By Eric Armit
-Alex Besputin wins the vacant secondary WBA welter title with unanimous decision over Radzhab Butaev
-John Riel Casimero stops Zolani Tete in three rounds to win the WBO bantam title
-Patrick Teixeira wins the vacant interim WBO super welter title by outpointing Carlos Adames
-Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez score wins at super featherweight
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Birmingham, England: Bantam: John Riel Casimero (29-4) W TKO 3 Zolani Tete (28-4). Super Feather: Anthony Cacace (18-1) W PTS 12 Sam Bowen (15-1) . Welter: Chris Jenkins (22-3-3) TEC DRAW 4 Liam Taylor (21-1-1). Super Middle: Lerrone Richards (13-0) W PTS 12 Lennox Clarke (19-1-1). Super Light: Sam Maxwell (13-0) W TKO 7 Connor Parker (12-1).
Casimero vs. Tete
In an upset result Casimero becomes a three-division champion as he floors Tete twice and stops him to win the WBO bantamweight belt.
Casimero took the first. He was circling Tete then darting in with quick attacks scoring with rights to the body and then getting out before Tete could counter. Tete stuck to his right jabs but was coming up short.
Score: 10-9 Casimero
Casimero continued to circle Tete in this one but Tete was anticipating Casimero’s attacks and the challenger was unable to score. Tete ended the round connecting with a couple of jabs and a left hook that got Casimero’s attention.
Score 10-9 Tete TIED 19-19
Casimero was fired-up at the start of the round piling forward throwing punches. Tete stayed cool and Casimero then became a little more cautious. He then launched another quick attack and as Tete tried to duck Casimero connected with two hard rights to the side of the head. Tete slumped to his hands and knees. He was up at five but looked unsteady and after grabbing Casimero he slipped to the floor. When the action resumed Casimero drove Tete to the ropes .Tete bent over to avoid Casimero’s punches but a couple landed and Tete tumbled face down on the canvas. He got up at six and convinced the referee he was able to continue but Casimero forced Tete to a corner and landed a couple of head punches with the referee quickly stepping in and stopping the fight. The 30-year-old former IBF light fly and fly champion was giving away 5” in height but his speed evened that out and his power did the rest. It seemed as if he might be about to hit the down slope after losing to Jonas Sultan (13-3) in 2017 but he took ten months out and in April this year knocked out favoured Ricardo Espinoza to win the interim WBO title. Now he will be looking for a unification fight with Naoya Inoue although an all-Filipino contest with Nonito Donaire would be big. Tete, 31, was making his sixth defence of the WBO title but due to injury was having his first fight for 13 months. He will recover from this shock and still has a part to play at bantam or perhaps even super bantam.
Cacace vs. Bowen
Cacace lifts the British title with points win over champion Bowen. The respective styles, southpaw Cacace boxing cleverly and Bowen pressing and looking to do damage on the inside melded to give an entertaining fast-pace twelve rounds, Cacace was on target with his jab over the first two rounds and already there were signs of some swelling around Bowen’s left eye. Bowen did some good work in the third with left hooks to the body and rattled Cacace with a left and looked to also have taken the fourth. Cacace had a good fifth. He was constantly switching guards and stood and traded punches and was more accurate and then Bowen lost a point in the round for being dangerous with his head but rebounded to outscore Cacace in the sixth. The fight swung to Cacace again as he took the seventh and eighth only for Bowen to up his pace and take the ninth. The tenth and eleven were close with the more accurate punching of Cacace just giving him the edge. With the point deduction Bowen may have felt his title was slipping away and he attacked hard in the last but was wild at times whereas Cacace picked and place his punches better. Scores 115-113 twice for Cacace and 115-112 for Bowen. Cacace lost his unbeaten tag in his 16th fight when he was beaten on a close decision by Martin Joseph Ward for the British and Commonwealth titles in 2017. He was inactive in 2018 and had just one fight this year in February but no rust was showing. Bowen was making the second defence of the British title and he came so close to retaining it and will fight for titles in 2020 perhaps the British one again as this was close enough to merit a return match.
Jenkins vs. Taylor
Disappointing end to what promised to be an entertaining scrap as a cut brings a premature finish with Jenkins retaining the Commonwealth Boxing Council and British titles on a technical draw. Taylor settled quickly and looked to have edged the first round. That led to an exciting and entertaining second. Rights from Taylor shook Jenkins who went down on one knee under the fire. Jenkins was shaken but not finished and he banged back over the remainder of the round. They traded punches wildly with Jenkins getting the better of the exchanges. Jenkins began to get into his stride in the third and fourth working well to Taylor’s body but Taylor was still very much in the fight. During the fourth a clash of heads opened a cut on the left eyebrow of Jenkins and the referee halted the action and asked the ringside doctor to examine the injury. It was decreed that the injury was too severe for Jenkins to fight on and as the fourth round was four seconds short of being completed it was ruled a technical draw. Jenkins was making the second defence of the British title and the first of the Commonwealth title. He has been plagued with cuts in his career but he retains his titles. Taylor had won his last ten fights and deserves another shot at the titles.
Richards vs. Clarke
Richards retains the Commonwealth title and wins the vacant British title as he takes a split verdict over Clarke. The slicker southpaw boxing of Richards gave him the edge form the opening round. He was sliding jabs through Clarke’s defence and then following in with straight lefts and hooks to the body. Clarke was hunting Richard but was too slow with attacks and Richards was able to slide around them with some quick footwork. Too often Clarke was getting in close but not letting his punches go and making it easy for Richards to score with a jab and some hooks and then get away before Clarke could counter. In the fifth it was the right jab and the straight lefts that were the scoring punches for Richards and it looked all too easy. Clarke’s pressure began to pay over the second half of the fight. Richards was still finding gaps for his jab and straight lefts but was slowing and was being dragged into mauling, brawling phases. Clarke put in a big effort in the eleventh as Richards tired and he was stronger in the last but had not done enough to overtake the big lead Richards had established. Scores 117-112 and 116-113 for Richards and 115-113 for Clarke. Following his win over Tommy Langford in April that makes it two good wins on the bounce for Richards. Clarke came close but less than ten rounds of work in his three fights since April last year may have left him with some rust to shed over those early rounds.
Maxwell vs. Parker
Maxwell punches too hard in the end as fellow southpaw Parker puts in an admirable but vain effort to separate Maxwell from his WBO European title. Maxwell scored well early with left hooks but Parker took then and banged back with some good punches of his own stopping Maxwell in his tracks in the fourth with a strong combination. Maxwell was working to the body and was piling up the points but Parker took the fight to Maxwell in the fifth trying to drag Maxwell into a brawl and for a while Maxwell went off the game plan and slugged with Parker. Maxwell dominated the sixth and in the seventh he rocked Parker badly with a left to the head and launched a fierce attack that had Parker reeling and the fight was stopped. The Liverpool southpaw is a former English and British amateur champion and competed at the World and European Championships and took a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games losing to Josh Taylor in the semi-finals. First defence of the WBO European title which has handed him a No 14 rating with them. Parker’s 2019 experience consisted of just two four round fights so this was a huge step up in opposition for him.
Las Vegas, NV, Super Welter: Patrick Teixeira (31-1) W PTS 12 Carlos Adames (18-1). Super Feather: Oscar Valdez (27-0) W TKO 7 Adam Lopez (13-2). Feather: Carl Frampton (27-2) W PTS 10 Tyler McCreary (16-1-1). Super Light: Arnold Barboza (23-0) W KO 5 William Silva (27-3). Welter: Larry Gomez (10-1) W PTS 8 Brian Mendoza (18-1). Heavy: Guido Vianello (6-0) W KO 1 Colby Madison (8-122).
Teixeira vs. Adames
In a stirring battle a bloodied Teixeira put in a strong finish to win the interim WBO title.
Not a great deal of action in the first. Teixeira was moving smoothly and probing with his right jab with Adames prowling and looking to counter. Teixeira was quick enough to move away from Adames advances and did enough with his jab and a right hook late to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Teixeira
It was a different Adames in the second as he piled forward getting under Teixeira’s jab and scoring with hooks inside. Teixeira managed to get his jab working late in the round but Adames was still getting past the jab to score with rights.
Score:10-9 Adames TIED 19-19
Adames was again pressurising Teixeira in this round. The Brazilian’s jab had nuisance value but was not strong enough to keep Adames out. Adames was getting through with hooks and straight rights and Teixeira was under fire at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Adames Adames 29-28
Adames continued to march forward. He was bobbing and weaving under Teixeira’s punches and landing clubbing punches from both hands. Teixeira was connecting with jabs and straight lefts but Adames was shrugging them off and pounding at Teixeira inside. Teixeira was cut over his left eye and things were looking ominous for the Brazilian.
Score: 10-9 Adames Adames 39-37
A better round from Teixeira. He was moving and firing rights and lefts at the advancing Adames. He still had to take punishment from hooks when Adames got inside but he kept firing lefts and rights at the advancing Dominican and did enough to take the round but was now cut under the right eye.
Score: 10-9 Teixeira Adames 48-47
Adames was on the hunt again in this one and was loading up on every punch. Teixeira just could not keep Adames out or get away and was being forced to stand and trade and getting the worse of the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Adames Adames 58-56
For most of the seventh it was a dreadful round for Teixeira. Adames was forcing him back around the ring and he snapped Teixeira’s head back with a series of uppercuts. Under that punishment and with his face covered in blood from the two cuts he was a sorry figure. Suddenly a right from Teixeira staggered Adames who moved inside on unsteady legs. Teixeira realised Adames was hurt and drove forward landing lefts and rights on an unsteady Adames and then sent him tumbling to the floor under a series of punches. Adames was up quickly but on shaky legs and luckily for him the bell went as the eight count was completed.
Score: 10-8 Teixeira TIED 66-66
Now it was Teixeira coming forward throwing punches as he tried hard to find a punch to put Adames away. He dominated the first two minutes of the round but then Adames showed he had fully recovered from the knockdown and was again connecting with some heavy punches but Teixeira did enough early to take the points in this one.
Score: 10-9 Teixeira Teixeira 76-75
Neither fighter did a great deal of useful work in this one. Teixeira was dancing around Adames but just pushing out jabs with no power. Adames found it hard to track Teixeira down but he did what scoring there was ,
Score: 10-9 Adames TIED 85-85
Adames also took this one. He was reaching Teixeira with long rights and working him over to the body inside, Teixeira was moving plenty and throwing plenty but mostly was off target in another low key round.
Score: 10-9 Adames Adames 95-94
Teixeira needed a good round and he delivered it. Adames had slowed and Teixeira was bouncing punches off Adames and easily avoiding the lunging attacks of the Dominican. Over the last minute it was Teixeira coming forward and landing punches and Adames under fire and throwing very little back.
Score: 10-9 Teixeira TIED 104-104
The fight was there for the taking and Teixeira took it. He was again firing rights and lefts through the guard of the advancing Adames until Adames went on the back foot effectively handing the round to Teixeira who was winging lefts and rights with little coming back from Adames as he danced his way to victory.
Score: 10-9 Teixeira Teixeira 114-113
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 116-111 Teixeira, Judge Julie Lederman 114-113 Teixeira, Judge Glenn Trowbridge 114-113 Teixeira
It was close but the gutsy Brazilian deserved victory for the way he came back from what looked certain defeat in the sixth to floor Adames and fight his way to victory. A second round stoppage loss against Curtis Stevens in 2016 saw Teixeira have only one fight in the next two years but he had put his career back on track with four wins. Adames let this one slip at the end but at 25 it is certain he will be back in contention and fighting for a title probably late in 2010.
Valdez vs. Lopez
Valdez gets the win but is given a much tougher time than expected and has to get off the floor before halting Lopez. Valdez put strong pressure on late sub Lopez in the first but once Lopez settled down he showed a sharp jab and rocked Valdez back with a straight right. Valdez was pressing hard in the second but Lopez showed some smart punching and then as Valdez ducked under a right Lopez connected with a short left hook that sent Valdez down. Valdez was up quickly but was under fire to the end of the round. Valdez upped the pace in the third and fourth landing some hefty hooks to the body and shaking Lopez with a left to the head but Lopez still showed some sharp punching of his own. In the fifth Lopez stood and traded and it was Valdez who was forced onto the back foot as Lopez blazed away with combinations. Valdez pressed and Lopez boxed in the sixth. Lopez was still jerking Valdez’s head back with jabs but he was slowing and Valdez was landing the heavier punches. After six two of the judges had Valdez in front 58-55 and 57-56 and the third saw it 57-56 for Lopez. A right cross put Lopez down in the seventh. He made it to his feet but Valdez drove him around the ring landing hooks and uppercuts to the head until the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. The former WBO feather champion was having his first fight at super feather and made hard work of beating down the inexperienced Lopez but I would take him to beat any of the current super feather title holders except Miguel Berchelt. Lopez was to have fought down the card but was thrown in with Valdez after the original opponent Andres Gutierrez came in a whopping 8lbs over the contract weight. Lopez showed good skills and at 23 is a promising young fighter.
Frampton vs. McCreary
Frampton being several levels above McCreary floors him twice and wins every round on the way to a wide unanimous decision. McCreary had the longer reach but from the outset Frampton was able to get away from McCreary’s jab and come inside with his own and he rattled McCreary with a right late in the first. Frampton continued to find gaps for his jab in the second and third and started to go to the body more. With his jab not working McCreary had little else to rely on and as Frampton upped his pace he dominated the fourth and fifth putting together some useful combinations and hurting McCreary with a right to the body. McCreary was being forced to stand and trade more and in the sixth Frampton connected with a left and right to the body and McCreary backed off and went down on one knee. He made it to his feet and saw out the end of the round. McCreary rallied in the seventh but it did not last long and soon Frampton was again battering to the body and two more body punches in the ninth saw McCreary dip to one knee. He survived that and the last round which is about as much as he could have hoped for from this fight. Frampton won by 100-88 on the judge's cards. Plenty of options out there for Frampton notably a shot at WBO super feather champion Jamal Herring and even a third fight with Leo Santa Cruz or even Oscar Valdez. He stated that he had injured his hand in the second round of this fight so he may need a little time to heal but it will be an interesting 2020 for Frampton. McCreary had a mixed 2019 being held to a draw by a sliding Roberto Castaneda who was 2-5 going into their fight but then outpointing 22-2-1 Jessie Cris Rosales but I can’t see that he has enough to make much progress.
Barboza vs. Silva
Barboza gets his tenth win by KO/TKO as he finishes Silva with a cracking body punch. Barboza was in charge in the first forcing Silva back with a strong jab and then moving inside with crisp hooks. Silva landed a good right but did little else. Barboza upped his pace in the second and began to connect with some good left hooks to the body. Barboza was putting his punches together in the third and rocked Silva with a right to the head then connected with a left hook that dropped Silva on his back. Silva was up at seven and although Barboza landed some more heavy punches he made it comfortably to the bell. Barboza tracked Silva in the fourth but just could not land anything big and Silva moved, jabbed and fired back with a left hook and a right to the head. Silva tried to take the fight to Barboza in the fifth but some sharp straight lefts and rights to the head drove him back. Just seconds before the bell Barboza stepped in and drove a wicked right into Silva’s side and the Brazilian immediately dropped to the canvas and was still writhing in agony when the court reached ten. The 27-year-old Californian already has wins over Mike Reed and Mike Alvarado and is rated WBO 5/WBC 11 and could be a real threat in a tough division. Silva, 32, was stopped in seven rounds by Teo Lopez in July last year but had won his last two fights.
Gomez vs. Mendoza
Not everything goes with the script. Gomez looked a safe match for Mendoza but came to fight and gave Mendoza his first loss. It was a tough fight and close over the early rounds with perhaps Mendoza slightly ahead. Gomez had a big fifth rocking Mendoza badly and used that as springboard to get into the fight and staged a strong finish to just edge out the unbeaten fighter. Scores 77-75 twice for Gomez and 77-75 for Mendoza. Gomez’s loss was against 6-1 Kevin Johnson so did not seem a threat but he had scored ten wins by KO/TKO. He hails from West Jordan which was home to the Fullmer clan. There has to be some lessons here for Mendoza and if he takes them on board he will only improve.
Vianello vs. Madison
“The Gladiator” Vianello brushed aside Madison and finishes the fight in 44 seconds. Vianello is very quick for a big guy and he was stabbing out jabs to put Madison on the retreat. He missed with a big right but then jabbed again and threw an overhand right that crashed onto Madison’s head and Madison skipped back and then went down on his knees and was counted out. All six of the 6’6” Italian’s fights have ended early taking him a total of less than ten rounds for the six wins. Two losses in a row for Madison.
Monte Carlo, Monaco: Welter: Alex Besputin (14-0) W PTS 12 Radzhab Butaev (12-1). Super Feather: Joe Cordina (11-0) W PTS 10 Mario Tinoco (18-6-4,1ND).Heavy: Zhilei Zhang (21-0) W PTS 10 Andriy Rudenko (32-4).
Besputin vs. Butaev
Besputin wins the vacant secondary WBA title with unanimous decision as he outboxes a disappointing Butaev who never really got a toe hold in the fight.
Confident opening round from Besputin. He was circling Butaev threading right jabs home and coming in quickly with lefts to the body. He was anticipating Butaev’s attacks and sliding away from them.
Score: 10-9 Besputin
Clever boxing from Besputin as he alternated between circling Butaev and spearing him with jabs and quick lefts and taking the fight inside where he connected with short hooks. Butaev found the target with some heavy rights but it was Besputin’s round.
Score: 10-9 Besputin Besputin 20-18
Butaev did a much better job of cutting the ring off in this one. Besputin was still tossing out quick, light punches but Butaev was blocking most on them and scored with a couple of crisp uppercuts and a right to the head.
Score: 10-9 Butaev Besputin 29-28
Besputin buzzed around Butaev slotting home jabs and following up with quick combinations. Butaev was static in the centre of the ring and Besputin was darting in scoring and then moving. Butaev was too slow to counter and although he connected with a couple rights late in the round Besputin responded with a hard left hook to the head.
Score: 10-9 Besputin Besputin 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Jean Robert Laine 39-37 Besputin, Judge Stanley Christodoulou 39-37 Besputin, Judge Pawel Kardyni 40-36 Besputin
Besputin was flitting around the ring again but Butaev was pressing much harder. He nailed Besputin with a right to the chin then pinned Besputin to the ropes and unloaded hooks with both hands. Besputin escaped but Butaev kept the pressure on and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Butaev Besputin 48-47
Besputin outboxed Butaev in this one. He was moving and changing direction too quickly for the plodding Butaev to respond. He was threading jabs through Butaev’s guard firing quick bursts of punches and Butaev throwing just one punch at a time was a step behind all the way. Score: 10-9 Besputin Besputin 58-56
More of the same. Footwork and hand speed from Besputin and Butaev just too slow and predictable to do anything about it. Besputin was scoring with jabs and then quick combinations and he had Butaev staggering back from a right hook. Butaev just could not cut off the ring to force Besputin to trade and his frustration was obvious.
Score: 10-9 Besputin Besputin 68-65
Too easy for Besputin. He was rattling five and six punch combinations off Butaev’s head. They were light punches as he was not staying still long enough to wind up on the shots but Butaev seemed to have no guard against them and Besputin had no trouble ducking under and around the few punches Butaev was throwing.
Score: 10-9 Besputin Besputin 78-74
Official Scores: Judge Laine 77-75 Besputin, Judge Christodoulou 78-74 Besputin, Judge Kardyni 79-73 Besputin
Butaev turned things around completely in this round. He was no longer trying to pad forward behind a high guard instead he was coming in behind his jab and cutting off Besputin’s escape routes. He pinned Besputin on the ropes and was finally able to unload some heavy hooks. Under the pressure Besputin's cool demeanour disappeared and he was swinging wildly just to survive.
Score: 10-9 Butaev Besputin 87-84
This was a much closer round. Butaev continued to press hard but did not have as much success as in the ninth and although Besputin was moving less and throwing less he was by far the more accurate and it was his round but a close one.
Score: 10-9 Besputin Besputin 97-93
Besputin's round. He was back to quick movement and rapid combination punching and Butaev was back to chasing in vain and never being to cut the ring off. Besputin was slipping and sliding away from the few punches Butaev did throw and connecting with his own punches.
Score: 10-9 Besputin Besputin 107-102
Butaev needed a knockout but never looked like getting one as Besputin just did enough to stay out of trouble and practically gave away the round. He finished with a bad cut on his right eyelid that could have been a big problem if it had happened early in the fight.
Score: 10-9 Butaev Besputin 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Laine 116-112 Besputin, Judge Christodoulou 116-112 Besputin, Judge Kardyni 116-112 Besputin.
The 28-year-old Russian gets a title but is unlikely to get a seat at the top table against Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence or Terrence Crawford but who know what the picture may look like later in 2020. It was a case of the Oxnard Russian beating the Brooklyn Russian and really Butaev had the power but neither the speed nor the skill to make that a factor.
Cordina vs. Tinoco
Cordina picks up the vacant WBA Continental title as he outboxes Mexican Tinoco. Cordina was firing speedy jabs and putting together some sharp combinations in the eagerly action. Tinoco was slower. He tried switching guards to throw Cordina off his game plan and had some success when he was able to get inside and hook to the body. Cordina was moving sweetly but Tinoco was chasing hard and bit by bit forcing Cordina to stand and trade and Cordina was scoring with some tasty hooks and uppercuts once he got in close Tinoco was firing hooks of his own catching Cordina with a series in the sixth and the eighth and making Cordina fight hard in every round. Cordina constantly found gaps for a left jab/straight right combination and although the rights landed flush he did not seem to have the punch to hurt the Mexican but his accuracy was piling up the points and despite constant aggression from Tinoco he clearly came out on top. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Cordina. Good learning fight for the 28-ywar-old Welshman, a former European Championships gold medal winner who fought at both the European Championships and the 2016 Olympics. He has already collected four title including the British and Commonwealth but needs more experience under his belt before being ready for the top fighters. Tinoco was a very live opponent having been in with Miguel Roman, Mario Barrios and Devin Haney and stopped 23-0 Jordan Gill in England in May.
Zhang vs. Rudenko
Zhang keeps hold of his WBO Oriental title with decision over Rudenko. Zhang was taller and had a big edge in reach and outweighed Rudenko by 24lbs. He was able to prod with his jab to keep Rudenko off balance and then scored with long southpaw lefts. The pace was slow but Zhang managed to string together some combinations and had Rudenko in trouble with a heavy lefts in the third and fifth but Rudenko has a good chin and Zhang was not able to capitalise on those occasions. Rudenko fought back well enough to take a couple of rounds having a good seventh when he connected with clubbing punches on a tiring Zhang but generally Zhang was in control and dominated the mauling in the last two rounds. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Zhang. The 36-year-old Chinese fighter is big, 6’6” and was 278lbs for this fight, and very strong with 16 wins by KO/TKO but is slow and has very little footwork so he will struggle against more mobile opposition and better opposition than the easy jobs he has been fed so far. Rudenko, 36, hardly counts as active with just one fight in 2017 and one in 2018 and in his last fight in March was outpointed by Agit Kabayel in a challenge for the EBU title.
Windham, NH, USA: Heavy: Cassius Chaney (18-0) W KO 3 Nick Jones (7-3). Super Welter: LeShawn Rodriguez (12-0) W TKO 8 Francisco Castro (28-12).
Chaney vs. Jones
Chaney extends his streak of inside the distance wins to seven as he knocks out Jones in the third round for the vacant WBC USNBC title. Chaney was much the bigger man and he used his additional poundage to bully Jones around in the first. He staggered Jones with right in the second and after a series of left hooks softened Jones up in the third a wicked right uppercut floored him heavily. After starting the count the referee just waived the finish. The 32-year-old 6’6” Chaney was an outstanding basketball player before winning the New England Golden Gloves and turning pro in 2015. He had won his previous three fights in 2019 in the first round so almost doubled his 2019 ring time in this contests. He had a 42lbs edge in weight over Jones who has now lost three in a row by KO/TKO and was having his first fight almost a year.
Rodriguez vs. Castro
Former Elite level amateur Rodriguez moves up to eight rounds class for the first time with last round stoppage of Castro. Nine wins by KO/TKO for Rodriguez so steady progress by the former US National champion. He lost to Charles Conwell in the final of the US Olympic Trials for a place in the US Team for the Rio Games. Texas-based Mexican Castro has won only one of his last nine fights
Florence, Italy: Light Heavy: Davide Faraci (14-0) W TEC DEC 8 Vigan Mustafa (21-4). Faraci makes a successful first defence of the national title with technical decision over oldie Mustafa. This was a poor fight with both contestants missing more than hitting and the referee working harder than the boxers. As heads bumped in the eighth Mustafa suffered a bad cut and the outcome was decided on the cards. Scores 77-75 twice and 79-75 for Faraci. The tall Swiss-born Faraci was putting his title on the line for the first time. Kosovon-born Mustafa, 40, a former Italian champion, was out of the ring for five years and was 6-1 since returning.
Panama City, Panama: Feather: Anselmo Moreno (38-6-1) W DISQ 7 Luis Nino (15-6). Moreno continues his campaign for a world title shot with disqualification win over Venezuelan. Southpaw Moreno had too much skill for the crude Nino who chased the former WBA bantam champion in vain. A frustrated Nino lost points in the sixth and seventh for punches kidney punches. As he charged forward early in the eighth he landed a right hook way below to belt sending Moreno down in some pain and the referee disqualified Nino. Moreno, now 34, is somehow No 8 with the WBA but I can’t see him as a threat in this division. As usual for a Venezuelan Nino’s record is heavily padded. Having won his last eight fights by KO/TKO might have made him seem a dangerous choice but those eight victims had only mustered two wins between them.
Quincy MA, USA: Cruiser: Chris Traietti (28-4) W TKO 1 Fabio Garrido (29-7-1). Predictably easy win for Quincy favourite Traietti as he stops Brazilian Garrido in 112 seconds. When you are the promoter, matchmaker and fighter you get to choose the opponent. In his first fight for a year Traietti wins the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas belt with victory No 22 by KO/TKO. Garrido, 40, lost his last fight just 27 days before this one and that also lasted less than a round as he was knocked out in 106 seconds!
Sheffield, England: Fly: Tommy Frank (13-0) W PTS 10 Martin Tecuapetla (15-12-4). Feather: Josh Wale (30-11-2) W PTS 10 Felix Williams (27-12). Heavy: Kash Ali (16-1) W TKO 2 Artur Kubiak (2-5).
Frank vs. Tecuapetla
Local fighter Frank wins the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title as he decisions unpredictable Mexican Tecuapetla. Frank, the Commonwealth and WBC International Silver belt holder at super fly dropped to flyweight for this one. Tecuapetla is an aggressive, tough but limited fighter and although he pressed Frank hard for all ten rounds the better skills of the local fighter frustrated his efforts to get a foothold in the fight. On aggression alone Tecuapetla took a couple of rounds but Frank boxed coolly and cleverly without taking any chances and came out with the unanimous decision. Scores 97-93 twice and 97-94. Good test for the 26-year-old Frank and a third title after just thirteen fights. Tecuapetla lost a split decision to Akira Yaegashi for the IBF light flyweight title and last year was 1-1in fights with world title challenger Dewayne Beamon.
Wale vs. Williams
Williams came in with a heavily padded record and a reputation as a puncher, Wale was unconcerned by the Ghanaian’s reputation and his southpaw stance and took a majority decision which should have been unanimous. Wale took the fight to Williams forcing him on to the back foot out-throwing and outlanding Williams who was often pinned to the ropes for long periods. Williams had his moments but they were too few to threaten Wale’s dominance and the vacant IBO International title went to Wale. Scores 99-91, 97-93 and a strange 95-95. The 31-year-old former British champion from Barnsley lost back-to-back fights for the vacant European and British titles but has worked his way back with three wins. Williams had won his last eleven fights but Wale was too big a step up in quality for him.
Ali vs. Kubiak
Ali commences his rehabilitation with stoppage of Pole Kubiak. With Kubiak down twice and cut over his left eye the referee had seen enough and called a halt early in the second round. The Birmingham heavyweight may never live down his disqualification for taking a bite out of David Price but this, his eighth win by KO/TKO, is a step in the right direction. Fourth loss in a row for Kubiak.
Elk, Poland: Super Light: Michal Syrowatka (21-3) W Atilla Kayabasi (11-1). Fighting in his home town Syrowatka gets unanimous verdict over Kayabasi. Syrowatka had height and reach on his side but a gutsy little Kayabasi just kept marching forward. Syrowatka was spearing the German with jabs and connecting with left hooks to the body but Kayabasi kept pressing in every round. In the sixth Syrowatka caught Kayabasi with a series of rights to the head which put Kayabasi down. The German beat the count and stood up under a ferocious attack from Syrowatka even staggering the Pole with a left hook late in the round. Both tired over the last two rounds. Syrowatka continued to outscore Kayabasi and the German continued to drive forward throwing punches. Scores 79-72, 79-73 and 78-73. Syrowatka’s best result was a late stoppage of unbeaten Robbie Davies but he was stopped by Davies in a return match and lost to Enock Paulsen for the vacant EU title in June this year. Kayabasi lived up to his “Rock” nickname but at 5’5” was too small to be a threat to Syrowatka,
Moscow, Russia: Super Light: Georgi Chelokhsaev (17-1-1) W PTS 10 He Su-Khan (6-5-1). Chelokhsaev has to put his birthday celebrations on hold to defend the Russian title against less experienced He. Chelokhsaev had to climb off the floor and find a way past the jab of the taller He to take the unanimous decision. Chelokhsaev turned 28 the day before this fight and was making the first defence of the national title. Twelve wins in a row for Chelokhsaev. He, a Russian of Korean antecedents, has boxed in Spain and Japan and is a better fighter than his record indicates.
Madrid, Spain: Super Middle: Damian Biacho (10-0) W PTS 10 Eusebio Arias (7-2). Biacho wins the vacant national title with unanimous decision over Arias. Their respective styles mixed well with Biacho boxing, moving and countering and Arias aggressive marching in behind his jab and applying pressure. Biacho, a little too flashy at times, boxed his way into a lead but it was close after the eighth with neither fighter able to dominate. Arias launches a fierce attack at the start of the ninth but was leaving himself open and was nailed by clubbing rights and shaken by a right uppercut. Biacho piled on the punches and Arias dropped to one knee. He was up at eight and managed to stay out of trouble for the rest of the round. Biacho took the last to be a clear winner. Scores 99-90, 97-92 and 96-93 all for Biacho with the last score looking the best refection of the action. Biacho, 28, was twice Spanish amateur champion.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Welter: Hassan Mwakinyo (16-2) W PTS 10 Arnel Tinampay (26-25-1). Mwakinyo gets the decision but Tinampay looked to have won this one clearly. In the early rounds Mwakinyo used his longer reach to outbox Tinampay but as the fight developed the pressure from the smaller visitor saw him take control. Mwakinyo was constantly forced to the ropes and although he with some hard counters he was outlanded by Tinampay. The Filipino set a higher work rate and kept that going to the final bell and he was the one celebrating at the end-but not when the local judges somehow saw Mwakinyo as the winner. Now six wins in a row for Mwakinyo including an upset stoppage of Sam Eggington last September. Tinampay gets an undeserved loss but he should be used to local bias as in his last 13 fights he has fought in Thailand, South Korea, Australia , Japan, China, Russia and now Tanzania. Some of those fights he lost clearly but some were close enough for him to feel hard done by.
Bangkok, Thailand: Bantam: Petch Sor Chitpattana (53-1) W TKO 3 Aries Buenavidez (13-4). Fly: Petchmanee (29-1) W TKO 2 Petchwiset Sithoei (0-1).
Sor Chitpattana vs. Buenavidez
Filipino Buenavidez no match for Thai Sor Chitpattana (Tasana Salapat) and is blown away inside three rounds. Buenavidez was competitive in the first but Sor Chitpattana handed out fierce punishment in the second and floored Buenavidez in the third with the referee stopping the fight. Sor Chitpattana retains the OPBF Silver title. His only loss was a decision against Takuma Inoue for the interim WBC title in December with this his fifth inside the distance in 2019. Buenavidez was 9-1 in his last 10 fights but in way over his head here.
Petchmanee vs. Sithoei
Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) rolls over novice Sithoei. Really just public sparring for world rated Petchmanee who put Sithoei down with a body shot in the second to end the match. The WBO No 3 light fly has only fought outside Thailand once and lost that fight. He has won twelve on the trot but six of those victims had never won a fight-make that seven with novice Sithoei
Brisbane, Australia: John Wayne Parr (11-3) W PTS 10 Anthony Mundine (48-10). Super Welter: Ben Mahoney (9-0) W TKO 3 John Ruba (19-7-1).
Parr vs. Mundine
Parr wins unanimous decision over Mundine with both fighters retiring after the ten rounds. Parr was only one year younger than the 44-year-old Mundine but he set a work rate that Mundine could not match and did not try to match. Mundine relied on his defensive skills and more accurate punching. Mundine looked close to victory when hr staggered Parr with a heavy right just before the bell in the third which almost sent Parr stumbling to the canvas. He then connected with a series of hooks but Parr absorbed the punches well. In the fourth under a furious attack from Parr Mundine slip sideways and fell out through the middle ropes and almost out of the ring and he was given a count . Mundine was down in the fifth but the referee decided that it had been the result of a straight arm push so ruled it a slip. The pace naturally slowed late but the tactics stayed the same with Parr driving forward throwing punches and Mundine slipping and sliding around them and countering so it was volume vs. accuracy and volume won out. Scores 96-93, 95-93 and 95-94 all for Parr but without the fourth round when Mundine slid through the ropes it would have been a split draw. Parr was having his first boxing contest for 16 years but had been very active in kickboxing and Muay Thai and won numerous titles in a 110-37-1 record. He announced his retirement and was going to have a hip replacement. Mundine has been a controversial character partially due to his strident stance over rights of his fellow indigenous people but has won titles from light middle to super middle including the IBO middle title and WBA secondary title. In addition he was a very successful Rugby League player.
Mahoney vs. Ruba
Australian Mahoney wins the vacant IBO Asia Pacific title and makes it a double for former Muay Thai fighters. Mahoney looked on his was to victory when the fight was stopped in the third round due to a cut over Ruba’s left eye which had been caused by a punch. Mahoney gets his fifth inside the distance win. Indonesian Ruba suffers his second loss by KO/TKO.
Qingdao, China: Light: Yongqiang Yang (13-0) W KO 2 JR Magboo (18-4-2). Super Bantam: Xiaolu Mou (16-0-1) W TKO 2 Brian Lobetania (14-7-3).
Yang vs. Magboo
Yang wins the vacant WBO Global title with kayo of Filipino Magboo. The 5’9” Yang was able to use his longer reach to score with jabs as Magboo desperately tried to get within range. Yang’s jab and movement were frustrating Magboo. In the second as Magboo lunged forward to get inside Yang blasted him with right and left hooks to the body which put Magboo down and ended the fight. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Yang and although neither fighter was rated in the WBO top 15 this win could open the door to a world title fight next year for Yang. Former Philippines bantam champion Magboo is 3-4 in his last 7 bouts.
Mou vs. Lobetania
Southpaw Mou overwhelms Lobetania for his seventh inside the distance win. Mou was in control from the opener forcing Lobetania onto the back foot with some aggressive attacks. He ended it in the second driving Lobetania along the ropes with southpaw lefts until Lobetania was pinned in a corner and as Mou was unloading to head and body the referee stopped the fight. Twelve wins on the bounce for the 23-year-old Chinese hope. Only one win in his last five fights for Filipino Lobetania
Narva, Estonia: Heavy: Robert Helenius (29-3) W KO 2 Mateus Osorio (9-5). This was awful. Anyone dumb enough to pay to watch this does not deserve to have their money back. Helenius towered over the small tubby Osorio who started the fight by throwing a wild punch missing by a mile and ending up on the floor. Helenius just padded after Osorio connecting with an occasional jab and some body punches (he could hardly miss that body) before knocking Osorio down with a left and a right just before the bell. Helenius shook Osorio with a right in the second and was landing clubbing punches on an unresponsive Osorio. He twice invited the referee to stop the fight but the referee let it continue. Osorio charged forward and then fell to the canvas indicating there had been a clash of heads. The referee declined to take any action but helped Osorio to his feet so the fight could continue and mercifully Helenius landed a body punch and Osorio went down on his hands and knees and was counted out. Farce and Helenius showed his anger at being in such a ridiculous match. Helenius is now aiming to head for American to try his luck there. Only in Brazil could there be nine opponents Osorio could beat and none of his fights have gone beyond three rounds-winning or losing.
Salo, Finland: Cruiser: Jarkko Ojapalo (7-0) W PTS 10 Samuli Karkkainen (10-0). Super Light: Damian Yapur (16-15-3) W PTS 8 Jarkko Putkonen (16-7-2).
Karkkainen vs. Ojapalo
Ojapalo collects the vacant Finnish title with split decision victory over Karkkainen. This all-southpaw clash took a couple of rounds to catch alight and Karkkainen fought his way into an early lead as the traded furiously in every round. Ojapalo came into the fight over the middle rounds and was outworking Karkkainen from there although many rounds were close but Ojapalo just did enough to earn the decision. Scores 98-92 and 98-94 for Ojapalo and 96-95 for Karkkainen. Both fighters were in their first ten round fight and provided plenty of entertainment.
Putkonen vs. Yapur
Wins have been scarce for Argentinian Yapur but he scored a well deserved one here. Yapur came in as a late substitute but he had given a good account of himself in losing over ten rounds in Holland on 7 November so was in some kind of shape. In a close fight Yapur scored a knockdown in the fourth and rocked Putkonen a couple of times in the late rounds to take the split decision. Scores 78-75 and 77-75 for Yapur and 76-75 for Putkonen. The Madrid-based Yapur was on an eight bout losing streak before this one. Putkonen, 35, had lost 3 of his last 4 fights but the losses were all against unbeaten opposition on their territory.
La Paz, Mexico: Fly: Joselito Velazquez (12-0) W PTS 10 Adrian Curiel (15-3). Super Feather: Carlos Ornelas (25-2) W PTS 8 Jose Guzman (21-3-3).
Velazquez vs. Curiel
Olympian Velazquez keeps his 100% record with hard fought unanimous decision over Curiel. With Freddy Roach in his corner Velasquez made a fiery start getting inside and bombarding Curiel with body punches. Velasquez dominated the early action scoring heavily with hooks but late in the round a series of hooks from Curiel stopped Velasquez in his tracks and the fight was on. They traded left hooks throughout the third with Velazquez just having the edge and he dominated the fourth connecting with some rights to the head before again working the body. They continued to go toe-to-toe in the fifth and not surprisingly the pace dropped a little in the sixth. There were more fierce exchanges in the seventh with Curiel more than holding his own and he outscored Velazquez in a torrid eighth only for a counter from Velazquez to knock him off balance and his glove touched the canvas and he was given a count. They traded punches in the ninth and tenth with neither fighter willing to take a step back. Velazquez had built a lead but with Curiel finishing the stronger this was a close one with that count in the eighth making the difference. Scores 95-94 twice and 97-93 for Velazquez. He competed for Mexico in Rio and won a gold medal at the PanAmerican Games. It is in a furnace such as this contest that the fighting spirit of Mexican fighters is forged and the 20-year-old Curiel showed he is going to heard from in the future.
Ornelas vs. Guzman
In another no quarter clash local southpaw Ornelas outscored Guzman. He outboxed and outscored Guzman who was willing to walk through punishment to get inside. Ornelas just could not find the punch to punctuate his superiority with a stoppage but he emerged a clear winner taking the unanimous decision. Despite his impressive looking figures the two losses Ornelas has suffered have been to modest opposituion. Guzman was 11-0-2 before this one so a very live threat.
Zakopane, Poland: Cruiser: Krzys Wlodarczyk (58-4-1) W PTS 10 Taylor Mabika (19-5-1). Wlodarczyk outpoints Mabika but he was far from impressive. He stunned Mabika with a left hook in an otherwise quiet first round and then patiently worked himself in front. His left jab was not working as well as it usually does and Mabika was rarely under strong pressure over the second half of the fight as Wlodarczyk seemed to run out of ideas and too often was not pressing home his attacks even after landing a heavy shot. Mabika had a good seventh round but never looked like winning and Wlodarczyk eased his way to victory. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Wlodarczyk. The Pole, now 38 and a former IBF and WBC champion, is said to be in line for a fight with Ilunga Makabu for the vacant WBC title but will have to improve on this performance if he is to become a cruiserweight champion for the third time. In fairness to Wlodarczyk this is his first fight for eight months as he has been recovering from hand and knee injuries. French-based Gambian Mabika, 40, had a twelve bout unbeaten run which saw him collect the WBFederation, WBC Mediterranean and WBC Francophone belts but was coming off two losses including one against Makabu.
Maykop, Russia: Cruiser: Ruslan Fayer (25-1) W PTS 12 Yury Kashinsky (18-1). Light Heavy: Maksim Vlasov (45-3) W PTS 10 Emmanuel Martey (15-1).
Fayer vs. Kashinsky
Fayer gets the win but only just. Fayer had the superior skills but Kashinsky was busier and stronger. Fayer did his best work when he used his jab and stepped in with hooks and uppercuts. Kashinsky was the one coming forward and doing better work there. Fayer was not looking to work inside so there was too much clinching for the fight to flow. Kashinsky lost a point in the third but for what it was hard to figure as initially the referee indicated it was for pushing Fayer’s head down and then for holding. Kashinsky continued to take the fight to Fayer scoring with hooks and uppercuts as he came forward and Fayer did his scoring with his jab and counters. Kashinsky was cut over his right eye but luckily the blood was running down the side of his face so not into his eye. Gradually the better boxing saw Fayer edge into the lead but as they both tired Kashinsky seemed the stronger but when he lost another point in the eleventh for a couple of innocuous low punches that really wrapped up the decision for Fayer who spent the last round just avoiding trouble. Scores 115-111 twice and 114-112 for Fayer. The 28-year-old Russian lost on points to Andrew Tabiti in a WBSS quarter-final but is still rated IBF 5(3)/WBC 8/WBO 12 so could get a title shot next year when the smoke clears from the WBSS. Kashinsky, 33, made Fayer work hard for the win but he has a heavily padded record.
Vlasov vs. Martey
Vlasov wins every round against unbeaten Ghanaian Martey. Vlasov had height and reach over Ghanaian southpaw Martey who decided his best tactic was to adopt a high guard and march through Vlasov’s punches. Vlasov was able to pierce Martey’s guard with jabs and used clever upper body movement to slip Martey’s punches. Martey was not coming forward quickly enough or strongly enough to put any real pressure on Vlasov who never seemed to be in top gear. On the occasions where he did seem to have Martey hurt he did not follow through and seemed happy to get in some rounds. Too often Martey found himself pinned to the ropes whilst Vlasov picked his spots and connected with straight punches, hooks and uppercuts as Martey just tried to cover up. Martey showed a useful jab and countered when he could but never came close to winning a round. Scores 100-90 for Vlasov on the three cards. Vlasov, 33, has lost at crucial times in his career against Isaac Chilemba and Gilberto Ramirez. He was outpointed in November by Krzys Glowacki for the interim WBO title in the WBSS but regained some ground with a revenge victory over Chilemba in July. First fight outside Ghana for Martey he showed some skills and a good chin but at 5’6 ½” was too small to ever threaten the 6’3 ½” Vlasov.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Light Heavy: Rowan Campbell (12-0) W TKO 4 Nicholas Radley (9-1) Super Welter: Brandon Thysse (12-2-1) W KO 7 Roarke Knapp (9-1-1). Super Welter: Boyd Allen (5-0-1) W TKO 10 Tristan Truter (8-2) W. Super Fly: Ricardo Malajika (6-0) W TKO 8 Mngobi Mkhize (8-1).
Campbell vs. Radley
Campbell beats down the taller Radley for a stoppage in the fourth round. This was a clash of South African champions but without a title at stake. Super middle Campbell was giving away a lot of height and reach against light heavy title holder Radley but proved stronger and was able to move in behind a high guard to work on Radley in close. Campbell bossed the action over the first three rounds before bringing the end in the fourth. He forced Radley to a corner and then landed a huge right to the head. Radley tried to escape along the ropes but Cameron reached him with lefts and rights to the head driving Radley back along the ropes and was unloading more heavy hooks when the referee stopped the fight. Campbell, who also holds the IBO All-African title gets his eighth inside the distance win and looks ready for better opposition. Despite having won 8 of his 9 fights by KO/TKO Radley just did not have the power to hold Cameron off.
Thysse vs. Knapp
Thysse wins the first semi-final of a super welter tournament with stoppage of Knapp. Although the records looked very similar Thysse had twice the ring time behind him the Knapp did. Thysse made the brighter start clearly taking the first couple of rounds but being shaken by a right in the third. Thysse looked to have edged the fourth but Knapp banged back in the next two rounds to even things up. The end came unexpectedly in the seventh when Thysse broke through and put Knapp down three times to force the stoppage,. Former South African champion Thysse gets his tenth win by KO/TKO and a chance to gain revenge against Boyd Allen. At 21 Knapp can come again.
Allen vs. Truter
Allen comes from behind to stop Truter in the second bout in the super welterweight tournament. Truter looked to have moved in front early but Allen was stronger and kept pressing to close the gap and it was all up for grabs by the tenth. In the tenth a huge right cross from Allen unhinged Truter’s legs and he pushed and punched Truter to the ropes. Once there Allen landed some neck-jerking punches from both hands and the referee jumped in to save Truter. Whilst having less fights Allen, the WBA Pan African champion, had twice gone into the twelfth round and the experience of that helped here. Truter had won his last seven fights but had never been past four rounds. Allen will now go on to fight Thysse in the final of the tournament. He beat Thysse over twelve rounds for the WBA Pan African title in May but it was a split decision so it should make a good final.
Malajika vs. Mkhize
Malajika retains the ABU SADC belt as he halts Mkhize in a fight that sees both fighters on the canvas, Not a lot of skill on show from these two novices. Malajika scored the first knockdown flooring Mkhize in the first. Mkhize returned the favour by flooring Malajika in the second. They continued to flail away. With Malajika cut and floored in the sixth it seemed to have swung towards Mkhize’s but he tired badly in the seventh and was docked a point for spitting out his mouthguard. A big right in the eighth had Mkhize staggering and stumbling to the ropes and after a series of head punches from Malajika Mkhize turned away and dropped his hands and the referee stopped the fight. Fifth win by KO/TKO for South African Malajika. Mkhize had won his last five fights by KO/TKO and was South African No 6
Barcelona, Spain: Super Feather: Moussa Gholam (14-0) W Chonlatarn (61-5). Super Light Alejandro Moya (13-0) W TKO 6 Ruben Rodriguez (8-5-1). Super Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (29-2) W KO 1 Anderson Clayton (41-15-2).
Gholam vs. Chonlatarn
Thai former world title challenger Chonlatarn took another big slide down the slope in this fight. At 5’10” to the 5’5 ½” Thai Moroccan Gholam had huge advantages in height and reach over Chonlatarn. The Thai drove forward constantly but was being caught with punches at distance and with hooks and uppercuts when coming forward. Gholam scored a knockdown with a left hook to the body in the seventh and was punishing Chonlatarn heavily in the last when the fight was stopped. The 24-year-old Gholan wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title with his eighth win by KO/TKO but he will face bigger tests than this and it is difficult to assess his potential. Chonlatarn (Suriya Tatakhun), 34, could not win the title as he was 3kgs over the contract weight. He was 51-1 before losing on points against Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO feather title in 2014 and his only other inside the distance loss was against Miguel Berchelt for the interim WBO title in 2016 but he is only a shadow now.
Moya vs. Rodriguez
Moya wins his first title as he stops Rodriguez in the sixth for the vacant national crown. With his superior power and accuracy Moya was in control from the first bell. He rocked Rodriguez in the second and fourth rounds. Moya also took the fifth and ended it in the sixth. He connected with two lefts to the head and then a rib crunching left hook to the body which shook Rodriguez then put him down with a right. Rodriguez managed to rise but was in no state to continue and the fight was over. Moya, 27, has nine early ending on his record now. Rodriguez has three early losses.
Lejarraga vs. Clayton
Ridiculously easy win for Lejarraga as he finished ancient Brazilian Clayton in the opening round. Lejarraga’s strong left had Clayton going into survival mode and Lejarraga took Clayton to the ropes and connected with a right uppercut and a left hook to the body. Clayton staggered back a couple of steps and then went down and was unable to beat the count. After his two inside the distance losses to David Avanesyan Lejarraga has a major rebuilding task on his hands. Brazilian Clayton has lost his last four fights-all to unbeaten opposition- and this is his seventh defeat by KO/TKO.
London, England: Super Feather: Liam Dillon (9-0-1) DREW 10 Youssef Khoumari (10-0-1). Welter: Ekow Essuman (13-0) W TKO 8 Curtis Felix (10-1). Super Bantam: Ryan Walker (11-1) W PTS 10 Piotr Mirga (5-1). Middle: Linus Udofia (15-0) W PTS 10 Tyler Denny (12-2-2).
Dillon vs. Khoumari
A draw in this fight meant that the BBB of C English title remained vacant but then neither fighter deserved to lose or did enough to convince the three officials they were the winner. It was very much a close quarters battle fought at a fast pace. Dillon was mainly the aggressor but Khoumari defensive work and sharp counters kept him in the fight. Dillon looked to have just edged it but a draw was a popular outcome. Scores 97-94 Dillon, 96-95 Khoumari and 95-95. Dillon, 23, is the Southern Area champion. Londoner Khoumari was going past six rounds for the first time .
Essuman vs. Felix
Botswanan Essuman retains the English title with stoppage of Felix. The challenger was in the fight over the early rounds with some clever boxing Essuman just kept on pressing and Felix did not have the punch to stop Essuman’s progress. A tired Felix was floored in the seventh and when he went down again in the eighth the fight was halted. Essuman was making the second defence of the English title and he has a useful win over experienced Tyrone Nurse. Felix just did not have the power to compete here.
Walker vs. Mirag
Walker outpoints British-base Pole Mirag. Walker simply outworked Mirag in most rounds. Mirag tried to use his slightly longer reach to give him some punching space but Walker was strong and continually got past Mira’s jab and outscored him on the inside. Mirag did enough to make it close but Walker was a clear winner. Referee’s score 97-94. The win gives Walker the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title. After being floored twice and stopped inside a round by Mike Ramabeletsa in November Walker has regrouped well with three wins. Perhaps this fight came a bit too early for the 22-year-old Mirag but he too can rebuild.
Udofia vs. Denny
In another close fight on the excellently matched show Nigerian-born Udofia became the English champion with a majority decision over Denny. It was Udofia who showed up best in the early rounds outboxing the aggressive Denny but Denny brought on the pressure late. Southpaw Denny looked to have turned things his way with a flash knockdown in the eighth but the referee did not consider it a knockdown and that proved important in a close fought encounter. Scores 97-94 and 96-94 for Udofia and 95-95. Excellent learning fight for the 26-year-old Udofia against his toughest opponent so far. Denny’s only previous loss was due to facial damage against 21-1 Reece Cartwright for this same title and he had scored three wins since then.
Swindon, England: Welter: Ryan Martin (13-2-1) W KO 2 Mziwoxolo Ndwayana (18-5-2). Super Middle: Germaine Brown (8-0) W RTD 4 Sam Smith (8-3).
Martin vs. Ndwayana
Martin wins a Commonwealth Boxing Council eliminator with second round victory over Ndwayana. The more experienced South African champion Ndwayana looked a stiff test for Martin in an even first round. Early in the second Martin hurt Ndwayana with a body punch and when Martin spotted that he went to the body again dropping Ndwayana to his knees and being counted out. Sixth win by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old from Swindon. Ndwayana was 7-1 before this fight, his first in England.
Brown vs. Smith
Surrey’s Brown made sure it was not a local double as he forced Brown to retire after four rounds. Despite giving away height to the 6’3” Smith Brown was landing the heavier punches which caused a large swelling over Smith’s left eye and Smith did not come out for the fifth round. Third inside the distance win in a row for Brown who lifts the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title. Smith had won his last three fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): John Riel Casimero’s win over Zolani Tete opens up some good possibilities in the bantamweight division for 2020
Fight of the week (Entertainment) : Patrick Teixeira vs. Carlos Adames had plenty of action and a drop or two of drama. Honourable mention to the war between Jose Velazquez and Adrian Curiel
Fighter of the week: Difficult to see past a bloodied but unbowed Teixeira
Punch of the week: Arnold Barboza’s rib bending right that finished William Silva was special
Upset of the week: Casimero was a slight outside against Tete and 9-1 Larry Gomez was not expected to give 18-0 Brian Mendoza too much trouble.
