By Eric Armit
-Brian Castano retains the secondary WBA super welter title with split draw against Erislandy Lara
-Luis Ortiz keeps his hopes of another title shot alive with a win in an entertaining heavyweight fight against Christian Hammer
-Agit Kabayel retains European heavyweight title with a win over Andriy Rudenko
-WBO No 1 bantam Ricardo Espinoza stops Ricardo Nunez and lies in wait for whoever emerges as WBO champion after the WBSS tournament ends
-Jordan Gill gets win No 22 and the WBA feather International title with stoppage of Emmanuel Dominguez
-Eduardo Ramirez comes from behind to halt Bryan de Gracia for vacant WBA Gold title at featherweight
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
New York, NY, USA: Super Welter: Brian Castano (16-0-0) DREW 12 Erislandy Lara (25-3-3). Heavy: Luis Ortiz (31-1) W PTS 10 Christian Hammer (24-6) . Feather: Eduardo Ramirez (22-1-3) W TKO 9 Bryan De Gracia (24-2-1). Cruiser: Edwin Rodriguez (31-2) W PTS 10 Mitch Williams (16-6-3), Bantam: Antonio Russell (13-0) W TKO 6 Jose Cardenas (16-4).
Castano vs. Lara
Castano retains the secondary WBA title with split draw against former champion Lara in a contrast in styles fight which was close from bell to bell.
Good first round for Lara. The Cuban kept probing with his right jab and threading straight lefts through Castano’s guard. With Lara trapped on the ropes Castano fired a series of punches but Lara ducked or blocked them.
Score: 10-9 Lara
Castano is not a boxer. He rarely used his jab here except as a prelude to ducking and lunging forward leading with his right aiming to get close and throw hooks and uppercuts. Lara was anticipating Castano’s attacks and either stepping back out of range or scoring with counters. Again most of the scoring was coming from the straight lefts of Lara.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 20-18
A better round for Castano. He harried Lara around the ring doing a better job of cutting off Lara’s escape routes and firing burst s of hooks. Lara was making less use of his jab and was kept busy defending himself.
Score: 10-9 Castano Lara 29-28
Lara countered many of Castano’s rushes in this round but Castano continued to hunt Lara around the ring getting inside and launching a series of punches. He just did enough to win the round with Lara showing a swelling under his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Castano Tied 38-38
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 38-38, Judge John Mckaie 39-37 Lara, Judge Kevin Morgan 38-38
A closer round. Lara rarely got off the ropes as Castano tracked him looking for an opening. Lara was largely relying on left hand counters and landed enough to look likely to pinch the round until a broadside of hooks and uppercuts from Castano gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Castano Castano 48-47
Another close round but straight lefts from Lara gave him a slight edge. Castano was still pressing and throwing bindles of hooks whenever he had Lara punned in a corner but Lara was blocking most of those punches and firing more accurate lefts through the leaky guard of Castano.
Score: 10-9 Lara Tied 57-57
A similar picture here. Castano kept pressing but Lara kept slotting lefts through the Argentinian’s guard. Castano was again punching in bursts but was nothing like as accurate as Lara and even though Lara was throwing one punch at a time they were getting through.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 67-66
Third round in a row for Lara. Once again his laser guided straight left was piercing the high guard of Castano throughout the round. Lara was using his right jab for nuisance value putting Castano out of his stride and stifling his attacks and Castano was having trouble getting close enough often enough to trouble Lara
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 77-75
Official Scores; Lederman 77-74 Lara, McKaie 78-74Lara, Morgan 77-75 Lara
Lara outboxed Castano in this one. He kept his jab in Castano’s face and then shot lefts down the line past Castano’s guard. Castano was waiting too long to launch his attacks and was either inaccurate or tied up inside when he did attack.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 87-84
Castano’s title was slipping away and he stepped up the pace in this one throwing himself into the attack. Lara continued to box on the back foot and showed excellent defensive skills and connected with his trade mark straight lefts and edged the round.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 97-93
Castano took this one. He pressured Lara all the way. Lara was still the more accurate but he looked to be tiring and threw less. Castano went for quantity and connected with enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Castano Lara 106-103
Castano stormed forward in the last throwing punches. Lara again threw less but was more accurate but Castano punch output had Lara under pressure and enough of Castano’s punches were getting through to more than offset the precise punching by Lara.
Score: 10-9 Castano Lara 115-113
Official scores: Lederman 114-114, McKaie 115-113 Lara, Morgan 115-113 Castano
This was the first defence for the 29-year-old Castano since being upgraded from interim champion. He has come through three tough fights in a row beating Frenchmen Michel Soro 30-1-1 and Cedric Vitu 46-2 in France and although a return fight would be justice for Lara Castano could make a case for something easier. Lara is due some luck in close fights. He lost a majority decision to Paul Williams in 2011, a split decision against Saul Alvarez in 2014 and dropped his WBA world title against Jarrett Hurd on a split verdict in April last year. He deserves another shot at Castano but whether he will get it is another matter.
Ortiz vs. Hammer
Ortiz keeps his hopes of another title shots alive with unanimous decision over a crude but strong and willing Hammer. A lively enough opener as Ortiz probed with his right jab and fired straight lefts with Hammer using a high guard and just looking to get inside to work. Early in the second Hammer made Ortiz sag at the knees with a right and he launched a furious attack but Ortiz quickly re-established his control with his jab. By the end of the round Ortiz was scoring with solid lefts with Hammer under pressure and throwing wild rights. Ortiz was circling Hammer in the third and fourth popping him with jabs and finding the target with straight lefts. Hammer was only throwing single punches but was landing with enough rights to be competitive. Ortiz opened the fifth with a series of straight lefts that had blood dripping from Hammer’s nose but then eased the pressure allowing Hammer some success and Ortiz was also showing blood from his nose. Ortiz finished the round with a strong attack. Ortiz dominated the sixth with his jab and Hammer was getting more desperate with his wild rights. Hammer started the seventh with a sharp uppercut inside but then Ortiz took over again with his jab and straight lefts. Hammer had a much better eighth. He was only firing rights but they were getting through to head and body and Ortiz was looking tired. If Ortiz had looked tired in the eighth he was dancing on his toes in the ninth. He was circling Hammer pinging him with jabs and connecting with his left. Hammer was taking the punches and still flinging and landing some hopeful rights. There were no fireworks in the last as Ortiz did the scoring with Hammer really content to stay there to the bell after which he lifted his arms in triumph-for going the distance. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Ortiz. Although the 39-year-old Cuban was expected to finish this one early he will have been happy to show he can go ten rounds at what was a good paced fight for heavyweights and he keeps himself in the picture for the now very confused heavyweight situation. He will be hoping for another fight with Deontay Wilder but right now all he can do is keep winning and keep hoping. German-based Romanian Hammer (real name Cristian Ciocan) has wins over Erkan Teper and David Price. He is slow and crude but strong and takes a good punch. After a couple of inside the distance losses early in his career Tyson Fury is the only one to have beat en him before the final bell.
Ramirez vs. De Gracia
Ramirez gets huge win as he withstands constant pressure from De Gracia before halting de Gracia in the ninth. After a fast and fairly even first round De Gracia started to control the fight from the second. He was forcing Ramirez onto the back foot and scoring with long rights. Ramirez tried to use his longer reach to score with his right jabs but De Gracia was busier and getting past the jab and connecting with sharp punches to the head and they both scored well in the third. De Gracia stepped up the pace in the fourth with Ramirez trying to match him. De Gracia was connecting with hooks inside and outscoring Ramirez but Ramirez was landing some good punches of his own. De Gracia chased Ramirez down throughout the fifth piling forward throwing hooks to the body. Ramirez was countering when he could and just before the bell they stood toe-to-toe and blazed away. More pressure from De Gracia in the sixth and seventh as he pressured Ramirez relentlessly. There were some danger signs as De Gracia was leaving himself open to counters. Ramirez seemed to rock De Gracia with a right in the eighth but De Gracia responded with a series of hooks and once again they just stood and battered away at each other. De Gracia was throwing himself forward in the ninth. He had just landed a couple of good punches when Ramirez nailed him with a right uppercut inside. De Gracia’s legs wobbled and Ramirez forced De Gracia to the ropes showering him with punches. De Gracia threw a couple of punches and came off the ropes but he was staggering and when a right sent him tumbling back to the ropes the fight was stopped. This was a great little fight with a dramatic end and with De Gracia rated No 1 by the WBA and Ramirez No 3 a shot at Leo Santa Cruz is not out of the question. Ramirez has nine wins by KO/TKO and collects the WBA Gold title. His only loss was handed to him by Lee Selby in an IBF featherweight title fight in December 2017. This was 25-year-old De Gracia’s first fight outside of Panama and despite his No 1 rating with the WBA he had never fought a rated fight or anyone of consequence.
Rodriguez vs. Williams
Third win in a row for Rodriguez in his campaign up at cruiser but a very flat performance. He only just got past southpaw Williams in a slow and untidy fight with neither fighter really taking control and with too much holding and too little clean work. No real highlights with Rodriguez getting the verdict on scores of 96-94 twice and 98-92. The former WBA super middle title challenger took fifteen months out after a kayo loss to Thomas Williams in 2016 and seems to be struggling to make an impact up at cruiser. Williams, 36, suffered consecutive losses against world rated fighters Ryad Merhy and Arsen Goulamirian in 2017.
Russell vs. Cardenas
Russell marches on with stoppage of young Mexican Cardenas. Russell made a fast start putting Cardenas down with a series of lefts to the head in the first . Cardenas only survived to the bell by holding for which he was given two warnings. Russell took the fight to Cardenas in round after round. Cardenas used his longer reach to make a nuisance of himself but there was no power in his punches. Straight from the bell to start the sixth Russell blasted Cardenas to a corner and showered him with punches. Cardenas was actually managing to throw an occasional punch but the doctor had move up to the ring apron and the referee stopped the fight. A younger brother of WBC feather champion Gary, Antonio, 26, has eleven wins by KO/TKO including six in his last six fights. First inside the distance defeat for Cardenas.
Hollywood, FL: Bantam: Ricardo Espinoza (23-2) W TKO 10 Ricardo Nunez (29-9). Welter: Derrieck Cuevas (20-0-1) W PTS 10 Ed Paredes (38-8-1). Feather: Hairon Socarras (21-0-3) W PTS 8 Carlos Ruiz (16-6-2).
Espinoza vs. Nunez
Espinoza just too powerful and aggressive for experienced Panamanian Nunez. Espinoza was much stronger in the two opening rounds getting inside and hurting Nunez with body punches. Nunez did a bit better in the third as he tried to box from a distance but Espinoza was too strong to be kept out and again was landing hurtful body punches. Espinoza continued to drive forward in the fourth just brushing aside Nunez’s punches and hooking to the body. The pace eased in the fifth with Espinoza still doing the scoring but in the sixth he launched a fierce attack with Nunez forced to just try and stay inside and smother Espinoza’s punches. Nunez boxed more in the seventh which looked a close round and Espinoza was not as effective with his body punching in the eighth and ninth which Nunez may have just edged. That was a false dawn for Nunez’s hopes as in the tenth he was stunned by a left hook. Espinoza then came forward landing to the head with both hands as Nunez tumbled into the ropes and the referee stepped in and saved him. The 21-year-old WBO No 1 from Tijuana goes to 19 wins by KO/TKO. His best wins have been against Daniel Lozano and the 17-0 Yeison Vargas. As No 1 he is obviously in line for a title fight but with WBO champion Zolani Tete involved in the WBSS he may have to wait until later this year for a shot at whoever is the champion then. Nunez, 31, lost to Moruti Mthalane for the IBF flyweight title in 2012 and to Juan Carlos Reveco for the secondary WBA title in 2013. In his most recent fight he lost a technical decision to Carlos Cuadras in August and is not really strong enough to be competitive at bantam.
Cuevas vs. Paredes
Puerto Rican Cuevas wins the WBA Fedelatin title with unanimous decision over rusty veteran Paredes. Cuevas pressed the fight all the way with Paredes trying to counter to keep Cuevas out. The Puerto Rican was usually able to keep Paredes on the back foot and pinned to the ropes but he never really had Paredes in any serious trouble. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-73 all votes for Cuevas. After an early career draw the 24-year-old Cuevas has collected 14 consecutive wins. Paredes, 34, was having his first fight since May 2017.
Socarras vs. Ruiz
Socarras remains undefeated with close unanimous decision over Mexican Ruiz. Scores 77-75 twice and 79-73 for Socarras. The 26-year-old Cuban turned pro at 18 and his career has dragged along with the two draws against fighters he should have beaten but he showed good form in outpointing useful Jose Nieves in August. Ruiz has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights and was outpointed by Shakur Stevenson in August.
Philadelphia, PA,USA: Super Welter: Tyrone Brunson (28-7-2) W TKO 9 Jamal Davis (18-14-1). Brunson punches too hard for oldie Davis. In the first Davis was prowling after the retreating Brunson until Brunson rocked Davis badly with a right and then launched a furious attack scoring with more rights until Davis steadied himself enough to stave off further attacks. Davis continued to come forward in the second but a left to the head wobbled him badly and he had to hold on. Davis marched forward throughout the fight but as the fight progressed Brunson was getting on to the front foot more and rocked Davis with right in the sixth and with a left in the seventh. It was clear Brunson had the power and he floored Davis with a chopping right late in the eighth. Davis made it to his feet but stumbled and the bell went before Brunson could land another punch. In the ninth a right put Davis down again, he was up at eight but when another punch from Brunson saw him staggering the referee stepped in and halted the fight. Local fighter Brunson, 34, has 25 wins by KO/TKO and is 6-1-1 in his last 8 fights including a win over Kermit Cintron and a loss to Brandon Adams. Brunson still holds the record for the most consecutive first round wins at the start of career at 18. Davis, 37, had won 4 of his las5 fights.
Eveleigh, Australia: Bantam: Brock Jarvis (16-0) W KO 1 Philip Cuerdo (11-6-1). Jarvis gets this one over quickly. Just before the bell to end the first round he delivered a series of body punches that drove Cuerdo to the canvas and he was counted out. The Jeff Fenech trained Jarvis collects the vacant IBF Youth title with his fifteenth win by KO/TKO. At 5’7” Jarvis is big for a super bantam and that usual struggle to make weight was made worse by his asthma and there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to make the weight and go ahead with this fight but he won that battle too. Filipino Cuerdo now has five inside the distance losses.
Melbourne, Australia: Cruiser: Kane Watts (21-3) W PTS 10 Jayden Joseph (7-2-1). Heavy: Willis Meehan (8-0) W KO 1 Julian Ruiz (11-9).
Watts vs. Joseph
Local fighter Watts wins the vacant WBA Oceania title with unanimous decision over Tasmanian Jayden Jordan. Watts floored Joseph early and looked a comfortable winner. Two of the judges saw it that way scoring it 99-90 and 97-92 but the third judge had it 95-94 also for Watts but indicating he would have seen Joseph the winner but for the knockdown. The 36-year-old Watts, a former Australian champion, returned with a win in September after almost two years of inactivity. He has his own plumbing business but you would have thought that with name like Watts he would have been an electrician. Joseph, also a former Australian champion, suffers his second loss in a row. There was tragedy on the night as after trouble that started in the arena and continued outside one man was shot and killed and two were seriously injured. The police were searching for two suspects who had been spotted running from the scene. The shootings were not associated with the boxing but are reported to be part of an ongoing underworld feud.
Meehan vs. Ruiz
Southpaw Meehan makes it seven wins on the trot by KO/TKO as he disposes of ancient Argentinian Ruiz inside a round. The 23-year-old 6’5” Meehan is the son of former WBO heavyweight title challenger Kali Meehan. Willis also plays professional rugby league and this is his fourth one round victory. Dad Kali challenged Lamon Brewster for the WBO title in 2004 losing on a split decision. Now 8 losses by KO/TKO for 42-year-old Ruiz.
Legionowo, Poland: Super Feather : Viktor Kotochigov (8-0) W KO 6 Piotr Gudel (9-3-1). Cruiser: Michal Cieslak (18-0,1ND) W RTD 7 Youri Kayembre Kalenga (24-6).
Gudel vs. Kotochigov
Kazak Kotochigov wins the vacant Polish International title with stoppage of Pole Gudel. From the first Gudel was bustling forward but was having problems getting past the long reach of the taller Kazak and he was staggered by a left hook in the first. Gudel had some success with his rushing attacks in the second but Kotochigov was more accurate and he handed out a severe beating to Gudel in rounds three and four. The fifth was another painful round for Gudel as Kotochigov speared him with jabs and straight rights at distance and rocked him with uppercuts inside. Gudel was still marching forward in the sixth when a short left hook to the temple sent him staggering across the ring and down in a heap at the ropes. Gudel staggered to his feet at sixth but then tumbled face first into a corner and the referee immediately halted the fight. Fourth win by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Kotochigov who has fought in seven different countries for his eight wins. Gudel had won his last four fights.
Cieslak vs. Kalenga
Cieslak outboxes and then forces Kalenga out of the fight. The tall Pole was almost a full head taller than Kalenga and he used his longer reach well slotting home jabs and rights. Kalenga attacked hard in the first but Cieslak showed clever movement and was countering accurately with left hooks. Kalenga’s tactics were to take Cieslak to the ropes and then fire wild punches and he was leaving himself open for hooks from Cieslak. Cieslak was confident enough to be switching guards as he outboxed Kalenga over the third and fourth and Kalenga’s task was made ever harder after a punch from Cieslak opened a cut over Kalenga’s left eye in the fifth. The cut was worsened after a clash of heads in the same round and a series of jabs from Cieslak had blood dripping from Kalenga’s nose. A pair of left hooks shook Kalenga in the sixth and his work rated dropped as he was fading rapidly. Cieslak cut loose in the seventh changing guards and scoring heavily with both hands. Two left hooks followed by a series of head punches staggered Kalenga and Kalenga retired at the end of the round. The 29-year-old 6’3” Pole, the EBU No 18, has twelve wins by KO/TKO. Kalenga, 30, born in the DRC but now living in Paris, is a former WBA interim champion who lost to Denis Lebedev in 2015 for the real WBA title. He has slipped down the rankings after defeats against Yuniel Dorticos, Kevin Lerena and Mateusz Masternak.
Cardiff, Wales: Super Light: Akeem Ennis-Brown (13-0) W PTS 10 Bilal Rehman (12-1). Super Middle: Alex Hughes (13-0) W KO 1 Wilmer Gonzalez (19-13-1). Bantam: Jay Harris (15-0) W PTS 6 Brett Fidoe (13-49-5).
Ennis-Brown vs. Rehman
Ennis-Brown retains the IBF European title with wide unanimous decision over Rehman. On one side of the scales you had the tall long limbed Rehman and balancing that the unusual quick southpaw style of Brown. It was Brown who won out. He is perpetual motion and outworked Rehman in round after round. The styles did not fit well together and there was too much holding. Ennis-Brown was much quicker and was constantly ducking under Rehman’s lead and working inside and was a clear winner but he will have better nights. Scores 99-91 for Ennis-Brown from the three judges. He has wins over Chris Jenkins and Darragh Foley. Central Area champion Rehman has a win over useful Lee Appleyard.
Hughes vs. Gonzalez
Welshman Hughes makes it four first round wins in a row as he finishes Nicaraguan Gonzalez in just 124 seconds. Gonzalez came out aggressively trying to take the fight to the much taller Hughes but was short with his jabs. He tried to get closer by putting his head down and lunging forward but Hughes connected with some sharp uppercuts. Hughes fired a combination to the head then dug a vicious left hook in the body of Gonzalez and the Nicaraguan dropped to the floor. He arose at seven but when the action restarted another left to the body dropped Gonzalez and he was counted out. The 6’2” Hughes, 25, seems to have found a power source as prior to these four quick wins he had scored five consecutive points victories. Now based in Spain Gonzalez gets his fourth loss in a row and last time out in April last year he lost inside a round to Lennox Clarke
Harris vs. Fidoe
Harris gets in some ring time and actually has to work hard against late substitute Fidoe. Harris had loads of height and reach over the 5’2” Fidoe and was always rolling forward behind his jab and firing hooks and uppercuts inside. Despite his record Fidoe has plenty of skills but little power. That did not stop him from standing and trading with Harris and he had success with hooks inside. Harris pressed hard but Fidoe is also pretty slick and although Harris won every round Fidoe made him work hard in every round and did enough to pinch a couple of rounds on his work rate. Referee’s score 59-57 for Harris. The Commonwealth champion Harris really has his sights set on either or both British and European titles and is rated No 11 (9) by the IBF. Experienced journeyman Fidoe came in at just 24 hours notice and did his usual job of fighting hard and staying the distance. He has 49 losses but only one of those came inside the distance.
Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Agit Kabayel (19-0) W PTS 12 Andriy Rudenko (32-4). Heavy: Tom Schwarz (24-0) W KO 2 Kristijan Krstacic (17-2). Light Heavy: Adam Deines (17-0-1) W TKO 3 Zoltan Sera (32-18-1). Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (9-0) W PTS 8 Rafal Jackiewicz (50-22-2).Heavy: Erik Pfeifer (4-0) W KO 1 Angelo Rizzo (5-1-1).Heavy: Pater Kadiru (1-0) W PTS 6 Artur Kubiak (1-1).
Kabayel vs. Rudenko
Kabayel retains the European title with wide unanimous decision over a tough Rudenko. In the opener Kabayel was more mobile and quicker with his hands. He worked on the outside firing quick jabs and straight rights. The slower Rudenko was walking Kabayel down looking to land big rights but was just too slow. Rudenko improved in the second and third. He did a better job of cutting the ring off and landed some good rights but had no real defence against the champions jab. Kabayel was standing and trading more. This was warming up into an interesting contest. Kabayel was on the front foot more now but Rudenko showed he also had a strong jab and was dangerous if crude with rights. In the fifth Kabayel looked to be breaking Rudenko down as he connected with jabs, hooks and uppercuts. The fight seemed to be over when he sent Rudenko to the floor with a left hook to the body in the sixth. Rudenko made it to his feet but it looked as though he did not want to continue and Kabayel landed some more hurtful body punches. Surprisingly Rudenko then fought back hard getting inside and connecting with clubbing head punches and had the better of the action to the bell. Kabayel dominated the seventh and eighth forcing Rudenko back with powerful jabs and again landing with left hooks to the body. Rudenko soaked up some fierce punishment in the ninth but fought back often enough in the tenth to stave off a stoppage. Rudenko had a better eleventh. As both tired he was coming forward behind his jab and chucking rights. Kabayel rocked Rudenko with a right cross but his work rate had dropped. Kabayel wasn’t looking to take any chances in the last and it was Rudenko marching forward and throwing punches who seemed to take the round. Scores 119-109, 117-110 and 116-111for Kabayel. The 29-year-old German of Turkish antecedents was making the third defence of the European title. He is rated IBF 3 (2)/WBC 8/WBO 9 so very much in the mix for a title shot if not this year then early next. He has points wins over 26-1Herve Hubeaux and Dereck Chisora. Ukrainian Rudenko, 35, has lost on points against Lucas Browne, Hughie Fury and Alex Povetkin and although limited is very strong.
Schwarz vs. Krastacic
Another inside the distance win for Schwarz as he kayos Krastacic. In the first Schwarz strode forward behind his jab and landed some clubbing rights to Krastacic’s body. Schwarz started to put some combinations together later in the round but other than an occasional jab Krastacic did nothing. Schwarz was finding the range with rights to the head in the second. Krastacic came to life and connected with a couple of head punches. Schwarz was warned for pushing Krastacic to the canvas and when the action started again Schwarz forced Krastacic to the ropes and connected with a series of punches with a right dropping Krastacic. He clawed his way to his feet but after the eight count some more head punches dropped Krastacic again. He again got up but slowly and obviously was finished but the fight continued and as Schwarz scored with some more cuffing punches Krastacic dropped to the floor and sat out the count. The 24-year-old 6’5 ½” Schwarz retains the WBO Inter-Continental and makes it 16 wins by KO/TKO. His No 2 rating by the WBO is ridiculous as he has never faced an opponent remotely near to the WBO or the EBU ratings. The EBU rate him No 16 which is more realistic. He is big, strong and young enough to improve but is very slow. With his WBO No 2 rating-behind Dillian White- in theory he could soon become WBO No 1 but any thought of him fighting Anthony Joshua this year would be nonsense. Don’t be fooled by Krastacic’s statistics as he has been matched with very poor opposition.
Deines vs. Sera
German southpaw Deines moves to ten wins on the bounce as he beats Hungarian Sera in three rounds. In a messy first round Sera was already in survival mode being warned twice for holding. He also threw himself to the canvas after missing with a wild swing. Deines was sticking to his jab and trying rights and he put Sera down just before the bell with a punch that struck an off balance Sera on the shoulder .The bell went as Sera got up. Deines put Sera down at the start of the second with a right. Sera was not badly shaken but went back to his survival plan. He was warned twice more for holding with Deines finding the target with counters as Sera threw himself forward swinging wildly. There were two more warnings for Sera in the third for thrusting forward and ramming his head into Deines but Deines ended the fight by catching the rushing Sera with two lefts to the head. Sera was up at nine but unsteady and the referee stopped the fight., Deines, 28,who scored an important victory over unbeaten Stefan Haertel in 2018, makes it eight wins by KO/TKO. Sera now has 14 losses by KO/TKO.
Rabii vs. Jackiewicz
Olympic bronze medallist Rabbi outpoints Polish veteran Jackiewicz. The Pole tried to take the fight to Rabii but the Moroccan was too quick for him. Rabii was content to work on the back foot sliding around Jackiewicz and scoring flashing combinations. Jackiewicz stuck to his task but the foot speed and swift upper body movement of Rabii meant he was always one or two steps behind the Moroccan. Rabii seemed to have Jackiewicz hurt with a strong attack in the seventh but other than that Jackiewicz, whilst losing every round, was never really in any danger of not lasting the distance. Scores 80-72 for Rabii from the three judges. The 25-year-old Rabii was World Amateur champion in 2015 beating Josh Kelly and eventual Olympic gold medallist Daniyar Yeleussinov on the way to the gold medal. Former European welter champion Jackiewicz is now 42 and has lost 5 of his last 6 outings.
Pfeifer vs. Rizzo
Poor match sees Pfeifer kayo Italian novice in one round. The 32-year-old Russian-born German gets his third win by KO/TKO. Pfeifer was German champion five times, won a gold medal at the 2009 European Union Championships, was twice a bronze medallist at the World Championships but failed to medal at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. His best days may be behind him. Rizzo’s five victims had just five wins between them.
Kadiru vs. Kubiak
Yet another name to watch for in the crowded ranks of young heavyweight prospects. Kadiru eases his way into the professionals with a points victory over novice Kubiak. Scores 60-54 for Kadiru from the judges. He towered over Kubiak and showed a strong jab and good movement but rarely put his punches together. It will take him a while to adjust to the professional ranks but then he has time. Kadiru, 22, born in Hamburg of Ghanaian parents, won a silver medal at the Youth World Championships losing to American Darmani Rock in the finals and then took gold at the World Youth Olympics gold with a revenge win over Rock. He was also crowned the European Youth Champion in both 2014 and 2015 beating Daniel Dubois, in the 2014 Championships. Great potential.
Peterborough, England: Feather: Jordan Gill (23-0) W TKO 3
Emmanuel Dominguez (24-8-2). Feather: Leigh Wood (21-1) W KO 2 Abraham Osei Bonsu (13-4-1). Cruiser: Richard Riakporhe (9-0) W TKO 4 Tommy McCarthy (13-2) . Light Heavy: Anthony Sims (18-0) W TKO 6 Mateo Veron 28-22-3,2 ND). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (5-0) W PTS 6 Fadhili Majiha (23-12-4). Super Middle: John Docherty (4-0) W TKO 2 Yailton Neves (4-14)
Gill vs. Dominguez
Imperious performance from Gill as he dismantles Mexican Dominguez in three rounds. Most of the early work in the first round consisted of probing jabs but Gill connected with a sharp double left hook and ended the round with a right to the head and a left hook. Dominguez landed a quick left hook in the second but then Gill let his hands go and rocked Dominguez with a good combination and then with a left hook. A right to the head made Dominguez’s legs wobble and the last punch of the round, a right to the head sent Dominguez staggering sideways. A four-punch combination from Gill in the third knocked Dominguez over. Dominguez beat the count but was on unsteady legs. Gill then pushed Dominguez to the canvas so no count. A right and a left put Dominguez down again and although he got up when another punch from Gill sent him stumbling to the ropes the fight was over. The 24-year-old former Commonwealth champion wins the vacant WBA International title with his seventh victory by KO/TKO. For former Mexican super bantam champion Dominguez, 25, this is his second loss by KO/TKO.
Wood vs. Bonsu
Wood wins the vacant Commonwealth title with easy stoppage of overmatched Ghanaian. Wood controlled the opening round with stiff jabs and was scoring well with hooks. Bonsu was constantly retreating around the ring prodding with his jab and throwing wide and inaccurate rights. Bonsu had shown nothing in the first and was in trouble early in the second dropping to the canvas from a wicked left hook to the body. He beat the count but was under pressure with Wood patiently stalking him. He pinned Bonsu to the ropes and landed a trio of body punches with Bonsu dropping to a knee. The referee started to count but then just waived the fight over. Wood gets his eleventh win by KO/TKO. His only loss came against Gavin McDonnell in 2014 and this is his ninth win in a row. Former Ghanaian champion Bonsu suffers his second inside the distance defeat.
Riakporhe vs. McCarthy
Londoner Riakporhe retains the WBA Inter-Continental title with stoppage of McCarthy. There was plenty of action over the first two rounds with both fighters connecting with some strong punches with McCarthy perhaps just a shade in front. The third was also close but a left from Riakporhe seemed to rock McCarthy. Riakporhe was landing heavy jabs in the fourth. McCarthy was coming forward confidently until a huge right cross from Riakporhe saw McCarthy sag at the knees. Riakporhe jumped on him connecting with head punches until McCarthy dropped to one knee. He was up at seven and after the count Riakporhe launched a thunderous right which missed wildly, and probably had them ducking in the dressing rooms, and then bundled McCarthy to the floor. Obviously no count but Riakporhe pursued McCarthy across to a corner and another booming right saw the referee stop the fight. The 29-year-old Riakporhe, who is managed by Dillian Whyte, gets his eighth inside the distance victory. At 6’5” he is big for a cruiser and carries plenty of power. He is of Nigerian parentage and has overcome being stabbed in the chest when 15 and spending some time in prison. He has turned his life around and although enjoying some success as an amateur only turned professional after gaining a university degree. McCarthy’s only other loss was on points against Matty Askin in 2016
Sims vs. Veron
Another display of speed and power from Sims as outclasses experienced Veron. Sims used his quick jab to set Veron up for left hooks to the body and Veron was on the back foot from the first round. In the second Sims was putting together some impressive combinations with very little coming back from Veron. The young American continued to punish Veron in the third and fourth and a strong left hook staggered Veron in the fifth. Sims ended it in the sixth. He drove Veron down and almost through the ropes with a straight right and when the action resumed he pounded Veron with punches before putting him face down on the floor with another right. Veron spit out his mouthguard but made it to his feet only for the referee to waive the fight off. The 24-year-old from Indiana makes it 17 wins in a row by KO/TKO. Argentinian Veron has a spotty record but was coming off an upset win over Lolenga Mock in January. This is his ninth loss by KO/TKO.
Ashfaq vs. Majiha
Leeds southpaw Ashfaq wins every round against Tanzanian Majiha as he progresses along the road to the top level. Referee’s score 60-54. The 25-year-old Ashfaq won gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games, the English Elite Championships and the British Championships. He collected silver at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships losing to Michael Conlan at both events and was a bronze medallist at the 2105 European Games but lost out in his first fight at the Rio Olympics. One to follow. Majiha was coming off an impressive performance where he had unbeaten Cuban Nelson Machado on the floor before losing a split decision.
Docherty vs. Neves
Docherty is also a top prospect. The young Scot floored Neves in the first and forced the stoppage just before the bell at the end of the second. The 21-year-old Commonwealth Games gold medal winner has taken less than six rounds for his four wins. British based Portuguese southpaw Neves has lost four times by KO/TKO.
Tijuana, Mexico: Feather: Jhon Gemino (19-11-1) W TKO 7Carlos Ornelas (22-2). Light Fly: Dewayne Beamon (16-1-2) DRE W 8 Maximino Flores (24-4-2,2ND).
Gemino vs. Ornelas
Gemino comes from behind to stop an overconfident Ornelas. It was Gemino who moved into the lead over the first two rounds. Southpaw Ornelas had the longer reach but Gemino was drawing the jab and scoring with sharp counters. In the third Ornelas was starting to open Gemino up with his jab and then banging lefts to the body. The third, fourth and fifth were close but Ornelas was continually forcing the fight and outscoring Gemino. In the sixth Ornelas controlled the action and was scoring with a series of uppercuts with Gemino looking to be fading. Ornelas came out trying to end it in the seventh. He was forcing Gemino along the ropes with hooks to the body. Gemino came off the ropes and rocked Ornelas with a left hook. They stood and traded hard punches with Gemino again hurting Ornelas with a left. Ornelas just ducked his head and walked forward throwing hooks but was caught with another left hook that staggered him. He tried to drive forward again but was wide open and a left hook to the chin sent him down and he rolled around before leaping to his feet a second too late and being counted out. Gemino, “The Disaster”, proved that for Ornelas. The Filipino was 2-3 in his last 5 but two of those losses were to Emanuel Navarrete and Denis Shafikov and he was coming off an inside the distance win in Japan. Big setback for Ornelas. After 21 wins in a row he suffered a shock stoppage at the hands of novice Willmank Brito in September so his recover is off the tracks.
Beamon vs. Flores
Beamon and Flores wage war but in the end have to settle for a share of the points. It was a brutal battle with neither fighter wanting to take a step back and the fight swung one way and then the other and their faces carried the signs of the battle. In the end the judges could not all agree with two of them seeing it dead even so it ended as a majority draw. Beamon, 33, was hoping a win here would push him into the world ratings so a draw does not help. Flores is 5-1-2 in his last 8 fights having lost on points to WBC No 1 Andrew Selby in 2017.
Arendal, Norway: Welter: Jonathan Eniz (24-11-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Deniz Ilbay (21-2). Cruiser: Kal Robin Havnaa (14-0) W KO 3 Rad Rashid (16-5).
Eniz vs. Ilbay
Eniz springs a surprise and picks up the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title with close split verdict over Ilbay. Southpaw Eniz boxed well over the opening three rounds but Ilbay stepped up the pace from the fourth forcing Eniz on to the retreat. Ilbay was chasing the quick Eniz down doing most of the scoring but finding him a difficult target and was being caught by surprise counters. It was expected that Ilbay would continue to dominate but his attacks stalled and it was Eniz who was talking the lead. The rounds and the fight were close to the end. It swung to Eniz when he launched a ferocious attack late in the twelfth showering Ilbay with punches and taking the round. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Eniz and 115-113 for Ilbay. Second upset win this year for the 24-year-old Eniz after beating former IBF champion Cesar Cuenca in January
As for German champion Ilbay after losing to Egidijus Kavaliauskas in Las Vegas in 2016 he had been steered carefully through six wins but needs to start again had won his last six fights
Havnaa vs. Rashid
Havnaa returns to action with a kayo of oldie German Rashid. In his first fight for almost 11 months Havnaa took a couple of rounds to get into his stride and ended the fight in the third with a powerful left hook to the body. Rashid dropped to his knees and was counted out. The 30-year-old home town fighter has 12 wins by KO/TKO and collects the vacant IBO International title. He is the son of former undefeated WBO cruiserweight champion Magne Havnaa. German Rashid, 39, gets his second loss by KO/TKO in his last three fights.
Fajardo, Puerto Rico: Super Light: Subriel Matias (13-0) W TKO 6 Wilberth Lopez (23-11).
Matias keeps his 100% record with stoppage of fellow-southpaw Lopez. After a quiet opening round Matias pressed relentlessly in the second. Lopez was pinned to the ropes for the whole three minutes as Matias worked him over inside with hooks and uppercuts. Matias continued the pressure in the third and fourth .Lopez was trying to counter but Matias was either bobbing around the counters or ignoring them and just ceaselessly pumping out punches. The fifth is new territory for Matias as he has never had to go past the fourth round for victory. Lopez had a good spell at the start of the round when for a change he had Matias pinned to the ropes and was unloading with both hands. Matias then drove Lopez back and around the ring showering him with punches from both hands. In the sixth Matias drove Lopez from corner to corner. He was not loading up on his punches but the sheer volume overwhelmed Lopez and he dropped to his knees and was counted out. The 26-year-old “Browny” has an incredible work rate but he won’t always be up against light punchers such as Lopez and that’s where a question remains but 13 inside the distance wins in 13 fights including victories over Daulis Prescott, Adrian Estrella and Fernando Saucedo are a pretty good start. Second inside the distance loss in a row for Lopez.
London. England: :Light Heavy: Kirk Garvey (12-2) W PTS 10 Miles Shinkwin (15-4) W. Garvey lifts Shinkwin’s English title on a split decision in a close hard fought battle. The taller Garvey came on over the middle rounds to edge in front. Shinkwin staged a strong finish over the ninth and tenth but it was just not enough to save his title. Scores 96-94 twice for Garvey and 97-94 for Shinkwin. Much needed win for Garvey as he had lost to Andre Sterling for the BBB of C Southern Area title in November so he avoided the stain of consecutive defeats. Shinkwin, a York Hall favourite, was coming off an impressive revenge victory over Joel McIntyre and was hoping a win would propel him into a second shot at the British title.
Leeds, England: Super Bantam: Jack Bateson W TKO 1 Pablo Narvaez (9-12-7). Former top amateur Bateson wastes no time is disposing of Nicaraguan loser Narvaez. The Leeds fighter floored Narvaez twice and the bout was halted just past the two minute mark. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Bateson as he aims to make his mark in the already talent-heavy British scene. In the amateurs fighting at light flyweight Bateson was English and UK champion at both Youth and Senior level took a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games and a bronze medal at the European Championships as well as being a member of the British Lionhearts team at the World Series of Boxing. Poor Barcelona-based Narvaez is now 0-8-1 in his last 9 fights.
Los Antiguos, Argentina: Welter: Adrian Veron (24-3) TKO 3 Sergio Liendo (12-5,1ND). Veron crushes Liendo in three rounds in all-southpaw contest. Veron used his longer reach and superior power to boss the action over the first two rounds. In the third a chopping left to the head dropped Liendo. He beat the count but Veron landed a devastating straight left that put Liendo down heavily and the fight was stopped by the referee as the towel came in from Liendo’s corner. Veron, 30 was defending his South American title and moves to 16 wins by KO/TKO, He gets his third win on the bounce after suffering consecutive inside the distance losses to Cesar Barrionuevo. Fifth defeat by KO/TKO for Liendo.
Columbus, OH, USA: Heavy: Junior Fa (17-0) W TKO 1 Newfel Ouatah (16-3). Fa decimates poor Ouatah inside a round. Fa was tracking Ouatah around the ring with the taller Frenchman just pawing with a weak jab. As they came out of a clinch a thudding right from Fa dumped Ouatah on the canvas propped up against the ropes. Ouatah got up but it looked as though he did not beat the count. The fight continued and Fa pounced on Ouatah who dropped to his knees under a flurry of punches. This time Ouatah was up at four and after the eight count was completed Fa again drove Ouatah to the canvas. The Frenchman was up quickly again and Fa rushed him to ropes landing a couple of punches and as Ouatah fell to his knees the fight was stopped. Tenth win by KO/TKO for 29-yeart-old New Zealander Fa. He is best known for scoring two wins over Joseph Parker in the amateurs but with 17 wins and a No 8 rating from the WBO those Parker wins no longer define him. Former French champion Ouatah, 33, looked old and fragile in this one.
Central Point, OR, USA: Heavy: Mike Wilson (20-1) W RTD 6 German Perez (11-4-3). In his first fight since losing to WBA champion Denis Lebedev Wilson just too strong for Mexican Perez. Wilson dominated the fight from the start keeping Perez on the end of strong jabs and clouting him with heavy rights. He had Perez rocking in the fourth and fifth and opened a cut over Perez’s left eye. Wilson continued to pummel Perez in the sixth and Perez’s corner pulled their man out of the fight at the end of the round. After the glamour of Monte Carlo it is back to bread and butter fights for Wilson as he rebuilds. This is only Perez’s second fight since 2015 so no real threat.
Fight of the week (Significance): Brian Castano’s draw with Erislandy was the only world title fight so it qualifies
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Eduardo Ramirez vs. Bryan De Gracia and Brian Castano vs. Erislandy deserves a mention
Fighter of the week: Luis Ortiz for showing he is still a force with honourable mention to Agit Kabayel who could yet force himself into a title fight
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from Eduardo Ramirez that marked the beginning of the end for Bryan De Gracia was a beauty as was the Jhon Gemino left hook that ended the fight with Carlos Ornelas and the thunderous right from Richard Riakporhe that was the beginning of the end for Tommy McCarthy
Upset of the week: Jonathan Eniz was not supposed to beat Deniz Ilbay and Jhon Gemino was supposed to lose to Carlos Ornelas
Prospect watch: Light Heavy Anthony Sims 18-0 with 17 wins in a row by KO/TKO and Australian bantam Brock Jarvis 16-0 are both worth following.
By Eric Armit
-Chris Eubank Jr outpoints James DeGale in IBO super middle title fight
-Anthony Dirrell gets technical verdict over Avni Yildirim for the vacant WBC super middle title
-Humberto Soto gets upset victory over Brandon Rios
-Lee Selby returns with a win but again suffers cuts
-Joe Joyce halts Bermane Stiverne in six rounds
-Blake Caparello, Tony Luis, Byron Rojas, Jamal James and Jeison Rosario get wins.
WORLD TITLE/MAJOR SHOWS
London, England: Super Middle: Chris Eubank Jr (28-2) W PTS 12 James DeGale (25-3-1). Light: Lee Selby (27-2) W PTS 12 Omar Douglas (19-3). Heavy: Joe Joyce (8-0) W TKO 6 Bermane Stiverne (25-4-1). Light Heavy: Andre Sterling (10-0) W PTS 10 Ricky Summers (15-2). Super Feather: Anthony Cacace (17-1) W PTS 8 Alan Luques (26-8).
DeGale vs. Eubank
Eubank takes unanimous verdict over DeGale to win the vacant IBO title
A cautious round early as both pawed with their jab. DeGale was the more positive as the action warmed-up following his southpaw jabs with lefts. Eubank was looking to counter the advancing DeGale with rights but DeGale just did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 DeGale
Eubank was firing rights in the second and connecting. He landed a couple which sent DeGale tumbling along the ropes to a corner and DeGale went down sitting on them lower ropes trying to get under the punches. He was up quickly and not seriously hurt. After the count Eubank pressed hard trying to land more big rights but DeGale boxed and held and was not troubled again in the round except for a clash of heads that saw him cut over his left eye.
Score: 10-8 Eubank Eubank 19-18
This was a close round with too many clinches. DeGale was throwing a couple of jabs and then darting inside and clinching. Eubank was looking to score with right hand counters but was having trouble timing DeGale’s diving attacks. Eubank landed a hard right and just had just the edge.
Score: 10-9 Eubank Eubank 29-27
A disappointing round. It was punch, clinch, punch, clinch all the way. DeGale scored with a couple of useful jabs but Eubank ended the round strongly forcing DeGale to the ropes and landing with rights.
Score: 10-9 Eubank Eubank 39-36
Eubank was on the front foot with DeGale circling and then diving in. At one point Eubank lifted DeGale and almost threw him over. DeGale was making no use at all of his jab and Eubank was stalking him and doing what clear scoring there was.
Score: 10-9 Eubank Eubank 49-45
DeGale had a better round. He was using his jab more and scoring from distance rather than diving in. Eubank continued to prowl after DeGale but did not land much.
Score: 10-9 DeGale Eubank 58-55
Pressure all the way from Eubank. DeGale was showing some nice defensive work but Eubank was the one landing punches as he fired home a series of hooks.
Score: 10-9 Eubank Eubank 68-64
Another round for Eubank. DeGale was just sticking out a jab and then diving inside and not working when he got there. Eubank chased in vain for much of the round but then drove DeGale across the ring with a series of punches.
Score: 10-9 Eubank Eubank 78-73
Eubank opened this round by scoring with a succession of jabs and hooks. DeGale connected with a couple of sharp hooks but as the round progressed Eubank was again the one landing as he had success with his hooks
Score: 10-9 Eubank `Eubank 88-82
DeGale scored first in this round with a couple of sharp punches but then went back to his punch and dive forward tactics, The fight was untidy with no sustained action. Eubank took over and drove forward. He staggered DeGale with a left hook and then drove DeGale across the ring raining punches with DeGale going down. DeGale was up straight away complaining he had been pushed down but was given a count and the bell went when the count was completed.
Score: 10-8 Eubank Eubank 98-90
The eleventh was another round with too many clinches. A frustrated Eubank lifted DeGale on his shoulder and threw him to the canvas and the referee deducted a point from Eubank. DeGale connected with a couple of lefts but Eubank stormed forward chasing a tired DeGale scoring with uppercuts and a left to the head to give him the round.
Score (10-9 Eubank) with the deduction 9-9 107-99
Eubank stormed through the last round going forward throwing punches. DeGale countered when he could but over the closing seconds he was being forced to the ropes from hooks by Eubank.
Score: 10-9 Eubank 117-108
Official Scores: 117-109, 115-112 and 114-112 all for Eubank
Commanding performance by Eubank perhaps his best as a pro. Where next is the question now so we have to wait and see. DeGale will be looking at his options but he has already had an outstanding career and retirement would be a smart decision.
Selby vs. Douglas
Selby outpoints a determined Douglas but again suffers badly from cuts. Douglas clearly thought this was a fight he could win and he made a strong start. Selby seemed to just take the first round but Douglas put himself in front by taking the second and third. To make things even worse for Selby a clash of heads in the second round saw him emerge with a cut over his right eye. He had been badly cut in losing his IBF title to Josh Warrington so it was a bad sign that he was cut so early and when a clash of heads in the third opened a cut over his left eye things looked bad for Selby. Undismayed Selby showed champions determination and used his customary speed and skill to get back into the fight and outboxed Douglas over the fourth and fifth. Douglas fought his way back into the fight with a strong sixth but then Selby took over again and with the cuts being held in check he took control and built a winning lead. Douglas put in a big effort in the twelfth but by then it was already Selby’s fight. Scores 116-112 twice and 115-113 all for Selby. The Welshman wins the IBF Inter-Continental title. Once the cuts heal he will be looking to work his way to a world title shot. Douglas’ progress was derailed by consecutive losses in fights against Javier Fortuna and Edner Cherry but he recorded a good win in August by decisioning 26-2-1 Haskell Rhodes
Joyce vs. Stiverne
Joyce stops a vastly overweight Stiverne. The key measure as to how hard a fight this would be for Joyce was Stiverne’s weight. Had he trained hard and would he be a real threat as Don King claimed or had his road work consisted of running to and from the nearest McDonald’s. He came in 20lbs heavier than when he fought both Derric Rossy in 2015 and Deontay Wilder in his last bout in November 2017 and right there you knew he was never going to pose a threat to Joyce. He would give the unbeaten fighter a few rounds against his most experienced opponent to date-but nothing more. Joyce bossed the opening round. He was using a strong jab and hooking to the body with Stiverne on the retreat, Stiverne found the target with some rights but Joyce took them well and continued to belabour Stiverne with lefts and right. Stiverne tried to come forward in the second and threw some rights. From the half way point it was one-sided with Joyce walking forward pounding Stiverne with lefts and rights hooks and uppercuts with very little coming back from Stiverne. A couple of left hooks and a right to the head floored Stiverne early in the third but he was up quickly and carried on. It really was just target practice for Joyce with only the occasional attempt at a counter from Stiverne who already looked exhausted. More punishment for Stiverne in the fourth. His only effort was the occasional wild swipe with his right. Joyce could not miss him with a jab and over the late part of the round was content to land a jab and then take a step back and then land another jab, It was that easy for him. Joyce pounded away at Stiverne in the fifth with Stiverne more of a pacifist than a pugilist and in the sixth with Joyce rocking Stiverne time and again with head punches the referee stopped the fight. It was so one-sided that it could have been stopped at any time from the third round onwards. Joyce retains the Commonwealth title and wins the WBA gold title although the status of the newly invented WBA title is obscure. The 6’6” Joyce has won all of his fights inside the distance and again he demonstrated his power particularly with his damaging jab. Going in he was rated No 5 by the WBA. There is talk that Joyce will fight Manuel Charr the holder of the WBA secondary title. It seems that the mandated fight between Charr and Fres Oquendo is no longer mandated which would conveniently open the door for Joyce to fight Charr. It was obvious Stiverne came for the money and his “effort” was pathetic. Joyce did his job but the fact that Stiverne is a former world champion does not change the fact that for this fight he was a flabby 40-year-old who had not fought for over 14 months and had spent less than one minute in the ring in over three years.
Sterling vs. Summers
Sterling gets off the floor to outpoint Summers in British title eliminator. Summers just edged the first round and then floored Sterling with a right in the second. Sterling got up and survived and then dominated the fight. Summers was cut over his right eye in the third and Sterling swept that round and the next four. Summers rallied to take the eighth but Sterling took over again and won the ninth and tenth. Scores 97-92 twice and 97-93. Good win for the 28-year-old BBC of C Southern Area champion. Summers only previous loss was on points against Frank Buglioni for the British title in 20127 when coming in as a late substitute.
Cacace vs. Luques
Cacace returns with a win. The Belfast southpaw showed no early signs of ring rust as he was quicker and outworked Argentinian Luques. It was only very late in the fight as Cacace seemed to slow that Luques was competitive but Cacace was able to work his way to the end of the fight getting eight rounds of useful work on the ledger. Referee’s score 79-74 for Cacace. The Belfast man lost to Martin Joseph Ward for the British title in July 2017 and then had a fight in December 2017 so this is his first fight for 14 months. He will look to get some more rounds under his belt and then go again for a title. Luques is the South American champion. He was 7-1 before this fight with the loss being on points against Diego De La Hoya.
Minneapolis, MN, USA: Super Middle: Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1) W TEC DEC 10 Avni Yildirim (21-2). Welter: Jamal James (25-1) W RTD 6 Janer Gonzalez (19-2-1). Middle: Jeison Rosario (18-1-1) W RTD 9 Mark Hernandez (13-3-1). Welter: Bryant Perrella (16-2) W PTS 8 Breidis Prescott (31-16). Heavy: Efetobor Apochi (7-0) W TKO 2 Ray Ochieng (26-23-3).
Dirrell vs. Yildirim
Dirrell wins the vacant WBC title with technical decision over Turkey’s Avni Yildirim in a total war.
Yildirim made a strong start forcing Dirrell to the ropes with jabs and landing clubbing rights. Dirrell was on the back foot using his longer reach to spear Yildirim with jabs and slipping home left hooks and uppercuts. A flurry of punches from Yildirim got through and that sparked Dirrell into forcing Yildirim back with a couple of head-snapping uppercuts and then Dirrell used his jab to take the round
Score: 10-9 Dirrell
An already entertaining fight was even more entertaining in the second as they stood and traded jabs, hooks and uppercuts. Yildirim forced Dirrell to the ropes and again both fired fast accurate shots. Yildirim worked strongly with his jabs and lefts to the body and although Dirrell landed a sharp uppercut it was Yildirim’s round.
Score: 10-9 Yildirim Tied 19-19
After a quiet start to the round Yildirim piled on the pressure coming in behind a strong jab and lading overhand nights and lefts to the body. Dirrell was scoring with accurate counters and quick bursts of punches and scored with a long heavy right to the head to take a very close round
Score: 10-9 Dirrell Dirrell 29-28
It was war again as Yildirim kept Dirrell on the ropes for the whole three minutes. Dirrell was landing some scorching counters inside but Yildirim kept working banging lefts to the body and rights to the head to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Yildirim Tied 38-38
Dirrell boxed more in this one. He was still circling the perimeter of the ring with Yildirim walking him down but he was slotting punches trough Yildirim’s guard and when they did start to trade heavy stuff again Dirrell was just that bit more accurate.
Score: 10-9 Dirrell Dirrell 48-47
Dirrell raked the advancing Yildirim with hooks and uppercuts at the start of the round. Yildirim did better when he closed then distance and connected with clubbing lefts and rights. Dirrell was straying low with some of his hooks and Yildirim just did enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Yildirim Tied 57-57
Best round so far for Dirrell. He stayed off the ropes and the speed and accuracy of his punches had Yildirim backing up. Inside Dirrell was landing wicked right hooks and cracking uppercuts but a clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Dirrell.
Score: 10-9 Dirrell Dirrell 67-66
Three minutes of pressure from Yildirim. It was close work all the way. Dirrell scored with sharp accurate and a few low punches but Yildirim kept pressing and landed a series of hard thudding head punches from both hands. Dirrell’s cut was worsening and Yildirim was cut on his nose.
Score: 10-9 Yildirim Tied 76-76
Dirrell looked to be tiring but Yildrim did not. He kept piling forward pushing out his punches with Dirrell throwing less and holding more. Dirrell was given another warning for a low punch and was under pressure at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Yildirim Yildirim 86-85
Dirrell danced and boxed his way in this one. He was not looking to trade but instead speared Yildirim from distance. When Yildirim rushed forward head down Dirrell side-stepped and mimicked being a matador to Yildirim’s bull. With a minute to go in the round the referee stopped the action to let the doctor examine Dirrell's cut and the doctor recommended the fight be stopped. Yildirim climbed on the ropes to celebrate his victory only to be told it would be decided on the scorecards with the tenth round being scored.
Score: 10-9 Dirrell Tied 95-95
Official Scores: 96-94 twice for Dirrell and 98-92 for Yildirim.
The 24-year-old “Dog” becomes WBC champion for the second time. When he held the title previously he lost it in his first defence against Badou Jack but he will be aiming to keep the title a bit longer this time. I guess Dirrell’s dream fight would be against Saul Alvarez-dream on Anthony. Yildirim showed considerable improvement from his losing effort against Chris Eubank Jr in an IBO title fight in 2017 and he looked to be the stronger man when this one was stopped so his team will push for a rematch.
James vs. Gonzalez
Fighting in front of his home fans James gets inside the distance win and hopes to get into the welter mix and a place at the top table. Plenty of action in this one. James had a good opening round forcing Gonzalez onto the back foot and scoring to the body. The second was close with Gonzalez connecting with stiff jabs and a cut was opened under James’ right eye. With Jones being 6’2” Gonzalez had to push forward and he had some success to the body in the third with James countering well. In the fourth and the fifth James had the better of the exchanges particularly with long rights. Gonzalez was down early in the sixth but it was due to their legs getting in a tangle and there was no count. Later in the round a right from James floored Gonzalez heavily. He beat the count and survived the remaining seconds but did not come out for the seventh round. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for James. After a run of good wins James lost a unanimous decision to Yordenis Ugas in 2016. He has rebuilt well with six wins including victories over Ionut Dan Ion, Diego Chaves and Abel Ramos and is No 3 with the WBA. Colombian Gonzalez was 19-0-1 against very modest opposition but after losing in his last fight against Russian Radzhab Butaev in November 2017 that is two defeats in a row.
