Our first month of Closest Classics all looked at relatively recent bouts, from the last 10 or so years, so today we'll roll the clock back to the late 1980's and talk about one of our all time favourite fighters, and a man who really did pay for his insane wars and style. In fact that man will have several entries in this series given how many incredible bouts he was in. Win or lose he was always worth watching and he was a staple of Japanese TV boxing in the last 80's and early 1990's, despite never fighting for a world title.
Naoto Takahashi (16-2, 11) Vs Noree Jockeygym (25-7-2, 12) I
The man we were talking about in the opening paragraph was, of course, Naoto Takahashi. His nickname literally translated as "The Prince of the Reversal", or to put it another "The King of the Comeback" due to the way he seemed to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. Whilst he did turn some dire situations into victories his career was an unfortunate one, that ended in 1991 with a bleed on the brain, he was only 23 at the time. His style really didn't give him any chance of having a long career, but he was able to provide so many stand out fights that will always live on in the memory of Japanese fight fans.
At the time of this fight Takahashi was a battle tested 21 year old. His opponent was Thailand's Noree Jockeygym, or Visan Thummong, and he was an 18 year old fighting in his 35th professional bout. This was his 4th bout of 1989, and came less than 3 months after a KO loss in South Korea to former world champion Seung Hoon Lee. Although not a world beater he was a talented young Thai, with a lot of potential, who had won the Thai Super Bantamweight title in 1988, as a 17 year old. He had debuted at the age of 14, had lost to future world champion Daorung Chuwatana as a 15 year old, avenged that loss just 3 months later, and would later challenge for a world title in 1991.
This bout was scheduled for 10 rounds, looked excellent on paper and proved to be something amazing in the ring!
The Thai showed no fear at all of the Japanese fighter and the opening round saw both looking to figure out what the other hand in their arsenal. It was technical stuff, but it was high tempo, technical work. Not a brawl, but not all action either as they boxed typically at mid range. It wasn't the most amazing round that you'll see, but things got a lot better, very quickly with the pace skipping a gear in round 2 going from 2nd to 4th gear. It was still technical, for the most part, but was becoming more action packed, and from then on things turned violent.
We won't ruin any more of the fight but this bout went on to show why Takahashi's career was so short.
Interestingly the two would rematch at the Tokyo dome in 1990, as part of the Mike Tyson Vs James "Buster" Douglas match. By then it was clear Takahashi was a shell of the fight he had once been, he would fight only twice more, suffering the career ending brain bleed in 1991. Noree would manage to fight right through to 2000.
By Eric Armit
-Juan Francisco Estrada scores revenge win over Srisaket to become the WBC super flyweight champion
-Daniel Roman gets majority verdict over JT Doheny to unify the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles
-Regis Prograis and Nonito Donaire progress to the finals of the WBSS tournament with inside the distance victories over Kiryl Relikh and late substitute Stephon Young
-Robert Easter vs. Rances Barthelemy ends in a draw leaving the secondary WBA and IBO lightweight titles vacant
-Jessie Vargas comes from behind to halt Humberto Soto
- Lerrone Richards decisions Tommy Langford and wins the vacant Commonwealth super middleweight title
-Alessandro Riguccini (23-0) and Fabio Turchi (17-0 score wins
-Anthony Sims, Daniel Dubois, Sunny Edwards and heavyweight Efe Ajagba all progress with victories.
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Inglewood, CA, USA: Super Fly: Juan Francisco Estrada (39-3) W PTS 12 Srisaket (47-5-1). Super bantam: Daniel Roman (27-2-1) W PTS 12 TJ Doheny (21-1). Super Welter: Jesse Vargas (29-2-2) W KO 6 Humberto Soto (69-10-2,1ND). Super Middle: Anthony Sims (19-0) W PTS 10 Vaughan Alexander (14-3). Super Light: Shakhram Giyasov (8-0) W PTS 10 Emanuel Taylor (20-6). Super bantam: Alberto Melian (5-0) W PTS 10 Isaac Zarate (16-5-3). Super Bantam: Ronny Rios (30-3) W RTD 5 Daniel Olea (13-8-2). Feather: Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0) W KO 3 Carlos Carlson (23-5).
Srisaket vs., Estrada
In a hard fought title fight Estrada outboxes champion Srisaket on a unanimous decision to get revenge for a majority points loss against Srisaket in February last year.