Prospect watch: Heavy weight Guido Vianello 6-0 6 wins by KO/TKO looks quick and has power
By Eric Armit
Highlights:-Arsen Goulamirian defends the WBA cruiser title with easy victory over Kane Watts
-Michele Soro halts fellow-Frenchman Cedric Vitu in WBA Gold title defence
-Andrew Moloney wins the vacant interim WBA super fly title with stoppage of Elton Dharry and twin brother Jason blows away Dixon Flores in two rounds
-Dominic Boesel wins interim WBA light heavyweight title and IBO title with late stoppage of Sven Fornling
-Lee McGregor retains his Commonwealth bantam title and wins the British title with hotly disputed victory over Ukashir Farooq
-Rocky Fielding returns to the ring with second round kayo of Abdallah Paziwapazi and Martin Murray and Terry Flanagan register victories
-Alex Dilmaghani and Francisco Fonesca end all even in candidate for Fight of the Year contest
-Junior Fa makes it 19 wins as he outpoints Devin Vargas
-Jai Opetaia impresses with stoppage of Mark Flanagan
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Paris. France: Cruiser: Arsen Goulamirian (25-0) W KO 4 Kane Watts (21-4). Super Welter: Michel Soro (35-2-1) W TKO 5 Cedric Vitu (47-4). Super Middle: Louis Toutin (14-1) W KO 1Bruno Sandoval (20-4-1). Super Welter: Dylan Charrat (19-0-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Johan Perez (24-7-2). Super Welter: Ahmed El Mousaoui (31-3-1) W TKO 7 Dzmitry Miliusha (9-3-1).
Goulamirian vs. Watts
Goulamirian makes the first defence of his newly awarded WBA title with easy win over Australian Watts. Early in the first Goulamirian was content to stalk Watts who stabbed out jabs. A right to the head from Goulamirian seemed to propel Watts from the ropes and on to the floor but the referee waived to say it was not a knockdown and then indicated the punch had landed to the back of the Australian’s head. An attack from Goulamirian saw him connect with some head punches which had Watts floundering but the challenger steadied himself with some jabs. In the second Goulamirian took Watts to the ropes and rocked Watts with couple of hard hooks. Watts tumbled forward to the canvas but again it was not counted as a knockdown. Goulamirian continued to pound on Watts who fired back connecting with a sharp uppercut and a clubbing right with Goulamirian just shrugging off the punches. A ferocious attack in the third had Watts in deep trouble being jarred and jolted by head punches. He kept swinging wild punches and although rocked by a big right was still there at the bell. A sickening right to the body dropped Watts in the fourth. He struggled trying to get up but was counted out just as his corner threw in the towel. No real test for the 32-year-old, Armenian-born Frenchman. He was upgraded to super champion without even having to meet any the WBA requirements and he was far too good for a very ordinary Watts, The only name of note on Goulamirian’s record is Ryad Merhy-the only rated fighter he had met which makes a mockery of his super champion status. The cruisers are still embroiled in the WBSS tournament so Goulamirian will have to wait for any unification fight. The rating of 37-year-old Watts by the WBA shows what a farce their ratings have become. After being inactive in 2017 he scored wins over opponents with a 2-1-1 and a 7-1-1 record but because the fight with the 7-1-1 guy was for the WBA Oceania title he was jumped into their ratings-for beating a guy with a 7-1-1 record-that had lost his last fight against a guy with a 6-1-2 record !!! Box Rec has Watts at No 87 in the world ratings. This is the sort of mess the WBA and other sanctioning bodies are making of our sport.
Soro vs. Vitu
A much anticipated clash between two of France’s top fighters turns out as a one-sided victory for Soro. A fiercely focused Soro was crowding Vitu immediately looking to score with left hooks; Vitu showed his excellent skills but was not able to dent Soro’s resolve. Soro continued to press in the second closing Vitu down and digging to the body with right hooks. Vitu kept moving but was clearly hurt buy a left to the body and Soro followed that up with a series of hooks and straight rights. Vitu was countering but without the power to keep Soro out. He went on to the offensive just before the bell clattering Soro with a shower of punches but to no effect. Soro powered home lefts and rights at the start of the third. Vitu used good movement to frustrate some of Soro’s attacks but Soro kept hunting him down and firing clusters of hooks and uppercuts when he managed to pin Vitu to the ropes. Soro handed out a brutal beating to Vitu in the fourth. For extended periods he was knocking Vitu from side to side as he landed with lefts and rights Vitu escaped a couple of times but too often Vitu was standing in front of Soro letting Soro punch away without responding. After chasing Vitu down for the first minute of the fifth Soro connected with a bust of punches and Vitu dropped to the canvas on his rump. After the count Soro was driving Vitu around the ring until a left to the head had Vitu stumbling forward and almost going down and the referee had seen enough and made a good stoppage. The 32-year-old Ivory Coast-born Soro retains the WBA Gold title. He has lost in challenges for the WBO/IBO titles against Zaurbek Baysangurov way back in 2012 and to Brian Castano for the interim WBA title in 2017 and a third chance seems certain for 2020. It is retirement time for Vitu. He was stopped in twelve rounds by Castano for the secondary WBA title and this loss has killed any faint chance he had of another title shot.
Toutin vs. Sandoval
French poster boy Toutin demolishes Mexican Sandoval in the first round. Although Sandoval was taller with a longer reach Toutin quickly had him backing up with some strong jabs. He forced Sandoval to the ropes and connected with left hooks and rights to the head and Sandoval dropped to the canvas. He was up at eight but driven to a corner where Toutin unloaded a series of lefts and rights until Sandoval went down on his hands and knees. It looked as though he was up at nine but the referee went to ten and the fight was over. The 22-year-old Gypsy, a former European Under-17 European champion, had his defensive flaws exposed in a ninth round loss to Ukrainian Petro Ivanov in December but in the short time he was in the ring here he looked more compact and composed. He has 13 wins by KO/TKO and collects the vacant WBC Youth title. Sandoval at one time was 19-1-1 but was then knocked out in three rounds by Ryota Murata and was coming off an eighth round stoppage by novice Ramil Gadzhyiev in October.
Charrat vs. Perez
Very impressive win for EU champion Charrat. The young French fighter proved too strong and aggressive for the more experienced Venezuelan. Charrat pressed hard in the first and broke Perez down. In the second he forced Perez to the ropes and jolted Perez with a series of punches to head and body before connecting with a booming downward driven right sent Perez along the ropes and to the canvas and the fight was stopped. Some power show from a “non-puncher “ with this being just the fifth inside the distance win for the 24-year-old French hope. Only the second KO/TKO loss for the fading former interim WBA super light champion.
El Mousaoui vs. Miliusha
Former EU champion El Mousaoui floors southpaw Miliusha twice for a win in seven rounds. El Mousaoui put Miliusha on the canvas in the second with a heavy right and continued to boss the fight. In the seventh a left hook put Miliusha down again and the fight was halted. Seventh win on the spin for El Mousaoui. Belarusian Miliusha was having only his second fight in the last two years.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Fly: Andrew Moloney (21-0) W TKO 9 Elton Dharry (24-6-1). Bantam: Jason Moloney (20-1) W KO 2 Dixon Flores (16-7-3, 2 ND).
Moloney vs. Dharry
Moloney wins the vacant interim WBA title with stoppage of Dharry who is unable to continue after eight rounds due his right eye being effectively shut. Moloney was coming forward in the first and scoring with some quick jabs and straight rights. He switched guard for a while but Dharry showed a useful jab of his own and also connected with rights to the body. Moloney continued to press in the second. He landed a good right cross but Dharry evened things up with a snappy overhand right late in the round. Moloney was quicker and busier over the third and fourth but Dharry remained dangerous with rights. The danger manifested itself in the fifth. As Moloney came forward Dharry nailed him with a right uppercut that unhinged Moloney’s legs. He staggered backwards and nearly went down. Dharry piled forward trying to apply a finisher and landed some more rights but Moloney danced and hugged and made it out of the round. Moloney had survived but of equal importance was a growing swelling under Dharry’s right eye. Dharry had the better of the exchanges in the sixth but was tending to use his right more and more as a guard to the swelling under his right eye and the doctor examined the injury before the start of the seventh, Dharry took the seventh. He was the one coming forward and he was connecting with rights to the head with Moloney not looking to stand and trade. Dharry got through another examination by the doctor but his vision through his right eye was restricted. An entertaining eighth saw Moloney busy targeting the swelling with jabs and landing a hard right cross and Dharry scoring with some good rights to the head. The bell went for the start of the ninth and both fighters left their corner but before a blow was struck the referee took Dharry over to the doctor who advised the fight be stopped. Having won the interim title Moloney is naturally keen to fight the real WBA champion Khalid Yafai. Dharry, 33, was No 5 with the WBA and was unbeaten in his last 21 fights. He gave Moloney a tough night and he was very much in the fight until the doctor’s decision but he needs to be more active with this just his fourth fight in almost three years.
Moloney vs. Flores
Moloney crushes Flores inside two rounds in a defence of the WBA Oceania title. Flores took the fight to Moloney from the start. He was throwing quick jabs and right hooks but was being caught by swift counters from Moloney. Flores threw some more hooks but Moloney stepped in with two jabs and a right that just seemed to brush the top of Flores head and Flores went down on one knee. He was up quickly and after the count piled forward trading punches with Moloney. Flores began the second round coming forward again and he connected with a couple of good left hooks to the body. Moloney was on the back foot jabbing strongly. He shook Flores with a right and then with Flores pinned to the ropes fired a burst of punches rounded off by a left hook dug into the body which saw Flores drop to the floor and roll around in agony and it was a couple of minutes before he was able to get up. Moloney lost a split verdict against Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF bantam title in what was also a WSSB quarter Final. He is rated highly by the sanctioning bodies at No 3 with the WBA, No 4 with the WBC, No 5 (4) with the IBF and No 5 with the WBO and he will be hoping to get another title chance now that the WSSB tournament is over. Flores, a loser inside a round against Khalid Yafai, was coming off a surprise victory over 18-1-2 Alex Espinoza.
Halle an der Saale, Germany: Light Heavy: Dominic Boesel (30-1) W TKO 11 Sven Fornling (15-2). Super Middle: Stefan Haertel (19-1) W RTD 5 David Zegarra (34-4). Heavy: Erik Pfeifer (7-0) W RTD 5 Adnan Redzovic (21-4).Heavy: Peter Kadiru (6-0) W RTD 4 Pedro Martinez (11-3): Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (10-0) W PTS 8 Jesus Gurrola (27-15-3). Cruiser: Roman Fress (9-0) W TKO 1 David Vicena (12-27-2). Light Heavy: Tome Dzemski (14-0) W RTD 3 Zoltan Sera (32-21-1).
Boesel vs. Fornling
Boesel wins the vacant interim WBA title and the IBO title with late stoppage of Fornling. Boesel made a confident start probing with his jab and then pushing it through gaps in Fornling’s gloves. Fornling was not as positive and came up short with his punches. Fornling was more aggressive in the second stepping forward and throwing combinations but they were being blocked or avoided by Boesel who again found the target with his jab. Boesel scored with a couple of good counters and as Fornling walked in again a right to the side of the head sent Fornling sprawling to the canvas on his hands and knees. He was up immediately and the bell went the moment the eight count was completed. It was very much a battle of jabs in the third and Fornling was doing much better work. Fornling clearly took the fourth as he pressured Boesel for the whole three minutes and did what scoring there was but he also suffered a cut over his left eye in a clash of heads. Fornling continued to outscore Boesel in the fifth and six but Boesel came back to edge the seventh before Fornling, with a growing bruise under his left eye, rebounded to edge the eighth. Both fighters looked exhausted in the ninth. Boesel’s jab was still a potent weapon but the cleaner and more accurate work was coming from Fornling. The tenth was Boesel’s round. Fornling was walking onto some heavy counters and his face was dotted with bumps and bruises. He rallied at the end of the round but Boesel looked the stronger. In the eleventh a strong right stiffened Fornling’s legs and as they tangled Boesel pushed Fornling back and down. It was no knockdown but Boesel knew the right had hurt Fornling and he rushed him to the ropes and pounded away until the referee jumped in and stopped the fight in just as Fornling dropped to the floor. It was two for the price of one here as with this victory as Boesel won both the interim WBA title and took Fornling’s IBO belt. Sixth win for the 30-year-old German since a stoppage defeat against Karo Murat in 2017. He won’t land a fight with WBO champion Saul Alvarez and I can’t see him beating Artur Beterbiev or Dmitry Bivol but there are some attractive defences out there. Swede Fornling, 30, went to the hospital for tests as a precaution. When he lost to 6-4 Yevgenii Makhteienko in 2016 it was difficult to see where he could go but he rebounded to win the IBO title and to defend it in December with a win over Boesel’s conqueror Murat
Haertel vs. Zegarra
Haertel wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title with easy stoppage of Peruvian Zegarra. Haertel was able to spear Zegarra with jabs and follow through with straight right and toss in the occasional combination. Zegarra hardly took a step forward in the fight and rarely threw a punch. He backed to the ropes and then circled the ring with Haertel striding after him and scoring with bursts of punches. Zegarra was a little livelier at the start of the third but then reverted to his passive resistance as Haertel was able to slot home jabs and tee off on the Peruvian. The fourth was one-sided and it was target practice for Haertel in the fifth with Zegarra retiring at the end of the round. Other than getting his third inside the distance win there was little for Haertel to celebrate. He did his job and it is not his fault it was an easy job. It can’t have been easy to find 34 people for Zegarra to beat but after being 30-0 he is now 4-4 with all four wins back home against undemanding opposition.
Pfeifer vs. Redzovic
Pfeifer gets off the floor to win the vacant WBO European title in his seventh fight as Redzovic retires after five rounds. Pfeifer had the better jab and that put him in charge. He used the jab to keep Redzovic on the back foot in the first and rocked him with a right cross. Redzovic tried to match Pfeifer jab for jab in the second but Pfeifer was quicker and more accurate and sent Radovic stumbling with a right to the head and they traded hard punches late in the round. Pfeifer was on his way to winning the third when a right from Redzovic knocked his legs from under him and he tumbled to the canvas. He was up quickly but looked shaken and Redzovic stormed forward trying for an upset win. He shook Pfeifer a couple of times but Pfeifer was banging back before the bell. Pfeifer boxed cautiously at the start of the fourth but an uppercut sent Redovic’s mouthguard flying and he bossed the rest of the round with strong jab and long rights. The sixth saw Pfeifer battering Redzovic with a barrage of rights to the head. Redzovic fired back occasionally but by the end of the round was being rocked by those big rights and he retired before the start of the sixth. The 32-year-old Russian-born German has left it late to turn pro. He was twice a bronze medal winner at the World Championships and competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics but he faces an uphill climb to make it to the top with his late start. The four losses for the 42-year-old Bosnian Redzovic have all come against unbeaten fighters
Kadiru vs. Martinez
This one was fought a funereal pace. There also seemed to be an unwritten law banning the throwing of more than one punch at a time. Kadiru took a round to find his range and then just kept threading jabs through Martinez’s leaky guard. They finally began to throw more punches and traded shots in the third and fourth. Kadiru was the one doing most of the scoring with Martinez getting no leverage at all behind his pushed shots. Kadiru began to put his punches together in the fourth. His jab was still his dominant punch but he was also letting fly with overhand rights and left hooks to the body. There was nothing coming back from Martinez and it was no surprise when he retired at the end of the round. Second win by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old 6’4 ½” German hope. Martinez was awful but then the eleven guys he had beaten had only “amassed” three wins between them. Lies, damn lies and boxer’s records.
Rabii vs. Gurrola
Rabii outclasses a game and experienced Gurrola. The Moroccan was too quick and too clever for the Mexican. He controlled the fight well and regularly pierced Gurrola’s guard with punches from both hands. Gurrola pressed hard and did enough to take a round but he had to soak up serious punishment over the late rounds. Scores 79-73, 79-74 and 78-74 for Rabii. The Moroccan won a gold medal at the 2015 World Championships where he beat Josh Kelly and took silver in Rio. Former IBO title challenger Gurrola now fills the role of imported loser but usually stays the full route.
Fress vs. Vicena
Fress wasted no time here. He floored Czech Vicena with a hook early in the first and after Vicena made it to his feet Fress bombarded him with punches until the referee stopped the fight with just 87 seconds having elapsed. The 6’3” Kazak-born German gets win No 5 by KO/TKO. He is a former German Under-21 champion who represented Germany at the 2015 World Championships and is trained by former WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz. Vicena, 40, has thirteen inside the distance defeats
Dzemski vs. Sera
With his father Tom in his corner Dzemski pads his record with his eighth win by KO/TKO. Dzemski dropped Sera in the first and third rounds. Sera was also bleeding heavily and he did not come out for the fourth round. The 22-year-old Dzemski is being matched carefully and has plenty of time to learn from his father, one of Germany’s top trainers, before moving up. Three inside the distance losses on the spin for Sera.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Light: Carlos Morales (19-4-4) TEC DRAW 6 Mercito Gesta (32-3-3). Super Feather: Jonathan Oquendo (31-6) W PTS 10 Charles Huerta (21-7). Super Welter: Travell Mazion (16-0) W PTS 10 Diego Cruz (19-8-2).
Morales vs. Gesta
This one was adjudged a majority draw after a cut suffered in a clash of heads in the fourth round proved too serious for Morales to continue after the end of the sixth. Morales took the fight to southpaw Gesta early with a busier style and more movement. Gesta came forward more in the third and was getting past the longer reach of Morales and scoring inside with right hooks and straight lefts but Morales scored with a cracking right to the head and seemed to have built a slender lead. A clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Morales in the fourth and that energised Gesta who stepped up his pace. The position of the cut meant that blood was seeping into the left eye of Morales and hindering his vision. Gesta attacked in bursts in the fifth with Morales more composed and countering well but he was having trouble keeping Gesta out as they traded punches. Gesta attacked wildly in the sixth. Most of his punches were missing but with Morales focusing on defending the cut Gesta landed enough to win the round. After the bell it was obvious the cut over the left eye of Morales was too severe for the fight to continue and it was decide on the scorecards with one judge having it 58-56 for Morales and the other two seeing it 57-57. It had been entertaining until the stoppage. After defeats in tough assignments against Alberto Machado, Ryan Garcia and Rene Alvarado Morales had rebounded with two wins. Filipino Gesta, 32, was 26-0-1 until he lost to Miguel Vazquez for the WBC light title. He also lost to Jorge Linares for the WBA version of the title and was coming off a disappointing inside the distance defeat by Juan Antonio Rodriguez.
Oquendo vs. Huerta
Oquendo gets back to winning ways after blowing the chance of a world title shot with a defeat against Lamont Roach in May. Strength, determination and a higher work earned Oquendo the win. From the opening bell this was war on the inside. Oquendo bossed the action there banging home lefts and rights to the body. Huerta chose to stand and trade but slowly he began to lose the battle and Oquendo was on top for the second half of the fight. He was able to pin Huerta to the ropes in the later rounds and mix overhand rights along with his focused body attacks. Huerta could not change the flow of the fight and his work rate dropped under the consistent pressure from Oquendo as the Puerto Rican won every round. Scores 100-90 for 36-year-old Oquendo on the three cards. The Puerto Rican wins the vacant WBO Latino belt. He lost to Jesus Cuellar for the secondary WBA title in 2015 and is down at No 12 in the WBO ratings so will need to put together some impressive performances to get another title fight but time is against him. Huerta was out for two years before returning in February this year with a loss to Joseph Diaz.
Mazion vs. Cruz
Mazion showcases some flashy skills as he takes wide unanimous decision over Cruz. Since he was giving away lots of height and reach to Mazion Cruz came out punching and rocked Mazion with a right. Mazion paid Cruz back later in the round with a driven straight right that pierced Cruz’s guard and thudded into his face. From the second Mazion took control. Cruz had no answer to the fast, accurate jabs of Mazion and was having to swing wide punches trying to get around the jab but was leaving himself open and eating counters. Despite the best efforts of Cruz it was a one-sided contest. Mazion was quicker and stronger and unloaded some heavy stuff on Cruz in each round and Cruz did well to last the distance, Scores 99-90 twice and 98-91 for Mazion. The 24-year-old 6’2” Texan looked a class act and now needs to move up to better opposition so that we can measure his full potential. Cruz falls to 0-5-1 in his last six fights although the draw was a reasonable performance against experienced 35-1-1 Roberto Ortiz
Saint Petersburg, Russia: Super Light: Eduard Troyanovsky (28-2) W PTS 10 Josef Zahradnik (11-4). No real problems here for Troyanovsky in his first fight for 13 months but he looked laboured in his points win over Czech Zahradnik. Losses in title fights against Julius Indongo and Kiryl Relikh seem to have affected the former IBF champion and he did not look as sharp or as confident as when he put together a run of 25 wins. He outboxed the Czech but had to work hard and there was no trace of the power that had garnered him 24 wins by KO/TKO. At 39 and with the lacklustre showing here if he does get another title shot it will end badly for him. Zahradnik’s previous losses have all come against unbeaten fighters on the road.
Liverpool, England: Super Middle: Rocky Fielding (28-2) W KO 2 Abdallah Paziwapazi (26-7-1,1ND). Super Middle: Martin Murray (39-5-1) W PTS 8 Sladan Janjanin (27-5). Light: Terry Flanagan (36-2) W PTS 8 Jayro Duran (14-7).
Fielding vs. Paziwapazi
Fielding blows away Tanzanian Paziwapazi inside two rounds. A real power show from Fielding but it was Paziwapazi who started the fireworks trapping Fielding against the ropes and firing punches with both hands in the first. Fielding made some room and rocked Paziwapazi with a hard combination. Paziwapazi again pushed Fielding to the ropes throwing punches but he was ignoring his defence and was rocked twice more by Fielding before the end of the round. In the second Paziwapazi again drove forward and landed usefully to head and body but Fielding was landing some vicious counters. Paziwapazi fired a straight right to the head of Fielding pushing Fielding back to the ropes. As Paziwapazi came forward Fielding connected with a four-punch combination to the head with the last, a wicked left putting Paziwapazi down. Paziwapazi lay flat on the canvas with his hands clasped behind his head as if just resting. He then climbed to his feet but the referee waived the fight over. First fight for local lad Fielding since his loss to Saul Alvarez in December. There are plenty of good fights out there for Fielding both domestic and international. Paziwapazi was 9-0-1 in his last 10 fights and coming off a win in China but he was overconfident of his power here and was too busy throwing punches to even adopt the most basic defence.
Murray vs. Janjanin
Solid if uninspiring performance from Murray as he wins all eight rounds against Janjanin. The problem for Murray was that Janjanin was in survival mode from the first bell. He rarely took a step forward and Murray was forced to track him around the perimeter of the ring. When Murray had Janjanin pinned to the ropes the Bosnian was ducking low behind a tight guard not leaving Murray much of a target. Murray was able to connect with hooks to the body from both hands but never really had Janjanin in trouble. Occasionally Janjanin showed some fire with a burst of punches but they were rare occasions as Murray put eight rounds of work in the bank. Referee’s score 80-72 for Murray. The 37-year-old former interim WBA middleweight champion has had four shots at winning a world title and in the fights with Felix Sturm, Sergio Martinez and Arthur Abraham could and perhaps should have been the winner but another title shot seems a long way away. Janjanin’s losses have all been against a good/reasonable level of opponent and all on the road. This is Janjanin’s first visit to the UK and after going the distance with Murray will probably be asked back again.
Flanagan vs. Duran
Flanagan was looking to put Honduran Duran to the sword in the first three minutes. He found the range with his right jab and then throughout the round dug in wicked body punches. Duran survived the storm but had shown nothing himself. A right to the head put Duran down in the second but it was more of a cuff than a punch and Flanagan was teeing off on him with punches at the end of the round. Duran shipped heavy punishment in every round without really managing to do any good work of his own. He was coming in behind a high guard but not taking that extra step so was standing in front of Flanagan within punching range and paying for it. A clash of heads opened a small cut over the left eye of Flanagan but it was no hindrance as Flanagan pounded on Duran to the final bell. Referees score 80-71 for Flanagan. Eight rounds of not very useful work for former WBO lightweight champion Flanagan and fourth win over very modest opposition since back-to-back losses to Maurice Hooker and Regis Prograis last year. Third decision defeat in a row for Duran
Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Heavy: Junior Fa (19-0) W PTS 10 Devin Vargas (21-6). Heavy: Hemi Ahio (16-0) W TKO 2 Joshua Tufte (19-4). Welter: Ivan Golub (18-1) W KO 10 Janer Gonzalez (19-3-1). Super Middle: Mike Guy (12-4-1) W PTS 8 Denis Douglin (22-7).
Fa vs. Vargas
Fa floors Vargas twice and remains undefeated. Fa attacked strongly in the first. He used his 50lbs pull in weight to bull Vargas to the ropes and land clubbing rights. Vargas showed good defensive skills from the days when he was the best at his weight in the US amateur ranks. Fa continued to bull his way forward over the second, third and fourth but Vargas was not buckling and countering when he could. He often had Fa on the back foot and connected with some sharp uppercuts. To Fa’s frustration when he did land some heavy punches Vargas was urging him to keep punching. Vargas had built some momentum in the fifth forcing Fa to the ropes with Fa clinching as Vargas scored with rights. Vargas was still coming forward when a left to the body forced him to drop to one knee. He was up at nine and had spit out his mouthguard so had a bit more time to recover. He then drove Fa back around the ring with hooks and uppercuts to the bell. Fa landed heavily in the sixth and seventh. Vargas stayed competitive until the eighth when he suddenly turned away from the action and went down on a knee indicating Fa had landed low but the referee gave Vargas an eight count and there had been no sign of one of Fa’s punches landing below the belt. Fa outpunched Vargas over the ninth and tenth and was a clear winner. Scores 100-88, 99-89 and 97-91 for Fa. The 30-year-old New Zealander is still untested and Vargas showed many of his weaknesses here. Fa was slow his defence was anything but tight. He is big and strong but it remains to be seen how he will fare against better opposition. The 37-year-old Vargas competed for the USA at the 2004 Olympics and had early success as a pro but after losses to Kevin Johnson and Andrzej Wawrzyk he seemed to lose interest with just four fights in six years. He was flattened inside a round by Andy Ruiz in March 2018 but breathed some life back into his boxing with a fifth round stoppage of unbeaten Irish heavyweight Niall Kennedy in August this year.
Ahio vs. Tufte
This one goes way beyond being a farce as Ahio floors a vastly overweight Tufte three times before the “fight” is stopped. Ahio scored the first knockdown in the opening round with a straight right that was really only an arm punch with no leverage behind it. In the second round two rights to the side of the head sent Tufte staggering to the ropes and down. A short right hook put Tuft down for the third time and thankfully the fight was stopped. New Zealander Ahio, 29, will learn nothing from abysmal mismatches like this. The 6’1” Tuft weighed 269lbs which gives some idea of how obese he was.
Golub vs. Gonzalez
Golub wins with a late kayo. There was a contrast of styles here between the upright, technical southpaw Golub and the more fluid Gonzalez. Golub worked solidly behind his jab before moving in with straight rights and hooks. Gonzalez was attacking in spurts and often looking to lure Golub onto counter punches. It became a tactical match with neither fighter really taking control but Golub was busier and more accurate whereas Gonzalez was waiting and waiting for the perfect counter opportunity. In the interval between the eighth and ninth Gonzalez did not sit in his corner but instead took a stroll out and around the centre of the ring and his second leant over the ropes some way from the corner haranguing officials at the ringside instead of tending to his fighter-strange. Golub had built a good lead by outworking Gonzalez. It looked as though it was going to go to the judges to decide the outcome but in the tenth Golub rattled Gonzalez with a left. Gonzalez tried to walk away but Golub followed him and landed two lefts to the head which sent Gonzalez down backwards to the canvas. He tried to use the ropes to pull himself up but then fell back again and was. counted out. Golub now has 14 wins by KO/TKO and this was his second defence of the WBC USNBC title. His loss was a points defeat by Jamontay Clark in 2017 and this his fifth win since the Clark fight as he tries to climb back into the ratings. Gonzalez has gone from 19-0 to 19-3 and was coming off an inside the distance loss against Jamal James in February.
Guy vs. Douglin
Guy gets surprise win over Douglin on a split decision. Douglin had a huge edge in skill here but Guy had strength and determination. He was getting in close and roughing Douglin up on the inside and there was too much wrestling for the fight to be entertaining. Douglin wasting time with some showy antics but Guy just kept chugging forward. When Douglin stood back and boxed on the outside he was able to find gaps for his right jab but too often he was letting himself be dragged into a brawl. The fight was close and they both fought desperately in the last with both just tossing punches and both having periods on top. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Guy and 77-75 for Douglin. I thought Douglin did enough to at least merit a draw but it was too close to argue over. The 38year-old Guy gets his third win in succession. His record is deceptive as his four losses have all come against high quality opponents such as Tyrone Zeuge, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Junior Younan and Ali Akhmedov who were all unbeaten when Guy fought them. This loss is a big a blow to Douglin. He was 5-3 ahead of this fight with the losses against world champion George Groves, David Benavidez and Anthony Dirrell. He had come back with useful wins over unbeaten Vaughn Alexander and experienced Saul Roman.
Sloan, IA, USA: Light Heavy: Joseph George (10-0) W PTS 10 Marcos Escudero (10-1). Welter: Alberto Palmetta (13-1) W TKO 10 Erik Vega Ortiz (16-1). Middle: Amilcar Vidal (10-0) W TKO 1 Zach Prieto (9-1).
George vs. Escudero
Geroge gets a much disputed split decision over Escudero. George boxed well but Escudero was busier and seemed to outscore George early to build a lead. George was stronger as it went into the late rounds and seemed to have made it close. A strong last round should have been enough for Escudero take the decision but it was not to be. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 for George and 96-94 for Escudero. Houston’s George was in his first main event. Escudero, the Argentinian No 2, had won his last seven fights inside the distance.
Palmetta vs. Ortiz
Palmetta looks on his way to a points victory before he explodes on Ortiz in the last for a stoppage. Southpaw Palmetta went in front early. Ortiz had a much longer reach but the skills Palmetta had acquired over many years as a top level amateur helped him nullify that. Ortiz did better over the middle rounds but was behind on the cards going into the last. Palmetta connected with some straight lefts in the tenth and then he staggered Ortiz with a left and unleashed a torrent of punches and just kept pumping the punches out until the referee jumped in to rescue Ortiz. Seventh win on the bounce and ninth win by TKO for Palmetta a bronze medallist at the Pan American Games who fought for Argentina at the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. Ortiz was up at ten rounds for the first time and his lack of experience showed.
Vidal vs. Prieto
Imperious display from Vidal in his first fight in the USA. Prieto tried to hustle the taller Vidal out of his stride early in the first but Vidal stayed composed and then scored impressively with a double left hook to head and body. Prieto continued to be busy but Vidal stepped in with an overhand right and an explosive left hook that put Prieto down on his back. Prieto arose but still looked unsteady and Vidal battered him with heavy punches until he went down again and the fight was stopped. The tall 23-year-old Uruguayan showed fluid power in his ninth inside the distance victory. It will be interesting to see how he develops under the guidance of Sampson Lewkowicz. Prieto outclassed.
Ugento, Italy: Light: Giuseppe Carafa (12-3-2) W PTS 10 Nicola Cipolletta (14-9-2). Home town fighter Carafa wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title with unanimous decision over fellow-Italian Cipolletta. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93. Carafa moved up to lightweight after a draw and a loss in Italian title fights. Cipolletta, a former Italian featherweight champion, falls to six losses in his last seven fights.
Mamburao, Philippines: Minimumweight: Joel Lino (11-3-1) W TKO 6 ArAr Andales (10-2). Something of an upset as Lino stops former WBA title challenger Andales. After five hard rounds a spectacular attack from Lino ends it in the sixth. With Andales in trouble Lino showered him with light punches. None were that hard but the sheer quantity overwhelmed Andales until the referee stopped the fight. The 24-year-old Lino had lost his last three fights but produced it when it mattered as this win gives him the Philippines title. Andales, 20, had lost a technical decision against Knockout CP Freshmart for the WBA minimum title in Thailand in August.
London, England: Super Feather: Alex Dilmaghani (19-1-1,1ND) DREW 12 Francisco Fonseca (25-2-2). Super Feather: John Joe Nevin (14-0) W PTS 10 Freddy Fonseca (27-5-1,1ND).
Dilmaghani vs. Fonseca
Dilmaghani and Fonseca share the honours with a majority draw after twelve stirring rounds of non-stop action. These two got down to work immediately. It was quality stuff as they traded punches with first one and then the other driving forward letting fly with fast, crisp and accurate shots. In the first Dilmaghani had slightly the better of the exchanges as he banged home southpaw rights hooks to the body but Fonesca was trying to match him punch for punch and Fonseca seemed to outland Dilmaghani in the second. Both fighters were connecting heavily to the body and with Dilmaghani edging the third and Fonesca banging back to take the fourth the scene was set for a classic battle. There were no wild punches here. Both were throwing quality hooks, uppercuts and strong jabs and putting together flashing combinations. Fonseca just had the edge in the fifth and Dilmaghani the sixth but every round was close. Excellent body punching from Dilmaghani probably gave him the seventh only for some fierce attacking from Fonesca getting him back into the fight in the eighth. If the CompuBox system had been in use it would have overheated from the sheer volume of punches thrown. A clash of heads early in the ninth saw Fonseca drop to the canvas pawing at his head. The referee stopped the action until Fonseca recovered but Dilmaghani had actually come off worse as he had a cut over his left eye towards the centre of his forehead so the blood was running down the left side of his nose. That fired up Fonseca and he attacked hard to take the round. In the tenth twice punches from Fonseca loosened Dilmaghani’s mouthguard but he responded by driving rights and lefts through Fonseca’s guard. The pace had been frantic but neither showed signs of tiredness over the final two rounds which Fonseca looked to have edged as he made the stronger finish. Scores 114-114 twice and 115-114 for Fonseca but boxing was the winner here with an exhilarating battle and a candidate for Fight of the Year. The IBO title remains vacant and it would be great to think these two could compete for it again when they are both recovered. Dilmaghani extends his unbeaten run to 16 fights. Fonseca has lost in IBF title challenges against Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer and a third shot is not out of the question.
Nevin vs. Fonseca
Brilliant performance from Nevin as he floors Fonseca on the way to a unanimous points victory. Nevin had the quicker hands and in the first was finding the target with his jabs and counters against the Nicaraguan southpaw. In the second a driven straight right put Fonseca down. He was up at five and did not seem too shaken and easily saw out the round. Nevin continued to showcase his skills over the middle rounds. His jab was too fast for Fonseca and his defensive skills often left Fonesca swishing air. The visitor came into the fight more over the late rounds as Nevin’s work rate dropped but the Irishman was a good winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 99-90 for Nevin. The 30-year-old Nevin was one of the best amateurs every to represent Ireland beating Oscar Valdez and Cuban Lorenzo Alvarez at the 2012 Olympics before losing to Luke Campbell in the final. He also won bronze medals twice in the World Championships and a gold at the European Championships. Winning the vacant WBA International title here will see him jump into the world ratings. Fonseca, the elder brother of Francisco, is now 1-3 in fights this year including a loss to 28-1 Joseph Diaz for the WBA Gold title.
Glasgow, Scotland: Bantam: Lee McGregor (8-0) W PTS12 Ukashir Farooq (13-1).Super Welter: Kieran Smith (16-0) W PTS 10 Vincenzo Bevilacqua (16-1).
McGregor vs. Farooq
Another thrilling domestic fight as McGregor retains the Commonwealth title and wins the British title with a split decision over fellow-Scot Farooq which was not popular with the crowd. The rangier McGregor just about did enough to take a close first round as he worked well with his jab. In the second Farooq was coming in low and the taller McGregor was unable to find the target with his jab or with rights and Farooq turned up the heat with three fast hooks that rattled McGregor’s head. Farooq’s defensive bobbing and weaving was brilliant. McGregor probably edged the third as he worked at range and then either used his strength to push Farooq off or clinched to stop Farooq working inside and Farooq had a small cut under his right eye. Farooq rebounded by edging the fourth, fifth and sixth as he was getting past McGregor’s jab and scoring inside with short hooks. His bobbing and weaving left McGregor swishing air but he was also now cut over the right eye. Farooq was on a roll and he simply outworked McGregor inside pumping out hooks. McGregor took the eighth as he jabbed and moved and avoided getting dragged into close-quarters stuff. The pace was frenetic and emotions were running high but there had been too much holding for it to be a classic. Farooq was storming into McGregor in the ninth denying McGregor any room to box but he was also cut over his left eye in the round. With just seconds to go when they were in a clinch McGregor walked Farooq backwards to the ropes and Farooq went out through the middle ropes with McGregor almost joining him . Farooq was helped back in to the ring and McGregor was given a warning. Farooq continued to attack in the tenth and McGregor was clinch more and more to stifle Farooq’s work, He went too far and the referee deducted a pout from McGregor. The left McGregor with a mountain to climb. He put everything onto then last six minutes and may have edged both rounds but for me that was not enough but the official scores did not all agree on that. Two of the judges had McGregor the winner 115-112 and 114-113 and the third saw it for Farooq 114-113. McGregor retains the Commonwealth title and takes Farooq’s British title. The 22-year-old McGregor goes onwards and upwards from here and will not be keen to give Farooq a return. Farooq takes a step back but he will come again and will win titles in 2020.
Smith vs. Bevilacqua
In a clash of unbeaten fighters Smith retains the WBC International Silver title with a clear points victory over Italian Bevilacqua. The tall Scot shook off a cut over his left eye suffered in the first round the built a commanding lead before being cut again in the last. He took the decision on scores of 98-92 twice and 99-91. Southpaw Bevilacqua, a former Italian champion never figured out how to counter the longer reach of the 6’2” Scot.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Super Light: Pablo Cano (33-7-1,1ND) W KO 2 Roberto Ortiz (35-5-2). Light: Ricardo Sandoval (17-1) W TKO 5 Gilbert Gonzalez (15-3-1). Light Flyweight: Hasanboy Dusmatov (1-0) W KO 2 Jesus Cervantes (9-8).
Cano vs. Ortiz
Cano comes off the floor to kayo Ortiz in a dramatic slug fest. No feel out time here as Cano and Ortiz came out slinging hooks with little regard for defence. It was total war and Cano seemed to be getting the best of the exchanges and Ortiz was forced onto the back foot. That changed when he caught the incoming Cano with an explosive right to the head that saw Cano drop to his hands and knees. Somehow Cano beat the count but he wobbled badly as he walked to a corner gazing out into the crowd. He turned around and after a quick glance the referee allowed the fight to continue. Ortiz rocked Cano a couple of times with rights but Cano shook of the punishment and then fired back and it was Ortiz whose legs wobbled at the end of a dramatic first round. There was a short break early in the second with Ortiz given some respite after a punch to the back of the head from Cano. When the action restarted Cano marched forward firing hooks and uppercuts Ortiz tried to punch with him but was simply overwhelmed and dropped face down on the canvas under a shower of punches. Ortiz got as far as being on one knee but then he stayed there until the count was completed. Cano was defending his WBC International Silver belt but as Ortiz came in 3lbs over the limit Ortiz could not win the title. Back-to-back losses to Fidel Maldonado and Marcelino Lopez in 2017 seemed to signal Cano was on the slide but that all changed in January when he floored Jorge Linares three times for a one round stoppage victory. Ortiz was unbeaten in his first 32 fights but has now lost his last 4.
Sandoval vs. Gonzalez
In a clash of young fighters Sandoval overpowers Gonzalez for a fifth round stoppage. Sandoval showed his intent in the first two rounds as he rocked Gonzalez with a left hook and knocked him back with a right cross. Gonzalez had a better third he was busier and moved and countered well as Sandoval continued to force the action. It was a similar picture in the fourth as Sandoval surged forward and Gonzalez found gaps to counter. Sandoval’s pressure finally paid off in the fifth. He pressed Gonzalez to the ropes and connected with a left to the body and a right to the head. Gonzalez went down on his hands and knees and deliberately spit out his mouthguard. After the count Sandoval continued to hunt down Gonzalez until he connected with two vicious rights that sent Gonzalez into the ropes and Sandoval landed two more punches as Gonzalez headed for the canvas. The 20-year-old Sandoval, he turned pro at 17, has eleven wins by KO/TKO. Venezuelan Gonzalez, also 20, is now 0-2 in fights in Mexico.
Dusmatov vs. Cervantes
Another interesting name for the lighter division’s as Rio gold medal winner Dusmatov turns pro. A huge gap in ability here. Dusmatov was slipping right jabs home and then changing angles and connecting with left s. The movement and hand speed were too much for the young Mexican and it was just light sparring for the talented Uzbek. Dusmatov ended it late in the second with a left to the body that sent Cervantes down. He spat out his mouthguard and was counted out. Dusmatov, 26, looks high quality and has power. Cervantes never in with a chance.
Sydney, Australia: Cruiser: Jai Opetaia (19-0) W TKO 8 Mark Flanagan (24-8). Welter: Darragh Foley (18-4-1) W PTS 8 James Bacon (23-4).
Opetaia vs. Flanagan
Opetaia faces his biggest test so far and passes it in style with inside the distance win over seasoned operator Flanagan, Opetaia was much quicker than Flanagan and was spearing him with jabs in the first and then easily avoiding Flanagan’s attacks. Opetaia dominated the second string together multi-punch combinations to head and body and then slotting southpaw jabs through Flanagan’s guard. Flanagan had some success inside but not much. Flanagan did a little better in third until he was nailed by a straight left which saw him freeze and then drop forwards on his hands and knees to the canvas. He got up immediately but was shaky then took the fight to Opetaia to the bell. Opetaia was down from a low punch in the fourth and also lost his mouthguard and Flanagan was more aggressive and had a good round. Opetaia worked well with his jab and straight lefts to take the fifth and sixth with Flanagan making him work hard to take the points. Flanagan was coming forward in the seventh and Opetaia was allowing himself to get dragged into a brawl until late in the round he unleashed a left that dropped Flanagan. He beat the count and the bell went before another punch could be thrown. Opetaia finally started to put together combinations again and although Flanagan tried to punch back he was taking a lot of punishment in the eighth and retired at the end of the round. The 24-year-old 6’2” from Sydney has now won 14 of his last 15 fights by KO/TKO. He is not yet in the top ten with the sanctioning bodies but with displays like this he very soon will be. He was making the first defence of the WBA Oceania belt. Flanagan has had a tough time recently losing to Denis Lebedev for the WBA title and then suffering consecutive losses against Arsen Goulamirian and unbeaten David Light.
Foley vs. Bacon
Foley overcomes early shock to outpoint useful Filipino Bacon. Foley was floored in the first round but recovered and clawed his way back into the fight to take the unanimous decision. Scores 77-74 twice and 78-75. Ireland’s Foley has a rebuilding job after losses in the UK to Akeem Ennis-Brown and Tyrone McKenna. Former Philippines champion Bacon had won his last four outings and provided Foley with a stern test.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light Fly: Augustin Gauto (14-0) W KO 2 Kenny Cano (14-2). This was supposed to be a big test for WBO N0 6 Gauto but he powered his way to a quick victory. Cano looked busy as he buzzed around in the first but was soon on the back foot. Gauto tracked him and connected with a couple of sharp left hooks to the body and a right to the head. In the second Gauto was content to shadow Cano who was firing bursts of light punches. Gauto had Cano shaken by a left to the body and a straight right to the head. As Cano backed to the ropes a pile driver of a right to the head stiffened his legs and then he went down heavily ending spread eagled on the floor out cold. The 21-year-old Gauto retains the WBO International title with his eighth win by KO/TKO. He showed some nice boxing and real power. Venezuelan Cano’s record looks reasonable but ten of his victims had never won a fight.
Brampton, Canada: Super Welter: Brandon Cook (21-2) W TKO 1 Jose Zuniga (16-6-1). Super Middle: Ryan Young (14-4) W TKO 2 Genaro Ortiz (10-7-2). Middle Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (7-0) W TKO 1 Hector Santana (26-10). Light: Josh O’Reilly (16-0) W TKO 6 Cecilio Santos (36-35-6).
Cook vs. Zuniga
In his first fight for fourteen months “Bad Boy” Cook might have been looking to get some ring time but when in the first round he saw the opportunity to take out Zuniga it was too good to let go. After some cautious sparring he staggered Zuniga badly with a right to the head and then jumped on the Mexican and handed out some fierce punishment until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. First fight for the 33-year-old Canadian since being stopped in three rounds by Jaime Munguia in a WBO title challenge in September last year. Second loss in Canada in consecutive fights for Zuniga who was also halted in two rounds by Josh Kelly in 2017.
Young vs. Ortiz
In a night of easy wins for the home fighters Canadian champion Young halts Ortiz in two rounds. That victory levels Young’s recent record at 4-4 against mainly domestic opponents. This is win No 11 by KO/TKO for Young. Ortiz had won two low level contests prior to this but in his last visit to Canada he was knocked out in 91 seconds by Albert Onolunose.
Bhatti vs. Santana
Indian boxer Bhatti halts Santana inside a round. Santana made a confident start firing jabs but that confidence evaporated when Bhatti nailed him with a right to the head. Santana backed off and Bhatti landed a couple of heavy hooks to the body which had Santana retreating to the ropes. The Argentinian fought his way off the ropes as they traded heavy punches until a clubbing right to the head floored Santana and the towel came in from the Argentinian’s corner. Bhatti, a former silver medallist in the Indian Championships wins the vacant IBA Inter-Continental title. First fight for Santana since being knocked out in two rounds by Brandon Cook in December 2017.
O’Reilly vs. Santos
O’Reilly stops oldie-and fatty-Santos in the sixth round. Santos drew with Dmitry Kirilov in a challenge for the IBF super fly title in 2008. Over the eleven years since then has become a travelling loser relying on some defensive skills to get through the fights. He did that here until a body shot in the sixth sent him down on his knees and although he survived that the fight was stopped later in the round. Sixth win by KO/TKO for O’Reilly who scored a good domestic victory in January by decisioning Cam O’Connell. Santos, 41, is now 0-8 in visits to Canada
Levallois-Perret, France: Super Middle: Kevin Lele Sadjo (14-0) W TKO 1 Rolando Mansilla (15-7-1). Cruiser: Herve Lofidi (13-3) W PTS 12 Vasil Ducar (8-2-1). Middle: El Moutaouakil (12-1) W KO 2 Johanny Bola (5-4-3). Cruiser: Siril Makiadi (13-2) DREW 10 Dylan Bregeon (10-0). Super Middle: Gustave Tamba (14-1). W PTS 10 Steven Crambert (8-6).
Sadjo vs. Mansilla
Sadjo gets early win over unfortunate Mansilla to continue his ownership of the WBA Inter-Continental title. In the opening round Mansilla banged some punches to Sadjo’s body. With less than 25 seconds gone in the round Sadjo then connected with a left and right to the body and a right to the head and Mansilla went down. He was up at three but noticeably limping badly. Despite this the referee let the fight continue. With his limited mobility Mansilla could get no leverage in his punches and he slid down the ropes to the floor under a series of punches from Sadjo. He made it to his feet gingerly but the referee again ignored Mansilla’s injury and waived for the fight to continue. As Sadjo walked forward and threw a punch which missed Mansilla turned away and held on the ropes to stay upright and finally the referee stopped the contest. The 29year-old “The Phenomenon” has won all 14 of his fights by KO/TKO. Fourth inside the distance loss for Argentinian Mansilla.
Lofidi vs. Ducar
Lofidi takes unanimous verdict over Czech Ducar. Lofidi attacked hard from the outset but Ducar proved durable and occasionally dangerous, The 6’5” Frenchman was trying too hard for an inside the distance win and leaving himself open. He nearly paid the price for that when he was rocked by hooks and uppercuts in the fourth and from a sustained attack in the fifth. His corner instructed him to dial back the pressure and box. That let Ducar into the fight more and Lofidi forgot the advice over the closing rounds and stood and traded with Ducar in an exciting finish. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 for Lofidi who retains the WBC Francophone title that he won with a split decision over Taylor Mabika in June but it was not an impressive performance. The 6’2” Ducar lost on points to Kevin Lerena in a challenge for the IBO title in South Africa in June
El Moutaouakil vs. Bola
When these two clashed last year El Moutaouakil just scraped through on a split decision. This time El Moutaouakil made sure the judges were not needed. After taking the first he connected with a huge right that put Bola down heavily. Surprisingly Bola actually made it back to the vertical but was very unsteady and the fight was over. El Moutaouakil was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and has won his last three fights. Bola suffers his first defeat inside the distance,
Makiadi vs. Bregeon
The French have introduced some very strict rules on how often their champions must defend their title and they are strict enough for some champions to vacate rather than get tied to such a strenuous schedule. That’s why Makiadi and Bregeon found themselves contesting the vacant cruiser title. It was a close fight all the way with the 6’4” Makiadi having edges in height and reach but Bregeon seemed to have done enough to lift the title as in a strong finish he had Makiadi close to a stoppage in the last round. Despite that two judges had them level at 95-95 with the third seeing Bregeon the winner at 96-94. Bregeon will be aiming to lift the title in their return match. Makiadi, a former champion had lost the title in 2018 on a 90 second kayo by Herve Lofidi but had won his last four fights.
Tamba vs. Crambert
Tamba retrains the national title with a wide points win over challenger Crambert. Tamba was a heavy favourite and played the part. He looked on his way to an inside the distance win when he sent Crambert to the canvas with a body punch in the third but a gutsy Crambert got up and was still fighting hard at the end of the tenth. All three judges saw 100-89 for the 28-year-old champion who was defending the title for the first time. Crambert is a better fighter than his indifferent record shows. He has been thrown into some tough assignments including losses to Louis Toutin, former top amateur Michel Tavares and unbeaten Zach Parker.
Cologne, Germany: Super Welter: Ibrahim Guemues (18-0) W TKO 6 Gennady Martirosyan (26-5). Heavy: Hussein Muhamed (14-0) W PTS 10 Yakup Saglam (42-6,1ND). Welter: Ilhami Aydemir (17-1) W PTS 8 Viktor Plotnykov (33-7,1ND).
Martirosyan vs. Guemues
Guemues stop[s a tricky Martirosyan. An interesting opener saw Guemues moving forward behind a probing jab and Martirosyan shooting our jabs and using plenty of movement to unsettle Guemues. Guemues continued to take the fight to Martirosyan but constant changes of guard and direction befuddled him and Martirosyan built a substantial lead. The end came suddenly in the sixth. Guemues forced Martirosyan to the ropes with jabs and then hammered a left hook to the body that saw Martirosyan drop to one knee in pain. Martirosyan made it to his feet but then Guemues drove Martirosyan along the ropes and across the ring connecting with hooks to the body and with Martirosyan pinned on the ropes the towel came in from Martirosyan’s corner. German Guemues wins the vacant IBF Mediterranean title and has 17 victories by KO/TKO but against such inferior opposition that there is no real guide to his ability. Armenian-born Martirosyan had plenty of tricks but crumbled dramatically when under pressure.
Muhamed vs. Saglam
Muhamed outpoints more experienced Saglam in a fight that turned nasty. Basically Muhamed did the boxing. He was jabbing and countering the advancing Saglam who was just trying to get inside but was wild with his punches. The second round last more than six minutes. Muhamed led with his head which smacked into Saglam’s forehead and Saglam dropped to the canvas rolling around looking for a disqualification. The arguments over that went on for four minutes. Eventually the fight resumed and an enraged Saglam tried to butt Muhamed which typified the rest of the contest. By the end of the fourth Muhamed’s left eye was closed and it looked like a thumb had caused it. Muhamed continued to score on the advancing Saglam and Saglam connected with uppercuts inside. Late in the last there was a clash of heads and again Saglam went down looking for a disqualification win and when that did not happen the two rolled their way in bad tempered clashes to the end. The locally-based Muhamed took the unanimous verdict for his first points win. He had score twelve wins by KO/TKO and one on a disqualification but against some dreadful opponents. Saglam, 42, loses whenever he moves up being halted by Joseph Parker and Marco Huck.
Aydemir vs. Plotnykov
Aydemir takes unanimous decision over Plotnykov. Aydemir was faced with the challenge of getting past the jab of the 5’11” Plotnykov and managed that with better hand speed and quick darting attacks. Plotnykov worked hard with his jab in every round and was also able to score with some long rights to the body on the outside. Aydemir was drawing the lead and then coming inside with bursts of punches with Plotnykov lacking the punch to keep Aydemir out. It was an interesting rather than exciting fight with Aydemir rightly taking the verdict but with Plotnykov making him work hard in every round. .Cologne-based Aydemir, the GBU world champion, gets his eighth consecutive win. Ukrainian Plotnykov, 42, a former European title challenger, was inactive in 2018 and this is his second loss since returning.
