonet, a former French champion, wins the WBFederation International title. He has improved his record with a run of 9-2-1 in his last 12 fights. He put up a good fight against Tony Yoka in April before being knocked out in five rounds and that improved his stance with the French fans. German Lewandowski, 24, is just 6’2” but has been as high as 280lbs and he looked about that here.
Castlebar, Ireland: Light: Christian Uruzquieta (18-4-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Ray Moylette (11-1). Middle: Gary O’Sullivan (29-3) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-14)
Uruzquieta vs. Moylette
Mexican Uruzquieta ruins the welcome home party for Moylette with a deserved split decision over the Irishman. Both were finding the target early. Moylette was tending to land smart jabs and rights to the head. Uruzquieta was targeting the body. There were plenty of fiery exchanges with Moylette looking to have moved into the lead after three rounds. Uruzquieta staggered Moylette briefly in the fourth and then nearly finished the fight in the fifth. As they exchanged punches Moylette went down from a right. He only just beat the count and was floored again later in the round. Moylette survived and fought back hard over the second half of the fight with the rounds being close. Scores 96-92 and 95-94 for Uruzquieta and 95-94 got Moylette. Uruzquieta, 28, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title. Fighting in the other man’s back yard is nothing new for Uruzquieta. He has fought five times in Canada going 2-1-2 with upset victories over Steven Wilcox and Roody Pierre Paul and drawing with Mario Perez before losing to Tony Luis and unbeaten Mathieu Germain so he was a tough test for the Irish former amateur star. Moylette, 28 was the first Irish boxer to win a gold medal at the World Youth Championships and later added both the Irish title and a gold at the European Championships. He competed at 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the 2013 European Championships. Now he will have to regroup and rebuild.
O’Sullivan vs. Gorbics
In his first fight since being crushed inside a round by David Lemieux O’Sullivan gets eight rounds of useful work against Hungarian Gorbics. O’Sullivan was his usual aggressive self and Gorbics spent most of the fight going backwards. He came out of his shell on a couple of occasions to stand and trade but O’Sullivan had much the harder punch and Gorbics would quickly go back on the defensive. O’Sullivan rocked Gorbics in the sixth and seemed to ease up over the last allowing Gorbics to last the distance. Referee’s score 80-72 for O’Sullivan. The 34-year-old from Cork has good wins over Nick Quigley and Antoine Douglas but lost a big fight when being stopped by Chris Eubank Jr in 2015. He is an entertaining fighter and there are plenty of good fights to be made for him. Gorbics usually goes the distance but was halted in five rounds by Anthony Fowler in October
Mexicali, Mexico: Super Light: Sergio Ortega (20-2) W TKO 2 Lizandro De los Santos (24-17-1). Local fighter Ortega gets quick victory. After dominating the first round just one minute into the second a hail of punches from Ortega sent De los Santos down. He made to his feet but was taking more incoming shots and the referee stopped the fight. Now 14 wins by KO/TKO for Ortega. He was inactive in 2016 and 2017 and this is his fourth win since returning to the ring. De los Santos slips to 2-7-1 in his most recent ten fights.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Antonio Moran (24-3) W TKO 2 Victor Zuniga (18-3). Moran halts substitute Zuniga in two rounds. In the first Moran was already digging in some hurtful body punches. In the second two left hooks to the body dropped Zuniga. He made it to his feet at seven and when the action resumed tried to take the fight to Moran. Very quickly hooks and uppercuts had Zuniga backing up and a series of punches to head and body had Zuniga tumbling to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’0” tall 25-year-old Moran has wins over some useful and experienced fighters and lost a very close decision to Jose Pedraza in June with all three judges giving the decision to Pedraza by 96-94. He now has 17 wins by KO/TKO. Zuniga, 19, probably should not have taken such a tough fight at short notice and suffers his second inside the distance loss in a row having been stopped in one round by unbeaten Tajik fighter Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in August.
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico: Super Fly: Jeyvier Cintron (9-0) W DISQ 7 Marvin Solano (21-3). Heavy: Victor Bisbal (23-3) W KO 1 Edson Roberto Dos Santos Borges (30-4-2).
Cintron vs. Solano
Solano proved an awkward opponent with his lunging attacks and Cintron was hustled out of his stride in the first but was landing some good counters. Cintron slowly settled and was outboxing the crude Solano but still having problems with the Nicaraguan’s crazy swinging. Cintron was landing right jabs, straight lefts and lead lefts with Solano dangerous but erratic. They almost came to blows after the bell to end the fourth when Cintron lightly tapped Solano on the head and an angry Solano launched himself at Cintron with the referee having to restrain him. Things began to get a bit wild in the fourth with Solano hefting Cintron onto his shoulders and slamming Cintron into the ropes and almost out of the ring. After that Cintron avoided Solano’s rushes and scored with right jabs and straight lefts. In the fifth Solano missed with a couple of punches and fell back to the floor. He was given a count but it had not been a punch. Cintron fired some flashing combinations and Solano was warned for both pushing Cintron to the floor and a low punch. Cintron continued to pick-off Solano with counter lefts in the eighth. Solano was warned for a couple of low punches and then came madness. Solano landed another low punch and as Cintron doubled up and turned away Solano reached around and landed another punch. Cintron immediately turned and threw himself at Solano and they wrestled and both fell to the floor. At that point the referee stepped in and disqualified Solano. Cintron gets the win but not a satisfactory one. Solano was a strong very awkward opponent but Cintron got the job done. The 23-year-old Cintron is the only Puerto Rican boxer to appear at two Olympic Games. His father was a pro and he is trained by former champion Ivan Calderon. Solano was 8-1 going into this one with the loss being to Russian Olympian Mikhail Aloyan.
Bisbal vs. Borges
This really was a farcical rubbish of a mismatch. Bisbal was 8” taller and 41lbs heavier than Borges. He drove Borges around the ring with heavy rights and then landed a four-punch combination that saw Borges slump to the canvas and the referee waived the fight over half way through the count. The 38-year-old Bisbal, a 2004 Olympian, has had long spells of inactivity and this was his first fight in almost two years. Borges, 45, was having only his fourth fight in three years-disgraceful
East London, South Africa: Bantam: Yanga Sigqibo (12-1-1) W PTS 12 Keyvin Lara (26-3-1).Super Fly: Athenkosi Dumezweni (11-2) W TKO 4 Ulises Lara (21-17-2). Super Light: Marios Matamba (9-0) W KO 4 Siseko Makeleni (7-2). Light Fly: Nkosinathi Joyi (27-5) W KO 7 Mpho Seforo (7-1-1).Light Fly: Nhlanhia Tyirha (4-0) W KO 3 Bongani Sillila (16-6-3).
Sigqibo vs. Lara
South African champion Sigqibo adds the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title to his collection with a points win over Nicaraguan Lara. In a messy, nasty fight Sigqibo’s better skills saw him outpoint the smaller Lara. With his longer reach Sigqibo tried to keep the fight an open one but Lara hustled and bustled and kept busy. There was too much holding for the fight to be entertaining. Lara committed a number of transgressions before finally being deducted a point in the last round for one of his many head butts. Sigqibo did the cleaner work and was the clear winner. Scores 117-112 twice and 116-112. Now nine wins in a row for Sigqibo. Lara, 24, was knocked out in eleven rounds by Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA title in 2016 and had since scored eight wins against weak opposition. Lara’s team were not happy with the scoring and felt Sigqibo should have been deducted a point for holding,
Dumezweni vs. Lara
Good win for Dumezweni as he halts Mexican Lara in four rounds. Dumezweni showed good skills and plenty of movement to take the edge off the charging attacks of Lara. The visitor was caught with a right uppercut in the third and forced to take a standing count and only just made it to the bell. Dumezweni continued his attacks in the fourth and put Lara down with a straight left. Lara made it to his feet but after the count another heavy left had Lara defenceless on the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Dumezweni collects the vacant IBO International title and has won eight of his last nine fights. In two previous fight in South Africa this year Lara had beaten good level local opposition and collected the WBA Inter-Continental super flyweight and WBC International flyweight titles
Matamba vs. Makeleni
Congolese fighter “Machine” Matamba wins the vacant WBO African title with fourth round kayo of local fighter Makeleni. Matamba, who is based in South Africa, gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Makeleni had won his last four fights.
Joyi vs. Seforo
In his first fight for two years former IBF minimumweight champion Joyi breathes some life back into his fading career with a seventh round kayo of previously unbeaten Seforo to win the vacant WBO African title. After six fairly even rounds a heavy southpaw left from Joyi put Seforo down on his back and he was counted out. After being 22-0,1ND in his first 23 fights the 35-year-old Joyi had gone 4-4 before walking away after a loss to Simpiwe Konkco for IBO minimumweight title in 2016.Seforo was having his first fight for almost a year.
Tyirha vs. Sillila
Teenager Tyirha wins the South African title with a third round kayo of champion Sillila. A big right from Tyirha ended the fight. Tyirha had less than fifteen rounds as a pro behind him so this was something of an upset against champion Sillila who had gone 5-1-1 in his last 7 fights and had over 100 rounds of experience. He suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO.
Belfast, NI, Middle: Conrad Cummings (16-2-1) W PTS 10 Ferenc Berki (11-1). Cummings regains his WBO European title by outpointing substitute Berki for the vacant title. No real problems here for Cummings. Berki was competitive but never a threat. Cummings was already streets ahead when he floored Berki in the tenth to make the points gap a bit wider. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 95-94. It needs to be noted that the 95-94 was from the Hungarian judge who without the knockdown would have scored his fellow-countryman the winner! Cummings, 27, lost the title on a unanimous decision against to Luke Keeler in April. Hungarian super welterweight champion Berki was a very late replacement after Brian Rose had to pull out through injury. This is only his second fight outside Hungary.
Tampa, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (18-0) W PTS 10 Aldimar Silva (21-15). Lopez marches on with win over Brazilian Silva. Lopez bossed the fight in every round and had Silva down in the second and sixth on his way to a comfortable victory. Scores 100-88 for Lopez on the three cards. The 21-year-old from Nicaragua is No 7 with the WBA but has yet to be in with any kind of testing opponent. Silva, 37 (don’t they have any young fighters in Brazil?) is 2-7 in his nine fights.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Ladarius Miller (17-1) W Ricardo Garcia (14-3-1). Super Middle: Ronald Gavril (19-3) W TKO 2 Antowyan Aikens (13-6-1).
Miller vs. Garcia
Miller gets a majority decision over Garcia thanks to a strong finish. The fight turned into a harder test for Miller than expected. It was a fast-paced entertaining fight over the early rounds. Miller was quicker and slicker but Garcia was more aggressive and scored with some good rights against the southpaw Miller. In the later rounds it became a bit untidy with too many clinches. Miller had a good eighth landing some heavy lefts and outlanded Garcia over the ninth and tenth. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Miller and 95-95. The 25-year-old from Memphis is part of the Floyd Mayweather Jr group. He now has nine victories in a row including wins over useful opposition in Jamel Herring and Dennis Galarza. Dominican Garcia is now 0-1-4 in his last 5 fights
Gavril vs. Aikens
Gavril floors Aikens three times for stoppage win. A cautious opening round saw Gavril shadowing Aikens around the ring. Aikens was prodding with his jab and trying an occasional right. Gavril upped his pace at the end of the round but could not land a telling punch. After tracking Aikens for almost two minutes of the second he finally threw a right cross which knocked Aikens sideward and down on one knee. A straight right put Aikens down again and although he beat the count another right dropped him and the referee waived the fight off without a count. First time back in the ring for the Romanian since his consecutive losses to David Benavidez in WBC super middle title fights. He has dropped out of the ratings but will be trying to work his way towards another title shot. Second loss by KO/TKO for Aikens and only three wins in his last nine fights.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Middle: Kalvin Henderson (11-0) W TKO 7Brandon Robinson (11-2). Henderson proves to be a surprise package as he outboxes local fighter Robinson and floors and stops him in seven rounds. Robinson made a fast start looking to sweep aside Henderson with his early aggression. Henderson just worked patiently with his jab. He was throwing fewer punches than Robinson but by the end of the second round his accurate jabs had started a swelling under Robinson’s left eye which quickly grew and almost closed the eye. Robinson continued to attack but was staggered badly in the third and was forced to go down on one knee under Henderson’s punches in the fifth. Robinson tried to turn the fight his way with a ferocious attack at the start of the seventh but Henderson saw out the storm and then dropped Robinson twice and the fight was stopped. Texan “Hot Sauce” Henderson gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Robinson had won his last eleven fights but gets his second loss by KO/TKO and it is back to basics for him.
Levallois-Perret, France: Super Welter: Michel Soro (33-2-1) W TKO 2 Greg Vendetti (20-3-1). Super Middle: Petro Ivanov (10-0-2) W TKO 9 Louis Toutin (12-1). Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (8-0) W PTS 8 Alex Zhuravskiy (13-5). Cruiser: Joel Tambwe Djeko (14-2-1) W PTS 6 Valery Brudov (44-15). Super Middle: Mickael Diallo (18-0-2) W KO 3 Genaro Quiroga (14-145.
Soro vs. Vendetti
Soro much too good for Vendetti and destroys the American inside two rounds with a brutal combination of shots to win the vacant interim WBA title. Soro had a considerable height and reach over Vendetti. Initially Vendetti was ducking under Soro’s jab trying to move inside but Soro was continuing to just probe with the jab and step back from Vendetti’s rushed attacks. Vendetti had some success as he hustled and bustled in the second. Soro was still just sticking to the jab but when he finally let fly with a right it landed high on Vendetti’s head and his legs wobbled and he backed into the ropes. Soro jumped on him and blasted home a tremendous left hook and two straight rights to the head the second of which had Vendetti out on his feet and as he dropped to the canvas Soro landed two more hooks as the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. The 31-year-old Ivory Coast-born Frenchman makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. He lost on a split decision to Brian Castano for this same title in July last year. Castano has been “promoted” to secondary champion and Soro is looking for another fight with the Argentinian. Vendetti was out of his class. He was rated No 9 by the WBA after a creditable win over Yoshihiro Kamegai but was in way over his head with Soro.
