By Eric Armit
-Nourdine Oubaali beats Arthur Villanueva on a sixth round retirement in WBC bantam title defence
-Kanat Islam returns to action with a 14 second blow out of Dominican Julio De Jesus
-Sebastian Formella wins the IBO welterweight title with decision over champion Thulani Mbenge and on the same show Igor Mikhaylenko wins the vacant IBO interim light heavy title with unanimous decision over Timur Nikarkhoev
-Nick Hannig keeps hold of the WBC International title with draw against Ryno Liebenberg
-Tommy Frank retains the Commonwealth super flyweight title with stoppage of John Chuwa
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Astana, Kazakhstan: Bantam: Nordine Oubaali (16-0) W RTD 6 Arthur Villanueva (32-4-1). Welter: Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) W TKO 3 Mauro Godoy (31-5-1). Feather: David Oliver Joyce (11-0) W PTS 10 Breilor Teran (27-18-1). Light: Viktor Kotochigov (11-0) W PTS 10 Jairo Lopez (24-12,1ND).Light: Sultan Zaurbek (8-0) W TKO 7 Giorgio Gachechiladze (11-34-1).Cruiser: Ali Baloyev (9-0) W PTS 8 Hamilton Ventura (15-7-1). Super Welter: Abilkhaiyr Shegaliyev (6-0) W PTS 8 Elvin Akhundzada (4-2).
Oubaali vs. Villanueva
Oubaali retains the WBC title with classy and powerful performance against Filipino challenger Villanueva who retires after six rounds.
Oubaali quickly put Villanueva on the back foot. The Filipino tried some right leads but Oubaali picked them off and connected with lefts.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali
The second was a bit closer. Villanueva managed to get on the front foot and connected with some rights. Oubaali had the quicker hands and when he cornered Villanueva he scored with right hooks and a straight left. Oubaali was the one landing at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 20-18
Oubaali upped the pace in this one. He was marching in firing clusters of hooks and uppercuts. Villanueva fired back but was taking a lot more than he was giving and was again being caught with quick combinations at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 30-27
The pace dropped a little with Oubaali throwing less but still with speed and accuracy. Villanueva continued to try to get close to nullify Oubaali’s speed but the champion was landing rapid right jabs and straight lefts.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 40-36
Oubaali move up a gear in this round. He was forcing Villanueva back with jabs and then connecting with lefts to the head. Anytime Villanueva threw a punch and missed he was made to pay by a range of counters and although he fought back hard at the end of the round he was taking plenty of punishment.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 50-45
Oubaali was boxing smoothly in the sixth and finding gaps in the Filipino’s guard. As Villanueva took a step forward Oubaali countered him with a left and a right to the temple and Villanueva dropped to one knee. He was up quickly and ready to resume after the count. Oubaali stormed after Villanueva connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Villanueva fired back enough to be able to stay on his feet but was rocked with hooks just before the bell.
Score 10-8 Oubaali Oubaali 60-53
Villanueva retired in the corner.
Impressive display by 32-year-old Frenchman Oubaali in his first defence of the WBC title which he won with a points decision over Rau’shee Warren in January. He showed quick skills and strong, accurate punching. There are tougher tests out there in the shape of WBC No 1 Luis Nery, No 2 Carlos Cuadras and No 3 Jason Moloney but on this form he is a match for them. In 2017 Villanueva, 30, lost on points to Zolani Tete for the interim WBO bantam title and was also stopped by Luis Nery. He had a win and a draw in two low level fights in 2018 so his credentials as a challenger were questionable.
Turarov vs. Godoy
Local fighter Turarov crushes Godoy in third round. Turarov was hunting down a retreating Godoy in the first and connected with some rights to the body. Godoy caught Turarov with a sneaky right counter but Turarov landed a hard combination before Godoy launched a series of punches just before the bell with a couple landing but lacking snap. Turarov had looked dangerous with rights in the opener and he was throwing more of those in the second but Godoy was moving and jabbing and Turarov just could not nail the Argentinian. Turarov continued to prowl after the back-peddling Godoy in the third with a quick left hook right cross combination signalling danger. Turarov forced Godoy to the ropes and an overhand right to the temple saw Godoy start to drop and a last left hook caught Godoy as he fell to his knees and was counted out. The 28-year-old Florida-based Kazak wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title which should get him a rating. He had dropped out of the rankings after almost two years of inactivity which he ended with a victory over Ghanaian Richmond Djarbeng last month. He has 17 wins by KO/TKO. “King” Godoy fails to last the distance for only the second time in his 37 fights.
Joyce vs. Teran
Joyce outpoints Venezuelan Teran. No problems for the former star of Irish boxing as he took the decision on scores of 100-86, 100-87 and 100-89. Teran was dangerous at times with counters but Joyce was always in command. As Teran tired over the second half of the fight he was deducted a point for holding in the seventh and the rounds were one-sided enough for a couple of the judges to score those 10-8 without a knockdown. The 32-year-old Irishman won a gold medal three times at the European Union Championships competed at the 2016 Olympics and scored wins over Luke Campbell and Carl Frampton in the amateurs. In both this and a fight in April he was still officially under suspension from the New York Commission. The 34-year-old Teran has mixed in high quality company but has always come up short.
Kotochigov vs. Lopez
Important win for Kotochigov as he takes unanimous decision over tough Mexican Lopez to win the vacant WBC International title. Kotochigov took the decision on scores of 99-91, 99-93 and 98-93. Already a world traveller Kazak Kotochigov, 26, has fought as a pro in Uzbekistan, China, Russia, Germany, Abkhazia, Poland, United Kingdom and Kazakhstan. Lopez has been in with tough competition including Luke Campbell, Jose Felix and Tomas Rojas.
Zaurbek vs. Gachechiladze
Zaurbek halts Georgian Gachechiladze for his sixth win by KO/TKO. It almost ended early as Zaurbek floored the little Georgian in the first round but Gachechiladze survive before being beaten in submission in the seventh. The 23-year-old UK-based Zaurbek was a silver medallist at the World Youth Championships. The 5’3” Gachechiladze broke a 15 bout losing streak with a win in Spain in last month.
Baloyev vs. Ventura
Kyrgyzstan born Kazak Baloyev is taken the distance for only the second time as he outpoints Brazilian Ventura. The decision was unanimous for the Las Vegas-based 26-year-old Baloyev. Ventura, 36, has lost four in a row all against unbeaten fighters.
Shegaliyev vs. Akhundzada
Shegaliyev had won his last four fights each inside the first round and he came close to doing the same here as he put Azeri Akhundzada down twice in the opening round. Akhundzada made it out of the round but was on the floor again in the second. Having survived those three knockdowns he went on to take Shegaliyev the distance although losing a very wide unanimous decision. The 24-year-old Uzbekistan-born Shegaliyev effectively doubled his number of pro rounds in this fight so some useful ring time. Second loss in a row for Akhundzada.
Almatay, Kazakhstan: Super Welter: Kanat Islam (26-0) W KO 1 Julio De Jesus (27-2). Islam crushes De Jesus in just 14 seconds. The first punch Islam landed was a crushing overhand right that sent De Jesus reeling into a corner. Two more chopping rights sent De Jesus face down on the canvas and the referee immediately waived the fight over. Islam, 34, Chinese-born of Kazak ancestry, wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title with victory No 21 by KO/TKO. As Hanati Silamu he won bronze medals for China at the 2008 Olympics and the 2007 World Championships. This is his first fight since September 2017 so he has dropped out of the ratings but is a real danger man. Dominican De Jesus, 37, has impressive looking statistics but had never met any fighter of note and was unrated.
Madrid, Spain: Super Bantam: Alvaro Rodriguez (10-3-1,1ND) W PTS 10 David Sanchez (14-9). 5
Rodriguez retains the Spanish title with win over former victim Sanchez. Over the first two rounds the fight saw plenty of action with Rodriguez working well at distance and Sanchez having success inside with hooks. In the third a left hook from Rodriguez put Sanchez over. Sanchez beat the count but in trying to get back into the fight was caught with hard counters. After four rounds Rodriguez was up 39-36 on two cards and 38-37 on the third. Sanchez tried to take the fight to Rodriguez but the champion was stronger and Sanchez was under constant pressure spending too much time against the ropes. At the end of seven rounds Rodriguez had increased his lead being in front 69-62, 69-63 and 68-63 and he continued to outscore Sanchez in the eighth and ninth then just concentrated on avoiding Sanchez in the last. Scores 98-91, 97-91 and 95-93. The 33-year-old “Ardi” is 4-0-1,1ND in six title fights including a points win over Sanchez in 2017. Sanchez 35 was having his first fight since November 2017.
Sheffield, England: Super Fly: Tommy Frank (11) W TKO 7 John Chuwa (17-4). Feather: Josh Wale (28-11-2) W KO 1 Ekow Wilson (18-4).
Frank vs. Chuwa
Frank breaks down and halts Chuwa in seven rounds to retain the Commonwealth title. Frank was marching forward in the opening round with Chuwa showing plenty of defensive movement and throwing jabs but lacking any power. Frank continued to hunt Chuwa in the second but he was being frustrated by Chuwa’s clever upper body movement and wide hooks. In the third Chuwa was ducking under Frank’s punches and ended up ducking so low he was sitting on the bottom ropes so was given a count. Frank was starting to find the target with stiff jabs and left hooks Frank kept up the pressure and Chuwa began to tire in the fourth and all of his earlier movement was gone. Frank began to score with jabs, hooks and uppercuts on an arm-weary Chuwa in the fifth and sixth. Frank finished it in the seventh. He walked forward landing strong left hooks to the body and clubbing rights to the head. He walked Chuwa into a corner connecting with rights and as an exhausted Chuwa dropped to a knee the referee stopped the fight. Frank, 25, fighting in his home city, was making the first defence of the title he won with a victory over Luke Wilton in March. Chuwa, 21 suffers his first inside the distance loss and his third defeat in his last four fights.
Wale vs. Wilson
Wale beats Ghanaian Wilson inside a round. Both fighters stood and traded some hard punches with left hooks to the body from Frank catching the eye. Eventually those hooks and some head punches forced Wilson across the ring and into a corner. Wale kept him trapped there switching punches to head and body. Just as Wilson seemed to have escaped from the corner a left hook to the ribs saw him turn away and collapse to his knees. The referee started the count but it was obvious Wilson was in too much pain to get up and the referee waived the fight over. The 31-year-old Wale gets win No 14 by KO/TKO. This was a Commonwealth title eliminator so Wale, a former British champion, will get a third shot at winning the title that has eluded him so far. Wilson loses when he tries to step up but he had gone into the tenth round before being stopped by former world champion Joseph Agbeko in September.
Santiago, Chile: Super Bantam: Jose Velasquez (26-6-2) W TKO 7 Ramon Averanga (9-1). Velasquez extends his winning streak to 18 with seventh round stoppage of Bolivian Averanga. The little Chilean as usually gave away lots of height and reach and Averanga proved a tough opponent over the first three rounds. From the fourth Velasquez’s greater strength and fitness told and Averanga began to fade. Velasquez was walking through Averanga’s punches in the seventh and bludgeoned the Bolivian to the canvas. Averanga was up at eight. The referee stepped back and signalled Averanga to walk towards him. Instead Averanga started walking away but the referee caught him and turned him to face him and then signalled for the fight to continue. Velasquez continued to drive Averanga along the ropes until the Bolivian dropped to one knee and the towel came in from his corner. The 5’ 2 ½” Velasquez wins the WBO Latino belt and has 18 wins by KO/TKO. Although No 15 with the WBO his opposition has not been strong and his defence is leaky. Averanga is now 3-1 in fights in Chile.
Aviles vs. Godoy
Grugliasco, Italy: Feather: Francesco Grandelli (12-1-1) W PTS 10 Nicola Cipolletta (14-8-2). Grandelli wins the vacant Italian title with victory over Cipolletta. Grandelli made the better start and floored Cipolletta in the third to move into a commanding lead. He had Cipolletta in trouble later in the fight and Cipolletta was deducted a point after losing his mouthguard four times. Cipolletta fought hard trying to get back into the fight but the heavier punching from Grandelli gave him an edge and he emerged a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 98-91for Grandelli/ The 24-year old from Naples was inactive for a year before returning with a win in April. Former national featherweight champion Cipolletta falls to 1-4 in his last 5 fights
Weisbaden, Germany: Light Heavy: Nick Hannig (7-0-1) DREW 12 Ryno Liebenberg (19-6-1).Light: Howik Bebraham (15-1) W KO 1 David Berna (17-9). Welter: Roman Belaev (19-3) W PTS 8 Betuel Ushona (36-9-1).
Hannig vs. Liebenberg
Hannig retains the WBC International title with a majority draw against South African Liebenberg. The Berliner took position in the centre of the ring and edged the first round with some crisp hooks. Liebenberg put on plenty of pressure in the second and third but Hannig was working well inside. Liebenberg landed some of his best punches so far in the fourth but was behind on two cards 40-36 and 39-37 with the third cards seeing them tied at 38-38. Liebenberg looked to have clawed back the points with a strong attack in the fifth and sixth but Hannig found his rhythm again in the seventh and eighth which were close. After the eighth Hannig had held on to his lead at 78-74 and 77-75 with once again the third official having them level at 76-76. The fight swung one way and then the other in the closing rounds with Hannig landing well with body shots but Liebenberg doing most of the scoring finding gaps for some hard rights and doing enough to come from behind to get a well deserved draw. Scores 114-114 twice and 115113 for Hannig. Hannig was making the first defence of the title he won with a close decision over Canadian Ryan Ford in February. Hannig has only just scraped through in winning that fight and at 32 may find it difficult to climb any higher. The 35-year-old Liebenberg has had no luck in Germany. He lost a split decision to Enrico Koelling and was stopped on a cut against Vincent Feigenbutz when he looked to be taking control of the fight. He is the ABU champion having won that with a stoppage of Alfonso Tissen in September.
Bebraham vs. Berna
In a horrible mismatch Bebraham stops the china-chinned Berna. Bebraham was on target quickly with left jabs and left hooks. Berna tried some jabs but every time Bebraham threw a punch Berna seemed to get his feet tangled and staggered. After some more sparring Bebraham threw a right cross that looked to just brush past Berna’s chin but he fell face down on the floor. He was up at eight but when the referee asked him to step forward he was unsteady and the referee stopped the fight after 111 seconds. Fourth inside the distance win for Bebraham but no real surprise as Hungarian Berna has lost his last four fights inside the first round. He needs someone to save him from himself.
Belaev vs. Ushona
Belaev gets a revenge win over Ushona. It was pressure, pressure and more pressure from Belaev. Ushona was reluctant to back up so there were plenty of meaty exchanges. Although spending much of the fight pinned to the ropes Ushona used his experience to stay in the fight and was always dangerous with counters but was outlanded by the aggressive Belaev who took the unanimous decision. Germany-based Russian Belaev won his first 14 fights but he then found Africa rings a inhospitable place as he lost to Ali Funeka and Paul Kamanga in South Africa and to Ushona in Namibia for the WBFederation title. He was having his first fight for 17 months here but intends to be more active. Now 37 Ushona has found German rings inhospitable as this is his third loss in a row in Germany
Hamburg, Germany: Welter: Sebastian Formella (21-0) W PTS 12 Thulani Mbenge (15-1). Light Heavy: Igor Mikhalkin (23-2) W PTS 12 Timur Nikarkhoev (21-3).Cruiser: Nikola Milacic (20-1) W KO 1 Kai Kurzawa (38-8). Heavy: Erik Pfeifer (6-0) W TKO 3 Epifiano Mendoza (43-29-1).
Formella vs. Mbenge
Formella wins the IBO title with unanimous decision over champion Mbenge. Formella boxed cleverly early showing good movement and quick hands. Mbenge started to roll from the third connecting with hard rights. Over the middle rounds Mbenge began to build a lead with a focused body attack. Unfortunately Formella constantly claimed that many of the legal blows were landing low which both led to Mbenge being cautious about going to the body too often and more importantly led to the referee deducting a point from Mbenge in the ninth. Formella staged a strong finish as Mbenge seemed to lose some impetus and that just gave the Germany the edge in the scoring. The judges saw it 116-112, 115-112 and 114-113 for Formella. The 32-year-old German gets his biggest win to date. Mbenge was making the second defence of his title. He has inside the distance wins over Diego Chaves and Miguel Vazquez. The contract included a return clause and Mbenge’s team say they will enforce that.
Mikhalkin vs. Nikarkhoev
IBO have followed the course of the other sanctioning fee seekers by introducing interim titles and Russian Mikhalkin picked up their interim title here with a win over Belgian-based Nikarkhoev. Mikhalkin was just too accomplished for Nikarkhoev to really threaten Mikhalkin’s dominance. The Russian out boxed Nikarkhoev behind a stiff, accurate right jab and potent left hooks. He had Nikarkhoev rocking in the sixth but apart from that he never really looked likely to halt Nikarkhoev and had to settle for a points victory. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 tell the story. The 34-year-old Mikhalkin served a one year ban after testing positive for a banned substance in a European title defence against Patrick Bois in 2016. He scored good wins over Thomas Oosthuizen and Doudou Ngumbu before losing on a seventh round stoppage when challenging Sergey Kovalev for the WBO title in March last year. Nikarkhoev had won his last seven fights but this was too big a step up for him.
Milacic vs. Kurzawa
Milacic gets speedy win as he puts veteran Kurzawa down and out in 40 seconds. Kurzawa was coming forward when Milacic exploded a right to his chin and Kurzawa went down and was counted out. The 6’5” German has provided early endings in nine of his last ten fights but needs stiffer tests. Kurzawa, 42, has been stopped early in four of his last five contests.
Pfeifer vs. Mendoza
Pfeifer gets his fourth inside the distance win over a fat and old Mendoza. After a couple of one-sided rounds Mendoza’s corner pulled their man out of the fight in the third. The 32-year-old 6’3” Russian-born German competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and twice won a bronze medal at the World Championships. Mendoza, 43, weighed down at 150lbs when he turned pro but is now up around 250lbs. This is seventh loss in his last eight fights.
Barranquilla, Colombia: Fly: Rober Barrera (23-2) W PTS 10 Josber Perez (16-2). Super Welter: Gabriel Maestre (1-0) W TKO 2Jeovanis Barraza (20-1). Super Feather: Angel Rodriguez (18-1) W TKO 5 Julian Aristule (34-11,1ND). Bantam: Yoel Finol (1-0) W KO 4 Jeyson Cervantes (8-18-1).
Barrera vs. Perez
Barrera was the only Colombian to win one of the major fights on the night. The local fighter was give a torrid night by Venezuelan Perez. There was never much between these two but the body punching from Barrera proved decisive. A left hook to the body put Perez on the floor in the fifth and although he beat the count it was enough to give Barrera the impetus to push on to a narrow victory. Scores 97-92 , 96-93 and 95-94 for Barrera. The 26-year-old Colombian has won 11 of his last 12 fights with the loss being a ninth round stoppage against Ryoichi Taguchi for the WBA light Fly title in 2017. Perez had won his last 13 fights but against moderate level foes.
Maestre vs. Barraza
When you see a fighter having his first pro fight being matched with a guy with a 20-0 record you know there is more to it than meets the eye. This marked the first pro fight for one of Venezuela’s most successful amateurs. Maestre got this one over quickly but with a bit of controversy. Maestre shook Barraza with a right to the head in the first then had him hurt again in the second as he connected with shots switching from body to head. A body punch put Barraza down with the Colombian protesting the punch was low. He beat the count but was put down again. He made it to his feet but Maestre was punishing him heavily and the referee stopped the fight. Maestre wins the vacant WBA Fedebol title. Maestre was a quarter-finalist at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He also won gold medals at the Pan American Games and the South American Games and a bronze at the World Championships. All good stuff but at 32 he has left it too late to turn pro. Colombian welter champion Barraza had not met anyone nearly as high quality as Maestre.
Rodriguez v. Aristule
Mexican-based Venezuelan Rodriguez halted Argentinian southpaw Aristule in five rounds. Rodriguez came out fired-up but Aristule initially held his own as they went toe-to-toe. Gradually the harder punching of Rodriguez put him in charge and as he focused on body punching Aristule wilted and he was under heavy pressure in the fifth when the referee stopped the fight. Ninth win by KO/TKO for Rodriguez, a former Pan American Games bronze medallist He registers his tenth win on the bounce. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for former Argentinian super bantam champion Aristule
Finol vs. Cervantes
Finol makes it a double for debuting former members of the Venezuelan amateur elite ranks. Finol hurt Cervantes with body punches in each of the first two rounds and put him down with a left hook in the third. Cervantes managed to get to his feet and survived to the bell. In the fourth another body shot floored Cervantes and this time he stayed down for the full ten. The 22-year-old Venezuelan won bronze medals at the World Championships, the Pan American Games and the 2016 Olympics. Seventh loss in his last eight bouts for Colombian Cervantes. Both Maestre and Finol have both said they expect to fight at the 2020 Olympics.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Kenichi Ogawa (24-1,1ND) W RTD 4 Glenn Medura (10-6-1). Super Feather: Shuya Masaki (13-1) W PTS 10 Al Toyogon (10-4-1).
Ogawa vs. Medura
Ogawa was to have faced South African Azinga Fuzile in an IBF title eliminator but Fuzile was unable to get his visa in time so Filipino Medura stepped in at short notice. Ogawa landed some right hooks in the first and then sent Medura down with a couple of body punches in the second. Ogawa had Medura trapped against the ropes for periods in the third and Medura took another count. Ogawa continued to paste Medura with punches in the fourth and the Filipino retired before the start of the fifth. The 31year-old Ogawa scored a unanimous points win over Tevin Farmer for the vacant IBF super feather title in December 2017 but the verdict was changed to No Decision as Ogawa tested positive for a banned substance. Ogawa was then inactive until returning with a win in February. It remains to be seen whether the Fuzile fight will be rescheduled. Medura, who came in as a late substitute, falls to 2-5 in his last 7 fights with all 5 losses coming by way of KO/TKO.
Masaki vs. Toyogon
Masaki moves up to ten rounds and gets wide decision over young Filipino Toyogon. Masaki had edges in height and reach and was much more mobile than Toyogon. He worked well to the body and connected with plenty of hard combinations but Toyogon took the lumps and lasted the distance. Scores 100-90 for Masaki on the three cards. The 25-year-old from Osaka was 54-8 as an amateur and is No 3 in the Japanese ratings. At 5’4” the 21-year-old Toyogon is small for a super feather but was a decent 5-1 in his last 6.
Rzeszow, Poland: Heavy: Lukasz Rozanski (11-0) W KO 4 Izuagbe Ugonoh (18-2). Light Heavy: Marek Matyja (16-1-2) DREW 10 Pawel Stepien (12-0-1). Middle: Fedir Cherkashyn (13-0) W PTS 10 Wes Capper (20-3-1). Middle: Kamil Szeremeta (20-0) W PTS 8 Edwin Palacios (12-10-1).
Rozanski vs. Ugonoh
Rozanski steam rollers Ugonoh to defeat in four rounds. Rozanski was marching forward taking the fight to Ugonoh in the first and dominated the round with Ugonoh not throwing much and seemingly waiting for an opening that did not come. Rozanski continued to plough into Ugonoh in the second and although Ugonoh did land some rights they did not stop Rozanski and he put Ugonoh down in the third. In the fourth Rozanski drove Ugonoh to the ropes and kept punching until Ugonoh collapse to the canvas and was counted out. Rozanski, 33, gets his ninth win in a row by KO/TKO. Ugonoh, a Pole of Nigerian descent, won 17 consecutive victories before being knocked out in five rounds by Dominic Breazeale in February 2017. He had one fight in May 2016 and this was his first fight since then.
Matyja vs. Stepien
This one ended all even with a controversial drawn verdict. Stepien boxed well on the outside to take the first before Matyja found a way into the fight by moving inside late in the second. Stepien scored well with his jab and long rights to edge the third and the fifth with Matyja connecting with hooks to even things up taking the fourth and sixth. Over the last four rounds Stepien chose to box and counter and his good defensive work offered few chances to Matyja and he looked to have done enough to take the decision. The judges scored it 96-94 for Stepien, 97-93 for Matyja which looked way out, and 95-95 so the Polish title remains vacant. Matyja is no stranger to split verdicts as his loss and his other draw have both been splits. Stepien had won his last seven by KO/TKO and already holds the Polish International title.
Cherkashyn vs. Capper
Cherkashyn takes every round in contest against former undefeated Australian champion Capper. The unconventional style of Cherkashyn made it difficult for Capper to settle into the fight. The young Ukrainian was landing with strong left hooks to the body and straight rights in every round. His hands down style features lots of ducking and dodging and changing of angles. Capper had trouble finding the target but he stuck to his task pressing hard and scoring well in the fourth and sixth but that was not quite enough to win him even those rounds as Cherkashyn outlanded him. Capper seemed to fade over the closing rounds as Cherkashyn cruised to victory, Scores 100-90 from all three judges. First ten round fight for twenty-three-year-old Cherkashyn who had stopped oldie Kassim Ouma, a former IBF super welter champion, in March. Capper, 30, was 9-0-1 going into this one with a draw against Sam Soliman in March last year.
Szeremeta vs. Palacios
European champion Szeremeta gets in some paid sparring as he waits for a big fight to emerge. He really never really shifted out of low gear in this bout easily outboxing Nicaraguan Palacios. The visitor managed to land a few punches in the fourth and from the sixth Szeremeta shifted from first to second gear rocking Palacios with hooks and the Nicaraguan went deep into his shell to survive to the last. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Szeremeta. The 29-year-old Pole is ranked WBC 3/IBF 4(3)/WBA 5 but would probably have to go to America and beat a name fighter to raise his profile. Six losses in a row for Palacios.
Doncaster, England: Light: Maxi Hughes (19-4-2) W TKO 4 Kieran McLaren (12-1-1). Local southpaw boxer Hughes makes an impressive return to action as he floors and halts unbeaten McLaren in the fourth round. Hughes was sharp from the start. He boxed with speed and accuracy over the first two rounds and began breaking McLaren down in the third. He was opening up McLaren’s guard and landing with hooks and lefts to the head. A series of punches put McLaren down early in the fourth. McLaren beat the count but was dropped again by a shot to the body and the referee stopped the fight. Hughes has lost in two challenges for the British super feather title and is now aiming for a chance at the lightweight belt. McLaren was coming off a creditable draw with Lee Appleyard but Hughes was just too good for him on the night.
Fight of the week (Significance): Nordine Oubaali’s successful defence of his WBC title wins this award and it will hopefully lead to stiffer tests or a unification fight.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Roman Belaev vs. Betuel Ushona was an entertaining eight rounder
Fighter of the week: Nordine Oubaali with honourable mention to Kanat Islam who sent out danger signals to other super welters
Punch of the week: The devastating overhand right from Islam that led to his 14 second win over Julio de Jesus
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: Although only 1-0 as a pro Venezuelan Yoel Finol is worth watching.
By Eric Armit
There seems to be no end to the greed and stupidity of the major sanctioning bodies. It does not matter how many or how contrived the existing titles are there is always room for more titles and for more sanctioning fees. When at cruiserweight the WBA found they had four champions but only three “world” titles–super, secondary and interim-they invented a Gold title. This from the guys who proudly trumpeted their intention to have only one champion in every division. Hypocrisy rules OK! Of course if the WBA have a new title then the WBO have to have one as well. We have already had Gold, Silver and Diamond titles foisted on us so the WBO to top those have introduced a Global title. According to my dictionary Global means “worldwide”. Which raises the question of what a World title covers? I pity any boxing enthusiast who finds himself trying to explain to someone who does not follow boxing just what the difference is between being a World champion and a Global champion.
The latest effort from the WBC just beggars belief. They have now designated Saul Alvarez as their “Franchise Champion”. According to the WBC missive their Franchise Champion (and of course there will be yet more Franchise Champions to follow) will:
“Proudly represent the WBC in every single fight as a reigning WBC champion, regardless of any specific conditions or titles being associated with all future fights. WBC rules and regulations will govern under the traditional conditions of boxing in the Franchise champion’s fights. WBC will approve through the Franchise champion’s promoter every opponent scheduled to fight.”
What that means is that even if Saul Alvarez were to challenge Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title then as it involves their Franchise champion, that fight will be under the rules and regulations of the WBC-even though Alvarez is the challenger and fighting out of his division-and the WBC will have to approve of Kovalev or any other fighter/champion who intends to fight Alvarez. No mention there of who gets the sanctioning fee! I can’t imagine the IBF, WBA or WBO accepting such a thing and neither can I envisage Alvarez walking away from a big fight for an IBF, WBA or WBO title just because the WBC have invented a title aimed at associating themselves with every title Alvarez fights for. As if that is not bad enough the WBC reserves the right to also recognise a (another) champion in a division or divisions in which Alvarez (or any other Franchise champion they may appoint) competes and that effectively could mean the WBC having a world champion and a Franchise champion in as many divisions as they like and so devaluing the title even further.
Alvarez next fight is scheduled for 14 September and there all types of hats being thrown in the ring. Golden Boy have stated their interest in an Alvarez vs. Kovalev fight for the WBO light heavy title but the barrier there is that Kovalev is mandated to defend the WBO title against Anthony Yarde and negotiations for that fight are said to be well advanced. Obviously Alvarez vs. Kovalev would be a huge fight much bigger than Kovalev vs. Yarde as the British challenger is still relatively unknown. Kovalev could choose to go ahead with the Yarde fight and face Alvarez at a later date, but that would be a risky choice. Alternatively Kovalev could relinquish the WBO title or Yarde could be offered a sum of money to stand aside and let the Alvarez vs. Kovalev fight take place with a guarantee he could fight the winner but that too would be risky for Yarde as guarantees can sometimes turn out to be pie in the sky. ESPN want Alvarez for Demetrius Andrade. Even as a two-division champion Andrade’s profile is not mega high yet but obviously a win over Alvarez would change that. His fight with Brandon Adams last week was not one to set the pulses racing but in the end whether he lands the Alvarez fight will come down to money. Brits Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders would love the chance as would a certain Mr Golovkin. Everyone wants a piece of Canelo.
For any fight involving Alvarez you are talking serious money but not all fights are multi-million dollar affairs. For his title defence against Ray Beltran IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey’s purse was $350K and it was boosted by a further $20K from Beltran’s original purse of $160K due to Beltran failing to make the weight. Other purses were £50K for Patrick Day, $30K for his opponent Carlos Adames, $30K for Saul Rodriguez, which will not really soften the blow of his suffering his first pro defeat, just $5K for his conqueror Miguel Angel Gonzalez and $15K each for heavyweights Junior Fa and Dominic Guinn.
The build up to Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman continues with Thurman constituting a much bigger danger to Pacquiao than Adrien Broner. Whilst the focus is on Pacquiao the boxer he is also still an active force in Philippines politics and this week Pacquiao introduced a bill in the legislator to reintroduce capital punishment for major drug trafficking convictions. In the next session of Congress reportedly Pacquiao also intends to introduce bills banning smoking in public places and one to set up in the Philippines an equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security.
The undercard for the Pacquiao vs. Thurman WBA title fight also features another world title fight with Caleb Plant defending the IBF super middle title against unbeaten Mike Lee. Also on the card are fights between Yordenis Ugas and Omar Figueroa Jr at welter, Luis Nery and Juan Carlos Payano at bantam, Sergey Lipinets vs. John Molina Jr at welter and unbeaten heavy Efe Ajagba vs. Ali Eren Demirezen.
Negotiations for the Denis Lebedev vs. Arsen Goulamirian fight have broken down. Lebedev was recently reinstated as Super champion at cruiser by the WBA and Goulamirian was promoted from Gold champion to secondary champion. It looks likely now that the WBA will put the fight out to purse offers
One purse bidding process that was completed saw World of Boxing win the right to stage Danny Romero’s WBA super bantam title defence against Uzbek Murodjon Akhmadaliev with a bid of $145,000. There was only one bidder and with Akhmadaliev having had just six fights and being virtually unknown it was not too surprising the bid was relatively low and there was only one bid receive.
Whilst much of the interest in the bantamweight division is cantered on the fight between Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire WBC champion Nordine Oubaali will defend his title on Saturday against Filipino Arthur Villanueva on a big show in Kazakhstan. There are some excellent local prospects on the undercard. MTK Global, Top Rank and ESPN are all touting Kazakhstan as the next big growth area in boxing. Oubaali will be making the first defence of the title he won with unanimous points decision over Rau’shee Warren in January. He is managed by his brother Ali Oubaali who fought for the European super featherweight title back in 2004 and ended with a 26-3 record. Filipino Villanueva has lost in previous title shots for the IBF super fly and interim WBO bantam titles.
Frenchman Michel Soro will get another chance to win a version of the WBA super welter title when he faces Russian Magomed Kurbanov in Marseilles on 20 July for the secondary title. The Ivory Coast-born Soro lost a split decision against Argentinian Brian Castano for the interim title in 2017 his only loss in his last 17 fights. Russian Kurbanov, 23, has won all of his 17 fights.
Still on the France scene heavyweight prospect Tony Yoka is scheduled to return to the ring on 13 July in Antibes against Alex Dimitrenko but there could be a problem with the big Russian. He retired after five rounds in his fight in Carson, California with Andy Ruiz on 20 April. Due to a suspected shoulder fracture the Californian Commission gave Dimitrenko a 180 day suspension. However if Dimitrenko can pass a medical the suspension will be lifted so he could still be Yoka’s opponent. The Antibes show will also feature former European super welter champion Cedric Vitu and unbeaten prospects Elie Konki, Souleymane Cissokho and Michel Tavares,
As far as injured boxers goes it is a good news-bad news scenario. Former WBC light heavy champion Adonis Stevenson is back with his family and making a very good recovery from the brain operation he had following his loss to Olek Gvozdyk in December. Stevenson is already talking about going back to the gym but as a trainer.
The news about heavyweight Denis Boytsov is not good at all. His injuries are not boxing related but he is in dire straits. Four years after being found on a Berlin subway track with serious head and leg injuries Boytsov in still unable to stand upright , has great difficulty speaking and very little mobility. In the space of just a few hours Boytsov went from being a promising heavyweight with a 36-1 record to an invalid with no real future. Life can be very cruel at times.
By Eric Armit
-Richard Commey stops Ray Beltran in IBF title defence
-Demetrius Andrade outclasses Maciej Sulecki in WBO middleweight title defence
-Jermall Charlo makes successful first defence of the WBC middleweight title with wide unanimous decision over Brandon Adams
-Khalid Yafai makes fifth defence of the WBA super fly title with points verdict over Norbelto Jimenez
-Joseph Parker returns to action with stoppage of Alex Leapai
-ERIC Lubin beats Zakaria Attou and Claudio Marrero win title eliminators
-Francesco Patera retains the European lightweight title with kayo of Paul Hyland Jr
-Ryan Walsh keeps the British featherweight title with split decision over Lewis Paulin
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Temecula, CA, USA: Light: Richard Commey (29-2) W TKO 9 Ray Beltran (36-9-1). Super Welter: Carlos Adames (18-0) W PTS 10 Patrick Day (17-3-1). Heavy: Junior Fa (18-0) W PTS 10 Dominick Guinn (37-12-1). Super Feather: Miguel Angel Gonzalez (25-4) W TKO 3 Saul Rodriguez (23-1-1)
Commey vs. Beltran
Commey stops Beltran in eight rounds in IBF title defence. Beltran failed to make the weight so could not win the title and was knocked down four times before the stoppage.
After some early probing with their jabs a chopping down hand right from Commey dumped Beltran on his rump. He was up at four but when the eight count was over Commey drove Beltran to the ropes and unloaded with both hands. Beltran slumped down and with the ropes preventing him from falling the referee stepped in and gave Beltran a standing count. Beltran used his experience to hold and box his way out of trouble but he was cornered by Commey just before the bell and took some more heavy punishment.
Score: 10-7 Commey
Beltran looked to have recovered from a disastrous round and tried to take the fight to Commey. The champion used a strong, stiff jab and better hand speed to control the exchanges and was slipping under Beltran’s hooks and countering with rights.
Score:10-9 Commey Commey 20-16
Beltran outboxed Commey in this one. Beltran was quicker with his jab and was moving in giving Commey no punching space. Commey’s jab was off target and Beltran was connecting with chopping lefts and rights inside and keeping Commey on the back foot.
Score:10-9 Beltran Commey 29-26
Commey went back to his jab in the fourth and had it working well. A clash of heads luckily caused no damage. Commey continued to connect with his jab until a right to the head staggered Beltran. Commey landed a couple more punches and Beltran spent the rest of the round circling the ring trying to stay out of trouble.
Score: 10-9 Commey Commey 39-35
Commey rocked Beltran with hooks and uppercuts early in this one and Beltran dropped to the canvas to avoid the fire. When the count was over Commey continued to be the sharper and more accurate. Late in the round a long right cross made Beltran dip at the knees and another sent him into the ropes. Commey flailed away with punches but with little power or accuracy and Beltran was able to punch his way off the ropes.
Score: 10-8 Commey Commey 49-43
Commey made a strong start to the round forcing Beltran back with stiff jabs. A clash of heads saw Commey step back out of the action but luckily he was not cut. There were some lively exchanges with Commey’s jab again prominent and Beltran scoring with short hooks but Commey did enough with his jab and straight rights to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Commey Commey 59-52
A better round for Beltran. Commey once more stopped using his jab and allowed himself to get dragged into a brawl. Neither fighter did much clean work but Beltran was busier inside.
Score: 10-9 Beltran Commey 68-62
They both came out firing. Commey began to rattle Beltran with head punches and as Beltran took a couple of paces forward Commey met him with a perfect left hook that knocked Beltran over. He made it to his feet but after taking a close look at him the referee waived the fight over.
First defence of the title for the 32-year-old Ghanaian and win No 26 by KO/TKO. Teofimo Lopez was in attendance and that looks to be the next title challenge facing Commey- and a tough one. Former WBO champion Beltran, 38, suffers only his third loss by KO/TKO and his first in almost eleven years. He is tough but at 38 it is questionable how much more he has to give.
Adames vs. Day
Adames continues to edge his way towards a world title fight with a unanimous points victory over Day. Day had better skills and used his superior speed and a busier work rate to flit around the stronger Adames over the first two rounds. Gradually the harder punches and constant pressure from Adames saw him take control with Day fading badly over the middle rounds. Day stuck to his boxing but was being raked by heavy hooks and clubbing shots from Adames in a brutal ninth. Late In the tenth a booming right staggered Day and Adames piled on the punches battering Day around the ring but he left the effort too late allowing Day to survive. The 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic retains the NABF and NABO titles. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for Adames. He is No 4 with the WBA,No 5 with both WBC and WBO and 8(7) with the IBF. If he continues winning then a title shot should came his way in 2020. Former top amateur Day had won his last six fights.
Fa vs. Guinn
Fa recovers from shock knockdown to decision oldie Guinn. Fa was controlling a low key fight with comfort over the first three rounds but was then given a jolting wake-up call in the fourth. A long left from Guinn floored Fe and although he beat the count he was hurt and badly dazed. He survived thanks in part to some holding and in part to some wildness from Guinn as he strived to find one more big punch. Fa made it to the bell and then took no more chances from there. Guinn had put a lot into his desperate effort to land a finisher in the fourth and his already low work rated dropped even further allowing Fa to control the rest of the fight. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Fa. The 29-year-old 6’5” New Zealander is No 7 with the WBO but has yet to meet a “name” opponent. Somewhere down the line a fight with fellow New Zealander Joseph Parker would be a big fight as a win by Fa over Parker at the Oceania Olympic Qualifier cost Parker a place at the 2012 Olympics. Guinn, 44, found the combination of height, weight and age too much to overcome but he keeps his record of never losing by KO/TKO.
Gonzalez vs. Rodriguez
Upset time as Gonzalez hands Rodriguez his first loss. Rodriguez found himself on the floor before the ringing of the bell to start the fight had faded. A left hook from Gonzalez put him there but Rodriguez made it to his feet and although Gonzalez landed some more heavy stuff Rodriguez had steadied himself. Rodriguez worked his way into the fight in the second ramming home a hard right and opening a cut over Gonzalez’s left eye. Rodriguez was looking to build on that in the third and rocked Gonzalez with a right. When he tried to follow in behind that success he was nailed by a left hook that deposited him flat on his back on the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight without a count with Rodriguez needing a couple of minutes to recover. An important win for the 24-year-old from Los Mochis and his 22nd by KO/TKO. He turned pro at 16 and won 16 of his first 17 fights but then suffered losses in fights he needed to win to progress and had slipped back to six round level before this victory. Rodriguez, 26 had scored wins over some good opposition and will rebound from this.
Providence, RI, USA: Middle: Demetrius Andrade (28-0) W PTS 12 Maciej Sulecki (28-2). Super Fly: Khalid Yafai (26-0) W PTS 12 Norbelto Jimenez (29-9-4). Heavy: Joseph Parker (26-2) W TKO 10 Alex Leapai (32-8-4) . Super Welter: Mark DeLuca (24-1) W PTS 10 Brandon Brewer (23-1-1).
Andrade vs. Sulecki
Andrade retains WBO title with wide unanimous decision over Pole Sulecki in a fight that is too one-sided to entertain.
Andrade was off the mark quickly scoring with quick punches from both hands and less than a minute into the fight he floored Sulecki with a left to the head. Sulecki regained his feet quickly and did not look too shaken. Andrade landed some more lefts but Sulecki was able to move and box to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Andrade
Andrade used a quicker jab to take this one. Neither fighter landed much but Andrade’s jab and following lefts gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Andrade 20-17
There was too much probing and feinting and not enough punching. Very little happened until the last thirty seconds when Andrade staged a furious attack and connected with some lefts. Sulecki’s round consisted of some tentative jabs and some rights with which he missed.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 30-26
After a start to the round which saw the fighters trading punches the action cooled again. Sulecki just did not have the hand or foot speed to land anything and Andrade was content to land his jab and occasional straight lefts. Once again Andrade launched a late sortie but he was swinging wide punches with little power.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 40-35
Andrade spent much of this round dancing and clowning instead of fighting. His movement was too much for Sulecki who just could not find the target. Andrade landed a couple of good lefts late but did not even bother with the wild finish he had used in other rounds. Andrade seemed more concerned with demonstrating his skills than using them
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 50-44
Another low activity round. Andrade did what scoring there was with his right jabs and occasional straight left. He showed what he could do with a peach of a right uppercut but did not sustain his attacks. Sulecki was poking out jabs but either falling short or seeing Andrade duck under them.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 60-53
Sulecki took this one. He was livelier and showed more purpose connecting with some jabs and straight rights. Andrade threw very few punches and those he did throw missed the target.
Score: 10-9 Sulecki Andrade 69-63
Andrade spent most of this round showcasing his defensive skills with a frustrated Sulecki jabbing fresh air. Andrade threw very few punches and missed with many of those but he did land an occasional punch which Sulecki was unable to do.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 79-72
This was a closer round. Sulecki had some success early with rights but then the speed and movement of Andrade frustrated any further efforts from the Pole. Andrade scored with occasional jabs and connected with a few straight lefts to take another low tension round.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 89-81
Andrade connected with some hard lefts in the early part of this one. He then went into a crouch with both hands down at about knee level. He was throwing wild lefts from that stance and they were well telegraphed. His early work gave him the round but again the exaggerated crouch and wild swings were more comedy than clout. Sulecki hardly landed a punch.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 99-90
Easy round for Andrade and one in which he threw more punches. He was stabbing jabs through Sulecki’s defence and clipping him with straight lefts. Sulecki just could not land on the elusive champion but there was no sign that Andrade was looking to win inside the distance and he was just fighting in bursts.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 109-99
Andrade chose to pose and clown his way through the last. He restricted himself to the occasional jab and some caveman-style crouching swipes. Sulecki worked throughout thro und and managed to land some jabs and rights and just deserved to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Sulecki Andrade 118-109
Official Scores: 120-107, 120-107 and 120-107 all for Andrade
Perhaps since he was fighting in his home town the audience might have enjoyed this but there was very little to enjoy for non-committed watchers. Andrade never really forced the fight or sustained his attacks so there was absence of any highlights. Andrade was making the second defence of his WBO title but this performance will not have moved him any closer to any really big fights. Sulecki was too predictable and had no idea or plan to deal with the side-on forward leaning stance and speed of Andrade. He has wins over Jack Culcay and Gabriel Rosado and is better than he fought here.
Yafai vs. Jimenez
Yafai retains the WBA title as he scores two knockdowns and gets comfortable win over his mandatory challenger Jimenez
Excellent first round from Yafai. He was much quicker with his jab and was moving inside Jimenez’s jab to land left hooks to the body. He pinned the ever retreating Jimenez to the ropes and landed hooks to the body before stepping back. Jimenez gestured for Yafai to come back and fight and Yafai again landed well to the body.
Score: 10-9 Yafai
Yafai landed a left hook early in the round that staggered Jimenez. The challenger clinched until his head cleared and Yafai was a little wild as he tried to land another big shot. He continued to pursue Jimenez landing sharp rights and also caught Jimenez with a left hook to the head.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 20-18
Yafai continued to dominate the action in the third. He was shadowing Jimenez as the Dominican retreated around the ring and rocked Jimenez with two hooks. Jimenez connected with a couple of jabs and a right counter but he was soon under pressure from hooks and uppercuts and was continually looking to hold.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 30-27
Yafai was chasing Jimenez down but not having much success. Jimenez was jabbing and moving and clinching whenever Yafai came close. After giving Jimenez a number of warnings for holding the referee finally deducted a point from Jimenez but as Jimenez had outscored Yafai in the round I saw it as a 9-9 round with the deduction
Score: 9-9 tied Yafai 39-36
Yafai was hunting hard again in this one. He landed a slightly low punch and as Jimenez looked towards the referee Yafai landed one even lower. The referee paused the action until Jimenez had recovered. Before the stoppage a clash of head opened a cut high on Yafai’s forehead and blood was trickling down his head and then down the left side of nose with some affecting Yafai’s left eye. When the action restarted a fired up Jimenez went after Yafai throwing punches. That did not last long and Yafai was then the one doing the chasing with Jimenez holding again. Yafai was scoring with hooks to the body with Jimenez poking out light jabs. On the bell Yafai landed another low punch and Jimenez went down on one knee. Since the bell had gone the referee just sent them to their corners
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 49-45
All of the pressure came from Yafai in the sixth. He was connecting with left hooks to the body and clipping Jimenez with rights to the head. Jimenez was boxing and countering better than in the early rounds but was still getting away with too much holding.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 59-54
Another round for Yafai. He was chasing down Jimenez and landing left hooks and rights to the head. Jimenez was showing some crafty work and scoring with some sneaky punches but Yafai was landing more and cleaner
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 69-63
Best round so far for Jimenez. He was boxing well on the back foot scoring with jabs and moving laterally and clipping Yafai with punches from both hands. Yafai kept coming forward but Jimenez was ducking inside Yafai’s punches and countering. Yafai landed two hooks, both low, and Jimenez went down but was able to continue after a period to recover.