Rosario vs. Hernandez
When these two clashed a year ago it was over six rounds and ended in a split draw. This time Dominican Rosario made sure the judges were not needed. The fight was close to the end with Rosario’s power the deciding factor. After a close first round they began to trade heavy punches in the second with Hernandez doing most of the scoring. A low punch in the third saw Hernandez get some recovery time and Rosario get a warning. The action continued hot over the next four rounds and it was hard to split them. Rosario’s heavier punch saw Hernandez under pressure in the eighth. Rosario was dominating the ninth and floored Hernandez with a powerful left hook. Hernandez made it to his feet but a fierce attack from Rosario saw the referee step in and stop the fight. The 23-year-old Rosario suffered his only defeat when he was floored three times and stopped by Nathaniel Gallimore in 2017. He has rebounded in style with victories over Justin DeLoach and Jamontay Clark and is rated 11(10) by the IBF. Fresno’s “Madman” Hernandez was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights.
Perrella vs. Prescott
Tall Floridian southpaw Perrella gets back into action with unanimous decision over regular loser Prescott. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. After defeat by Yordenis Ugas in September 2016 Perrella did not fight again until December 2017. In his sole fight last year he took a big step up by facing Luis Collazo but lost on a majority verdict. This is his first fight since that August loss and hopefully he will be more active. Prescott has now won only one of his last nine fights so looks a reliable loser.
Apochi vs. Ochieng
Nigerian Apochi blows away another opponent as he makes progress under the radar. His second round stoppage of Kenyan Ochieng makes it seven inside the distance wins in seven outings all scored inside three rounds. At 5’11” and just over 200lbs the cruisers are where he should fight. The Houston-based 31-year-old is a former Captain of the Nigerian boxing team. He was twice runner-up at the All-African Championships and beat world rated Jai Opetaia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games on his way to a bronze medal. He also fought at the World Championships and was a member of the Mexican Guerreros team in the World Series of Boxing. At 31 time is not in his corner and he needs to face much better opposition before any judgment can be made on how far he can go. Ochieng, 42, suffers his sixth loss in a row.
Melbourne, Australia: Light Heavy: Blake Caparello (29-3-1) W PTS 10 Reagan Dessaix (16-2). Super Welter: Joel Camilleri (17-5-1) W RTD 5 Billy Limov (4-1-1).
Caparello vs. Dessaix
Caparello wins close unanimous decision over younger Dessaix. Caparello took the fight to Dessaix in the opening round getting past the guard of the 6’3” from Brisbane. Dessaix had a better second as he started to settle into the fight but Caparello was finding the range with his southpaw lefts in the third. Dessaix swung the fight back his way with a good fourth and finished the fifth with a strong attack. Dessaix looked to have outworked Caparello in the sixth. The seventh was a close round but Dessaix appeared to have done enough to take the eighth, After that Dessaix, who had not gone ten rounds before, seemed to tire allowing Caparello to edge in front but it was very close. Score 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Caparello. He lifts Dessaix’s WBA Oceania title but for the Australian No 1 the win was everything as a loss here would have probably signalled the end of the 32-yerar-old former WBO title challenger’s hopes of any more big fights. Dessaix, 22, will recover quickly from this and looks a very good bet for the future
Camilleri vs. Limov
Camilleri lifts the vacant Australian title with victory over novice Limov. Camilleri put Limov down in the first and Limov only just made it to the bell. Camilleri continued to connect with heavy punches in the second, third and fourth with Limov taking the punishment and trying to fight back. Camilleri floored Limov again in the fifth and at the end of the round Limov’s team pulled him out of the fight. Camilleri goes to 8-1-1 in his last 10 fights and has eight wins by KO/TKO. New Zealand-born Queensland State champion Limov never really got into the fight after the first round knockdown.
Budakalasz, Hungary: Cruiser: Imre Szello (23-0) W KO 2 Denis Simcic (32-4-1). Super Welter: Roman Zakirov (9-0) W PTS 10 Daniel Vega Cota (13-3-1). Super Middle: Mate Kiss (14-0-2 ) W KO 2 Hussein Itaba (5-3-2). Light Heavy: Oscar Ahlin (17-2) W TKO 4 Beka Mukhulishvili (6-5).
Szello vs. Simcic
In the first show of the year in Hungary Szello brushes aside an out of condition Simcic inside two rounds. Szello was looking to end this early and handled Simcic’s attempts to attack easily and then put Simcic down and out just a few seconds before the bell at the end of the second round. The 35-year-old “Imo” has scored six inside the distance wins in his last seven fights and despite never facing a rated opponent is No 2 with the WBO. Szello was a great amateur but to put him above fighters such Murat Gassiev, Mairis Breidis, Yuniel Dorticos and Andrew Tabiti is ridiculous- but then the WBO No 1 is 48-year-old Firat Arslan! Szello is No 12 in the EBU ratings. Slovenian Simcic, 37, had just one fight in 2015, one in 2016 was inactive in 2017 and had just one fight in 2018 beating a guy with 86 losses so no risk being taken here.
Zakirov vs. Cota
Russian boxer Zakirov wins the vacant IBO International title with unanimous verdict over southpaw Cota. This was an entertaining fight and although Zakirov was stronger, more accurate in his work and a clear winner Cota was always competitive until he tired but always second best. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Zakirov. First ten round fight and first title for the Azeri-based 22-year-old. Mexican Cota was having his first fight outside Mexico and also his first ten rounder.
Kiss vs. Itaba
Kiss dismantles Tanzanian novice Itaba in two rounds. Kiss was able to walk though the 6’1” Itaba and he floored the African late in the first before putting him down and out half way through the second. The 25-year-old Hungarian has ten wins by KO/TKO but this was an abysmal mismatch. Third loss by KO/TKO for poor Itaba
Ahlin vs. Mukhulishvili
Swedish “Golden Boy” Ahlin gets his fourth win on the bounce by KO/TKO with stoppage of Georgian Mukhulishvili. Unexpected losses to Bernard Donfack and Patrick Mendy have taken the shine off the “Golden Boy” image but he is trying to regroup. Fourth loss in a row for
Mukhulishvili and his first inside the distance defeat.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Light: Zaur Abdullaev (11-0) W TKO 10 Humberto Martinez (33-9-2). Heavy: Evgeny Romanov (12-0) W KO 1 Dillon Carman (14-4). Super Feather: Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (13-0) W PTS 10 Emanuel Lopez (29-10-1). Super Welter: Magomed Kurbanov (17-0) W PTS 10 Damian Bonelli (23-6).Cruiser: Evgeny Tischenko (4-0) W PTS 8 Jose Ulrich (17-3,1ND).
Abdullaev vs. Martinez
Abdullaev gets late stoppage win against Martinez. Abdullaev was tracking the smaller Martinez around the ring in the first and put the Colombian down with a left hook to the body. Martinez made it to his feet just as the bell went. Abdullaev has an unusual humped style and is not a fast mover but has quick hands and good power. He continued stalking Martinez throughout the fight and did a good job of cutting the ring down and landed some hard straight rights. Martinez kept moving and was most effective when diving forward with hooks to the body. Abdullaev came close to finishing Martinez when he floored him with double left hooks in the fourth and then rocked him with a big combination later in the round. Over the second half of the fight Martinez stood and traded. Abdullaev was scoring with stiff jabs and long rights but Martinez took the punches and kept firing hooks. They stood toe-to-toe late in the seventh just punching away but Martinez had to absorb lots of punishment in the eighth and ninth. The exchanges were fairly even in the tenth until a series of uppercuts had Martinez shaky and a big right put him down. He beat the count and as Abdullaev bombarded him with punches Martinez looked shaky but just as he was punching back the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 24-year-old Russian scored a good win in outpointing Hank Lundy and this is his seventh win by KO/TKO. Martinez was 6-0-1 in his last 7 but against substandard opponents.
Romanov vs. Carman
Romanov flattens “Big Country Carman in just 110 seconds. The 6’5” Carman towered over 6-0” tall Romanov but was forced to the ropes by rights to the head. He moved forward off the ropes but Romanov drove him back and then connected with a right and a left hook and Carman dropped to the floor on his hands and knees and was counted out. The 33-year-old Romanov gets his fifth inside the distance win in a row. In the amateurs after settling for three silver medals in consecutive Russian Championships he finally won the national title in 2009. In the third round of a Russia vs. USA meeting in February 2008 he landed a big right which saw Deontay Wilder staggering badly forcing an eight count and then floored Wilder with another right. Wilder made it to his feet but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. That was a powerful Russian team with Artur Beterbiev and Sergey Kovalev both fighting at 81kgs and Rakhim Chakhkiev at 91kgs. Not surprisingly Russia won the match 8-2. Romanov was consistently by-passed for the big International Tournaments so retired from boxing in 2010 to work in local sports administration but returned to boxing in 2016 and turned professional. Former Canadian champion Carman scored a big domestic win last October when he knocked out unbeaten Simon Kean. All four of his losses have come inside the distance.
Yaqubov vs. Lopez
Yaqubov outboxes Mexican Lopez in a fast-paced bout. The Tajik southpaw was quicker and more mobile than Lopez and was already finding the target with straight lefts in the first round. Lopez was looking to draw Yaqubov’s lead and counter but he was waiting too long. Yaqubov continued to find the range with his lefts and worked the body well. Lopez was plodding forward but Yaqubov was too quick, too slick and too accurate for the visitor. He was rattling off combinations and moving too quickly for Lopez to counter. Lopez had some success coming forward in the fifth but as the fight progressed Yaqubov was beginning to put together precise and accurate five/six punch combinations and was outclassing the experienced Lopez. Yaqubov slowed a bit in the eighth and ninth but was still moving changing angles and doing the scoring speeding around Lopez bombarding him with rapid-fire fists in the last. Scores 100-90 for Yaqubov from the three judges. He was making the first defence of his WBC International title. Still only 23 he has tremendous skill, quick feet and flashing hands and outclassed the former interim WBA super feather champion. He looks certain to break into the world ratings this year. Lopez looked shop-worn and is now 2-4 in his last six fights.
Kurbanov vs. Bonelli
Kurbanov just had too much power for Bonelli. He scored a first round knockdown and pressed hard all the way. Bonelli found plenty of gaps for counters but he is not enough of a puncher to threaten Kurbanov. A left hook in the third had Bonelli hurt and the Argentinian was spending more and more time covering up on the ropes. Bonelli had a good sixth forcing Kurbanov back with quick attacks but was rocked by a right in the seventh. Bonelli’s holding and ducking tactics saw a frustrated Kurbanov throw the Argentinian to the canvas twice in the eighth. A series of head punches floored Bonelli just before the bell in the ninth and he was down again in the tenth but lasted the full distance. There is nothing pretty about the style of the Russian “Black Lion” the 23-year-old Kurbanov is powerful, he loads up on every punch and leaves big gaps in his defence. It has worked for him against some good level opposition but his No 3 rating with the IBF is difficult to defend. Bonelli, 40, did well to get off the floor a few times and last the full ten rounds but he has now lost five in a row.
Tischenko vs. Ulrich
Former amateur star Tischenko gets some rounds under his belt as he wins every round against Argentinian Ulrich. With Tischenko at 6’5” and Ulrich at 5’11” it was not much of a spectacle and Tischenko disappointed in not ending this early and had to settle for dominating every round. The 27-yerar-old Russian southpaw swept the board as an amateur winning gold at the Olympics, World Championships, European Championships, European Under 23, European Youth and Russian Championships. Ulrich, the Argentinian No 6 lost on a split decision for the national title in May but that is now three losses in a row for him.
Cape Town, South Africa: Feather: Thembani Mbangatha (10-0) W PTS 10 Doctor Ntsele (22-12-1). A gutsy Mbangatha overcomes injury to outpoint experienced Ntsele and retain his WBFederation African title. The local fighter was boxing well behind his jab and looked on the way to a comfortable victory until he dislocated his shoulder. That stirred Ntsele into upping his pace and he made some inroads into Mbangatha’s lead but not enough to turn the fight his way. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for “Baby Jake” Mbangatha. This is the second time the South African No 6 Mbangatha has suffered a dislocation of this shoulder in a fight. Former South African flyweight champion Ntsele has also fought for titles at bantam and super bantam and in his last fight before this one he was just inside the super feather limit.
London, England: Welter: Freddy Kiwitt (15-2) W PTS 10 Paddy Gallagher (15-5). In a close entertaining fight two knockdowns prove to be the deciding factor in Kiwitt’s majority decision win over Belfast’s Gallagher. The pattern of the fight saw Gallagher taking the fight to Kiwitt with the Liberian-born fighter boxing and countering. The rounds were close but just as Gallagher looked to be taking control in the fifth he was knocked down. The Belfast fighter battled back over the sixth and seventh and looked to have clawed back the 10-8 fifth round. He was forcing the fight in the eighth but Kiwitt was boxing well and the fight seemed to be put out of Gallagher’s reach when he suffered a flash knockdown late in the round. Gallagher stormed forward in the ninth and tenth but Kiwitt stayed strong and countered well but it was close. Scores 96-94 and 95-93 for Kiwitt and 95-95. British-based Kiwitt wins the vacant WBO European title. His two losses have been to unbeaten fighters and he has won his last three fights. Gallagher had won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss being a split decision against Brad Solomon in April last year in the WBC welterweight tournament that seems to have vanished without trace.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Yomar Alamo (16-0) W PTS 10 Manuel Mendez (16-5-3). Middle: Carlos Monroe (12-0) W TKO 1 Jonathan Tavira (17-7). Bantam: Antonio Vargas (10-0) W TKO 2 Lucas Baez (34-18-5).
Alamo vs. Mendez
Puerto Rican Alamo boxes his way to wide unanimous verdict over Mendez. Alamo won this one on the back foot. Mendez marched forward behind a high guard looking to hook to the body. Alamo stuck to the perimeter of the ring constantly moving. He speared the advancing Mendez with jabs and connected with hooks and uppercuts and moved again before Mendez could land anything. Alamo rocked Mendez with a right in the second but could not capitalise on that. A frustrated Mendez was throwing wild shots with Alamo having no trouble dodging them and making Mendez pay with counters. Mendez pressed all the way but never came close to catching Alamo with a punch of consequence as Alamo cruised to victory. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Alamo who wins the vacant WBO NABO title. Third defeat in a row for Mendez.
Monroe vs. Taviro
Monroe dismantles Travis inside a round. This one lasted just 91 seconds and gives 24-year-old Monroe his ninth win by KO/TKO Mexican southpaw Taviro suffers his third inside the distance defeat in a row against unbeaten opposition with combined records of 47-0.
Vargas vs. Baez
Vargas blows away Argentinian Baez inside two rounds. The former Olympian was much too good for Baez. Vargas put Baez down for the first time with a precise right uppercut and the second knockdown came as Vargas took a step back to dodge a couple of jabs from Baez and threw a straight right to the chin that floored Baez. He made it to his feet but wobbled and the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Vargas, born in Houston of mixed Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage, gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. In 2015 he was voted US Elite Male Boxer of the Year after winning the US National championships, the National Golden Gloves and a gold medal at the Pan American Games but did not medal at the 2016 Olympics. Florida-based Baez drops to nine losses by KO/TKO.
Huntington, NY, USA: Cruiser: Joel Tambwe Djeko (15-2-1) W PTS 10 Simone Federici (14-2-1) Belgian “Big Joe” Djeko wins decision over Italian Federici. With “Big Joe” being just that the tactics were easy to predict. Federici had to pile forward usually leading with a right aiming for Djeko’s head but too often falling short of the towering Djeko’s chin. When he did get inside Federici pumped away with hooks and uppercuts. Djeko did not want to fight inside so was holding and smothering Federici’s attacks. At distance Djeko was scoring with strong jabs and punishing hooks and was a good winner. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for Djeko who gets his sixth win on the trot. Former undefeated Italian champion “Tyson” Federici was 7-0-1 going into this one.
Tijuana, Mexico: Welter: Humberto Soto (69-9-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Brandon Rios (35-5-1). Bantam: Joel Cordova (8-4-2) W PTS 10 Jose Quirino (20-3-3). Light: Hector Tanajara (17-0) W TEC DEC 4 Ivan Delgado (13-2-2). Fly: Joselito Velasquez (8-0) W TKO 7 Kevin Villanueva (10-2-3). Middle: Diego Pacheco (2-0) W PTS 4 Alberto Aguilar
Soto vs. Rios
Soto gives Rios a boxing lesson on the way to a convincing victory. Brilliant start by Soto. Rios was moving forward with jabs and hooks. Soto kept moving around Rios and then scoring with blazing combinations with fists too quick for Rios to block. Rios continued to force the fight looking to trap Soto on the ropes and work him over with hooks and uppercuts. Sometimes that worked but Rios was wide open and Soto was able to land heavily as Rios walked in. Even when Rios managed to take Soto to the ropes Soto would twist away and put Rios on the ropes and then rake Rios with a bunch of rapid combinations. Rios only had one pace and one plan so he kept rumbling onto Soto’s punches aiming to get close enough to do some work of his own but Soto was only staying still long enough to rattle Rios with his punches and then moving leaving Rios to follow behind. Rios had some success over the second half of the fight as the pace caught up with the 38-year-old Soto but he was never able to pin Soto down long enough to get any sort of toe-hold in the fight and was out punched and outclassed by Soto. Scores 118-112 twice and 119-111 all for Soto. The former WBC super feather and light champion was considered to be semi-retired as he was inactive in 2017 and had not impressed in victories over two modest level fighters in 2018. He was tactically brilliant here so that may have given him the desire to try for one more title fight. Even if that does not happen he has had the pleasure of knowing that in beating Rios he is the first Mexican born fighter to defeat Rios after Rios had beaten all fifteen he had faced previously. Rios, 32, a former holder of the secondary WBA lightweight title, had a mixed 2018 being stopped in nine rounds by Danny Garcia but stopping Ramon Alvarez in November. No indication that he will do anything but continue his career but he was given a boxing lesson here.
Cordova vs. Quirino
Minor upset as Cordova outpoints local favourite Quirino. These two had fought to a split draw in December and this one was also close with Cordova getting the split decision. This one was every bit as tight as after the early rounds went to southpaw Quirino Cordova dominated the middle rounds. Cordova forced the fight hard. Quirino was finding himself pinned to the ropes and was bleeding from nose and mouth from Cordova’s punches. Quirino tried to pull the fight his way late but just came up short. Scores 97-93 twice for Cordova and 96-94 for Quirino. Cordova fought above expectations and is now 2-0-2 in his last 4 fights. Quirino was unbeaten in his last 17 contests.
Tanajara vs. Delgado
In a fight shortened due to a cut received by Tanajara he took the verdict on a technical decision. Tanajara dominated the first round with his jab. He used his longer reach to score and countered Delgado’s advances with straight rights. In the second Tanajara stuck to the same tactics with Delgado forcing harder and occasionally getting inside. In the third a clash of heads saw Tanajara suffer a cut over his right eye. Delgado was getting into the fight more but Tanajara finished the round strongly. Tanajara kept the jab working in the fourth but his cut was ugly and worsening and at the end of the round the doctor recommended the fight be stopped so it was decided on the score cards. Scores 40-36 from the three judges for Tanajara. The unbeaten 22-year-old Texan wins the WBC United States title. He was coming off a career best win in December when he outpointed 36-2 Robert Manzanarez. Californian Delgado was 2-0-1 in his last three contests.
Velasquez vs. Villanueva
Olympian Velasquez gets another inside the distance victory as he halts Villanueva in the fifth round. Velasquez bombarded Villanueva with hooks and uppercuts from the outset. He floored Villanueva in the third and had him in deep trouble in the fifth when the referee halted the fight. Now seven wins by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old “Hurricane” who won gold medals at the Pan American Games in 2011 and 2015 and competed at the 2016 Olympics. Villanueva, 18, was 8-0-1 going into this one bur gets his first inside the distance loss.
Pacheco vs. Aguilar
A long way down the card and only a four round fight so why bother? Well Pacheco, who won 40-36 on the three cards, may be one for the future. Still just 17 the 6’4” Pacheco was a Silver Gloves National champion, USA Boxing Junior Open champion and has signed up with Matchroom.
Alvarez, Argentina: Welter: Gustavo Vittori (22-4-1) W PTS 10 Walter Castillo (13-3). Vittori collects the vacant WBC Latino Silver title with decision over Castillo. This was a fast-paced fight with “Little Dog” Vittorio the clear winner. These two went at it from the first bell, with no time spent studying their opponent. It became apparent quickly that southpaw Vittorio had the harder punch and better defence. Castillo had the edge in reach but that was never a factor and although he never backed away from the exchanges he lacked the power to hurt Vittorio-with his fists anyway. Castillo was warned about his bulling forward head first. He was deducted a point and it was Castillo himself who was cut in the clashes and ended a loser. Scores 100-89 for Vittorio from the judges. Vittorio was beaten inside the distance by Alex Saucedo and Mikkel LesPierre in the USA but since returning home has now scored two wins. Castillo also lost in an away fight lasting less than a round against Josh Kelly in Manchester in November.
Cornwall, Canada: Light: Tony Luis (27-3) W TKO 8 Juan Jose Martinez (26-8). Fighting in his home town Luis gets a stoppage win over a sliding Martinez. Luis outboxed and outscored Martinez until the referee had seen enough and stopped the uneven contest in the eighth of a ten round fight. The 31-year-old “Lightning” registered win No 8 since coming in as a late substitute and losing on points against Derry Mathews for the interim WBA title in 2015. Despite the run of wins Luis is unrated so may have to step up the quality of his opposition. Mexican Martinez was 19-1 when he started out but has won only one of his last seven fights but with Felix Verdejo, Alberto Machado and Andres Gutierrez in the list of his opponents he has had a tough ride.
Accra, Ghana: Light: Emmanuel Tagoe (30-1) W PTS 12 Vyacheslav Gusev (25-6). Super Middle: Bastie Samir (16-0-1) W Raoul Lokossou (0-2).
Tagoe vs. Gusev
Having relinquished his IBO title Tagoe starts his search for another title with a win over Gusev. The little Russian made a busy start throwing plenty of jabs but he was mostly short with his punches against the longer reach of Tagoe. The local fighter was sharp with his jab and it was the controlling punch in the fight. Gusev continually took the fight to Tagoe but if he did get past the jab then excellent if flashy defensive work from Tagoe blunted the Russian's attacks and Gusev lacked the power to hurt Tagoe. A quick right in the third knocked Gusev off balance and his gloves touched the canvas and he was given a count. Tagoe connected with some hard rights and left hooks trying to end the fight but Gusev was fighting back by the bell. Tagoe had too much speed, skill and reach for Gusev and for much of the fight was content to put on a show rather than press his attacks. Gusev never stopped trying to come forward but was outclassed. Scores 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109 all for Tagoe. The 30-yerar-old former undefeated IBO champion wins the vacant IBF International title and will now campaign in the USA under Lou Dibella’s banner. Tagoe has wins over former champions Mzonke Fana and Paulus Moses. He lost his first pro fight so has now won 30 in a row. Gusev did his best and keeps his record of never losing by KO/TKO.
Samir vs. Lokossou
This was a disgrace to boxing. Samir is a good quality boxer with a punch and he was matched against a man who’s only recorded fight was an inside the distance loss in 2004! Lokossou had only the most basic of techniques and every time he threw a punch he threw his whole body into it and when he missed he had thrown himself so far around he was facing the crowd. He tried to bundle Samir to the ropes but had no idea of what to do when he got there. Samir was throwing punches to the body and Lokossou took them. In the second round Lokossou was sent sprawling onto the canvas by a punch. After the count Samir threw a series of punches with a brutal left hook that crashed onto Lokossou’s chin and sent him flying down with his head crashing on the canvas. The referee immediately waived the fight off and a motionless Lokossou was on the floor for almost five minutes. Samir, who turned pro in the USA gets his sixteenth win by KO/TKO. This is his first fight since stopping unbeaten Briamah Kamoko in October 2017.
Managua, Nicaragua: Minimumweight: Byron Rojas (26-4-3,1ND) W PTS 8 Byron Castellon (13-13-3,1ND). This was supposed to be a routine eight round win over a very modest fellow Nicaraguan. Castellon had already lost twice to Rojas but the last was a majority decision in 2017 so never accepted the loser’s role. He constantly took the fight to Rojas forcing Rojas out of his comfort zone and making him fight harder than he expected. Rojas won the rounds but he had to fight hard to do so. Castellon and his supporters thought he had done enough to win but the judges were split and two of the three gave it to Rojas 79-73, which seemed unkind to the efforts of Castellon, and the third saw Castellon winning 77-75. This was the first fight for the former WBA minimumweight champion since losing a close decision to Knockout CP Freshmart (Thammanoon Niyomtrong) in November. Castellon had won his last two fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Chris Eubank’s win over James DeGale raises the prospect of some interesting fights at super middle
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Anthony Dirrell vs. Avni Yildirim was a tough, brutal match
Fighter of the week: Chris Eubank Jr
Punch of the week: The right from Antonio Vargas that ended his fight with Lucas Baez was a peach.
Upset of the week: Humberto Soto was expected to be too old and too small to beat Brandon Rios but he proved everyone wrong
Prospect watch: Russian Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov 14-o showed class in beating former WBA interim champion Emanuel Lopez
By Eric Armit
-Rob Brant retains secondary WBA middleweight title with late stoppage of Khasan Baysangurov
-South African DeeJay Kriel halts Carlos Licona in the last round to win the IBF light flyweight title
-Ryosuke Iwasa wins technical decision over Cesar Juarez in IBF bantamweight final eliminator
-Yves Ngabu and Francesco Patera retain their European cruiserweight and lightweight titles in action on separate shows in Belgium
-German prospect Abass Baraou wins the WBC International super welter title with victory over former IBF champion Carlos Molina
-Former WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa outpoints John Molina in a war
-Thomas Patrick Ward wins in his first fight in the USA
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Hinckley, MN, USA: Middle: Rob Brant (25-1) W TKO 11 Khasan Baysangurov (17-1). Bantam: Joshua Greer (20-1-1) W KO 8 Giovanni Escaner (19-4). Super Middle: Lennox Allen (22-0-1) W PTS 10 Derrick Webster (28-2). Light Heavy: Steven Nelson (13-0) W PTS 6 Felipe Romero (20-17-1). Light: Ismail Muwendo (21-1) W PTS 6 Hevinson Herrera (24-16-1). Middle: Tyler Howard (17-0) W PTS 8 Cristian Olivas (16-4).
Brant vs. Baysangurov
Fighting in front of his home fans for the first time as champion Brant scores late stoppage of Baysangurov in defence of his secondary WBVA title.
Brant went to work immediately flying out of his corner throwing left jabs and straight rights to the head. He continued to advance now adding body punches. Brant was scoring repeatedly with lead rights and only late in the round did Baysangurov try to find the distance with his jab-and failed.
Score: 10-9 Brant
Baysangurov tried to get on the front foot but Brant’s stiff jab and straight rights were getting through and a short right to the side of the head saw Baysangurov dip and go down briefly on one knee. He did not seem badly hurt but there was blood dripping from his nose. After the count he came forward throwing punches but his defence was poor and Brant was able to score with counters.
Score: 10-8 Brant Brant 20-17
Brant was coming forward throughout the third but was only throwing one punch at a time. Brant couldn’t miss Baysangurov with his right as the lead punch or as part of a combination. Baysangurov scored with a crisp left hook but he was looking one-paced and limited. Brant was boxing cleverly on the back foot and continually finding gaps for his jab and right cross.
Score: 10-9 Brant Brant 30-26
Baysangurov continued to march forward but he was not quick enough to cut the ring off so Brant was able to keep moving and keep slotting punches through the Russian’s guard. Baysangurov showed no upper body or head movement making life easy for Brant whose confidence was growing with each round.
Score: 10-9 Brant Brant 40-35
Official Scores: Judge Mike Fitzgerald 40-35 Brant, Judge Pasquale Procopio 40-35 Brant, Judge Octavio Rodriguez 40-35 Brant
A much closer round as Baysangurov threw more punches and landed some stiff shots to head and body. He was also using some upper body movement but not enough. Brant was taking pot shots on the back foot and landing overhand rights and at the end of the round connected with a six-punch combination.
Score: 10-9 Brant Brant 50-44
Another easy round for Brant. He was skating around the perimeter of the ring with Baysangurov plodding after him but never quick enough to catch him. Brant was banging home jabs and seemed to rock Baysangurov with a left hook
Score: 10-9 Brant Brant 60-53
The best action round so far. Baysangurov was chasing hard and letting his hands go more. Brant trapped Baysangurov on the ropes and unloaded a shower of punch but Baysangurov fought his way forward and landed some hefty hooks. The speed and accuracy of Brant’s punches gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Brant Brant 70-62
This was mainly a jab and move round for Brant. He was buzzing around Baysangurov scoring with his jab and occasionally stepping forward firing quick combinations. Baysangurov scored with some heavy shots late in the round but it was yet again Brant’s round.
Score: 10-9 Brant Brant 80-71
Official Scores: Fitzgerald 80-71 Brant, Procopio 80-71 Brant, Rodriguez 80-71 Brant
Finally a good round for Baysangurov. He applied a lot more pressure threw more punches and did a better job of blocking or ducking Brant’s punches. Brant was not as busy and Baysangurov just did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Baysangurov Brant 89-81
Brant outboxed Baysangurov in this one. He was moving more and found the range again with his jab. Baysangurov was too slow to trap Brant and when they did trade punches both landed, Baysangurov with a heavy right cross, but Baysangurov was the one breaking off the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Brant Brant 99-90
Baysangurov made a bright start to the round ploughing forward scoring with some shots to the body. He fired home a strong combination but Brant connected with some quick punches. A long chopping right to the head from Brant staggered Baysangurov and Brant chased him across the ring scoring with lefts and rights to the head. Baysangurov dropped forward with both gloves touching the canvas but did not go down. He was given an eight count and when the action resumed a couple of rights to the head sent Baysangurov staggering back and the referee stopped the fight. Brant looks a different fighter to the one who failed so miserably against Juergen Brahmer in the WSSB super middleweight tournament in 2017. He was quick, skilful and finished the fight in style. There are much tougher fights out there for him but it is difficult to see how he can break into the division’s big boy’s league containing Saul Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo, David Lemieux, Demetrius Andrade etc. Ukrainian Baysangurov was No 8 with the WBA but he was yet another fighter gifted a rating for winning one of the WBA regional titles and not for the quality of his opposition. When you rate fighters because their promoter paid a sanctioning fee and not because they have earned a rating you get one-sided title fights like this. Baysangurov is just 21 so there is time for him to earn a rating if he improves-or he could always fight for another WBA regional title!
Greer vs. Escaner
A quality performance from Greer as he finishes Escaner with a corrosive body punch after eight highly entertaining rounds of quality fighting. A fiery opening round saw Filipino Escaner pressing hard doing a good job of cutting off the ring and scoring with short bursts of hooks inside. Greer was quick and clever and was connecting with flurries of hooks and uppercuts. War was declared in the second as they traded clusters of punches. Escaner seemed to get the better of the exchanges landing some hard rights but there was quality aggressive work from both in hot action. Escaner was relentless in the third with Greer slick and countering well. Escaner lunged forward chasing Greer along the ropes. He landed a couple of rights and trying to get under them Greer squatted on the bottom rope and a glove touched the canvas. The referee decided that the rope was holding Greer up and gave Greer a count over Greer’s protests and the bell went. Greer scored big in the fourth piling on the right hands and staggering Escaner. Again there was some heavy trading with Greer coming out best. Greer’s speed and accuracy gave him the fifth and sixth with Escaner’s work rate dropping. The Filipino was fighting in burst and having to soak up some wicked left hooks to the body and overhand rights. Escaner came out punching in the seventh and for the last two minutes of the round they stood toe-to-toe and exchanged punches but now it was Greer forcing Escaner back and scoring the quality shots. They were toe-to-toe again in the eight when a right to the body saw Escaner stand still for a second and the spin around drop to his knees. The referee started to count but Escaner was not going to be getting up so he stopped the fight. The 24-year-old from Chicago retains the WBC Continental Americas title. He has finished nine of his last ten fights inside the distance and registers his seventeenth victory in a row. He is rated IBF 7(5). Greer is one of the many young men saved by boxing. His father was murdered when Greer was still a baby and he grew up on the streets into drugs and robbery and was almost killed in a drive-by shooting. After yet more trouble with the police his grandmother took him to a gym and that changed his life. Philippines champion Escaner suffers his second loss but played his part in a great little scrap.
Allen vs. Webster
One of these days Allen will get serious about his career. With the 6’4” Webster having some serious advantages in height and reach Allen had to force the fight and get past the job. He did that consistently and he hustled with success flooring Webster in the third and winning by a large margin on the judge’s scorecards at 98-91 twice and 97-92. The 33-year-old US-based Guyanan has been a pro for 14 years but inactivity in 2016 and 2017 and only one fight last year is no way to conduct a career. Webster, 36, had won his last nine fights with a couple of reasonable level victims but he was never really in the fight here and time is passing him by.
Nelson vs. Romero
Nelson found Mexican Romero tougher than expected but won clearly. Nelson made a slow start with a right to the side of the head knocking him off balance and as both gloves touched the canvas he was given a count. Nelson evened the score by putting Romero down with a couple of body punches in the third. He landed some booming head punches in the fifth and sixth but Romero took them and did not fold making Nelson fight all the way. Scores 59-54 twice and 58-54 for Nelson. The 30-year-old local boxer, a friend and stable mate of Terrence Crawford, is making good progress. Before turning pro he was US Army and Armed Forces champion, won the US National title and registered a win over Rob Brant. He travelled to London in 2012 as a first reserve for the US Team but did not get to fight. Romero has lost eight of his last nine fights
Muwendo vs. Herrera
Ugandan-born Muwendo puts a second brick in the wall of his rehabilitation with unanimous decision over US-based Colombian Herrera. Muwendo bossed the fight but with Herrera having scored 18 wins by KO/TKO including seven first round finishes he had to take care. Herrera was occasionally dangerous without ever winning a round. All three judges had Muwendo in front 60-54. Second win for Muwendo since losing to 19-1Filipino John Moralde in May. Muwendo had just one fight in Uganda before relocating to Minneapolis in 2009. Herrera is 2-4 in his last six fights including a one round loss against Dejan Zlaticanin in 2017.
Howard vs. Olivas
Howard holds on to his unbeaten record but only just as Olivas staged a strong finish. Howard had scored seven first round win but that never looked on the cards here as Olivas had never lost inside the distance. Howard looked on his way to a win early as he was getting past the jab of the 6’2” Olivas and working well inside. He was paying a price for his success as over the later rounds he was handicapped by cuts as Olivas came on strong to make the fight a very close call. The scores were 79-73 and 77-75 for Howard and 77-75 for Olivas giving Howard the split decision. Reality check for Howard against his toughest opponent so far. Mexican Olivas suffers his second loss in a row have been outpointed by Bilal Akkawy in September.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Feather: Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1) W PTS 12 Rafael Rivera (26-3-2,1ND). Light Fly: DeeJay Kriel (15-1-1) W TKO 12 Carlos Licona (14-1). Bantam: Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3) W TEC DEC 9 Cesar Juarez (23-7). Welter: Omar Figueroa (28-0-1) W PTS 10 John Molina (30-8). Feather: Marlon Tapales (32-2) W RTD 5 Fernando Vargas (34-14-3). Middle: Hugo Centeno (27-2,1ND) W TEC DEC 4 Oscar Cortes (27-4).
Santa Cruz vs. Rivera
Three division champion Santa Cruz outclasses Rivera in a one-sided contests and retains the WBA title in his third defence.
A close opening round. Santa Cruz had the longer reach and was stabbing his jab out. Rivera was on the back foot and was quick to counter if Santa Cruz came up short. There was not a lot between them but just before the bell Rivera connected with some strong hooks and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Rivera
Santa Cruz was landed some heavy left hooks to the body and was quicker and more accurate inside. Santa Cruz was scoring with right uppercuts and when Rivera tried to fight in close he was having to soak some crisp shots with Santa Cruz blocking Rivera’s efforts.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz ` Tied 19-19
Santa Cruz dominated this one but Rivera fought hard firing bunches of hooks. Santa Cruz was able to slot home his jab at distance and was doubling up on his left hooks. At the bell they were standing in front of each other just pitching hooks and uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 29-28
For the first half of this round Santa Cruz boxed at distance sliding jabs through Rivera’s defence and planting left hooks to the body. Rivera tried rushing attacks to get inside and landed some useful hooks but Santa Cruz was snappier and more accurate.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 39-37
Santa Cruz boxed his way through this one. He was able to reach Rivera time and again with the jab and quick hooks. Rivera was fighting in burst waiting to draw Santa Cruz’s lead and then jump in firing hooks but he was becoming predictable and wild with his attacks.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 49-46
Easily Santa Cruz’s round. Rivera hardly launched an attack or threw a punch. Santa Cruz was able to pick and place his punches jabs, straight rights, left hooks with Rivera throwing very little in return.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 59-55
It was difficult to, understand Rivera’s tactics. In the early rounds if Santa Cruz was short with a jab Rivera would lunge forward throwing hooks now he was letting those chances go begging. Santa Cruz was comfortably coming forward behind his jab and bouncing punches off Rivera who was hardly ever throwing a counter. Easy for Santa Cruz.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 69-64
A walk in the park for Santa Cruz. After trying to out jab Santa Cruz when that didn’t work Rivera went onto the back foot allowing Santa Cruz to land punches on him with his longer reach and connect with rights to the head. Rivera threw a few hooks but other than that it was Santa Cruz doing the work and the scoring.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 79-73
Rivera was a bit more competitive in this round. He was once again throwing lots of hooks and uppercuts. Most were being blocked but at least he was throwing them. Santa Cruz worked steadily throughout the round scoring with more and better punches.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 89-82
Rivera showed a bit more life in the tenth round. He threw bunches of hooks and uppercuts but most of them were wild or were blocked. Santa Cruz had not yet had to move out of second gear and worked steadily with his jab, right cross and left hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 99-91
There was no heat left in this fight. Santa Crux just kept doing what he had been doing. Jab, jab, straight right, left hook and then start all over again. Rivera launched a wild attack late in the round-as he had been trying to do in most rounds, but he was embarrassingly ineffective and as he slaps with his right no real danger and an easy target for Santa Cruz’s counters.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 109-100
Rivera tried some rushing attacks but Santa Cruz was able to block or dodge his punches and connect with accurate jabs and hooks. Over the last twenty seconds they both put their heads down and just threw punches in a frantic finish which did not erase the memory of eleven one-sided and pedestrian rounds.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 119-109
Official Scores: 119-109, for Santa Cruz from all three judges.
Too easy for Santa Cruz for whom it was just another uneventful day at work. He never seemed fired up and despite his dominance he never had Rivera hurt or shaken. He had to adjust to a late change of opponent and was not as sharp as usual. There are tougher fights awaiting him with Santa Cruz interestingly floating the idea of a third fight with Carl Frampton. In fairness to Mexican Rivera he was a late replacement for the injured Abner Mares and was parachuted into the ratings to give a cloak of legality to this challenge. His best win was a split decision over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in 2015 and he lost a wide decision to Joseph Diaz in 2017 and a split decision to unbeaten Joet Gonzalez in July last year.
Kriel vs. Licona
I though this fight was coming too early in Kriel’s career but balancing that was the fact that although the champion Licona was also a relative newcomer to the title scene. In the end the South African came from behind-eight points on two cards- to score a dramatic late stoppage and lift Licona’s IBF title.
Good early work from Kriel as he had his jab on target and was followed through with straight rights. He was also moving well changing angles and although Licona connected with a couple of rights it was Kriel’s round
Score: 10-9 Kriel
A better round for Licona. He had his own jab working, was slipping Kriel’s rights and countering. Kriel was keeping busy but it was Licona’s round.
Score: 10-9 Licona Tied 19-19
Kriel outworked Licona in the third. He was still firing jabs but was mixing in left hooks to the body and straight rights. Licona connected with a couple of overhand rights and a left hook just before the bell but was not doing enough and Kriel’s movement was making Licona look slow.
Score: 10-9 Kriel Kriel 29-28
Licona had a better round but it was still Kriel’s. The South African’s footwork and hand speed were giving him the edge. He was changing angles and picking his punches intelligently. Licona scored with heavy rights but not enough of them.
Score: 10-9 Kriel Kriel 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Rudy Barragan 38-38, Judge Pat Russell 39-37 Licona, Judge Daniel Sandoval 39-37 Licona
Licona’s round. He put Kriel under more pressure and was throwing more punches. He was landing left hooks to the body and clubbing rights. Kriel was throwing plenty but now Licona was ducking under Kriel’s punches and coming back with shots of his own
Score: 10-9 Licona Kriel 48-47
Another round for Licona. He was getting forward and letting his hands go. He was landing heavy rights to the head and working the body. Kriel was still busy busy and finding gaps but the eye-catching punches were coming from Licona.
Score: 10-9 Licona Tied 57-57
Kriel upped his pace and threw plenty of punchers. Licona was using clever upper body movement to slip Kriel’s pinches and was countering better scoring with thumping body punches and rights to the head and just took the round.
Score: 10-9 Licona Licona 67-66
This was proving to be a fast-paced open fight with plenty of both attacking and defensive skill on show. Initially Kriel tried to stand and exchange with Licona but eventually went back to boxing outside. Both threw plenty but Licona’s punches were heavier.
Score: 10-9 Licona Licona 77-75
Official Scores: Barragan 77-75 Licona, Russell 79-73 Licona, Sandoval 79-73 Licona.
Not a good round for Kriel. His accuracy had been key earlier but now by the simple manoeuvre of ducking Licona seemed to have negated that edge. Whilst Kriel was swishing air above Licona’s head Licona was moving in and landing left hooks and straight rights to the head and looked to be taking the fight over.
Score: 10-9 Licona Licona 87-84
Kriel needed to change things and he did. He was now getting in close and going to the body with hooks and uppercuts. Licona was still landing the heavier shots but Kriel was making him miss more and was sharper and more accurate.
Score: 10-9 Kriel Licona 96-94
A quality round as these two swapped punches with hardly a punch wasted they were both quick and accurate with very little between them but I felt that Licona’s overhand rights gave him the edge.
Score; 10-9 Licona Licona 106-103 Round 12
Licona was coming forward just letting fly. Kriel was punching with him but in a more controlled manner and Licona was walking onto rights to the head. Kriel kept landing and Licona started to falter under the hail of punches. Licona came inside and tried to hold on but when the referee parted them two rights to the head dropped Licona to his hands and knees. Licona was up at eight and grabbed Kriel who wrestled him off. Licona went down but it was not a knockdown and he climbed up. Kriel landed two thudding rights to the head and Licona went down again. He made it to his feet but was unsteady and when the action restarted two more punches from Kriel saw Licona drop to his knees and the referee waived the fight over. A tearful Kriel celebrated his victory. Licona was given extensive medical attention before being taken from the ring on a stretcher. No information on his condition as I write
Iwasa vs. Juarez
Iwasa wins IBF eliminator after a brutal battle. Southpaw Iwasa was on the target in the first scoring with straight lefts. Juarez was mostly on the back foot looking to draw Iwasa’s jab and then fight inside. Juarez launched a storming attack at the end of the first but was just swinging wildly and their heads clashed with both fighters cut. Iwasa was picking Juarez off from distance in the second with Juarez flying forward just pumping out punches and leaving himself wide open to counters. The sheer volume of punches from Juarez threatened to overwhelm Iwasa in the third but Iwasa was able to find some space in the fourth and fifth and score with counters with Juarez continuing to swing long bursts of wild punches. Juarez’s cut was examined by the doctor and the referee also checked on it. Iwasa was picking Juarez off with accurate shots at distance at the start the sixth but before the bell in he was trapped on the ropes with Juarez swinging punches’. With his wide open approach Juarez was soaking up a lot of punishment but kept coming. Iwasa drove Juarez back in the seventh landing punch after punch. It looked as though Juarez was finished as Iwasa bounced his head around with punches. After the bell the referee walked Juarez over to the doctor for another examination of the cut. Iwasa handed out a savage beating to Juarez in the eighth and ninth but a tiring Juarez refused to fold but kept coming forward wide open but pumping out punchers. Iwasa was forcing an exhausted Juarez back in the tenth. Juarez had nothing left but heart and he had a big one and just before the bell they just pounded away on each other. At the end of the round the doctor ruled that Juarez’s cut was too severe for him to continue so the fight was stopped and it went to the score cards which read 98-92 and 97-93 for Iwasa and 95-95 with Iwasa the winner on a majority decision. Savage doesn’t even begin to describe this fight. Former IBF super bantam champion Iwasa will now move into the mandatory challenger position to champion T J Doheny. Juarez had been stopped by Isaac Dogboe in a fight for the interim WBO title in January last year and now he should take a very long rest.
Figueroa vs. Molina
Figueroa decisions veteran Molina a gruelling but entertaining battle of attrition. Figueroa came out boxing as a southpaw in the first and Molina took some time to adjust. Figueroa did most of the scoring early in the round but after Figueroa switched to orthodox Molina did better and was dangerous with rights. In the second round it was Figueroa who was connecting with rights and he took the round. Figueroa was back to southpaw in the third and continued to switch throughout the fight. He was forcing Molina onto the back foot and ducking around Molina’s jab to work inside. They both landed with hooks inside and Molina trapped Figueroa on the ropes and bombarded him with punches to the bell. The fourth and fifth saw them brawling in closer. Figueroa connected with some heavy rights in the fourth as he kept Molina on the back foot but Molina was the one scoring with rights in the fifth. Molina came out ahead in the exchanges in the sixth but the rounds were close. It really was brutal no quarter stuff. In the seventh. The taller Molina did well when he could find space to use his jab but Figueroa was outscoring him inside. The eighth was a gruelling trial of strength and Figueroa was the one landing most and looking the stronger. Molina was moving around Figueroa using his jab at the start of the ninth and he stuck to that with Figueroa struggling to get inside. Molina was again trying to work at distance with his jab in the last and did well early with Figueroa closing the distance late in the round. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Figueroa. He landed more punches but the fight looked a lot closer than those scores. Texan Figueroa, 29, a former undefeated WBC light champion, looked very heavy in this fight. He was inactive in 2016 and had just one fight in 2017 and this was his first fight in nineteen months as a result he has a relatively low profile for a guy who had beaten Ricky Burns, Antonio DeMarco and Robert Guerrero in his last three fights but that will change with more activity. Molina, 36, has been in quite a few wars. This was his first fight since beating Ivan Redkach in December 2017 and I wonder how many more times he can go to the well.
Tapales vs. Vargas
Filipino Tapales signals his return to the big fight scene with stoppage of Vargas. The former WBO bantam champion outboxed and then finished Vargas in five rounds. Tapales used his southpaw jab and some wicked lefts to the body to soften Vargas up and then late on in the fifth he floored Vargas with a right hook. Vargas made it to his feet but was unsteady on his legs and his corner pulled him out at the end of the round. Tapales won the WBO title in a dramatic battle against champion Pungluang in 2016 climbing off the floor twice in the fifth and going on to kayo Pungluang in the eleventh. He was to defend his title in 2017 against previous victim Shohei Omori. He stopped Shohei in the eleventh round but lost the title for not making the weight. He was then inactive for seventeen months before returning last September with a first round win. Still only 26 he is aiming for a title shot at featherweight now. Vargas was stopped in nine rounds by Jamie McDonnell in a challenge for the secondary WBA title in 2016 and last year was beaten inside a round by Ryan Garcia
Centeno vs. Cortes
Centeno gets technical decision over Cortes. Centeno already looked on his way to a points victory before the fight was stopped due to a cut suffered by Cortes. After winning the first three rounds Centeno floored Cortes in the fourth. Cortes beat the count but was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads. The cut was too severe for Cortes to continue so as the fourth round had started it was decided on the score cards with the fourth round being scored on the activity up to the stoppage. Centeno won by 40-35 on all three cards. It has been a bit of a switchback ride for Centeno over the past couple of years. He lost to unbeaten Pole Maciej Sulecki in 20167, beat Immanuwel Aleem in 2017 then lost in three rounds to Jermall Charlo for the interim WBC title in April last year and this is his first fight since then. Mexican Cortes losses whenever he meets genuine opposition.
Mulvane, KS, USA: Super Bantam: Thomas Patrick Ward (26-0) W PTS 10 Jesse Hernandez (12-2,1ND). Super Light: Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0) W PTS 10 Mykal Fox (19-1). Heavy: Apti Davtaev (16-0-1) W TKO 1 Richard Carmack (15-15-1). Super Light: Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1,1ND) DREW 8 Jose Rodriguez (25-12-1). Fly: Nico Hernandez (6-0) W Victor Trejo (16-9-1).
Ward vs. Hernandez
Ward puts on impressive show in his first fight in the USA as he floors and outpoints southpaw Hernandez. Initially Ward was content to showcase his slick skills and outbox Hernandez. Ward’s movement was making it hard for Hernandez to get into the fight. In the fourth a sharp left hook floored Hernandez and he was still shaky when he made it to his feet but was saved by the bell. Ward upped his pace over the second half of the fight and although Hernandez did his best to be competitive the referee twice warned Hernandez that he was concerned over the amount of punishment he was taking but let the fight run its course. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-90 all for Ward. The 24-year-old former undefeated British champion wins the vacant NABA-USA title and is No 4 with the WBO. For Hernandez Ward was too big a step up.
Ergashev vs. Fox
Big puncher Ergashev has to go the distance for a win against unbeaten Fox. It took a few rounds for Ergashev to figure out how to Handle Fox who is 6’3 ½” and a fellow southpaw. Ergashev kept rolling forward looking to get inside and attack the body. Fox was scoring well at distance and looking to tie Ergashev up inside. After a fast start the fight cooled down with Ergashev building a good lead. Fox boxed well doing a fine job of handling the aggression of Ergashev but neither fighter was busy enough to make the fight entertaining. Many rounds were close but Ergashev did the cleaner work and looked a good winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Ergashev. The 27-year-old Uzbek had scored 14 wins in his previous 15 fights and had knocked out Argentinian Nazareno Ruiz in 18 seconds in December but Fox was his sternest test so far. Ergashev is rated WBA 6/IBF 11(9) which is too high as he has yet to meet a rated fighter. Big setback for Fox and his lack of power will restrict how far he can go.
Davtaev vs. Carmack
Davtaev disposes of Carmack inside a round. The 6’5” Russian put Carmack down and out with a heavy right late in the opening round. The Chechnyan fighter makes it 15 wins by KO/TKO. He trains at the Kronk Gym. Carmack, 6’2”, is now 0-8-1 in his last nine fights with all 8 losses inside three rounds.
Eyubov vs. Rodriguez
Eyubov’s 100% record goes as he fights a draw with more experienced Rodriguez. It was a case of the higher work rate from Eyubov who took the fight to Rodriguez against the smart movement and more accurate work from Rodriguez. There was never much in it as both fighters had good spells and the rounds were hard to call so the majority draw looked about right. Score 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Rodriguez. Eyubov had scored useful wins over Jared Robinson and Karim Mayfield but he also has seven first round wins so some of his opposition has been poor. Mexican Rodriguez had gone the distance with Jose Pedraza and Sharif Bogere.
Hernandez vs. Garcia
Local hero Hernandez gets eight rounds of useful work against little Trejo. Although only 5’4” tall Hernandez almost towered over diminutive southpaw Trejo. He was scoring with his rights at distance and landing solid hooks inside. Trejo stuck to his job always firing back but having to absorb lots of punishment. Hernandez tried to end this over the middle rounds but Trejo never looked like folding and stayed there fighting to the end. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Hernandez. The 23-year-old from Wichita was US Youth and National Golden Gloves champion and took a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Fourth loss in his last five fights for Trejo.
Mulvane, KS, USA: Super Bantam: Thomas Patrick Ward (26-0) W PTS 10 Jesse Hernandez (12-2,1ND). Super Light: Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0) W PTS 10 Mykal Fox (19-1). Heavy: Apti Davtaev (16-0-1) W TKO 1 Richard Carmack (15-15-1). Super Light: Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1,1ND) DREW 8 Jose Rodriguez (25-12-1). Fly: Nico Hernandez (6-0) W Victor Trejo (16-9-1).
Ward vs. Hernandez
Ward puts on impressive show in his first fight in the USA as he floors and outpoints southpaw Hernandez. Initially Ward was content to showcase his slick skills and outbox Hernandez. Ward’s movement was making it hard for Hernandez to get into the fight. In the fourth a sharp left hook floored Hernandez and he was still shaky when he made it to his feet but was saved by the bell. Ward upped his pace over the second half of the fight and although Hernandez did his best to be competitive the referee twice warned Hernandez that he was concerned over the amount of punishment he was taking but let the fight run its course. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-90 all for Ward. The 24-year-old former undefeated British champion wins the vacant NABA-USA title and is No 4 with the WBO. For Hernandez Ward was too big a step up.
Ergashev vs. Fox
Big puncher Ergashev has to go the distance for a win against unbeaten Fox. It took a few rounds for Ergashev to figure out how to Handle Fox who is 6’3 ½” and a fellow southpaw. Ergashev kept rolling forward looking to get inside and attack the body. Fox was scoring well at distance and looking to tie Ergashev up inside. After a fast start the fight cooled down with Ergashev building a good lead. Fox boxed well doing a fine job of handling the aggression of Ergashev but neither fighter was busy enough to make the fight entertaining. Many rounds were close but Ergashev did the cleaner work and looked a good winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Ergashev. The 27-year-old Uzbek had scored 14 wins in his previous 15 fights and had knocked out Argentinian Nazareno Ruiz in 18 seconds in December but Fox was his sternest test so far. Ergashev is rated WBA 6/IBF 11(9) which is too high as he has yet to meet a rated fighter. Big setback for Fox and his lack of power will restrict how far he can go.
Davtaev vs. Carmack
Davtaev disposes of Carmack inside a round. The 6’5” Russian put Carmack down and out with a heavy right late in the opening round. The Chechnyan fighter makes it 15 wins by KO/TKO. He trains at the Kronk Gym. Carmack, 6’2”, is now 0-8-1 in his last nine fights with all 8 losses inside three rounds.
Eyubov vs. Rodriguez
Eyubov’s 100% record goes as he fights a draw with more experienced Rodriguez. It was a case of the higher work rate from Eyubov who took the fight to Rodriguez against the smart movement and more accurate work from Rodriguez. There was never much in it as both fighters had good spells and the rounds were hard to call so the majority draw looked about right. Score 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Rodriguez. Eyubov had scored useful wins over Jared Robinson and Karim Mayfield but he also has seven first round wins so some of his opposition has been poor. Mexican Rodriguez had gone the distance with Jose Pedraza and Sharif Bogere.