Toutin vs. Ivanov
Big surprise and big disappointment for French fans as poster boy Toutin is stopped by Ivanov. Over the early rounds an inside the distance win for Toutin looked a good bet. He was his usual march forward punching self. Ivanov had a longer reach but Toutin’s attacks were threatening to overwhelm him. In the second round a left to the body had Ivanov hurt and another saw the Ukrainian backing off and going down on one knee in pain. He made it to his feet and moved and blocked to the bell. Toutin continued to pile on the pressure. He was snapping Ivanov’s head back with jabs and landing hooks from both hands. He was setting a fast pace but also walking onto some hard punches from Ivanov and a growing swelling over his right eye was starting to trouble him. Toutin had never gone past four rounds before having beaten eleven rivals inside four rounds and had one points win in a four round fight. By the end of the seventh Toutin was looking more and more tired. That gave Ivanov the impetus to start coming forward and he was starting to dominate the action. In the ninth Toutin was totally exhausted and only staying on his feet by grabbing Ivanov. He went down once and only just pulled himself up at nine. The fight should have been stopped and finally was when he dropped again. He made it to his feet but he was a shell and did not respond when asked if he wanted to carry on. Ivanov had been eight rounds three times and paced the fight better. He showed guts to fight on after being down in the second but he did not crumble and got his reward in the stoppage of a fighter being touted as a huge prospect. Toutin, 21, a member of the French Traveller’s community and a former European Junior Championships gold medallist will have serious thinking to do. He really should not have been sent out for the ninth round and in the totally exhausted state he was in it could have been dangerous. He will obviously fight on but there is a big rebuilding job required
Rabii vs. Zhuravskiy
Moroccan Rabii continues on his winning way with a points victory over Zhuravskiy. Score 78-74 twice and 79-73. Rabbi is the most successful amateur Morocco has had. He won the gold medal at the World Championships in 2015 beating eventual Rio gold medal winner Daniyar Yeleussinov in the final. He also won a bronze at the Rio Olympics and was a WBS Fighter of the year. Kazak southpaw Zhuravskiy drops to four losses in a row.
Djeko vs. Brudov
Popular “Big Joe” Djeko continues his run of good form with points win over Russian oldie Brudov. Scores 59-53 for the big Belgian on all cards. He has lost only one of his last thirteen fights and the loss was a split decision in Cardiff against Welshman Craig Kennedy. Brudov, 42, is really just a shell now of the fighter who challenged for the WBA and WBO titles and has won only two of his last twelve fights.
Diallo vs. Quiroga
Diallo gives another impressive power display as he uses some heavy rights to kayo Quiroga in three rounds. Although French the 27-year-old Diallo is known as “The Catalan Bomber” and this is his fifteenth win in a row and his fifteenth career victory by KO/TKO. Argentinian Quiroga has lost his last four fights, two in Canada and two in France.
Sheffield, England: Super Welter: Kell Brook (38-2) W PTS 12 Michael Zerafa (25-3). Super Feather: Jono Carroll (16-0-1) DREW 12 Guillame Frenois (46-1-1). Middle: Anthony Fowler (9-0) W KO 1 Jose Paz (23-8-1). Feather: Kid Galahad (26-0) W PTS 8 Brayan Mairena (10-5-1). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (4-0) W TKO 5 Jay Carney (5-4-2).
Brook vs. Zerafa
Brook outpoints Zerafa in a WBA final eliminator. Brook was quickly into his stride. In the first he out jabbed Zerafa and then began to connect with some swift uppercuts bringing blood from Zerafa’s nose and also banged home straight rights. In the second Brook continued to score with his jab and move inside Zerafa’s jab to land rights. He rocked Zerafa with a straight right left uppercut. Zerafa was throwing jabs but was usually coming up short. Zerafa was being forced to box on the retreat but he began to land some rights and a left hooks in a more competitive third. Brook continued to keep Zerafa on the retreat in the fourth and fifth and was still penetrating the Australian’s guard regularly with his jab and getting through with right crosses but Zerafa was starting to find the target with his jab and in the fifth landed two hard rights his best punches so far. Brook was back in control in the sixth and seventh again dominating with his jab and landing heavy rights. Zerafa fought back hard in the eighth. He was standing his ground more and connecting with some powerful rights and he had Brook under fire in the ninth driving him to the ropes with a powerful right cross and then working Brook over. Brook picked up the pace again in the tenth but was no longer as dominant. A confident Zerafa was willing to trade. Brook was just that bit quicker and was again finding the range with his jab and that just gave him the edge over the closing rounds but Zerafa fought all the way coming forward with right crosses and looking to turn the fight his way. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 although Zerafa made it look a lot closer than that. The win makes Brook the mandatory challenger to Jarrett Hurd (in the WBA’s eyes-Julian Williams is Hurd’s No 1 challenger with the IBF). Despite that a fight with Amir Khan would be Brooks preferred fight but with talk of a shot at Terrence Crawford for Khan the way forward is far from clear. Three fights outside of Australia and three losses for Zerafa although they have all been tough assignments and he had won his last eight fights.
Carroll vs. Frenois
As we learned from the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight draws solve nothing. This was intended to identify a mandatory challenger for IBF champion Tevin Farmer but since it ended in a draw it leaves Carroll, Frenois and Farmer not knowing what happens next. Although both fighters are southpaws there were a couple of very contrasting styles on show here with Carroll a strong, aggressive fighter and Frenois a classic boxer. Carroll attacked the body hard in the first. In the second he was cut over the left eye but banged back strongly to rock Frenois. In the third it was the Frenchman’s turn to shed blood as he was cut over the right eye. As with the cuts so with the action. Both fighters had good spells and the fight swung one way and then another. When Carroll could hunt Frenois down he was scoring with hard body shots but when Frenois was able to use his jab and could counter Carroll on the way in things went his way. The rounds were close but Frenois seemed to outscore Carroll over the closing rounds with his superior skills and faster hands but he just did not convince the judges so it ended even. Scores 115-113 for Carroll, 115-113 for Frenois and 114-114. Carroll had scored a good domestic win over Declan Geraghty although that hardly seemed to justify a No 4 rating with the IBF (the No1 and 2 slots were vacant as none of the rated fighters had a win over another rated fighter so could not go to either of those two slots) and Frenois was No 3 so the highest rafted fighter. He had won his last 15 fights but there were no rated fighters in his list of victims. Now it is a case of wait and see for them both.
Fowler vs. Paz
Fowler blows away Argentinian Paz with a body punch in just 93 seconds. Fowler quickly found his range with his jab and connected with a couple of quick hooks as Paz tried to move inside. Paz looked painfully slow and predictable with very little mobility. Paz tried a couple of lunging attacks but Fowler countered with a left hook to the body and Paz dropped to one knee spitting out his mouthguard and taking the full count. The former English and British amateur champion won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the World championships and after five wins in a row by KO/TKO is ready for tougher opposition. In fairness to Paz and to put this win in perspective for Fowler Paz was coming off wins over Omar Chavez and Jorge Paez Jr in Mexico.
Galahad vs. Mairena
Really just some paid sparring practice for Galahad who won every minute of every round as he outclassed a game Mairena. Galahad was constantly switching guards and was penetrating Mairena’s guard with stinging jabs and unloading with rapid combinations. Mairena made an effort to be competitive but he was too slow. Galahad did not really start to get serious until the sixth round when he drove Mairena back with a series of lefts with the Nicaraguan looking likely to fall but he stayed on his feet. Galahad was switching guards again in the seventh and driving Mairena back with a sequence of head punches. Galahad was not loading up on the punches which helped a beleaguered Mairena last out the round. Mairena soaked up punishment throughout the eighth but just threw enough punches to keep the referee from stopping the fight. Score 80-72 for Galahad on the referee’s card. The 28-year-old Sheffield fighter is No 1 with the IBF which puts him in place for a shot at the winner of the Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton fight (that can’t be a unification fight as Frampton is only the interim WBO champion) so another big fight night to look forward to in 2019. As usual with the Nicaragua travelling punch bags for Mairena it is four fights in three months and four losses.
Ashfaq vs. Carney
Ashfaq too classy for Carney. Carney tried to come forward in the first but southpaw Ashfaq landed some hard straight lefts and later in the round a right uppercut started blood flowing from Carney’s nose. Carney continued to try to come forward in the second and third but had to soak up some hurtful jabs and powerful body punches. In the fourth Ashfaq was putting together some flashing combinations but to his credit Carney kept coming back for more. In the fifth some more rapid combinations shook Carney and were enough to have the referee stop the one-sided fight. The 25-year-old from Leeds is another from the conveyor belt of star amateurs moving into the pros. Ashfaq was a Commonwealth Youth gold medallist and won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games losing to Michael Conlan in the final. He also lost to Conlan in the European Championships final, won a bronze medal at the European Games and competed at the 2016 Olympics. One for the future.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Cruiser: Thabiso Mchunu (20-5) W PTS 12 Thomas Oosthuizen (28-2-2). Welter: Thulani Mbenge (15-0) W RTD 9 Miguel Vazquez (40-7). Middle: Walter Dlamini (16-6-4) W TKO 1 Wade Groth (7-1).
Mchunu vs. Oosthuizen
Mchunu gets revenge for a controversial loss to Oosthuizen in September and leaves no room for dispute with a wide unanimous decision. From the first round it was obvious that Mchunu was a man on a mission. He pressured Oosthuizen from first to last. He was able to walk through Oosthuizen’s southpaw jabs and score inside with ripping body punchers. Oosthuizen showed little movement providing Mchunu with a static target for much of the fight. In fact instead of trying to use his height and reach Oosthuizen too often stood and traded with the much stronger Mchunu. By the end of the fourth round Mchunu had already but a good lead and he kicked on from there. He outworked his fellow southpaw and as Mchunu’s output increased so Oosthuizen’s dropped. It was a one-sided fight and the only thing to Oosthuizen's credit is that he soaked up the punishment and lasted the distance. Scores 119-109,119-111 and 118-111 all for Mchunu. He wins the vacant ABU title and puts himself in line for some high level international fights. Oosthuizen a former IBO super middle and light heavyweight champion has wasted chance after chance to get back into the international mix and may have just blown his last
Mbenge vs. Vazquez
Mbenge retains the IBF title with a stoppage of Vazquez who is on the downward slope. Mbenge was the bigger, stronger man but Vazquez is a wily character and an expert at messing up opponents and breaking up the rhythm of their attacks. There is a large gap in their respective experience but really that was all Vazquez had going for him. Mbenge was tending to try to put Vazquez away with one big punch and rushing rather than working his openings. He used his strength to keep Vazquez pinned to the ropes and slowly broke down the Mexican’s resistance. A body punch dropped Vazquez in the ninth and his corner sensibly pulled him out of the fight at the end of the round. Not an impressive showing
by Mbenge but he and Scot Josh Taylor are the only fighters to have beaten the former IBF lightweight champion inside the distance and Mbenge will hopefully take away some lessons from facing such an experienced campaigner and have many more better nights. Vazquez’s future is to be a test bed for young climbers.
Dlamini vs. Groth
Age is just a number. Dlamini proved this with a first round blitz of champion Groth to win the South African title at the age of 38. It took Dlamini just 42 seconds to blast his way to victory in his second shot at the title. Dlamini also wins the vacant WBA Pan African title. This did not look too hard a defence for Groth as after winning his first twelve fights Dlamini had gone 3-6-4 including two inside the distance losses this year. However Groth’s experience had been very limited with only 30 rounds behind him and with his seven victims having only 14 wins between them.
Zagreb, Croatia: Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (7-0) W PTS 8 Kevin Johnson (33-12-1). Super Middle: Leon Bauer (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Jorge Silva (16-7).
Hrgovic vs. Johnson
Hrgovic wins every round against seasoned spoiler Johnson and shows his strengths and his weaknesses. He used a strong jab to quickly put Johnson on the back foot with Johnson as usual just backing to the ropes and letting Hrgovic punch away. Hrgovic showed his inexperience by constantly throwing overhand rights. Johnson just kept leaning to his right and punch after punch went over his head. Hrgovic continued to make the same mistake in the second with Johnson tapping his chin to show Hrgovic where the target was. Hrgovic finally landed one of those rights and Johnson’s knees buckled. He did not go all the way down and his gloves did not touch the canvas but he was given a count with the bell going just as the count was completed. In the succeeding rounds Hrgovic started to throw his right straighter and landed more often but Johnson was never really in trouble and fired enough occasional counter for Hrgovic to be a bit more cautious. The Croat tired a bit later in the fight and looked slow and predictable at times but this is early in his career and he will get better. Scores 80-71 from the judges for the home city fighter. The 26-year-old Rio bronze medallist is credited with being the reason for the cancellation of the proposed David Haye vs. Tyson Fury fight in 2013 when he cut Haye in a sparring session. Now 39 Johnson who came into this one weighing a career high weight of 260lbsis just filling the role of a clever punch bag for young hopes.
Bauer vs. Silva
Young German prospect Bauer gets a win but only after being on the floor. Bauer was taking the fight to Silva in the first with his hands held low as is his style. That presented the Portuguese fighter with an opening and he landed a hefty right which put Bauer on the floor. Bauer had no trouble beating the count and from there he dominated the action but was a bit more circumspect. He out jabbed and out landed Silva the rest of the way for a comfortable victory. Scores 78-74 twice and 78-73 for Bauer. The 20-year-old was the youngest ever German professional when he started out at the age of 16. He turned in a poor performance in drawing with 3-1 Atin Karabet in October last year and although he stopped Karabet in June it illustrated that it would not be wise to rush his career. Silva, 35, was having only his second fight in two years and suffers his third loss by KO/TKO.
Carson, CA, USA: Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3) W RTD 7 Victor Mendez (28-4-2). The taller Mendez made a good start scoring with some stiff body punches and hurtful hooks with Estrada not forcing the fight hard. Estrada finally started to roll in the third. He was ducking under Mendez’s punches and raking Mendez with strong jabs and straight rights with Mendez looking shaken. Estrada dominated the fourth and fifth stinging Mendez with jabs and putting together some sharp combinations. In the sixth Mendez was on the back foot with Estrada getting through with left hooks to the body and Mendez starting to come apart. In the seventh Estrada was marching forward and landing thudding rights to the head and firing fast bunches of left hooks to the body which took all of the fight out of Mendez who retired at the end of the round. A routine victory for Estrada as he just keeps busy whilst waiting for his next big fight hopefully a return against Srisaket. Mendez has had some good results in the past against quality opposition having only lost on split decision against Luis Nery and Arthur Villanueva and this is his first inside the distance defeat.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Feather: Rene Alvarado (30-8) W PTS 12 Carlos Morales (17-4-3). Light: Hector Tanajara (16-0) W PTS 10 Robert Manzanarez (36-3). Super Light: Jonathan Navarro (16-0) W PTS 10 Manuel Mendez (16-4-3). Feather: Joet Gonzalez (21-0) W TKO 2 Javier Gallo (25-17-1,1ND).
Alvarado vs. Morales
Alvarado outworks Morales in WBA eliminator. Less than a minute into the fight Alvarado launched a fierce attack. Their heads banged together and Alvarado was cut high on his forehead with the blood already running down onto his face. Morales rocked Alvarado with a short right but Alvarado was busier and throwing plenty of punches and by the end of a frantic first round Morales was bleeding from the nose. Alvarado set a fast pace. He was constantly launching attacks and although not always landing Morales was finding it hard to get his own punches off under the pressure. When he could make some space Morales was not throwing as much as Alvarado but was more accurate. Blood continued to trickle from the cut on Alvarado’s forehead but it was tending to run outside of his left eye so was not a factor. Alvarado just kept on attaching wildly with Morales looking to either counter him on the way in or get up close to smother his punches. Morales was physically the bigger man and he was trying to tire Alvarado with the inside work and keep him on the back foot. After a couple of close rounds which Morales probably edged Alvarado picked up the pace again in the tenth with punches flowing from all sorts of angles and Morales being swamped. They were not power punches but Alvarado just kept pumping them out to the final bell. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 all for Alvarado. This win puts the Nicaraguan in line for a shot at the secondary WBA title against Alberto Machado. Wins over unbeaten Roger Gutierrez and Denis Shafikov have seen Alvarado go to No 1 with the WBA and given him a chance to make it a family double. Twin brother Felix, who fights with the same limitless ferocity, is IBF light flyweight champion. Mexican Morales has now lost three of his last four fights having been outpointed by Machado before Machado became champion and dropping a majority verdict to un beaten Ryan Garcia.