Score: 10-9 Jimenez Yafai 78-73
Yafai took over again. He was more accurate with his jab and connecting with overhand rights. He rocked Jimenez with a left hook and a tiring Jimenez was looking sloppy with some of his work.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 88-82
Yafai’s round. He outboxed Jimenez slotting home his jab and catching the Dominican with clubbing head punches from both hands. Jimenez was countering but lacked power and Yafai was able to walk past Jimenez’s guard to punch inside.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 98-91
Jimenez put in a big effort at the start of the round coming forward taking the fight to Yafai. He had some success with jabs and uppercuts but Yafai countered well and again landed some heavy shots to the head which shook Jimenez and Yafai ended the round strongly.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Yafai 108-100
Jimenez tried to force the fight in the last. Yafai was content to box and stay out of trouble until he turned Jimenez onto the ropes and landed three hard punches. He was then connecting with lefts and rights and as Jimenez fought back a left to the head put Jimenez down. The punch actually landed with Yafai’s wrist and despite Jimenez looking disgusted when he got up it counted and Yafai danced to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Yafai Yafai 118-108
Official Scores: 117-109, 119-117, and 118-108
The 30-year-old from Birmingham was making the fifth defence of his WBA title. Chances of a unification fight with WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada, IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas or WBO champion Kazuto Ioka look remote but a once talked about fight with Roman Gonzalez would be attractive. Jimenez had turned his carer around in amazing fashion going from 2-8-1 to a 30 bout unbeaten run of 27-0-3.He only showed glimpses of any class here and did not possess the punch to keep Yafai off.
Parker vs. Leapai
Parker batters a very durable but very limited Leapai to defeat in ten rounds. In the opening round Leapai lumbered forward trying to get close and was willing to walk through Parker’s punches to do so. Parker drove Leapai into a corner and belted him with hooks and uppercuts snapping Leapai’s head back and rocking his head from side to side. Leapai survived and that became the pattern for the fight. Leapai was much shorter with a very limited reach so he had no other tactic but walking forward into the storm. Parker knocked Leapai’s mouthguard out in the second and was given a stern warning for a low punch in the third. Leapai was on the floor in the fifth from what looked to be a left hook but it was ruled a slip. For much of the time it was target practice with Leapai actually making Andy Ruiz looked svelte and nifty by comparison. Leapai’s only chance was to keep marching forward throwing sweeping punches and hope to get lucky although he did seem to improve a little as the fight went on. Parker was peppering Leapai with punches but had to stay focused and not wear himself punching Leapai. It really was a case of how much punishment Leapai could take or be allowed to take. Parker crashed a series of rights to Leapai's head in the ninth and he did so again in the tenth before connected with a couple of hooks. Those set Leapai back on his heels and the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight despite Leapai’s protest. This was no real test for Parker and neither was Alex Flores who he knocked out in December. The important thing is that the 27-year-old New Zealander keeps his name in the frame for any title opportunity that comes up. Samoan Leapai is incredibly durable but also very slow and limited. He was stopped in five rounds by Wlad Klitschko for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in 2014 and had done nothing of note since then.
DeLuca vs. Brewer
Southpaw DeLuca gets a good win as he decisions previously unbeaten Brewer. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for DeLuca. The 31-year-old southpaw from Massachusetts had a 21 bout winning streak busted by a split decision defeat against Walter Wright in June last year but he scored a revenge win over Wright in October. Canadian “L-Jack” Brewer, 34, was out of the ring from August 2107 until returning with a win in May this year.
Houston. TX, USA: Middle: Jermall Charlo (29-0) W PTS 12 Brandon Adams (21-3). Super Welter: Erickson Lubin (21-1) W TKO 4 Zakaria Attou (29-7-2). Feather: Claudio Marrero (24-3) W PTS 10 Eduardo Ramirez (22-2-3) W. Super Feather: Miguel Flores (24-2) W TKO 6 Luis May (21-15-1).
Charlo vs. Adams
In a low action opener Charlo managed to connect with some jabs and rights. Charlo was taller with a good advantage in reach and Adams was too often lunging forward and falling short with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Charlo
Charlo was catching Adams with counters as Adams tried to dart inside. Adams was coming in low making it impossible for him to land any punches on the taller man but Charlo was having difficulty connecting when punching down.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 20-18
Charlo was again countering the rushing Adams and connecting but not often. Instead of using his reach to attacking he was countering. Adams was still lunging in and coming up short. He pinned Charlo to the ropes late in the round but Charlo outlanded him
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 30-27
Charlo connected with a couple of left hooks and clubbing rights but both fighters were tending to throw one punch at a time. Adams was much more aggressive but no more effective. He was coming in behind a jab that fell short and then holding inside. Charlo was the one doing what scoring there was but after four rounds there was no sign of a fight breaking out.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 40-36
In this one Charlo finally began to land some stiff punches. He was following his jab with right crosses and landing left hooks inside. Adams was still trying to dive inside but was not working when he got there and Charlo was finding the target with left hooks and had Adams on the ropes for a while unloading lefts and rights until Adams dived forward to get off the ropes. Adams showed some good defensive moves but very little offensively.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 50-45
The opening action saw Charlo landing some clubbing head punches and a sharp right uppercut. At this stage Adams was more interested in not getting hit. However Adams came on strongly at the end of the round scoring with a good left cross and hooks inside and hustling Charlo out of his stride. It was a close round but Adams just did enough to pinch it.
Score: 10-9 Adams Charlo 59-55
Charlo let his punches flow in the seventh. He was letting Adams get close and then landing hooks and uppercuts and when he went forward was connecting with jabs and chopping rights. Adams was trying to drive in low but missing with his punches and having to take counters from Charlo.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 69-64
Adams just could not get past Charlo’s jab and Charlo was following the jab with straight rights. He was anticipating Adams’ rushes and countering him with left hooks and uppercuts on the way in. Adams drove forward at the end of the round and connected with an overhand right but Charlo slipped his other punches and countered with a right and a left.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 79-73
Charlo used his jab to keep Adams from driving forward or stepping back and countering the advancing Adams with uppercuts. He trapped Adams in a corner and for a change sustained his attack unloading with both hands until Adams escaped from the trap. Charlo was then happy go onto the back foot and spear Adams with jabs.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 89-82
For most of the round Charlo was content to let Adams come forward and stab home jabs. When Charlo did wake up he had Adams retreating under a barrage of lefts and rights. It was then back to jab and move for Charlo before he again landed a burst of punches late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 99-91
Charlo dominated the early part of the round with his jab. When Adams did try to get past the jab Charlo was taking a step back and landing a hook or an uppercut. Adams forced Charlo to the ropes near the bell and landed a couple of good hooks but Charlo was landing more and heavier punches until Adams backed off.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 109-100
No fireworks in the last from Adams. He tried a couple of rushes but it was Charlo who opened up on Adams when he had him in a corner and landed a series of shots. After the round trickled to a predictable end.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 119-109
Official Scores: 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109 all for Charlo
Charlo had been upgraded before the fight from interim to full WBC champion so this was his first title defence and he will rarely have an easier one. His No 1 ranked challenger is Gennady Golovkin and No 2 is Daniel Jacobs but it remains to be seen whether either of these fights can be made. Adams had scored reasonable level wins over Ievgen Khytrov and Eric Walker but need a help from the WBC ratings elevator to get him from No 23 to No 12 so that this fight could take place and he really did not pose a serious challenge to Charlo.
Lubin vs. Attou
Lubin wins IBF title eliminator with stoppage of Attou when the Frenchman’s corner throw in the towel due to an injury to Attou’s right bicep. Both fighters were tentative at the start. Lubin was shadowing the French fighter and managed to score with a couple of punches as Attou slid along the ropes Attou tried some rights late in the rounds but did not connect. In the second Lubin cornered Attou and banged home a couple of southpaw lefts. Attou was showing nothing and Lubin continued to hunt him along the ropes and scored with long lefts to the body. Attou managed to stay off the ropes for much of the third and tried a few attacks but the action was scrappy. Attou seemed to indicate he had injured his right bicep and his corner applied some ice to the arm in the interval. In the fourth Attou tried to punch with Lubin but was driven to a corner and Lubin unleashed a rain of punches until Attou dropped to the canvas. He was up at four and looked able to continue but his corner threw in the towel as it was pointless him trying to tackle Lubin with only one arm. Lubin was heading for a stoppage before Attou suffered the injury. He gets his third win since a humiliating first round kayo loss to
Jermell Charlo for the WBC title in October 2017. He should now get a shot at the IBF title and he will have a good chance of winning the title against Julian Williams. Former undefeated European champion Attou had been in good form being 10-0-1 in his last 11 fights but he was in over his head against a focused Lubin.
Ramirez vs. Marrero
Marrero gets a needed win as he outpoints Ramirez. Both southpaws were cagey at the start with both feeling their way with jabs but not looking to commit themselves .Marrero just had a slight edge in the action. Marrero was also sharper in the second coming in behind his jab and landing hooks. Marrero stepped up the pace in the third attacking strongly but Ramirez was boxing well and countering and just did enough to take the round. Marrero kept the pressure on Ramirez in the fourth and he was hunting Ramirez down in the fifth. They both landed heavily as they traded with Marrero getting the better of the exchanges. Ramirez outworked Marrero in the sixth but at the half way mark Marrero had built a lead. Ramirez fought back strong outworking Marrero in the seventh and was the aggressor as they fought inside in the eighth. The ninth was wild as they were both throwing lots of punches. Marrero was fighting in bursts firing hooks from both hands. Ramirez was throwing punches constantly and the volume of punches from the Mexican was enough to give him the points and make the fight very close. Ramirez looked to be tiring in the tenth and Marrero continued to connect with body punches inside. A couple of low punches saw Marrero get a warning and although Ramirez staged a fiery finish it was Marrero’s round. Ramirez came roaring out for the eleventh but Marrero withstood the pressure and began again to dig with hooks to the body. Marrero was landing the better punches and Ramirez was visibly wilting. Marrero had more left in the last and whereas Ramirez was just pumping his arms Marrero was on target with hooks and uppercuts and was a clear winner. Scores 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 for Marrero with the middle score looking about right. The 30-year-old Marrero, a former interim WBA champion needed to win this one. He had dropped his interim title on a seventh round kayo against Jesus Lopez in 2017and then lost on points against Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar for the IBO title in January this year. This win puts him in line for a shot at either WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz or secondary title holder Can Xu. Ramirez, 25, had given a good account of himself in losing on points to Lee Selby for the IBF title in 2017 and had scored an important win over Bryan Gracia in March this year.
Flores vs. May
Flores keeps his hopes of a title shot very much alive with stoppage of May. Flores hammered the fight out of May by pounding away at May’s body for five rounds. By the sixth May had nothing left and was taking punishment when the referee stepped in to save him. When the Houston-based Mexican had a 22 bout winning streak snapped in losses to Dat Nguyen and Chris Avalos he looked to have a long rebuilding programme ahead. However he was hastily slipped into the WBA ratings for a title shot against Leo Santa Cruz in February but an ankle injury forced him to pull out and he may have to wait a long time for the chance to come again. Sixth loss in a row for May.
Milan, Italy: Light: Francesco Patera (22-3) W KO 6 Paul Hyland Jr (20-2). Super Middle: Daniele Scardina (17-0) W PTS 10 Alessandro Goddi (35-5-1). Welter: Dario Morello (15-0) W PTS 10 Ahmed El Hamwi (19-9-2). Feather: Jamie McDonnell (30-3-1) W PTS 6 Cristian Narvaez (15-16-4). Super Middle: Ivan Zucco (8-0) W TKO 3 Borislav Zankov (10-26-1).
Patera vs. Hyland
Patera retains the European title as he floors Hyland twice with body punches in the sixth to end the fight. The pace on this one was hot from the start. In the first both were jabbing with intent and firing hooks and uppercuts. Patera hardly wasted a punch. He was getting past Hyland’s guard with hooks and uppercuts and sneaky overhand rights. Hyland was setting a high work rate but many of his punches were being blocked by Patera. A clash of heads saw Patera suffer a cut over his right eye and Hyland on the right side of his head. Hyland made a strong start in the second coming forward throwing long punches. He had Patera on the back foot and was connecting with some sharp hooks. He looked to be on the way to winning the round until Patera connected with a sharp right hook to the head. That stopped Hyland in his tracks and stunned him and he went over with his gloves touching the canvas to stay upright. He was given a count and the bell rang when the count finished. Hyland attack again at the start of the third but Patera was scoring with jabs and getting through to the body with hooks from both hands. A punch from Patera went low and the challenger was given some recovery time. Hyland again marched forward but Patera was making him pay with hooks inside from both hands and really putting together some classy combinations. Another low punch hurt Hyland at the bell. Hyland stormed forward in the fourth but Patera was countering with unerring accuracy switching to head and body. An incident filled fifth saw both standing and trading punches. Hyland then slipped badly on water in the canvas in his corner. There then ensued a couple of minutes of chaos whilst a cloth was found to dry the water with referee finally doing the job himself. When action resumed Hyland was hurt by another low punch leading to a break in the action. Hyland attacked fiercely but just before the bell a left to the body dropped Hyland to his knees and he just beat the count with the bell to end the round coming before Patera could follow up. A left to the body put Hyland down at the start of the sixth. He beat the count but yet another left to the body dropped him and he was counted out. Once again Patera shows he has style and power. The 26-year-old Belgian of Italian antecedents has beaten 17-0 Lewis Ritson and 24-1-1 Melvin Petit. He is deceptive as he does not look strong or a power puncher but he hits with speed and accuracy and has a good chin. Hyland’s only other loss was when then unbeaten Lewis Ritson blitzed him inside a round for the British title in June last year.
Scardina vs. Goddi
In a fast, open bout. Scardina made good use of his longer reach to score with jabs and Goddi was quickly getting past the jab and firing hooks inside. Scardina looked stronger and had both his jab and his uppercut working well. Goddi was busy, busy changing angles and rattling Scardina with short punches. Goddi was coming forward the whole time and looked to have built a lead. Scardina had been doing some useful work to the body of the elder man and eventually that told with Goddi slowing over the late rounds. Scardina was making good use of his jab and landing straight rights over the eighth and ninth. Goddi marched forward for the whole three minutes of the last round firing punches. Scardina kept his jab in Goddi’s face but took no chances feeling he had the fight won. Scores 96-94 twice and (a cruel to Goddi) 98-92 all for Scardina who holds on the IBF International belt. Miami-based Italian Scardina, 27, turned pro in the Dominican Republic and has also fought in the USA, and Haiti as well as his home country. He is still a work in progress but shows promise. Goddi, 31, provided an excellent test for Scardina. A former Italian middleweight champion he has lost in two shots at the European middleweight title and although competitive here is past his peak.
Morello vs. El Hamwi
“Spartan” Morello adds another win but will have been glad to get this fight over. French-based Belgian El Hamwi did everything except fight. Morello was by far the better boxer with El Hamwi preferring clinching and wrestling. The tall Italian is one of those fighters who slide easily from southpaw to orthodox and that had El Hamwi confused. Additionally Morello is quick with nifty footwork and El Hamwi struggled to get in the fight . He violently wrestled Morello to the floor in the third and landed a number of punches to the back of the head. Unfortunately Morello is not a puncher-only two wins by KO/TKO-so despite his superiority he could not get El Hamwi out early and had to go ten frustrating rounds,. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 all for Morello. The 25-year-old “Spartan” from Bergamo was Italian champion at Junior, Youth and Elite level and boxed for Milano Thunder in the WSB. He is a former undefeated Italian pro champion. Former undefeated Belgian champion El Hamwi had won his last 7 fights.
McDonnell vs. Narvaez
In his first fight at featherweight McDonnell eases his way back with some paid sparring against Nicaraguan Narvaez. McDonnell hardly got out of first gear as he used Narvaez for target practice. After a couple of low activity rounds McDonnell picked up the pace from the third but was looking for ring time and was content to coast to victory over the game but limited Narvaez. McDonnell, a former holder of the IBF and secondary WBA titles was having his first outing since a crushing one round loss to Naoya Inoue in May last year. Tenth loss on the trot for Narvaez with nine of those on points.
Zucco vs. Zankov
Heavy-handed prospect Zucco gets another inside the distance victory with stoppage of Bulgarian Zankov. The Bulgarian was courageous enough to try to take the fight to Zucco but never quite worked how to deal with Zucco’s right jab. The Bulgarian kept swinging but a left uppercut floored him heavily in the third. He beat the count but took another pounding and the referee stepped in and gave him a standing count before waiving the fight off. Seventh win by KO/TKO for 23-yeaer-old southpaw Zucco who sharpened his skills with some sparring in London last month. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for Zankov.
London, England: Feather: Ryan Walsh (24-2-2) W PTS 12 Lewis Paulin (12-1). Super Light: Ohara Davies (19-2) W PTS 10 Miguel Vasquez (41-7). Super Light: Daniel Egbunike (5-0) W PTS 10 Martin McDonagh (5-1). Super Light: Anthony Yigit (24-1-1) W WPTS 8 Siar Ozgul (15-3).
Walsh vs. Paulin
Walsh make a successful sixth defence of his British title but only just as he edges out Paulin on a split decision. Walsh outboxed his Scottish challenger early with good movement and precise punching. He had Paulin hurt in the third with uppercuts and moved in front. Southpaw Paulin upped his pace over the middle rounds and was beating Walsh to the punch and eating into the champion’s lead. Walsh continued to score with eye-catching uppercuts but the rounds were close. Walsh looked to have Paulin in trouble with more uppercuts in the ninth but Paulin battled back in the tenth to stay in contention. Walsh looked to have taken the eleventh but he suffered a bad cut over his right eye in the last and that spurred Paulin to stage a strong finish to make it close. Scores 117-111 and 115-114 for Walsh and 115-113 for Paulin. Walsh has made a habit of close verdicts as his last three fights have seen him get a split draw against unbeaten Isaac Lowe, a split decision victory over Reece Bellotti and now this split decision. His two losses have been crucial as he dropped a unanimous decision to Lee Selby and a split verdict to Dennis Ceylan. Wins in either of those fights could have led to a world title shot. He is No 7 with the WBO but at 33 his chance may have gone. Very encouraging display by 28-year-old Paulin. He had only once been in a fight scheduled for more than six rounds and this was his first fight for 13 months. Hopefully he will get another title shot.
Davies vs. Vazquez
Davies gets a win but has a bad night and it seems as though even he did not think he had done enough to take the decision. Whilst former IBF lightweight champion Vazquez might be a spent force he still has the guile and style to give an opponent problems. Davies made a good enough start but then the fight slowed and Davies looked flat. Under those circumstances Vazquez found the space to work and a pace that suited him. Whilst Davies had built a small lead from the midway point he was having more trouble holding off a surging Vazquez and it appeared that he had suffered a rib injury that hampered him in his work. It looked as though Vazquez had clawed back Davies’ early lead and built a winning one of his own but the referee disagreed. Referee’s score 97-94 for Davies. When the result was being announced Davies refused to have his arm raised and went over and raised Vazquez’s arm but it is the referee’s score that counts so Davies gets the win. Davies is a talented fighter but losses to Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall have been huge setbacks and he needed to be impressive here. Vazquez, 32, had lost inside the distance to Josh Taylor in 2017 and to Thulani Mbenge for the IBO welter title last December but had given an indication that he was still capable of good performance with a win over Ghislain Maduma in Canada in March.
Egbunike vs. McDonagh
In a fast-paced entertaining clash of unbeaten newcomers Egbunike comes out on top taking the decision. He pressed the fight in every round with the taller McDonagh boxing cleverly on the back foot and landing some useful counters but with Egbunike connecting with hard rights to do enough to deserve the decision. The referee scored it 97-93. Now 29, after a couple of short-ish prison sentences on drugs charges, Egbunike found his salvation in a local gym and is now making up for lost time. He did not turn pro until he was 27 and has moved up to ten round level very quickly. Southpaw McDonagh , 24 was also going ten for the first time.
Yigit vs. Ozgul
Former undefeated European champion Yigit continues his busy schedule with a points win over English-based Turk Ozgul. Yigit had the edges where it mattered and his aggression and high work rate were the difference although the taller Ozgul made the talented Swede work hard for victory. Referee’s score 78-75 for Yigit. Third fight in the last four months for Yigit. In October against Ivan Baranchyk he lost on a seventh round retirement due to an eye that was totally closed. The fight was for the vacant IBF title and was a WBSS Tournament quarter-final. He has a way to go to get back to that level but has the talent to make it. Now 4 losses in his last 5 fights for Ozgul.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Bantam: Angelo Leo (18-0) W PTS 10 Mark John Yap (30-14). Super Light: Keith Hunter (11-0) W PTS 10 Cameron Krael (16-14-3).
Leo vs. Yap
Leo continues to make progress with points victory over seasoned pro Yap. Leo showed an impressive jab and some excellent footwork. He was much quicker and hurt Yap with a right to the head in the first. The accuracy of his jab made it difficult for Yap to get on the front foot. Yap had some success with his own jab and also when he could close the distance but Leon was outboxing him and scoring well inside. Yap had a good fourth as he managed to get his jab working and Leo was less accurate but Leo took charge again in the fifth and sixth hunting down the retreating Yap and scoring well to the body. Yap landed a good counter right in the seventh but Leo closed the round rocking Yap with rights. The pace dropped in the eighth which was a close round and Yap boxed cleverly to edge the ninth before fierce attacks gave Leo the tenth. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Leo, The 25-year-old from Albuquerque is making a habit of beating Filipinos already having scored wins over Glenn Porras and Neil John Tabanao and he looks a good prospect. Japan-based Yap had been in good form winning 11 of his last 12 fights with the loss being to unbeaten Takuma Inoue.
Hunter vs. Krael
In his first sortie into ten round ranks Hunter outscores useful Krael. Hunter had an edge in reach and made use of his jab to keep the ever advancing Krael out. Hunter has a very loose-limbed style and he kept his jab working well throughout the fight also countering Kreal with hooks. Krael had success when he could get Hunter against the ropes and dig to the body. Despite having scored seven wins by KO/TKO Hunter had difficulty keeping Krael out but was throwing more and landing more. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Hunter. He tired at the end but with more experience will get better at pacing a fight. His loose style may find him out against better opposition. Hawaiian Krael was 8-1-1 in his last 10 fights.
Montreal, Canada: Welter: Mike Zewski (33-1) W PTS 10 Abner Lopez (27-10-1). Middle: Francis Lafreniere (19-7-2) W PTS 8 Jose Luis Zuniga (16-5-1).
Zewski vs. Lopez
Zewski comes away with a unanimous verdict over Lopez after being on the floor in the sixth round. As expected Lopez came to fight and Zewski was happy to oblige him in a real war. From the opening round Lopez was marching forward throwing punches with Zewski more that matching him. Zewski’s work was just that bit more accurate and his defence a bit sounder. He caught the oncoming Mexican with hooks and uppercuts but Lopez walked through them to score inside. Zewski had Lopez against the ropes and rocking in the fourth but Lopez had a big sixth. He drove Zewski across the ring to a corner and bombarded him with head punches that forced Zewski to go down on one knee to survive the storm. Zewski came back strongly in the seventh and they traded punches over the closing rounds of an exciting battle. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 all for Zewski who wins the vacant IBF North American and WBO NABO titles. His only loss was a points defeat against Konstantin Ponomarev in 2015 and he has worked his way back with seven wins. As WBC International champion Zewski was No 15 with the WBC but he has relinquished that title to seek ratings by the IBF and WBO. Lopez had a rocky period going 2-5 in a run of seven fights but the losses were to fierce opposition and he was coming off a split draw with 30-1 Pedro Campa in Campa’s home town.
Lafreniere vs. Zuniga
Good win for Lafreniere against very useful opponent in Mexican Zuniga. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73. Majority decision losses in 2018 to Albert Onolunose and experienced Mexican Jose De Jesus Macias have left Lafreniere with a recovery job and this is his second victory this year. Second loss in a row in fights in Canada for Zuniga.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (9-1-1) W PTS 10 Miguel Antin (18-3). Daneff gets surprise win over Argentinian No 3 Antin. In a confident and dominating performance he took a wide unanimous decision. Daneff’s height and reach gave him the edge at distance and he used stinging uppercuts to boss the inside work as well. Southpaw Daneff achieved this despite injuring his right hand in the third round. He had Antin rocking in the fifth and sixth and held off a strong finish from Antin to emerge a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for 23-year-old Daneff. He wins the vacant WBC Latino belt, his first title as a pro. Antin, who sparred with former world champion Omar Narvaez in preparation for this fight, went 17-0 before losing in tough domestic contests against Matias Rueda and Jeremias Ponce last year. He had won the vacant WBC Latino super featherweight title in May.
Puiseux-Pontoise, France: Light Heavy: Kevin Buval (10-12-1) W PTS 10 Eddy Lacrosse (11-6-2). Minor upset as Buval decisions Lacrosse to lift the French title. Neither of these fighters are going to get beyond domestic level but it was a hard-fought contest. Defending champion Lacrosse made a strong start but after a couple of rounds the better skills of Buval put him in the driving seat. Lacrosse kept rolling forward but Buval was more mobile and countered well. Eventually Lacrosse tired and Buval was the one on the front foot and he boxed his way to victory. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Buval who was 2-6 in his last 8 fights before this victory. Lacrosse, who was making the first defence of the French title, had won 6 of his last 7.
Terme, Italy: Super Feather: Giuseppe Carafa (11-3-2) DREW 10 Nicola Henchiri (8-3-2). Carafa retains the Italian title with draw against local favourite Henchiri. Carafa made a strong start forcing the pace over the first two rounds. Henchiri had a better third and they both had moments in a fierce fourth with Carafa pinning Henchiri on the ropes only for Henchiri to fight his way off with left hooks. A clash of head saw Henchiri cut on his right eyebrow in the sixth and that inspired Carafa to take the seventh. The pace dropped in the eighth and Carafa did enough to edge the ninth but a bloody Henchiri ended the fight strongly taking the last. Scores 96-94 Carafa, 97-96 Henchiri and 95-95. First defence for Carafa. Henchiri had won his last six fights.
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico: Super Light: Jean Carlos Torres (15-0) W Julio Laguna (15-1-0). Southpaw Laguna had slight advantages in height and reach and in the opening round was holding centre ring and using his right jab to keep Torres out. Torres scored with a couple of left hooks to the body late in the round but had made a slow start. In the second Laguna was again quicker stabbing home jabs and stepping back out of range . Torres was not pressing hard until the last thirty seconds when he worked inside with hooks. A left uppercut from Laguna was the best punch of the round but if there was a down side to Laguna it was an apparent lack of power. The Nicaraguan looked to have won the first two rounds and he attacked hard in the third getting in close and connecting with hooks and uppercuts. That success was the undoing of him as he now felt confident enough to stand and trade with the local fighter. Torres began to find the target with clubbing punches to the head. He drove Laguna into a corner and unloaded with both hands. The referee was ready to step in but Laguna fought his way out of the corner. Not for long as Torres drove him back in again and was landing with heavy punches and this time the referee stopped the fight. Home town fighter Torres makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO, including 7 in his last 8 fights and retains the interim WBO Latino title for the second time. He is No 6 with the WBO-being Puerto Rican helps. Second inside the distance loss for Laguna having been halted in four rounds by Uzbek Shakhram Giyasov in London in September.
Timisoara, Romania: Super Welter: Flavius Biea (17-1) W PTS 10 Jesus Gurrola (27-14-3). Middle: Catalin Paraschiveanu (18-1) W KO 2 Ionut Trandafir Ilie (17-33-3). Super Welter: Ashley Theophane (47-8-1,1ND) W TKO 4 Ferenc Hafner (26-17)
Biea vs. Gurrola
Biea boxes his way to victory over seasoned Mexican Gurrola. Biea better skills put him in charge early but once Gurrola got into his stride he kept the pressure on the local fighter. Biea, who trained in England for this fight, had bad patches in the fourth and eighth and many rounds were close but the Romanian deserved the decision. He forced the fight for much of the time and worked continuously with Gurrola mostly on the back foot and fighting in spurts. Scores 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94 for the IBA Inter-Continental champion who retains his title. His only loss was a twelfth round stoppage by Valentyn Golovko in 2017 but he won his four fights last year. He won gold medals at Cadet and Junior level in the World and European championships but is yet to make an impact as a pro. Former IBO title challenger Gurrola is at the stage where he is matched to lose.
Paraschiveanu vs. Ilie
Italian-based Romanian Paraschiveanu stops French-based Romanian Ilie in two rounds for his fifth win by KO/TKO. An easy night for Paraschiveanu as he pinned Ilie to the ropes in the second round hurt him with two right hooks to the body and pounded him with punches from both hands until Ilie went down and took the count resting on one knee. This is Paraschiveanu’s first fight for 13 months. Now 16 losses by KO/TKO for Ilie.
Theophane vs. Hafner
Theophane continues his world tour with stoppage of ancient Hungarian Hafner. Theophane was streets ahead of the limited Hafner in technique and won every minute of every round. He finished the fight in the fourth connecting with two rights to the head that saw Hafner drop to one knee and stay there. The 38-year-old former British champion and secondary WBA title challenger is 7-0-1ND in his last eight fights. They have taken place in Germany, USA, Hungary, Ghana, Poland, Mexico, Dubai and now Romania. Hafner 43 has lost his last eight fights.
Geneva, Switzerland: Super Feather: Patrick Kinigamazi (30-2) W Martin Parlagi (25-3-1). Rwandan-born Kinigamazi extends his winning run to 13 fights with unanimous verdict over Slovakian Parlagi. Kinigamazi put the tough Parlagi down in the ninth but could not find the punch to end the fight so had to settle for a comfortable unanimous decision. Scores 98-91 twice and 96-93 for the 36-year-old Kinigamazi. On the day after this fight he celebrated thirteen years as a pro. He has had at least one fight in every one of those years and is WBF Federation champion but doesn’t seem to have the ambition or opportunity to go further. Czech-based Parlagi suffered his only inside the distance loss when he was stopped in eight rounds by Alex Dilmaghani in Manchester on 25 May. He was one of Slovakia’s best ever amateurs beating fighters such as Andrew Selby and John Joe Nevin.
Ngam Wong Wan, Thailand: Fly: Petchmanee (28-1) W TKO 9 Robert Onggocan (12-6). Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) keeps his OPBF Silver title with stoppage of Filipino southpaw Onggocan in the ninth round. Petchmanee was ahead by five points on the judges’ cards. The stoppage was due to a cut over the Filipino’s left eye caused by a punch. Petchmanee has won ten in a row since a loss in China in 2017. First inside the distance loss for Onggocan
Niagara Falls, Canada: Welter: Custio Clayton (16-0) W PTS 10 Johan Perez (24-6-2,1ND). Welter: Samuel Vargas (31-5-2) W PTS 8 Silverio Ortiz (37-26).
Clayton vs. Perez
Clayton much too strong and punches much too hard for former champion Perez. Clayton set the scene in the first round as he rocked Perez with two rights. Perez showed a good chin throughout the fight but did not have the punch to deter the aggressive Clayton. Perez was credited with a knockdown in the third but to most observers it look like Clayton slipped on the canvas. Clayton continued to find a home for powerful rights and had Perez in trouble in the sixth and the ninth but the Venezuelan is a tough character and did not crumble. Clayton forced the fight the whole way. Perez tended to fight in bursts throwing fast but light punches which did not unduly deter Clayton who emerged a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-91 and 97-93 all for Clayton. The Canadian Olympian collects the NABO and WBO International titles. The 31-year-old from Nova Scotia is rated IBF 6(5)/WBO11 and since Perez was No 15 with the WBA Clayton’s rating should get a boost. Perez is his first “name” victim but there will be more. Perez, 36, a former interim WBA champion, suffered set-backs in the shape of consecutive losses in 2017 against Sadam Ali and Fabian Maidana but had dropped back down a few levels to record two wins last year.
Vargas vs. Ortiz
Vargas take close unanimous decision over Ortiz. Let’s be polite and say the fight was full of incidents and by that I mean plenty of illegal work by both fighters. Vargas pressed hard early being quicker to the punch and built a good lead but Ortiz kept him honest with some hard counters Ortiz was on the floor twice but was given some recovery time as both knockdowns were caused by low punches. Ortiz did his share of illegal work but the fight was an exciting clash of styles. The fight swung one way in the fifth with Vargas scoring heavily with left hooks and the other way in the sixth when a clash of heads saw Vargas cut over his right eye. That cut was enough to give Ortiz some new energy and he began to eat into Vargas’ lead but it was too little too late. Scores 77-75 for Vargas on all three cards. Toronto-based Colombian Vargas was 1-2 going into this one having floored but lost to Amir Khan in September and dropped a split verdict to Luis Collazo in March and those performances could yet lead to some more big fights. Even at 36 and after 63 fights Ortiz can still give anyone a hard fight on his night but time is catching up with him as he is now 1-7 in his last 8 fights
Cancun, Mexico: Super Welter: Omar Chavez (38-5-1) W Oziel Santoyo (10-1-1). Bantam: Eric Gamboa (18-1) W PTS 8 Salvador Juarez (12-7-2). Super Light: Marcelino Lopez (35-2-1) W TKO 2 Jose Garcia (9-7-1).
Santoyo vs. Chavez
This was not supposed to happen. The less experienced and smaller man Santoyo was chosen as just another fighter to be beaten in the process of rehabilitating of “Businessman” Chavez but Santoyo didn’t get the message. Both fighters scored with some heavy shots over the early rounds with Chavez’s better accuracy helping to edge ahead by the half-way stage. Santoyo was finding the target with rights in the second half of the fight. He was constantly changing guards and scoring with rights to the head. Even having dad Julio Cesar leaving his ringside seat to offer advice and encouragement were not enough as Chavez tired late and Santoyo looked a clear winner. Scores 96-95 for Santoyo from all three judges. For the 24-year-old from Monterrey this was a huge step up from the quality of opposition he had been facing with his 13 opponents only having only 27 wins between them. Consecutive losses to Roberto Garcia and Jose Carlos Paz had put question marks over the future of Chavez and although he had won his last two fights this was a big blow.
Gamboa vs. Juarez
Local southpaw Gamboa gets close verdict over Mexico City’s Juarez. It was all offence and no defence as these two battled away. Gamboa was just that bit busier and more accurate and took the unanimous decision. The 24-year-old “Pitbull” has now won eleven on the bounce but against very modest opposition. In two of his last three fights Juarez had lost a split decision to former IBF super fly champion Rodrigo Guerrero and 22-0 Aaron Alameda so the biggest test so far for Gamboa.
Lopez vs. Garcia
Experienced Argentinian Lopez starts his Mexican campaign with second round stoppage of Garcia. The 33-year-old former Argentinian light and South American super light champion had scored knockouts over Pablo Cesar Cano and Breidis Prescott but this was his first fight since his win over Prescott in January 2018. Third loss by KO/TKO for over-matched Garcia.
Mashantucket, CT, USA: Super Bantam: Tramaine Williams (18-0) W PTS 10 Neil John Tabanao (17-6). Light Heavy: Chad Dawson (35-5) W PTS 8 Quinton Rankin (15-6-2).
Williams vs. Tabanao
Tramaine “The Mighty Midget” Williams gets points win over John “The Beast” Tabanao. The 5’4” local southpaw was too quick and too clever for Tabanao. The Filipino found the smaller southpaw a very difficult target . Williams is one of those fighters who holds his lead hand at thigh level and uses head movement to avoid punches whilst leaving him free to throw punches with both hands. Williams was getting home with his right jab and straight lefts before leaving Tabanao swishing air. Williams took the decision on scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92. He has yet to face a main line opponent but is being built sensibly again good level, experienced opponents. The path has not been smooth for former National Golden Gloves champion Williams, 26, who lost almost two year out of his career after being jailed for possession of a concealed weapon and drugs. Second points loss in a row for Tabanao who was beaten by Angelo Leo in April
Dawson vs. Rankin
In an all-southpaw affair Dawson was looking to ease himself back into action but had to climb off the floor to get the win. Southpaw Dawson was far superior to Rankin in skills but the eccentric style of Rankin caused Dawson some problems. Dawson was boxing his way confidently until a cracking left uppercut from southpaw Rankin had Dawson almost dropping to the floor. Dawson put both gloves on the canvas trying to stay upright and Rankin landed an illegal left which thankfully did not fully connect. Rankin was given a warning which gave Dawson time to recover. Rankin then lost a point for holding and hitting and another for use of the elbow. He did land a right in the seventh which caused Dawson’s left eye to close but he was a well beaten fighter. Scores 78-72 twice and 80-68. This is the first fight for former WBC and IBF light heavy champion Dawson since his tenth round stoppage loss against Andrzej Fonfara in March 2017. He did not show enough here to make you think he is going to be a force again. Rankin loses every time he makes even the slightest attempt to move up.
Aulnay-sous-Bois, France: Super Welter: Bilel Jkitou (12-0) W PTS 12 Pavel Semjonov (24-12-2). Frenchman Jkitou wins the vacant WBC Francophone title with a comfortably wide unanimous verdict over Estonian Semjonov. Scores 119-109 twice and 118-110. Jkitou has previously won both the ABU and WBC Mediterranean titles. Durable Semjonov had won his last two fights
Accra, Ghana: Super bantam: Wasiru Mohammed (11-0) W TKO 11 Loren Japhet (9-3-2). Mohammed wins the new WBO Global title with late stoppage of Tanzanian Japhet. The little Tanzanian was competitive early and seemed to have Mohammed hurt in the fifth From the six Mohammed gradually took control and wore Japhet down. In the eleventh Mohammed drove Japhet into the ropes and down with a series of rights. Japhet made it to his feet but was shaky. Mohammed had trouble nailing Japhet again and it looked as though he might survive. Mohammed crushed those hopes as he again took Japhet to the ropes and sent him down with a right to the head. Japhet was up at five but the referee rightly stopped the fight. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Muhammed who also holds the WBO African title. There was talk of a world title fight for Muhammed but with BoxRec having Japhet at No 965 in their world ratings that seems a stretch. Japhet was just too small and lacked the power to win here.
Fight of the week (Significance): The wins for both Andrade and Charlo could lead to unification or other big fights for either man.
Fight of the week (Entertainment). Claudio Marrero vs. Eduardo Ramirez provided plenty of action with honourable mentions to Mike Zewski vs. Abner Lopez and Francesco Patera vs. Paul Hyland Jr
Fighter of the week: Richard Commey for his crushing victory over Ray Beltran
Punch of the week: The left hook from Miguel Angel Gonzalez that laid out Saul Rodriguez was special with honorary mention of the left hook from Richard Commey that finished Ray Beltran and the uppercut from Quinton Rankin that had Chad Dawson touching the floor .
Upset of the week: Miguel Angel Gonzalez’s win over 23-0-1 Saul Rodriguez takes the honours with Oziel Santoyo’s victory over Omar Chavez also a big upset.
Prospect watch: Super Bantam Angelo Leo 18-0 is progressing well
By Eric Armit
-Mairis Breidis gets controversial stoppage victory over Krzys Glowacki to win the vacant WBO cruiser title and advances to the finals of the WBSS
-Yuniel Dorticos knocks out Andrew Tabiti in ten round for the vacant IBF cruiser title and will meet Breidis in the WBSS final
-Josh Warrington takes split decision over Kid Galahad in IBF feather title defence
-Tyson Fury halts Tom Schwarz in two rounds
-Artem Dalakian retains the WBA flyweight title with stoppage of Thai Sarawut
-Jesses Hart moves up to light heavyweight and outpoints Sullivan Barrera
-Ilunga Makabu stops Dmitry Kudryashov in clash of big punchers
-Tyrone Zeuge, Jack Culcay and Juergen Brahmer win in Schwerin
-The Moloney twins Andrew and Jason get quick wins
-McWilliams Arroyo overcomes two knockdowns to decision Carlos Buitrago in a clash of top class flyweights
-In a collision between Canadian heavyweights Simon Kean stops Dillon Carman in a revenge win
WORLD TITLE SHOWS/ MAJOR SHOWS
Riga, Latvia: Cruiser: Mairis Breidis (26-1) W TKO 3 Krzys Glowacki (31-2). Cruiser: Yuniel Dorticos (24-1) W KO 10 Andrew Tabiti (17-0).Cruiser: Noel Gevor (23-2) W Iossa Mondo (7-19).
Breidis vs. Glowacki
Breidis wins the WBO and title and moves to the final of the WBSS Tournament with very controversial stoppage of WBO champion Glowacki.
Glowacki was coming forward probing with his right jab and trying some long lefts. Breidis was on the back foot just staying out of range. Glowacki continued to try to land his left but Breidis was quicker and although neither fighter landed anything of consequence Breidis just did enough to take the round
Score: 10-9 Breidis
Glowacki continued to advance behind his jab throwing long lefts but was coming up short. Breidis was quicker and more accurate with a couple of counters. As they tangled late in the round Glowacki landed a punch to the back of Breidis’s head and Breidis responded by banging Glowacki on the side of his jaw with an elbow. Glowacki went face down on the canvas rubbing at his left eye. Glowacki got up and the referee deducted a point from Breidis for the elbow infringement. There were only 35 seconds left when the action resumed and Breidis landed two rights to the head that sent Glowacki down on his hands and knees. Glowacki made it to his feet but was unsteady and backed to a corner. The referee gave Glowacki an eight count and when he signalled for them to box on there were just five seconds remaining in the round. The bell went with the referee starting to move forward to split them as Briedis landed a right uppercut and a left to the head that sent Glowacki down heavily at what was effectively five seconds over the tree minutes. Glowacki climbed unsteadily to his feet and walked to his own corner with the referee giving him a standing count with Glowacki’s seconds on the ring apron protesting the round had finished before the knockdown. The referee completed the count and signalled for the action to continue with ringside officials waiving frantically to tell the referee the round was finished. Glowacki’s team complained to the referee that the round had gone over time but the referee pushed their complaints aside.
Score: 10-7 Breidis 20-16
Glowacki landed a good left but then lurched off balance. Breidis followed him and connected with two right uppercuts that had Glowacki reeling and then a right to the head that saw Glowacki plunge face first down to the canvas. He staggered to his feet then stumbled back to the ropes and the referee waived the fight over. Glowacki’s team immediately stated they would make an official protests and they certainly have grounds. The vicious elbow from Breidis was a blatant foul and some of the heavy punches at the end of the second round came after the bell. The referee claimed he did not hear the bell but he was already moving forward and was too far from the fighters and too slow to get between them. The Latvian showed he had the power and was the quicker man but this was a tainted win. Glowacki had had the WBO title bestowed upon him only a few days before the fight so his reign has been a very short one.
Dorticos vs. Tabiti
Dorticos wins the vacant IBF title and moves on to face Mairis Breidis in the WBSS final with crushing kayo of Tabiti.
Very cagey opening from Tabiti. He was constantly moving and stabbing out with his jab. He connected a few times whereas Dorticos was stalking Tabiti but only threw one right and missed with that.
Score: 10-9 Tabiti
Dorticos came out with purpose with this one. He was letting his punches go closing down Tabiti’s space and Tabiti slipped to the floor trying to avoid the bombs from Dorticos who landed enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Tied 19-19
Tabiti boxed his way to the points in this one. His quick movement was frustrating the attempts by Dorticos to land any of his heavy swings. Tabiti was stopping his movement then darting in and landing three or four punches, including a hard right to the jaw, and getting away before Dorticos could react. The referee brought them together and warned them both to be careful with their heads.
Score: 10-9 Tabiti Tabiti 29-28
Another round for Tabiti but this was closer. Once again Tabiti was circling the ring with the menacing Dorticos trying to line Tabiti up for powerful rights. Tabiti was quicker with his punches diving inside, landing and getting out or tying up Dorticos. Dorticos was dangerous but not on target.
Score: 10-9 Tabiti Tabiti 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Benny Decroos 39-37 Tabiti, Judge Joerg Milke 39-37 Tabiti, Judge Jesus Garcia 38-38
A better round for Dorticos. He was throwing stiff jabs and left hooks to the body. He was also wise to Tabiti’s tactics of diving inside and was using his jab to stop Tabiti coming forward or covering up and countering Tabiti. He was loading up on his punches including the jabs with all of them qualifying as a power punch.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Tabiti 48-47
Dorticos was hunting again in this one. A clash of heads saw Dorticos suffer a serious cut on his right eyelid. The referee stopped the action so the doctor could examine the cut. The blood was trickling into the right eye of Dorticos making him blink. There was a long discussion between the referee, the doctor and Dorticos and the action restarted. Dorticos was landing long jabs and lefts and doing a better job of cutting off the ring with Tabiti spending time trapped on the ropes. He was holding trying to smother the attacks from Dorticos and was deducted a point*.
Score: 10-8* Dorticos Dorticos 57-56
Tabiti made this closer by throwing more punches early in the round. A low left hook from Dorticos led to a long recovery period for Tabiti but from there it was Dorticos doing the scoring with thumping body punches.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Dorticos 67-65
Tabiti flared briefly into life at the start of this round but then Dorticos took control again. He was the one landing jabs and they were heavy. He was pinning Tabiti to the ropes and landing hooks to the body. Tabiti was holding again and lucky not to get a warning. Tabiti’s punch output had dropped as he was now more interested in not getting nailed with a big right than scoring himself.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Dorticos 77-74
Official scores without the deduction: Decroos 77-76 Dorticos, Milke 77-75 Dorticos, Garcia 77-75 Dorticos
Dorticos again was jabbing strongly and forcing Tabiti to the ropes and landing heavily to the body. Tabiti was throwing very few punches and when he did land he lacked the power to stop Dorticos marching forward behind his jab to again work the body.
Score 10-9 Dorticos Dorticos 87-83
Tabiti decided to try to stand and exchange with Dorticos and was throwing a lot more punches. The big punches were still coming from Dorticos and suddenly he threw a booming right cross to the head that dropped Tabiti on his back. There was no way he was getting up from that thunderbolt and the referee did not even bother to count. The 33-year-old Cuban is a fearsome puncher and now has 22 wins by KO/TKO. The former holder of the secondary WBA title only scooted past Mateusz Masternak in the quarter-final on a very close decision and although Breidis is more skilful Dorticos is a danger to any cruiserweight so Breidis vs. Dorticos should make a great final. Tabiti just did not have the power to compete against the Cuban. He had scored wins over Steve Cunningham, Lateef Kayode and Ruslan Fayfer but from the fifth round in this one just could not cope with the power of Dorticos.