Hernandez vs. Garcia
Local hero Hernandez gets eight rounds of useful work against little Trejo. Although only 5’4” tall Hernandez almost towered over diminutive southpaw Trejo. He was scoring with his rights at distance and landing solid hooks inside. Trejo stuck to his job always firing back but having to absorb lots of punishment. Hernandez tried to end this over the middle rounds but Trejo never looked like folding and stayed there fighting to the end. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Hernandez. The 23-year-old from Wichita was US Youth and National Golden Gloves champion and took a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Fourth loss in his last five fights for Trejo.
Ghent, Belgium: Welter: Meriton Karaxha (23-5-2) W PTS 10 Jean Pierre Habimana (9-16-3). Routine win for Karaxha. He had height and reach over Rwandan Habimana and was on the front foot for most of the ten rounds and Habimana was never able to get out of the way of Karaxha’s jab. When Habimana did come forward he lacked the power to trouble Karaxha. A right cross had Habimana in trouble in the seventh but Karaxha let him off the hook. Karaxha scored with a left to the body and some rights to the head later in the round but Habimana survived. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 all for Karaxha who retains the WBFederation International title. . The 27-year-old Albanian-born Karaxha is 12-1-1 in his last 14 fights. Four losses in a row for Habimana who has only the most basic of techniques.
Hammanskraal, South Africa: Super Feather: Sibusiso Zingange (13-3-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Nataneal Sebastian (10-2). Feather: Jeff Magagane (11-3) W PTS 12 Tello Dithebe (20-11).
Zingange vs. Sebastian
Zingange wins the vacant WBA Pan African title with split verdict over Namibian Sebastian. Although Zingange took the first round the strong attacks of Sebastian in the second had Zingange under lots of pressure and he was deducted a point for holding. Sebastian had a good third but the middle rounds were close. Zingange came on strong and took the ninth and tenth to edge ahead but Sebastian came back strongly in the eleventh. Zingange outboxed Sebastian in the last to just deserve the verdict. Scores 117-110 and 116-111 for Zingange and 115-112 for Sebastian. The South African No 1 collected the ABU title last near. “Iron Fists” Sebastian suffered his only loss when he was defeated on points by unbeaten Muhamad Ridhwan in Singapore in 2017.
Magagane vs. Dithebe
Southpaw Magagane collects the vacant WBA Pan African title with split decision over fellow-South African Dithebe. Magagane made good use of longer reach to go in front but Dithebe came into the fight more over the middle rounds and quickly evened things up. It remained close over the last three rounds but Magagane just did enough to get back in front and held off a strong finish from Dithebe to collect the decision. Scores 116-112, 115-113 for Magagane and 117-111 for Dithebe. A former two-time South African amateur champion Magagane dropped down two divisions to challenge for this title having lost for the WBA pan African lightweight title in 2017. “King Razor” Dithebe has lost 5 of his last 6 fights but four of those losses were in title fights.
Oviedo. Spain: Welter: Aitor Nieto (24-6-1) W PTS 10 Hamza Misaui (9-2). Middle: Sergio Fernandez (8-0-1) W PTS 10 Jose Fandino (13-5). Super Light: Jonathan Alonso (18-0) W TKO 8 Ruben Garcia (5-6-2).
Nieto vs. Misaui
Nieto holds on to the Spanish title with unanimous decision over Misaui. Fighting in his home town Nieto made a slow start but gradually took control outboxing his inexperienced challenger. With his lack of experience it was expected that Misaui might fade over the late rounds and Nieto was looking to end it inside the distance but Misaui fought hard over the eighth and ninth and Nieto had to settle for a points win. Two judges had Nieto winning clearly 99-91 and 98-92 but the third had it close at 96-94. Nieto, 35. Is No 14 with the EU and will be hoping to get another shot at the EU title having lost in two previous challenges. Moroccan Misaui had won his last three fights.
Fernandez vs. Fandino
In a battle of two local fighters Fernandez wins the vacant Spanish title with a split decision over Fandino. Using his longer reach Fernandez built a lead over the first four rounds only for Fernando to cancel out that advantage over the next four. That left it down to the last two rounds and Fernandez just did enough to convince the judges. Scores a surprising 98-92 and 96-94 for Fernandez and 96-94 for Fandino. Fernandez was in his first ten round fight and faded a bit. The more experienced Fandino lost tough fights against Ronny Landaeta and Esquiva Falcao in 2017 but had two low level wins last year.
Alonso vs. Garcia
Dominican-born Alonso is one of the coming stars of Spanish boxing. He halted Garcia here to retain the Spanish title. Alonso made a blazing start dominating the first round and then putting Garcia down in the second. Garcia beat the count and Alonso seemed to go, off the boil. Over the next three rounds the action slowed with too much holding. Alonso came back to, life in the sixth handed out punishment and put Garcia down in the seventh. Garcia made it to the vertical but the referee halted the contest. Seventh win by KO/TKO for Alonso. The 28-year-old Alonso had 95 amateur fights and only 11 losses. He was Spanish champion, competed at the World Championships in 2011 at the Olympic Games in 2012 and the Europe Championships in 2013. Fourth loss inside the distance for Garcia.
Roeselare, Belgium: Cruiser: Yves Ngabu (20-0) W PTS 12 Micki Nielsen (25-2). Even fighting in front of his home town fans this looked a tough European title defence for Ngabu on paper but in the end he was a clear winner on a unanimous decision. Nielsen let the fight get away from him with a slow start. The champion was getting inside the tall Dane's jab and banging to the body with hooks and uppercuts. There was already blood coming from Nielsen’s nose in the second round and he was holding inside to try to stifle Ngabu’s work. Ngabu continued to collect the rounds as he connected with some damaging uppercuts in the fourth and with Nielsen looking to be rocked by and uppercut in the fifth. The fight was almost half over before Nielsen finally began to make better use of his jab. He worked hard over the seventh and eighth as Ngabu’s work rate slowed. Any though that Nielsen was turning the fight his way were dispelled in the ninth with Ngabu again using hurtful hooks and uppercuts to take the round and he outscored Nielsen in the tenth. The Dane put in a big effort in the eleventh and forced the fight in the last but Ngabu boxed skilfully on the back foot finding gaps for counters. Scores 117-111 twice and 117-112 for Ngabu. Second defence for Ngabu who gets his mandatory out of the way. Many of the top European cruisers are tied into the WSSB tournament or are looking to step into a title fight when Olek Usyk decides to move up to heavyweight. So far Ngabu has not cracked the world ratings so that may be his next target. Meanwhile he will continue to give his management palpitations by playing football for one of the teams in the Belgian provincial league. Nielsen, who will be 26 this month, was beaten by Kevin Lerena on majority decision in 2016 and dropped out of the ratings. He had been largely inactive and this was his first fight for 13 months. He will need to busier if he is to shake off this loss.
Herstal, Belgium: Light: Francesco Patera (21-3) W PTS 12 Marvin Petit (24-2-1). Belgian Patera wins against Frenchman Petit in yet another close, hard fought EBU title contest. Petit had won his last eleven fights and made a confidently start. He forced the fight with the champion on the back foot but boxing with his well recognised skill for countering with precise and accurate punches. Petit’s determined aggression was giving him the edge as he landed hooks and uppercuts. It was the fourth when Patera began to take control. He is not a big puncher but rarely wastes a punch and is adept at slotting his punches into gaps and keeping a high work rate. Petit connected with a strong right in the fifth but Patera absorbed it and kept firing his jabs and straight rights. Petit had expended a lot of energy over the early rounds and he seemed to tire over the middle rounds. Petit got back into the fight but was being outlanded by Patera who has great stamina. Petit kept firing and as they traded punches over the last two rounds it was obviously going to be very close but Patera was a deserving winner. Scores 115-113 twice and an unkind 117-112 all for Patera. This is the first defence of the European title for Patera in his second spell as champion. He showed his quality when going into Lewis Ritson’s back yard in defensive of his title in October and winning against the in form Englishman much more widely that the split decision indicates. At 25 he is still improving. The lightweight division in Europe is full of talented fighters. A return with Petit would be an attraction but there is a suggestion that Patera may look towards the IBO title. Petit, 27, a former French and European Union champion, will hope to get that return. His only other loss came back in 2013 against Yvon Mendy for the French title. It was a unanimous decision but two of the judges had it 96-94
Koblenz, Germany: Super Welter: Abass Baraou (5-0) W PTS 12 Carlos Molina (29-11). Super Welter: Jama Saidi (15-0) W PTS 12 Arman Torosyan (19-6-1). Light Heavy: Leon Bunn (13-0) W PTS 10 Viktor Polyakov (13-6-1). Super Light: Anthony Yigit (22-1-1) W PTS 8 Mohamed Khalladi (10-8-1,1ND).
Baraou vs. Molina
Baraou wins the vacant WBC International title with unanimous decision over experienced former champion Molina. The rounds were close with Baraou making the better start but Molina being competitive all the way. Baraou rocked Molina with a left hook but Molina was finding gaps for counters. Baraou had a strong sixth connecting with a succession of punches but Molina came back in the seventh and eighth. Baraou again scored well in the ninth and being under pressure in the tenth Molina tried the referee’s patience once too often. He had been given a final warning in the ninth for being careless with his head and was rightly deducted a point when he sinned again. Baraou tired over the last two rounds with Molina finishing strongly to make close. Scores 115-112 twice and a much too wide118-109 all for Baraou. The 24-year German has the talent to make rapid progress and this will have been a useful learning fight. Former IBF super welter champion Molina, 35, is filling the role of teacher to rising prospects now having also lost recently to Carlos Adames, Josh Kelly and Souleymane Cissokho.
Saidi vs. Torosyan
Saidi predictably outpoints Torosyan in a one-sided defence of IBF European title. There was very little action in the first round but things looked promising when Saidi dropped Torosyan with an uppercut in the second. He was unable to finish things and Torosyan made it to the bell. Saidi dominated the fight from there. Torosyan had a couple of good rounds but other than that there were few highlights as Saidi worked his way to victory. Scores 118-109 twice and 120-107 for Saidi. Third defence of the IBF European title for Saidi. He had beaten Torosyan in 2018 by 11 points on two cards and 8 on the other. The difference between the EBU title fights and the IBF, WBA and WBO European title fights is that the promoter can pick his own opponent for the IBF, WBA and WBO fights-they nominate no mandatory challengers- so his guy should always win. Saidi, 25, is a former German K-1 martial arts champion who turned to pro boxing at 17. His biggest win so far is over former EBU title challenger Sasha Yengoyan. Armenian Torosyan, 35, was stopped in four rounds by Martin Murray in 2017 and this was his first fight since losing to Saidi 11 months ago.
Bunn vs. Polyakov
Bunn continues on his winning way with unanimous verdict over Polyakov. Comfortable win for Bunn. He worked well behind his jab constantly getting past Polyakov’s guard and Polyakov’s face was bright red from the punishment by the second round. It was a slow-paced fight with few highlights. Polyakov showed aggression a couple of times coming forward and throwing punches but generally he was on the back foot on the end of Bunn’s jab. Despite his dominance Bunn never really had Polyakov in any distress as he boxed his way to his sixth points win in his last seven fights. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Bunn. The 26-year-old Bunn has good skills but seems a bit one-paced. He has been conservatively matched but needs to take a step up soon. Polyakov on the other hand has been in tough matches and this is his fifth loss in a row. He has some good performance on his record with a win over 26-2-2 Dariusz Sek and over Giovanni De Carolis, a former holder of the WBA secondary middleweight title.
Yigit vs. Khalladi
Former European champion Yigit eases himself back into action with an eight round decision over Italian-based Tunisian Khalladi but injuries may cause another break. Yigit’s hand speed gave him a big edge and he was connecting with some sharp southpaw left counters and getting away. Khalladi keep pressing but by the fourth his frustration with clever body movement from Yigit had him relying on wild swings. Khalladi is strong and tough but crude and Yigit was finding him an easy target. In the sixth as Khalladi dived forward Yigit side-stepped and threw a punch. Their feet also got mixed and Khalladi dropped forward and was given what looked a harsh count. Yigit stepped up the pace in the fifth and scored a knockdown in the sixth. There was plenty of roughhouse stuff from both boxers in the seventh. Khalladi had often been leading with his head when he charged forward and as their heads banged together a cut was opened over Yigit’s left eye. The Swede avoided any further injury and worked his way to the win. Scorers 80-71, 79-74 and 78-73 for Yigit. This was his first fight since losing to Ivan Baranchyk for the vacant IBF title in a WSSB Tournament fight in October. Apart from the cut Yigit also injured his hands so a win but a pyrrhic victory for Yigit. Khalladi was tough perhaps tougher than Yigit needed for his return. The Tunisian has yet to lose inside the distance.
Manila, Philippines: Feather: Dave Penalosa (15-0) W TKO 4 Marcos Cardenas (19-7-1). Bantam: John Riel Casimero (26-4) W TKO 6 Kenya Yamashita (13-5). Fly: Carlo Caesar Penalosa (14-1) W KO 3 Watana Phenbaan (18-6). Bantam: Carl Martin (12-0) W RTD 3 Petchchorhae (17-3).
Penalosa vs. Cardenas
A good night for the Penalosa clan as Dave and Carlo Caesar score inside the distance wins on a show promoted by former WBC super fly and WBO bantam champion Gerry. Dave struggled to make the weight for this fight but overcame that and halted Mexican Cardenas in the fourth round The tall skinny Cardenas had height and reach on his side but no real power. Penalosa rocked him in the first with a right to the head. Cardenas recovered quickly and was scoring with some accurate rights later in the round. Cardenas boxed around Penalosa in the second he was busier and Penalosa could not find the range with his jab. A lively third round saw both landing some hard punches as Penalosa managed to get close and force Cardenas to stand and trade. Penalosa was looking flat-footed and slow in the fourth and a right from Cardenas made Penalosa stumble. Penalosa quickly recovered and took the fight to Cardenas landing a right to the body and a left to the head. Cardenas took a couple of steps back and then went down on one knee. Cardenas was up at nine but did not have enough experience to hold and Penalosa drove home lefts and rights to the head before dropping Cárdenas with another body punch. Once again Cardenas was up at nine but when another body punch put him down the referee waived the fight off. Penalosa 28, the Philippines No 1, wins the WBO Oriental title with his eleventh victory by KO/TKO. After being inactive in 2017 Penalosa scored two moderate level wins last year and is aiming for a title shot. The Penalosa clan is a true boxing family. Dave is Grandson of former Philippines champion Carl Penalosa, the son former world champion Dodie, the nephew of both former world champion Gerry and former pro boxer Jonathan and younger brother of pro Dodie Jr. There are seven former/current fighters in the family including Carlo Cesar who fought on this same show. Cardenas had won five of his last six fights.
Casimero vs. Yamashita
Casimero returns and is looking to win yet another world title to make himself a three-division champion. He was several classes above a game Yamashita and was connecting with some savage punches from the opening round. He continued to rake Yamashita with searing body punches in the second and third and almost ended the fight with a fierce uppercut in the fourth. After a painful time for Yamashita in the fifth the referee visited the Japanese fighter’s corner but they insisted their man was capable of continuing. Casimero did not even bother to lift his gloves in the sixth but walked forward with his arms hanging at his sides slipping and sliding under Yamashita’s punches. Suddenly Casimero connected with a ferocious uppercut that mashed Yamashita’s nose and had the Japanese fighter slumping to the canvas. He was very badly hurt and almost fell, of his stool a couple of times as he was being attended to. Former IBF light fly and flyweight champion Casimero suffered an upset defeat against Jonas Sultan in 2017 and then took 10 months out before returning with a low level win in July now he will be looking to work his way into a shot at a version of the bantamweight title. Yamashita was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and found it a very painful experience.
Penalosa vs. Phenbaan
Another member of the Penalosa family in the ring and another win. “Too Sharp” Carlo Caesar had Thai Phenbaan under fire over the first two rounds and then ended the in the fight in the third with a crunching right hook to the body that had Phenbaan on the floor in agony and unable to beat the count. The 25-year-old southpaw, the Philippines No 2, has won his last seven fights with five of those wins inside the distance. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Phenbaan
Martin vs. Petchchorhae
Filipino hope “Wonder Boy” Martin was much too quick and polished for more experienced Thai Petchchorhae. He showed some clever movement and good hand speed. Petchchorhae went over in the first and was given a count although it looked as though he had gone down trying to evade a punch rather than from one but the local southpaw was landing some scorching body punchers. Petchchorhae really was poor despite his record. He had very little foot work and was too slow. Martin worked him over with body punches in the second and third before flooring Petchchorhae just before the bell and Petchchorhae decided not to come out for the fourth. The 19-year-old Martin has been drawing rave notice in the Philippines and is considered by some to be the best prospect in the islands. This is his eighth win on the trot by KO/TKOL and his eleventh in total. Make a note of the name! Second inside the distance loss in a row for Petchchorhae
Mackay, Australia: Super Light: Liam Paro (16-0) W PTS 10 Massimiliano Ballisai (22-6). Welter: Tysinn Best (10-0) W TKO 4 Dillon Bargero (5-7).
Paro vs. Ballisai
Paro comprehensively outboxes Italian visitor Ballisai but it will be some time before he fights again. The local southpaw broke both hands early on the fight and fought the rest of the way in considerable pain but won every round as the 100-90 score cards from the judges show. The former undefeated Australian champion is No 4 with the WBO (for beating Czech novice 11-0-1 Sebastian Bytyqi for a Regional title) and is hoping to work his way to a title shot once he recovers from the injuries. Italian champion Ballisai is experienced but loses when he tries to step up.
Best vs. Bargero
Fighting in front of his home fans Best much too good for Bargero as he retains the Australian title with a fourth round stoppage. Best had Bargero down in the first and second rounds with the fight being stopped in the fourth. First defence of the title for Best. Bargero, the Australian No 10 suffers his first inside the distance loss.
Montreal, Canada: Welter: David Theroux (15-3) W TKO 6 Jose Alfaro (31-12-1,1ND). Theroux continues to rebuild his stuttering career with a stoppage of former WBA secondary title holder Alfaro. The visitor made the mistake of trying to stand and trade with Theroux over the first three rounds. Theroux was younger and stronger and over the fourth and fifth he began to break Alfaro down. In the sixth with Alfaro fading fast and cut on his left eyelid the bout was stopped. Theroux, the Canadian No 7, came into this fight as a late substitute. His three losses have all been against imported fighters but ones who were a cut above most travelling losers. Nicaraguan Alfaro, 35, had won his last three fights but this is his ninth loss by KO/TKO.
Sint Truiden, France: Super Light: Jessy Petit-Jean (15-0) W KO 5 Nukri Gamgebeli (10-5). Belgian Petit-Jean ended this one early with a second round kayo of Georgian Gamgebeli. The 29-year-old Petit-Jean makes it eight wins by KO/TKO. The former European and World Kickboxing champion is No 8 with the EBU. That looks a bit high on the basis of his of opposition and he has not really been tested. Gamgebeli has yet to win a fight outside of Georgia.
San Pedro Alcantara, Spain: Super Welter: Jorge Fortera (19-1-1) W PTS 10 Navid Mansouri (19-2-2). Spanish champion Fortea gets split decision over Mansouri. Not a great fight in the end but a very close one with Fortea getting the split decision and collecting the IBF Inter-Continental title. Two judges had Fortera winning by three points and the other judge had Mansouri one point ahead. Sixth win on the bounce for Fortea and the first loss in over six years for Mansouri whose team protested the decision.
Fight of the week (Significance): Leo Santa Cruz keeps the way open for some big fights in the featherweights with win over Rafael Rivera
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Two different fights stood out Dee Jay Kriel’s stunning victory over Carlos Licona in a fight full of quality and Omar Figueroa vs. John Molina a good old fashioned donnybrook (how’s that for old fashioned)
Fighter of the week: DeeJay Kriel for his dramatic late win over Carlos Licona
Punch of the week: The body punch from Joshua Greer that ended his fight with Giovanni Escaner but even better was the ferocious uppercut from John Riel Casimero that destroyed Kenya Yamashita
Upset of the week: Other than Kriel’s win nothing spectacular
Prospect watch: My Filipino friends tell me 19-year-old southpaw bantamweight Carl Jammes Martin 12-0 11 wins by KO/TKO could make it big.
By Eric Armit-
-Gervonta Davis destroys Hugo Ruiz inside a round in WBA super feather title defence
-Andrew Cancio pulls of huge shock win as he stops unbeaten Alberto Machado to win the secondary WBA super featherweight title
-Jose Carlos Ramirez retains the WBC super light title with a majority verdict over Jose Zepeda in an entertaining fight that was close all the way
-Rey Vargas gets off the floor and outpoints challenger Franklin Manzanilla in defence of his WBC super bantam title despite cuts over both eyes
-Erickson Lubin stops Ishe Smith and sends the former IBF super welter champion into retirement
-Ray Beltran returns and stops unbeaten Hiroki Okada
-Javier Fortuna outpoints Sharif Bogere in a disappointing match
-Mario Barrios goes to 23 wins with stoppage of Richard Zamora
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Carson, CA, USA: Super Feather: Gervonta Davis (21-0) W KO 1 Hugo Ruiz (39-5). Super Welter: Erickson Lubin (20-1) W RTD 3 Ishe Smith (29-11). Light: Javier Fortuna (34-2-1) W PTS 10 Sharif Bogere (32-2,1ND). Super Light: Juan Heraldez (16-0) W KO 7 Eddie Ramirez (17-3). Super Light: Mario Barrios (23-0) W KO 4 Richard Zamora (19-3). Light: Ladarius Miller (19-1) W KO 1 Daulis Prescott (32-11,3ND ).Feather: Angelo Leo (16-0) W PTS 8 Alberto Torres (11-2-3). Fly: Genesis Libranza (18-1) W PTS 8 Gilberto Mendoza (11-7-2).
Davis vs. Ruiz
Davis retains the WBA title as he obliterates Ruiz who never managed to land any punch of note before a stunning combination dropped and finished him just one second from the end of the opening round
Davis was shadowing Ruiz probing with his right jab as Ruiz slid around the ropes. Davis tried a couple of quick lefts to the body. Ruiz was just poking out his jab and tried a right but was short. Davis backed Ruiz into a corner and leapt in with a quick right followed by a left then backed off and Ruiz advanced to the centre of the ring. Davis backed Ruiz into a corner again and banged home a solid right jab followed by a powerful right to the side of the head. Ruiz took a step forward and then wobbled badly took a step back and dropped to one knee. He was in some distress but climbed to his feet at eight. There was blood pouring from what was probably a broken nose. He looked unsteady and when he failed to respond the referee’s questions the fight was stopped. That makes twelve wins in a row for Davis who has that deadly combination of speed and power. Ruiz was a very late substitute after Abner Mares had to withdraw with a detached retina but he was in some shape as he was due to fight Filipino Jhack Tepora on 19 January but instead outpointed Alberto Guevara who stepped in after Tepora was overweight. There is a WBA eliminator on 2 March between Edner Cherry and Ricardo Nunez but with Cherry having had only one fight in two years and Nunez never having faced a name fighter they pose no threat to Davis who plans to have another three or four fights this year. We will have to wait to see what develops. Former WBC super bantam champion Ruiz gets his fourth loss by KO/TKO and has said he will look to move down to feather.
Lubin vs. Smith
Lubin destroys Smith and sends the former IBF super welter champion into retirement. Lubin dominated the first and then really went to work in the second. Initially he used his longer reach to keep Smith out and then connected with a couple of head punches that did not seem heavy but sent Smith down and onto his back. He slowly made it up just in time. Lubin chased Smith along the ropes and Smith fell to his knees although again it did not seem that Lubin had landed anything particularly heavy. He was up quicker this time but as the action restarted he went down again to his knees whilst ducking under Lubin’s punches. This time after the count he used some fast movement and punched back to survive to the bell. Lubin was chasing Smith down in the third and just before the bell Smith went down from a right to the head. He beat the count and the bell went and Smith’s corner pulled him out of the fight. Second fight for the 23-year-old Lubin since his first round kayo loss to Jermell Charlo in October 2017. With a couple more wins he should be in position to challenge for a title again. Good decision by Smith’s corner. The former IBF champion suffers his third loss in a row. He only lost on a split decision to now WBC champion Tony Harrison in May but looked all of his 40 years here. His punch resistance looked to have gone and it is a sensible retirement.
Bogere vs. Fortuna
Fortuna gets the unanimous decision but this was a poor fight which neither deserved to win. There was just some hesitant prodding of jabs in the first and although they did swap a few punches in the second, the best was a right from Fortuna which had Bogere holding on, but in fact there was more holding and wrestling than fighting and already the crowd was booing. The third, fourth and fifth were no better. When they did trade punches the exchanges were untidy and ineffective. It was a simple case of the two styles not mixing well. Both are good fighters but just not against each other. Things livened up in the sixth as at the start of the round they stood and threw hooks and uppercuts. They were just swinging wildly and Fortuna seemed to get the better of the exchanges. They went wild again at the end of the round throwing looses punches. They both tumbled to the floor but the referee decided that an left uppercut from Fortuna has put Bogere down and gave a protesting Bogere a count and he was showing a cut over his right eye at the bell. Bogere had probably been just in front before the sixth but the knockdown put Fortuna marginally ahead. The seventh round saw too much untidy mauling with Fortuna doing what clean work there was. Fortuna was firing body punches in the eighth with Bogere not able to counter. The referee stopped the action to get the ringside doctor to examine the cut over Bogere’s right eye but he was allowed to continue and Fortuna attacked the body again to take the round. Bogere staged a strong finish over the ninth and tenth but it was not enough. Scores 96-93 to Fortuna from the three judges. The 29-year-old Dominican is a former holder of the secondary WBA super feather title. He challenged Robert Easter for the IBF lightweight title but blew his chance by not making the weight and lost the fight on a split decision anyway. This is his first outing since falling through the ropes in his fight against Adrian Granados in June last which resulted in Fortuna being taken to hospital and the fight being declared a No Decision. Ugandan Bogere had a shot at the vacant secondary WBA light title in 2013 but lost on points. He was 9-0,1ND going into this one. Both will have better nights/.
Heraldez vs. Ramirez
Good test for Heraldez and he passes with flying colours. Ramirez constituted his toughest fight on paper but he dominated the action putting Ramirez down in the fifth and again in the seventh with the count being waived on the second knockdown. Californian-born Heraldez, 28, a member of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s team, has ten wins inside the distance. No names yet but useful victories over unbeaten Jose Borrego and Kevin Watts. Third loss on the bounce for Ramirez having been knocked out by Antonio DeMarco and outpointed by Argenis Mendez.
Barrios vs. Zamora
Barrios stops Zamora in the fourth. After a cautious opening they traded quick punches with Barrios scoring with a sharp left hook inside but it was an otherwise slow opening. The 5’10” Barrios had lots of height and reach over Zamora but the Mexican showed a useful jab. As Barrios began to open up in the second Zamora was being rocked by right hand counters. They both landed some good punches but a left hook from Barrios staggered Zamora at the bell. Barrios upped the pace in the third forcing Zamora back with a strong jab and Zamora fired back and landed a strong three-punch combination. That made Barrios a bit more cautious but again he landed a heavy right at the bell. Barrios rammed home a strong right early in the fourth but when he tried to follow that up Zamora ducked and dived and then held on tight with a frustrated Barrios tossing him to the floor. Barrios landed a series of rights to the head and Zamora visibly weakened. Barrios bombarded Zamora with head punches and although Zamora kept swing in hope he was taking too many head shots and the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old “El Azteca” the WBA No 1 has 15 wins by KO/TKO but has yet to face a name opponent and yet to be really tested. With typical WBA shenanigans he went from unrated to No 3 super light for winning their Inter-Continental welterweight title and from there to No 1 without fighting! The young Texan has talent and could be fighting for the title next year. Zamora had won his last five fights.
Miller vs. Prescott
A very quick win for Miller. Not a noted puncher southpaw Miller put a very over the hill Prescott down and out after just 57 seconds. “Memphis” Miller is on a ten bout winning streak including convincing victories over Jamel Herring and Dennis Galarza. Colombian Prescott was a late choice as Miller’s opponent and eight losses in his last nine fights, six by KO/TKO tells its own story.
Leo vs. Torres
Leo goes to 16 wins with points victory over Torres. Leo forced the fight from the first bell and scored knockdowns in the second and fifth rounds but Torres survived going on to lose by wide margins on all three cards. Scores 79-71 for Leo. Leo, 24, another Mayweather Team member, reportedly won 65 of his 75 amateur fights and is making steady progress. Torres only other loss was a split decision against useful 17-1-1Erick Ituarte.
Libranza vs. Mendoza
Filipino champion Libranza gets his eighth win after taking the decision over Mendoza in a competitive contest. Libranza had expected to face an aggressive Mendoza but instead it was Libranza who had to force the fight with Mendoza cagey and countering. Libranza’s pressure paid off with a unanimous decision. Scores 78-74 on the three judges’ cards for Libranza. He made an ambitious challenge to South African Moruti Mthalane for the IBO flyweight title in Johannesburg in 2017 and was knocked out in four rounds. He has rebuilt with seven wins back home in the Philippines. Mexican Mendoza had won his last four fights.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Bantam: Rey Vargas (33-0) W PTS 12 Franklin Manzanilla (18-4). Super Feather: Andrew Cancio (20-4-2) W TKO 4 Alberto Machado (21-1). Feather: Joseph Diaz (28-1) W PTS 10 Charles Huerta (20-6). Light: Adrian Estrella (29-3) W PTS 10 Oscar Duarte (15-1-1). Super Feather: Azat Hovhannisyan (16-3) W KO 5 Lolito Sonsona (22-3-4). Super Middle: Tureano Johnson (20-2-1) DREW 8 Fernando Castaneda (26-13-1).
Varga vs. Manzanilla
Vargas gets off the floor in the second round and survives two doctors inspection of cuts over both eyes to retain the WBC title with wide points decision over determined but limited Manzanilla./
Vargas took control immediately. With his height and long reach he was able to slot home his jab and score with right crosses. Manzanilla tried some rushing attacks but Vargas was able to take long steps back and either catch Manzanilla coming in or tie him up inside
Vargas was again bossing the action behind his jab mixing in straight rights and left hooks to the body. It was too easy and that made Vargas careless and as he stood in front of Manzanilla preparing another attack the Venezuelan landed a sweeping left that dropped Vargas on his back. Vargas did not look badly shaken. After the count Manzanilla was desperately throwing hooks but Vargas was holding inside and smothering Manzanilla’s attacks. A frustrated Manzanilla wrestled Vargas to the floor which resulted in a bit more recovery time for Vargas who made it comfortably to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Manzanilla Manzanilla 19-18
Vargas was back in charge. He was again spearing Manzanilla with jabs at distance and dropping in straight rights. Manzanilla was restricted to charging forward chucking hooks but Vargas was tying him up inside as the fight got messy.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Tied 28-28
Vargas was now on the front foot. Manzanilla had no answer to the champion’s jab and Vargas was going to the body with some wicked left hooks. A clash of heads saw Vargas suffer a small cut over his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Vargas 38-37
Vargas just kept sticking his jab in Manzanilla’s face and the challenger had no answer to it. Vargas was also countering when Manzanilla rushed in and instead of holding was pumping punches to the body. Manzanilla did go down but it was ruled a slip.
Score: 10-0 Vargas Vargas 48-46
Manzanilla launched some fierce attacks at the start of this round and connected with a few hooks. Vargas saw out the storm and then went to work with his jab and straight rights before moving in with blazing combinations. Manzanilla continued his rushing attacks but with his long legs Vargas was able to move back out of range and then step in quickly with counters.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Vargas 58-55
A clash of heads at the start of the round had blood dripping from the cut over the right eye of Vargas. Vargas lost his composure briefly but then punished Manzanilla with hard counters and connected with left hooks to the body. A wild Manzanilla was deducted a point for one of many punches to the back of the head. Vargas outscored Manzanilla and with the deduction that made it a 10-8 round.
Score: 10-8 Vargas Vargas 68-63
A messy round as Manzanilla became more desperate with his attacks and again was penalised a point this time for hitting on the break. Vargas did what clean scoring there was so another 10-8 round for the champion.
Score: 10-8 Vargas Vargas 78-71
A clash of heads in this round saw a cut opened over the left eye of Vargas and it was serious enough for the referee to have the doctor inspect it. Vargas was allowed to continue but he now had blood trickling down his face from both cuts. He began to keep his gloves high to protect the cuts and had more trouble dealing with the attacks of a fired-up Manzanilla who just did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Manzanilla Vargas 87-81
Manzanilla stormed forward for much of the tenth and managed to land some hooks. Vargas had his composure back and was connecting with jabs, straight rights and hooks and was the one coming forward at the bell.
Score:10-9 Vargas Vargas 97-90
Vargas boxed intelligently in this one. Manzanilla was flying in head first but Vargas was landing chopping rights and tying Manzanilla inside. Again Manzanilla had some success with hooks and rocked Vargas with a right to the head but was clearly outscored.
Score:10-9 Vargas Vargas 107-99
Manzanilla piled forward for the whole three minutes but was wayward with his punches. Vargas boxed mainly on the outside letting Manzanilla walk onto counters and firing quick combinations as took the round.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Vargas 117-108
Official Scores : Judge Lou Moret 117-108, Judge Dennis O’Connell 117-108 and Judge Pat Russell 117-108 all for Vargas.
The 28-year-old champion was making the fourth defence of his WBA title. Manzanilla could never find an answer to the height and reach advantages of Vargas who outworked and outscored him all the way. Jessie Magdaleno is No 1 in the WBC ratings but Vargas is a Golden Boy fighter and Magdaleno is with Top Rank so that might be a difficult match to make and with his height Vargas might be more comfortable at feather where there are some good fights to be made. Colombian-based Manzanilla landed the title shot on the basis of a shock four round victory over Julio Ceja but he was outclassed by Vargas. The two deductions did not help his cause but he was lucky not to lose more points for punches to the back of the head and kidney punches. He is strong, aggressive but limited .
Cancio vs. Machado
Cancio climbs off the floor in the first round to steamroller champion Machado to defeat with four knockdowns in the fourth.
Machado had plenty of height and reach over Cancio and as Cancio came forward he was caught by a couple of straight southpaw lefts from Machado. Cancio continued to advance and he was able to get past the jab and score with hooks. As Cancio moved in he ducked under a right and into the path of a short left hook that dropped him to the floor on his side. He was up at eight and Machado was throwing slashing hooks trying to repeat his success but Cancio was getting inside again and finished the round strongly.
Score: 10-8- Machado
Machado was looking to box on the outside and land more left hooks. Cancio was walking through the punches and hooking to the body with both hands. The ferocity of Cancio’s attacks had Machado retreating and Cancio was doing the better work inside. Just before the bell Cancio rocked Machado with a series of hooks and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Cancio Machado 19-18
A painful round for Machado. Cancio kept marching forward throwing hooks and uppercuts and Machado could do nothing to keep Cancio out. He was brushing aside Machado’s counters and rocked Machado’s head back and forth with a volley of punches. During the interval the referee was concerned enough to come to Machado’s corner to check he was OK.
Score: 10-9 Cancio Tied 28-28
Somehow Cancio seemed to have defused El Explosivo’s bombs and there was no power in the champions punches. Cancio was hunting him down and a long right to the body saw Machado take a step away and go down on one knee. He had his head bowed and looked a dispirited and beaten fighter. He reluctantly got to his feet at nine and as Cancio threw a couple more body punches, most of which seemed to be blocked, Machado dropped to the floor again. He was up at nine and hesitated before raising his gloves when asked to do so by the referee. The fight continued but only for a few seconds and as Cancio was throwing s few more body punches Machado dropped to the floor and the fight was stopped.
Huge upset as Cancio wins the secondary WBA title. Cancio had been in erratic form losing to Ronny Rios and Joseph Diaz but beating Rene Alvarado and Hugo Cazares. He was inactive in 2017 and had two modest wins in 2018 but here his ferocious onslaughts just blew Machado away. Puerto Rican Machado had scored 17 wins by KO/TKO but he just seemed to have lost his power and when Cancio attacked the body he buckled then broke. Cancio may now defend against former conqueror Rene Alvarado who is rated No 1 and Machado may now move up to lightweight.
Diaz vs. Huerta
Diaz moves up to super feather and looks sharp in win over useful Huerta. Diaz controlled the action with a sharp strong southpaw jab and impressed with some flashing combinations. Huerta just could not get into the fight in any meaningful way but apart for a rocky time in the fifth he was never in any real trouble. Unanimity from the judges who all saw Diaz winning 99-91. Diaz had good and bad in 2018. He knocked out former WBC champion Victor Terrazas in February but then lost a unanimous decision to Gary Russell Jr for the WBC title in May. In August he outpointed Jesus M Rojas but had failed to make the weight for this challenge for the secondary WBA title so no title for Diaz. He was rated No 2 feather by the WBC and No 5 with the WBA but now it looks like he will move up and forfeit those spots. Huerta was having his first fight since beating 21-2 Miguel Angel Gonzalez on a technical decision in August 2017.
Estrella vs. Duarte
Estrella wins a split decision over unbeaten Duarte to breathe some life back into a career that seemed to be going nowhere. Duarte was quicker and more accurate and built a substantial lead. Estrella put in a strong finish and managed to claw back some of that deficit but did not seem to have done enough but the judges decided otherwise. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Estrella and 97-93 for Duarte. There was a time not that long ago when Estrella was the hottest prospect in Mexico. He won his first 22 fights 18 by KO/TKO beating Dante Jardon and former champion Ernesto Caballero along the way. His power was camouflaging some serious deficiencies in his defence and his run was broken by a crushing loss to Filipino Eden Sonsona. Estrella continued to win but he was no longer the hot prospect and losses last year to unbeaten fighters Subriel Matias and Alex Duran seemed to indicate a serious decline so he badly needed a win here. Duarte had shown promise in wins over Juan Jose Montes, Rey Perez and Roger Gutierrez so hopefully this will be a temporary blip.
Hovhannisyan vs. Sonsona
The aggression of former WBC title challenger proves too much for Filipino Sonsona. Hovhannisyan’s fierce attacks particularly his left hooks to the body had Sonsona on the back foot from the off. He strayed low a few times but the body attack weakened Sonsona. In the fifth a right put Sonsona down. He was up but looked shaky and Hovhannisyan forced him to the ropes. Sonsona threw a weak left and Hovhannisyan came over the top with a stunning right and two more rights to the body saw Sonsona drop to the canvas and he was counted out. A win over Ronny Rios in March last year saw Hovhannisyan pitched in against Rey Vargas in a challenge for the WBC title in May but he lost a unanimous decision. He bounced back in October with a stoppage of 24-4 Jesus Martinez. He is No 8 with the WBC and with a couple more impressive wins such as this could yet land another title chance. Sonsona lost by a large margin against Jason Moloney in 2017 and this is only his second fight in eighteen months and his first loss by KO/TKO.
Johnson vs. Castaneda
Disappointing performance and disappointing result for Johnson. This was the first fight in eighteen months for Bahamian Johnson but he looked sharp enough at the start. He had a much better skill set than the Mexican “Hurricane” and outboxed him early. Castaneda kept pressing and got into the fight more and more. Johnson probably had a slight lead going into the last but Castaneda staged the stronger finish and that was enough to get him a share of the decision. Scores 77-75 for Johnson, 77-75 for Castaneda and 76-76. A last round stoppage loss to Sergey Derevyanchenko in August 2017 in what was virtually and IBF eliminator cost Johnson the chance of a title shot and he will now have to fight his way back into the ratings but at 35 he is on the clock. Castaneda had a title shot in 2011down at super light when he was stopped in four rounds by Johan Perez but he is 24lbs heavier and at 4-6-1in his last 11 fights a long way down the road from that high point.
Fresno, CA, USA: Super Light: Jose Carlos Ramirez (24-0) W PTS 12 Jose Zepeda (30-2,1ND). Super Light: Ray Beltran (36-8-1) W KO 9 Hiroki Okada (19-1). Feather: Carlos Castro (22-0) W PTS 10 Genesis Servania (32-2). Super Feather: Andy Vences (22-0-1) W PTS 8 Dardan Zenunaj (14-6). Light: Saul Rodriguez (23-0-1) W TKO 5 Aelio Mesquita (17-4). Super Light: Cristian Coria (29-7-2) W KO 3 Joel Diaz (24-2).
Ramirez vs. Zepeda
Ramirez holds on to the WBC title with majority verdict over Zepeda in a fight that was too close to call until Ramirez settled it over the championship rounds. Zepeda found the range early with his southpaw jab with Ramirez tending to ignore his own jab. Ramirez was taking the fight to Zepeda but the speed and accuracy of Zepeda’s work saw him take the first two round. In what was to be the pattern for much of the fight. Ramirez then had a good couple of rounds finally using his jab and getting inside with some effective body punches and rocking Zepeda with rights in the fourth. At that stage the judges all had identical 38-38 scores and had all scored every round the same. Ramirez kept the imitative over the fifth and sixth. He was still under using his jab but was making up for that with sustained pressure that was forcing Zepeda onto the back foot and allowing Ramirez to do some hurtful body punching when he pinned Zepeda to the ropes. The fight swung back to Zepeda over the seventh and eighth with his jab constantly getting past the guard of Ramirez and smart footwork allowing him to find the space to counter the attacks of Ramirez. After eight rounds there was very little between them with two judges having them level on 76-76 and the other giving Ramirez the edge at 77-75. The body punching from Ramirez finally began to bring rewards over the closing rounds. Zepeda was still jabbing well and moving skilfully but also being forced to stand and trade more which favoured Ramirez. Critically the champion’s pressure earned him the points in the ninth and tenth and it looked as though the fight was going all his way. Zepeda was not finished and he stormed back to take the eleventh and put the result in the balance again. They both fought fiercely in the last and it was a late burst from Ramirez that made the difference and he took the round and the decision. Scores 116-114 and 115-113 for Ramirez and 114-114. Ramirez was making the second defence of his WBC title and is now looking to unify the titles but the position there won’t be clear until the fate of the WSSB tournament is decided as the WBC “Diamond” champion Regis Prograis and No 1 challenger Josh Taylor are still waiting to fight in the WSSB semi-finals. Zepeda came so close. Close enough to deserve a return but Ramirez may not want to take that step back. I have some sympathy for Zepeda. He fought Terry Flanagan for the vacant WBO lightweight title back in 2015 but dislocated his shoulder in the second round of that fight and had to retire. It has taken him almost three years to get another title shot.
Beltran vs. Okada
It is rarely boring when Ray Beltran fights and it was no different in this one as he stopped the previously unbeaten Okada in the ninth round. Okada was looking to fight this one from the outside and avoid getting dragged into a close quarters brawl which is where Beltran is most effective. However with typical Japanese fighting spirit Okada was willing to trade if he had to. The action was hot from the opening round. In an amazing second Beltran made a big statement flooring Okada with a left hook. Okada beat the count and then showed fighting spirit in spades as he staggered Beltran with a right and then proceeded to batter Beltran for the rest of a frantic round. The fight calmed a little after that and gradually Okada began to find the target with his long range punches. Beltran kept ploughing forward and did his best work when he could pin Okada to the ropes. The Japanese fighter looked to have edged in front and Beltran seemed to be tiring. That changed in the ninth when Beltran connected with a right to the head that put Okada down. He made it to his feet but Beltran drove him to a corner and rained punches on Okada until he went down again and Okada’s corner immediately asked the referee to stop the fight. Now at supper light Beltran collected the WBC Continental and WBO Inter-Continental titles which should put him in the ratings. Nothing is straightforward with Beltran. In world title fights he has lost to Terrence Crawford for the WBO lightweight title then beaten Takahiro Ao in what was to be a fight for the vacant WBO lightweight title but he had failed to make the weight and tested positive for a banned substance. He finally won the WBOI title by beating Paulus Moses in February 2018 but lost it in his first defence against Jose Pedraza in August. The super light situation is muddied but Beltran will be looking for a title shot. Okada had halted 40-2-1 Jason Pagara and a few reasonable but not outstanding opponents and was floored in taking a split verdict over Cristian Coria so he will have to fight his way back to get another shot.
Castro vs. Servania
Big win for Castro as he decisions former WBO featherweight title challenger Servania and hands the Filipino his second loss. Castro simply outboxed Servania he was too quick for the Filipino and won by a wide margin on all cards. Servania was cut over his right eye in the second round which did not help his cause but hard as he chased he just could not pin Castro down and kept eating fast accurate counters. Score 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 all for Castro. The 24-year-old from Phoenix wins the vacant WBC Continental Americas title in what was only his second ten round fight. After winning his first 29 fights Servania had Oscar Valdez on the floor before losing to him for the WBO title in February 2017. He has won three fights since then including a inside the distance victory over former WBC bantamweight title challenger Carlos Carlson but with this defeat Servania has blown his WBO No 1 position.
Vences vs. Zenunaj
Local fighter Vences returns to action and gets eight rounds of work as he outpoints Kosovon-born Albanian Zenunaj . “The Shark” was having his first fight since scoring a good win over Frank De Alba in July. Vences won every round with the three wise man all seeing Vences the winner by 80-72. A draw with unbeaten Erick de Leon is the only slight blemish on Vences record. Three losses in a row for Zenunaj but one of those over ten rounds against Andrew Cancio with one judge seeing it a 96-94 fight.
Rodriguez vs. Mesquita
Rodriguez rolls on with stoppage of Brazilian Mesquita. That makes it seventeen wins in a row for Rodriguez and he has a total of seventeen inside the distance victories. The draw on his record was a technical one. Mesquita has lost 4 of his last 5 fights but all against opposition he would be expected to lose to and all on the road.
Coria vs. Diaz
A wow! here as Coria beats once world rated Diaz in three rounds. No sign of the upset to come as Diaz seemed to be controlling the fight over the first two rounds. In the third Coria blitzed Diaz with a shower of punches and Diaz went down under the barrage. He arose but seemed unsteady. Coria then landed a ferocious left hook that put Diaz down on his back. He scrabbled around trying to get up but the referee waived the fight off. This should have been a routine win for Diaz. The 36-year-old Argentinian Coria was down at No 10 in the Argentinian ratings with an unthreatening 12 wins by KO/TKO. He had been floored and lost every round against Canadian Custio Clayton in 2017 but a much better result is his only losing on a split decision against unbeaten Hiroki Okada in September. Diaz’s only other loss was a two round stoppage by Regis Prograis in 2017 and he took fourteen months out after that before returning with a win in October last year.
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (12-0) W TKO 2 Denton Vassell (25-6). Super Middle: Rocky Jerkic (17-1) W PTS 8Mark Lucas (9-1). Super Middle: Cesar Tapia (9-0) W PTS 8 Adam Copland (4-1). Heavy: Paul Gallen (9-0) W TKO 2 John Hopoate (12-6).
Tszyu vs. Vassell
Tszyu blows away a faded Vassell inside two rounds. The young Australian found his range early and scored well over the first round. There was a brief stoppage in the second as Vassell had left his corner without his mouthguard but when the action resumed a series of punches floored Vassell. He beat the count but Tszyu drove him to the ropes and a left uppercut followed by a right to the head saw Vassell staggering along the ropes with his guard down. Tszyu followed him along the ropes raining punches to the head until the referee stepped in to save Vassell. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old son of the great Kostya Tszyu. He collects the interim WBA Oceania title as he prepares to head out to the USA for sessions at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym and Floyd Mayweather Jr’s Boxing Club. Former Commonwealth champion Vassell, 34, was 20-0 at the start of his career but is now 5-6 in his last 11 which tells his own story but in fairness to Vassell he took this fight a short notice and his other losses have also been against tough opposition.
Jerkic vs. Lucas
Jerkic just gets by Lucas on a split decision. Scores 78-73 and 77-75 for Jerkic and 78-76 for Lucas. Both fighters had the effects of inactivity to shake off. Former undefeated Australian super welterweight champion Jerkic was having his first fight for six months and only his second fight since losing to Anthony Buttigieg for the Vacant Commonwealth title in March 2017. Former Australian amateur champion Lucas had run up nine wins and then surprisingly retired in 2017 and this is his first fight since then.
Tapia vs. Copland
Mexican youngster proves much too good for Copeland and takes wide unanimous decision. Scores 80-72, 79-72 and 78-73 all for Tapia. The 20-year-old MTK Global boxer has done all of his pro boxing in Australia and is making good progress. Copeland, a top level amateur, was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. He is just 23 so can rebound from this.
Gallen vs. Hopoate
Gallen halts former Australian champion Hopoate in rubbish match-up. Gallen was too strong and fit for oldie Hopoate. After pounding on Hopoate for two round Gallen cornered Hopoate and banged away to head and body as Hopoate tried to hide behind a high guard. Eventually Hopoate dropped his hands to punch back which left him open and Gallen stunned him with a left hook and then connected with a series of head punches that had Hopoate falling forward and face down on the canvas with the referee immediately ending the fight. At 37 Gallen is probably going nowhere but as a former professional Rugby League player and Australian international he is news and sells tickets. His first eight opponents had just twelve wins between them and Hopoate, 44, was having his first fight for nine years which says it all.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Bantam: Victor Ruiz (23-10) W KO 2 Christian Carto (17-1). Heavy: Darmani Rock (14-0) W KO 4 Steven Lyons (5-4).
Ruiz vs. Carto
Local hope Carto doing OK until a thunderbolt from Ruiz puts him down and out.. The Philly prospect was boxing well and took the opening round of the fight against limited Mexican southpaw Ruiz. In the second as Carto was just short with a jab Ruiz stepped inside and landed a booming left to the head. Carto went down heavily on his back with his head slamming onto the canvas. The referee instantly waived the fight over and the ringside doctor and other medical aides climbed into the ring to attend to Carto. He was given oxygen and taken from the ring on a stretcher and to hospital. No news yet of his condition although he was said to be alert as he left the arena so let’s hope it is not too bad. Huge shock for the fans of the 22-year-old former National Golden Gloves champion. Ruiz had lost his last four fights against relatively modest opposition but with 15 wins by KO/TKO he was a dangerous opponent..
Rock vs. Lyons
Rock gets another win but in a dull and uninspiring fashion. Lyons was never in with a chance against the former Elite level amateur star. He was smaller with very limited technique and giving away 63lbs in weight. There was very little in the way of excitement and it was embarrassing that Rock could not get Lyons out of there. Finally in the fourth he took Lyons to a corner and unloaded a few head punches and Lyons slid down and then just took the full count whilst on one knee and showed no inclination to get up. Rock,22, is 6’5” and was 273 ¼ lbs for this fight. That is some way below the 315lbs of the 6’4” Jarrell Miller but is a heavy burden to carry for ten rounds and he does not seem to have the punch power to blow away better class opposition. He was outstanding as an amateur He was US, Pan American and World champion at Youth level and won gold medals at both the US National Championships and the National Golden Gloves. An inside the distance loss to Marlo Moore cost him a place in the US Team for the 2016 Olympics so he has great credentials. Heavy or not he has to be respected. Second loss inside the distance for the 209 ¾ lbs Lyons.
Lautaro, Chile: Feather: Cristian Palma (30-10-1) W PTS 10 Ernesto Franzolini (8-9-1). Home town fighter Palma extends his winning run to ten with unanimous decision over Argentinian prelim fighter Franzolini. A left hook from Palma dislodged Franzolini’s mouthguard in the first round as he was getting past the jab of the taller man and working inside. Franzolini lost a point in the second for a punch to the back of Palma’s head and a point in both the third and the fifth for the same offence. Palma was scoring repeatedly with his jab and left hooks but Franzolini fought hard, if wildly, in every round. An already lost cause disappeared completely when he was again penalised for a punch to the back of Palma’s head. It began to look as though if he wasn’t careful Franzolini would finish up with a minus score. Palma was streets ahead in technique. Franzolini never gave up charging forward but lost every round-plus a few points. The Chilean was making the second defence of his South American title. Franzolini was having his first fight outside of Argentina.
Bangkok, Thailand: Super Bantam: Saenganan (23-1) W PTS 10 Noldi Manakane (33-28-3) Easy night for teenager Saenganan as he wins every round against experienced but long since faded Manakane. Saenganan was too quick and too busy for the 35-year-old Indonesian. Scores 100-90 for Saenganan from all three judges. He wins the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver title (so not even the interim title but the Silver interim title). The 19-year-old 5’2” Thai has been confined to strictly substandard opposition since being floored twice and knocked out by Filipino no-hoper Edison Berwela in January last year. Manakane is now 1-7-1 in his last 9 fights.
Paris, France: Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (8-0) W KO 3 Romain Garofalo (14-4). Bantam: Elie Konki (6-0) W PTS 10 Anthony Chapat (5-1-1). Super Light: Yazid Amghar (22-0) W TKO 4 Oszkar Fiko (32-27-1).
Cissokho vs. Garofalo
Cissokho wins the vacant French title against seriously overmatched Garofalo. Cissokho started the first round cautiously but before the bell was already connecting with powerful uppercut. In the second he had Garofalo in trouble from a left hook but Garofalo did not crumble. It ended in the third as Cissokho put Garofalo down. He connected with a wicked right to the body followed by a left hook and another body punch which dropped Garofalo. He made it to his feet but a right to the body almost cut him in half and he went down in agony and was counted out. Senegalese- born Rio bronze medallist Cissokho, 27, was returning after eight months of inactivity due to an operation to repair a rupture of a tendon in his left bicep. He registers his sixth win by KO/TKO. Garofalo was having his second shot at winning a French title but was never in with any sort of a chance against the talented Cissokho.
Konki vs. Chapat
Konki, another former top amateur, makes a successful first defence of the French title with points victory over flyweight champion Chapat. Konki used his longer reach and some fierce counters to control this one Chapat kept trying to get close but the speed and accuracy of Konki had him floundering at times. Konki began to load up on his punches in the ninth to try to end the fight early and dropped Chapat with a crunching left hook to the body in the tenth but Chapat beat the count and was saved by the final bell. Scores 99-90 for Konki on the three cards. Konki, 26 was French champion in 2012,2013,2104 and 2015 and fought at the Rio Olympics. Chapat showed guts but was in against a fighter several classes above him in ability.
Amghar vs. Fiko
Amghar overcomes awkward Romanian Fiko and finishes in impressive style. Amghar was careful early as the head down rushes of Fiko could have caused injury but once he settled it was just a matter of time before he ended things. He rocked Fiko with a right and a left hook in the third then finished the job in the fourth. A left hook to the head and a left to the body sent Fiko down. He beat the count but another left hook had him rolling in agony on the floor and the fight was waived off. Ten wins by KO/TKO for the undefeated former French champion. He was an outstanding performer at French boxing where both fists and feet are used but then switched conventional boxing before eventually turning pro. He is No 13 with the EBU. Now thirteen defeats by KO/TKO for Hungarian-based Fiko.