Tanajara vs. Manzanarez
Tanajara scores unanimous decision over Manzanarez. Tanajara was giving away some height and reach but was very quick and accurate with his jab. Despite that Manzanarez caught him with a left uppercut in the second and dropped him but Tanajara managed to stay there to the bell. Over the third and fourth good movement and sharp jabs gave Tanajara the edge and a swelling was building on the right cheek of Manzanarez. Both were rocked by hard punches in the fifth and Tanajara just did enough to take the sixth. There was too much wrestling in the seven with Tanajara doing what good work there was and Manzanarez getting a stern warning for a low punch. Both fighters slipped to the canvas in the eighth avoiding a punch but the referee considered that a punch from Tanajara had in fact landed and Manzanarez was given a count. The last two rounds were close but in the tenth Manzanarez lost a point for a low punch. Scores 95-92 twice and 97-90 for Tanajara. The 21-year-old from San Antonio was in his first ten round fight. He had a good win in June outpointing 19-1-1 Roger Gutierrez. Manzanarez, 23, turned pro at 15 and lost only one of his first thirty-seven fights but was coming off a majority decision loss to Mercito Gesta in June.
Navarro vs. Mendez
Navarro wins majority decision over Mendez. This was a tough gruelling fight. It was fought at close quarters without much footwork from either fighter but plenty of in close body punching. Mendez had the harder punch but Navarro outworked him throwing and landing more but there was never much between them with Navarro just having the edge. Scores 97-93 twice and 95-95. Navarro, 27 had scored a stoppage win over unbeaten Damon Allen in August whereas Mendez gets his second loss in a row have been outpointed by 19-1 Sonny Frederickson last month.
Gonzalez vs. Gallo
Gonzalez has it easy in this one and knocks out poor Gallo in the
second round. Little Gallo was giving away too much height and reach to ever really be competitive against Gonzalez. His face was soon bright red from the attention of Gonzalez jabs and he was twice rocked by rights and hurt with a couple of body punches. He had no choice but to surge forward throwing punches but Gonzalez had no trouble blocking them. In the second Gallo rushed Gonzalez to the ropes and punched away to the body. Gonzalez blocked the punches and then staggered Gallo with a left hook and hit him with five quick punches that sent poor Gallo down and out. Gonzalez gets his fifth win by KO/TKO in his last six fights. The 25-yerar-old former US national champion who beat Gervonta Davis on the way to the gold medal was coming off a split decision win over 25-1-2 Rafael Rivera. The gutsy little Gallo has suffered seven losses by KO/TKO.
Brisbane, Australia: Heavy: Demsey McKean (13-0) W RTD 4 Roger Izonritei (12-8-1). Light Heavy: Josh Frederiksen (8-1-2) W PTS 10 Quintin Carey (4-5). Welter: Tysinn Best (9-0) W PTS 10 Nathan Webber (6-1) Light: Jacob Ng (9-0) W TKO 4 Gaige Ireland (5-2-2).
McKean vs. Izonritei
Southpaw McKean retains the Australian title with win over Nigerian-born Izonritei. McKean was too young and hit too hard for the elderly Izonritei. After four one-sided rounds Izonritei’s corner retired their man. The 6’6” 28-year-old McKean was making the second defence of the national title and has seven wins by KO/TKO. Izonritei, 43, turned pro way back in 2004. He has had four shots at the Australian title spaced out over a 16 year period. Is that some sort of record?
Frederickson vs. Carey
Frederickson wins the Australian title with majority decision over champion and local fighter Carey. Scores 97-95, 96-95 for Frederickson and 95-95. It was the first ten round fight for the New South Wales State champion and his third win in a row. Carey, 22, was making the first defence of the title.
Best vs. Webber
In an all Queensland fight Best wins the vacant Australian title with yet another very close fight as he gets the decision on scores of 97-92 and 97-93 with the other judge seeing it 95-96.Webber is one of Jeff Horn’s main sparring partners.
Ng. vs. Ireland
Ng too smart and punches too hard for southpaw Ireland and impressively lifts the Australian title on a unique night of four national title fights on one show. After taking the first three rounds some rights to the head followed by a couple of wicked body punches dropped southpaw Ireland to one knee. He made it to his feet but the follow-up attack from Ng had him doubling up and falling back to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The tall 24-year-old “Flamingo” Ng put on a victory dance that was more spectacular than the fight as he registers his seventh win by KO/TKO. Ireland was making the first defence of the title.
Brussels, Belgium: Super Light: Samuel Gonzalez (20-5) W DISQ 6 Mohamed El Marcouchi (20-2). Unfortunate loss for Belgian El Marcouchi sees him suffer his second defeat. With his fight against Venezuelan fairly evenly poised a clash of heads in the sixth badly dazed El Marcouchi and sent him down. He was in some distress and his second entered the ring to help him leading to immediate disqualification. Italian-based Gonzalez wins the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title and El Marcouchi sees an 18 bout winning streak snapped.
Haemin, Germany: Super Welter: Predrag Radosevic (33-2) W PTS 10 Ronny Gabel (23-6-1,1ND). Light Heavy: Emil Markic (29-2) W PTS 10 Kavin Gebhard (18-2).
Radosevic vs. Gabel
Radosevic just too quick and clever for Gabe. He repeats a previous victory and wins the vacant WBO European title. Gabel kept pushing forward behind a high guard making an easy target for Radosevic who was constantly moving, firing fast, accurate jabs and hooks to the body and Gabel was too slow to counter. When Gabel did get inside Radosevic either tied him up or blocked his punches and then pushed Gabel off and worked from the outside. Gabel never stopped coming forward but that just made it that much easier for Radosevic to score with counters and he was just too slick for Gabel to ever really threaten and he won every round. The Montenegrin’s two losses have both been by KO/TKO and against high top class opposition in Felix Sturm and Liam Smith. German Gabel was having only his second fight in two years. He lost an early fight to Billy Joe Saunders in 2001 and was outpointed by Radosevic in 2012.
Markic vs. Gebhard
Markic also picks up a WBO European title as he outpoints Gebhard. Markic had the edge in hand speed and movement and was throwing more and landing more. Gebhard was the harder puncher but had no real answer to the accurate jabbing from Markic who was doubling and tripling his jab and connecting with straight rights Gebhard slowed as the fight went on and became wilder with his punches. In the last round as Gebhard went to throw a wild right Markic nailed him with a three-punch combination that sent him down heavily. He was very shaken but beat the count and survived some heavy shots to make it to the bell with Markic the obvious winner. Bosnian Markic was stopped in four round by Umar Salamov in May last year and in May this year stopped 23-1 German Denis Liebau to win the WBFederation title. German Gebhard, 37, turned pro in 2003 but was inactive from 2007 to 2016 and won his last seven fights.
Montichiari, Italy: Heavy: Ivan Di Berardino (9-1-1) W TKO 2 Fabio Tuiach (29-6). Di Berardino wins the Italian title with second round stoppage of champion Tuiach. After an even first round Di Berardino landed a right to the side of the head that had Tuiach backing to the ropes. Di Berardino followed him and landed two more clubbing rights that turned Tuiach sideward’s hanging out over the top rope and Di Berardino threw another right that landed on the back of Tuiach’s head. The referee stepped in and gave Tuiach a standing count. Di Berardino then landed more heavy rights and when a left uppercut snapped back Tuiach’s head the referee stopped the fight. The 36-year-old Di Berardino gets his sixth win by KO/TKO and wins the national title at the second attempt. Tuiach, 38, was making the first defence of the title in his second reign as champion.
Nogales, Mexico: Super Bantam: Aaron Alameda (24-0) W RTD 9 Breilor Teran (25-17-1). Bantam: Karim Arce (15-0-1) W TKO 2 Carlos Rodriguez 9-4( ). Super Fly: Pedro Guevara (33-3-1) W TKO 2 Jorge (7-13). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (8-0) W KO 5 Ricardo Rico (4-7)
Alameda vs. Teran
Alameda pleases his home town fans with inside the distance win over seasoned Venezuelan Teran. The local southpaw controlled the fight from the start with Teran spending much of the time pinned to the ropes. Alameda continued to hand out serious punishment but Teran had a tight defence and a good chin. From the sixth Alameda went into more of a countering role trying to lure Teran out of his shell. It worked and at the end of the ninth round Teran stayed in his corner. Alameda wins the vacant WBC Latino title. Despite his impressive statistics Alameda has only beaten very modest opposition and this was his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. Teran has been in with good opposition such as champions Omar Narvaez, Juan Reveco and Julio Ceja and this is only his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Arce vs. Rodriguez
Teenage hope Arce much too good for Rodriguez and floors and halts him in the second. Rodriguez made it to his feet but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 19-year-old nephew of the great Jorge Arce now has six wins by KO/TKO and was coming off a career best win over former WBA champion Alex Munoz. Rodriguez slips to 1-4 in his last 5
Guevara vs. Guerrero
Former WBC light fly champion Guevara just keeps turning over with stoppage of overmatched Guerrero. Guevara lost a majority decision to Ken Shiro in a challenge for his old title in October last year and is hoping for a revenge fight but despite his six wins in his last seven fights has somehow dropped out of the WBC top 15. Guerrero no threat as he has now lost 6 of his last 7 fights 5 by KO/TKO.
Delgado vs., Rico
Delgado maintains his 100% record of wins inside the distance with fifth round kayo of overmatched Rico. The 23-year-old Rio Olympian gave Rico a broken jaw but is yet to face a real test. Third loss by KO/TKO for Rico.
Santa Barbara, Philippines: Minimumweight: Pedro Taduran (13-2) W KO 2 Jeffrey Galero (17-6). Southpaw Taduran defends his Philippines title with second round kayo of Galero. The 22-year-old “Rattle Snake” gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. This is his first fight since losing on points in August to WBC minimum champion Wanheng in the fight that moved Wanheng to 51 wins to put him clear of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s 50 wins. Galero, who lost on points to Wanheng in a title challenge in 2015, has slipped away and is 7-6 in his last 13 fights.
Bowie, MD, USA: Super Middle: Demond Nicholson (20-3-1) W KO 2 Fernando Castaneda (26-13). Local fighter Nicholson crushes Castaneda in two round. Nicholson repeatedly found the target in the first with some hurtful shots from both hands. In the second a crunching right uppercut put Castaneda down and out. Nicholson, 25, retains his WBC United States title. He does not do distance fights with only three of his bouts having gone to the cards. This is win No 19 by KO/TKO. He lost a split decision to Steve Rolls last year and was stopped in seven rounds in April by Jesse Hart. Castaneda lost inside the distance to Frank Buglioni and Hosea Burton if fights in England.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Jose Pedraza
Fight of the week (Significance): Lomachenko vs. Pedraza as it could open the way for a Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia fight to unify the lightweight titles
Fighter of the week: Lomachenko
Punch of the week: The right to the head from Teo Lopez that sent Mason Menard face down on the canvas
Upset of the week: Petro Ivanov was not expected to beat Louis Toutin let alone stop him and unknown quantity Emanuel Navarette’s win over Isaac Dogboe was unexpected,
Prospect watch: Frenchman Mikael Diallo 18-0-2 (15 wins by KO/TKO) was impressive as was Anthony Fowler 9-0 (8 wins by KO/TKO)
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (20-0): WBO #5
The undefeated Chinese giant and Olympic Silver Medalist beat Don Haynesworth (15-3) this past September in his first WBO Oriental title defense.
Super Lightweight / Jr Welterweight:
-Apinun Khongsong (13-0): IBF #10
The current IBF Asia & Pan Pacific champion has fought thrice this year, all stoppage victories.
-Daud Yordan (38-4): WBA #4
Yordan’s latest success came this April, when he knocked out Pavel Malikov (14-1) to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. On October 11 he put on a good performance against former World champion Anthony Crolla (34-6) in a WBA World title eliminator, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
-Mercito Gesta (32-2): WBO #5
After unsuccessfully challenging Jorge Linares for the WBA World championship earlier this year, Gesta defeated Robert Manzanarez (36-2) for the vacant WBO-NABO title.
-Can Xu (15-2): WBA #2 / WBC #10
The reigning WBA International champion will be facing Jesus Rojas (26-2) for the WBA “regular” title on January 26.
-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 (24-0) in 2017, including world title contender Carlos Carlson (23-5) in September. He’s now looking for another shot at a World championship, either at Featherweight or at Super Bantamweight. His next confirmed opponent is Luis May (21-11), whom he’ll face in Arizona, on January 12.
-Mark Magsayo (18-0): WBC #1 / WBO #10
The reigning WBO International champion is the number 1 contender for the WBC World title. A match with Gary Russell Jr. (29-1) could be in the works for 2019.
-Richard Pumicpic (21-9): WBO #8
Pumicpic recently lost his WBO Asia Pacific title to undefeated prospect Musashi Mori (8-0).
Super Bantamweight / Jr Featherweight:
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #5 / IBF #6 / WBC #18
Pagara stopped Laryea Gabriel Odoi (20-4) this past June, to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. He successfully made his inaugural title defense against George Krampah (14-4) on November 24.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (26-1): WBO #3
The WBO Asia Pacific champion marked his third successful title defense earlier this year against Likit Chane (16-8). After dispatching Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3) in July, he will return to the ring once more before the year is over, on December 16. No opponent has been named as of yet.
-Marlon Tapales (31-2): WBO #6
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion made short work of Goodluck Mrema (22-4) this past September. It’s not certain if Super Bantamweight or Featherweight will be the division Tapales sticks with.
-Tasana Salapat (48-0): WBC #2
“Petch Sor Chitpattana” is set to face Takuma Inoue (12-0) for the interim WBC World championship, on December 30, in Japan.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (43-1): WBC #9
Nawaphon earned a huge victory earlier this year when he stopped former IBF World Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (18-3) in the third round. He then moved to Bantamweight where he won the WBC Asia title in July and defended it later in November against Richard Claveras (18-6).
-Kenny Demecillo (14-4): IBF #3
Demecillo has fought only once this year, scoring a KO win over Vyacheslav Mirzaev (11-1) in Russia. His next scheduled appearance is in March of 2019 as he takes on Michael Dasmarinas (28-2) in an IBF World title eliminator.
-Michael Dasmarinas (28-2): IBF #4 / WBC #15
Dasmarinas knocked out former EBU European champion Karim Guerfi (28-4) this April to earn the IBO “world” title. His latest fight against Manyo Plange (17-0) came to a draw. He will square off against Kenny Demecillo (14-4), as mentioned above, for a chance at the IBF World title.