Very good first round from Estrada. He was quicker to the punch coming in behind his jab connecting with a couple of hooks and then backing out of range before Srisaket could counter. Before the bell Estrada was standing in the pocked and landing some sharp hooks.
This was a much closer round. Estrada was boxing cleverly with plenty of movement and a strong jab. Srisaket was meeting him on the way in with a stiff jab and scoring with some rights and just took the round,
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Tied 19-19
Another close round. Srisaket was relying heavily on straight rights and Estrada on the accuracy of his jab. Both landed some sharp shots but again Srisaket just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Srisaket 29-28
Brilliant round from Estrada. He was buzzing around Srisaket stabbing home jabs and moving too quickly for Srisaket to counter. As the round progress Estrada was putting together some flashing combinations to head and body. Srisaket tried switching to southpaw but it did not help.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Tied 38-38
Another round for Estrada. His footwork and hand speed were giving him a big edge with his jab the dominating punch. He was slotting jabs through Srisaket’s guard then putting together bundles of punches with Srisaket a static target.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 48-47
Srisaket had some success with left hooks to the body at the start of the round but Estrada was soon back in the groove. He was popping Srisaket with jabs then stepping in with hooks and out again. He even threw in an Ali shuffle as his confidence grew on the back of his classy boxing.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 58-56
It was embarrassingly easy for Estrada. He was too quick for Srisaket who was either on the beck foot trying to get away from Estrada’s jab or lunging forward too slowly to connect. Estrada just kept moving and punching finding gaps for left hooks and straight rights.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 68-65
Srisaket had no answer to the hand speed and movement of Estrada. The challenger was banging home hard jabs and straight rights and even taunting Srisaket. As the round closed Estrada was now staying in close and forcing Srisaket back with hooks. Srisaket again switched to southpaw. A clear sign of desperation.
Score: Score 10-9 Estrada Estrada 78-74
Srisaket’s title was slipping away. Estrada was in total control easily evading Srisaket's rushes and stabbing home jabs and twice rocked Srisaket with quick rights. Srisaket was not throwing enough or pressing enough but there was some sign of Estrada slowing.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 88-83
Finally a round for Srisaket. Estrada had come down of his toes and was standing in front of Srisaket and trading. Srisaket had changed to southpaw and was connecting with strong straight lefts. Estrada was still more accurate but not throwing as many punches as he had been in the last six rounds.
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Estrada 97-93
A low punch from Srisaket had Estrada turning away in pain. He was given a few seconds to recover and Srisaket was given a warning. When the action resumed Estrada was standing and exchanging with Srisaket and a heavy left staggered him. They continued to trade punches with Srisaket connecting well with straight lefts to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Estrada106-103
Estrada had more left in the tank and was again too quick and accurate for Srisaket who was swinging in hope knowing he needed a knockout. Just before the bell Estrada cemented his victory as he connected with series of head punches that had Srisaket on the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 116-112
Official Scores: Judge 115-113 Estrada, Judge 115-113 Estrada, Judge 116-112 Estrada
Outstanding skilful display by Estrada, 29, as he becomes a two division champion. Roman Gonzalez was No 2 behind Estrada in the WBC ratings and he might want to fight Gonzalez. Estrada has reversed two of the three losses he has suffered so a return with Gonzalez would give him the chance to wipe the slate clean. Srisaket will want a return and the scores were close enough for him to deserve one. The loss breaks a 20 bout winning run for Srisaket and his strong finish shows at 32 he is still a force in this division.
Roman vs. Doheny
Roman unifies the WBA and IBF titles with a strong finish that results in a majority points victory over Doheny in an outstanding title fight.
After a cautious start with Doheny circling and Roman shadowing Roman began to come forward with more purpose looking to get inside but southpaw Doheny countered with straight lefts and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Doheny
Doheny was quicker and more mobile and again was connecting with counters. Roman was pressing harder in this round, Late in the round he moved in quickly and landed a left hook to the head that sent Doheny back into the ropes and although he did not go down he put his left glove on the floor to steady himself and was given a count. When the action resumed he boxed his way to the bell without difficulty.