Berlin, Germany: Light Heavy: Nick Hannig (7-0) W PTS 12 Ryan Ford (15-4). Super Middle: Yusuf Kanguel (18-3-1) W PTS 10 Vartan Avetisyan (18-1-2). Welter: Rico Mueller (25-2-1) W PTS 8 Bethuel Ushona (36-8-1).
Hannig vs. Ford
Hannig wins the vacant WBC International title with close unanimous decision over Canadian Ford. The local fighter dominated the early rounds. He took control of the centre of the ring and outboxed the slower but strong Ford. After four rounds Hannig was way in front at 40-36 on all three cards. Hannig built on his lead over the fifth and six but gradually the strength of Ford began to tell and he pushed strongly over the seventh and eighth but importantly Hannig had a strong ninth which left Ford with a big gap to bridge. Ford began to get through with some heavy head punches over the last three rounds against a tired Hannig. Ford came close but it was just too big a deficit to claw back. Scores 115-113 twice and 117-112 all for Hannig. The 32-year-old “Mr Business” is reported to have ended his amateur days after 100 fights with 79 wins before turning pro at 30. He had never gone past eight rounds before so the experience of goiung twelve will have helped his confidence. The “Mr Business” is because he owns a security company and a gym and the money from this fight will help him build his collection of vintage Harley Davison’s. Ford, 36, a former MMA campaigner, has lost 4 of his last 5 fights but they have all been on points in the other guy’s backyard and he is one tough customer.
Kanguel vs. Avetisyan
Kanguel wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title in a fight that was close from first to last. Kanguel tactics were to march forward behind a high guard with Avetisyan moving and countering. As expected Kanguel was most effective when he could take Avetisyan to the ropes and work the body. Avetisyan did his scoring at distance and neither was really dominating. The scores after four rounds reflected this at 39-37, 37-39 and 38-38. Kanguel was finding plenty of gaps in the defence of Avetisyan as he ploughed forward but Avetisyan was throwing more and the judges were still having difficulty splitting them. The position had not really changed after eight rounds with two judges carding 76-76 and the third just giving Kanguel the edge at 77-75. Kanguel had a big ninth having Avetisyan shaken and in trouble and although Avetisyan fought hard in the last it was not enough. Scores 96-95 twice for Kanguel and 95-95. German Kanguel had won this same title in March last year but did not defend it. He has won 11 of his last 12 fights with the loss being to world rated Vincent Feigenbutz. Armenian-born Avetisyan, 29, came to Germany at the age of five as a refugee but has retained his Armenian nationality. Kanguel was a step up in the quality of his opposition but he made it close here.
Mueller vs. Ushona
Mueller beats Ushona again and as in their first fight wins every round against the Namibian veteran. The 30-year-old German has won 17 of his last 18 fights including a points victory over Ushona in August. A ninth round stoppage by Jeff Horn in 2016 is only loss in that run but his opposition has been pretty non-threatening. At 36 Ushona is on the downward path with just two wins in his last seven fights.
Manila, Philippines Bantam: Reymart Gaballo (21-0) W TKO 2 Yuya Nakamura (9-3-1). Light: Romero Duno (19-1) W KO 2 Kuldeep Dhanda (7-2).
Gaballo vs. Nakamura
Another power showing from outstanding Filipino Gaballo. He almost ended this one in the first three minutes putting his Japanese opponent down twice. Nakamura survived to hear the bell for the second round but was annihilated by crunching shots from Gaballo. A right sent Nakamura to the ropes. He tried to punch with Gaballo but was rocked by a right to the head and hurt by a left to the body before a wicked left hook to the chin saw him drop to his knees with his head touching the canvass. He grabbed the ropes and clung to them as he made it to his feet but the referee waived the fight over. The 22-year-old “Assassin” is living up to his nickname. He has won 13 of his last 14 fights by KO/TKO in a total of 18 inside the distance victories. He won the interim WBA title with a points decision over unbeaten Stephon Young in March last year. Second loss by KO.TKO for Nakamura who was overmatched here.
Duno vs. Dhanda
Not to be outdone “Ruthless” Duno scored an even more spectacular kayo over Indian novice Dhanda. Duno had the outclassed Dhanda down in the first and then crushed him in the second. Dhanda scored with a sharp straight right then Duno connected with a couple of jabs and landed a fearsome overhand right that sent Dhanda face down on the canvas out cold. Ten wins in a row for 23-year-old US-based Duno and his fifteenth victory by KO/TKO. In fights in the USA Duno has scored useful wins over unbeaten Christian Gonzalez, Yardley Armenta Cruz and Gilberto Gonzalez. He is not in the ratings but he won the vacant WBA Asian title in this fight and in the twisted WBA figuring beating an eight fight novice for this minor title will count for more than the victories over much better opposition in the USA. The WBA got a sanctioning fee for this one-that’s their ranking criteria right there. First fight outside India and first loss by KO/TKO for Dhanda.
Korbach, Germany: Mario Jassmann (18-0) W TKO 5 Mika Joensuu (15-11). Ilja Mezencev (19-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Jan Hrebik (1-12).
Jassmann vs. Joensuu
Too easy for Jassmann as he stops overmatched Finn Joensuu in five rounds. Joensuu tried to come forward behind a high guard so Jassmann was able to slot home jabs and rights to the head. Joensuu was too slow and had no power so was never really in the fight. In the fifth Jassmann had Joensuu on the ropes and after landing a series of head punches he connected with a left to the body that dropped Joensuu to his knees. The Finn made it to his feet but another left to the body saw him turn away badly hurt and the referee halted the fight. Jassmann, 31, makes it 15 wins by KO/TKO and retains the German International title but his opposition has been strictly low grade. His father Reinhard was a good level amateur and uncle Manfredo a Germany light heavy and heavy champion who fought for the European title at light heavy, cruiser and heavyweight titles but I can’t see Mario going that far. Fifth defeat by KO/TKO for Joensuu and fifth loss in his last six fights.
Mezencev vs. Hrebik
No surprise here as German-based Kazak goes to 17 wins by KO/TKO with stoppage of poor Hrebik in some abysmal matchmaking. The 23-year-old Mezencev has fed on some very substandard opposition. The only decent fighter he has faced is unbeaten Tom Schwarz who kayoed him in seven round s. He is young so could improve. Tenth inside the distance loss for Czech Hrebik.
Belfast, Northern Ireland: James Tennyson (23-3) W TKO 2 Garry Neale (10-1). Light: Feargal McCrory (10-0) W TKO 9 Karl Kelley (2-3). Light: Paul Hyland Jr (20-1) W PTS 8 Miroslav Serban (10-2). Cruiser: Tommy McCarthy (13-1) W PTS 8 Jiri Svacina (13-33).
Tennyson vs. Neale
Tennyson much too big a step up for Neale. Tennyson had his jab working well in the first and was already connecting with body punches. Southpaw Neale was forced onto the back foot but tried to counter when he saw an opening. In the second Tennyson again took the fight to Neale and put him down with rights to the head. Neale arose and tried to fight back but was down again under a series of punches and was counted out. The 25-year-old “Assassin from Belfast goes to 19 wins by KO/TKO . This is his first fight since a fifth round stoppage loss against Tevin Farmer for the IBF super feather title in October. None of Neale’s victims had a positive record so this was a too ambitious fight for him.
McCrory vs. Kelley
McCrory gets late win against Kelly in a hard-fought contests. Southpaw McCrory made a good start behind his jab and staggered the aggressive Kelly with a left in the opening round. Kelly was walking through McCrory’s punches over the next two rounds but a clash of heads saw both fighters cut over the left eye. His better boxing saw McCrory winning the rounds and Kelly was a wide open target as he marched forward. Pressure from Kelly increased and more and more McCrory was being forced to fight inside as Kelly began to eat into McCrory’s lead. The eighth was close but McCrory broke through in a big way in the ninth. He trapped Kelly in a corner and blasted away until with Kelly not firing back the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. McCrory wins the vacant Boxing Union of Ireland title. Dubliner Kelly had earlier lost in a fight for the BUI super light title.
Hyland vs. Serban
Hyland given a tough night and a scare by inexperienced Serban. Hyland boxed well over the first four rounds. Serban was pressing hard and looked dangerous at times but Hyland was slotting home jabs and landing with power shots to the body. Both Hyland and the crowd were shocked in the fifth when a head punch from Serban put Hyland down. He made it to the vertical but was unsteady. Serban’s inexperience saw him throw away his chance of victory as he launched wild punches trying to nail Hyland again and the local fighter survived. Hyland was staggered again by left hook in the sixth but boxed his way through the seventh and eighth to take the decision. Referee’s score 78-74 for Hyland. Second win for Hyland as he rebuilds after losing inside a round to Lewis Ritson for the British title in June last year. Czech champion “Lumberjack” Serban had won his last six fights. This was his first outing since December 2017 but by flooring Hyland he might have earned himself some more paydays.
McCarthy vs. Svacina
McCarthy takes every round against survivor Svacina. McCarthy fed Svacina a steady diet of punishment but the ancient Czech just soaked it up. McCrory scored heavily in the fifth and sixth but Svacina refused to cave in and McCarthy had to settle for a points win. Referee’s score 80-72 for McCarthy whose only loss is a points decision against then British champion Matty Askin in 2016. This is win No 4 since then. The 41-year-old Svacina has only lost eight times by KO/TKO in his 47 fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Cruiser: Marcos Aumada (21-6) W TKO 4 Carlos Nascimento (16-7). Aumada has no trouble holding on to his WBC Latino title against poor Brazilian Nascimento. Aumada was able to walk past the jabs of the 6’4” Nascimento and score with hooks and uppercuts. A fearsome southpaw left uppercut put Nascimento down in the first and he showed guts to get up and survive. Aumada continued to punish the Brazilian in the second and third. In the fourth Aumada used a series of straight lefts to force Nascimento to the ropes and the landed a another left that staggered Nascimento and the referee had seen enough and stepped in. Aumada, 32, the Argentinian No 1 has 16 wins by KO/TKO . Sixth inside the distance defeat for Nascimento.
Halifax, Canada: Super Bantam: Tyson Cave (33-4) W PTS 12 Humberto de Santiago (16-6-1). Local fighter Tyson wins unanimous verdict over de Santiago in IBA title fight. The 37-year-old southpaw handled de Santiago well but was hampered late in the fight by a calf injury that limited his mobility. Scores 120-107, 117-110 and 116-111 for Cave. The Halifax fighter lost to Oscar Escandon for the interim WBA super bantam title in 2014. He has now won nine in a row but against modest level opposition. Mexican de Santiago was having his first fight since December 2017.
Peterborough, Canada: Super Welter: Cody Crowley (17-0) W PTS 12 Stuart McClellan (25-3-3,1ND). Super Light: Steven Wilcox (20-3-1) W PTS 8 Javier Mercado (25-14-2).
Crowley vs. McClellan
This looked a very even match on paper but in the event local southpaw Crowley outclassed the more experienced former champion and retained the Canadian title. Crowley was quicker, busier, punched harder and floored McClellan on the way to a wide unanimous decision. McClellan did well to stick in there to the final bell. Scores 120-107 for Crowley from the three judges. The 25-year-old Crowley, a bronze medal winner at the Commonwealth Youth Games, is ready to step up to tougher competition. McClellan, 32, was 13-0,1ND in his last 14 fights.
Wilcox vs. Mercado
A breeze turned into a tornado for Wilcox as he only just survives a late surge by Mercado. Wilcox outboxed the limited Mexican and was coasting to victory with a good lead strengthen by Mercado losing a point for a low punch. It was near disaster for Wilcox in the seventh. A big punch from Mercado dropped Wilcox and he was in serious trouble. He was floored for a second time and there could haven been a third knockdown as a punch buckled his knees and his glove brushed the canvas but it was not spotted by the referee. Wilcox survived the round and despite being staggered again he fought hard in the eighth and took the decision. Scores 77-73 twice and 76-74 for Wilcox. Now 5 wins in his last 6 fights for the Canadian No 3. Mercado has now won only two of his last seven fights but with 22 of his 25 wins coming inside the distance he had a punchers chance and nearly brought it off.
Nadi, Fiji: Joseph Kwadjo (24-11,2ND) ND 6 Savenaca Naliva (9-2-1,1ND). A wild and wet night in Fiji as the fight between Kwadjo and Naliva was halted twice before being abandoned. The first stoppage came in the second round when a brawl broke out between the rival fans and the police had to intervene to quell the trouble. The fight restarted but rain had made the canvas slippery and even after both fighters shed their footwear they still had problems keeping their balance with Kwadjo sliding to the floor six times and the fight was abandoned. Kwadjo is a Ghanaian who now lives in Fiji and he and local fighter Naliva will have to meet again as this was for the Fijian title and that remains vacant.
Estosadok, Russia: Light Pavel Malikov (14-1-1) DREW 10 Vage Sarukhanyan (19-2-2). Super Welter: Olek Ivanov (17-4) W PTS 10 Konstantin Ponomarev (34-2). Light: Denis Shafikov (40-4-2 )DRE W 10 Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-0-1) . Super Welter: Alex Sharonov (12-3-2) W PTS 8 Akhmed Khapachev (3-2-1).
Malikov vs. Sarukhanyan
Malikov and Sarukhanyan draw in a close fight that saw both fighters on the floor. Malikov was the aggressor and the busier fighter early with Sarukhanyan showing some nice skills but just not working hard enough over the first three rounds. Sarukhanyan eventually began to pick up rounds but was floored in the eighth. He took the ninth and put Malikov down in the tenth to even things up. Scores 96-92 Malikov, 96-92 Sarukhanyan and 94-94.This was a quarter-final of a tournament so there had to be a winner and a fourth judge had Malikov 95-93 in front so he goes through to the lightweight semi-finals. Reportedly the 32-year-old Russian Malikov was defending the oddly named Eurasian Parliament title. Armenian Sarukhanyan, 28, is now 11-1-1 in his last 13 fights.
Ivanov vs. Ponomarev
Ivanov pushes the once promising Ponomarev a little further down the slope with a wide unanimous decision. Ponomarev did plenty of attacking but with a very leaky defence and Ivanov’s jab was the dominant punch in the fight. Ponomarev was bereft of any idea on how to turn things around and seems only half the fighter he was when campaigning in the USA and earning a world rating. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93 for Ivanov. Ukrainian-based Russian Ivanov makes it 7 wins in his last 8 fights and he also goes through to the semi-finals at super welter. Ponomarev looked a top prospect when he was beating Mikael Zewski and Brad Solomon but after 34 wins in a row he lost a split decision to unbeaten newcomer Sergey Vorobiev for the vacant Russian title in July last year.
Gadzhialiev vs. Shafikov
Disappointing performance from Shafikov. The former three-time challenger for the IBF title made a slow start and Gadzhialiev used speed and skill to work on the outside countering Shafikov’s usual forward march. Gadzhialiev built a good lead in the early rounds but Shafikov kept coming and looked to have edged in front only for Gadzhialiev to find another gear late. The judges scored this 96-96, 95-95 and 97-94 for Gadzhialiev. Again a result was needed and it was decided that whichever fighter the judges scored the last round for would go through to the semi-finals and that was Gadzhialiev. Although he has had only seven pro fights Gadzhialiev (Hajialiyev) was a high level amateur being Azeri national champion, winning a bronze medal at the European Championships and competing at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. He also fought for the Azerbaijan Baku Fires team in the World Series of Boxing. It remains to be seen how badly this draw affects Shafikov’s chances of getting a fourth world title fight but it must be a heavy blow to them.
Sharonov vs. Khapachev
Sharonov goes through to the semi-finals with Gadzhialiev as he gets majority decision over Khapachev. The fighters in this one were a class or two behind Gadzhialiev and Shafikov but their contrasting styles produced a competitive and close fight. Scores 77-76 and 77-75 for Sharonov and 76-76. Four wins in a row for Sharonov. Southpaw Khapachev was in his first eight round fight.
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Light: Prince Lee Isidore (17-3-1) W PTS 10 Antoni Armas (9-4). Local fighter Isidore overcomes a slow start to outpoint Venezuelan Armas. In his first fight since December 2017 Isidore took a few rounds to get into his stride and Armas connected with some heavy body punches in the second. The visitor looked to have edged the first three rounds. From the fourth Isidore took control and outboxed Armas. The young Venezuelan had never gone past six rounds and he tired late in the fight allowing Isidore to put the verdict beyond doubt and Isidore took the unanimous decision. This marked the first time that the 33-year-old Isidore had had to go the distance for a win. He collects the vacant WBFoundation International title. Armas, 22, had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Pretoria, South Africa: Heavy: Elvis Moyo (9-5-2) W PTS 10 Ruann Visser (14-1).
If these two are amongst the best heavyweights in Africa then the Africa is in sore need of some new faces. This contest was fought at a pedestrian pace. The 6’9 ½” tall Visser towered over the 6’1” Moyo who just kept plodding forward. There was no power in Visser’s jab and he was sloppy with his right so Moyo was able to walk the big man down. Moyo would work Visser to the ropes and launch himself forward firing hooks past the porous guard of Visser. Visser was slightly more active than the 282 ¼ lbs Moyo and landed enough to win a round here and there but other than that it was Moyo who did most of what scoring there was and was a deserving winner. Scores 98-95, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Zimbabwean Moyo. He has won his last six fights but against strictly low level opposition and at 6’1 and over 280lbs he makes Jarrell Miller look almost svelte. South African champion Visser had won his last nine fights but is going nowhere.
Fight of the week (Significance): Gervonta Davis has opened some exciting possibilities at super feather
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Ray Beltran vs. Hiroki Okada had plenty of action on show and the Jose Carlos Ramirez vs. Jose Zepeda fight was in the balance all the way.
Fighter of the week: Gervonta Davis for his obliteration of Hugo Ruiz
Punch of the week: So many to choose from. The left hook from Victor Ruiz that flattened unbeaten Christian Carto. A left hook from Reymart Gaballo that obliterated Yuya Nakamura and on the same show the overhand right that Romero Duno used to put away Kuldeep Dhanda also the lightning uppercut from Marcos Aumada that wiped out Carlos Nascimento all great punches but I go for the left hook from Cristian Coria that laid out favoured Joel Diaz.
Upset of the week: Ruiz vs. Carto, Cancio Coria vs. Diaz
Prospect watch: I will go with 24-year-old Tim Tszyu who is 12-0 with 10 wins by KO/TKO-it’s in the blood.
By Eric Armit
- Sergey Kovalev outboxes Eleider Alvarez to regain the WBO light heavyweight title
-Richard Commey crushes Isa Chaniev in two rounds for the vacant IBF lightweight title
-Oscar Valdez returns to action and stops Carmine Tommasone in seven rounds in defence of his WBO featherweight title
-Teo Lopez continues his march of destruction as he batters Diego Magdaleno to defeat in seven rounds
-Sergio Garcia outpoints unbeaten Ted Cheeseman to retain the European super welter title
-Samir Ziani beats Julie Giner on a sixth round retirement to win the vacant European super featherweight title
-Oldie Tomas Rojas scores late inside the distance win over Jairo Lopez and is hoping for a title fight
-World rated Aston Palicte crushes Jose Martinez to keep alive his hopes of a return against Donnie Nietes
-In Commonwealth title fights Felix Cash wins the vacant middleweight belt with win over Nigerian Rasheed Abolaji and Philip Bowes halts Tanzanian Benson Nyilawila for the super lightweight title.
WORLD TITLE CARDS
Frisco, TX, USA: Light Heavy: Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1) W PTS 12 Eleider Alvarez (24-1). Light: Richard Commey (28-2) W TKO 2 Isa Chaniev (13-2). Feather: Oscar Valdez (25-0) W TKO 7 Carmine Tommasone (19-1). Light: Teo Lopez (12-0) W KO 7 Diego Magdaleno (31-3). Super Welter: Patrick Day (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Ismail Iliev (11-1-1). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (15-0) W TKO 9 Elvin Ayala (29-13-1). Middle: Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0) W TKO 5 Steven Martinez (18-5).Feather: Jason Sanchez (14-0) W TKO 2 Daniel Olea (13-7-2).
Kovalev vs. Alvarez
Sweet revenge for Kovalev as he outboxes and outpoints Alvarez to regain the WBO light heavyweight title
Not a great deal of action. Kovalev was regularly stabbing out his jab but falling short. Alvarez scored with a his jab to the body and just did enough to edge a slow round that could have gone either way.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez
Dominant round for Kovalev. He was constantly finding gaps for his jab and following in with hooks and straight rights. Alvarez was throwing one punch at a time and mostly missing.
Score: Score 10-9 Tied 19-19
A much better round for Alvarez. He was able to get on the front foot and was jabbing strongly with purpose and doing a better job of blocking Kovalev’s jab. He was also firing rights. Kovalev did most of the pressing but was not letting his punches flow as he had in the second.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Alvarez 29-28
One for Kovalev. He was controlling the fight with his jab slotting it through Alvarez’s high guard and then firing clubbing lefts and rights to the head. Alvarez was just not throwing enough punches and in hiding behind his high guard was just moving into Kovalev’s punches without countering.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Tied 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Levi Martinez 40-36 Kovalev, Judge Jesse Reyes 38-38 tied, Judge Lisa Giampa 40-36 Kovalev.
Alvarez started the round well firing his jab and throwing a series of punches to the body. That was as good as it got for him once Kovalev started to find the rang with his jab and thumping rights. Alvarez tried to get close by coming in low but Kovalev cracked him with a right to the head and then finished the round with more hurtful head punches. Some of Kovalev’s shots were getting blocked but he was punching while Alvarez was waiting.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 48-47
Alvarez scored the first punch in this one a clubbing overhand right to the head which was the best pinch he had landed so far in the fight. From there Kovalev took over. He was teeing off on the advancing Alvarez and digging left hooks to the body. As Alvarez was coming forward Kovalev was firing a quick sequence of punches and then moving leaving the plodding Alvarez without a target
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 58-56
Alvarez let his hands go more in this one. When Alvarez came forward behind his high guard Kovalev was again able to stab home punches but in this round Alvarez was standing and exchanging punches and just getting the better of the action.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Kovalev 67-66
It was boxer Kovalev and not “Krusher” Kovalev who was winning here. His jab and move tactics were frustrating Alvarez’s attempts to get close. Kovalev was sliding punches through the porous guard of Alvarez and rattling him with quick bursts and then moving. Alvarez resorted to dropping his high guard and trying to walk Kovalev onto counters but that didn’t work either.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 77-75
Official Scores: Martinez 78-74 Kovalev, Reyes 77-75 Kovalev, Judge Giampa 80-72 Kovalev.
Another round for Kovalev. He was sticking to his hit and move tactics and landed a choice right over the top of Alvarez’s guard. He continued to pop out punches not really loading up on them but still scoring. Alvarez had started to go away from the high guard and was holding his hands where he could throw punches but kept falling back to the high guard under pressure.
Score:10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 87-84
Kovalev was in charge throughout this one. He was finding more and more gaps for his jabs and straight rights and was putting Alvarez on the back foot and having him floundering at times. Alvarez had largely abandoned the plodding head down tactics but had also long since abandoned using his jab and had no answer to Kovalev’s.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 97-93
With his hands freed from defensive work Alvarez opened the round with a series of punches including a strong left to the head. Kovalev worked hard throughout the round and threw more and landed more but it was the most competitive Alvarez had been for a few rounds.
Score:10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 107-102
Kovalev took the last clearly. He was against slotting home jabs and then firing quick bursts with Alvarez looking to land one big punch. Although he connected with a couple of hard head shots a confident Kovalev was forcing him back with quick accurate punches and was a clear winner of the round and the fight.
Score10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 117-111
Official Scores: Judge Levi Martinez 116-112 Kovalev, Judge Jesse Reyes 116-112 Kovalev, Judge Lisa Giampa 120-108 Kovalev.
The 35-year-old Florida-based Kovalev had his tactics just right here as he jabbed, moved and fired short bursts of punches controlling the tempo of the fight with Alvarez too slow to catch him. With fellow Russians Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol holding the IBF and WBA titles respectively and Ukrainian Olek Gvozdyk the WBC champion Eastern Europeans rule the roost. Britain’s Anthony Yarde is the WBO No 1 but I am not sure he is ready for Kovalev as he is yet to face an opponent remotely near the ratings. Alvarez had his tactics all wrong. Pressing behind a high guard only works if you can force your opponent to the ropes and work on him there. Alvarez never did that efficiently so rarely had Kovalev under any real pressure and he changed his tactics too late. He is still a force in this division and may look to get a return with Kovalev or try for one of the other belts.
Commey vs. Chaniev
Justice for Commey as demolishes Chanev inside two rounds and lifts the vacant IBF title in his second. attempt. Commey established a strong jab from the outset. Chanev was trying some rights but looked low on power. Commey put Chanev on the back foot with his jab but Chaniev landed with some good hooks and a straight right. That gave Chanev the confidence to stand and trade which proved a big mistake. First he was shaken by a Commey left hook and then a straight right dumped Chanev on the floor. He was up quickly but he looked very unsteady and staggered backwards. After the eight count Commey leapt in to try to finish the fight but after landing a couple of punches Commey tripped and went down. There was no count and after Commey landed another right the bell went. With just eight seconds gone in the second round a left hook sent Chanev down again. He looked unsteady and after the count Commey piled in connecting with punches from both hands. Chanev tried desperately to hold on but when a short left hook on the inside floored Chanev again the fight was stopped. Great win for the 31-year-old from Ghana and win No 25 by KO/TKO. In his first shot at the title he lost a controversial split decision to Robert Easter and then suffered another blow in a questionable split verdict against Denis Shafikov. He had scored three good wins going into this one and crushed Chanev with ease. Boxing in Ghana suffered a blow with the loss of Isaac Dogboe against Emanuel Navarette but this win by Commey will restore national pride and put a smile back on the faces in his home country. By winning this one Commey had lined up a huge fight against Vasyl Lomachenko in Los Angeles on 14 April but Commey indicated he had injured his right hand in the Chanev fight so there is some doubt over that. The ease with which Commey disposed of Russian Chaniev puts a question over how Chaniev came to be at No 3 the second highest rated fighter in the IBF ratings. Significantly he could not fill the No 2 spot because he had not beaten a rated fighter so the No 2 spot was vacant. He had beaten reasonable level opposition in Jean Pierre Bauwens, Juan Martin Elorde and Ismael Barroso but those fighters were all unrated when he beat them and he was crushed here.
Valdez vs. Tommasone
Valdez returns to action and shakes off some rust as he retains the WBO title with stoppage of Italian Tommasone
Neither fighter dominated the round. Valdez was quicker and more accurate with his jabs. Tommasone tried some rights but was mainly on the back foot and short with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Valdez
Valdez stepped up the pace in the second . Again he was forcing Tommasone back with hard, accurate jabs. He was letting his hands go more but with his inactivity his timing was off. Tommasone kept stabbing out his jab but it was a defensive weapon not an offensive one.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 20-18
Tommasone did well over the first half of the round. He was more positive with his jab and landing some rights. Valdez was hunting him down with more purpose but his timing was still out and Tommasone kept moving and kept jabbing and just did enough to edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Tommasone Valdez 29-28
The roof fell in on the Italian challenger in this one. Valdez moved up a gear and hurt Tommasone early with a left to the body. Valdez was pressing hard and Tommasone stepped in to trade punches and Valdez connected with a straight right that sent Tommasone down. He sat on the floor and timed his rise getting up at eight. Valdez went after him but Tommasone boxed on the back foot piercing Valdez’s guard with jabs and scoring with a four-punch combination. Just before the bell a long left from Valdez landed on the belt of Tommasone. He momentarily dipped at the knees and touched the canvas that led to a second count.
Score: 10-7 Valdez Valdez 39-35
Official Scores: Judge Javier Alvarez 40-34 Valdez, Judge Ursulo Perez 40-34 Valdez, Judge Elias Johnson 40-34 Valdez
Tommasone was moving and jabbing again and now his jab was more accurate and he was getting though Valdez’s guard. When Tommasone became too confident a left to the body from Valdez saw him backing off. Valdez began to find the target with his left hooks to the body and straight rights bringing blood from Tommasone’s nose and bruising under his left eye as Valdez was finally getting his timing right.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 49-44
Valdez was staring to load up on his punches but the punch that put Tommasone down early in this round was a jab which knocked the Italian off balance. He was up at eight and despite pressure from Valdez was never really in trouble again as he boxed on the back foot with plenty of jabs.
Score: Score 10-8 Valdez Valdez 59-52
It was over quickly in this round. With less than ten seconds on the clock a stunning short right uppercut from Valdez sent Tommasone down. The referee immediately waived the fight over despite protests from Tommasone. It looked as though Tommasone could have continued but it was only going to end with him taking more punishment so it was a wall judged decision by the referee. Due to injuries this is the first fight for Valdez since March 2018 and he took a few rounds to get his timing right and got the job done. His mandatory challenger is Filipino Genisis Servania so what happens next depends on whether the WBO insist he fights Servania or allows Valdez another voluntary defence. Tommasone’s role as challenger required some ratings “adjustment” form the WBO who parachuted him in on the back of a November win over a guy with a 8-8-1 record. Having said that he show a sharp jab and plenty of shifty footwork but with only five wins by KO/TKO was never a threat so just right for Valdez after his long period of inactivity. The night was not all bad for Tommasone as he proposed to his girlfriend in the ring and she accepted. Bravisimo Carmine!
Lopez vs. Magdaleno
Another imperious performance from Lopez as he dismantles then demolishes Magdaleno. It was the power of Lopez against the hand speed and movement of Magdaleno and both were on show in the first with Magdaleno’s right jab flicking out like a snakes tongue and Lopez landing with a couple of hard punches just before the end of the round. Magdaleno was quick with his fist again in the second and although he was landing for Lopez it was a case of insult but not injury and he shook Magdaleno with a vicious right uppercut that saw Magdaleno buckle at the knees and opened a cut on the bridge of Magdaleno’s nose. Lopez is pretty quick with his own hands and was driving Magdaleno back with snapping hooks to the head starting to connect with some hard shots. He trapped Magdaleno in a corner and landed with some straight rights before Magdaleno skipped out of range. Lopez does not mind which hand he leads with and in the third he sneaked home a peach of a right uppercut and then continued to land with rights either as the lead or following a jab. Magdaleno was throwing his jab at the start of the fourth but a few right counters from Lopez made him much more reluctant to commit himself to attack. It was a quieter round but it was Lopez whose punches were landing. In the fifth Lopez began to unload on Magdaleno with right uppercuts and straight rights Magdaleno was trying to come in behind his jab with lefts to the body and had some success but there was no real sting to the punches whereas almost every punch Lopez threw was a power shot- and plenty of them were landing. Lopez hardly threw a punch over the first half of the sixth but then landed a right to the body that hurt Magdaleno. He continued to be sparing with his shots but connected with another body punch and snapped Magdaleno’s head back with a left uppercut. Magdaleno kept working but late in the round as he moved inside a wicked left to the chin sent him tumbling sideways to the floor. He was up at eight and after the count with less than ten seconds left Lopez landed a couple more head punches at the bell. As Magdaleno walked back to his corner he was unsteady, there was blood dripping from the cut on his nose and his left eye was almost closed. Lopez connected with a series of hard head punches in the seventh driving Magdaleno to the ropes and pouring on punishment. A gutsy Magdaleno gestured for Lopez to bring it on and he did with more lefts and rights to the head and then connected with a fearsome left that put Magdaleno down on his back. The referee started the count but did not bother to complete but cradled Magdaleno in his arms and stopped the fight. The 21-year-old from Brooklyn makes it ten wins by KO/TKO. If he continues to destroy opposition this way I am going to run out of superlatives. To just talk about his power would be to understate his talent as he is also a very clever defensive boxer. He retained his NABF and USBA titles and won the vacant NABA belt so is covering all angles and is rated WBA 9/WBC 11/WBO 11. There is talk of a fight with Jose Pedraza this year and that would be an interesting test for Lopez. Magdaleno, 32, had previously only lost in world title fights being outpointed by Roman Martinez and stopped by Terry Flanagan in WBO fights. He won his two fights in 2018 but took a savage beating here so will be on the sidelines for a while.
Day vs. Iliev
Former top amateur Day registers his sixth win on the bounce with unanimous verdict over Russian Iliev. The respective tactics gelled well producing a competitive ten rounds. Iliev was the aggressor early with Day boxing well and countering the Russian’s attacks. Iliev was going for quantity and Day with accuracy and more power punches. Most of the rounds were close and could have been scored for either boxer but it was Day’s heavier eye-catching shots that earned him the verdict. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Day. The 26-year-old from Freeport was National Golden Gloves champion and great things were expected from him when he first turned pro, initially he had trouble adjusting to the pro game but seems to have settled now and is making progress. Iliev, also a good level amateur, was having his first fight in the USA and his first fight for almost 14 months so his slow start is understandable.
Murtazaliev vs. Ayala
World rated Russian slowly breaks down a gutsy Ayala for a late stoppage win. Murtazaliev was attacking hard from the start and Ayala tried to match him early. In the opener a Murtazaliev punch had Ayala taking a knee but he survived the round. After that Ayala quickly went into reverse under the pressure. Murtazaliev continued to boss the action with Ayala doing just enough to stay in the fight and it looked as though Ayala might go the distance. Late in the eighth a left hook had Ayala badly shaken and Murtazaliev stormed forward in the ninth landing plenty and with Ayala on the ropes and being pounded the referee stepped in and halted the fight. The 26-year-old Murtazaliev retains the WBC USNBC title and makes it ten wins by KO/TKO in his last eleven contests. No names on his record yet but he is already rated WBO 7/IBF 10(9). Way back in 2008 Ayala challenged unsuccessfully for the IBF middleweight title losing to Arthur Abraham. Now 38 Ayala is a long way down the slope with one win in his last eight fights.
Alimkhanuly vs. Martinez
Look out here comes yet another outstanding talent from Kazakhstan. Martinez is a good level pro and looked a reasonable test for southpaw Alimkhanuly. The Kazak boxer soon dispelled that notion. After taking the first two rounds he floored Martinez early in the third and rocked Martinez with savage uppercuts in the fourth. After another of those wicked uppercuts in the fifth the referee came in to save Martinez from more harm. The 25-year-old Oxnard-based Alimkhanuly gets his second inside the distance win. As an amateur he was a gold medallist at the World Championships, Asian Championships and Asian Games but did not medal at the 2012 or 2016 Olympics. Certainly one to follow. Martinez suffers his first loss inside the distance. He took Terrell Gausha to a majority decision but this was his first fight for eleven months.
Sanchez vs. Olea
Sanchez dismantles Olea in two rounds. Sanchez blitzed Olea landing heavily with both hands in the first and then putting Olea on the floor with a powerful right in the second. Olea managed to return to the vertical but his legs were all over the place and the referee would not let him continue. The 24-year-old “Little Scorpion” from Albuquerque moves to seven inside the distance wins. A victory in October over unbeaten Jean Carlos Rivera saw him lift the vacant WBO Youth title and he was rewarded with No 15 in the WBO ratings. Mexican Olea suffers his third defeat in a row all against very tough opponents.
Alpine, CA, USA: Super Fly: Aston Palicte (25-2-1) W TKO 2 Jose Martinez (20-1-2). Impressive showing by Palicte as he wipes out previously unbeaten Martinez inside two rounds. In the opening round Palicte used his longer reach to probe with his jab and then fired home straight rights. Martinez was going to the body and landed a good left hook. He was confident and taking the fight to Palicte and they exchanged punches. Just at the bell Martinez lunged forward with his head banging into Palicte’s face but luckily there was no damage. Martinez went after Palicte at the start of the second landing body punches. A left hook to the body followed by a left to the head saw Martinez almost go down and he briefly touch the canvas with a glove. No count was applied but Palicte kept Martinez against the ropes and unloaded with shots to head and body. Martinez got off the ropes and fired back but was nailed with a series of rights from Palicte and dropped to one knee. He was up at eight but dropped under more rights complaining about a punch to the back of the head. He was up at eight again but as Palicte was beating on him the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. First fight for the 28-year-old Filipino since drawing with Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO super fly title in September and win No 21 by KO/TKO. He has lost only one of his last seventeen contests. He fights under the banner of the Roy Jones Jr team and is trained by former WBC light flyweight champion Rodel Mayol. He was an elite level amateur competing at the World Junior Championships and the prestigious King’s Cup and his younger brother Jamie won a gold medal at the Asian Junior Championships. Puerto Rican Martinez beat 23-2 Jesus Martinez in 2017 but had only one fight in 2018.
Rochester, NY, USA: Super Middle: DeAndre Ware (13-1-2) W PTS 10 Ronald Ellis (15-1-2,1ND). Light: Will Madera (13-0-2) W PTS 8 Thomas Mattice (13-1-1). Middle: Dominic Wade (19-1) W KO 1 Martin Rios (23-19-4,1ND).
Ware vs. Ellis
Minor upset as Ware takes majority decision over previously unbeaten Ellis. It was a close fight all the way. Ellis made the better start working well on the outside with his jab with Ware trying to get inside. The fight changed after the third in which Ellis suffered yet another of the hand injuries that have plagued him in his career. With his right of limited use Ellis had to rely mainly on his jab. He tried to compensate by throwing even more jabs and for a while he was outworking Ware and built a lead. Eventually as it became apparent that Ellis was carrying the injury the always pressing Ware was able to step up his attacks and get past the jab and land with powerful rights. Ellis was only able to use his right sporadically and despite a big effort in the last Ware just got the decision his pressure and power punching deserved. Scores 96-94 twice for Ware and 95-95. Big win for Toledo fireman Ware who had suffered his only loss to date when coming in as a late substitute and being outpointed by Cem Kilic in September. He collects three previously vacant titles in one go as he wins the NABA, WBC Continental Americas and the USBO titles. More bad luck for former National Golden Gloves champion Ellis. Hand injuries have caused two extended periods of inactivity but he was also out for fourteen months back in 2013/2014. Whilst that was due to an elbow injury it was also the result of positive test. He will be inactive again whilst this latest injury heals .
Madera vs. Mattice
Good matchmaking under the sponsorship of Shobox sees a second very close battle between unbeaten fighters as Madera beats favourite Mattice on a tight unanimous verdict. Madera won this one on the basis of his better work over the first half of the fight. He pressed the fight hard and Mattice was slow to get into his stride. Madera was the busier and more accurate. Mattice used his better skills to get into the fight over the middle rounds but Madera protected the early lead he had built with a strong finish over the last two rounds and was a good winner. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 all for Madera. The 28-year-old Madera from nearby Albany has struggled against very modest opposition but against a better class of opponent he showed improvement here. Mattice had also struggled lately. In his last two fights he had looked lucky to get a split verdict over Zhora Hamazaryan and then fought a draw with the Armenian.
Wade vs. Rios
In his first fight for almost three years Wade disposes off Argentinian Rios in just 108 seconds. No time for any rust to show as Wade floors Rios twice with the second, a left to the head, putting Rios down and out. First fight for Wade since his crushing two round beating by Gennady Golovkin in a world title challenge in April 2016. Still only 28 it will be interesting to see where he goes next as he was 173lbs for this one. Rios, a former Argentinian champion at middleweight and super middleweight, suffers his fourth loss by KO/TKO and his eighth loss in his last nine fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Feather: Pablo Ojeda (16-4-1) W KO 3 Mario Lozano (18-2-1).
Ojeda’s power too much for Lozano. After two fairly even rounds Ojeda broke through in the third. A straight right forced Lozano back to the ropes. He tried to fight his way off the ropes but an overhand right and a left hook sent him staggering and another left saw him pitch forward and down and he was counted out. Ojeda wins the vacant WBO Latino title with his eleventh win by KO/TKO. Lozano was 10-0-1 in his last eleven fights but they were mostly four round preliminaries.
Fontvielle, Monaco: Middle: Diego Natchoo (18-1-4,1ND) W PTS 10 Patrick Momene Mokamba (7-24-4). Super Feather: Florian Montels (14-2-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Rachid Sali (6-8-2,1ND).
Natchoo vs. Mokamba
L’Indien Natchoo retains the French title with wide unanimous verdict over Mokamba. Natchoo made a great start flooring Mokamba with a hard left hook in the first round. Mokamba survived and tried to force the fight but Natchoo was too quick and too clever .The fight was fast-paced and both tired badly over the late rounds but Natchoo held on to the lead and was a clear winner Scores 98-91 twice and 98-92 all for Natchoo. He lost in a challenge f or the French super middle title in 2017 but then moved down to middle and is now 8-0-1 in the new division. Next up will be a defence against experienced Michel Mothmora who he beat for the title in October. First shot at the national title for Mokamba who is now 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Montels vs. Sali
Montels holds on to the French super feather title as he knocks back the challenge of No 1 feather Sali in a return match. Montels boxed coolly in this one with Sali trying to break through with wild attacks. A right from Montels had Sali in trouble in the third but he was unable to capitalise on that. Montels controlled the fight with his better boxing but over the second half of the fight with Montels taking no chances and Sali just not able to be a threat it was a disappointing contest. When these two fought in November a clash of heads saw Sali badly cut and although Montels had won the three completed rounds it was declared a No Decision. No mistake this time as Montels won all the way. Scores 100-90,99-91 and 98-92 for Montels. He is now 6-1,1ND in his last 8 fights with the loss being against WBC No 7 lightweight Yvan Mendy. Sali, a poor challenger, is 1-7-2,1ND in his most recent 11 contests
London, England: Super Welter: Sergio Garcia (29-0) W PTS 12 Ted Cheeseman (15-1). Middle: Felix Cash (11-0) W TKO 1 Rasheed Abolaji (11-5-1). Light Heavy: Craig Richards (13-1) W TKO 3 Jake Ball (12-2). Cruiser: Lawrence Okolie (11-0) W TKO 3 Tamas Lodi (20-12-2 ). Middle: Scott Fitzgerald (12-0) W TKO 2 Filip Rzadek (2-12).
Garcia vs. Cheeseman
Garcia outboxes a gutsy but outclassed Cheeseman in the first defence of his European title. No probing or posturing in this fight. Garcia was immediately sliding punches past the guard of the advancing Cheeseman who was using a high guard and throwing hooks. Garcia was on the back foot but very accurate with his jab and straight rights and moving quickly back leaving Cheeseman with no target. Cheeseman did better in the second connecting with hooks and straight rights and landed a sharp uppercut but Garcia was throwing more and landing more and it was as well that Garcia is not a heavy puncher. Cheeseman continued to walk into jabs and heavy counters in the third and fourth. Garcia did not have a strong enough punch to keep him out but was scoring with jabs hooks and uppercuts on the challenger. Cheeseman upped his pace in the fifth and scored well with hooks. He was also moving his head more but Garcia was still finding plenty of gaps although Cheeseman rattled the Spaniard with a left hook late in the round. The sixth saw three minutes of pressure from Cheeseman and three minutes of pain and frustration as uppercuts from Garcia brought blood dripping from the challenger’s nose and movement from Garcia left Cheeseman swishing air. At the half-way point it was hard to feel Cheeseman had won a single round. In the seventh Cheeseman tried both the high guard and hands down swinging but he just kept walking onto punishment. The eighth was a great round. Cheeseman again came out swinging. No high guard just powerful rights and lefts and for once he was connecting and bombarding Garcia who looked rattled. He was caught with some powerful punches and it looked as though Garcia was about to go under. Then the storm blew itself out and Garcia was the one landing heavily only for Cheeseman to come to life again and score with heavy rights to take the round. Garcia couldn’t miss Chesses man with his punches in the ninth and tenth as the challenger just kept walking onto punch after punch. His head was snapped back by a vicious uppercut and a bruise under his left eye was leaking blood. Cheeseman connected with some wild swings in the eleventh but he was walking forward with both hands at hip level making it easy for Garcia to rattle his head with a series of punches. Cheeseman had early success in the last as he trapped Garcia in a corner and landed three rights to the head. After that he was just swinging wildly and too often standing right in front of Garcia with his hands down allowing the Spaniard to tee-off on him an array of punches. Scores 119-109 twice and a totally unbelievable 115-114 all for Garcia. Scoring is not subjective it is opinion but how Massimiliano Bianco scored this one 115-114 is beyond me. Garcia outclassed a very brave Cheeseman in his first defence of his European title. The super welter division is talent rich in Europe and the world. I am not sure Garcia has the power to beat the top fighters. He is No 4 with the WBC and No 14(13) with the IBF so could land a title shot. British champion Cheeseman was never able to get a foothold in this fight but is 23 so he can come again.
Cash vs. Abolaji
Cash wins the vacant Commonwealth Boxing Council title with stoppage of Nigerian Abolaji. Cash was sharp from the start. He was snapping out his jab to head and body and landed a couple of hooks to the body . The next jab from Cash surprisingly saw Abolaji go back and down on his rump. He got up at six and after the eight count he seemed to have recovered. They boxed on until Cash connected with a combination and as Abolaji came forward Cash landed a hard jab and following behind it came a straight right that connected with the forehead of Abolaji who stumbled forward a couple of steps and then pitched face down on the canvas. He somehow staggered to his feet but wobbled back to the ropes and was obviously in no condition to continue and the fight was over. Seventh win by KO/TKO for 25-year-old prospect Cash. Abolaji had gone the distance with Sam Sheedy for this same title in 2017. He then scored three wins in 2017 before losing on a sixth round retirement against Bilel Jkitou in January 2018 for the vacant ABU title which was his last fight. He got caught cold here but it was a very disappointing performance from him.
Richards vs. Ball
Richards right proves too strong for the skills of Ball. After a tentative opening in the first with southpaw Ball circling the ring and probing with his jab Richards landed a straight right which dumped Ball down onto the bottom rope. Ball arose quickly and looked OK and the bell went after the eight count was completed. Ball was working with his jab in the second but there was danger in every right that Richards threw. After they both landed good punches a right to the body saw Ball drop to his knees. He beat the count but was hurt and the bell went before Richards could press home his advantage. It was mainly a case of exchanging jabs in third until two rights from Richards put Ball down again. Ball was up at eight and allowed to continue. Richards chased Ball throwing more rights. A couple landed and as Ball staggered back the referee stopped the fight with Ball protesting strongly that he was OK. “Spider” Richards, 28, makes it eight wins by KO/TKO and collects the vacant WBA Continental title. His only loss is against Frank Buglioni when he came in as a very late substitute and lost a close decision in a challenge for the British title. This is his fourth inside the distance win since then. The 6’4” Ball had won his last five fights.
Okolie vs. Lodi
Okolie just keeps busy with stoppage of an outclassed Lodi. There was no way this one was going to last long. Okolie towered over the Hungarian and was able to spear Lodi with jabs and drop in right crosses. Lodi was in survival mode before the first minute was over. Okolie was able to stand off and place his punches where he liked with little or nothing coming back from Lodi. The visitor threw a few punches at the start of the second but soon went back into his shell’ Okolie put Lodi down with a left and a right . Lodi was up quickly but floored again by a right to the head. Got to his feet and as the eight count was completed the bell rang. A straight right saw Lodi drop to one knee in the third. He beat the count and tried to come forward but two rights sent him down again. This time when he completed the eight count the referee waived the fight over. Okolie, the Commonwealth and British champion, move to 8 wins by KO/TKO. This was a defence of his WBA Continental title and whoever though this was a suitable title fight should hide their face. A top prospect Okolie was several classes above Lodi who was a late pick as his opponent. The danger is that if Okolie gets fed opposition like this he could develop habits that could cost him dear against better opposition but his team will make sure that doesn’t happen. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for Lodi.
Fitzgerald vs. Rzadek
Fitzgerald overpowers poor Rzadek for another quick win. No time wasting from Fitzgerald. He was landing thudding hooks to the body and strong rights. Rzadek tried a couple of punches but all he got for his trouble was another series of blistering hooks from Fitzgerald. A stiff jab followed by a right to the head saw Rzadek fall to his knees late in the round. He made it to his feet and lasted the remaining seconds to the bell. Early in the second a left from Fitzgerald landed very low. He was given a warning and Rzadek given some recovery time. When the fight resumed a series of hooks and a wicked uppercut saw Rzadek fall to his knees and although he just made it his feet the referee stopped the fight. The 27-year-old Commonwealth gold medallist makes it nine wins by KO/TKO but this was just another keep busy fight. He will face a much sterner test when he tackles unbeaten Anthony Fowler in Liverpool on 30 March. Now that will be some fight. Rzadek in way over his head he has 18 losses inside the distance.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Feather: Samir Ziani (28-4-1) W RTD 6 Juli Giner (23-4-1). Light: Frank Urquiaga (13-1-1DREW 10 Ivan Tomas (9-0-1) . Super Feather: Moussa Gholan (11-0) W RTD 5 Alex Rat (8-4-2).
Ziani vs. Giner
Another exciting European title fight sees Frenchman Ziani take on experienced former EU champion Giner in the Spaniard’s home city and break both Giner’s heart and that of Giner’s fervent supporters to win the EBU belt. The pattern for the fight was set in the first round and never varied. Southpaw Ziani was marching forward getting in close and working the body and Giner was moving and countering. The rounds were close in a too-and-fro battle. Ziani was having success with his body punches and Giner was on target with sharp, accurate counters. It looked a fairly even fight over the first five rounds but in the sixth the body attack paid off for Ziani. He continued to press hard and Giner began to feel his 35 years and began to struggle. He had nothing left and although he was still on his feet at the bell he was finished and retired in his corner. Former French champion Ziani, 28, wins the European title at his second attempt having lost a very close decision, 115-113 from all three judges, against Guillame Frenois in 2016. He had won seven in row since then Giner, 35, is a former Spanish feather and super feather and EU champion with his losses being to quality opposition in Ruddy Encarnacion, Miguel Roman and Martin Joseph Ward for this European title. It could be retirement time for “The Rock”.
Urquiaga vs. Tomas
Urquiaga and Tomas end up all even after a good ten round scrap for the vacant Spanish title. Urquiaga was the favourite and that looked the right pick over the first four rounds. From the fifth Tomas started to firstly get into the fight and then take it over and it was close all the way with the draw looking a fair result. Scores 95-95 twice and 96-95 for Torres. Peruvian-born Urquiaga suffered his only loss when he was outpointed by Edis Tatli for the European title last August. Tomas, 25, did well as this was his first ten round fight. Hopefully there will be a return.
Gholan vs. Rat
Lanky youngster Gholan wins the vacant WBC Youth title with a victory over Rat. The tall Moroccan-born Gholan had already built a substantial lead when Romanian Rat retired citing an injury to his left arm. Good win for Gholan who was also in his first ten round fight. Madrid-based Rat, who previously fought for the IBF Youth title, had won his last two fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Light: Kenichi Ogawa (23-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Roldan Aldea (12-7-1). Fly: Junto Nakatani (18-0) W TKO 9 Noaki Mochizuki (15-4). Koki
Ogawa vs. Aldea
Ogawa returns to the ring for the first time since being suspended for testing positive after winning the vacant IBF super featherweight title against Tevin Farmer. Ogawa won the first round but southpaw Aldea scored with some sharp lefts to the body in the second. Ogawa took over then scoring with heavy rights in the fourth and fifth with Aldea managing to get home some left hooks. Ogawa dished out heavy punishment in the seventh And eighth but Aldea refused to crumble and fought hard to the last bell. Scores 99-92, 98-92 and 97-93 for Ogawa. He celebrated his 31st birthday on Friday and gets win No 17 by KO/TKO. With Farmer now the IBF champion Ogawa will be looking to fight his way back to another title shot. Aldea, the Philippines lightweight champion, does not travel well-six of his seven losses have been on the road,
Nakatani vs. Mochizuki
Southpaw hope Nakatani wins the vacant Japanese title with stoppage of Mochizuki. Nakatani was handing some severe punishment with lefts to the body and right uppercuts. Mochizuki managed to do some good work inside in the second but was having to absorb some heavy hits. Nakatani continued to press over the next three rounds with his uppercut again a dominating punch. After five rounds Nakatani was well in front on scores of 49-46 twice and 50-45. Mochizuki was beginning to fade but kept fighting back although his face was now swelling from Nakatani’s punches. In the ninth a right uppercut and a straight left had Mochizuki in trouble and the referee stopped the contest. The 21-year-old Nakatani now has 13 victories by KO/TKO. He is already rated WBC 4/WBO 10 so could be in line for a title fight later this year. First loss by KO/TKO for Mochizuki who had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Rio Bravo, Mexico: Super Feather: Tomas Rojas (51-16-1) W RTD 10 Jairo Lopez (23-10). Super Middle: Juan Macias Montiel (21-4-1) W TKO 4 Marcos Reyes (37-5).
Rojas vs. Lopez
Age is but a number for “The Worm” as Rojas outclasses and beats Lopez. The tall, skinny southpaw, a former WBC super flyweight champion was living up to his “Doberman” nickname but Rojas showed a combination of good defensive work and hurtful counters and Lopez went down on one knee after a hail of punches in the fourth. Lopez is tough and he continued to try to take the fight to Rojas but was paying a heavy price and was floored again with a body punch in the tenth. It was a well beaten Lopez who went back to his corner and he did not answer the bell for the eleventh round. After loses to Cris Mijares and Edivaldo Ortega in 2017 it looked as though Rojas was coming to the end of the road. However he proved that he still had plenty left with a points win in October over Jhonny Gonzalez. He is No 8 with the WBC so at 38 there may be one more title shot out there for him. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Lopez. He was 2-3 in fights in 2017 and 2018 but the three losses were against Luke Campbell, Jose Felix and 19-0 Joseph Aguirre
Montiel vs. Reyes
Montiel gets win over more experienced Reyes. Both of these are big punchers so it was not expected to go the distance. What was not expected was that young Montiel would almost blow Reyes away in the first round. Montiel came out punching and put Reyes immediately under pressure. He landed some heavy stuff and late in the round a series of head punches floored Reyes. He only just beat the count and was saved from defeat by the bell. Reyes never really recovered from that pounding and Montiel had him under fire and on the back foot through the second and third and by the fourth the referee was ready to step in and declare Montiel the winner. The 24-yerar-old “Juanito” is a member of the clan fighting Montiel’s clan from Los Mochis which includes former world champion Fernando Montiel. This is his 21st win b y KO/TKO. His only inside the distance defeat was against Jaime Munguia in 2017. Reyes started his career by going 32-1 in his first 33 fights and had reversed his only loss. He then went 3-3 in his next six including defeats against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and David Lemieux. He had won his last two fights but he looked an old man here and just caved in under the pressure
Anapa, Russia: Light: Elnur Samedov (8-1) W PTS 10 Viskhan Murzabekov (18-3).
Samedov climbs off the floor twice and wins vacant Russian title at the second attempt with split decision over more experienced favourite Murzabekov. Samedov was down in the first and third rounds and both boxers escaped without injury when they toppled through the ropes with Murzabekov landing on the ring apron and Samedov pitching head first into the ringside seats. Neither fighter was injured and Samedov staged a strong finish to claw back the points lost over those first three rounds. The 25-year-old Azeri-born southpaw had lost a split decision to unbeaten Nikita Kuznetsov for the vacant title in March last year. He now goes forward into the semi-finals of the Presidents Cup. “Little Tyson” Murzabekov had won 6 of his last 7 fights with all of the wins by KO/TKO.