Gevor vs. Mondo
Gevor keeps his name in the frame with a win. He floored and outpointed the elderly Mondo winning every round. Scores 80-71 from the three judges. Armenian-born Gevor’s losses have been against Krzys Wlodarczyk and Mairis Breidis in the WBSS quarter-final. I assume he is keeping busy as a stand-by in case one of the WBSS contests has to drop out. Poor Mondo has lost his last eleven fights, all on points.
Leeds, England: Feather: Josh Warrington (29-0) W PTS 12 Kid Galahad (26-1). Super Welter: James Metcalf (20-0) W TKO 8 Jason Welborn (24-8). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (22-1) W PTS 12 Leon Woodstock (12-2).
Warrington vs. Galahad
Warrington holds on to his IBF title with split decision over Galahad. Either fighter could have had his hand held up here but a strong finish won the fight for Warrington.
It was fast fist vs. fast reflexes here as both fighters were quick on their feet and firing flashing jabs and hooks. Galahad was constantly switching guards . Inside the first minute Galahad was warned to watch his head work but he was just a bit more accurate and took a close round.
Score: 10-9 Galahad
Warrington was throwing more punches in the second but also missing a lot due to clever defensive work from Galahad. The challenger was warned for holding but was quicker with his jabs and more accurate and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 20-18
A better round for Warrington. He was letting Galahad come to him then ducking past Galahad’s lead and scoring inside. His jab was working better and after drawing the lead he drove forward landing three straight punches to the head.
Score: 10-9 Warrington Galahad 29-28
Galahad was boxing on the outside in this. He was sliding home quick jabs from both hands and connecting with straight rights. Warrington was trying to get inside but Galahad was holding and smothering his work.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Michael Alexander 39-37 Warrington, Judge Howard John Foster 38-38 tied, Judge Steve Gray 38-38 tied
All of the rounds had been close and this one continued that sequence. After a cautious start Warring launched a quick attack and landed a series of punches. Galahad was throwing one punch at a time and was not as accurate.
Score: 10-9 Warrington Galahad 48-47
After a quiet start to the round Warrington started to find gaps for his jab and rights. He continued to force the fight. Galahad was not interested in fighting inside and was holding and was given another warning Warrington continued to be the one landing punches.
Score: 10-9 Warrington TIED 57-57
A low scoring round. Galahad was sliding right jabs through Warrington’s defence and also getting home with some straight lefts. Warring was tracking Galahad but just not finding the target.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 67-66
Galahad boxed cleverly over the early part of the round but again there were too many clinches for the fight to be entertaining. Warrington came on strongly with hooks over the last minute and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Warrington TIED 76-76
Official Scores: Alexander 77-75 Warrington, Judge Foster 76-76 tied, Judge Gray 76-76 tied
Warrington forced for the whole three minutes in this round. Galahad was blocking or dodging many of the punches but enough were landing for it to be Warrington’s round and Galahad received his third warning for holding.
Score: 10-9 Warrington Warrington 86-85
Warrington took the action to Galahad in this one but Galahad was catching him with quick hooks as he moved in. Warrington connected with a right uppercut one of his best punches so far. Warrington was waiting too long to let his punches go and Galahad was snapping home a jab and then tying Warrington up inside.
Score: 10-9 Galahad TIED 95-95
Warrington put everything into this round. He was coming forward pumping punches and staying on top of Galahad. The challenger landed some counters but Warrington was stronger and was getting through with hooks as Galahad seemed to fade just before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Warrington Warrington 105-104
Warrington put in a storming last round hunting Galahad down and never giving him any space. A lot of Warrington’s punches were going astray but Galahad looked too tired to throw any and Warrington took the round.
Score: 10-9 Warrington Warrington 115-113
Official Scores: Alexander 116-113 Warrington, Foster 115-113 Galahad, Gray 116-112 Warrington
Warrington retains the IBF title on a split decision.
The rounds were so close this one could easily have gone to Galahad or ended as a draw. It was not a great or an entertaining fight but it was an important one and the victory over his mandatory challenger now leaves Warrington free to seek a big unification fight in the USA. And he can go in confidence with wins over Carl Frampton and Galahad behind him. Fights with Leo Santa Cruz or Oscar Valdez would be career defining opportunities for Warrington. Galahad came so close here and would deserve a return but that is unlikely so he will have to find another route to a title fight.
Metcalf vs. Welborn
Important win for Metcalf as he stops former world title challenger Welborn to win the vacant Commonwealth title..This was an entertaining and very tactical fight but with plenty of action. Welborn forced the fight early behind a strong jab forcing Metcalf onto the back foot. Metcalf was boxing cleverly slotting home jabs, changing angles and scoring with hooks. Welborn launched a furious attack in the second looking to overwhelm Metcalf but seemed to have been momentarily shaken by a counter. Over the next three rounds the pattern remained the same with Welborn marching forward behind a high guard and raking Metcalf with lefts and rights in close. Metcalf was moving well spearing the oncoming Welborn with jabs and hooks to the body. Welborn hurt Metcalf with a left to the body in the sixth and Metcalf was having trouble keeping Welborn out. Metcalf had strayed low with a couple of punches and then a low one from Welborn saw the referee give Welborn a warning and Metcalf some recovery time. In the same round it was Welborn given a recovery break and Metcalf a warning with the referee giving them both a lecture at the bell. Metcalf looked to be taking control in the seventh but Welborn fired back at the end of the round. The fight had changed. Now it was Metcalf on the front foot controlling the action with his jab. Metcalf once again went low with full power right and again Welborn needed time to recover and the referee rightly took a point from Metcalf. When the action resumed they just stood and exchanged wild punches until a left hook to the body sent Welborn down on one knee. He ejected his mouthguard and got up at nine but shook his head and the referee stopped the fight . The 30-year-old “Kid Shamrock” gets his sixth inside the distance win on the bounce. First fight for Welborn since his defeat by Jarrett Hurd for the IBF and WBA title in December
Barrett vs. Woodstock
The superior skills of Barrett were just too much for a determined Woodstock and the “Brown Flash” from Manchester finished a winner by a clear margin on all three cards. Barnett was much quicker with his jab and his footwork and when he went onto the attack he was getting past Woodstock’s defence and connecting with hooks to the body with Woodstock too slow to counter. Barrett was comfortable on both the back foot and the front foot and showed smart upper body movement. Woodstock had a good jab of his own but did his best work when he could cut off the ring and work to the body but Barrett was a clever and quick opponent. If there was any danger to Barnett it was in overconfidence as he often dropped his hands leaving himself open to counters. It was a fast-paced and entertaining fight as Woodstock kept rolling forward hoping to exert enough pressure for Barrett to tire but the pace did not slow and although Woodstock put in a big effort in the twelfth Barrett was still moving slickly and punching quickly to the final bell. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110 for Barrett. A useful victory as Barrett climbs back after a shock loss to Ronnie Clark in February last year. Woodstock, a former WBO European champion, is 25 and will quick bounce back from this loss.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Heavy: Tyson Fury (28-0-1) W TKO 2 Tom Schwarz (24-1). Light Heavy: Jesse Hart (25-2) W PTS 10 Sullivan Barrera (22-3). Feather: Isaac Lowe (18-0-3) W PTS 10 Duran Vue (14-2-2). Super Feather: Albert Bell (15-0) W PTS 10 Andy Vences (22-1-1) W. Super Middle: Cem Kilic (13-0) W Martez McGregor (8-1). Heavy: Guido Vianello (4-0) W TKO 2 Keenan Hickmon (6-4-1). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (4-0) W PTS 4 Juan Torres (3-2-1).
Fury vs. Schwarz
A gift for Fury as he predictably dismantles a too slow too inexperienced and badly overmatched Schwarz
As usual Fury was circling the perimeter of the ring constantly moving and threading jabs through Schwarz’s guard. Schwarz using a typically German high guard but it was not leak-proof and Tyson was also landing some bruising rights. Schwarz was not cutting off Tyson’s routes and was too slow to get close although he did land one good jab late in the round. Fury chose to start the second round boxing southpaw . Schwarz tried to step up the pressure but Fury was dodging his attacks and feeding him jabs and hard lefts. Fury was enjoying himself dropping both hands, changing guards threading home punches. Fury stood against the ropes and let Schwarz throw punches with Fury bobbing and weaving and every punch missed. Fury then walked Schwarz back across the ring to the ropes and pierced Schwarz’s guard with three straight punches which did not look too hard but Schwarz dropped to his knees. He was up quickly backed himself into a corner and just covered up as Fury threw punches with Schwarz showing no attempt or intention of fighting back and the referee stopped the fight. Once again Fury showcased his eccentric but outstanding talent. He was able to play with Schwarz and end the fight whenever he chose. He put on a show for his new American fans but with no American fighter in the ring and a easily identifiable mismatch it did not draw as well as expected. Fury aims to have another fight and then go after Wilder and with Fury you can see that happening as he has already shown it is a fight he could win. At 25 time is on Schwarz’s side but careful management will get him so far and it will take some very hard work to build him again as a fighter capable of competing at world level.
Hart vs. Barrera
Hart moves up to light heavy and immediately announces his arrival with an important and impressive win over world rated Barrera. After an unpromising start when Hart was warned for holding less then two minutes in to the fight things improved greatly from there. Barrera was on the floor in the second but that was a slip with Hart nevertheless using that as an impetus to give Barrera a torrid time for the rest of the round. Hart had the better of the exchanges in the third and shook Barrera with a right early in the fourth, Barrera regrouped and scored with some hard punches of his own later in the round. Barrera had a good fifth but was rocked time and again by rights from Hart in the sixth and Hart also did enough to take the seventh. Hart was in front at this point and widened the points gap by scoring a questionable knockdown in the eighth. Hart later revealed he had injured his right hand in the seventh and over the ninth and tenth he really was just looking to protect his lead which he did successfully. Scores 99-90, 97-92 and 96-93. After two losses to Gilbert Ramirez in WBO super middle title fights it makes sense for the 6’3” Hart to try his luck at light heavy where Ramirez is now campaigning. There might yet be a third world title fight between these two but at light heavy. Cuban Barrera was No 2 with the WBA. He lost on a twelfth round stoppage against Dmitry Bivol for the secondary WBA title in March last year but will now drop down the ratings and at 37 he may have lost his chance for another title shot.
Lowe vs. Vue
Lancashire’s Lowe, a former undefeated Commonwealth champion, makes a winning start in the USA with a clear unanimous decision over Vue. The fighter from Wisconsin made Lowe work hard for his win but it was a fine first showing as Lowe fought from the fourth round with an injured right hand. At just 5’3” Vue was always going to struggle against the 5’7” Lowe who retained the WBC International title for the first time and the scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Lowe show his dominance. Vue was a viable test having outpointed the former holder of the secondary WBA super bantam title Nehomar Cermeno over twelve rounds last year.
Bell vs. Vences
We are into serious upset territory here as unbeaten but unsung Bell gets a well deserved unanimous verdict over world rated Vences. The fight was close early with both Bell and Vences connecting with thumping punches. Bell had Vences hurt with a couple of rights in the third but then went down after a clash of heads and was given some recuperation time. From the fourth Bell was the one landing the cleaner and more impressive punches. Vences kept banging back but Bell’s right hands were landing regularly. They both had good spells in the fifth and sixth but Bell rocked Vences badly with a right in the seventh and landed the better shots in the eighth. The fight was beyond him by then but Vences sent Bell’s mouthguard flying in the ninth and they fought hard throughout the tenth. Scores 97-93 for Bell from all of the judges. The 26-year-old from Toledo has crept in under the radar despite winning gold medals at the National Police Athletic League and National Golden Gloves tournaments. This was his first ten round fight and Vences was a class or two above his previous opposition. Bell also collects the WBC Continental Americas title his first as a pro. I guess “The Shark” met his Roy Scheider in Bell. Vences had drawn with Erick De Leon and beaten Casey Ramos and Frank Alba. He was No 11 with the WBO and No 12 with the WBC but only turned 28 last month so has time to rebound.
Kilic vs. McGregor
Kilic halts McGregor in the last round of their fight. The young German of Turkish antecedents records his ninth win by KO/TKO. Now based in California Kilic won amateur titles in both Turkish and German national tournaments McGregor had won his last five fights.
Vianello vs. Hickmon
Vianello bombs out Hickmon in two rounds. Vianello almost ended it in the first with the bell coming just in time for Hickmon. Vianello jumped on Hickmon in the second and sent the Baton Rouge fighter down three times to force the stoppage. The 25-year-old 6’6” “Gladiator” has four wins by KO/TKO. No glory here as Hickmon was having only his second fight in two years.
Kadiru vs. Torres
It could be that the occasion got to young German Kadiru as he was a clear winner here but really did not shine against very mediocre opposition. Scores 40-36 from the three judges for 21-year-old Kadiru. In the amateurs he scored wins over now unbeaten pros Darmani Rock and Daniel Dubois so may just need time to settle. Two points losses in a row for Texan Torres.
Kiev, Ukraine: Fly: Artem Dalakian (19-0) W KO 10 Sarawut (20-2).
Dalakian outclasses Thai challenger Sarawut to retain the WBA title.
Dalakian was much too slick for Sarawut. He was darting in landing with lefts and rights to the body and then bobbing and weaving under the Thai’s punches and landing more hooks.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian
Already Dalakian was hardly bothering to lift his gloves above waist height. He was holding his left at thigh level and shooting jabs from there and then connecting with straight rights. Sarawut pressed harder but he was short with his southpaw jab and leaning forward with his lefts leaving himself open to Dalakian’s counters.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 20-18
Dalakian was scoring regularly with lead rights. On a couple of occasions he suddenly launched a furious attack. The first after sending Sarawut back with a left hook and the second after a full-blooded uppercut had Sarawut hurt. On both occasions Dalakian was scoring with lefts and rights and then just backed off. Sarawut was too slow and methodical to get anywhere near the speedy Dalakian.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 30-27
Sarawut chased in vain in this one. He kept plodding forward but was bemused by the speed and tricky footwork of Dalakian. The champion hardly ever uses his arms to block punches relying of fast foot work and tricky upper body movement leaving his hands free and he caught Sarawut constantly with rights.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 40-36
Official Scores: Judge David Singh 40-36 Dalakian, Judge Stefano Carroza 40-36 Dalakian, Judge Andriy Balyasaov 40-36 Dalakian
Dalakian was fired-up at the start of this one driving Sarawut to the ropes and firing hooks and uppercuts from both hands before backing off again. Sarawut kept walking forward onto counters and lacked the footwork or hand speed to catch Dalakian who was content to land one punch then dance away and then repeat the exercise.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 50-45
Sarawut came out with fresh resolve here. He managed to catch Dalakian on the ropes a couple of times and land lefts. He was almost running after Dalakian at times but he was able to get closer and land more than he had in any other round. He almost took this one but Dalakian connected with five consecutive straight rights before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 60-54
It looked as though Dalakian was trying to end this one in the seventh. From the bell he was driving Sarawut back. He wobbled Sarawut with a straight right and then connected with heavy rights and lefts and Sarawut was badly shaken but Dalakian then dropped down a gear. He went on to the back foot hitting the advancing Thai with almost every punch he threw but not pressing his attack.
Score:10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 70-63
It was business as usual in the eighth with Dalakian just too quick and too mobile and Sarawut walking onto punches, Late in the round Sarawut walked onto three consecutive rights but after each he went forward again. Dalakian then landed a fierce right uppercut that wobbled Sarawut badly. He staggered back with Dalakian after him landing more rights but Sarawut made it to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 80-72.
Dalakian took Sarawut to the ropes and pounded him again at the start of the ninth before reverting to exhibition mode and spent the rest of the round on the back foot bobbing, ducking and weaving and raking the advancing Sarawut with lefts and rights.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 90-81
It seemed as though Dalakian was just content to box his way through this one until a right to the temple sent Sarawut staggering back, Dalakian drove Sarawut along the ropes connecting with punches to the head. Sarawut was trying to duck out of the punches but was being caught with rights and the referee stepped in a halted the fight.
The 31-year-old Azeri-born Ukrainian Dalakian gets his fourteenth inside the distance win in his third title defence. With his foot and hand speed and eccentric style he will be very difficult to beat but in the frustrating way that he rarely sustains his attacks he is almost as frustrating to watch. Sarawut’s record is padded with very low quality opposition-8 of his opponents had never previously had a fight and 5 had never won a fight- and he was way out of his depth here.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Zac Dunn (29-1) W TKO 8 Rafael Sosa Pintos (58-15). Dunn continues his campaign to climb the ratings with stoppage of experienced Uruguayan Pintos. Dunn had Pintos down in the first but Pintos survived until the eighth. Dunn retains the WBA Oceania title with his sixth win in a row by KO/TKO. He is rated No 7(6) by the WBO and No 11 with the WBA but will climb higher. Pinto, 38, has seven losses by KO/TKO.
San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile: Super Middle: Julio Alamos (12-0) W TKO 2 Juan Rizo Patron (8-2). Alamos returns from a period of activity forced by an injury to his right arm. Argentinian Rizo had some success at the start of the opening round but with the injury to his right Alamos had been forced to work hard on strengthening his left and he used that hand to put Rizo down late in the first. He ended it early in the second with another left that put Rizo down and out. Sixth win by KO/TKO for Alamos and successful first defence of the WBA Fedelatin title. For winning that minor title Alamos was gifted a No 14 rating by the WBA. Second loss in a row for Rizo.
Chareville-Mezieres, France: Super Feather: Sofiane Takoucht (35-3-1) W PTS 8 Yesner Talavera (15-7-1,1ND). Fighting in his home town former European champion Takoucht extends his run of wins to eight with unanimous verdict over Nicaraguan Talavera. The 33-year-old southpaw’s campaign has been low key so he has not managed to work his way into the EBU ratings and needs to face better opposition. Talavera, yet another member of the Nicaraguan losers for hire club in Spain.
Servian, France: Super Light: Bastien Ballesta (19-0-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Houchang Habib (9-5-1).Young southpaw hope Ballesta is now unbeaten in 21 fights. He retained the national title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Habib. Scores 98-90 twice and 98-91. The 24-year-old seems to lack the power to progress far in a tough division. Habib had found some form and was 7-2-1 in his last 10 fights.
Cherbourg, France: Welter: Yannick Dehez (20-1-1) W PTS 8 Bibi Ondoua (15-11-1).Just some paid sparring for former French champion Dehez. He was content to dance around the ring slotting home jabs and quick rights but not really putting any power into his punches with Ondoua just following Dehez around the ring but rarely getting close enough to do any damages. A loss against unfancied Yahya Tlaouziti cost him his French title and ended his unbeaten run at 18 and this is his third win as he rebuilds. Fourth loss in a row for Ondoua.
Grumello, Italy: Light: Domenico Valentino (8-0) W PTS 10 Ciprian Albert (7-6). Valentino has no trouble defending his national title against a willing but limited Albert. Valentino’s slick skills, speed and accuracy had him in the driving seat but Albert piled forward throwing hooks and had enough success to pick up a round here and there. Luckily for Albert Valentino is not a power puncher but he is an excellent craftsman. Albert kept pressing and had a good ninth but Valentino, 35, was in control again in the last. Scores 97-93 for Valentino from all three judges. Valentino achieved great things as an amateur but did not turn pro until he was 33 which is far too late. Italian-based Romanian Albert had won his last two fights.
Worcester, MA, USA: Middle: Jose Antonio Rivera (43-6-1) W PTS 8 Travis Scott 19-6). Rivera signs off with a win but has to settle for a split verdict. Rivera seemed to have built a good lead with his higher work rate but that was jeopardised by a knockdown scored by Scott in the fifth. Rivers did not seem badly shaken and he was able to see out the round and hold on to his lead on two cards to take the decision. Scores 77-74 and 76-75 for Rivera and 76-75 for Scott. Now 46 the former WBA welter and super welter champion was inactive for seven years before returning with a win in August last year and he has now said this is his last fight. Scott, 38, from Baton Rouge suffers his fifth loss in a row, four of them to unbeaten fighters.
Schwerin, Germany: Super Middle: Tyrone Zeuge (24-1-1) W TKO 10 Adan Silvera (11-2). Super Welter: Jack Culcay (26-4) W PTS 8 Stefano Castellucci (32-9). Light Heavy: Juergen Brahmer (51-3) W KO 2 Erdogan Kadrija (11-2).
Zeuge vs. Silvera
Zeuge given a tougher fight than expected by Spanish champion Silvera. Initially it looked like an early night for Zeuge as floored Silvera late in the opening round. Silvera has a strange style where his left hand is usually hanging out there almost inviting a right cross and Zeuge connected with two, one of which landed on the back of Silvera’s head and put Silvera down. He beat the count and the bell went before Zeuge could follow up on his success. Silvera tightened his guard but was on the floor again in the second when they both shaped to throw left hooks but Zeuge was quickest and sent Silvera down on his rump. Silvera did not look badly shaken and he scored with some good rights of his own before the bell. Zeuge dominated the third but then seemed to go off the boil. He had gone down a gear and was standing and trading instead of working his openings and slowly Silvera got a foothold in the fight getting in close and firing bunches of hooks. From the seventh Zeuge went back to using his superior skills but again did not seem to be operating at full throttle. He was winning the rounds and scoring with some good body punches but lost a point in the ninth. When Silvera ducked trying to avoid a punch Zeuge landed a shot to the back of the Spaniard’s head. The referee gave Silver plenty of recovery time but Silvera was a very tired fighter and was being battered with hooks to the head. The referee had Silvera examined by the doctor before the start of the tenth and he was cleared to continue. Zeuge took his time in the tenth tracking Silvera for the first minute of the round. He landed a couple of hooks to the head and then a left to the body. The body punch had Silver backing off and he then went down on one knee. He was up five but the referee stopped the fight. The former holder of the secondary WBA belt Zeuge wins the vacant European Union title. Second win for Zeuge since suffering the upset stoppage loss to Rocky Fielding in July last year. In the crazy world of the WBA even though Zeuge won a fight in September he went from world champion in July to out of the top 15 altogether by January! He is not currently rated by any of the four organisations but will be back and will probably fight for a world title again. Silvera had knocked out former EU champion Mariano Hilario in October but other than that his credentials were meagre but he showed a rugged strength after such a poor start and made Zeuge fight hard.
Culcay vs. Castellucci
Culcay stays sharp with eight rounds of work against Italian oldie Castellucci. Culcay was scoring easily from the outset varying his attacks and accurate with his punches. He rocked Castellucci with a left hook in the first and a counter right in both the second and the third. . Castellucci stuck to his task. He has a good chin and came through some more punishment in the fifth and sixth and was still there at the final bell with Culcay the winner on a unanimous decision at 80-72 from the three judges. Culcay gave Sergiy Derevyanchenko a good fight in April and although "Golden Jack” has slipped down the ratings a title shot for the former European and interim WBA champion is not impossible. Castellucci, 37, is still a rough if limited opponent.
Braehmer vs. Kadrija
Kosovon Kadrija was way out of his depth here. Braehmer connected with some sharp punches in the first with Kadrija willing to stand and exchanged punches but Braehmer took the round. The veteran former champion went to work in earnest in the second. He had Kadrija reeling with a right to the head and then a left hook to the body sent Kadrija to the boards and he was unable to beat the count. The 40-year-old former holder of the WBO and secondary WBA light heavy titles scored a wide unanimous decision over Rob Brant in a quarter final of the WBSS super middle Tournament in October 2017 but then had to withdraw with injury and was inactive until returning with a modest victory in December last year. He is still rated super middle by the IBF, WBC and WBO but also has a stable of boxers he is training so not sure where his ambitions lie. Kadrija had won his last six fights against very modest opponents.
Caguas, Puerto Rico: Fly: McWilliams Arroyo (19-4) W PTS 10 Carlos Buitrago (31-5-1). Arroyo overcomes a near disaster in the fifth round to win unanimous verdict over Buitrago in a quality fight. Both of these fighters are good boxers with solid technique so apart from the fifth round it was an interesting, intelligent contest with not much difference between them in, size, style or work rate. Over the early rounds Arroyo was taking the fight to Buitrago and was connecting with straight rights to the head. Buitrago was quick with his jab and left hooks to the body and there were some fiery exchanges. It looked as though Arroyo took three of the first four rounds and he launched a strong attack at the start of the fifth. He was coming forward when a right from Buitrago sent him tumbling into the ropes and he needed to put his glove on the canvas to avoid going down. The referee gave him an eight count. Arroyo looked to have recovered but another right to the head rattled him. Arroyo was jabbing and throwing straight rights but Buitrago shook him a couple more times with rights. Just before the bell Arroyo decided to stand and trade punches and a beauty of a left hook knocked him back. His legs shook and he again touched the canvas to avoid going down and was given another eight count and the bell went when the count was completed. Any lead Arroyo had built was gone. Arroyo boxed well in the sixth and Buitrago was more aggressive and more successful in the seventh. Arroyo edged back into the lead with some strong jabbing and strong rights in the eighth and ninth and that jab plus some flashing combinations in the tenth saw him a clear winner. Scores 96-92 twice and 95-93 all for Arroyo. The 33-year-old Puerto Rican wins the vacant WBO Latino title but that is small comfort compared to losses in world title fights to Amnat Ruenroeng, Roman Gonzalez and Kazuto Ioka. In the amateurs he was the star boxer in the family but it is brother McJoe who has won a world title. From the time he was fourteen Nicaraguans were confident Buitrago would win a world title. He turned pro at 16 and went 27-0 at the start of his career, but drew with Merlito Sabillo, and lost twice to CP Freshmart and also lost against Hiroto Kyoguchi and Angel Acosta in title fights. He is just 27 so could yet fulfil that destiny all of Nicaragua including Alexis Arguello saw for him.
Sydney, Australia: Super Middle: Mose Auimatagi Jr (13-1-2) W TKO 6 Kerry Foley (19-5-1). Light Heavy: Reagan Dessaix (17-2) W TKO 7 Mitchell Whitelaw (5-2-1). Super Fly: Andrew Moloney (20-0) W TKO 3Selemani Bangaiza (15-6). Bantam: Jason Moloney (19-1) W TKO 2 Goodluck Mrema (23-5).
Auimatagi vs. Foley
New Zealander Auimatagi wins the vacant OPBF with brutal beat-down of experienced Foley. Although taller and with a longer reach Auimatagi fought out of a crouch and was looking to fight inside. He scored with plenty of meaty body punches in the first with Foley countering well and willing to stand and trade. Auimatagi’s footwork is almost non-existent but he is tremendously strong and in the second despite Foley firing back when he could a series of clubbing punches to the head had Foley badly shaken and his right glove touched the canvas and the referee gave him a standing count. Auimatagi handed out more punishment but Foley fired back with a hard right to the head that momentarily halted Auimatagi in his tracks. Auimatagi was walking through some good punches from Foley over the next three rounds and scoring with punishing hooks and straight rights and stringing together some hurtful combinations. In the sixth Auimatagi landed a right hook to the body and two lefts to the head and Foley dropped forward to the floor. The referee started to count but saw Foley was not going to get up and waived to end the fight. Fourth inside the distance victory in a row for the 24-year-old from New Zealand and his twelfth win on the bounce. He is tremendously strong, loads up on all of his punches and seems to have a great chin but is a bit slow-footed. Third loss by KO/TKO for former Australian light heavy champion Foley.
Dessaix vs. Whitelaw
Dessaix wins the vacant Australian title with stoppage of inexperienced but combative Whitelaw. Dessaix has a busy style with lots of jerky movement. He was quicker and more accurate with his jab and although Whitelaw was competitive the tighter defence and the jabs of Dessaix gave him the edge. Whitelaw was leaving too many gaps when he came forward and Dessaix was making him pay with strong counters. Dessaix upped the pace and the pressure and by the end of the fifth Whitelaw was bleeding from the mouth and had a bump over his left eye. Dessaix piled on the punches in the sixth and although Whitelaw fought hard in the seventh a series of rights to the head forced him to go down on one knee. The referee had seen enough a stopped the fight. The 22-year-old 6’3” from Brisbane has twelve wins by KO/TKO and will be looking to revenge a controversial loss to Blake Caparello in February. State champion Whitelaw will improve with experience.
Moloney vs. Bangaiza
Moloney blows away fragile Tanzanian inside two rounds. Bangaiza looked confident at the start of the first stabbing out jabs and trying some rights. Moloney switched guards a couple of time and out of the southpaw stance was connecting with lefts to the body. Bangaiza stood and traded hooks with Moloney in the second until a left to the body had him backing off. He then raised his right arm and walked away from the action. The referee seemed to ask him if he wanted to continue and Bangaiza nodded. Bangaiza tried to punch with Moloney but was forced to the ropes and went down. The referee ruled it a slip but when Moloney again began landing punches Bangaiza dropped his hands and spit out his mouthguard and quit. “The Monster “gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. He won a WBA eliminator in March and will move into the No 1 spot with the WBA after Khalid Yafai defends against No 1 Norberto Jimenez on 29 June. Since that is a mandatory defence Moloney will have to wait a while for his title shot. Bangaiza lacked the power to pose any problems for Moloney.
Moloney vs. Mrema
Moloney too strong for Mrema who is counted out in the third round. In the opening round Mrema was moving and jabbing and occasionally coming forward with hooks. Moloney was tracking the retreating Mrema around the ring but only really let fly with some punches just before the end of the first round. Mrema was jabbing and moving again in the second but Moloney started finding a home for his left hooks to the body. Mrema was still going back and countering but he lacked the power to keep Moloney out and was under pressure at the bell. It was the same pattern in the third until Mrema threw a weak right and Moloney cracked him with a left hook to the head. Mrema took a step back, turned away and dropped to his hands and knees and was counted out. Now 16 wins by KO/TKO for Moloney and his second victory since losing a split decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF title in a WBSS quarter-final in October. He is No 3 with both the WBC and WBA. Mrema showed some good skills but the body punches slowed him and the knockout punch was a beauty.
Villa Canas, Argentina: Super Light: Jorge Barrios (52-4-1) W PTS 10 Esteban Stodulski (8-11-3) Barrios gets a win but makes it harder for himself that it needed to be. The former WBO super feather champion buzzed Stodulski in the first with a left hook that sent Stodulski into the ropes but Barrera failed to press his advantage and Stodulski survived. He had another chance in the third when he put Stodulski down with a straight left but it was more a case of Stodulski running onto the punch and being unbalanced. After Stodulski beat the count Barrera just could not find a punch to get the early win. He paid for that as Stodulski got into the fight and a clash of heads in the sixth opened a cut on Barrera’s eyebrow and in the eighth a punch worsened the injury. Barrera’s corner controlled the injury and Barrera took the ninth and tenth rounds. Scores 100-91 ½, 100-92 ½ and 99 ½ -93 ½. Second win for the 42-year-old Barrera since returning from an eight year sentence for killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child in a hit-and-run incident. Stodulski, a former South American title challenger, gets his second loss in a row,
Shawinigan, Canada: Heavy: Simon Kean (17-1) W TKO 3 Dillon Carman (14-5). Feather: Andranik Grigoryan (10-0) W KO 2 Jorge Garcia (14-3-1). Heavy: Adam Braidwood (14-2) W TKO 2 Andrew Satterfield (5-3). Super Middle: Lennox Mathieu (4-0) W KO 2 Fernando Galvan (4-4)
Kean vs. Carman
Sweet revenge for Kean as he stops Carman in three rounds. When they met in October Carman snapped Kean’s unbeaten record with a third round KO but this time the outcome was reversed. In the first round Carman pressed hard but Kean kept him out with some good jabbing and it looked like this one could go either way. In the second Carman landed a heavy right that staggered Kean but Kean recovered and had Carman under pressure at the bell. In the third a punch opened a cut over Carman’s right eye and as they both shaped to throw a left hook Kean got his off first and Carman went down heavily. He was up but shaky and Kean forced him to the ropes and kept throwing punches until the referee threw his arms around a floundering Carman and stopped the fight. The fifteenth win by KO/TKO for the 30-year-old “Grizzly” Kean and probably his most satisfying but he is still a vulnerable boxer. To put this into context Carman, 33, was coming off a 113 second stoppage loss against Russian Evgeny Romanov in February.
Grigoryan vs. Garcia
Armenian-born Grigoryan gets a rare inside the distance win as he puts Mexican Garcia down and out with a right late in the second round. The 5’4” Grigoryan wins the vacant NABA title with only his second win by KO/TKO. Grigoryan boxed for the Russian Boxing Team in the World Series of Boxing. First inside the distance loss for Garcia who was 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights.
Braidwood vs. Satterfield
In another heavyweight fight Braidwood gets back into the ranks of winners with a second round stoppage of Satterfield. Braidwood was more restrained than usual working well with his jab before flooring Satterfield with a couple of strong punches late in the first. He went back to work early in the second and had Satterfield in trouble until the referee stopped the action. First fight for the 6’4” from British Colombia since suffering a third round stoppage defeat at the hands of Simon Kean in June last year. Third early loss for Satterfield
Mathieu vs. Galvan
For the first time Canadian prospect Mathieu has to go more than three minutes for a win as he halts Galvan in the second. Mathieu had Galvan down twice in the first round and put him down and out with a head punch in the second. The 20-year-old from Quebec is too good for this level of opposition but there is no need to rush him. Mexican Galvan is 1-3 in 4 fights in Canada all against unbeaten opponents.
Randers, Denmark: Super Light: Enock Poulsen (11-0) W PTS 12 Michal Syrowatka (20-3). Light Heavy: Jeppe Morell (10-2) W PTS 10 Dayron Lester (11-3). Cruiser: Ditlev Rossing (12-0) W TKO 8 Demetrius Banks (10-8-1,1ND).
Poulsen vs. Syrowatka
This looked a risky outing for Mogens Palle’s prospect but he sailed through it. The young Zambian-born hope outboxed the aggressive Syrowatka to win the vacant European Union title. He was too slick for the forward marching Pole. He kept finding gaps for his jab and swift counters and dazzled Syrowatka with his constant lateral shifts. His pressure earned Syrowatka a couple of rounds but he lacked the speed to cut off the ring and never really posed a serious threat to Poulsen. Scores 118-111, 117-111 and 116-112 all for the 26-year-old Poulsen. With Syrowatka being 1-1 in two fights with the current European champion Robbie Davies it was an impressive performance from Poulsen and Davies is definitely the target. Davies defends the European title against Sandor Martin at the end of July and there are a batch of potential domestic opponents lining up for shots at Davies so no certainty Palle will get his way. Syrowatka’s losses have been to fellow-Pole Rafal Jackiewicz and Davies.
Morell vs. Lester
Danish southpaw Morell comes through his biggest test to date but only by a split decision with the fight close enough to have gone to either fighter. Morell found it hard to land much over the early rounds with Lester showing plenty of skill and finding a home for some excellent rights. Morell got into the fight in the fourth. A clash of heads seemed to momentarily throw Lester off and he was floored later in the round. He was able to claw that back by putting Morell down with a right in the sixth and although Morell made it to his feet he was lucky the punch did not land earlier in the round and he was able to hold out to the bell. The rounds continued to be close with Morello the busier and Lester the more accurate with Morell just having a very slight edge. Scores 97-92 and 95-94 for Morell and 96-92 for Lester. Morell wins the vacant IBF Baltic title at the second attempt. He faced Sven Fornling for this title in January last year losing on a third round retirement. He is 3-2 in his last 5 fights. Finnish-based Cuban Lester was coming off a good performance where he lost a split decision to world rated cruiser Noel Gevor.
Rossing vs. Banks
A win for Rossing but not a very satisfactory night. Banks used all his well honed survival instincts in this one. He settled behind a deep defence which Rossing found difficult to penetrate. Banks was not looking to win by fighting but tried very hard by complaining. Rossing found enough gaps to be winning the fight but his frustration led to him going low trying to bring the American’s defence down and that cost him a point in the fifth. Banks continued to complain about low punches. An additional irritation to Rossing was a cut over his left eye. In the eighth Banks went down from what he claimed was a punch to the back of the head but he was rightly ignored and the fight was stopped. Another inside the distance win, his fourth in a row, for the 24-year-old Dane who retains the WBC Youth title. Banks, 38, is now 1-8-1 in his last 10 fights.
Amiens, France: Cruiser: Herve Lofidi (12-3) W PTS 12 Taylor Mabika (19-4-1). Lofidi wins the WBC Francophone title with split verdict over champion Mabika. The champion used some excellent work inside to nullify the huge edges in height and reach of Lofidi and was in front on the cards at the end of the fourth round. Lofidi decided he was not going to win this by boxing on the outside so began to stand and trade more. He gradually cut into Mabika’s lead and it was very close after eight. From there both fighters had good spells and the result was in doubt to the final bell. Lofidi just scraped home on scores of 115-113 twice for him with one judge seeing Mabika the winner 116-112. The 6’5” local boxer has hit a spell of good form with 7 wins in his last 8 fight and his fourth win this year. He will be hoping to land another shot at the national title. Gabonese Mabika is now 40 but he had put together a run of 10-0-1 before losing to Ilunga Makabu in August last year. He was making the first defence of the WBC title and with the scores so close deserves a return.
Hamburg, Germany: Super Middle: Toni Kraft (16-0-1) W PTS 10 Sasha Yengoyan (44-7-1). Light Heavy: James Kraft (16-0-1) W PTS 10 Prince Oko Nartey (6-1). Super light: Artem Harutyunyan (7-0) W PTS 10 Hugo Santillan (19-6-1). Super Welter: Antonio Hoffmann (22-1) W TKO 3 Sebastian Deda (11-1).
Kraft vs. Yengoyan
Kraft wins the vacant IBO Continental title with unanimous points verdict over Armenian-born Yengoyan. Although the 34-year-old Yengoyan is not the force he was he had won his last three fights and was the nearest thing so far to a test for the 26-year-old Kraft. It proved no real test as Kraft walked away with a wide unanimous decision . Scores 99-91 twice and 99-90 for the 26-year-old Kraft.
Kraft vs. Nartey
James Kraft keeps in step with older brother Toni as he also wins a vacant IBO Continental title with a unanimous decision. One big difference is that James ended up in hospital being treated for a broken right hand. Scores 97-91, 97-92 and 96-92 for Kraft. First fight outside of Ghana for southpaw Nartey.
Harutyunyan vs. Santillan
Olympian Harutyunyan also gets his hands on an IBO Continental title as he breaks Santillan’s nose on the way to a unanimous decision. This is the first pro title for Harutyunyan a bronze medallist in both Rio and at the European Championships. The 25-year-old Armenian-born German is expected to be a high achiever as a pro. Santillan, 23, is a former South American super feather champion and came in on the back of four wins in his last five fights.
Hoffmann vs. Deda
A sickening body punch from Hoffmann was enough to finish this one in the third. The 25-year-old Angolan-born Hoffmann had built his record against strictly third tier opposition. When he did step up he lost a wide points decision against Steven Butler in Canada in 2016. He is 9-0 since then with 7 wins by KO/TKO. German Deda found this too big a test and gets his second defeat by KO/TKO.
This was the first show by the new Universum. Seven years after the original Universum went bankrupt the Hamburg-based Ismail Özen-Otto, son-in-law of the mail-order billionaire Michael Otto has acquired the name and the brand and "re-launched” Universum. Wlad and Vitali Klitschko were stars of the old Universum.
Bedford, Canada: Light: Tyson Cave (34-3) W TKO 11 Kyle McNeil (10-4). Cave finally wins a world title. In a battle of local fighters Cave halted McNeil in the eleventh round to collect the vacant International Boxing Union title. Cave had too much experience and too eccentric a\ style for McNeill to be able to seriously threaten Cave. In the eleventh McNeill was floundering under Cave’s punches when McNeill’s corner threw in the towel. Cave realised the towel had come but McNeill had not so when Cave stepped back end jogged of to do a victory lap McNeill was chasing after him until he saw the towel and he raged at his corner over the surrender. The closest the 37-year-old local has been to a recognised title was a split decision loss against Oscar Escandon for the interim WBA super bantam title in 2014. Since then he has fought only in Canada with ten mostly inconsequential wins. McNeil was strictly a four and six round fighter before this scheduled twelve round outing.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Cruiser: Ilunga Makabu (25-2) W TKO 5 Dmitry Kudryashov (23-3). Cruiser: Alexsei Egorov (9-0) W TKO 3 Roman Golovashchenko (20-4). Cruiser: Evgeny Tishchenko (5-0) W TKO 1 Abraham Tabul (16-2-1).Heavy: Evgeny Romanov (13-0 W PTS 10 Ariel Bracamonte (9-3).
Makabu vs. Kudryashov
Neither of these fighters does distance fights so this was always going to end early. Kudryashov tried to blow Makabu with a big attack in the second but was nailed by a left hook that put him down. He made it to his feet and tried to trade with Makabu but another left hook sent him down into the ropes and as he bounced up the bell went. Makabu had Kudryashov pinned to the ropes in the third round and was pounding away at him. Kudryashov took a lot of punishment and was under fire at the bell. Makabu dominated the fourth connecting with southpaw jabs and straight lefts. Kudryashov was trying to punch with Makabu and landed two goods left hooks but he was now cut on his face above the bridge of his nose and had to pass a doctor’s inspection. Kudryashov marched forward throwing punches in the fifth but Makabu saw out the storm and then it was his turn. He bounced left after left against Kudryashov’s head forcing him back and as he continued to land those heavy punches Kudryashov slumped against the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The 31-year-old from the DRC wins the vacant WBC Silver title. He is No 4 with the WBC but with No 2 Tabiti losing to Dorticos and No 3 Dorticos now the IBF champion there is a good chance he could land a title shot later this year, He is 25-1 in his last 26 fights with the loss being to Tony Bellew for the vacant WBC title in2016. Kudryashov was stopped in two rounds by Dorticos for the secondary WBA title in 2017and has lost his three big fights. Only one of Makabu’s 27 fights has gone the distance and everyone of Kudryashov 26 fights have ended by KO/TKO.
Egorov vs. Golovashchenko
Egorov too powerful for Ukrainian Golovashchenko. Egorov is a strong fighter with a powerful jab and that kept Golovashchenko on the back foot and often against the ropes. Near the end of the second round a right made Golovashchenko dip at the knees. He did not go down but as he straightened up a right from Egorov saw him drop to one knee. Golovashchenko beat the count and there was not enough time left in the round for Egorov to end things. In the third he dropped Golovashchenko with a right and the referee stopped the fight. Egorov, a former European and Russian amateur champion, has seven wins by KO/TKO. He decisioned South African Thomas Oosthuizen in March. Golovashchenko lost to Kevin Lerena for the IBO title in June last year.
Tischenko vs. Tabul
Too easy for Tischenko. He towered over Tabul and was content initially to just poke a few southpaw jabs and throw long lefts without any power behind them. Late in the round Tabul tried to come forward and a couple of lefts from Tischenko sent him down heavily. He staggered to his feet and was allowed to continue but Tischenko trapped him in a corner and pounded away until the referee stopped the fight. Tabul was way out of his depth here
Romanov vs. Bracamonte
Romanov floors Argentinian Bracamonte early but then has to go the distance for victory. Bracamonte outweighed Romanov by 46lbs and was slow but strong. A right to the head dropped Bracamonte in the first but he was up quickly and easily saw out the round. After that Romanov had trouble making a dent in the bulk of the Argentinian but was able to outbox the lumbering Bracamonte over the ten rounds. Scores 99-90 for Romanov from the judges. The 33-year-old Romanov is a former World and European Junior champion . He also won the Russian Senior title but his biggest claim to fame is a third round kayo of Deontay Wilder in a Russia vs. USA match back in 2008. Bracamonte lost to Dave Allen on a seventh round retirement in November
Fight of the week (Significance): Both the Mairis Breidis vs. Krzys Glowacki and Yuniel Dorticos vs. Andrew Tabiti involved world title and puts Breidis and Dorticos into the WBSS final.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Albert Bell vs. Andy Vences was a hard, competitive match
Fighter of the week: Yuniel Dorticos who looked an animal in destroying Andrew Tabiti
Punch of the week: The right from Dorticos that put Tabiti down and out was monstrous and Jason Moloney’s left hook that ended his fight with Goodluck Mrema was bad luck for Mrema
Upset of the week: Bell was not expected to beat world rated Vences
Prospect watch: Former top amateur Artem Harutyunyan 7-0 is worth noting
By Eric Armit
-Gennady Golovkin crushes Steve Rolls in four rounds
-Oscar Valdez retains the WBO feather title with win over Jason Sanchez
-Kevin Lerena retains the IBO cruiser title with victory over Vasil Ducar
-Antonio Gago wins the European featherweight title with split verdict over Jesus Sanchez and Kerman Lejarraga returns with an inside the distance victory
-Olympians Robinson Conceicao and Charles Conwell extended their winning starts as pros
-Unbeaten Australian hopes Liam Paro, Steve Ng and Demsey McKean all win
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Reno, NV, USA: Feather: Oscar Valdez (26-0) W PTS 12 Jason Sanchez (14-1). Light Heavy: Michael Seals (23-2) W KO 2 Chris Brooker (14-7). Feather: Robinson Conceicao (13-0) W PTS 8 Carlos Ruiz (16-7-2). Light: Gabriel Flores (14-0) W PTS 8 Salvador Briceno (15-4).
Valdez vs. Sanchez
Valdez outpoints a competitive but out of his depth Sanchez to retain the WBO title
Valdez used a snappy jab to put Sanchez on the back foot. Sanchez was looking draw the jab and then move in quickly throw a couple of punches and get out. Valdez jab was on target and he connected with a sharp left hook as he took the round.
Score: 10-9 Valdez
Valdez again took this round with strong, accurate jabbing. He also connected with some left hooks and overhand rights but the jab was the main weapon. Sanchez tried to get inside but Valdez was anticipating the attacks and stepping back out of range.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 20-18
Sanchez was more aggressive in this one and landed a heavy right early. That led to a much better round for Sanchez. He was still on the back foot but was launching more attacks and throwing more punches. Valdez landed a sharp left hook late but was not using his jab so much and it was Sanchez’s round.
Score: 10-9 Sanchez Valdez 29-28
Valdez worked well with the jab and threw more left hooks than in the early rounds. Sanchez was not coming forward so much and although he connected with a couple of right the round belonged to Valdez.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 39-37
Inside the first five seconds of the round after throwing a jab Valdez landed a classic left hook that sent Sanchez down. He bounced up and did not look shaky. After the count he traded punches with Valdez for the rest of the round. He threw more but Valdez was more accurate but Sanchez saw made it to the bell without any further discomfort.