-Carl Jammes Martin (11-0): WBO #10 / WBA #15
2018 has been a breakout year for the Filipino, winning 4 fights in the span of only 6 months, plus the WBO Oriental Youth & WBA Asia titles.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Donnie Nietes (41-1): WBO #1 / WBC #6
The former 3 division World champion fought Aston Palicte (24-2) 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
Palicte will be involved in a WBO World title eliminator with Jose Martinez (20-0) in the near future.
-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.
-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 (17-2). He will meet Wenfeng Ge (11-0) for the WBO International title on January 5th, in his opponent’s home country, China.
-Wenfeng Ge (11-0): WBO #10 / IBF #13 / WBC #25
The undefeated Chinese prospect took the unanimous decision victory over Ivan Soriano (18-2) as well as the vacant WBO International championship, this past August. His first title defense will be against top ranked Flyweight Giemel Magramo (22-1) on January 5th.
-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 (11-3) and in 2 months time, successfully marked his first title defense over Shun Kosaka (15-5). However, he failed to capture the vacant WBC Silver championship, when he boxed with Chinese rising star Wulan Tuolehazi (9-3), in September.
-Komgrich Nantapech (24-5): IBF #3
The reigning IBF Pan Pacific champion was supposed to face Masayuki Kuroda (30-7) in an IBF world title eliminator bout, on November 21, but due to a sudden injury, he wasn’t 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 former world title contender Vince Paras (13-2).
-Edward Heno (13-0): WBO #4 / WBC #6 / WBA #6 / IBF #7
Heno marked 2 successful title defenses of the OPBF championship, within 2018, over Jesse Espinas (19-3) as well as former World champion Merlito Sabillo (27-6). His third OPBF title defense will take place in Japan, against Koji Itagaki (18-13), on February 11.
-Jing Xiang (15-4): WBO #7 / 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 (27-6), this past September, to become the WBC Silver champion. 2019 will bring another major test for the Chinese rising star as he is scheduled to make his first WBC Silver title defense against 2 time World champion Suriyan Satorn (59-6), on January 5th, in China.
-Christian Araneta (16-0): WBC #10 / WBA #9 / WBO #11
Araneta expanded his undefeated streak when he stopped former world title contender Jerry Tomogdan (25-10), in August, to win the vacant WBC Asia Silver championship. He has expressed his wish to face Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0) for the WBC World Minimumweight title.
-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.
-Rey Loreto (24-14): WBC #7
After a failed attempt to dethrone Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) last year, Loreto returned this past February and knocked out journeyman Arnold Garde (10-6).
-Milan Melindo (37-4): WBC #5
The former IBF World champion lost to the defending WBC World champion Ken Shiro (14-0) this October, after enduring a massive beating for 7 rounds.
-Robert Paradero (17-0): WBO #1 / WBC #26
Paradero is supposed to face Wilfredo Mendez (11-1) in a WBO World title eliminator. The winner will be next in line to challenge the winner of Vic Saludar/Masataka Taniguchi, for the gold, in 2019.
-Chaozhong Xiong (27-8): WBA #8 / WBC #15
Xiong tried to become a 2 time World champion when he fought Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) in July, but it wasn’t meant to be. No news yet if that was his last match or not.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1): WBO #9 / WBC #27
Cuarto won his first championship in August after he fought Clyde Azarcon (13-2) for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #9 / WBC #11
Taduran began 2018 very promising as he dropped former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (25-10) in the fifth round, but couldn’t capitalize on that momentum in his World championship bout against Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0). He beat Jeffrey Galero (17-6) on December 7.
-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.
***The WBC/IBF rankings are from October
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
A week ago Satoshi Shimizu extended his perfect record to 8-0 8 Kos as he defended his OPBF featherweight crown against the undefeated Takuya Uehara. Uehara proved no match for Shimizu who scored multiple knockdowns on his way to a third round stoppage.
The intention from Shimizu’s team at the Ohashi Gym is to get him a world title tilt in 2019. We’ve heard that talk for a while now and it’s clear that the unorthodox southpaw is well beyond the regional level.
Looking at the featherweight landscape it’s difficult to see where Shimizu’s shot will come unless he can win some sort of eliminator and become a mandatory challenger. WBO titlist Oscar Valdez looks to be set for a January return after suffering a broken jaw in his March clash with Scott Quigg and a unification with the victor of the Josh Warrington Carl Frampton clash looks to be in the offing for possibly next summer. Leo Santa Cruz is involved in yet another pointless matchup and Gary Russell Jr will probably make his annual single appearance sometime in 2019.
There are numerous opportunities 4 pounds south but given Shinizu’s significant frame possibly draining him would make no sense at all and a rematch from the Olympics with Isaac Dogboe is dead for now as the Ghanaian lost his WBO title at the weekend. One bout that hasn’t been mentioned for Shimizu and seems feasible is actually 4 pounds north against WBO champion Masayuki Ito.
Ito impressed on his voyage to the US where he proved too good for Christopher Diaz in their vacant world title tussle in July. Before any thoughts of a potential domestic dust up with Shimizu, Ito makes a mandatory defense against Evgeny Chuprakov on December 30 in Tokyo. The fight is being broadcast on Fuji TV, where the Ohashi Gym have aligned themselves so any stumbling block regarding who would show the contest between Shimizu and Ito shouldn’t be an issue.
From Ito’s point of view a win over a 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist would greatly enhance his profile at home and enhance his stock with a victory over someone as dangerous as Shimizu and then he could try and pursue unifications in the US. At 32 Shimizu really doesn’t have any more time to waste and cannot afford another year of bouts at the regional level where he’d be heavily favoured and as previously stated his options at 126 lb look slim and a contest against Ito would be the most realistic.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBO #6 / WBC #20
The former K-1 champion and the unified OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific title holder recently defended his belts against Suthat Kalalek (12-10).
-Ryota Murata (14-2): WBA #7 / IBF #7
The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist lost his WBA world title to Rob Brant, on October 20, and once again finds himself in the position of the title chaser. No word yet as to what’s next for the Japanese superstar.
Super Welterweight / Jr Middleweight:
-Takeshi Inoue (13-0): IBF #2 / WBO #3 / WBC #19
The undefeated 4-year veteran and the unified OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion will challenge Jaime Munguia (31-0) for the WBO World title, on January 26, in Texas.
-Keita Obara (20-3): IBF #6 / WBO #15
After avenging his shocking loss to Alvin Lagumbay (10-3) and regained the WBO Asia Pacific championship, Obara will take on the undefeated former 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
The former Japanese & WBO Asia Pacific champion made his US debut this past September, against Cristian Rafael Coria (27-7), winning via unanimous decision.
-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 (18-0): IBF #5 / WBC #8 / WBO #12
Nakatani marked his 11th successful OPBF title defense, on December 9, when he stopped the WBC International champion Hurricane Futa (25-8) in round 6.
-Nihito Arakawa (31-6): WBO #4
The former Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion is still looking for his second world title opportunity as 2019 approaches.
Super Featherweight/ Jr Lightweight:
-Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1): WBO #6 / WBC #22
Sueyoshi has been victorious in his last 15 outings and even won the Japanese title on October of 2017. A few more wins and we may see him challenging Masayuki Ito (24-1) for the WBO World championship by the end of next year. He recently fought the OPBF champion Hironori Mishiro (6-0), for the Japanese & OPBF titles, to a draw.
-Satoshi Shimizu (8-0): IBF #3 / WBC #5
The 2012 Olympics Bronze Medalist has already defended his OPBF crown thrice this year. It’s only a matter of time before he challenges for a World championship.
-Shun Kubo (13-1): WBA #7 / WBC #23
The former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion returned this April, after his TKO loss to Daniel Roman (26-2) in 2017, and won his comeback fight against former OPBF Featherweight champion & world title contender Hiroshige Osawa (33-5) making a huge impact on his Featherweight debut.
-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. Abe will take on Daisuke Sugita (4-0) on January 12. Winning or losing, he will still challenge Taiki Minamoto (16-5) for the Japanese title at the 2019 Champion Carnival.
Super Bantamweight / Jr Featherweight:
-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 12 year veteran has re-established himself at the top of the division after stopping Yusaku Kuga (16-3) in July to win the Japanese title. However, Wake recently vacated his belt and he is rumored to face a world champion in 2019, possibly either Rey Vargas (32-0) or TJ Doheny (20-0). Until then, he will square off against Takafumi Nakajima (29-11) on January 19.
- Ryohei Takahashi (16-3): IBF #10
Takahashi won the IBF Pan Pacific championship from Pipat Chaiporn (45-12) back in June and defended it against Shingo Kusano (11-7) in September.
-Takuma Inoue (12-0): WBC #4
Takuma will go up against undefeated Thai boxer Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0) for the interim WBC World championship, on December 30, in Japan.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Kazuto Ioka (23-1): WBO #3 / WBC #3
Ioka 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 title, is scheduled 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 has fought twice this year against lesser opponents. Nothing new on the horizon for him at this moment.
-Ryuichi Funai (31-7): IBF #3 / WBO #6 / WBC #14
Funai stopped Victor Olivo (15-3) in an IBF world title eliminator, on November 10, and he will now be facing Jerwin Ancajas (30-1) for the gold next year.
-Sho Ishida (27-1): IBF #5 / WBO #7 / WBA #7 / WBC #17
Since losing to the WBA world champion Khalid Yafai (25-0) last year, Ishida has won all of his 2018 bouts, against Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3), Richard Claveras (18-6), as well as former world title contender Warlito Parrenas (26-9).
-Daigo Higa (15-1): WBA #6
The former WBC Flyweight World Champion has been suspended for the majority of the year, since failing to make weight in his last title fight. Recently though, there have been rumors of his upcoming return, including training videos of him, and with his inclusion to the WBA rankings, it’s almost a certainty that we will see Okinawa’s favorite son back to the ring in 2019.
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-7): WBC #3 / WBO #2 / IBF #4
Kuroda was scheduled to fight Komgrich Nantapech (24-5) in an IBF world title eliminator this November. However, Nantapech was injured and the match got cancelled.
-Junto Nakatani (17-0): WBC #4 / WBO #11
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 / IBF #15
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 be challenging Moruti Mthalane (36-2) for the IBF World championship, on December 31st, in Macau.
-Sho Kimura (17-2): WBO #6 / WBC #7
The former WBO World champion lost this title recently to Kosei Tanaka, in a back and forth affair. Already ranked at the top 10 of the WBO & WBC, he will probably find himself in a championship match again very soon.
-Tetsuya Hisada (33-9): WBA #2 / WBO #3 / WBC #3 / IBF #3
The reigning Japanese champion recorded a 5th successful title defense against Akihiro Toya (8-5) in November. Hisada is ranked at the top of the division all year long. It will be a surprise if he doesn’t fight for a World championship in 2019.
Note: Hisada vacated the Japanese title in December.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (11-0): WBA #1 / WBC #2 / IBF #4
The former undefeated IBF Minimumweight World champion stopped Tibo Monabesa (18-1) this past September in his Light Flyweight debut. He is now set to fight Hekkie Budler (32-3) for the WBA World title, on December 31st, in Macau.
-Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3): WBC #4 / WBA #4 / IBF #8
Taguchi is said to be challenging Kosei Tanaka for the WBO World title, in Spring of 2019.
-Reiya Konishi (17-1): WBA #5 / WBO #5 / 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 (12-4) to become the new WBO Asia Pacific champion. His first title defense took place on December 1st, against Richard Rosales (13-8).
-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. Now there are talks again of making that fight happen in February of next year.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-0): WBC #2 / IBF #4 / WBA #9 / WBO #10
Koura successfully defended his OPBF title, for the 3rd time, against Daiki Tomita (12-1) on September 29. He is now set to face Simphiwe Khonco (19-5) in a WBC World title eliminator (date TBA).
-Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6): WBO #3 / WBC #5 / IBF #13
Fukuhara has been victorious in both of his 2018 bouts. An interesting development is his inclusion to the WBO rankings again and in the third place nonetheless.
-Shin Ono (23-9): WBO #5 / IBF #11 / WBA #12 / WBC #13
Ono made his first successful Japanese title defense against former World title contender Riku Kano (13-4) on August 24. He will mark his second one against Norihito Tanaka (17-7), on January 12.
-Masataka Taniguchi (11-2): WBO #2
Taniguchi recently defeated Joel Lino (10-1) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title.
*Interim World Champions NOT included.
**The WBC/IBF rankings are from October
By Eric Armit
-Deontay Wilder retains the WBC heavyweight title with very controversial draw against Tyson Fury
-Olek Gvozdyk knocks out Adonis Stevenson to win the WBC light heavyweight title. Stevenson is hospitalised with a brain bleed and our thoughts are with him
-Jarrett Hurd knocks out Jason Welborn in defence of his IBF and WBA super welterweight titles
-Carlos Licona wins the vacant IBF minimumweight title with split decision over Mark Barriga
-Jeff Horn knocks out Anthony Mundine in one round to end the career of “The Man”
-Luis Ortiz keeps busy with a stoppage of Travis Kauffman
-Joe Hughes and Martin Ward make it a title winning double for England in Italy
-Former WBO champion Chris Algieri returns with a win
World Title Shows(IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO only)
Chonburi, Thailand: Minimumweight: Knockout CP Freshmart (19-0) W PTS 12 Byron Rojas (25-4-3). CP (Thammanoon Niyomtrong-I’ll stick with CP-retains the WBA title with unanimous decision over former champion Rojas in a rematch. The fight started at a lively pace with Rojas making use of his longer reach to score with his jab but also following his jab in and fighting inside. CP was a bit quicker to the punch and was getting the better of the exchanges of hooks and uppercuts as they traded body punches in close. Most of the action took place inside but disappointingly even over the early rounds there were too many clinches. CP just seemed to outwork Rojas inside but many of the rounds were close. As the fight progressed CP continued to focus his attacks on the body and Rojas tired. CP began to outwork Rojas with the challenger spending more time with his back to the ropes as CP continued to land hooks and uppercuts. Rojas fired back trying to create some room where he could make better use of his jab and he had some good spells but not enough of them. There were too many clinches for it to be entertaining but the locals were happy as CP retained the title with a unanimous decision. Scores 117-111,116-112 and 115-113 all for the 28-year-old champion. CP was making the sixth defence of the title he won on a very close decision over Rojas in 2016 when all three judges carded it 115-113. Nicaraguan Rojas, 28, had won the title in an upset victory over Hekkie Budler and looked unlucky to lose his title to CP in their 2016 fight.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Heavy: Deontay Wilder (40-0-1) DREW 12Tyson Fury (27-0-1). Super Welter: Jarrett Hurd (23-0) W KO 4 Jason Welborn (24-7). Minimumweight: Carlos Licona (14-0) W PTS 12 Mark Barriga (9-1). Heavy: Luis Ortiz (30-1) W TKO 10 Travis Kauffman (32-3,1ND). Heavy: Joe Joyce (7-0) W KO 1 Joe Hanks (23-3). Super Feather: Isaac Lowe (16-0-3) W TKO 5 Lucas Baez (34-17-5). Heavy: Chris Arreola (37-5-1) W RTD 6 Maurenzo Smith (20-11-4). Welter: Robert Guerrero (34-6-1,2ND) W KO 2 Adam Mate (28-13). Middle: Julian Williams (26-1-1) W TKO 2 Francisco Castro (28-9).