London, England: Super Light: Philip Bowes (19-3) W TKO 2 Benson Nyilawila (10-2). “Quicksilver” Bowes wins the vacant Commonwealth Boxing Council belt with second round stoppage of young Tanzanian Nyilawila. The tall East London southpaw gets win No 3 by KO/TKO and has won 10 of his last 11 fights. Nyilawila, 21, lacked the experience to really pose any problems for Bowes and suffers his second loss in a row.
Necochea, Argentine: Middle: Francisco Torres (11-3) W PTS 10 Alan Castano (13-1). Middle: Jonathan Wilson Sanchez (14-3-1) W TKO 3 Sergio Lopez (12-3).
Torres vs. Castano
An upset result as Torres beats Castano. This was a quarter final fight in the Argentinian middleweight Super 8 tournament for the Carlos Monzon Cup. Castano was the favourite to win the Tournament but fell by the wayside as he was clearly beaten by Torres. After a close opening round Torres began to make use of his advantages in height and reach and was able to counter the attacking Castano with long lefts and rights and land sharp uppercuts when Castano did get inside. Castano took too long to get into the fight and was not nearly busy enough. By the end of the fifth Torres had built a good lead. Castano was walking through the punishment in the sixth and finally handing out some of his own. Torres banged back strongly in the seventh and there were some savage exchanges over the last three rounds as Castano tried vainly to close the points gap. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Torres. Big win for Torres who did not even figure in the Argentinian ratings. Inactivity may have caused the slow start to the fight for Castano. He had only one fight in 2017 and was inactive in 2018. He was a top ranked amateur who competed in the World Series of Boxing before turning pro. He is the younger brother of Brian Castano the holder of the secondary WBA super welterweight title.
Sanchez vs. Lopez
Plenty of incident in this one as Sanchez gets a win when Lopez just climbs out of the ring in the middle of the third round. In the first round Lopez was storming forward forcing Sanchez to the ropes. As he piled forward throwing more punches Sanchez stepped to the side and a charging Lopez went out over the top rope being caught by a couple of ringsiders before he hit the floor. He managed to get in the ring before being counted out. Later in the round Lopez floored Sanchez with a right and with Sanchez kneeling on the canvas looking up at him Lopez took a step forward and landed another right for which he should have been disqualified. Sanchez was up at eight and survived. In the next round the position was almost reversed with Sanchez missing with punches and ending up balanced on the top rope half way out of the ring with the referee grabbing him by the shoulder and pulling him back into the ring. In the third Sanchez began to connect with hard right crosses to the head and the referee gave Lopez a standing count. When the action resumed Sanchez drove Lopez to a corner. Lopez then turned away , waived his arm and just climbed out through the ropes onto the ring apron. He then changed his mind and climbed back into the ring. The referee proceeded to count Lopez out., Bizarre! Sanchez needed the win being 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights. The victory puts him in the semi-finals of the Argentinian middleweight Super8. Lopez, the Argentinian No 6, had won 8 of his last 9 fights and even he could not explain his crazy actions.
Ingelmunster, Belgium: Super Feather: Maidin El Garni (14-0) W PTS 10 Brian Pelaez (8-4). Super Feather: Hakim Ben Ali (21-6) W PTS 8 Matthieu Lehot (11-10-1)
El Garni vs. Pelaez
El Garni lifts the vacant IBO Continental title with victory over Spaniard Pelaez. El Garni was conceding lots of height and weight against Pelaez but was always coming forward and getting past the jab of Pelaez. Neither fighter is a puncher so there were plenty of fiery exchanged but without either really being shaken. Most of the rounds were close but El Garni looked to have just done enough to edge out the Spaniard. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94 all for El Garni. The 25-year-old El Garni is a former undefeated French lightweight champion but has moved down and is now No 2 super feather in the French ratings and No 18 in the EU lists. Pelaez , 23,had won 6 of his last 7 fights with the defeat coming in December against unbeaten Puerto Rican hope Abraham Nova .
Ben Ali vs. Lehot
Former Belgian champion Ben Ali also faced a taller opponent in former French champion Lehot. The pattern was much the same as the other main event with Ben Ali bundling his way inside with Lehot trying to work at distance. Ben Ali’s tactics prevailed and he was a clear winner on all three cards. Scores 77-74 twice and 78-74 all in favour of Ben Ali. The former European Union title challenger lost back to back fights to unbeaten opponents Faroukh Kurbanov and Joe Cordina but has won two in a row and is hoping to fight for a title this year. First fight for Lehot since losing the French title last May.
Fight of the week (Significance): Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez which could lead to some interesting unification fights in the light heavy division
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing really stood out.
Fighter of the week: Sergey Kovalev with honourable mentions to Richard Commey and Teo Lopez
Punch of the week: The sweet uppercut from Oscar Valdez that finished Carmine Tommasone was special as was the left from Teo Lopez that ended his fight with Diego Magdaleno
Upset of the week: No biggies although DeAndre Ware’s win over Ronald Ellis was unexpected
Prospect watch: Kazak middleweight Janibek Alimkhanuly 5-0 is worth following.
By Eric Armit
The Past Week in Action
-Keith Thurman retains the WBA welterweight title with victory over Josesito Lopez
-China’s Can Xu wins the secondary WBA featherweight title with upset victory over Jesus Rojas
-Jamie Munguia retains the WBO super welter title with wide unanimous verdict over Takeshi Inoue
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar outpoints Claudio Marrero in WBC featherweight eliminator and also wins the vacant IBO title
-Adam Kownacki steam rollers Gerald Washington in two rounds
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Keith Thurman (29-0) W PTS 12 Josesito Lopez (36-8,1ND). Feather: Tugstsogt Nyambayar (22-0) W PTS 12 Claudio Marrero (23-3). Heavy: Adam Kownacki (19-0) W TKO 2 Gerald Washington (19-3-1). Middle: Chordale Booker (14-0) W PTS 8 Juan De Angel (21-9-1). Super Feather: Chris Colbert (10-0) W PTS 8 Josh Hernandez (8-2). Super Bantam: Stephen Fulton (15-0) W TKO 5 Marlon Olea (14-4). Welter: Miguel Cruz (18-1) W TKO 2 Luis Eduardo Florez (24-12,1ND). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (8-0) W TKO 2 Roberto Almazan (7-9).
Thurman vs. Lopez
Thurman makes a long awaited return to the ring and retains his WBA title with unanimous decision as he sheds the rust of almost two years of inactivity against a rugged and Aggressive Lopez
After the initial probing with jabs Lopez let fly with a couple of hooks that stirred Thurman into action. He quickly reddened Lopez’s face with jabs and straight rights and ended the round with a sharp uppercut inside.
Score: 10-9 Thurman
Thurman kept popping Lopez with jabs in the second and showed some classy defensive work to dodge the challenger’s punches. Thurman was content to let Lopez march forward and was connecting with quick bursts of punches and moving before Lopez could counter. Late in the round Thurman landed a vicious body punch and as Lopez shaped to throw a left hook he was nailed by a left hook from Thurman that sent him down on his hands and knees. He was up at eight and with less than ten seconds remaining in the round he survived to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Thurman Thurman 20-17
Lopez seemed to have recovered and he was coming forward again in this one. He had two problems in that he was not throwing enough punches and had no defence against the stabbing jabs from Thurman. Lopez finally let his punches go but was too wild and Thurman staged a strong finish to the round.
Score: 10-9 Thurman Thurman 30-26
Thurman made an aggressive start to the fourth coming out throwing hooks and uppercuts and initially putting Lopez on the back foot. Thurman kept moving and punching with Lopez a step behind all of the time. That changed as Lopez had his first success in the fight so far when he connected with some heavy shots. Thurman stayed cool and scored with sharp counters.
Score: 10-9 Thurman Thurman 40-35
Official Scores: Judge Ackerman 39-36 Thurman, Judge Schreck 40-35 Thurman Judge Weisfeld 40-35 Thurman
Thurman simply outboxed Lopez. He was on his toes constantly on the move and slotting jabs and uppercuts through the guard of Lopez. Just before the bell they both landed with single heavy punches to the head but it was Thurman’s round.
Score:10-9 Thurman Thurman 50-34
Lopez pressed hard again in this round. He finally managed to trap Thurman on the ropes and landed some heavy swings but Thurman was quickly on the move scoring with fast combinations up and down and connected with a burst of punches at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Thurman Thurman 60-53
A big round for Lopez. After chasing in vain and eating a diet of jabs and uppercuts he pursued Thurman into a corner and connected with a neck-snapping left to the head. As Thurman tried to get out of the corner he was knocked back by a stiff right. He made it out of the corner but Lopez pursued him around the ring rocking him with hooks. Momentarily it looked as though Thurman had survived the storm but Lopez landed two big shots to the head and the pursuit was on again. Thurman did recover just before the bell and fired back with shots of his own but it was Lopez round by a big enough margin to make it a 10-8 even with no count
Score 10-8 Lopez Thurman 68-63
Thurman was on his toes and boxing but there were danger signs as he was caught by a couple of punches from Lopez. Lopez kept padding forward but he was just too slow and Thurman was going for speed and not loading up with his punches but was much more accurate.
Score: 10-9 Thurman Thurman 78-72
Official Scores: Ackerman 76-74 Thurman, Schreck 77-73 Thurman Weisfeld 77-73 Thurman
A closer round. Lopez managed to score with clubbing shots to head and body as he kept chasing Thurman down. Thurman was stopping and blasting away with quick combinations but Lopez just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Lopez Thurman 87-82
Brilliant boxing from Thurman. He was constantly on the move sliding jabs and straight rights through the centre of Lopez’s guard. He mixed in left hooks to the body and good upper body movement which saw Lopez too often swishing empty air.
Score: 10-9 Thurman Thurman 97-91
You had to give Lopez credit for his persistence as stalked Thurman around the ring but he was just too slow to really threaten. Thurman was exploding with bunches of punches and then either skipping away or ducking under the ponderous swing from Lopez.
Score:10-9 Thurman Thurman 107-100
Thurman was really just trying to stay out of trouble in the last. He scored with some jabs but did not stay to trade. Lopez kept marching forward throwing punches and just did enough to edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Lopez Thurman 116-110
Official Scores: Ackerman 113-113 Draw, Schreck 117-109 Thurman Weisfeld 115-111 Thurman
The 30-year-old Thurman retains the (real) WBA welterweight title. He had a couple of rough patches but generally was too quick and too slick for a strong and limited Lopez. He injured his right hand in the fight and this was his first fight after almost two years due to injuries so some allowances have to be made for that. It would be too much to expect that the WBA insist that Thurman and Manny Pacquiao now fight to establish one champion as the WBA once claimed was their aim. Thurman is not the kind of opponent Pacquiao would want at this stage of his career. With IBF champion Errol Spence fighting Mikey Garcia in March, WBO champion Terrence Crawford tackling Amir Khan in April and WBC champion Shawn Porter defending against Yordenis Ugas in March any unification is a way down the line. Alex Besputin is Thurman’s No 1 challenger and although talented Besputin is not yet a high profile boxer so it would be a lot of risk for very little reward and Thurman may look to fit in another voluntary defence. Californian Lopez, 34, made Thurman fight hard but never really looked a likely winner. He has already come out second in title fights against Saul Alvarez for the WBC super welter title and Andre Berto for the interim welterweight title and I can’t see him getting another title shot.
Nyambayar vs. Marrero
Nyambayar outpoints Marrero in a clash of styles that provides plenty of entertainment. Nyambayar made the sharper start. He was using his jab well and although Marrero showed great hand speed over the opening two rounds Nyambayar was able to move in quickly and score with rights to the body and evade Marrero’s counters. The third was a good round for Nyambayar. Initially Marrero was taking the fight to the Mongolian but Nyambayar landed a peach of a right uppercut that sent Marrero back. Nyambayar then landed a long right. Marrero mocked the punch only for Nyambayar land another hard right and followed that with an uppercut. Marrero did much better in the fourth letting his punches flow. Nyambayar evened things up with a couple of flashing combinations and some stiff jabs. The round could have been scored either way but as I saw it Nyambayar had take the first four rounds. The fifth was Marrero’s round. He was attacking from the outset firing rapid combinations that had Nyambayar backing up and unable to block the shots. Unfortunately Marrero than decided to do some fancy stuff and lost the initiative but took the round. Nyambayar’s jab had been a potent weapon earlier but now it was Marrero’s right jab that was dominating and together with a selection of straight lefts he bossed the sixth round and took the seventh. Nyambayar came back into the fight in the eighth. He had his jab working again and was finding gaps for his straight rights and just did enough to collect the round. At that stage I had Nyambayar in front 77-75 but Marrero took the ninth. He was peppering Nyambayar with straight shots from both hands so quickly that Nyambayar was unable to block them and it looked as though Marrero might take over the fight. The tenth saw a couple of incidents. Nyambayar began well scoring with straight rights to the head but after the referee called break Marrero landed another punch and was deducted a point. Marrero attacked furiously trying to get the point back and as they traded punches a left hook from Nyambayar went low. Marrero retreated hurt. The referee issued Nyambayar with a warning and gave Marrero some recovery time and with Marrero piling forward and Nyambayar letting his fist fly it was a wild end to the round. The best Marrero could hope for out of the round was a 9-9 so he still had some catching up to do. Marrero marched forward throwing punches in the eleventh but he was just swinging and with no real accuracy. Nyambayar threw less but hardly wasted a punch landing pinpoint jab s and straight rights countering the rushing attacks of Marrero. The cooler boxing of Nyambayar gave him the last round with Marrero lucky not to lose a point for four consecutive punches to the back of the head. Marrero just could not launch an effective attack and Nyambayar was already celebrating as the round and the fight drew to a close.. Scores 116-111, 115-112 and 114-113 all for Nyambayar. The 26-year-old “King Tut” is now in line to challenge Gary Russell for the WBC title. He also won the vacant IBO title. As an amateur he won silver medals at both the World Championships and the 2014 Olympic Games and is said to have ended his amateur time with a 245-34 record. He has wins over Filipino Hermonito Dela Torre (19-0) and interim WBA champion Oscar Escandon but this was only his second fight in thirteen months. Dominican Marrero also a former interim WBA champion lost that title to Jesus Rojas in 2017 but had rebounded with a victory over unbeaten 29-0-2 Jorge Lara.
Kownacki vs. Washington IBF 8(7)
Kownacki gets another inside the distance win as he presses his claim for a seat at the big money table. From the opening bell Pole Kownacki walked forward throwing rights forcing the taller Washington back. Washing tried to stop Kownacki’s attacks with counters but Kownacki walked through Washington’s punches banging out jabs and launching rights. Washington stopped Kownacki’s advance temporarily with some rights but then Kownacki pounded Washington with rights to the head and at the bell Washington was on very unsteady legs. Washington launched a fierce attack at the start of the second but again Kownacki walked through the punches and drove Washington back and down with rights. Washington got to his feet but looked very shaky. He did the walks the referee asked him to do and reluctantly was allowed to continue. Kownacki took Washington the ropes and connected with a couple more rights and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Brooklyn-based Pole makes it 15 wins by KO/TKO. At 6’3” tall and 258lbs he is fleshy with short arms but seems to have a great chin and is heavy handed. He has wins over Artur Szpilka, Iago Kiladze and Charles Martin and is rated IBF 5(4)/WBC 8. He walked through the punches of the 6’6” Washington but the question is whether he would be able to walk through the punches from Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. When Washington challenged Wilder for the WBC title in February 2017 two judges had the fight even after four rounds. Wilder finished it in the fifth and Washington retired after eight rounds against Jarrell Miller in July. This is only his second fight in 18 months.
Booker vs. De Angel
Booker marches on with comprehensive points win over experienced Colombian De Angel. The southpaw hope took the first round but was then buzzed by a right in the second. He quickly recovered and fired back. He controlled the fight from there. He rocked De Angel in the fifth and then landed a crunching body punch in the seventh that had De Angel going down on one knee. The Colombian beat the count and endured to the bell and saw out the last round. Scores 79-72 twice and 80-71 for 27-year-old Booker who was an Elite level amateur. He took silver at the 2014 US National Championships and then went one better with gold in 2015. That qualified him for the US Olympic Trials. He almost made it getting through the early rounds but losing to LeShawn Rodriguez in what was virtually the semi-final. De Angel is in the “brought in to lose" category now and has won only one of his last six fights but there has been tough opposition in those fights such as Austin Trout and Immanuwel Aleem.
Colbert vs. Hernandez
“The Golden Child” Colbert continues unbeaten with a unanimous verdict over Hernandez. Colbert was always in control in this one but Hernandez pushed him hard all the way and the result was a high-tempo entertaining eight rounds. Colbert’s superior speed and skills were the winning factors here. He lacked the power to keep Hernandez out but those skills in the form of precise southpaw jabs, clever movement and sharp countering gave him the edge. He was a clear winner but was given eight testing rounds. Scores 79-73 for Colbert from all three judges. He was US National champion in 2015 where he could have been excused for not being at his best as he and his family were evicted from their home just as the Tournament was starting and staying sheltered accommodation. Hopefully success as a pro will make such problems a thing of the past for the 22-year-old from Brooklyn. Hernandez had scored seven wins by KO/TKO but could not repeat that success against prospect Colbert.
Fulton vs. Olea
Philadelphian Fulton gets his sixth win by KO/TKO as he stops Colombian Olea in five rounds. It we as a breeze for the 24-year-old Fulton. He dripped Olea in the second and again in the fourth. He was piling on the punishment inn the fifth when the referee stopped the fight. A former National Golden Gloves champion and US National Championships silver medal winner this is his sixth win by KO/TKO. Four fights outside of Colombia and four losses for Olea but on the credit side lone of those losses was on points against now WBA super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman.
Cruz vs. Florez
Cruz rebounds from his first pro, loss with second round stoppage of Florez. Cruz Was outpointed by Josesito Lopez in his last fight in April last year dropping a wide unanimous decision made to look even worse by him being deducted two points for low punches. Cruz gets his eleventh win by KO/TKO with this result. Florez’s record recently has been very spotty but sitting there back in 2014 is a first round destruction of current WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt. The only fight Berchelt has lost!
Russell vs. Almazan
Bombs away as Russell blasts out poor Almazan in two rounds. Russell was hunting Almazan early and landing southpaw right hooks to the body. Almazan dropped to his knees but it did not look to be a knock down more of Almazan leaning forward too far. The referee applied a count. Russell continued to force Almazan around the ring. Almazan managed to land a couple of counters but the power shots were coming from Russell. In the second Russell trapped Almazan on the ropes and pounded away until Almazan slid down the ropes to the floor and the fight was stopped. Since the father of WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr decided to name all four of his sons Gary it can be hard to track them. Gary Antuanne, 22, was National Golden Gloves champion, as were his three brothers and like Gary Jr he also made it to the Olympics representing the USA in Rio. He has won all of his eight fights by KO/TKO taking less than twelve rounds to dispose of his eight opponents. Brownsville-based Mexican Almazan was way out of his depth here and this is his fifth loss by KO/TKO.
Houston, TX, USA:. Super Welter: Jaime Munguia (32-0) W PTS 12 Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1). Feather: Can Xu (16-2) W PTS 12 Jesus M Rojas (26-3-2,1ND) . Super Bantam: Alberto Melian (4-0) W TKO 10 Edgar Ortega (10-2-2). Super Light: Vergil Ortiz (12-0) W RTD 5 Jesus Valdez (23-5-1).
Munguia vs. Inoue
Munguia retains the WBO title as he takes every round against a game and persistent but crude challenger.
Although Munguia is the puncher it was Inoue who came out throwing rights but was warned twice for punches behind the head in the first minute of the fight. Munguia was much taller with a longer reach and began by throwing jabs on the back foot but and as the round progressed he began to let fly with left hooks and straight rights.
Munguia was able to box outside and slot home his jab and then move inside with left hooks to the body. Inoue’s tactics were to draw the jab and then lunge forward head down swinging wildly. Munguia was able to smother the attacks and again and with Munguia ducking under the punches Inoue was landing on the back of Munguia’s head
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 20-18
Inoue did have some success with his rights in this round but Munguia was banging home solid left hooks to the body all the way through the round. He was often leading with his right and finding Inoue an easy target.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 30-27
Already this was a one-sided fight. Munguia was scoring with jabs and left hooks with Inoue waiting and waiting and then throwing himself forward punching wildly. Munguia was able to tie him up inside and then again score on the outside. Both fighters were warned about punches behind the head as Munguia responded to the illegal punches from Inoue with some of his own.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Alvarez 40-36 Munguia, Judge Martinez 39-37 Munguia, Judge Ramos 40-36
Too easy for Munguia. He was able to stand off and score with jabs and left hooks and then go forward with clubbing rights. Inoue showed no sign of being in any trouble from the punishment but his crude rushes were no threat to Munguia.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 50-45
Inoue had a couple of brief spells where he landed with some hooks but other than that it was all Munguia. He was connecting with sweeping clusters of punches from both hands forcing Inoue back and focusing on the body trying to get the challenger to drop his high guard. Inoue was again warned for punches to the back of the head.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 60-54
Inoue launched a fierce attack at the start of the round but then Munguia opened some space and began to rattle Inoue’s ribs with left hooks. A couple of them had Inoue hurt but he continued to march forward into the punishment. After being caught by a thudding right just before the bell Inoue landed a hard right of his own but it was another round for Munguia-and Inoue was warned again for punches to the back of the head.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 70-63
Inoue had a bit more success in this round as he stayed close and swung his hooks. He landed some snappy ones but Munguia was able to break free and force Inoue back with a series of lefts and rights to the head and outscored Inoue over the remainder of the round-both were warned for punches to the back of the head.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 80-72
Official Scores: Alvarez 80-72 Munguia, Martinez 79-73 Munguia, J Ramos 80-72 Munguia
Inoue pressed hard again in this one. Munguia’s output dropped and too often he allowed Inoue to stay inside and brawl. Inoue rarely found the target with his wide swipes and Munguia was able to make space and land his wicked hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 90-81
Munguia was tiring and was now just throwing one big punch at a time. Inoue kept marching forward and scored with rights but was taking more than he was giving. Just before the end of the round with Inoue on the attack Munguia connected with a couple of head punches. Inoue’s legs buckled and Munguia drove him back with more head punches that had Inoue reeling to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 100-90
Munguia looked a bit arm weary. He should be as he had hit Inoue enough times. Munguia was still landing big single shots. Inoue was trying hard to work inside but he was hooking too wide and Munguia was able to duck inside the hooks. Munguia again fired a bunch of heavy punches late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 110-99
Munguia handed out some serious punishment in the last but somehow Inoue just kept coming. Munguia was bouncing rights and lefts off the head of the Japanese fighter who showed remarkable resilience and determination but took a hammering.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 120-108
Official Scores: Alvarez 120-108 Munguia, Martinez 119-109 Munguia, Ramos 120-108 Munguia
A gift defence for the 22-year-old Mexican who was making the third defence of his title in six months. He had won 26 of his fights by KO/TKO which shows just how well Inoue takes a punch. A former Mexican amateur champion his father fought twice for the Mexican title in a brief career. His mandatory challenger is Dennis Hogan and that will be Munguia’s next fight. This result was totally predictable . Inoue had never faced let alone beaten a rated contender but was No 3 with the WBO. He owed this rating to a victory over an opponent with a 7-3 record which saw him first enter the WBO ratings in November 2017 at No 11. He did not get rated because of a win over a worthwhile opponent but because he won the WBO Asia Pacific title and in their scramble for money the WBO don’t care who you beat just make sure you pay the sanctioning fee. What a disgraceful distortion of a ratings system. Since then he had only one other fight when in April 2018 he outpointed 40-year-old Yuki Nonaka and somehow he had climbed from No 11 to No 3 in the WBO ratings. Inoue is not a member of the same family as Naoya Inoue. Takeshi won a silver medal at the Japanese championships in 2010 and so did not qualify for the 2012 Olympics. He then applied to join the Japanese police but after meeting no success there he turned to pro boxing. He lacked the craft or the experience to be competitive here.
Xu vs. Rojas
Xu wins secondary WBA title with decision over champion Rojas in hard-fought and entertaining contests where the scores do not reflect how close the fight was. At its most basic it came down to the cleaner work at distance from Xu compared to the busy inside attacks from Rojas. A close first round saw Xu already probing with his jab and Rojas looking to go to the body . Xu largely managed to keep the fight an outside fight in the second with Rojas coming forward and focusing on a body attack. Rojas started the third with some sharp jabs and following rights but Xu ended the round strongly to again make it close. The fourth was Xu's round as he worked his jab well and scored with some useful hooks. After four rounds two judges had Xu in front 40-36 with the other seeing them level at 38-38 so it looked like the close rounds were going to Xu with much of the inside work being done by Rojas overlooked. The champion worked hard inside to take the fifth and they they both battled away in the sixth and seventh with Rojas getting into his stride and stepping up his work rate and Xu having more trouble keep him out. Xu took the eighth as he forced the fight hard coming forward and shooting out his jab and connecting with rights. After eight rounds one judge had it 79-73 for Xu, one had it 78-74 and third 78-75 putting Xu in a strong position. Rojas had a good ninth scoring with some eye-catching rights to the head and uppercuts inside but as they traded punches in a fast tenth Xu seemed to edge it with his jabs and straight rights. Xu also had a good eleventh rattling Rojas to set up a furious last round. That featured three minutes of nonstop exchanges with both having their moments in another close round in an exciting battle. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 all for Xu. The last score looked to be a better reflection of the twelve rounds and the punch stats showed a very narrow gap between the punches each landed but Xu got the decision and the title. The 24-year-old “Monster” wins China’s third world title and their first with the WBA. Not bad for someone who was just 3-2 in his first 5 fights. He has scored wins over good level opposition in Kris George, Corey McConnell, Jack Asis and Nehomar Cermeno but was very much an outsider here. Great reward for his parents. When Xu showed promise as a boxer they knew he needed to go to a city to get recognition so they sold their home and moved to give him that chance. Now it is literally pay back time. Rojas won the interim WBA title with a kayo of Carlos Marrero in 2017 and was later promoted to secondary champion just before the fight with Joseph Diaz in August 2018. Rojas lost that fight but because Diaz failed to make the weight Rojas remained champion until this fight.
Melian vs. Ortega
Melian scores late stoppage over Ortega to win the vacant WBA-NABA title. The former Elite level amateur dictated throughout this one handing out a steady beating to Mexican Valdez. Although their records made this look like a reasonable match Melian’s vast amateur experience meant Ortega never really had a chance. Melian had won all nine rounds and it looked as though he would have to settle for a points win. However in the last round a booming left hook put Ortega down flat on the floor. Somehow he made it to his feet but Melian drove him to the ropes with two rights. He then brutalised Ortega with head punches until the referee dived in and stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Melian was a leading member of the World Series of Boxing Argentinian Condors team and represented Argentina at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He won the national title in only his second pro fight. Ortega was 6-0-1 going into this one and fought hard but had lost every round at the time of the finish.
Ortiz vs. Valdez
Up against a southpaw for the first time Ortiz took a little while to sort out his tactics but he was soon getting through with his jabs and straight rights. In the second it was clear that Ortega did not have the power to keep Ortiz out and Ortiz began to boss the action coming in behind his jab and attacking the body. The fight was a little untidy in the third and with Ortiz doing the cleaner work. He was throwing more and landing more. Late in the fourth a right from Ortiz opened a cut over the left eye of Ortega and it bled heavily. Ortiz continued to take the fight to Ortega in the fifth. Half way through the round the referee asked the doctor to take a look at Ortega’s cut but he was allowed to continue. Ortiz was connecting with hard rights and once again Ortega had to pass doctors inspection of the cut. At the end of the round the cut was ruled too serious for Ortega to continue. The 20-year-old from Dallas already has victories over former IBF and WBA super featherweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado and experienced Mexican Roberto Ortiz. In the amateurs he was twice USA Junior champion. Second loss by KO/TKO for Valdez.
Trujillo, Puerto Rico: Super Bantam: Luis Lebron (15-0-1) W KO 8 Josean Figueroa (I2-6-2). Lebron punches too hard for Figueroa in an all-Puerto Rican clash. Lebron used his edges in height and reach to score at distance and connected with crisp left hooks inside. Figueroa marched forward over the next four rounds cutting down Lebron’s punching room and getting through with short hooks and uppercuts but was still taking punishment to the body and clubbing head punches from Lebron. Lebron outscored Figueroa over the fifth. Figueroa continued to advance in the sixth but at the end of the round was rocked by a series of punches. After a one-sided seventh with Figueroa’s left eye almost closed Lebron landed a right hook followed by a left and Figueroa dropped to knees and was counted out. “Popeye” Lebron gets his eighth win by KO/TKO and his ninth win in a row, Fourth loss by KO/TKO for fellow-Puerto Rican Figueroa.
Cape Town, South Africa: Feather: Toto Hlebe (20-7) W PTS 10 Pfariso Neluvhulani (12-13-2). Former undefeated South African champion bantamweight champion Hlebe takes routine unanimous decision over southpaw Neluvhulani. Fighting in his home area Hlebe was a clear winner and will be looking to fight for international titles next. Neluvhulani was 2-0-1 in his last three fights.
Wat Kedkanudom, Thailand: Super Fly: Kongfah CP-Freshmart (25-1) W PTS 10 Salatiel Amit (11-6-2).Fly: Noknoi (69-5) W PTS 6 Mahmoud Lotfollazadeh (0-3). Fly: Petchmanee (26-1) W TKO 2 Suphakit Khampha (2-7).
Kongfah vs. Amit
Thai Kongfah (real name Jakkrawut Majoogoen) floors and outpoints gutsy Filipino Amit. Kongfah was to have defended the OPBF Silver title but he came in at 116lbs so lost the title on the scales. Kongfah was much the bigger man and had a big edge in reach. He used those advantages and some thudding rights to the head to control the fight. Amit refused to back down so it was a fiercely contested fight. After eight rounds Kongfah was in front 78-74 on two cards and 77-75 on the other. Whatever chance Amit had of turning the fight his ended in the ninth when a right to the side of the head knocked him off balance and he touched the floor with a knee and his right glove. That resulted in a count and a 10-8 round for Kongfah. Final scores were 97-92 for Kongfah from all three judges. This is the eleventh win for Kongfah since being knocked out by future champion Daigo Higa in 2015. He is hoping to challenge Artem Dalakian for the WBA flyweight title this year but after losing his title on then scales here needs to get control of his weight. Amit fought hard all the way but is now 1-4 in his last 5 fights.
Noknoi vs. Lotfollazadeh
Forget this one. Just really some paid sparring for Noknoi (real name Nare Yianleang) as he takes it easy on Iranian novice and wins all six rounds. Scores 60-54 from the judges. Noknoi,32, the WBC No 7 has lost only one of his last 69 fights but that was in his only really competitive contest when he was decisioned by Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA flyweight title in 2017
Petchmanee vs. Khampha
More waste of ring time as Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) stops fellow-Thai Khampa in two rounds. Petchmanee, the WBC No 12 light flyweight, also lost his only really competitive fight when he was defeated on a majority decision by Chaozhong Xiong in China in 2017 for the vacant WBA International title. Four losses in a row for poor Khampha.
Karlsruhe, Germany: Super Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (30-2) W TKO 5 Przemyslaw Opalach (27-3). Super Welter: Ahmad Ali (14-0-1 W PTS 13Denis Krieger (14-8-2). Middle: Araik Marutjan (8-0) W KO 8 Islam Teffahi (21-7-2,1ND).
Feigenbutz vs. Opalach
Feigenbutz too strong for Pole Opalach and wins the vacant Global Boxing Union title with fifth round stoppage. In the first round Opalach was using his longer reach to try to keep Feigenbutz out. He had some success but Feigenbutz was quicker and was able to score with his own jab and some hard rights. Opalach went on the front foot in the second but Feigenbutz was the one scoring with jabs slotting them through the Pole’s defence and connecting with well-timed rights. Feigenbutz again controlled the action in third and landed some hurtful rights to the head that shook Opalach. The Pole tried to come forward but had no answer to Feigenbutz’s jab and was also being caught by sweeping right uppercuts. Opalach was using his jab more in the fourth but was being buzzed with thumping rights and again with uppercuts. Opalach tried to punch with Feigenbutz but lacked power and Feigenbutz was also connecting with body punches from both hands and slowly breaking Opalach down. Opalach scored with a few body punches at the start of the fifth but then Feigenbutz went to work. He was landing rib bending body punches and booming rights to the head. Opalach was soaking up the punishment but after a right staggered him the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 23-year-old German has lost only one of his last 29 fights and is No 3 (2) with the IBF. The European Boxing Union (EBU), which goes more by strength of the opposition he has beaten than the number of wins, has him at No 12. A fight with new IBF champion Caleb Plant has to be a possibility. Feigenbutz has shown steady improvement but I am not sure he can lift himself to the next level. Opalach’s record is deceiving. Although a former WBFederation champion his opposition has been modest at best and he does not even make it into the EBU top 25.
Ali vs. Krieger
German Ali wins the vacant Global Boxing Union (GBU) world title with wide unanimous verdict over Moldovan Krieger. Ali swept the first three rounds before Krieger managed to get into the fight over the fourth and fifth. The skilful Ali then outboxed Krieger the rest of the way and a strong finish by Krieger where they traded punches time and again was too little too late. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 for Ali. He was born in Germany and is one of eight children of Lebanese parents. Ali, 30, balances his pro career with his work at Mercedes Benz. He is a former GBU middleweight champion. German-based Krieger is 2-7 in his last 9 fights with one of his wins an upset victory over 21-0 Robert Maess.
Marutjan vs. Teffahi
Marutjan finds a finishing punch in the last round after a slow and uninspired performance. The former top amateur had an off night in a fight which featured very little in the way of highlights. Marutjan was doing enough to win the rounds having Teffahi in trouble late in the fourth but otherwise just not sparking. It looked as though the fight would end with a points win for Marutjan but he produced a thunderous right cross in the last that put Teffahi down. He managed to get to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. The Armenian-born Marutjan, 26 and now a German citizen, is a former German amateur champion. He won a silver medal at the European Championships, a bronze at the World Championships and competed at the 2016 Olympics. This is his second win by KO/TKO. Belgian-based Tunisian Teffahi had put together a 10-0-1 run until knocked out by unbeaten Hungarian Balasz Bacskai in December.
Uncasville, CN, USA: Super Light: Cletus Seldin (23-1,1ND) W KO 1 Adam Mate (28-14). Seldin blows away Hungarian Mate inside a minute. Seldin came outpunching and immediately forced Hungarian Mate into a corner and connected with shots to head and body. Mate squeezed out of the corner but Seldin followed and put him down on his hands and knees with a right to the head. Mate was up at nine and allowed to continue. Seldin jumped on him and drove him across the ring before landing with a huge right cross that put Mate face down on the canvas with the referee immediately waiving the fight over. The 32-year-old “Hebrew Hammer” was unbeaten in his first 22 fights before losing to Canadian Yves Ulysse in December 2017. He was inactive until returning a win in November. Eleventh loss by KO/TKO for Hungarian Mate who has constantly been overmatched.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Mathieu Germain (16-0-1) DREW 10 Steve Claggett (27-5-2). Super Welter: Sadriddin Akhmedov (7-0) W TKO 4 Abraham Juarez (13-2). Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (6-0) W TKO 1 Jason Bergman (27-16-2). Super Middle: Lexson Mathieu (1-0) W TKO 1 Edgar Santoyo (2-2-2)
Germain vs. Claggett
Germain and Claggett fought to a draw in a stirring contest with the tie looking a good reflection of the action. With Claggett No 1 in the Canadian ratings coming from Calgary and Germain No 4 from Montreal there was plenty of needle in the fight. After a frantic first round as they both tried to take control of the fight the pace slowed to something more sensible and Germain built a slight lead. Claggett had a big fifth with Germain seeming to fade but then Germain came back into the fight and had again nosed ahead after nine. Claggett needed a strong finish and he produced one with an exhausted Germain in deep trouble in the last but making it to the bell. Scores 96-94 Germain, 96-94 Claggett and 95-95. Germain, 29, holds on to his IBF North American title. For Claggett, also 29, of Chinese and Canadian roots, getting a draw in Germain’s back yard will seem almost as good as a win. A return would make for another good fight.
Akhmedov vs. Juarez
Kazak prospect Akhmedov wins his first pro title as he halts Mexican Juarez in four rounds. Akhmedov stalked Juarez over the first three rounds without finding the punch he needed to end the fight. In the fourth Akhmedov shook Juarez with a left and then nailed him with a right and a left hook to the head that put the Mexican down. Juarez beat the count and circled the ring trying to stay out of trouble but Akhmedov trapped him on the ropes and knocked him down with a right. Juarez was up early but on unsteady legs and the referee stopped the fight. The 20-year-old Montreal-based Akhmedov has ended all of his seven fights by KO/TKO taking less than fifteen rounds to do so. He wins the vacant WBC Youth title. He is a former two-time Kazak amateur champion who competed in the World Series of Boxing in 2016 and 2017 and he is worth watching. Juarez had won his last nine fights and this is his second loss by KO/TKO.
Makhmudov vs. Bergman
Russian Makhmudov adds another first round finish as he puts Bergman away in just 97 seconds. A right set Bergman up for another right to the side of the head which saw Bergman fall into the ropes hanging half outside of the ring suspended on the third rope. He was up at eight but another series of head punches dropped him to his knees and the referee had seen enough. The 29-year-old 6’ 5” (197cm) Makhmudov now has five first round finishes and his six fights have lasted less than seven rounds. He also competed in the World Series of Boxing and it was his friend, the current IBF light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, who talked him into re-locating to Montreal. “Ironman” Bergman suffers his sixth loss by KO/TKO.
Mathieu vs. Santoyo
Canadian boxing is expecting big things from Mathieu who took just 43 seconds to register his first victory as a pro. A left rattled Santoyo and as he tried to move forward a right dropped him to his knees. Santoyo was up quickly. Having started as a southpaw the flashy Mathieu switched to southpaw and landed a huge right that spun Santoyo so far around that he ended up with his back to Mathieu. He staggered backwards past Mathieu to the ropes and as Mathieu pounded him with head punches Santoyo collapsed to the floor with the referee pulling Mathieu away and ending the fight. The 19-year-old former Canadian amateur champion certainly showed tremendous potential so a name to note. Mexican novice Santoyo outclassed.
Montevideo, Uruguay: Super Feather: Jose Matias Romero (21-0) W PTS 10 Javier Herrera (16-3). Super Light: Alfredo Blanco (20-7) W PTS 8 Angel Yomar Mateo Arias (22-01). Middle: Amilcar Vidal (7-0) W KO 1 Carlos Capelari (9-1). Feather: Ranfis Javier Encarnacion (15-0) W PTS 8 Sergio Martin Sosa (10-2).
Romero vs. Herrera
Romero gets second win over Herrera and retains both the Argentinian and IBF Latino titles. Romero took a couple of rounds to get into his stride as the aggressive Herrera pressed hard. From the third the clever boxing and quick movement of Romero had Herrera pursuing in vain. Romero reportedly injured his right early in the fight so Herrera was never in any danger but no matter how hard he pressed Romero was just too quick and Herrera was leaving himself open to counters. Romero looked to have won comfortably but the scores were close. All three judges saw it 96-94 for Romero. He had climbed off the floor to outpoint Herrera in August to win these two titles and is rated No 10 (8) by the IBF. Herrera is 11-2 in his last 13 fights with both losses to Romero. He is No 7 in the Argentinian ratings.
Blanco vs. Arias
Minor upset as Argentinian Blanco takes split decision over previously unbeaten Dominican Arias. The Dominican was on his way to victory after six rounds and then it all went wrong for him. He lost a point in the seventh for a low punch and was floored in the eighth which turned the outcome on its head. Scores 75-74 twice for Blanco and 75-74 for Arias. Blanco, No 9 in the Argentinian welterweight lists, had met a much higher class of opposition but really Arias threw this one away. His record is heavily padded with low level opposition.
Vidal vs. Capelari
Local fighter Vidal pulverised Argentinian Capelari to win the vacant WBC Fecombox title. As Capelari came forward and threw a right Vidal took a step back and then staggered him with a right to the head. Vidal then closed the distance landed a wicked left hook to the body that saw Capelari turn away and drop to the canvas in agony and he was counted out. The 22-year-old Uruguayan, a bronze medallist at the South American Youth Championships, has won all of his fights inside the distance so has less than ten rounds behind him as a pro. Both fighters were in their fist fight scheduled for ten rounds.
Encarnacion vs. Sosa
After Blanco’s win over Arias Encarnacion levelled the scores for the Dominican Republic as he outpointed Argentinian Sosa in a close competitive match. There was also a deduction in this one with Sosa losing a point for a low punch in the fifth. Scores 86-84 twice and 87-83 for 24-year-old Encarnacion who wins the vacant WBA Fedelatin title in his first fight outside of the Republic. Sosa, the Argentinian No 9 super bantamweight, was beaten by former top amateur Alberto Melian in his last fight in May-in which he was also penalised for a low punch.
Pont-Sainte-Maxence, France: Light: Yvon Mendy (41-5-1) W TKO 6 Achiko Odikadze (20-11-1). Light: Karim Achour (27-5-3) W PTS 8 Diego Shamatava (5-11-1).
Mendy vs. Odikadze
In front of his home fans Mendy erases his way back into the winning column with stoppage of Georgian Odikadze. It was an easy night for Mendy. He put southpaw Odikadze on the floor in the first with a body punch and then repeated that series with body punches in the fifth and sixth before the fight was stopped. The 33-year-old Frenchman seemed on his way to a world title fight when he outpointed unbeaten Luke Campbell in 2015 but although he scored further wins against good level European opposition it was Campbell who got the title shot but lost a close decision to Jorge Linares. Mendy faced Campbell again last September but lost on points. He is hoping to build towards a title fight this year. Odikadze suffers his eighth loss by KO/TKO. Any control of boxing in Georgia is loose at best and Odikadze, now 19, was allowed to turn pro at 15 and his role is that of travelling loser.
Achour vs. Shamatava
Just a mild run out for Achour as like Mendy he is rebuilding. He had some problems with the awkward style of the smaller Shamatava and was not at his best after eight months of inactivity. Despite that he was levels above the Georgian and won on scores of 79-72, 79-73 and 78-73. In a 12-0-1 run Achour captured the French, European Union, WBC International and WBC Francophone titles. The run came to an end last May when he lost a wide unanimous decision to David Lemieux in Montreal. Like fellow neighbourhood fighter Mendy Achour is in a rebuilding phase. Shamatava is 0-6-1 in his last 7 fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Keith Thurman’s winning return adds another factor to an already star stacked welterweight division.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Xu can vs. Jesus Rojas gave plenty of action with honourable mention to Tugstsogt Nyambayar vs. Claudio Marrero
Fighter of the week: Keith Thurman with honourable mention to Can Xu-or is it Xu Can?
Punch of the week: Some good ones. The body punch from Uruguayan hope Amilcar Vidal was special as were the thunderbolts from Araik Marutjan and Alberto Melian. Fight finishers all.
Upset of the week: Can Xu’s win over Jesus Rojas
Prospect watch: Canadian-based Kazak Sadriddin Akhmedov with a 7-0, 7wins by KO/TKO and I will take a gamble on new pro Lexson Mathieu who looks a bit special
By Eric Armit
-Manny Pacquiao outclasses Adrien Broner to retain the secondary WBA title
-Demetrius Andrade stops Artur Akavov in last round of a one-sided defence of WBO middleweight title
-JT Doheny halts Ryohei Takahashi in first defence of IBF super bantamweight title
-Marcus Browne outpoints a bloodied Badou Jack to left the vacant WBA interim light heavyweight title
-Nordine Oubaali decisions Rau’shee Warren to win vacant WBC bantamweight title
-Pablo Cano springs huge surprise with first round destruction of Jorge Linares
-Oscar Rivas crashes the heavyweight picture with late stoppage of Bryant Jennings
-Jason Sosa, Shakur Stevenson, Carlos Adames, and George Kambosos all gets wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS:
New York, NY, USA: Middle: Demetrius Andrade (27-0) W TKO 12 Artur Akavov (19-3). Super Bantam T J Doheny (21-0 W TKO 11 Ryohei Takahashi (16-4-1). Super Light: Pablo Cano (32-7-1,1ND) W TKO 1Jorge Linares (45-5). Welter: Chris Algieri (23-3) W PTS 10 Daniel Gonzalez (17-2-1).
Andrade vs. Akavov
Andrade makes a successful first defence of his WBO title with a controversial late stoppage of Russian Akavov. Andrade was way ahead on all three cards but Akavov was in no trouble and strongly protested the stoppage.
Comfortable first round for Andrade. He used his southpaw jab to score at distance and found gaps to land some quick combinations. Akavov, also a southpaw, tried to come forward but could not get past Andrade’s jab.
Score: 10-9 Andrade
Akavov was much more aggressive in this round leaping in with attacks and managing to land with some body punches. Andrade continued to control the action with his reach advantage, superior hand speed and clever movement and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 20-18
Andrade used his jab to outscore Akavov but he was not pressing his attacks and not working at full speed. The best punch of the round was a left uppercut to the head from Akavov but it was Andrade’s round.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 30-27
Andrade upped his pace in this one. He was following up behind his jab moving inside and scoring with hooks. Akavov showed plenty of movement and good footwork but Andrade launched a fierce attack before the bell and scored with some hard lefts.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Morgan 40-36 Andrade, Judge Nace 39-37 Andrade, Judge Paolillo 40-36 Andrade
A totally one-sided round as Andrade kept his jab in Akavov’s face and threw right hooks to the body trying to bring Akavov’s high guard down. Akavov just could not get past the jab and hardly landed a punch.
Score 10-9 Andrade Andrade 50-45
For round six read round five. It was the same jab, jab and occasional right hook to the body from Andrade whilst Akavov circled the ring looking for an opening but never seeing one.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 60-54
The pattern continued with Andrade stabbing out his jab and throwing a few hooks to the body. With his crouching style and high guard Akavov was not an easy target but with his degree of command it was disappointing that Andrade was not applying more pressure and the fight was too one-sided to be entertaining.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 70-63
Andrade was still sticking to his jab and occasionally lefts to the body but was finding Akavov an elusive target. Andrade did throw one extended combination which was notable as the first he had thrown in the fight. Akavov was looking crude and bereft of any idea of how to get into the fight.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 80-72
Official Scores: Morgan 80-72 Andrade, Nace 79-73 Andrade, Paolillo 80-72 Andrade
Finally Akavov started to do what he should have been doing from round one. He was bundling his way past Andrade’s jab and firing hooks inside. He landed a good left to the chin and later a strong left/right series which also landed on Andrade’s head. He wasn’t hurting Andrade but he was hustling him out of his comfort zone and with Andrade hardly throwing a punch it was Akavov’s round.
Score: 10-9 Akavov Andrade 89-82
A clash of heads early in this round saw Akavov suffer a bad cut over his right eye. That spurred on Andrade and sent Akavov onto the back foot again. Andrade pressed hard letting go with his punches. Akavov was trying to protect the cut and not looking to get involved in any trading.
Score: Score 10-9 Andrade Andrade 99-91
The cut was an ugly, wide wound. Andrade marched forward for the whole round but after some early success he was having trouble landing his punches on the elusive Russian and Akavov was never really in any danger.
Score: 10-9 Andrade Andrade 109-100
The ending was controversial. After some early fire Andrade was again just using his jab. Akavov was circling the ring trying to stay out of trouble. With just over thirty seconds left a right from Andrade was blocked by Akavov but the power saw him sliding along the ropes. He was not hurt or shaken by the punch but suddenly the referee wrapped him in his arms and stopped the fight. Akavov protested long and strong and rightly and Andrade looked surprise at the ending.
Andrade retains his WBO title. He has previously held the WBO and secondary WBA titles at super welterweight but having been stripped off the first and vacated the second this is only the second time he has defended a title. He did not sparkle here against a limited challenger. He was calling out Gennady Golovkin but he will have to fight a lot better than he did in this showing to stand any chance against Golovkin. Russian Akavov gave Billy Joe Saunders a tough night in 2016 but there are no wins over any names on his record. Although Akavov is Russian the competition for places in the National team was so fierce that Akavov fought in Estonia winning the Estonian title and competing for Estonia at the European and World Championships. He proved an awkward opponent for Andrade but his limitations were exposed in this fight.
Doheny vs. Takahashi
Doheny opens his account in the USA with a stoppage of brave but very limited challenger Takahashi.
Both fighters made a fast start with plenty of movement and quick probing jabs. Doheny found the range for his southpaw lefts and landed some right hooks and a straight right to the body hurt Takahashi. The challenger connected late in the round with a right but it was Doheny’s round
Score: 10-9 Doheny
A clash of heads early in the second saw both men. Doheny suffered a vertical cut to the right of the bridge of his nose and Takahashi high on the left of the bridge of his nose. Takahashi was careless with his attacks and Doheny was able to counter him with some strong lefts and it was his round.
Score 10-9 Doheny Doheny 20-18
Takahashi was untidy with his attacks and Doheny was making him pay with countering lefts. Doheny landed a powerful hook to the body and followed that with right to the head. Takahashi started to fall but grabbed Doheny’s right arm with both hands. That left him without a guard and Doheny landed three lefts as Takahashi tumbled back and down. He was up quickly and survived but at the expense of a few more hefty thumps from Doheny.
Score: 10-8 Doheny Doheny 30-26
Clear round for Doheny. He was finding gaps for his right jab and lefts to the body and on the back foot he was stopping Takahashi in his tracks with counters. Takahashi was resorting to wild leaping attacks with no accuracy.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Doheny 40-35
Official Scores: Judge Bruni 40-35 Doheny, Judge Perez 40-35 Doheny, Judge Taylor 40-35 Doheny
Takahashi attacked at a furious pace throughout the three minute. He was storming forward constantly switching guards and throwing punches. The guard changes were only succeeding in leaving him unbalanced and apart from one strong right he was swishing air. Doheny was coolly picking him off with sharp counters and easily avoiding or blocking Takahashi’s punches.
Score 10-9 Doheny Doheny 50-44
Takahashi did a little better in this one managing to get inside and score with some hooks. Doheny was hardly wasting a punch constantly getting through with his jab and long lefts and he attacked strongly driving Takahashi back at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Doheny 60-53
Classy boxing by Doheny in this round. He was slotting home jabs and left hooks. Takahashi kept piling forward and Doheny was moving and countering and then slipping inside to land a bunch of punches and getting out before Takahashi could respond.
Score: Score 10-9 Doheny Doheny 70-62
Concerned over the punishment Takahashi was taking the referee asked the doctor’s to examine him before the start of the round but he was given the OK to continue. Takahashi marched forward throwing punches and with the volume he was throwing it was guaranteed some would get through. However Doheny was landing the cleaner and harder punches and Takahashi’s face was swelling from the punishment.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Doheny 80-71
Official Scores: Bruni 80-71 Doheny, Perez 80-71 Doheny, Taylor 80-71 Doheny
A close round with Doheny not as busy or as active and Takahashi slowing but still swinging. Doheny sent Takahashi stumbling back with a left to the head and again was more accurate but it was a close round.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Doheny 90-80
Takahashi’s round. He was able to score with his straight right throughout the round. He kept Doheny busy fending off his punches and despite a strong finish from Doheny had just done enough to edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Takahashi Doheny 99-90
Takahashi walked into trouble in this one. Doheny countered him with a series of head punches. Takahashi tried to keep punching but the fire had gone out of his work and as Doheny continued to connect with hard shots the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
The Australian-based Irishman was making the first defence of his IBF title and will now be looking for a unification match with WBA champion Daniel Roman. He has no mandatory challenger so that looks a fight that could happen. Doheny, 32, has never fought in Ireland as a professional. He moved to Australia after losses to John Joe Nevin cost him his chance to go to the 2008 Olympics. He worked as a scaffolder in Australia before deciding to turn pro out there and work his way to a world title. Takahashi was a very modest challenger. He was 10-10 as an amateur and lost a wide unanimous decision to Andrew Moloney in Australia in 2016. He also dropped a decision to novice Yuki Iriguchi in 2017. He owed his IBF rating to winning the IBF Pan Pacific title and even after entering the IBF top 15 for that achievement he was still only rated No 11 in the Japanese ratings. The IBF lifted him to No 10 without him fighting and at the same time as the Japanese Commission dropped him to No 12! He showed guts but very little else.
Cano v s. Linares
Cano destroys Linares with three knockdowns in the opening round to spring a major upset. Just ten seconds into the first round Cano threw a three punch combination. The first two punches missed but the third, a downward chopping right, connected on the head of Linares and he went back and down. Linares was up immediately and Cano stormed forward throwing punches. Linares was on the back foot countering but another right to the head saw Linares drop to one knee. Again he was up quickly and Cano jumped on him forcing him back throwing rights. Linares was dropped for the third time by another right. He had not looked badly shaken by the first two knockdowns but this time it was obvious that he was hurt as he climbed shakily to his feet as the count reached eight. Cano connected with two heavy head punchers which staggered Linares and then with two more punches and Linares stumbled back to the ropes on unsteady legs and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. When doing some notes for this report I noted that Cano was 2-3 in his last five fights and looked to be on the slide! Instead the 29-year-old Mexican, a former WBA interim champion, has scored the best win of his career and registered victory No 22 by KO/TKO. Linares was rated No 2 by the WBC and No 4 with the WBO. With many of the top super lightweight tied up in the WSSB Tournament Cano may have put himself in line for an early title shot. As for Linares all five of his losses have come by way of KO/TKO. After his loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko in May he had shown good form in stopping Abner Cotto (23-3) but here he looked vulnerable with very little punch resistance. He has said he will drop back down to lightweight but his time at the top might be over.
Algieri vs. Gonzalez
Algieri only just scrapes past Gonzalez despite the scores making it look a comfortable win. The former WBO super light champion made a good enough start. He used slick movement and quick, accurate punches to build a lead over Gonzalez but the younger fighter was making the rounds close. A clash of heads in the fourth saw Algieri suffer a cut on his left cheek bone and that seemed to make him more cautious and he was boxing mainly on the back foot after that. Gradually Gonzalez took over the fight with Algieri boxing cleverly but under pressure and tiring. Algieri seemed to have very little left over the closing rounds but he held on and the judges decided that Algieri’s early work was enough to earn the decision. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Algieri. He had just done enough to edge it but the scoring was loudly booed with the last tally looking the more accurate. Algieri, 34, put in a magnificent effort when climbing off the floor twice in the first round to lift the WBO super light title from Ruslan Provodnikov. It was downhill from there against super tough opposition as he lost his title to Manny Pacquiao and was beaten by Amir Khan and Errol Spence. He took a couple of years out after the Spence loss before returning with a win last November but the signs in this performance were not promising. Gonzalez’s only other loss was a third round stoppage by Danny O’Connor in 2017.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) W PTS 12 Adrien Broner (33-4-1,1ND ). Bantam: Nordine Oubaali (15-0) W PTS 12 Rau’shee Warren (16-3,1ND). Light Heavy: Marcus Browne (23-0) W PTS 12 Badou Jack (22-2-3). Feather: Hugo Ruiz (39-4) W PTS 10 Alberto Guevara (27-4). Light: George Kambosos (16-0) W PTS 8 Rey Perez (24-11). Welter: Jonathan Steele (9-2-1) W PTS 8 Jayar Inson (18-2).