Score: 10-8 Valdez Valdez 49-45
This was a close round. Sanchez was again throwing lots of punches but good defensive work from Valdez plus his jabs and left hooks which were more accurate both giving him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 59-54
There seemed to be more purpose behind Valdez’s work in this one and he landed a stinging right to the head and a left hook that had Sanchez backing up. Sanchez then changed tactics and came lunging forward throwing punches. He kept coming forcing Valdez back across the ring and pinning Valdez to the ropes. Valdez was ducking, bobbing and weaving and Sanchez just could not land anything significant. When the storm blew over once again it was Valdez landing left hooks and straight rights.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 69-63
Valdez was working the jab again and Sanchez really had no answer to it. Valdez rocked Sanchez with a right/left combination and then went back to the jab to clearly take the round.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 79-72
Jab, jab, jab that was winning the fight for Valdez. He was quicker and more mobile getting through with the jab. He was either side-stepping or taking a couple of steps back to frustrate Sanchez’s attacks and then going back to the jab and banging home some left hooks. Sanchez now had a bloody bruise under his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 89-81
A close round. Sanchez was taking the fight to Valdez. His accuracy level was not high but he was making up for that in quantity and Valdez output dropped accordingly with Sanchez just doing enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Sanchez Valdez 98-91
A champion’s performance from Valdez in this one. The jab was working well but now he was hooking off the jab and also landing with clubbing rights and uppercuts inside. Sanchez was under fire all the way. He kept trying to punch back but had to absorb a lot of punishment.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 108-100
Sanchez started the last aggressively but a big right from Valdez rocked him badly and he retreated with Valdez in pursuit. Sanchez moved and held until his head cleared and then punched back. Valdez scored with some more heavy head punches and had Sanchez on the ropes under fire when the bell went.
Score 10-9 Valdez Valdez 118-109
The 28-year-old from Nogales was making the sixth defence of the WBO belt. This win, together with his victory over Carmine Tommasone in January, makes it two outings since returning from an injury which kept him out of the ring for almost a year. I felt he never really moved into top gear in this one but he is hoping to get Leo Santa Cruz in a unification match and if that comes off he will be in top form for that. Sanchez was not ready for a fight at this level. He found his way into the WBO ratings for a win over unbeaten Jean Carlos Rivera for their Youth title and just that one ten round fight did not prepaid him for facing Valdez. At 24 he can regroup and take a couple of steps then rebuild.
Seals vs. Brooker
Seals may not be the most fleet-footed of boxers but he has power and ended this one with a brutal kayo. Seals had the longer reach but Brooker caught him with a sneaky long right in the early action. Seals was tracking Brooker but only pawing with his left and it was Brooker who did the scoring in quick in-and-out attacks. In the second Seals was still tracking Brooker but throwing a few more punches. He has quick hands but his footwork is pedestrian. He took Brooker to the ropes and landed a left to the body. As Brooker ducked to cover his body a chopping right from Seals seemed to land on the back of Brooker’s head. He dropped down and hung suspended over the bottom rope with half of his body outside the ropes. The referee immediately waived off the action and it was some time before Brooker recovered. The 36-year-old 6’3” Seals makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO. Seals won his first 19 fights before losing on a stoppage against Edwin Rodriguez in 2015 in a fight that saw both contestants on the floor. His only other defeat was against Michael Gbenga in May last year when he was disqualified for hitting on the break. A former linebacker for Alabama A & M University Seals only turned to boxing late and had only five amateur fights. Third loss by KO/TKO for Booker.
Conceicao vs. Ruiz
Brazilian Conceicao stacks up another win. Conceicao was much quicker and in the first was using his longer reach and jabbing well to head and body and connected with a couple of rights but still has a tendency to slap with the right. The action picked up in the second and third with some fierce exchanges with Conceicao getting the better of the trading but Ruiz connecting with hooks inside. Over the fourth and fifth they continued to provide entertainment as they both threw some wild shots with Conceicao firing combinations and Ruiz largely single shots. Conceicao continued to out throw and outland Ruiz over the sixth and seventh but never seemed to land with enough power to shake the Mexican. Conceicao pressed hard in the eighth forcing Ruiz back and letting fly with hooks from both hands with Ruiz scoring with an occasional counter and never looking in any trouble. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Conceicao. The30-year-old Rio gold medallist has some very good skills and is steadily adjusting to the pro side of the sport but just does not seem to have the power he should have and tends to be wild with his attacks. He will have to tighten his work if he is to progress further. Ruiz keeps his record of not losing inside the distance but is now 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Flores vs. Briceno
Flores negotiates an important test as he decisions Briceno over eight rounds. Movement, hand speed sharp reflexes Flores has them all. He was beating the bigger man to the punch and outjabbing him before stepping inside with four and five punch combinations. Briceno kept marching forward behind his jab and throwing straight rights but Flores was quick enough to slip the jab and connect with rights over the top. Briceno attacked hard enough with left hooks to the body to take the fourth and fifth but Flores was back in control in the sixth moving and countering and had opened a cut over Briceno’s right eye. Briceno was still strong and still coming forward over the last two rounds but the quality work of Flores was frustrating his attacks and making him pay with flashing jabs and counters and connecting with some neck-snapping rights and lefts. Briceno was tiring and his work rate dropped but he kept pressing and was giving Flores a real test but Flores boxed and countered slickly in the last. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Flores. The 19-year-old Flores, the youngest fighter ever to be signed-up by Top Rank, was going eight rounds for the first time and paced the fight well. He oozes talent but Top Rank will build him sensibly as they did in getting a tough determined Briceno for this fight.
New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1) W KO 4 Steve Rolls (19-1). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (3-0) W TKO 6 Norberto Gonzalez (24-13). Super Middle: Ali Akhmedov (15-0) W TKO 3 Marcus McDaniel (15-1). Super Welter: Charles Conwell (10-0) W PTS 10 Courtney Pennington (12-4-3). Welter: Brian Ceballo (9-0) W PTS 8 Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-1-1,1ND).
Golovkin vs. Rolls
This one did not look likely to last long so it was no surprise when Golovkin put Rolls down and out with a brutal left hook in the fourth.
After the usual prodding with jabs Golovkin began to fire hooks to the body. Rolls was on the back foot jabbing without conviction and in a late spurt Golovkin connected with some hard left hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin
Rolls tried some jabs and straight rights but was short. Golovkin began to put together sets of hooks and uppercuts. Rolls threw some good combinations and landed a couple of good head punches but they lacked power and Golovkin was finding gaps for hooks and uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 20-18
Golovkin continued to apply pressure walking forward connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Rolls was trying to hide behind a high guard but Golovkin was finding gaps and a right looked to have shaken Rolls for a second but he was still trying to punch back and landed a good right counter.
Score: 10-9 Golovkin Golovkin 30-27
Rolls was forced to stand and trade but did not have the power to do that. Golovkin drove him to the ropes with left hooks and landed a looping left to the head and then a right to the head. Rolls came off the ropes but Golovkin sensed Rolls was badly shaken and forced him back. Rolls tried to fight his way off the ropes but was pressed back and a pulverising left hook to the head put his lights out and he went down on the canvas face first. Somehow he managed to get to his knees then to one knee but as he groped for the ropes he missed and tumbled into the ropes and was counted out.
First outing for Golovkin after his majority decision loss to Saul Alvarez in September. Both Golovkin-163lbs-and Rolls-163 ¾ lbs came in a few pounds over the middleweight limit but whichever weight Alvarez wants to be in Golovkin will be right there ready to accommodate him. Rolls lacked both the punch and the experience to trouble a focused and fired-up Golovkin.
Madrimov vs. Gonzalez
Uzbek Madrimov break down and halts Mexican veteran Gonzalez. Madrimov was just too strong for Gonzalez. He had Gonzalez under heavy pressure in the first and although Gonzalez had a good spell in the second again it was Madrimov landing the heavier stuff in that round and the third. Madrimov had Gonzalez shaken and in trouble from a left hook early in the fourth and then hammered him with a right hook just before the round ended. The fifth was a painful round for Gonzalez as Madrimov pounded him with hooks to head and body and early in the sixth with Gonzalez under fire the referee halted the fight. The 24-year-old “The Dream” was a top ranked amateur before turning pro in November. He won the WBA Inter-Continental title with a stoppage of 24-2 Frank Rojas in only his second pro fight. He looks a real danger. Now 38 Gonzalez gets only his third inside the distance loss. He had fought and won a fight in Nuevo Laredo on 30 May and was given a standard suspension between bouts. That would have led to him fighting here whilst under suspension but the local Commission reduced the suspension time to eliminate the problem.
Akhmedov vs. McDaniel
Akhmedov’s relentless aggression proves too much for McDaniel and the fight is stopped in the third round. In the first McDaniel was fitting around the ring poking out jabs with Akhmedov shadowing him but not throwing punches. When Akhmedov did start to let his hands go McDaniel slipped to the floor trying to avoid a right but no count was applied as it was rightly ruled a slip. Akhmedov continued to hunt McDaniel in the second with McDaniel moving, ducking and holding to survive. Akhmedov drove forward in the third forcing McDaniel to the ropes and kept punching until McDaniel dropped to his knees. He beat the count but when the referee indicated them to continue the action instead of walking forward McDaniel walked away along the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Kazak now has 11 wins by KO/TKO and is the owner of the WBC International Silver title. He has extensive amateur experience behind him and is ready to move up. McDaniel showed some good skills but was overwhelmed by the power of Akhmedov.
Conwell vs. Pennington
Conwell comes through his first ten round fight with flying colours as he outpoints Pennington. After an even start in the first Conwell began to move into the driver’s seat with some vicious body punches. Pennington connected with some right counters as the aggressive Conwell forced the pace over the middle rounds and Pennington lost a point in the fifth for holding. Conwell continued to go to the body and was also connecting with left hooks to the head. A clash of heads saw Pennington cut over his right eye in the eighth and he was rocked by a couple of rights in the ninth. Both landed with some heavy shots in the last but the final word came from Conwell as he shook Pennington with a left hook on his way to a clear victory. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-93 all for Conwell. The 21-year-old from Cleveland, a 2016 Olympian, is a former National Golden Gloves champion. One of nine children in his family he was still at High Scholl when he qualified for the Rio Olympics but lost there to Indian Vikas Krishnan. Pennington was 4-0-1 going into this fight.
Ceballo vs. Eyubov
A risky fight this for former top level amateur Ceballo as he took on unbeaten Kazak Eyubov and registered a wide unanimous decision. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 for Ceballo. The tall New Yorker won gold medals at the three major US Championships: the National Golden Gloves, the US National Championships and the National Police Athletic League. He also competed at the 2015 Pan American Games but fell short at the US Olympic Trials. Definitely one to follow. Eyubov has stumbled lately having to settle for a draw against experienced Jose Luis Rodriguez and now losing this one.
Verona, NY, USA: Super Light: Cletus Seldin (23-1) W TKO 11 Zab Judah (44-10,2ND). Middle: James McGirt (27-3-2,1ND) DREW 10 David Papot (22-0-1).
Seldin vs. Judah
Seldin too young and strong for an ageing Judah. After a fairly even first round Seldin was taking the fight to Judah getting close and working the body. Judah was showing some good defensive work but late in the third he was shaken by a right and a left hook. Seldin kept up the body punching in the fourth as they traded hard shots. In the fifth Judah was already showing signs of slowing and he was rocked by a big right. Judah was using his vast experience to stay in the fight and land some counters but Seldin was relentless. Judah put in a big effort in the eighth but he could not keep Seldin out. An exhausted Judah survived the tenth but in the eleventh Seldin landed a series of head punches wobbling Judah and the referee stepped in and halted the fight. Big win for Seldin. He had gone 21-0 before losing to Yves Ulysse in December. He had scored two first round wins in 2018 against low grade opposition so needed a significant win to get back into the ratings. At 41 it is unfortunately the end of the road as a boxer for Judah. After the fight he felt unwell and went to the hospital but was released. He then felt unwell and returned to the hospital where the doctor’s reportedly found a bleed on the brain. He has recovered well and left the hospital today.
McGirt vs. Papot
McGirt and Papot end up all even as the judges rule this one a split draw. This all-southpaw scrap was a slow burner but exciting once it warmed up. McGirt made good use of his longer reach and it took a few rounds for Papot to find his confidence and start to roll. From the fifth Papot was getting past McGirt’s jab and working him over inside and on the ropes. McGirt was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the sixth and in response to the pressure from Papot McGirt upped his own output and it was war from there. The ninth was a great round as first Papot pounded McGirt and then McGirt pounded Papot. They continued to trade punches fiercely in the tenth and eleventh with Papot just seeming to have more left in the last to make up for McGirt’s better start. Scores 117-111 for Papot, 115-113 for McGirt and 114-114. A good showing in his first fight in the USA and his first fight for 13 months for Papot. If he intends to continue to campaign in the USA then this was a good start. McGirt is now 36. He has talent but had only one fight in 2015, was inactive in 2016and had only one fight in 2017 and his only fight in 2018 was in February so had been out of the ring foe 16 months. He needs to decide if he has a career. It was a nice touch having McGirt Jr fighting in Verona, just down the road from Canastota, in the same week that his father was being inaugurated into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Quilmes, Argentina: Bantam: Fernando Martinez (10-0) W PTS 10 Abel Silva (5-5-3).
Former leading amateur Martinez suffers a hand injury in the fourth round but it makes no difference to the outcome as he outpoints Silva for the second time this year. The “Little Lion” had won the first two rounds connecting with hooks from both hands. Silva attacked hard in the third and edged that round but from there it was Martinez’s fight. He kept Silva under pressure with those hooks and showed some good defensive work when Silva banged back and Silva was competitive to the end. Scores 99-91 for Martinez. In the amateurs Martinez, 27, competed in both the World Junior and Senior Championships and also fought in the World Series of Boxing and the AIBA Pro Boxing. Silva suffers his fifth loss in a row in his first ten round fight.
Cutral Co, Argentina: Welter: Luis Veron (17-0-2) DREW 10 Max Veron (11-3-1,1ND).This battle of the unrelated “Verons” ended in a highly controversial draw. Max V had a good first round connecting early with a hard right to the head. Luis V took over in the second round. His better boxing a greater accuracy saw him sweep the next four rounds to build a good lead. Max V struggled to get into the fight. He was strong and attacked hard but was being outboxed. Luis V continued to boss the fight in the sixth and seventh with a strong left hook probably just enough to give Max V the eighth. Luis V was back in charge over the ninth and tenth and looked to have won by a wide margin-but no. Scores 97-93 Luis V, 96-94 Max V and 95-95 so the vacant WBC Latino title remains vacant. That makes it two split draws in consecutive fights for Luis V a former amateur international and member of the Argentina Condors in the WSB. There were high hopes for him as a pro so possible these will just be two bumps on the road to the top. Max V snaps a three-bout losing run.
Athens, Greece: Light: George Kambosos (17-0) W TKO 6 Richard Pena (11-3-1). Australian Kambosos has his first fight in the land of his parents and stops Venezuelan Pena in six rounds. Kambosos was in charge from the start and floored Pena with left hooks in the fourth and sixth rounds before the referee stopped he fight. In his last four fights the 25-year-old from Sydney has fought and won in America twice, Malaysia and now Greece. He is rated 5 (3) by the IBF and No 9 by the WBO. Pena’s record a typical Venezuelan farce with the eleven guys he has beaten having just two wins between them.
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico: Super Fly: Jonathan Rodriguez (21-1) W TKO 10 Felipe Orucuta (36-6). Rodriguez wins this one but the result is overshadowed by the injury sustained by Orucuta. The fight was stopped in the tenth round with Rodriguez the winner but Orucuta collapsed. He was given immediate medical attention with the doctors performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the ring. Orucuta was stabilised and then taken to hospital. He was operated on to remove a clot from his brain and then put into an induced coma with the next 48 hours being critical to his recovery.
Rotterdam, Holland: Super Welter: Stephen Danyo (16-3-3) W PTS 8 Alex Benidez (13-26-3). Fighting in his home city Danyo comfortably outpoints Georgian Benidez. The referee scored the fight 80-72. The 30-year-old “Chosen One”, has had a tough twelve months losing to Custio Clayton in Canada, Felix Cash in England and in April on a split decision to Orlando Fiordigiglio in Italy. Danyo represented Holland at the European and World Championships but has had to fight abroad in most of his pro fights. Poor Benidez is 0-13-1 in his last 14 fights.
Oviedo, Spain: Middle: Sergio Fernandez (9-0-1) W PTS 10 Javier Garcia Roche (19-6-1). Neighbourhood fighter Fernandez retains the Spanish title with a unanimous verdict over Roche. In an entertaining contests Fernandez used his reach to build a lead but Roche just kept pressing and was throwing more punches. Fernandez’s accuracy was the factor which saw him take the early rounds but then the fierce attacks from Roche slowed Fernandez. Roche continued to march forward throwing punches and although not throwing as much once again the precision of Fernandez’s counter punches was what impressed the judges. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for “Kaiser” Fernandez. The Oviedo Policeman is now hoping to move up to challenge for the EU title. Garcia, 37, a former Spanish super welter champion, was having his first fight since November 2017.
Detroit, MI, USA: Cruiser: Taylor Duerr (9-0-2) DREW 10 Lyubomyr Pinchuk (10-1-1). Middle: Darryl Cunningham (42-9) W KO 3 Raul Casarez (22-10,1ND). Heavy: Rydell Booker (26-3) W TKO 3 Dieuly Aristilde (9-10).
Duerr vs. Pinchuk
Duerr and Pinchuk starred in an entertaining match here. The early pressure came from Pinchuk but with Duerr connecting with solid counters. The rounds and the fight were close. Pinchuk was cut below his left eye in the fifth but looked to be in front. Despite Pinchuk’s early lead Duerr continued to land hard counters and finished strongly to put the decision in doubt with quite a spread in the how the judges saw the fight. Scores 98-92 Pinchuk, 96-94 Duerr and 95-95. The WBC United States title was up for grabs but remains vacant. Detroit’s “Machine Gun” Duerr had won his last nine fights. He skipped straight past eight rounds and moved from six to ten for this fight. Pittsburg-based Ukrainian Pinchuk had won six on the bounce and was also in his first tenner.
Cunningham vs. Casarez
Southpaw Cunningham kayos Casarez for the second time but this time takes almost two minutes longer to get the job done. Early in the third a big punch from Cunningham put Casarez down and out with his leg folding painfully under him. Cunningham had stopped Casarez in two rounds in October. Now 44 Cunningham has won nine in a row by playing the big fish in the little pond. Nine of the ten losses suffered by Texan Casarez have been by KO/TKO.
Booker vs. Aristilde
Booker rebounds from a points loss to 17-0 Jermaine Franklin with a stoppage of Aristilde in the third round. Booker ended it was just a couple of seconds to go in the round. Now 38 he is keeping busy after being released from a long prison sentence in February last year. US-based Haitian Aristilde, 42, hardly counts as active as this is was his first fight for over two years and only his third in six years.
South Africa: Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (23-1) W PTS 12 Vasil Ducar (7-1-1). Lerena has no trouble in holding onto his IBO title against Czech novice Ducar. It was a slow-paced gruelling fight with the greater strength and experience of Lerena giving him big edges. He attacked Ducar’s body throughout the fight with some hefty shots but Ducar absorbed them well without ever looking in trouble. The challenger showed a useful jab but naturally tired over the late rounds. Although Lerena tried hard he could not get the tough Ducar out of there so had to settle for twelve useful if not too testing rounds of work. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111.for Lerena. This is his fourth defence of the IBO title and his eleventh win in a row. It is hard to chart a course through the cruiserweight division right now with Olek Usyk out of the picture. The WBSS is tying up Krzys Glowacki, Mairis Breidis, Yuniel Dorticos and Andrew Tabiti and a re-instated Dennis Lebedev is defending the WBA title against Arsen Goulamirian but when the smoke clears there should be an opportunity in there for Lerena who is rated in the top 10 by the IBF, WBC and WBO. Ducar did better than might have been expected considering his lack of pro experience but he was Czech champion as an amateur and up until recently also competed in MMA and professional kickboxing. He is also as a member of the Czech equivalent of a US SWAT team so was never likely to fold easily. He lost but he won as after the fight and whilst still in the ring he dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend who accepted his proposal.
Bilbao, Spain: Feather: Andoni Gago (22-3-3) W PTS 12 Jesus Sanchez (10-2). Super Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (28-1) W KO 4 Luis Solis (25-10-4). Feather: Oleg Malynovskyi (24-0) W PTS 8 Alex Mora (10-12-6), Super Welter: Isaac Real (19-3-1) W David Makaradze (18-10-1).
Gago vs. Sanchez
Gago wins the vacant European title with a split verdict over Sanchez. Fighting in front of his home fans Gago was his usual strong aggressive self. Sanchez had the better technique so it went with the script with Gago barrelling forward and Sanchez boxing cleverly and countering. It was a close contest which warmed into a real war over the second half of the fight as neither had the power to end the fight so were able to trade regularly. As hard as Gago pressed Sanchez always found an answer until the closing rounds when he was almost overwhelmed by Gago’s late push. Overall it was Gago’s aggression that won out. Scores 115-113 and 115-114 for Gago and 116-112 for Sanchez. Gago, 34, a former EU champion, is now 6-0-1 since losing to Lee Selby in 2017. He wins the title relinquished by Kiko Martinez when he chose to challenge Gary Russell for the WBC title. Madrid’s Sanchez earned his right to be in the opposite corner with a stoppage of former European champion Denis Ceylan in January and hopefully will get another shot at the EBU title.
Lejarraga vs. Solis
Lejarraga gets back into winning ways with stoppage of Solis. “Revolver” took a more measured approach than in the past but was still producing hurtful lefts to the body The taller Solis countered when he could but in the fourth a left to the body dropped Solis to his knees and the fight was over. Lejarraga wins the vacant WBC Latino title. This is the first fight for Lejarraga since losing inside the distance to David Avanesyan which cost him his European title. Avanesyan was there on this night and climbed into the ring to congratulate Lejarraga so there might be a return in the air. Mexican Solis was 9-2 in his last 11 fight including a win over Nery Saguilan and losses to Antonio DeMarco and unbeaten Antonio Barboza.
Malynovskyi vs. Mora
Ukrainian southpaw Malynovskyi floors Mora on the way to a wide unanimous victory. Scores 79-71 for Malynovskyi from all three judges. Malynovskyi, 31, won a gold and three bronze medals in the Ukrainian championships but since turning pro has avoided anything remotely like a test. Madrid-based Dominican Mora drops to 2-5-1 in his last 8 bouts.
Real vs. Makaradze
In his first fight for almost a year Real gets stoppage win over Georgian Makaradze. Real was comfortably in front but the cause of the stoppage was a cut on the left eyebrow of Makaradze. Real 37, suffered defeats in high level fights against Cedric Vitu and Sergio Garcia and injury has kept him out of the ring. As for Makaradze this is his first fight for three years.
Broadbeach, Australia: Super Light: Liam Paro (17-0) W PTS 10 Fatih Keles (11-1-1,1ND). Light: Jacob Ng (11-0) W PTS 10 Ricardo Lara (19-6). Heavy: Demsey McKean (15-0) W KO 2 Dominic Musil (3-3).
Paro vs. Keles
Paro continues to make progress and is rapidly becoming one of the best prospects in Australian boxing. He outboxed unbeaten Turk Keles to win the vacant IBF International title. Paro was a comfortable winner over the former Olympian Keles and looks ready for sterner tests. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93 for Paro. The 23-year-old southpaw has beaten good level opposition in Robert Tlatlik, Massimiliano Ballisai and now Keles. The German-based Keles was European Champion as an amateur and competed at the 2012 Olympics but has struggled so far as a pro.
Ng vs. Lara
Queenslander Ng was much too good for useful Mexican Lara and lifts the vacant IBF International title with wide unanimous decision but was unable to continue his run of inside the distance victories. The local boxer took the verdict on scores of 99-91 twice and 100-90. The 24-year-old 5’11 ½” Ng is making steady progress and had won his last five by KO/TKO. His father was also a pro. Lara had won 7 of his last 8 fights.
McKean vs. Musil
McKean puts away late substitute Musil in the second round. Musil was a poor opponent but McKean got the job done in style. In the second round as Musil advanced McKean bombed him with a heavy southpaw left to the head that put Musil down and out. Fifth win in a row by KO/TKO and ninth inside the distance win in total. The 28-year-old 6’6” “Machine”, a former MMA competitor, has done all that has been asked of him but is yet to face a test of any substance. Third loss in a row for Czech Musil. All against unbeaten opponents and his first loss by KO/TKO.
Montreal, Canada: Super Middle: Shakeel Phinn (21-2-1) W TKO 10 Elio German Rafael (15-3). Phinn “The Jamaican Juggernaut” rolls over Argentinian southpaw Rafael. Phinn was going to the body early but Rafael was competitive. The body punching started to pay dividends and a body punch from Phinn dropped Rafael in the sixth. Phinn’s only loss had been on a majority decision so he kept pressing trying to get this over inside the distance. It looked as though Rafael was going to make it to the final bell but Phinn floored him again in the tenth and although Rafael arose a couple more punches from Phinn saw the referee stop the fight with 26 seconds to go. The 28-year-old Phinn gets his nickname from his Jamaican parents. This is his fifteenth win by KO/TKO and he lifts both the IBF North American and NABF titles which were vacant. Mexican-based Argentinian Rafael suffers his first loss by KO/TKO. He had won 4 of his last 5 fights with the loss coming on points against then unbeaten Adam Deines in Germany in 2017
Garin, Argentina: Welter: Walter Castillo (14-4) W PTS 10 Adolfo Moreschi (11-4). Super Light: German Benitez (22-4,1ND) W TKO 2 Jonathan Leyes (6-7).
Castillo vs. Moreschi
Castillo comes in at very short notice and outpoints Moreschi. Castillo took the place of Moreschi’s original opponent who just two days before the fight suffered a leg injury. Southpaw Moreschi built an early lead aided by a point deduction from Castillo in the sixth for a butt. Castillo staged a strong finish over the last four rounds to swing the fight his way. Scores 95-94 twice and 97-92 for Castillo. He had lost 4 of his last 5 fights including a first round stoppage by Josh Kelly in November. Moreschi drops to 3 losses in his last 4 fights.
Benitez vs. Leyes
Home town fighter Benitez stops poor Leyes in two rounds. Benitez did not shine in the first round being careless with his head and having to absorb a couple of hard rights. In the second a short left hook inside suddenly turned the legs of Leyes into spaghetti and as he stumbled to the ropes catching the top one to keep him up the towel came in from his corner. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Benitez who was coming off a points loss to Lewis Ritson in London in March. Leyes really just a prelim fighter who has now won only 2 of his last 8 fights
Fight of the week (Significance): The wins for both Gennady Golovkin and Oscar Valdez could lead to more big fights down the line.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Buddy McGirt vs. David Papot provided plenty to enjoy.
Fighter of the week: Can’t choose between Golovkin and Valdez. Both outclassed modest opposition
Punch of the week: The left hook from Oscar Valdez that floored Jason Sanchez in the fifth was a peach and Golovkin’s left hook that put Steve Rolls out of the fight had real power. Demsey McKean’s thunderbolt straight left that dumped Dominic Musil on the floor was spectacular
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: Super Welter Israil Madrimov is only 3-0 as a pro but is already up at ten round level and welterweight Brian Ceballo 9-0 will go far
By Eric Armit
-Andy Ruiz shakes the boxing world to its foundations as he stops Anthony Joshua to win the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles
-Callum Smith stops Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in WBA super middle title defence
-Thai Wanheng gets win No 53 and retains his WBC minimumweight title with technical decision over Tatsuya Fukuhara
-Fanlong Meng outpoints Adam Deines in IBF final eliminator to put himself in line to challenger Artur Beterbiev for the light heavy title
-Willie Monroe returns to action with a decision over Hugo Centeno
-Ivan Redkach surprises with stoppage of former champion Devon Alexander
-Unbeaten Josh Kelly and Ray Robinson fight to a majority draw
- Former champion Chris Algieri rekindles his title hopes with win over Tommy Coyle
-Unbeaten Welshman Jay Harris decisions Spaniard Angel Moreno to win the vacant European flyweight title
-Unbeaten hopes Joshua Buatsi and Frenchman Souleymane Cissokho score wins in New York
-World rated Filipinos Jhack Tepora and Marlon Tapales register wins in California
WORLD TITLE/MAJOR SHOWS
Chachoengsao, Thailand: Minimumweight: Wanheng (53-0) W TEC DEC 8 Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-7-6). Fly: Yodmongkol (54-4) W PTS 8 Dionatha Santos Tobias (0-1). Super Fly: Kongfah CP Freshmart (26-1) W TKO 5 Sumet Jaroenrob (0-1)
Wanheng vs. Fukuhara
Wanheng takes unanimous technical decision over Fukuhara in a return match. Japanese southpaw Fukuhara had height and reach over the champion but Wanheng was quicker drawing Fukuhara’s lead and getting inside to connect with hooks. Fukuhara was also landing well to the body. In the second a clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Fukuhara. The referee had the doctor examine the damage but the fight was allowed to continue. Wanheng landed a number of straight rights to increase the damage but Fukuhara hung tough and stayed in the fight scoring well to the body. Slick foot work and quick hands were giving Wanheng the edge but in their first fight Wanheng had tired badly over the late rounds so Fukuhara kept pressing. The challenger passed another doctor’s inspection but there was also some swelling around his left eye. In the seventh and eighth Fukuhara was continually charging in with his head down and eventually in the eighth his head crashed into Wanheng’s face opening a cut over the champions left eye. The referee immediately stopped the action and took Wanheng over for the doctor to assess the damage and it was ruled that the cut was too severe for Wanheng to continue so the fight was decided on the cards with the eighth round being scored. Wanheng was the winner with the three cards coming out at 78-74, 78-74 and 79-73 for Wanheng. The 31-year-old Thai was making the eleventh defence of the WBC title. He had outpointed Fukuhara in 2017. Fukuhara, the WBC No 4, was having his first fight for ten months.
Yodmongkol vs. Tobias
Only in Thailand do you find matches like this where a former interim world champion meets an opponent with no traceable record. Really just paid sparring for Yodmongkol. The former WBA interim flyweight champion has lost only 2 of his last 50 fights and they were in WBA title matches against Juan Reveco and Artem Dalakian. His last four opponents have had total records of 0-5 and 19-year-old Brazilian Tobias fits right in there.
Kongfah vs. Jaroenrob
This one every bit as bad as world rated Kongfah stops debutant Jaroenrob in four rounds. Twelve wins in a row for Kongfah since being knocked out in seven rounds by Daigo Higa for the WBC Youth title in 2015. Thai Jaroenrob again no traceable record.
New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Andy Ruiz (33-1) W TKO 7Anthony Joshua (22-1). Super Middle: Callum Smith W TKO 3Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-4). Super Light: Chris Algieri (24-3) W RTD 8 Tommy Coyle (25-5). Welter: Josh Kelly (9-0-1) DREW 10 Ray Robinson (24-3-2). Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (11-0) W TKO 4 Marco Periban (25-5-1). Middle: Souleymane Cissokho (9-0) W PTS 8 Vlad Hernandez (10-4).
Ruiz vs. Joshua
Huge upset as Ruiz climbs off the canvas and then floors Joshua four times before the bout is ended in the seventh round. He becomes the first Mexican to hold the heavyweight title and changes the dynamics of the current heavyweight scene.
A first round of study. Ruiz was tracking Joshua around the perimeter of the ring with Joshua using his longer reach to score with his jab. Both fighters tried big rights but missed and Joshua’s jabs won him the round
Score: 10-9 Joshua
After an early flurry of punches from Ruiz there was not much action in this round. Joshua was again circling the ring probing with his jab. He clipped Ruiz with a right to the chin but Ruiz just ignored it. Not much in the round but I gave it to Joshua again because of his jabs.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Joshua 20-18
Study time over in a big way in a dramatic round. After exchanging jabs again Joshua walked inside and put Ruiz down with a left hook. Ruiz was up at four and did not look too badly shaken but when the action started again Joshua landed a heavy right. He continued to throw punches looking to finish Ruiz but was wide open and a left hook from Ruiz saw Joshua’s knees buckle. Now Ruiz was storming forward throwing punches and Joshua went down. He watched the count and was up at eight. Joshua then proceeded to hold to smother Ruiz’s attacks but was wobbled again by a left. He tried to hold Ruiz off with his jab but Ruiz took him to the ropes and piled on punches until Joshua dropped just as the three minutes were up. He was up at eight but looked shaky. The round was over so Ruiz had no chance to capitalise on the two knockdowns
Score: 10-8 Ruiz Tied 28-28
Joshua was not looking to engage at all in this one. He stayed out of range hardly throwing a punch. Ruiz landed a couple of jabs but was not able to pressure hard enough but took a low action round.
Score: 10-9 Ruiz Ruiz 38-37
Joshua boxed his way through this one. He kept stabbing out the jab and moving. Ruiz was just tracking Joshua but hardly threw a single punch in the round. Late in the round Joshua landed a right and threw a couple more punches but again it was a low activity round. If not for the tension created by the dramatic third the crowd would have been calling for more action.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Tied 47-47
Better round for Ruiz. He was letting go with hooks and connecting. Joshua was just retreating and pushing out a weak jab. Ruiz was able to get inside with hooks to the head and Joshua was making no real effort to keep him off. He seemed to have lost his focus and almost seemed to be sleep-walking.
Score: 10-9 Ruiz Ruiz 57-56
Early in the seventh a left hook to the head from Ruiz un-hinged Joshua’s legs and Ruiz battered him with punches until Joshua dropped to the floor. He was up at four but again did not seem to be focused. After the eight count Joshua tried to keep Ruiz away with his jab but when he then tried to move inside to punch Ruiz again connected with head punches and Joshua went down again. Joshua made it to his feet then walked to a corner and stood with both arms resting on the top ropes. When the referee completed the eight count Joshua was still in that position not lifting his gloves as he should have down and the referee waived the fight over. Ruiz gets his reward for agreeing to fight Joshua at relatively short notice and now he can thumb his nose at those who turned down the chance. This must rate as one of the biggest shocks in the history of heavyweight boxing. Now they will all be knocking on Ruiz’s door. Where he goes from here is difficult to predict. Naturally Joshua wants a return but whereas the IBF, WBA and WBO were happy to ride on the coat-tails of Joshua the IBF may now insist that Ruiz fights their No 1 Kubrat Pulev, the WBA that he fights the winner of Manuel Charr vs. Trevor Bryan and the WBO that he fights the winner and Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas and since he can’t do all three we there will be no unified heavyweight titles. Joshua performed poorly both tactically and physically. His strong jab was reduced a weak prodding device devoid of snap, he rarely threw a right with any purpose and he spent most of the fight going backwards. At times he did not seem to be focusing on the fight and his punch resistance was low. He wants a return but may have to wait and he has a lot to work to do if he is to recover from this.
Smith vs. N’Jikam
Smith retains the WBA title with third round stoppage. Smith just too big and too powerful for a lightweight N’Jikam who hardly puts up any kind of fight and is floored in each of the three rounds.
The size discrepancy here was every bit as big as that between Joshua and Ruiz. Smith was the bigger man and he was able to connect early with left hooks to the body with N’Jikam trying to dart inside without success. Just before the bell N’Jikam suddenly launched an attack. Smith met him with a left hook to the head and N’Jikam fell to the floor. He struggled to get to his feet but raised his gloves when asked. There were only ten seconds left in the round. Smith took N’Jikam to the ropes trying to land a finishing punch. N’Jikam dropped forward to the canvas but the referee decided it was a slip and did not count and then the bell went.
Score: 10-8 Smith
N’Jikam tried a lunging attack early in this round and ran onto another left hook and was dropped on his rump. After the count N’Jikam tried to stay inside to deny Smith leverage but was rocked by another left hook. N’Jikam then used plenty of movement to stay out of further trouble.
Score: 10-8 Smith Smith 20-16
Smith shook N’Jikam with a right and worked him over on the ropes. N’Jikam fought his way of the ropes but was soon under pressure again. Smith landed a left hook to the body and some clubbing rights but N’Jikam escaped. It looked as though the challenger might make it to the bell but a huge right hook put him down on his back. He rolled over and got up but his legs wobbled and the referee stopped the fight.
The 6’3” from Liverpool was making the first defence of the WBA title he won with a knockout of George Groves in September. The big fight for Smith would be against Saul Alvarez who holds the secondary WBA title but if that fight can’t be made then from a domestic point of view John Ryder is No 1 with the WBA and Chris Eubank is No 2 and of course Billy Joe Saunders is the WBO champion. Additionally he would be favoured to beat WBC champion Anthony Dirrell and IBF champion Caleb Plant. Plenty of choices and all much harder than this fight with N’Jikam. The Cameroon-born French fighter has spent most of his career fighting at middleweight and in his last fight when he outpointed Martin Murray he weighed 157 ½ lbs. He had not fought at super middle since 2016 and the WBA did not pop him into their ratings at all until after this fight was agreed. A gift for Smith.
Algieri vs. Coyle
Algieri keeps the door open to another world title fight with win over Britain’s Coyle. With Coyle you know what you are getting. He is a tough aggressive fighter who always provides entertainment. The expectation was that Algieri would try to outbox Coyle but he had said his aim was to knock Coyle out so he also began aggressively. After a close first round Coyle shook Algeria with a right in the second and as he piled on the punches Algieri looked to be in trouble but was fighting back by the end of the round. In the fourth Algieri got through with a heavy right to the body and Coyle went down. Her beat the count and this time Coyle was the one surviving to the bell. Both scored with good body punches in the fifth. Algieri looked to be getting on top boxing more and connecting with good body punches but Coyle banged back late in the sixth forcing Algieri to the ropes under a series of punches. Algieri dominated the action in the seventh and eighth and although Coyle fought back hard he was looking tired and fading out of the fight and his corner retired their man at the end of the eighth. Now 35 the former WBO super light champion retains the WBO International title. He is currently No 5 with the WBO and is still a” name” and entertaining so another title shot is not out of the question. Coyle suffered set-backs when losing to Luke Campbell and Tyrone Nurse but had fought his way back winning the Commonwealth title with a stoppage of Sean Dodd and outpointing Ryan Kielczewski but after this defeat he may go back to domestic action.
Kelly vs. Robinson
In his first pro fight in the USA British prospect Kelly has to fight hard to get a draw with Robinson to retain the WBA International title. Kelly began the fight with his usual hands-down style showing plenty of movement and quick hands and he set out to dazzle Robinson early. The Philadelphian found the constantly shifting Kelly an elusive target and was being caught by some of the unorthodox punches Kelly conjures up. Robinson found his best tactic was to go to the body and he began to land some solid shots of his own. Both fighters had their moments over the middle rounds. Solid work from Robinson was proving an effective antidote to the flashier work from Kelly but the rounds were very close. Robinson was cut over the left eye in the seventh but had pinned Kelly in a corner for much of that round. Both landed with hard punches in the eighth, Robinson with a straight left and Kelly with a cracking right just before the bell. Kelly was cut over his right eye and they both stepped up their output trying to pull what they knew would be a close decision their way. Going into the final round two judges had Robinson in front by one point and the other had them even. Kelly did enough to take the round and saved the fight. Scores 95-95 twice and 95-94 for Kelly. With his dazzling skills Kelly has breezed by all of his opposition so far but this close call will give him some things to work on if he is to progress further. In his only fight in 2018 Robinson was floored twice and stopped by Yordenis Ugas but did much better in March this year with a draw against WBO No 1 Egidijus Kavaliauskas. That result by Robinson enhances somewhat Kelly’s performance here in only his tenth fight.
Buatsi vs. Periban
Buatsi and Callum Smith brightened what was an otherwise very disappointing /disastrous night for British boxing. Buatsi had no problems in dealing with a very faded Periban. Buatsi seems to improve with every fight. He wound up the pressure and the punishment in each round. Periban lacked the speed and power to pose a real threat and as this was his first fight for two years his reaction timing was off. Buatsi wrapped things up in the fourth. He felled Periban with a right and although Periban managed to get to his feet he was being pounded with more rights and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’2” Ghanaian-born Buatsi gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. A silver medal winner in Rio Buatsi has won his last six fights by KO/TKO and is already rated WBA 5/IBF 9(7)/WBO 13 but he has yet to be in with a name fighter so hopefully won’t be rushed. Periban, 34, won his first 20 fights before losing a majority decision to Sakio Bika for the WBC title in 2013. Later the same year he drew with the unbeaten Badou Jack but in 2015 and 2016 consecutive losses to J’Leon Love and James DeGale in 2014 knocked him back and a loss to Avni Yildirim in May 2017 sent him into semi-retirement.
Cissokho vs. Hernandez
French hope Cissokho gets a win in his first fight as a pro in the USA. He took a round and a half to get into the groove but after that he was in the driving seat controlling the fight comfortably outboxing and outscoring southpaw Hernandez. It was disappointing that Cissokho did not press harder and try for a stoppage as Hernandez had lost by TKO in his last fight but a win is a win and he will have better nights. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Cissokho. He was Captain of the French Boxing Team in Rio and won a bronze medal there. Hernandez falls to 3-4 in his last 7 fights,
San Jacinto, CA, USA: Middle: Willie Monroe Jr (24-3) W PTS 10 Hugo Centeno (27-3,1ND) W. Welter: Ivan Redkach (23-4-1,1ND) W TKO 6 Devon Alexander (27-6-1). Feather: Jhack Tepora (23-0) W PTS 10 Jose Gallegos (16-7). Feather: Marlon Tapales (33-2) W TKO 3 Roberto Castaneda (23-12-2). Heavy: Rodney Hernandez (13-7-2) W KO 1Onoriode Ehwarieme (17-1).
Monroe vs. Centeno
Monroe takes another step along the road to a title shot with unanimous decision over Centeno. Southpaw Monroe has plenty of skill, an awkward style and lots of tricks. Centeno just could not get to grips with Monroe who kept moving kept jabbing and outworked the Californian. Unfortunately Monroe’s awkward style rarely produces an entertaining fight and that is what happened here. Centeno was cut in the fourth round and had a heavy nosebleed for much of the fight. He gave away too many early rounds before getting into the fight and sweeping the middle rounds. The pace quickened over the last two rounds as Monroe took control again sliding his jab home and using slick movement to frustrate Centeno’s attacks. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Monroe. He climbed to No 2 in the WBO ratings before challenging Billy Joe Saunders for their title in 2017. He lost on points and by the next month had gone from No 2 to nowhere. He scored a couple of wins last year but a December eliminator with Jermall Charlo fell through when Monroe tested positive for high testosterone levels. At one time Centeno was 24-0 but inside the distance losses to Maciej Sulecki and Jermall Charlo meant that this was a fight he could not afford to lose.
Redkach vs. Alexander
Important win for Redkach as he floors and halts Alexander in a battle of southpaws. Under the tutelage of Roy Jones Alexander adopted a more aggressive approach in this fight which suited Redkach. Alexander’s aggression and better skills saw him edge the opening round but in the second Redkach knocked him off balance with a right and was able to find a home for some hooks from both hands. Alexander took the lead again by outscoring Redkach in the third. He was accurate with both his right jab and did some good work to the body. Redkach had more success in the fourth and fifth but Alexander looked to still be in front. Early in the sixth Redkach landed a right uppercut that sent Alexander face down on the canvas. Alexander arose and tried to buy some time by grappling with Redkach but a left hook put him on the floor again. He made it to his feet but was floored again and the referee immediately halted the contest. The 33-year-old Los Angeles-based Ukrainian looked to have lost his way suffering defeats against Tevin Farmer, Argenis Mendez and a fourth round kayo by John Molina. He steadied things with two wins and victory here should see him back in the world ratings. Alexander, 32, may be at the end of the road. Last year he drew with Victor Ortiz and lost a split verdict to Andre Berto which was good form but this is a crushing defeat.
Tepora vs. Gallegos
Tepora starts to rebuild his career and his reputation with a comfortable victory over Gallegos. Tepora was quicker and more accurate but Gallegos moved enough and landed enough to keep it a close over the first two rounds. Tepora really began to motor over the third and fourth. He was landing southpaw jabs and left hooks to the body and Gallegos just could not find the space to counter effectively. Gallegos had a bit more success in the fourth and fifth but took a beating in the sixth with a left counter from southpaw Tepora sending him back on his heels. Gallegos just could not figure out the crouching, side-on style of Tepora and was caught continually with lead lefts but he did land a cracking right hook in the eighth and Tepora had a swelling under his left eye from the punch. Tepora seemed to be aiming to get in some ring time and he did not really press his attacks in the ninth and tenth content to just do enough to win the rounds. Scores 99-91 for Tepora from all three judges. The 24-year-old Filipino southpaw is a former interim WBA featherweight champion. Winning that title was expected to lead to bigger things for Tepora but instead led to him losing his title when he came in 5 ½ lbs over the limit for a defence in January with the indiscipline casting a shadow over his career. He came in at 127lbs for this fight which was within the weight stipulated in the contract so hopefully he will quickly get back to title action. Three defeats in a row for Gallegos following losses to Ricardo Lara and Erick De Leon.
Tapales vs. Castaneda
Former WBO bantam champion Tapales steamrollers a gutsy but shop-worn Castaneda to defeat in three rounds. Castaneda was coming forward aggressively in the first but he was slow and predictable. Tapales was ducking under Castaneda’s swings and coming up with body punches. One landed low and Castaneda was allowed a bit of recovery time. In the next exchange Castaneda glanced at the referee to indicate Tapales had gone low again but Tapales took him to the ropes and dropped him with a left and right to the head. Castaneda was up at eight and used his experience to get through the rest of the round. In the second Castaneda was blasted with right hooks, straight lefts and uppercuts but kept swinging just enough to convince the referee he was still able to fight back. The doctor checked Castaneda in his corner before the start of the third but cleared him to continue. Castaneda was rocked by punch after punch in the third but kept throwing wild swings. Eventually yet another left to the head sent him into a corner where he slumped against the ropes and the referee then came in and stopped the fight. The 27-year-old Filipino won the WBO title with an eleventh round kayo of Pungluang in 2016 but lost it in 2017. Although he stopped challenger Shoei Omori he had failed to make the weight and lost the title on the scales. He was then inactive for seventeen months before coming back with a win last September. He is now on a twelve bout winning streak and has lost only once, on a majority decision, in his last 26 fights. He is No 4 with both the IBF and WBO so an interesting addition to a division where some good fights can be made. Castaneda is a very old looking 27 and has been in too many tough matches. He is now 2-6-1 in his last 9 fights.
Hernandez vs. Ehwarieme
As an upset in a heavyweight fight this was not in the same class as Ruiz vs. Joshua but it was an upset. The 6’7” Ehwarieme was able to use his reach early against the 6’3” Hernandez and when Hernandez bulled his way inside Ehwarieme tied him up then shoved him off. With less than ten seconds to go in the round Hernandez forced Ehwarieme to the ropes and landed a punch to the body and then nailed him with a left hook to the head. That started Ehwarieme on his way to the floor and Hernandez landed another left hook to help him on his way. Ehwarieme went to the canvas face down. He managed to struggle to his feet but was still very shaky and the referee stopped the fight. Hernandez had a 0-3-1 spell in 2016/2017 but last June he took a split decision over unbeaten 16-0 LaRon Mitchell. Nigerian Ehwarieme has certainly travelled. He turned pro in Indonesia and has since fought in Ghana, Nigeria, Argentina and now the USA. His opposition has been mediocre at best so it remains to be seen in if he is better than he showed here.