Kingston, Jamaica: Super Feather: Carlos Dixon (10-1) W TKO 6 Edinso Torres Jr (12-5). Heavy: Vladimir Tereshkin (22-0-1) W RTD 4 Francisco Silvens (23-1). Super Light: Yurik Mamedov (12-1) W RTD 4 Eduardo Cordovez (13-2-1).
Dixon vs. Torres
Despite a four hour delay due to rain that meant this opening fight did not happen until almost midnight Dixon looked sharp as he dominated from the start before halting Torres in the sixth. Dixon’s power put him in the driving seat from the first bell and he bombarded Torres with punches with Torres spitting out his mouthguard to get a break when under pressure. He lost a point for that in the fourth and two heavy rights put him down in the fifth. Torres was forced to stand and trade as Dixon threw everything at the Venezuelan and overpowered him with two knockdowns to force the stoppage. Louisville’s Dixon, 22, wins the vacant WBC Youth Silver title with win No 8 inside the distance. Torres Jr, 21, has now lost three times by KO/TKO. Torres Snr was an IBO champion who had 80 pro fights with the last being a loss to Kevin Mitchell in London in 2008. Torres Jr is not going to reach that level.
Tereshkin vs. Silvens
Tereshkin gets another win but the physical difference made this a ridiculous spectacle. The 6’6” Russian southpaw towered over the 5’11” Dominican but the tubby Silvens weighed the same as Tereshkin which gives an indication of the spare fat he was carrying. Tereshkin is not very mobile but he was able to score with his jab and straight rights. Silvens kept marching into the punches and throwing wild, but dangerous, swipes, Tereshkin was leaving his chin hanging out and was badly shaken in the second before coming back to rock Silvens. Tereshkin used his physical advantages to punish the charging Silvens in the third and fourth with an exhausted Silvens not coming out for the fifth. The 31-year-old Russian did not impress. He is slow does not have a great defence and has largely been inactive having only two fights between December 2013 and July this year. Silvens record reflects the standard of matching in the Dominican Republic. Seventeen of the fighters he has beaten had never won a fight and the other six had managed 26 wins with twelve of those claimed by one opponent.
Mamedov vs. Cordovez
Mamedov makes it a double for Russia as he wins the vacant WBA Fedecaribe title (Russia relocated to the Caribbean-no problem for the WBA). As with Tereshkin Mamedov had physical edges here at 5’9” to the 5’4 ½ “for Cordovez. The Venezuelan was a very live opponent in the first and much of the second as he traded punches with Mamedov. The turning point came late in the second when Mamedov sunk a rib-bending left hook to Cordovez’s body. The Venezuelan did well to get up and survive. In the third Mamedov connected with some heavy rights putting Cordovez down twice and Cordovez did not come out for the fourth round. The 28-year-old Brooklyn-based Mamedov lost on points to 3-8-3 Marcus Bedford in 2017 and this is his fourth win since then against low standard opponents. As with Silvens Cordovez has also benefitted from some abysmal matching with twelve of his 13 victims never having won a fight.
Oslo, Norway: Cruiser: Kai Robin Havnaa (16-0) W PTS 10 Mariano Gudino (13-4). Being the son of Magne Havnaa makes Kai Robin a good ticket seller but this fight showed why he is not being rushed. He outboxed the Argentinian but only just. He was most effective when he was able to use his longer reach to score at distance or as a lever to open up the Argentinian’s guard. Too often Gudino was getting past Havnaa’s guard and scoring with hooks inside but he was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in the fifth. Gudino’s confidence grew over the second half of the fight and it looked as though he might have clawed back Havnaa’s early lead but two of the judges disagreed. Scores 97-94 and 96-94 for Havnaa and 96-95 for Gudino. They will have to continue to be careful in the opposition they put in front of Havnaa but as he is 30 they can’t wait too long before taking riskier fights. Gudino has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights including a seventh round stoppage against Lawrence Okolie in July.
Orlando, FL, USA: Super Fly: Marvin Solano (23-4) W PTS 10 Dewayne Beamon (16-3-2). Nicaraguan Solano gets an unexpected win as he decisions Beamon. In his first fight in the USA Solano took the unanimous decision but it was a close thing. Scores 96-94 twice for Solano and a very different 100-90 also for Solano. The Nicaraguan was 3-3 in his last six fights consisting of three easy domestic jobs and losses on the road against Mikhail Aloyan, Jeyvier Cintron and Pedro Guevara. He wins the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. Beamon was halted in nine rounds by Juan Francisco Estrada for the WBC title in August.
Conroe, Texas: Alfonso Lopez (32-3) W PTS 10 Denis Grachev (19-10-1). Lopez grinds out decision win over Grachev for the vacant NASBF title. Grachev worked well over the first two rounds. He was coming forward behind his jab with hooks and outworking Lopez. From the third Lopez began to win the jab war. He was quicker and more accurate and on the front foot. He outboxed Grachev over the fourth and fifth but Grachev put in a big effort in the sixth driving forward and roughing Lopez up on the inside. Both fighters were cut over their right eye and Lopez seemed to have problems with the blood hampering his vision at times. Both had good spells in the seventh with Grachev still coming forward and Lopez countering. In the eighth it was Lopez coming forward and he was connecting with strong overhand rights. There were too many clinches in the ninth as both tired but Grachev looked to have done the better work. Lopez dug deep in the last and outpunched Grachev. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Texan Lopez. He won but the scores are harsh on the performance Grachev put up. Lopez gets his tenth win on the bounce since moving up to light heavy. No names on his record but at 37 he will have to move up soon. Grachev, also 37, has come a long way from the days when he beat 17-0 Ismayl Sillah and outpointed the 33-0 Zsolt Erdei. He is the only fighter to beat the former WBO cruiser champion before he retired. This is his third loss in a row –all tough jobs but he needs a win.
Fight of the week (Significance): Nothing screams out but the wins for Arsen Goulamirian, Dominic Boesel and Michel Soro could lead to some big fights next year.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Alex Dilmaghani vs. Francisco Fonseca was special. Honourable mention to Pablo Cano vs. Roberto Ortiz-less than two rounds but a savage few minutes and to Lee McGregor vs. Ukashir Farooq
Fighter of the week: Michel Soro for his crushing victory over Cedric Vitu
Punch of the week: The straight left from Jai Opetaia was impressive and although he lost the right from Ortiz that put Cano down in the first was a hammer blow and I have to add the spectacular left hook from Amilcar Vidal that effectively ended his fight with Zach Prieto
Upset of the week: No biggies
Prospect watch: Super Welter Travell Mazion 16-0 is worth following Travell Mazion super welter 16-0
By Eric Armit
-Naoya Inoue unifies the IBF and WBA bantamweight titles and wins the Ali Trophy with unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire in a true classic
-Nourdine Oubaali retains the WBC bantam title with wide unanimous verdict over Naoya’s brother Takuma Inoue
-Jamal Herring takes unanimous decision over Lamont Roach in WBC super feather title defence
-Billy Joe Saunders wins on late stoppage against Marcelo Coceres Argentinian in WBO title defence in a disappointing fight
-Devin Haney outpoints Alfredo Santiago in WBC light title defence
-Kubrat Pulev keeps his hopes of a title fight alive with decision over Kubrat Pulev
- Ronny Rios, Amir Imam, Esquiva Falcao and Janibek Alimkhanuly score inside the distance wins and former WBC light champion Dejan Zlaticanin returns with a victory.
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Saitama, Japan: Bantam: Naoya Inoue (19-0) W PTS 12 Nonito Donaire (40-6). Bantam: Nourdine Oubaali (17-0) W PTS 12 Takuma Inoue (13-1).
Inoue vs. Donaire
In a dramatic, high quality Fight of the Year” candidate Inoue wins the Ali Trophy and unifies the IBF and WBA titles with a unanimous points victory over veteran Donaire despite suffering a fractured eye socket during the fight..
After some initial probing Inoue cut loose beating Donaire to the punch with a left hooks and then firing a short burst of punches. Donaire pierced Inoue’s guard with a left to the body late in the round but Inoue responded with some quick jabs.
Score: 10-9 Inoue
The pace was quick and both fighters were letting their hands go. Inoue landed good shots early in the round staggering Donaire with a left hook. Donaire countered and then went on the front foot and scored with a cracking left hook as he finished the round strongly. Inoue was cut over his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Donaire TIED 19-19
Donaire pressed throughout the round but Inoue boxed brilliantly on the back foot. He was threading jabs through the guard of Donaire and then stepping in with quick hooks and getting out before Donaire could counter.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 29-28
Inoue took this one. His hand speed and fast footwork saw him spearing Donaire with sharp jabs and getting off some hooks and uppercuts. They both connected with heavy rights and Donaire tried to up the pace late but again Inoue was finding gaps for his jabs. Donaire was showing a growing bruise under his left eye.
Score 10-9 Inoue Inoue 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Lou Boscarelli 39-37 Inoue, Judge Robert Hoyle 38-38, Judge Octavio Rodriguez 40-36Inoue
A big round for Inoue. He outboxed Donaire early stabbing home jabs and quick rights with his movement frustrating Donaire’s efforts to counter. Late in the round Inoue shook Donaire with a right to the head and then with a cracking left hook and battered the Filipino to the ropes and was unloading heavy punches at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 49-46
A close round. Inoue was in counter-puncher mode which allowed Donaire to get on the front foot and score with his own jab. Both landed hard rights and later simultaneous left hooks. Donaire worked hard throughout the round and just edged it
Score: 10-9 Donaire Inoue 58-56
Donaire connected with a good right early and was getting his punches off first scoring with some sharp one-twos to the head of Inoue. It looked as though Donaire might take this one but Inoue picked up the pace piercing Donaire’s guard with jabs and landing clubbing rights and Donaire had a swelling under his right eye
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 68-65
Inoue got through with some jabs and then landed a hard right. Donaire banged straight back with a right of his own which had Inoue retreating. Donaire continued to score with his jab and rights. Inoue threw a blazing combination but then Donaire began to connect with left hooks and rights to the head. Donaire continued to find the target and Inoue was going back and bleeding heavily from his nose. A great round for Donaire just when he needed one.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Inoue 77-75
Official Scores: Boscarelli 77-75 Inoue, Hoyle 77-75 Donaire, Rodriguez 78-73 Inoue (Rodriguez scored the 5th 10-8 for Inoue).
Inoue made a confident start in this one firing quick jabs and finding the target with rights. Donaire kept coming forward and pressing a big right to the head staggered Inoue who dipped at the knees and was in deep trouble. Inoue went on the run but Donaire connected with a thudding right. Inoue responded by urging Donaire to bring it on but really he was just staying on the retreat giving himself some recovery time.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Inoue 86-85
This was a great little fight and Donaire was right back in it. Inoue showed his quality as he upped his pace slamming jabs into Donaire’s face and connecting with sneak rights. Donaire fought his way back into the round with some hard jabs but late in the round Inoue unleashed a storm of punches rocking Donaire’s head from side to side.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 96-94
Inoue was brutal at the start of this round connecting with a series of right crosses to Donaire’s head. Donaire tried to stem the onslaught with his jab but Inoue landed a rib-wrecking left hook to the body. Donaire turned away from the action and actually trotted around the ring before dropping to his hands and knees. It looked as though Donaire was not going to get up and Inoue had already started to turn away in celebration when Donaire made it to his feet at-let’s say 9 ½ -and the round was only half over. Inoue tried hard to finish it and he dealt out plenty of punishment but Donaire used experience gained in 17 world title fights and a large measure of courage to make it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Inoue Inoue 106-102
Inoue laid some heavy punishment on Donaire in the last. He was scoring with flashing four and five punch combinations. Donaire fought to the end trying to plough forward and find a fight-saving punch but in the end did well to be there at the final bell.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 116-111
Official Scores: Boscarelli 116-111 Inoue, Hoyle 114-113 Inoue, Rodriguez 117-109 Inoue
I found one score (117-109) a little hash on Donaire but if it had not been for the 10-8 eleventh round Judge Hoyle would have had Donaire winning the fight which I can’t agree on. Irrespective of that this was a great little fight between youth and experience and along with the Josh Taylor vs. Regis Prograis it shows the value to boxing of the WBSS tournaments. Inoue is still only 26 and has the speed, ability and power to become a four division champion. It seemed as though Donaire was a spent force after losses to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton but if there was some luck for him in having the easier path to the final he showed here that he deserved to be there and fought like the champion that he is. Over an eleven years career he has won eight version of world titles in four divisions from flyweight to featherweight and they have all been full titles-no secondary, no interims a remarkable feat.
Oubaali vs. Inoue
Oubaali proves too clever and too experienced and floors and outpoints Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya, to retain the WBC title and prevent a double for the Inoue family.
Both fighters were buzzing around at the start pushing out quick jabs but mostly coming up short. Inoue connected with a nice one-two but Oubaali landed a couple more punches jabbing to the body and following with southpaw lefts. Inoue worked well and accurately with his jab and did enough to take the round
Score: 10-9 Inoue
Oubaali was starting to find the target with straight rights. As Oubaali moved inside Inoue landed a left to the body and an off balance Oubaali stumbled back and put his right glove on the canvas to steady himself but was not given a count. Inoue used a quick jab and straight rights to score but Oubaali’s early work gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali TIED 19-19
After some early sparring Oubaali began to get through with straight rights and left hooks. He sent Inoue stumbling back with a strong jab before snapping Inoue’s head back with an uppercut. They traded punches with Oubaali connecting with southpaw lefts and Inoue with straight rights with Oubaali’s early work taking the round
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 29-28
Their styles were not mixing too well and for much of the round although plenty of punches were thrown very few landed. Oubaali ended that when with 45 seconds remaining in the round. When Inoue missed with a right Oubaali stepped in and caught Inoue with a perfect left cross that dumped Inoue on his backside up against the ropes. He was up at six and frustrated Oubaali’s attempts to land anything of consequence by circling the perimeter of the ring at high speed.
Score: 10-8 Oubaali Oubaali 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Jun Bae Lim 38-37 Oubaali, Judge Alejandro Rochin 39-36 Oubaali, Judge David Sutherland 40-35 Oubaali
Oubaali was forcing too hard in this round and as a result Inoue was catching him with right counters. Oubaali landed a few punches when he pinned Inoue to the ropes but Inoue worked his way off the ropes and was again effective with his jab. Late in the round Oubaali pinned Inoue to the ropes again and let fly with punches. He left himself open and a huge left hook from Inoue straightened Oubaali’s legs but Oubaali quickly recovered.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Oubaali 48-46
A closer round with more misses than hits from both fighters. Inoue was effective with his jab and right crosses but Oubaali found the target with enough straight lefts to take the points.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 58-55
Another round that could have been scored to either fighter. The pace was fast but the exchanges were brief so plenty of interest but little excitement. This time the clever boxing, accurate jabbing and right counters saw Inoue take it.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Oubaali 67-65
Both fighters have excellent technical skills but the separator in this round was Oubaali throwing combination whilst Inoue was a one punch at a time merchant. Oubaali rocked Inoue with a big left cross and although Inoue landed a heavy right of his own Oubaali was again on target with his left before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 77-74
Official Scores: Lim 77-74 Oubaali, Riochin 79-72 Oubaali, Sutherland 80-71 Oubaali.
Oubaali’s round. Again he was throwing plenty of short punches as he drove forward. He was getting past Inoue’s jab and although some of his punches were short or blocked he was first to the punch as Inoue was waiting too long to let his own go. There was a recklessness about Inoue’s attacks as he must have know he was behind in the scores
Score:10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 87-83
Not much between them in this round. Inoue was fired up but he had trouble hunting Oubaali down. Oubaali moved, countered and jumped in with quick attacks and on the occasions when they did stand and trade a few punches Oubaali’s lefts came out on top.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 97-92
Same scenario here. Inoue was forced to try to take the fight too Oubaali but just could not pin Oubaali down long enough to be effective. Oubaali continued to throw plenty of hooks and enough pierced Inoue’s guard to make it the champion’s round-just.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 107-101
Inoue attacked wildly in the last. He was charging forward slinging wild punches and walking onto counter after counter from Oubaali as the champion easily took the round.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 117-110
Official Scores: Lim 115-112 Oubaali, Rochin 120-107 Oubaali, Sutherland 117-110 Oubaali.
Second defence of the WBC belt by the 33year-old former French double Olympian. After defences in Kazakhstan and Japan he must be hoping for a home defence next-or a triple title unifier against Naoya Inoue or a two title unifier against the winner of Zolani Tete vs. John Riel Casimero but the WBC will probably push him to defend against his mandatory challenger Luis Nery. Loser Inoue gave it his best but he just lacked both the experience and the class to win this one. He is only 23 and will have plenty of money behind him so could land another title shot next year but his weaknesses were exposed here.
Fresno, CA, USA: Super Feather: Jamal Herring (21-2) W PTS 12 Lamont Roach (19-1-1). Heavy: Kubrat Pulev (28-1) W PTS 10 Rydell Booker (26-3). Middle: Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0) W TKO 6 Albert Onolunose (24-3-1). Middle: Esquiva Falcao (25-0) W TKO 3 Manny Woods (16-9-1). Welter: Amir Imam (22-2) W TKO 4 Marcos Mojica (16-5-2). Light: Gabriel Flores Jr (18-0) W PTS 8 Aelio Mesquita (19-5). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (1-1) W KO 6 Fernando Ibarra (2-2).
Herring vs. Roach
Herring retains the WBO title with a unanimous decision over a disappointing Roach who starts slowly and never really catches up as Herring effectively controls the fight with his jab.
Dominant first round from Herring. He had height and reach over Roach and was spearing Roach with right jabs. He was following in with lefts to the body and bossing things from the centre of the ring. Roach landed a couple of hooks inside but that was all.
Score: 10-9 Herring
A closer round but still Herring’s. Roach decided to box on the back foot and try to draw Herring in. Herring was again finding gaps for his jab and throwing more and landing more. Roach fired some short bursts of punches but mostly came up short.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 20-18
Herring continued to boss the fight. He took control of the ring centre and just kept connect with right jabs and long lefts to the body. Roach was waiting and waiting and threw very few punches. Herring was in his comfort zone on the outside and Roach never threatened to change that.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 30-27
No real change here. With his strong jab and plenty of movement Herring was outboxing Roach who just could not get close and when he did Herring was quicker to the punch and then moved to distance and went back to the jab again. Roach just did not seem to have a game plan for dealing with Herring’s jab.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 40-36
Roach did better in this round. He pressed his attacks more and connected with some hooks when he got inside. He was only fighting in bursts whereas Herring was ramming home the jab and landing lefts to the body and just did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 50-45
Herring upped his pace at the start of this one. He was getting through with lefts and then raked Roach with a cluster of punches. Roach managed to get inside a couple of times but was largely ineffective and Herring was doing most of the scoring including a right hook which shook Roach and was the best punch landed so far in a disappointing fight.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 60-54
Finally a round for Roach. He was coming forward with more purpose and getting past Herring’s jab to score inside. Herring’s work rate dropped and he was not as accurate with his jabs and he looked a lot less composed under the pressure.
Score: 10-9 Roach Herring 69-64
Herring was on the front foot at the start of this round jabbing well and firing lefts to the body. Roach picked up his pace and was taking an extra step forward getting in range where he was able to score with right hooks. Herring did a bit more than he had in the seventh and Roach a bit less but Roach just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Roach Herring 78-74
Herring took charge of the round. Instead of standing outside he moved forward putting Roach under pressure and was the one landing with hooks. The change of tactics threw Roach and Herring continued to get the better of the exchanges with lefts inside and he made Roach stumble with a right to the head.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 88-83
Another round for Herring. He was back to the jab and Roach was stuck on the end of it. He needed to get inside where his hooks would work for him but he did not force the fight enough and Herring was able to score on the outside and smother Roach's work inside.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 98-92
Although all he had to do was box his way through the last two rounds Herring started out standing and trading and was caught by a big left hook to the head. Herring steadied himself and went back to his boxing. Just before the bell Roach clipped Herring with a right to the side of the head and suddenly Herrings legs turned to spaghetti. Roach threw punches trying desperately to capitalise on that but the bell came before he could do more damage. If that punch had landed two minutes earlier Herring would have been in deep water.
Score: 10-9 Roach Herring 107-102
In the last. Roach was lunging forward trying to find the punch that had shaken Herring in the eleventh but was too wild and Herring picked him off with jabs and did the cleaner work.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 117-111
Official Scores: Judge Rey Danseco 117-111, Judge Max DeLuca 115-113, Judge Gary Ritter 117-111 all for Herring.
The 34-year-old former Marine won the title with a wide points victory over Masayuki Ito in May in a career that seemed to be going nowhere but has been revitalised with Top Rank. Oscar Valdez is his mandatory challenger and that will be a much harder fight. Roach, 24, is a better fighter than he looked here and he seemed to freeze over the early rounds. He has time to recoup and try again.
Pulev vs. Booker
Pulev outpoints Booker in a pedestrian performance and does nothing to advance his hopes of a world title fight. Although carrying 48lbs more than he did when he first turned pro Booker has some skill and he did enough to take the first round. Pulev did better in the second and third jarring Booker with jabs and scoring with a few long right crosses and starting a swelling under the right eye of Booker. Booker is vastly overweight and most of the surplus is around his waist but Pulev ignored that target and just kept head hunting. The best punch in the third round was a right to the chin from Booker. The pace was slow but even that was too fast for Booker and his work rate dropped as the fight went on. Pulev was able to land heavy jabs on a static target and Booker was often content to lie against the ropes behind a high guard and let Pulev try to find gaps. A big right cross had Booker hurt at the end of the sixth. Pulev was able to tee-off against a passive Booker in the seventh and eighth but Booker took the punishment without really looking to be in any trouble and just threw enough punches to convince the referee to let the fight continue. Pulev landed a series of straight right in the ninth with Booker only looking to survive. Booker was a little livelier at the start of the tenth but then went back into his shell as Pulev piled on the punches to the bell. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for Pulev. The 38-year-old Bulgarian, the IBF No 1, is big, strong and limited. If he stays unbeaten then the IBF will probably insist that the winner of the Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua fight Pulev or be stripped so he could land a title fight in the first half of 2020 but time is running out for him. Booker, 38. Has stayed busy since returning to the ring in 2018 after almost 14 years in prison and he looks destined to just be an evening’s work for better heavyweights.
Alimkhanuly vs. Onolunose
Kazak southpaw Alimkhanuly has an easy night against Onolunose who looked every one of his 39 years in a hapless performance. In a slow start the much taller Alimkhanuly was able to work at distance with his southpaw jab and Onolunose had to reach with his punches and Alimkhanuly was countering him when he did. Alimkhanuly picked up the pace in the third circling a static Onolunose spearing him with right jabs and landing right hooks and occasionally putting together accurate combinations. Alimkhanuly was buzzing around the painfully slow Onolunose in the fourth picking his spots as the Nigerian-born Canadian plodded forward behind a high guard rarely throwing a punch. It was exhibition stuff from Alimkhanuly in the fifth as he constantly circled Onolunose prodding him with jabs and banging home body punches. Onolunose was dire. He was so slow and looked frightened to throw a punch in case he opened himself up to counters. Alimkhanuly ended it in the sixth. He had Onolunose backing off with a hook to the body and followed Onolunose to the ropes and proceeded to drive Onolunose around the ring until Onolunose dropped to one knee. He got up at eight-reluctantly-and as Alimkhanuly was again unloading on the retreating Onolunose the referee stopped the fight. Alimkhanuly was making the second defence of the WBC Continental Americas title and collects the WBO Global belt. Onolunose was a reasonable looking 6-1-1 in his last 8 fights but really should think of walking away.
Falcao vs. Woods
No danger to Falcao’s world rating in this one as he pounds Woods to defeat in three rounds. Falcao was aiming to get this one over quickly. He came out firing and rocked Woods early with hooks. Woods hit back occasionally but when he did he was opening himself up to more punishment and was pinned to the ropes under pressure for the last minute of the opening round. The Brazilian southpaw worked a more measured rate in the second but it was still one-way traffic and he bombarded Woods with hooks and rocked him consistently with left uppercuts. Woods tried to stay off the ropes in the third but it made no difference to the punishment he was taking. A left to the body hurt Woods badly and he backed to the ropes and almost went down. The referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The World and Olympic silver medallist is rated WBC 6, IBF 7(5) and WBO 15 and has a useful 17 wins by KO/TKO. He lost to Ryota Murata in both the Worlds and Olympics and a shot at the WBA secondary title held by Murata seems Falcao’s best chance of a world title fight at this stage. Floridian Woods in way over his head as he suffers his fifth loss in his last six fights,
Imam vs. Mojica
“Young Master” Imam eases his way back into action with a stoppage of Mojica. It was obvious in the first that Imam was much too quick for the limited Nicaraguan. He was using his longer reach and superior hand speed to shoot jabs through Mojica’s guard, doubling and tripling them and he ended the round with a vicious left hook to the body. Mojica landed a few jabs of his own at the start of the second but for most of the round he was eating jabs from Imam. It looked as though Imam was happy to get in some ring time in the third as he stuck to the jab. Mojica was able to come forward and connect with some hooks but Imam closed the round with some crisp combinations. In the fourth as Imam missed with a lazy right he came back with a left hook to the body and Mojica dropped to one knee in some pain. He was up at seven and when the action resumed Imam forced him to a corner and as Mojica slid down to the canvas the referee stopped the fight. First fight for Imam since losing on points against Juan Carols Ramirez for the vacant WBC super light title in March 2018. A long dispute over his contract has kept him out of the ring but now he will be aiming for another title shot once he gets a few fights under his belt. Third too tough assignment in a row for Mojica with losses to unbeaten prospects Daniyar Yeleussinov and Gary Antuanne Russell before this one to Imam.
Flores vs. Mesquita
Exciting prospect Flores gets eight rounds of useful work from Brazilian Mesquita. In the first Flores was using his long reach to both pierce Mesquita’s guard and open him up for right crosses. In the second Flores continued to come forward behind his jab and connected with a series of punishing left hooks at the end of the round. He rattled Mesquita with combinations in the third but after he landed a hard right Mesquita just poked his tongue out and fired back. Mesquita was much more aggressive in the fourth and although still having to eat jabs and straight rights he landed some hooks of his own and threw in some showboating. Flores was on target again with jabs and rights in the fifth and sixth but again Mesquita was fighting back in short bursts. Flores came on strong over the last two rounds but Mesquita whilst never looking like winning a round stayed competitive to the end. Scores 80-72 for Flores on the three cards. The 19-year-old from Stockton is developing well and there is no reason to rush him. Mesquita has been beaten inside the distance four times but all in fights where he was matched tough and expected to lose.
Ramirez vs. Ibarra
Former Cuban amateur star Ramirez gets his first pro win at the second attempt. After his shock loss to Adan Gonzalez no chances were taken here. Ramirez was several levels better than novice Ibarra on skill and Ibarra was a no-power puncher. That allowed Ramirez to display his considerable talent. He boxed, traded and showboated often toying with Ibarra. After five one-sided rounds Ramirez landed a hard body punch that had Ibarra backing away. Ramirez took him to a corner and landed a series of punches with another body punch putting Ibarra down with the fight being stopped immediately. The 25-year-old two-time Olympic champion is on track and now needs to prove that the Gonzalez loss was just a bump on his road to fame as a pro. Ibarra, 19 did better than expected by going into the sixth round so did his job.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Middle: Billy Joe Saunders (29-0) W KO 11 Marcelo Coceres (28-1-1). Light: Devin Haney (24-0) W PTS 12 Alfredo Santiago (12-1). Super Bantam: Ronny Rios (32-3) W TKO 4 Hugo Berrio (28-7-1,1ND).
Saunders vs. Coceres
Saunders conjures up a stoppage victory but can’t really avoid the fact that this was a disappointing performance against a modest if awkward challenger.
A cautious round from both boxers. Saunders was quicker with his right jab and landed a good left early Coceres circled the perimeter of the ring countering with a few left hooks. Saunders ended the round on the attack and they traded punches with Saunders doing enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Saunders
Too much posing by both boxers at the start of the round but then the action warmed up. Saunders was again on target with his jabs. Coceres was stepping in firing short bursts of light hooks but Saunders was blocking many and was more accurate with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 20-18
Coceres tried some rushing attacks but good footwork and clever upper body movement from Saunders meant nothing got through. Saunders was quicker with the jab and landed some sneaky lefts and in a round in which neither fighter had much success that was enough to give him the round.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 30-27
Greater accuracy and better defensive work gave Saunders this round. His jab was too quick for Coceres and when Coceres marched forward pumping out short punches Saunders was blocking or dodging them. Saunders landed low and the referee sent Coceres to a corner for some recovery time. Saunders followed them and launched a punch before the referee had signalled for the action to continue and he was give a stern warning.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 38-38, Judge Lou Moret 40-36 Saunders, Judge Robin Taylor 39-37 Saunders.
A round for Coceres. He was connecting with lead rights and Saunders just could not get on target with his jab. Saunders countered well with hooks when against the ropes but Coceres continued to score with his rights.
Score 10-9 Coceres Saunders 49-46:
Another round to Coceres. Both fighters were spending too much time trying to out-feint each other and not punching. Coceres again had success with lead rights and pinned Saunders to the ropes and connected with some body punches. Saunders seemed to be having trouble working out his tactics against someone who was using his own tactics on him.
Score: 10-9 Coceres Saunders 58-56
Saunders just edged a close one. Neither fighter did a lot of useful work in a round and a fight that was lacking in entertainment. Saunders was more accurate with his jab. Coceres threw more punches but missed with more punches and Saunders finished the round strongly.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 68-65
Coceres round. He was getting through with his rights. He was either leading with the right or drawing the jab and then countering. Saunders was showing some fancy footwork but throwing too few punches and Coceres was outworking him.
Score: 10-9 Coceres Saunders 77-75
Official Scores Jarman 77-75 Coceres, Moret 78-74 Saunders, Taylor 77-75 Saunders
Neither fighter did a great deal in this round. Saunders used his jab a bit more and Coceres attacked a little less. Saunders scored with some hooks late in the round and that was enough to give him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 87-84
This one swung back to Coceres. Saunders went away from his jab and traded hooks with Coceres which favoured the challenger. He was connecting with rights and ended the round with a flourish of hooks.
Score: 10-9 Coceres Saunders 96-94
As they traded punches early in the eleventh Saunders landed with a right to the side of the head and then a left to the head. Coceres dropped to his hands and knees. He stood up but then took a couple of steps and went down on his hands and knees again. The referee continued the count from when Coceres had first gone down and Coceres was up at eight. Coceres tried to punch his way out of trouble and as they both swung wildly a left hook put Coceres down again. He beat the count but when he was floored by another left the referee waived the fight over. Saunders was making the first defence of his WBO title and had a faint hope that an impressive performance might just impel him into a huge fight with Saul Alvarez. It is questionable whether Alvarez would want to take a match with Saunders because of the Brits style but after this showing it would be an impossible sell. It is difficult to get enthusiastic over Saunders vs. his mandatory challenger Erik Bazinyan and a fight with WBC champion Callum Smith looks unlikely so it is hard to see where Saunders goes from here. Coceres did much better than expected but I feel this performance flattered him and he will struggle against any of the top super middles.
Haney vs. Santiago
Haney has no trouble holding on to a version of the WBC title (Vasyl Lomachenko is the real champion for me despite the “franchise” rubbish) as he outboxes a modest Santiago who falls away after a competitive start.
Santiago had edges in height and reach and tried to find the target early with his jab. Haney had no trouble dodging or blocking the jabs and jumped in quickly to land with hooks, Santiago connected with a right late but Haney made him pay with rapid jabs and a series of rights.
Score: 10-9 Haney
Both fighters were short with their punches in the second until Santiago scored with a lunging right to the head. Haney showed some smart defensive work and some aggression late but Santiago did good work with his jab and did enough to earn the round.
Score: 10-9 Santiago Haney 20-18
Haney was having trouble dealing with the longer reach of Santiago and was caught with a long right. Haney had more success when he put together some combinations. He was just doing enough to edge the round but it was close and it was Haney’s defensive work rather that his punches that saw him take this round.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 29--28
Santiago switched to southpaw in this round and now his right jab was getting though with Haney looking crude with some head down rushes trying to get inside. Santiago continued to score with his jab and landed a couple of rights. Haney tried to get inside but Santiago was tying him up and for me did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Santiago TIED 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Karen Holderfield 40-36 Haney, Judge Alejandro Rochin 40-36 Haney, Judge Zachary Young 40-36 Haney
There had been nothing of the wonder kid about Haney so far but he stepped up in this round. He was now beating Santiago to the jab putting together combinations connecting with straight rights and right hooks. Santiago missed with a right and Haney connected with two rights to the head and missed with two other punches as Santiago went back and down. He beat the count and although stumbling and floundering made it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Haney Haney 48-46
Santiago used his jab well and found the target with a couple of rights and tied Haney up inside but the fire had gone out of his work. Haney finished the round well jabbing strongly and getting the better of a furious exchange
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 58-55
Haney was now controlling the fight with his superior hand speed. He was scoring with quick jabs and following right hooks. Santiago was no longer on the front foot, his jab had vanished, and he was throwing less punches and just looking to hold inside.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 68-64
Santiago landed a couple of hooks at the start but then Haney took over. His jab was just too quick for Santiago to block or dodge and Haney was connecting with rights to the head. Santiago was doing a lot of holding inside and not working and Haney ended the round with a burst of punches.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 78-73
Official Scores Holderfield 80-71, Rochin 80-71, Young 80-71 all for Haney.
Haney was now totally in charge. He was putting together some flashy combinations scoring with lefts to the body and rights to the head. Santiago was just lunging forward so that he could get close enough to hold Haney and smother the champions work but was throwing very few punches.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 88-82
Santiago went southpaw again but a couple of rights from Haney quickly made him change back to orthodox. This was a poor round with Haney landing an occasional left hook and Santiago doing a lot of holding and very little punching in what was turning out to be a disappointing fight.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 98-91
Santiago came to life again and threw some punches and landed some. Haney found the range with jabs and left hooks and Santiago went back to holding. A punch opened a cut over Santiago’s left eye and they exchanged punches late in the round with Haney the most accurate.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 108-100
No last round heroics from Santiago. Haney just kept sticking him with the jab and Santiago never managed to scrape up any meaningful attacks as Haney boxed his way to the bell.
Score 10-09 Haney Haney 118-109
Official Scores: Holderfield 120-107 Haney, Rochin 120-107 Haney, Young 120-107 Haney.
The 20-year-old Californian will have better nights than this. He found Santiago an awkward opponent and had little chance to shine. After the fifth round knockdown Santiago lost his confidence and from then did more clinching than fighting. Haney showed his talent when he could but had little opportunity to do so here. Gervonta Davis is No 1 with the WBC and that would be an interesting clash between two very talented young fighters. Puerto Rican-based Dominican Santiago looked useful for four rounds then he just turned spoiler and made this a dull fight.
Rios vs. Berrio
This was scheduled for twelve but never looked likely to go that far. Rios was hunting Berrio down in the first loading up on his punches and connecting with overhand rights and left hooks to the body. Berrio battled back strongly in the second but lacked the power to worry Rios who was mixing uppercuts along with the hooks and overhand rights and opened a cut over Berrio’s left eye with a punch. Rios put together some brutal combinations in the third and was doubling up with his left hooks. The doctor examined Berrio in the interval but let the fight continue. Berrio tried to punch with Rios in the fourth but was beaten down and forced back until a driven straight right dumped him on the floor. He bravely climbed to his feet but the referee saved him from further punishment. Rios, a former WBC super bantamweight title challenger, revived his career with a stoppage of unbeaten Diego De La Hoya in July which won him the NABF and WBA Gold titles and he was defending his Gold title here. He must be hoping that he can land a shot in 2020 against Daniel Roman who holds both the WBA and IBF titles. Colombian Berrio had been confining himself to domestic tussles and was 5-0,1ND going in having won the Colombian title but he was never in with a chance against the power of Rios.
Tucson, AZ, USA: Heavy: Alex Flores (18-2-1) W TKO 6 Mario Heredia (16-8-1). Welter: Santiago Dominguez (20-0) W KO 1 Ravshan Hudaynazarov (17-3). Super Middle: Juan Jose Barajas (11-0) W PTS 8 Fidel Hernandez (20-8-1).
Flores vs. Heredia
Californian Flores stops a bloated Heredia in six rounds. The 6’4” Flores towered over an elephantine Heredia (Heredia’s height was given as 6’3” but BoxRec shows a more representative 5’10”) and Flores dominated the action. Heredia had some success when he could use his 52lbs weight advantage to bull Flores to the ropes but mostly he just soaked up punishment. Flores drove Heredia to the ropes in the third and Heredia slid down to rest on the middle rope before bouncing back and was belatedly given a count. . Heredia survived but was really just a punch bag. In the fifth with Heredia pinned on the ropes Flores landed heavily to head and body and Heredia went down on one knee for another count. A vicious left hook to the body put Heredia down again. He briefly arose only to turn round and go down again and although he made it to his feet the fight was stopped. Flores, 29, has 16 inside the distance victories. His losses have come inside the distance against Charles Martin and Joseph Parker. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for Heredia who was stopped in three rounds by Filip Hrgovic in December.
Dominguez vs. Hudaynazarov
Outstanding performance by unbeaten Dominguez in what looked a fairly even match on paper. Dominguez landed a left hook to the body and a right to the head and then repeated the sequence and Hudaynazarov went down flat on his back. He tried to get up but was counted out so all over in 40 seconds. Fort Worth-based Mexican makes it eight quick finishes in a row and only four of his victims has gone the distance, but the quality has been questionable. He collects the vacant WBC USNBC belt. After scoring 17 wins in a row Uzbek Hudaynazarov, 35, was then inactive for four years and has now lost all three of his contests since he returned in February 2018.
Barajas vs. Hernandez
Barajas wins every round against ancient Hernandez. At 6’3” the unbeaten Barajas was 7” taller and 20 years younger than Hernandez and was able to control the fight from the start. Hernandez bravely marched forward but was speared with jabs and then rocked by straight rights. Hernandez took the lumps and rolled on. He lost a point in the seventh for a low punch and despite a big effort in the last Barajas could not get him out of there. Scores 80-71 for Barajas from all of the judges. The 22-year-old “Just Business” is being sensibly matched. Hernandez, 42, turned pro before Barajas was born and was away for the ring for 16 years before returning in 2017. He is 4-4-1 since then but announced this was his last fight.
Amsterdam, Holland: Super Light: Rafik Harutjunan (13-3) W PTS 10 Damian Yapur (15-15-3). Welter: Xavier Kohlen (7-0) W PTS 10 Denis Krieger (14-10-2).
Harutjunan vs. Yapur
Harutjunan wins the vacant Dutch title with unanimous decision over Madrid-based Argentinian Yapur. It was a closer fight than the scores indicate. Harutyunyan was cut over the left eye in a clash of heads but built a lead with Yapur coming on strong over the late rounds. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92. The Armenian-born Harutjunan rises to 4-3 in his last 7 fights. Spanish-based Yapur suffers his eighth loss in a row but as always he came to fight and gave Harutjunjan a good test.
Kohlen vs. Krieger
Kohler stays busy with points victory against German-based Moldovan Krieger. Many of the rounds were close with the harder punches from making the difference. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Kohlen. The highly educated Kohlen was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and he claims the Dutch title. Fifth loss on the bounce for Krieger but he has been overmatched and competed well here.
La Banda, Argentina: Super Light: Hugo Roldan (17-0) W PTS 10 Victor Velasquez (17-10) Roldan moves to 17 wins with comprehensive victory against the overmatched veteran Velasquez. Scores 100-90, 100-90 ½ and 100-92. No 1 Roldan will be looking to challenger for the national title early in 2020. Velasquez, 37, a former Argentinian welterweight champion was having his first fight for two years.
Guerande, France: Middle: David Papot (23-0-1) W PTS 8 Vaghinak Tamrazyan (16-6). If Papot was expecting a nice, easy night he was mistaken. Tamrazyan walked through everything Papot threw to get inside and work to the body. Papot had height and reach and he made Tamrazyan pay every step of the way but just could not subdue to storming Russian. He rocked Tamrazyan occasionally and did most of the scoring but it was a hard twenty-four minutes of work for the former undefeated French champion. Scores 78-74 for Papot on all of the judges score sheets. The 28-year-old from Saint Nazaire put on impressive performance in drawing with James McGirt Jr in June and will be looking to build on that. Armenian-born Tamrazyan was 4-1 in his previous 5 outings.
Bergisch Gladback, Germany: Middle: Uensal Arik (30-2) W PTS 8 Siarhei Huliakevich (43-12-1).Cruiser: Tervel Pulev (14-0) W TKO 2 Kai Kurzawa (38-9).
Arik vs. Huliakevich
Arik wins the vacant WBC Asian Silver title with hard fought win over Huliakevich. There was plenty of honest endeavours here but not a great deal of quality work. Arik won the fight on the basis of his strength, constant aggression and high work rate. Huliakevich tended to fight in burst but showed some useful defence moves and was never really in any trouble. Arik had bumps and bruises around both eyes and went to the hospital after the fight just to be checked and was OK. The 39-year-old German-born Turk is a former WBU and GBU world champion. He has been a harsh critic of Turkish Premier Tayyip Erdogan and there was a security service at the hall for his protection. He is now aiming to enter politics in Germany. Belarusian Huliakevich, 38, was 0-5-1 going into this one but he showed power and durability.
Pulev vs. Kurzawa
A poor excuse for a match sees Pulev stop oldie Kurzawa inside a round. Pulev floored Kurzawa early and then had him wincing from a left hook to the body before driving Kurzawa to the canvas with a straight right to force the stoppage. The 36-year-old Bulgarian, the younger brother of Kubrat, moves to eleven inside the distance victories but he is going to have to take risks and face much better opposition as he is too advanced in age to waste time with fights like this. Kurzawa, 43, has lost 5 of his last 6 fights all inside four rounds.
Oviedo, Spain: Super Welter: Jose Fandino (15-6) W TKO 2 Sergio Fernandez (9-1-1). Welter: Aitor Nieto (25-6-1) W PTS 6 Khalid Habchane (7-4-1).
Fandino vs. Fernandez
Fandino wins a Spanish title at the third attempt with stoppage of Fernandez. When these two met in February Fernandez won the vacant national title with a split decision over neighbour Fandino. It looked as though the second match might be set to go the same way as Fernandez outboxed Fandino over the first round. Fernandez was on his way to collecting the points in the second when a huge right from Fandino dropped him heavily. He struggled to his feet but was in no condition to continue and the referee stopped the fight. At 35 Fandino was probably in the last chance saloon . His figures do not look good but he had been in tough losing fights against Ronny Landaeta, Esquiva Falcao and Anderson Prestot who at the time he faced them had combined records of 51-1. He is strictly domestic level but it was a big night for him this time.
Nieto vs. Habchane
Neighbourhood fighter Nieto marks time with comfortable victory over Moroccan Habchane. Nieto floored Habchane in the second round and then boxed his way through the remaining four rounds for a comfortable victory. The Spanish champion and twice EU title challenger was returning after nine months out due to an injury to his left hand. Habchane, 42, never posed any threat.
Sydney, Australia: light: Kye MacKenzie (21-2) W PTS 10 Francis Chua (7-1-1). Super Bantam: Luke Boyd (8-0) W KO 1 Jon Jon Jet (10-1). Cruiser: Ben Sila (9-0) W TKO 8 Victor Oganov (32-8). Heavy: Lucas Browne (29-2) W TKO 2 John Hopoate (12-7).
MacKenzie vs. Chua
When these two met in November southpaw Chua pulled off a shock win over the highly rated and much more experienced MacKenzie over six rounds, Mackenzie had everything in his favour in this return match, He was the home fighter and it was over ten rounds with Chua never having gone more than six. MacKenzie was much the better technician and used his longer reach to do some good work at distance. Southpaw Chua was less skilful but strong and aggressive and never stopped coming and it was war in round after round. The eighth was a great round as they just stood and belted each other and it was MacKenzie who proved the stronger. Despite a vertical cut over his left eye MacKenzie greater experience saw him pace the fight better and emerge a good winner. MacKenzie got his revenge but Chua also showed that the first result was no freak as Mackenzie had to fight hard all the way. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for MacKenzie who lifts the vacant WBA Oceania title. MacKenzie had climbed into the world rating on the back of a run of six wins before the loss to Chua and will be looking to get back into the ratings and climb from there. Chua’s stock has been boosted even in this losing effort and he will be eyeing a national title now.
Boyd vs. Jet
Boyd overwhelms Indonesian Jet and knocks him cold in the first round. Boyd was crouched like a sprinter ready to start a 100 metre race and he came out fast. He jumped on poor Jet and rocked him early with a right. He then drove forward sending lefts and right crashing through the Indonesian’s defence. He took Jet to the ropes but Jet fought his way off only to be nailed with a full-blooded straight right that deposited the Indonesian flat on his back spread-eagled on the canvas. The referee just waived the fight off. Local fighter Boyd, 32, wins the vacant interim WBA Oceania title with his six win by KO/TKO. He was a top class amateur winning the Australian title and twice collecting gold medals at the Oceania Games. He represented Australia at two world championships and the 2008 Olympic Games but had only five fights in his first four years as a pro. He seems to be taking things much more seriously as this is his third win this year with all three ending inside the first round. First fight outside Indonesia for Jet who is basically a prelim fighter.
Sila vs. Oganov
The only surprise in this fight is that Oganov last as long as he did. A fat and shop-worn Oganov was giving away height, reach and age and was an easy target for Sila. Oganov took his lumps but was never in the fight. Finally in the eighth Sila pinned Oganov to the ropes and snapped his head from side to side until Oganov dropped to the floor. The referee gave Oganov an eight count and should have stopped the fight then. Instead he signalled for the fight to continue and then stepped in and halted the fight before Sila could land another punch. Sila can expect to move up from his No 14 position in the Australian ratings but needs better opposition as his previous eight victims had just twelve wins between them. Oganov, 43, was No 7 in the ratings but had his best days as a super middleweight.
Browne vs. Hopoate
This fight made Sila vs. Oganov look good. Browne had 5” in height over the slow-footed ponderous and grossly overweight Tongan. Browne was able to score with jabs and heavy rights at distance but occasionally Hopoate would bundle Brown to the ropes and swing crude hooks. Hopoate stumbled past Browne into the ropes after missing with a wild swing and he went down under a couple of punches from Browne. He was up quickly and they wrestled to the bell. Hopoate tried some wild swings in the second and had some success but was totally gassed and after Browne took him to the ropes and landed a series of head punches the fight was stopped. A waste of time for Browne and the crowd but he needed a win after being stopped in three rounds by Dave Allen in April. The 44-year-old Hopoate was out of the ring for almost nine years before being knocked out in two rounds by Paul Gallen in February and weighed a career high of 256 ½ lbs.
London, England: Welter: Michael McKinson (18-0) W PTS 10 Luis Veron (17-1-2). Light: Liam Walsh (23-1) W PTS 10 Maxi Hughes (19-5-2). Middle: Danny Dignum (12-0) W TKO 5 Conrad Cummings (17-4-1). Super Light: Daniel Egbunike (6-0) W PTS 10 Billy Allington (8-012).
McKinson vs. Veron
In a clash of unbeaten fighters southpaw McKinson boxes his way to victory against an aggressive Veron. The bout started at a fast pace with both boxers stabbing out quick jabs. As Veron moved in McKinson threw a light punch which just brushed the top of Veron’s head and Veron dropped to one knee. It looked more as though Veron had overbalanced but he was given a count. Veron was coming forward forcing the fight in the second and third. McKinson was scoring well with counters and they traded punches throughout the round with Veron connecting with some strong hooks. Veron continued to forge forward in the fourth with McKinson forced to stand and trade and landing the better punches. In the fifth a straight left from McKinson knocked Veron over. He was not badly hurt and was up immediately and attacked for the rest of the round. McKinson’s boxed cleverly on the back foot over the sixth and seventh and Veron was cut over his right eye. McKinson did not have the punch to stop Veron marching forward in the eighth and ninth but his smart defensive moves and accurate counters gave him the edge in both rounds. With two 10-8 rounds against him Veron had no choice but to go for broke in the last. He had some success but was wide open and McKinson was able to find the target with counters throughout the round and was a clear winner in an entertaining ten rounds. Scores 99-89, 98-90, and 97-91all for McKinson. The 25-year-old WBO European champion has excellent skills but he has only two wins inside the distance and that lack of power could be a drawback against higher class opposition. Veron was strong and aggressive but after 17 starlight wins he was coming off two draws against very moderate domestic opposition.
Walsh vs. Hughes
Walsh takes the unanimous decision over Hughes in a quality contest between two experienced high level professionals. This was supposed to be a clash of two southpaws but Walsh came out in the first in the orthodox left hand lead stance and fought that way through the whole ten rounds. Walsh took the opener with sharp left jabs and some accurate straight rights. These are two excellent technicians and Hughes was working well with his jab in the second and landed a couple of crisp lefts but Walsh was quick and on target with his jabs and was driving rights through the defence of Hughes and clearly won the round. In the third Hughes was on the back foot trying to draw the lead and counter but Walsh was too quick slotting jabs home and again finding the target with long rights. Hughes did better in the fourth and fifth. He was getting through with his jab and counter lefts with Walsh short with his punches and he got Walsh’s attention with an uppercut in the fifth. As expected this was turning out to be a fast-paced entertaining contest. Walsh was back in charge in the sixth. He found the range for his left jabs and for the last two minutes cracked Hughes with right after right. Walsh was working the jab again in the seventh but Hughes landed a beautiful right uppercut and followed that with a solid left to the head. Walsh laughed the shots off but they were quality punches. Walsh took the eighth as he added some vicious left hooks to the body to his accurate jabbing. Hughes countered when he could and again connected with a quality uppercut but the body punches from Walsh were hurtful. There was no let up in the pace as Hughes decided to try to get in close to avoid the jabs and long rights from Walsh. He managed to score with some meaty hooks inside but for much of the round he was on the end of Walsh’s jab and right crosses. Hughes fought hard in the last but the better quality work came from Walsh as he finished strongly earning the decision. There were a number of good matches on this show and this was the best. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Walsh and the 97-93 seemed about right to me. Walsh, 33, wins the vacant WBO European title. This is the second brick in his rebuilding process. He was stopped in three rounds by Gervonta Davis for the IBF super feather title in May 2017 and was then inactive until returning with a low level win in May this year. Hughes is a warrior and his losses have come in top level domestic fights two of them for the British super feather title and it would not surprise me if he fights for a British title again in 2020.
Dignum vs. Cummings
Dignum wins the vacant WBO European title as he halts Cummings in five rounds. Cummings made a storming start piling forward over the first two rounds bobbing and weaving to get inside and to rough Dignum up. Southpaw Dignum was forced on to the back foot but he boxed and countered well. Cumming lost a point for continually thrusting his elbow into Dignum’s face. Cummings continued his head down rushing attacks in the third but Dignum was moving smartly creating room and connecting inside with hooks to the body and sharp uppercuts. In the fourth Cummings was given a stern warning for yet another offence with his elbow. He looked to be tiring and was walking onto some wicked hooks and uppercuts from Dignum and at the bell was bleeding from the nose and cut over the right eye. As Cummings walked forward in the fifth Dignum met him with two punishing straight lefts. Cummings took a step back and when he started forward again an even stronger left had him staggering and stumbling and the referee made a good stoppage. Quality performance from the tall fighter from Essex and his sixth win inside the distance. He will get a world rating from the WBO for winning their European title but as this was Dignum’s first ten round fight that is quite ridiculous. Cummings was having his third shot at this title having lost twice on points to Luke Keeler in previous attempts.
Egbunike vs. Allington
Egbunike wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with points victory over Allington. Egbunike was the more composed fighter with more variety in his work. Allington did his best work with the jab but Egbunike was busier with quicker hands. Neither fighter was ever in trouble but the mix of styles worked well to make an interesting fight. Although it was his first ten round fight Allington staged a strong finish to take the last but it was not enough to offset Egbunike’s earlier dominance. Referee’s score 97-93 for Egbunike. The winner showed some good skills but at 30 he may have to take some risky fights to make the progress he needs. Allington was competitive but his lack of power will limit his horizon.
Hamburg, Germany: Super Light: Artem Harutyunyan (8-0) W PTS 10 Islam Dumanov (10-2). Super Welter: Nick Klappert (29-3) W PTS 10 Antonio Hoffmann (22-2). Heavy: Zhan Kossobutskiy (12-0) W TKO 1 Agron Smakici (15-1). Super Middle: Leon Bauer (17-0-1) W PTS 8Toni Kraft (16-1-1). Middle: Patrick Wojcicki (14-0-1) W TKO 4 Robert Swierzbinski (21-10-2). Super Middle: Osleys Iglesias (2-0) W KO 2 Rafael Bejaran (26-5-1).