Pacquiao vs. Broner
Pacquiao retains the secondary WBA title with comfortable unanimous decision over a disappointing Broner in a fight without highlights
Not a great deal of excitement in the first round. Pacquiao was the one doing the attacking with Broner looking to counter but being just too slow to block the lefts from Pacquiao which gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao
Both were still probing looking for openings in the second. Broner scored with a good counter right but again Pacquiao was quicker getting past Broner’s jab and landing lefts inside.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 20-18
Clear round for Pacquiao. He was scoring with his jab and then darting inside and landing with hooks from both hands. Broner was just pushing out his jab and occasionally throwing single rights and being totally outworked by Pacquiao.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 30-27
Broner had given three rounds away-or rather Pacquiao had taking them- because Broner was throwing so few punches. Pacquiao continued to take the fight to Broner but this time Broner was letting his hands go more and had success early and late in the round doing just enough to take it.
Score: 10-9 Broner Pacquiao 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Cheatham 39-37 Pacquiao, Judge Moretti 39-37 Pacquiao, Judge Feldman 39-37 Pacquiao
Broner connected with a good right early in this round and threw a few more punches and worked harder. Pacquiao was still landing with his right jabs and quick hooks and just did enough to shade a close round.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 49-46
Pacquiao continued to be the man coming forward. He was jabbing to the body and then jumping with left hooks. A body punch had Broner backing up and looking hurt. Broner scored with a left at the bell. Pacquiao’s round.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 59-55
No doubt about it Pacquiao’s round. He was outboxing and outscoring Broner early and then he really cut loose. He took Broner to the ropes and landed a series of lefts to the head. Broner escaped by holding on to Pacquiao and trying to force him down. Pacquiao then trapped Broner in a corner and connected with a series of punches with Broner again escaping only to be once more against the ropes and taking more punches at the bell.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 69-64
A close round. Pacquiao was coming forward but not attacking quickly enough to get to Broner. Pacquiao did land a heavy right but Broner got though with some straight rights and just did enough to take the points.
Score: 10-9 Broner Pacquiao 78-74
Official Scores: Cheatham 77-75, Moretti 79-73, Feldman 77-75
This round was progressing towards another close round to Pacquiao as he was getting his punches off first and Broner was too slow with his counters. Pacquiao then landed a left to the head that saw Broner stumbling back and almost going down but he regained his balance staggering back to the ropes where Pacquiao trapped him and unloaded a series of punches with Broner just covering up.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 88-83
A close round without a great deal of success for either boxer. Pacquiao continued to come forward but Broner was throwing a few more punches and used good movement to skip away from Pacquiao’s attacks and just took the round
Score: 10-9 Broner Pacquiao 97-93
Another close round. The same pattern of Pacquiao coming forward and Broner trying to counter with neither having a great deal of success. It was close but Pacquiao’s jabs just gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 107-102
Pacquiao fought the last round as if it was one he needed to win and Broner as if it was one he could afford to lose and still win the fight. As a result Pacquiao worked with his jab and moved inside with left hooks whereas Broner circled the ring on his toes looking to avoid contact.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 117-111
Official scores: Cheatham 116-112, Moretti 117-111, Feldman 116-112 all for Pacquiao.
At forty the Filipino Wonder is still a quality fighter who was just too quick and too busy for the passive Broner. There was some concern over the report that Pacquiao had suffered a scratched cornea in his left eye but it is not thought to be a career threatening injury. It is incredible to think that Pacquiao won his first world title 20 years ago at flyweight. He is now 16-4-2 in world title fights (18-4-2 if you count the WBA secondary title) and is still very much a man in demand. Naturally there is speculation over a third fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr but many more options are out there for Pacquiao with challengers lining up. No mention of a fight with the real WBA welter champion Keith Thurman which is a pity as whether it is Pacquiao or anyone else holding the secondary title does not make him the real champion. Broner never looked like winning this one and his reluctance to engage in any sustained exchanges killed any hope of an entertaining fight. It strikes me that The Problem’s biggest problem is himself. He has great skill but in this fight it was smoke and mirrors with little real substance
Oubaali vs. Warren
Frenchman Oubaali lifts the vacant WBC title with comprehensive unanimous victory over Warren in a fight between two highly skilled little fighters.
A close open round saw Oubaali the aggressor coming in behind his right jab and firing hooks to the body. Warren came to life over the second half of the round with a series of hooks to just take the round
Score: 10-9 Warren
Another close round. These are two very quick very clever boxers. Oubaali was again taking the fight to Warren who was looking to counter with his left. Oubaali was scoring with jabs to head and body and despite a flurry of punches late in the round from Warren it was Oubaali’s.
Score 10-9 Oubaali Tied 19-19
Warren was on the front foot stabbing out his jab early in this round but then Oubaali began to launch fierce attacks forcing Warren back and scoring with right hooks. Warren rallied before the bell but it was a round for Oubaali.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 29-28
A better round for Warren. He was on the front foot for much of the round piecing the Frenchman’s guard with jabs and when Oubaali did attack Warren was skipping out of distance and connecting with sharp counters.
Score: 10-9 Warren Tied 38-38
Official scores; Judge Lederman 39-37 Oubaali, Judge Weisfeld 39-37 Oubaali and Judge Ocasio 39-37 Warren
Warren made a confident start but Oubaali picked up the pace springing to the attack and getting through with his right jab and left hooks. Warren rallied late in the round as they both landed good punches but it was Oubaali’s round.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 48-47
A good round for Oubaali. He was getting through with his quick attacks and Warren was finding it hard to land any punches due to the pressure from Oubaali. That pressure led to some fierce exchanges and the Frenchman landed the best punch so far in the shape of a left hook to the head that stung Warren.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 58-56
War broke out in this one. For much of the round Warren was slotting home jabs and Oubaali scoring with his right hook. After another fierce attack from Oubaali they just stood and traded punch after punch with Oubaali getting the better of the wild exchanges rocking Warren with hooks from both hands.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 68-65
A closer round but another one for Oubaali. Warren came forward early and had some success with fast rights but Oubaali took the round with late attacks. He was hustling and harrying Warren forcing him to stand and trade and catching Warren with right hooks.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 78-74
Official scores: Judge Lederman 78-74 Oubaali, Judge Weisfeld 79-73 Oubaali and Judge Ocasio 76-76
Warren managed to put Oubaali on the back foot at the start of this round and scored well with his jabs. From there Warren lost control of the round as Oubaali stormed forward scoring with hooks and that led to some more furious exchanges with Oubaali throwing more and landing more particularly with his right hooks.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 88-83
Another round for Oubaali but bit a bit closer. Warren knew he was behind so he came forward throughout the round stabbing his jab and firing lefts. Oubaali was again finding the target with his right hooks and he outscored Warren in more furious exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 98-92
Three minutes of pressure from Warren. He came forward throughout the round throwing hooks. He cut down Oubaali’s space making it more difficult for Oubaali to launch his attacks and he was also ducking under the rights that had served Oubaali so well and outlanding Oubaali.
Score: 10-9 Warren Oubaali 107-102
Oubaali simply outpunched Warren in the last. Warren kept padding forward but it was Oubaali doing the scoring with his quick leaping attacks and hooks from both hands.
Score: 10-9 Oubaali Oubaali 117-111
Official scores: Judge Lederman 116-112, Judge Weisfeld117-111and Judge Ocasio115-113 all for Oubaali.
Great win for 32-year-old Oubaali as he repeats a victory he scored over Warren at the 2012 Olympics. He showed skill and attacking flair and outworked Warren. He is of Moroccan descent and the thirteenth born of a family of eighteen children. Warren, a former World Champion and three-time Olympian as an amateur and a former WBA champion as a pro, is a supremely gifted fighter but lacked the power to impress himself in this fight and never really had an answer to the fierce attacks of Oubaali. He has the skill to trouble any fighter in the division but that lack of power is a handicap.
Browne vs. Jack
Browne wins the vacant interim WBA title with wide unanimous decision over a very bloodied Jack.
Confident start from Browne. He used his longer reach to score from distance and was connecting with long southpaw lefts. Jack was having trouble getting past the jab of Browne and was being caught with counters as he moved in.
Score: 10-9 Browne
Jack had a little more success with his rights in this round but again Browne was doing most of the scoring. He was showing his right jab to Jack without looking to land but using it as a foil for darting straight lefts and ended the round with a flurry of punches.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 20-18
Jack tried to get inside more in this round and had some success but he was still finding Browne’s jab a barrier and a distraction. Browne was scoring with long lefts and it was a close round but Browne just took it.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 30-27
A better round for Jack. He was able to trap Browne on the ropes and score inside. Browne was not as accurate with his jab and was doing a lot of holding. A close round but Jack shaded it.
Score: 10-9 Jack Browne 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Cheek 39-37 Browne, Judge DeLuca 38-38, Judge Trella 40-36 Browne
This was an untidy round. Browne was scoring with quick punches and then falling inside and clinching to stop Jack working. He was warned twice for holding but over the last minute he dominated the action scoring with a series of punches from both hands.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 49-46
Another round for Browne. He was piercing Jack’s guard with both his right jab and straight lefts. Jack was coming up short with his punches at distance and Browne was preventing him from working in close by clinching.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 59-55
Brown was continuing to outbox Jack on the outside and hold inside. As they both ducked forward there was a clash of heads and Jack turned away pawing at his forehead above the bridge of his nose and there was blood seeping from a long vertical gash. The referee had the doctor examine the cut but Jack was allowed to continue. He tried to get inside but once again Browne held him in a clinch. The referee had seen enough of that from Browne and he indicated a point deduction for holding. Jack continued to drive forward but was walking onto counters and still Browne was holding. Browne’s careless headwork seemed to be the main cause of the cut.
Score: 10(-1)-9 Browne so a 9-9 round Browne 68-64
The cut was severe enough to distract anyone and the blood was dripping into Jacks right eye. Browne found Jack and easy target for his jabs and straight rights and dominated the round.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 78-73
Official Scores: Cheek 78-74, DeLuca 77-74, Trella 79-72 all for Browne
The cut had drained the confidence out of Jack and Browne was able to control the fight. He was finding gaps for his right jab and straight lefts. Jack was not forcing the fight and was being picked off by Browne.
Score: 10-9 Browne Brown 88-82
Knowing he must be way behind on the scores it is understandable that Jack did not want to be pulled out of the fight as he would have lost on a technical decision but with a wound that bad it should have been stopped. This really was pointless now. Jack couldn’t score at distance and was not allowed to work inside and Browne was able to stand off and land straight punches through the guard of Jack.
Score: 10-9 Browne ` Browne 98-91
Jack’s face was covered in blood from his hairline to below his chin and he continued to standoff allowing Browne to score with punches from range. The referee stopped the action and again and Jack was passed as fit to continue by the doctor. Jack then began to pile forward throwing punches but it was already Browne’s round.
Score: Score 10-9 Browne Browne 108-100
The last round saw Browne continue to connect with jabs and lefts from distance and clinch on the inside. Jack tried to stage a strong finish but just could not find the target as Browne showboated to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 118-109
Official Scores: Cheek 117-110. DeLuca 116-111, Trella 119-108
Browne wins the vacant WBA interim title. He becomes the fourth member of the USA Team at the 2012 Olympics to win a version of a world title. He was the first Olympian to emerge from a gym which was funded by the Theodore Atlas Foundation which was set up by Teddy Atlas in memory of his father. The real WBA champion is Dmitry Bivol and that would be a good fight if it could be made but the WBA don’t have any rules on who the interim champion has to fight so he has plenty of options. Jack had relinquished the secondary WBA title in 2017 and then drew with Adonis Stevenson for the WBC title in June last year. The injury he suffered in this fight was horrendous and obvious had an effect on his performance but he was never really in the fight before that so would probably have lost anyway. It will be some time before that injury heals and he will be back.
Ruiz vs. Guevara
This was supposed to be a fight for the interim WBA title but when champion Jhack Tepora weighed-in at almost 6lbs over the limit that fight was cancelled and instead Ruiz faced very late substitute in Alberto Guevara. Ruiz almost made it an early night. In the opening round Guevara came forward landing a hard right and Ruiz countered him with a right and left hook that sent Guevara down. He was not badly hurt and so he beat the count and had no real problems in making it to the bell. Obviously as such a short notice substitute Guevara was not in top shape and wary of Ruiz’s power. He chose to try to outbox Ruiz on the outside but Ruiz had height and reach over Guevara plus the confidence of having trained hard for a twelve round fight. As the fight progressed Guevara spent more time trying to avoid trouble than trying to win the fight. Ruiz pressed but he was not really putting his punches together and although winning the rounds never came near to having Guevara in any trouble and had to settle for the wide unanimous decision. Scores 99-90 twice and 100-89 for Ruiz. He is a former WBC super bantamweight champion and interim WBA bantam title holder. After losing his interim WBA title to Julio Ceja and his WBC title to Hozumi Hasegawa Ruiz took two years out before returning with two wins late last year. He is No 10 with the WBA. Apart from being a last minute substitute this was also Guevara’s first fight for nine months. His other three losses have all been either in world title fights or against future champions. He lost to Leo Santa Cruz and Shinsuke Yamanaka in title fights and Emmanuel Rodriguez before the Puerto Rican won the IBF bantam title.
Kambosos vs. Perez
Australian prospect Kambosos outboxes experienced Filipino Perez for unanimous decision. From the outset Kambosos was too quick for Perez and found the target continually with long rights and hooks. Perez had brief success when he looked to have shaken Kambosos with a right in the second but Kambosos had already done enough to take the round. Perez switched stances and did a bit better but not enough to threaten the dominance of Kambosos. The Australian continued to connect with his rights and both inside and at distance his speed and accuracy saw him in control. Kambosos finished the fight with a flourish landing heavily from both hands and took every round. Scores 80-72 on the cards of the judges. Kambosos, 25, has been acting as Pacquiao’s sparring partner for quite a while and has useful wins over Brandon Ogilvie and JR Magboo. Perez came in on the back of impressive wins over Roberto Marroquin and Christian Gonzalez but was outclassed by Kambosos.
Steele vs. Inson
Pacquiao was the only Filipino to register a win on the card as Inson lost an upset split decision against unfancied Steele. Southpaw Inson hurt Steele with almost the first punches he threw in the fight but Steele stayed in the fight and just before the bell he put Inson over. It took Inson a couple of rounds to get into the fight after that early shock but then they engaged in an entertaining contest with both scoring heavily. Inson began to exert pressure in the fourth and fifth rounds feeling he had some catching up to do. Steele was the one pressing over the sixth and seventh but Inson staged a strong finish just coming up short. Scores 77-74 and 78-73 for Steele and 77-74 for Inson. Useful win for Texan Steele who was 1-2-1 in his last 4 fights. Philippines champion Inson’s only other loss was to unbeaten South African Thulani Mbenge and he had won his last five fights
Verona, NY, USA: Heavy: Oscar Rivas (26-0) W TKO 12 Bryant Jennings (24-3) . Feather: Shakur Stevenson (10-0) W TKO 4 Jessie Cris Rosales (22-2-1). Super Welter: Carlos Adames (16-0) W KO 3 Juan Ruiz (21-4,1ND). Super Feather: Jason Sosa (22-3-4) W PTS 10 Moises Delgadillo (17-19-2). Super Feather: Robinson Conceicao (11-0) W PTS 8 Hector Ambriz (12-9-2). Super Light: Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (7-0) W RTD 4 Ricardo Garcia (14-5-1). Middle: Vikas Krishan (1-0) W TKO 2 Steven Andrade (3-4).
Jennings vs. Rivas
Rivas scores late stoppage over Jennings to crash the heavyweight party. Jennings was not looking to trade punches with the hard punching Colombian and spent the first round circling the perimeter of the ring and stabbing out his jab. Rivas was tracking Jennings but was not quick enough to land any punches of note. Rivas had some success in the second round with left hooks to the body with Jennings continuing to box on the retreat and using his jab to score. The pattern was the same in the third and fourth . Rivas was loading up on every punch whereas Jennings was stabbing out his jab picking up points not looking for power but to break up the Colombian’s attacks. The pace picked up in the fifth with Rivas throwing a bunch of head punches. Jennings blocked most of them but Rivas connected with a hard body shot. Rivas did better in the sixth using his jab more and firing straight rights. Jennings continued to move and jab but his punches lacked any power. The first six rounds had been a tactical battle with few highlights with Jennings too smart to stand and trade and Rivas only firing in short bursts. More of the same in the seventh. Jennings boxed well scoring with his jab and landing a couple of long left hook as Rivas just padded after Jennings without managing to land anything of note. Jennings had a good eighth. Working off the jab he was standing his ground and firing combinations. By the end of the round he had Rivas on the retreat for the first time in the fight. Jennings had an even better ninth as he again stood his ground piercing the guard of Rivas with his jab and banging home accurate combinations. Rivas was more aggressive in the tenth. He chased down Jennings trapping him on the ropes and working to the body. The eleventh was an even round. Both fighters had some success Jennings with his jab and Rivas with a couple of heavy rights. Before the start of the twelfth round I felt Jennings had outlanded Rivas but two judges had Rivas in front, 106-103 and 105-104 and the other judge had Jennings leading 106-103. That became academic as Rivas burst into action shaking Jennings with a left hook and then driving him along the ropes under a barrage of punches. He kept pounding Jennings until Jennings fell sideways to the canvas. He made it his feet at eight but after the count Rivas forced Jennings to the ropes and was landing some heavy head punches and the referee stopped the fight. The 31-year-old Montreal-based Colombian was facing his first “name” opponent and as Jennings was No 2 with the WBO this is a huge win for Rivas the 18th by KO/TKO. He retains the NABF belt and lifts the NABO and IBF International titles held by Jennings. Jennings 34 had done a fine job of rebuilding after consecutive losses to Wlad Klitschko and Luis Ortiz in 2015 but it may be more difficult to rebound again.
Stevenson vs. Rosales
Another outstanding performance from Olympian Stevenson. He made a confident start boxing on the back foot probing with his right jab and firing flashing combinations. Filipino Rosales marched forward but found Stevenson an elusive target. Stevenson was on the back foot for much of the second with Rosales hunting in vain. Over the last minute Stevenson went on the offensive and was raking Rosales to head and body with lightning series of punches. The third was one-sided. Stevenson was forcing Rosales back connecting with strong combinations and crunching hooks to the body and Rosales had to soak up plenty of punishment. Stevenson ended it in the third scoring with two straight lefts which sent Rosales to the canvas on his back. He was up at eighth but after a close look at him the referee stopped the fight. Now six wins by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old Stevenson who improves with every fight. He has great poise and real power –a star in the making. Rosales tried hard here but was outclassed. His only other loss was a third round kayo against Jhonny Gonzalez.
Adames vs. Ruiz
Power puncher Adames ends this one with a body punch in the third. Two slow opening rounds saw both fighters really just probing with their punches with neither landing anything heavy. Adames switched to southpaw in the third and was whipping straight lefts through Ruiz’s defence. He backed Ruiz to a corner and a vicious right hook to the body saw Ruiz drop to one knee in agony and he was counted out. The 24-year-old Adames now has 13 wins by KO/TKO. The Dominican prospect is already No 4 with the WBA after wins over Juan Carlos Prada (31-2-1), former IBF super welter champion Carlos Molina and Alejandro Barrera (29-4). Mexican-based Venezuelan Ruiz has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights but all of the losses have been against unbeaten opposition.
Sosa vs. Delgadillo
It looked in the first round as though Sosa might get this one over early as he scored with thumping left hooks to the body of Delgadillo but a stiff jab sent Sosa stumbling back and almost down. In the second they were going toe-to-toe with both landing heavily and Sosa was cut on the bridge of his nose. Delgadillo rounded off a combination with a left hook that sent Sosa spinning away on wobbly legs and his gloves touched the canvas as he tried to keep his balance. It counted as a knockdown and the referee gave Sosa a count with the bell sounding as the count was completed. Neither fighter wanted to take a backward step so the action was close in and brutal and even this early both had suffered facial damage as though they had gone ten rounds. Sosa began to outwork Delgadillo in the exchanges and used a focused body attack to slow Delgadillo but both were shipping lots of punishment in a gruelling scrap which was all about offence and not defence. In the seventh a right cross from Sosa had Delgadillo badly hurt and he retreated to the ropes and went down on his knees. As the count reached eight it looked as though he was not going to get up and Sosa lifted his arms in triumph. Delgadillo was not finished and he did make it to a vertical position at nine. Sosa tried to finish it and pounded Delgadillo with punches but Delgadillo survived. They continued to knock lumps off each other over the closing rounds with Sosa the stronger but Delgadillo making him fight hard all the way to the final bell. Scores 97-91 twice and 96-92 for Sosa. The former holder of the secondary WBA title at super feather won’t want too many fights like this. He had a tough 2017 losing to Vasily Lomachenko for the WBO title and dropping a questionable majority verdict to Yuriorkis Gamboa. He started to rebuild with a win in August last year but this way a too tough outing. Delgadillo was 2-6 in his last 8 fights but the losses had all been on points in fights he was expected to lose.
Conceicao vs. Ambriz
Brazilian Conceicao gets another points wins, his fifth in his last six fights, as he outclasses Mexican Ambriz. Scores 80-72 for Conceicao on all three cards. The 30-year-old Rio gold medal winner had great success as an Elite level amateur scoring wins over Oscar Valdez, Claudio Marrero and Vasiliy Lomachenko-briefly-as his 20-19 win over Lomachenko at the 2011 World Amateur Championships was overturned after a protest and changed to a 19-18 win for Lomachenko. He is being brought along slowly by Top Rank. Now five losses and a draw in his last six fights for Ambriz.
Gaibnazarov vs. Garcia
Gaibnazarov gets a win but without really impressing as Garcia retires after the fourth round. Gaibnazarov was finding the target in the first with his southpaw straight lefts with Garcia really just trying to stay out of trouble and throwing few punches. Garcia was more aggressive in the second. He was coming forward letting his punches go. He was not very accurate and there was no power there. Gaibnazarov’s right jab was bruising up the left side of Garcia’s face. Gaibnazarov landed a right to the head early in the second that sent Garcia down sprawling on his knees but it did not look a heavy knockdown. Garcia beat the count and saw out the round by clinching and moving. Gaibnazarov chased Garcia in vain in the fourth without really being able to land any telling punches so it was a surprise when Garcia retired in his corner. Uzbek Gaibnazarov, a gold medal winner in Rio, now has four wins by KO/TKO. He is small for his division with a short reach and has yet to really settle as a pro. Dominican Garcia is 0-4-1 in his last 5 fights but two of those losses and the draw were majority decisions.
Krishan vs. Andrade
Top Ranks looks to be aiming to break into the Indian market in a big way. They recently signed Vijender Singh and here they launched the pro career of another top Indian boxer in Krishan who blew away Andrade within two rounds. The Indian southpaw looked quick and powerful. Andrade-no relation to Demetrius-was throwing lots of rights in the opener obviously having been told that was the way to beat a southpaw. Unfortunately he was telegraphing them and they lacked power. Krishan was finding the target with his left with lots more power and drove Andrade around the ring until the bell. Krishan ended the fight in the second landing some vicious left hooks to the body that dropped Andrade. He made it to his feet but Krishan piled on the punches until the referee waived the fight off. The 26-year-old “Indian Tank” had been talking about the 2020 Olympics but decided to turn pro instead. In the amateurs in 2010 he won a gold medal at the Asian Youth Championships and the Asian Games and a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships. He lifted a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships but did not medal at the 2012 Olympics. In London he was awarded the a 13-11 decision over Errol Spence but that was overturned on appeal due to infractions of the rules by Krishan with Spence declared the 15-13 victor. His team protested the changed decision and took their protest all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but their appeal failed. He did not medal at the 2016 Olympics but won another gold medal last year at the Commonwealth Games. A university graduate and a policeman his career will be avidly followed in India. Andrade has lost his last four fights all against unbeaten opponents.
Bangkok, Thailand: Super Welter: Teerachai (40-1) W PTS 12 Meshak Mwankemwa (17-6-2).
Easy night for Teerachai against an unschooled Mwankemwa. He was able to score with jabs and straight rights jerking back the Tanzanian’s head time after time. Mwankemwa had no power and poor footwork but he had plenty of guts. He soaked up the punishment and kept trying to punch back. A big right from Teerachai in the ninth saw Mwankemwa’s legs go in different directions and he pitched down to the floor. He beat the count and saw out the round. As Teerachai increased the pressure Mwankemwa twice lost his mouthpiece and when he deliberately spit it out in the last he was deducted a point. It is to his credit that despite taking a pounding for twelve rounds he was still there at the bell. Scores 120-106 twice and 118-108 for Teerachai. Second win for Teerachai since his kayo loss to Lucas Matthysse for the secondary WBA title in January last year. “Smart Boy” Mwankemwa has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights with the other three losses coming in Russia, Namibia and Hungary as an imported to lose boxer.
Brampton, Canada: Light: Josh O’Reilly (14-0) W PTS 10 Cam O’Connell (17-3-1). O’Reilly takes a big step up as he captures majority verdict over fellow-Canadian O’Connell to win the vacant NABA title. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for O’Reilly and 95-95. The 98-92 looked way out for such a close fight. The 28-year-old O’Reilly is hoping the NABA title will get him a slot in the WBA top 15. Another setback for O’Connell after losses to Tony Luis and Mathieu Germain.
Struer, Denmark: Feather: Jesus Sanchez (10-1) W TKO 5 Dennis Ceylan (19-3-2) . Middle: Abdul Khattab (16-2-1) W PTS 8 Oliver Flodin (4-1). Heavy: Kem Ljungquist (7-0) W TKO 1 Boldizsar Czagler (2-1). Super Middle: Mateo Veron (28-21-3,2ND) W PTS 8 Lolenga Mock (42-16-1). Heavy: Albon Pervizaj (12-0) W TKO 1 Alain Banongo (3-1).Super Welter: Mikkel Nielsen (7-0) W PTS 6 Angel Emilov (9-25).
Ceylan vs. Sanchez
This turned out to be Ceylan’s last fight as he announced his retirement after being bludgeoned to defeat for the second time by the strong but crude Spaniard in a fight for the vacant European Union title. Sanchez started this fight at a Usain Bolt-level pace. He came out firing punches trying to blow Ceylan away. He rocked Ceylan early but by the end of the round Ceylan was countering well. The second brought back memories of the crushing defeat Ceylan suffered in their first fight. He was being caught by long swinging punches and looked very shaky. Ceylan boxed his way through the third and fourth connecting with some crisp head punches but he looked vulnerable every time Sanchez let fly with his looping punches. In the fifth Sanchez launched a wild attack forcing Ceylan to the ropes and pounding away with both hands. Ceylan ducked so low his gloves almost brushed the canvas and when he straightened up he tottered along the ropes and went down. He struggled to get to his feet almost falling again and although he did beat the count the referee took a hard look at him and then waived the fight over. Ceylan protested but it was a good stoppage. Spanish champion Sanchez gets his ninth win in a row but only his third win by KO/TKO. Now he will be looking to challenge fellow Spaniard Kiko Martinez for the European title. A year ago Ceylan was European champion was unbeaten with a world title fight a possibility. A disastrous 2018 saw him crushed in ten rounds by Josh Warrington and then knocked out in two rounds by Sanchez and now he has decided to retire.
Khattab vs. Flodin
This was always going to be a tough ask for Swede Flodin against the more skilled Khattab who had the added advantage of Mikkel Kessler working in his corner. The young Palestinian-born Khattab made his usual bright start. He boxed on the outside using quick and accurate jabs and strong rights to stop the aggressive attacks of Flodin. He had built a useful lead by the end of the fifth but the fight was entering a critical stage as Khattab had previously faded badly over the late rounds in other fights. Flodin pressed hard and started eating into Khattab’s lead but Khattab had paced this fight better than some of the others and he fought hard over the last three rounds and did enough to hold on to his advantage. Scores 77-75 twice and 79-73 all for Khattab. After suffering an inside the distance loss to Armenian Torosyan in early 2017 Khattab put on a class display in drawing with Ronny Mittag later in the year. He was inactive throughout 2018 so this was his first fight for almost 15 months. Swedish “Wise Guy” Flodin, 22, was moving up to eight rounds for the first time and the experience will have been good for him even if the result was not. He is a former Nordic Youth champion and Swedish Senior champion and represented Sweden at both the World and European Youth Championships but lost out at the European and World Qualifiers for Rio and turned pro.
Ljungquist vs. Czagler
Poor match as Danish heavyweight hope Ljungquist beats late substitute Czagler inside a round. The 6’6 ½” southpaw towered over the overweight Czagler whose only tactics were to plough forward head down swinging. Ljungquist dropped him with an uppercut and although Czagler beat the count as he bulled forward again he was caught with a left hook and went down with the referee immediately waiving off the fight. The 28-year-old Dane gets his fifth win by KO/TKO. In the amateurs he was Danish champion and fought in the WSB in the 2016/2017 series. He lost to Joe Joyce at the 2016 European Olympics qualifier and then failed to make it through the World qualifier. Hungarian Czagler had no hope here.
Veron vs. Mock
This result brought about the second retirement announcement as Mock decided to retire again after this loss. Veron used stick-and-move tactics slipping in a couple of punches and then slipping away before Mock could catch him. Mock pressed hard as he always does but at 46 he is not as quick as he was. He is still strong and although Veron presented a difficult target the DRC-born Dane did manage to land some hefty hits and did better late as Veron began to slow but the Argentinian kept moving and slotting home punches and was a deserving winner. Scores 78-74 for Veron on the three cards. The 29-year-old Veron, a former Argentinian super welter champion had lost 3 of his last 4 fights and was 0-7 in fights outside of Argentina so this did not look a tough test for Mock who was 11-1 in his last 12 fights losing a close decision to Turk Avni Yildirim for the WBC International title in his last fight in September. He has faced top level, opponents such as David Haye (who he had on the floor before losing), Lucien Bute, Gabriel Campillo and Erik Skoglund and was a good European Union champion.
Pervizaj vs. Banongo
This one was a waste of ring time. Pervizaj just beat on the vastly overweight Banongo banging away at the almost static Czech who only prodded out the occasional jab. Pervizaj took Banongo to the ropes and unleashed a series of punches that saw Banongo drop to his hands and knees. He stumbled to his feet at eight and the referee stopped the fight. This is the fifth first round win for the 23-year-old German of Albanian parentage. He was German Youth and Senior champion. He turned pro when the German Board allotted the Rio Olympics spot to a professional who was taking advantage of being able to fight at the Olympics so Pervizaj did not even have a chance to qualify. Banongo just a novice and way out of his depth.
Nielsen vs. Emilov
Nielsen gets six rounds of useful work against Bulgarian Emilov. Nielsen won every round but Emilov came to fight and refused to fold under pressure. Nielsen picked up the pace over the second half of the fight but Emilov refused to fold and lasted the distance. Scores 60-54 for Nielsen on all three cards. Nielsen, 29, was Danish amateur champion in 2013,2014 and 2015 but failed to get through the European qualifier for the Rio Olympics and turned pro. Emilov has only failed to go the distance twice in his 25 losses.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Shingo Wake (26-5-2) W TKO 6 Takafumi Nakajima (29-12-1). Wake waits a long time to revenge a loss to Nakajima but does it in style. It was a tough, close fight with Nakajima the aggressor but with Wake boxing cleverly and countering. From the third round the accuracy of Wake’s southpaw lefts put him on top but Nakajima tried to hustle Wake and turn the fight his way. As he bustled forward in the sixth Wake landed a peach of a left uppercut that put Nakajima down flat on his back. Nakajima managed to beat the count but was badly shaken and Wake hammered home punch after punch until Nakajima collapsed into the ropes and then to the canvas with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Wake had lost to Nakajima back in 2012 then ran off ten wins to land a fight with Jonathan Guzman for the vacant IBF super bantam title in 2016. He lost that one but is on a run of six inside the distance wins and is No 4 with the IBF but with the first two spots vacant he is effectively the second guy in the ratings. Now three losses in a row for Nakajima.
Seoul, South Korea: Super Welter: Jung Kyoung Lee (7-2-1) W KO 7 Samuel Colomban (25-11-1). Lee wins the vacant OPBF title with kayo of experienced Colomban. Lee established an early lead but Colomban was always dangerous with heavy counters. This was Colomban’s fist fight for sixteen months and that began to tell. Lee broke through in the seventh with a heavy combination that sent Colomban down and he was unable to beat the count. Third win by KO/TKO for Lee who competed in MMA fights before changing over to boxing in 2017. Boxing has been at a very low ebb in South Korean for many years and the hope is that Lee can spark a revival. Colomban was born in Cameroon but settled in Australia after competing at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. He won the Australian super welter title in his last fight in September 2017 after four time losing in fights for the welterweight title. Reports from Australia indicated he suffered a shoulder injury in this fight.
Fight of the week (Significance): Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner. Not a great fight but there will be a queue to face the Filipino marvel
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Jason Sosa and Moises Delgadillo knocked lumps off each other for ten brutal rounds. Honourable mention to Nordine Oubaali vs. Rau’shee Warren which by contrast was a fast-paced contest of skills
Fighter of the week: Has to be Pacquiao but Oubaali deserves a mention and does Pablo Cano
Punch of the week: The first left from Shakur Stevenson which put Jessie Cris Rosales down was special as was the left uppercut from Shingo Wake that floored Takafumi Nakajima it was a thing of beauty.
Upset of the week: Has to be Pablo Cano demolishing Jorge Linares inside a round.
Prospect watch: He has excellent amateur credentials and it would be good to think that Indian Vikas Krishan might turn out to be a star as that is a huge largely untapped market for boxing.
By Eric Armit
-Caleb Plant scores upset win over Jose Uzcategui to win the IBF super middle title
-Devin Haney marches on with win over previously unbeaten Xolisani Ndongeni
-Guillermo Rigondeaux returns with a first round win in a poor match against Mexican Giovanni Delgado
- Prospect Brandon Figueroa impresses as he destroys Moises Flores in three rounds
-Venezuelan veteran Jaider Parra outpoints Fabian Maidana to ruin the night for Marcos Maidana who was staging his first promotion on the same show former IBF super light champion Cesar Cuenca loses to Jonathan Eniz on his comeback
- Eric Armit returns to work!
World Title Shows:
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Middle: Caleb Plant (18-0) W PTS 12 Jose Uzcategui (28-3). Feather: Brandon Figueroa (18-0) W TKO 3 Moises Flores (25-2,2ND). Light Heavy: Ahmed Elbiali (19-1) W TKO 3 Allan Green (33-6).Super Feather: Guillermo Rigondeaux (18-1) W KO 1 Giovanni Delgado (16-9). Welter: Ryan Karl (16-2) W TKO 5 Kevin Watts (12-3). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (8-0) W KO 3 Sergio Lopez (22-13-1).
Plant vs. Uzcategui
The IBF super middleweight title changed hand as the relevantly unknown Plant outboxed and floored champion Jose Uzcategui twice on the way to a unanimous decision. Plant was giving away height and reach but boxed on the outside being quicker to the punch and using good movement to negate Uzcategui’s power and aggression. In the first round Uzcategui kept marching forward but was not throwing enough punches and unable to land anything of consequence or deal with the jab and move tactics of Plant. Early in the second Plant landed a quick left hook to the chin which put Uzcategui down. It was not a heavy knockdown and Uzcategui was up quickly and back on the prowl but Plant was just too quick and slick for him. Plant outboxed Uzcategui in the third but in the fourth was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads. That spurred Uzcategui into attacking fiercely but as he shaped to throw a left hook Plant fractionally beat him to it and dropped Uzcategui for the second time. Again Uzcategui was up quickly and taking the fight to Plant but he was just too slow to hunt Plant down. Plant took the fifth as he constantly pierced Uzcategui’s guard with his jab. Uzcategui finally won a round in the sixth. He let his punchers go more and did a better job of cutting off the ring forcing Plant to stand and trade. That proved to be a false dawn for Uzcategui as Plant outboxed him and outlanded him in the seventh and eighth to extend his lead. Finally the pace he had set began to tell on Plant and in the ninth he was no longer moving but standing in close and trading and Uzcategui had Plant reeling with some of his trade mark left hooks. Uzcategui had Plant hurt again in an exciting tenth rocking him with a terrific right cross. Plant saw the danger signs and went back to his boxing moving and jabbing and he edged the eleventh. With the fight won Plant was just looking to stay out of trouble in the last and Uzcategui never really threatened to find the knockout he needed. All three judges had Plant a clear winner with Max DeLuca and Zachary Young both scoring it 116-110 and Lou Moret 115-111. It was a very emotional victory for Plant. When his 19 months old daughter Alia died two years ago Plant promised he would win a world title and he fulfilled that promise here. Plant 18-0 (10) was a huge underdog but with the IBF title is now a major player in the super middleweight mix. In the amateurs Plant, 26, won a gold medal at the 2011 National Golden Gloves but failed to progress throught the US Olympic Trials for the 2012 Games. He made one appearance for the USA Knockouts, a winning one, in the World Series of Boxing. Mexican-based Venezuelan Uzcategui, 28, was a huge disappointment. He had impressed in 2018 with wins over Andre Dirrell and Ezequiel Maderna looking strong and dangerous. In this fight he was exposed as being one-paced and that pace was slow.
Figueroa vs. Flores
Young Figueroa may be a new name on the block but he showed in this fight that he is definitely a fighter for the future as he overwhelmed and destroyed the former interim WBA and IBO champion Flores. “The Heartbreaker” from Texas holds the CompuBox record for the most punches thrown in a round and he lived up to that No 1position here. In the first he bombarded the more experienced Flores with a whole array of punches shaking Flores time and again with shots to head and body. Flores looked as though he had aged overnight as he was blown this way and that. He tried to stand and trade but Figueroa was constantly switching guards and scoring with jabs, hooks and uppercuts from both hands. It was more of the same in the second with Figueroa on top of Flores for the whole three minutes. Flores had a bit more success than in the first and Figueroa was marked around his left eye but again he had outpunched Flores all the way. Heads clashed a couple of time in the third and Figueroa was now cut over the left eye. That made no difference to the outcome as a huge overhand left from Figueroa crashed onto the side of Flores head and sent him down heavily. He made it to his feet but Figueroa jumped on him and stunned him with a long right. A series of punches rounded off by a big right cross sent Flores down again and the referee immediately waived the fight off. It was a few minutes before Flores recovered. Figueroa is still only 22 having turned pro at 18. Last time out in September he moved up to ten rounds for the first time and stopped former interim WBA champion Oscar Escandon in the last round. He is already rated WBA 5/IBF 9(7). Flores was 25-0, 2 No Decisions until losing to Daniel Roman for the WBA super bantam title in June last year. He was knocked out by Guillermo Rigondeaux in June 2017 but the kayo punched was ruled to have been delivered after the bell to end the first round so it was a No Decision.
Rigondeaux vs. Delgado
Rigondeaux returns with a win that provides no satisfaction for anyone. His Mexican opponent was too poor to provide any sort of useful work for the Cuban star. Rigondeaux just padded after the ever retreating Delgado who never took a forward step and hardly threw a punch. Just a few seconds before the bell to end the first round Rigondeaux landed a strong straight left which then saw Delgado take a couple of steps back and go down on his knees., The referee indicated to the timekeeper that the punch had landed before the bell and that he was going to apply a count and he tolled out the ten. This is the first “fight” for 38-year-old Rigondeaux since his loss to Vasily Lomachenko in December 2017. He weighed 122 ¼ lbs so can make super bantam if that is his plan. Poor Delgado has now lost 7 of his last 8 fights but in fairness they have been against a high standard of opposition such as Diego De La Hoya, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Brandon Figueroa.
Elbiali vs. Green
Elbiali destroys oldie Green inside three rounds. The Miami-based Egyptian sent Green to the canvas in both the first and second rounds. He ended the fight in the third putting Green down again with a right and the referee waived the count. The 28-year-old Elbiali won his first 16 fights before being stopped in six rounds by Jean Pascal in December 2017. This is his second win since then and his fifteenth win by KO/TKO. Green, 39, was looked upon as a possible world champion as he went 29-1 in his first 30 fights. He had scored wins over Carl Daniels, Carlos De Leon Jr and the 25-0-1 Tarvis Simms but then lost every round against Andre Ward in a WBA super middle title fight in 2010. He then went 3-3 in fights against good level opposition before being inactive from October 2013 until returning to the ring with one fight in 2018.
Karl vs. Watts
Sweet revenge for Texan “Cowboy” Karl as he punches too hard for previous conqueror Watts. It was an entertaining scrap while it lasted. Despite suffering a cut over his left eye Karl gradually punched the resistance out of Watts until the fifth round when with Watts shipping heavy punishment in a corner the referee halted the fight. When these two met in April last year Karl was in front on points until he was knocked down and stopped in the fifth round. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Karl. “Playboy” Watts has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
Delgado vs. Lopez
Mexican Olympian Delgado makes it eight from eight as he stops Lopez in the third round. Delgado was always in control in this one until a body punch sent Lopez down in the third and he was unable to beat the count. Eighth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Mexican prospect. He was a top level amateur winning silver medals at both the Pan American and Central American and Caribbean Games and competing at the 2016 Olympic. He fought in the World Series of Boxing for four seasons ending with a 9-4 record. The experienced Lopez suffers his eighth loss by KO/TKO.
Shreveport, LA, USA: Light: Devin Haney (21-0) W PTS 10 Xolisani Ndongeni (25-1). Heavy: Frank Sanchez (11-0) W KO 2 Willie Jake Jr (8-2-1). Feather: Ruben Villa (15-0) W PTS 8 Ruben Cervera (10-1,1ND).
Haney vs. Ndongeni
Another scarily impressive performance from Haney as he floors and outpoints previously unbeaten Ndongeni. The South African tried to establish his jab in a speedy first round but Haney had quicker hands and feet. Ndongeni tried some long punches but Haney closed the round by raking Ndongeni with a left hook, an overhand right and a vicious straight right. Ndongeni made a fast start to the second firing jabs and overhand rights and showing some sharp movement but as he moved across the front of Haney he was nailed with a right hook that sat him on his rump. Ndongeni was up quickly and for the rest of the round he used clever footwork and upper body movement to frustrate Haney’s attempts to catch him again. In a close third Ndongeni scored with a couple of good rights and a left hook but Haney finished the round strongly with jabs and rights of his own. A low key fourth also went to Haney as he was getting his punches off first and dodging Ndongeni’s. Haney upped the pace in the fifth. He hounded Ndongeni for three minutes firing more combinations than in the earlier rounds. The pressure was forcing errors from Ndongeni and Haney made him pay for them. The sixth was closer. Again Haney did the pressing and was landing lightning quick jabs and strong rights but Ndongeni did some good work to the body. Haney had been taking the close rounds but Ndongeni had a good seventh. He was able to take Haney to the ropes and work to the body. Haney was coming up short with his jabs-apart from one that jarred loose Ndongeni’s mouthguard-and he outworked Haney to edge the round. It had been Ndongeni’s tactics to make a strong start to each round and he did that in the eighth. He rattled Haney with a couple of long rights to the chin but then Haney began to move inside cutting down Ndongeni’s space and landing short vicious shots inside. He rocked Ndongeni with a left hook and the South African began to hold for the first time in the fight. Haney ended the round with a series of right to the head with Ndongeni looking to be in trouble and tiring. Haney dominated the ninth. He stalked Ndongeni around the ring getting inside and working the body with Ndongeni relying on wild rights but always missing. After a slow start to the last Haney forced Ndongeni to the ropes and just kept firing hooks with both hands and kept Ndongeni there to the bell. Scores 100-89 twice and 99-90 for Haney. Although the highest rating Haney had before this fight was No 8 with the WBA the 20-year-old “The Dream” is on his way to a world title shot either by the end of 2019 or early in 2020. He has prodigious talent. A natural with moves you can’t teach a fighter so there are exciting times ahead for Haney. Ndongeni “The Wasp” was set an impossible task for his second fight in the USA but he showed enough to indicate he is capable of giving most rated fighters a tough night and will be in some big fights in the future.
Sanchez vs. Jake
Sanchez dismantles Jake inside two rounds. Sanchez forced the fight hard in the first with the heavier Jake not quick enough with his punches or his movement to compete as Sanchez connected with some powerful rights. There was then a delay for a problem with the ropes Sanchez then continued pressing the heavier Jakes who tried to tie-up the unbeaten Cuban on the inside. Sanchez shook himself loose and landed a crunching right to the head. Jakes backed into a corner and then under a series of punches from Sanchez he slid down the ropes and ended face down on the canvas. The referee started to count but then waived the fight off. The one big right that Sanchez did throw in that series landed on the left glove of Sanchez and it looked like Jakes was taking the easy way out. The 26-year-old 6’4” has nine wins by KO/TKO. His No Decision came when he bundled his opponent through the ropes and he was unable to continue. Sanchez was an elite level amateur. He won a silver medal at the Pan American Youth Championships and thrice won a bronze medal in the Cuban Championships. His best result was a victory over Erislandy Savon in taking a gold medal at the Cuban Giraldo Cordova Cardin tournament. He looks powerful and is one to watch. Southpaw Jakes had won his last five fights but against inferior level opposition and this is his second loss b y KO/TKO.
Villa vs. Cervera
Villa wins every round against Colombian Cervera. Villa controlled the action with his sharp, accurate right jab. He was just too quick and slick for Cervera. The Colombian connected with a good right in the first and was pressing forward for most of the fight but Villa was slotting jabs through too quickly for Cervera to block and then following with hard and accurate straight lefts. Villa used good movement to change angles and was firing rapid combinations with Cervera often a step or two behind and swishing air with his punches. On the down side despite his total dominance even when Villa sat down on his punches he never really had Cervera in trouble. Scores 80-72 for Villa from all three judges. The 21-year-old Salinas southpaw was National Golden Gloves champion in 2014 and 2015. He scored two wins over Shakur Stevenson but lost the chance to go to the Rio Olympics when Stevenson beat him in the US Olympic Trials final. He has won 8 of his last 9 fights on points so could be short on power. Former Colombian featherweight champion Cervera was having his first fight outside of Colombia and his first fight since February 2018.
Santa Ynez, CA, USA: Super Welter: Maditar Ashkeyev (11-0) W PTS 10 Luis Hernandez (16-7). Middle: Meiirim Nursultanov (10-0) W KO 2 Ramon Aguinaga (13-2).
Ashkeyev vs. Hernandez
Kazak Ashkeyev outpoints Hernandez. After a shaky start when he was buzzed by a punch from Hernandez in the first Ashkeyev took over the fight and outboxed Hernandez all the way despite various infractions by Hernandez as he tried to rough up Ashkeyev. The Kazak fighter was already on his way to a wide points win when he dropped Hernandez in the last but just could not get Hernandez out of there. Scores 98-91 twice and 99-90. Ashkeyev, 30, was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. He is based in Oxnard, California alongside Sergey Kovalev, Oleg Usyk, Olexandr Gvozdyk and Vasyl Lomachenko. Puerto Rican Hernandez has lost 5 of his last 6 fights but all against good quality opposition.
Nursultanov vs. Aguinaga
Nursultanov, another member of the Oxnard outfit flattens Mexican Aguinaga with a brutal right. Nursultanov prowled after Aguinaga in the first looking to land his destructive right but Aguinaga made it the bell without too much danger. In the second a straight right from Nursultanov crashed onto Aguinaga’s chin. He sagged and then fell back into the ropes and bounced off ending face down on the canvas out cold. The 25-year-old Kazak now has eight wins by KO/TKO. He won a gold medal at the Asian Championships and was 13 -1in fights in the World Series of Boxing including two victories in the semi-final matches against the British Lionhearts. Aguinaga had won 8 of his last 9 fights but the loss was in his last fight in July against French hope Christian Mbilli.
Tacoma, WA, USA: Super Feather: Giovanni Mioletti (15-0) W TKO 3 Antonio Escalante (29-10).
Mioletti rolls on with win over experienced Escalante. After a tentative start to the first round Mioletti started to find the distance with his jab and Escalante had no real answer to it. In the second Mioletti put Escalante down with a left hook but Escalante got up and made it to the bell. In the third a right staggered Escalante and a following left floored him again. He made it to his feet but when the eight count was finished so was Escalante who indicated he wanted out. Born in Seattle but based in Chicago Mioletti , 24,gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. He has had five fights and five wins under the banner of Brian Halquist Productions “Battle at the Boat” series at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. In those five wins is a victory over unbeaten Ray Lampkin the son of the former WBA lightweight title challenger of the same name. El Paso-based Mexican Escalante was 24-2 before losing to Daniel Ponce De Leon in WBO featherweight eliminator but has fallen away and was inactive for over three years before returning with a loss in October.
Mar Del Plata, Argentina: Light Heavy: Walter Sequeira (22-5) W PTS 10 Facundo Galovar (10-5-1).
Sequeira continues his run of form with majority decision over Galovar. This was a war. Not much evidence of skill but entertaining for the fans. Sequeira made a slow start conceding the first round to a busier Galvan but Sequeira landed enough accurate punches to edge the second and had Galovar hurt by a right in the both the and fourth rounds. Galovar came back into the fight in the fifth and sixth as Sequeira’s work rate dropped. Sequeira had a good seventh once again shaking Galovar with a right but the eighth and ninth could have been scored either way but a left from Sequeira in the last put him in control and he emerged a clear winner. Scores 96-94 twice for Sequeira and 95-95. Now 31, Sequeira makes it five wins in his last six fights and collects the vacant WBC Latino title. His National title was not on the line. His loss in those last six fights was a fourth round stoppage against unbeaten Anthony Yarde in October. Three losses in a row now for Galovan.
Mar del Plata, Argentina: Super Light: Jaider Parra (33-2-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Fabian Maidana (16-1).Super Light: Jonathan Eniz (23-11-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Cesar Cuenca (48-3) . Bantam: Fernando Martinez (8-0) W PTS 6 Abel Silva (5-3-3).
Maidana vs. Parra
On a mixed night for the Maidana family Marcos stages his first promotion and younger brother Fabian loses for the first time as a pro in a clash of younger brothers”. Parra, the younger brother of former WBA flyweight champion Lorenzo, proved too experienced and clever for Maidana. The visitor took a round to get into his stride but then proceeded to outbox Maidana. Parra was able to penetrate Maidana’s defence with jabs and sharp rights and was ducking under and around Maidana’s punches and took the third. Maidana managed to trap Parra on the ropes and land some hooks in the fourth but a right in the fifth opened a cut on Maidana’s left eyelid and Parra did most of the scoring in the sixth and seventh. With brother Marcos climbing into his corner Maidana finally landed some heavy punches in the eighth and rocked Parra with a left in the last but by then it was already a lost cause. Scores 98 ½-94, 98 ½-94 ½,97 ½-95 ½ all for Parra. The 36-year-old Venezuelan lost inside the distance in challenges for both the WBA super feather and interim lightweight titles and had won 10 of his last 11 fights. It would have been 11 out of 11but after he stopped Spanish prospect 20-1 Nicolas Gonzalez in January 2017 he tested positive for Clenbuterol and the result was changed to a No Decision. This win over Maidana will generate more work for Parra. Maidana, 26, had scored wins over Johan Perez and Andrey Klimov and was rated No 9 by the WBA. He was looked upon as one of the best prospects in Argentina but even though his trainer Manny Robles was flown down to be in his corner he was flat and flummoxed by the more experienced Parra.
Eniz vs. Cuenca
With Eniz only rated No 9 in the National ratings he looked a comfortable opponent for the return to the ring of former IBF lightweight champion and fellow southpaw Cuenca. This was Cuenca’s first fight since April 2016 and not surprisingly the young Eniz dominated the first two rounds. Cuenca began to find the target in the third and was expected to pick up the pace and kick on from there. That did not happen. Using a focused body attack and some vicious hooks Eniz put himself in front over the middle rounds. There were plenty of fierce exchanges with both landing heavily but although Cuenca finished strongly he was well beaten. Scores 98-94, 98-94 ½ and 97 ½-94for Eniz. The 24-year-old from Dolores was 2-2 in 2018 scoring two low level wins but being knocked out in seven rounds by unbeaten Kazak Batyrzhan Jukembayev in Montreal before performing above expectations in losing a split verdict to unbeaten Luis Veron. This win will boost his profile way up. Cuenca, 36, lost his IBF title to Eduard Troyanovsky in 2015 and was stopped in seven rounds in a return match in 2016. No talk of retirement from Cuenca.
Martinez vs. Silva
Olympian Martinez extends his 100% record to eight fights with unanimous decision over feisty Silva. This was a battle all the way. Martinez had the harder punch but Silva refused to back up and despite shipping heavy punishment banged back with some heavy punches of his own. Martinez ‘s power was decisive and he poured on the punishment as Silva tired to take the decision. Scores : 59 ½ -55 ½ , 59-56 and 59 ½ -56. Martinez, 27 represented Argentina at the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics and was a member of the Los Angeles Matadors team in the World Series of Boxing. Third loss in a row for Silva.
Perez, Argentina: Light; Gustavo Lemos (20-0) W TKO 4 Galvis Guerra (16-3-3).
Lemos dismantles overmatched Colombian. Lemos was piling forward connecting with hooks and overhand rights to the head. Guerra lacked the power to compete and had a leaky defence so Lemos was driving him back and rocking him with punches in close. Guerra survived a brutal third but it was all over in the fourth. A straight right from Lemos saw Guerra tottering back across the ring to the ropes where he dropped to one knee. He beat the count but suddenly without Lemos landing another heavy punch Guerra turned away from the action and again crossed the ring to the ropes and knelt down and the referee stopped the fight. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old “El Electrico” from Tres Arroyos and his fourth defence of his IBF Latino title. He is Argentinian No 1 and IBF have him at No 14. Second loss by KO/TKO for Guerra who is now 0-3 in fights outside of Colombia.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Ryoichi Tamura (12-3-1) W PTS 10 Mugicha Nakagawa (24-6-1). Minimum: Norihito Tanaka (18-7) W TKO 8 Shin Ono (23-10-3).