Concordia, Argentina: Welter: Gustavo Vittori (23-5-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Santana (15-3). Neighbourhood fighter Vittorio overcome handicap from a swelling that severely restricted his vision to win the vacant WBC Latino title. Having said that Santana looked very unlucky not to get the decision. A clash of heads in the first round started a swelling around the right eye of Vittori and bit by bit the swelling increased so that he could only see out of a slit. Punches from Santana had Vittori bleeding from nose and mouth by the third and Santana moved further in front when Vittorio was deducted a point for punches to the back of the head in the fourth. The middle rounds were close and Vittori survived examinations of his reduced vision in the eighth and ninth. He came into the fight more as Santana tired to make it close but still did not seem to have done enough to take the decision. Scores 96-93 for Vittori from all three judges. The 29-year-old “Puppy” Vittori levels his recent form to 3-3 with two of the three losses suffered against unbeaten Alex Saucedo and Mikkel LesPierre in the USA. He is No 6 with the Argentinian Federation. Santana was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and hopefully will get a return. He is No 9 super light in the national ratings.
Milan, Italy: Feather: Mauro Forte (13-0-1) W RTD 6 Michael Pappoe (24-6). Southpaw Forte too clever and, as his name says, too strong for tough but limited Pappoe. From the outset as Pappoe advanced behind a high but not tight guard. Forte was slotting jabs home, changing angles and landing hooks to the body of the Ghanaian. Forte used those same tactics over the opening four rounds with a frustrated Pappoe unable to really find a solution. In the fifth Pappoe launched himself forward but Forte side-stepped and landed a punch on the back of the Ghanaian’s head. Pappoe went down complaining about the punch but the referee continued the count. Pappoe arose but took some more punishment and his legs were unsteady as he returned to his corner. In the sixth Forte was driving Pappoe back and connecting with punches to head and body with Pappoe really just covering up and after the bell he retired. Forte, 25, a former undefeated Italian champion, adds the IBF International title to the WBC Mediterranean title he already holds. Pappoe, 34, now has two losses by KO/TKO and he loses every time he tries to move up.
Panama City, Panama: Super Fly: Elton Dharry (24-5-1) W PTS 10 Gilberto Pedroza (18-5-2). Dharry wins two titles in the same night with unanimous decision over local fighter Pedraza. It was a simple case of Pedraza just being too small and too light to tackle Dharry. The visitor was able to bull Pedraza in the clinches and Pedraza lacked the power to change that. Dharry had Pedraza down in the seventh and was a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and a too close 95-94 all for Dharry. He wins the WBA Fedecentro and WBC Fecarbox titles. Dharry, 33, has been a pro for fourteen years and is unbeaten in his last 20 fights. That’s a long time to have made so little progress with never a hint of a world title shot but if you never take the risk you never get the reward. Pedraza was stopped in four rounds by Ken Shiro in a WBC light flyweight title challenge in December 2017 and his manager said he will go back down in weight in his next fight.
Warsaw, Poland: Cruiser: Michal Cieslak (19-0,1ND) W TKO 2 Olan Durodola (29-7). Cieslak stops Durodola in two rounds. The Pole was fired up for this one. He was on the front foot switching guards scoring with both left and right jabs and then connecting with hooks landing heavily to the head just before the bell to end the first round. In the second Cieslak connected with a clubbing right to the head that sent Durodola stumbling to the ropes on shaky legs. He hung on the ropes with his right arm hooked over the top rope holding him up. Cieslak clobbered the Nigerian with head punches and as Durodola’s right arm came free of the ropes he started to slump to the floor. The referee stepped in and halted the fight with Durodola protesting he was able to continue but it was the right decision. The 30-year-old EBU No 1 collects the vacant Polish International title. He is coming off a career best win over Youri Kayembre Kalenga in March and with Durodola rated No 11 by the WBC that should enable him to get a rating. Durodola, 38, was 4-3 going into this one but the 4 were unimportant matches and the three were losses to Dmitry Kudryashov, Maksim Vlasov and Krzys Wlodarczyk. I haven’t seen it before but there was wire fence around the ring from the bottom rope to the canvas presumably to stop a fighter rolling on to the ring apron and thence to the floor.
Belgrade, Serbia: Light Heavy: Marko Nikolic (24-0) W PTS 10 Adriano Sperandio (11-1). Heavy: Bogdan Filipovic (26-1) W TKO 2 Marino Goles (24-9).
Nikolic vs. Sperandio
Nikolic wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title with unanimous decision over Italian Sperandio. This was a hard fought, entertaining contest which was close all the way with local fighter Nikolic building a lead and then resisting a strong finish by Italian Sperandio to win his first pro title. Sperandio faced a crisis in the second being badly shaken and only just avoiding a knockdown. The Italian rallied over the third and fourth after which two judges had the scores at 38-38 each and the third judge had Nikolic in front 39-37. Nikolic effectively won the fight with a strong showing over the next three rounds to now lead on all three cards at 68-65 twice and 67-66. Sperandio battled hard trying to claw back the deficit over the last three rounds but just coming up short. Scores 96-94 twice and 96-95 all for Nikolic. The 30-year-old Serbian fireman was a top level amateur winning Serbian titles at Junior and Senior level and competing at the World and European Championships, He mainly fought at 81kgs but moved down to light heavyweight for this fight. He is hoping to use his first title as a springboard to winning others. Sperandio has a similar amateur background being a former Italian champion with over 100 fights behind him and with the result so close he naturally felt he had won but Nikolic deserved the decision.
Former top level amateur Sperandio, 31, may look inexperienced but he had over 100 amateur fights and is a former Italian amateur champion.
Filipovic vs. Goles
Serb oldie Filipovic wins the vacant WBC CIS and Slovak belt with stoppage of anther aging fighter in Goles. Filipovic, 42, has won 24 of his fights by KO/TKO but being stopped in three rounds in February by 45-year-old Danny Williams puts him into context. Croatian Gomes, 39, loses whenever he tries to step up and this is his eighth loss by KO/TKO.
Scunthorpe, England: Light Heavy: Dec Spelman (16-2) W PTS 10 Kirk Garvey (12-3). Spelman takes the English title from Garvey on a unanimous decision. The 6’3” Garvey was at his best when he could create some space to use his jab. Spelman was marching forward strongly and he rocked Garvey in the second. Spelman’s aggression kept Garvey on the back foot but he was jabbing well and mixing in straight rights. Spelman just kept on coming and was scoring with hard jabs of his own. He had Garvey in trouble at the end of the fifth but was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads and it bled for the rest of the fight. Spelman’s relentless pressure kept him in control but Garvey fought back hard. It was an excellent contest but Spelman was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 97-94 for home town fighter Spelman. On his shorts Spelman wears a tribute to Scott Westgarth who outpointed Spelman in February last year but then collapsed in the dressing room and was taken to the hospital but died two days later. Garvey was making the first defence of the English title he won in March with a victory over Mike Shinkwin.
Glasgow, Scotland: Welter: Martin Harkin (10-0) W KO 4 Ally Black (9-5-1). Harkin wins the vacant BBB of C Celtic title with savage kayo of Black in an all-Scottish clash. This was an entertaining scrap while it lasted. Black was busier in the first pumping out jabs and moving in with hooks. Harkin had the longer reach and was dangerous with right crosses and left hooks. Harkin showed his power in the second dropping Black with a right to the head. Black beat the count and although he made it to the bell he suffered severe punishment from hooks and neck-jarring uppercuts. Despite that bad round Black was not about to cave in and he took the fight to Harkin in the third connecting with some hefty rights to the head. He was often forcing Harkin back but he just did not have the power to match Harkin who continued to land some hurtful hooks. A gutsy Black tried to punch with Harkin in the fourth. He was rocked a couple of times and then shaken by a left hook. Harking threw another left hook to the head and Black went down like a puppet that had his strings cut and the referee immediately waived the fight off. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 27-year-old from Dumbarton who was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. Black, a former Scottish Area champion. was 4-1 in his last 5 fights
Harare, Zimbabwe: Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2,1ND ) W KO 4 Liberty Muwani (4-4). Namibian Ndafoluma wipes out seriously overmatched local fighter Muwani. It was clear from the start that Ndafoluma was streets ahead of the Zimbabwean novice who had very little technique and no power. Ndafoluma hunted Muwani down in the first and looked to have scored a knockdown in the second but the referee ruled it was a slip. Muwani had a good third as Ndafoluma seemed to lose focus. The Namibian woke up again the in fourth forcing Muwani to a corner and landing a thunderous right putting Muwani down to the floor against the ropes and he was counted out. The 6’2” 33-year-old Ndafoluma now has 11 wins on the bounce but wins like this are meaningless. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Muwani.
Cardiff, Wales: Fly: Jay Harris (16-0) W PTS 12 Angel Moreno (19-4-2). Super Light: Kieran Gething (9-2-1) W PTS 10 Craig Woodruff (7-5). Light: Craig Evans (20-2-2) W PTS 10 Stephen Ormond (27-5). Light: Sultan Zaurbek (7-0) W TKO 8 Sergio Gonzalez (10-16-5). Welter: Zhankosh Turarov (23-0) W RTD 2 Richmond Djarbeng (29-4-1). Super Bantam: Sean McGoldrick (9-0) W PTS 6 Moises Mojica (9-6-2).
Harris vs. Moreno
Harris wins the vacant European title with wide unanimous decision over a gutsy and competitive Moreno. It was bombs away at the bell from this one. Moreno piled into Harris firing punches from both hands. Harris banged back and they traded punches for most of the three minutes. Twice Harris had Moreno pinned against the ropes with Moreno looking to be in trouble but Moreno punched his way off the ropes as they traded to the bell of a hectic opening round. Harris kept up the pressure in the second with Moreno now having to show his clever defensive work as Harris worked him over on the ropes. A clash of heads saw Harris cut over his left eye. Harris was proving too strong for Moreno. The Spaniard was standing and exchanging punches occasionally but Harris was sustaining his attacks and continually forcing Moreno to give ground and was obviously the harder puncher. Only Moreno’s foot work and clever bobbing and weaving were keeping him in the fight. Harris was pressing all of the time with Moreno only attacking in very short bursts or leaping in with one punch and darting out again but it was Harris winning the rounds. Harris rocked Moreno with some heavy rights in the middle rounds but Moreno took the punishment and remained in the fight. Harris continued to dominate the exchanges and by the tenth Moreno was showing a swelling under his right eye and he had been cut beside the same eye in a clash of heads in the ninth. Despite the dominance enjoyed by Harris and the punishment he handed out there was never any doubt that Moreno would last the distance. The little gutsy Spaniard just kept coming back for more and was still fighting hard at the end of the twelfth. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 for Harris who already holds the Commonwealth title. The 28-year-old from Swansea is rated IBF 9 (8)/WBO 13/WBC 14 and needs to kick on from here against some tougher opposition if he is going to land a shot at a world title with WBC champion Charlie Edwards an obvious target. The 35-year-old Moreno, who fights under the banner of Sergio Martinez, needed two attempts to make the weight. He was floored and outpointed by Edwards in March but has plenty of fight left in him and is an entertaining performer.
Gething vs. Woodruff
Gething holds on to his Welsh title with narrow points victory over Woodruff. The 6’0” Woodruff had height and reach over Gethin and worked his jab well. Gething kept storming forward looking to get inside a land with hooks. The rounds were close with neither fighter having the power to dominate. Woodruff did his best work when he was moving and countering and Gethin when getting past Woodruff’s jab and firing hooks to the body. As they tired things became a bit untidy as Woodruff looked to tie Gething up. The decision could have gone either way but Gethin had been just a little bit busier and took the decision. Referee’s score 97-95 for Gethin. First defence of the Welsh title for Gethin and third win in a row. Wood was inactive for four years but had scored two wins after returning to action in November last year.
Evans vs. Ormond
Evans gets repeat win over Ormond. The better boxing from Evans put him in the driving seat and he never really lost control. As usual Ormond fought hard but just could not match the work rate or accuracy of the Welsh southpaw. Knowing he was behind Ormond staged a storming finish pressing hard enough for Evans to lose a point for holding in the last but by then Evans was already assured of victory. Scores 98-92, 97-92 and 95 94 for Evans. He retains the WBO European title. He had Ormond on the floor twice in the last round when they fought in 2017 but could not keep him there and won on points. Ormond, 36, announced his retirement after the fight. Irish boxing will miss “The Rock”
Zaurbek vs. Gonzalez
Southpaw Zaurbek was much too quick for Gonzalez. He was daring in landing right jabs and lefts to head and body and getting out before Gonzalez could counter. Gonzalez kept trying to close the distance but he was eating counters and a sustained attack from Zaurbek in the third had the referee looking closely at Gonzalez to see if he needed to be rescued. Gonzalez took more punishment in the fourth but connected with two rights to the head at the bell. It was target practice for Zaurbek in the fifth and a punch opened a cut over the left eye of Gonzalez. Zaurbek took time in the sixth to mock Gonzalez for his wild swings. In the seventh as Zaurbek put some flashing combinations together it looked as though he could end the fight whenever he chose. Zaurbek cut loose in the eighth driving Gonzalez around the ring with hurtful shots to head and body. The referee watched the action very closely and with blood running down Gonzalez face and heavy shots landing from Zaurbek he stopped the fight. A former World Youth Championships silver medallist the 23-year-old London-based Kazak is another to follow. Gonzalez just one more game but outclassed member of the Nicaraguan/ Barcelona “losers supplied” club.
Turarov vs. Djarbeng
Kazakh Turarov returns to action with an easy victory over Ghanaian Djarbeng. The menacing looking Turarov was tracking the retreating Djarbeng around the ropes looking to land overhand right and left hooks. Djarbeng just poked out his jab and tried a couple off right crosses but looked slow. Turarov continued to hunt Djarbeng in the second and scored with some powerful rights to the head. In the interval Djarbeng would not let his second insert his mouthguard insisting that he was suffering body cramps and he retired from the fight. The 28-year-old Turarov turned pro at 18 and has fought in the Dominican Republic and the USA as well as Kazakhstan but has not faced a name opponent or really been tested. He has also had periods of low activity fighting only once in 2014 and 2015 and was inactive in 2018. Now based in Florida he looked very good here and hopefully will be more active under the MTK banner. Djarbeng has a heavily padded record and the only other time he has tried to step up was a fight with Jeff Horn in 2015 where he was floored three times and halted in the third round.
McGoldrick vs. Mojica
McGoldrick wins decision over a feisty Mojica. The visitor from Nicaragua made a bright start with plenty of jabs as he continually switched guards. McGoldrick worked behind his jab and was digging in left hooks to the body. McGoldrick was in control in the second and third adding clubbing rights to the head to his arsenal but Mojica continued to be happy to trade punches. McGoldrick was attacking the body again in the fourth but strayed low and lost a point. The pressure was wearing Mojica down. He rallied briefly at the start of the fifth but from there to the final bell was still competitive but taking a beating to the body. Referee’s score 59-55 for McGoldrick. The 27-yerar-old Welshman won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games-originally a silver but was upgraded to gold when his opponent tested positive for a banned substance- and a bronze at the Commonwealth’s in 2014, he competed at the European and World Championships and is developing well as a pro. Mojica was having his first fight under the “Barcelona loser’s” squad banner and fought well making McGoldrick work for his win.
Vicente Lopez, Argentina: Feather: Diego Ruiz (21-2.) W PTS 10 Luis Cusolito (27-4,1ND). Substitute Ruiz wins the vacant WBC Latino title and heads on into the final of the national featherweight tournament with split verdict over Cusolito. Over the first four rounds Cusolito used his longer reach to outbox the smaller Ruiz who kept pressing but with little success. That changed over the next four rounds as Ruiz worked his jab and pressed a tiring Cusolito. The closing two rounds were very close with Cusolito rallying and looking to have just done enough to turn the fight his way but it was very close and the decision went to Ruiz. Score 96-94 twice for Ruiz and 96-94 for Cusolito. Ruiz “The Prophet” ,a former undefeated national bantamweight champion, took this fight at just one week notice. He gets his ninth win in a row. He is No 4 at super bantam with Argentinian Federation. Cusolito, the Argentinian No 5 lost to Moises Fuentes in a challenge for the interim WBA super bantam title in 2015 and is a former South American champion.
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tommy Browne (41-7-2) W PTS 12 Jorge Miranda (56-19). Browne makes a successful first defence of the WBFoundation title with wide unanimous decision over Argentinian Miranda. The Argentinian proved to be tough and experienced but limited. Browne was the busier fighter all the way. He had a handicap from early in the fight when a punch from Miranda caused bleeding inside Browne’s mouth but his corner managed to control that. Browne had height and reach over Miranda and that plus faster hand speed saw him build an unassailable lead. Miranda had a big eleventh but never really threatened Browne’s title. Scores 120-108, 120-109 and 119-109 all for Browne. The 36-year-old Australian has now won his last five fights. He is aiming to fight in the USA and is currently based there. Miranda, 35, is closing in on celebrating 16 years as a pro but this is only his fourth fight in the last four years.
Offenbach, Germany: Cruiser: Semir Bajrovic (19-1-2) W TKO 3 Sami Enbom (18-3). Serbian Bajrovic extends his current unbeaten run to 12 with stoppage of Finnish southpaw Enbom. The 28-year-old Bajrovic gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. Bajrovic, really a super middle was fight two divisions above his normal weight and says he will go back down to super middle now. Bajrovic had only beaten one other fighter with a positive record and this counts as his best win so far but with just one fight in 2017 and one in 2018 he needs to get serious about his career. Enbon was coming off a first round stoppage by Fabio Turchi in April.
Varpalota, Hungary: Cruiser: Imre Szello (24-0) W TKO 2 Juan Basualdo (11-5-1). Super Middle: Mate Kris (15-0-2) W PTS 8 Geard Ajetovic (31-22-1)
Szello vs. Basualdo
No threat to Szello’s WBO No 1 rating here as he wipes the floor with Argentinian Basualdo. Szello had no trouble brushing aside the weak jabs of the South American southpaw. He put Basualdo down twice in the first and after Basualdo went to the floor another two times in the second the fight was stopped. The 35-year-old “Imo” is just waiting for the smoke to clear after the WBSS Tournament is over . With Oleg Usyk moving up to heavyweight but not yet having relinquished the WBO cruiser title Szello is in limbo. Four overseas trips and four losses in a row for Basualdo
Kris vs. Ajetovic
Local fighter Kiss takes unanimous decision over Serb veteran Ajetovic. The experienced Serb is playing the role of imported loser now and has had some tough assignments. Kiss dominated seven of the eight rounds with Ajetovic coming to life in the seventh round and giving Kiss a couple of anxious moments but ending a clear loser. Kris, 25, has scored useful domestic wins over Richard Baranyi in Hungarian title fights and has collected eight wins in a row. Ajetovic, 38, has now lost five fight in a row in five different countries.
Udine, Italy: Light Heavy: Davide Faraci (13-0) W TKO 7 Nicola Ciriani (17-3-1). Faraci invades the home town of Ciriani and leaves with Ciriani’s Italian title. This match lacked real entertainment with both fighters looking to use their jabs and their styles not really gelling. There was too much wrestling, with both fighters on the floor and too much holding. Both scored with heavy rights at the end of the sixth and in the seventh a hard right cross from Faraci sent Ciriani down on his knees. Ciriani climbed off the floor but after the count another right shook him. Faraci followed that with a deadly right uppercut inside which floored Ciriani for a second time with the fight being stopped. Swiss-born Faraci, 27, makes it seven wins by KO/TKO. He splits his fighting time between Switzerland and Italy and is a former Swiss amateur champion who turned pro after failing to qualify for Rio. Second loss by KO/TKO for Ciriani who is a former undefeated Italian cruiser champion who moved down a division to win the light heavy title.
Tokyo, Japan: Fly: Junto Nakatani (19-0) W KO 1 Philip Cuerdo (11-7-1). Super Welter: Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2) W PTS 8 Charles Bellamy (28-4-2).
Nakatani vs. Cuerdo
Nakatani blows away substitute Cuerdo in just 83 minutes. Nakatani landed some early jabs and then forced Cuerdo to the ropes and sunk home a powerful left hook to the body. Cuerdo slumped to the floor and was counted out. The 21-year-old Japanese champion, the WBO No 3, has 14 wins by KO/TKO. The 5’7” southpaw won a couple of Junior titles and when he left High School in Japan he travelled on his own to the USA to train under and live with Rudy Hernandez. He looks a very good prospect. Filipino Cuerdo suffers his second one round defeat in a row. He came in at short notice after Nakatani’s original opponent pulled out after being diagnosed with a detached retina.
Shimizu vs. Bellamy
When these two clashed in September Bellamy took a very narrow split decision. This time it was Shimizu who came out on top but with a unanimous decision- but again a very tight one. The tactics didn’t change with Bellamy striding forward and Shimizu boxing slotting home jabs, left hooks and quick counters. Bellamy’s had a 7lbs weight advantage here and although heavy rights had helped him take the verdict in September Shimizu’s boxing impressed the judges more this time. Scores 78-74, 77-75 and 77-76 for Shimizu. With only one fight in each of years 2016 and 2017 and his losing to Bellamy in his only fight in 2018 Shimizu was unrated but with former OPBF and Japanese champion Bellamy No 8 in the Japanese ratings Shimizu should find himself allocated a slot. New York-born Bellamy had hopes of a world title shot but those ended when he lost to Jermell Charlo and Yuki Nonaka in 2014 and at 37 he won’t be getting a chance.
Macao, S.A.R, and China: Light Heavy: Fanlong Meng (15-0) W PTS 12 Adam Deines (17-1-1). Important win for Meng as he aims for a shot at the IBF title. This one started as a cagey tactical contest between two southpaws and never real changed much. Meng was quicker working away with his jab and stepping in with long lefts. Deines was just not throwing enough punches and trying the old tactic of finishing a round with a flurry of activity but rarely connected. Meng had the longer reach and better hand speed. Deines scored with some counters in the fourth and fifth but was not putting Meng under any pressure and allowing the Chinese fighter too much room. In the eighth it could be that Meng became complacent because after easily finding the target with right jabs and hooks he was knocked down by a heavy right from Deines. He was immediately and after the count Deines stormed forward trying to land another big punch. Meng looked shaky but by the end of the round he had forced Deines back and was letting rip with some punches of his own. Meng clearly took the ninth and despite a big effort from Deines in the tenth Meng was getting the better of the exchanges. Deines was just looking to connect with big lefts in the eleventh but Meng had no trouble ducking inside those punches and finding gaps for his jabs and straight lefts. In the twelfth Deines was already a long way behind and his position worsened when he was harshly penalised for hitting on the break and Meng was more accurate as they swapped punches to the bell. Scores 117-109, 116-110 and 115-111 all for Meng. The 31-year-old 6’2” “Cold Blood” was making the second defence of his IBF Inter-Continental but more important was the status of this fight as a final eliminator making Meng the mandatory challenger for Artur Beterbiev’s IBF title. The only recognisable name on Meng’s record is Frank Buglioni who he stopped in five rounds in November but he is tall and tough and as Callum Johnson showed Beterbiev does not have a water-tight defence. It is a similar story with Deines as again there is an absence of any notable opponents on his record with a split decision over Stefan Haertel his best result. He is 28 and his management has influence so he will be rebuilt as a contender.
Linares. Mexico: Super Fly: Francisco Rodriguez (31-4-1) W TKO 2 David Barreto (12-1). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (10-0) W KO 3 Eduardo Cordovez (12-1-1).
Rodriguez vs. Barreto
Rodriguez much too good for Venezuelan novice Barreto. The visitor had won all twelve of his fights by KO/TKO which made him look a danger but Rodriguez just brushed him aside. Rodriguez put Barreto down in the first with a wicked right to the body. The Venezuelan made it to his feet and tried to drive Rodriguez back but was trapped in a corner and Rodriguez kept punching until Barreto fell forward on his knees. Again Barreto beat the count and was saved by the bell. In the second Rodriguez . had Barreto backing along the ropes taking plenty of punishment. Barreto escaped but Rodriguez connected with two body punches and Barreto went down on one knee. He beat the count and for a while had Rodriguez in a corner and showered him with punches. Rodriguez was not even mildly shaken and then he opened up and drove Barreto to the floor and the referee halted the massacre. The 25-year-old Rodriguez wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with his 22nd win by KO/TKO. A former undefeated WBO and IBF minimum champion Rodriguez suffered consecutive losses in 2015 to Donnie Nietes for the WBO light fly title and to Moises Fuentes. He has rebuilt steadily since then with twelve wins and is at No 5 super fly with the WBC and No 6 with the WBO. Barreto’s record was built on poor opposition with 11 of his 12 victims never having won a fight
Delgado vs. Cordovez
Olympian Delgado was fed another Venezuelan with a heavily padded record and also won inside the distance. Delgado had Cordovez down twice in the second round from fearsome rights to the body. In the third as Cordovez walked forward Delgado met him with a rib-bending left hook to the body with Cordovez going down on his knees and being counted out. All ten of the 24-year-old Delgado’s fights have ended early and his body punching here was savage. As with Barreto eleven of the guys Cordovez beat had never won a fight.
Berne, Switzerland: Welter: Ricardo Silva (17-2-1) DREW 10 Andranik Hakobyan (13-1-2). Super Light: Alain Chervet (16-1-2) W PTS 8 Edgar Jimenez (23-15-2).
Silva vs. Hakobyan
These two faced each other when they were amateurs with each registering a win and they knew each other well so well that they largely cancelled each other out and had to settle for a draw. It was a hard fought contests with many rounds being close but with neither fight able to dominate a draw looked about right and the Swiss title remains vacant. Scores 96-94 for Silva and 95-95 twice. Portuguese-born southpaw Silva is 4-1-1 in his last 6 fight with his two losses both against unbeaten French fighters in France. Armenian-born Hakobyan, a former Swiss super light champion, had won his last three fight against experienced but not too threatening opponents.
Chervet vs. Jimenez
Chervet still carries into the ring the name of one of the greatest Swiss fighters and is doing what he can to live up to the reputation of Fritz. Chervet had lost of height and reach over Jimenez and that plus a lack of activity were too much for Jimenez to overcome. Chervet won every round clearly able to hold off the lunging attacks of Jimenez. He had Jimenez on the floor cracking the little Mexican with a left to the body and right to the head that saw Jimenez backing off and then going down on one knee but he got up and lasted the distance. Chervet wins his third fight in a row on points. He has not yet fought for a Swiss title so that might be the logical next step. First fight in almost 13 months for Jimenez.
Fight of the week (Significance): It has to be Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing really stood out
Fighter of the week: Andy Ruiz
Punches of the week: Callum Smith’s short right hook that ended his fight with Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, the left hook from Martin Harkin that dropped Ally Black like a sack of potatoes and the left hook from Lukas Ndafoluma that laid out Liberty Muwani were all spectacular.
Upset of the week: Has to be Andy Ruiz stopping Anthony Joshua.
Prospect watch: Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado a super lightweight who is now 10-0 10 wins by KO/TKO.
By Eric Armit
-Josh Taylor floors and outpoints Ivan Baranchyk to win the IBF super light title and progress to the final of the WBSS Tournament where he will face Regis Prograis
-Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue crushes Emmanuel Rodriguez in two rounds to lift the IBF bantamweight title and will meet Nonito Donaire in the final of the WBSS Tournament
- Deontay Wilder retains the WBC heavyweight title with stunning one punch kayo of Dominic Breazeale
-Billy Joe Saunders becomes a two-division champion after winning the vacant WBO super middle title
-Gary Russell gets technical decision over Kiko Martinez to retain the WBC featherweight title
-Felix Alvarado outpoints Reiya Konishi in defence of his IBF light flyweight title
- Ryan Burnett returns with a win-Joe Joyce rolls on with stoppage of Alex Ustinov
-Former champion Omar Narvaez is on the trail of another title fight after a win on Saturday
- Brad Foster retains the British super bantam title and wins the Commonwealth title with dramatic late stoppage of Ashley Lane
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Glasgow, Scotland: Super Light: Josh Taylor (15-0) W PTS 12 Ivan Baranchyk (19-1). Bantam: Naoya Inoue 18-0) W KO 2 Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1). Super Middle: Zach Parker (18-0) W TKO 4 Steven Crambert (8-5). Bantam: Paul Butler (29-2) W TKO 6 Salvador Hernandez (14-9-1). Super Bantam: Lee McGregor (6-0) W PTS 6 Brett Fidoe (13-51-5).
Taylor vs. Baranchyk
It took Taylor two attempts to make the weight for this fight but that was a minor blip as he floored Baranchyk twice and put on a marvellous display of box/fighting to win a wide unanimous decision/
Baranchyk made an aggressive start but southpaw Taylor was able to dart away from the Russian’s punches and landed a crisp left counter. Baranchyk was wild with a couple of swings and Taylor scored with a good combination and then ducked under a couple of punches from Baranchyk.
Score: 10-9 Taylor
Taylor opened the round with a couple of crisp punches and then had Baranchyk lunging and swinging wildly with some quick footwork and upper body movement. Taylor connected with a right jab and a clubbing left with Baranchyk just not able to pin down the Scot and being left swishing air.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Taylor 20-18
Baranchyk finally got into the fight. He was sharper scoring with left hooks to the body and closing Taylor down better. Taylor landed a nice right to the body but Baranchyk banged back with two body punches. Taylor was not as accurate as he had been in the first two rounds.
Score: 10-9 Baranchyk Taylor 29-28
Taylor connected with hooks at the start of this one. He kept sliding jabs through Baranchyk’s defence and was getting his punches off and moving too quickly for Baranchyk to counter.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Taylor 39-37
Baranchyk scored with a sharp uppercut and then a left to the head in early action. Taylor then lost his cool and just stood and traded with Baranchyk and it was the Russian who was on target with hooks and uppercuts and for the first time he looked like the boxer who had crushed Anthony Yigit. A cut appeared over the left eye of Taylor after a clash of heads but the last punch of the round was a right to the head that made Baranchyk stumble.
Score: 10-9 Baranchyk Taylor 48-47
The both had some success early with Baranchyk connecting with a couple of hard right uppercuts. It looked as though he was building some momentum but Taylor landed a stunning right hook the sent Baranchyk to the floor. Taylor walked away with his arms raised in triumph but the fight was far from over. Baranchyk rolled to his feet and after the count tried to fight Taylor off. The Scot forced Baranchyk to the ropes connecting with hooks and uppercuts and Baranchyk went down for the second time. Once again Baranchyk rose immediately and the bell went when the eight count was completed.
Score: 10-7 Taylor Taylor 58-54
As a result of the sixth Taylor was now four points in front and knew he could hurt Baranchyk. The Russian was not about to fold but now he was fighting to keep Taylor out rather than doing the attacking Baranchyk landed some good hooks but Taylor was landing jabs, hooks and uppercuts and put Baranchyk under heavy pressure at the bell
Score: 10-9 Taylor Taylor 68-63
Taylor eased up a bit in this round. He was content to dodge or block Baranchyk’s punches for the first half of the round and although he did the scoring with ripping body punches and lefts to the head to take the round it was not the same level of domination as the sixth and seventh.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Taylor 78-72
A complete change of pace from Taylor. He came out punching taking the fight to Baranchyk and they stood and traded punches. Baranchyk got through with some hooks and uppercuts but Taylor was bossing the exchanges and forcing Baranchyk back. Taylor then changed tactics again moving outside and spearing Baranchyk with jabs and then switched again to all-out aggression. Baranchyk just could not adjust to the changes and it was another round for Taylor
Score: 10-9 Taylor Taylor 88-81
A dominant round for Taylor. For the whole three minutes he was bouncing punches of Baranchyk’s head with Baranchyk not able to launch any meaningful attacks as Taylor was crowding him and outpunching him. Baranchyk is a tough fighter but again he was fighting to keep Taylor off and not able to do much work himself.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Taylor 98-90
Taylor took no chances in this round. He was not looking to trade punches and that allowed Baranchyk to score with some long rights and to pummel away at Taylor’s body to win a round that Taylor could afford to lose.
Score: 10-9 Baranchyk Taylor 107-100
Taylor started the last round on fire and finished rocking Baranchyk’s head with hooks. In between it was Baranchyk doing the scoring as he desperately sought the knockout he needed and he just did enough to take the round but that was not enough to win the fight.
Score: 10-9 Baranchyk Taylor 116-110
Official Scores: Judge Levi Martinez 117-109 Taylor, Judge Jerome Lades 115-111 Taylor, Judge Joerg Milke 115-111 Taylor.
Scotland gets a world champion as the “Tartan terror” wins the IBF title and a place in the WBSS final against Regis Prograis. It was a brilliant victory by Taylor as he both outboxed and outpunched a teak-tough unbeaten Baranchyk. The Russian fought hard all the way but he just could not match the hand speed, movement and power of the Scot.
Inoue vs. Rodriguez
Inoue lives up to his “Monster” nickname as he floors Rodriguez three times in the second round to rip the IBF title from the Puerto Rican’s hands and move into the final of the WBSS against Nonito Donaire.
Rodriguez showed his intentions early as he clipped Inoue’s chin with a right that had Inoue blinking with surprise. He was much the bigger man and had Inoue backing up with stabbing jabs and landed another right to the chin. Inoue suddenly burst into life connecting with flashing punches from both hands. When the storm subsided Rodriguez was again marching forward behind his jab and there was high quality defensive and offensive work from both fighters with Inoue’s speed giving him the edge.
Score 10-9 Inoue
Inoue was letting fly with hooks as this round opened. They traded punches and he stepped inside and landed a short left hook to the head that sent Rodriguez down on his haunches. He was up quickly and walked to a corner but his legs were unsteady and there was blood dripping from his nose. At the end of the count Inoue walked in and landed a right and a left that put Rodriguez down on his hands and knees. Again after the count Inoue jumped forward and threw punches and Rodriguez dropped for a third time. He managed to get up but the referee waived the fight over. The 26-year-old Inoue is now a three division champion. Only two of his opponents have lasted the distance and in his last ten fights against ever better opposition he has won all ten by KO/TKO with only two of his victims lasting to the sixth round. I can’t see any way that Nonito Donaire can last the distance when they clash in the WBSS final. Rodriguez had won the IBF title by outclassing Paul Butler and took a split decision over unbeaten Jason Moloney in the quarter-finals of the Ali Tournament which was also his first title defence. He looked shell-shocked by the speed and power of Inoue so has some rebuilding to do.
Parker vs. Crambert
British champion Parker breaks down and halts French import Crambert in four rounds. A pretty routine outing for the 24-year-old prospect. Crambert trundled forward behind a high guard try to get inside but Parker was much too skilful for the limited Crambert and initially seemed content to work with his jab switching guards and slotting home straight lefts. He suddenly upped the pace in the fourth pining Crambert to the ropes and keeping him there as he pounded away with both hands to head and body. Crambert was blocking many of the punches but the referee decided he had seen enough and stopped the fight. Parker looked sensational in blasting out Luke Blackledge inside a round in 2017 but has had a low profile since then and did not impress in squeezing by unbeaten Darryl Williams on a split decision to win the British title in November. He has plenty of potential. Crambert had won 4 of his last 5 fights but against very modest opposition.
Butler vs. Hernandez
Butler keeps his hand in with stoppage of Mexican Hernandez. Butler was fighting with purpose even though there was nothing at stake. He was looking to make it an early night but Hernandez took the lumps. Butler staggered Hernandez with a right in the second and came close to ending it in the third when he had Hernandez in pain from a body punch but he then landed two low punches each of which gave Hernandez a bit of recovery time. He stunned the Mexican a couple of times in the fourth and fifth from body punches and ended it with series of punches rounded off by a wicked body punch. Hernandez made it to his feet but the referee rightly halted the fight. Third win for the former undefeated IBF bantam champion since his loss to Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant IBF title in May last year when Butler failed to make the weight. Hernandez is 1-5-1 in his last 7 but he took former champion Luis May the full ten rounds in October.
McGregor vs. Fidoe
All McGregor was likely to get out of this one was six rounds of work and a unanimous decision. If there is one thing that Fidoe always provides it is an aggressive performance even when coming in at short notice and fighting a high quality opponent. McGregor tried his hardest to put a dent in Fidoe’s toughness. He was scoring with flashing jabs and hurtful combinations and won every round clearly but even though giving away 5” in height Fidoe made sure that the young prospect had to work hard in every round. Referee’s score 60-54 for 22-year-old McGregor who defends his Commonwealth title next month against Scott Allan. Fidoe has clocked up 51 losses but only lost once inside the distance.
New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Deontay Wilder (41-0-1 W KO 1 Dominic Breazeale (20-2). Feather: Gary Russell Jr (30-1) W TKO 5 Kiko Martinez (39-9-2). Light: Juan Heraldez (16-0-1) DREW 10 Argenis Mendez (25-5-3,1ND). Heavy: Robert Alfonso (18-0-1) DREW 8 Iago Kiladze (26-4-1). Bantam: Gary Antonio Russell (14-0) W TEC DEC 6 Saul Hernandez (13-13-1). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (9-0) W KO 4 Marcos Mojica (16-4-2). Welter: Richardson Hitchins (9-0) W RTD 3 Alejandro Munera (4-2-3)
Wilder vs. Breazeale
Wilder crushes Breazeale with one thunderous right to end the fight in just 2:17 and retains the WBC title. Breazeale made a confident start stabbing out jabs. When Wilder began to throw rights Breazeale quickly went onto the back foot. He began to advance again but was shaken by a long right from Wilder and Wilder drove him across and into a corner firing punches. Breazeale threw some counters edged his way out of the corner and grabbed hold of Wilder and was given a warning for holding. As Breazeale came forward Wilder connected with a booming right that sent Breazeale down spread-eagled on the canvas,. Somehow, just as Tyson Fury had done, Breazeale rolled over and started to rise but unlike Fury he did not beat the count and when he made it to his feet he stumbled back to the ropes. With Breazeale having gone almost seven rounds with Joshua this was a big statement by Wilder showing again that he is the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division and that power can compensate for any deficiencies in his style. He was making the ninth defence of the WBC title and racks up win No 40 by KO/TKO. Breazeale still has a future at heavyweight but at 33 is unlikely to get another title shot so may end up as a test for younger fighters coming through.
Russell vs. Martinez
Russell has his annual outing and retains the WBC title with stoppage of Spaniard Martine with a cut ending things late in the fifth round.
Martinez was wading forward in a crouch trying to get inside. Russell used quick footwork fast jabs and hooks to meet Martinez and was just too slick for the Spanish veteran
Russell was in complete control. Martinez knows only one way to fight and he kept coming forward but was knocked off balance with a southpaw right hook and was being outboxed.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 20-18
A much better round for Martinez. Russell was in charge early in the round spearing Martinez with jabs and countering the advancing Spaniards with short burst of punches. Martinez finally managed to get inside and work to the body with hooks but Russell’s early work gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 30-27
Again in this round the jabs and quick lefts from Russell were finding gaps in Martinez’s defence but Martinez kept coming and was able to trap Russell on the ropes and work inside. The cleaner and more accurate work came from Russell
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Erik Marlinski 40-36 Russell, Tony Paolillo 40-36 Russell, Judge Robin Taylor 40-46 Russell
Martinez was still marching forward and Russell was having trouble keeping him out. Russell didn’t seem to have the power to dissuade Martinez and Martinez did not have the punch to hurt Russell. With only eight seconds to go in the round the referee stopped the fight and asked the doctor to examine a nasty cut over the left eye of Martinez. Blood was flowing down Martinez face and splashing onto his chest and the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Fourth defence of the WBC title for Russell. He has had just one fight in each in years 2015,2016, 2017 and 2018. He puts that down to no one wanting to fight him and he is now calling out WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz but there seems to be no interest from the Santa Cruz’s team. Former IBF super bantamweight champion Martinez has lost to Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg and to Josh Warrington on a majority decision. His fights are a battles of attrition and that will catch up with him soon.
Heraldez vs. Mendez
This youth vs. experience battle ended in a majority draw with Mendez a little unlucky not to get the decision. After a quiet opening round Mendez finished the second with a strong attack. Heraldez pressed hard in the third and fourth but Mendez used his skills to block or dodge many of the punches. Heraldez had a good fifth rocking Mendez with a right but the sixth and seven were close and both fighters landed big punches in the eighth. Mendez staged a strong finish. He had paced the fight better than Heraldez. He wobbled Heraldez a couple of times in the ninth and clearly took the tenth connecting with punches to head and body. Scores 95-95 twice and 97-93 for Mendez. Mendez marked a definite step up in quality opposition for Heraldez and will have given the 28-year-old Californian some pointers on areas for improvement. Former IBF featherweight champion Mendez suffered consecutive losses in 2016 to Robert Easter and Luke Campbell but has bounced back with victories over Ivan Redkach and Eddie Ramirez and a draw with Anthony Peterson so he was a very live opponent for Heraldez.
Alfonso vs. Kiladze
Alfonso and Kiladze share the points in this one. Cuban Alfonso had kept busy acting as a sparring partner for Deontay Wilder and was looking to make a statement against his first real test. Kiladze was looking to break a streak of three consecutive inside the distance losses. Kiladze made his goal but Alfonso did not really shine. It was a close fight with both fighters landing some heavy punches but with neither really posing a big danger to the other. Alfonso just seem to have done enough to get the decision but there was never much of a gap between them in any round so no real complaints over the draw. Scores 77-75 Alfonso, 77-75 Kiladze and 76-76. Alfonso had beaten aged Ray Austin in February but at 32 time is running out for him. After winning his first 20 fights and figuring high in the ratings a second round kayo loss to Youri Kayembre Kalenga put him in context. He then won six fights again very modest opposition before losing inside the distance to Adam Kownacki, Michael Hunter and Joe Joyce.
Russell vs. Hernandez
Russell is well on the way to victory when a clash of heads ends this one and the verdict is decided on the cards. Although far superior in skill Russell decided to outfight Hernandez inside and that worked fine for him. He was stronger and after taking the first two rounds he had Hernandez on the verge of a stoppage in both the third and fourth. He continued his domination in the fifth until a thudding clash of heads in the sixth saw Hernandez drop to the canvas. He was examined by the doctor and it was decided it would be unwise for Hernandez to continue. Russell was clearly in front on all three cards at 60-54 twice and 59-55 so he took the technical decision. Russell brother of champion Gary is a former National Golden Gloves champion and also ended as runner-up in the 2010 and 2014 Gloves. Hernandez had scored first round wins in his last three fights but his victims had combined records of 0-30.
Russell vs. Mojica
Unbeaten Russell, the youngest of the three Russell brothers on the card had no real problems here with Nicaraguan Mojica. The hand speed and power of Russell allowed him to dominate the fight. In the fourth he put Mojica on the canvas with a left hook and then floored him again with a crushing combination and the fight was stopped. The 22-year-old southpaw, a 2016 Olympian, has won all of his fights by KO/TKO taking less than 16 rounds in total to get the job done. Third loss by KO/TKO for Mojica who was stopped in three rounds by another 2016 Olympian, Daniyar Yeleussinov, in November.
Hitchins vs. Munera
Mayweather Promotions prospect Hitchins much too classy for novice Munera. Hitchins had the Colombian under fire in the first and almost ended the fight with a left hook. Munera stumbled but did not fall. Hitchins handed out some severe punishment in the second and third and Munera’s corner retired their man at the end of the third. Fifth quick win for the 21-year-old from Brooklyn. Hitchins twice lost to Gary Antuanne at the US Olympic Trials for Rio but then re-entered the World Qualifiers representing his parents home country of Haiti beating Britain’s Pat McCormack to qualify but then lost again to again to Russell in Rio. Both of Munera’s losses have been by KO/TKO.
Stevenage, England: Super Middle: Billy Joe Saunders (28-0) W PTS 12 Shefat Isufi (27-4-2). Heavy: Joe Joyce (9-0) W TKO 3 Alex Ustinov (34-4). Super Bantam: Brad Foster (11-0-1) W TKO 12 Ashley Lane (13-9-2). Light: Shaun Cooper (9-0) W PTS 10 Boy Jones (18-3-1). Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (10-0) W PTS 8 Davi Eliasquevici (14-9).
Saunders vs. Isufi
Saunders becomes a two-division champion as he picks up the WBO title with ridiculously easy win over WBO No 1 Isufi.
Sign of things to come as Saunders is able to stride around Isufi spearing him with right jabs and then stepping in with a series of punches to head and body with Isufi a static target too slow to respond. Saunders is hardly even bothering to lift his gloves above hip height.
Score: 10-9 Saunders
It is a toss-up as to which is slower Isufi’s hands or his feet. He is being totally outclassed. Saunders is just using clever upper body movement to weave under Isufi’s punches and then rattling off six or seven punch combinations without loading up on his punches.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 20-18
Isufi made a bit more of an effort in this one but to no real purpose Saunders was boxing brilliantly constantly changing direction and then stepping with rapid combinations with Isufi too slow to counter and too slow to cut the ring off. Saunders is already mocking his efforts.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 30-27
This is really just highly paid sparring for Saunders as he is way ahead of Isufi in every facet of boxing. He is sliding light jabs through the defence of Isufi then combinations to head and body. Isufi often resorts to just hiding behind a high guard and retreating to the ropes where Saunders pounds him to head and body
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 40-36
Isufi made a more positive start to this round lunging forward and connecting with some rights but once Saunders got to work again Isufi was just hiding behind a high guard and throwing an occasional wild swipe hoping to get lucky.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 50-45
It was all too easy and Saunders nearly paid the price of being overconfident. At the start of the round he stood in front of Isufi throwing lefts and rights. A counter right from Isufi landed on Saunders chin. Saunders took a step back and his legs wobbled as he staggered across the rings and into the ropes. Isufi saw Saunders was hurt and piled after him throwing punches. Initially Saunders clinched and then he danced around to ring with Isufi trying to catch him. Isufi was too slow to cut off the ring and didn’t manage to land another punch. Saunders wasn’t throwing any punches so that early success gave Isufi the round.
Score: 10-9 Isufi Saunders 59-55
Saunders took no chances in this one. He kept moving slotting jabs home but no longer standing in front of Isufi with his hands down. Isufi was just plodding after Saunders not being able to land a punch on the constantly shifting target and Sunders connected with a bunch of punches just before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 69-64
Saunders was back in total control again. After firing a burst of jabs early he was dancing around round Isufi hands down slotting jabs home throwing punches off the wrong foot. He was not even bothering to raise his hands above wais level before firing home punches before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 79-73
Again Saunders was able to dance around Isufi with his hands down with Isufi suffering from punch constipation. He was waiting for an opportunity to score again with a right as he had in the sixth but Saunders was not offering any second chance so Isufi had no target. When he did throw a punch he usually missed and paid for that with a counter so he threw very few punches although he did catch Saunders with one right but Saunders was moving away when it landed.