Harutyunyan vs. Dumanov
This show marked the return to boxing of Universum. Armenian-born German Harutyunyan had to fight hard to get a majority verdict over inexperienced Russian Dumanov. Harutyunyan made an impressive start with his quick movement and stiff jabs. He staggered Dumanov with a left in the first round and soon built a lead. Dumanov got into the fight by switching tactics instead of taking the fight to Harutyunyan he went on the back foot and was successful with some accurate counters. Harutyunyan looked to be back in control but Dumanov switched tactics again and began to drive forward rocking Harutyunyan with a left in the seventh. Harutyunyan took the eighth but Dumanov finished strongly. Harutyunyan’s early work made him a clear winner despite the majority decision. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Harutyunyan and 95-95. The 29-year-old Harutyunyan collects the vacant IBO International title. He won bronze medals at both the 2013 European Championships and the 2016 Olympics. Dumanov had won his last four fights including victories over 22-2 Dmitry Mikhaylenko and former IBF title challenger Ali Funeka
Klappert vs. Hoffmann
There was some excellent matchmaking on this show and Klappert, a slight underdog, also won on a majority decision over Universum fighter Hoffmann. At the start of the fight Hoffmann was on the offensive taking the fight to Klappert and collecting rounds on the basis of his aggression and higher work rate. Klappert gradually worked his way into the fight. He was not matching Hoffmann’s work rate but was more accurate and connecting with the harder punches. Hoffmann seemed to have no plan B and Klappert ate into Hoffmann’s lead and finished strongly to take the decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Klappert and 95-95. The 36-year-old German makes it 8 wins in his last 9 fights and goes home with the vacant IBO Continental title. His loss in that run was a first round kayo by the then unbeaten Khuseyn Baysangurov. Angolan-born Hoffmann’s loss was against Steven Butler who challenges Ryota Murata for the secondary WBA title next month. Hoffmann had rebuilt with ten wins nine by KO/TKO.
Smakici vs. Kossobutskiy
Oh dear this certainly was a disaster for the house fighter as Kossobutskiy demolished Smakici inside a round. Both were looking for the knockout and the 6’6” Smakici landed first. Southpaw Kossobutskiy fired back with two lefts which staggered Smakici. Kossobutskiy followed up with another left and dropped Smakici with a right. Smakici jumped straight up but was very shaky. Smakici tried to use his longer reach to stay out of trouble but Kossobutskiy stepped in with a thunderbolt of a left cross and Smakici was dumped into the ropes and then down and the referee stopped the fight without a count. The 30-year-old 6’3” Kazak has put seven of his opponents away in the first round so it was some brave matching to put the unbeaten Smakici in with him-or dumb matching perhaps. Kossobutskiy becomes the IBO Inter-Continental champion and German-based Croatian Smakici goes back to basics.
Bauer vs. Kraft
The crowd were certainly being given their money’s worth as this was again a very close, competitive contest between two unbeaten fighters. Things looked ominous for Bauer when he was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in the first round. That in fact made Bauer go on the attack probably fearing an early stoppage and a technical draw. The rounds were close with the fight swinging one way and then the next but Bauer’s higher work rate just gave him the edge in a fight which could have been scored either way. Scores 78-74, 77-75 and 77-76 all for Bauer. Only 21 Bauer turned pro at 16 so is still learning and this was an excellent test and a good win. Kraft, 26, was coming off a win over Sasha Yengoyan and will rebound under Universum’s guidance.
Wojcicki vs. Swierzbinski
Wojcicki brushes aside a sliding Swierzbinski. This was Wojcicki’s fight from the outset. He was scoring with strong uppercuts and Swierzbinski was down three times in the second round but survived. Wojcicki continued to pound on Swierzbinski until the Pole’s corner threw in the towel in the fourth. Wojcicki has wins over useful opponents in Ronny Mittag and Marcelo Caceres. Third loss in a row for Swierzbinski.
Iglesias vs. Bejaran
German-based Cuban Iglesias flattens experienced Bejaran. After taking the first round early in the second Iglesias knocked Bejaran out cold with a thunderous punch. It was a worrying kayo with Bejaran down for more than two minutes needing medical attention and it was a relief when Bejaran was eventually able to rise and be taken back to his corner. Southpaw Iglesias may be one to watch. The Cuban southpaw won silver medals at the Cuban National Championships in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 losing in each final to World and Olympic champion Arlen Lopez. The 37-year-old Bejaran lost to Jack Culcay and Fedor Chudinov in recent fights but no one did a job on him like this.
Rio Cuarto, Argentina: Super Welter: Adrian Sasso (14-2) W PTS 12 Marcelo Bzowski (11-11-3). Super Feather: Matias Rueda (33-1) W KO 2 Julian Aristule (34-13,1ND)
Sasso vs. Bzowski
Sasso gats wide unanimous decision over fellow-Argentinian southpaw Bzowski in South American title defence. Scores 120-108 ½ , 119-109, 119 ½ -112. The local hero makes it seven wins on the trot. Second loss in a South American title fight for Bzowski who lost for the welter title in August.
Rueda vs. Aristule
Rueda adds another inside the distance win as he finishes experienced Aristule in the second round. Rueda had dominated the fight before a savage right uppercut dropped Aristule and he was counted out. Rueda is now 7-0 with 6 wins by KO/TKO since being stopped in two rounds by Oscar Valdez in a WBO title fight in 2016. Fourth loss in a row for Aristule.
Guerande, France: Welter: Jordy Weiss (25-0) W PTS 6 Kelly Figueroa (12-12-3). Welter: Marvin Petit (24-2-1) W Karin Menasria (8-23-1).
Weiss vs. Figueroa
With nothing on the calendar for him just a keep busy night for European Union champion Weiss as he wins every round against Spanish-based Venezuelan Figueroa. Gypsy Weiss was a bit more aggressive than usual but he lacked the power to end this one early. All three judges had it 60-54. Fifth loss on the bounce for southpaw Figueroa.
Petit vs. Menasria
Petit gets back on track with unanimous verdict over fellow-Frenchman Menasria. The former undefeated EU and French champion was having his first fight since losing a close decision against Francesco Patera for the European title in February. Menasria, 41, has now lost 8 of his last 9 fights.
Henin-Beaumont, France: Light: Laid Douadi (18-0-1) W PTS 10 Aboubeker Bechelaghem (12-11-2). Journeyman Bechelaghem gives French champion Douadi a tough night. Douadi retains the national title but only on a split decision. Scores 97-92 and 96-93 for Douadi and 95-94 for Bechelaghem. First defence of the title for 26-year-old home town fighter Douadi. Fourth shot at winning a French title for Bechelaghem, 32, but on the back of this he could get one more chance.
Korbach, Germany: Super Middle: Mario Jassmann (20-0) W RTD 5 Ericles Torres (20-13-1). Jassmann delights his home fans with inside the distance win over Cuban Torres. Jassmann slowly broke Torres down. The Cuban was competitive over the first two rounds but then the greater strength of Jassmann took its toll. Torres was floored by a left hook to the body at the end of the fifth round and did not come out for the sixth. Jassmann wins the vacant WBFederation Inter-Continental title. He has impressive looking figures and has 17 wins by KO/TKO but is strictly domestic level and has been carefully matched. Hungarian-based Torres, 48, was having his first fight since losing in three rounds to Robert Talarek in October 2017.
Corregidora, Mexico: Welter: Juan Pablo Romero (12-0) W TKO 2 Ranses Payano (21-3) Romero blows away Payano in two rounds. The local fighter was in control from the first bell against a rusty Payano. He never really gave Payano a chance to settle and ended it in the second. He trapped Payano in a corner and just kept punching and with Payano being rocked several times by hooks and uppercuts the referee jumped in and halted the fight. Romero was defending the WBC Fecarbox title for the first time. He gets win No 9 by KO/TKO. No name opposition yet but a couple of reasonable level wins. Dominican Payano had lost only one of his last thirteen fights but that run was spread over four years and this was his first fight in 2019.
Hawaiian Gardens, CA, USA: Super Welter: Madiyar Ashkeyev (14-0) W RTD 5 Rodolfo Martinez (43-9-3,1ND). Ashkeyev picks up the vacant WBC USNBC belt as he floors Martinez three times before the Argentinian oldie retires after five rounds. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the unbeaten Kazak fighter. Martinez, 37, hardly counts as active after just five fights in the last seven years.
Podgorica. Montenegro: Light: Dejan Zlaticanin (24-2) W PTS 10 Viskhan Murzabekov (19-5). Former WBC champion Zlaticanin returns after 17 months out and takes wide unanimous decision over Russian Murzabekov. Zlaticanin was credited with a questionable knockdown at the end of the first round and looked like he had quite a bit of rust to shed. Scores 98-90, 98-91 and 97-92 for Zlaticanin. The 35-year-old Montenegrin was fighting in his home town for the first time since 2011 and has said he intends to continue his career. “Little Tyson” Murzabekov had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire opens the door for more great fights at bantam once Inoue recovers and the fight also confirmed Donaire's legacy.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Kye MacKenzie vs. Francis Chua a war from beginning to end. Honourable mention to Liam Walsh vs. Maxi Hughes high-paced quality contest.
Fighter of the week: Double nomination as both Inoue and Donaire played their parts in a possible Fight of the Year
Punch of the week: Another shared nomination in the right from Donaire that badly shook Inoue and the body punch from Inoue in the eleventh that put Donaire down. Honourable mention to the straight right from Luke Boyd that flattened poor Jon Jon Jet.
Upset of the week: None as everything worked out as expected.
Prospect watch: I am going to go for Cuban Robeisy Ramirez now he has his first win.
By Eric Armit
Saul Alvarez had his tactics just right against Sergey Kovalev. He threatened enough to keep Kovalev fighting at a pace that eventually simply tired the older fighter out and then he stepped up his pace and provided a devastating finish. Greatness is his already but that brings its own pressure as with each achievement it becomes more difficult to take a step back or sideways. He stepped sideways to fight Rocky Fielding but his public and his paymaster will want him going onwards and upwards (not in weight) and fights that would fulfil that requirement are pretty scarce.
With Manny Pacquiao not quite the draw he was Alvarez is the current version of the “cash cow” role that Floyd Mayweather Jr once played. A fight with Alvarez is the biggest pay day available now so naturally they are queuing up to fight him. Dmitry Bivol would be the best fight if Alvarez stays at light heavyweight and Callum Smith would be the obvious choice at super middleweight as he is the real WBA champion! If he returns to middleweight then it has to be Gennady Golovkin as no other fight in that division would generate the sort of money that interests Alvarez. Billy Joe Saunders is still unbeaten but his style might not make for a good fight and he does not have the profile level of Golovkin. Can’t ever see Alvarez going back down to welterweight but if he did both Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford would be big fights. We have to wait and see where Canelo goes from here.
I hate to rain on Alvarez’s parade but labelling him a four-division champion just does not work for me. When he beat Rocky Fielding at super middle that fight was for the secondary WBA title as Callum Smith was the real champion so an incentive there for Alvarez to fight Smith and become a real four-division champion. If you feel he did qualify by winning that secondary WBA title then you are accepting Manuel Charr as a bona-fide heavyweight champion. You can’t have it both ways. Mexico has had three four-division champions in Juan Manuel Marquez (feather, super feather, lightweight and super lightweight), Jorge Arceb(light flyweight, super fly weight, bantamweight and super bantamweight) and Erik Morales (super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight and super lightweight) and they were all full titles not secondary, interim, gold, diamond, franchise or other.
The information released on the purses for the Alvarez vs. Kovalev fight show Alvarez being paid $35 million and Kovalev $3 million but ancillary monies will have pushed both of those figures much higher.
The WBC continues to threaten that any pro fighter who takes part in the qualifying for the 2020 Olympics will be dropped from their ratings. So far both Alvarez and Andy Ruiz have said they have no interest in the Olympics (not sure they were even asked) but world rated cruiserweight Mateusz Masternak has said he will enter the qualifiers. Whilst I am not happy about pros fighting at the Olympics let not be stupid-the Olympics are to all intent and purposes a competition for professionals. There are very few real amateur involved in any Olympic sport these days. Competing at Olympic level means full time preparation and financial backing. I can’t see the decision to allow professionals to box at the Olympics being dropped so the alternative is to try to work with the Olympic Committee in the same way football and to set limits on those who can compete. There could be age and experience qualifications such as under-23 and with less than 15 or 20 professional fights and not rated in the sanctioning bodies top 10 or similar. It is going to happen and it is important for professional boxing to have some input and threatening sanctions is a negative approach.
The WBSS bantamweight tournament has finally ended. With Zolani Tete having to drop out through injury and Ryan Burnett suffering a fight-and career-stopping injury against Nonito Donaire Inoue was always going to be the winner
Whilst Pacquiao stands like a colossus over Filipino boxing despite losing Donaire has proven himself one of the all-time greats in Pinoy boxing. In almost 19 years of campaigning “The Flash” has won eight different titles over four different divisions and they, as with the three Mexican’s above, have all been full titles. A great career if he can be rightly proud if he decides to hang up his gloves.
In unifying the IBF and WBA titles and winning the Ali Trophy Inoue has to be one of the most exciting fighters around. He is still only 26 and has managed to become a three-division champion after less than 20 fights and in under six years. He has not cleaned up the bantamweights yet. Zolani Tete puts his WBO title on the line against John Riel Casimero in Birmingham on 30 November which is a great match and Nordine Oubaali showed in beating Inoue’s younger brother Takuma that he can’t be overlooked. Plenty to come from this division.
The WBO may have thrown a spanner in the works of the WSSB cruiser tournament by ordering an immediate rematch between Mairis Breidis and Krzys Glowacki. Breidis stopped Glowacki in three rounds in June to win the WBO title and advance to the WBSS cruiser final against Yunier Dorticos. Glowacki’s team lodged a protest over what they saw as poor refereeing in the second round in the shape of a too lenient approach to a blatant elbow in the face from Breidis which floored Glowacki and the round going over the three minutes. A tight schedule has been set with an agreement in fifteen days or if that does not happen then a purse closing date in November. Although no date has been set for Breidis vs. Dorticos it makes sense for Breidis to vacate the WBO title for the more lucrative and higher profile WBSS fight. If he does vacate the WBO will be left with loser Glowacki vs. No 1 rated 49-year-old Firat Arslan. You reap as you sow.
Veterans Jean Pascal and Badou Jack will clash on December 28 in Atlanta with Pascal’s secondary WBA light heavyweight title up for grabs. With Pascal, 37, having been written off a couple of times and Jack at 36 suffering a horrifying cut when losing against Marcus Browne in January retirement must loom for the loser.
Roy Jones continues his love affair with Russia. He has set up Roy Jones Jr Boxing Russia and stages his first show in Yekaterinburg on 7 December. It will be shown on the UFC Fight Pass streaming service with WBA gold champion Alexey Egorov as the star turn.
Retirement did not last long for Denis Lebedev. The former undefeated WBA cruiser champion will return on 21 December in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, against former WBO title challenger Thabiso Mchunu with Dmitry Kudryashov also on the card.
Murat Gassiev is another Russian former world champion returning to the ring. Gassiev has been out of action with a shoulder injury since losing to Olek Usyk in July last year. He is looking to fight in January with Joey Dawejko a suggested opponent.
Jeff Horn will get his chance at revenge when he faces fellow-Australian in Brisbane on 18 December. Zerafa scored a career best win when he stopped Horn in nine rounds in August. Another loss could strike a fatal blow to Horn’s career.
Good looking show on tap in Paris on 15 November with Arsen Goulamirian defending the full WBA cruiserweight title against Australian Kane Watts and in what promises to be the best fight of the night an all-French match at super welter between Michel Soro (34-2-1) and Cedric Vitu (47-3) for the WBA gold title. Typical of the WBA to set rules for how a fighter become a “super champion” and then ignore them completely by upgrading Goulamirian straight from interim champion to super champion.
Former middleweight and super middleweight champion Felix Sturm has been back in court. He faces charges of tax evasion, assault and violation of anti-doping laws. He is alleged to have evaded 5.8 million Euro ($9.4 million) in taxes between 2009 and 2017. This was a short hearing and the full case starts next month meanwhile he will remain in custody where has been held since being arrested in April.
British heavyweight Daniel Dubois will be in action again on 21 December when he will face Japanese heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto with both Dubois WBC International title and the vacant WBC Silver title up for grabs. The 33-year-old Fujimoto is 21-1 and has won his last 16 fights but will be giving away 5” in height and has been carefully steered away from any threatening opposition.
Canadian Yves Ulysse will defend his WBA super light gold title against Ismael Barroso a former holder of the interim WBA light title in Costa Mesa California on 5 December and on the same card unbeaten super middle D’Mitrius Ballard 20-0 tackles 16-1 Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao.
By Eric Armit
-Saul Alvarez halts Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO light-heavyweight title
-Miguel Berchelt retains the WBC super feather title with crushing victory over Jason Sosa
-Javier Fontana wins clash of former champions with second round stoppage of Jesus Cuellar
-Brian Castano gets injury win over Wale Omotoso but already looked on his way to victory
-Ryan Garcia, Javier Molina and Alex Saucedo all score one round wins
-Felix Cash retains the Commonwealth middleweight title with stoppage of Jack Cullen
-On a good night for East European fighters Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov, Magomed Kurbanov, Evgeny Tischenko, Bakhram Murtazaliev and Meiirim Nursultanov all record wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS/ MAJOR SHOWS
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light Heavy: Saul Alvarez (53-1-2) W TKO 11 Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1). Light: Ryan Garcia (19-0) W KO 1 Romero Duno (21-2). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (17-0) W PTS 12 Jorge Fortea (20-2-1). Welter: Blair Cobbs (13-0-1) W RTD 6 Carlos Ortiz (11-5). Middle: Meiirim Nursultanov (13-0) W PTS 10 Cristian Olivas (16-6).
Alvarez vs. Kovalev
Alvarez stops Kovalev in the eleventh round to win the WBO title and become a four-division champion-in some eyes.
Kovalev worked with his jab occasionally curling a right around the high guard of Alvarez. He also scored with a couple of straight rights but was not really letting his hands go. Alvarez was padding forward behind his guard not throwing much and came up short with a couple of left hooks late.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev
Kovalev took the second almost exclusively with his left jab. He kept poking his jab through gaps in the guard of Alvarez and moving before Alvarez could counter. Alvarez threw moiré punches than in the first but was swishing air by Kovalev’s movement. He did connect with a left hook but Kovalev also found the target with his right.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 20-18
Kovalev kept moving and jabbing. Some of the jabs were short, some were blocked but others were getting through. Kovalev also threw an occasional combination and connected with rights. Alvarez was just not throwing enough punches and was not crowding Kovalev enough.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 30-27
A much closer round. Alvarez threw more punches and connected with some heavy shots particularly a right hook to the body. He also got through with some jabs and a couple of combinations. Kovalev stuck with his jab and move but was not committing himself enough and most of his jabs fell short.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Kovalev 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Julie Lederman 38-38, Judge Dave Moretti 39-37 Alvarez, Judge Don Trella 39-37 Kovalev
Another close round but this one was Kovalev’s. He was throwing bundles of jabs and although not heavy punches they were scoring Alvarez was throwing one punch at a time and although he landed a quality left hook it was not enough. Kovalev ended the round strongly mixing in left hooks to the body with straight rights.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 49-46
A better round for Alvarez. He was stepping in with his punches and connected with a heavy combination to the head early. Kovalev was really just prodding with his jab and Alvarez was able to leap in quickly with trade mark left hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Kovalev 58-56
Kovalev was throwing twenty punches for each one thrown by Alvarez. Many of Kovalev’s jabs were again short or blocked and Alvarez connected with the heavier punches and finished the round strongly to only just edge it.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Kovalev 67-66
Clearly Kovalev’s round. After a lively start from Alvarez Kovalev dominated the action with his jab. At one point Alvarez suddenly walked away. One moment he was coming forward and then he backed off and walked across the ring looking to get Kovalev to come forward. He tried to lure Kovalev into a trap and even tried some rope-a-dope tactics but Kovalev was careful getting some punches through but not standing and trading.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 77-75
Official Score: Lederman 77-75 Alvarez, Moretti 78-74 Alvarez, Trella 76-74 Alvarez
Once again it was quantity versus quality. Kovalev continued to stab out his jab but some of the snap had gone out of it. Alvarez was able to get closer and looked to have rocked Kovalev briefly with a right to the head as his heavier punches gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Kovalev 86-85
Alvarez upped his pace from the start in this one. He was getting closer and sinking in left hooks. For the first time in the fight he trapped Kovalev in a corner and although Kovalev countered him with a good right Alvarez landed a much heavier right of his own. Kovalev was slowing and Alvarez recognised it.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Tied 95-95
Kovalev looked heavy-legged as Alvarez piled on the pressure in the round. For a spell Kovalev fired home some quick, accurate combinations but Alvarez kept stalking. A thumping right to the head wobbled Kovalev and a left hook had him stumbling with a following right to the side of the head dumping him on the floor against the ropes with his right arm hanging out over the bottom rope. The referee immediately waived the fight over. Magnificent power performance from Alvarez but he is only a four-division champion if you include the secondary WBA super middle title which he won by beating Rocky Fielding-and I don’t. Where next for the Mexican wonder? It would be nice to think he would give Gennady Golovkin a third fight but this win keeps Alvarez in the driving seat and money will decided his next opponent. At 36 it might be time for Kovalev to walk away. He won himself a second life when he beat Eleider Alvarez to regain the WBO title and he could earn good paydays against Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol but he has had a great career and it would be good to see him retire.
Garcia vs. Duno
Garcia wrecks Duno in just 98 seconds. Duno bustled forward bobbing and weaving trying to get past the much longer reach of Garcia but was being caught with rights to the head. Duno managed to get inside briefly and rough Garcia up but once again Garcia was connecting with rights. Garcia began to tee-off on a static Duno and yet another right sent Duno back and down. Duno rolled up to his knees but was scrabbling around on the canvas and the referee waived the fight over without a count. Another outstanding performance for the 21-year-old “Flash” who has 16 wins by KO/TKO and victories over Jayson Velez, Carlos Morales, Braulio Rodriguez and Jose Lopez. This wins gets him the vacant WBC Silver and WBO NABO belts. Going in he was rated WBA 4/WBO 6/WBC 8 and he looks certain to be fighting for a world title in 2020. First inside the distance loss for Duno who had won his previous twelve fights. His nickname is “Ruthless” but it could just as easily be “reckless” for the way he walked onto Garcia’s counters but as he is 5’5” with a 68” reach facing a fighter who is 5’10-“with a 70” reach there is not much else he could have done.
Murtazaliev vs. Fortea
Murtazaliev wins an IBF eliminator with decision over Spaniard Fortea. Murtazaliev’s jab had turned Fortea’s face red before the end of the first round. The tall Russian increased the pace from there connecting with hooks, uppercuts and straight punches. Fortea stuck to his uneven task and countered well with uppercuts and hooks of his own starting a swelling on the left cheek of Murtazaliev. The strong Russian continued to pound on the Spaniard who was spending more and more time trapped against the ropes as he lacked the power to keep Murtazaliev out. Later in the fight Fortea managed to spend a little more time in the centre of the ring trading punches with Murtazaliev and put up a creditable losing performance as Murtazaliev had won 11 of his last 12 fights by KO/TKO. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110. Murtazaliev was rated IBF 6(4) and Fortea No 8(6). By beating Fortea Murtazaliev now qualifies to fill one of the vacant No 1 or No 2 spots in the IBF ratings which makes a mockery of the ratings. Fortea was given the No 8 spot for winning the interim IBF title with a decision over Navid Mansour even though neither fighter was rated when they fought and as a reference BoxRec have Fortea at No 126 in their world ratings and Mansour No 158!
Cobbs vs. Ortiz
In a clash of southpaws Cobbs overcomes a flash knockdown in the first to batter Ortiz into retirement after the sixth. A left from Ortiz in the opener saw Cobbs knocked off balance. He had to touch the canvas with a glove to stop himself from going down and was given a count. Cobbs recovered to take the second but was shaken by a left from Ortiz in the third. Cobbs was in charge in the fourth and fifth and floored Ortiz with a right in the sixth and Ortiz retired at the end of the round. Cobbs, a 29-year-old from Philadelphia has won his last six fights with the draw on his record being of the technical variety. Mexican Ortiz suffers his fourth loss in a row,
Nursultanov vs. Olivas
A competent, workmanlike performance by Nursultanov as he wins every round against a combative Olivas. The Kazak fighter showed a sharp, accurate jab and impressed when he put his punches together. Olivas stuck to his boxing but never found an answer to the accuracy and stunning power of Nursultanov’s jab. Pressure from Olivas brought Nursultanov a warning for holding in the fourth and although he was winning every round he was not able to subdued Olivas who made the Kazak fight hard in every round. An array of high quality hooks and uppercuts had Olivas hurt and backing up in the sixth but he did not fold and although Nursultanov continued to dominate the closing rounds Olivas was still trying to come forward to the end. Scores 100-90 for Nursultanov on the cards of the three judges. The 26-year-old former Kazak amateur champion and outstanding WSB performer is No 10(8(with the IBF. That is not really justified on the basis of his opposition so far but he has talent and will bear watching. Mexican Olivas suffers his fourth loss on the bounce all against unbeaten fighters.
Carson, CA, USA: Super Feather: Miguel Berchelt (33-1) W KO 4 Jason Sosa (23-4-4). Super Light: Javier Molina (21-2) W KO 1 Hiroki Okada (19-2). Super Light: Alex Saucedo (29-1) W TKO 1 Rod Salka (24-6).
Berchelt vs. Sosa
In the sixth defence of his WBC title Berchelt has an easy night against a brave but under-powered Sosa.
Sosa made an aggressive start coming forward trying to get close but Berchelt was moving well and finding gaps for strong jabs. Sosa continued to press but Berchelt started to put together some quick combinations. Sosa connected with a left hook and a right but Berchelt responded with a series of punches at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt
Sosa took the fight to Berchelt and fired some useful hooks. Sosa stumbled as he tried to get inside and was off balance, Berchelt strode forward firing left hooks and as an off-balance Sosa went back Berchelt connected with a strong left hook and a right and Sosa toppled to the canvas. Sosa took his time getting up and after the eight count both were throwing wild punches and Sosa went down but it was rightly ruled a slip. Sosa tried to trade with Berchelt but Berchelt was putting together multi-punch combinations of sweeping hooks. Sosa was rocked time and again as he walked in.
Score: 10-8 Berchelt Berchelt 20-17
Sosa had a much better round. He was swarming forward with hooks and uppercuts and landed early with a left hook to the body and a right to the head. He was anticipating Berchelt's attacks and although Berchelt fired some bursts of punches his work rate had dropped and it was Sosa’s round. Felt like Berchelt eased off after his exertions in the second
Score: 10-9 Sosa Berchelt 29-27
Sosa was storming forward in this one until Berchelt began to let his hands go. He hurt Sosa with a big right and Sosa was cut over his left eye. Berchelt was winding up the combinations and Sosa was walking into a storm of swinging hooks and uppercuts. He kept coming but was being pounded to head and body until a left hook to the body saw him drop to one knee. He was up at nine and was allowed to continue. Berchelt battered Sosa with series after series of hooks until Sosa’s corner threw in the towel to save their man. The 27-year-old from Cancun has won 15 of his last 16 fights inside the distance and has an impressive 87% KO/TKO ratio. A fight with No 1 Oscar Valdez would be a great fight but Berchelt vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko would be even better. Sosa, a former holder of the secondary WBA title, showed guts and determination but that was not enough against the fire power of Berchelt.
Molina vs. Okada
After being upped to the joint main event when the Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonathan Rodriguez fight fell through Molina grabs his chance to make a statement with spectacular blow out of Okada. The round opened with the usual prodding and probing with jabs until Molina unleashed a lightning quick right cross that staggered Okada. Molina jumped in with a right and a left and Okada tumbled back a few steps and went down. He was up quickly shaking his head to indicate he felt he had just been off balance and did not deserve a count. When the action restarted he tried to punch with Molina but was caught but a hard, short right. A left then unhinged his legs and a crushing right to the head put him down with the referee immediately stopping the fight after just 65 seconds. The 29-year-old former 2008 Olympian, who beat Danny Garcia in the US Trials, has lost crucial fights in the past to Artemio Reyes and Jamal James but will look to use this win as a springboard to the world ratings. Second crushing loss in a row for Okada having been floored three times in losing to Ray Beltran on a ninth round stoppage in February.
Saucedo vs. Salka
Yet another first round finish in this one. Sauceda was throwing bombs from the off. He clipped Salka with a left hook to the head and pressed hard. Salka had a genuine complaint over a punch to the back of the head but it was ignored and as they traded punches in the centre of the ring Salka threw a right. Saucedo saw the opening and landed a wicked left hook to the body. Salka stood still for a split section and then backed from the centre of the ring to the ropes and went down clutching his right side in obvious agony. That was enough for the referee who rights ruled the action over. Saucedo starts to rebuild after losing on a seventh round stoppage against Maurice Hooker for the WBO super light title in November last year. Salka, 36, was having his first fight since retiring after six rounds against Francisco Vargas in April 2018.
Oxon Hill, MD, USA: Light: Javier Fortuna (35-2-1,2ND) W TKO 2 Jesus Cuellar (29-4).Super Welter: Brian Castano (16-0-1) W RTD 5 Wale Omotoso (28-5,1ND).Feather: Ranfis Encarnacion (17-0) W KO 1 Emmanuel Dominguez (26-9-2). Welter: Ryan Karl (18-2) W RTD 5 Bergman Aguilar (15-6-1). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (12-0) W TKO 2 Juan Huertas (14-3-1). Bantam: Gary Antonio Russell (16-0) W TKO 1 Sam Gutierrez (16-26-6).
Fortuna vs. Cuellar
Fortuna wins clash of former holders of the secondary WB featherweight title as he floors Cuellar twice on the way to a stoppage victory in a fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. Sometimes Fortuna can be a frustrating fighter to watch but Cuellar s typical aggressive tactics forced the Dominican to trade punches in a short but entertaining match. In the opener Cuellar was pitching punches trying to overwhelm Fortuna. He had some success connecting with a left hook and a hard right but was leaving himself open to counters and as he released another right Fortuna beat him to the punch with a right hook that sent Cuellar tumbling down on his backside. He beat the count but was on the ropes and under fire at the bell. Cuellar was driving forward again in the second until Fortuna drilled him with a straight left and a right hook which sent Cuellar sliding sideways. He grabbed the ropes to stop himself going all the way down and was given a count and then Fortuna unloaded punches from both hands until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Southpaw Fortuna, 36, had a frustrating 2018 as he lost a split verdict to Robert Easter for the IBF lightweight title and then his fight with Adrian Granados ended on a No Decision after Fortuna injured his arm when he fell out of the ring. This has been a better year as he outpointed the 32-1Sharif Bogere in February and was No 3 with the WBC going into this one. Argentinian Cuellar, 33, has now lost three big fights with Abner Mares and Gervonta Davis beating him in WBA title fights.
Castano vs. Omotoso
Castano makes a good case for getting a shot at the WBA title as he beats Omotoso who is way behind on points when forced to retire with a shoulder injury. Castano has come a long way from the wild banger he was when he first turned pro. In the first he stalked Omotoso shooting some useful jabs and quick straight rights. Omotoso was on the back foot jabbing well but Castano looked threatening with his rights. Castano was fired up in the second launching furious attacks and connecting with shots to head and body with Omotoso countering when he could but taking plenty of punishment. Omotoso was on the front foot and matching Castano for the first two minutes of the third but then Castano cut loose. He bombarded Omotoso with furious combinations and by the end of the round Omotoso was trapped on the ropes and shipping straight rights hooks and uppercuts. You could make a case for Omotoso winning the fourth. He was able to slot home jabs and get through with rights and Castano did not really let his hands go until very late in the round and Omotoso was never in any trouble. Castano lit the fuse early in the fifth and went onto the attack. Omotoso missed with a jab which went past Castano’s head. As Omotoso drew his arm back it got tangled at an awkward angle with Castano’s arm and Omotoso stepped back from the action grimacing with pain and shaking his left arm. From that point Castano drove the Nigerian around the ring with Omotoso countering when he could but was being bombarded with heavy shots. During the interval the doctor carried out an extensive examination of Omotoso’s shoulder and was not happy to let him continue. Argentinian Castano had held the secondary WBA title but vacated it over a dispute regarding the contract for his defence against Frenchman Michel Soro. Castano was concerned that the his money for a previous defence against Soro was delayed and he wanted the purse for the return put into an escrow account before the fight .Soro’s team refused and the WBC took their side forcing Castano to vacate the title. He is No 2 with the WBA but also in the top ten with the WBC and WBO so could go in their direction. Unfortunate loss for Omotoso. He had only one fight in 2017 and was inactive in 2018 but had fired himself into the ratings with a crushing third round victory over Curtis Stevens in August. At 34 not too many more chances will come his way.
Encarnacion vs. Dominguez
Early night for Dominican prospect Encarnacion as he blasts out Dominguez inside a minute. A left followed by a thunderous right felled Dominguez for the count. The 25-year-old Encarnacion makes it thirteen wins by KO/TKO. He fills the No 12 spot with the IBF. Mexican Dominguez came in on the back of four wins in his last five fights.
Karl vs. Aguilar
Karl gets off the floor to beat an injured Aguilar who retires at the end of the fifth. The fight started badly for Karl when he was caught in the first by a thunderous over hand right that had him pitching forward and almost out through the bottom ropes. He beat the count but unknowing had a big advantage as Aguilar damaged his left hand just prior to the knockdown. Karl went on to dominate the fight with a much higher work rate and with Aguilar unable to use his left. By the end of the fifth the pain was too much for Aguilar and he was forced to retire. The Texan “Cowboy” has won 5 of his last 6 fights including reversing the one of his two losses. Costa Rican-based Nicaraguan Aguilar takes his fourth loss in his last five appearances.
Russell vs. Huertas
The Russell brothers don’t believe in hanging about particularly Antuanne. He ended this one in the second round to maintain his 100% record of wins by KO/TKO. He belaboured poor Huertas in the first and then overwhelmed him early in the second. Pressure forced Huertas into a corner and then Russell whacked away until Huertas dropped to one knee and stayed there for the full count. The 23-year-old Rio quarter-finalist has taken less than 22 rounds for his twelve wins. Panamanian Huertas just did not have the punch to get Russell’s respect and this is his second defeat by KO/TKO
Russell vs. Gutierrez
Antonio has actually had to go the distance for some of his wins but he took less time than Antuanne to end this one. An overhand right to the head floored Gutierrez in the first and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for Antonio. Brothers Gary and Gary Antuanne both qualified for the Olympic Games but Gary Antonio did not. Although current WBC featherweight champion Gary qualified he did not fight at the 2008 Games as he collapsed before his first fight suffering from dehydration. Poor Gutierrez is 0-6-1 in his last 7 fights and Antonio deserves better opposition than this.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Xavier Martinez (15-0) W KO 1 Jessie Cris Rosales (22-4-1). Super Light: Richardson Hitchins 10-0) W PTS 10 Kevin Johnson (7-1).
Martinez vs. Rosales
If you blinked you might have missed this one as Martinez blasts out useful Rosales in just 21 seconds. Martinez rocked Rosales with the first punch he threw. It was a straight right to the head that had Rosales hurt. He tried to move away but a right cross thudded onto the side of his head and Rosales went down heavily. His head thudding onto the floor and he ended up spread-eagled on the canvas with the referee instantly waiving the fight over. Devastating punching from the 22-year-old from California and his seventh win in a row by KO/TKO. Martinez turned pro at 17 after winning a bronze medal at the US Youth Championships on the way to compiling an 85-10 record in the amateurs. Rosales was 21-0-1 in his first 22 fights but it is now 4 losses in his last 5 fights but all of the losses have come against top level opposition including Jhonny Gonzalez and Shakur Stevenson and the win was a good victory over Ibrahim Balla in Australia.
Hitchins vs. Johnson
Hitchins continues to climb as he goes ten rounds for the first time with a unanimous decision over Johnson on ShoBox. Johnson was busier but could not match the quickness and accuracy of Hitchins who used a strong jab and worked the body well in the early rounds. Johnson staged a strong finish but Hitchins had enough rounds in his pocket to be able to ease his way to victory. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Hitchins. The 22-year-old from Brooklyn just lost out at the US Olympic Trials for Rio but then entered the World Qualifier representing his parent’s country of origin Haiti and qualified through that route only to lose to Gary Antuanne Russell who had beaten him at the US Trials. The Mayweather Promotions youngster shows real promise. Johnson’s other loss came at the hands of Rio gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov but he had won his last two fights.
Izegem, Belgium: Welter: Meriton Karaxha (26-5-2) W PTS 12 Mikkel Nielsen (8-2). Albanian-born Belgian Karaxha collects the vacant WBFederation title as he takes unanimous decision over Dane Nielsen. After a couple of close rounds Karaxha’s higher work rate and better accuracy gave him the edge and he built a good lead digging left hooks to the body and putting the Dane on the back foot but Nielsen remained competitive throughout. The Dane took the fight at only a few days notice and was expected to tire over the late rounds. He lost a point in the eighth for a butt then actually finished the stronger but was unable to bridge the gap and Karaxha was a clear winner. Scores 116-111 for Karaxha on the three scorecards. The 27-year-old former Belgian champion is 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights but struggles when he tries to move up. Credible display for Nielsen taking account of his short preparation but he suffers his second loss in a row, Steve Jamoye was to have fought Karaxha but he was stopped by Conor Benn on 26 October and as a result was not eligible to box until 10 December.
Oshawa, Canada: Super Light: Steven Wilcox (22-3-1) W RTD 3 Gustavo Torres (9-7-1). Canadian champion Wilcox gets a win as Mexican Torres retires after three rounds citing an injury. Wilcox struggled to master the taller southpaw Torres but his crisp counter punching gave him a distinct edge and Torres was under pressure at the end of the third of what promised to be an entertaining fight. The 29-year-old Wilcox is 6-1 in his last 7 fights including a loss to Darragh Foley and a victory over Roody Pierre Paul for the National title. This was only the third fight in the last two years for Torres and his third inside the distance defeat.
Bangkok. Thailand: Super Welter: Teerachai (43-1) W PTS 10 Salehe Mkalekwa (14-8).*
Teerachai (Tewa Kiram) gets ten rounds of undemanding work against Tanzanian Mkalekwa winning all the way but never really getting out of second gear. Mkalekwa showed reasonable skills but as with so many Tanzanian it is all show and little substance. Teerachai was content to work in bursts and Mkalekwa lacked the power to be a threat. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90. Teerachai, who lost to Lucas Matthysse for the vacant secondary WBA welter title in 2018, has won five in a row but is nowhere in the ratings. Four losses in his last five for Mkalekwa having lost in contests in Eswatini (Swaziland), DRC and Egypt.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Feather: Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (15-0) W PTS 12 Abraham Montoya (18-2-1). Super Welter: Magomed Kurbanov (18-0) W PTS 12 Diego Chaves (27-5-1). Cruiser: Evgeny Tischenko (6-0) W RTD 6 Issa Akberbayev (20-1). Super Feather: Mark Urvanov (17-2-1) W TKO 3 Evgeny Chuprakov (21-2).
Yaqubov vs. Montoya
Yaqubov wins wide unanimous verdict over a strong and determined, but limited Montoya. Mexican Montoya pressed hard in the first two rounds coming in behind his jab but southpaw Yaqubov was quicker showing smart movement and countering with lefts to the body. He was straying low and was warned three times to keep his punches up and finally cleaned up his act after a final warning. Montoya had a good third as he pressed for the full three minutes outworking Yaqubov and connecting with straight rights and left hooks. Yaqubov lost his mouthguard and was warned as it looked deliberate. Yaqubov strung together some flashy combinations in the fourth but also lost his mouthguard twice and the referee deducted a point from him. This was turning out to be a fast-paced entertaining fight with Yaqubov showcasing some excellent skills and Montoya relentless but controlled aggression. As the fight progressed Yaqubov was opening up more driving through left hooks to the body and straight rights and he kept his jab in Montoya’s face. The Mexican was willing to walk through Yaqubov’s punches but rarely landed anything heavy and began to slow. Yaqubov was warned again for a low punch in the ninth and a clash of heads saw a cut open high in the hairline of Montoya. The referee decided that the cut was not a danger so did not deduct a point from Yaqubov and Montoya was under heavy pressure at the end of the round. Yaqubov had a swelling over his right eye but it was not a factor and although Montoya continued to march forward he was just too slow and Yaqubov flitted around him dabbing out punches and using clever footwork to differ the angle of his attacks as he boxed his way to victory. Scores 118-110 for Yaqubov on all three scorecards. The 24-year-old Tajik boxer, the WBC No 10, was defending the WBC International title for the second time. He has silky skills but now needs to move up against higher level opposition. Montoya, the NABF champion, was unbeaten in his last 18 fights and had beaten a couple of reasonable level fighters in domestic contests but was outboxed all the way here.
Kurbanov vs. Chaves
Kurbanov takes unanimous decision over experienced Chaves. This was a slow-paced fight that never really caught alight with neither boxer committing himself fully to attacking but instead they fought in bursts. Kurbanov was the busier of the two taking the fight to Chaves. The Argentinian is an clever, crafty boxer and he was skilful in defence and scoring with quick counters. Kurbanov was warned for hitting to the back of the neck in the second and again at the start of the sixth. The pace picked up a little as the fight progressed with Kurbanov looking to have Chaves hurt in the sixth and he outscored Chaves in the seventh and eighth. He also took the ninth scoring with some meaty left hooks but was finding Chaves and elusive target and was again warned for a punch to the back of the head and he eventually lost a point for that. Kurbanov scored with clubbing punches in the tenth and almost threw Chaves out of the ring with a wrestling move in the eleventh as both fighters tired. Kurbanov was stronger in the last and was a clear winner. Scores 117-110, 116-111 and 115-113 for Kurbanov. The 24-year-old Ekaterinburg-based “Black Lion” won the vacant WBO International belt. No big names yet but he has beaten some credible opposition and is rated WBA 9/WBC 10. The 33-year-old Chaves is a former interim WBA welter champion. He fought a split draw withTim Bradley but more recently had lost to Jamal James and to Thulani Mbenge for the IBO title.
Tischenko vs. Akberbayev
Olympic gold medallist Tischenko gets an inside the distance victory over Akberbayev. Tischenko had edges in height and reach and Akberbayev never really found an answer to those. Tischenko was able to get through with southpaw jabs and long lefts to the body. He seemed content to let Akberbayev come forward but after scoring well late in the third he upped his pace in the fourth and in the fifth. He met a Akberbayev charge with a left to the body and simultaneously Akberbayev's head thumped into Tischenko’s chest and the combination of those two collisions sent Akberbayev down. He was not badly shaken but he shipped some heavy punishment in the sixth and retired in his corner at the end of the round. The 6’5” Rio heavyweight champion has four wins by KO/TKO. His height and southpaw style will give opposition problems but he is yet to be really tested. Kazak Akberbayev, 35, has impressive looking statistics but was having his first outing since December 2017 and never really got into this fight.
Urvanov vs. Chuprakov
Former WBO title challenger Chuprakov was the favourite here but he never looked the part. In a slow first round Chuprakov crouching and hiding behind a high guard just circled the perimeter of the ring hardly throwing a punch. Urvanov tracked Chuprakov and landed some left hooks to the body . Chuprakov was a bit more active in the second but not much and Urvanov began to find the target with hooks late in the round. Chuprakov worked from the centre of the ring in the third just pushing out jabs. Urvanov stepped inside with a left hook to the head and suddenly Chuprakov’s legs wobbled. Urvanov drove him to the ropes and kept throwing hooks with both hands and with Chuprakov not punching back the referee stopped the fight. Big win for the 23-year-old red-headed Russian “ Canelo” he has lost only one of his last 19 fights and that was to Yaqubov in 2018. He wins the vacant WBO International title which will net him a rating. Chuprakov was pitiful. Some very conservative matching brought him 21 wins and a fight with Masayuki Ito for the WBO super feather title in December but he lost every round before being stopped in the seventh.
Manchester, England: Middle: Felix Cash (12-0) W TKO 8 Jack Cullen (17-2). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (8-0) W TEC DEC 7 Joe Ham (16-2). Light: Anthony Crolla (35-7-3) W PTS 10 Frank Urquiaga (13-2-1).Feather: Gamal Yafai (17-1) W TKO 3 Lee Clayton (10-4 ). Heavy: Martin Bakole Ilunga (15-1) W TKO 2 Rod Hernandez (13-9-2).
Cash vs. Cullen
In the first defence of his Commonwealth title Cash batters the resistance out of a game and competitive Cullen for an eighth round stoppage. Cullen made good use of his longer reach to stab home jabs early in the first. Cash then connected with five consecutive overhand rights the last of which caused Cullen to drop to one knee. He jumped up quickly and although Cash threw and connected with plenty of hard shots Cullen fired back with jabs and left hooks to the bell. Cullen chose to ignore his physical advantages in the second and third to go toe-to-toe with Cash. Both landed some cracking shots but Cash was getting the better of the exchanges in what was turning into a war. A clash of heads opened a small cut by the left eye of Cash in the third. The strength and pressure from Cash began to tell in the fourth and fifth. Cullen was still landing some cracking punches but Cash was landing more and working solidly to the body. Cash was pressing hard in the sixth with Cullen banging back but he seemed to be tiring and at the pace these two relatively inexperienced boxers were setting it looked unlikely to go the distance. Cullen was on fire at the start of the seventh raking Cash with hooks to the body and he was on his way to winning the round until the last thirty seconds. Cash forced Cullen to the ropes and connected with a couple of clubbing rights before getting through with too hooks to the body that saw Cullen fall to his knees. After the count there was less than ten seconds remaining in the round but enough time for Cash to land a solid right to the head. Cullen was now cut over his left eye and bleeding from the nose. He tried to trade punches with Cash in the eighth but Cash brutally beat the resistance out of Cullen and he was reeling under Cash’s punches when the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old Cash gets win No 8 by KO/TKO and will now be looking to move up in the level of opposition. English champion Cullen played his part in an entertaining all-action scrap but Cash was just too strong for him in the end and at 6’4” his future may lie in a higher division.
Ashfaq vs. Ham
Former Elite level amateur Ashfaq wins his first pro title with a technical decision over Ham. Ashfaq had outboxed Ham hardly letting the Scot get into the fight and looked to be on his way to victory after flooring Ham in the third. In the sixth a clash of heads saw Ham emerge with a bad cut over his left eye. He made it to the bell but a time out was called at the start of the seventh round and as Ham’s cut was too bad for him to continue it was decided on the scorecards with Ashfaq winning on scores of 70-63, 70-64 and 69-64. Ashfaq wins the vacant WBA Continental title. Ashfaq had beaten Ham in the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Ashfaq was English and British champion and won silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships losing to Michael Conlan in both competitions He fought at the 2016 Olympics but did not medal. Ham was a 5-time Scottish champion as an amateur and competed at the Commonwealth and European Championships. His other pro loss is against unbeaten Tyrone McCullagh. Ham is from the Gorbals. This is a area of Glasgow that has been much enhanced now. In the old days it was said to be the toughest city in Europe and the only one where the milk delivery lorries were fitted with a rear gunner!!
Crolla vs. Urquiaga
Crolla brings the curtain down on his career with a less than impressive majority decision victory over Urquiaga. The fight started badly for Crolla when he suffered a cut over his left eye in the first round and was rocked briefly in the third. A lively, busy and confident Urquiaga did enough to establish a lead over the first half of the fight but then Crolla took over. The former holder of the secondary WBA title had too much experience and skill for the Spanish-based Peruvian and the early pace he had set caught up with Urquiaga and he faded badly. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Crolla and 95-95. A tremendously popular and respected pro Crolla had to overcome career threatening injuries to fight his way to a title. Urquiaga’s only other defeat was on a very close decision against Edis Tatli for the European title in August last year.
Yafai vs. Clayton
Yafai returns to the ring with a quick win. In his first bout for 14 months Yafai floored late substitute Clayton twice in the third round to force the stoppage. Gamal is then younger brother of WBA super fly champion Khalid. Southpaw Clayton had won his last four fights.
Ilunga vs. Hernandez
Ilunga gets his fifth win in a row as he halts Hernandez in two rounds. The Scottish-based Congolese puncher was just too strong for Hernandez from the start. By the second he had Hernandez cut and in full retreat. With Hernandez against the ropes he landed a solid right and as Hernandez tried to escape a left hook sent him staggering across the ring and down heavily and the referee stopped the fight without a count. Since losing to Mike Hunter in October Ilunga has shown considerable improvement with inside the distance victories over Mariusz Wach, Ytalo Perea and Kevin Johnson. Hernandez had scored good wins over 16-0 LaRon Mitchell and 17-0 Onoriode Ehwarieme and last time out lost a creditable close points decision to Joey Dawejko in July.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Welter: Maximiliano Veron (12-3-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Diego Ramirez (21-2). Veron upsets the odds with unanimous decision over Ramirez. Ramirez tried to box his way to victory here and made it close over the early rounds. Over the second half of the fight Veron upped his pace and battled past the guard of the taller Ramirez scoring with a variety of hooks and uppercuts and rocking southpaw Ramirez with neck-snapping shots. A late stoppage looked a possibility but Ramirez survived. Scores 97-93 for Veron on the three cards. Veron was 0-4-1 in his previous 5 fights and was not rated in the top ten nationally so No 1 Ramirez was a big favourite. Veron lifts the vacant IBF Latino title. Ramirez, the WBO No 9 had lost only one of his last twenty fights and had scored wins over Bradley Skeete and 26-3 Nestor Gonzalez.
Toowoomba, Australia: Super Light: Jamie Hilt (11-4-1) W TEC DEC 9 Cairo George (18-2). Hilt wins a “world” title at 39 as he takes unanimous technical decision over New Zealander George to collect the vacant WBU belt. A clash of heads left George with a cut that was too severe for the fight to continue and it went to the cards with local fighter Hilt in front 89-82, 87-84 and 87-86. Local fighter Hilt, the Australasian champion, did not turn pro until he was 35 and has tended to lose when he steps up too far. George has a heavily padded record with his previous six opponent having combined records of 7-22.
Mariakerke, Belgium: Cruiser: Bilal Laggoune (25-1-2) W TKO 3 Elvis Smajlovic (10-8-2). Welter: Mohamed El Marcouchi (23-2) W PTS 8 Ivan Njegac (12-11). Cruiser: Youri Kayembre Kalenga (25-6) W TKO 2 Ermin Avdic (12-8).
Laggoune vs. Smajlovic
Laggoune returns to action after almost thirteen months out. He had no trouble with the very modest Bosnian Smajlovic stopping him in the third round. Laggoune’s only loss is a split decision against Doudou Ngumbu in 2017 and the 27-year-old Belgian will be looking to rebuild towards a European title fight. Smajlovic had won his last four bouts but is 1-2 in visits to Belgium.
El Marcouchi vs. Njegac
US-based Belgian El Marcouchi wins every round against Croat fighter Njegac. Scores 80-72 twice and 80-71 for the BeNeLux champion (a title for fighters from Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg). He has lost only one of his last 22 fights and that was on a disqualification. Poor Njegac is 2-8 in his last 10.
Kalenga vs. Avdic
In his first fight since March Kalenga provides an early finish. The French-based Congolese fighter has gone through a rocky period so a much needed win over Bosnian Avdic on a second round stoppage. A former challenger for the WBA and IBO cruiser titles had lost 3 of his previous 4 fights including a seventh round retirement defeat against unbeaten Pole Michal Cieslak in March. Fifth loss in his last 6 fights for Avdic.
Koblenz, Germany: Light Heavy: Leon Bunn (15-0) W PTS 12 Enrico Koelling (26-3). Bunn holds on to his IBF International title with a career best victory over Koelling. It was a close fought battle between two Germans who just may be heading in opposite directions. Bunn was stepping up in class whereas Koelling was trying to retain his high level status after defeats in very hard, high profile, fights against Artur Beterbiev for the vacant IBF title and a close decision loss to Dominic Boesel for the European title in October. There was very little between them over the first half of the fight but the busier and more accurate Bunn forged in front over the late rounds to take a deserved verdict. Scores 116-112 twice and an almost insultingly wide 119-109 all for Bunn. The 27-year-old Bunn was a star on the Bundesliga boxing and ended his time as an amateur with a 80-25-7 record. Winning the IBF International title has netted him a No 8(7) rating with that body. Despite the loss Koelling, rated No 11 (10) by the IBF is not by any means over the hill and will be back in top level action next year.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Welter: Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1) W TKO 4 Koki Koshikawa (9-2). Matsunaga retains the Japanese title with stoppage of Koshikawa. The challenger made a fast, aggressive start but the southpaw skills and good movement from Matsunaga quickly blunted Koshikawa’s attacks. Matsunaga took control in the second cutting Koshikawa over his right eye with a punch. Koshikawa piled forward in the third but was wide open and soaking up counters from the champion and although he attacked again in the fourth he was soaking up counters and was a well beaten fighter when the fight was stopped in the fourth. First defence of the Japanese title and tenth win by KO/TKO for the 33-year-old Matsunaga. Koshikawa had won his last five fights but was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and his lack of experience showed.