Wilder vs. Fury
Wilder retains WBC title with highly controversial draw against Fury who climbs off the floor twice in a sparkling and extroverted display and looks unlucky not to get the decision
Good opening round for Fury. He does some clowning but also some useful work. His constantly feinting freezes Wilder who is hesitating in pulling the trigger. Fury is the one who is connecting with the better punches with a left and a right unbalancing Wilder
Score 10-9 Fury.
A close round. This time Wilder waits less and throws plenty of jabs. Fury is still presenting a difficult target and doing some of his usual antics such as putting both gloves behind his back and his arms over his head. Tyson scores with a couple of jabs but Wilder just does enough to edge this one.
Score 10-9 Wilder Tie 19-19
Fury’s round. With his constant upper body movement and gloves shifting he is making Wilder a confused man. In addition his taunting is adding to Wilder’s frustration and it works for Fury as Wilder is either not throwing punches or throwing himself at his tormentor. Fury is punching in short bursts and is more accurate.
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 29-28
Fury is very agile for a 6’9” man and is constantly changing position. He is slotting jabs through Wilder’s guard with Wilder coming up short with his jab. Fury is having no trouble anticipating and ducking under Wilder’s rights and Wilder is showing the hesitancy that was a feature of most of his rounds against Ortiz.
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 39-37
Official scores: 40-36 Wilder, 39-37 Fury, 39-37 Fury
Fury’s round but a close one as neither fighter really threw that many punches in anger. Most of Fury’s punches are prodded jabs to keep Wilder off balance but over the last minute Fury scores with a couple of quick bursts of punches. Wilder is just not throwing enough and not pressing Fury hard enough.
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 49-46
Fury out jabs Wilder in this one. Fury also scores in quick attacking bursts. Wilder spends most of the round on the back foot. It is difficult to understand his tactics as he will never beat Fury that way. Wilder finally gets through with some jabs just before the bell but it is Fury’s round
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 59-55
Fury takes another round. Wilder makes a better start throwing jabs with some intent but Fury fires back scoring with jabs and again with bursts of three or four punches including a left jab right cross both of which are on target. Wilder is getting wilder. He is missing with huge swings and leaving himself open to counters.
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 69-64
Clearly Fury’s round. He is again stabbing home his long jabs and confident enough to follow in after the jab with other punches. It seems that Wilder can’t make up his mind whether he should go forward or back and Fury is taunting Wilder . When the taunts rouse Wilder to action Fury easily ducks away from the punches.
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 79-73
Official scores: 77-75 Wilder, 78-74 Fury, 77-75 Fury
This was the best round of the fight so far. Fury is confident enough to again be taunting Wilder. This time Wilder is more positive in his approach. He throws some jabs with more purpose and lands a heavy right to the head. Fury taunts him and Wilder responded with a chopping right that puts Fury down. He is up at nine and Wilder comes forward throwing punches. Fury uses a combination of ducking and weaving and holding and then drives Wilder back. Wilder lands a couple more head pinches but is again swinging and missing and a recovered Fury spends the last thirty seconds taunting Wilder.
Score 10-8 Wilder Fury 87-83
Amazingly Fury had his best round in this one. Straight from the bell he throws jabs and long rights to have Wilder backing up. Fury continues to march forward connecting with jabs and rights with Wilder hardly throwing a punch. Wilder comes alive just before the bell throwing a series of punches-all of which Fury dodges and he again taunts Wilder at the bell.
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 97-92
The action slows in this one but again it is Fury’s roujnd. He stays with his jab and long rights and Wilder just can’t get past the jab and is off target with the heavy punches he does throw as Tyson dominates the round
Score 10-9 Fury Fury 107-101
It seemed Wilder needed a knockout and he thought he scored one. Just forty seconds into the round Wilder shakes Fury with a right forcing Fury back and then lands a huge right to the side of the head and a left hook to the chin that sends Fury down spread-eagled on the canvas unmoving. Wilder is convinced the fight was over and is already starting to climb the ropes to celebrate Its was only when the count reaches six that Fury stirs and then he climbs up at the count of nine. The referee gives him the usual question and move tests and then lets the fight continue. Wilder storms forward but again is just swinging wildly. He does manage to connect with a couple of punches but Fury begins to fight back and Wilder stops punching and goes onto the back foot with Fury ending the round strongly and it is noticeable that after the last bell it is Fury who is celebrating whilst a subdued Wilder looked on.
Score 10-8 Wilder Fury 115-111
Official scores: 115-111 Wilder, 114-112 Fury, 113-113
Wilder holds on to the WBC title but his whole demeanour at the end of the fight seemed to be one resignation to defeat. After the trials and tribulations Fury has gone through his climb back to the top has been a magnificent achievement. Wilder again showed his power. That pair of punches in the last round would have knocked out most heavyweights but he also showed a confused tactical approach to this fight and his corner did not seem to have much idea either. Obviously a return would be a huge attraction and both have expressed a willingness to fight again and a fight between Anthony Joshua and either Wilder or Fury would be an even bigger money spinner-Wilder was paid $4 million and Fury $3 million- with a lot more money coming from their percentage of the profits from the fight . Good money but the purse for a Joshua fight would probably put a zero on the end of those figures. However for now Wilder and Fury have given heavyweight boxing another great boost with an enthralling fight-pity about the result.
Hurd vs. Welborn
Hurd retains his IBF and WBA titles with kayo of challenger Welborn after the English boxer had made an impressive start.
A confident, aggressive Welborn made a strong start forcing Hurd to the ropes and although Hurd blocked most of the punches Welborn was getting through with left hooks to the body and rights to the head. Hurd eventually moved off the ropes and was planting stiff jabs on the challenger and finished the round strongly but Welborn’s early work gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Welborn
This one followed a similar pattern with Hurd starting in mid ring and doing some good work with his jab until Welborn forced him to the ropes. Welborn punched away with the lefts to the body and overarm rights to the head until for an extended period until Hurd broke away and again did some good work with his jab.
Score 10-9 Welborn Welborn 20-18
Welborn was having problems getting past Hurd’s jab in this one. Hurd was forcing Welborn onto the back foot and looked to be taking over the fight. Welborn came back and with Hurd against the ropes he showered Hurd with the same pattern of lefts to the body and rights to the head until Hurd staged his usual strong finish to the round and with his work early and late Hurd took this one.
Score 10-9 Hurd Welborn 29-28
Hurd showed more purpose in this round striding forward and landing heavily with his jab and some clubbing body punches. Welborn was forced onto the back foot and looked to be hurt by some powerful jabs. Welborn then went onto the offensive and had Hurd on the ropes showering Hurd with punches. Hurd forced his way off the ropes and unloaded on Welborn with some hard hooks. Welborn had just started to fire back when a right to the body dropped him on his haunches. He was in pain and did not really start to climb up until the count was at nine and he was counted out before he could reach the vertical.
The 28-year-old “Swift” from Maryland looks an animal at this weight and this is his eighth win by KO/TKO in his last nine fights. It would be interesting to see him up against Mexican strongman Jaime Munguia or WBC champion Jermell Charlo. Welborn, 32, gave this one his best and certainly hustled Hurd over the first two rounds. He looked to be going nowhere after losses to Liam Smith and Matthew Macklin and to have hit bottom when losing to journeyman William Warburton who had lost 96 of his 122 fights. He steadied his career with three wins against modest opposition and earned this title shots with two wins this year in wars with Tommy Langford. Another world title shot is unlikely but there are plenty of domestic or European fight for him.
Licona vs. Barriga
Mexican Licona wins the vacant IBF minimumweight title with split decision over Filipino Barriga
Licona had slight edges in height and reach over southpaw Barriga and made a positive start taking the fight to Barriga getting his punches off first and scoring with some sharp lead rights. Barriga was short with his jabs and slow to counter.
Score 10-9 Licona
A very good round for Barriga. This time it was Barriga getting his punches off quicker. He was able to pierce Licona’s guard with stinging rights and connected with some good combinations. When Licona did come forward Barriga was countering well and attacked strongly before the bell.
Score 10-9 Barriga Tie 19-19
A closer round. Licona scored well with his left jab and strong rights to the body. Barriga took a little time to settle in the round but again had his right jab working well and did enough work late in the round to take the points.
Score 10-9 Barriga Barriga 29-28
Licona’s round. He was bossing the fight with his jab and landing long rights to the body. Barriga connected with a sharp right to the head but Licona fired back with two good attacks. Barriga was swinging wildly at the end of the round.
Score 10-9 Licona Tie 38-38
They both made a cautious start to this round with Barriga landing some lefts to the body. Licona then had a good spell in which he landed five rights in succession to Barriga’s head and took the round.
Score 10-9 Licona Licona 48-47
A less dominant round for Licona but one which he took. He was on the front foot walking Barriga down and was again effective with rights to the head with Barriga short with his jabs and counters A right seemed to momentarily shake Barriga but he recovered quickly
Score 10-9 Licona Licona 58-56
Another round for Licona. The Mexican was landing well with his jab and his hard rights were getting home with Barriga still too slow to block or counter. When Barriga came forward he had some success but was being caught by sharp punches from Licona.
Score 10-9 Licona Licona 68-65
Barriga needed a good round and he produced one here. He was stabbing home his right jabs and banging to the head with straight lefts. Licona is a one-paced fighter and that pace is slow. Barriga was using smart movement to change angles and doing the scoring. Licona landed a low punch and Barriga turned away from the action but Licona continued punching until the referee stopped the action and gave Barriga a bit of time to recover.
Score 10-9 Barriga Licona 77-75
This started as a slow round and then warmed up. Licona was trundling after Barriga and landed a couple of rights to the body. Barriga did some good work with his jab and then scored with a slashing four-punch combination. Licona fired back with a couple of rights but Barriga took the round with a quick burst of punches before the bell.
Score 10-9 Barriga Licona 86-85
Licona won this one. He pressurised the Filipino for the whole three minutes. He was strong with his jab and again his straight rights found the target. Barriga was short with both his jab and his counters and Licona banged home more rights to finish the round strongly.
Score 10-9 Licona Licona 96-94
Barriga outboxed Licona in this round. He was more positive with his jab sliding it past Licona’s guard and following it with quick lefts. He was also using his mobility to dodge Licona’s attacks. Licona landed a couple of rights but Barriga banged straight back and had a good round.
Score 10-9 Barriga Licona 105-104
Barriga won this round clearly. He just could not miss Licona with his lefts scoring with a sequence of them. He was also on target with his right jab and was too mobile for the slower Licona to be able to land anything of consequence
Score 10-9 Barriga tie 114-114
Official scores 115-113 and 115-113 for Licona, 115-113 for Barriga.
The margin was so narrow that this one could have gone either way and hopefully Barriga will get either a return or another shot next year. Licona, 23, was No 3 with the IBF-the No 2 spot was vacant-despite only having one eight round fight and one ten round fight on his record but he is now the champion. He looked very limited in this fight but the division is not strong at this time apart from the WBC champion Wanheng. Barriga, 25, had more depth in his experience having gone ten rounds four times and also fought a twelve round bout. In addition he had competed at the World Championships where he beat Paddy Barnes and the 2012 Olympics.
Ortiz vs. Kauffman
Ortiz stays on course for another title shot with late stoppage of Kauffman. From the opening bell it was clear that Kauffman was more interested in surviving than winning. Ortiz was almost too patient in his approach stalking Kauffman and unloading heavy lefts. He rattled Kauffman with a right late in the round and continued to walk Kauffman down in the second. A low punch from Ortiz gave Kauffman some recovery time in the third. With Kauffman not looking to engage in the fourth a frustrated Ortiz did a King Kong act as he beat his chest in frustration inviting Kauffman to stand and fight. Kauffman declined the invitation in what was not by any means an entertaining fight. Ortiz caught up with Kauffman in the sixth flooring him with a left but Kauffman beat the count and stayed out of trouble for the rest of the round. The crowds was starting to show disapproval in the seventh and Ortiz silenced them for a while in the eighth by flooring Kauffman with a left. Once again Kauffman made it to his feet and for a short while it looked as though he might go the distance. He was again given some respite when Ortiz went low again in the ninth but a left put Kauffman down again in the tenth. He again made it to his feet but another heavy left from Ortiz had him in trouble on the ropes and the fight was stopped, The draw between Wilder and Fury was not a good outcome for Ortiz. The 39-year-old Cuban was hoping to get a title fight against the winner-but there wasn’t one. Ortiz will have a long wait before the position comes clear. Kauffman was never in this fight but showed guts to get up three times.
Joyce vs. Hanks
Joyce obliterates Hanks inside a round. They both landed some jabs early. Joyce was walking Hanks down and looking to unload with his right but Hanks was quicker and was getting through Joyce’s guard with some accurate but light punches. Joyce was very slow but when he did connect with a right to Hank’s head Hank was in deep trouble. He lurched into the ropes on unsteady legs and hung his hands on the ropes obviously hurt. For some reason Joyce backed off to the centre of the ring. Hanks walked forward onto a left to the head that sent him down heavily. He struggled around trying to rise but toppled over and the referee stopped the count at six and waived the fight over. The 33-year-old 6’6” Londoner, the Commonwealth champion, has taken less than 19 rounds for his seven wins but is already No 10 with the WBA after victories over L:enroy Thomas And Iago Kiladze. He showed his strengths and his weaker points here. His power was impressive but his defence was not very sound and he is not very quick on his feet. Hanks, 35, was his toughest test to date-on paper. Hanks had suffered consecutive losses against Andy Ruiz (L TKO 4) in 2013 and Derric Rossy (majority decision) in May 2014until returning with a low level win in December last year. He had no answer to the power of Joyce in this one.
Lowe vs. Baez
Lowe, a member of Britain’s traveller community, gets a win in his first fight in America as he stops Argentinian Baez in the fifth round. Lowe was always in control here. He opened a cut over Baez’s left eye in the second and then floored Baez twice in the fifth. After the second knockdown the referee stopped the fight without bothering to count. The 24-yeatr-old former undefeated Commonwealth champion is in line for a return fight with Ryan Walsh after their British title fight in February ended in a split draw with Walsh retaining the title. In addition to winning this fight he also won a £1,000 bet with Tyson Fury over who would shave their beard off first. Florida-based Baez was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights.
Arreola vs. Smith
Not a difficult fight for Arreola. The former title challenger beat up Smith steadily for six rounds after which Smith decided he had done enough to earn his pay and did not come out for the seventh. First fight for the 37-year-old Arreola since his loss to Deontay Wilder for the WBC title in July last year. There is plenty of action to be had for beatable heavyweights these days so he will be in action again in 2019. Smith, 41, drops to seven losses by KO/TKO.