Score: 10-8 Roman Roman 19-18
Good skilful work from Doheny in this round. He was on the back foot getting his punches off first and finding the target with his countering lefts. Roman was not quick enough to cut off the ring and always a pace behind.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Tied 28-28
The pace changed in this one as Doheny decided to stand and exchange punches. Roman got the better of the trading over the first minute but then Doheny drove forward scoring with hooks from both hands and did enough to take the round
Score: 10-9 Doheny Doheny 38-37
Official Scores: Judge Edward Hernandez 38-37 Doheny, Judge Max DeLuca 38-37 Roman, Judge Zachary Young 38-37 Doheny
A close round. Roman was able to cut down the ring more often and connect with some of his combinations. Still plenty of movement and quick hands from Doheny but his left counters were not getting through.
Score: 10-9 Roman Tied 47-47
Roman’s round. He was closing the distance with quick steps and pinning Doheny on the ropes and firing hooks. Doheny was still boxing well and countering but Roman was landing the harder punches.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roman 57-56
A big round for Doheny. He began to connect with straight lefts and hooks and was driving Roman back. Roman was in trouble and unsteady. He was twisting and turning trying to avoid the punches and he stumbled forward and down. The referee ruled it was a slip not caused by any specific punch and did not apply a count. Roman was rocked a few more times. He then began to punch back and they traded punch after punch with Roman being rocked by another left but firing back enough in a great action round to prevent it being a 10-8 round without the knockdown.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Tied 66-66
A close round and a less dramatic one. Doheny did not throw very many lefts and Roman did not cut the ring downs so well. They both had some success with Roman ending the round scoring with rights to the body and long lefts.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roman 76-75
Official Scores: Hernandez 77-74 Doheny, DeLuca 77-75 Roman, Young 77-74 Roman
Plenty of action in the ninth. Roman was starting to dominate the action with stiff jabs and hooks to the body. Doheny was not moving as much or throwing as much. When he did attack hard with rights Roman showed good defensive moves to dodge the shots and came back with punches of his own hurting Doheny with a left to the body.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roiman 86-84
Doheny was tiring. Now Roman was able to hunt him down trap him on the ropes and work inside. He was marching forward throughout the round with very few counters coming from Doheny and Roman scoring at range and in close.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roman 96-93
Hugely important round for Roman. Doheny tried to stay in the centre of the ring and connect with his straight lefts. Roman drove him back with a strong attack then ducked under Doheny’s jab and came up inside with a perfectly delivered left hook to the body that had Doheny turning away and going down on one knee. He was up at six and when the action resumed Roman tried to finish it hurting Doheny with another body punch but Doheny made it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Roman Roman 106-101
No mad last round flings. Doheny was moving well again staying off the ropes and slotting home straight lefts. Roman did not press as hard and it was Doheny landing punches at the bell.
Score 10-9 Doheny Roman 115-110
Official Scores: Hernandez 113-113 tied, DeLuca 116-110 Roman, Young 116-110 Roman.
Roman continues to improve. He was making the fourth defence of the WBA title and registers his nineteenth win in a row. A further unification fight with WBC champion Rey Vargas or WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete would be an attraction but the WBA or IBF may move to force a fight with their No 1 challengers. A strong competitive performance from Doheny until he tired late in the fight but he will be back in contention soon and will fight for a title again.
Vargas vs. Soto
Vargas gets stoppage win over veteran Soto but is made to fight hard and looked to be behind before the stoppage. Soto hassled Vargas out of his comfort zone in the first launching a series of two-handed attacks. Heads clashed but neither fighter was cut. A low left from Vargas saw Soto drop to the floor in pain but he was able to resume fighting after a few seconds recovery time. Vargas worked hard with his jab in the second but could not keep Soto out and in a clash of heads Vargas was cut on his left eyelid. Over the remainder of the round and in the third, fourth and fifth Soto was getting inside to connect with left hooks and rights to the head. Vargas just could not settle into the fight and Soto had him under heavy pressure at the end of the fifth. At this point the concern for Vargas had to be that if the cut worsened and the fight was stopped and went to the cards he was facing defeat. Early in the sixth Vargas landed a long straight right that sent Soto back and down. He rolled over and was up quickly after the eight count but Vargas drove him to the ropes and bombarded him with punches until Soto stopped trying to fire back and the referee stopped the fight. Former champion Vargas needed a win after draws against Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme but made heavy work of it here. He is rated WBA 2/WBC 2/WBO 3 so he should shot land another title shot either later this year or early next but he will have to improve on this showing. Soto, 38, was coming off an upset victory over Brandon Rios in February and showed he has plenty of fight left in him.