Keta, Ghana: Bantam: Joseph Agbeko (37-5) W TKO 9 Gabriel Ochieng (20-8-1). Super Bantam: Isaac Sackey (24-1-1) W PTS 12 Michael Nyawade ( ).
Agbeko vs. Ochieng
Agbeko makes a successful defence of his WBO African title with stoppage victory over useful Kenyan Ochieng. The 39-year-old former IBF champion has won his last eight fights and still dreams of another world title fight. Ochieng was 18-2 in his previous 20 fights mostly against domestic opposition.
Sackey vs. Nyawade
Sackey boxes his way to points win over Nyawade to regain the WBO African title. He lost the title to Wasiru Mohammed in October in a fight that not only cost him his title but also snapped his 23 fight unbeaten run. Kenyan Nyawade has done most of his fighting recently at super feather and light so must have taken off some weight for this one. He was 6-2 in his last 8 fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Saul Alvarez’s win over Sergey Kovalev gives the Mexican more options
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Felix Cash vs. Jack Cullen. It didn’t go the distance but it was action all the way
Fighter of the week: Saul Alvarez
Punch of the week: The overhand right from Bergman Aguilar that floored Ryan Karl in the first was a beauty. With honourable mention to the final right from Javier Molina that finished Hiroki Okada and the gut busting left hook from Alex Saucedo that cut Rod Salka in half.
Upset of the week: Unsung Mark Urvanov stopping former world title challenger Evgeny Chuprakov was one but Max Veron (11-3-1) beating Diego Ramirez (21-2) was also unexpected
Prospect watch: Super Feather Xavier Martinez 15-0 with 11 wins by KO/TK
By Eric Armit
The Past Week in Action 9 October 2019
Gennady Golovkin takes unanimous decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko to win vacant IBF and IBO middleweight titles
-Unbeaten Ali Akhmedov stops Andy Hernandez in 44 seconds
-Former IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk returns with a win as he stops Gabriel Bracero
-Ryan Walsh, Leigh Wood, James Dickens and Tyrone McCullagh win in quarter finals of MTK Tournament
- Unbeaten prospects Junto Nakatani, Jaron Ennis, Jermaine Franklin, Oleg Malynovskyi and Brian Ceballo also score wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
New York, NY, USA: Middle: Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1) W PTS 12 Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2). Super Middle: Ali Akhmedov (16-0) W TKO 1 W Andy Hernandez (20-8-2,2ND). Super Light: Ivan Baranchyk (20-1) W TKO 4 Gabriel Bracero (25-4-1). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (4-0) W TKO 5 Alejandro Barrera (29-5). Welter: Brian Ceballo (11-0) W TKO 3 Ramal Amanov (16-1).Middle: Kamil Szeremeta (21-0) W TKO 2 Oscar Cortes (27-5).
Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko
A great fight sees Golovkin squash any thoughts that he might be slipping with a hard-fought victory over Derevyanchenko who just came up short for the second time in a fight for a vacant title having lost a split decision against Daniel Jacobs for the IBF title in October.
After some probing with jabs Golovkin was the first to come to life with a couple of hooks. Derevyanchenko was on target with some stiff jabs but as he worked inside Golovkin connected with a good right uppercut and two cuffing rights to the head and Derevyanchenko seemed to go down off balance from trying to duck the punches. He was up immediately and when the action resumed he took the fight to Golovkin and had Golovkin on the back foot at the bell.
Score: 10-8 Golovkin
Derevyanchenko started the round with a series of jabs and left hooks to the body with Golovkin again on the back foot. Over the second half of the round Golovkin picked up the pace and got though with his own jabs a left hook to the head and some body punches to just edge a close round. Derevyanchenko was showing a bad cut over his right eye probably from a punch.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 20-17
Derevyanchenko launched a furious attack at the start of the round. He was driving Golovkin back with powerful hooks and uppercuts to the body. Golovkin rallied but Derevyanchenko’s jab was working well and it was his round.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Golovkin 29-27
Derevyanchenko’s jab was hard and accurate again. Golovkin was forced onto the back foot as Derevyanchenko connected with short hooks. Golovkin rallied briefly but then Derevyanchenko landed some clubbing rights and a jarring combinations. He was dabbing at the blood from the cut but had been in charge in each the last two rounds.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Golovkin 38-37
Official scores: Judge Frank Lombardi 38-37 Golovkin, Judge Eric Marlinski 38-37 Golovkin, Judge Kevin Morgan 39-36 Golovkin
Derevyanchenko survived a doctor’s examination and when the round started he bossed the early action with a stabbing jab that Golovkin just could not get past. Golovkin did land a tasty uppercut but Derevyanchenko replied with a crunching left to the body and was chasing Golovkin down at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko TIED 47-47
Another round for Derevyanchenko. Golovkin’s jab has been an important tool for him in the past but he was being out-jabbed and caught by straight rights as Derevyanchenko followed in behind his jab. Golovkin tried to up his pace but Derevyanchenko was quicker and stronger.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Derevyanchenko 57-56
It was pick up or pack up time for Golovkin and he responded well. He finally had his own jab working and was also leading with left hooks. Derevyanchenko was fighting back in bursts but was ignoring his jab and Golovkin took the round with a bunch of punches before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin TIED 66-66
Now it was Golovkin on the font foot and connecting with jabs. He was slotting jabs through Derevyanchenko’s guard and banging to the body. Derevyanchenko’s jab was absent and his work his rate dropped off as though he way paying for setting such a fast pace in round three to six.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 76-75
Official scores: Lombardi 76-75 Golovkin, Marlinski 76-75 Golovkin, Morgan 77-74 Golovkin
Derevyanchenko tried to turn the tide bringing his jab back into play but Golovkin was on a roll and was quicker and more accurate. Derevyanchenko attacked fiercely in the middle of the round and looked as though he might take it but Golovkin finished strongly scoring with hooks and just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 86-84
A great round and a crucial one. If Golovkin took it he would be three points in front on my card with two rounds to go. If Derevyanchenko won it he would cut the gap to one point with two rounds remaining in which to snatch the fight. It was three minutes of savage action as Derevyanchenko would launch a furious attack and then Golovkin would battle back to put Derevyanchenko on the retreat. The advantage swung one way and then the other and in the end a strong finish from Golovkin deservedly won him the round but now he too was cut over his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 96-93
Derevyanchenko was far from finished; He put in a huge effort in this round marching forward firing hooks and uppercuts. Golovkin was scoring with accurate counters but he just could not keep Derevyanchenko off and was outscored.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Golovkin 105-103
It was not a classic round. Both fighters were tired and often fell into a clinch. Derevyanchenko probably threw more punches but Golovkin was more accurate and that was enough for him to edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 115-112
Official scores: Lombardi 115-112, Marlinski 115-112 Golovkin, Morgan 114-113 Golovkin
Golovkin wins the vacant IBF and IBO titles and now has plenty of options other than to fight Saul Alvarez again. At 37 he has slowed a bit but his experience saw him pace the fight better than Derevyanchenko and that was a big factor in his victory. Once again Ukrainian
Again Derevyanchenko comes up short. So close yet so far. The flash knockdown in the first and the cut over his right eye both played a part in his defeat. I would take him to beat Demetrius Andrade, Ryota Murata and Jermall Charlo and it seems inevitable that he will get a shot at a version of the middleweight title next year.
Akhmedov vs. Hernandez
This one was over quickly. Just 30 seconds into the first round Akhmedov landed a right to the head the saw Hernandez go down on one knee. Hernandez climbed to his feet at nine but the referee waived the fight off as Hernandez still looked shaken. All over in 44 seconds and the twelfth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Kazak as he retains the WBC International Silver title. Experienced Hernandez suffers his fourth defeat by KO/TKO.
Baranchyk vs. Bracero
After his disappointing loss to Josh Taylor Baranchyk needed to get a win and his sense of purpose showed here as he attacked hard from the start. He alternated between some quick stinging hooks and some wild swipes from both hands and he twice fell to the floor after missing with those shots. Bracero tried to box but was on the back foot and his punches did nothing to deter the Belarusian’s attacks. Baranchyk chased in vain early in the second and on one occasion Bracero ducked under a punch from Baranchyk wrapped his hands around the back of Baranchyk’s knees and tossed him to the canvas. Baranchyk got his revenge at the end of the round with some fierce attacks that saw him pin Bracero to the ropes and score with a succession of head punches. Bracero was cut over his left eye but it was difficult to see whether it was caused by a punch or a clash of heads. Baranchyk hustled and harried Bracero for the full three minutes of the third. He shook Bracero with a right to the head and raked him with punches until late in the round when Bracero fired back with some hooks of his own. Baranchyk ended it in the fourth. With Bracero trapped on the ropes Baranchyk landed a thudding left hook to the body and a booming right to the head. Bracero pitched forward grabbing Baranchyk and being dragged half way across the ring before Baranchyk shrugged him off. Bracero went face down on the canvas and although he beat the count the referee stopped the one-sided fight. Baranchyk wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title with his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. His wide decision lost to Taylor cost Baranchyk his IBF title and a place in the World Boxing Super Series final but you can be sure he will be fighting for a title again in 2020. Bracero is 38 and it showed. He did not have the power or movement to match Baranchyk but it is difficult to argue he should retire after his draw with 25-2 Thomas LaManna and inside the distance victory over 25-2 Artemio Reyes in his previous two fights.
Madrimov vs. Barrera
It looked as though Uzbek “The Dream” Madrimov might get this one over in the first round when he connected with a solid leaping left hook to the head that dropped the Mexican to one knee. Barrera was up at eight and then fought on equal terms with the unorthodox and sometimes crude Uzbek who continually used exaggerated lateral leaps to change his punching angles. In the second Barrera exposed some of Marimov’s faults as he boxed behind his jab avoided the wild lunging attacks of Madrimov and did enough to take the round. Barrera tried to stick to his boxing in the third but he lacked the power to keep the strong Madrimov out and the Uzbek was roughing Barrera up inside and turning the fight into a wild brawl. Barrera was finding it impossible to box in the fourth as Madrimov was getting past Barrera’s jab and using his strength to tire Barrera. Madrimov was spending a lot of time waving his arms about and feinting but the few punches he threw were generally on target. Madrimov was landing with clubbing punches in the fifth and Barrera began to fall apart. He was being driven across the ring with Madrimov bouncing punches off his head when the referee made a good stoppage. With his power and his awkward, eccentric style Madrimov is a handful for anyone. He was defending the WBA Inter-Continental title which he won in only his second pro fight knocking out 24-2 Frank Rojas in two rounds and he is yet to be taken the distance. Only the second loss by KO/TKO for Barrera who is now 1-4 in his most recent activity.
Ceballo vs. Amanov
Ceballo outclasses Amanov before the fight is stopped in the third round. In the first it was immediately apparent that Ceballo had much quicker hand speed both when taking the fight to Amanov and when countering and his slick movement frustrated the few attacks that the crude Amanov launched. Ceballo totally dominated the second. He was driving Amanov around the ring sending straight rights through Amanov’s defence and connecting with combinations to head and body. The referee was already tracking the action and looking ready to step in to save Amanov. The doctor examined Amanov before the start of the third, in the second Amanov had dabbed at his eyes. There was no cut but he seemed to have a problem with his vision. The doctor examined both eyes closely but let the fight continue. Ceballo was again connecting with hard rights and as Amanov reeled back from another attack the referee stopped the fight and took Amanov over to the doctor and this time the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Another outstanding performance from Puerto Rican Ceballo and his sixth win by KO/TKO. In the amateurs he won gold medals at the National Golden Gloves, the US national Championships and the Police Athletic League National Championships. Tougher opposition is needed but he has the look of a future world champion. Azeri Amanov was disappointing. His footwork was poor and he was too slow to pose any kind of threat to Ceballo.
Szeremeta vs. Cortes
Pole Szeremeta makes a successful debut in the USA with stoppage of Cortes. Szeremeta had Cortes on the back foot for much of the first round before flooring the Mexican with a wide left hook. Szeremeta
Strove to end it then but he was too anxious and missing with his shots and Cortes was in no further trouble. Early in the second Szeremeta
rocked Cortes with a big right and connect with two hooks as Cortes dropped to one knee. The Pole landed another left hook when Cortes clearly had one knee on the canvas and Szeremeta
Luckily missed with another which would probably have led to his disqualification if it had landed. Cortes rolled over and over on the canvas and he seemed to be waiting for Szeremeta to be disqualified. When he saw that was not going to happen he quickly got half way up but his corner signalled for him to go down again and the referee stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Pole relinquished the European title to chase a world title shot. With Golovkin and Derevyanchenko the only fighters rated above him in the IBF ratings this was by way of a showcasing of the Pole with a view to a fight with the winner. After turning pro at 16 and winning his first 21 fights Cortes activity dropped off and he is now 6-5 in his last 11
London, England: Feather: Ryan Walsh (25-2-2) W TKO 9 Hairon Socarras (22-0-3). Feather: Leigh Wood (23-1 W TKO 9 David Oliver Joyce (11-1). Feather: James Dickens (28-3) W PTS 10 Carlos Ramos (11-2). Feather: Tyrone McCullagh (14-0) W PTS 10 Razaq Najib (11-4).
Walsh vs. Socarras
Walsh’s power wins though as he halts Socarras in the ninth round of a herd-fought close fight in the MTK Golden Contract Tournament. Socarras made a fast, confident start taking the fight to Walsh stabbing out jabs and getting inside with hooks to the body. An oddity is that although both are orthodox they both boxed southpaw. In the second Walsh was getting inside and working the body well as again both fighters switched to southpaw near the end of the round. Walsh outscored Socarras in third connecting with some crisp hooks and knocking Socarras back on his heels with a left hook and an overhand right. Socarras had a good fourth snapping out his jab and landing some quick rights. To level up the scores. Walsh had a big fifth. Boxing southpaw he shook Socarras with a right to the head then they both blatantly landed low before a left hook from Walsh sent Socarras staggering back into the ropes which prevented him going down. However it was obvious the ropes had held him up so the referee gave Socarras an eight count. Walsh dominated the rest of the round with Socarras getting a warning for a very low left hook. They fought on even terms in the sixth with Socarras just having the edge but getting another warning for a low punch. Walsh took the seventh and eighth with some wicked body punching. A confident Socarras was dancing around Walsh in the ninth firing jabs and rocking Walsh with a right. Walsh fired back a big left hook sent Socarras crashing into the ropes. Walsh fired punch after punch and with nothing coming back from Socarras the fight was stopped. Important win for the 33-year-old British champion, the WBO No 6, who gets win No 12 by KO/TKO. He is 9-1-1 in his last 11 fights. Socarras has been plagued by draws but had won his last six fights and was No 7 with the WBA.
Wood vs. Joyce
Wood gets unexpected stoppage over former amateur star Joyce. When your opponent knows what to expect-do something different. As both are aggressive fighters it was expected that Wood’s tactics would be to go toe-to-toe with the equally aggressive Joyce but instead he boxed more. Wood took charge early flooring Joyce with a left in the second round. Joyce continued to march forward but was being countered by Wood and they constantly traded punches with Joyce trying to turn the fight into a brawl and Wood dominating when he boxed on the outside. Wood had built a lead. Joyce fought back strongly in the sixth but he was badly shaken by a right early in the seventh and floored late in the round. Joyce survived and returned to the attack in the eighth and it seemed as though his pressure tactics were working as Wood looked to be tiring in the ninth until he blitzed Joyce with a ferocious attack and with Joyce under fire on the ropes the fight was stopped. The 31-year-old Wood, the Commonwealth champion, wins the WBO European title and qualifies for the semi-finals of the MTK Golden Contract tournament. If the tournament provides fight such as this it will be a big win for boxing. Joyce, 32, was making the first defence of the WBO European title.
Dickens vs. Ramos
Dickens also moved through to the semi-finals of the featherweight section of the MTK Tournament with points victory over Ecuadorian-born Ramos in a clash of southpaws. The visitor did well in the first scoring with some crisp left hooks but from the second the quicker hands and better mobility saw Dickens take charge. He was slotting jabs through the guard of Ramos and firing quick lefts. As he came under pressure the Ecuadorian’s work began to unravel and his work rate dropped. Ramos was trying to confuse Dickens by fighting with his hands at thigh level and he paid for that when a crunching left cross dropped him heavily in the fourth. Ramos survived and remained competitive although being outboxed. He shook Dickens with a left to the head in the eighth but was leaving himself open with his hands down approach. Ramos landed a cracking combination at the start of the ninth but Dickens was piercing his guard with right jabs and straight lefts and Ramos was looking exhausted. Dickens took the last with some classy boxing and also took the decision. Scores 97-92 twice and 99-91 for Dickens. He retains the IBF European title with his sixth win in a row. He lost on a second round retirement suffered a broken jaw when challenging Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA super bantam title in 2016 and obviously apart from wanting to win the Golden Contract Tournament another world title shot has to be the long term aim. European Union champion Ramos proved strong if limited and gave Dickens a few problems to solve.
McCullagh vs. Najib
In a fourth quarter final of the MTK Tournament McCullough outpoints late substitute Najib. In what was a scrappy contest at times McCullagh used his superior skills to box and score on the outside. Najib was coming forward for the whole ten rounds but was being picked off at range by McCullagh and tied up inside leading too many clinches. More experience might have made Najib better prepared for the awkward southpaw style of the WBO European champion but he compensated for his deficiencies with his aggression and that aggression saw him pick up a round here and there and meant that McCullagh had to stay focused in a disappointing contest. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for McCullagh. The 29-year-old WBO No 8super bantam took this fight at featherweight attracted by the promised rewards for the winner of the Tournament offering a lucrative contract and some big fights. Najib, 25, came in at very short notice when Mexican Carlos Araujo could not make the weight. He had lost a wide unanimous verdict to Carlos Ramos for the EU title in June and it would be unfair to judge him on the substitute outing.
Los Hornos, Argentina: Super Bantam: Ckarl Mansilla (14-1) W TKO 4 Diego Silva (29-6-4).
Good win for Mansilla as he floors experienced Silva twice on the way to victory. Despite being floored in the second Silva continued to take the fight to Mansilla. Experienced or not Silva made a basic mistake in the sixth. He was moving in throwing punches but forgetting to keep his guard in place and a left hook knocked him down. He was up quickly but was a little unsteady and that was enough for the referee to waive the fight over at the end of the eight count. Fourth win on the trot by KO/TKO for Argentinian No 1 Mansilla. For No 8 Silva it is now four losses in a row.
Northbridge, Australia: Super Light: Terry Tzouramanis (23-4-3) W PTS 10 Brandon Ogilvie (22-3-1). Light Fly: John Humberdross (2-0) W PTS 10 Michael Kaplan (8-1).
Tzouramanis vs. Ogilvie
Tzouramanis wins this clash of highly rated Australians as he floors Ogilvie in the sixth on the way to a split decision over the local fighter. The fight was for the interim WBA Oceania title and Tzouramanis registers his eighth win in his last nine fights. The 25-year-old Ogilvie was also on a good run being 17-1-1 in his last 18 contests. He was No 3 in the Australian ratings and Tzouramanis No 4 and despite their ratings they are probably the best two in Australia in this division.
Humberdross vs. Kaplan
The Australian National Boxing Federation works hard to keep the activity high in national title fights. In this one for the vacant light flyweight title Humberdross made it an away double as he copied Tzouramanis and beat a local fighter. Humberdross took the unanimous decision over home town fighter Kaplan to win the national title in only his second fight with an 17 months gap between the first and second. Kaplan had scored victories in his last six fight but they were all at six rounds or less.
Ghent, Belgium: Middle: Kevin Ongenae (11-6-3) DREW 10W Junior Wabaga (6-1-1). Welter: Meriton Karaxha (25-5-2) W PTS 8 Renald Garrido (24-26-3).
Ongenae vs. Wabaga
In a good mix of styles Ongenae and Wabaga fight to a spilt draw in a Belgian title match. In an entertaining contest Ongenae was putting together some sharp combinations and constantly switched guards but it was the speed and accuracy of his jab that was his strongest weapon. Wabaga was warned twice in the second for low blows but other than that it was a clean open fight. Wabaga came forward aggressively throughout and landed a cracking right to the head in the fourth and worked hard all the way but with that jab and some clever footwork Ongenae looked to have done enough to be a clear winner but the judges saw it differently with one turning in a score of 97-93 for Ongenae one 96-94 for Wabaga and third scored it 95-95 so Ongenae retains the Belgian title. He is a clever tactical boxer but his lack of power is a drawback. Wabaga had won his last five fights but looked fortunate to get a draw here
Karaxha vs. Garrido
Another away loss for Frenchman Garrido as he drops a split decision against Karaxha. A clash of heads in the first saw Garrido cut over his left eye and that bothered him for the rest of the fight. Karaxha had slight edges in height and reach and more importantly a better defence. Garrido was his usual aggressive self throwing lots of punches but also wide open to counters. Karaxha’s better skills really made the difference here but he also indulged in some of his usual illegal tactics flirting with disqualification but just staying on the right side of the line. Garrido’s wide open style makes for entertaining fights but he pays the price in eating counters and Karaxha outboxed him for what should have been a unanimous decision. Scores 78-74 twice for Karaxha and 77-76 for Garrido. Albanian Karaxha is 7-0-1 in his last eight fights. Former French champion Garrido has lost his last five with three of them being split decisions.
Crotone, Italy: Welter: Tobia Loriga (30-8-3) W PTS 10 Emanuele Cavallucci (11-1-1). In front of his home fans Loriga proves that age is just a number as he regains the Italian title with majority decision over champion Cavallucci. It was a fast-paced fight early with plenty of exciting exchanges. Southpaw Cavallucci kept switching guards and with his clever boxing and better mobility went in front. A clash of heads saw Loriga suffer a cut over his left eye in the third and things got worse when it later turned out he had also injured his right hand. When a punch from Cavallucci shook Loriga in the fourth it looked as though the champion was on his way to victory. Loriga took the fifth and sixth as he began to exert stronger pressure and was forcing Cavallucci to the ropes more often. Cavallucci looked to have edged the seventh and done enough to share the ninth but Loriga outscored the champion in the eighth and won the tenth clearly and the decision. Score 96-94 twice for Loriga and 95-95. Loriga is 42 and has been a pro for 16 years previously holding the Italian super welter title and has shown there is still plenty of fight in him. Cavallucci, 31had won his last eight fights and was making the first defence of the title. He had never gone past the sixth round in a fight and that proved to be a disadvantage here but he deserves a return.
.Tlalpan, Mexico: Fly: Adrian Curiel (15-2) W PTS 10 Mario Andrade (15-10-6). Super Light: Denilson Valtierra (11-0) W PTS 8 Cesar Soriano (15-3).
Curiel vs. Andrade
Curiel boxes his way to majority decision victory over an aggressive Andrade. No knockdowns but the young prospect was pushed hard all the way but some sharp countering just gave him the edge over the more experienced fighter. Scores 96-94 twice and 95-95. The 20-year-old “Cat” gets his third win in a row. Andrade going the other way with his third loss in a row.
Valtierra vs. Soriano
Valtierra builds an early lead but then has to work hard to get a close unanimous verdict over Soriano. Valtierra totally dominated early having Soriano in deep trouble a number of times. Soriano survived and as Valtierra faded Soriano staged a strong finish but it was just not enough. Scores 77-75 and 78-75 for Valtierra and 77-75 for Soriano. The 17-year-old “Kaiser” Valtierra takes the WBC Latino title from champion Soriano who was making his first defence.
Czestochowa, Poland: Super Middle: Robert Parzeczewski (24-1) W PTS 10 Patrick Mendy (18-15-3). Middle: Patryk Szymanski (20-2) W PTS 8 Denis Krieger (14-9-2). Super Welter: Louis Greene (11-1) W TKO 2 Lukasz Wierzbicki (18-1). Heavy: Marcin Siwy (20-0) W PTS 8 Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko (6-5-1).
Parzeczewski vs. Mendy
Neighbourhood fighter Parzeczewski gets by Mendy but the Gambian-born Mendy made it a close fight and an uncomfortable night for the Pole. Parzeczewski made a cautious start and had trouble dealing with the aggressive and awkward attacks of Mendy. The local fighter had a good third knocking Mendy into the ropes with a solid right and he worked well to the body in the fourth. Mendy looked to be in trouble from a Parzeczewski attack in the fifth but rebounded to take the sixth landing well to head and body. It looked as though Parzeczewski was tiring in the seventh with Mendy in charge of the exchanges. Parzeczewski came back strongly in the eighth but Mendy took the ninth. Parzeczewski put in a big effort in the last which was enough to get him the win but only just. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94 for Parzeczewski. The 25-year-old Pole retains the Polish International title with his fifteenth win in a row. He has scored useful wins over Dariusz Sek and Dmitry Chudinov but has still not made it into the EBU ratings. English-based Mendy is a far better fighter than his record indicates and he has scored a few upsets along the way.
Szymanski vs. Krieger
After two inside the distance losses in a row this was a must win fight for Szymanski and he did manage to come out on top but it was not a sparkling performance. Szymanski made a good start piercing Krieger’s guard with accurate jabs in the opener and mixing in some hard hooks in the second round. Krieger did better in the third with some hooks to head and body but Szymanski took the fourth as he again jabbed strongly. Over the middle rounds Szymanski’s jab was being countered strongly by Krieger and the Pole often had to clinch to stifle Krieger’s attacks. Szymanski outboxed Krieger at the start of the seventh but shipped some heavy punches late in the round and looked shaky at the bell. Szymanski finished with a good eighth and was a deserving winner. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 although it looked a closer fight than that. Those inside the distance losses last against Fouad El Massoudi and Robert Talarek have left big questions over how far Szymanski can go. German-based Moldovan Krieger has won only two of his last ten fights but has yet to lose by KO/TKO.
Greene vs. Wierzbicki
Big shock for the locals as England’s Greene blasts out unbeaten southpaw Wierzbicki in two rounds. The upset was on the cards from the time that Greene floored Wierzbicki with a right hook in the first round. Wierzbicki beat the count but Greene landed some more heavy punches. Wierzbicki tried to use his jab to get into the fight but at the bell was showing a cut over his right eye. Wierzbicki made a strong start in the second but a brutal right from Greene put Wierzbicki down heavily. He made it to his feet but after the eight count Greene was connecting with more heavy punches and with Wierzbicki unable to defend himself the fight was stopped. Huge win for Greene and his sixth victory by KO/TKO. His only loss was on points against highly rated Larry Ekundayo. Wierzbicki had met and beaten some experienced opposition but was blown away in quick time here.
Siwy vs. Dovbyshchenko
Czestochowa resident Siwy maintains his 100% record of wins against carefully selected low grade opposition. Over the first three rounds it looked as though Siwy might end this inside the distance. He rattled Ukrainian Dovbyshchenko with strong jabs and right crosses and impressed with some sharp left hooks. In the fourth Dovbyshchenko came into the fight more and Siwy’s old problem with stamina reared its head. In the fifth and sixth Siwy slowed down only fighting in bursts and puffing heavily. Dovbyshchenko took advantage of that and pressed hard until Siwy found the energy for a strong finish over the seventh and eighth. Scores 78-75 twice and 78-74. Siwy marches on with a heavily padded record but it is about time he faced something resembling a test. Dovbyshchenko is really just a four and six round prelim fighter but he can still boast that he has not lost a fight inside the distance.
Malamulele. South Africa: Super Feather: Sibusiso Zingange (14-3-2,1ND) W TKO 8 Mziwodumo Mangxilana (6-7-5). Super Feather: Rofhiwa Maemu (18-9-3) DREW 10 Koos Sibiya (23-14-5).
Zingange vs. Mangxilana
Zingange retains the WBA Pan African title with stoppage of Mangxilana. Not a noted puncher Zingange seems to have picked up some power under his new trainer Harold Volbrecht. He has lost only one of his last ten fights. Second loss in a row for Mangxilana.
Maemu vs. Sibiya
Sowetan Maemu was expected to be too young and too quick for oldie Sibiya but in the end had to settle for a draw which snapped his six-bout winning streak. At 38 Sibiya still has some life left in him.
Doncaster, England: Light: Gavin McDonnell (22-2-2) W TKO 7 Nathan Kirk (12-4). Home town favourite McDonnell keeps busy with stoppage of a game Kirk. McDonnell had height, reach, experience and quality over Kirk and was never really troubled. In the seventh he connected with a series of shots to head and body and with Kirk against the ropes and just covering up the referee stopped the contest. The 33-year-old McDonnell, a former British, European and WBC Silver champion lost in world title shots against Rey Vargas and Daniel Roman and is rebuilding slowly. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Kirk.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Yomar Alamo (17-0-1) DREW 10 Antonio Moran (24-4-1).
Alamo vs. Moran
Alamo keeps his unbeaten label but only just. In this contest of two speedy, solid technical fighters Moran seemed to settle quicker in what was a battle of jabs over the opening round. Alamo forced the pace harder in the second and third pinning Moran to the ropes and belting him to head and body. Moran had his jab working well in the fourth but pressure from Alamo helped him build a lead over the middle rounds. Moran then finished strongly over the late rounds to close the gap. Scores 97-93 Alamo, 96-94 Moran and 95-95. Puerto Rican Alamo, the WBO No 8, was defending the WBO NABO title and for me just did enough to win this one. Mexican Moran gave Jose Pedraza a tough fight in June last year only losing by scores of 96-94 on the three cards but was knocked out in the seventh round by Devin Haney in his last fight in May.
Houston, TX, USA: Super Light: Darwin Price (16-0) W TKO 5 Breidis Prescott (31-18) Local fighter Price floors Prescott twice on his way to an inside the distance win. Prescott is well over the hill now and just a scalp for fighters such as Price. A right to the head sent Prescott down the first time but the finisher was a destructive left hook to the body that saw Prescott writhing on the canvas in agony. After being inactive in 2018 Price has scored three wins this year. Ten losses in his last eleven fights for Prescott
Brovari, Ukraine: Light: Denys Berinchyk (12-0) W PTS 12 Patricio Lopez (26-3). Super Middle: Max Bursak (35-5-2) W TKO 5 Beka Mukhulishvili (5-8). Feather: Oleg Malynovskyi (25-0) W PTS 8 Vittorio Parrinello (11-4). Super Light: Mishiko Beselia (19-1) W TKO 4 Eduard Merinets (4-9-1). Middle: Dmytro Mytrofanov (7-0-1) W TKO 4 Novak Radulovic (9-5-1).
Berinchyk vs. Lopez
After Berinchyk’s ring entry everything else was going to seem tame. He was wheeled into the arena in a big iron cage wearing a Hanibal Lecter mask! Whether that scared Mexican Lopez or not he certainly never really posed any threat to the local fighter. Berinchyk started at a fast pace constantly marching forward throwing punches ignoring Lopez’s jabs. Southpaw Lopez, who had big advantages in height and reach, was livelier in the second but was often pinned to the ropes. Lopez started the third much more brightly scoring with a series of head punches but under pressure from Berinchyk his work became sloppy. Lopez found himself on the ropes again in the fourth. Berinchyk battered away at the Mexican’s defence before backing off with Lopez urging Berinchyk to came back and fight. The pattern did not change over the middle rounds as Berinchyk ‘s attacks ebbed and flowed like the tide marching forward then backing off and then striding forward again and with Lopez tiring from the intensity of Berinchyk’s attacks the fight was one-sided. Berinchyk slipped to the floor in the eighth and Lopez did the same in the ninth and both fighters seemed to take a round off in the tenth. Berinchyk was back on the attack in the eleventh sending Lopez’s mouthguard flying with a punch and he swarmed all over Lopez in the last. Scores: 120-108 twice and 120-109 for Berinchyk. Second defence of the WBO International title for Berinchyk who is rated No 7 by them. As an amateur the 31-year-old Ukrainian won silver medals at the World Championships and the 2012 Olympics, where he beat Jeff Horn and Anthony Yigit, but after four years as a pro I would have expected him to have progressed more. Lopez had won his last four fights but was under-powered to be competitive in this one.
Bursak vs. Mukhulishvili
Bursak too strong for Georgian novice Mukhulishvili. Bursak handed out a beating to Mukhulishvili in every round and the Georgian did well to stay in the fight. By the fifth Mukhulishvili was taking heavy punishment and his face was battered, bruised and bloody. The referee halted the action to get the doctor to examine Mukhulishvili’s nose which was pouring bloody and the fight was stopped. Since losing to Gilberto Ramirez for the WBO title in 2017Bursak has dropped the level of his opposition but has failed to impress even then. Eighth consecutive loss for Mukhulishvili.
Malynovskyi vs. Parrinello
Although an elite level amateur Parrinello has struggled as a pro and he found Malynovskyi too strong for him. Parrinello has some slick skills built over a long time in the amateur ranks-too long a time. After a close first round Malynovskyi pressed from the second being able to get inside due Parrinello’s to the lack of power. Malynovskyi rattled Parrinello with some hard rights in the third and bossed the fight from there. Parrinello showed some fine movement and defensive skills but was always on the back foot and although over the second half of the fight many rounds were close Malynovskyi was a comfortable winner. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 79-74 for Malynovskyi. Second win this year for the Ukrainian who had only one fight in 2018. After having great success in the amateur ranks, including competing at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, Parrinello did not switch to the pros until he was 31 so left it much too late.
Beselia vs. Merinets
Beselia beats up on poor Merinets for three rounds for victory. Merinets was in way over his head. Beselia was showering him with punches over the first two rounds and ended it in the third. He was driving Merinets around the ring with Merinets just covering up and not throwing anything back. Beselia had Merinets pinned to the ropes and was unloading with hooks when the referee stopped the fight just as the towel came fluttering in from Merinets corner. Ukrainian-based Beselia has impressive figures as long as you don’t look too closely. The opposition has been of very inferior standard and he was exposed by his inside the distance loss to Spanish-based Dominican Kelvin Dotel in December. Ukrainian Merinets is 1-7 in his last 8 fights.
Mytrofanov vs. Radulovic
Mytrofanov gets his fourth win on the bounce by KO/TKO as he scores brutal kayo of Radulovic. Mytrofanov raked the Serb with shots to head and body over the first three rounds attacking relentlessly. Radulovic tried to counter but was under too much pressure to get his punches away and by the end of the third already looked to be fading. In the fourth Mytrofanov took Radulovic to the ropes and pummelled him with light punches before driving home a left hook to the body and then connecting with a booming left hook to the chin that sent Radulovic down flat on this back. The referee instantly waived the fight over. Radulovic was badly hurt and finally had to be carried from the ring on a stretcher. No report yet on his condition. Mytrofanov, a Ukrainian based in Oxnard, is a former double Ukrainian amateur champion who won a bronze medal at the European Championships. He competed for the Mexican Guerreros and Ukrainian Otamans in the WSB and fought at the 2016 Olympics. Kosovon-born Radulovic has three losses by KO/TKO.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Fly: Junto Nakatani (20-0) W TKO 6 Milan Melindo (37-5). Feather: Ryo Akaho (35-2-2) W TKO 6 Kyung Min Kwon (7-6).
Nakatani vs. Melindo
Some consider Nakatani to be the best young prospect in Japan and he impressed again here as he crushed a sliding Melindo. He was tracking Melindo around the ring in the first two rounds using his height and long reach to score with southpaw jabs and then following with straight lefts with nothing of consequence coming back from Melindo. The action was one-sided with Nakatani landing with heavy lefts in the third and jarring Melindo with hooks in the fourth. Melindo was looking to counter but could not get past the jab. Melindo soaked up some hurtful punishment in the fifth and looked to have very little left. In the sixth Nakatani drove home a whole series of powerful straight lefts through the guard of Melindo until the referee stepped in to save the brave little Filipino. At 5’7” the 21-year-old Nakatani, a former Japanese flyweight champion, is almost freakishly tall and with his height, reach and power (15 wins by KO/TKO) he can be a real force in the division. He is rated WBA 2/WBC and WBO 3 but now needs to step up to tougher opposition. Third loss in a row in Japan for Melindo but in fairness two of those were world title fights. At 31 and in the twilight of a distinguished career Melindo needs to think where he goes from here.
Akaho vs. Kwon
Akaho brushes aside the slow and limited Kwon with ease. Akaho tempered his usual wild aggression and showed some skill in methodically beating down Kwon who was never in the fight. With Akaho landing punch after punch in the sixth the referee stopped the uneven battering. Akaho has come up short in challenges for the WBC flyweight and WBO bantamweight belts but a run of nine wins over carefully vetted opposition has him in the IBF ratings at No 12 but still a long way away from another title fight. Second loss by KO/TKO for Kwon. It seems impossible to believe that at one time South Korea was a major force in world boxing and now they don’t have a single world level fighter now.
Brisbane, Australia: Super Welter: Adrian Rodriguez (12-2-2) W TKO 10 Billy Limov (5-2-1).
Former MMA fighter “Road Rage” Rodriguez wins the vacant Australian title with late stoppage of Limov. These two had fought a draw in October for the Queensland State title and it looked as this one would also go to the scorecards before Rodriguez ended it with just two minutes remaining in the fight. Limov landed a strong right cross but then Rodriguez rocked Limov with a right before putting him down on his back with a devastating combination of a left hook and a right cross. Somehow Limov made it to his feet at eight but he staggered back to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Rodriguez had lost to Samuel Colomban when challenging for this same vacant title in 2017. New Zealand-born Limov was also having his second shot at the title have been stopped by Joel Camilleri in February this year.
Blois, France: Middle: Michel Mothmora (31-28-2) W PTS 10 Francis Tchoffo (19-16-1). To the delight of his home fans Mothmora lives up to his nickname of “The Phoenix” as he rises again and finally wins the French title at the seventh attempt. After a slow start giving away lots of height and reach Mothmora was badly shaken in the third but in a big fourth he twice forced Tchoffo to drop to a knee. Tchoffo banged back in the fifth and this time it was Mothmora who was in trouble and he touched the canvas with both gloves and was given a standing count. Mothmora slowed in the sixth as Tchoffo looked to be taking control but Mothmora found new strength and after a close seventh he dominated the eighth and ninth and then danced his way to victory in the last. The 39-year-old Mothmora “improves” to 1-6 in French title fights but the 1 in those figures caused great celebrations. Cameroon-born Tchoffo was having his second shot at the title.
Enghien, France: Welter: Yannick Dehez (21-1-1) W PTS 8 Vasyl Kurasov (9-2). Southpaw Dehez gets unanimous decision over Ukrainian Kurasov in a fight of contrasting styles. Dehez has quick hands and some classy movement but lacks any kind of punch. Kurasov was able to come forward and put pressure on Dehez connecting with some good rights and forcing Dehez to fight hard in every round. They fought at a fast pace with all eight rounds being strongly contested and although Dehez deserved the verdict Kurasov was competitive all the way. Scores 79-73.78-74 and 77-75 for Dehez. The former undefeated French champion had his reputation dented when he lost to modest Yahya Tlaouziti in November. This is his fourth win this year but he has a major reconstruction job to do. Also the fourth fight this year for 21- year-old Kurasov who is 2-2.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Super Light: Danielito Zorrilla (13-0) W PTS 10 Jesus Perez (23-4). Zorrilla wins the vacant interim WBO NABO super light title with comprehensive victory over Mexican Perez. The Puerto Rican floored Perez with a right in the first and then rocked him again before the end of the round. A great start but at a price as Zorrilla damaged his right hand with the first knockdown and had to rely heavily on his left for the rest of the fight. Over the remaining rounds Perez focused his attacks on Zorrilla’s body. Zorrilla showed he could use the right if he needed to hurting Perez with a hook to the body in the fourth and he used some solid, accurate jabbing and left hooks to keep Perez out emerging as a clear victor. Scores 100-89 twice and 98-91 for Zorrilla. He will now be looking to challenge fellow Puerto Rican Yomar Alamo who defended the real WBO NABO title with a draw against Antonio Moran on Friday. Perez went 21-0 at the start of his career but as the going gets tougher fighters such as Perez get beaten.
Bristol, England: Bantam: Lee Haskins (36-4) W PTS 6 Sergio Gonzalez (10-19-5). In his first fight since December 2017 Haskins eases his way back as he wins every round against poor Gonzalez. Haskins put Gonzalez on the floor in the first but then reigned back and made use of the remaining round to shed some rust. Referee’s score 60-53 for Haskins. The former IBF bantam champion is aiming for another title shot. Spanish-based Nicaraguan (that’s long hand for perennial loser) is now 0-10-1 in his last 11. In a another bout on the show Lee’s son Anton Haskins scored a win. Father and son on the same show.
Bradford, England: Welter: Darren Tetley (19-0) W PTS 6 Chris Jenkinson (11-67-3). Former WBO European champion Tetley gets his second win of the year as he outpoints Jenkinson. Tetley won all the way flooring Jenkinson with a left hook to the body in the last and taking the decision by 60-53 on the referee’s card. The tall Bradford southpaw never defended the WBO European title and was removed from the ratings when he relinquished it but then it was ridiculous that he was rewarded with a world rating for beating someone who is rated at No 42 in the British ratings. Jenkins is a durable journeyman.
Hockessin, DE, USA: Light: Henry Lundy (30-8-1) W PTS 8 Robert Frankel (37-22-1). Light Heavy: Fanlong Meng (16-0) W TKO 2 Gilberto Rubio (9-9).
Lundy vs. Frankel
Lundy revives his career with wide unanimous decision over tough but shopworn Frankel. Lundy outboxed Frankel all the way outjabbing him at distance and outworking him inside. Frankel stuck to his task trying to find a punch to turn the fight his way but he was well beaten. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Lundy. Consecutive losses to modest opponents Zaur Abdullaev and Avery Sparrow made it look as though the former WBO super light title challenger’s career was finished. He still has hopes of another title shot but at 35 time is running out. The 39-year-old Frankel loses more than he wins these days and usually finds himself cast as a stepping stone for unbeaten climbers.
Meng vs. Rubio
Meng blasts out a horribly overmatched Rubio in two rounds. It was a massacre. Meng put Rubio down with a body punch in the first and with a left to the head in the second. Rubio made it to his feet but was being pounded on the ropes when the referee stopped the fight. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the 6’2” Chinaman who after wins over Frank Buglioni and Adam Deines is mandatory challenger to IBF champion Artur Beterbiev.
Mexican Rubio is 2-5 in his last seven fights with all five losses coming inside the distance but against good class opposition
Flint, MI, USA: Welter: Jaron Ennis (24-0) W TKO 3 Demian Fernandez (13-1). Heavy: Jermaine Franklin (20-0) W PTS 10 Pavel Sour (11-1).
Ennis vs. Fernandez
Ennis puts on a sparkling display of speed and power in beating Argentinian Fernandez. Ennis at 5’10” had height over the 5’6” Fernandez and a comparable edge in reach but he did not need them. He was firing flashing combinations to head and body with Fernandez unable to do more than cover up and counter when he could. Ennis was switching stances which confused Fernandez but he was also given a stern warning for two low punches. In the second Ennis continued to score with dazzling combinations and it was clear this one was not going to last long. In the third Ennis jolted Fernandez with left to the head and then fired a barrage of punches which saw Fernandez drop to one knee. When Fernandez got up instead of fighting he indicated he had a problem with his vision in his right eye and the fight was stopped. The 22-year-old “ Boots” Ennis from Philadelphia is a tremendous prospect . He is making up for lost time after a contract dispute slowed his climb. He has 22 wins by KO/TKO including 14 in his last 14 fights. You can expect him to break through in a big way in 2020. Fernandez had won his last nine fights but against substandard domestic opposition.
Franklin vs. Sour
Neighbourhood favourite Franklin floors Sour twice to take a wide unanimous victory. Sour was much the bigger man but also slow with a poor defence. Franklin found it difficult getting through to Sour’s chin due to the height difference but he easily outboxed the Czech boxer. Sour was occasionally dangerous with right crosses but Franklin managed to avoid or block most of them. Franklin almost ended it in the sixth when he connected with a counter right that dropped Sour to his knees. Sour was up immediately but when the action resumed was rocked a couple times more. Sour survived but was put down again in the tenth. A booming right cross snapped Sour’s head back. He tried to hold but two more right sent him crashing into and almost through the ropes. Again he was up quickly and although rocked by another right held and then fought back to the final bell. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-71 for Franklin. A former National Golden Gloves champion the 25-year-old from Saginaw is progressing slowly under the radar. Sour, 37, showed a great chin in this one. He had won his last four fights and the only fighter to beat him inside the distance is Filip Hrgovic
Gilleleje, Denmark: Super Middle: Patrick Nielsen (30-3) W PTS 8 Armen Ypremyan (9-2-2). Middle: Ashley Theophane (48-8-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Kassim Ouma (29-14-1).
Nielsen vs. Ypremyan
Nielsen returns with a win as he decisions Ypremyan. The Dane was having his first fight since losing a split decision against Arthur Abraham in April last year. Nielsen won on scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72 but the rust showed. French-based Armenian Ypremyan is 1-2 in his last two fights.
Theophane vs. Ouma
No problem for Theophane as he wins this battle of oldies who have seen much better days. Scores 100-91, 99-91and 98-92 for Theophane. “Treasure” is 7-0-1ND in his last eight fights with the fights taking place in eight different countries-who needs Thomas Cook? Now 40 former IBF super welter champion Ouma, a Ugandan based in Holland, has lost four in a row.
Fight of the week (Significance): Gennady Golovkin’s win over Sergey Derevyanchenko was a big result in a big fight
Fight of the week (Entertainment). Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko. Twelve rounds of entertaining quality fighting with the result in the balance all the way
Fighter of the week: Gennady Golovkin-a champion again
Punch of the week: The left hook to the body from Darwin Price that finished off Breidis Prescott was a world of pain for the Colombian. The left hook from Dmytro Mytrofanov that knocked Novak Radulovic out cold was frightening
Upset of the week: Londoner Louis Greene (10-1) was brought in to lose to 18-0 Lukasz Wierzbicki but tore up the script and stopped Wierzbicki in two rounds.
Prospect watch: Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin, a former National Golden Gloves champion is now 21-0 and making steady progress.
By Eric Armit
-Errol Spence unifies the IBF and WBC welter titles with split decision over Shawn Porter
-David Benavidez regains the WBC super middle title with stoppage of Anthony Dirrell
-Mario Barrios wins the vacant secondary WBA welter title by outpointing Batyr Akhmedov
-David Avanesyan retains the European welter title with first round stoppage of Kerman Lejarraga
-Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka has no trouble dismantling Michael Wallisch in three rounds
-Daniel Dubois crushes unbeaten Ebenezer Tetteh inside a round to win the vacant Commonwealth title
- Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov kayos Azinga Fuzile in IBF super featherweight title eliminator
-South African Ayanda Nkosi wins the vacant WBFederation title with stoppage of experienced Mexican Emanuel Lopez
WORLD TITLE FIGHT SHOWS
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Errol Spencer (26-0) W PTS 12 Shawn Porter (30-3-1). Super Middle: David Benavidez (22-0) W TKO 9 Anthony Dirrell (33-2-1) . Super Light: Mario Barrios (25-0) W PTS 12 Batyr Akhmedov (7-1). Welter: Josesito Lopez (37-8,1ND) W TKO 8 John Molina (30-9).Welter: Robert Guerrero (36-6-1) W PTS 10 Jerry Thomas (14-2-1). Super Light; Fabian Maidana (17-1-0) W KO 1 Ramses Agaton (21-11-3).Super Middle: Misael Rodriguez (10-0) W TKO 3 Brandon Maddox (7-3-1). Welter: Lindolfo Delgado (11-0) W TKO 6Jesus Zazueta Anaya (6-5-1).
Spence vs. Porter
This promised to be a high quality, close and competitive fight and it delivered on all three as IBF champion Spence wins a split decision over WBC champion Porter to unify the two titles.
Plenty of probing and not much punching early in the round. When the action started it was Porter darting inside against the taller Spence and connecting with some fast, light punches. Spence landed a couple of jabs but another quick attack from Porter captured the points.
Score: 10-9 Porter
Porter was first to the punch in this one connecting with a jab and straight right as Spence was waiting too long for an opening. Porter was moving in behind his jab and firing hooks and uppercuts inside. Spence scored with a hard left hook but Porter ignored it and ended round with a burst of punches.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 20-18
The fight really came to life in this one. Spence was now taking advantage of his longer reach to land his right jab and firing straight lefts. Porter attacked furiously trying to overwhelm Spence with the volume of punches. He had some success but Spence was countering well and just edge the round. Both fighters were warned for low punches.
Score: 10-9 Spence Porter 29-28
An incredible round from Porter. He walked forward for the whole three minutes tossing punches from both hands. Hooks, uppercuts straight punches he kept them flowing. Some missed, some were blocked but plenty got through and Spence was too busy defending to launch an offensive of his own. You had to wonder whether this high level work rate would catch up with Porter in the late rounds.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 39-37
Judges scores: Weisfeld: 38-38 tied, Hazzard Jr 40-36 Porter, Danseco 39-37 Porter
Spence needed to change his tactics and he did. He used his jab to get on the front foot and threw more lefts. He was anticipating Porter’s swarming attacks and was stepping back countering Porter on the way in and then tying Porter up inside. Significantly Spence threw more and landed more punches in this round
Score:10-9 Spence Porter 48-47
In a wild round first Spence pinned Porter on the ropes and worked him over and then Porter turned off the ropes put Spence there and banged away on Spence. Spence managed to get some space and scored with strong jabs and straight lefts. Porter dragged Spence back into a brawl and they traded toe-to-toe with Spence getting the better of the exchanges. This fight was delivering on its promise.
Score: 10-9 Spence Tied 57-57
A closer round. Spence was again scoring well at distance and Porter was firing bursts of punches inside. Spence looked the stronger and was connecting with the harder punches. Porter was throwing more and probably landing a few more but it was quality vs. volume and I gave it to quality.
Score: 10-9 Spence Spence 67-66
For the first time Spence boxed behind his jab giving himself some room spearing Porter with the jab and firing straight lefts. Porter stuck to the same tactics of wild attacking bursts. He had some success but he was too often just swinging wildly. He did land a couple of jarring head punches but Spence looked to have hurt Porter with a hit to the body.
Score: 10-9 Spence Spence 77-75
Judges scores: Weisfeld 77-75 Spence, Hazzard Jr 78-74 Porter, Danseco 76-76
The fight seemed to be slipping away from Porter but in this round although still going for quantity he was more accurate getting through with punches from both hands inside outworking Spence and holding off a strong attack from Spence before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Porter Spence 86-85
Quantity won through in this one also. The sheer work rate from Porter was stifling Spence’s attempts to create any punching space. Swarming forward firing from both hands it was hit and miss from Porter but he outlanded Spence.
Score: 10-9 Porter Tied 95-95
Spence managed to open up some space over the first minute in this one. Some space but not too much. By staying just a couple of paces off him Spence was stopping Porter’s rushes before Porter could build any impetus and scoring with his jabs. With a minute to go in the round as Porter waded in Spence met him with a stunning short left hook that shook Porter badly and he dropped with his left knee and one glove touching the canvas. It was a knockdown and although Porter was not too badly shaken and tried to stage a late recovery it was a big blow to his hopes.
Score: 10-8 Spence Spence 105-103
Spence took the last. He was landing scything hooks and uppercuts rattling punches off Porter’s head and forcing Porter back. Porter tried some rushing attacks but the fire was missing and Spence outlanded Porter throughout the round.
Score: 10-9 Spence Spence 115-112
Judges Scores: Weisfeld 116-111 Spence , Hazzard Jr 115-112 Porter, Danseco 116-112 Spence.
Spence retains the IBF title and lifts the WBC title. The 29-year-old Texan was naturally looking for a fight with Manny Pacquiao which would give a third belt but he may just be more than Pacquiao needs at this stage of his career. A fight with WBO champion Terrence Crawford would sort out who is the best welterweight in the world and Spence also said he would like that fight but that might be a hard fight to make. Porter played his part in a great contest but in the end the tremendous work he had put in over the earlier rounds left him drained and that was critical. The fight was close enough and entertaining enough for a return but Porte will have to wait and put some wins together before that can happen.
Benavidez vs. Dirrell
Youth will be served. Benavidez proved just too powerful for Dirrell to keep out and Benavidez ripped the WBC title out of the veteran’s hands over nine punishing rounds.
Clever boxing by Dirrell in the opener. He was on the back foot circling around a slower Benavidez spearing him with jabs and then darting in to connecting with a couple of punches and getting out again. Benavidez began to let his hands go over the last minute and landed a good right.