Guerrero vs. Mate
Just a pre-Christmas payday for Guerrero as he stops Hungarian in two rounds. This really was a very poor match. Guerrero floored Mate in the first and twice in the second with a right to the temple dropping Mate to his hands and knees. He managed to struggle to his feet but the referee had already waived the fight off. The 35-year-old former IBF feather and super feather champion had lost his last three fights and this was his first contest for almost 17 months. It is difficult to see where he hopes to go on this comeback. Now nine losses by KO/TKO for Mate who was knocked out inside a round by Sandor Martin in December.
Williams vs. Castro
This was a late addition to the show but was over early. Williams dominated the first round and floored Castro late in the second. Castro beat the count but the referee stopped the fight. The Philadelphia lost to Jermall Charlo for the IBF super welter title in 2016 but is now No 1 with both the WBC and IBF after wins over Ishe Smith and Nat Gallimore. Another poor match with the 34-year-old Mexican Castro losing four in a row before retiring in December 2014. He did not fight again until scoring a win over 8-22 Carlos Urea making this only his second fight in four years
Quebec City, Canada: Light Heavy: Olek Gvozdyk (16-0) W KO 11 Adonis Stevenson (29-2-1). Welter Mikael Zewski (32-1) W PTS 10 Aaron Herrera (35-9-1). Super Middle: Shakeel Phinn (19-2-1) DREW 10 Dario Bredicean (17-1). Heavy: Oscar Rivas (25-0) W PTS 10 Fabio Maldonado (26-1). Welter: Sebastien Bouchard (18-1) W TKO 3 Vitor Jones (15-3,1ND). Heavy: Olek Teslenko (15-0) W TKO 3 Edson Antonio (40-8-1).
Stevenson vs. Gvozdyk
Gvozdyk comes from behind to stop Stevenson and win the WBC title but his victory is overshadowed by concerns over Stevenson who was stretched from the ring and rushed to hospital.
Stevenson was on the front foot straight away with the taller Gvozdyk circling the perimeter of the ring sticking out his long jab but not looking to take any chances. Stevenson landed a left late in the round.
Score 10-9 Stevenson
Gvozdyk was a bit more adventuresome in this round again shooting his jab and landing some rights. Stevenson connected with a couple of hard southpaw lefts and again did enough to edge the round.
Score 10-9 Stevenson Stevenson 20-18
A much better round for Gvozdyk. He looked to have scored a knockdown when Stevenson went down after Gvozdyk threw a right. The referee ruled it a slip but it fired up Gvozdyk who pressed his attack with Stevenson forced onto the back foot.
Score 10-9 Gvozdyk Stevenson 29-28
Stevenson’s round. He was connecting with some good lefts and most of Gvozdyk’s jabs were falling short and Stevenson was successfully dodging or blocking the Ukrainian’s rights. Stevenson complained about a punch from Gvozdyk which the Canadian thought had landed after the bell.
Score 10-9 Stevenson Stevenson 39-36
Gvozdyk took this one. He was more aggressive following in behind his jab with some rights and landing some body punches. Stevenson had a few successes but Gvozdyk finished the round strongly.
Score 10-9 Gvozdyk Stevenson 48-46
A close round. Stevenson continued to stalk Gvozdyk who was a bit more defensive in this round. Stevenson both scoring with his left and also pushing the punch out to stall any attacks from Gvozdyk. The challenger tried to finish the round with a strong attack but Stevenson landed the better punches
Score 10-9 Stevenson Stevenson 58-55
Gvozdyk took this one. He was more positive coming in behind his jab and landing long rights and uppercuts. Stevenson was focusing on the body but the better punches were coming from Gvozdyk.
Score 10-9 Gvozdyk Stevenson 67-65
Gvozdyk also took this one. He landed some good rights early and was fighting more aggressively. He was taking the fight to Stevenson and forcing the champion back. Stevenson was pawing rather firing his jabs and it was a good round for Gvozdyk
Score 10-9 Gvozdyk Stevenson 76-75
Stevenson had a better round as he shook Gvozdyk early with a left which seemed to take some of the fire out of the Ukrainian. Stevenson continued to control the round and although Gvozdyk put in a big effort late in the round it was Stevenson’s.
Score 10-9 Stevenson Stevenson 86-84
Gvozdyk really opened up in this one. He was letting his hands go and connecting with rights. A hook from Stevenson shook Gvozdyk and sent him to the ropes but he fired back with a series of head punches that had Stevenson backing off and hurt.
Score 10-9 Gvozdyk Stevenson 95-94
No sign of the drama to come as this round started. Stevenson was coming forward behind his jab trying some long lefts. A clash of heads saw Gvozdyk momentarily walk away from the action. When it resumed Gvozdyk marched forward landing punches to Stevenson’s head and forcing him back to the ropes. He landed another series of punches before Stevenson escaped from the ropes. Stevenson looked to be boxing his way out of trouble and threw a couple of jabs. Gvozdyk again stormed forward driving Stevenson to the ropes with straight lefts and rights and again Stevenson worked his way into the ring centre and the danger seemed to have passed until Gvozdyk launched a furious attack driving Stevenson back along the ropes. Stevenson held on and after the referee broke them apart Gvozdyk drilled Stevenson with a succession of lefts and rights to the head as Stevenson went back into a corner and dropped under the fire storm with the referee quickly jumping in the stop the fight. It was obvious that Stevenson was badly injured and he was stretchered out of the ring and taken to hospital where he was put into a medically-induced coma to lessen the pressure caused by brain swelling. His condition was initially described as critical and then later as stable. No further news available at this time. Obviously a great victory for Gvozdyk. Going in he had just 15 fights behind whereas the much more experienced Stevenson was making the 9th defence of the WBC title.
Zewski vs. Herrera
Zewski continues on his winning way as he outpoints Herrera. Zewski dominated the fight in every round and won on scores of 100-90 from all three judges. The 29-year-old Canadian was making the first defence of the WBC International title. This title and a run of five wins has seen him climb to No 14 in the WBC ratings. His only defeat was on points against Konstantin Ponomarev in 2015. Mexican Herrera was 24-0 at the start of his career but a number of fights with ranked boxer such as Regis Prograis, Brandon Rios and Jessie Vargas has seen him fall away.
Phinn vs. Bredicean
The IBF Inter-Continental title remains vacant after Phinn and Bredicean ended all even. Scores 95-95 twice and 98-92 for Phinn. “The Jamaican Juggernaut” Phinn, the Canadian No 1, is now 3-0-1 in his last 4 fights and has lost only one of his last twenty. Tall Miami southpaw Bredicean, 25, has been carefully matched and this was both his first real test and his first ten round fight.
Rivas vs. Maldonado
Rivas retains the NABF title with points win over Brazilian Maldonado. Just a useful ten rounds of work for Rivas as he prepares for a big fight against Bryant Jennings in January. Scores 99-90 twice and 100-89 for Rivas. Despite his 25 wins the Colombian is down at No 14 with the WBA and WBC but a win over Bryant would certainly give him a boost. As an amateur he scored wins over Andy Ruiz and Kubrat Pulev but it has taken him a long time to make an impact as a heavyweight in the pros. Maldonado, 38, was having his first fight outside Brazil and his record is heavily padded with his first twenty victims only amassing seven wins between them.
Bouchard vs. Jones
Bouchard makes it ten wins in a row with stoppage of Brazilian Jones. After handily winning the first round a body punch from Bouchard put Jones down in the second. He survived the round but in the third another series of body punches were too much for Jones and the fight was halted. Eighth win by KO/TKO for the local boxer. His only loss was on points against Frank Galarza in 2014. Former Brazilian champion Jones suffers his third inside the distance defeat including a 64 seconds crushing by Teo Lopez in May.
Teslenko vs. Antonio
Teslenko gets his twelfth win by KO/TKO as he halts Brazilian oldie Antonio. Teslenko’s body punches were too much for Antonio. Teslenko, who towered over the Brazilian, floored Antonio in the second and again in the third with the towel being thrown it after the knockdown. The 6’4”, 26-year-old Ukrainian has now won eleven of his last twelve fights inside the distance. Antonio, 41, was having only his second fight in the last three years.
Brisbane, Australia: Middle: Jeff Horn (18-1-1) W Anthony Mundine (48-8). Welter: Cameron Hammond (18-1) W PTS 10 Frank Rojas (23-2). Super Feather: Liam Wilson (3-0) W PTS 10 Brent Rice (8-1). Light: Francis Chua (6-0-1) W PTS 6 Kye MacKenzie (20-2).
Horn vs. Mundine
Horn blasts out Mundine in just 96 seconds. A fired-up Horn came out looking for Mundine and in the first few seconds landed a right to the body and then shook Mundine with a right to the head. Mundine came forward with a couple of punches of his own. Horn tried a couple more rights but came up short. There was some back and forth action and then Horn stepped in and threw a right that landed on Mundine’s hip as Mundine turned away from the punch. Horn followed that with two left hooks. The first was just short of the target but the second crashed through Mundine’s guard and sent him down on his back. He managed to get to his knees but the referee could see he was finished and waived the fight over without completing the count. Huge domestic win for the former WBO champion who confirmed his class as a person when despite the enmity before the fight he immediately showed concern for Mundine instead of jumping on the ropes to celebrate. This was Horn’s first fight since losing his WBO title to Terrence Crawford and he certainly came back with a bang and can look forward to some big paydays. At 43 hopefully Mundine will now call it a day. Although some will say he underachieved he is a former IBO and interim WBA middleweight champion and had two spells as holder of the secondary WBA super middle title. He has recorded wins over Lester Ellis, Danny Green, Daniel Geale, Bronco McKart, and Shane Mosley and beaten Sam Soliman three times. Almost every fight he has had in Australia has been Pay Per View and he has been a strong spokesman for his fellow indigenous Australians so he can walk away with his head held high.
Hammond vs. Rojas
Hammond wins the vacant WBA Oceania title with unanimous decision over Venezuelan. Hammond was too quick and outboxed the limited Venezuelan although the fight never really caught fire. Scores 100-90, 99-92 and 98-92. Hammond was out of the ring for 19 months after losing to Kris George for the vacant Commonwealth title in November 2016 and this is his second win this year. Rojas has impressive looking figures but don’t be fooled. Twelve of his victims had never won a fight and the other eleven could only muster 29 wins between. The only decent fighter he has faced is Jose Benavidez who knocked Rojas out in 84 seconds.
Wilson vs. Rice
Wilson wins the Auistralian title in only his third fight and with less than two rounds of action behind him going into the title fight. Wilson built an early lead but a point deduction for repeatedly hitting on the break and a strong finish by Rice reduced the gap but with Wilson the clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93. Wilson’s record is also deceiving but in a very different way from that of Rojas. Wilson was an outstanding amateur. He was Queensland State champion nine times, won a variety of Australian titles and competed at this year’s Commonwealth Games. Hand injuries prevented him from qualifying for the Rio Olympics and the 2017 Australian championships and he had around 140 amateur fights. Rice, also from Queensland, was making the second defence of the Australian title.
Chua vs. Mackenzie
Major upset as novice Chua takes split decision over WBO No 2 lightweight Kye MacKenzie. Both fighters threw plenty of leather early and both faded late which has to leave a question over MacKenzie’s conditioning for this one as he has been past six rounds quite a few times. Chua took the decision on scores of 59-56 and 58-56 with the third judge seeing Mackenzie in front 58-56. A dilemma for the WBO as to what they do with MacKenzie’s No 2 rating and what do they do about rating a seven fight novice who has only been past six rounds once, and drew that fight, but beat their No 2 lightweight.
Florence, Italy; Super Light: Joe Hughes (17-3-1) W PTS 12 Andrea Scarpa (23-5). Super Feather: Martin Ward (21-1-2) W PTS 12 Devis Boschiero (46-6-2). Cruiser: Fabio Turchi (16-0) W KO 7 Tony Conquest (18-3). Super Welter: Orlando Fiordigiglio (30-2) W PTS 6 Igor Faniyan (16-18-3). Feather: Carmine Tommasone (19-0) W PTS 6 Giovanny Martinez (8-9-1). Super Middle: John Docherty (2-0) W TKO 2 Angel Castillo (1-4)
Hughes vs. Scarpa
In a mixed night for British boxers they came out on top in the more important fights. Hughes was viewed as a very beatable opponent by Scarpa but Hughes came out with the split decision that should have been unanimous and lifted the vacant European title. Hughes forced the fight from the start. Despite Scarpa having edges in height and reach a feature of the fight was the way that Hughes was the one with the quickest and most accurate jab a punch that had Scarpa’s head rocking throughout the fight. Hughes was also getting the better of the exchanges inside where he did some serious work with his left hooks. Scarpa had some success when he did manage to get on the front foot and score with combinations to the head but for the most part it was Hughes coming forward and outscoring and outworking a hesitant Scarpa who seemed to lack the fire he had shown in beating John Wayne Hibbert in England. With his corner and the crowd screaming at him Scarpa tried to turn things his way over the late rounds but Hughes never looked troubled and was a clear winner. Scores 118-111 and 116-112 for Hughes and 116-112 for Scarpa. Hughes, 28, wins his first international title at the second attempt having lost on points to Anthony Yigit for this same title in December last year. It also gives him some consolation for a loss to Jack Catterall and a split draw against Tyron Nurse in domestic fights. Big setback for Scarpa. He is a former Italian super feather and super lightweight champion and won the WBC Silver title with a stoppage of John Wayne Hibbert during a run of 19 wins. The wheels rather came off after that as he lost his WBC Silver title to Ohara Davies in 2016 and was defeated by Franck Petitjean in a challenge for the EU tile in January this year. This could be Scarpa’s last chance at this level.
Ward vs. Boschiero
Ward made it a British double with a split decision over experienced Boschiero to collect the vacant WBC International Silver title. This is a fight where the styles gelled to make for an interesting and entertaining contest. Ward had lots of height and reach over Boschiero but the Italian battler kept driving forward and scoring inside with hooks from both hands. Ward made great use of his jab and landed stinging counters but also took the fight to Boschiero leading plenty of feisty exchanges. Boschiero was forcing the fight from the start but Ward used his jab and some quick movement to blunt many of the Italian’s attacks. Boschiero just kept coming. He had a good second round as he hustled Ward back but Ward started to land some crisp left hooks to the body in the fourth only for Boschiero to put in a big effort in the sixth. A great left uppercut almost dislodged Boschiero’s mouthguard in the seventh and again Ward scored strongly to the body. Ward continued to outscore Boschiero to build a lead but Boschiero stormed back over the last three rounds and Ward needed that cushion he had established as he was deducted a point in the eleventh for pushing Boschiero’s to the canvas with his elbow. Scores 117-111 and 115-113 for Ward and 115-113 for Boschiero. Ward, 27, a former Commonwealth, British and European champion suffered his only loss when he was stopped in five rounds by James Tennyson in May. This win was an important one for Ward as it reduces the Tennyson loss to a bump in the road. With winning this WBC title and with Boschiero No 11 in the IBF ratings it will get him ranked again. At 37 the end must be near for Boschiero. He came close to a world title when losing a split decision to Takahiro Ao for the WBC super feather title in Japan back in 2011. More recently a 5-4 run including a sixth round stoppage by Stephen Smith had seemed to indicate his career was nearly over but he was 7-0-1 going into this one although it may prove to be his final fling.