Sims vs. Alexander
“The magician” Sims wins by unanimous decision over Alexander but in a flat performance. Sims had the better skill set and was at his best when he boxed on the outside against the more aggressive Alexander. He used a strong jab to keep Alexander out and connected with some sharp counters. Over the late round he was forced to stand and exchange punches but the fight never really caught alight as Sims seemed to settle for a points win and Alexander was not throwing enough punches to really threaten. As the action cooled there were boos coming from a dissatisfied crowd as Sims eased his way to victory. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 all for Sims. After a points win in his first pro fight Sims then won his next 17 by KO/TKO. Despite his lack of experience Alexander was the first real test for the 24-year-old Sims. Alexander, 33, is the elder brother of former superlight and welterweight champion Devon. He returned to the ring in 2016 after serving an eleven year prison sentence.
Giyasov vs. Taylor
Brooklyn-based Uzbek Giyasov celebrates signing a contract with Matchroom with a win over experienced Taylor. Giyasov only just evaded an upset after being nailed by a left hook from Taylor in the first round. He regrouped and outworked Taylor rocking him with rights to the head. Giaysov set a fast pace and that told on Taylor over the late rounds but Taylor was always competitive and Giyasov had to work in a fight that proved his toughest so far. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 but Taylor made it look a lot closer than that. Giyasov, 25, won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and took gold medals at the 2017 World Championships the Asian Championships and the World Universities Championships. “Tranzformer” Taylor 28 has been beaten in big fights by Chris Algieri, Adrien Broner, Antonio Orozco and in May 2017 Lucas Matthysse which was his last fight before this one.
Melian vs. Zarate
Argentinian Melian gets a win but has to climb off the floor twice to take the decision. The former top amateur floored Zarate in the third but then had to survive knockdowns in the seventh and tenth rounds to claim victory. Scores 95-92 twice and 94-93 for Melian. He was defending the WBA/NABA title. In the amateurs he represented Argentina at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as well as three World Championships and was a member of the Argentinian Condors team in the World Series of Boxing. Californian southpaw Zarate had registered a good win in outpointing Horacio Garcia but was stopped in nine rounds by unbeaten Murodjon Akhmadaliev in November. He has only two wins by KO/TKO so his putting Melian down twice must put a question over the Argentinian.
Rios vs. Olea
Rios gets back into the winning column with victory over former Mexican Olea. Rios was looking to end this early. He forced the pace with a focused body attack which had Olea in survival mode. Olea took the punishment for five rounds but then retired in his corner. Rios lost on points to Rey Vargas for the WBC super bantamweight title in 2017. He had his rebuilding plan sabotaged by a sixth round stoppage against Azat Hovhannisyan in March last year. Fourth loss in a row for Olea.
Akhmadaliev vs. Carlson
As with fellow-Uzbek Giyasov Akhmadaliev is another Olympian making his way as a pro and he impressed as he floored Carson heavily in the fifth with the referee not even bothering to count. The 24-year-old Akhmadaliev stopped Isaac Zarate in nine round in his last fight in November. Akhmadaliev won silver medals at the World and Asian Championships, losing to Michael Conlan in the World, and was a bronze medallist in Rio. Carlson put together a 22 bout winning streak before losing to Shinsuke Yamanaka for the WBC bantam title in 2017 but is a poor 1-4 since then.
Lafayette, LA, USA: Super Light: Regis Prograis (24-0) W TKO 6 Kiryl Relikh (23-3). Bantam: Nonito Donaire (40-5) W KO 6 Stephon Young (18-2-3).
Prograis vs. Relikh
Prograis wins the WBA title and moves on to the final of the WBSS tournament with stoppage of a game Relikh who is pulled out of the fight by his corner during the sixth round.
Relikh was coming forward taking the fight to Prograis. Relikh had some success with long rights whilst Prograis was just moving and watching for an opening. Relikh suddenly decided to switch to southpaw. He threw a right which landed on the head of Prograis just a split second before a left from Prograis thudded into Relikh’s body. He stopped then turned away from Prograis and started walking towards the ropes. It took a second for Prograis to realise that Relikh was in trouble then he rushed after Relikh and landed a strong left to the head and Relikh dropped to one knee. He was up at seven and the bell rang before Prograis could land another punch.