Score: 10-9 Dirrell
Benavidez changed the fight in the second. He was taking an extra step to close Dirrell down and continually stabbing out punches. He was connecting with his jab and straight rights and although Dirrell landed a few counters it was Benavidez round
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Tied 19-19
Initially Dirrell tried to stay in the centre of the ring and trade jabs with Benavidez. That did not last long and soon Benavidez was showing the power of his own jab. He landed a hurtful right and Dirrell felt the need to shake his head to show he was not hurt-which is a sure sign he was. Benavidez pinned Dirrell to the ropes for the first time and connected with clubbing shots to head and body. Dirrell fought his way off the ropes and landed a cracking left hook.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 29-28
A much better round from Dirrell. He kept moving and popping Benavidez with jabs and then closing in for a quick strike with his right. Benavidez was not closing Dirrell down as he had in the last two rounds and never found the range with his jab. At the end of the round it was Benavidez pinned to the ropes as Dirrell worked away inside.
Score: 10-9 Dirrell Tied 38-38
Judges scores: Carusone 38-38 tied, Rose 39-37 Benavidez. Moret 38-38 tied.
Benavidez found the range again in this round. He was jabbing well and in the middle of the round raked Dirrell with combinations. Dirrell was quick and accurate with his jabs and did enough to make the round close.
Score 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 48-47
A big round for Benavidez and a bad one for Dirrell. Benavidez was in total control. He was getting through with powerful jabs landing jarring rights and digging in left hooks. Dirrell just could not keep Benavidez out and to cap Dirrell’s misery a jab from Benavidez opened a cut over Dirrell’s right eye.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 58-56
Another dominant round for Benavidez. He was tracking a retreating Dirrell around the ring find gaps with his jab and rocking Dirrell with big rights. Blood from the cut was trickling into Dirrell's right eye hampering his vision and the referee stopped the fight so the doctor could inspect the damage but the fight continued. Dirrell briefly tried to stand and trade with Benavidez but it was Benavidez who was landing the harder punches.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 68-65
Dirrell survived another inspection by the doctor at the start of the round and then decided to switch to southpaw. He showed some fire but clubbing shots from Benavidez doused that and a right looked to have shaken Dirrell. Benavidez was in full flow connecting upstairs and down with Dirrell a weary looking fighter.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 78-74
Judges scores: Carusone 78-74 Benavidez, Ross 79-73 Benavidez, Moret 78-74 Benavidez
Benavidez battered Dirrell around the ring landing left hooks to the body and thudding head punches. He banged away with Dirrell unable to fight back or to avoid the punishment. The referee let it go too long and the fight was only stopped when the doctor and a ring official climbed to the apron waiving for the referee to save Dirrell from further punishment.
Benavidez, 22, regains the title he “lost” when as the reigning WBC champion he was shifted to “Champion in recess” after testing positive for cocaine. Still only 22 the tall “Red Flag” became the youngest ever super middle champion when he outpointed Ron Gavril for the vacant title in September 2017. He has an impressive 86.36 average of wins by KO/TKO with this being his nineteenth inside the distance victory. A Benavidez vs. Callum Smith unification fight would be a battle to savour. Dirrell only made it to the ninth round because of his skill and experience. This is the first inside the distance loss for Dirrell with his other defeat coming by way of a majority verdict against Badou Jack back in 2015 a loss that cost him his WBC title. He regained the title with a technical decision over Avni Yildirim in February but now has to decide whether to try to land another title shot or to call it a day at 34.
Barrios vs. Akhmedov
Both fighters began cautiously. Barrios had height and reach on his side with Akhmedov’s southpaw style posing something a little different for Barrios. Neither really committed themselves. Barrios landed a couple of jabs and a cracking left hook which was enough to give him the round.
Score: 10-9 Barrios
Both were still a bit tentative in their work. Barrios was able to use his jab to score on the outside with Akhmedov managing to walk past the jab and connect with hooks but again Barrios just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Barrios Barrios 20-18
The first two rounds had been close but Barrios clearly took this one. He landed a quick burst of punches at the start of the round and a sharp left counter. Akhmedov kept walking forward but was caught by three successive rights,. The pace heated up over the last 40 seconds as for the first time they stood in close and traded punches.
Score: 10-9 Barrios Barrios 30-27
A huge round for Barrios. At the start of the round he landed a right that caused Akhmedov to buckle at the knees. The Russian was badly shaken and retreating quickly in some disarray. Barrios connected with more rights and Akhmedov dropped forward with both gloves touching the canvas. After the eight count Akhmedov steadied himself and then twice launched furious attacks forcing Barrios to stand and trade but Barrios was more accurate and went back to his boxing picking off Akhmedov with jabs.
Score: 10-8 Barrios Barrios 40-35
Judges scores: Hayes 40-35 Barrios, Cheatham 39-36 Barrios. Young 40-35 Barrios
Five points behind after four rounds made the position desperate for Akhmedov but he began to chip away at the lead Barrios had built. The Russian was coming forward throwing hooks, uppercuts and short right leads. It was controlled aggression and Barrios just could not get off with his own shots.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 49-45
A more even round. Barrios did a better job of countering the advancing Akhmedov early in the round. Akhmedov kept pumping out short punches inside and was outlanding Barrios and his hard work just gave him the edge over the classier counters from Barrios but it was close.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 58-55
Akhmedov was on a roll. He was hustling Barrios out of his stride pressurising him by getting inside and working with short hooks and uppercuts. Barrios was throwing less and less and just could not keep Akhmedov out as the Russian swung the fight his way. He was eating into the lead Barrios had built and Barrios had been cut over his left eye in a clash of heads.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 67-65
Barrios made some punching space at the start of this round and countered well but Akhmedov soon got into his stride. He was simply outworking Barrios. He was not loading up on his punches but the short hooks were scoring. Barrios was now just throwing single shots and was slower and looked tired.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 76-75
Judges scores: Hayes 78-73 Barrios, Cheatham 77-74 Barrios, Young 77-74 Barrios
Barrios moved more and threw more punches than in the last round but he was still just not working hard enough. His jab was no longer effective and at times he was just swinging his arms . Akhmedov’s work rate had also dropped but it was still higher than that of Barrios and he ended the round driving Barrios back with hooks and uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov TIED 85-85
Akhmedov continued to hunt down a tiring Barrios. He was doing nothing special just walking forward pumping out punches. There wasn’t a great deal of power in them but he managed to jar Barrios with two lefts to the head. Barrios was hardly throwing a punch and his movement and jab were but a memory.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Akhmedov 95-94
Another one-sided round. The almost robotic Akhmedov just kept punching. He seemed to have limitless stamina whereas Barrios was having difficulty keeping his hands up and was only prodding out an occasion punch. By the end of the round the statistic were showing Akhmedov had landed over 220 punches and Barrios less than 130.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Akhmedov 105-103
Barrios found the energy to move and punch early in the last but Akhmedov rocked him with a right and took control. Both were tired but Akhmedov seemed on his way to taking the round when with only 24 seconds to go Barrios landed a hard straight right. Akhmedov was shaken and dropped forward putting both gloves on the canvas. It of course counted as a knockdown. When the action resumed there was no time for either to land another punch.
Score: 10-8 Barrios TIED 113-113
Judges scores: Hayes 116-111 Barrios, Cheatham 115-111 Barrios and Young 114-112 Barrios
Barrios wins the vacant secondary WBA title but for me he was lucky to do so and don’t get me started on the stupid 10-8 for any round featuring a knockdown To my mind it is an abomination as it makes it almost impossible for a judge to use his own judgment on scoring a round. If he failed to follow that rule and scored the round 10-9 for the guy who outlanded the other guy by a wide margin but brushed the canvas twice with his gloves and that judge’s score proved crucial he would be pilloried. What’s the point of having experienced reliable judges and then telling them how to do their scoring. Rant over. As I saw it Akhmedov was unlucky and hopefully will get another shot-but don’t hold your breath.
Lopez vs. Molina
After his impressive showing when losing on a majority decision against Keith Thurman Lopez has become a certainty to get another title shot as long as he can keep winning. He made a great start in this fight as with less than thirty seconds gone he landed a thudding right cross to the head of Molina which sent Molina reeling into the ropes and down on his hands and knees. Molina was up at eight and as Lopez went right hand happy swinging and missing Molina landed a sharp left hook to show he was still in the fight. Another right had Molina in trouble on the ropes and a left dropped him to his knees. It looked all over as Molina knelt wincing with pain. He did make it to his feet but it looked like it was at 10 ½ but for the referee Molina had beaten the count. In typical Molina fashion he walked into Lopez trading punches. He went down but it was ruled a slip and Molina survived a torrid opening three minutes. Lopez then dominated the action finding Molina’s face time and again with a strong jab and rattling Molina with rights to the head. He hurt Molina with two hard rights in the second but Molina banged back with a left hook. The pace slowed a little in the third . Lopez was still connecting with overhand rights but in this round and the fifth Molina managed to get on the front foot and when he got inside was landing some hard hooks. Lopez was using the jab to set Molina up for the right crosses in the sixth and although rocked a few times Molina kept throwing wild, hopeful pinches. Late in the seven a short left hook and a punishing right to the head saw Molina drop to one knee. At the end of the count there was only ten seconds remaining in the round but again Lopez bounced two hard rights off Molina’s head. In my opinion neither the referee nor Molina’s corner should have let him come out for the eighth but they did. For twenty seconds Lopez banged punches against Molina’s head until the fight was stopped. Lopez has not been a protected fighter in the past but has been cast in the victim role against the top welterweights. He has lost to Jessie Vargas-but on a split decision, Saul Alvarez, Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto but the Thurman fight means he will now get a more than even break when it comes to the fighters he will face. Molina is a true warrior but one who needs to be saved from his own bravery . Unfortunately just when he seems to be on the way out he somehow conjures up a win that puts him back in the frame but he really should retire.
Guerrero vs. Thomas
Guerrero has not yet reached the same point in his career as Molina but he also has a limited shelf life and limited horizons. This was a predictable win as he faced a far less experienced and almost inactive Thomas. In fact Thomas almost carried that inactivity into the ring. Although his tricky style frustrated Guerrero he did very little over the early rounds as Guerrero jarred him in the first and outboxed him without really having to move out of second gear. Thomas showed more life over the second half of the fight and he had a tiring Guerrero under heavy fire in the ninth before relapsing again as Guerrero took charge in the last. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Guerrero. After a spell of four losses in five fights Guerrero was out of the ring for seventeen months before returning with a win last December. This is his second win this year but all of his recent wins have come against very limited opposition. This was only the third fight in two years for Thomas and his first for sixteen months
Maidana vs. Agaton
Maidana gets back on track after losing his unbeaten tag and blows away Agaton with three quick knockdowns. Agaton made an aggressive start but early in the round Maidana put him down with a hurtful straight right. Agaton beat the count but Maidana clobbered him with some head punches and Agaton went down again. Agaton took the fight to Maidana but a right counter sent him on a retreat and a crunching right to the ribs saw him take a step back and go down on one knee and the referee stopped the fight without a count. The 27-year-old brother of Marcos suffered an upset points loss against Venezuelan veteran Jaider Parra in January so needed to put on a show here. Fifth loss in his last six outings for Mexican Agaton .
Rodriguez vs. Maddox
Mexican Olympian Rodriguez is just too much for an overmatched Maddox. Rodriguez was hounding Maddox from the first raking him with hard punches to head and body. Maddox tried to fight back but the power and accuracy of Rodriguez’s attacks were just too much for him to handle. Rodriguez ended it in the third. He had Maddox trapped in a corner and ready to go when Rodriguez corner pleaded for the fight to be halted. The 6’1” 25-year-old Rodriguez won bronze medals in both the Rio Olympics and the Pan American Games. This is his fifth inside the distance victory. In his last two fights Detroit’s Maddox had boxed a split draw with 21-1-1 Mike Jimenez and lost a split decision against 14-1 Ronald Cruz so was a legitimate test for Rodriguez.
Delgado vs. Anaya
Explosive Olympian Delgado maintains his 100% record of inside the distance wins with late stoppage of Anaya. Delgado had to work hard for the win as Anaya was willing to stand and trade. From the fourth the superior power of Delgado saw him in full control and a too brave Anaya was still on his feet but shipping heavy punishment when the fight was ended in the sixth. This marks only the second time that Delgado has had to go past the fifth round for a victory. The 24-year-old from Monterrey represented Mexico at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics as well as winning a silver medal at the Pan American Games where he beat Carlos Balderas. First inside the distance defeat for Anaya who is now 0-4-1 in his five most recent outings.
Montreal, Canada; Super Light: Batyrzhan Jukembayev (17-0) W PTS 10 Miguel Vazquez (41-9). Middle: Steven Butler (28-1-1) W KO 1 Paul Valenzuela (24-9).
Jukembayev vs. Vazquez
Jukembayev wins ugly but wins. The Kazak southpaw was frustrated by a very negative Vazquez. After a competitive start the former IBF lightweight champion focused on survival . He used his experience and awkward style to avoid and bemuse Jukembayev in a fight that provided a poor spectacle-not Jukembayev’s fault. The Kazak shook Vazquez in the ninth but other than that Vazquez was never really troubled. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Jukembayev. He picks up two titles winning the vacant WBA Continental and IBF Inter-Continental belts but has yet to face an A Level opponent. Now 32 Vazquez is too good for the C level fighters but has been beaten inside the distance by Josh Taylor and Thulani Mbenge and is beginning to fill the role of a useful scalp to have on your belt for promising younger fighters.
Butler vs. Valenzuela
Butler finishes the normally resilient Valenzuela in just 38 seconds. After some preliminary sparring as Valenzuela moved inside Butler met him with a strong left jab. The punch put Valenzuela down face first on the canvas. He tried to lever himself up to his hands and knees but slumped down on his face again at which point the referee abandoned the count and signalled the fight was ended. Butler said he had been practicing to strengthen his jab until his left arm almost fell off but even he must have been surprised at the dramatic effect of that punch. The 24-year-old “BANG BANG” fittingly moves to 24 wins by KO/TKO and is now rated WBO 1/WBC 4/IBF 8 but whether he is ready to challenge Demetrius Andrade is very questionable. Valenzuela, 32, is 1-5 in his last six contests but this is only his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
London. England: Heavy: Daniel Dubois (13-0) W TKO 1 Ebenezer Tetteh (20-1). Super Feather: Archie Sharp (17-0) W KO 4 Declan Geraghty (19-5)
Dubois vs. Tetteh
Dubois exposes Tetteh as he destroys the unbeaten Ghanaian inside a round. Dubois drove Tetteh back with stiff jabs and already looked dangerous with a right cross. Tetteh traded a couple of jabs with Dubois but he was slow and his footwork was poor. Dubois connected with double left hooks and then landed a short right which dumped Tetteh on his rear. He was up at five but looked unsteady . A series of punches put him down again. He again made it to his feet at five and was shaky. The referee completed the eight count and then waived the fight off over protests from Tetteh. He looked able to continue but he was so obviously in over his head that it was the right decision. The 22-year-old Londoner wins both the vacant Commonwealth title and vacant WBI International title. After an impressive win over Nathan Gorman he is really beginning to develop and holding him back might be a problem. Tetteh’s record is padded with very poor opposition none of whom would creep into the world’s top 50
Sharp vs. Vs. Geraghty
Sharp retains the WBO European title with sensational kayo of Geraghty. Over the first two rounds Irish southpaw Geraghty boxed beautifully jabbing, moving smoothly and putting together some impressive combinations. Sharp pressed hard in the third but Geraghty continued to box cleverly. He did enough to take the round and at the bell Sharp was showing a cut. Geraghty was being forced to trade more in the fourth and suddenly as they exchanged punches inside Sharp fired home a stunning left hook and the referee instantly waived the fight over. Geraghty was given oxygen but recovered quickly. Towering performance from the 24-year-old from Kent and his eighth win by KO/TKO. He is No 7 with the WBO. Former top amateur Geraghty is 2-3 in a run of five tough tests with all three losses inside the distance which puts a question mark over how far he can go.
Gravelines, France: Heavy: Raphael Tronche (13-0) W TKO 9 Ariel Bracamonte (9-4). Tronche wins the vacant IBO International title with stoppage of Argentinian novice Bracamonte. There were some good exchanges in the first but after those three minutes Tronche was in charge. He landed some hard lefts in the second and had Bracamonte rocking a couple of times in the third. Tronche handed out some fierce punishment in the fourth and fifth with Bracamonte spending much of the time trapped against the ropes. Although dominating the sixth and seventh Tronche could not find the power to end the fight. Tronche’s pressure eased a little in the eighth and Bracamonte finally showed some aggression. It did not last and a series of unanswered punches in the ninth saw the referee stop the fight. The 29-year-old French champion from Calais has eight wins by KO/TKO but his opposition has not been of sufficient quality to get him a spot in the EBU top 20. Bracamonte is earning his money the hard way with over his head losses against Dave Allen and Evgeny Roman
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rica: Super Bantam: Carlos Arrieta (11-0) W PTS 10 Ricardo Nunez (29-11). Fighting in his home town Arrieta has to battle to get a split decision over the more experienced Nunez. Arrieta worked hard behind his jab but it was his left hooks that won the fight for him. After being hurt by a right cross in the first Arrieta looked to have Nunez wilting from a series of vicious left hooks to the body in the second but Nunez stayed inside to deny Arrieta leverage. Nunez had the better of the action in the third and fourth forcing Arrieta back and connecting with rights that brought a swelling under the left eye of the Puerto Rican. Nunez outworked Arrieta in the fifth but Arrieta used good movement, a strong jab and left hooks to edge the sixth although a punch from Nunez opened a cut strangely enough up on the top of Arrieta’s head behind his era. He survived a doctor’s inspection and then boxed well on the retreat over the seventh, eighth and ninth to get in front but Nunez won the tenth as he marched forward connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Scores 96-94 twice for Arrieta and 95-95.Arrieta may just have about deserved the decision but it could have gone either way so Nunez will have been unhappy. Arrieta, 25, “The Chosen One” was stepping up to ten rounds for the first time and will struggle as the opposition gets tougher. Panamanian Nunez, 31, a former IBF and WBO flyweight title challenger suffers his fifth loss in a row.
London, England: Light: Alfie Price (7-0) W PTS 10 Jeff Ofori (9-0).
Slick southpaw Price outboxes champion Ofori to win the BBB of C Southern area title. Price was just that bit too quick for a persistent Ofori continually beating the champion to the punch. Price holds his right at thigh level and prefers to use footwork and upper body movement to avoid punches rather than blocking them leaving both hands free to counter. Ofori never stopped pressing but just could not pin the elusive Price down often enough to be a threat and was walking into starlight right counters. Price is not a power puncher and never really had Ofori in any trouble. Referee’s score 100-92 for 25-year-old Price a former Elite level amateur. Londoner Ofori was making the first defence of the title.
Bilbao, Spain: Welter: David Avanesyan (25-3-1) W TKO 1 Kerman Lejarraga (28-2). Avanesyan retains the European title with second inside the distance victory over Lejarraga but with some controversy surrounding the first round stoppage. When these two met before Lejarraga’s poor defence let him down and he started out this time by tucking up to try to tighten his guard and jabbing cautiously. Avetisyan again showed the quick hand speed which had won him the first fight. Things seemed to be going well for Lejarraga and then the roof fell in. A quick right hook to the head stunned him and sent him on the retreat. Avanesyan followed up with some more right hooks and Lejarraga went down heavily. He was up at four and bounced around through the eight count and also did a couple of squats trying to show he was eager to continue. The referee had Lejarraga step sideways a couple of times and let the fight continue. Lejarraga took the fight to Avanesyan with a couple of jabs but Avanesyan fired a series of punches ending with a great left hook that dumped Lejarraga on the floor up against the ropes. Once again Lejarraga was on his feet at four and he rested his arms on the ropes and again squatted a couple of times as he did after the first knockdown but when the referee completed the eight count this time he then waived his arms to show he was stopping the fight. Lejarraga protested strongly and members of Lejarraga ‘s team entered the ring and confronted the referee incensed by the stoppage. Although Lejarraga had seemed fit to continue he had been knocked down twice. His punch resistance seemed to have been seriously eroded and he looked in trouble every time Avanesyan landed a punch so it looked a good call to me. The 31-year-old British-based Russian was making the first defence of the European title he had won with a ninth round stoppage of Lejarraga in March. The former WBA title challenger’s victory over Lejarraga has seen him sitting at No 6 with the IBF with the WBC having him at No 9 and the WBA at 14 but at this time there is no open road to a world title fight. The ease with which Lejarraga was knocked over was worrying and he will need to be carefully matched after this.
Nantes, France: Heavy: Tony Yoka (7-0) W TKO 3 Michael Wallisch (20-3). Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (11-0) W PTS 10Dmitry Mikhaylenko (23-5). Bantam: Elie Konki (8-0) W PTS 10 Loic Tajan (4-1). Light Heavy: Pierre Hubert Dibombe (18-0-1) W TKO 5 Ruslan Shchelev (16-14-1).
Yoka vs. Wallisch
Yoka much too good for glacially slow German Wallisch. In the opener Yoka was advancing behind his jab and connecting with rights to the body. He found plenty of gaps for the jab and Wallisch was too slow when he tried to throw some ponderous counters. Yoka stayed with the jab and rights to the body early in the second before finally putting together some combinations. Wallisch was a little livelier but still much to predictable and slow to be a threat. In the third Wallisch came forward throwing a few more punches but Yoka’s jab again had him on the back foot. Yoka stepping in and connected with a vicious right uppercut. Wallisch stepped back and then in a delayed effect dropped to one knee. He was up at nine with blood dripping from his nose. Yoka went forward throwing a series of punches and Wallisch went down on one knee again and the referee stopped the fight immediately. Second win for the Rio gold medallist since returning from a one year suspension for dodging the testers. It is still early days to say how the 6’7” Frenchman will develop but it is rumoured that his next opponent will be Christian Hammer which is a sensible move at this stage. Wallisch has lost inside the distance against Hammer and in two rounds to Nigerian prospect Efe Ajagba.
Cissokho vs. Mikhaylenko
Cissokho continues to progress in style. He showcased his offence and defence her with a comprehensive victory over a tough and durable Mikhaylenko. He picked his shots well and constantly changed angles to open up Mikhaylenko’s guard then banged home some impressive combinations. Mikhaylenko was never really able to get into the fight and his renown durability was put to the test but he gave Cissokho ten rounds of useful work. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Cissokho. The Senegal-born Olympic bronze medallist just may be the best prospect in France. A former Russian Armed Forces champion Mikhaylenko went 21-0 at the start of his career but has fallen away badly winning only two of his last seven fights.
Konki vs. Tajan
Konki holds on the French title with a unanimous verdict over Tajan but is given a torrid time. Konki lacks power so has to rely heavily on his skills. Tajan just kept marching forward and forcing Konki to trade more often that the champion was comfortable with. However the 5’7” Konki does have excellent skills. His longer reach, speed and accuracy made the difference but it was close. Konki took the decision 97-93 twice and 96-94. “The Spider” was French amateur champion in 2013,2014 and 2015 and represented France in Rio in 2016. Tajan was a good level amateur but he had taken less than five rounds to win his four pro fights which counted against him when facing the more experienced Konki.
Dibombe vs. Shchelev
Dibombe gets an inside the distance and remains unbeaten. The 27-year-old home town fighter , a former undefeated French champion, makes it nine wins by KO/TKO. He has been plagued by a fragile right hand but came though this fight without a problem. Ukrainian Shchelev tumbles to his fourth loss by KO/TKO and is 1-4 in his last 5 contests.
Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Tom Schwarz (26-1) W RTD 6 Ilja Mezencev (20-2,1ND). Light Heavy; Adam Deines (19-1-1) W KO 2 Yevgenli Makhtelenko (10-13). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (5-0) W PTS 6 Andrei Mazanik (13-9).
Schwarz vs. Mezencev
Schwarz gets repeat win over Mezencev. When these to clashed back in November 2015 Schwarz had to climb off the floor before knocking out Mezencev but there were no shocks this time. Schwarz was finding the target with hurtful shots in the first and also dominated the second. Mezencev performed better in the third but was not looking to take any chances allowing Schwarz to control the fight. Schwarz was breaking Mezencev down over the fourth and fifth and landed heavily in the sixth with Mezencev soaking up some serious punishment before his corner decided to retire their man. Schwarz collects the vacant IBF International title and will probably now get a top 15 spot from them. Second win for Schwarz since his pretentions were exposed by Tyson Fury in June. German-based Kazak Mezencev has a record peopled by fourth-rate opponents.
Deines vs. Makhtelenko
Deines is easing his way back after suffering his first loss and had no trouble in adding another inside the distance victory to his total. He floored Makhtelenko in the first and then ended it with a body punch in the second. The German-based Russian southpaw lost an important fight against China’s Fanlong Meng in June so will be matched carefully to rebuild him. Czech-based Ukrainian Makhtelenko drops to 6 losses in his last 7 fights but went the distance with Dmitry Bivol early in Bivol’s career.
Kadiru vs. Mazanik
At just 22 and after only five fights it is much too early to assess the real potential of the former Youth Olympics, European Youth, European Under-22 and German champion but he really needs to show some power as he should be putting away opponents such as Mazanik. Kadiru showed plenty of aggression, varied his attacks nicely and had Mazanik’s face battered and bruised. He won every round but just could not find a finishing punch. Score 60-54 on each of the three cards. In the amateurs Kadiru won and lost in fights against Daniel Dubois but right now they at very different levels as professionals. First fight in 18 months for Belarusian Mazanik.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Uriel Perez (19-4) W TKO 5 Mathieu Germain (17-1-1). Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (9-0) W TKO 3 Julian Fernandez (13-2). Light Heavy: Artur Ziyatdinov (11-0) W PTS 8 Darnell Boone (24-25-5). Super Middle: Lexson Mathieu (6-0) W KO 1 Juan Torres (7-9).
Perez vs. Germain
Perez springs an upset as he floors and halts unbeaten local hope Germain. The Mexican “Bombadero” had not come just for the money and he and Germain fought on equal terms over the opening rounds with the judges all scoring it 38-38 after the fourth. What that did not take into account was an overhand right from Perez late in the fourth which had Germain badly shaken and hanging on to get some recovery time. Germain looked to be back on track in the fifth but as he strode forward an overhand right to the temple dropped him. He started to rise and then fell again. He did just make it to his feet but was unsteady and after completing the count the referee waived his arms to end the fight. The 23-year-old Perez had registered 16 wins by KO/TKO in his18 victories going into this one so the danger was there. Canadian Germain had been at No 12 with the IBF but has a rebuilding task ahead of him.
Makhmudov vs. Fernandez
Canadian-based Russian makes it nine inside the distance victories in nine fights with stoppage of Mexican Fernandez. Makhmudov was throwing bombs from the start but Fernandez soaked them up over the first two rounds and tried to fight back. In the third as he again tried to take the fight to Makhmudov a left hook to the head sent Fernandez staggering back across the ring. Makhmudov followed him and unloaded a volley of thunderous punches that had Fernandez reeling and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’5 ½” 30-year-old Makhmudov wins the vacant NABF title but this was an unusually below par NABF title match. He is a former World and European Universities champion, He was a success in the WSB but failed to qualify for Rio. Fernandez was stopped in two rounds by Tom Schwarz in September.
Ziyatdinov vs. Boone
Ziyatdinov gets unanimous verdict over oldie Boone. It looked as though Ziyatdinov might have an early night when he put Boone on the floor in the second round. Boone has been in with top quality fighters and survived the crisis and went on to make Ziyatdinov work hard for the points. At 6’2” tall Ziyatdinov towered over the tubby 5’7” Boone but was forced to respect the veteran who halted Ziyatdinov in his tracks with some hard counters in the sixth. Ziyatdinov finished strongly and was a clear winner. Scores 78-73 twice and 79-72 for the Russian. From Crimean Tartar stock the 23-year-old Ziyatdinov is a former European Junior bronze medallist and Ukrainian Youth champion. Now 39 Boone has a stoppage win over Adonis Stevenson, a victory over Willie Monroe Jr and split decision defeat against Sergey Kovalev so can be a problem on his night.
Mathieu vs. Torres
Hugely talented Mathieu disposes of Mexican prelim fighter Torres inside the first round. Mathieu was trying too hard to end this one early and was wildly off with his punches. He missed with a couple of swings and was off balance. Torres stepped in trying to take advantage of that . Mathieu missed with a wild right but came back with a tremendous left hook that flattened Torres with no count needed. The 20-year-old Canadian had been taken the distance in his last fight but now has five wins by KO/TKO including four first round finishes. Torres in way over his head.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Light: Ayanda Nkosi (14-1) W TKO 7 Emanuel Lopez (30-12-1). Light: Xolani Ndongeni (26-1) W TKO 6 Mbena Rajab (17-7-2). Fly: Phumelela Cafu (4-0-2) W RTD 4Hamza Mchanjo (17-13-3).
Nkosi lifts the vacant WBFederation belt with outstanding performance in outpointing Mexican Lopez. Nkosi had edges in height and reach and skill to spare. He boxed well from the start with the more experienced Lopez struggling to find a way into the fight. The Mexican pressed and pressed but was continually caught by hard counters as Nkosi slowly eroded Lopez’s resistance. A tiring and well beaten Lopez was put down by a series of punches in the seventh and although he made it to his feet the fight was stopped. This is the tenth win in a row for the South African. Lopez, a former WBA interim champion at featherweight is on the slide being 2-6
Ndongeni vs. Rajab
Ndongeni eases his way back with inside the distance win against overmatched Tanzanian Rajab. Ndongeni put Rajab down twice and it was an act of mercy when the Tanzanian’s team pulled him out of the fight. First contest for Ndongeni since losing his unbeaten record against Devin Haney in January. It will be a long road back for the 29-year-old from Duncan Village. Rajab had won his last five fights and had not lost by KO/TKO in his last 24 but this water was far too deep for him stay afloat in.
Cafu vs. Mchanjo
Cafu handed out a severe beating to young Mchanjo. The fight was allowed to go on too long before Mchanjo’s corner finally halted the mismatch at the end of the fourth. Cafu, the South African No 5 wins the vacant WBFederation International title. All four of his wins have come by KO/TKO. The 21-year-old Mchanjo now has seven losses inside the distance blotting his record.
East London, South Africa: Minimum: Sibusiso Bandla (4-0-1) W PTS 12 Xolisa Magusha (12-5-1) W. Minimum: Ayanda Ndulani (10-2-1) W PTS 10 Loyiso Ngantwani (9-15-5).
Bandla vs. Magusha
Bandla beats champion Magusha to collect the South African title. Magusha made a confident start in this battle between two southpaws but in the second Bandla connected with a bunch on rights hooks forcing Magusha to the ropes and down. Magusha beat the count and fought back hard but that knockdown proved critical. From there this was a close fight but with few highlights and Magusha looked to be in front and on his way to retaining his title until the less experienced Bandla came on strong over the closing rounds to run out the winner. Scores 115-113 twice and 117-111 for Bandla. Without the 10-8 in the second Magusha would have retained the title on a majority draw. Bandla was leaping from six round fights to twelve so he did well to pace the fight better than the more experienced Magusha. This was Magusha’s second defence of the title and it was close enough for him to merit a return.
Ndulani vs. Ngantwani
Ndulani takes a unanimous decision over fellow South African Ngantwani. Scores 99-91, 97-94 and 96-94 for Ndulani. Ndulani is a former undefeated ABU champion but there was some confusion over just what title if any was at stake in this fight. ABU titles are usually over twelve rounds, TV seemed to think it was an eliminator for the South African title and even the WBO African title was mentioned!
Bolton, England: Super Welter: Harry Scarff (7-0) W PTS 10 Jack Flatley (15-1-1). Super Middle: Mickey Ellison (9-2) W PTS 10 Charles Schofield (15-1).
Scarff vs. Flatley
Scarff wins unanimous decision to take over as English champion from Flatley in a clash of unbeaten fighters. This was an entertaining contest between two well matched fighters. Southpaw Scarff had a slight edge in reach. He had a looser more mobile style than Flatley and was just a little bit quicker to the punch. Flatley used his jab well but was cut over his left eye in the first and developed a swelling there and also under his right eye as the fight progressed. These were not deciding factors. it was the Scarff jab and his regular switching of guards that allowed him to outscore Flatley as they traded punches over ten lively rounds. In the end the decision deservedly went to Scarff by 97-94 twice and 96-94. Scarff took two attempts to make the weight and was moving up from six rounds for the first time so a good performance. Home town fighter Flatley loses his English title in his first defence and his unbeaten status. This was to have been the main supporting bout but was moved up to headliner when Francisco Fonseca reported sick before his fight with unbeaten Alex Dilmaghani and the hurt was doubled as TV pulled out of the fight coverage as a result.
Ellison vs. Schofield
Ellison just edges out Schofield in another fan friendly fight. It was close when as Ellison struggled in the ninth he was deducted after losing his mouthguard a couple of times but he just deserved the win. The referee saw this one 95-94 for Ellison who has won 8 of his last 9 fights. Schofield was having his first fight in eleven months.
London, England: Super Welter: Dean Richardson (11-0) W TKO 2 Nathan Graham (20-10-1).
Richardson wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with inside the distance victory over former champion Graham. The tall London Taxi driver now has eight inside the distance victories. Fourth early loss for Graham.
Newcastle, England: Heavy: Simon Vallily (16-2-1) W RTD 4 Erik Nazaryan (27-23-4, 1ND). Feather: Thomas Patrick Ward (28-0) W PTS 10 Yesner Talavera (15-11-1,2ND). Fly: Andrew Selby (13-1) W PTS 8 Fadhili Majiha (24-14-4).
Vallily vs. Nazaryan
Vallily gets the win but in a farcical mismatch. The 6’2” Vallily towered over the diminutive Belgian. The statistics said there were only four inches difference between them but Nazaryan did not even come up to Vallily’s chin and was carrying a huge amount of excess weight. Nazaryan was willing to walk forward throwing hooks but rarely got close and from the start it was clear Vallily was not taking the fight seriously. He was able to land his jab at range and connect with clubbing body punches when Nazaryan came forward but it was only in the third and fourth that Vallily began to punish Nazaryan in earnest. He trapped Nazaryan on the ropes late in the fourth and banged home some hard punches and Nazaryan retired at the end of the round citing a hand injury as the reason. Third win for Vallily since moving up to heavyweight but no kind of test. Nazaryan is brave enough but a guy who once weighed 140lbs and in a fight in December was 200lbs was never going to be anything but a waste of a night for Vallily.
Ward vs. Talavera
A breeze for Ward really just a paid sparring session. The world rated fighter from Durham was able to showcase his speedy skills against a game but very limited Talavera. Ward’s jab was too quick for Talavera and he constantly rocked the Nicaraguan with fast combinations. Talavera showed he could take punishment without wilting but he just did not have the tools to extend Ward who won every round. Referees score 100-90 for Ward. The former undefeated British super bantamweight champion is up at No 4 with the WBO and will be hoping he can land a title fight in 2020. Talavera is typical of the team of Nicaraguan travelling losers. This is his eighth defeat in a row suffered in seven different countries.
Selby vs. Majiha
In his first fight since losing to Julio Martinez in March Selby is shocking floored twice by Tanzanian Majiha but gets the decision. Selby started in his usual fashion tripping the light fantastic around the ring switching guards and changing direction but that came to an abrupt end when just fifty seconds into the fight a hard, straight right to the head from Majiha put Selby down against the ropes. He half arose but then glanced at his corner who waived for him to stay down. He got up at eight and although Majiha stormed after Selby looking for what would be a sensational victory the Welshman managed to stay out of trouble to the bell. Selby boxed his way through the second and jarred Majiha with a left hook in the third. It was more of the same in the fourth and fifth with Selby picking up the points with quick light punches but Majiha kept the pressure on and looked dangerous with rights. In a dramatic sixth Majiha staggered Selby with two lefts and then with Selby against the ropes connected with a heavy right. Selby was in trouble and as he escaped from the ropes he staggered across the ring and knelt down before the pursuing Majiha could get to him. He was again up at eight and survived the remaining thirty seconds of the round. Selby took the seventh and eighth but he struggled to contain Majiha’s furious attacks. Referee’s score 76-74 for Selby which was about right with Selby winning the rounds-except when he was knocked down! Very worrying fight for Selby. Majiha has won only 11 of his 42 fights by KO/TKO so is not a noted puncher. Sometimes it seems that there is too much going on with Selby. His feet are dancing, he is constantly shifting direction and changing guards and when you add in his hands waving about and his head movement it is a lot of multi-tasking for his brain to deal with. For the first knockdown his left arm was absent when Majiha threw the right. Selby has wonderful skills but needs more than that to deal with the pressure and power of world level fighters. Majiha is now 0-4 in fights in the UK and will get more fights after flooring Selby twice.
Atlanta, GA, USA: Middle: Carlos Monroe (17-0) W PTS 10 Javier Maciel (33-9). Super Middle: Mike Guy (11-4-1) W PTS 10 Eric Moon (11-2).
Monroe vs. Maciel
Monroe remains unbeaten with a split verdict over Maciel with the three judges all seeing if differently. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Monroe and 97-93 for Maciel. Having to go the distance snaps a run of seven wins inside the distance for Monroe. Argentinian veteran Maciel, a former WBO middleweight title challenger, suffers his third defeat in a row.
Guy vs. Moon
Moon was a slight favourite here against the 38-year-old Guy but was never in the fight at any time. Scores 100-90 for Guy on the three cards. He wins the vacant ABF Continental title. All four of his losses have been against unbeaten fighters. Moon had won his previous four fights.
Harare, Zimbabwe: Middle: Charles Manyuchi (23-4-1) W Diego Diaz Gallardo (22-6-1). Manyuchi picks up the WBFederation belt with win over defending champion Gallardo. This was an easy night for the Zimbabwean who controlled the fight over the first two rounds . He kept up the pressure on the Argentinian “Senior Citizen” in the third and was unloading with nothing coming back when the fight was halted in the third. Manyuchi, a former WBC International and Silver title holder, was having only his third fight in his home country in seven years and hopefully his presence will give boxing a boost there. Gallardo,39, was defending the WBF title for the second time but this was only his second
fight in two years.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Light: Jorge Barrios (33-4-1,2ND) W PTS 10 Diego Chaves (15-16-4). Light: Jose Acevedo (12-0-1) W TKO 7 Saul Huenchul (10-3).
Barrios vs. Chaves
Oldie Barrios gets his third win since returning to action as he edges out Chaves on a split verdict. This was a disappointing contest with very few highlights. Chaves used plenty of movement to frustrate the former WBO champion who just chased in vain. Chaves did enough to convince one judge he deserved to win but that was more of a sympathy vote as what positive work there was came from Barrios. Scores 98-93and 98 ½-93 ½ for Barrios and 97 ½-96 ½ for Chaves. Now 43 Barrios only returned to the ring for the first time in December after a long prison sentence for causing the death of a young pregnant woman in a motor accident. Chaves, the Argentinian No 5 super welter, is a poor 1-8-2 in his last 11 fights.
Acevedo vs. Huenchul
Acevedo retains the Argentinian title with stoppage of Huenchul. In a stirring battle. Acevedo had the better skills but the challenger was always dangerous. In the seventh a right from Acevedo sent Huenchul flying back and down and he almost did a back somersault on the canvas . He managed to beat the count but was pinned to the ropes with Acevedo unloading on him when Huenchul’s team threw in the towel. Five wins on the bounce for Acevedo who was making the first defence of his title. Huenchul was 7-1 in his last 8 outings.
Concordia, Argentina: Light Fly: Agustin Gauto (13-0) W PTS 10 Jorge Orozco (12-2-1). Super Feather: Mauricio Lara (17-2) W TKO 8 Eduardo Estela (10-1).
Gauto vs. Orozco
South American champion Gauto outpoints Mexican Orozco to collect the vacant WBO International title. The local fighter tried to box on the outside over the early rounds but Orozco was taller with a longer reach and those tactics were not working for Gauto. Orozco lost a point in the second round for a series of punches behind the head and from the third Gauto took the fight inside connecting with hook to the body with both hands and outworked Orozco. The Mexican was competitive all the way but just could not cope with the speed and work rate of Gauto. Orozco was a short notice substitute and tired late. Scores 98-91, 97-91 and 97-92 for the unbeaten 21-year-old. He is the highest rated fighter in the national ratings at light fly-but then there are only two rated. Second loss in a row for Orozco.
Lara vs. Estela
Mexican Lara came into this fight on the back of five straight wins and proved too strong for previously unbeaten Uruguayan Estela. Lara pressed hard from the opening bell but Estela boxed intelligently and had edged in front by the mid-point of the fight. After that he was never able to find the power to keep a rampaging Lara out and was slowly broken down. In the eighth Lara drove Estela to the ropes and landed some chopping rights which had Estela sagging towards the canvas. A right landed just before Estela’s knees touched the floor but the referee ruled that Estela had been down when the punch landed and deducted a point from Lara. It made no difference as Lara jumped on Estela connecting with a volley of punches that sent Estela falling into the ropes and down and the fight was stopped. Lara, 21, was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds and has now recorded eleven wins by KO/TKO. Estela had won 4 of his last 5 fights inside the distance but was crushed here.
Sydney. Australia: Feather: Luke Jackson (19-1) W PTS 8 Abdallah Zamba (12-10-4).
Jackson gets in some rounds of work against Tanzanian Zamba. Jackson was streets ahead of the limited and at times crude Zamba. Jackson was coming in behind a strong jab and banging home left hooks to the body. Zamba never looked unduly troubled but his defence had flaws and his offence was clumsy. Despite that he fired back enough to stay in the fight. As the rounds went by Jackson started to put together some fierce combination but over the closing rounds Zamba was much livelier throwing lots of punches but Zamba’s lack of leverage meant Jackson had nothing to fear but was kept busy. Scores 80-72 for Jackson on all three cards. Third un-testing victory for Jackson, 34, since being halted in eight rounds by Carl Frampton for the interim WBO title in August last year. Zamba was having his first fight outside Tanzania. He was 8-2-1 in domestic fights before this loss so he will now be dished up for some more beatings and much better pay days in foreign parts.
East London, South Africa: Super Feather: Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0) W TKO 8Azinga Fuzile (14-1-0). Super Feather: Khanyile Bulana (12-0) W PTS 12 Phila Mpontshana (15-2) . Light: Siphosethu Mvula (15-3-1) W PTS 12 Michael Mokoena (15-4). Super Bantam: Ayabonga Sonjica (9-0) W PTS 12 Innocent Mantengu (13-5-1). Fly: Luyanda Ntwanambi (7-0-1) W PTS 12 Fikile Mlonyeni (14-6). Bantam: Ronald Malindi (17-0) W PTS 12 Michael Daries (6-2).
Fuzile vs. Rakhimov
After winning all of the first seven rounds Fuzile is finally overwhelmed by the power of Rakhimov and is floored twice and halted. Fuzile took the first round in this match between two southpaws. He was much quicker than Rakhimov getting his punches off first using his longer reach to score at distance and showing good upper body movement to make Rakhimov miss. Rakhimov upped his pace considerably in the second throwing lots of short hooks as he came forward. Fuzile was spearing him with jabs and scoring to the body with left hooks. The South African was using a side-on approach effectively eliminating Rakhimov’s strong left as a threat. Fuzile strayed low with a punch and Rakhimov was given what seemed an extended period of recovery time. Fuzile’s clever defence work was frustrating Rakhimov and the Russian resorted to aiming three blatant butts at Fuzile which rightly earned a severe warning from the referee. Fuzile ended the round with a blazing combination. Rakhimov pressed hard throughout the third. Fuzile’s flashy footwork , snappy jab and quick combinations were getting through and at times he looked overconfident but Rakhimov was also having success with hooks from both hands. Fuzile was teeing off on Rakhimov with long right jabs and straight lefts in the fourth but Rakhimov was walking through them until two vicious right hooks visibly hurt the Russian. Fuzile piled in with more punches but Rakhimov revived and was back on the attack at the bell. This was becoming a cracking fight. The silky skills and speed of Fuzile against the ceaseless aggression of Rakhimov saw an all action round in the fifth with Fuzile pocketing the round as he had most of the rounds up to that point. Fuzile boxed beautifully in the sixth and seventh. His hand speed and the variation in his punches were just too much for the Russian’s defence to cope with and his Fuzile’s own defensive work was brilliant. The down side is that he was popping rather than powering his punches and Rakhimov was walking through them. Rakhimov’s pressure told in the eighth. Fuzile looked to have lost some of his speed and suddenly a thunderbolt of a left to the head sent Fuzile down flat on his back. with his head under the bottom rope. He was up at seven but when the action restarted Rakhimov piled in bludgeoning Fuzile with head punches until Fuzile fell forward on the canvas face first and the referee immediately waived the fight over and signalled for help for Fuzile. This was an IBF eliminator so now Rakhimov will be the mandatory challenger for Tevin Farmer and it remains to be seen whether his crude, powerful, aggression can make him a world champion. “Golden Boy” Fuzile is just 23 so has plenty of time to absorb the lessons from this loss and rebound. The story of this fight is not yet finished. During the fight one of Rakhimov’s corner men was seen to administer what looked like smelling salts. This is a banned substance and Fuzile’s team have rightly lodged a protest with the IBF so the ball is now in the IBF’s court and their top man Daryl Peoples was in attendance at the fight.
Bulana vs. Mpontshana
Bulana wins a clash of South African champions with a points victory over Mpontshana to collect the vacant IBF Continental belt. Bulana is the national featherweight champion and Mpontshana hols the super feather title.
Mvula vs. Mokoena
Mvula continued his run of good former with a split decision win over southpaw Mokoena to become IBF Continental African champion. He is now 6-0-1 in his last 7 fights. He was No 2 in the national ratings and Mokoena was No 1 so now Mvula will either meet champion Ayanda Nkosi or fight for the vacant title if the new WBFederation champion ( Nkosi won the title on Saturday) decides to vacate.
Sonjica vs. Mantengu
Local hope Sonjica wins the national title with wide unanimous verdict over champion Mantengu. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-111 for Sonjica. The unbeaten Sonjica had won his last six fight by KO/TKO but Mantengu can still boast that he has not lost inside the distance. Sonjica’s brother Thabo was also a South African champion . He went on to win the IBO title before retiring in 2015 with a 21-2 record. Mantengu was making the first defence of the title and has useful wins over Doctor Ntsele and Mvula.
Ntwanambi vs. Mlonyeni
In a fight for the vacant WBO African title South African No 2 Ntwanambi scored his fourth win in a row with all three judges seeing him the winner over Mlonyeni. Scores 118-111, 117-114 and 116-112. A double bonus for Ntwanambi as he gets his fifth win in a row and beats No 1rated Mlonyeni, who had won his last seven fights .
Malindi vs. Daries
Prospect Malindi retains the national title with points win over Daries. Malindi was making the second defence of the title. Daries was No 1 in the ratings after scoring six wins.
Fight of the week (Significance): Errol Spence’s win over Shawn Porter will open the way to some more top quality fights at welterweight-I hope.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Spence vs. Porter was a great advert for boxing. Honorary mention to Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Azinga Fuzile which was a hot battle of styles with a dramatic ending
Fighter of the week: Errol Spence with honourable mention to David Benavidez for his crushing of Anthony Dirrell
Punch of the week: Archie Sharp’s left hook that flattened Declan Geraghty was a beauty, the short left hook from Errol Spence that put Shawn Porte down in the eleventh was a classy shot but I will go for the huge left from Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov that floored Azinga for the first time in the eighth- a hammer blow.
Upset of the week: Minor one only with Uriel Perez stopping previously unbeaten 17-0-1 Mathieu Germain
Prospect watch: Mexican Olympian Misael Rodriguez is 11-0 so could be one for the future
By - Eric Armit
-Sergey Kovalev stops Anthony Yarde in the eleventh round in WBO light heavy title defence
-Juan Francisco Estrada successfully defends the WBC super fly title with ninth round victory over Dewayne Beamon
-John Riel Casimero knocks out Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round in WBO bantam defence
-Kosei Tanaka retains the WBO flyweight title with stoppage of Jonathan Gonzalez
-Puerto Rican Wilfredo Mendez lifts the WBO minimumweight title with decision over champion Vic Saludar
-Brandon Figueroa outclasses and halts Javier Chacon and retains the interim WBA super bantamweight title
-Maximino Flores gets technical decision over Carlo Penalosa for the vacant IBO flyweight belt
-Liam Smith, Filip Hrgovic, Jono Carroll, Cristofer Rosales, Ilunga Makabu and Stephen Fulton score wins
World Title Fights and supports
Chelyabinsk, Russia: Light Heavy: Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1) W TKO 11 Anthony Yarde (18-1). Cruiser: Ilunga Makabu (26-2) W PTS 12 Aleksei Papin (11-1). Heavy: Evgeny Romanov (14-0) W TKO 1 Dario Balmaceda (19-18-2).
Kovalev vs. Yarde
Kovalev’s experience was the telling factor in this one as recovers from near defeat to outlast and stop a dangerous Yarde and retain his WBO title.
A steady opening from both fighters. The difference was the consistent accuracy of Kovalev’s jab. Yarde was confident trying some rights and clipping Kovalev with a left but sparing with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev
The pace quickened in the second with both fighters throwing more. Yarde looked dangerous with rights but again it was the nagging accuracy of Kovalev’s jab which he kept slipping through Yarde’s guard that was picking up the points.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 20-18
Yarde came forward at the start of the round and connected with a good left. He was matching Kovalev until the last minute when again Kovalev was piercing Yarde’s guard with a succession of jabs
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 30-27
A dominant round for Kovalev. Yarde had no answer to the champions jab. He couldn’t block it and he couldn’t get past it. Kovalev was coming in behind the jab with quick punches from both hands and brining his right cross into the action.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Julio Cesar Alvarado: 39-37 Kovalev, Judge Deon Dwarte 40-36 Kovalev, Judge Zoltan Enyedi 40-36 Kovalev
Yarde finally began to let his hands go in the fifth and connected with some good combinations. His attacks put Kovalev on the back foot for the first time. Kovalev was still getting through with jabs but not so many and Yarde was coming forward throwing punches at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 49-46
Kovalev out jabbed and outworked Yarde to take this one. Yarde was looking to trade but Kovalev kept moving, kept jabbing and adding an occasional combination with Yarde just not throwing enough punches.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 59-55
Clearly Yarde’s round. He was taking the fight to Kovalev getting inside and landing with heavy lefts hooks to the body and clumping rights to the head. Kovalev was looking tired and holding to try to smother Yarde’s attacks.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 68-65
A huge round for Yarde. He was storming forward throwing punches particularly his trade mark left hooks to the body. Kovalev was looking tired and when Yarde pinned him to the ropes and rocked him with head punches it looked possible that Yarde might stop him but Kovalev made it to the bell. One judge made this a 10-8 round for Yarde.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 77-75
Official Scores: Judge Alvarado: 77-76 Kovalev, Judge Dwarte 78-74 Kovalev, Judge Enyedi 77-75 Kovalev
Panic over. Kovalev boxed his way through this round. Jabs, hooks, uppercuts, none heavy but all, scoring. Yarde looked to have punched himself out and his punch output dropped to almost zero as Kovalev worked effectively if not spectacularly.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 87-84
Kovalev knew he had the fight won and began to turn the screw. Suddenly he was throwing clusters of punches. Most of them were landing and there was very little coming back from an exhausted Yarde as Kovalev pummelled him in a corner at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 97-93
Yarde made a brave attempt to take the fight to Kovalev but the Russian was teeing off with rights to the head as Yarde floundered. Kovalev tossed Yarde to the floor and Yarde had nothing left. In the end it was a still left jab that put Yarde down and ended the fight.
There were signs in this fight that at 36 Kovalev is by no means the force he was and if Yarde had paced the fight better the result could have been different but on the plus side he overcame a dangerous opponent and is now hoping to get a huge payday against Saul Alvarez. Kovalev constituted a huge step up in quality of opposition for Yarde but he showed he could compete at this level and will probably land another title shot late in 2010.