Score: 10-9 Saunders 89-82
Another easy round for Saunders. He was circling a static Isufi popping him with jabs and straight lefts. Isufi managed to rush Sunders to a corner but Saunders bobbed and weaved around and under Isufi’s punches and then went back to moving and prodding Isufi with jabs.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 99-91
A stroll in the park for Saunders. After an initial burst of punches when it looked as though he might be trying to end this early he then settled for flitting around a plodding Isufi sticking Isufi with an occasional jab.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 109-100
Saunders mixed dancing and firing quick burst of punches over the first half of this round and then spent the second half dancing around the ring dodging wild efforts from Isufi and countering through the gaps Isufi was leaving.
Score: 10-9 Saunders Saunders 119-109
Official Scores: Judge Roussel 120-108 Saunders, Judge O’Connor 118-110 Saunders, Judge Montella 117-111 Saunders
Sunders did what we knew he could do. He dazzled and befuddled Isufi who other than one punch in the sixth round was almost a non-combatant. It was beyond the poor Isufi skill level to tackle the movement and hand speed of Saunders. It really is a case of what’s next for Saunders. For a while his career seemed to have stalled now he must be hoping to find some big fights at super middle. He himself has said that fighters such as Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin would not want to face him as his style would be wrong for them although he would be willing to go back down to middleweight if there was a chance of one of those fights. The pitiful display by Isufi highlights the rotten core of the WBO’s policy of awarding places in the ratings for fighters whose promoters are willing to pay the sanctioning fee. The promoter is then free select the opponent and irrespective of the quality of that opponent a win will guarantee their fighter a rating which almost equates to selling spots in the ratings. But then all sanctioning bodies do the same thing but in the case of Isufi it resulted in a ridiculous mismatch in one of the WBO title fights. You reap as you sow
Joyce vs. Ustinov
Predictable quick win for Joyce. Size and weight are the only things Ustinov have going for him. He is glacially slow and clumsy. Joyce was able to reach him with jabs to the body and began to find the range with rights at the end of the round and opened a small cut over the left eye of the Russian. Joyce launched a furious attack at the start of the second landing a number of heavy rights. He then seemed to stop punching allowing Ustinov to come forward and throw some rights before attacking strongly at the end of the round. Joyce marched into Ustinov in the second again landing clubbing shots. It must have discouraged Ustinov when he hit Joyce on the chin with a big right only for Joyce to hardly even notice it. There were a couple of breaks in the action first for a low punch from Joyce and secondly when he threw Ustinov to the floor. Joyce then just walked through punches from Ustinov and beat him to the floor with booming head shots landing a final left hook. Ustinov was on his knees watching the count and it looked as though he started to rise at nine but the referee waived to signify the ten was reached. Joyce can only fight what is in front of him and he has rolled right over ever opponent and beaten them all inside the distance but in way of a reality check let’s not forget that Bermane Stiverne was 40 and Ustinov 42 and were both coming off defeats. There will be tougher test than these in wait for Joyce. Third loss in a row for Ustinov and only his second fight in 18 months.
Foster vs. Lane
This was a fast-paced open fight between two boxers with good techniques. Foster was forcing the fight and rocked Lane with a right in the second. Lane was working well with his jab but was caught with two rights in the third. Foster followed up with a fierce attack pinning Lane to the ropes and unloading on Lane for the rest of the round. Lane’s skill kept him in this fight and he took the sixth but he was in trouble again in the seventh from a right. The eighth went to Foster and Lane took the ninth and this was turning into a cracking little fight. The paced slowed a little in the tenth with Foster again landing heavily with rights but there was plenty of back and forth action in the eleventh with Lane seeming the fresher and outworking Foster. It was the same in the twelfth with Foster tiring and Lane in full flow. Foster was cut over the left eye and late in the round a low left from Foster saw Lane turn away in agony and go down on both knees. He was given some recovery time and then strode across the ring to take the fight to Foster only to be met by a thunderous right cross that put him down on his back. Lane was up at three and after the count there were only ten seconds left in the fight. Foster drove Lane to the ropes and unleashed a barrage of punches and the referee stopped the fight just two seconds before the final bell. The 21-year-old Foster retains the British title and wins Lane’s Commonwealth title. Lane had won his last six fights and was making the first defence. A great contest.
Cooper vs. Jones
Despite struggling to make the weight Cooper comes out on top in the clash of 22-year-old prospects with a majority decision and wins the vacant WBO Youth title. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Cooper and 95-95. All of Cooper’s wins have been on points and this was the first time he had gone past the sixth round. Second defeat in a row for Jones after losing to Craig Evans for the vacant WBO European title in November.
Bacskai vs. Eliasquevici
Bacskai a former star of the Hungarian amateur scene makes a surprise visit to the UK and has no trouble bustling his way past Brazilian Eliasquevici. Bacskai came close to ending it when he forced Eliasquevici to his knees in the seventh but the Brazilian got up and stayed to the end. Referee’s score 80-71 for Bacskai. The 31-year-okld Hungarian won a cabinet full of trophies but may have left it late as he did not turn pro until he was 29. Five points losses in a row for Eliasquevici so he does what he is paid to do.
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (13-0) W PTS 10 Joel Camilleri (17-6-1). Welter: Jack Brubaker (15-2-1) Drew 10 Ty Telford (5-1). Cruiser: Jai Opetaia (17-00 W TKO 8 Navosa Ioata (6-4).
Tszyu vs. Camilleri
Tszyu wins the Australian title with points victory over Camilleri. Tszyu was a comfortable winner in the end but he took a couple of rounds to figure out the awkward, clever style of Camilleri. After a close first round Tszyu was cut under his left and finding it difficult to put a dent in Camilleri’s confidence. Gradually Tszyu took over. He was quicker and more accurate with his punches and his body attack slowed Camilleri over the late rounds. Camilleri landed enough to test Tszyu’s chin and although rocked by a body punch in the fourth his response to Tszyu’s punches was to grin and come back for more. Tszyu dominated the fight but Camilleri gave Tszyu the type of fight he needs to continue his development. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Tszyu. The 24-year-old son of the former world champion was talking about a fight with Jeff Horn and whilst that would be a huge fight for Australia Tszyu is still some way short of the experience required to take that big a jump. Camilleri was making the first defence of the Australian title and performed much better than expected and will have given his stock boost.
Brubaker vs. Telford
This was the fight of the night and perhaps the fight of the week. These two spent ten rounds knocking lumps off each other. Whenever one seemed to be getting on top the other would punch back and have a good spell of his own. It was ten rounds of rousing action with a majority draw good result as neither fighter deserved to lose in this war which received a well warned standing ovations at the end. Scores 95-95 twice and a very different 99-91 for Telford. Former Commonwealth title challenger Brubaker was the favourite here due to his more extensive experience and his record of ten wins in his last eleven fights but Telford 21 was a good level amateur and had already won two minor titles. This was for the vacant WBA Oceania titles so hopefully there will be a return match.
Opetaia vs. Ioata
Opetaia halts inexperienced Ioata but has to go further than expected to do so. Opetaia was able to connected repeatedly with his right jab and left crosses. Ioata was having to soak up heavy shots in every round but looked to have hurt Opetaia with a right to the body in the third. He kept battling but in the sixth Opetaia was driving him back with straight lefts and a left sent Ioata stumbling into a corner and the referee gave him a standing count. Opetaia staggered Ioata again in the eighth and the towel came in from Ioata’s corner. Former undefeated Australian champion Opetaia makes it 14 wins by KO/TKO but he really has to start facing better class opponents. Ioata suffers his first loss by KO/TKO but he showed he was tough and brave. He comes from Tuvalu which is a small Polynesian Island half way between the Hawaiian Islands and Australia
Kazan, Russia: Super Welter: Vaghinak Tamrazyan (16-4) W PTS 10 Olek Ivanov (17-5). Super Middle: Fedor Chudinov (20-2) W RTD 2 Rafael Bejaran (26-4-1). Light: Roman Andreev (23-0) W PTS 10 Jesus Cuadro (17-5).
Tamrazyan vs. Ivanov
Tamrazyan gets split decision over Ivanov with a ridiculously wide variation in the scoring. This was a tough, close fight between two well matched opponents. Ivanov was generally the one pressing the fighting behind a strong jab with Tamrazyan countering with powerful rights and he looked the harder puncher with Ivanov having the better skills. The first two rounds were tight but Tamrazyan had a big third when he floored Ivanov with a right to the head. The fourth was close. Ivanov had a good fifth but Tamrazyan socked him with a great left uppercut in the sixth. An exciting seventh saw both fighters handing out and soaking up punishment. It was give and take again in a close eighth which Ivanov seemed to take. He out jabbed a tiring Tamrazyan in the ninth but was shaken by a couple of right uppercuts. Ivanov outworked Tamrazyan in the last and for me just shaded the fight. Scores very strange with two judges giving it to Tamrazyan 100-90 and 96-94 and one seeing Ivanov the winner 97-93 so a fourteen point difference in how two judges saw the same fight. Former Russian welterweight champion Tamrazyan goes on to the final of the Vladimir Putin Cup. Russian based Ukrainian Ivanov has good wins over Dmitry Mikhaylenko and 34-1 Konstantin Ponomarev and looked unlucky here.
Chudinov vs. Bejaran
Early finish here as Bejaran retires with a hand injury. Chudinov was strong and accurate with his jab in the first and found the target with a couple of rights. Bejaran was mainly on the back foot and occasionally tried a jab to the body. Chudinov’s jab was the main punch in the second round. He was quick and accurate with it and kept Bejaran on the back foot. At the bell as they traded punches Bejaran threw a right that landed on the elbow of Chudinov, Bejaran immediately turned away in pain almost running back to his corner and he was unable to continue. Former WBA super middleweight champion Chudinov, 31, suffered back-to-back losses against Felix Sturm and George Groves but has fought his way back into contention with victories over Ryan Ford and Nadjib Mohammedi and is No 3 with the WBA. German-based Dominican Bejaran was 12-1-1 going into this fight with the loss being against Jack Culcay in September. The injury was bad luck but even after just two rounds Chudinov seemed to be in the driving seat.
Andreev vs. Cuadro
Andreev had lots of trouble against substitute Cuadro. Andreev forced the fight but southpaw Cuadro was sliding jabs through the defence of Andreev and scoring with left hooks. By the end of the second Andreev was already cut under his right and had blood leaking from his nose. From the fourth Andreev attacked the body more getting inside where his strength gave him the edge. Cuadro bounced back in the sixth which he dominated rocking Andreev with left hooks but Andreev took the seventh. Cuadro stormed forward in the eighth and ninth taking the fight inside and they were both close rounds with Andreev taking the eighth and Cuadro the ninth. Cuadro looked to have outworked Andreev in the tenth to make it a very close call. Scores 98-92, 96-93 and 96-94 for Andreev but for me Cuadro deserved at least a share of the points. Andreev, 33, has climbed to No 1 with the WBO thanks to winning their European title but he has never faced a rated contender and it would be ridiculous for the WBO to insist Vasily Lomachenko defend against him. He is strong but limited. Bad ratings make for bad title fights. Venezuelan Cuadro lost a close decision to Diego Magdaleno in September and all four of his losses have been from fresh stamps in his passport.
Indio, CA, USQAL Light: Romero Duno (20-1) W Tec DEC 9 Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-8). Feather: Manny Robles (18-0) W PTS 10 Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-1-1,1ND).
Duno vs. Rodriguez
Duno gets split technical decision over Rodriguez in a great scrap. Duno pressed hard over the first two rounds with southpaw Rodriguez boxing coolly and countering but with Duno looking to have edged them. The third was a mixed round for Rodriguez. He shook Duno twice with left hooks and clearly took the round but was cut over on his forehead between his eyes by a punch. Rodriguez took a wild fourth that saw them go toe-to-toe swinging hooks but Rodriguez was cut again this time over the left eye in a clash of heads. Rodriguez kept up the pressure in the fifth and sixth and with Duno losing a point for a low punch in the seventh I had Rodriguez in front. The cut over Rodriguez left eye was continuing to bleed and he looked to be tiring in the eighth when a left hook to the body from Duno saw him drop to his knees in a delayed reaction. He crawled across the ring to the ropes and was up at nine and withstood Duno’s efforts to put him away. The referee had the doctor examine Rodriguez’s cut at the start of the ninth and he was allowed to continue. He was connecting with some sharp left hooks but heads clashed and Rodriguez was gashed under the right eye and was unable to continue so it was decided on the cards. With the partially completed ninth round scored the judges had it 86-83 and 85-84 for Duno and 85-84 for Rodriguez . I had it 85-84 for Rodriguez but it was too close to argue. Locally-based Filipino Duno, 24, collects his eleventh win in a row and the vacant WBO NABO title. Rodriguez, 31, was out of action for almost two years before losing to another Filipino, Mercito Gesta, in March. He fought his heart out here as did Duno.
Robles vs. Hermosillo
Robles keeps his 100% record but has to fight hard all the way to take the split decision. Southpaw Hermosillo came flying out of the gate taking the fight to Robles in the first. He was too eager and walked onto left hook and a short right and was put on the floor just one minute into the fight. He was up quickly and after the count continued to attack but was rocked by counters and a punch opened a cut over his left eye making it a disastrous start for Hermosillo. Robles took the second and third with some smart counter punching but Hermosillo pressed all the way in the fourth rocking Robles a couple of times with lefts. The tigerish Hermosillo hunted Robles down in the fifth. Many of his shots were being blocked but he outworked Robles in the sixth and seventh and Robles was cut over the left eye by a punch. Hermosillo’s work rate was incredible. He was throwing more but also missing more and Robles was scoring with hard counters but the sheer volume of punches was giving Hermosillo the edge in the ninth. Robles boxed smartly to take the last moving and firing short burst of punches and staying off the ropes. Scores 97-92 and 96-93 for Robles and 95-94 for Hermosillo. Second defence of the NABF title for 24-year-old Robles. Hermosillo had never been in a fight scheduled for more than six rounds and Robles was a much higher quality fighter than the opposition he had met in the past so he gave Robles a much harder fight than anticipated.
Morales vs. Navarrete
Morales gets a needed win with stoppage of Navarrete. Morales quickly took charge with his longer reach and quicker hands. He found his range early and dished out some severe punishment in the second and third. He attacked relentlessly in the fourth battering Navarrete around the ring for three minutes. Morales made a slow start to the fifth but then stepped up the pace and hammered away at Navarrete until the referee stopped the fight. Morales started his career going 0-1-4 in his first five fights and then won 16 in a row. That was followed by losses to Alberto Machado, Ryan Garcia and Rene Alvarado so Morales was due an easier night and he moved to seven wins by KO/TKO in this one. Navarrete has been in with a whole gaggle of top fighters but this is only his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Montreal Canada: Super Light: Mathieu Germain (17-0-1) W PTS 10 Jose Lopez (29-7-2). Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (8-0) W TKO 7 Jonathan Rice (10-4-1). Super Light: Batyrzhan Jukembayev (16-0) W TKO 1 Luis Vidales (13-7). Light Heavy: Arutyun Avetisyan (13-0) W KO 6 Cesar Reynoso (15-13-4). Super Middle: Lexson Mathieu (3-0) W TKO 1 Hernan Perez (5-3).
Germain vs. Lopez
Germain returns to form and winning ways with a resounding victory over Mexican Lopez. In an assured performance Germain took possession of the centre of the ring from the first round and bossed the fight after that. He had Lopez shaken in the second but boxed a controlled fight. He had learned from his draw with Steve Claggett that he needed to pace fights better. He shook Lopez on occasion with long rights and left hooks but Lopez did not cave in and was still there at the end of the tenth round. Scorers 100-90 for Germain from all three judges. Germain was making the third defence of the IBF American title. The draw with Claggett has thrown up some things for Germain to work on and he made a good start on those here. Lopez had won his last three on majority decisions with useful opposition such as Roberto Ortiz and Lupe Rosales beaten last year so a real test for Germain.
Makhmudov vs. Rice
Russian Makhmudov almost doubles his ring time as Rice lasts into the seventh round. The heavy punching Makhmudov had Rice reeling from heavy rights in the first round and that was enough to put Rice into survival mode. Makhmudov continued to connect with heavy rights and although rocked a couple of times Rice kept moving. Rice was floored by a strong right late in the fifth round but survived and became the first of Makhmudov’s opponents to hear the bell for the start of the sixth round. In the seventh a right staggered Rice and the referee had seen enough and stopped the contest. The 6’5 ½” Makhmudov wins the vacant WBC Continental Americas title with his eighth win by KO/TKO achieved in less than 15 rounds. Rice had lost on points to Tony Yoka in 2017 and was coming off three low level wins.
Jukembayev vs. Vidales
An easy night for Kazak southpaw Jukembayev despite his opponent coming in 8lbs over the contract weight. He had Vidales hurt early with straight lefts to head and body. He then landed two powerful hooks to the body and knocked Vidales into the ropes with a left to the head. The ropes held Vidales up so he was given a count. When he stood up Vidales looked very unsteady on his feet and the referee waived the fight off. Now 13 wins for “777” Jukembayev who claims 203 wins in 243 amateur fights. Second loss by KO/TKO for Mexican Vidales who has scored useful wins over Nery Saguilan and Shoki Sakai
Avetisyan vs. Reynoso
Armenian-born Russian Avetisyan came up against some unexpectedly tough resistance from Argentinian Reynoso but eroded his resistance for a win in the sixth round. The 6’3” Avetisyan pounded Reynoso with strong jabs and jolting uppercuts. He lost a point in the third for a punch to the back of the head but it was the body punches which were getting to Reynoso. In the sixth a rib-bending left saw Reynoso drop to one knee and he was counted out. The 23-year-old prospect has eight wins inside the distance. South American champion Reynoso had been stopped in seven round by Avetisyan’s team mate Nurzat Sabirov in Montreal in March.
Mathieu vs. Perez
Top prospect Mathieu made this one nice and simple. He looked for an opening and when he saw one he drove a laser guided straight left to the chin of Perez and the fight was over. This fight lasted 104 seconds which is the longest a fight has lasted so far for Mathieu. The 20-year-old can fight out of southpaw or orthodox and has real power. Perez never in with a chance.
Belfast, NI: Super Bantam: Ryan Burnett (20-1) W TKO 6 Jelbirt Gomera (14-6). Super Feather: Marco McCullough (22-4) W TKO 3 Declan Geraghty (18-4). Super Light: Sean McComb (7-0) W TKO 1 Miroslav Serban (11-3). Middle: Stephen Donnelly (5-0) W KO 4 Edwin Palacios (12-8-1).
Burnett vs. Gomera
Local fighter Burnett returns for the first time since a back injury in his fight with Nonito Donaire in November cost him his WBA title and his chance of progressing in the WBSS tournament. Burnett was on top form here. He put on an exhibition of top class skills and showed no effects from the injury. He had Filipino southpaw Gomera hurt in the first and to show his confidence in the second he even just covered up so that Gomera could take some shots. However when he settled down to the job he handed out a considerable amount of punishment in the third and fourth in the shape of some hurtful rights. Gomera took the punishment and kept trying to pressure Burnett but he had to soak up more heavy rights in the fifth. Early in the sixth a low blow from Burnett saw the referee deduct a point but when Gomera recovered a crunching body punch had him turning away in pain and the referee stopped the fight. A fit Burnett will be a threat to any bantamweight and hopefully he will get an opportunity later this year to regain the title he lost in such an unfortunate manner. Only two wins in his last seven fights for Gomera but he gave Burnett much needed ring time without poising too much of a risk.
McCullough vs. Geraghty
This was expected to be a tough close fight but a big right from McCullagh ended it early. Both fighter were cautious and the first two rounds produced very little in the way of thrills and looked about even although McCullough was showing two small cuts under each eye. The pace picked up in the third but a clash of heads saw Geraghty suffer a severe cut over his left eye. Before that could become a factor McCullagh stepped inside a drilled home a straight right that put Geraghty down on his back and the referee abandoned the count. Belfast’s McCullough wins the vacant IBF European title with his fifth victory since a stoppage loss against Ryan Walsh for the British title in 2017. Another blow for Dubliner Geraghty who has already lost inside the distance to James Tennyson and Jonjo Carroll
McComb vs. Serban
This was being played as a test for McComb but he made that look ridiculous as he destroyed Czech Serban in just 84 seconds. McComb towered over Serban and was quickly on target with his southpaw jabs. He shook Serban with a right and then drove Serban along the ropes to a corner connecting with left hooks. Serban was just hiding inside his guard and not making any effort to fire back and the referee stopped the contest. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the former European bronze medallist. With Serban not having lost inside the distance and having floored Paul Hyland when losing a competitive eight round fight in February this win in an impressive statement by McComb
Donnelly vs. Palacios
Donnelly showcased his skills over the first three rounds. He was slotting quick jabs through the guard of Palacios and landing cracking left hooks to the body. Palacios tried to come forward but was met with sharp counters . In the fourth Donnelly ducked under a punch from Palacio and came up inside with two left hooks to the body. Palacios took a step back and then went down on his hands and knees and was counted out. First inside the distance win as a pro for the 30-year-old Donnelly. He is a former Ulster and Irish champion who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and was a quarter-finalist representing Ireland at the 2016 Olympics. Fourth loss in a row for Palacios from the Nicaraguan/Barcelona certified losers club.
Mashantucket, CN, USA: Super Light: Mykquan Williams (15-0) W PTS 10 Rickey Edwards (12-3). Feather: Elijah Pierce (9-1) W KO 3 Irvin Gonzalez (12-1). Heavy: George Arias (14-0) W PTS 8 Keith Barr (19-12-1). Super Feather: Toka Kahn Clary (26-2,1ND) W KO 5 Carlos Reyes (33-6-1). Heavy: Marco Huck (41-5-1, 1ND) ND 1 Nick Guivas (14-10-3,1ND).
Williams vs. Edwards
Williams marches on with unanimous decision over Edwards. Williams led at the start taking the first and then staggering Edwards with a right in the second. Edwards did enough to make the third and fourth close but Williams just edged them. Edwards rallied well in the sixth and seventh but Williams took the fight inside in the eighth to collect the points. Edwards rebounded in the ninth but Williams closed him out by taking the tenth. Scores 100-90, 97-93 and 96-94 so quite a spread in the scoring. Local fighter Williams, 21, was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and paced the fight well. Edwards was out for two years and is now 1-2 since returning last September.
Pierce vs. Gonzalez
Minor surprise as visitor Pierce ruins the 100% record of Gonzalez. Peirce jumped on Gonzalez in the opening round flooring the Worcester fighter twice. Gonzalez made it out of the round but just could not handle the relentless pressure from Pierce and in the third was pinned to the ropes and not punching back when the referee halted the fight. Eighth win by KO/TKO for Oklahoman southpaw Pierce who gets back into the winning column after losing on points to unbeaten Giovanni Mioletti in June last year. Back to basics for Gonzalez.
Arias vs. Barr
Dominican Arias has to climb off the canvas to keep his unbeaten record. On paper Barr looked an unthreatening choice of opponent and perhaps the cocky Arias was too relaxed. He has a hands down style and breezed through the first round. In the second he was give an wakeup call as a right from Barr put him down. Arias was more surprised than hurt and he was soon back in the driving seat and apart from a brief rally by Barr in the fifth Arias boxed his way to victory. Scores 78-73 twice and 77-74 for Arias. At 6’0” the Bronx-based Arias is small by today’s standards but he is quick and has good skills. Barr is really just a pumped up cruiser and is 2-3 in his last 5 fights.
Clary vs. Reyes
Clary eases his way back into action in his first fight since losing to Kid Galahad in an IBF eliminator in October. He was streets ahead of Reyes and was in charge from the first bell. He took the first two rounds and then dropped Reyes in the third. That put paid to whatever confidence Reyes had and Clary upped the pace in the fourth before putting Reyes down again in the fifth with Reyes not being able to beat the count. The Liberian-born Clary now has 18 wins by KO/TKO. He is currently No 9(8) in the IBF ratings so some work to do if he is to get another title shot. Third loss by KO/TKO for Dominican Reyes who had won 8 of his last 9 fights.
Huck vs. Guivas
Not sure what Huck’s plans were when he chose to have an eight round fight down the card here but in the end it all came to nothing. Huck floored Guivas with a right in the first 30 seconds. Guivas was up at seven and when the action resumed Huck landed a left to the body and a right to the head. Guivas was trying to clinch and the referee tried to break them up but Huck had already started another right on its way and it struck Guivas on the head after the referee had called break. Guivas slumped to the canvas with the referee indicating a time out. Eventually Guivas made it his feet but the doctor had already waived for the fight to be stopped. Huck was declared the winner. The decision was then changed to No Decision as it was ruled that Huck’s punch had been delivered after the call to break-which technically is a foul and should have led to disqualification. Huck is probably hoping to work his way into title fight.
Tres Arroyos, Argentina: Bantam: Omar Narvaez (48-3-2) W Carlos Sardinez (15-1). Light: Gustavo Lemos (21-0) W Pedro Verdu (28-20-3).
Narvaez vs. Sardinez
In his first fight since losing every round against Zolani Tete in a challenge for the WBO bantam title in April last year Narvaez shows the fire is still there. In a typically Narvaez approach he stormed forward in round after round pumping out punches. Sardinez refused to be overwhelmed and punched with Narvaez. The ferocity of Narvaez’s attacks threatened to overwhelm Sardinez at times but regrouped and battled back. Narvaez was able to get inside and fire bunches of hooks and uppercuts and wobbled Sardinez a couple of times. Over the last two rounds it was Sardinez who rocked Narvaez but there was never any doubt about who would be the winner. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Narvaez. The former WBO fly and super fly champion is now 43 but remains a name so he could yet land another title fight. Former South American bantamweight champion Sardinez had scored a good win over 19-0 Hector Sarmiento in December and provided just the level of test Narvaez needed.
Lemos vs. Verdu
Lemos punches too hard for Venezuelan and wears down and stops Verdu in the fifth. Lemos rumbled into the attack over the first three rounds working to the body. In the fourth a right hook to the head put Verdu down in a heap. He made it to his feet but another right dropped him. Again he beat the count and just managed to survive to the bell. In the fifth Lemos forced his way inside and a right to the body sent Verdu down on his hands and knees and the fight was over. “El Electrico” was making the fifth defence of the IBF Latino title and gets win No 12 by KO/TKO. His opposition has not been strong but he is No 8(6) lightweight with the IBF due to having won their Latino title but the Argentinian Federation have him No 1 a super light. Eleventh loss by KO/TKO for Verdu
Sydney, Australia: Super Light: Dylan Emery (21-1) W TKO 6 Victor Odindo (5-3). New Zealander Emery wins the vacant Australian title at the second attempt with stoppage of Kenyan Odindo. Fourth consecutive win by KO/TKO for Emery since being beaten in four rounds by Kye Mackenzie in 2016. And fourteen inside the distance win in total. Odindo a poor challenger gets his third loss in a row.
Sydney, Canada: Cruiser: Ryan Rozicki (10-0) W KO 3 Shawn Miller (18-5-1,1ND). Welter: Jessie Wilcox (13-0-2) W PTS 8 Nestor Garcia (23-17-1). Super Welter: Kevin Higson (17-2) W PTS 8 Jose Zuniga (13-13-2). Light: Bradley Wilcox (8-0) W PTS 8 Lupe Acosta (13-4). Middle: Brandon Brewer (23-0-1) W PTS 8 Isaac Mireles (8-7).
Rozicki vs. Miller
Neighbourhood hero Rozicki disposes of Miller inside three rounds. Rozicki took the first two rounds against an out of condition Miller varying his attacks from head to body. In the third Rozicki drove Miller along the ropes before landing a solid right to the head that sent Miller sprawling into the ropes and out onto the ring apron through the bottom rope. He crawled back into the ring but was counted out kneeling on the canvas. Rozicki, 24, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with his tenth inside the distance win in his ten fights. He has taken less than 19 rounds for his ten wins. He was twice a bronze medallist in the Canadian Championships at super heavy but looks a much better fighter at cruiserweight. Miller, 37, was having his first fight since having a win in Las Vegas in October overturned when he gave a positive test for a banned substance and was given a six month suspension.
Wilcox vs. Garcia
The Wilcox clan was well represented here as Jesse collected a unanimous decision over Mexican Garcia. The first two rounds were close but Garcia moved ahead after flooring Wilcox in the third. Wilcox recovered and battled his way back into the fight. It was too close to call at the end of the seventh but Wilcox collared the win with a knockdown just before the bell to end the eighth. Scores 78-72, 77-75 and 76-74 all for Wilcox who has won his last four fights. Garcia has won only two of his last eleven fights but one of his two victories was over experienced Carson Jones.
Higson vs. Zuniga
Canadian Higson makes it nine wins in his last ten bouts with points victory over Zuniga. Higson boxed his way to victory here. Zuniga attacked hard going to the body to slow the much quicker Higson but the Ontario fighter was too slick. He used some excellent work with his jab to control the action in most rounds and withstood a charge in the late rounds from Zuniga to emerge a clear winner. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for Higson. Higson’s loss in that run was against unbeaten Cody Crawley for the Canadian title. In his previous visit to Canada Zuniga was knocked out in two rounds by unbeaten Kazak Sadriddin Akhmedov in November.
Wilcox vs. Acosta
Wilcox notches up another win as he outpoints Acosta. No real problems here for Wilcox. He boxed well on the outside and had success with hooks and uppercuts inside with Acosta never really posing any problems. Scores 80-72 for Wilcox from the three judges. The 24-year Wilcox was Canadian champion at Cadet and Youth level but despite making it to three finals he was unable to win the Senior title. Acosta was having his first fight for 16 months and has not yet lost inside the distance.
Brewer vs. Mireles
Brewer wins this one with a wide unanimous decision but he struggled at times to impress. He had the better skills and was stronger over the second half of the fight but never quite managed to subdue a competitive Mireles. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Brewer. Despite a 24-bout unbeaten record Brewer really has not progressed at all in terms of the level of opposition and at 34 he should be well beyond fighting guys such as Mireles who has now won only one of his last four fights.
Aarhus, Denmark: Super Middle: Lolenga Mock (43-16-1) W PTS 12 Mateo Veron (28-24-3). Mock gets a revenge win over Veron but that does not change the obvious conclusion that Mock is not the fighter he was and he was right to announce his retirement after this fight. As early as the second round he was stunned by a couple of hooks from the Argentinian and only just survived the round. Mock used his strength to get into the fight but was being frustrated by the clever tactics of Veron which were making Mock look crude and clumsy. Mock got a lucky break in the seventh when the referee deducted a point from Veron for holding. Mock again looked vulnerable when he was buzzed by a right in the ninth but any impetus that may have given Veron was lost when he was deducted another point for throwing Mock to the floor. However the visitor was strong in the eleventh with Mock again looking rocky and Veron looked to have done enough to take the decision. Scores 114-112 twice for Mock and 114-112 for Veron. At 47 Mock has shoulder aside Father Time too often and there did not really seem much purpose behind him continuing so he has made a wise decision. He has struggled twice against an experienced Veron but the Argentinian is no world beater as he has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights and has been defeated 24 times in all.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Yusaku Kuga (18-3-1) W PTS 10 Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1). Kuga regains the Japanese title by outpointing champion Tamura. Kuga built a substantial lead over the first half of the fight. He was anticipating the attacks of Tamura scoring at distance with strong jabs and catching Tamura on the way in with left and right hooks. He had Tamura down and in deep water in the fifth but was too eager to finish it and missed with most of his punches. At the end of the fifth all three judges had Kuga in the lead with scores of 50-44, 49-45 and 48-46. Tamura began to roll in earnest over the second half of the fight wading into Kuga who tried to continue to box but was under more and more pressure but his accuracy offset some of Tamura’s aggressive work and he did enough to hold onto the half way lead he had built. Scores 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94 for Kuga as he regained the title he had lost to world rated Shingo Wake last year. Kuga had won the title with a unanimous decision over Tamura in 2017 and Tamura went on to win the title when it became vacant with a victory over Mugicha Nakagawa in Januarys this year.
Saltillo, Mexico: Super Feather: Jhonny Gonzalez (67-11) W TKO 5 Rafael Hernandez (30-12-3,1ND). Age is no barrier to Gonzalez particularly when faced with an inferior opponent such as Hernandez. Somehow Hernandez thought that instead of boxing orthodox as usual switching to southpaw might improve his chance. He was wrong. A batch of punches floored Hernandez in the second. He survived that and survived the third and fourth round with some holding and delaying tactics but he was only delaying the inevitable. In the fifth a body punch sent Hernandez down and he was unable to get up again. First fight for the 37-year-old Gonzalez after his majority decision defeat against Tomas Rojas in October. Gonzalez has 55 wins by KO/TKO and collects the vacant WBC Fecarbox title. Venezuelan Hernandez 36 lost to Thai Poonsawat for the interim WBA super bantam title in 2009 and is way past his best.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Light: Jose Zepeda (30-2,2ND) ND 3 Eleazar Valenzuela (18-12-4,1ND). Joel Cordova (9-4-2) W RTD 5 Juan Hernandez (35-4).
Zepeda vs. Valenzuela
Zepeda’s plans to keep busy as he waits and hopes for the chance of a return shot at Juan Carlos Ramirez suffered a blow as a clash of heads saw this one end in the third round as a No Decision. Zepeda was going to end this inside the distance any way. He had Valenzuela on the floor in the opening round from a lovely short left hook. Valenzuela climbed to his feet and absorbed some more left hooks before the bell. Zepeda continued to connect with left hooks and upper cuts in the second with Valenzuela punching back but walking onto some fierce shots. In the third their heads banged together. Both were cut but Valenzuela’s cut was the more serious streaming blood down his face and onto his chest and he was not allowed to continue. Zepeda’s loss to WBC champion Ramirez in February was a majority decision but he is down at No 9 in the WBC ratings so has work to do if he is to get another title shot. Valenzuela had won 6 of his last 7 fights but mainly in four and six round contests.
This is the sort of fight that Hernandez would have taken in his stride when he was at his peak. But those days seem to be behind the former WBC flyweight champion. He was zipping around the ring constantly switching guards and stabbing out quick jabs. Cordova was lunging in with strong attacks but being met with counters and finding Hernandez a hard target. In the second as Hernandez advanced Cordova caught him with a left hook that put the former champion down. After the count Cordova managed to trap Hernandez on the ropes and fire punches to head and body but Hernandez covered well and then boxed his way through the rest of the round. Hernandez evened things up in the third dropping Cordova with a fast left hook. Cordova was up immediately and was taking the fight to Hernandez for the rest of the round. Cordova pressed hard in the fourth but when Hernandez went down the referee decided Cordova had tripped him and deducted a point. In the fifth the constant pressure from Cordova was starting to have an effect and Hernandez was slowing allowing Cordova to score heavily but it was a surprise when Hernandez retired at the end of the round. Huge win for Cordova. After consecutive losses to Victor Garcia and Dewayne Beamon Cordova had rebounded well with a win over Jose Quirino in February but it remains to be seen whether this result says more about Hernandez than Cordova who at 32 could be on the edge and about to slide.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Welter: Bowyn Morgan (20-1,1ND) W TKO 3 Jack Asis (38-22-5). Morgan too big and strong for veteran Asis. Morgan was hurting Asis with body punches but Asis was not willing to take a step back leading to some torrid action. In the third Morgan dropped Asis early with a body punch. Asis only just beat the count but stood and punches with Morgan until he was driven to the ropes and was floored again. He was up at nine and tried to trade with Morgan but a succession of left hooks and straight rights saw Asis drop to his knees and the referee waived the fight over. The 30-year-old local fighter is a former New Zealand amateur champion who competed at both the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. His sole loss was a stoppage defeat against Kris George in 2015 and he now has a 13 bout winning streak. This fight was for the vacant WBU title (German version).Now 35 the Filipino/Australian Asis is a former IBO and Australian super lightweight champion and was having his first fight for 14 months.
Auckland, New Zealand: Cruiser: David Light (13-0) W PTS 10 Mark Flanagan (24-7). Light puts on impressive show as he outboxes and outpunches the more experience Flanagan. Light did great work with his jab constantly finding gaps as Flanagan marched forward trying to batter down the local fighters defences, Flanagan had some success inside with hooks but Light when he opened up was firing fast, accurate and hurtful combinations. He looked to have Flanagan in trouble a couple of times but Flanagan battled his way through those patches but had no answer to Light’s jab and hand speed. All three judges gave it to Light 98-92 who lifts the vacant WBO Oriental belt. The 27-year-old Light “The Great White” was New Zealand champion in 20011, 2012 and 2013 and won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. A loss to Jai Opetaia ended his hopes of competing at the 2012 Olympics. He is one of eight children. Flanagan has lost to Denis Lebedev and Arsen Goulamirian for versions of the WBA cruiser title and was 13-2 in his last 15 fights.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Feather: Evgeny Chuprakov (21-1) W TKO 9 Alex Munoz (40-9). Chuprakov starts the long road back with a stoppage of former champion Munoz. Chuprakov’s balance was terrible and Munoz was able to knock him back with jabs in the first round. Chuprakov used his strength to get inside over the second and third and was able to pound on Munoz’s body. Muniz showed some classy touches but he was rocked by two head punches at the end of the fourth and he was already looking tired in the fifth. Chuprakov kept rolling forward in the sixth but Muniz rallied with a strong attack at the end of the round. Chuprakov was relentless again in the seventh and when Munoz slipped to the canvas he was very slow in regaining his feet. Munoz threw himself into an attack at the end of the round but it was a last fling. Chuprakov battered an exhausted Munoz in the eighth with Muniz twice falling to the canvas from exhaustion. Muniz had nothing left in the ninth. When Chuprakov landed a couple of punches Muniz made a gesture to his corner to say this is useless. They ignored him and in the middle of Chuprakov’s next attack Muniz just threw his arms up in the air and walked back to his corner. This was Chuprakov’s first fight since losing to Masayuki Ito on a seventh round stoppage for the vacant WBO title in December. He is another example of the WBO offering ratings in return for sanctioning fees for fighting for their minor titles. Chuprakov entered the ratings without facing a rated fighter and climbed to No 1 without facing a rated fighter-and the most cynical thing of all is that after losing in a fight for their vacant title he goes from No 1 to out of the ratings altogether-disgraceful. At 40 former WBA super fly champion Munoz is not even a shadow the fighter who won his first 31 fights by KO/TKO.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Bantam: Nawaphon (45-1-1) W KO 7 Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15-5).Bantam: Petchbarngborn (43-9) W TKO 3 Matt Arcillas (6-2).
Nawaphon finishes a courageous Jaro with a body punch in WBA Asian Boxing Council title defence. Nawaphon the naturally bigger man had plenty of trouble in dealing with the smaller Filipino. Nawaphon was able to score with jabs and long rights at distance but was not able to keep the aggressive Jaro out and that led to plenty of fierce exchanges. Both were scoring with combinations in close. Nawaphon rocked Jaro a few times with rights and rained punches on him when he could trap him in a corner but Jaro kept coming forward and connecting with hooks inside. In the seventh a long right to the body saw Jaro step back to the ropes and then go down clutching his side. He was visibly in pain and he was counted just as he made it to his feet. Nawaphon, the WBC No 6 retains the WBC Asian Boxing Council title with win No 35 by KO/TKO. He was stopped in three rounds by Juan Hernandez in three rounds in a challenge for the BC flyweight title in 2017. He now has nine consecutive wins seven by KO/TKO. Jaro, 37, was WBC flyweight champion for four months back in 2012 with his title winning effort against Pongsaklek being the Ring Magazine Upset of the Year. Those glory days are well past now but he fought hard here.
Petchbarngborn vs. Arcillas
Petchbarngborn (Karoon Jarupianlerd) took a couple of rounds to get into his stride and then he floored and halted Filipino novice Arcillas in the third round. Petchbarngborn challenged Naoya Inoue for the WBO super fly title in 2016 and lasted until the tenth round before being stopped which does not look too bad a performance now. Arcillas really just a prelim fighter thrown in over his head.
Hockessin, DE, USA: Super Middle; Hector Camacho Jr (59-7-1) W KO 1 Victor Abreu (9-6).
In his first fight since July 2017 Camacho is handed a gift win. He went to the body of poor Abreu from the first exchange and dropped Abreu with a right to the body with Abreu counted out. I can’t see the 40-year-old Camacho achieving much in this latest return. Abreu has now lost five in a row and has never managed to last more than two rounds in any of those five fights. Abreu was given a one year suspension for “Failure to perform”.
Washington DC, USA: Middle: Alantez Fox (25-1-1) W TKO 6 Nick Brinson (19-5-2). Patrick Harris W DISQ 3 Tony Woods (10-24).
Fox vs. Brinson
Fox batters Brinson to defeat in six rounds. Fox was in charge all the way after flooring Brinson in the first. Just after Brinson had landed a good counter Fox scored with a left to the body and then knocked a partially un-balanced Brinson down with a right to the head. After that Fox was able to use his much longer reach to connect regularly with jabs and straight rights with Brinson occasionally coming in under Fox’s jab and scoring with hooks but not able to do anything to wrest control of the fight from Fox. Brinson took a lot of punishment in the fifth and the referee had the doctor examine him before the start of the sixth and Brinson was cleared to continue. Brinson tried to punch with Fox but he was shaken time and again by long rights to the head until the referee stopped the fight. The 27-year-old 6’4” Washington-born Fox had Demetrius Andrade on the floor before losing to him on points in October 2017. He took eleven months out and this is his second win since returning. Brinson was having his first fight since June 2017. After losing only one of his first nineteen contests defeats against Dominic Wade and Andre Dirrell de-railed his career.
Harris vs. Woods
Local southpaw Harris remains unbeaten after Woods is thrown out in the third round. Harris had rained punches on Woods over the first two rounds and a desperate Woods decided that the only way to de-fuse the power of Harris was to hold. He over did it and had two points deducted and when he continued to clinch he was disqualified. Harris, 25, was a good class amateur but just came up short in the United States Championships, the National Golden Gloves and the National Police Athletic League but is making steady progress as a pro; Bahamian Woods has been disqualified in two of his last three fights.
Kobe, Japan: Light Fly: Felix Alvarado (35-2) W PTS 12 Reiya Konishi (17-2). When Alvarado win the IBF title in October he was having his third shot at a title and fighting in the other guys back yard. He won by simply overwhelming Filipino Randy Petalcorin with a hurricane attacking style which simply exhausted Petalcorin who was stopped in the seventh round. This time Alvarado was again in his opponents home city of Kobe but the venue was all that changed. From the outset he was throwing an incredible number of punches. He was not very accurate but the sheer volume of his punches had Konishi too busy defending himself to get into the fight in a meaningful way. Konishi is crude but strong with a great heart but just could not match Alvarado’s mad work rate. Konishi was cut over his right eye in the eighth and almost stopped in the tenth as Alvarado continued to out-throw and outland the challenger to the end. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 all for the champion from Nicaragua. Alvarado was making the first defence of the IBF title and has won his last 17 fights. Konishi was having his second shot at a title having lost on points to Carlos Canizales for the secondary WBA light fly title in March last year.
Fight of the week (Significance): Deontay Wilder’s crushing of Dominic Breazeale puts a unification fight with Anthony Joshua back on the table.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Jack Brubaker vs. Ty Telford was great entertainment and Romero Duno and Juan Antonio Rodriguez fought their hearts out Duno vs. Rodriguez & Brubaker vs. Telford
Fighter of the week: I go for Josh Taylor for his win over Ivan Baranchyk (I’m Scottish cut me slack) with honourable mention to Naoya Inoue.
Punch of the week: Wilder’s straight right was a thunderbolt but I just go for that perfect left hook from Inoue. Honourable mention to the right from Marco McCullough that floored Declan Geraghty
Upset of the week: Nothing stood out
Prospect watch: Both Gary Antonio Russell (14-0) and brother Gary Antuanne (9-0) look special
By Eric Armit
The next four weeks will see the three best heavyweights in the world in action. Obviously it is too much to hope for in this day and age for any of them to be fighting each other The good news is that none of them face an opponent who should really threaten their unbeaten record or in the casers of Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder their titles. I can’t see any of the top three going from these fight to a match with one of the others they will all want one more fight with the plan being for a meeting either Joshua vs. Wilder, or Joshua vs. Fury or Wilder vs. Fury. A return between Wilder and Fury would be big but Joshua vs. Wilder or Fury would be the biggest money-wise. Those plans rely on the sanction bodies keeping their heads down as they have done so far. They all want to be part of one of those big fights. Dillian White has been No 1 with the WBC for 18 months without any effort being made to force Wilder to defend against him. Both WBA interim champion Trevor Bryan and IBF No 1 Kubrat Pulev have been on top for shorter times and if Joshua was looking to make another defence this year neither would pose a big risk. In the end it will came down to money, egos and promoters agreeing money and swallowing egos. I was feeling quite upbeat until I got to that last bit.
On heavyweights Kubrat Pulev is still trying to extricate himself from the troubles he brought upon himself with the forced kiss on a lady journalist. He is being sued by the lady in question but equally as problematical is that before California will re-licence him he will have to go on a training course dealing with sexual harassment. If he does not do so then California will not re-licence him and that could mean he would not be able to fight in the USA.
There is another hat in the heavyweight ring now. Still waiting for his first pro fight Cuban Lienier Pero (t) comes with some strong amateur credentials. He was World Youth, World Youth Olympics and Pan American Youth champion. He took a gold medal at both the 2011and 2015 Pan American Games but lost in the quarter-final of the Rio Olympics to Filip Hrgovic. At 26 and 6’2” he has time to adjust to the pro ranks. In other heavyweight moves in his first fight since beating Alex Ustinov in November Mike Hunter meets Brazilian Fabio Maldonado on 25 May. Maldonado is coming off points losses to Oscar Rivas and Olek Teslenko. In addition former IBF and WBA cruiser champion Marat Gassiev will have his first fight at heavyweight on 27 July but no venue or opponent named yet.
Interesting show set for Schwern, Germany 15 June with three former champions scheduled to fight. Tyron Zeuge, the ex-holder of the WBA secondary super middleweight belt will reportedly face Spanish champion Adam Silvera for the vacant European Union title which seems a very sub-standard EU title fight, Jack Culcay the former secondary WBA super welter champion tackles experienced Italian Stefano Castellucci and Juergen Brahmer the former WBO and secondary WBA champion at light heavyweight meets unbeaten fellow German Nils Schmidt. Three not very competitive matches. Schmidt is 17-0 but of his last nine opponents eight of them only had 19 wins between them and the other victim had lost 6 of his last 7 fights. With the current state of German boxing they are taking no chances of their guys losing. Only two German fighters hold EBU titles, Agit Kabayel the heavyweight and Dominic Boesel the light-heavyweight and they have no world champions. Sorry I am wrong there Manuel Charr holds the secondary version of the WBA heavyweight title. That really is a case of chickens coming home to roost. As a result of their machinations the WBA are left with a champion who has not defended the tile he won eighteen months ago and he is supposed to fight at some time Fres Oquendo who has not fight since July 2014. It’s more like a fifth division title than a secondary. No one wants it and if the WBA ordered Anthony Joshua to defend against Charr they would be a laughing stock.