Score: 10-8 Prograis
Relikh looked to have recovered and was coming forward behind his jab and trying right crosses. The round was fairly even until Prograis landed a left that staggered Relikh. Prograis then almost ran forward throwing punches with Relikh on the retreat. Prograis landed another heavy left but Relikh fired back with his last punch landing flush on the head of Prograis but just a split second after the bell. After he returned to his corner the referee warned him about the punch. Relikh was now showing a bad cut on the bridge of his (perhaps broken) nose.
Score: 10-9 Prograis Prograis 20-17
Relikh worked solidly in this one. He kept firing his jab and letting his rights go. He was catching Prograis with those rights. Prograis looked dangerous every time he threw his left but was tending to fight in bursts and apart from one left to the body he did not really land anything of consequence.
Score: 10-9 Relikh Prograis 29-27
A quieter round. Relikh was still advancing behind his jab and firing rights but Prograis was showing some classy upper body movement to dodge the punches and countering with lefts and it was his round.
Score: 10-9 Prograis Prograis 39-36
Prograis was staying on the back foot with Relikh trying to track him down. Prograis was quick and clever and was spearing Relikh with right jabs and started the blood trickling again from Relikh’s cut on his nose which was enough to win the round.
Score: 10-9 Prograis Prograis 49-45
Having been mostly boxing on the back foot Prograis changed in this round walking forward and landing a series of body punches. Relikh’s cut was bleeding heavily and he was being caught with some hard head punches Relikh was bobbing and weaving but getting caught and his corner called for the fight to be stopped and it was.
Another mesmerising performance from Prograis who has a style all of his own. His hand speed, movement and power must make him the favourite but whoever wins in the Josh Taylor vs. Ivan Baranchyk match on 8 May will give him a tough fight. Relikh was hampered by the nose injury early but he kept taking the fight to Prograis. He just did not have the tools in his box to beat a fighter such as Prograis.
Donaire vs. Young
When Donaire lost in title fights to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton it seemed as though his career was winding down but now it is in full throttle as he qualifies for the final of the WBSS bantamweight tournament with a stunning one punch kayo of substitute Young in a WBA bantamweight title defence.
In a cautious first round Donaire was shadowing a retreating Young who had some success with straight lefts. Donaire did his scoring late in the round with his jab and right hooks but there was not a lot of action with Donaire just doing enough.
Score: 10-9 Donaire
Better second round from southpaw Young. He continued to circle the ring popping Donaire with jabs and firing straight lefts. Donaire was waiting too long to get his punches off and finding the ever moving Young a difficult target.
Score: 10-9 Young Tied 19-19
A good round for Donaire. He was letting his hands go getting close and catching Young with jabs. Young was still moving but the pressure from Donaire saw him on the defensive. Donaire connect with two jabs and then shook Young badly with a right late in the round and Young looked in trouble as Donaire raked him with punches.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Donaire 29-28
They say knowledge is power well now Donaire knew he could hurt Young and Young knew he could get hurt. As a result Donaire was pressing hard for the whole three minute connecting with jabs and left hooks. Young was still moving but too often he was just trying to hide behind a high guard as Donaire rocked him again with a right.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Donaire 39-37
Official scores: Judge Bruce McDaniel 39-37, Judge Jose Roberto Torres 39-37 and Judge Laurence Cole 39-37 all for Donaire.
Young seemed to get a little of his confidence back in this round. He was scoring with some gook counters but gradually Donaire again took control and was chipping away at Young with hooks from both hands and connecting with jabs and straight rights.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Donaire 49-46
Young again scored with some counters early but Donaire was hunting him down and Young stopped punching and was just looking to stay out of trouble. No way. A huge explosive left hook from Donaire put him down flat on his back and the referee immediately stopped the fight.
After 18 years as a pro Donaire showed that quality is timeless. The finishing punch in this fight is a candidate for Punch of the Year. He got a lucky break when Ryan Burnett was forced to retire in their fight with a back injury but there was no luck involved here. Already a four-division champion he won titles from flyweight up to featherweight and now has gone back down collecting titles at super bantamweight and bantam. An amazing career. Young came in at very short notice after Zolani Tete had to withdraw due to injury but was said to be preparing for another fight so in good condition. He showed some good skills but quickly faded when he felt the little Filipino’s power.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Robert Easter (21-1-1) DRE W 12 Rances Barthelemy (27-1-1,1ND). Super Light: Viktor Postol (31-2) W PTS 10 Mohamed Mimoune (21-3). Welter: Terrell Williams (18-0) W PTS 10 Justin DeLoach (18-4).Heavy: Efe Ajagba (10-0) W TKO 2 Michael Wallisch (19-2). Feather: Ranfis Encarnacion (16-0) W KO 2 Jose Bustos (14-10-3).