Makabu vs. Papin
Makabu retains the WBC Silver title with majority decision over Russian Papin with the Congolese fighter needing a last round knockdown to hold on to that title. Papin made a promising start sending Makabu staggering back with a right and working well with his longer reach. Makabu upped his pace in the second but Papin scored well with a hook and found the distance with his jab and straight right. Makabu was rolling in the third. He was jabbing well with his right and getting inside and banging hooks to Papin’s body. It was a similar story in the fourth and fifth . Papin was scoring at distance but Makabu was coming forward and banging hurtful hooks to the body. Makabu went low with a punch in the fourth and was given a stern warning but he was still firing hurtful hooks to the ribs. Papin did some good work with his jab and light combinations at the start of the sixth but the relentless attacks and body punching from Makabu soon had the Russian in retreat. Makabu dominated the seventh rocking Papin with an uppercut and the Russian had a small cut over his right eye caused by a punch. Makabu again had Papin under pressure in the eighth and Papin slipped to the floor. It was rightly ruled a slip but he was not relishing the pressure. Papin moved more and threw more punches in the ninth and did enough to make the tenth close but for me Makabu was way in front. The eleven was a good round for Makabu. He began by out jabbing the Russian before Papin bounced back with some quick, light counters. At the end of the round Makabu knocked an exhausted Papin into the ropes and then connected with a series of hooks and uppercuts that had Papin ready to go down when the bell saved him. Papin made a bright start to the last round firing combinations through the defence of Makabu. He then ran out of steam and Makabu was forcing him back with hooks and uppercuts and a straight left sent Papin down. He was up quickly but looked unsteady . By the time the count was completed there were less than 30 seconds left in the round and to his credit Papin walked forward and drove Makabu back with punches. Scores 115-113 and 114-113 for Makabu and 114-114 which meant that before the 10-8 in the last Makabu was behind on two cards and only level on the third which just did not square with the way that Makabu had so clearly dominated much of the fight, The 31-year-old from the DRC rightly got the win. He is No 1 with the WBC and since Olek Usyk has moved up to heavy that WBC title is now vacant. The position is slightly complicated by the WBSS Tournament that is still ongoing. The WBC No 2 is Krzys Glowacki who was beaten inside the distance by WBO champion Mairis Breidis in June, No 3 is Krzys Wlodarczyk who has won his last four fights and No 4 is Noel Gevor who also lost to Breidis. Breidis is the WBC “Diamond” champion-whatever that means and I just hope the WBC don’t try to jump on the WBSS bandwagon and make the Breidis vs. Yuniel Dorticos clash for their vacant title and screw Makabu that way. This was too ambitious a match for Papin at this stage but the former World Kickboxing has the backing to get a title shot sometime.
Romanov vs. Balmaceda
Romanov blasts out poor Balmaceda inside a round. Balmaceda was using his longer reach to probe with jabs but there was no power there. Eventually Romanov managed to get past the jab and connected with a left to the head that saw Balmaceda go down on one knee. After the eight count Romanov forced Balmaceda to the ropes and the Argentinian again touched the canvas trying to avoid the punches and the referee gave him another count. Balmaceda then tried to take the fight to Romanov but as he came forward Romanov caught him with a couple of head punches that did not look hard. Balmaceda went to his knees and was counted out as he was getting up. Tenth win by KO/TKO for 34-year-old Romanov but this one was too easy. His selling point is his third round kayo of Deontay Wilder in a Russia vs. USA match back in 2008 but now he needs to make his mark in the pros. At 6’0” and with short arms he will struggle against the bigger fighters. Balmaceda was taller at 6’3” but this is his eleventh loss by KO/TKO.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Fly: Juan F Estrada (40-3) W TKO 9 Dewayne Beamon (16-2-1). Super Light: Shakhram Giyasov (9-0) W TKO 1Darleys Perez (34-5-2). Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (9-0) W KO 3 Mario Heredia (16-7-1). Super Welter: Liam Smith (28-2-1) W TKO 7 Mario Lozano (33-10).Super Feather: Jono Carroll (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Eleazar Valenzuela (20-11-4,1ND).Middle: Diego Pacheco (5-0) W KO 1 Jose Esparza (1-1).
Estrada vs. Beamon
Estrada retains the WBC with stoppage of a very competitive Beamon.
Estrada threw some hooks early but was short. Beamon began to find the target with his jab. He was missed with a couple of rights but continued to land the jab and had Estrada under fire at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Beamon
Beamon rushed forward firing punches in the second but Estrada landed a good right and when Beamon backed him to the ropes he put Beamon down with a counter left hook. Beamon was up immediately and looking aggrieved claiming he fell when he was off balance. After the count Beamon was looking to trade with Estrada but a right to the body and a left to the head had Beamon toppling to the side and he put his glove down to steady himself resulting in a count. Beamon was willing to exchange punches as he tried to regain some ground but Estrada was more accurate.
Score: 10-7 Estrada Estrada 19-17
Things looked bleak for Beamon as Estrada began to put his punches together. He was coming forward raking Beamon with hooks and uppercuts with Beamon on the retreat. Beamon landed a cracking right but Estrada again put together some hurtful combinations.
Score: Score 10-9 Estrada Estrada 29-26
Beamon has a busy style and he was certainly busy in this round. He was rolling forward shooting out jabs and then getting in close and connecting with short punches. Estrada was picking Beamon off on the way in but was being outworked until Beamon went onto the back foot late in the round allowing Estrada to score but it was Beamon’s round although he had picked up a small nick by his left eye.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Estrada 38-36
It was all Beamon in the fifth. He pressed his attacks hard forcing Estrada to the ropes and bombarding him with punches from both hands. Estrada was blocking or dodging many of the punches but was throwing few counters. Just to show how unconcerned he was by Beamon’s attacks Estrada on three occasions just stood at the ropes and draped his right arm over the top rope. Real cool, but no points for that.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Estrada 47-46
Beamon continued his frenzied attacks. Estrada was being forced back and although he was connecting with occasional counters once again it was Beamon throwing more an landing many of them. Estrada picked up his pace in the middle of the round but was then being forced back as Beamon showered him with punches some wild but some on target and he mockingly escorted Estrada back to his corner at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Tied 56-56
Estrada needed to get his act together as he was letting this fight slip away. In the seventh although Beamon was still attacking Estrada was jarring him with accurate punches at distance and with short hooks inside. Some of the fire had gone out of a tiring Beamon and he was being rocked by hard single shots from Estrada. In a frantic finish to the round Beamon was stumbling forward into a storm of punches from Estrada and a right to the side of the head wobbled him badly.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 66-65
A subdued Beamon connected with some rights in the round but Estrada was rocking him with savage rights and staggered Beamon a couple of times and was slowly breaking down the exhausted challenger.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 76-74
Beamon had nothing left to give and Estrada teed-off on him with lefts and rights until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. This proved a tougher fight than anticipated with Beamon very much in it until he tired. Next for Estrada could be a third bout with Thai Srisaket as they are 1-1 in their series . Beamon had done nothing to deserve a rating let alone a title shot but he showed plenty of fire and aggression and was giving Estrada a hard night before he tired and his showing may get him a shot at a title next year.
Giyasov vs. Perez
Giyasov gets this one over and finished in just 41 seconds-including the count. The Uzbek pushed out a few tentative jabs and then stepped in with a looping left hook to the chin and Perez went down on his posterior. He sat on the canvas looking bemused and had only just started to rise as the referee reached ten. The 26-year-old Giyasov won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2017 World Championships. This is his seventh win by KO/TKO. He retains the WBA International title and is there No 10. Colombian Perez, a former holder of the secondary WBA lightweight title drew then lost to Anthony Crolla in title fights and subsequently lost inside the distance to Luke Campbell and Maxim Dadashev.
Hrgovic vs. Heredia
Hrgovic gets another inside the distance win but over a sub-standard opponent who was 8” shorter and 45lbs heavier. Hrgovic was finding the target with rights from the opening minute. Heredia managed to get through with a couple of jabs but other than that was just slinging wild roundhouse punches. Hrgovic used a strong jab to keep Heredia going back and connected with overhand rights. In the second Heredia came forward constantly. Hrgovic met him with right crosses and uppercuts but Heredia managed to land a few shots, took the punishment and kept rolling forward. Hrgovic ended things in the third. He forced Heredia to the ropes with his jab and then blasted Heredia with a booming right to the head then clipped him with a left that helped him on the way to the floor. Heredia made it to his feet but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. Hrgovic retains the WBC International belt and gets his seventh inside the distance win. He is rated WBA 6/WBC 11/IBF 12(11) but as his best wins are over Kevin Johnson and Amir Mansour it is difficult to justify those ratings. He is 27, 6’6” and is strong and punches hard but is still settling into the pro ranks and we will need to see him against better opposition where his lack of speed might be a weakness. Mexican Heredia, 26, is now 2-6-1 in his last 9 fights with 6 of those losses by KO/TKO.
Smith vs. Lozano
Another win for Smith as former WBO super welter champion moves up to middleweight and keeps his hopes of another title fight alive. Smith was piling on the pressure from the opening round moving forward behind a high guard and shook Lozano with a heavy right. Lozano was mainly on the back foot but did come forward occasionally with smart hooks. Smith continued to press in the second going to the body with left hooks. Lozano was fighting in bursts throwing lots of hooks. Lozano changed tactics and came forward at the start of the third but the strength, some string jabs, and left hooks to the body soon had Smith in control again. Smith took the fifth and six scoring with left hooks to the body and clubbing rights and Lozano was slowing. Lozano put in a big effort at the start of the sixth but then Smith’s pressure had Lozano in trouble and just before the bell Lozano dropped to the floor under a barrage of punches from Smith. He just made it to his feet and Smith tried to find a finishing punch but the bell saved Lozano. The Mexican tried to punch with Smith in the seventh but Smith forced him to the ropes and two left hooks sent Lozano down and the referee halted the contest. The 31-year-old from Liverpool has lost to Saul Alvarez and Jamie Munguia in title fights but is No 6 super welter with the WBO so if Jaime Munguia moves up to middleweight then there is a good chance Smith will be in the mix for the vacant title. Lozano has been in with some high quality opposition and last time out only lost on a majority verdict to 29-1 Patrick Teixeira so was in decent form.
Carroll vs. Valenzuela
Dublin southpaw Carroll gets back into winning ways with unanimous decision over Mexican Valenzuela. The Mexican reddened Carroll’s face early with jabs but Carroll was investing in some strong body punches that would pay dividends over the later rounds. Valenzuela kept taking the fight to Carroll which suited the Irishman as he loves a fight and didn’t have to go looking for one. Movers can give Carroll trouble but Valenzuela was slow and predictable but resilient. Neither fighter cared too much about defence so there were plenty of exchanges with both landing well but Carroll had more power. He handed out some serious punishment in the later rounds but Valenzuela never really looked to be in trouble and was landing his smaller share of punches. There was quantity but not a lot of accuracy or power in the Mexican’s work and Carroll was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 for Carroll on each of the three cards. A useful ten rounds of work for Carroll in his first fight since losing on points to Tevin Farmer for the IBF title in March. Now he will be aiming to work his way back to another title challenge. Valenzuela was tough but limited but was a decent 7-1,1ND going in.
Pacheco vs. Esparza
Pacheco gets his third win in a row-all coming in the first round. Well down the in the billing and only five fights but worth drawing to your attention. The 6’4” 18-year-old won plenty of Youth titles and is one to watch. Esparza just a prelim novice so no measure of Pacheco’s potential.
Manila, Philippines: Bantam: John Riel Casimero (28-4) W KO 10 Cesar Ramirez (18-4). Bantam: Vincent Astrolabio (14-3) W TKO 5 Kevin Aseniero (9-3-1). Super Feather: Charly Suarez (3-0) W TKO 1 Virgil Puton (17-13-2).
Casimero vs. Ramirez
Casimero knocks out challenger Ramirez to retain the interim WBO title but Ramirez proved to be a very tough challenger and dominated the action at times until a great combination from Casimero ended the fight.
Ominous first round for Ramirez. Casimero was fired up and looking to end this early. He was steaming forward throwing punches as Ramirez pedalled backwards around the ring. Casimero connected with jabs and hooks to the body. Ramirez was just poking out his jab trying to use his longer reach. He rushed in with a couple of attacks late in the round but Casimero easily avoided them.
Score: 10-9 Casimero
Casimero chased Ramirez in this one but rarely caught him. Ramirez kept sticking out tentative jabs and then launching clumsy attacks. He had some success and managed to tie Casimero up inside and with Casimero off target the few punches Ramirez landed were enough for him to edge this one
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Tied 19-19
Both fighters were wild with their punches as Casimero tried to hunt down Ramirez and the challenger kept moving. Ramirez lunged forward to take the fight to Casimero and was caught with a left to the head. He staggered and his legs went in different direction as he fell to the floor. He was up at seven and evaded Casimero’s attempts to land another heavy punch
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 29-27
Ramirez’s round. He stuck to his jab and was using it to force Casimero onto the back foot. Casimero just could not get past the jab and Ramirez was scoring with long rights and banged home a crisp left hook to dominate the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 38-37
Ramirez was working the jab again in this one but as he launched an attack both he and Casimero missed with their punch but Ramirez stumbled and fell. The referee decided it was a knockdown and gave Ramirez a count. When the action resumed Ramirez again did the scoring. He was spearing Casimero with jabs and then unleashing combinations. Casimero was looking to throw rights and again had no answer to Ramirez’s jab. No real justice here. The knockdown was no knockdown and as Ramirez outboxed Casimero what would have been a 10-9 round for Ramirez became a 10-8 round for Casimero costing Ramirez three points
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 48-45
Casimero was finding the target with single shots until the last minute. Over the remaining minute Ramirez was piling forward driving Casimero back and showering the champion with punches from both hands. A lot of Ramirez’s punches were missing but he connected with two heavy rights to the head. Casimero was too busy defending to counter and it was Ramirez’s round
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 57-55
This was an untidy round but an important one. Casimero was finding the target early and after hurting Ramirez with a left and right to the head as he rushed forward they got tangled up and both landed on the canvas. Once they were both up Casimero was driving a stumbling Ramirez along the ropes connecting with head punches and Ramirez dropped down on the bottom rope and almost fell out of the ring. That meant another count. Ramirez was up at seven and looked unsteady. Casimero rocked him with a couple of punches but the action was stopped as Ramirez had lost his mouthguard and the break to replace it allowed Ramirez the respite he needed. I was tempted to be stupid and say if it wasn’t for the knockdowns Ramirez would be winning this fight but I am not that stupid !! Am I?
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 67-63
Clearly Ramirez’s round. After Casimero scored with a couple of hooks early in the round Ramirez took over. He was using his jab to force Casimero back and landing long rights to the head. Casimero was not throwing much and what he was throwing was wildly inaccurate. Ramirez continued to spear him with jabs and the champion looked a tired fighter.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 76-73
It was all Ramirez at the start of the ninth as he continued his jabbing and caught Casimero with a right to the head and a right uppercut. He continued to drive Casimero back but was over confident and was hurt by a left hook which sent his mouthguard flying out of his mouth. He was in trouble but stole a few seconds as his mouthguard was re-inserted and it was Casimero coming forward and landing punches to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Casimero Casimero 86-82
Ramirez had nothing left. Casimero was forcing him around the ring scoring with hooks and uppercuts and there was no sign of Ramirez’s left jab. Casimero continued to punish Ramirez and then a left hook and a booming straight right put Ramirez flat on his back and the referee waived him arms to signal the fight was over.
A much tougher night than expected for the 30-year-old former IBF light flyweight and flyweight champion but in the end his power proved too much for Ramirez. The aim now is for a challenge to the real WBO champion Zolani Tete for what would be a great match. Ramirez dominated this fight in spells but just did not have the power to exploit his advantage. He had won 10 of his previous 11 fights with the loss coming against Ryan Burnett for the WBC International title in 2016.
Astrolabio vs. Aseniero
Astrolabio holds on to the WBO Oriental belt with cuts win over fellow Filipino Aseniero. A punch opened a cut which was too serious for Aseniero to continue so Astrolabio retains the title. After losses in Malaysia and China Astrolabio gets his second win in a row. Aseniero had found a little bit of form being 3-0-1 in his last 4.
Suarez vs. Puton
Former amateur star Suarez continues to progress in the pros. Suarez floored and halted poor Puton in 101 seconds. Suarez hurt Puton with body punches and took him to the ropes before digging in a left hook to the ribs that saw Puton dropping to his knees and bending over banging the canvas from the pain. Now 31 Suarez represented the Philippines at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Championships, and the 2016 Olympics but it remains to be seen whether he has turned pro too late. He is aiming to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics now that pros can fight there. Puton is now 0-5 with two technical draws in his last 7 fights.
Nagoya, Japan: Fly: Kosei Tanaka (14-0) W TKO 7 Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3-1). Super Fly: Kento Hatanaka (10-0) W PTS Jayserver Abcede (19-9).
Tanaka vs. Gonzalez
Behind on the cards Tanaka comes off the floor to halt Gonzalez in the sixth defence of the WBO title
Both fighters started cautiously. Tanaka was trying to walk down Gonzalez but the southpaw challenger was moving smartly, getting his punches off first and connected with some sneaky straight lefts.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez
Once again Tanaka was tracking Gonzalez in vain. The Puerto Rican was launching darting attacks coming forward connecting with rights and lefts and getting out before Tanaka could counter.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 20-18
Tanaka upped the pressure in the third. He was getting closer and connected with some strong rights. He was anticipating Gonzalez’s darting attacks and stepping out of range. He drove Gonzalez to the ropes with a right and as Gonzalez came forward he dug in a cruel right to the body. Gonzalez hesitated for a second and then the pain kicked in and he dropped to his knees in agony with his head resting on the canvas. Amazingly Gonzalez was up quickly and the bell went too soon after the eight count for Tanaka to capitalise on that success.
Score: 10-8 Tanaka Tied 28-28
Gonzalez was looking to claw back the two points he had lost and was more positive staying close and throwing more punches. Tanaka was just looking to land another damaging right whereas Gonzalez was scoring with quick punches from both hands. Tanaka had forced Gonzalez to the ropes but as he moved in Gonzalez countered with a left hook to the head that sent Tanaka tumbling back and he had to put a glove on the canvas to stop himself going down. Tanaka was more surprised than hurt and the bell went when the eight count was finished.
Score: 10-8 Gonzalez Gonzalez 38-36
Official Scores: Judge Bill Lerch 37-37, Judge Mike Fitzgerald 38-36 Gonzalez , Judge Edward Ligas 38-36 Gonzalez
Gonzalez boxed beautifully in this one. His excellent footwork and quick hands had him threading combinations through the guard of the champion. Tanaka was just throwing single punches and mostly missing as Gonzalez sped around him.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 48-45
Tanaka hunted Gonzalez throughout the round and not always in vain. Gonzalez was still proving a shifty target and firing quick punches but he lacked the power to dissuade Tanaka who was landing less shots but heavier ones and a right to the body and a left to the head was the best combination he had landed so far.
Score: 10-9 Tanaka Gonzalez 57-55
With Gonzalez in a corner Tanaka fired home a series of rights before Gonzalez managed to wriggle his way free. Tanaka tracked him down and landed a left and a right with Gonzalez dropping to one knee. He was up at eight but Tanaka drove him along the ropes before putting Gonzalez on the floor with a left to the body. Again Gonzalez beat the count but didn’t look like a fighter who wanted to continue. Tanaka came forward and banged home three body punches that saw Gonzalez on the floor on his knees with his head against the canvas. Once again he made it to his feet but the referee waived his arms and the fight was over.
The 24-year-old champion won the WBO minimum title in his fifth fight so eight of his fourteen fights have been world title fights. Gonzalez was his mandatory challenger but with Moruti Mthalane, Charlie Edwards and Artem Dalakian holding the other versions of the title there does not seem to be much scope for a unification match. The 28-year-old 5’2” Bronx-born Gonzalez had lost inside the distance to Giovani Segura and Jobert Alvarez but had scored three wins last year over reasonable level opposition
Hatanaka vs. Abcede
After nine inside the distance victories Hatanaka finally has to go the distance for victory against Filipino Abcede. This was a fast-paced fight with Hatanaka looking to box on the outside using quick accurate jabs and Filipino Abcede trying to get close where he could score with hooks and uppercuts. Abcede staged a furious attack in the third but was open to counters and two rights from Hatanaka put him down. Abcede was up quickly and when the action resumed the pair traded punches to the bell. In the fourth a right from Abcede rocked Hatanaka and a straight left stunned him. Abcede then blazed away until Hatanaka went over. After the count Hatanaka took the fight to Abcede. They both landed some thudding punches with Abcede getting the better of the exchanges. Hatanaka looked to have Abcede in trouble with a shower of punches at the end of the fifth and he outboxed the aggressive Filipino in the sixth. A clash of heads in the seventh resulted in a cut over the left eye of Hatanaka encouraging Abcede to press hard and take the round. Hatanaka outboxed Abcede in the eighth but the Filipino made the round close. Both fighters had their moments in a hard fought ninth with the best punch a straight left from Abcede which sent Hatanaka back on his heels. In the last Hatanaka first out boxed and then got the better of some wild toe-to-toe trading to cement his victory. Scores 96-92,96-93 and 95-93 for Hatanaka. The 21-year-old from Nagoya, the son of form WBC super bantam champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, will enter the ratings on the back of this win. Abcede ,24, played his part in making this an excellent contest and with more experience will only get better.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Minimumweight: Wilfredo Mendez (14-1) PTS 12 Vic Saludar (19-4). Super Light: Jean Carlos Torres (17-0) W TKO 3 Miguel Zamudio (44-14-1). Light: Nestor Bravo (17-0) W KO 2 Cristian Mino (19-4).
Mendez vs. Saludar
Mendez dazzles a disappointing Saludar. He outboxes and proves far too fleet-footed for the reigning champion and wins the WBO title.
Both fighters were very cautious in the opener. When they did begin to throw punches Mendez connected with straight lefts and used nifty footwork to skip away from Saludar’s punches.
Score: 10-9 Mendez
Another cagey round. Saludar managed to get through with a couple of right crosses and Mendez was slipping home long lefts. Just before the bell Mendez fired home a series of punches to take the round
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 20-18
The fight was going the way Mendez. needed it to go. Saludar was not putting him under pressure and he was flitting around Saludar pinging him with light jabs and choosing his moment to dart inside and land a couple of harder punches. Saludar was not quick enough to cut the ring off and was missing when he tried to counter.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 30-27
A better round for Saludar. He was taking that extra step to get closer to Mendez. He was using his jab more and landed some rights. Mendez was still boxing well but threw less punches.
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 39-37
Saludar was pressing hard in this one and connected early with right crosses. Mendez landed a crisp straight left but Saludar kept coming forward and then he connected with a peach of a left hook that dumped Mendez on his posterior. Mendez bounced up immediately and did not look too shaken. The bell went when the eight count was completed.
Score: 10-8 Saludar Tied 47-47
Neither fighter threw enough punches to dominate this round. Mendez was back to moving quickly, darting in with a couple of punches and out before Saludar could counter and took a close round.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 57-56
With Mendez speeding around the perimeter of the ring and constantly changing direction Saludar was tending to just get set to punch and then having to change the direction of his attacks so was throwing too few punches. Mendez landed a nice right hook to the head and was again darting in and scoring then getting out without Saludar catching him.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 67-65
A better and smarter round by Saludar. He was getting close and getting home straight rights. He was also anticipating Mendez’s darting attacks and countering and it was his round/
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 76-75
Quick. Clever boxing gave this close round to Mendez. He was more accurate with his punches and Saludar was short and lunging. He lost the impetus he had garnered from the previous round and Mendez landed the better punches as they traded before the bell. That brief exchange of punches was a rare event with this being an interesting tactical fight but not an exciting one.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 86-84
More of the same. Mendez was dancing around the ring then jumping in with a series of quick/light punches with Saludar left swishing air. To put this in a dancing context Mendez was doing a quickstep whilst Saludar was doing a slow waltz and the champion was being outboxed.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 96-93
Mendez danced his way through this one. He was again darting in with quick combinations and that was another contrast as even in his best rounds Saludar had been throwing one punch at a time. Mendez was just too quick and although his punches were light they were landing which Saludar’s were not.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 106-102
Mendez knew he had the fight won so he spent the whole of the round circling the perimeter of the ring rarely moving away from the ropes and not even throwing punches. Saludar needed a knockout but he just seemed to tamely surrender his title and although Mendez gifted him the last round Saludar was an ex-champion.
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 115-112
Official Scores: 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 all for Mendez.
The 22-year-old new champion from Puerto Rico had his tactics right. He stuck rigidly to the game plan and never really looked troubled. Saludar will feel he could have done so much better but he never pressed hard and did not throw enough punches. He has lost his title in his first defence.
Torres vs. Morales
“The Wolf” wins another one inside the distance. Torres used a strong jab to take control and connected with some straight rights with late replacement Zamudio given no time to settle before a left hook to the body found him on the floor. He made it to the bell but Torres kept firing left hooks to the body in the second forcing Zamudio to take another count. They fought inside in the third until a hook hurt Zamudio who dropped to one knee and that was enough for the referee who ended the fight. It is now six wins on the spin by KO/TKO for the 29-year-old Torres the WBO No 6. A busy Zamudio, this is his fifth fight this year, rarely seems to do distance fights now as he is 7-5 in his last 12 fights including 6 wins inside the distance and 5 losses that way.
Bravo vs. Mino
Bravo disposes of Argentinian Mino inside two rounds. Bravo was looking for another first round win but just could not find the finishing punch. He had no such problem in the second putting Mino down with a hook to the body with Mino being unable to rise and being counted out. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican has 12 wins by KO/TKO with 8 of those first round endings. After being 19-0 in Argentina Mino is now 0-4 on his travels.
Edinburg, TX, USA: Super Bantam: Brandon Figueroa (20-0) W KO 4 Javier Chacon (29-5-1). Super Light: Darwin Price (15-0) TKO 2 Aaron Herrera (35-11-1). Super Bantam: Stephen Fulton (17-0) W KO 6 Isaac Avelar (16-1). Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (15-1) W TKO 1 Victor Betancourt (26-3,1ND).
Figueroa vs. Chacon
Fighting in his home town Figueroa retains the interim WBA title against Chacon. This was a poor title fight as Chacon spent most of the time pinned against the ropes in a defensive crouch and hardly threw a punch. Figueroa provided a spectacular finish but barely moved out of second gear.
An easy first round for Figueroa. He spent the first minute just probing with jabs and then stepped inside going to the body. Chacon tried to offer as little in the way of a target as he could by bending at the waist. Figueroa just beat on the Argentinian’s defence trying to find openings.
For the whole of the round Chacon had his back against the ropes again bending double. Figueroa pounded away trying to get through to the body but it was not easy with Chacon already in survival mode and hardly throwing a punch.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 20-18
Whilst I was trying to decide whether to call this a disgrace or a farce Chacon tried a bit harder in the third. He stayed of the ropes for much of the time and attempted to walk forward and throw some punches Figueroa continued to focus on the Argentinian’s body and dug in some hurtful hooks. After twelve minutes Figueroa had landed 75 punches Chacon 13!
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 30-27
Figueroa came forward in his customary crouch and landed a couple of useful left hooks to the body. Figueroa drove Chacon to the ropes and blasted him with a series of punches to head and body until a right hook straightened Chacon up into the path of a left that dumped him on his rump. As the referee started the count Chacon spat out his mouthguard and made no attempt to get up.
The 22-yeaer-old “The Heartbreaker” was making the first defence of his title and has 15 inside the distance wins. He has beaten Oscar Escandon, Moises Flores and Yonfrez Perez and deserves better challengers than this. Chacon was 4” shorter and 16 years older so really was a no-hoper. He has a good domestic record and his other three losses have come against Anselmo Moreno and Jaime McDonnell in WBA title fights and Isaac Dogboe so on paper he looked an acceptable level but it did not turn out that way.
Price vs. Herrera
In the opener the speed of Price’s jab was impressive and he was quickly snapping his leads through Herrera’s guard and landed a good right to the head. Later in the round he staggered Herrera with a right and as he went to move inside their heads banged together. Herrera backed away pawing at his right eye and already there was some swelling around the eye. The referee halted the action and had the doctor examine the injury but the doctor indicated Herrera could continue and the bell went soon after. In the second Price rattled Herrera twice with rights. Herrera just could not cope with the speed of Price and was rocked twice more with rights and as he was walking forward Price threw a right over Herrera’s lead and onto his chin and Herrera dropped to the floor. He struggled before getting to his feet and was unsteady and despite his protests the referee rightly stopped the fight. The 5’11” Price was impressive here both in hand speed and power. A college graduate with a degree in Kinesiology (body movement-I had to look it up too) he is 30 and 15 fights in six years is just not good enough. With regular outings he could be a real threat. Herrera looked ragged around the edges here and some hard fights are catching up with him. This is his sixth defeat by KO/TKO.
Fulton vs. Avelar
In a non-title outing IBO super bantam champion Fulton outclasses a feisty but limited Avelar. Fulton took a quiet first round. He was quicker with his jab and used speedy movement to dodge Avelar’s attacks. Avelar hustled and bustled enough in the second to make it a fairly even round. It was exhibition stuff from Fulton in the third and fourth. Fast hands, jabs, straight rights, hooks, uppercuts and slick movement Fulton showcased them all and a punch in the third opened a cut over the right eye of a frustrated Avelar. Fulton was loading up more on his punches in the fifth and in the sixth a blistering left hook to the body sent Avelar down wincing in pain and he was counted out. The 25-year-old from Philadelphia gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. Mexican Avelar, 21, just could not compete with the slick skills of Fulton.
Arboleda vs. Betancourt
Panamanian prospect Arboleda blows away Mexican Betancourt in the first round. Betancourt was taller with a longer reach but Arboleda let his hands go immediately throwing a bunch of fast hooks to the body. Betancourt started to use his reach and was then the one doing the scoring until Arboleda again unleashed a series of body punches which sent Betancourt to his knees. He got up but Arboleda unleashed a bunch of hooks and when Betancourt dropped down on one knee the referee waived the fight over. The 24-year-old Arboleda gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. He suffered a kayo loss against Filipino Recky Dulay in 2017 but has returned with five inside the distance wins on the bounce. He is the youngest of three brother who have all boxed as a pro but one died in an accident and the other drifted away from boxing after spending six years in prison. Betancourt had won 10 of his previous eleven fights.
Quezon City, Philippines: Fly: Maximino Flores (25-4-1,2ND) W TEC DEC 7 Carlo Caesar Penalosa (14-2). Flores wins the vacant IBO title on a technical decision after a cut suffered by Penalosa is ruled too serious for the fight to continue. Flores was taller with a longer reach and that helped him box on the outside. However the relatively inexperienced Penalosa fought an aggressive fight and it was close all the way. The injury to Penalosa came in a clash of heads in the third round and by the end of the seventh it had worsened. It was decided on the scorecards and two judges saw it for Flores by 68-65 and 67-66 and the third had it 67-66 for Penalosa. Mexican Flores was beaten by Andrew Selby in 2017 but has recovered well from that and now he has a title. Southpaw Penalosa had won his last 7 fights 5 of them by KO/TKO. He is the nephew of former two-division world champions Dodie and Gerry.
Broken Arrow, USA: Super Middle: Vladimir Shishkin (9-0) W TKO 8 DeAndre Ware (13-2-2). Super Light: Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0) W TKO 4 Abdiel Ramirez (24-5-1). Welter: Jaron Ennis (23-0) W RTD 1 Franklin Mamani ( 23-5-1).Super Bantam: Arnold Khegai (16-0-1) W PTS 8 Vladimir Tikhonov (17-2).
Shishkin vs. Ware
Shishkin hands out a solid beating to Ware. Shishkin was four inches taller than Ware and looked much the stronger man. Ware tried to use his speed to score but had to avoid the punches from the heavy handed Russian. As early as the second Shishkin was controlling the fight with hefty jabs and left hooks to the body and Ware was having trouble being competitive. Ware stepped up his work rate in the third and had some success inside but clubbing punches from Shishkin soon doused that fire. If there is a downside to Shishkin it is that he is not quick but by the fourth Ware’s attacks were getting less and Shishkin’s power shots were breaking Ware down. Shishkin continued to pound on Ware over the fifth and sixth slowing him with body punches. Ware was on his heels and throwing very few punches. The seventh was another painful round for Ware. Shishkin was very predictable with very little variation in his work. He was just throwing his left jab and following it with a right cross but he kept connecting. The referee checked on Ware in his corner before the start of the eighth anxious to make sure Ware could continue. In the round Shishkin was bombarding Ware with overhand rights and adding in some left hooks. He had Ware pinned against the ropes and was unloading with lefts and rights and the towel came in from Ware’s corner. The 28-year-old Russian is a strong guy and a very hard puncher. He has won his last four fights by KO/TKO including a tenth round stoppage of former world title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi. Toledo fireman Ware had lost on points to unbeaten Cem Kilic but taken a majority verdict over unbeaten Ronald Ellis in February but he was just too small and not powerful enough to stand a chance here.
Ergashev vs. Ramirez
Ergashev batters a plucky Ramirez to defeat in four rounds. The 5’10 ½” Uzbek towered over the 5’5 ½”” Ramirez so controlled this one from the start. Ergashev has a solid jab and plenty of power and was teeing off on Ramirez. Ramirez was absorbing some thunderous punches but kept coming forward and managed to get past the jab and land with some hooks and rights to the head. In the second Ergashev was moving lots and firing heavy lefts with Ramirez again willing to walk into and sometimes through the bombardment. Late in the second Ergashev landed a hard left which stopped Ramirez in his tracks and then gave Ramirez a shove which sent the Mexican down. The referee probably missed the shove because he gave Ramirez a count. There looked to be a brief glimpse of hope in the third when with Ramirez still coming forward Ergashev’s punch output slowed but any hope Ramirez had was extinguished in the fourth. Ergashev was using his right as a range finder and then landing crunching lefts until the referee stepped in to save Ramirez. The tall 27-year-old Uzbek has 15 inside the distance win and was coming off a good victory over Mykal Fox in February. Ramirez has lost 4 of his last 5 but the win was against 23-1-1 Mike Perez and it was easy to see how his tenacious attacks have given him 22 inside the distance victories.
Ennis vs. Mamani
A welcome return to the ring for Ennis one of the best prospects out there. The Philadelphian was looking to end it early and was landing heavily with both hands in the first. Giving away almost 5” in height the little Bolivian Mamani was under fire and had nowhere to hide and nothing to stop Ennis coming forward with hurtful hooks. A straight right put Mamani down and although the beat the count and made it to the bell he then retired with a shoulder injury. Ennis, 22, has been side-lined for nine months over a contract dispute but is back and is going to keep busy. This victory is his 21st win by KO/TKO and his 13th in a row. He has wins over 18-0 Armando Alvarez and Ray Serrano. He beat Abraham Nova and Gary Antuanne Russell in the US Olympic Trials but lost to Russell in the final qualifier. If he continues to progress he could land a world title shot in 2020 which neither brother Farah nor brother/trainer Derrick managed in their careers. At 5’5 ½” the 32-year-old Mamani is just too small to mix with welterweights. He lost to Dejan Zlaticanin for the vacant WBC light title in 2016 and this is only his third loss by KO/TKO.
Khegai vs. Tikhonov
Khegai outscores Tikhonov with eight rounds of ceaseless aggression. Southpaw Tikhonov had slight advantages in height and reach but just could not keep Khegai out or match his work rate. Khegai was relentless bustling forward throwing hooks and uppercuts, Tikhonov was able to connect with jabs and straights rights but the terrier-like Khegai just walked through them hooking to head and body and hounding Tikhonov around the ring. Given some space Tikhonov might have been competitive but Khegai was in his face for the whole fight and controlled the contest from start to finish. Scores 80-72 on all three cards for the Philadelphia-based Ukrainian. In Thai Kickboxing Khegai was a Ukrainian, European and World champion. Wins over Jorge Diaz and Adam Lopez have seen him rated No 7(6) by the IBF. After scoring 16 wins Tikhonov lost on a stoppage against novice Jesse Hernandez in 2017 and was out of the ring until registering a win in Estonia in October
Tokyo, Japan: Fly: Jayr Raquinel (11-1-1) W TKO 8Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1). It was thought that Kogawa’s experience would give him a chance of beating the relatively inexperienced Filipino but despite a promising start it did not turn out that way. Southpaw Raquinel was aggressive in the first matching forward putting Kogawa under pressure. Kogawa was looking to counter and he connected with right to the head that floored Raquinel. The Filipino was not badly hurt but it was a 10-8 round for Kogawa. Raquinel attacked strongly over the next three rounds with Kogawa under fire and struggling to keep Raquinel out but he did land a punch in the fourth which opened a cut over the right eye of Raquinel. After four rounds all three judges had Raquinel in front 38-37. Kogawa put in a big effort in the fifth but could not stem the attacks of Raquinel. In the eighth Raquinel rocked Kogawa with a right and then landed a series lefts which dropped an exhausted Kogawa and the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Filipino, the WBC No 15, was making the third defence of his OPBF title and gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. Nice rebound victory for Raquinel who was outpointed by Chinese fighter Wulan Tuolehazi for the WBC Silver title in September. It might be the end of the road for 34-year-old Kogawa. He is a former OPB champion and had two spells as Japanese champion but failed in challenges for the WBC and interim WBA flyweight titles
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Dixon Flores (1-6-3,2ND) W TKO 2 Alex Espinoza (18-2-2). Obviously Flores did not read the script in this all-Nicaraguan contest. This was not the intended outcome as the unfancied fighter overwhelmed the favourite Espinoza inside two rounds. Flores came storming out at the first bell piling into a startled Espinoza . Flores recent form had been patchy at best and he is no puncher so Espinoza probably felt he could wait until the storm blew itself out and then take over. However Flores did not let up but kept walking inside and scoring to the body. Early in the second Espinoza managed to force Flores back and looked to be getting on top until a left hook to the body had him bending in pain and retreating to the ropes. Flores landed some heavy rights to the head and with Espinoza floundering and unsteady the referee halted the fight. Flores gets only his fifth inside the distance victory. He had been knocked out in one round by Khalid Yafai in 2016 and his record over his four most recent fights was 0-1-1, 2ND. Espinoza’s only loss was on a split decision against Mikhail Aloyan. He was No 9 with the WBA and since the questionable loss to Aloyan, had scored three useful wins over domestic opposition. This win for Flores was a major surprise.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Middle: Rowan Campbell (11-0) W TKO 7 Patrick Mukala (11-2-1).Super Welter: Roarke Knapp (9-0-1) W PTS 10 Alex Zhuravskiy (13-6-1).
Campbell vs. Mukala
Campbell retains the IBO All-African title with stoppage of DRC fighter Mukala. It was a close, competitive fight over the first two rounds but then the superior strength of Campbell began to tell. He was landing with hooks to the body in the third and out jabbing Mukala. The Congolese fighter battled back in the fourth but pressure from Campbell had him on the retreat and he was holding and wrestling more as his work rate dropped. A big right cross the head from Campbell early in the seventh was the beginning of the end for Mukala. Campbell was bullying Mukala around the ring connecting with clubbing head punches. An exhausted Mukala tried to punch back but he was too tired to lift his arms and after a few more thumping rights to the head from Campbell the referee came in to save Mukala. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the South African champion and second defence of the IBO All-African title. It is early days but I feel Campbell will struggle against a better class of opposition. Mukala had performed well in a losing on points against Ryno Liebenberg so Campbell did well to stop him.
Knapp vs. Zhuravskiy
South African Knapp moves up to ten rounds for the first time and comes away with a unanimous decision over Zhuravskiy. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 as South African No 6 Knapp,21, stays unbeaten. Kazak southpaw Zhuravskiy’s role now is that of imported loser as he is now 0-4-1 in his last five fights, four of them in different countries and all against unbeaten opponents.
Corona, CA, USA: Bantam: Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-1) W PTS 10 Saul Sanchez (12-1). Puerto Rican boxer Rodriguez pulls off good win in a hard fought close contest against local favourite Sanchez. There was never much between these two in an entertaining fight and the result could have gone either way but in the end despite a gash on his right cheek Rodriguez had a better claim to victory. Scores 96-94 twice for Rodriguez and 96-94 for Sanchez. Rodriguez, 26, is now 3-1-1 in his last five contests all against unbeaten fighters. At 22 Sanchez has plenty of time to rebound from this loss.
Everett, MA, USA: Middle: Carlos Gongora (17-0) W KO 1 Alan Zavala (15-5). Super Feather: Abraham Nova (16-0) W KO 1 Luis Castillo (20-4). Welter: Brian Ceballo (10-0) W KO 4 Luis E Florez (24-14,1ND).
Gongora vs. Zavala
Gongora blasts out Zavala inside a round. The tall Ecuadorian southpaw used some right jabs to have Zavala backing up and then began to score with hooks from both hands. A straight left floored Zavala and although he tried to climb to his feet he was too slow and was counted out. Gongora, 30, did not turn pro until he was 26. He competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and three World Championships took a gold medal at the South American Games and twice won bronze at the PanAmerican Games. He also beat Yamaguchi Falcao and Terrell Gausha and fought in the World Series of Boxing. Plenty of credentials and a class boxer but probably insufficient time to make it as a pro. Third loss in a row for Mexican Zavala.
Nova vs. Castillo
Nova floors and halts useful Castillo in the first. Nova was shadowing Castillo in the trying to open up Castillo’s guard. It began to look as though no opening was going to come. However late in the round Nova forced Castillo to the ropes with a strong jab and then landed a couple of rights to the head which staggered Castillo before driving home two more rights which dropped Castillo and he was counted out. Another impressive performance from the 25-year-old Puerto Rican, a former US National champion, and his twelfth victory by KO/TKO. He retains the WBA-NABA title and is No 6 with that body. Mexican Castillo, 20, won his first 15 fights but has stumbled badly as he has been meeting better opponents.
Ceballo vs. Florez
A confident assured performance from New York prospect Ceballo as he halts seasoned pro Florez. From a hands-down style Ceballo was spearing Florez with jabs to keep him on the retreat and cracking home left and right hooks to the body. Florez managed to force Ceballo back a few times with quick attacks but Ceballo shook them off and established control again. He was tracking Florez around the ring in the fourth and then landed two left hooks. The first to the head hurt Florez but it was the hook to the body that ended the fight with Florez dropping to the canvas in agony and he was unable to beat the count. The 25-year-old Ceballos is a former National Golden Gloves, US National and National Police Athletic League champion who also competed at the Pan American Games and for the US-KO Team in the World Series of Boxing. Plenty of talent-one to follow. It was 2014 when Colombian Florez scored a first round stoppage over Miguel Berchelt but It must seem like a lifetime ago now as he gets his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Houston, TX, USA: Super Light: Jerrico Walton (15-0) W PTs 10 Victor Terrazas (38-7-2). Walton gets a “name” on his record as he outpoints Terrazas. It was a one-sided fight with Terrazas tubby and overweight not really ever competitive but staying the distance. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73. Texan Walton was defending his interim ABF USA title but as Terrazas came in 3lbs over the contract weight he could not have won the title. At 36 former WBC super bantam champion Terrazas just turns up for the money. He had his best days when he was in the 122lbs division but he was 150lbs for this poor effort and is 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light; Gustavo Lemos (23-0) W TKO 3 Jonathan Eniz (24-12-1,1ND). Lemos dismantles Eniz to win the vacant IBF International title. Lemos just about took a close first round but then dominated the second with some powerful body punches. Eniz was not backing down so it was an entertaining round as they traded in the trenches. In the third Eniz was coming forward punching and Lemos was being forced back. As he advanced Eniz was leaving himself open and Lemos was raking him with fierce counters. Eniz was ducking under some punches but was taking too many. Lefts and rights from Lemos forced him back and down. He was up at nine but unsteady and punches from Lemos had Eniz going back and almost out through the ropes. The referee stopped the action to let Eniz untangle himself but as Lemos then rained punches on Eniz the referee stopped the fight. “El Electrico” Lemos, 23,the IBF No 6(5), makes it 8 inside the distance wins in his last 9 fights including a second round kayo of Jorge Paez Jr. Despite his modest record Eniz was coming off upset victories this year over former IBF champion Cesar Cuenca and 21-1 Deniz Ilbay so should have been a tough test for Lemos.
Sydney, Australia: Super Light: Youssef Dib (13-0) W TKO 3 Jack Asis (38-23-5). Dib keeps the family flag flying with third round stoppage of Filipino veteran Asis. A big step up in quality of opposition for the 26-year-old local in only his second eight round contest. Now 36 former IBO champion Asis has lost three tough matches on the spin following defeats against Rivan Cesaire and Bowyn Morgan.
Junin, Argentina: Fabricio Bea (14-0-1) W TKO 3 Robinson Garcia (12-10). Bea finishes Colombian Garcia inside three rounds. After a low key first round Bea went to work in the second. He moved inside and began to connect with hooks and uppercuts and late in the round floored Garcia with left to the head. In the third Bea went to the body and a vicious left hook saw Garcia take a step back and then drop to the canvas in agony and his corner immediately threw in the towel. All of “El Turbo” Bea’s wins have come by KO/TKO and after a draw in 2017 he has scored ten consecutive victories by KO/TKO. He is the South American champion but we won’t find out how good he is until he meets higher quality opposition. Garcia is 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
Richibucto, Canada: Super Feather: Joey Laviolette (12-2) W PTS 10 Dominic Babineau (11-2). Laviolette upsets the local fans as he floors Babineau twice on the way to a unanimous decision. Laviolette has now scored victories in 6 of his last 7 fights losing only to unbeaten Olympic gold medallist Robinson Conceicao. Babineau had won his last five fights by KO/TKO.
Cancun, Mexico: Light: Jose Aguirre (22-0) W PTS 12 Jampier Oses (15-5-1). Aguirre hands out a brutal beating to a plucky but under-powered Oses. The strong, aggressive Aguirre controlled this one from the start. Oses moved plenty but just could not keep Aguirre out and found himself fighting with his back to the ropes for most of the fight. Aguirre was throwing bombs with Oses occasionally firing back hurting Aguirre with a combination in the second and connecting with a crisp uppercut in the fourth but other than that he was catching not pitching and did not have the punch to be competitive. Aguirre was driving forward connecting with brutal head punches from both hands. As Oses tired over the last three rounds Aguirre was bombarding him with booming head punches and the fight could and should have been stopped well before the final bell. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 all for Aguirre. The Californian-born Aguirre, 28, has wins over Juan Jose Martinez and Jair Lopez and it is time for him to move up to higher level opposition, Venezuelan Oses has built his record on abysmally poor opposition and was brutally exposed here.
Ongwediva, Namibia: Welter: Mikka Shonena (15-0) W PTS 12 Youil Dong (14-2-1). Super Light: Harry Simon Jr (10-0) W TKO 2 Phillip Musariri (6-2-2).
Shonena vs. Dong
Shonena makes a successful defence of the WBO African title with unanimous verdict over China’s Dong. The visitor scored a knockdown early in the fight but Shonena was not badly shaken. He used a strong body attack to get back the lost points but had to fight hard to subdued Dong. Scores 118-110, 116-113 and 115-112 for Shonena. Fourth title defence for 31-year-old Shonena but despite his WBO No 5 rating he is yet to face any significant test. Dong had reversed his only other loss. Only in the crazy sanctioning body world can a Chinese fighter compete for an African title!
Simon vs. Musariri
Simon Jr given another gift which he accepts and stops an overmatched Musariri in two rounds. Namibian champion Simon, the son of the former WBO champion Harry Snr, has eight wins by KO/TKO but don’t get too excited nine of his victims, including Musariri, had only mustered 11 wins between them and the other victim had lost his last 15 fights! Zimbabwean Musariri was 4-0-2 in his previous six fights.
Managua, Nicaragua,: Super Fly: Cristofer Rosales (29-4) W TKO 7 Eliecer Quezada (23-10-3):Light Fly: Byron Rojas (27-4-3) W PTS 8 Eliezer Gazo (18-10-2,1ND).
Rosales vs. Quezada
Rosales gets controversial stoppage win over Quezada. It looked as though this might be all over in the opening round. Rosales was attacking ferociously with Quezada under heavy pressure. Suddenly Quezada dropped to the floor holding his ankle. The referee could have counted him out but instead chose to give Quezada some recovery time and he survived further attacks from Rosales with his ankle not giving him any further trouble. The second was three minutes of war as Rosales continued to attack but Quezada was bobbing and weaving and slipping the punches from Rosales and then blazing away with punches of his own and it was Quezada who got the better of the exchanges. They went punch for punch over the third and fourth and at that point all three judges had it 38-38. Quezada looked to have edged the fifth but Rosales took the sixth and was looking stronger. Rosales was on top in the seventh drilling Quezada with straight rights. As they fought inside Quezada half turned away and Rosales landed a series of punches to the back of Quezada’s head. Quezada ducked out of the firing line pointing to the back of his head and stood against the ropes bent over. The referee just walked up to him and waived the fight over which was a very questionable decision. Rosales gets the win and is now hoping to get a return against Charlie Edwards who lifted the WBC title from Rosales with a decision in December. Quezada had lost a split decision against Rosales in 2017 and he was giving Rosales plenty of trouble here before the stoppage.
Rojas vs. Gazo
Rojas outpoints fellow-Nicaraguan Gazo . These two styles did not mix well and there was too much holding. Gazo was coming forward aggressively over the first three rounds with Rojas boxing on the back foot. From the fourth Rojas upped his work rate and got onto the front foot putting Gazo under pressure. Rojas generally controlled the action from there. Gazo was competitive but just lacked the skill to threaten Rojas but with his good start he made the fight close. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 for Rojas. The former WBA minimumweight champion lost his title to CP Freshmart and then failed in a challenge against the Thai in November last year. He is rated No 3 by both the WBA and WBC so if he stays unbeaten he should slot into a title challenge next year. Gazo had struck some form being 5-0-2 in his previous 7 fights.
Alpine, CA, USA: Middle: Connor Coyle (11-0) W TKO 2 Rafael Ramirez (21-5-2. Welter: Santiago Dominguez (18-0) W KO 2 Fabian Lyimo (23-10-2). Super Bantam: Brandon Valdes (12-0) W Jesus Martinez (26-8).
Coyle vs. Ramirez
Northern Ireland’s Coyle wipes out oldie Ramirez inside two rounds. Coyle had Ramirez under fire in the first and put him down. Ramirez beat the count and Coyle was pressing for the finish but as Ramirez tried to duck out of a corner Coyle vigorously pushed the Mexican’s head down and was penalised a point. Coyle ended it in the second. Once again Ramirez tried to duck under Coyle’s punches but Coyle straightened him up with a left hook and then sent him tumbling along the ropes and down with a chopping right to the head. Ramirez was finished and his corner tossed the towel into the ring. Coyle was moving up to ten rounds but he did not need the other eight as he gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. First inside the distance loss for 39-year-old Californian Ramirez who was 6-0,1ND before this defeat.
Dominguez vs. Lyimo
Dominguez hits too hard for Tanzanian Lyimo. He had the Tanzanian under pressure from the outset and ended it late in the second. He hurt Lyimo with a with a left hook to the body that had Lyimo backing away. A right to the head and another left hook to the body saw Lyimo go down on one knee and he stayed there for the full count. Fort Worth-based Mexican Dominguez, 27, has 14 wins by KO/TKO. He injured both hands in this fight and may have suffered fractures so could be facing a lay off. Lyimo suffers his fifth loss by KO/TKO and is 0-3 in fights in the USA.
Valdes vs. Martinez
Not too often that you get two Colombians fighting each other in an eight rounder in California but that was what happened here. Valdes again showcased his potential as he completely outboxed the more experienced Martinez winning every round. He might even have finished the fight inside the distance if he had done less showboating. Martinez just could not handle the talented youngster and lost two points in the seventh round for head butts. Scores 80-70 for Valdes on the three cards. The 20-year-old from Barranquilla, one of five brothers, has fought his way out of poverty through boxing after both his mother and father were imprisoned at the same time for robbery . Southpaw Martinez, 38, went 23-1 in his first 24 fights before losing in four rounds to Luis Nery in 2017. Tougher fights have brought tougher times and Martinez is now 3-7 in his last 10
Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam: Fly: Olimjon Nazarov (18-5) W Ivan Soriano (20-2-1). Little Nazarov wins the vacant WBO Oriental title with unanimous decision over Filipino Soriano. The 5’1 ½” Uzbek had problems getting past the longer reach of Soriano but he was the stronger man and able to bull his way inside often enough to convince the judges. Soriano work well with his jab and straight rights but did not really have the punch to get Nazarov’s respect . The fight looked closer than the score indicate. All three judges went for Nazarov by 116-112. After three losses on a row in prelim fights in America Nazarov had put together five wins back home against poor level opposition. Soriano had lost only one of his last 18 fights .
Fight of the week (Significance): If as a result of his stoppage of Anthony Yarde gets Sergey Kovalev a fight with Saul Alvarez that will be a significant win for the Russian. Not in the same league financially but as John Riel Casimero’s win over Cesar Ramirez lands him a fight with Zolani Tete that will be one to savour.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Kento Hatanaka vs. Jayserver Abcede saw both fighters on the floor and was a fast-paced contest providing plenty for the fans to enjoy.
Fighter of the week: Sergey Kovalev as he overcame a bad patch to stop strong Anthony Yarde
Punch of the week: Shakhram Giyasov’s left hook that put Darleys Perez down and out in the first round with honourable mention to the right to the body from Kosei Tanaka which put Jonathan Gonzalez down in the third a wicked shot even if Gonzalez did get up.