One German former world champion is busy and that is Marco Huck. He has a fight against Nick Guivas at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut on Friday night 17th then he has to fly back to Germany to oversee his promotion on 25 May in Salzgitter. I guess one more world title fight is Huck’s aim.
I was saddened to read of the death of Harold Lederman. He was one of the good guys a real gentleman who lived for and was passionate about boxing. He earned his living as a pharmacist but earned people’s love and respect as a boxing judge and as the man who scored fights for HBO. I first met Harold in the early 1970’s at a WBC Convention in Mexico City. His first words to me “what’s a stone?” That threw me until I realised he was talking about the term used in Britain for body weight. A couple of nights later he, Mickey Duff and I went to the world famous Arena Coliseo to watch the fights and Harold and I forged a friendship that lasted right up until his death. My life is less rich with the passing with Harold RIP.
It was sad to hear of the death of Bert “Smokin” Cooper from Pancreatic cancer at the age of 53. For most of his career Bert was a name on an index card that I updated by pencil after his fights. When you physically write those details about a fighter you are almost living his career as it starts, progresses and ends. Bert kept me busy .He dodged no one and fought eight world champions. His only chance at a world title came in November 1991. When both Mike Tyson and his replacement both injured themselves Bert stepped in at one week’s notice to challenge Evander Holyfield for the IBF and WBA titles. In the third round Bert nearly sprang what would have been the biggest upset in heavyweight boxing. A heavy puncher, 31 of Bert’s 38 wins came by KO/TKO; he nailed Holyfield with a right that had Holyfield sagging into the ropes badly hurt. The ropes stopped Holyfield from going down so he was given a count. Copper rocked Holyfield a few more times but with such short notice he was not in condition and Holyfield stopped him in the seventh round. He fought them all but loss his battle with cancer RIP Bert.
Female boxers are showing up their male counterparts. Where sometime it seems too many egos/promotion rivalry gets in the way of big male unification fights there seem to be no such problems in the female ranks. Last month Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer met with the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO middleweight titles on the line and now Katie Taylor and Belgian Delfine Persoon fight at Madison Square Garden on 1 June with the same four lightweight titles on the line. That will mean two divisions totally unified. Male score on that=Zero.
What do Olek Usyk, Manny Pacquiao, Terrence Crawford, Errol Spence and Vasyl Lomachenko have in common? Yes they all hold versions of a world title and they are all on most people’s list of the best pound for pound fighters around today. Let me also add Denis Lebedev, Adonis Stevenson, Gilberto Ramirez, Demetrius Andrade, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Tevin Farmer, Gary Russell Jr, Gervonta Davis, Regis Prograis, Billy Joe Saunders, Josh Taylor, Marcus Browne, Erislandy Lara, Luis Ortiz, Zolani Tete, Srisaket, Jerwin Ancajas, TJ Doheny and Terry Flanagan not all of whom are champions or on typical pound for pound lists. The answer is that they are all southpaws. Oh how things have changed back in the 1950’s southpaws were treated as pariah. One famous boxer-it may have been the great Sugar Ray Robinson- said that all southpaw should be strangled at birth! In the 1950’s southpaws were a very rare breed. You had Jimmy Carruthers, Gustav Schulz, Flash Elorde, Kenny Lane , Dave Charnley Horacio Accavallo and a few others but you could count on two hands without including your thumbs the number of southpaw boxers active throughout the 1950’s who were world champions or leading fighters. Yet here we are today where it is almost a case that the best fighters are southpaws and there are plenty of them so somehow the southpaw have crept up on us and taken over boxing-how? The heavyweight seems to be one division that has withstood the plague of southpaws. Right now of what I would call the “A” list only Luis Ortiz, Charles Martin and Artur Szpilka are southpaws and as an example there are only 74 active southpaws in the heavyweight division whereas there are 182 super lightweights and 165 lightweights. I am right-handed so I am watching this spreading curse of the left-handers with trepidation.
It is not unusual for a boxer to retire after a heavy defeat but in the case of the Dogboe family it is the trainer who is retiring. After his loss to Emanuel Navarrete Isaac has said the he will continue to box but move up to featherweight father Paul has said he will stop his work as a trainer. It must have been painful for him to see his son losing so heavily. The father/son bond adds another dimension to watching your fighter lose so I can understand his pain and it has to be said he has done a magnificent job by taking Isaac to a world title. I am not too sure how wise Isaac’s decision to move up to feather is. He is 5’2” and the 5’7” Navarette was just too big for him if he could get down to bantam that would seem a more sensible option.
Forthcoming fights: The big one of course is Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman on 20 July in Las Vegas with Thurman’s WBA welter title up for grabs. Many is 40 and Thurman is unbeaten and strong so a very risky fight for Pacquiao. The “championship of the Garcia’s” looks set for 13 August with Danny fighting Mikey. Obvious Mikey is sure he can do better at welter against Danny than he did against Errol Spence. Anthony Yarde gets his world title chance against WBO light heavy champion Sergey Kovalev in Russia on 29 June. Kovalev will constitute a huge step up in the quality of opposition for Yarde. Kovalev is a few levels above Yarde victims Dariusz Sek, Walter Sequeira and Travis Reeves. Yarde’s power has been enough to compensate for his defensive deficiencies but that’s unlikely to be the case against Kovalev. On 12 July in Osaka Ken Shiro defends the WBC light fly title against Filipino Jonathan Taconing. On 13 July in Carson, California Rey Vargas will make the fifth defence of his WBC super bantam title up against former WBO bantam champion Tomoki Kameda. On 20 July Caleb Plant will make the first defence of his IBF super middle title against 21-0 Mike Lee and 27 July in Baltimore Gervonta Davis will defend his WBA super feather title. Yuriorkis Gamboa was originally to be the guy in the other corner but there is now a question over that. It is a long way down the line but it is reported that Ryad Merhy will take on Imre Szello for the WBA cruiserweight gold belt in Charleroi on 19 October. Merhy is 28-1 with his only loss coming against Arsen Goulamirian for the WBA interim title and Hungarian “Imo” Szello is 23-0.
Boy they are tough with their titles in France. From now on every French national champion must defend his title against his No 1 challenger every four months. No Exceptions or exemptions and if the challenger refuses then he can’t fight for the title for a year-and Dillian Whyte has been wait 18 months for a shot at the WBC title and Fres Oquendo has been waiting almost five years for a court decreed shot at the WBA title. Vive la France I say!
By Eric Armit
The Past Week in Action 14 May 2019
-Julian Williams upsets the odds with unanimous decision over Jarrett Hurd to win the IBF and WBA super welterweight titles
-Miguel Berchelt halts Francisco Vargas to retain WBC super feather title
-Emanuel Navarrete stops Isaac Dogboe in the last round of their return fight and remains WBO super bantamweight champion
-Stephen Fulton decisions Paulus Ambunda to lift the vacant IBO super bantamweight title
-Stefan Haertel wins European super middleweight title with victory over champion Robin Krasniqi
-Mexican Enrique Tinoco ends unbeaten run of Jordan Gill with a stoppage win and Leigh Wood retains the Commonwealth featherweight title with kayo of Ryan Doyle
-Prospects Ruben Villa, Michael Dutchover, Abraham Nova and Carlos Castro score wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Tucson. AZ. USA: Super Feather: Miguel Berchelt (36-1) W RTD 6 Francisco Vargas (25-2-2). Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (27-1) W TKO 12 Isaac Dogboe (20-2).Super Light: Mykal Fox (20-1) W PTS 10 Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (7-1). Super Bantam: Carlos Castro (23-0) W PTS 10 Mario Diaz (18-3). Feather: Miguel Marriaga (28-3) W RTD 3 Ruben Cervera (10-2,1ND).
Berchelt vs. Vargas
In a rep[eat performance Berchelt dismantles a too brave Vargas and retains the WBC title
Both opened cautiously just poking out their jab and feeling each other out. Berchelt moved forward with a small series of punches with Vargas on the front foot but looking for openings. Berchelt fired a couple of short bursts of punches but was warned for straying low twice but finished the round with another series of punches.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt
Vargas had been a step behind Berchelt in the first but he upped his pace cutting off the ring and scoring with strong jabs. Berchelt was circling the perimeter of the ring and again firing fast combinations. He wasn’t loading up on them but they were getting through, Over the second half of the round it was toe-to-toe stuff with both firing hooks and uppercuts with Berchelt not so accurate but throwing and land more.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt Berchelt 20-18
Vargas continued to roll forward crouching behind a high guard willing to walk through Berchelt’s punches to get inside. Berchelt was firing clusters of combinations and already there was signs of swelling on the face of Vargas from the hooks and uppercuts he was walking onto.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt Berchelt 30-27
Berchelt once again was making Vargas pay a heavy price for coming forward. The champion was getting through with bursts of five or six punches with Vargas occasionally stopped in his tracks, After Berchelt landed every one of an eight-punch burst Vargas fired right back but his face was showing lumps and bumps.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt Berchelt 40-36
Vargas had some success at the start of this round it looked as though Berchelt had thrown so many punches that he was dialling back on his output allowing Vargas to score with hooks and straight rights. He had Berchelt pinned to the ropes for a spell and although Berchelt began to let his punches fly late in the round Vargas did enough to edge it.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Berchelt 49-46
Despite his success in the fifth the face of Vargas was now red raw and there was a swelling under his left eye that was obscuring some of his vision. In a brutal round Berchelt pounded on a too courageous Vergas connecting with hooks to the body and head with Vargas at times like a man caught in a storm with nowhere to hide.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt Berchelt 59-55
Vargas team retired their man.
An imperious display by Berchelt. His combination punching was hugely impressive and he was too quick for Vargas. This was his fifth defence of the WBC title and win No 32 by KO/TKO, At 27 Berchelt seems to get better and better. He is now looking to take on the winner of Masayuki Ito’s WBO title defence against Jamel Herring on 19 May to unify the WBC and WBO titles. Vargas was his No 1 challenger so he has cleared any mandatory obligations, At 34 it is difficult to see where Vargas goes from here. He took a savage beating and his tactics of pressurising and wearing Berchelt down never really looked like working. He showed incredible bravery taking the punishment he did but bravery was not enough.
Navarrete vs. Dogboe
Navarrete retains the WBO title with stoppage of courageous but outclassed Dogboe
Navarrete was in the groove immediately circling Dogboe using his much longer reach to spear Dogboe with jabs and landing short left hooks. Dogboe had to lunge with his and overreach with his attacks as with his much longer stride Navarrete was able to get out of range quickly. Dogboe landed a couple of hooks but Navarrete was peppering him with jabs and left hooks.
Score: 10-9 Navarette
Dogboe did much better in this round. He started out scoring with jabs and as the round wore on was connecting with hooks. Navarrete was changing guards and continuing to pierce Dogboe’s defence with jabs and connecting with long swinging hooks. His more accurate work gave him the round as he rocked Dogboe with a left hook and with another long left opened a cut on the right eyelid of Dogboe.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 20-18
Early in the round a left hook to the temple knocked Dogboe into the ropes and Navarrete pounded on the Ghanaian with rights and left hooks. For a while it looked as though Navarrete was going to finish the fight but Dogboe held and threw enough punches to make it to the bell but it had been one-sided round/.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 30-27
A confident Navarrete was now the one marching forward but he was being careless and missing too often with his punches. Dogboe connected with some counters but just before the bell was under fire from a series of left hooks from Navarrete.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 40-46
Official Scores: Judge Jerry Martinez 40-36 Navarrete, Judge Pat Russell 40-36 Navarrete, Judge Zachary Young 40-36 Navarrete
Dogboe’s best round so far. His swarming attacks were getting him inside where he was scoring with hooks to the body. Navarrete’s punch output dropped dramatically and again he was too casual and inaccurate with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Dogboe Navarrete 49-46
Navarette tightened things up in this round. He was more controlled with his punches and soon had Dogboe backing up under a series of hooks and landed a crunching left hook to the body. With Dogboe hurt Navarrete landed more punches with Dogboe lurching head first into the ropes to escape the storm. Effectively the ropes stopped Dogboe from going down so the referee applied a count. Again it looked as though Navarrete was on the cusp of a stoppage as he drove Dogboe around the ring but Dogboe made it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Navarrete Navarrete 59-54
Navarrete’s dominance was total now; He was walking forward throwing long punches with Dogboe constantly on the retreat and only fighting in short ineffective bursts. Navarrete was now much more accurate connecting with almost 50 % of the punches he threw.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 69-63
Dogboe flurried with some punches at the start of this round but Navarrete was soon driving him back with hooks and uppercuts. Dogboe again tried to march forward but he was being met with some hefty counters and was shaken with a left hook at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 79-72
Official Scores : Martinez 79-72 Navarrete, Russell 79-72 Navarrete, Taylor 79-72 Navarrete
A painful round for Dogboe. After his usual early fire Dogboe was then under pressure and being caught consistently with hooks and uppercuts. Navarrete piled on the pressure and twice drove Dogboe into the ropes and with Dogboe stumbling and swaying he only just survived.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 89-81
No one could doubt the courage and determination of Dogboe but he was taking a beating. In this round it was Navarrete doing the scoring but by the process of some clever defensive work and lots of movement Dogboe largely stayed out of trouble.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 99-90
Dogboe attack more often in this round but was swinging wildly and walking onto punches. As the round close Navarrete scored with heavy punches and Dogboe was in trouble and pinned to the ropes.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 109-99
Dogboe tried to stage a strong finish but a series of head punches had him backed into a corner and another volley saw him sag at the knees. He slumped into the ropes and down on one knee. The referee gave him an eight count and was ready to let the action continue but that would have been wrong and Dogboe’s corner man climbed on the ring apron to get the fight stopped.
When these two met in December Navarrete had been a clear winner but the scores were close. This time Navarrete was just too big, too strong and punched too hard for Dogboe. The former champion from Ghana at 5’2” was never able to compete physically against Navarrete but he showed in wins over Javier Chacon, Cesar Juarez and particularly Jesses Magdaleno that he is a top quality fighter and at 24 will be back looking for another title shot.
Fox vs. Gaibnazarov
Fox hands Rio gold medal winner Gaibnazarov his first pro loss with a close but unanimous decision. When Fox uses his freakish 6’3 ½” height and companion reach he can be a difficult opponent for any fighter. He failed to use those assets against 5’ 10 ½” Shohjahon Ergashev in February but against Gaibnazarov who is only 5’6 ½” he was much more effective. The Uzbek southpaw had problems scoring effectively and Fox also had a busier work rate. In addition Gaibnazarov was his own worst enemy dropping points for holding in both the seventh and eighth rounds which would have made things much closer. Scores 95-92 twice and 95-93 for Fox. Southpaw Fox,23, just lacks power and seven of his last eight wins have been decisions and that will be a drawback against more experienced opposition. The difficulty in dealing with Fox’s physical edges and moving up to ten rounds was probably too much of a challenge for Gaibnazarov at this stage of his pro career but it should be only a temporary set-back.
Castro vs. Diaz
Castro continues his emergence as a good prospect with comprehensive victory over Mexican Diaz. Castro was just too good and too busy for Diaz. He floored Diaz in the second round and controlled the action working everything of an educated jab that Diaz never really found an answer to. Scores 100-89 twice and 98-91. The 25-year-old fighter from Phoenix retains the WBC Continental Americas title . His winning run and an impressive victory over 32-1 Genesis Servania in February have him rated IBF 9(8)/ WBC 9. Diaz, 24, capped a fourteen bout winning streak with a victory over 28-1Rayota Whitfield before being stopped in June last year by Erik Ruiz.
Marriaga vs. Cervera
With three world title shots behind him already you would think Marriaga would be satisfied. However since they were all losses he is obviously hoping to make it fourth time lucky. Body punches put paid to late substitute Cervera. Both fighters were on the floor in this one. Marriaga came close to ending the fight in the second when he sent Cervera to the floor but fellow-Colombian Cervera survived. Not for long. There was a slight hiccup for Marriaga when he went down whilst trading punches with Cervera in the third. He was not hurt and he was up quickly and continued to bang away at Cervera’s body and it was no surprise when Cervera did not come out for the fourth. The 32-year-old Marriaga has lost to Nicholas Walters, Oscar Valdez and Vasily Lomachenko in title fights but as he is still rated WBC 6 and WBO 9 and with his record in title fights he could yet land another title bout as very beatable challenger.
Fairfax, VA, USA: Super Welter: Julian Williams (27-1-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Jarrett Hurd (23-1). Super Bantam: Stephen Fulton (16-0) W PTS 12 Paulus Ambunda (27-3). Super Light: Mario Barrios (24-0) W KO 2 Juan Velasco (20-2). Middle: Matvey Korobov (28-2-1) DREW 10 Immanuwel Aleem (18-1-2). Super Fly: Alexandru Marin (18-0) W PTS 10 Luis Concepcion (37-8). 22
Williams vs. Hurd
The heavy punching champion was a big favourite to retain his titles but Williams fought a clever fight boxing on the outside in some rounds and going toe-to-toe in others with Hurd one-dimensional and unable to adapt to those tactics and ending up a clear loser.
Confident start from Williams. He was quicker and more accurate with his jab and following in behind it with straight rights, Hurd was cautious and mainly looking to counter with Williams just that bit sharper.
Score: 10-9 Williams
Pressure from Hurd made Williams fight inside and he was using upper body movement to make Hurd miss and connecting with short hooks. Hurd was taking away the jab of Williams but paying for it as Williams outscored him inside. The tactic was not working for Hurd and Williams landed an overhand right and two left hooks and Hurd fell to the canvas. He was up quickly but shaken. Williams pinned Hurd to the ropes and unloaded with heavy punches but Hurd managed to duck and weave through the few seconds to the bell
Score: 10-8 Williams Williams 20-17
Williams tried to carry on where he had left off in the second and landed some crisp shots. Hurd again took the fight inside and this time he was scoring with thumping body punches and uppercuts. The action was about level until Hurd connected with a hard right cross that shook Williams and from then Hurd was coming forward and doing the scoring.
Score: 10-9 Hurd Williams 29-27
They traded jabs at the start with Williams quicker and more accurate. They then brawled for the rest of the round. Williams was cleverly smothering Hurd’s work and finding space to land with hooks and uppercuts to clearly take the round.
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Robin Taylor 39-36 Williams, Judge Steve Weisfeld 39-36 Williams, Judge Alfredo Polanco 39-36 Williams
Three minutes of toe-to-toe brawling in this one. Williams did the better work early but over the last minute Hurd was landing thudding hooks and uppercuts and dominated that period.
Score: 10-9 Hurd Williams 48-46
Hurd made a blazing start to this round bombing Williams with powerful jabs and right crosses. Williams moved inside and for a while he was outscoring Hurd but Hurd again staged a strong finish with Williams under pressure. It had been anticipated that Hurd would be too strong for Williams and fight had begun followed that script over the last two rounds.
Score: 10-9 Hurd Williams 57-56
Williams brilliantly re-wrote the script in this one. He went back to what had worked so well for him in the first round. He was stabbing jabs into Hurd’s face then moving refusing to be dragged inside. He was cleverly changing angles and connecting with quick punches and getting away before Hurd could counter
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 67-65
Williams scored with some jabs and suddenly Hurd backed off pawing at his left eye. Williams strode forward driving Hurd to a corner and pounding him with punches. Hurd fought his way of the ropes and did some good work inside but Williams landed a crisp uppercut that had Hurd backing off and it was Williams doing the scoring at the bell. Hurd was cut over his right eye but still seemed concerned about his left eye.
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 77-74
Official Scores Taylor 77-74 Williams, Weisfeld 77-74 Williams. Polanco 77-74 Williams
Hurd opened this one with a big attack throwing long straight shots. Williams went back to jabbing and moving and then went inside and got the better of the exchanges with short hooks. Hurd banged back but was rocked by an uppercut and taking punishment before firing back at the bell. A round for Williams but really the first round that was close.
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 87-83
Back to the brawl. It was close-quarters work all the way. Both were connecting with clubbing shots but Williams was outlanding Hurd and looked the stronger of the two. He did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 97-92
Williams round. He outboxed Hurd early and then when he went inside his punches were shorter and more accurate. He was the stronger man pushing Hurd back and clipping Hurd with uppercuts. Hurd banged back at the end of the round and looked to have hurt Williams with a right.
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 107-101
This had been a tough, gruelling contest and both guys had the cuts and bruises to show that with Hurd cut over both eyes and Williams with a swelling under his left eye. Hurd attacked early but he was tired and Williams was soon opening him up with short uppercuts inside and driving Hurd back. Both were tired but Williams remained the more accurate and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 117-110
Official Scores: Taylor 115-112 for Williams, Weisfeld 115-112 for Williams and Polanco 116-111 for Williams.
I saw it wider than that but as with the judges I saw Williams a clear winner. The 29-year-old “J Rock” from Philadelphia had been stopped by Jermell Charlo for the IBF title in 2016 but had rebuilt with wins over Ishe Smith and Nat Gallimore and now he holds the |IBF, WBA and IBO titles and deservedly so. The first two spots in the IBF ratings are now vacant as nobody in their top 15 has beaten a rated contender and Kell Brook is the No 1 in the WBA ratings but at this time it is not known if Brook wants to go down that route. Hurd has said there is a return clause which he intends to claim so they could go again later this year. Hurd had brushed aside Tony Harrison, Austin Trout and Jason Welborn in IBF title fights and taken a split verdict over Erislandy Lara and if he can return to that form he could well win any return match.
Fulton vs. Ambunda
Fulton ensures that two Philadelphia boxers come away from this night as champions. Fulton collected the IBO belt with a resounding victory over Namibian veteran Ambunda. The Namibian was making the first defence of the IBO title in his second reign as champion. Fulton grabbed his big chance here by outboxing Ambunda. Fulton was faster, set a higher work rate and worked well behind a classy jab. He led from the start and never allowed the slower Namibian to get into the fight. Fulton floored Ambunda with a right in the eighth and won every round. Scores 120-107 for Fulton from all three officials. In theory this was a big step up for 24-year-old Fulton who had only faced very modest opposition and been in only one ten round fight but he was an Elite level amateur and a former National Golden Gloves champion. For 38-year-old Ambunda it was a clear sign that he is way past his best. He hit a peak when winning the WBO title with an upset victory over Thai Pungluang in 2013 and had picked up the IBO title a couple of times but this was by far the widest margin in any of his losses.
Barrios vs. Velasco
Barrios destroys Velasco with a wicked body punch. In the opening round Barrios did most of the scoring. He was more mobile with much quicker hands finding gaps for his jabs and straight rights and Velasco was limited to connecting with a few jabs. Barrios was probing with his jab in the second and then as Velasco stepped in with a punch a lightning-quick left to the body and a right to the head dropped him. It was the body punch that effectively ended the fight with the right being surplus to requirements. Velasco dropped to the a kneeling position with his head touching the canvas. He was in some deep pain and never looked like getting up. It can be argued that on the basis of the opposition he has faced that the WBA’s rating of Barrios as No 1is a travesty but the 23-year-old from San Antonio oozes class and power and he will probably get a title shot later this year when the WSSB super light tournament finishes and the picture at super light becomes clearer. Second loss by KO/TKO for Velasco who was stopped by Regis Prograis in eight rounds last July.
Korobov vs. Aleem
After initial elation at being declared the winner of this one Korobov suffers the disappointment of having the result changed to a draw after a mistake was made in the scorecards. Korobov made the better start taking the first two rounds being accurate with his right jab and landing some straight lefts to the body. Aleem was not committing to his jab and falling short. Aleem pressed his attacks more in the third but Korobov was boxing smartly and countering accurately. Aleem went down late in the round but it was due to being off balance so no count. Aleem continued to come forward in the fourth and landed some punches inside but Korobov was scoring more. Aleem was getting past Korobov’s jab in the fifth and sixth and scoring with short burst of punches inside but Korobov hit back strongly at the end of the sixth and had Aleem in trouble from a series of head punches. The seventh was a close round with neither dominating but Korobov looked to be well ahead. Aleem upped his pace in the eighth with Korobov slowing but still countering well. Aleem finished the round strongly to take it. Aleem finally had some momentum and he was connecting with hooks from both hands with Korobov staggering with exhaustion and his work rate dropping. Aleem had a big last round driving Korobov back and rattling him with hooks to the head. A strong finish by Aleem. As above Initially Korobov was declared the winner by majority decision. After the fighters had left the ring a check of the scorecards revealed an error and the result was changed to a majority draw. Scores 95-95 twice and 97-93 for Korobov. For me the last score was a better reflection of the action. Both of Korobov’s losses have come in title fights. He was beaten by Andy Lee for the vacant WBO middleweight title in 2014 and by Jermall Charlo for the interim WBC title in December last year. At 36 time is running out for Korobov and currently his only ranking is No 14 with the WBC so his chance has probably passed. Local fighter Aleem, 25, is No 15 with the WBC. He suffered a big set-back losing on a third round kayo against Hugo Centeno in 2017. In May last year he stopped Juan De Angel so this was his first fight in twelve months.
Marin vs. Concepcion
Marin gets tight decision over the more experienced Concepcion. The taller Marin (5’7” to 5’2”) was naturally more comfortable working on the outside with Panamanian Concepcion using his experience to get by the longer reach of the Romanian to score with hooks inside. It was a fast-pace fairly even fight . Marin boxed skilfully at distance with a strong jab and walked Concepcion onto some sharp counters. Concepcion kept coming forward looking to draw Marin’s jab and then get past it inside and fire hooks to the body. Marin built an early lead but under relentless pressure from Concepcion his work became untidy and his punch output fell so that the decision could have gone either way. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 all for Marin. I thought Concepcion was worth a draw. Maryland-based Marin was defending the IBO Inter-Continental title and coming off a useful win over Bruno Escalante. Concepcion, 33, is a former WBA champion at flyweight and super flyweight but blew the super flyweight title when he came in overweight for a defence against Khalid Yafai in 2016 and also lost the decision. He has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Flyweight: Moruti Mthalane (38-2) W PTS 12 Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3). A real top quality performance by Mthalane sees him retain the IBF title with unanimous verdict over Kuroda. The challenger launches some ferocious attacks early and built a lead with two of the judges seeing him in front after four rounds at 39-37 and the other having them level at 38-38. That’s was as good as the night got for Kuroda. From the fifth the sharp punching and solid defence of Mthalane put him in total control. In a masterful display he outboxed the aggressive Kuroda constantly threading jabs through the taller man’s guard and firing home quick accurate combinations. Mthalane wound up the pace in round after round controlling the fight with his jab and busting up the face of the challenger and after eight rounds had turned the fight around to lead 77-75 on all three cards. Kuroda put in a big effort in the tenth to try to get back into the fight but it was a last fling as the brilliant little South African swept the last two rounds to finish a clear winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 all for Mthalane. The 36-year-old from Natal was imperious on the night. He is a former IBF champion having relinquished the title in 2014 rather than defend it in Thailand against Amnat Ruenroeng for a derisory purse. That was a gamble but it paid off with Mthalane winning the IBO title in the same year and making three defences before becoming IBF champion again with a victory over unbeaten Muhammad Waseem in July last year. This is his second defence. He is 24-1 in his last 25 fights with the loss being a cuts stoppage against Nonito Donaire back in 2008 and one of the 24 wins being a victory over Zolani Tete who he floored and halted in 2010 in Tete’s only inside the distance defeat. Kuroda lost a wide unanimous decision against Juan Carlos Reveco for the secondary WBA title in 2013 but was Japanese champion and had won his last six fights.
Toronto, Canada: Super Light: Steven Wilcox (21-3-1) W PTS 10 Roody Pierre Paul (16-5-2,1ND). Wilcox wins the vacant Canadian title with wide unanimous verdict over Quebecor Paul. The local fighter had considerable physical advantages and they were just too much for Paul to combat. Wilcox was able to work on the outside with his jab and with his much longer legs he was able to frustrate Paul’s efforts to get inside with simple movement. Southpaw Paul was more competitive over the middle rounds although still being outscored but then faded again before putting in a vain effort in the last. Scores 100-90 for Wilcox from all three judges. The 29-year-old Wilcox has scored six wins in his last seven fights with the loss being a decision dropped against Darragh Foley in Australia in March last year. Paul, 35, had been on a good run of seven wins and two draws but in his last fight in a dire display he lost a majority decision to Romanian prelim fighter Oszkar Fiko.
Nakhon Phanom, Thailand: Super Welter: Teerachai (41-1) W TKO 12 Ramadhani Shauri (25-15-1). Gutsy display by Tanzanian southpaw Shauri as he forces Teerachai to go into the last round for victory. Teerachai had some problems with Shauri’s style but gradually wore the African down and had him in deep trouble and shipping punishment in the twelfth when the referee halted the contests. Third low level win over a Tanzanian for Teerachai since suffering an eighth round kayo against Lucas Matthysse for the vacant WBA title in January last year. He had beaten Shauri by nine points on each of the three cards when they fought in 2017 so not sure why they bothered with a return. This was billed as for the WBA South Asian title which is yet another addition to the long, long list of invented sanction fee belts. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for Shauri
Nottingham, England: Feather: Enrique Tinoco (18-5-4) W RTD 8 Jordan Gill (23-1). Feather: Leigh Wood (22-1) W KO 10 Ryan Doyle (17-4-1). Super Feather: Stephen Smith (26-4) W PTS 6 Des Newton (7-5). Cruiser: Chris Billam-Smith (9-0) W RTD 3 Yassine Habachi (5-14-5,1ND). Heavy: Fabio Wardley (7-0) W TKO 3 Dennis Lewandowski (13-4).
Tinoco vs. Gill
Gill loses his unbeaten tag and his WBA International title as he is floored three times and pulled out of the fight by his team after the eighth round. As expected Gill quickly took control with his better boxing skills and looked comfortable over the first two rounds. The fight changed in the third when a couple of left hooks to the body from Tinoco put Gill down. He beat the count and used his speed to stay out of trouble to the bell. Gill seemed to have recovered as he outboxed Tinoco in the fourth but the Mexican was exerting heavy pressure and he put Gill on the floor again in the fifth with another body punch. As in the third Gill got up and managed to steer his way to the bell. Tinoco was now marching forward throwing heavy punches looking for an upset. Gill was sticking to his boxing and countering well but could not keep Tinoco out and Tinoco’s punches had started a swelling by Gill’s left eye. Tinoco’s pressure paid off again in the eighth as Gill was down again from a body punch and at the end of the round Gill’s corner retired their man. Huge set back for the man from Chatteris. A former undefeated Commonwealth champion he had scored wins over Jason Cunningham, Ryan Doyle and Emanuel Dominguez. After the fight Gill revealed that in the lead up to the fight he had suffered from food poisoning and had fractured his right hand in the contest. At 24 he will regroup and come back strongly. Tinoco had weighed 5ozs over the contract weight so could not win the WBA International title. He had lost on points to top prospects Mario Barrios and Devin Haney and will hoping this win leads on to better things.
Wood vs. Doyle
Wood retains the Commonwealth title with kayo of Doyle. The fight took a couple of rounds to catch fire and when it did it was Wood who took over. He was outboxing and outlanding Doyle switching guards and finding the target with hard and hurtful punches. By the fifth he was beginning to wear away at Doyle’s resistance with shots to head and body. Doyle was soaking up punishment but trying to fight back without success. By the tenth he was ready to go and Wood showered Doyle with punches from both hands before sending Doyle down with a wicked left hook and Doyle was counted out. Local fighter Wood, 30, was defending the Commonwealth title for the first time and gets his twelfth win by KO/TKO. His only loss was to world title challenger Gavin McDonnell in 2014 and this is his eleventh win since then. Former Commonwealth champion Doyle had scored a good win over unbeaten Reece Bellotti but lost to Jordan Gill in October.
Smith vs. Newton
Smith throws his hat in the ring as he returns from inactivity with a win. The former IBF and WBA title challenger was given some useful rounds of work by late substitute Newton. He floored Newton with a body punch in the fifth but the Devon fighter survived and stayed to the final bell. Referee’s score 60-54. First fight for Smith, 33, since losing a technical decision against Francisco Vargas in December 2017 when an ear injury forced the fight to be stopped and go to the cards. He will be looking to fight his way to a third title shot. Newton keeps his slate clear of any inside the distance losses.
Billiam-Smith vs. Habachi
Billiam-Smith is emerging as one to watch. “The Gentleman” was much too good for Moroccan Habachi who retires at the end of the third round. The 6’3” Smith, 28, just came up short in the major tournaments as an amateur but has won eight of fights by KO/TKO. He faces his first test when he meets unbeaten Richar Riakporhe in July. Italian-based Habachi is 0-6-4 in his last ten fights.
Wardley vs. Lewandowski
Wardley beats an obese Lewandowski in a farce of a match. All you need to know about Lewandowski is that he is 6’2” and 351lbs. It was like hitting the heavy bag-the very heavy bag-for Wardley. He pounded on the slow Lewandowski for two rounds. In the third a series of uppercuts had blood pouring from Lewandowski’s nose and he dropped under a volley of punches. Despite the nose injury he got up and tried to continue but went down again and the fight was stopped. No chance to get any real assessment of Wardley but he did look very sharp and at 24 and standing 6’5” with six wins by KO/TKO he looks yet another addition to the growing ranks of promising young British heavyweights. German Lewandowski tried but had nothing to offer except a target. He has put on an additional 90lbs since he turned pro in 2014 but this is the first time he has failed to last the distance
Burbank, CA, USA: Light Heavy: Vyacheslav Shabranskyy W TKO 1Gilberto Rubio (9-8). You would have thought that after being out of action for 18 months Shabranskyy might have looked for some useful ring time. Instead he made it an early night as he battered Rubio to defeat inside the opening round. First outing for the tall Ukrainian since being floored and halted in two rounds by Sergey Kovalev in a fight for the vacant WBO light heavy title in November 2017. Really should have expected this one to end early as only three of Shabranskyy’s 21 fights have gone the distance. Ridiculous really putting a 5’8” Rubio in with a 6’3 ½” Shabranskyy. Rubio suffers his sixth loss by KO/TKO.
Corona, CA, USA: Feather: Ruben Villa (16-0) W PTS 10 Luis Lopez (17-2). Bantam: Saul Sanchez (12-0) W KO 8 Brandon Leon Benitez (14-2).Light: Michael Dutchover (13-0) W KO 1 Rosekie Cristobal (15-4). Light: Petr Petrov (40-6-2) W KO 2 Ruben Tamayo (27-13-4).
Villa vs. Lopez
Southpaw Villa wins the vacant WBO International belt by outpointing Lopez. Villa had problems early with the uncoordinated and flailing attacks of Lopez but once he settled his better skills put him in charge. Villa was using sharp accurate jabs to control Lopez’s attacks and opened a cut over the left eye of Lopez with a punch in the fourth round. Body punches from Villa had Lopez tiring and Villa attacked strongly over the last three rounds looking for a stoppage. He rocked Lopez with rights in the tenth but Lopez stayed in the fight to the end. Scores 98-92, 97-93 an 96-94 for Villa. The 22-year-old Villa was in his first ten round contest and he paced the fight well. He is being sensibly matched and remains a top prospect. Mexican Lopez had won his last five fights including a victory over 18-1 Ray Ximenez.
Sanchez vs. Benitez
Sanchez maintains his 100% record and collects the vacant WBO Latino belt with late stoppage of Benitez. Sanchez was marching forward with Benitez boxing on the retreat. Benitez had trouble keeping Sanchez out but he was picking up points with his counters in an interesting contest. Sanchez showed his power by shaking Benitez with a right in the fourth but he was cut under his left eye. That did not stop him from raging in and outlanding Benitez who was slowly being broken down. Sanchez opened a cut over Benitez’s right eye in the seventh and then had Benitez in trouble and ended it in the eighth with a fierce attack. After he shook Benitez with a right the referee halted the contest. Now seven wins by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old Californian who in theory was in his first ten round bout. Second loss by KO/TKO for Mexican Benitez who had won his last 5 bouts.
Dutchover vs. Cristobal
This looked a reasonable fight with the unbeaten Dutchover facing a taller southpaw who in his last fight had taken unbeaten Denys Berinchyk into the seventh round before being stopped. He only lasted 106 seconds against Dutchover. A left hook to the body sent Cristobal down and he was counted out. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the “West Texas Warrior”. Second loss by KO/TKO for Cristobal.
Petrov vs. Tamayo
Petrov continues to edge his way back into contention as he halts Tamayo for whom losing has become a habit. The Russian “Czar” dropped Tamayo three times in the second round and the fight was stopped. Petrov put together a run of good results that saw him win the ESPN Boxcino tournament and the NABA title. A victory over 24-1-2 Mike Perez earned him a title shot but he lost on points to Terry Flanagan for the WBO light title in 2017 and was inactive for a year after losing to Ivan Baranchyk in March 2018. Mexican Tamayo has now lost 9 of his last 10 contests.
Hollywood, FL, USA: Welter: Derrick Cuevas (21-0-1) W PTS 8 Albert Mensah (31-8-1). Welter: Livan Navarro (11-0) W PTS 8 Breidis Prescott (31-17). Feather: Hairon Socarras (22-0-3) W RTD 5 Jesus Martinez (25-8). Heavy: Ivan Dychko (7-0) W Ray Austin (29-9-4). Welter: Logan Yoon (16-0) W PTS 8 Robert Frankel (37-21-1).
Cuevas vs. Mensah
Cuevas has no problem in staying unbeaten as he outpoints a survival-minded Mensah. Cuevas dominated the action with Mensah on the defensive and only fighting back in bursts. Cuevas was able to pin Mensah to the ropes and work on him but Mensah was never in any real trouble and did enough to stop being overwhelmed to a point where the referee might stop the fight. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-74 for Cuevas. No real chance for Cuevas to shine here but he has garnered useful experience in wins over seasoned-if sliding-pros Silverio Ortiz, Breidis Prescott and Ed Paredes. Ghanaian Mensah is 2-3 in his last 5 fights which breaks down as 2 wins in Ghana and 3 losses in the USA.
Navarro vs. Prescott
Cuban hope beats up a very faded Prescott who uses all of his experience to last the distance. Navarro was able to dominate the fight with Prescott only really fighting in bursts and not taking too many chances. Navarro tried hard for an inside the distance finish but despite his pressure and dominance Prescott was never really in trouble. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 for Navarro. The tall, 28-year-old “Machine Gun Kid” won gold medals at the two most prestigious tournaments in Cuba, the Copa Roberto Balado and the Giraldo Cordova Cardin. No 36 Prescott has lost 9 of his last 10 fights.
Socarras vs. Martinez
After eight years as a pro Socarras finally seems to be making some progress as far as being more active is concerned. Martinez did not constitute a tough test but Socarras got the job done. He had won every round before flooring Martinez with a left hook in the fifth. Martinez survived to the bell but then retired. The 26-year-old Socarras has 14 wins by KO/TKO. Colombian Martinez is heading in the same direction as fellow-countryman Prescott with 5 losses in his last 6 bouts.
Dychko vs. Austin
Kazak giant Dychko stops ancient and fat Austin, Dychko had won the first two rounds before Austin complained of an injury to his left arm and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’9” Dychko, 28, has won all of his eight fights by KO/TKO but the opposition has been either inferior or old or sometimes both. Dychko was an Elite level amateur winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics losing to Anthony Joshua 11-13 in the semi-final and he collected two silver medals and a bronze at the World Championships. He scored wins over Filip Hrgovic, Efe Ajagba, Erik Pfeifer and Simon Kean in the amateurs but it remains to be seen whether he can convert that to pro success. Austin is 48, and weighed 303lbs for this fight. He needs to think about a future-outside boxing.
Yoon vs. Frankel
Hawaiian prospect Yoon eases his way back into action with comfortable unanimous verdict over seasoned pro Frankel’ The 5’10” Yoon had physical edges over Frankel as well as youth and speed but Frankel was brought in to gave Yoon some needed ring time and he did that. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-74 for Yoon. The 20-year-old from Honolulu looks very promising. Frankel, 38, after 15 years as a pro is a useful if unthreatening opponent for the up and coming young fighters.
Springfield, MA, USA: Super Feather: Abraham Nova (15-0) W TKO 2 Mario Lozano (18-3-1). Middle: Carlos Gongora (16-0) W PTS 10 Damian Bonelli (23-7).
Nova vs. Lozano
Puerto Rican comer Nova wipes out Argentinian Lozano inside two rounds. After taking the first round Novoa ended the contest in the second launching an onslaught of punches that drove Lozano to the canvas with the referee stopping the fight. Despite what looks like a greying beard Nova is only 25 and la very good prospect. This is his fourteenth win by KO/TKO with three of those quick wins coming in fights in Belgium. He has also fought in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Argentina. He is a former US National champion and won gold medals at the Independence Cup and Jose Che Aponte which are top level amateur tournaments. Lozano had put together a 10-0-1 run before being knocked out in three rounds by Pablo Ojeda in February.
Gongora vs. Bonelli
Gongora moves up to ten rounds for the first time and comes away with a convincing unanimous verdict over Argentinian Bonelli. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for the tall southpaw. He was one of the most successful amateurs in Ecuadorian boxing representing them at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Championships and he scored wins over Shawn Estrada, Terrell Gausha and Yamaguchi Falcao. Bonelli, 41, has lost his last six fights on his travels including going the distance with Steve Rolls who fights Gennady Golovkin in June.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Feather: Kevin Acevedo (17-2-2) W PTS 10 Claudio Echegaray (22-3-1). Middle: Amilcar Vidal (8-0) W TKO 8 Martin Bulacio (9-4). Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (14-1) W RTD 3 Jose Saant (12-1-1).
Acevedo vs. Echegaray
Acevedo comes from behind to outpoint Echegaray. It was Echegaray who made the better start outboxing Acevedo over the early rounds. Constant pressure from Acevedo saw Echegaray tire over the second half of the fight and Acevedo did enough to claw back Echegaray’s lead and emerge a winner in a unanimous verdict. Scores of 97-94, 98-95 ½, 96 ½ -95. Good win for Argentinian No 3 Acevedo as he extends his current unbeaten run to 15 with 13 wins and 2 draws. Southpaw Echegaray was unbeaten in his first 22 fights but is now 1-3 in his last 4.Vidal vs. BulacioUruguayan Vidal gets another inside the distance win as he halts Argentinian Bulacio in the eighth round. The 23-year-old from Montevideo collects something called the WBC South American title with his eighth win by KO/TKO. Bulacio forced the fight hard but Vidal had too much power. He floored Bulacio in the eighth with a left hook. Bulacio made it to his feet but took more punishment and was given a standing only to be hurt again by hooks from Vidal and dropped twice in the eighth to force the stoppage. Bulacio is now 2-3 in his last five fights.Arboleda vs. Saant
Panamanian prospect Arboleda much too classy for Ecuadorian Saant. Arboleda’s attacks led to the referee giving Saant a standing count in the second. Arboleda continued to dominate the action in the third with Saant spitting out his mouthguard to get some respite. He made it to the bell but his team then pulled him out of the fight. Former top amateur Arboleda is rebuilding after a stoppage loss against Filipino Recky Dulay in 2017. This is his fourth inside the distance win since then and his first fight in Argentina under the banner of Sampson Lewkowicz. First fight outside Ecuador for Saant.
Ghent, Belgium: Middle: Kevin Ongenae (11-6-2) W PTS 10 Kevin Vanderheyden (9-1-1) . Middle: Sash Yengoyan (44-6-1) W PTS 8 Francesco Lezzi (11-14-2). Welter: Hedi Slimani (31-5) W PTS 10 Renald Garrido (24-23-3).
Ongenae vs. Vanderheyden
Home town fighter Ongenae wins the vacant Belgium title with all three judges seeing him as the better man. These two had very similar styles and had fought to a majority draw in October for the vacant title. Neither had the punch to seriously shake the other and as they tired over the last three rounds there was more brawling than boxing but they kept swinging away until the end. The cleaner work came from Ongenae and he was a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 all for Ongenae He had a run of 8 wins but after it was broken he lost two in a row before drawing with Vanderheyden. These two could probably go again giving Vanderheyden the chance to reverse his only loss.
Yengoyan vs. Lezzi
Yengoyan gets unanimous decision over Lezzi but it is not an impressive win. Yengoyan was marching after Lezzi for the whole fight but having trouble pinning down the Italian. Yengoyan was dangerous with right swings but Lezzi was always moving and stabbing out his jab and scoring with long rights. Yengoyan just did enough to win this one but he is lucky Lezzi is not a puncher or he could have been in trouble. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75 for Yengoyan. The 34-year-old Armenian is looking very shop-worn. Lezzi has won only two of his last eleven fights.
Slimani vs. Garrido
Slimani takes split decision over Garrido who puts on a typical “Garrido” performance. He was giving away lots of height and reach and could not match Slimani for skill but he rolled forward in round after round throwing plenty of punches getting inside and working the body. Slimani tried to fight on the outside where he controlled the action. He threaded jabs through the leaky guard of Garrido and rocked Garrido with some rights to the head, Garrido never stopped coming forward. He shook Slimani in the sixth and it times it looked as the sheer volume of his punches had Slimani wilting but in the end Slimani’s skill and accuracy were just enough to see him get a decision that could have gone either way. Scores 77-75 and 77-76 for Slimani and 77-75 for Garrido. Tunisian-born Slimani had put together an 18 bout winning run before losing to Richard Commey in 2017. He has since suffered inside the distance losses against Vage Sarukhanyan and Steve Jamoye. He has won his last three fights but he may have gone as far as he is going. Former French super light champion Garrido has a very unimpressive set of figures but has never lost inside the division and always lives up to his “The Lion” nickname.
Tokyo, Japan: Bantam: Keita Kurihara (14-5) W KO 1 Warlito Parrenas (26-10-1). Super Welter: Hironobu Matsunaga (15-1) W RTD 6 Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2).
Kurihara vs. Parrenas
This looked a very equal fight on paper but Kurihara tore up the script to retain the OPBF title. He connected with a right hook to the head that put Parrenas down heavily. Parrenas struggled to his feet but too late to beat the count. All over in 35 seconds. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for Kurihara. When he won the OPBF title in December there was some confusion over whether he would get to keep the belt as due to a timekeeping error one round lasted four minutes but it was decided that the result should stand. Japanese-based Filipino Parrenas fought a draw with David Carmona for the vacant interim WBO super fly title in 2015 and was then stopped in two rounds by Naoya Inoue for the full WBO title later the same year. He had suffered two losses against good level Japanese opposition going into the OPBF title fight.