Easter vs. Barthelemy
The secondary WBA and the IBO lightweight titles remain vacant after Easter and Barthelemy finish ell even after a poor fight totally devoid of highlights.
A posing round as neither fighter threw many punches and neither committed himself with the punches he did show. Easter was the only one who did land a punch so largely took the round by default
Score: 10-9 Easter
Barthelemy scored with a couple of lefts to the body early but then never landed another punch but circled the perimeter of the ring. Easter was not cutting the ring off but he landed a couple of jabs and a couple of rights.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 20-18
Barthelemy switched to southpaw in this round but if you don’t throw punches your stance become immaterial. What scoring there was came in jabs and a couple of rights from Easter
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 30-27
Another nothing round. Easter landed a few jabs and a right Barthelemy was coming up short with his punches. I swear I could hear the CompuBox guys snoring.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 40-36 Easter, Judge Eric Cheek 39-37 Easter, Judge Glenn Trowbridge 39-37 Easter
Barthelemy changed his tactics here and started going forward and throwing punches. He connected with lefts to the body one of which was the best punch so far. Easter was on the back foot and connected with one hard right but was caught by a left counter from Barthelemy
Score: 10-09 Barthelemy Easter 49-46
Another round for Barthelemy largely again by default. He was staying centre ring and lunging forward with lefts to the body Easter was holding back on his punches with the exception of one good straight left. Barthelemy was showboating for much of the time but did enough to win this one
Score: 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 58-56
There were so few punches thrown with evil intent in this one that it was difficult to believe it was the seventh round as both fighters were as cautious as if it were a cagey opener. Not much in the round but again Barthelemy landed just a bit more with his best punch a left to the body.
Score: 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 67-66
Easter had been suffering from punch constipation over the last three rounds but he did much better at the start of this one. He forced Barthelemy to the ropes and fired hooks and uppercut in the first sustained attack by either boxer. He connected with a left to the body and a right to the head. Unfortunately he then went on the retreat again and Barthelemy landed another good body punch something he was not doing enough of and it was Easter’s round.
Score 10-9 Easter Easter 77-75
Official Scores: Cheatham 77-75 Easter, Cheek 76-76 and Trowbridge 76-76
Easter’s round. Again there was too much probing and not enough punching. The best shots were two rights to the head from Easter. Barthelemy kept threatening to do something but never did.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 87-84
Another round devoid of any real action. Easter was just popping his jab out and coming up short. Barthelemy was looking to counter but not enough punches were coming his way for that to be effective but he did manage to score with a couple of punches.
Score: 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 96-94
A bit more action in this one. Instead of just jabbing Easter was moving in behind the jab and scoring with rights to the head. Barthelemy had some success with counters later in the round but the early burst from Easter gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 106-103
The fight went out with a whimper instead of a bang. Even now neither fighter was willing to commit himself to attack. Easter was the one coming forward but ineffectively and left counters from Barthelemy gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 115-113
Official Scores: Judge Cheatham 115-113 Easter, Judge Cheek 115-113 Barthelemy, Judge Trowbridge 114-114
Neither fighter deserved to win as neither fighter exhibited the commitment you expect in a world title fight. Their styles never gelled and neither fighter took even the slightest risk to try to lift the title. The CompuBox statistics show that there was not a single round in which either fighter landed ten punches which sums this one up. They will both be pushing for a return and with the split draw they have a case but just who will want to pay to see it is harder to figure out and neither would be an attraction against the real WBA champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
Postol vs. Mimoune
Postol ends a ten-bout unbeaten run by Mimoune as he wins a clear unanimous decision. Knowing the styles of these two fighters I did not expect an exciting contests and that’s how it turned out. Over the early rounds both were waiving their jabs in the air looking more to mesmerise than punch. Postol made the fight by constantly shadowing Mimoune around the ring but when they did trade punches it tended to be brief flurries of slaps. There was some quality work from both in the third and Postol found the range in the fourth with Mimoune connecting with a quality left hook in the fifth and Postol landing straight lefts in the sixth and seventh and generally outworking Mimoune in all of the rounds. Postol had a productive eighth as he opened a cut on Mimoune’s right eyelid with a punch and later in the round forced home a series of hooks. Postol controlled the action from distance in the ninth and tenth. Mimoune needed to get inside and throw more punches but he did neither. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Postol. The 35-year-old Ukrainian had only one bout in 2016, losing his WBC title to Terrence Crawford in a unification fight for the WBC and WBO titles, and one fight in 2017. He lost in June 2018 to Josh Taylor but with Mimoune No 3 in the WBC ratings and Postol No 4 he has put himself back in the title picture with this win. Mimoune was a disappointment as he had won the EU and European titles against some good level European opposition and collected the IBO title by outpointing 22-0 Argentinian Emiliano Dominguez. He has a rebuilding job to do and perhaps not an easy one.