Turchi vs. Conquest
Fighting in his home city Turchi gets his twelfth win by KO/TKO as he beats Conquest. After two fairly even rounds southpaw Turchi began to take the fight over with his heavier power. A left hook almost put Conquest down in the fourth and Turchi continued to pile on the pressure in the fifth and sixth. Conquest showed no sign of fading out of the fight but the end came in the seventh. Conquest had just landed a hard right to Turchi’s head but the Italian countered with an even harder left hook of his own. That punch had Conquest backing away and going down on one knee. It seemed that the punch had caused Conquest a problem with his left eye and as he dropped it was borderline whether another left from Turchi landed just before or just after Conquest’s left knee touched the floor. The referee started the count but just as he was about to waive the fight over the towel came in from Conquests corner. The 25-year-old Turchi is rated No 10 by the EBU. He was an outstanding amateur being the Italian champion in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, winning a silver Medal in 2014 Military World Championships, a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships and a gold medal in the Mediterranean Games with a reported 106-9 record. Conquest was talking retirement after this loss. The 34-year-old former Commonwealth and British champion was inactive for two years before returning with a win last December.
Fiordigiglio vs. Faniyan
Fiordigiglio just keeps thing turning over with a routine win over Fanyan. Fiordigiglio controlled this one from start to finish with some slick work with his jab and occasional combinations which was more than enough to see off Fanyan. Third win this year for Fiordigiglio who lost a split decision to Frenchman Zakaria Attou for the vacant European title in December. Armenian Fanyan is no 1-9 in his last 10 contests.
Tommasone vs. Martinez
Mexican Martinez can’t keep the wolf from his door as “Mr Wolf” Tommasone easily outboxes the import winning every round. This was the unbeaten Italian’s first fight for nine months but he looked sharp. He is No 10 with the EBU but hopes with more activity to get a shot at the EU or EBU title. At 32 he has no time to waste. He has the distinction of being the first pro boxer to compete at the Olympics as he was first into the ring in Rio after the AIBA decided to allow pro boxers to compete. He beat Mexican Lindolfo Delgado in his first fight but then lost to Cuban Lazaro Alvarez. Martinez has won only two of his last eight fights.
Docherty vs. Castillo
Scottish prospect Docherty gets his second pro win and his second inside the distance win as he floors Argentinian novice Castillo in the first and again in the second which sees the towel coming flying in from Castillo’s corner. The 21-year-old from Montrose was Scottish Junior champion in 2012 and 2013 and Senior champion in 2017. He won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games, silver at the European Youth Championships and a bronze medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games. One to watch. Castillo in way over his head.
Glasgow, Scotland: Bantam: Ukashir Farooq (11-0) W PTS 12 Iain Butcher (18-4). Super Light: Tyrone McKenna (17-1-1) W PTS 10 Lewis Benson (10-2). Super Welter: Kieran Smith (13-0) W PTS 10 Evaldas Korsakas (9-6-2). Light Heavy: David Brophy (21-2-1) W PTS 6 Charles Adamu (32-13).
Farooq vs. Butcher
Farooq retains the British title with comprehensive victory over fellow Scot Butcher. Scores 120-108, 120-109 and 118-110 for “The Untouchable” Farooq who was making the first defence of the title he won with an impressive first round kayo of Jamie Wilson in September. Born in Pakistan the 22-year-old Farooq moved to Scotland with his family in 2002. He is a former Scottish and British Youth champion and Scottish Senior champion. Three of Butcher’s four losses have come in British title fights
McKenna vs. Benson
McKenna gets the nod in a hard fought and entertaining contest against Benson. It was a war with McKenna walking forward throwing punches and Benson countering and seeming to outscore the Ulster southpaw. It really came down to Benson landing more but McKenna landing the heavier punches. The referee gave the decision to McKenna 96-95 but the decision could have gone either way. McKenna was in his second war in a row having lost narrowly in an exciting battle against Jack Catterall in June. “Kid Caramel” Benson, 26, said after the fight that he was retiring but hopefully will re-think that. As an amateur he was Scottish and British Youth champion and competed at both the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games and has lots of talent.
Smith vs. Korsakas
Smith, another former elite level amateur, had to climb off the floor to win this one. The Scottish southpaw found Korsakas a tough opponent and was floored in the third. He rebounded to put Korsakas down in the ninth which just gave him the edge in a very close contest. Scores 96-92, 96-93 and 95-93 for Smith. The 6’2” Scot wins the vacant WBC International Silver title in his move up to ten rounds. As with Benson he was Scottish and British Youth champion and fought at the Commonwealth Games, World, European and World Youth Championships. UK-based Lithuanian Korsakas was 6-0-1 in his run up to this fight and is the BBB of C Central Area champion.
Brophy vs. Adamu
Former Commonwealth champion Brophy keeps his hand in with a points win over Ghanaian veteran Adamu. Referee’s score 60-54 for Brophy who is working his way back after being stopped inside a round by Rocky Fielding for the British and Commonwealth titles in September last year. The 41-year-old Adamu, also a former Commonwealth champion has only lost once by KO/TKO
Hollywood, FL, USA: Bantam: Ricardo Espinoza (22-2) W TKO 2 Yeison Vargas (17-1). Welter: Derrieck Cuevas (19-0-1) W PTS 10 Breidis Prescott (31-15). Feather: Hairon Socarras (20-0-3) W KO 1 Mike Oliver (26-10-1,1ND).
Espinoza vs. Vargas
Espinoza destroys Vargas in two rounds with an impressive show of power. Espinoza was throwing the harder punches in the first before exploding in the second. A left hook to the head had Vargas stumbling along the ropes and down. He made it to his feet but Espinoza was on to him again quickly and the first punch he landed on the resumption, a left hook to the head sent Vargas flying back and onto the canvas against the ropes. Vargas was up quickly but then rocked with left hooks to the head. He tried to hold but Espinoza broke free and then landed a four-punch combination of hooks to the head that floored Vargas for the third time and the referee waived the fight off. The 21-year-old “Hindu” is on a hot streak with twelve wins in a row eleven of those by KO/TKO and now has a total of 19 wins by KO/TKO. The Tijuana fighter was making the first defence of his WBO Latino title. He is No 2 with the WBO although there are no names on his record apart from useful Daniel Lozano. Colombian champion Vargas was having his first outside of Colombia and his is a heavily padded record with wins over substandard opposition.
Cuevas vs. Prescott
Cuevas moves to thirteen wins on the trot with wide unanimous verdict over a very much on the slide Prescott. Cuevas almost ended it in the first and in fact the fight should not have been allowed to continue. It was “timber” as a huge left hook felled Prescott like a falling tree. He managed to make onto one knee but almost fell over. He then pushed himself up but staggered badly when the referee asked him to take steps forward. Despite that the referee went over the same routine again and decided to let the fight continue and the bell went before another punch could be thrown. Prescott recovered well and used all of his experience to remain competitive. He took the fight to Cuevas who showed he could box as well as punch. Prescott is just too slow these days to really threaten Cuevas who was a clear winner. This victory makes it thirteen wins in a row for the 24-year-old Puerto Rican Cuevas with eleven of those wins by KO/TKO. At 35 Miami-based Colombian Prescott is moving into the “fodder for up-coming fighters” category with seven losses in his last eight fights.
Socarras vs. Oliver
An easy night for Socarras as he disposes of the shell of what was once Mike Oliver in just 50 seconds. After the second knockdown Oliver indicated he was finished hopefully not just with this fight but with his career. Cuban Socarras, 25, gets his twelfth win by KO/TKO. He had just one fight in 2015 and was inactive in 2016 but he has been more active recently and was coming off a win over reasonable level opposition in Jose Nieves. Oliver, 38, went 21-0 at the start of his career and won the IBO super bantamweight title but with a couple of spells of inactivity thrown in he is now 1-8-1in his last 10 fights.
La Banda, Argentina: Middle: Bill Godoy (37-5) W TKO 4 Diego Diaz Gallardo (22-6-1). Godoy halts Gallardo in four rounds. After 14 months of inactivity a rusty Gallardo was no match for Godoy and he was on the floor in the first round. He recovered but was never really in the fight after the knockdown. Godoy continued to score with heavy shots in the second and third and ended the fight in the fourth. A salvo of punches from Gallardo rounded off by a left hook had Gallardo falling into the ropes and unable to defend himself with the fight being stopped at that point. The 32-year-old Godoy wins the vacant WBC Latino title and moves to 18 wins by KO/TKO. He was high in the world ratings after winning his first 26 fights and scoring victories over Carlos Baldomir and Jorge Heiland but life has gotten tougher as he moved to a higher level and he was down at No 5 in the Argentinian ratings before this fight. Gallardo had his big night in March last year when he stopped Michel Mothmora to win the WBFederation world title.
San Luis, Argentina: Cruiser: Marcos Aumada (20-6) W TKO 1 Nahuel Martinez (9-3). Super Bantam: Claudio Echegaray (22-2-1) W TKO 4 Maximiliano Alegre (4-3).
Ahumada vs. Martinez
Ahumada obliterates poor Martinez inside a round. Southpaw Ahumada came out flinging punches and quickly had the much taller Martinez in trouble. A couple of heavy punches staggered Martinez and he retreated to the ropes with Ahumada connecting with some fierce head shots. The referee stepped in and gave Martinez a standing count. When the action resumed a wide left again put Martinez against the ropes. He managed to get out to the centre of the ring but Ahumada landed a series of head punches driving Martinez to the ropes again and a big neck-jerking left was enough to see the referee step in and stop the fight. Ahumada retains the WBC Latino title with his fifteenth win by KO/TKO. After going 14-1 in his first 15 fights and reversing the lone loss he then slipped badly and went 3-5 in his following eight fights. This is his third win by KO/TKO as he rebuilds. He is No 2 in the Argentinian ratings. Martinez had won 6 of his last 7 fights and was No 4 in the national ratings.
Echegaray vs. Alegre
In a wild slugging match Echegaray breaks through in the fourth of a close fight to halt Alegre. Echegaray took the first round but Alegre had the better of the fierce exchanges in the second and third. In the fourth. Both fighters were ignoring defence and just throwing wild swings and Echegaray connected with a series of head punches with the referee stopping the action to give Alegre a standing count. After the count Echegaray drove Alegre back and connected with a series of hard shots that saw Alegre falling back and down with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Eleventh win by KO/TKO for Argentinian No 7 Echegaray who was badly in need of a victory after two consecutive losses this year. Second loss by KO/TKO for Alegre.
Windhoek, Namibia: Welter: Mikka Shonena (13-0) W PTS 12 Mfaume Mfaume (14-5-2,1ND). Shonena retains the WBO African title with points victory over Tanzanian Mfaume but is made to work hard. Shonena focus his attacks on the body over the early rounds with Mfaume willing to stand and trade. From the sixth Shonena switched his tactics and boxed more before staggering Mfaume with a series of hooks in the tenth. Mfaume fought back hard over the last two rounds but was never able to trouble Shonena. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 for Shonena. The home boxer made this a bit harder than it needed to be until he switched tactics in the sixth The Namibian, a former Commonwealth Games competitor, has never fought anyone even remotely close to being rated but for winning the WBO African title is a ludicrous No 9 which makes him eligible to fight Terrence Crawford! Mfaume is now 5-4. 1ND in his last 10 fights.
Singapore: Super Feather: Hamza Farouk (7-0) W KO 1 Isack Junior (25-10-3)
Farouk collects the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with first round win over Indonesian Junior. After just 22 seconds a body punch put Junior on the floor and he remained there for the full count. Fifth win by KO/TKO for 30-year-old Farooq who has taken less than 19 rounds for his seven victories.. Poor Junior falls to 1-6-1 in his last 8 fights.
Glasgow, Scotland: Super Welter: Jay Byrne (8-6) W PTS 10 Marc Kerr (12-2)
Big disappointment for popular local fighter Kerr as Irishman Byrne collects the BBB of C Celtic title with unanimous decision. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-94. Byrne a good winner but the scores unkind to the effort put in by Kerr. Most of Byrne’s losses have against unbeaten fighters. Scottish champion Kerr had won his last seven fights and can come again.
Huntington, NY, USA: Super Light: Chris Algieri (22-3) W PTS 10 Angel Hernandez (14-12-2). Algieri returns to his home town with a win and looks sharp. He had too much skill and speed for a willing but limited Hernandez. Algieri’s movement and hand speed put him in control from the start and outworked Hernandez all the way. Algieri has never been a hard puncher and Hernandez has a good chin so Hernandez was never in any trouble and was able to roll forward throwing punches but not landing enough to ever threaten Algieri who won by a wide margin. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91for Algieri who was having his first fight since a fifth round stoppage loss to Errol Spencer in April last year. There are plenty of good fights out there for the 34-year-old former WBO champion. Texan Hernandez is 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Harare, Zimbabwe: Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (14-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Jimmy Mabundji (9-4). Lightweight: Peter Pambeni (13-3-3) W KO 5 Alex Gambinda (7-1).
Ndafoluma vs. Mabundji
Namibian Ndafoluma gets unanimous decision over Mabundji but the scores do not reflect how close this fight was. Ndafoluma is a tall thin fighter and Mabundji is small and stocky so it was a case of Ndafoluma dominating the fight at distance and scoring with counters as Mabundji moved forward. That sounds easy on paper but Mabundji just walked through Ndafoluma’s punches. He never stopped coming forward finding gaps for his counters and he used his strength to outfight Ndafoluma on the inside. A big left hook rocked Ndafoluma in the fifth and he was hurt again in the sixth but he was picking Mabundji off with his jabs and finding gaps for his counters and just did enough to take the decision. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-77 for Ndafoluma who gets his eighth win in a row. South-African based Congolese Mabundji is a tough customer who had won his last three fights by KO/TKO.
Pambeni vs. Gambinda
Pambeni wins the vacant national title with fifth round kayo of Gambinda. Pambeni had too much skill for the much smaller and limited Gambinda. Constantly switching guards Pambeni outboxed Gambinda in the first. In the second Gambinda choose to do some showboating and made the mistake of standing in front of Pambeni with his hands down and was put down heavily by a hard right. He made it to his feet but he was very unsteady and the fight should have been stopped. Instead of going in to finish the fight Pambeni decided to do some showboating of his own. Gambinda tried to take the fight to Pambeni in the third and fourth but was too slow to catch the quicker Pambeni. In the fifth a left hook and a vicious right put Gambinda down and he was counted out. After ten years of inactivity Pambeni is now 4-0-2 since his return. Gambinda had done all of his fighting in South Africa. In his only fight scheduled for more than four or six rounds he was knocked out inside three minutes by unbeaten Ronald Mankind.
Saltillo, Mexico: Bantam: Luis Nery (27-0) W Renson Robles (13-6).