Matsunaga vs. Shindo
In an all-southpaw contest Matsunaga steamrollers champion Shindo to defeat. At 6’1” Shindo had a huge advantage in height and reach over Matsunaga but the challenger was storming forward from the first bell and was working on the body inside. Shindo tried to keep him out with jabs and straight lefts but was constantly pinned to the ropes. After five rounds Matsunaga was up 48-47 on two cards and 49-46 on the third. Shindo tried to turn back the tide in the sixth but Matsunaga kept him in a corner and unloaded punches on the champion and at the end of the round Shindo’s team pulled their man out of the fight. Ninth win in a row for the former bakery worker. Matsunaga was having his first shot at the national title and at one time it seemed his career might be over due a retina injury but now he is champion at thirty-one. Shindo was defending the title for the second time having held on to it with a draw against Akinori Watanabe with a draw in December.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Super Welter: Boyd Allen (4-0) W PTS 12 Brandon Thysse (10-21-1). Super Middle: Rowan Campbell (10-0) W PTS 10 Yanga Phetani (14-3-1,1ND).
Allen vs. Thysse
Allen retains the WBA Pan African title with a split verdict over Thysse. Allen outboxed Thysse and looked a clear winner. Scores 115-113 twice for Allen which tell one story and a score of 119-113 for Thysse which is inexplicable. Allen has crossed over from MMA and made rapid progress. Former South African title challenger Thysse had lost in a fight for the national title in 2017
Campbell vs. Phetani
Campbell also won on a good night for the champions. He held on to his IBO All-African title with a unanimous decision over Phetani, Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 98-93. South African champion Campbell is progressing well. Phetani has been moving up through the weights. He had a shot at the South African super welter title but lost. He then had a try at the middleweight title but lost again only for the result to be changed to No decision after his opponent tested positive for a banned substance. He is No 1 in the national middleweight ratings so should land another shot if he stays at middleweight.
Magdeburg, Germany: Super Middle: Stefan Haertel (18-1) W PTS 12 Robin Krasniqi (49-6).Cruiser: Juergen Uldadaj (11-0) W PTS 10 Krzys Twardowski (5-2). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (3-0) W PTS 6 Paolo Iannucci (4-4).
Minor upset as Haertel outpoints champion Krasniqi for the European title. Haertel made a strong confident start taking the fight to Krasniqi and constantly finding gaps for his slick jabs. In the second Krasniqi suffered a cut over his right eye that was to be a problem for the rest of the fight. Haertel’s work saw him sweep the first three rounds on all cards but in the fourth Krasniqi connected with some fierce uppercuts which brought blood from Haertel's nose. After four rounds all three judges had Haertel clearly in front with scores of 39-37, 39-37 and 40-36. Haertel increased his lead with some more pressure and good boxing over the fifth, sixth and seventh but the rounds were close in a fight full of fierce exchanges. Krasniqi’s cut continued to trickle blood but despite also now being cut over his left eye Krasniqi fought back hard but was unable to make a dent in Haertel's lead with the judges still having the German ahead after eight rounds at 77-75, 78-74 and 80-73. Krasniqi built on his good eighth round rocking Haertel with a right in the ninth but Haertel was boxing well and put the fight out of Krasniqi’s reach by edging the tenth and eleventh. Krasniqi went for broke in the last looking for the knockout he needed. He took the round but it was not enough for him to keep his title. Scores 115-113, 116-112 and 117-112 making the 31-year-old Haertel the new European champion. This had been yet another outstanding European title fight. In the amateurs Haertel had ruled the 75kg division in Germany and competed at the European and World Championships and 2012 Olympics. He had not really shone as a pro and lost a split decision to unbeaten Adam Deines last year but he came good here. After going 1-2 in his first three fights Kosovon-born Krasniqi put together a 38 bout winning steak before losing to Nathan Cleverly for the WBO light heavy title in 2013. He continued to win fights but lost big ones against Juergen Brahmer for the secondary WBA light heavyweight title and Arthur Abraham in a non-title fight before winning the vacant European title in June last year with a victory over 36-2 Stan Kashtanov. At 32 he can still come again.
Uldedaj vs. Twardowski
German-based Uldedaj adds the WBC Youth title to his collection with a victory over Pole Twardowski. Uldedaj outboxed the Pole form the start building a strong early lead dominating the centre of the ring constantly switching guards. He kicked on from there showing better defensive work and varying his attacks to maintain his lead. Twardowski tried hard for a knockout in the tenth but that never looked likely and Uldedaj won 97-93 on all three cards. Reportedly Uldedaj, 21, who already holds the German International and WBO Youth titles, fought from the fourth round with a fractured right hand. Twardowski really just a four and six round prelim fighter did better than expected although a clear loser.
Kadiru vs. Iannucci
Hot prospect Kadiru gets some more pro rounds under his belt as he outpoints rugged and durable Italian Iannucci. Kadiru bossed the fight in every round. He showed a strong jab and connected with some booming rights but Iannucci never looked like falling and provided some useful work for the 21-year-old former top amateur. Scores 60-54 for Kadiru on the three cards. He is being brought along slowly as he is still very much a work in progress. Iannucci’s loses have all been on points.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Cruiser: Yamil Peralta (3-0) W PTS 10 Marcos Aumada (21-7). Peralta wins his first pro title in only his third fight as he outpoints Aumada to lift the WBC Latino belt. Peralta was far too quick and clever for southpaw Aumada. He used his defensive skills to duck or dodge Aumada’s punches whilst scoring with his jab and hooks. A frustrated Aumada tried to turn the fight into a brawl and succeeded in as far as there was plenty of dirty stuff from both boxers but he just could not match the accuracy of Peralta’s counters and despite a big effort in the last he was an ex-champion. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93 for Peralta. Although this was only his third pro fight Peralta has a wealth of experience behind him winning bronze medals at the Pan American Games and the World Championships, getting to the quarter-finals of both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and being an outstanding performer for the Argentina Condors in the WSB. Aumada, “the Thin Man”, was making the third defence of the WBC title and had won his last four fights by KO/TKO.
Esneaux, Belgium: Super Light: Jessy PetitJean (16-0) W PTS 10 Bence Molnar (18-9). Fighting in his home neighbourhood PetitJean is much too good for young Hungarian Molnar. PetitJean cemented the win by flooring Molnar twice in the eighth but really Molnar was never any threat. Scores 100-89, 99-89 and 99-90. PetitJean is No 11 in the European ratings but is going to have to go against some better quality opposition if he is to climb further. Molnar, 23, turned pro at 17 but had been inactive of late with this being only his second fight in almost three years.
Brampton, Canada: Light Heavy: Ryan Young (13-4) W PTS 10 Tim Cronin (11-3-2). Light: Josh O’Reilly (15-0) W PTS 10 Oscar Mejia (14-4-1).
Young vs. Cronin
Young wins battle of local boxers as he outpoints champion Cronin to collect the Canadian title. It was expected to be a competitive fight with the two contestants having similar records being of similar age and level of experience but Young was clearly the better man on the night and lifted the title. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 for Young. A needed win as 34-year-old Young was 2-4 in his previous six fight. Cronin, 35, had lost and drawn his previous two bouts.
O’Reilly vs. Mejia
O’Reilly retains the NABA title with points victory over Mejia. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for the Canadian No 2. O’Reilly was making the first defence of the title he won with a majority verdict over fellow-Canadian Cam O’Connell in January. For winning the NABA title the WBA have gifted O’Reilly a No 14 position in their ratings. O’Reilly looked to have won more clearly than the scores suggest but Mejia is strictly a prelim fighter down in Aguascalientes and this was his first ten round fight.
Fight of the week (Significance): Miguel Berchelt’s win over Francisco Vargas will hopefully open the way to an attempt to unify the super featherweight titles
Fight of the week (Entertainment): The fight between Julian Williams and Jarrett Hurd was a battle all the way and the Stefan Haertel vs. Robin Krasniqi European title fight provided plenty of entertainment.
Fighter of the week: Julian Williams for his upset win over Jarrett Hurd with an honourable mention to Moruti Mthalane for a quality performance in retaining his IBF title in Japan
Punch of the week: The left hook from Mario Barrios that ended Juan Velasco’s interest in their fight was special but so was Leigh Wood’s left hook that ended Ryan Doyle’s interest in their fight
Upset of the week: Two really Williams beating Hurd and Mexican Enrique Tinoco stopping unbeaten Jordan Gill
Prospect watch: Super bantamweight Carlos Castro is now 23-0 so one to follow.
By Eric Armit
-Canelo Alvarez unifies the IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles with close unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs
-Jerwin Ancajas retains the IBF super fly title with stoppage of Ryuichi Funai
-Artur Beterbiev crushes Radivoje Kalajdzic in IBF light heavyweight title defence
-John Ryder wins the vacant interim WBA super middleweight title with stoppage of Bilal Akkawy
-Joseph Diaz moves up to super feather and halts Freddy Fonseca
-Anthony Young pulls off an upset inside the distance win over Sadam Ali
-Prospects Gabriel Flores, Vergil Ortiz, Abass Baraou and Qais Ashfaq score inside the distance wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Middle: Saul Alvarez (52-1-2) W PTS 12 Daniel
Jacobs (35-3). Super Middle: John Ryder (28-4) W TKO 3 Bilal Akkawy (20-1-1). Super Feather: Joseph Diaz (29-1) W TKO 7 Freddy Fonseca (26-3-1,1ND). Super Light: Vergil Ortiz (13-0) W TKO 3Mauricio Herrera (24-9). Super Feather: Lamont Roach (19-0-1) W PTS 10 Jonathan Oquendo (30-6). Welter: Anthony Young (21-2) WTKO 3 Sadam Ali (27-3).
Alvarez vs. Jacobs
Alvarez unifies three of the four title belts with close but deserved unanimous decision victory over Jacobs.
Alvarez was shadowing Jacobs throughout the round and landed a couple of hard body punches. Jacobs was on the back foot using jabbing well and he scored with a couple of punches in the middle of the round and then came forward at the end and connected with a good combination.
Score: 10-9 Jacobs
A better round for Alvarez. He was still coming forward and was strong with his jab and landed some beefy body punches. Jacobs was still on the back foot and switched to southpaw but was not using his jab effectively.
Score:10-9 Alvarez Tied 19-19
More pressure from Alvarez. Jacobs tried to stay in the middle of the ring but strong jabs from Alvarez again had him backing up. Alvarez was getting through with lefts to the body and right hooks and although Jacobs, now back to orthodox, scored with a nice combination again Alvarez was landing more..
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 29-28
Jacobs threw plenty of jabs in this one but Alvarez did a great job of blocking or ducking them and then leaping forward and scoring with left hooks. It was a close round because Alvarez made a slow start but he was connecting with the better shots once he opened up.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 39-37 Alvarez, Judge Glenn Feldman 40-36 Alvarez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 39-37 Alvarez
A close round. Jacobs switched to southpaw again and did better early in the round with his jab and quick rights. Alvarez came on stronger as the round progressed and his jabs and hooks to the body just gave him a slight advantage.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 49-46
Alvarez attacked hard early but a crisp left hook from Jacobs had him backing off. For the first time in the fight it was Jacobs taking Alvarez to the ropes and unloading on him with both hands. Still as a southpaw Jacobs was finding gaps for straight lefts in a round in which Alvarez was largely ineffective.
Score: 10-9 Jacobs Alvarez 58-56
Best round of the fight so far. Alvarez picked up the pace coming in behind a stiff jab and connecting with left hooks. Jacobs was landing hooks and uppercuts inside and they then stood and exchanged punches. Jacobs held his own then Alvarez connected again with hooks until Jacobs staged a strong finish but just not enough to take the close round. .
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 68-65
Boxing southpaw Jacobs was landing straight lefts early but then Alvarez seemed to hurt him with a left hook and connected with some hooks on the back of that success. Jacobs seemed determined to stand and trade and they both scored with some hard hooks to the head with Alvarez just taking the round.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 78-74
Official Scores: Moretti 78-74 Alvarez, Feldman 78-74 Alvarez, Weisfeld 78-74 Alvarez
Jacobs took this one. He was moving well and looked fresher. Alvarez was throwing powerful single punches with Jacobs letting fly with bursts and he twice had Alvarez against the ropes and connected with a big right cross but he was leaving this rally late.
Score: 10-9 Jacobs Alvarez 87-84
Alvarez was stepping up quicker in this round and was landing with his jab straight rights and left hooks with Jacobs throwing very little. Over the third minute Jacobs came to life forcing Alvarez to the ropes and opening up with hooks from both hands but Alvarez was finding the target with counters.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 97-93
Jacobs outworked Alvarez. He was pumping out his jab and firing bunches of hooks with Alvarez often forced onto the retreat. Alvarez was scoring with hard single shots but that was not enough.
Score: 10-9 Jacobs Alvarez 106-103
No last round heroics in this one again it was the hardest punches from Alvarez and the quantity from Jacobs with his accuracy with his jab and hooks just giving Jacobs the round.
Score: 10-9 Jacobs Alvarez 115-113
Official Scores: Moretti 115-113 Alvarez, Feldman 116-112 Alvarez, Weisfeld 115-113 Alvarez.
Alvarez retains the WBA and WBC titles and lifts the IBF title from Jacobs. That leaves the WBO belt as the only one missing from his collection and Alvarez said he was interested in completing the collection which would a mean a big payday for WBO champion Demetrius Andrade. Alvarez had his tactics spot on in this fight but Jacobs let the fight get away from him from the second round to the eighth. Two judges had Alvarez winning six of those seven rounds and the third gave Alvarez 5 of them. Before the fight Jacobs had to pay a forfeit of $750,000. He made the weight at the official weight-in on the day before the fight but the contract stipulated that there would be a penalty of $250,000 payable by either fighter for every pound over 170lbs at a weigh-in on the day of the fight. Alvarez weighed 169lbs but Jacobs was 173.6lbs and had to pay $750,000. Jacobs has said he will now move up to super middleweight
Ryder vs. Akkawy
Ryder wins the interim WBA title with stoppage of Australian Akkawy. Southpaw Ryder had a slight edge over the first two rounds due to some good work with his jab. In the third he caught Akkawy with a booming right that put Akkawy on the floor. Akkawy did not look in too serious a condition when he got up but when the action restarted Ryder rocked him badly with an uppercut. Akkawy tried to punch with Ryder but was on the floor again from right hook. This time he was decidedly shaky when he made it to his feet. Ryder jumped on him drove him to a corner and a pair of uppercuts had Akkawy on the verge of going down when the referee stepped in to save him. Ryder’s career looked to be going nowhere after domestic defeats against Nick Blackwell, Jack Arnfield and Rocky Fielding but he turned the situation around with wins over 29-1 Patrick Nielsen, 25-1 Jamie Cox and unbeaten Andrey Sirotkin. A fight with the real WBA champion Callum Smith would be a big attraction. Akkawy came in at relatively short notice after David Lemieux withdrew with an injury three weeks before the fight with Ryder. At 25 Akkawy can rebound from this.
Diaz vs. Fonseca
Moving up to super feather and conceding height and reach proves no problem for Diaz as he stops Fonseca. From the opening bell Diaz was connecting with southpaw left hooks and uppercuts on a slower Fonseca. In the second and third Fonseca switched to southpaw and landed a couple of clubbing punches but Diaz with superior hand speed was scoring with right jabs and hooks to the body and forcing Fonseca back. Fonseca tried to stand in close and trade with Diaz over the fourth and fifth but did not have the power or a sound enough defence for that to work and he continued to take punishment. Diaz rocked Fonseca badly with a right and then two left hooks late in the sixth and Fonseca dropped to his knees. Fonseca got up and there was not enough time left for Diaz to finish things before the bell. Diaz did the business in the seventh. He was landing some solid lefts to the head and then a series of hard rights and lefts saw the towel coming in from Fonseca’s corner. The former Olympian lost to Gary Russell for the WBC title in May last year but then beat Jesus Rojas in August in a fight for the secondary WBA title but Diaz had failed to make the weight so could not win the title. The move to super feather is a sensible decision and he wins the vacant WBA Gold title. Nicaraguan Fonseca suffers his first loss by KO/TKO. He was No 5 with the WBA but there were no names or real tests on his record.
Ortiz vs. Herrera
Ortiz bombs out a shop-worn Herrera inside three rounds. The first saw an unexpectedly cautious Ortiz not really pressing his attacks against a fleshy-looking Herrera. Ortiz let his hands go more in the second and just before the bell he landed a vicious chopping right to the head that staggered Herrera and then cut loose with hooks and uppercuts until Herrera slumped to the floor by the ropes. Herrera used the ropes to get vertical and passed the referees examination and the bell had already gone. At the start of the third Ortiz staggered Herrera again with a right and then a booming right rendered Herrera out whilst still on his feet and he dropped back into the ropes and down with the referee instantly waiving the fight off. The tall 21-year-old Texan has won all of his fights by KO/TKO and has only once had to go beyond the third round. He has victories over experienced pros Juan Carlos Salgado and Roberto Ortiz. He is ranked No 9 by the WBO. At 38 Herrera is no longer the fighter who lost on a majority decision to Danny Garcia for the WBA and WBC titles back in 2014
Roach vs. Oquendo
Roach remains unbeaten with a decision over Oquendo that was unpopular with the crowd. Oquendo threw Roach off his game plan with a strong start. He was working his way inside and scoring with hard body shots. Despite being rocked by a right in the fourth Roach began to get into the fight. He was using movement and sharp jabs to work on the outside and was successful in countering Oquendo as he rolled forward. Oquendo was still getting past the jab often enough to make these rounds close but some careless headwork cost him a point in the eighth. Both fighters stuck to their tactics over the last two rounds with Oquendo still bustling his way inside and Roach firing jabs and counters. It looked as though the decision could have gone either way but the judges gave it clearly to Roach. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 for Roach. The draw on Roach’s record was against Orlando Cruz in April 2018 and this is his third win in a row since then. He retains the WBO NABO and International titles. Oquendo was beaten by Jesus Cuellar for the secondary WBA feather title in 2015 and had lost important fights against Juan Manuel Lopez, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and Abner Mares but had won his three fights last year.
Young vs. Ali
Young halts former WBO champion Ali in a major upset. No sign of the early stoppage over the first two rounds as they traded punches. Young looked to just doing better in the exchanges but Ali was competing hard. Young broke through in the third with a series of body punches before forcing Ali into a corner with a couple of hard hooks. He then just pounded away until the referee came in and halted the barrage. Huge win for Young, 31, who had won his last eight contests against mediocre opposition. When Ali beat Miguel Cotto for the WBO super welter title in December 2017 the “World Kid” was on top of the world but with the crushing defeat against Jaime Munguia and now this loss to Young it is questionable whether he has a future.
Stockton, CA, USA: Super Fly: Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2) W KO 7 Ryuichi Funai (31-8). Light Heavy: Artur Beterbiev (14-0) W KO 5 Radivoje Kalajdzic (24-2).Light Heavy: Felix Valera (18-2) W TKO 4 Mario Aguilar (20-7). Welter: Brian Mendoza (17-0) W KO 2 Carlos Rodriguez (12-8-1). Light: Gabriel Flores Jr (13-0) W KO 3 Eduardo Pereira dos Reis (23-6).
Ancajas vs. Funai
Ancajas breaks down and stops a very limited Funai in the seventh defence of the IBF title
Ancajas was into his stride quickly spearing Funai with right jabs and lending straight lefts . Funai was overreaching with his jabs and paying for it with short hooks from Ancajas.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas
A more even round. Funai was landing some jabs and Ancajas was off target with his. Funai kept throwing lead rights off the wrong foot so there was no power in them. Late in the round Ancajas found the range and banged home some straight lefts.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 20-18
Plenty of action in this round as Funai resolved to walk through the champion’s punches to work inside. Ancajas was in the groove now. He was punishing Funai with jabs and countering the advancing challenger with hooks and uppercuts. Funai did some good work inside but did not have the power to hurt Ancajas.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 30-27
Ancajas started this round with a ferocious attack. He pinned Funai in a corner and pounded him with hooks and uppercuts. Funai was getting caught with booming punches and was rocked but managed to fight his way out of the corner. He kept trying to get close but was being caught with counters with a right staggering him and after a vicious straight left he was now bleeding heavily from the nose.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Jonathan Davis 40-36 Ancajas, Judge Daniel Sandoval 40-36 Ancajas, Judge Kermit Bayless 40-36 Ancajas
The referee had the doctor examine Funai at the start of the round but he was cleared to continue. Not so much action in this round. Funai was a lot more cautious never really trying to get inside and Ancajas was a little less accurate . He landed an occasional straight left but not many.
Score: 10 -9 Ancajas Ancajas 50-45
The dismantling process continued in this round. Funai initially again tried to walk inside but Ancajas could not miss him with straight lefts and Funai was forced to go on the defensive. Ancajas was really loading up on his punches and staggered Funai twice late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 60-54
The referee and the doctor consulted before the start of the seventh and before the bell Funai was taken over to where the doctor was standing and after examining Funai the doctor recommended the fight be stopped and it was over.
Too easy for the powerful and talented 27-year-old Filipino who has 21 wins by KO/TKO. He has kept busy with three defences in 2017 and three in 2018. A fight with WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada would be a big attraction as would one against either fellow-Filipino Aston Palicte or Kazuto Ioka who contest the vacant WBO title in June. Funai was outclassed here. He had won his last seven fights and was the IBF No 1but that was a false rating.
Beterbiev vs. Kalajdzic
Beterbiev overpowers Kalajdzic with crude but effective tactics and real power.
Beterbiev came out throwing punches sending Kalajdzic back into the ropes with a left hook. Kalajdzic took possession of the centre of the ring probing with jabs. Beterbiev circled him launching occasional attacks. A push from Kalajdzic sent Beterbiev down but obviously no count. Kalajdzic showed some flash dancing with his hands down but Beterbiev had done the scoring.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev
Beterbiev was wild with his attacks and Kalajdzic was able to score with jabs and with hooks when he came inside. Beterbiev was tracking Kalajdzic but has no real footwork. When he got close he was landing some clubbing shots but was warned twice for punches to the back of the head but did enough to make the round his.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev 20-18
After some bull-like rushes from Beterbiev Kalajdzic decided to stand his ground and trade punches. Not a good choice. He was landing but did not have the power to trade with Beterbiev. Kalajdzic broke off the exchanges but was then dragged back and as they exchanged shots heavy rights from Beterbiev had Kalajdzic turning away and he went down on one knee. After the count he managed to hold out to the bell but was unsteady. Again Beterbiev got away with some punches to the back of the head and that needs to be picked up on by referee’s before some gets badly injured.
Score: 10-8 Beterbiev Beterbiev 30-26
The doctor examined Kalajdzic before the start of the round. Beterbiev then pounded on Kalajdzic. He trapped Kalajdzic on the ropes and was landing clubbing punches. Kalajdzic punched back and there was a wild exchange until Beterbiev again forced Kalajdzic to the ropes. Kalajdzic tried to escape a few times but Beterbiev kept muscling him to the ropes again.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev Beterbiev 40-35
Official Score: judge Edward Hernandez 39-36 Beterbiev, Judge Zachary Young 40-35 Beterbiev, Judge Michael Tate 40-35 Beterbiev
Once again the doctor examined Kalajdzic and let the fight continue but it was just a token agreement as the first time Beterbiev took Kalajdzic to the ropes and landed a punch the referee stopped the fight-so why let it continue at all? Second defence of the IBF title by the 34-year-old Russian. There is nothing of the stylist about Beterbiev but he has steamrollered his 14 opponents to defeat inside the distance so what he does works for him. All four versions of the light heavyweight title are held by Eastern Europeans and it would be interesting to see a clash between any two of the four because when you take out Marcus Browne and Eleider Alvarez there is not a lot of quality in the division although Anthony Yarde might prove that wrong if he can bear Sergey Kovalev. Florida-based Bosnian Kalajdzic ‘s only other loss was a split decision against Browne in 2016. He had won his last three fights but lacked the power to compete against Beterbiev.
Valera vs. Aguilar
Former WBA interim champion Valera gets past Mexican Aguilar with ease. The tall Dominican had the height and reach to control the action. When he chose to go inside he was busier and outscored Aguilar. After three one-sided rounds Valera was unloading on Aguilar in the fourth when the referee halted the contest. Valera lost his interim title to Dmitry Bivol in 2016 and was beaten on points in a foul-filled fight by Sullivan Barrera in 2017. This is his third win in a row but his opposition has been modest. He is No 3 with the WBA. Aguilar had been 2-3 in his last 5 fights but the three losses had all been to undefeated fighters.
Mendoza vs. Rodriguez
Mendoza celebrates signing a contract with Top Rank with a stunning stoppage of Rodriguez. This was showing signs of being a good competitive fight for five minutes and then Mendoza delivered a rib-bending right to the body and followed that with a left hook to the head and Rodriguez went down on his back and that punch was such a clear finisher that the referee dispensed with the count. The 25-year-old from New Mexico has won 5 of his last 6 fights by KO/TKO and has twelve inside the distance wins in total. He was moving up to eight rounds for the first time but he made that an irrelevance. Third loss by KO/TKO for Rodriguez.
Flores vs. Pereira dos Reis
Flores continues to impress. He was too slick and too quick for Brazilian dos Reis and was looking to end this early. He had dos Reis under pressure over the first two rounds and then produced an explosive left hook that floored the Brazilian heavily and the referee decided a count was unnecessary and just waived the fight off. The 19-year-old home town fighter is the youngest fighter ever signed by Top Rank. He impressed as a Junior winning a gold medal at the US Under-17 championships and silver at the World Under-17’s. Pereira dos Reis is now 0-4 in fights outside Brazil.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Middle: Steven Butler (27-1-1) W PTS 10 Vitali Kopylenko (28-2). Middle: W Chris Pearson (17-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Yamaguchi Falcao (16-1,1ND). Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (23-0) W PTS 10 Alan Campa (17-5,1ND). Middle: Alexis Salazar (22-3) W PTS 8 Abraham Cordero (13-4-2).
Butler vs. Kopylenko
Butler just scrapes past Kopylenko as he comes off the floor to get the win with a strong finish. Both had their moments over the first half of the fight with Butler scoring with left hooks and Kopylenko displaying some good skills. Butler picked up the pace in the sixth but the seventh was close with Kopylenko just having the edge. In the eighth a series of body punches culminating in a left to the body from Kopylenko put Butler down. He beat the count and resisted Kopylenko’s efforts to repeat that success. Butler then had the better of the exchanges in the ninth and the early part of the last but Kopylenko dominated the closing minute. Scores 96-93 twice for Butler and 95-94 for Kopylenko. Canadian Butler, 23, wins the WBC International title with his ninth win in a row with the other eight coming by KO/TKO. Butler is rated WBO 5/WBC 11/IBF 12(11) but Kopylenko is his first real tests since losing to Brandon Cook in 2017 and he nearly blew it. Kopylenko’s team are demanding a return but don’t hold your breath. The 35-year-old Ukrainian has talent but is letting it slip away. Since losing on points to Willie Monroe Jr in the semi-final of the Boxino tournament in 2014 he has had just seven fights in five years and needs to be more active.
Pearson vs. Falcao
Pearson comes from behind to outpoint Falcao in a mild upset. In his first fight for almost twelve months Brazilian Falcao made a strong start. He was outworking a tentative Pearson and connecting with straight lefts. Pearson finally started to get into the fight from the third and it was close over the middle rounds with Falcao just having a small lead. The seventh was a swing round. Pearson began to find the target with his jab and straight lefts and a clash of heads saw Falcao cut over his right eye. Falcao faded and was rocking badly in the tenth but made it to the bell. Scores 96-94 twice and 96-94 for Pearson. He wins the vacant WBC Latino title. The 28-year-old from Ohio took 13 months out after being beaten in two rounds by Justin DeLoach in February 2017 but has been more active with three wins now since his return. The No Decision on his record came back in 2014 when he outpointed Lanardo Tyner only for both boxers to test positive for a banned substance. Former Pan American silver medal winner Falcao took a bronze medal in the London Olympics in 2012. When fighting for the Mexico Guerreros in the WSB Falcao outpointed Pearson who was on the Los Angeles Matadors team so revenge for Pearson.
Bazinyan vs. Campa
Armenian-born Canadian Bazinyan gets wide unanimous decision over Campa. Bazinyan took control early with some cracking rights. Campa fired back did not have the power to match Bazinyan who had won his last eight fights by KO/TKO. Bazinyan continued to pile on the pressure but Campa has been in with some tough opposition and he was landing enough to be competitive and pick up some points. A clash of heads in fifth started a big bump on the left side of Campa’s forehead and he was under heavy attack in the sixth until a low punch from Bazinyan bought him some respite and he had a good seventh. In the eighth another low punch from Bazinyan cost him a point deduction but he ended the bout strongly to take the decision. Scores 99-90 twice and 97-92 for Bazinyan. He retains the WBA-NABA and WBO-NABO titles. He is rated WBO 4/WBA 11and has wins over 32-2 David Zegarra and Francy Ntetu. Campa is 1-3 in his last 4 fights now but the other two losses were against Jesse Hart and D’Mitrius Ballard.
Salazar vs. Cordero
Salazar moves to 14 wins in a row with points victory over Cordero. Salazar was just too fast for Cordero who was having his first fight 18 months and came in almost 30lbs heavier than in his last fight. Salazar used his reach to score on the outside but Cordero was able to score with hooks in close. They bumped heads hard in the third and fifth but luckily no one was cut. Salazar dominated late as Cordero tired. Score 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Salazar. Most of Salazar’s wins have come against modest opposition and he did not look ready to move up but as he is just 23 he may improve. Cordero, 24, showed some good skills but with just one fight in 2016 and one in 2017 and being inactive through 2018 he is very rusty.
Newcastle, England: Super Bantam: Tyrone McCullough (13-0) W PTS 10 Alvaro Rodriguez (9-3-1,1ND). Heavy: Simon Vallily (14-2-1) W TKO 1 Jone Volau (5-5). Middle: Troy Williamson (10-0-1) W RTD 2 Ionut Llie (17-32-3).
McCullough vs. Rodriguez
McCullough gets routine win over unorthodox Rodriguez. Southpaw McCullagh forced the fight behind his jab with Rodriguez looking to dive forward with counters. At times McCullough had problems with the hands-down unorthodox style of Rodriguez but the Spaniard was wild with his attacks swinging and leaving himself open to counters. McCullagh moved well, jabbed well and was accurate with his straight lefts but never quite subdued Rodriguez who connected with enough swings late on to edge a couple of rounds with the fight getting untidy at times. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for McCullagh. The 28-year-old “White Chocolate” from Northern Island has useful domestic wins over Joe Ham and Josh Kennedy. Rodriguez, the Spanish champion, has never been stopped. He lost on a late TKO against Cristian Rodriguez for the vacant Spanish title in 2016 but the result was changed to a No Decision when Cristian Rodriguez tested positive for a banned substance.
Vallily vs. Volau
Having drawn in a fight for the English cruiserweight title in June and stopped by Craig Glover in October Vallily makes a success of his first bout at heavyweight. Vallily had lots of height and reach over Volau and rocked him early with a right cross. Volau rumbled forward looking to get inside and landed a good right. Vallily came forward with purpose connected with two punches to the body and then an overhand right to the head and Volau went down heavily. He tried to make it to his feet but tumbled sideways and the referee stopped the count and ended the fight. The 33-year-old Vallily was British champion and won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games at 91kgs as an amateur. Locally based Fijian Volau has lost his last four fights.
Williamson vs. Ilie
Williamson was much the bigger man and from the outset Ilie’s tactics could be summarised as survive. It was largely target practice for Williamson who hurt Ilie with a left hook to the ribs just before the bell to end the first round. Ilie threw a few punches at the start of the second but was soon being driven around the ring by Williamson. More body punches had Ilie hurt and at the end of the round he retired with a rib injury. Now seven wins by KO/TKO for former amateur champion Williamson but this was no kind of test. Ilie suffers his fifteenth loss by KO/TKO.
Bethlehem, PA, USA: Super Feather: Frankie De Alba (23-4-2) W PTS 8 Ruben Lopez (12-14-4). Welter: Janelson Figueroa (14-0) W RTD 3 Gabor Gorbics (26-17). Welter: Radzhab Butaev (12-0) W PTS 6 Silverio Ortiz (37-25).
De Alba vs. Lopez
Southpaw De Alba decisions Argentinian Lopez. After an early storm from Lopez De Alba settled down to outbox the strong but limited South American and took every round. Scores 80-72 for De Alba. He needed a win after losing to O’Shaquie Foster and Andy Vences in 2018. Lopez falls to 0-6-1 in his last seven.
Figueroa vs. Gorbics
Flashy prospect Figueroa much too good for Hungarian travelling loser Gorbics, The 20-year-old Figueroa was connecting with punches from all angles and a sympathetic doctor would not let Gorbics continue after the third round. Ten wins by KO/TKO for Puerto Rican Figueroa a coming lad. Fifth loss in a row for Gorbics.
Butaev vs. Ortiz
Russian Butaev outpoints seasoned pro Ortiz. Scores 58-55 twice and 59-54. The 26-year-old “Python” was Russian Youth and Senior champion and won a silver medal at the European Youth Championships. As a member of the Russian Boxing Team in the World Series of Boxing he went 9-1 including wins over Dens Berinchyk, Rosniel Iglesias and Scott Fitzgerald. Ortiz has won only one of his last seven fights but after 19 years as a pro he can still teach the youngsters a trick or two
Perth Australia: Middle: Wes Capper (20-2-1) W PTS 8 Arnel Tinampay (25-24-1). Neighbourhood fighter Capper extends his unbeaten run to ten with points win over seasoned Filipino Tinampay. Former undefeated Australian champion Capper, 30, a plumber by trade, has an extensive career in kickboxing behind him including Australian and World titles. In his last fight in March 2018 he fought a draw with Sam Soliman. Three losses in a row for Tinampay-one in Chine, one in Russia and now one in Australia.
Dubai, UAE: Light Heavy: Oscar Ahlin (18-2) W KO 1 Arthit Bumphloeng (3-8-1). Swedish “Golden Boy” Ahlin puts away poor Thai Bumphloeng in just 70 seconds. Ahlen moves to 16 wins by KO/TKO including five in his last five fights but the opposition has been dire and losses in the past to Bernard Donfack and Patrick Mendy have knocked much of the glitter off the “Golden Boy”. Now 7 losses in a row for pathetic Bumphloeng 6 by KO/TKO. This was Badou Jacks first promotion and any others had better improve on this rubbish. Amir Khan and Jeff Mayweather were at ringside to support Jack.
Brussels, Belgium: Cruiser: Joel Tambwe Djeko (16-2-1) W PTS 12 Ricardo Snijders (17-1). Super Light: Mohamed El Marcouchi (22-2) W PTS 10 Jean Pierre Habimana (9-17-3).
Djeko vs. Snijders
Djeko keeps his IBO Inter-Continental title with unanimous decision over unbeaten Snijders. Djeko made the better start making use of his longer reach to work on the outside. Snijders came alive in the fourth getting past Djeko’s jab and landing well to the body and he overtook Djeko’s early lead by winning the middle rounds. Djeko managed to get his jab working again in the eighth and smothered Snijders work inside and after two hotly contested rounds by the end of the ninth Snijders was tiring. In the tenth Djeko was connecting heavily and an in trouble Snijders dropped into the ropes half from a push and half from a punch. He did not go all the way down but only because the ropes stopped him and the referee rightly applied a count. Snijders survived but Djeko swept the closing rounds to emerge a clear winner. Scores 117-110 twice and 116-111 for Djeko. “Big Joe” gets his seventh win since dropping a split decision against Craig Kennedy in 2016. Dutchman Snijders had won 6 of his last 7 by KO/TKO but Djeko was a much tougher opponent than the others he had met.
El Marcouchi vs. Habimana
Miami Beach-based Belgian El Marcouchi wins the vacant BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands & Luxemburg) title with decision over Rwandan-born Habimana. Sores 98-92 twice and 97-93. After an early points defeat El Marcouchi has now lost only one of his last twenty-one fights and that was a disqualification. Tougher time for Habimana as he takes on board his fifth consecutive loss.
Charleroi, Belgium: Cruiser: Ryad Merhy (28-1) W KO 3 Cesar Crenz (23-12). Heavy: Herve Hubeaux (31-3) W PTS 10 Jack Mulowai (6-1-1).Middle: Mikala Vesialou (10-0-1) W PTS 10 Norbert Harcsa (11-2. Light Heavy: Timur Nikarkhoev (21-2) W PTS 8 Geard Ajetovic (31-21-1).
Merhy vs. Crenz
Merhy crushes Crenz inside three rounds. Argentinian Crenz was just over 6’4” tall but that was all he had going for him. Merhy was able to get past the longer reach of Crenz to score inside. Late in the second Merhy rocked Crenz with a right to the head and then dropped him with a left to the body. Crenz survived but with the first punch Merhy threw in the second round, a left hook to the head, Crenz was down again. He got up but was unsteady and the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old Ivory Coast-born Belgian now has 23 wins by KO/TKO. His loss was an eleventh round stoppage by Arsen Goulamirian for what was then the interim WBA title but is now the WBA Gold title. Merhy is No 3 with the WBA so will be hoping to get a title fight later this year. Crenz, 39, has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Hubeaux vs. Mulowai
Hubeaux wins the vacant Belgian title with majority decision over Mulowai. It was a close fight but with Hubeaux scoring a knockdown in the fourth and looking to have won well. Scores 97-94 twice for Hubeaux and 95-95. The EBU No 14 has lost big fights against Agit Kabayel for the European title and Oscar Rivas for the NABF title. This is his second win as he rebuilds after the Rivas loss. Congolese-born Mulowai was taking a huge step up in quality of opposition so performed above expectations.
Vesialou vs. Harcsa
Russian-born Belarusian southpaw Vesialou retains the WBA Continental belt with unanimous decision over Hungarian Harcsa. Vesialou made good use of his longer reach to outbox Harcsa and won comfortable. Scores 98-92 twice and 100-90 for Vesialou. The winner was a success in the WBS Baku Fires team. Harcsa one of Hungary’s most successful amateurs, had won his three fights last year but has not progressed as a pro.
Nikarkhoev vs. Ajetovic
Russian Nikarkhoev gets his seventh win on the bounce with narrow verdict over experienced Serbian Ajetovic. Scores 77-74 twice and 77-75. The 26-year-old European No 8 has not really been tested since losing to modest Joseph Mulema in 2017. Ajetovic is at travelling journeymen level now. He has lost his last four fights all on points and all in different countries
Frankfurt, Germany: Light Heavy: Leon Bunn (14-0) W TKO 9 Leon Harth (18-4). Super Welter: Abass Baraou (6-0) W TKO 5 Ali Funeka (40-11-3).Super Light: Anthony Yigit (23-1-1) W TKO 5 Sandro Hernandez (15-8-3). Heavy: Kem Ljungquist (8-0) W PTS 8 Dominik Musil (3-2).
Bunn vs. Harth
Fighting in his home city Bunn wears down and halts Harth. Bunn just had the edge in a couple of slow opening rounds but the third looked even. In the fourth Bunn began to connect with booming punches and Harth was badly rocked and the bell saved him. Harth faded out of the fight going into defensive mode and he was in trouble again late in the eighth. Bunn had Harth against the ropes in the ninth and was unloading with some savage shots and the referee stepped in and halted the contest. Bunn, 26, wins the vacant IBF International belt with his eighth victory by KO/TKO. He is No 12 with the EBU. German-based Armenian Harth has lost in tough tasks against Krzys Wlodarczyk and unbeaten Artur Mann but had won his last three fights.
Baraou vs. Funeka
Top prospect Baraou halts veteran Funeka. The first round was the only one in which South African Funeka was in the fight in any meaningful way. From the second Baraou began to dismantle Funeka. He was connecting with straight rights and hooks with very little come back from a shop worn Funeka. Baraou scored with a series of brutal punches in the fifth and the referee stepped in to save Funeka but even then it was a few minutes before Funeka recovered. In the amateurs the 24-year-old Baraou was German champion in 2014, 2015 and 2016, He won a gold medal at the 2017 European Championships and took bronze at the World Championships. He won the German title in only his second pro fight. Now 41 Funeka is 1-6 in his last 7 fights and really needs someone to save him from doing himself permanent damage.
Yigit vs. Hernandez
Swedish southpaw Yigit gets his second win since being eliminated from the WBSS tournament by Ivan Baranchyk in a fight that was for the vacant IBF super light title. Yigit had too much skill for Hernandez to deal with and the Venezuelan was outclassed. Hernandez lost a point for holding and was cut and being raked by punches when his corner threw in the towel. At 27 Yigit still has a big part to play at both European and world level. Five losses in his last six fights for Hernandez.
Ljungquist vs. Musil
Danish heavyweight Ljungquist keeps his 100% record with a points victory over Czech Musil. This fight never really caught fire and it was a pedestrian display from the 6’6 ½” Ljungquist against the Czech novice. No real highlights as the Danish southpaw took the verdict on scores of 79-72 from all three judges with Musil losing a point late in the fight for some illegal headwork. Ljungquist is a former Danish amateur champion but a loss to Joe Joyce at the European Qualifier cost him his chance of making it to Rio. Musil’s two losses have been on points against undefeated fighters
Alta Gracia, Argentina: Feather: Hector Sarmiento (20-1) W KO 3 Julian Aristule (34-10). “Little Bird” Sarmiento beats Aristule with a little bit of controversy thrown in. In the first two rounds Sarmiento was landing with powerful rights against southpaw Aristule. He continued to pile on the pressure in the third. As he was throwing punches their bodies clashed with Sarmiento‘s elbow banging into the body of Aristule who went down on one knee in some pain, The referee gave Sarmiento a warning and allowed Aristule time to recover. When the action started again Aristule had not fully recovered and Sarmiento drove Aristule to the ropes and landed a series of punches ending with a left to the head and Aristule again dropped to one knee and was counted out. Santiago’s national title was not on the line. He now has 14 wins by KO/TKO. Aristule, the interim champion, has four losses by KO/TKO.
Buenos, Aires, Argentina: Super Feather: Miguel Antin (18-2) W TKO 8 Pablo Ojeda (16-5-1).Antin collects the vacant WBC Latino title with stoppage of Ojeda. Antin dominated the fight connecting with accurate and hurtful counters as Ojeda marched forward. Ojeda had a good seventh round when he finally managed to score with some hefty hooks but it was a last fling. In the eighth Antin put Ojeda down with two left hooks. Ojeda made it to his feet but a series of shots had him reeling and the fight was halted. A badly needed win for Antin after consecutive inside the distance defeats against Matias Rueda and Jeremias Ponce had seen him drop out of the Argentinian ratings. Ojeda, the Argentinian No 2 had scored useful domestic victories over Daniel Brizuela and Horacio Cabral.
Varesse, Italy: Super Bantam: Terry Le Couviour (14-0) W PTS 10 Iuliano Gallo (9-3). Frenchman Le Couviour ventures into the home town of Gallo and comes away with the vacant European Union title. This was a controversial victory as the locals clearly felt that Gallo had done enough to deserve the decision. Gallo was in charge over the early rounds with Le Couviour mainly on the back foot and under pressure. Le Couviour then had a strong spell over the middle rounds to get his nose in front. Gallo picked up the pace again over the eighth and tenth with Le Couviour staging a strong finish. It was a close fight as the scores show. Le Couviour took the verdict and the title with two judges having him the winner at 115-114 and the third judge seeing it level at 114-114.Good win for Le Couviour who had never gone past eight rounds before, Gallo admitted afterwards that his preparation had been badly affected by bursitis and that it had been painful him to punch over the last five rounds so a gutsy effort and hopefully he will get another chance.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1) W PTS 10 Ken Osato (15-3-1). Sueyoshi retains the Japanese title with majority verdict over Osato. Both fighters scored well with their jab early and then began to trade heavy punches both connecting with rights. At the midpoint Sueyoshi just had the edge on two cards at 48-47 with the third judge having him up 49-46. Sueyoshi made a strong start over the second half of the fight looking to build a commanding lead. Knowing he was behind Osato came on strongly taking two of the last three rounds but it was just not enough. Scores 97-93 and 96-95 for Sueyoshi and 95-95. Sueyoshi, the WBO No 4, was making the fourth defence of the Japanese title with one of those defences being an eighth round stoppage of Osato in February last year. Osato had won his last two fights.
Manchester, England: Marc Leach (13-1-1) W PTS 10 Brett Fidoe (13-50-5). Welter: Liam Taylor (21-1) W PTS 6 Edvinas Puplauskas (5-24). Feather: Qais Ashfaq (6-0) W KO 1 Stefan Sashev (5-21-1).
Leach vs. Fidoe
Leach wins the vacant English title with points victory over Fidoe. Leach had height and reach over the 5’2” Fidoe and was able to slot home jabs and connect with long rights. Fidoe kept trying to drive forward and when he did get inside was pumping out punches. Leach was always in control. He was constantly switching guards and exhibited good defensive work when Fidoe attacked. He rocked Fidoe a couple of times in the seventh but never really came close to stopping Fidoe. Scores 100-90, 100-91 and 99-91 for Leach. He is now 13-0-1 after losing his first pro fight. Fidoe had a little winning spell and was 4-1-1 going into this one. Of his 50 losses only one has come inside the distance.
Taylor vs. Puplauskas
Taylor gets in some useful work against Puplauskas. Taylor was scoring with hard punches from both hands from the first bell but Puplauskas was willing to take the punishment and take the fight to Taylor when he could. A series of head punches dropped Puplauskas in the third but he survived and despite Taylor continuing to scores with some hurtful punches he stayed to the end and was fighting hard in the last round. Referee’s score 60-53. Taylor was coming off a career best win over Tyrone Nurse in November and will be looking to build on that. Now eighteen losses on the bounce for Puplauskas but he certainly earned his money in this one.
Ashfaq vs. Sashev
Ashfaq gets this one over in the first round. He was hunting down poor Sashev and connecting with all manner of punches, hooks, uppercuts and straight rights and left. Eventually Sashev just slumped to the floor under a series of punches and was counted out. Ashfaq is yet another hot prospect from British rings. He won a hatful of titles in the amateurs. He was British and Commonwealth Youth champion was English and British champion at Senior level. Won a bronze medal at the European Games and silver at the Commonwealth Games and competed at the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. Sashev suffers his ninth loss by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance): Saul Alvarez win over Daniel Jacobs has to be the one.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Nothing really stood out from the crowd.
Fighter of the week: Saul Alvarez with honourable mentions to Jerwin Ancajas and John Ryder
Punch of the week: The left hook from Gabriel Flores that finished Eduardo Pereira dos Reis as was the chopping right from Vergil Ortiz that floored Mauricio Herrera for the first time was special
Upset of the week: Anthony Young’s stoppage of Sadam Ali was unexpected
Prospect watch: Brian Mendoza 17-0 looks tasty as does Britain Qais Ashfaq 6-0
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