Tamura vs. Nakagawa
Minor upset as Tamura wins the vacant National title at the second attempt . With 14 wins in his last 15 fights Nakagawa was the favourite but Tamura was off the mark quickly attacking strongly and scoring well to head and body. Nakagawa answered the pressure with some strong jabs and uppercuts but Tamura outscored him and at the half way mark was up 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47 on the three cards. With his greater experience Nakagawa was expected to claw back the deficit over the second half of the fight and although he landed some sizzling rights it was Tamura who was stronger blunting Nakagawa’s attacks and emerging a comfortable winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 for Tamura. He was 3-2-1 at the start of his career but has turned things around with 9 wins in his last 10 fights with the loss being in a challenge for this title in 2017. Nakagawa, 30, had won 14 of his last 15 fights but this was only his second fight scheduled for ten rounds. To his credit he is canvassing with some success for cloud funding to help children in the Philippines
Tanaka vs. Ono
Another surprise here as Tanaka halts Ono to lift his Japanese title. Despite Ono having the edge in height over tiny Tanaka the challenger punched his way inside negating southpaw Ono’s greater skills. He shook Ono in the second and floored him with a right in the third and after five rounds all three judges had him ahead 49-45. Ono had the better of the action in the sixth using his reach to collect the points. Tanaka was getting past the jab in the seventh and a harried Ono was deducted a point for holding. Tanaka’s attacks overwhelmed Ono in the eighth and he was battered to the floor with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Tanaka was winning a title at the third attempt. He was outpointed by future world champion Akira Yaegashi for this same title in April 2011 and was inactive from November 2011 until returning to action in February 2017. In his second shot at a title he lost to unbeaten Tsubasa Koura for the OPBF crown in April last year. Former WBA and IBF title challenger Ono was rated in the top 15 by all four sanctioning bodies so this was a severe blow to his hopes of a third world title fight.
Fight of the week (Significance): Caleb Plant as is win over Jose Uzcategui will open many doors for him.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Plant vs. Uzcategui supplied plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Has to be Plant but with honourable mention to Devin Haney
Punch of the week: The right from Meiirim Nursultanov was a real thunderbolt and the right that gave Brandon Figueroa his first knockdown against Moises Flores was special.
Upset of the week: Plant beating Uzcategui was unexpected as was Jaider Parra’s victory over unbeaten Fabian Maidana, Parra vs. Maidana
Prospect watch: Plenty on show this week with Brandon Figueroa, Meiirim Nursultanov and Frank Sanchez all impressing
By Eric Armit
-Saul Alvarez destroys Rocky Fielding in three rounds to win the secondary WBA super middle title
-Gilberto Ramirez retains the WBO super middle title with points win over Jesse Hart
-Tevin Farmer decision Francisco Fonseca in defence of his IBF super featherweight title
Artem Dalakian defends the WBA flyweight title with stoppage of Gregorio Lebron
-Joseph Parker closes out the year with an inside the distance win over Alex Flores
-Swede Sven Fornling wins the IBO title with victory over Karo Murat
-Former champion Sadam Ali returns with a win in his first fight since losing his WBO title to Jamie Munguia in May
-A sight you don’t see often as Germany heavyweight Michael Wallisch gets counted out twice when losing to Christen Hammer
WORLD TITLE FIGHTS IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO
Corpus Christi, TX, USA: Super Middle: Gilberto Ramirez (39-0) W PTS 12 Jesse Hart (25-2). Super Bantam: Joshua Greer (19-1-1) W RTD 7 Daniel Lozano (15-6). Super Light Arnold Barboza (20-0) W PTS 10 Manuel Lopez (14-3-1).Super Feather: Jamel Herring (19-2) W PTS 8 Adeilson Dos Santos (19-6).
Ramirez vs. Hart
Ramirez retains the WBO title with majority verdict over Hart in a fight of three phases. The first seven rounds see Ramirez dominant. Rounds eight to eleven are Hart’s due an injury suffered by Ramirez. Then phase three sees the outcome of the fight decided in a dramatic last round.
Hart was sharp at the outset and scored with a couple of neat hooks. Ramirez was the one forcing the fight with Hart circling the perimeter of the ring and jumping in with quick attacks. Ramirez really let his hands go late in the round scoring with some strong lefts and taking the round.
Score 10-9 Ramirez
Another round where Hart had a good opening spell sending Ramirez backwards with some sharp right uppercuts and connecting with his jab and some combinations. Ramirez then took control. He was scoring with flashing hooks to the body and hard southpaw lefts to the head.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 20-18
A closer round but still Ramirez’s. Hart was boxing nicely on the back foot with plenty of jabs but Ramirez was using some clever upper body movement to dodge those and then hunting Hart down and scoring with hooks and uppercuts
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 30-27
Dominant round for Ramirez. From bell to bell he was hustling Hart around the ring pinning him to the ropes and connecting with hooks, uppercuts and sweeping lefts to the head. There was very little coming back from Hart.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 40-36
Official scores: 39-37, 40-36 and 40-36 for Ramirez
A very close round with the best exchanges so far. Hart stayed on the front foot more and put his punches together well with some sharp hooks and uppercuts. Ramirez was scoring well to the body and fired some impressive combinations but with Hart ending the round with a flurry of punches which just gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 49-46
This round was close until the half way point then Ramirez took over. He was landing long lefts to the body and head with a tired looking Hart was throwing very little in the return. A long left snapped Hart’s head back as Ramirez piled on the pressure.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 59-55
A close one and a quieter one. Both did good work with their jabs . Hart landed some sharp left hooks and Ramirez got through with his left and just outworked Hart.
Scores 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 69-64
A complete change around in the eighth round. Hart was storming forward firing hooks and uppercuts to the body and forcing Ramirez back. He kept Ramirez against the ropes for much of the round. Ramirez’s punch output slumped and he was warned for a sneaky punch on the break
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 78-74
Official scores: 77-74, 78-74, 78-74 Ramirez
What had changed in the eighth was that Ramirez had injured his left elbow and Hart was able to take advantage of that. He stayed on top of Ramirez landing with short punches inside as the fight became more of a brawl. Ramirez used both hands to fire some combinations but Hart was getting the better of the exchanges and buckled Ramirez legs with a right.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 87-84
Neither fighter did much in this round. Over the first two minutes Ramirez tried to avoid trading punches and Hart did not force the fight enough. Late in the round Hart came to life raking Ramirez with hooks inside. When they clinched Hart made sure he had a claim on Ramirez’s right which was the only one had he had to worry about and a comfortable win had turned into a struggle for survival for Ramirez
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 96-94
A brutal three minutes as Hart worked Ramirez over. He had Ramirez pinned to the ropes for most of the round and was scoring inside with hooks. Ramirez tried to punch with Hart but without full power in his left he was at a disadvantage and Hart was winning the exchanges.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 105-104
In a dramatic last round Ramirez staggered Hart early with a right hook and turned Hart onto the ropes and connected with five consecutive right hooks with Hart looking to be in trouble. Even when Hart moved off the ropes Ramirez landed with another series of hooks. Hart was pushing Ramirez back but had to soak up more right hooks. Hart was exhausted stumbling and just leaning on Ramirez and not throwing punches until with just twenty seconds remaining in the round he landed a right uppercut. Now it was Ramirez on the ropes and Hart hammering home punches rocking Ramirez head but Ramirez stayed on his feet and was trying to punch back at the bell and his early work in the round gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 115-113
Official scores. 114-114 and 115-113,115-113 for Ramirez.
Gutsy win by the 27-year-old from Mazatlan in the fifth defence of his WBO title. Ramirez controlled the fight before his injury and looked on his way to at least a wide points victory if not a late stoppage. No real grounds for a third fight and in any case Ramirez is already looking to move up to light heavyweight. Hart will still be a major force at super middle and if Ramirez does move up he would be favourite to beat either Shefat Isufi or Vincent Feigenbutz who are Nos 2 and 3 with the WBO.
Greer vs. Lozano
Greer continues his impressive run with win over Lozano. Greer has made a habit of beating up the opposition to a point where the just quit. He did that in this fight. He controlled the fight and handed out some stiff punishment before dropping Lozano in the seventh and Lozano’s team pulled him out at the end of the round. The 24-year-old from Chicago has won 16 in a row including six inside the distance finishes in his last six fights. He wins the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. Floridian Lozano was 2-4 going into this one but had reversed two of those losses against David Carmona and Ricardo Rodriguez.
Barboza vs. Lopez
Barboza boxes his way to win over Lopez taking every round on all three cards. Barboza used a sharp jab to set up some crisp body punches. With no chance of outboxing Barboza Lopez tried to drag Barboza into a brawl but the unbeaten Californian would not cooperate. He kept finding gaps for his jab and the frequency and accuracy of Barboza’s work slowly had Lopez fading further and further out of the fight. Barboza put in a big effort in the ninth trying to get Lopez out of there but Lopez stayed to the final bell. Scores 100-90 for Barboza from the three judges. The 27-year-old Californian already has impressive wins over Mike Reed and Luis Solis and will continue to build in 2019. Lopez had lost only one of his last eleven fights.
Herring vs. Dos Santos
Southpaw Herring continues his restoration with a points victory over Brazilian Dos Santos. Herring had early success when he floored Dos Santos in the first and second rounds. Dos Santos survived those shocks and was competitive without actually doing enough to win a round and Herring got eight rounds of work under his belt. Scores 80-70 from the three wise men. The 33-year-old former US Marine was US Armed Forces champion and US National champion in 2012 and competed at the 2012 Olympics. He won his first 15 pro fights before suffering losses against Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller. He has had a good 2018 beating experienced Juan Pablo Sanchez and 20-1 Filipino John Vincent Moralde. Dos Santos is now 1-4 in his last 5 fights but that includes losses to Jessie Magdaleno and Michael Conlan.
New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Saul Alvarez (51-1-2 W TKO 3 Rocky Fielding (27-1). Super Feather: Tevin Farmer (28-4-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Francisco Fonseca (22-2-1).Welter: Sadam Ali (27-2) W PTS 10 Mauricio Herrera (24-8). Super Feather: Ryan Garcia (17-0) W KO 5 Braulio Rodriguez (19-4). Super Feather: Lamont Roach (18-0-1) W PTS 10 Alberto Mercado (15-2-1). Super Middle: Bilal Akkawy (19-0-1) W TKO 7 Victor Fonseca (17-9-1). Super Light: Yves Ulysse (17-1) W PTS 8 Maximiliano Becerra (16-3-2).
Alvarez vs. Fielding
Very predictable outcome as Alvarez too strong for Fielding and scores four knockdowns before the fight is stopped.
Strong opening from Alvarez. After a few jabs from Fielding Alvarez was connecting with left hooks to the body and slotting home his jab. Fielding fired a quick burst of punches but was already on the back foot and short, quick left to the body saw him take a couple of steps back and drop to one knee. Fielding was up at seven and despite more body punches made it though the one minute remaining in the round although he was rocked by a right at the bell.
Score 10-8 Alvarez
Alvarez was forcing Fielding back and landing hooks to the body from both hands. Fielding was jabbing and throwing quick hooks but did not have the power to stop Alvarez coming forward. A left to the ribs had Fielding backing off. Despite that Fielding was getting through with his jab and landing some hooks of his own until another left to the ribs sent him down on one knee near the end of the round. Fielding was up at seven and after the eight count the bell went.
Score 10-8 Alvarez Alvarez 20-16
Alvarez pressed forward looking for the finish. He was still landing with crunching left hooks to the body but now also adding right uppercuts. Fielding fought back with hooks but was driven to the ropes and a clubbing right to the side of the head dropped him to one knee again. Fielding climbed up at seven but when the action resumed another left hook to the body again saw Fielding take a knee and the referee stopped the fight.
Now 35 wins by KO/TKO for Alvarez. Some will see him as a three-division world champion but Fielding’s title was the secondary WBA one so questionable as to whether it qualifies. There are fights for Alvarez at super middle if he wants them with WBC champion David Benavidez already issuing a challenge. It is also, possible that the WBC may insist that Alvarez defends their middleweight title against interim champion Jermall Charlo which would a good fight. Fielding, 31, was a huge outsider when he was offered a fight with Tyron Zeuge but he took the chance and it led to a title and from there to the biggest purse of his career. He will box on and the super middleweight division is rich in high quality fighters so there is more money to be made.
Farmer vs. Fonseca
Farmer makes the second defence of his IBF title in just seven weeks and convincingly outpoints Costa Rican Fonseca.
Farmer was into the groove quickly. He had faster hands and kept slotting right jabs past Fonseca’s defence and lading long lefts. Fonseca manage to get thought with a couple of rights but it was the champions round.
Score 10-9 Farmer
More of the same in the second. Farmer was throwing left leads and using his quicker reflexes to stand close and dodge or block Fonseca’s punches and counter. He finished the round with a strong attack connecting with three straight lefts.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 20-18
Fonseca did a bit better in this round. He was walking in behind his jab and landing to the body. Farmer’s hand speed was still just too quick and Farmer was switching between head and body and Fonseca was too slow to block the punches.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 30-27
Farmer chose to go toe-to-toe with Fonseca in this one turning the action into a close-quarters maul. He was still doing most of the scoring with short hooks and uppercuts but those tactics also allowed Fonseca to land more punches than he had earlier.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 40-36
Official scores 40-36, 39-37 and 40-36 for Farmer
Fonseca’s round. He pressed hard for the whole three minutes. He landed some body shots and kept pumping out the punches. Farmer connected with some hard counters but was more on the defensive and not throwing as many punches.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 49-46
Farmer took this one inside again. He was on top of Fonseca forcing Fonseca back around the ring. He scored throughout the round with left uppercuts and added some clubbing rights to the head. Fonseca was also landing with rights to the head but tricky upper body movement from Farmer meant Fonseca was often swishing air.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 59-55
Farmer spent the first two minutes again forcing Fonseca back and fighting inside. He was landing hooks and uppercuts with Fonseca not able to shake himself loose enough to counter. Over the last third of the round Farmer decided to put on an exhibition of defensive work letting Fonseca come forward but Fonseca just could not find the target.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 69-54
Fonesca outworked Farmer in this one. He was able to march forward scoring with stabbing jabs and connecting with short clubbing hooks. Farmer was just not throwing enough punches and although he opened up later Fonseca had already done enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 78-74
Official scores: 78-74, 77-75, 78-74
Farmer started by boxing on the back foot slotting home jabs and then stopping to fire a burst of punches through Fonseca’s guard. He then switched to fighting inside where Fonesca had a bit more success before Farmer went back to his boxing shooting jabs and uppercuts home.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 88-83
Brawl time again from Farmer. He was constantly pushing Fonseca back. He was getting home with short cuffing hooks and occasional rights to the head but was making the fight harder than it needed to be. With Farmer right there in front of him Fonseca did enough to make it a close round.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 98-92
A round for Fonseca. He was able to march forward scoring with stiff jabs and landed a flush left hook. He had more success with the jabs and landed a straight right. Farmer moved in close but stayed there without punching and Fonseca scored with a burst of punches.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 107-102
Farmer outboxed Fonesca he was constantly moving then jumping in with two or three punches then off again before Fonseca could counter. When Fonseca did corner Farmer he held and then was off again and he closed the fight with a flurry of punches.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 117-111
Official scores: 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111 for Farmer.
Not a difficult defence for Farmer against the strong but limited Fonseca. Since the final eliminator between Guillame Frenois and Jonno Carroll ended in a draw Farmer does not have a mandatory challenger but it could be that Carroll will get the title shot. It seems very strange that the 28-year-old from Philadelphia went a modest 7-4-1 at the start of his career and has since registered 20 wins and one No Decision. The No Decision was a loss to Kenichi Ogawa in December 2017 for the vacant IBF title but that loss was changed to a No Decision when Ogawa tested positive for a banned substance. Fonseca was knocked out in eight rounds by Gervonta Davis in a fight for this same vacant title in 2017 and was never in the fight here.
Ali vs. Herrera
Ali climbs back onto the saddle after being violently thrown off by Jamie Munguia in May. The “World Kid” took a good level opponent in Herrera an experienced fighter but who is on the cusp of a slide. Ali was quicker and busier if a bit sloppy at times. He did some good work to the body early and Herrera improved once he had shed seven months of rust but Ali never really relinquished control of the fight. He looked to hurt Herrera with a body punch in the seventh but other than that never looked likely to win inside the distance. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Ali. It has been a crazy eighteen months for Ali beating Miguel Cotta in July 2017 and then getting blown away by Munguia in May so he will be aiming for a defeat-free 2019.Californian Herrera, 38, a former interim WBA champion, had won his two fights in 2017 but this was his first fight sixteen months.
Garcia vs. Rodriguez
Garcia continues to climb and to impress. In a lively opening round they exchanged punches until a left hook from Garcia deposited Rodriguez on his rump. He beat the count and saw out the round but Garcia continued to land regularly in the second. A low punch from Garcia gave Rodriguez a break in the third but later in the round a right from Garcia powered Rodriguez into the ropes and it could be argued that he should have been given a count as it looked as though the ropes were holding him up. The fourth was another painful round for Rodriguez and after he was floored by a right to the head in the fifth the referee stopped the fight. The 20-year-old “The Flash” turned pro at 17 and already has wins over credible opposition in Jayson Velez and Carlos Morales. This is his fourteenth win by KO/TKO and he is No 4 with the WBO. Dominican Rodriguez suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO having been stopped in four rounds by WBO title challenger Chris Diaz in March.
Roach vs. Mercado
Roach outboxes Mercado in the third defence of his WBO International title. Southpaw Mercado made an aggressive start and was competitive over the first three rounds. From there Roach controlled the fight with his superior skill set and harder punch. As Roach picked up the pace and scored with slick counters Mercado began to fade out of the fight. Roach increased his punch output and took the fight to Mercado over the closing rounds. Mercado rallied in the last but it was far too late for him to affect the outcome. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Roach. He is No 5 with the WBO. The draw on his record was against former WBO lightweight title challenger Orlando Cruz. Puerto Rican Mercado was 13-0-1 in his first 14 fights before losing to Jayson Velez last year but had outscored useful Jose Nieves in March this year.
Akkawy vs. Fonseca
Australian hope Akkawy overpowers Fonseca for a late stoppage. This one was mainly a close-quarters battle with the boxers willing to stand and exchange punches with very little footwork on show. Akkawy was stronger and had the harder punch. Fonseca did not back away but was slowly being ground down. Akkawy shrugged off Fonseca’s punches and was landing more and heavier shots. Fonseca fought hard but he was throwing less and absorbing more and the refereed decided he had taken enough and halted the fight in the seventh. Akkawy,25, the WBA No 8, has nine consecutive wins behind him now including victories over Kerry Hope and former holder of the secondary WBA title Giovanni De Carolis. Mexican Fonseca, also 25, had won his last eight fights.
Ulysse vs. Becerra
Canadian Ulysse floors Becerra twice on the way to a wide unanimous victory. The first two rounds were fairly even with Becerra working well with his jab and Ulysse quicker and showing good movement. From the third Ulysse stepped-up his pace and was connecting with hard punches to head and body rocking Becerra with a left hook in the fourth. He continued to ramp up the pressure and dropped Becerra to a knee in the sixth, the first time Becerra had been down in his career. Another knockdown followed in the seventh but Ulysse just could not find the punch to close the fight early and had to settle for a points victory. Scores 78-72 twice and 79-71 for Ulysse. The slick 30-year-old from Montreal lost his unbeaten tag when being outpointed by Steve Claggett on a split decision in October last year but in his last two fights had beaten 21-0 Cletus Seldin and 25-0-1 Ernesto Espana which garnered for him the WBC No 6 spot, No 11 (9) with the IBF and No 12 with the WBO. Californian Becerra had won his last eight fights.
Kiev, Ukraine: Fly: Artem Dalakian (18-0) W TKO 6 Gregorio Lebron (21-5). Dalakian stops Lebron to retain his WBA title after an untidy, ugly fight with a controversial; ending.
Lebron was trying to take the fight to the champion but Dalakian was too quick for him skipping away from Lebron's punches and darting in quickly and landing a couple of punches. Lebron who finally landed a solid right hook before the bell.
Score 10-9 Dalakian
Lebron was stalking Dalakian for much of the second round. Lebron landed a right and a left to the body but Dalakian was coming up short with his punches. As Lebron came forward again Dalakian met him with a short right hook and Lebron went down. It was not a heavy knockdown and Lebron bounced up immediately and after the eight count drove forward throwing punches. Dalakian danced out of the way before landing a sharp uppercut.
Score 10-8 Dalakian Dalakian 20-17
This really was a terrible fight. Dalakian would leap in land a punch and then hold until prised off Lebron then do the same thing again. Dalakian wrestled Lebron to the floor three times in the round and Lebron was swinging wild wide punches in his frustration with the few punches Dalakian landed giving him the round
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 30-26
Another poor round. Dalakian is very quick and very slippery and Lebron just could not pin him down. Every Lebron attack finished with him missing the target and Dalakian clinching until the referee prised him off. He landed a couple of punches but no more and wrestled Lebron to the floor twice more.
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 40-35
Another round of Lebron swinging wildly in frustration and Dalakian just too mobile and too tricky for him. Dalakian was doing what little scoring there was but again there was more clinching than punching
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 50-44
Lebron rushed in again at the start of the round and a half punch half push sent him down and he was given count. Lebron protested and after the count he tried to fling himself at Dalakian who grabbed his arm swung him around off balance and threw him to the floor. No count and no warning for Dalakian. When Lebron tried another rush Dalakian nailed him with a right counter and another right which sent Lebron to his knees. He was hurt but up quickly. He went after Dalakian who trapped Lebron’s arm and twisted and threw him down yet again. Next time Lebron plunged forward Dalakian landed a sharp counter. Lebron went backwards but put his gloves down to avoid going down and pushed himself straight back up. As usual Lebron walked away during the count but turned back to face the referee only for the referee to continue to count to eight and then waive the fight over. Lebron was not in any real trouble and the referee did not even ask him to show he was steady on his feet-which he was. If it was because of the three knockdowns then the fight should have been stopped when Lebron went down. Even Dalakian looked puzzled by the stoppage. Dalakian retains the WBA title for the second time. He was streets ahead of Lebron in skill and would probably stopped Lebron in another two or three rounds but this was a bizarre decision by the referee. The 31-year-old Azeri-born Dalakian’s style is not an entertaining one. He buzzes around leaping in with one or two punches and then holds as he did on numerous occasions in this fight and often wrestles his man down. Great skills but you would have to be an Azeri, a Ukrainian or a relative to enjoy his fights. Lebron, 36 was a weak challenger. He had not faced a rated fighter for more than two years but was No 3 with the WBA. He lacked the speed to pose any threat to Dalakian
December 14Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Jayde Mitchell (18-1) W PTS 10 Kim Poulsen (28-5): Middle: Tej Pratap Singh (14-4-2,1ND) W TKO 4 Jason Leuken (7-1).
Mitchell vs. Poulsen
Mitchell much too good for visitor Poulsen and wins wide unanimous decision. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. Mitchell tried hard to walk the Dane down but Poulsen seemed bent on survival and was no sort of test for Mitchell. Now 13 wins in a row for 32-year-old Mitchell who is No 10 with the WBA and the WBC. He will be hoping to get a title fight in 2019. In the crazy world of the WBA Mitchell was making the fifth defence of the WBA Oceania “interim” title. Perhaps the WBA don’t have an English dictionary to explain what interim means but they are reportedly solving that problem by dropping the interim world titles and replacing it with Gold titles. Now that they don’t have to invent a reason for having an interim title and they can now quickly get another 17 Gold titles. Poulsen, 31, was 26-1 in his first 27 fights before losing to Anthony Yigit in 2015 but is now 2-3 since then. He said that he suffered a broken thumb in this fight but had no complaints at all about the result.
Singh vs. Leuken
Southpaw Singh wins the vacant Australian title with fourth round stoppage of Leuken. He gets his eighth win by KO/TKO and is now 5-0,1ND in his last six fights. Leuken was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and had won his last two fights.
Edmonton, Canada: Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (22-0) W TKO 5 Adrian Luna (21-6-1). Bazinyan rolls on as he turns over Luna in five rounds. The 23-year-old Armenian-born Bazinyan punished Luna heavily over the first three rounds and then put him down three times in the fourth. Luna came out for the fifth but strong, accurate punches from Bazinyan had him in trouble again and the referee stopped the fight. Bazinyan retains the WBA-NABA and WBO-NABO titles and now has 17 wins by KO/TKO. He moved to Quebec with his family when he was 16 and won the Canadian Golden Gloves title in 2013. He is rated WBO 4/WBA 12 with his best wins so far being over Francy Ntetu and 32-2 David Zegarra. Luna suffers his second loss by KO/TKO but has gone the distance with Ryota Murata and unbeaten D’Mitrius Ballard
Budapest, Hungary: Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (9-0) W KO 3 Islam Teffahi (21-6-2,1ND). Super Feather: Zoltan Kovacs (23-5-1) W PTS 8 Levani Tsiklauri (11-6-1).
Bacskai vs. Teffahi
Bacskai finds southpaw Teffahi a slippery opponent in the first round as the Tunisian ducked and dived and kept moving with Bacskai having difficulty in finding the target. He began to get through with some heavy punches in the second flooring Teffahi. The visitor kept out of trouble for the rest of the round but was ready to go in the third. Bacskai was forcing him along the ropes with Teffahi stabbing out trying to get off the ropes but Bacskai stayed on top of him. In the end it was a capitulation. Bacskai landed a series of head punches and Teffahi purposefully edged his way along the ropes to a corner and then dropped and sat out the count. With not having turned pro until he was 29 Bacskai is on borrowed time. He was an outstanding amateur being Hungarian champion eight years in a row. He was also a World Youth champion and won gold medals at the European Union and European Championships but did not hand in his vest until after the 2016 Olympics. Teffahi is better than he showed here. He had a run of ten wins and a draw through to October 2016 and this was his first fight since then.
Kovacs vs. Tsiklauri
Kovacs has a tougher time than anticipated against Georgian Tsiklauri. “Caramel” Kovacs was busier and had a sounder defence than Tsiklauri but never took control of the fight and needed a strong finish as it was close going into the last two rounds. Scores77-75 twice and 78-74 for Kovacs. The last defeat Kovacs suffered was a points loss to Mitchell Smith in 2014. Since then he is 12-0-1. Tsiklauri has been a busy boy and is now 4-5-1 in his ten fights in 2018.
Rome, Italy: Super Middle: Giovanni De Carolis (26-9-1) W Dragan Lepei 16-1-2). Experience won this one as De Carolis outpoints Lepei to win the vacant WBC International title. De Carolis floored Lepei with a left hook in the second round and that meant Lepei was in catch-up mode after that. Lepei forced the fight and had the harder punch but the clever movement and range of punches from De Carolis always kept the veteran in front. Lepei’s success came when he could pin De Carolis to the ropes and he managed that often enough to make the fight close but De Carolis found the target continually with his jab and used it also keep Lepei off balance. Scores 116-111, 115-112 and 115-113. De Carolis looked to have won clearly with perhaps the first score the best reflection of the fight but Lepei was always pressing and always dangerous. Now 34. De Carolis is a former holder of the secondary WBA title and enjoyed a purple patch when he stopped Vincent Feigenbutz and drew with Tyron Zeuge in fights for the secondary WBA title in 2016. He has fallen away since then going 1-3 in his next four fights. He has rebounded this year by winning the Italian title and now the prestigious WBC International title. Italian-based Romanian Lepei won the Italian title after De Carolis relinquished it and had won his last eight fights.
Krasnodar, Russia: Light: Aik Shakhnazaryan (23-2) W PTS 12 Fedor Papazov (21-3).Welter: Shohjahon Ergashev (15-0) W KO 1 Nazareno Gaston Ruiz (32-18,1ND). Light Heavy: Sergei Ekimov (18-0) W PTS 8 Stanislav Kashtanov (36-4).
Shakhnazaryan vs. Papazov
Shakhnazaryan takes split verdict over Papazov in an entertaining close fight. Papazov was aggressive from the start against the taller Shakhnazaryan. He was using a high guard and blocking many of the quick bursts of punches from Papazov and also showed some smart footwork. It was quantity vs. quality as Papazov kept firing punches with most being picked off by Shakhnazaryan who was throwing less but was much more accurate. Shakhnazaryan increased his punch output as the fight progressed and he was much quicker getting through with jabs and hooks and getting out before Papazov could counter. It was a fast-paced very open fight with both looking to get their punches off and neither looking to clinch. Papazov continued to roll forward but the pace was telling on him and Shakhnazaryan was standing and trading more. Papazov launched some ferocious attacks in the tenth but was wild with some of his punches. The pace dropped in the eleventh but Shakhnazaryan scored with a couple of wicked left hooks to the body and then beckoned for Papazov to stand and fight. Papazov chased hard in the last landing some good rights but Shakhnazaryan was again the one landing the quality shots. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 Shakhnazaryan and 115-113 for Papazov. Shakhnazaryan wins the vacant IBF International and WBA Continental titles but this had been a close fight all the way with every round strongly contested. Armenian-born Russian Shakhnazaryan, 25, was 15-0 until he suffered consecutive losses in 2015 against Abner Lopez and then against Eduard Troyanovsky for the vacant IBO super light title. He has now won eight in a row with useful victories over Javier Clavero, Al Rivera and DeMarcus Corley and was WBC No 12 at super light. Papazov, 33, had lost to Petr Petrov and Miguel Angel Gonzalez but had won his last five fights going into this one.
Ergashev vs. Ruiz
Ergashev blitzes poor Ruiz and puts him down twice and out in just 18 seconds. Ergashev rushed across the ring pinned Ruiz to the ropes and landed a bust of punches that put Ruiz down just six seconds into the fight. Ruiz beat the count but was driven into a corner and another series of punches saw him pitch face first down to the canvas with the referee just waiving the fight off at the 18 second mark. The 27-year-old Uzbek southpaw now has 14 wins by KO/TKO with nine first round finishes. Former Argentinian lightweight champion Ruiz loses inside the distance for only the third time.
Ekimov vs. Kashtanov
Ekimov wins the Russian title with points victory over Kashtanov. Ekimov was the busier with Kashtanov tending to throw just one punch at a time. Ekimov forced the fight for much of the time putting Kashtanov on the back foot with strong jabs. Kashtanov increased his work rate in the third and was having a good round until after just one minute into the round two lefts to the body dropped him to his knees. He was up at nine with Ekimov pounding away at him until Ekimov punched himself out and Kashtanov made it to the bell. From there Kashtanov was taking the fight to Ekimov and it was Ekimov who spent much of the time on the back foot. Kashtanov pressed to the end and made the fight close.. Scores 78-73 and 78-74 for Ekimov and 77-75 for Kashtanov.
London, England: Super Light: Akeem Ennis Brown (12-0) W PTS 10 Darragh Foley (15-3-1). Welter: Larry Ekundayo (15-1) W PTS 10 Louis Greene (9-0).
Brown vs. Foley
Brown takes a big step up in quality of opposition and gets unanimous decision over Foley. This fight was not a thing of beauty as their respective styles did not mesh. Brown was taller with a big edge in reach and used that advantage well over the first couple of rounds. Folley had his first real success with a southpaw left in the third but Brown was shaken but not stirred and stuck to his boxing despite Foley’s attempts to get under his skin. As the action heated up a punch from Foley dislodged Brown’s mouthguard in the fourth and he continued to take the fight to Brown. Brown showed maturity in continuing to work with his jab and counters. The fight was untidy at times with too much wrestling. Brown continued to land cleanly and although Brown is not a big puncher Foley’s face was swollen with the punishment. The Irishman attacked strongly over the closing rounds but Brown was more composed and accurate and was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Brown. The 23-year-old from Gloucester, already a former undefeated English champion, wins the vacant IBF European title. He has wins over former Commonwealth champion Glenn Foot and useful Chris Jenkins and with Foley No 5 with the WBA should now find himself in the world rating. Kent-born Foley turned pro in Australia winning the Australian and OPBF titles as well as some other localised sanctioning body baubles. Things have not gone well for him since fighting in Britain as he has had a technical draw and this loss but he took the Brown fight at just five weeks notice so will hope to gets some wins in 2019.
Ekundayo vs. Greene
Ekundayo boxes his way to victory over an aggressive but less skilled Greene. Nigerian-born Ekundayo was more accurate and much quicker. Greene came to win and piled forward looking dangerous with heavy rights but Ekundayo controlled the action with a steady stream of jabs and some hurtful left hooks. Ekundayo was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the third and Greene lost a point for some dangerous head work in the fourth. Greene’s aggression saw him edge a couple of rounds but other than that it was Ekundayo’s fight. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91 for Ekundayo who retains his IBF European title. The 36-year-old Londoner lost an important fight when dropping a split decision to Gary Corcoran in July last year with Corcoran then getting a big money fight with Jeff Horn. This is Ekundayo’s third fight since then. Greene, the BBB of C Southern Area champion just found Ekundayo a step too far.
Villa de Maria del Rico Seco, Argentina: Welter: Jorge Barrios (51-4-1) W TKO 8 Adailton De Jesus (31-9). Former WBO super feather champion Barrios returns to the ring with a win. Both fighters had been out of the ring for a long time but Barrios was sharper than De Jesus. After winning the first two rounds Barrios floored De Jesus in the third. Both fighters were slow and missing more than they were landing. Barrios took the fourth and fifth and a body punch in the sixth saw De Jesus go down on one knee. Barrios tried hard to finish it in the seventh but he was inaccurate with his punches and De Jesus made it into the eighth. It was a strange ending. Barrios landed a couple of body punches then a left hook that rocked De Jesus back on his heels and although he was not taking a great deal of punishment the referee just decided it was too one-sided and stopped the fight. This was the first fight in ten years for Barrios. Whilst driving and texting he ran down and killed a 20-year-old pregnant woman and left the scene of the accident. He was jailed in 2012 but was out on bail just three weeks later and it was not until 2014 he was finally sent to jail and then for less than four years. At 42 I can’t see him making any impression and I have no sympathy for him. De Jesus, 41, was having his first fight since November 2013.
Hamburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Sven Fornling (15-1) W PTS 12 Karo Murat (32-4-1).Super Welter: Sebastian Formella (20-0) W PTS 10 Bethuel Ushona (36-7-1).Heavy: Christian Hammer (24-5) W KO 5 Michael Wallisch (19-1). Super Middle: Juergen Braehmer (50-3) W TKO 5 Pablo Zamora (33-17-1).
Fornling vs. Murat
Swede Fornling scores an upset win over WBA/WBC No 3 Murat to become the IBO champion. Fornling was boxing smoothly from the start. He had height and reach over Murat and used a sharp accurate jab and some crisp rights to counter the advancing Murat. One of those right counters fired with laser-like accuracy put Murat down in the first round. He was up quickly and crowded Fornling who continued to pump out the jab and fire straight rights. Just before the bell Murat landed a punch on the break that floored Fornling and he was given a stern warning. Murat turned things around completely in the second connecting with hooks and uppercuts and driving Fornling around the ring. The Swede looked in trouble at times but was still there at the bell. Fornling took the third and fourth with some clever boxing on the back foot with Murat unable to cut off the ring but Murat managed to land some heavy hooks in the fifth. Fornling dominated the sixth. Still on the back foot he was threading jabs through Murat’s defence and scoring with quick bursts of punches. Murat seemed to have a problem with his left shoulder. He closed the distance more in the seventh but Fornling kept finding gaps and simply outboxed Murat in the eighth and bounced punch after punch of Murat’s head in the ninth and tenth with Murat just too slow to be a threat but again there were signs he had injured his left shoulder. Murat put in a big effort in the eleventh and had Fornling reeling from heavy rights but a punch to the back of the Swede’s head cost him a point deduction. He continued to pound Fornling landing some big head punches that had Fornling in trouble but his attack was interrupted by the bell. Murat launched a furious attack in the twelfth firing punches with both hands and a right sent a retreating Fornling to the floor. The Swede was up quickly and although a one-armed Murat literally chased him around the ring it was a lost cause. Scores 115-110 twice and 116-109 all for Fornling. Un upset but the Swede showed good skills and speed and accuracy. He is an arm puncher with no real leverage but showed with the first round knockdown that he has some power. After that second round blitz when he had Fornling in deep trouble Murat just fell away. As the rounds went by he was using his left less and less and that contributed to his poor performance.
Formella vs. Ushona
Formella outpoints veteran Ushona. Formella was younger and quicker than Ushona. He used plenty of movement stabbing home strong jabs. Ushona showed some good defensive work and was dangerous with counters. Formella shook Ushona a couple of times in the second and set a very fast pace. He was hunting Ushona around the ring and Ushona spent more time against the ropers as the fight progressed. Formella landed some big rights in the ninth and tenth as he looked to try to finish a tiring Ushona but the Namibian absorbed them and landed some good counters of his own. Formella also put in a big effort in the eleventh and twelfth but Ushona used his experience to duck and weave his way out of trouble and even stopped Formella in his tracks with a strong uppercut in the eleventh. Scores 119-110 twice and 117-111. The WBO No 8 Formella has yet to meet a real test but he showed some smart skills. Ushona, 36, is now 2-4 in his last six fights.
Hammer vs. Wallisch
Hammer wins the vacant WBO European title under bizarre circumstance having Wallisch counted out twice in the fight. The 6’5” Wallisch tried to use his longer reach to keep Hammer out in the first but Hammer was rumbling forward getting inside with clubbing hooks. Wallisch just did not have the power to keep Hammer out in the second and Hammer was roughing Wallisch up on the inside and thumping him with more hooks. Wallisch finally decided to just stand and trade punches at the end of the third and they both landed heavy shots but Wallisch looked unsteady at the bell. In the fourth as they both bent forward to throw a punch their heads collided. Wallisch dropped to his knees and Hammer walked away holding and shaking his head. The referee proceeded to count Wallisch out and Hammer started celebrating with people entering the ring. Wallisch’s corner protested that it was wrong that their man should lose from a clash of heads and after much discussion it was agreed that the ring would be cleared and the fight would restart at the fourth round again. In the “new” fourth Hammer continued to roll forward and he staggered Wallisch with an uppercut but the bell went before he could build on that but Wallisch looked a beaten fighter as he returned to his corner. In the fifth Hammer drove Wallisch along the ropes. Wallisch bent over trying to avoid the punches. Hammer then pushed him further down and with Wallisch bent in half with both gloves almost touching the canvas Hammer landed a right uppercut. Wallisch stood up with his arms wide protesting the punch and as Hammer moved in again Wallisch dropped to sit on his haunches propped up against the ropes and just watched the referee count to ten. Romanian Hammer has beaten both David Price and Erkan Teper but lost a wide decision against Alex Povetkin. This win will put him in the WBO ratings. Wallisch was exposed. He has very little power and has been fed a diet of the usual suspects. He simply folded here.
Braehmer vs. Zamora
Just a gentle bit of sparring for Braehmer. He was in a totally different league to the Argentinian. Zamora hardly took a forward step. He was hounded around the ring for round after round. He showed guts to soak up the punishment but he was too slow and it was really just paid sparring for Braehmer. Zamora’s corner mercifully threw in the towel in the fifth round. Braehmer, now 40, is the mandatory challenger to European super middle champion Robin Krasniqi. He beat Krasniqi when they were both light heavies. First Krasniqi has a voluntary defence against Stefan Haertel then the winner has to face Braehmer. Four losses by KO/TKO for 37-year-old Zamora in his last five fights.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Heavy: Joseph Parker (25-2) W KO 3 Alex Flores (17-2-1). Heavy: Junior Fa (16-0) W TKO 1 Rogelio Rossi (20-7-1). Welter: Bowyn Morgan (19-1,1ND) W TKO 3 Sebastian Singh (11-3-1).Cruiser: David Light (11-0) W TKO 2 Lance Bryant (12-6).
Parker vs. Flores
Parker ends a disappointing year with a win .Parker was taking the fight to Flores from the opening bell. He was forcing Flores to the ropes and throwing lefts and rights to the head. Flores showed a useful jab and tried some right crosses but Parker did enough to win the round. Parker took Flores to a corner at the start of the second and threw plenty of punches. Some got through, some were blocked and some were low. Flores moved to the centre of the ring and stood and traded with Parker with the New Zealander scoring with some heavy rights. Parker continued to force Flores back and scored with a couple of heavy rights to the head but again some of his other punches slipped low. Another low punch just before the bell saw Flores given some very brief recovery time. Parker pinned Flores to the ropes at the start of the third. Again he landed a couple of good head punches but also a low left hook. This time the referee issued Parker with a warning. Flores did some good work with his jab until Parker took him to the ropes. Parker landed two low punches and then a big right to the head that dropped Flores to his knees. He made it to his feet but with Flores on the ropes Parker landed seven consecutive head punches which dropped Flores on his back under the bottom rope and half way out of the ring. A devastating finish but a controversial one due to the number of low punches from Parker. After his losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in 2018 Parker will be looking to rebuild over the next twelve months in some big fights and at 26 he has time to do just that. Flores showed a useful jab but was never really in the fight. This was only his second fight in 22 months but there is plenty of work around for heavyweights now.
Fa vs. Rossi
Fa wipes out Rossi inside a round. Rossi was down very early in the round but it was ruled a slip. From there Fa backed Rossi into a corner and landed a wicked right which dumped Rossi on the floor and the referee immediately stopped the fight. All finished in 86 seconds. Fa beat Parker twice in the amateurs with one of those losses ruining Parker’s chance of getting to the London Olympics. Parker has been trying to get a chance at revenge but Fa is looking towards more fights in the USA. The 6’5”, 250lbs Fa, 29, has nine wins by KO/TKO. Rossi suffers his sixth loss by KO/TKO. He was knocked by Marco Huck in a challenge for the WBO cruiser title in 2011but is now 3-5 in his last 8 fights.
Morgan vs. Singh
Morgan much too talented for Singh and gets the stoppage in the third. Against southpaw Singh Morgan made good use of his jab in the first with Singh looking to land single heavier punches. Morgan found another gear in the second. He was switching guards to confuse Singh and put him on the back foot. Morgan dropped Singh with a series of punches and although Singh beat the count he was swamped by a hail of punches and the fight was stopped. This was to have been a defence of Morgan’s New Zealand title but Singh was overweight. Morgan, 29, has now won his last 12 fights and has nine wins by KO/TKO. He was New Zealand amateur champion and competed at both the Commonwealth Championships and Commonwealth Games. Fijian Singh was 5-0-1 going into this fight.
Light vs. Bryant
Former top amateur Light registers another inside the distance win. After being cut in a head clash in the first round Light staggered Bryant with a right in the second. He then continued to pound Bryant almost driving out of the ring until the referee halted the fight. Eighth win by KO/TKO for 27-year-old Light. He was New Zealand amateur champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Third loss in a row for fellow New Zealander Bryant
Brisbane, Australia: Super Welter: Dennis Hogan (27-1-1) W Jamie Weetch (12-2). Super Middle: Rohan Murdock (23-1) W Rolando Mansilla (14-5-1).
Hogan vs. Weetch
Hogan stays busy as he waits for a shot at Jamie Munguia. The Australian-based Irishman was cementing his No 1 spot with the WBO by defending their Oriental title for the fourth time. Despite his relative lack of experience Weetch made a confident start landing some good rights early. In the third a right from Weetch had Hogan in some discomfort and that sounded a wake-up call for the Irishman. He began to unload some heavy punches to head and body and a right to the body had Weetch in trouble in the fifth. Hogan continued to score heavily over the next four rounds. Weetch came back into the fight in the tenth and eleventh but knowing he had the fight won Hogan settled for boxing his way through the twelfth. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 for Hogan. Since losing to Jack Culcay for the interim WBA title in 2015 Hogan has won six on the bounce by decision but whether he has the power to match Munguia remains to be seen. The Welsh-born Perth-based Weetch lost his IBF Pan Pacific title in this fight and had a ten-bout winning streak snapped.
Murdock vs. Mansilla
Murdock outpoints Argentinian Mansilla in an entreating fight. Mansilla had a good first round as he showed he intended to stand and fight against the aggressive Murdock. The Australian outworked Mansilla over the next three rounds and although Mansilla looked dangerous with counters he was not able to match the punch or pace of Murdock. Mansilla’s output decreased considerably over the second half of the fight but with the open aggressive style of Murdock he was able to land some decent punches of his own but Murdock kept up the pressure and took the wide unanimous decision. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Murdock who collects the vacant WBO Oriental title and his 21st win in a row. The 26-year-old Australian is rated WBO 5/IBF 15(14). Mansilla drops to 3-5 in his last 8 contests.
Brentwood, England: Super Fly: Sunny Edwards (10-0) W PTS 10 Junior Granados (16-6-1). Welter: Diego Ramirez (17-2) W TKO 2 Bradley Skeete (28-3).
Edwards vs. Granados
Edwards continues to impress. The South London prospect had an early shock when he found himself on the floor in the second round of his fight against Mexican Granados. It was the first time Edwards had been down as an amateur or a professional but he quickly shrugged that off. Edwards comprehensively out boxed Granados from there and was never really in any trouble again. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-91 for the 22-year-old Edwards who wins the vacant WBO International title. He is the brother of former world title challenger Charlie Edwards. In the amateurs he was English and British Youth champion and won a gold medal at the ABA Elite Championships. Granados was a risky choice. He had floored world rated Jamie Conlan twice before losing a close decision and outpointed tough Filipino Aston Palicte who drew with Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO super fly title in September.
Ramirez vs. Skeete
Second disaster in a terrible year for Bradley Skeete. He was facing a late substitute who although he had good looking statistics had won only four fights inside the distance. Skeete boxed comfortably in the first and seemed to be doing the same in the second when he was nailed by a thumping left hook from the Argentinian southpaw. He hit the canvas on his back but managed to climb to his feet. He was on wobbly legs but allowed to continue. Ramirez jumped on him driving Skeete across the ring with Skeete trying desperate to hold on. He finished up with his head out through the ropes and when he straightened up was still unsteady and the fight was stopped. When the year started Skeete was world rated and British champion with only one loss in his 28 fights and wins over top flight domestic opposition. April saw him knocked out in two rounds by Kerman Lejarraga for the vacant European title. That could be explained away as Lejarraga was a world rated opponent. Ramirez was No 5 in Argentina but was coming off a points loss against 9-1 Demian Fernandez. Huge shock and a huge blow for Skeete. Ramirez will hope to get some attractive matches after the high profile win.
Charleroi, Belgium: Cruiser: Ryad Merhy (27-1) W KO 4 Samuel Clarkson (21-5). Light: Abraham Nova (14-0) W PTS 8 Brian Pelaez (8-3). Light Heavy: Timur Nikarkhoev (19-2) W RTD 4 Guillermo Andino (13-6).
Merhy vs. Clarkson
Merhy makes it three wins in a row since losing to Arsen Goulamirian for the interim WBA title in March with stoppage of Clarkson. Marhy took the first two rounds although Clarkson did enough to make them close. Clarkson threw plenty of punches at the start of the third. Merhy had no trouble avoiding them. Clarkson bundled Marhy to the ropes but a quick right to the body put Clarkson down on his back. He did not move until the count reached five but then got up quickly and the fight continued. Merhy cornered Clarkson and put him down for the second time with a couple of head punches. Clarkson again beat the count and moved and punched back enough to hold off Merhy to the bell. In the fourth Merhy landed a couple of body punches then put Clarkson over with a right. Clarkson managed to get up but the referee stopped the fight. The Ivory Coast born Merhy, 26, now has 22 wins by KO/TKO and is No 3 with the WBA so could figure in a world title challenge in 2019. Texan southpaw Clarkson was a very useful 12-1 in his last 13 fights with the loss being against Dmitry Bivol for the interim WBA title in 2017.
Nova vs. Pelaez
Highly-touted Puerto Rican prospect “El Super” Nova collects a unanimous points victory over Spaniard Pelaez. Nova forced the fight all the way and handed out some serious punishment. Pelaez was only rarely able to get off the ropes. He absorbed some damaging shots but kept firing back. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-75. The 24-year-old Nova is a former New York Golden Gloves and US National champion. He won numerous International Tournaments but just lost out to Gary Russell for a spot on the US Team for Rio. He comes from a boxing family as four of his brothers and his father all boxed. One to note. Pelaez had won his last seven fights.
Nikarkhoev vs. Andino
Belgian-based Russian Nikarkhoev moves to 9-1 in his last 10 fights after halting Argentinian Andino in four rounds. Nikarkhoev dominated the action with the fleshy looking Andino just doing enough to stay in the fight. He took some serious punishment throughout the fourth and retired at the end of the round. Fourteenth win by KO/TKO for Nikarkhoev third loss this year for Andino.
Toronto, Canada: Welter: Samuel Vargas (30-4-2) W PTS 10 Gabriel Pereiro (27-1). Middle: Steve Rolls (19-0) W PTS 10 KeAndrae Leatherwood (21-6-1). Super Light: Dierry Jean (31-2-1) W TKO 1 Noe Nunez (18-7-2). Super Light: Movladdin Biyarslanov (1-0) W KO 1 Ernesto Sanchez (3-6)
Vargas vs. Pereiro
Canadian-based Colombian Vargas returns to the ring for the first time since his loss to Amir Khan and outclasses Argentinian Pereiro in a fight where the rules were occasionally left in the corners. Vargas won this one all the way. Pereiro did some clowning in the first and was warned for punches to the back of the head. Vargas floored Pereiro with a right in the second and continued to pound Pereiro. The Argentinian actually bit Vargas twice and had a point deducted in both the seventh and ninth rounds for holding. Both complained about low punches from the other in a nasty fight but Vargas was a clear winner even without the two deductions. Scores 99-88 twice and 100-87 for Vargas. He was making the second defence of his NABA title and is No 13 with the WBA. Although losing to Khan by flooring the former champion Vargas boosted his profile and he will be looking for some big fights in 2019. Pereiro, 40, finally has a real fight and against a live opponent-and loses.
Rolls vs. Leatherwood
Leatherwood was certainly a live opponent for Rolls but the Toronto fighter kept rolling forward with a unanimous points victory which garnered for him the vacant IBF-USBA title. Scores 99-91 twice and 96-94. Rolls is already No 15 with the IBF so this should boost his rating. He has wins over Damian Bonelli and Demond Nicholson. Rolls, 34, was twice Canadian amateur champion and represented Canada at the World Championships in 2009 but lost to Vijender Singh in the third series. When he handed in his amateur vest he had a 83-14 record. Leatherwood has met some good quality opposition taking Andy Lee the distance and losing also to Caleb Truax.
Jean vs. Nunez
Jean continues his comeback with a quick win. He floored Nunez late in the second and although Nunez got up his legs were wobbling and it was all over. After losing to Terrence Crawford for the WBO super light title in 2015 and drawing with Ricky Sismundo in May 2016 Jean did not fight again until halting Abraham Gomez in September this year. The 36-year-old Haitian-born Canadian makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. Nunez is now 0-3 in fights in Canada.
Biyarslanov vs. Sanchez
Biyarslanov, one of the best amateurs in Canada over the last few years, turns pro and wipes out poor Sanchez inside a round. “The Chechen Wolf” briefly studied Sanchez and then cornered the Mexican. He softened him up with a left to the ribs and then put him down and out with a right to the head. The 23-year-old southpaw was born in Chechen but moved with his family first to Azerbaijan and then at the age of ten to Canada. As an amateur he was three-time Canadian champion, competed at the World Youth Championships, competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, won a gold medal at the 2015 PanAmerican Games and was the only Canadian boxer to qualify for the 2016 Games in Rio but did not medal there. Certainly one of the brightest prospect in Canadian boxing. Second loss by KO/TKO for Sanchez.
Yubei, China: Super Light: Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-2-1) W TKO 7 Ernesto Espana (26-2-1). After an incident filled first round Nasiyiwula goes on to win a technical decision. Early in the opening round Espana put Nasiyiwula on the floor but when the action restarted a clash of heads saw Espana badly cut over his right eye. He managed to pass a doctor’s inspection but was then floored by a left from Nasiyiwula. From the start of the second Nasiyiwula went on the back foot letting Espana bring the fight to him and countering. It was very negative and did not make for an entertaining fight. Espana’s cut was inspected again in the fourth but he was allowed to continue until another doctor’s review in the eighth saw the fight stopped and go to the cards with Nasiyiwula winning on scores of 68-64 twice and 68-63. The “Chinese Destroyer” wins the vacant WBC International title. Espana, 37, was 25-0-1 but is now 1-2 in his last 3 fights.
Ponferrada, Spain: Super Feather: Jon Fernandez (17-1) W RTD 3 Michael Marcano (17-2-1). After losing his unbeaten tag in a defeat by O’Shaquie Foster in Oklahoma Fernandez ended the year with a win. He floored Venezuelan Marcano with a right in the first but Marcano beat the count and was saved by the bell. Fernandez landed some heavy body punches in the second and floored Marcano again in the fourth with Marcano retiring at the end of the round. The tall 23-year-old from Bilbao has 15 wins by KO/TKO. His loss to Forster was a big disappointment for his Basque fans so he is hoping to get back on the winning track and look for a shot at title in 2019. Marcano’s other loss was a second round kayo by Miguel Roman in June. Marcano’s numbers look good but they hide some atrocious opposition with the 17guys he has beaten having only six wins between them.
Buenos Aires: Light: Jose Romero (20-0) W PTS 10 Gustavo Pereyra (11-11-4). An injury led to the main event falling though so Argentinian champion Romero was moved to the top fight on the show. Romero delivered in style here. Pereyra staggered Roman early with a left hook but Romero was connecting with left hooks to the body and in the second round a series of those punches saw Pereyra stagger and almost go down. The referee gave him a standing count and Pereyra was able to fight on. Romero had the harder punch and faster hands and was well on his way to a victory and wrapped it up when he staggered Pereyra with a straight right and landed another two body punches with the referee giving Pereyra another standing count. Pereyra made it the bell but Romero won on scores of 99-90, 98-90 and 98-91 ¼ and keeps his 100% record intact. Poor Pereyra has lost six of his last seven.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): The fight between Aik Shakhnazaryan provide plenty of action
Fight of the week (Significance): Saul Alvarez win over Rocky Fielding opens plenty of avenues for the Mexican star.
Fighter of the week: Gilberto Ramirez for his one-armed victory over Jesse Hart
Punch of the week: The thunderbolt left from Diego Ramirez the floored Bradley Skeete
Upset of the week: Sven Fornling beating world rated Karo Murat and Diego Ramirez stopping Bradley Skeete were unexpected
Prospect watch: Puerto Rican Abraham Nova 14-0
By Eric Armit
-Vasiliy Lomachenko decisions Jose Pedraza to unify the WBA and WBO lightweight titles
-Emanuel Navarette outpoints Isaac Dogboe to lift the WBO super bantamweight title
-Michele Soro wins the vacant secondary WBA super welterweight title with stoppage of Greg Vendetti
-Kell Brook wins WBA final eliminator with points victory over Michael Zerafa
- Jono Carroll and Guillame Frenois draw in IBF super feather eliminator
-Thabiso Mchunu beats Thomas Oosthuizen and Thulani Mbenge halts Miguel Vazquez in South Africa
Rene Alvarado outpoints Carlos Morales in WBA super featherweight eliminator
-Prospects Alex Besputin, Teo Lopez, Anthony Fowler, Karim Arce, Mohammed Rabii, Mickael Diallo, Filip Hrgovic and Jeyvier Cintron score wins.