Upset of the week: Dixon Flores (15-6-3) was not expected to beat 18-1-2 Alex Espinoza
Prospect watch: Super Light Darwin price was impressive in stopping Aaron Herrera
By Eric Armit
-Emanuel Navarrete crushes Francisco De Vaca to retain the WBO super bantam title
-Jessie Magdaleno continues his winning ways with technical victory over Rafael Rivera
-Tim Tszyu beats Dwight Ritchie to go to 14-0
-Johnny Gonzalez keeps alive his faint hopes of another title shot with victory over Nicaraguan Ramiro Blanco
-Vicente Feigenbutz stops Spaniard Cesar Nunez
-Ukashir Farooq retains British flyweight title with first round victory over Duane Winters
-Chris van Heerden, Arnold Barboza Jr and Janibek Alimkhanuly win on Los Angeles show
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (28-1) W KO 3 Francisco De Vaca (20-1). Feather: Jessie Magdaleno (27-1) W TEC DEC 9 Rafael Rivera (27-4-2,1ND). Super Light: Arnold Barboza Jr (22-0) W RTD 4 Ricky Sismundo (35-15-3).Middle; Janibek Alimkhanuly (7-0) W KO 5 Stuart McLellan (27-4-3,1ND). Welter: Chris van Heerden (28-2-1) W PTS 8 Aslanbek Kozaev (33-3-1).Super Light: Javier Molina (20-2) W PTS 8 Manuel Mendez (16-6-3). Welter: Brian Mendoza (18-0) W KO 1 Rosemberg Gomez (20-8-1).
Navarrete vs. De Vaca
Navarrete overpowers De Vac and stops him in three rounds in a WBO title defence.
Over the first minute Navarrete was just prodding lightly with his jab but then began to fire long hooks and straight rights. De Vaca fired a series of hooks but Navarrete blocked them and countered with hooks of his own. Navarrete was already confident enough to be regularly switching guards and was using his longer reach to put De Vaca on the back foot and landed a crisp right uppercut before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete
De Vaca made an aggressive start walking forward throwing hooks but he was either short or they were blocked and he was being caught with right counters. De Vaca continued to walk forward but was nailed by a perfectly timed right uppercut which stopped him in his tracks and was clipped on the chin with another right and dropped to the floor. He was up at three with blood trickling from his nose. At the end of the eight count there were less than twenty seconds remaining in the round. Navarrete was not in a hurry and although he landed a couple of body punches De Vaca had no trouble making it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Navarrete Navarrete 20-17
De Vaca came out throwing punches in the third but Navarrete was ignoring them and firing right crosses and sweeping hooks. De Vaca absorbed some heavy rights and kept firing but had his back to the ropes with Navarrete loading up on every punch. A gutsy De Vaca punched his way off the ropes a few times but every time he did Navarrete drove him back and unloaded with stunning rights and lefts until the referee stopped the fight.
The 24-year-old “Cowboy” from Mexico City was making the second defence of the WBO title and moves to 24 wins by KO/TKO. His No 1 contender is experienced Filipino Marlon Tapales but a unification fight with Daniel Roman would be worth seeing. Navarrete has a languid style which makes his power deceptive but it is there for sure. De Vaca, 24, was way out of his depth and despite his 20-0 record was untested against any quality opposition.
Magdaleno vs. Rivera
Magdaleno continues his march towards a title fight with technical verdict over for WBA super feather belt challenger Rivera. It was Rivera who was in charge over the first round as he hustled and bustled the more skilful Magdaleno taking him out of his stride and connecting with rights. Magdaleno settled in the second and third rounds scoring with left jabs and quick rights and matching Rivera inside. Rivera was on the rampage again in the fourth and a clash of head saw Magdaleno cut on the bridge of his nose. Rivera was on the attack for the rest of the round as Magdaleno just tried to stay out of trouble until his corner could work on the cut. Rivera continued to press in the fifth but was being countered by right jabs and straight lefts and some good defensive work was making Rivera miss wildly but he kept attacking to make the round close. Magdaleno boxed beautifully in the sixth. Confusing Rivera with constant movement, changing angles and slotting punches through gaps in Rivera’s defence. Magdaleno had a big seventh. After outboxing Rivera early he stopped him in his tracks with a left hook. Rivera was hurt and Magdaleno switched to the attack with Rivera in trouble but he managed to cling his way to the bell. Magdaleno boxed on the retreat in the eighth. A frustrated Rivera was lunging wildly and after side-stepping a couple of Rivera's rushes Magdaleno mimicked a bull fighter with his cape and just kept threading his punches through Rivera’s defence. Rivera pinned Magdaleno in a corner in the ninth but was caught by a left counter that knocked him back and he had to put his glove on the canvas to avoid going down. When the action resumed Rivera went after Magdaleno and had some success but was still eating jabs. Just before bell as Rivera attacked his elbow opened a deep cut over the right eye of Magdaleno and after examining the cut the doctor advised the fight be stopped and it went to the cards with Magdaleno in front 89-81 on two cards and 88-82 on the other. Good win for the former WBC super bantamweight champion. He was coming off a useful victory over Rico Ramos and having moved up to featherweight he should be fighting for a version of a title in that division in 2020. Rivera proved a tough opponent but that was as expected. Rivera put together a 25-0-2 run at the start of his career but has since lost to Joseph Diaz, Joet Gonzalez and in a WBA title challenge against Leo Santa Cruz. A rough ride for any fighter.
Barboza vs. Sismundo
Whilst a galaxy of former amateur stars are making the headlines Barboza continues to do his destructive work under the radar. He was too big and too strong for the seasoned Filipino. Sismundo tried to punch with Barboza but was quickly dismantled. After punishing Sismundo over the first two rounds in the third Barboza drove Sismundo back across the ring and then sent him down with a left hook. Sismundo survived but not for long. Barboza pounded on him in the fourth trapping Sismundo in a corner and beating on him for much of the round. After the bell Sismundo went down on his haunches holding on to the ropes and looking out into the crowd. When the referee bent over to talk to Sismundo he said he did not want to continue. Barboza, a 27-year-old from Los Angeles, has beaten both Mike Reed and Mike Alvarado. He is No 4 with the WBO and No 15 with the WBC and could be fighting for the title in 2020. Japan-based Sismundo, 32, has been a good pro but at 5’5” and a former featherweight he was just too small to pose any threat to Barboza
Alimkhanuly vs. McLellan
Kazak’s Alimkhanuly (are there any fighters left at home in Kazakhstan?) proves too strong for Canadian McLellan. Southpaw Alimkhanuly used his right jab and some hefty lefts to establish control and then put McLellan down with a well-timed left uppercut in the second. McLellan was up quickly and saw out the round. Alimkhanuly continued to boss the fight with McLellan unable to avoid Alimkhanuly’s accurate jabs or match the Kazak’s power. In the fifth after stabbing home a couple of jabs Alimkhanuly connected with an overhand right and a left hook to the jaw that sent McLellan down. The punches spun McLellan around so that he landed face first on the canvas. He was up at eight but Alimkhanuly pinned him to the ropes and landed some thumping hooks to the head and the referee stopped the fight as McLellan’s corner threw the towel into the ring. Alimkhanuly retains the WBC Continental Americas title and is already No 15 with the WBO. He was an outstanding amateur beating Anthony Fowler and Jason Quigley on the way to a gold medal in the 2013 World Championships and beat Fowler again at the 2016 Olympics but was eliminated at the quarter-final stage. He also won gold medals at the Asian Championships and Asian Games and was a very successful member of the Astana Arlans in the World Series of Boxing being designated Global Champion. McLellan lost to Carl Crowley for the Canadian title in February but had scored two wins in Mexico since then.
van Heerden vs. Kozaev
van Heerden outpoints Kozaev in an entertaining but bloody match. It was the aggression of Kozaev against the skill and movement of van Heerden with the Russian piling forward and van Heerden looking to fight on the outside but also scoring with some telling body punches. A clash of heads saw van Heerden cut over his left eye in the first round which was a contributing factor in his tactics but he got some measure of success by opening a cut on the bridge of Kozaev’s nose in the third and opening a cut over the Russian’s left eye in the fifth with a punch. Unfortunately Kozaev continued to press and when their heads clashed in the same fifth round van Heerden was cut over his right eye. The doctor cleared van Heerden to continue With blood dripping from those cuts Kozaev was inspired to attack furiously but the body punches that van Heerden had applied in the earlier rounds slowed Kozaev and van Heerden was able to box his way to victory. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for van Heerden. The 32-year-old southpaw has lost only one of his last fifteen fights and that was a stoppage against Errol Spencer in 2015. After scoring two wins in 2016 he was then inactive in 2017 and had only one fight in 2018. This is his second fight this year but he has some work to do to get back in the ratings. Kozaev, 31, lost crucial fights against Ray Robinson and Taras Shelestyuk and although he had scored seven wins going into this fight he said he was now retiring.
Molina vs. Mendez
Molina much too good for Californian Mendez. Molina made a steady start boxing on the back foot with Mendez storming forward looking to cut off the ring and fight inside. Molina was moving cleverly and countering with crisp hooks and uppercuts. Mendez kept rolling but as the fight progressed Molina was standing and trading more and loading up on his punches but with this only his third fight in over three years he was probably happy to get in eight rounds of work. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. Molina represented the USA at the 2008 Olympics and turned pro the following year, After winning 17 of his first 18 fights he then lost to Jamal James in January 2016 and was then inactive until June last year. This is his third win over decent level opposition since then. Mendez going the other way with four losses in a row.
Mendoza vs. Gomez
Mendoza extends his winning run to 18 with first round kayo of Gomez. Mendoza put Gomez down late in the round and the Nicaraguan was counted out. The 25-year-old from New Mexico has 13 wins by KO/TKO but the opposition has been mediocre at best so no real tests yet. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Gomez who was having his first fight for eighteen months.
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (14-0) W PTS 10 Dwight Ritchie (19-2). Middle: Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0) W PTS 10 Rocky Jerkic (17-2). Welter: Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0) W PTS 10 Steve Gago (11-0). Super Middle: Cesar Tapia (11-0) W PTS 10 Renold Quinlan (12-5) W Welter: Jack Brubaker (16-2-2) W TKO Danny Kennedy (8-1-1).
Tszyu vs. Ritchie
Tszyu continues to progress as he scores unanimous decision over Ritchie. It was probably the toughest test so far for Tszyu. The first two rounds were close but in the third Ritchie was cut over the left eye and rocked by a big right. Ritchie’s cut was examined by the doctor but he was allowed to continue. Tszyu was able to land with left hooks and straight rights with Ritchie struggling with the cut and Tszyu was always in control. Ritchie fought hard to the bell but was always second best as Tszyu boxed his way to victory, Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93 for Tszyu. The 24-year-old Tszyu lifts Ritchie’s IBF Australasian title and wins the vacant WBO Global belt. This win moves him closer to a fight with Jeff Horn. “Fighting Cowboy” Ritchie, 27, is a former Australian and OPBF champion who had four wins chopped off his record for boxing as a pro whilst below the age limit. He has had a tough time with boxing lifting him out of a bad life path and having to twice fight off cancer.
Yerbossynuly vs. Jerkic
Yerbossynuly retains the WBA Asian and WBA International titles with points victory over Australian Jerkic. The former top amateur from Kazakhstan was quicker, stronger, busier and more skilful than Jerkic and dominated the fight. Jerkic had success with some heavy punches late but was never really a threat to the Kazak’s control of the tactics and the contest and Yerbossynuly emerged a comfortable winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91. The 27-year-old Yerbossynuly. The WBA’s No 6 super middle, retains the WBA International and WBC Asian Boxing Council titles. He was a member of the Astana Arlans team in the WSB. Jerkic took 20 months out of the ring after losing a split decision to Anthony Buttigieg for the Commonwealth title in 2017 but had returned with two wins .
Zhangabayev vs. Gago
Zhangabayev makes it a double for Kazakhstan as he wins this three-title match with unanimous verdict over Perth southpaw Gago. Zhangabayev made thins difficult for himself on the way to winning this one against the taller Gago. He needed two attempts to make the weight and then lost three points for low blows and was lucky to avoid disqualification. Zhangabayev is a tigerish aggressive fighter and he was just too good for the inexperienced Gago and won on scores of 95-92 twice and 96-91. The 26-year-old Kazak retains the WBA Inter-Continental title and collects the vacant IBF International and WBO Oriental belts. Gago, who has won fights in Beijing and Macao, showed some nice skills but just could not stem the attacks of Zhangabayev.
Tapia vs. Quinlan
Minor upset as unbeaten young Australian-based Mexican Tapia
outpoints once world rated Quinlan. Tapia used a higher work rate to win this one. Quinlan never really got into the fight until staging a storming finish in the last but that was too little too late. Tapia flirted with disqualification for hitting Quinlan on the break twice but that was as close as Quinlan came to a chance of victory. Scores 99-92, 98-92 and 97-93 for Tapia. The 21-year-old from Tijuana who emigrated to Australia and turned pro there was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and wins the vacant Australian title. Quinlan, 30, broke into the world ratings with a second round kayo of Daniel Geale back in 2016 but then lost important fights inside the distance against Chris Eubank Jr, Damien Hooper and John Buatsi.
Brubaker vs. Kennedy
Brubaker beats a game Kennedy when the fight is stopped due to a cut. It was an entertaining fight with Kennedy using his speed to match the more experienced Brubaker early but Brubaker’s superior power winning out in the end, From the sixth Kennedy was being forced to trade punches more. A punch opened a cut over his right eye and in the eighth round the doctor decided the cut was too bad for Kennedy to continue. The 27-year-old Brubaker , a former OPBF champion who holds a win over Tyrone Nurse, has lost only one of his last 13 fights and that was on a stoppage in 2017 in a Commonwealth title fight against Kris George. Kennedy, 36, was born on the Channel Island of Jersey and has had five fights in Australia and five in England.
Kansas City, KS, USA: Middle: Shane Mosley Jr (15-3) W PTS 10 Calvin Metcalf (9-3-1). Heavy; James Morrison (16-0-2) W KO 2 Sam Shewmaker (5-1).
Mosley vs. Metcalf
Mosley gets the win but is forced to fight hard by local hope Metcalf. This one was close with Mosley just having the edge but he does not have the soundest defence and the aggressive Metcalf was able to land his share of punches in an entertaining scrap. Mosley has won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss coming against Brandon Adams. This was a big step up in opposition for Metcalf who had been fighting in prelims before this bout.
Morrison vs. Shewmaker
A farce this one as Morrison crushes former Bare-Knuckle contestant Shewmaker. Morrison floored Shewmaker in the first and twice in the second for the win. Morrison, the son of Tommy, has 14 wins by KO/TKO including 6 in his last 7 fights but this was rubbish. Shewmaker was pathetic and hardly threw a punch.
Ludwigshafen, Germany: Super Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2) W TKO 8 Cesar Nunez (16-1-1). Super Welter: Ahmad Ali (15-0-1) W PTS 12 Armen Torosyan (19-7-1).
Feigenbutz vs. Nunez
Feigenbutz brushes aside Spaniard Nunez to win the vacant IBO International title and retain the GBU world title. Feigenbutz is improving little by little and he showed a more skilful approach at times. Nunez was willing to stand and trade but lacked the power to really trouble Feigenbutz and after a steady start Feigenbutz pushed the pace more from the third. He was connecting with straight rights but it was the hooks to the body that were breaking Nunez down. The Spaniard lost a point in the fifth for too many low punches. He traded punches with Feigenbutz bravely in the sixth and seventh but the strength and power of Feigenbutz were just too much for Nunez and he was hurt by a body punch at the end of the seventh. In the eighth a right to the body from Feigenbutz put Nunez down. He made it to his feet only to be floored again. After the eighth count Feigenbutz took Nunez to the ropes and pounded him as he slid along the ropes to a corner. Feigenbutz was bombing Nunez with lefts and rights and the referee stopped the fight. The former interim WBA champion has won ten in a row nine by KO/TKO. In some ways he has achieved too much too early as he is still developing and is only 23. There are good domestic fights for him against European champion Stefan Haertel and Tyron Zeuge if they can be made. Former Spanish middleweight champion Nunez just did not have the power to compete here.
Ali vs. Torosyan
Ali retains the Global Boxing Union title as he takes unanimous verdict over Torosyan in a poor fight. The German was giving away a lot of height to the 5’11 ½” Armenian but to offset that he was much quicker with both hands and feet. He used his hand speed to get his punches off first and his movement to dodge the attacks of Torosyan. The Armenian tried to turn the fight into a brawl and there was too much clinching for the fight to be entertaining with Ali blaming a cold for a disappointing performance but he was always a step ahead of Torosyan. Scores 117-109 twice and 115-113 all for Ali. He was making the first defence of the GBU title. He lost a bit out of his boxing career due to suffering a broken ankle playing football and he may struggle against better opposition. Torosyan, 35, has now dropped to 4 losses in his last 5 fights.
Mazatlan, Mexico: Bantam: Ruben Vega (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Gonzalo Garcia (17-21-2). Super Light: Miguel Parra (18-1-1) W PTS 8 Emmanuel Herrera (6-8).
Vega vs. Garcia
Vega continues unbeaten with confident display against more experienced Garcia. Vega had a much longer reach and a much bigger bag of skills and outboxed Garcia. Vega used stiff, accurate jabs and strong counters to control the action. Garcia kept trundling forward but time and again counters from Vega stopped him in his tracks. Vega’s quicker hands saw him firing bunches of combinations and getting plenty of variety in his work. Garcia kept coming and showed a strong chin and with Vega not being a big puncher he never looked in trouble but Vega was a clear winner. The 19-year-old Vega probably needs a couple more wins before he is ready to move up. With 7 losses in his last 8 fights obviously Garcia is not going anywhere but he usually goes the distance
Parra vs. Herrera
Now nine wins in a row for Parra but generally the level of his opposituion has been very low. Here Herrera showed that the thing he does best is soak up punishment. Parra’s height and reach allowed him to control the action on the outside. Herrera’s crude attacks left plenty of gaps and Parra was connecting with hooks and straight rights and bouncing Herrera around the ring but Herrera took the blows and never looked in serious trouble. Parra not really tested yet. Herrera occasionally puts in a good performance having beaten 16-1 Diego Eligio and in November 15-0 Bryan Figueroa.
Fresnillo, Mexico: Jhonny Gonzalez (68-11) W PTS 12 Ramiro Blanco (18-6-3). Gonzalez has his hands full with Nicaraguan Blanco but wins wide verdict. Blanco was aggressive in the first trying to get past or under Gonzalez’s jab and work the body. Gonzalez stuck to the jab until late in the round when he began to land left hooks to the body. The second and third followed a similar pattern. Blanco was busier with Gonzalez still staying with the jab and was more accurate. Over the fourth and fifth the strong jabbing from Gonzalez was proving more and more of a barrier for Blanco and he was also being caught with left hooks and straight rights. Blanco switched to southpaw in the seventh and jolted Gonzalez with a right but Gonzalez was stepping up his work rate and going to the body more. The pace slowed in the eighth with the more accurate shots from Gonzalez giving him the edge but Blanco kept firing back and making life uncomfortable for the former champion. Blanco slowed in the ninth and tenth as Gonzalez began to connect with some hefty rights to the head and then using almost exclusively his jab Gonzalez outscored Blanco fighting off a strong finish from the Nicaraguan to emerge the winner. Scores 119-109 twice and 118-110 all for Gonzalez who retains the WBC Fecarbox Silver title. The 37-year-old former WBO bantam and WBC feather champion has been in 16 world title fights and is close to 80 fights in his career and although he is rated No 11 by the WBC he is by no means the force he was. The scores do not reflect how hard a time the 23-year-old Nicaraguan gave him. Blanco has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights but the other three losses have come against 28-2 Patrick Kinigamazi in Switzerland and against Andres Gutierrez and Miguel Roman.
Singapore: Super Welter: Stevie Ferdinandus (20-17-1) W TKO 5 Theerawat (21-11). Feather: Muhamad Ridhwan (13-2) W TKO 3 Tommy Seran (30-18).
Ferdinandus vs. Theerawat
Indonesian oldie Ferdinandus gets his third inside the distance win in a row as he punches too hard for Thai Theerawat. Ferdinandus was much the bigger man and he was able to use his strength to keep Theerawat pinned to the ropes for much of the fight. Southpaw right hooks caused three knockdowns before the fight was stopped in the fifth round. The 38-year-old Ferdinandus collects the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with his seventeenth win by KO/TKO. Eighth inside the distance defeat for Theerawat.
Ridhwan vs. Seran
Ridhwan was the boxer on who sparked the revival of the sport in Singapore but he is on a rebuilding exercise now after a couple of losses. He had no trouble in coping with Seran who is way down the slippery slope to register his ninth win by KO/TKO. The 31-year-old Ridhwan managed to win the UBO world title but lost a split decision against Paulus Ambunda for the vacant IBO title in September last year and then slipped up badly by losing a split verdict to Filipino Landy Cris Leon in March with Landy having a 11-18-5 record at the time. This is his second win over Indonesian opposition since then. Somehow Seran has gone from 23-2 run at the start of his career to 7-16 now.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Light: Apache Petchmanee (5-0) W PTS 10 Chonlatarn (61-5). Youth will be served-but only just as Petchmanee gets very close unanimous decision over Chonlatarn in their second meeting. In the early rounds it looked too easy for Petchmanee as he used his height and reach to work Chonlatarn over with jabs right crosses and some sharp uppercuts. Chonlatarn used his vast experience to find a way into the fight. He padded forward blocking or ducking many of Petchmanee’s punches and then connecting with hooks rattling Petchmanee with rights. Petchmanee tried to box but more and more he was being dragged into a brawl. He was still the more accurate and landing some snappy hooks and uppercuts as Chonlatarn came forward but his work became ragged under pressure from Chonlatarn. Petchmanee found the energy to move and box throughout the last and that probably was the round that won him the fight. Scores 96-94 for Petchmanee on all three cards. The 29-year-old Petchmanee wins the WBC Asian Boxing Council title. He was an elite level amateur and competed for the Bangkok Elephants in the World Series of Boxing. He had scored a close decision over Chonlatarn in an eight round fight in June so that is two tough tests in a row for him. Chonlatarn, 34, at 5’5 ½” is too small for a lightweight. At one time he was 43-0 but in world title shots he lost to Chris John, Vasyl Lomachenko and Miguel Berchelt with Berchelt the only fighter to beat him inside the distance so a big ask for Petchmanee at this stage of his career.
Glasgow, Scotland: Ukashir Farooq (13-0) W KO 1Duane Winters (11-2). Farooq gets this British title defence over early. The champion was spearing Winters with jabs and then landing quick left hooks to the body. Winters was on the retreat and Farooq was finding gaps and pinging the challenger with punches. Farooq moved Winters to the ropes and then dug in a wicked left hook to the body and Winters went down on his knees and was counted out. The 23-year-old Pakistani-born Glaswegian gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. This is his third title defence so he is now the proud owner of the beautiful Lonsdale belt. He is ready for much better opposition and will be a real threat in this division with fellow-Scot Commonwealth champion Lee McGregor an obvious target. Southern Area champion Winters was in way over his head.
Springfield.MA, USA: Light Heavy: Charles Foster (19-0) W PTS 10 Denis Grachev (19-8-1). Heavy: Devin Vargas (21-5) W TKO 5 Nail Kennedy (13-1-1).
Foster vs. Grachev
Connecticut southpaw Foster comes through a good test with unanimous decision over seasoned pro Grachev. The tall southpaw outboxed Grachev and was too young and too quick for the Russian, A cut from a clash of heads in the second round made Foster a little more cautious but he stuck to his boxing. Despite his pressure tactics giving Grachev some success Foster was always in control. Score 100-90, 97-91 and 97-93 for Foster. He retains the WBA NABA title and is No 8 with that organisation. Over 2018 and now 2019 he has scored five wins over good if not high level opposition. Grachev, 37, looked on his way to a world title chance after wins over 17-0 Ismayl Sillah and 33-0 Zsolt Erdei-being the only fighter to beat the former WBO and WBC champion-but then lost four in a row against top level opposition and has faded badly.
Vargas vs. Kennedy
Vargas gets shock win as he comes from behind to halt Kennedy. This was a tough scrap between two big men. The pace was slow with both landing heavy punches. Kennedy was outworking Vargas who spent much of the time pinned to the ropes whilst Kennedy banged away trying to find a way past the guard of Vargas. Kennedy had a big third landing some powerful rights but he was leaving himself open and Vargas was landing counters in the fourth. Vargas turned the fight around in the fifth. He landed heavily driving Kennedy to the ropes and then unleashed a series of neck-jerking head punches until the referee jumped in a stopped the fight. A big win for Vargas but at 37 it is a bit late for him to be fulfilling the promise he showed as an amateur. He dominated the heavyweight division in the US amateur ranks in the early 2000’s before Captaining the US Team at the 2004 Olympics and turned pro the same year. He won his first 17 fights before losing to then unbeaten Kevin Johnson and only boxed spasmodically being inactive in 2015 and 2016. His only loss since returning in 2017 was a first round kayo by Andy Ruiz in March last year. Kennedy was already 30 before he turned pro and this is a huge setback for him.
Ormoc City, Philippines: Feather: Albert Pagara (32-1) W TKO 1 Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-4). Feather: Jeo Santisima (18-2) W KO 1 Alvius Maufani (6-4-2). Fly: Melvin Jerusalem (15-2) W RTD 7 Reymark Taday (9-10-1). Super Fly: Jonas Sultan (16-5) W TKO 7 Salatiel Amit (11-7-2).
Pagara vs. Sawangsoda
Pagara destroys over matched Thai Sawangsoda flooring the Thai four times before the fight is stopped, The 25-year-old Filipino was on his way to a world title shot until suffering a shock kayo loss against Cesar Juarez in 2016. He has battled his way back to No 3 with the WBO and with fellow-Filipinos Marlon Tapales and Juan Miguel Elorde Nos 1 and 2 with the WBO it is a domestic line up waiting for Emanuel Navarrete-best of luck guys! Poor Sawangsoda gets his third inside the distance loss in a row,
Santisima vs. Maufani
Another very poor match was over even quicker than Pagara’s win as WBO No 7 Santisima knocked out Indonesian novice in 109 seconds. After going 2-2 in his first 4 fights the 23-year-old Santisima now has 16 wins in a row. Maufani is 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights.
Jerusalem vs. Taday
Former WBC title challenger Jerusalem halts Taday in yet another one-sided fight. Jerusalem came as close as anyone has to snapping the unbeaten streak of Wanheng. When Jerusalem lost to Wanheng in a challenge for the WBC minimum title two judges had Wanheng winning by just one point and the third judge had Wanheng up 115-113 and that fight was in Thailand! Unfortunately before he could land a return Jerusalem was beaten by fellow-Filipino Joey Canoy so this is his fourth win on a campaign to get back into a position to face Wanheng again. Taday falls to 1-8-1 in his last 10 outings.
Sultan vs. Amit
Sultan, another former title challenger, halts Amit in seven. Sultan scored a win over John Riel Casimero which landed him a shot at IBF super fly champion Jerwin Ancajas but he lost a wide unanimous decision. As with Jerusalem he also then suffered a surprise defeat being outpointed by South African Athenkosi Dumezweni in April this year. Amit slips to 1-5 in his last 6 fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fly: Junior Zarate (11-2) W PT 10 Juan Jurado (15-2-3). Zarate gets revenge over Jurado and wins the national title with wide decision. Zarate was too slick and quick for the aggressive but smaller Jurado. Zarate was boxing on the back foot spearing Jurado with jabs and countering him with hooks from both hands. It was Zarate’s fight all the way. Jurado probably took the fourth when a clash of heads opened a cut on the left cheek of Zarate but other than that he was never really able to pin Zarate down and chased in vain. Jurado tried to rough Zarate up on the inside but again it was not enough as Zarate confidently boxed his way to victory. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Zarate. The 29-year-old “Demon” was the top little man in Argentinian amateur ranks for many years. He was National champion and competed at the World Championships and Pan American Games as well as being a mainstay of the Argentina Condors in the World Series of Boxing. He did not turn pro until he was 29 but with the victory over Jurado has now revenged both of his professional losses. Before losing in a very disappointing performance in a non-title fight against Luciano Baldor in June last year Jurado, 32, was 15-0-3, including a successful title defence against Zarate so has now suffered two losses in a row.
Shenzhen, China: Minimum: Jing Xiang (17-4-2) W TEC DEC 9 Jomar Caindog (10-2-1). Super Feather: Xiao Tao Su (11-1) W TKO 1 Shota Yukawa (11-6-3). Xiang Li (5-0) W TKO 7 Do Jin Lee (6-3-3).
Xiang vs. Caindog
Xiang gets technical decision over Filipino Caindog. Xiang was the better boxer but Caindog exerted enough pressure to make the fight very close. Xizang could have been more dominant if he had not decided to do so much showboating. Caindog stuck to his task and the fight was in the balance when a clash of heads saw Xiang badly cut over his right eye. The fight was halted and was decided on the cards with Xiang getting the decision on scores of 77-75 twice and 79-73.Xiang, 29, wins the vacant WBO International title. It is now nine wins in a row for Xiang including victories over former WBO minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo and an aging former WBC light fly champion Kompayak. Caindog, the Philippines No 6, had gone 5-0-1 in his previous six fights.
Su vs. Yukawa
Su wins the vacant WBO Oriental titles with blast out of mediocre Japanese opponent Yukawa. Su rocked Yukawa early sending the Japanese fighter tumbling into the ropes with the ropes holding Yukawa up-but not for long. A thunderous left hook to the chin from Su put Yukawa flat on his back on the canvas and the referee just waived the fight over. At 5’5” Su is small for a super feather but he showed power in claiming his sixth inside the distance victory. Yukawa really just a prelim level opponent.
Li vs. Lee
Li halts Korean Lee in seven. Li looked to be on his way to a routine points win until the seventh round. He staggered Lee with a straight right and connected with two more rights that sent Lee down heavily and after counting to three the referee saw Lee was not going to get up and the waived the rest of the count. Li wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title and the WBO China belt. Poor Lee is 1-3-2 in his six most recent fights.
Albuquerque, NM, USA: Super Light: Fidel Maldonado (27-4-1,1ND) W KO 1 Juan Santiago (16-17-2). Maldonado finds his punch again. After two points wins in a row Maldonado blasted out Santiago inside a round. Fighting in his home city Maldonado ended this one with just two seconds left in the opening round. The 28-year-old southpaw gets his third win of the year after being out of the ring for fifteen months following a kayo loss to former WBA secondary title holder Ishmael Barroso. Ninth defeat by KO/TKO for Santiago and his first fight for two years.
Fight of the week (Significance): Emanuel Navarrete’s win over Francisco De Vaca was the only world title fight so has to be the choice
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Jack Brubaker vs. Danny Kennedy and Chris van Heerden vs. Aslanbek Kozaev pleased the crowds
Fighter of the week: Emanuel Navarrete with honourable mention to Jessie Magdaleno
Punch of the week: Xiao Tao Su’s left hook the flattened Shota Yukawa was special but so was the left hook to the body from Ukashir Farooq that ended his fight with Duane Winters
Upset of the week: No biggies although Devin Vargas stopping Nail Kennedy was unexpected
Prospect watch: Super Light Arnold Barboza Jr 21-0 is breaking through in a big way.
By Eric Armit
-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr returns with a quick win
-Vergil Ortiz continues his winning ways as he dismantles Antonio Orozco in six rounds
-Jason Sosa continues to rebuild as he stops Haskell Rhodes
-Joshua Franco and Oscar Negrete fight to a draw in the third bout of their series
-Argentinian puncher Marcelino Lopez puts away Daniel Echevarria in five rounds
-Middleweight banger Edgar Berlanga makes it twelve first round wins in a row
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2) W TKO 12 Shohei Omori (20-3). Teshigawara retains the OPBF title with late stoppage of Omori. The challenger was competitive in the first round but Teshigawara was quicker and was scoring well with hooks from both hands and after four rounds was 40-36 up on two cards and 39-37 on the other. Omori was cut over the right eye in the fifth and Teshigawara continued to outscore him in the sixth. Omori connected well with jabs and body punches in the seventh but Teshigawara had a good eighth to stay in front 79-73 on two cards and 78-74 on the third. Omori stormed back scoring well with uppercuts and body punches over the ninth and tenth but Teshigawara was stronger at the finish and by the last was able to drive Omari to the ropes and beat on him until the referee stopped the fight. This victory in his second title defence gives “Golden Yasha” Teshigawara eight wins in a row, seven by KO/TKO. He is No 8(7) with the IBF. Former WBO bantam challenger Omori was No 15 with the WBC but this loss will knock him back as he suffers his third inside the distance loss.
Melbourne, Australia: Light Heavy: Blake Caparello (30-3-1) W TKO 8 Reece Papuni (13-3). Local southpaw Caparello makes it four wins on the trot as he stops New Zealander Papuni in eight rounds in a defence of the WBA Oceania belt. The former 32-year-old WBO light heavy title challenger is rated WBC 8/WBO 10/WBA 11 and his title hopes has to rely on getting selected as an opponent in a voluntary defence by one of the champions. Papuni was having his first fight in almost three years and suffers his third defeat by KO/TKO.
Accra, Ghana: Middle: Obodai Sai (35-3-1) DRE W 12 Mardochee Kuvesa Katembo (13-2). Feather: Felix Williams (28-1) W RTD 1 Waidi Usman (15-4). Super Bantam: Theo Tetteh (12-1) W PTS 12 Ray Commey (19-9) Super Light: Kpakpo Allotey (15-1) W KO 2 Deo Samwel (12-9-7,1ND).
Sai vs. Katembo
This one was declared a draw but ignore that. Katembo won this fight and won it easily. I have watched it twice and struggled to give Sai any round if I was feeling really generous I might have given him two at the most but even that was stretching things. Katembo ouboxed Sai from bell to bell. He was giving away lots of height and reach to the local fighter but since Sai was not using his jab that was never a handicap. Sai persisted in trundling forward behind a high guard and not throwing any punches on the way in. Katembo was constantly moving around the static Sai scoring both left and right jabs as he regularly switched stances. Apart from threading a pile of jabs though the guard of the advancing Sai he was also peppering Sai with other straight punches from both hands. For round after round Sai just walked into Katembo’s punches. They were not hard and Sai blocked many of them but Katembo landed more than Sai by quite a big margin in every round as Sai never managed to catch up with the fleet Katembo. In the last Katembo was dancing and still outboxing Sai and at the bell there was glee in Katembo’s corner and gloom in Sai’s-until the scores were read out. Sai did not celebrate like a winner and he was very fortunate to get a draw he did not deserve and retain his WBO African title. DRC fighter Katembo had won 5 of his last 6 fights. He is no world beater but Sai made him look like one.
Williams vs. Usman
This one was a farce as Williams had huge edges in height and reach and floored late substitute Usman three times with Usman retiring at the end of the opening round. The tall Ghanaian southpaw was landing with left hooks to the body with poor Usman going backwards at a fast lick hiding behind a high guard and hardly throwing a punch. Body blows saw Usman drop to the floor twice but he seemed to be looking for an excuse to go down. On the third knockdown even as the referee was kneeling in front of him giving Usman the count the Nigerian still held his gloves high in front of his face-did he think the referee was going to hit him?. After the third count Usman’s corner threw in the towel but the referee threw it out and then the bell went and Usman retired in his corner. Williams makes it 21 wins by KO/TKO and wins the vacant IBO International title. Usman was pathetic on this night but he was a late substitute and is a former ABU champion and has a decent record.
Tetteh vs. Commey
Tetteh retains the National title with wide unanimous verdict over more experienced Commey. No real problems for Tetteh apart from the second round. He had a much longer reach than the smaller Commey and outboxed him. Commey kept trying to take the fight to Tetteh but just never found a way of getting past Tetteh’s jab often enough to be in the fight. In the second Commey launches a fierce attack and had Tetteh pinned to the ropes for much of the round. He was bombarding Tetteh with punches and with little coming back from Tetteh the referee looked close to stepping in. Then Commey paid for his all-out attack as he left himself wide open and a right from Tetteh put him down. He made it to his feet and survived the round but his chance to win was gone. Scores 120-107, 120-108 and 119-109 for Tetteh. He has eleven wins in a row but against very modest opposition. Commey, 32, has won only one of his last six fights
Allotey vs. Samwell
Allotey knocks out Tanzanian Samwell in the second round. Little Samwell was coming forward aggressively in the first throwing lots of punches but Allotey stayed cool and looked dangerous with counters. In the second Samwell trapped Allotey in a corner but when he piled forward Allotey turned out of the corner and landed a series of head punches ending with right to the head that sent Samwell down on his side. He managed to climb up but had not quite made it all the way as the referee reached ten. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for former Ghanaian champion Allotey. His loss was a stoppage against unbeaten Robert Quaye in October which cost him his National title. First inside the distance loss for Samwell.
Hinckley. MN, USA: DeLorien Caraway (13-2) W PTS 10 Rondale Hubbert (13-9-2). Cruiser: Al Sands (20-4-1) DREW 8 DeShon Webster (12-2-1). Heavy: Mladen Miljas (12-0) W TKO 1 Aaron Chavers (8-9-1). Feather: Ramiro Hernandez W KO 1 Antwan Robertson (10-18-1).
Caraway vs. Hubbert
Caraway wins the Minnesota State title with unanimous decision over Hubbert. Their respective styles did not make for a good fight with too much feinting and too little fighting as they each tried to fool the other into making a mistake. Although smaller Caraway was much quicker and set a higher work rate and Hubbert never really got into the fight so there were very few highlights. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Caraway. He has won 6 of his last 7 fights. Fourth bout this year for Hubbert who is 1-2-1 in those matches.
Sands vs. Webster
Sands and Webster draw in a very low key affair. With his experience and physical edges Sands should have been able to box his way to victory but at times he was being out jabbed by the smaller man. There were plenty of exchanges but of the slow and ponderous kind with neither fight really taking control and neither able to rock the other and the draw was a fair result. Scores 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Sands. Haitian-born Sands was having his first outing for ten months after losing consecutive fights to Yury Kashinsky in Russia and Krzys Wlodarczyk. Webster has mostly spent his time in boxing backwoods such as Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas. He was3-2 in his previous 5 fights with the losses to unbeaten Ali Akhmedov and Steven Nelson.
Miljas vs. Chavers
A waste of time is the only way to describe this one. Miljas landed a couple of body punches and Chavers sped back across the ring to the ropes and quickly fell down as Miljas landed a couple more punches. He made it to his feet reluctantly and just tried to cover up. Miljas connected with a clubbing punch and Chaves slid along the ropes from one corner to another and was bent double by two more body punches and the referee stopped the slaughter. The 6’6” former undefeated Canadian champion Miljas has twelve wins by KO/TKO. A former law student he never defended the Canadian title which is unfortunate as with Simon Kean, Adam Braidwood and former victim Dillon Carman around there might have been some good fights for him but instead he is fighting some very poor opposition. Now six losses on the trot and five of those by KO/TKO for Chavers.
Hernandez vs. Robertson
Hernandez brushes aside poor little Robertson inside a round. After connecting with some left jabs Hernandez scored with a couple of rights to the body. He then forced Robertson to the ropes and landed two rights to the ribs and Robertson went down on one knee in some pain and indicated he was not getting up. Cleveland-based Hernandez goes to ten wins by KO/TKO but this was a mismatch. Robertson now has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Super Light: Jamaine Ortiz (12-0) W PTS 8 Romain Couture (8-1-1). Heavy: Steve Vukosa (12-1) W PTS 8 Joe Cusumano (18-3).
Ortiz vs. Couture
Ortiz outclasses French visitor Couture. The local prospect had too much speed and skill for a determined but limited Couture. A sparkling performance from the WBC Youth champion as he outboxed and outworked Couture in every round. Scores 80-72 for Ortiz on all three cards. The 23-year-old from Worcester was an elite level amateur. Winning a bronze medal at the US Championships earned him a place at the US Olympic Trials for Rio where he finally lost out to Gary Antuanne Russell. Couture was 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights and this was his first bout outside of France.
Vukosa vs. Cusumano
Vukosa gets majority decision over Cusumano. It was a close fight all the way. Cusumano made the better opening moves and looked to have taken the first two rounds but that lead was wiped out when a right from Vukosa floored Cusumano in the third. Cusumano fought his way back in to the contest over the middle rounds but was in trouble in the seventh and Vukosa looked to have taken the last. Scores 76-75 twice for Vukosa and 77-74 for Cusumano so it was the knockdown that gave Vukosa the verdict and the vacant WBC USNBC belt. Now 42 Vukosa “The Gentle Giant” won the National Golden Gloves super heavyweight title way back in 2000 and turned pro in 2001. He won eight fights before being inactive from 2002 until 2014. After losing to Donovan Dennis in 2015 he did not fight again until July this year. Cusumano, 31, had won 17 of his last 18 fights and came close here.
Rogoznica, Croatia: Heavy: Mark De Mori (37-2-2) W KO 1 Laszlo Penzes (10-6).Light Heavy: Hrvoje Sep (8-0) W TKO 1 Sinisa Kondic (10-13).
De Mori vs. Penzes
Australian-born Croat De Mori wipes out Hungarian oldie Penzes inside a round. As Penzes tried to take the fight to De Mori he was met with a combination of head punches and went down on his back and was counted out. The 37-year-old “Dominator” gets his seventh inside the distance win in a row since being wiped out inside a round by David Haye in 2016. His recent opposition would be flattered to be described as poor. Penzes, 40, has six losses by KO/TKO. He was issued a licence by the Croatian Federation in June although there is still an indefinite suspension by the Ontario Commission showing against him.
Sep vs. Kondic
Sep gets his sixth win by KO/TKO as he stops poor Kondic in the opening round. The 33-year-old was a top level amateur but has left it far too late to turn pro. He competed at the 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. Additionally he was a European bronze medal winner and had plenty of success fighting for the Paris United and Astana Arlans teams in the WSB. Kondic has suffered twelve losses by KO/TKO including four in his last four fights.
Olavinlinna, Finland; Light: Edis Tatli (31-3) W Berman Sanchez (29-8-3). Tatli eases his way back with points win over Sanchez. After a couple of slow rounds Tatli picked up the pace in the third but there was still not a lot of activity. Tatli was getting some work but Sanchez was mainly looking to survive and both fighters were tending to throw single shots. Tatli rocked Sanchez in the fifth and had a good seventh. He had done enough to win the earlier rounds but it was a flat performance from Tatli and a passive one from Sanchez. Scores 80-73 twice and 79-73 for Tatli. Sanchez came in 2 kg over the contract weight and although he tried he could not make the weight so there was a mutual agreement to lift the target weight slightly. Not an impressive performance in Tatli’s first fight since losing in five rounds against Teo Lopez in April but he will get sharper and having lost and won in title fights against current European champion Francesco Patera a third fight might be the aim. Nicaraguan Sanchez has brave management which has put him in with both Miguel Berchelt and Jorge Linares.
San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico: Super Middle; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (51-3-1) W KO 1 Evert Bravo (25-11-1).
Chavez vs. Bravo
Chavez returns with a win. Bravo was brave but foolish. The Colombian chose to stand and trade punches with Chavez. He had Chavez on the back foot for a short while but then hooks and uppercuts from Chavez forced Bravo to the ropes. They traded hooks until Chavez landed a brutal left hook to the ribs. For a split second there was no reaction from Bravo but then the pain kicked in and he turned away and dropped to his knees and was counted out after just 82 seconds. Chavez was given a celebratory kiss from Chavez Snr who was working for Box Azteca at the show. Chavez, 33, weighed 175 ½ for this fight 11lbs more than in his last fight in May 2017 when he was halted by Saul Alvarez. There was no chance tonight to see how the layoff had affected him but there will be tougher tests to come. Tenth loss inside the distance for Bravo, who gets well beaten whenever he faces quality opposition,
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Feather: Jason Sosa (23-3-4) W TKO 7 Haskell Rhodes (27-4-1). Middle: Edgar Berlanga (12-0) W TKO 1 Gregory Trenel (11-5-2). Feather: Adan Gonzales (5-2-2) W PTS 4 Robeisy Ramirez (0-1).
Sosa vs. Rhodes
Sosa hunts and hounds Rhodes to defeat. Sosa applied constant pressure focusing on the body. Rhodes was forced to try to match Sosa’s work rate and power but by the end of the fourth he was starting to weaken. A left hook put Rhodes down in the fifth and he went down heavily but somehow made it to his feet. Sosa landed a series of punches and Rhodes went down again. He was in a bad way when he arose but it was too close to the bell for Sosa to end the fight. Sosa attacked strongly again in the sixth but a clash of heads opened a cut over his left eye. A left uppercut dumped Rhodes on the canvas in the seventh which should have been the end but Rhodes got up and Sosa was allowed to pound on him some more until Rhodes trainer climbed onto the apron to call for the fight to be stopped. After consecutive losses to Vasyl Lomachenko and Yuriorkis Gamboa Sosa has a rebuilding job to do and this is his third win along that path. Rhodes had won 4 of his last 5 fights but when he has tried to move up he has lost to Sergey Lipinets, Edner Cherry and Omar Douglas. This is the first time he has failed to go the distance.
Berlanga vs. Trenel
Berlanga has yet to hear the bell for the second round and he makes it twelve first round wins with stoppage of Frenchman Trenel. Berlanga put Trenel over early with a left to the head and after the French fighter beat the count Berlanga bombarded him with punches and the referee had seen enough and halted the fight with 36 seconds remaining in the round. “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 22, a fighter of Puerto Rican antecedents who was brought up in Brooklyn, made a habit of having to settle for silver medals in the amateurs. He turned pro at 18 after losing out at the US Olympic Trials for a place in Rio. He needs better opposition before we can judge how far he can go. He also needs seven more first round wins in a row to equal the record of 19 first round wins in a row held by Tyrone Brunson. First inside the distance defeat for Trenel who was 9-1-2 in his previous 12 fights.
Gonzales vs. Ramirez
Oh dear! This was not supposed to happen as Gonzalez ruins the first appearance as a pro of 25-year-old Cuban Ramirez. The Cuban had won gold medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics beating both Michael Conlan and Shakur Stevens. Gonzales threw the script away from the outset as he landed a left to the head in the first which saw Ramirez topple back and put his gloves on the floor to stop going down and was given a count. Ramirez never seemed to recover and was well beaten. Scores 40-35 and 39-36 for Gonzalez and 38-37 for Ramirez.
The 22-year-old Gonzales just really a moderate prelim fighter looked a safe ask for Ramirez now the Cuban has some questions to answer.
Grand Prairie, TX, USA: Welter: Vergil Ortiz (14-0) W TKO 6 Antonio Orozco (28-2). Bantam: Joshua Franco (15-1-2) DRE W 10 Oscar Negrete (18-3-1). Light: Hector Tanajara (18-0) W PTS 10 Ezequiel Aviles (16-4-3). Super Light: Marcelino Lopez (36-2-1) W KO 5 Daniel Echeverria (21-9).
Ortiz vs. Orozco
In front of his home town fans Ortiz marches on as he stops Orozco although for three rounds Orozco attacked hard and was a good test. Ortiz made a strong start in the first marching forward behind his jab and landing with a couple of left hooks to the body. He had Orozco under fire on the ropes and as Orozco dropped to his haunches it could have led to a count as Orozco was sitting on the bottom rope. Orozco then took the fight to Ortiz and they traded body punches to the bell. In the second Ortiz wanted to box and Orozco wanted to brawl and they both had some success. Ortiz used his jab and lots of movement to frustrate Orozco’s swarming attacks in the third and was hooking well to the body. Late in the round Orozco managed to pin Ortiz on the ropes and connected with body punches. Ortiz really found the range in the fourth as he upped his pace and began to land with heavy rights and Orozco was finding it difficult to get inside. The fifth was a slower round with Ortiz still sticking with the jab and some left hooks to the body and a lot of the fire seemed to have gone out of Orozco. Ortiz went to work in the sixth. He connected with two fierce left hooks to the body and Orozco went down on one knee. Orozco only just beat the count and then Ortiz bombarded him with lefts and rights to the head until a wicked right to the head forced Orozco to take a knee. Again Orozco was late getting up and when the action resumed another right had him dipping at the knees. He did not go down but another series from Ortiz ending with a right to the head floored Orozco and the referee waived off the fight. The 21-year-old Texan is an outstanding prospect and the way he took Orozco apart in the sixth was impressive. He has wins over experienced fighters in Jorge Salgado, who once stopped Jorge Linares inside a round, Roberto Ortiz and Mauricio Herrera and this is the first time he had had to go past the third round for a victory. Orozco lived up to his “Relentless” nickname over those first three rounds but was then just overpowered. His only other loss was on points against Jose Carlos Ramirez in a challenge for the WBC title.
Franco vs. Negrete
This is one of those pairings where they could fight each other ten times and they would all be close fights. In their two previous meeting Franco Had won the first on a split decision and they then fought to a split draw. There was never much between them here. All of the rounds were close and neither fighter was really able to dominate and the draw looked the right outcome. It was the swarming attacks of Negron against the lower punch rate but more accuracy from Franco as they traded punches from bell to bell. Scores 96-94 Franco, 96-94 Negrete and 95-95. Texan Franco was making the second defence of his NABF title and the first of his WBA International title so he still has two belts. Colombian Negrete lost on points to Rey Vargas for the WBC title in December 2017 and is now 1-1-2 in his four fights since then
Tanajara vs. Aviles
Stylish boxing from San Antonio’s Tanajara sees him outbox Aviles and retain the WBC USNBC belt. In the early rounds Aviles tried to pressure and hustle Tanajara out of his stride but the youngster stuck to his boxing using a powerful jab and clever movement to frustrate Aviles. Over the middle rounds as Aviles continued to come forward Tanajara was landing heavy counters. He is not a big puncher but had Aviles hurt a couple of times as Aviles left himself open in his desperation to land a big punch to swing the fight his way. Aviles never found that punch and Tanajara cruised to victory. Scores 100-90 for Tanajara on all three cards. The 22-year-old Tanajara already has impressive wins over 19-1-1 Roger Gutierrez and 36-2 Roberto Manzanarez so is worth following. After putting together a 14-bout unbeaten streak Aviles has now suffered three consecutive defeats.
Lopez vs. Echeverria
Seasoned Argentinian puncher Lopez makes it four inside the distance wins in his last four fights as he knocks out Mexican Echeverria. For a couple of rounds southpaw Echeverria by far the taller man boxed well on the outside against the dangerous Lopez. The Argentinian finally found openings in the fourth and put Echeverria down twice and on each occasion he also knocked Echevarria’s mouthguard out. A thumping straight right put Echeverria down in the fifth and this time he was counted out. Lopez, 33, a former Argentinian and South American champion who went 29-0-1 in his first 30 fights, has now won 7 of his last 8 contests with all seven wins coming by KO/TKO and the loss being a split decision against Michael Perez. Echeverria also made an impressive start to his career by winning his first 18 fights before tasting defeat against Jorge Paez Jr. He then lost his next seven fights but coming into this bout had scored two wins.
Accra, Ghana: Heavy: Ebenezer Tetteh (20-0) W RTD 6 Morris Okolla (11-4). Tetteh gets a win but is very far from impressive. Against an aging and portly Okolla Tetteh did not look good. Okolla proved to be a better fighter than he looked and at times out jabbed the taller Tetteh and although Tetteh downloaded some big rights in every round Okolla never really seemed to be really shaken in the fight. It was a slow paced bout with Tetteh clearly the harder puncher but lacking footwork and throwing one punch at a time. He slowly broke Okolla down and the Kenyan failed to come out for the seventh round due to bruising around his eyes and a nose injury. The 31-year-old Tetteh gets his seventeenth win by KO/TKO but he will have to improve a very great deal if he is going to give Daniel Dubois any kind of fight. Okolla, 37 had scored a low level win in December but that was his first fight in almost two years. This was a curious fight. Tetteh was to have fought Okolla on this night on the undercard of a fight between Patrick Allotey and Eric Kapai Mukadi for the WBO African super welter title at Accra Sports Stadium. However it was announced on the morning of the 10th that the show was cancelled due to “some unfortunate health issues with regard to the main bout on the card”. However the Tetteh fight did take place but in a gymnasium or small hall and not at the Stadium and I can only assume it went ahead as it was being billed as a Commonwealth title eliminator with Tetteh already announced as fighting Daniel Dubois on 27 September for the vacant title. As for the cancellation of the Allotey fight it is not impossible with Allotey just having been announced as the next challenger for Jamie Munguia that it was too risky to take this fight.
Fight of the week (Significance): I guess the return of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr might count but it was a very low key week.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Even if it was the third time they had met Joshua Franco vs. Oscar Negrete provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Vergil Ortiz was impressive in halting Antonio Orozco
Punch of the week: The left hook from Chavez that ended his fight with Evert Bravo was a rib-bender
Upset of the week: Only a four round fight but there is no way Adan Gonzales was supposed to beat Cuban Robeisy Ramirez
Prospect watch: lightweight Hector Tanajara 18-0 has class
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