An aggressive Nery batters Robles to defeat with vicious body attacks. Nery was stalking Robles in the first two rounds and already getting through with strong southpaw lefts to the body. Robles just could not get on the front foot but he fired back although lacking the power to discourage Nery. Robles had some success with rights in the third but Nery just continued to walk him down and was connecting with heavy lefts. In the fifth Nery went all out for the finish bombarding Robles with punch after punch. The Venezuelan got a breather when he lost his mouthguard but he had taken a whole load of punishment. Nery was a bit more studied with his attacks in the sixth with Robles still countering when he could. Nery went wild again in the seventh. He was pumping out punch after punch mostly to the body. Robles was being driven around the ring until the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The former WBC bantamweight champion is hoping to get a chance to regain the title that he lost by default when he failed to make the weight for a defence against Shinsuke Yamanaka in March. Robles was a late substitute and fought hard before being ground down and suffering his first loss by KO/TKO.
Gummersbach, Germany: Middle: Denis Radovan (11-0-1) DREW 10 Ronny Mittag (30-3-3). Super Welter Abass Baraou (4-0) W PTS 10 Sasha Yengoyan (41-6-1). Welter: Deniz Ilbay (21-1) W PTS 10 Denis Krieger (14-7-2). Super Welter: Nick Klappert (26-3) W PTS 8 Sergej Wotschel (11-4-1). Light Heavy: Leon Bunn (12-0) W PTS 8 Yannick N’Galeu (5-5).
Radovan vs. Mittag
Radovan and Mittag end up all square after ten entertaining rounds. Local fighter Radovan used his superior skill set to build an early lead. He boxed well, behind his jab and found plenty of gaps in the defence of Mittag. Slowly Mittag worked his way into the fight which was fought at a ferocious pace and slowly he began to eat into Radovan’s lead and force him onto the back foot. Radovan was still landing some hurtful punches and after the fight it was revealed that Mittag had suffered damage to both ear drums. Despite that he battled hard and a draw looked about right. Scores 96-94 for Radovan, 96-94 for Mittag and 95-95. Former elite level amateur Radovan was moving up to ten rounds for the first time. Mittag, 30, was 7-0-1 going into this one with the loss coming in his last fight in May when he was outpointed by unbeaten Patrick Wojcicki for the vacant German title. Hopefully Radovan and Mittag will meet again soon as this was a rousing battle.
Baraou vs. Yengoyan
German champion Baraou takes every round against experienced Yengoyan. Baraou won this one from distance as Yengoyan did his best work when he was able to get past Baraou’s jab and walk through his counters to work inside. Baraou controlled the fight and handed out some heavy punishment but never totally subdued Yengoyan and seemed to lack the power to capitalise on his superiority. The three scorecards all read 100-90 at the finish. Baraou, 24,was German amateur champion in 2014,2015 and 2016 won a gold medal at the European Championships and bronze at the World Championships and is one of the big hopes for German boxing. Armenian Yengoyan is starting to look like a toothless “Beast from the East” now being 1-4 in his most recent fights.
Ilbay vs. Krieger
Another entertaining fight but with a bit less skill on show. What there was was shown by Ilbay. He was streets ahead of Krieger in technique but had to weather some wild attacks from Krieger using good movement to frustrate his opponent. Gradually Krieger became wilder with his attacks and in an attempt to lure Ilbay in was dropping his hands and challenging Ilbay to do his worst. Krieger had some success and there was plenty of action but Ilbay stuck to his boxing and won the unanimous decision. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 96-91 for Ilbay. The 23-year-old from Cologne wins the vacant German title in his sixth fight since losing on points to world rated Egidijus Kavaliauskas in 2016. German-based Moldovan Krieger was 2-5 in his last 7 fights. One of the two wins was a kayo over 21-0 Robert Maess for the German title but in his last fight he lost that title to Abass Baraou.
Klappert vs. Wotschel
This fight also had its moments as Klappert won on points over Wotschel. It was fiercely contested with both having good spells but the cleaner work and more accurate punching saw Klappert through to the decision. Scores 79-73 for Klappert on all three cards. German Klappert, 36, has collected a few minor titles and is 6-1 in his last 7 fights but the loss was one that established his level as he was knocked out in one round by unbeaten Russian Khuseyn Baysangurov in December. German-based Russian Wotschel had won his last five fights.
Bunn vs. N’Galeu
Bunn decisions late substitute N’Galeu. The Frankfurt prospect got the win but it was a very flat performance by Bunn. He had more trouble than expected against the French novice and although outboxing N’Galeu he never looked likely to end it early and suffered a cut late in the fight. The judges were unanimous in scoring the fight 79-73 for Bunn who keeps his 100% record. N’Galeu had won his last four fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Light: Valentine Hosokawa (23-6-3) W Takashi Inagaki (20-17-2). Small and getting on in years he may be but Hosokawa is enjoying something of an Indian Summer. In this one he blew away challenger Inagaki in the first round in defence of his Japanese title. Inagaki started well using his jab against Hosokawa but late in the round was badly shaken by a right uppercut and put down by a right hook. He made it to his feet but was being bombarded by punches and the referee stopped the fight. Hosokawa, 37, who has Nigerian father, won the national title at the third attempt and in his eleventh year as a professional. He claimed the impetus to win the title was that his grandmother, who had raised him, was 86 and he wanted to win the title before she died. This is his eleventh win by KO/TKO. Inagaki, 33, the Japanese No 10 has now lost his last three fights and failed in challenges for the Japanese title at super feather, lightweight and now super lightweight.
Osaka, Japan: Super Feather: Masao Nakamura (25-3) W TKO 10 Carlo Magali (23-11-3). Light Fly: Reiya Konishi (17-1) W TKO 8 Richard Rosales (13-7-2).
Nakamura vs. Magali
Nakamura gets off the floor to stop Magali and win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title. Nakamura used a stiff jab to control much of the early action but a competitive Magali had a big fifth round flooring Nakamura with a right hook although it looked as though Nakamura partially tripped over his own feet. Nakamura was back in charge in the sixth and took the next three rounds as well as cutting Magali. By the tenth the cut had worsened and the fight was stopped. A former OPBF champion in Nakamura fights either you go or he does and only 2 of his 28 fights have lasted the distance. Filipino Magali, also a former OPBF champion, now has four losses by KO/TKO.
Konishi vs. Rosales
Konishi retains the WBO Asian Pacific title with stoppage of Filipino Rosales. Konishi had a hard time subduing Rosales. The Japanese fighter was deducted a point in the sixth for low blows but kept battering away at Rosales and Rosales was twice deducted a point for holding. Finally in the eighth a left hook from Konishi had Rosales badly hurt and the Filipino’s corner threw in the towel to save their man. Konishi was having his second fight since losing to Carlos Canizales in March for the vacant secondary WBA title. Four losses by KO/TKO for Rosales.
Mexico City, Mexico: Welter: Juan Pablo Romero (9-0). W TKO 1 Jose Luis P:rieto (26-7) Mexican Olympian Romero overwhelms Colombian Prieto. The unbeaten prospect attacked strongly from the start. He pressured Prieto constantly with Prieto trying unsuccessfully to counter. Late in the round Romero trapped Prieto on the ropes and was unloading with blistering punches from both hands and with Prieto just covering up the referee stopped the fight. Sixth win by KO/TKO for Romero. Who is a former Mexican amateur champion and represented Mexico at the 2016 Olympics and the World Championships. Prieto was 13-2 in his last 15 fights and this is his fifth loss by KO/TKO..
Catano, Puerto Rico: Light: Alfredo Santiago (10-0) W Jonathan Barros (41-6-1). Super Bantam: Abimael Ortiz (7-0-1 W PTS 10 Alexis Santiago (21-7-1).
Santiago vs. Barros
Santiago outboxes experience Barros in defence of his WBC Fecarbox title. The tall Santiago had a 5” edge in height and a much longer reach and he used those advantages plus some quick footwork to win this one easily. Barros kept barrelling forward but Santiago was popping him with jabs and connecting with long rights. He was not looking to get into trading punches and was happy to just stick with the jab/straight right and only occasionally fire a combination of more than two punches. Barros just could not get close enough often enough to hustle Santiago out of his stride. With his stick-thin long legs a quick step was all Santiago needed to be out of range but still in position to counter. He also tied up Barros inside or pushed him off for which Santiago was warned. Santiago also switched guards constantly and over the closing round did some show-boating with a frustrated Barros unable to really be a threat. Scores 99-91 for Santiago from all three judges. The 24-year-old Puerto Rica-based Dominican has scored good wins over Jayson Velez, Arturo Santos and Cristian Mino but a lack of punching power could be a big handicap against better opposition. Barros, 34, a former holder of the secondary WBA title had recently lost in two title fights against IBF champion Lee Selby and WBC champion Miguel Berchelt and this is the first time he has lost three fights in a row.
Ortiz vs. Santiago
Ortiz outpoints more experienced Santiago. This was a slow-paced fight with Ortiz simply walking down Santiago for the whole ten rounds. The Puerto Rican mixed short stiff jabs, hooks and uppercuts to keep Santiago on the back foot for round after round. He unloaded heavily on Santiago in the fifth but Santiago soaked up the punishment and kept firing counters. The fighters were rarely more than a couple of paces apart over the first six rounds as they traded punches with Ortiz throwing more, landing more and having more power but the pace of the fight was too slow to generate much excitement. Ortiz wins on scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91. The young “Hands of Stone” was moved up to ten rounds for the first time after having scored an upset win over unbeaten prospect Jantony Ortiz in August. Phoenix’s Santiago has lost four in a row but all against very good level opposition.
Estosadok, Russia: Light Heavy: Umar Salamov (23-1) W PTS 10 Emmanuel Anim (13-2-1). Salamov continues to rebuild with points win over Ghanaian Anim. Salamov was always going to be the winner here and the only question was whether Anim would go the distance. He did that and a bit more making Salamov work hard. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Salamov. He retains the WBO International title and another organisations title but they are just so ridiculous I am not even going to mention them. The 24-year-old Nevada-based Russian registers his fourth win since a loss to Damien Hooper in July derailed his train. He is ranked IBF 7(5)/WBC 10/WBO 10/WBA. Anim had lost a majority decision to unbeaten Emmanuel Martey for the national title and drew with Patrick Mukala for the WBA Pan African title in his other fights this year.
London, England: Light Heavy: Miles Shinkwin (15-4) W PTS 10 Joel McIntyre (18-4). Cruiser: Deion Jumah (11-0) W TKO 5 Ossie Jervier (6-6).
Shinkwin vs. McIntyre
Shinkwin lifts the vacant English title with unanimous decision over McIntyre. Shinkwin had failed in two previous shots at this title and one at the British title but he was a good winner here. Scores 99-91, 97-92 and 96-94. The 30-year-old Shinkwin will now be looking to get another crack at the British title. McIntyre, a former English champion, is now 2-3 in his last 5 fights.
Jumah vs. Jervier
Good to see Jumah back and fighting regularly. He stops Jervier and wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title. The 31-year–old southpaw was twice English amateur champion but has had spells of inactivity. Hopefully new management will change that as he gathers his sixth win by KO/TKO. Jervier has been matched tough but he had won his last two fights.
East London, South Africa: Minimumweight: Simphiwe Khonco (19-5, 1ND) NO DECISON 4 Joel Canoy (14-3-1,1ND). Bantam: Ronald Malindi (15-0) W PTS 12 Makazole Tete (17-4-2).
Khonco vs. Canoy
Khonco retains the IBO title when his fight with Filipino Canoy is halted in the fourth due to a cut. Khonco came out firing punches in the first. Late in the round he landed a couple of good combinations. Unfortunately he forgot his defence and was caught with a counter right hook to the chin which dropped him on his hands and knees. He looked unsteady when he got up and Canoy staggered him with a left but Khonco made it the bell. He had recovered in the second and in the third a Khonco right sent Canoy into the ropes and he almost went down. In the fourth a clash of heads opened a gash on the forehead of Khonco. The referee called a time out to let the doctor examine the cut. It looked bad and the blood was streaming down Khonco’s face and into his left eye. The doctor allowed the fight to continue. A punch to the back of head sent Khonco sprawling and with the blood still streaming the referee again summoned the doctor and this time the fight was stopped and since the fourth round had not been completed it was ruled a No Decision. A great pity as the signs were there that it was going to be an exciting contest. Khonco had overcome the early shock and clawed back the points for the knockdown and both fighters were looking to trade punches. Hopefully there will be a return fight. The little South African was making the fourth defence of his IBO title and has lost only one of his last fourteen fights and that was a close decision to Hekkie Budler for the WBA and IBO titles in 2015. He is No 1 with the WBC. Southpaw Canoy, 25, lost to Budler for this same IBO title in 2017 and had won his last two fights and he looked sharp and dangerous here.
Malindi vs. Tete
South African champion Malindi has little trouble in keeping his 100% record intact as he outclasses Tete. Scores 119-109 from all three judges. Malindi retains the ABU title and will be looking to move up to some international fights now. Tete, the brother of Zolani, is 2-3 in his last 5 fights. Before this one his manager was warning Tete that he needed to focus on his boxing. Tete has a choir and is studying music at a University
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
Fight of the week (Significance): Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
Fighter of the week: Tyson Fury a remarkable recovery
Punch of the week: Jeff Horn’s left hook that felled Mundine and the left hook from Derrieck Cuevas that put Breidis Prescott down in the first round were special but the Wilder punches that put Tyson on his back were the brutal
Upset of the week: Francis Chua 5-0-1 beating WBO No 2 Kye Mackenzie
Prospect watch: Twenty-one-year-old Mexican Ricardo Espinoza 22-2 with 19 wins by KO/TKO.
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
The saga between AIBA and the IOC shows no signs of coming to an end and it was announced that the IOC Executive Board have frozen planning for the boxing competition for the Tokyo Olympics including the qualifying process and ticket sales.
An inquiry has been launched into AIBA’s ability to host the boxing competition and to assess whether the various “significant concerns” expressed by the IOC have been properly addressed to their satisfaction. The inquiry will be headed by Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic and IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell stated that the inquiry would take place over the next few months with the aim to have a definitive decision on boxing’s future at the next Board Executive meeting in Lausanne next June.
For the first time Gafur Rakhimov was directly mentioned by the IOC regarding their concerns along with AIBA’s inability to open or maintain a bank account in Switzerland.
Despite the promises of IOC President Thomas Bach that there will be a boxing competition in Tokyo, the ruling only heaps more uncertainty onto proceedings and raises a number of questions such as:
If indeed boxing does keep its Olympic place and the decision is made next June, is barely 15 months enough time to carry out the necessary qualifying tournaments?
Given the ever decreasing guarantees of Olympic participation will there be a mass exodus of fighters choosing to turn professional?
If AIBA is suspended will there be a huge split between the federations which would badly damage the integrity of the sport?
What happens to the allotted qualifying spots from the World Series of Boxing?
Finally what happens to the next 2 men’s world championships which have been awarded to Sochi and Delhi which surely both countries would have budgeted for?
Whatever the outcome and the answers to these various questions, unfortunately the athletes and us fans can do nothing more than wait as 2019 really is a defining moment for amateur boxing.
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