World title shows
New York, NY, USA: Light: Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1) W PTS 12 Jose Pedraza (25-2). Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (26-1) W PTS 12 Isaac Dogboe (20-1). Welter Alex Besputin (12-0) W PTS 12 Juan Carlos Abreu (21-5-1,1ND). Light Teo Lopez (11-0) W KO 1 Mason Menard (34-4). Super Light: Abdiel Ramirez (24-3-1) W TKO 8 Michael Perez (25-3-2). Heavy: Guido Vianello (1-0) W KO 2 Luke Lyons (5-2-1).
Lomachenko vs. Pedraza
After a studied start Lomachenko gets into his stride and outboxes and outscores a clever Pedraza. He comes close to an inside the distance win with two knockdowns in the eleventh round and takes the decision to unify the WBA and WBO titles.
A very cautious opening from both fighters. Pedraza probed with his jab and landed a couple of light straight rights. Lomachenko came to life late in the round and scored with three lefts which was just enough to have him edge the round.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko
A good round by Pedraza. He boxed cleverly with plenty of movement, jabbed sharply and slotted home some straight rights. Lomachenko landed a hard straight left late in the round but this time that was not enough.
Score 10-9 Pedraza Tied 19-19
Pedraza again boxed well at the start of the round and Lomachenko’s face was already red from the attentions of Pedraza’s jab. Lomachenko fired home some bursts of punches to take the round but all three rounds had been close.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 29-28
Lomachenko was finding Pedraza a difficult target. The Puerto Rican was switching guards, employing lots of upper body movement and landing light jabs and straight rights. Lomachenko was getting much closer and he landed some hefty lefts in the round to take it.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 39-37
Official scores: 39-37, 40-36 and 39-37 for Lomachenko
Pedraza’s round for me. He kept stabbing out his jab and adding straight lefts with Lomachenko finding it hard to penetrate Pedraza's tight defence. Pedraza’s punches were not hard but he landed a lot more than Lomachenko in this round.
Score 10-9 Pedraza. Lomachenko 48-47
Best round so far for Lomachenko. He had his jab working and began to land some hard straight lefts rocking Pedraza a couple of times. Pedraza kept throwing light punches but Lomachenko was blocking or ducking them
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 58-56
Lomachenko was now in control. He was pressurising Pedraza for the whole three minutes bobbing and weaving around and under the Puerto Ricans punches and then rocking Pedraza with quick bursts of hooks and speedy jabs
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 68-65
More pressure from Lomachenko. With the angles he was creating Pedraza was often not even seeing the punch coming. Lomachenko took him to the ropes and unloaded with hooks until Pedraza forced his out into the ring centre but he was soon back on the ropes again under fire.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 78-74
Official scores: 78-74, 80-72 and 78-74 for Lomachenko
Pedraza boxed well enough to stay out of trouble for much of the round but was not landing anything. Lomachenko unleashed bursts of punches over the last 30 seconds. Pedraza was dodging and diving but plenty got through in another dominant round for Lomachenko
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 88-83
Unexpectedly a round for Pedraza and he won it well. He stayed in the centre of the ring firing right jabs and left hooks. When Lomachenko tried to press he moved back quickly firing counters and Lomachenko just could not get close enough to really land anything of note.
Score 10-9 Pedraza Lomachenko 97-93
Perhaps his success in the last round made Pedraza a bit overconfident and he paid for it. Just past the minute mark Lomachenko shook him with a couple of left uppercuts. When another left staggered Pedraza Lomachenko poured on the punches landing time and again with hooks, uppercuts and overarm rights. Pedraza was being blown one way and then the other until dropping to one knee. He was up at eight but when the action resumed there were just twenty seconds left in the round. Lomachenko went after Pedraza and he went down again but it looked like a case of just trying to buy time to the bell. He timed it just right with the bell going as he got up at the count of eight.
Score 10-7 Lomachenko Lomachenko 107-100
Lomachenko managed to land some heavy lefts in the last but Pedraza survived by moving and moving and deserved in the end to go the distance.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 117-109
Official scores: 117-109, 119-107 and 117-109 for Lomachenko`
The 30-year-old Ukrainian continues to set new record with his fourth different title over three divisions in just thirteen fights. If the fight with Mikey Garcia can be made it would unify the four lightweight titles and would be a great fight. Pedraza, a two-division champion himself said he was proud of the effort he put on in this fight against such a great fighter as Lomachenko. He certainly posed some problems early with his movement and snappy jabs and can hold his head up high and look for some more big fights when he returns to action.
Navarette vs. Dogboe
Navarette lifts the WBO title as he uses his speed, longer reach and a high work rate to decision champion Dogboe who fades badly over the last four rounds.
Navarette had a 5” height advantage and a longer reach so Dogboe was quickly moving forward getting past the jab and landing hooks inside. He did a good job of cutting the ring off and although Navarette launched a late attack it was the champions round
Score 10-9 Dogboe
A much better round from Navarette as he dominated the round. He took the fight to Dogboe stabbing his jab and landing a nice left hook. He kept up the pressure with Dogboe never able to get on the front foot and Navarette landing with hooks and uppercuts knocking Dogboe off balance with a left and forcing Dogboe around the ring.
Score 10-9 Navarette Tied 19-19
Dogboe made some adjustments coming in low and refusing to be backed up for much of the round. Over the second half of the round Navarette again took over with long swinging hooks. He landed a hurtful right to the head followed by a left to the body and took the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 29-28
A good round for Dogboe. He moved inside Navarette’s reach firing clusters of hooks to the body. He continued to slip Navarette’s jab and rocked the Mexican with a left hook to the head and connected with more body punches.
Score 10-9 Dogboe Tied 38-38
Navarette gave Dogboe a torrid time in this round. He crowded and pressed for the whole three minutes He was landing hooks and uppercuts using his larger physique to push Dogboe back and pumping out punch after punch with Dogboe almost overwhelmed.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 48-47
Another round for Navarette. He was setting a frantic pace almost running forward and pumping out punches. He was constantly switching guards and outworking Dogboe. The champion stood his ground more than in the fifth and managed to dig in some body punches.
Score 10-9 Navarette ` Navarette 58-56
Strange tactics from Navarette. In this round he boxed on the retreat which allowed Dogboe to get inside and score with jabs and uppercuts. Navarette’s punch output dropped and he was even being out jabbed in a round won by Dogboe
Score 10-9 Dogboe Navarette 67-66
Really strange as Navarette took another round off. He never took a forward step and threw very few punches. Dogboe was able to get through with jabs and work inside with body punches. A gift round for the Ghanaian.
Score 10-9 Dogboe ` Tied 76-76
A closer round. Dogboe scored well over the early part and looked to have knocked Navarette over with a right to the side of the head. Navarette complained it landed on the back of his head and the referee agreed not applying a count and warning Dogboe. That seemed to wake up Navarette and he went onto the attack storming forward with hooks and uppercuts forcing Dogboe back and doing enough to just take the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 86-85
Dogboe had swelling around his eyes and the referee asked the doctor to examine the Ghanaian but he was passed as OK. Dogboe made a lively start scoring with straight rights and Navarette was replying with swinging hooks from both hands. The referee had insisted that water be mopped up from Dogboe’s corner before the round started and as Navarette forced Dogboe back he slipped on the remaining water and slid to the floor awkwardly. That seemed to unsettle him and Navarette dominated the rest of the round landing three clubbing head punches that rattled Dogboe.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 96-94
Navarette pursued Dogboe throughout the round. He was almost running after the champion never letting him get set to fire any counters and pumping out left and right hooks with Dogboe just being outworked and outscored. Once again Dogboe slipped badly on water in his own corner. They both tumbled to the floor just before the bell but neither was hurt.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 106-103
Dogboe fought the last round like a fighter who thought he only had to stay on his feet to be the winner. He was on the retreat for the whole three minutes doing more holding than punching. Once again Navarette was letting fly with hooks and uppercut and driving Dogboe back before throwing Dogboe to the canvas late in the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 116-112
The 23-year-old “Cowboy” from Mexico City was a bit if a surprise package. He had won his last 20 fights and the last eight of those by KO/TKO and was No 2 with the WBO but there was not a single rated fighter anywhere in his record. He was just too big for the 5’2” Dogboe and it will be interesting to see how he handles some of the other champions/rated fighters. Diego De La Hoya is the WBO No 1 and that will be an interesting fight if it can be made. Dogboe’s loss will be a huge disappointment for boxing fans in Ghana who had celebrated and feted him for his upset victory over Jessie Magdaleno and his crushing of Hidenori Otake. With the form he showed in those fights the 24-year-old Ghanaian will be back looking for a title fight in 2019.
Besputin vs. Abreu
Besputin scores wide unanimous decision over a tough and rough Abreu. The Russian showed his power early putting Abreu down with a strong straight left in the first round. Abreu has never lost by KO/TKO and he survived this early scare. He wasn’t able to win any rounds but he did make things awkward for Besputin and looked to have shaken the Russian in the fourth. That was momentary success and Besputin had already done enough good work to take the round. Besputin was down in the fifth but he had been thrown there by Abreu. Besputin arose quickly with Abreu looking to land a punch as Besputin was on the way up but he got away with that. Besputin continued to boss the action and had a 10-8 round in the eighth when he knocked Abreu into the ropes and the referee ruled that the ropes had held Abreu up and gave the Dominican another count. There were no more scares for Abreu and Besputin was the winner by 100-88 on the cards and retains the USBA title. Not Besputin’s best performance but Abreu was tough if limited opponent
Lopez vs. Menard
Lopez scores a brutal kayo of Menard. After a few seconds of sparring Lopez landed a right to the head which rocked Menard. He quickly went on the retreat with Lopez tracking him along the ropes. Lopez landed a left hook to the body to the and then an explosive right to the side of Menard’s head that saw Menard falling face down on the canvas so hard that he bounced. The referee started the count but quickly stopped and signalled for assistance to Menard. All finished in 44 seconds. The 21-year-ol Brooklyn-born Lopez wins the vacant NABF title with his ninth victory by KO/TKO. A former National Golden Gloves champion and US Olympic Trials winner he found his way to Rio blocked as fellow American Carlos Balderas had already qualified through the WBS. Lopez entered the America’s qualifier on behalf of Honduras having Honduran parentage and although he made it to Rio he went out in the first round. Going into this fight his only rating was at No 11 with the WBA but this performance should see him get some serious attention by all of the sanctioning bodies. Life has been tough for Menard since he moved into top level matches with this his third loss by KO/TKO in his last five fights. The other two losses were against Ray Beltran and Devin Haney
Ramirez vs. Perez
Good win for Ramirez as he rebounds from two losses in a row with stoppage of Perez. Ramirez had the perfect start flooring Perez in the first and forcing the fight. Perez fought his way back into the fight and floored Ramirez with a right in the fourth. Ramirez was back on top in the fifth and seemed to be on his way to a points victory when he produced a couple of uppercuts early in the eighth which dumped Perez on the floor heavily and the fights was halted without a count being needed. Ramirez had an eight bout winning streak snapped by losses to unbeaten Eastern Europeans Ruslan Madiev and Maxim Dadashev. Perez had beaten Miguel Acosta and Martin Honorio and lost to Petr Petrov. He took a split verdict over 32-1-1 Marcelino Lopez in April last year and this was his first fight since then.
Vianello vs. Lyons
Former amateur star Vianello wastes no time in registering his first pro win. He floored Lyons late in the first with the bell saving Lyons. In the second a right put Lyons down and he was counted out. The 24-year-old 6’6” Vianello was Italian Youth and Senior champion and competed at the European Games and the Rio Olympics. Lyons just a novice and way out of his depth.
Brieve, France: Welter: Jordy Weiss (21-0) W PTS 12 Jose Del Rio (28-8-1). Cruiser: Jean Jacques Olivier (10-2) W PTS 10 Brendon Deslaurier (11-3-1). Heavy: Cyril Leonet (15-10-3) W PTS 10 Dennis Lewandowski (13-3).
Weiss vs. Del Rio
Weiss retains the EU title with unanimous decision over Del Rio. The Frenchman won this with his excellent skills. He was quicker and more accurate with his punches. Southpaw Del Rio pressed hard knowing that Weiss would outbox him unless he could hustle Weiss out of his stride. Del Rio had some success over the first three rounds but by the fourth the stabbing jabs and quick combinations from Weiss had him controlling the fight. The Frenchman was cut on his right eyelid in a clash of heads but his solid defensive work and clean counters saw him outland the Spaniard. Weiss lacks power but makes up for it in speed and skill. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110. First defence of the EU title for the 25-year-old “Gypsy” who is hoping to get a shot at the European title next year. Former Spanish champion Del Rio was challenging for the title for the second time and his constant aggression made this an entertaining match.
Olivier vs. Deslaurier
Unlike the main event power and aggression took this one with Olivier winning the vacant French title on a split decision. Deslaurier boxed neatly constantly switching guard but he lacked the power to keep Olivier out and the bigger stronger man although landing less landed the harder punches and that led two of the judges to score for him by 96-93 and 95-94 with the third going for Deslaurier 96-93. The 30-year-old from far away Martinique gets revenge for a points loss in 2016 and makes it 6 wins in his last 7 fights. “Gypsy Bomber” Deslaurier, 25, had put together a run of nine wins before losing on points to Mairis Breidis in July and will probably get a return with Olivier in 2019.
Leonet vs. Lewandowski
“Aldo” Leonet had no real trouble winning this one as he took every round against the vastly obese Lewandowski. Leonet was just too mobile for the glacial slow Lewandowski who looked like an over-inflated “Michelin Man”. Leonet kept moving and firing home quick punches with Lewandowski too slow to counter or cut off the ring. Leonet won on scores of 100-90 twice and 100-91. The 35-year-old Leonet, a former French champion, wins the WBFederation International title. He has improved his record with a run of 9-2-1 in his last 12 fights. He put up a good fight against Tony Yoka in April before being knocked out in five rounds and that improved his stance with the French fans. German Lewandowski, 24, is just 6’2” but has been as high as 280lbs and he looked about that here.
Castlebar, Ireland: Light: Christian Uruzquieta (18-4-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Ray Moylette (11-1). Middle: Gary O’Sullivan (29-3) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-14)
Uruzquieta vs. Moylette
Mexican Uruzquieta ruins the welcome home party for Moylette with a deserved split decision over the Irishman. Both were finding the target early. Moylette was tending to land smart jabs and rights to the head. Uruzquieta was targeting the body. There were plenty of fiery exchanges with Moylette looking to have moved into the lead after three rounds. Uruzquieta staggered Moylette briefly in the fourth and then nearly finished the fight in the fifth. As they exchanged punches Moylette went down from a right. He only just beat the count and was floored again later in the round. Moylette survived and fought back hard over the second half of the fight with the rounds being close. Scores 96-92 and 95-94 for Uruzquieta and 95-94 got Moylette. Uruzquieta, 28, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title. Fighting in the other man’s back yard is nothing new for Uruzquieta. He has fought five times in Canada going 2-1-2 with upset victories over Steven Wilcox and Roody Pierre Paul and drawing with Mario Perez before losing to Tony Luis and unbeaten Mathieu Germain so he was a tough test for the Irish former amateur star. Moylette, 28 was the first Irish boxer to win a gold medal at the World Youth Championships and later added both the Irish title and a gold at the European Championships. He competed at 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the 2013 European Championships. Now he will have to regroup and rebuild.
O’Sullivan vs. Gorbics
In his first fight since being crushed inside a round by David Lemieux O’Sullivan gets eight rounds of useful work against Hungarian Gorbics. O’Sullivan was his usual aggressive self and Gorbics spent most of the fight going backwards. He came out of his shell on a couple of occasions to stand and trade but O’Sullivan had much the harder punch and Gorbics would quickly go back on the defensive. O’Sullivan rocked Gorbics in the sixth and seemed to ease up over the last allowing Gorbics to last the distance. Referee’s score 80-72 for O’Sullivan. The 34-year-old from Cork has good wins over Nick Quigley and Antoine Douglas but lost a big fight when being stopped by Chris Eubank Jr in 2015. He is an entertaining fighter and there are plenty of good fights to be made for him. Gorbics usually goes the distance but was halted in five rounds by Anthony Fowler in October
Mexicali, Mexico: Super Light: Sergio Ortega (20-2) W TKO 2 Lizandro De los Santos (24-17-1). Local fighter Ortega gets quick victory. After dominating the first round just one minute into the second a hail of punches from Ortega sent De los Santos down. He made to his feet but was taking more incoming shots and the referee stopped the fight. Now 14 wins by KO/TKO for Ortega. He was inactive in 2016 and 2017 and this is his fourth win since returning to the ring. De los Santos slips to 2-7-1 in his most recent ten fights.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Antonio Moran (24-3) W TKO 2 Victor Zuniga (18-3). Moran halts substitute Zuniga in two rounds. In the first Moran was already digging in some hurtful body punches. In the second two left hooks to the body dropped Zuniga. He made it to his feet at seven and when the action resumed tried to take the fight to Moran. Very quickly hooks and uppercuts had Zuniga backing up and a series of punches to head and body had Zuniga tumbling to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’0” tall 25-year-old Moran has wins over some useful and experienced fighters and lost a very close decision to Jose Pedraza in June with all three judges giving the decision to Pedraza by 96-94. He now has 17 wins by KO/TKO. Zuniga, 19, probably should not have taken such a tough fight at short notice and suffers his second inside the distance loss in a row having been stopped in one round by unbeaten Tajik fighter Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in August.
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico: Super Fly: Jeyvier Cintron (9-0) W DISQ 7 Marvin Solano (21-3). Heavy: Victor Bisbal (23-3) W KO 1 Edson Roberto Dos Santos Borges (30-4-2).
Cintron vs. Solano
Solano proved an awkward opponent with his lunging attacks and Cintron was hustled out of his stride in the first but was landing some good counters. Cintron slowly settled and was outboxing the crude Solano but still having problems with the Nicaraguan’s crazy swinging. Cintron was landing right jabs, straight lefts and lead lefts with Solano dangerous but erratic. They almost came to blows after the bell to end the fourth when Cintron lightly tapped Solano on the head and an angry Solano launched himself at Cintron with the referee having to restrain him. Things began to get a bit wild in the fourth with Solano hefting Cintron onto his shoulders and slamming Cintron into the ropes and almost out of the ring. After that Cintron avoided Solano’s rushes and scored with right jabs and straight lefts. In the fifth Solano missed with a couple of punches and fell back to the floor. He was given a count but it had not been a punch. Cintron fired some flashing combinations and Solano was warned for both pushing Cintron to the floor and a low punch. Cintron continued to pick-off Solano with counter lefts in the eighth. Solano was warned for a couple of low punches and then came madness. Solano landed another low punch and as Cintron doubled up and turned away Solano reached around and landed another punch. Cintron immediately turned and threw himself at Solano and they wrestled and both fell to the floor. At that point the referee stepped in and disqualified Solano. Cintron gets the win but not a satisfactory one. Solano was a strong very awkward opponent but Cintron got the job done. The 23-year-old Cintron is the only Puerto Rican boxer to appear at two Olympic Games. His father was a pro and he is trained by former champion Ivan Calderon. Solano was 8-1 going into this one with the loss being to Russian Olympian Mikhail Aloyan.
Bisbal vs. Borges
This really was a farcical rubbish of a mismatch. Bisbal was 8” taller and 41lbs heavier than Borges. He drove Borges around the ring with heavy rights and then landed a four-punch combination that saw Borges slump to the canvas and the referee waived the fight over half way through the count. The 38-year-old Bisbal, a 2004 Olympian, has had long spells of inactivity and this was his first fight in almost two years. Borges, 45, was having only his fourth fight in three years-disgraceful
East London, South Africa: Bantam: Yanga Sigqibo (12-1-1) W PTS 12 Keyvin Lara (26-3-1).Super Fly: Athenkosi Dumezweni (11-2) W TKO 4 Ulises Lara (21-17-2). Super Light: Marios Matamba (9-0) W KO 4 Siseko Makeleni (7-2). Light Fly: Nkosinathi Joyi (27-5) W KO 7 Mpho Seforo (7-1-1).Light Fly: Nhlanhia Tyirha (4-0) W KO 3 Bongani Sillila (16-6-3).
Sigqibo vs. Lara
South African champion Sigqibo adds the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title to his collection with a points win over Nicaraguan Lara. In a messy, nasty fight Sigqibo’s better skills saw him outpoint the smaller Lara. With his longer reach Sigqibo tried to keep the fight an open one but Lara hustled and bustled and kept busy. There was too much holding for the fight to be entertaining. Lara committed a number of transgressions before finally being deducted a point in the last round for one of his many head butts. Sigqibo did the cleaner work and was the clear winner. Scores 117-112 twice and 116-112. Now nine wins in a row for Sigqibo. Lara, 24, was knocked out in eleven rounds by Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA title in 2016 and had since scored eight wins against weak opposition. Lara’s team were not happy with the scoring and felt Sigqibo should have been deducted a point for holding,
Dumezweni vs. Lara
Good win for Dumezweni as he halts Mexican Lara in four rounds. Dumezweni showed good skills and plenty of movement to take the edge off the charging attacks of Lara. The visitor was caught with a right uppercut in the third and forced to take a standing count and only just made it to the bell. Dumezweni continued his attacks in the fourth and put Lara down with a straight left. Lara made it to his feet but after the count another heavy left had Lara defenceless on the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Dumezweni collects the vacant IBO International title and has won eight of his last nine fights. In two previous fight in South Africa this year Lara had beaten good level local opposition and collected the WBA Inter-Continental super flyweight and WBC International flyweight titles
Matamba vs. Makeleni
Congolese fighter “Machine” Matamba wins the vacant WBO African title with fourth round kayo of local fighter Makeleni. Matamba, who is based in South Africa, gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Makeleni had won his last four fights.
Joyi vs. Seforo
In his first fight for two years former IBF minimumweight champion Joyi breathes some life back into his fading career with a seventh round kayo of previously unbeaten Seforo to win the vacant WBO African title. After six fairly even rounds a heavy southpaw left from Joyi put Seforo down on his back and he was counted out. After being 22-0,1ND in his first 23 fights the 35-year-old Joyi had gone 4-4 before walking away after a loss to Simpiwe Konkco for IBO minimumweight title in 2016.Seforo was having his first fight for almost a year.
Tyirha vs. Sillila
Teenager Tyirha wins the South African title with a third round kayo of champion Sillila. A big right from Tyirha ended the fight. Tyirha had less than fifteen rounds as a pro behind him so this was something of an upset against champion Sillila who had gone 5-1-1 in his last 7 fights and had over 100 rounds of experience. He suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO.
Belfast, NI, Middle: Conrad Cummings (16-2-1) W PTS 10 Ferenc Berki (11-1). Cummings regains his WBO European title by outpointing substitute Berki for the vacant title. No real problems here for Cummings. Berki was competitive but never a threat. Cummings was already streets ahead when he floored Berki in the tenth to make the points gap a bit wider. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 95-94. It needs to be noted that the 95-94 was from the Hungarian judge who without the knockdown would have scored his fellow-countryman the winner! Cummings, 27, lost the title on a unanimous decision against to Luke Keeler in April. Hungarian super welterweight champion Berki was a very late replacement after Brian Rose had to pull out through injury. This is only his second fight outside Hungary.
Tampa, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (18-0) W PTS 10 Aldimar Silva (21-15). Lopez marches on with win over Brazilian Silva. Lopez bossed the fight in every round and had Silva down in the second and sixth on his way to a comfortable victory. Scores 100-88 for Lopez on the three cards. The 21-year-old from Nicaragua is No 7 with the WBA but has yet to be in with any kind of testing opponent. Silva, 37 (don’t they have any young fighters in Brazil?) is 2-7 in his nine fights.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Ladarius Miller (17-1) W Ricardo Garcia (14-3-1). Super Middle: Ronald Gavril (19-3) W TKO 2 Antowyan Aikens (13-6-1).
Miller vs. Garcia
Miller gets a majority decision over Garcia thanks to a strong finish. The fight turned into a harder test for Miller than expected. It was a fast-paced entertaining fight over the early rounds. Miller was quicker and slicker but Garcia was more aggressive and scored with some good rights against the southpaw Miller. In the later rounds it became a bit untidy with too many clinches. Miller had a good eighth landing some heavy lefts and outlanded Garcia over the ninth and tenth. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Miller and 95-95. The 25-year-old from Memphis is part of the Floyd Mayweather Jr group. He now has nine victories in a row including wins over useful opposition in Jamel Herring and Dennis Galarza. Dominican Garcia is now 0-1-4 in his last 5 fights
Gavril vs. Aikens
Gavril floors Aikens three times for stoppage win. A cautious opening round saw Gavril shadowing Aikens around the ring. Aikens was prodding with his jab and trying an occasional right. Gavril upped his pace at the end of the round but could not land a telling punch. After tracking Aikens for almost two minutes of the second he finally threw a right cross which knocked Aikens sideward and down on one knee. A straight right put Aikens down again and although he beat the count another right dropped him and the referee waived the fight off without a count. First time back in the ring for the Romanian since his consecutive losses to David Benavidez in WBC super middle title fights. He has dropped out of the ratings but will be trying to work his way towards another title shot. Second loss by KO/TKO for Aikens and only three wins in his last nine fights.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Middle: Kalvin Henderson (11-0) W TKO 7Brandon Robinson (11-2). Henderson proves to be a surprise package as he outboxes local fighter Robinson and floors and stops him in seven rounds. Robinson made a fast start looking to sweep aside Henderson with his early aggression. Henderson just worked patiently with his jab. He was throwing fewer punches than Robinson but by the end of the second round his accurate jabs had started a swelling under Robinson’s left eye which quickly grew and almost closed the eye. Robinson continued to attack but was staggered badly in the third and was forced to go down on one knee under Henderson’s punches in the fifth. Robinson tried to turn the fight his way with a ferocious attack at the start of the seventh but Henderson saw out the storm and then dropped Robinson twice and the fight was stopped. Texan “Hot Sauce” Henderson gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Robinson had won his last eleven fights but gets his second loss by KO/TKO and it is back to basics for him.
Levallois-Perret, France: Super Welter: Michel Soro (33-2-1) W TKO 2 Greg Vendetti (20-3-1). Super Middle: Petro Ivanov (10-0-2) W TKO 9 Louis Toutin (12-1). Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (8-0) W PTS 8 Alex Zhuravskiy (13-5). Cruiser: Joel Tambwe Djeko (14-2-1) W PTS 6 Valery Brudov (44-15). Super Middle: Mickael Diallo (18-0-2) W KO 3 Genaro Quiroga (14-145.
Soro vs. Vendetti
Soro much too good for Vendetti and destroys the American inside two rounds with a brutal combination of shots to win the vacant interim WBA title. Soro had a considerable height and reach over Vendetti. Initially Vendetti was ducking under Soro’s jab trying to move inside but Soro was continuing to just probe with the jab and step back from Vendetti’s rushed attacks. Vendetti had some success as he hustled and bustled in the second. Soro was still just sticking to the jab but when he finally let fly with a right it landed high on Vendetti’s head and his legs wobbled and he backed into the ropes. Soro jumped on him and blasted home a tremendous left hook and two straight rights to the head the second of which had Vendetti out on his feet and as he dropped to the canvas Soro landed two more hooks as the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. The 31-year-old Ivory Coast-born Frenchman makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. He lost on a split decision to Brian Castano for this same title in July last year. Castano has been “promoted” to secondary champion and Soro is looking for another fight with the Argentinian. Vendetti was out of his class. He was rated No 9 by the WBA after a creditable win over Yoshihiro Kamegai but was in way over his head with Soro.
Toutin vs. Ivanov
Big surprise and big disappointment for French fans as poster boy Toutin is stopped by Ivanov. Over the early rounds an inside the distance win for Toutin looked a good bet. He was his usual march forward punching self. Ivanov had a longer reach but Toutin’s attacks were threatening to overwhelm him. In the second round a left to the body had Ivanov hurt and another saw the Ukrainian backing off and going down on one knee in pain. He made it to his feet and moved and blocked to the bell. Toutin continued to pile on the pressure. He was snapping Ivanov’s head back with jabs and landing hooks from both hands. He was setting a fast pace but also walking onto some hard punches from Ivanov and a growing swelling over his right eye was starting to trouble him. Toutin had never gone past four rounds before having beaten eleven rivals inside four rounds and had one points win in a four round fight. By the end of the seventh Toutin was looking more and more tired. That gave Ivanov the impetus to start coming forward and he was starting to dominate the action. In the ninth Toutin was totally exhausted and only staying on his feet by grabbing Ivanov. He went down once and only just pulled himself up at nine. The fight should have been stopped and finally was when he dropped again. He made it to his feet but he was a shell and did not respond when asked if he wanted to carry on. Ivanov had been eight rounds three times and paced the fight better. He showed guts to fight on after being down in the second but he did not crumble and got his reward in the stoppage of a fighter being touted as a huge prospect. Toutin, 21, a member of the French Traveller’s community and a former European Junior Championships gold medallist will have serious thinking to do. He really should not have been sent out for the ninth round and in the totally exhausted state he was in it could have been dangerous. He will obviously fight on but there is a big rebuilding job required
Rabii vs. Zhuravskiy
Moroccan Rabii continues on his winning way with a points victory over Zhuravskiy. Score 78-74 twice and 79-73. Rabbi is the most successful amateur Morocco has had. He won the gold medal at the World Championships in 2015 beating eventual Rio gold medal winner Daniyar Yeleussinov in the final. He also won a bronze at the Rio Olympics and was a WBS Fighter of the year. Kazak southpaw Zhuravskiy drops to four losses in a row.
Djeko vs. Brudov
Popular “Big Joe” Djeko continues his run of good form with points win over Russian oldie Brudov. Scores 59-53 for the big Belgian on all cards. He has lost only one of his last thirteen fights and the loss was a split decision in Cardiff against Welshman Craig Kennedy. Brudov, 42, is really just a shell now of the fighter who challenged for the WBA and WBO titles and has won only two of his last twelve fights.
Diallo vs. Quiroga
Diallo gives another impressive power display as he uses some heavy rights to kayo Quiroga in three rounds. Although French the 27-year-old Diallo is known as “The Catalan Bomber” and this is his fifteenth win in a row and his fifteenth career victory by KO/TKO. Argentinian Quiroga has lost his last four fights, two in Canada and two in France.
Sheffield, England: Super Welter: Kell Brook (38-2) W PTS 12 Michael Zerafa (25-3). Super Feather: Jono Carroll (16-0-1) DREW 12 Guillame Frenois (46-1-1). Middle: Anthony Fowler (9-0) W KO 1 Jose Paz (23-8-1). Feather: Kid Galahad (26-0) W PTS 8 Brayan Mairena (10-5-1). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (4-0) W TKO 5 Jay Carney (5-4-2).
Brook vs. Zerafa
Brook outpoints Zerafa in a WBA final eliminator. Brook was quickly into his stride. In the first he out jabbed Zerafa and then began to connect with some swift uppercuts bringing blood from Zerafa’s nose and also banged home straight rights. In the second Brook continued to score with his jab and move inside Zerafa’s jab to land rights. He rocked Zerafa with a straight right left uppercut. Zerafa was throwing jabs but was usually coming up short. Zerafa was being forced to box on the retreat but he began to land some rights and a left hooks in a more competitive third. Brook continued to keep Zerafa on the retreat in the fourth and fifth and was still penetrating the Australian’s guard regularly with his jab and getting through with right crosses but Zerafa was starting to find the target with his jab and in the fifth landed two hard rights his best punches so far. Brook was back in control in the sixth and seventh again dominating with his jab and landing heavy rights. Zerafa fought back hard in the eighth. He was standing his ground more and connecting with some powerful rights and he had Brook under fire in the ninth driving him to the ropes with a powerful right cross and then working Brook over. Brook picked up the pace again in the tenth but was no longer as dominant. A confident Zerafa was willing to trade. Brook was just that bit quicker and was again finding the range with his jab and that just gave him the edge over the closing rounds but Zerafa fought all the way coming forward with right crosses and looking to turn the fight his way. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 although Zerafa made it look a lot closer than that. The win makes Brook the mandatory challenger to Jarrett Hurd (in the WBA’s eyes-Julian Williams is Hurd’s No 1 challenger with the IBF). Despite that a fight with Amir Khan would be Brooks preferred fight but with talk of a shot at Terrence Crawford for Khan the way forward is far from clear. Three fights outside of Australia and three losses for Zerafa although they have all been tough assignments and he had won his last eight fights.
Carroll vs. Frenois
As we learned from the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight draws solve nothing. This was intended to identify a mandatory challenger for IBF champion Tevin Farmer but since it ended in a draw it leaves Carroll, Frenois and Farmer not knowing what happens next. Although both fighters are southpaws there were a couple of very contrasting styles on show here with Carroll a strong, aggressive fighter and Frenois a classic boxer. Carroll attacked the body hard in the first. In the second he was cut over the left eye but banged back strongly to rock Frenois. In the third it was the Frenchman’s turn to shed blood as he was cut over the right eye. As with the cuts so with the action. Both fighters had good spells and the fight swung one way and then another. When Carroll could hunt Frenois down he was scoring with hard body shots but when Frenois was able to use his jab and could counter Carroll on the way in things went his way. The rounds were close but Frenois seemed to outscore Carroll over the closing rounds with his superior skills and faster hands but he just did not convince the judges so it ended even. Scores 115-113 for Carroll, 115-113 for Frenois and 114-114. Carroll had scored a good domestic win over Declan Geraghty although that hardly seemed to justify a No 4 rating with the IBF (the No1 and 2 slots were vacant as none of the rated fighters had a win over another rated fighter so could not go to either of those two slots) and Frenois was No 3 so the highest rafted fighter. He had won his last 15 fights but there were no rated fighters in his list of victims. Now it is a case of wait and see for them both.
Fowler vs. Paz
Fowler blows away Argentinian Paz with a body punch in just 93 seconds. Fowler quickly found his range with his jab and connected with a couple of quick hooks as Paz tried to move inside. Paz looked painfully slow and predictable with very little mobility. Paz tried a couple of lunging attacks but Fowler countered with a left hook to the body and Paz dropped to one knee spitting out his mouthguard and taking the full count. The former English and British amateur champion won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the World championships and after five wins in a row by KO/TKO is ready for tougher opposition. In fairness to Paz and to put this win in perspective for Fowler Paz was coming off wins over Omar Chavez and Jorge Paez Jr in Mexico.
Galahad vs. Mairena
Really just some paid sparring practice for Galahad who won every minute of every round as he outclassed a game Mairena. Galahad was constantly switching guards and was penetrating Mairena’s guard with stinging jabs and unloading with rapid combinations. Mairena made an effort to be competitive but he was too slow. Galahad did not really start to get serious until the sixth round when he drove Mairena back with a series of lefts with the Nicaraguan looking likely to fall but he stayed on his feet. Galahad was switching guards again in the seventh and driving Mairena back with a sequence of head punches. Galahad was not loading up on the punches which helped a beleaguered Mairena last out the round. Mairena soaked up punishment throughout the eighth but just threw enough punches to keep the referee from stopping the fight. Score 80-72 for Galahad on the referee’s card. The 28-year-old Sheffield fighter is No 1 with the IBF which puts him in place for a shot at the winner of the Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton fight (that can’t be a unification fight as Frampton is only the interim WBO champion) so another big fight night to look forward to in 2019. As usual with the Nicaragua travelling punch bags for Mairena it is four fights in three months and four losses.
Ashfaq vs. Carney
Ashfaq too classy for Carney. Carney tried to come forward in the first but southpaw Ashfaq landed some hard straight lefts and later in the round a right uppercut started blood flowing from Carney’s nose. Carney continued to try to come forward in the second and third but had to soak up some hurtful jabs and powerful body punches. In the fourth Ashfaq was putting together some flashing combinations but to his credit Carney kept coming back for more. In the fifth some more rapid combinations shook Carney and were enough to have the referee stop the one-sided fight. The 25-year-old from Leeds is another from the conveyor belt of star amateurs moving into the pros. Ashfaq was a Commonwealth Youth gold medallist and won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games losing to Michael Conlan in the final. He also lost to Conlan in the European Championships final, won a bronze medal at the European Games and competed at the 2016 Olympics. One for the future.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Cruiser: Thabiso Mchunu (20-5) W PTS 12 Thomas Oosthuizen (28-2-2). Welter: Thulani Mbenge (15-0) W RTD 9 Miguel Vazquez (40-7). Middle: Walter Dlamini (16-6-4) W TKO 1 Wade Groth (7-1).
Mchunu vs. Oosthuizen
Mchunu gets revenge for a controversial loss to Oosthuizen in September and leaves no room for dispute with a wide unanimous decision. From the first round it was obvious that Mchunu was a man on a mission. He pressured Oosthuizen from first to last. He was able to walk through Oosthuizen’s southpaw jabs and score inside with ripping body punchers. Oosthuizen showed little movement providing Mchunu with a static target for much of the fight. In fact instead of trying to use his height and reach Oosthuizen too often stood and traded with the much stronger Mchunu. By the end of the fourth round Mchunu had already but a good lead and he kicked on from there. He outworked his fellow southpaw and as Mchunu’s output increased so Oosthuizen’s dropped. It was a one-sided fight and the only thing to Oosthuizen's credit is that he soaked up the punishment and lasted the distance. Scores 119-109,119-111 and 118-111 all for Mchunu. He wins the vacant ABU title and puts himself in line for some high level international fights. Oosthuizen a former IBO super middle and light heavyweight champion has wasted chance after chance to get back into the international mix and may have just blown his last
Mbenge vs. Vazquez
Mbenge retains the IBF title with a stoppage of Vazquez who is on the downward slope. Mbenge was the bigger, stronger man but Vazquez is a wily character and an expert at messing up opponents and breaking up the rhythm of their attacks. There is a large gap in their respective experience but really that was all Vazquez had going for him. Mbenge was tending to try to put Vazquez away with one big punch and rushing rather than working his openings. He used his strength to keep Vazquez pinned to the ropes and slowly broke down the Mexican’s resistance. A body punch dropped Vazquez in the ninth and his corner sensibly pulled him out of the fight at the end of the round. Not an impressive showing
by Mbenge but he and Scot Josh Taylor are the only fighters to have beaten the former IBF lightweight champion inside the distance and Mbenge will hopefully take away some lessons from facing such an experienced campaigner and have many more better nights. Vazquez’s future is to be a test bed for young climbers.
Dlamini vs. Groth
Age is just a number. Dlamini proved this with a first round blitz of champion Groth to win the South African title at the age of 38. It took Dlamini just 42 seconds to blast his way to victory in his second shot at the title. Dlamini also wins the vacant WBA Pan African title. This did not look too hard a defence for Groth as after winning his first twelve fights Dlamini had gone 3-6-4 including two inside the distance losses this year. However Groth’s experience had been very limited with only 30 rounds behind him and with his seven victims having only 14 wins between them.
Zagreb, Croatia: Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (7-0) W PTS 8 Kevin Johnson (33-12-1). Super Middle: Leon Bauer (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Jorge Silva (16-7).
Hrgovic vs. Johnson
Hrgovic wins every round against seasoned spoiler Johnson and shows his strengths and his weaknesses. He used a strong jab to quickly put Johnson on the back foot with Johnson as usual just backing to the ropes and letting Hrgovic punch away. Hrgovic showed his inexperience by constantly throwing overhand rights. Johnson just kept leaning to his right and punch after punch went over his head. Hrgovic continued to make the same mistake in the second with Johnson tapping his chin to show Hrgovic where the target was. Hrgovic finally landed one of those rights and Johnson’s knees buckled. He did not go all the way down and his gloves did not touch the canvas but he was given a count with the bell going just as the count was completed. In the succeeding rounds Hrgovic started to throw his right straighter and landed more often but Johnson was never really in trouble and fired enough occasional counter for Hrgovic to be a bit more cautious. The Croat tired a bit later in the fight and looked slow and predictable at times but this is early in his career and he will get better. Scores 80-71 from the judges for the home city fighter. The 26-year-old Rio bronze medallist is credited with being the reason for the cancellation of the proposed David Haye vs. Tyson Fury fight in 2013 when he cut Haye in a sparring session. Now 39 Johnson who came into this one weighing a career high weight of 260lbsis just filling the role of a clever punch bag for young hopes.
Bauer vs. Silva
Young German prospect Bauer gets a win but only after being on the floor. Bauer was taking the fight to Silva in the first with his hands held low as is his style. That presented the Portuguese fighter with an opening and he landed a hefty right which put Bauer on the floor. Bauer had no trouble beating the count and from there he dominated the action but was a bit more circumspect. He out jabbed and out landed Silva the rest of the way for a comfortable victory. Scores 78-74 twice and 78-73 for Bauer. The 20-year-old was the youngest ever German professional when he started out at the age of 16. He turned in a poor performance in drawing with 3-1 Atin Karabet in October last year and although he stopped Karabet in June it illustrated that it would not be wise to rush his career. Silva, 35, was having only his second fight in two years and suffers his third loss by KO/TKO.
Carson, CA, USA: Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3) W RTD 7 Victor Mendez (28-4-2). The taller Mendez made a good start scoring with some stiff body punches and hurtful hooks with Estrada not forcing the fight hard. Estrada finally started to roll in the third. He was ducking under Mendez’s punches and raking Mendez with strong jabs and straight rights with Mendez looking shaken. Estrada dominated the fourth and fifth stinging Mendez with jabs and putting together some sharp combinations. In the sixth Mendez was on the back foot with Estrada getting through with left hooks to the body and Mendez starting to come apart. In the seventh Estrada was marching forward and landing thudding rights to the head and firing fast bunches of left hooks to the body which took all of the fight out of Mendez who retired at the end of the round. A routine victory for Estrada as he just keeps busy whilst waiting for his next big fight hopefully a return against Srisaket. Mendez has had some good results in the past against quality opposition having only lost on split decision against Luis Nery and Arthur Villanueva and this is his first inside the distance defeat.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Feather: Rene Alvarado (30-8) W PTS 12 Carlos Morales (17-4-3). Light: Hector Tanajara (16-0) W PTS 10 Robert Manzanarez (36-3). Super Light: Jonathan Navarro (16-0) W PTS 10 Manuel Mendez (16-4-3). Feather: Joet Gonzalez (21-0) W TKO 2 Javier Gallo (25-17-1,1ND).
Alvarado vs. Morales
Alvarado outworks Morales in WBA eliminator. Less than a minute into the fight Alvarado launched a fierce attack. Their heads banged together and Alvarado was cut high on his forehead with the blood already running down onto his face. Morales rocked Alvarado with a short right but Alvarado was busier and throwing plenty of punches and by the end of a frantic first round Morales was bleeding from the nose. Alvarado set a fast pace. He was constantly launching attacks and although not always landing Morales was finding it hard to get his own punches off under the pressure. When he could make some space Morales was not throwing as much as Alvarado but was more accurate. Blood continued to trickle from the cut on Alvarado’s forehead but it was tending to run outside of his left eye so was not a factor. Alvarado just kept on attaching wildly with Morales looking to either counter him on the way in or get up close to smother his punches. Morales was physically the bigger man and he was trying to tire Alvarado with the inside work and keep him on the back foot. After a couple of close rounds which Morales probably edged Alvarado picked up the pace again in the tenth with punches flowing from all sorts of angles and Morales being swamped. They were not power punches but Alvarado just kept pumping them out to the final bell. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 all for Alvarado. This win puts the Nicaraguan in line for a shot at the secondary WBA title against Alberto Machado. Wins over unbeaten Roger Gutierrez and Denis Shafikov have seen Alvarado go to No 1 with the WBA and given him a chance to make it a family double. Twin brother Felix, who fights with the same limitless ferocity, is IBF light flyweight champion. Mexican Morales has now lost three of his last four fights having been outpointed by Machado before Machado became champion and dropping a majority verdict to un beaten Ryan Garcia.
Tanajara vs. Manzanarez
Tanajara scores unanimous decision over Manzanarez. Tanajara was giving away some height and reach but was very quick and accurate with his jab. Despite that Manzanarez caught him with a left uppercut in the second and dropped him but Tanajara managed to stay there to the bell. Over the third and fourth good movement and sharp jabs gave Tanajara the edge and a swelling was building on the right cheek of Manzanarez. Both were rocked by hard punches in the fifth and Tanajara just did enough to take the sixth. There was too much wrestling in the seven with Tanajara doing what good work there was and Manzanarez getting a stern warning for a low punch. Both fighters slipped to the canvas in the eighth avoiding a punch but the referee considered that a punch from Tanajara had in fact landed and Manzanarez was given a count. The last two rounds were close but in the tenth Manzanarez lost a point for a low punch. Scores 95-92 twice and 97-90 for Tanajara. The 21-year-old from San Antonio was in his first ten round fight. He had a good win in June outpointing 19-1-1 Roger Gutierrez. Manzanarez, 23, turned pro at 15 and lost only one of his first thirty-seven fights but was coming off a majority decision loss to Mercito Gesta in June.
Navarro vs. Mendez
Navarro wins majority decision over Mendez. This was a tough gruelling fight. It was fought at close quarters without much footwork from either fighter but plenty of in close body punching. Mendez had the harder punch but Navarro outworked him throwing and landing more but there was never much between them with Navarro just having the edge. Scores 97-93 twice and 95-95. Navarro, 27 had scored a stoppage win over unbeaten Damon Allen in August whereas Mendez gets his second loss in a row have been outpointed by 19-1 Sonny Frederickson last month.
Gonzalez vs. Gallo
Gonzalez has it easy in this one and knocks out poor Gallo in the
second round. Little Gallo was giving away too much height and reach to ever really be competitive against Gonzalez. His face was soon bright red from the attention of Gonzalez jabs and he was twice rocked by rights and hurt with a couple of body punches. He had no choice but to surge forward throwing punches but Gonzalez had no trouble blocking them. In the second Gallo rushed Gonzalez to the ropes and punched away to the body. Gonzalez blocked the punches and then staggered Gallo with a left hook and hit him with five quick punches that sent poor Gallo down and out. Gonzalez gets his fifth win by KO/TKO in his last six fights. The 25-yerar-old former US national champion who beat Gervonta Davis on the way to the gold medal was coming off a split decision win over 25-1-2 Rafael Rivera. The gutsy little Gallo has suffered seven losses by KO/TKO.
Brisbane, Australia: Heavy: Demsey McKean (13-0) W RTD 4 Roger Izonritei (12-8-1). Light Heavy: Josh Frederiksen (8-1-2) W PTS 10 Quintin Carey (4-5). Welter: Tysinn Best (9-0) W PTS 10 Nathan Webber (6-1) Light: Jacob Ng (9-0) W TKO 4 Gaige Ireland (5-2-2).
McKean vs. Izonritei
Southpaw McKean retains the Australian title with win over Nigerian-born Izonritei. McKean was too young and hit too hard for the elderly Izonritei. After four one-sided rounds Izonritei’s corner retired their man. The 6’6” 28-year-old McKean was making the second defence of the national title and has seven wins by KO/TKO. Izonritei, 43, turned pro way back in 2004. He has had four shots at the Australian title spaced out over a 16 year period. Is that some sort of record?
Frederickson vs. Carey
Frederickson wins the Australian title with majority decision over champion and local fighter Carey. Scores 97-95, 96-95 for Frederickson and 95-95. It was the first ten round fight for the New South Wales State champion and his third win in a row. Carey, 22, was making the first defence of the title.
Best vs. Webber
In an all Queensland fight Best wins the vacant Australian title with yet another very close fight as he gets the decision on scores of 97-92 and 97-93 with the other judge seeing it 95-96.Webber is one of Jeff Horn’s main sparring partners.
Ng. vs. Ireland
Ng too smart and punches too hard for southpaw Ireland and impressively lifts the Australian title on a unique night of four national title fights on one show. After taking the first three rounds some rights to the head followed by a couple of wicked body punches dropped southpaw Ireland to one knee. He made it to his feet but the follow-up attack from Ng had him doubling up and falling back to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The tall 24-year-old “Flamingo” Ng put on a victory dance that was more spectacular than the fight as he registers his seventh win by KO/TKO. Ireland was making the first defence of the title.
Brussels, Belgium: Super Light: Samuel Gonzalez (20-5) W DISQ 6 Mohamed El Marcouchi (20-2). Unfortunate loss for Belgian El Marcouchi sees him suffer his second defeat. With his fight against Venezuelan fairly evenly poised a clash of heads in the sixth badly dazed El Marcouchi and sent him down. He was in some distress and his second entered the ring to help him leading to immediate disqualification. Italian-based Gonzalez wins the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title and El Marcouchi sees an 18 bout winning streak snapped.
Haemin, Germany: Super Welter: Predrag Radosevic (33-2) W PTS 10 Ronny Gabel (23-6-1,1ND). Light Heavy: Emil Markic (29-2) W PTS 10 Kavin Gebhard (18-2).
Radosevic vs. Gabel
Radosevic just too quick and clever for Gabe. He repeats a previous victory and wins the vacant WBO European title. Gabel kept pushing forward behind a high guard making an easy target for Radosevic who was constantly moving, firing fast, accurate jabs and hooks to the body and Gabel was too slow to counter. When Gabel did get inside Radosevic either tied him up or blocked his punches and then pushed Gabel off and worked from the outside. Gabel never stopped coming forward but that just made it that much easier for Radosevic to score with counters and he was just too slick for Gabel to ever really threaten and he won every round. The Montenegrin’s two losses have both been by KO/TKO and against high top class opposition in Felix Sturm and Liam Smith. German Gabel was having only his second fight in two years. He lost an early fight to Billy Joe Saunders in 2001 and was outpointed by Radosevic in 2012.
Markic vs. Gebhard
Markic also picks up a WBO European title as he outpoints Gebhard. Markic had the edge in hand speed and movement and was throwing more and landing more. Gebhard was the harder puncher but had no real answer to the accurate jabbing from Markic who was doubling and tripling his jab and connecting with straight rights Gebhard slowed as the fight went on and became wilder with his punches. In the last round as Gebhard went to throw a wild right Markic nailed him with a three-punch combination that sent him down heavily. He was very shaken but beat the count and survived some heavy shots to make it to the bell with Markic the obvious winner. Bosnian Markic was stopped in four round by Umar Salamov in May last year and in May this year stopped 23-1 German Denis Liebau to win the WBFederation title. German Gebhard, 37, turned pro in 2003 but was inactive from 2007 to 2016 and won his last seven fights.
Montichiari, Italy: Heavy: Ivan Di Berardino (9-1-1) W TKO 2 Fabio Tuiach (29-6). Di Berardino wins the Italian title with second round stoppage of champion Tuiach. After an even first round Di Berardino landed a right to the side of the head that had Tuiach backing to the ropes. Di Berardino followed him and landed two more clubbing rights that turned Tuiach sideward’s hanging out over the top rope and Di Berardino threw another right that landed on the back of Tuiach’s head. The referee stepped in and gave Tuiach a standing count. Di Berardino then landed more heavy rights and when a left uppercut snapped back Tuiach’s head the referee stopped the fight. The 36-year-old Di Berardino gets his sixth win by KO/TKO and wins the national title at the second attempt. Tuiach, 38, was making the first defence of the title in his second reign as champion.
Nogales, Mexico: Super Bantam: Aaron Alameda (24-0) W RTD 9 Breilor Teran (25-17-1). Bantam: Karim Arce (15-0-1) W TKO 2 Carlos Rodriguez 9-4( ). Super Fly: Pedro Guevara (33-3-1) W TKO 2 Jorge (7-13). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (8-0) W KO 5 Ricardo Rico (4-7)
Alameda vs. Teran
Alameda pleases his home town fans with inside the distance win over seasoned Venezuelan Teran. The local southpaw controlled the fight from the start with Teran spending much of the time pinned to the ropes. Alameda continued to hand out serious punishment but Teran had a tight defence and a good chin. From the sixth Alameda went into more of a countering role trying to lure Teran out of his shell. It worked and at the end of the ninth round Teran stayed in his corner. Alameda wins the vacant WBC Latino title. Despite his impressive statistics Alameda has only beaten very modest opposition and this was his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. Teran has been in with good opposition such as champions Omar Narvaez, Juan Reveco and Julio Ceja and this is only his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Arce vs. Rodriguez
Teenage hope Arce much too good for Rodriguez and floors and halts him in the second. Rodriguez made it to his feet but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 19-year-old nephew of the great Jorge Arce now has six wins by KO/TKO and was coming off a career best win over former WBA champion Alex Munoz. Rodriguez slips to 1-4 in his last 5
Guevara vs. Guerrero
Former WBC light fly champion Guevara just keeps turning over with stoppage of overmatched Guerrero. Guevara lost a majority decision to Ken Shiro in a challenge for his old title in October last year and is hoping for a revenge fight but despite his six wins in his last seven fights has somehow dropped out of the WBC top 15. Guerrero no threat as he has now lost 6 of his last 7 fights 5 by KO/TKO.
Delgado vs., Rico
Delgado maintains his 100% record of wins inside the distance with fifth round kayo of overmatched Rico. The 23-year-old Rio Olympian gave Rico a broken jaw but is yet to face a real test. Third loss by KO/TKO for Rico.
Santa Barbara, Philippines: Minimumweight: Pedro Taduran (13-2) W KO 2 Jeffrey Galero (17-6). Southpaw Taduran defends his Philippines title with second round kayo of Galero. The 22-year-old “Rattle Snake” gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. This is his first fight since losing on points in August to WBC minimum champion Wanheng in the fight that moved Wanheng to 51 wins to put him clear of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s 50 wins. Galero, who lost on points to Wanheng in a title challenge in 2015, has slipped away and is 7-6 in his last 13 fights.
Bowie, MD, USA: Super Middle: Demond Nicholson (20-3-1) W KO 2 Fernando Castaneda (26-13). Local fighter Nicholson crushes Castaneda in two round. Nicholson repeatedly found the target in the first with some hurtful shots from both hands. In the second a crunching right uppercut put Castaneda down and out. Nicholson, 25, retains his WBC United States title. He does not do distance fights with only three of his bouts having gone to the cards. This is win No 19 by KO/TKO. He lost a split decision to Steve Rolls last year and was stopped in seven rounds in April by Jesse Hart. Castaneda lost inside the distance to Frank Buglioni and Hosea Burton if fights in England.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Jose Pedraza
Fight of the week (Significance): Lomachenko vs. Pedraza as it could open the way for a Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia fight to unify the lightweight titles
Fighter of the week: Lomachenko
Punch of the week: The right to the head from Teo Lopez that sent Mason Menard face down on the canvas
Upset of the week: Petro Ivanov was not expected to beat Louis Toutin let alone stop him and unknown quantity Emanuel Navarette’s win over Isaac Dogboe was unexpected,
Prospect watch: Frenchman Mikael Diallo 18-0-2 (15 wins by KO/TKO) was impressive as was Anthony Fowler 9-0 (8 wins by KO/TKO)
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