Williams vs. DeLoach
Both fighters needed a win here for different reasons. Williams in a drive to get into the world ratings before time passes him by and De Loach to rebound after losses to fellow prospects Nathaniel Gallimore and Jeison Rosario. It was close all the way and the result could have gone to either man but in the end it was Williams who stayed on track with a split decision. Scores 96-94 twice for Williams and 96-94 for De Loach. Thirty-five -year-old Williams is trying to put the memory of his 2015 fight with Prichard Colon behind him. Colon collapsed after the fight with rabbit punches from Williams being blamed by some for injuries to Colon. Williams did not fight again for two years and had only one fight last year but is hoping to be more active from now on. DeLoach may need to take a step back as the Gallimore and Raison fights were tough with DeLoach on the floor twice in each fight. At 25 he has time to replan his way ahead.
Ajagba vs. Wallisch
Wallisch outclassed and beaten inside two rounds by Nigerian prospect Ajagba who exposed the flaws in the Germany’s leaky defence. Ajagba was finding lots of gaps in Wallisch high guard. He was threading jabs through and then straight rights before switching and jabbing to the body. Wallisch was getting close with a rushing attack but not really landing anything when he got there. It was too easy for Ajagba in the second. He banged home a series of jabs and straight rights until Wallisch dropped to his knees. With the German on his knees Ajagba clipped him with a right. The referee called a time out and when Wallisch indicated he was ready the referee waived for the fight to continue. Wallisch walked forward throwing hooks but jabs from Ajagba had him backing up and Ajagba had Wallisch on the ropes and taking punishment when the referee had seen enough and stopped the action. The 25-year-old 6’5” Ajagba has taken less than 16 rounds for his ten wins including a victory over Amir Mansour. He holds the record the fastest ever win in a pro fight when his opponent angered by a pay dispute stepped out of the ring immediately the bell was rung for the first round so a one second victory. Ajagba won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games beating current unbeaten pro Junior Fa in a preliminary bout. He took gold medals at the African Games and the African Olympic Games Qualifier but lost to Ivan Dychko in Rio. Wallisch, 33, had been steered away from any threatening contests until he was knocked out in five round by Christian Hammer in his last fight in December.
Encarnacion vs. Bustos
Dominican Encarnacion moves to eleven wins by KO/TKO as he floors Bustos twice in the second for the knockout. No testing fights yet for the 24-year-old former Dominican Youth champion. Now five losses by KO/TKO for Mexican Bustos.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Light: Yves Ulysse (18-1) W PTS 10 Steve Claggett (27-6-2). Bantam: Joshua Franco (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Oscar Negrete (18-2-1). Welter: Alexis Rocha (13-0) W PTS 10 Shoki Sakai (23-10-2). Welter: Mike Reed (24-2) W TKO 2 Yardley Armenta Cruz (25-14,1ND).
Ulysse vs. Claggett
When these two clashed in October 2017 Claggett took the split decision and Ulysse’s unbeaten tag so Ulysse was looking for revenge in this all-Canadian clash. Claggett made a very strong start. Over the first two rounds he had Ulysse on the retreat with a powerful jab and plenty of pressure. In the third Ulysse stopped going back and stood and exchanged punches getter the better of the trading by staying inside to negate Claggett’s jab and scoring with hooks and uppercuts. Claggett had his jab working again in the fourth and had built a lead but Ulysse upped the pace in the fifth and sixth throwing more and landing more with Claggett’s jab no longer effective. Claggett slowed over the seventh and eighth but then rallied and staged a strong finish but it was just not enough to make up for his mid-fight slump. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Ulysse. Three good wins have seen the 30-year-old Ulysse get into the rankings at WBC 6/WBO/IBF 8(7). He wins the vacant WBA Gold belt. After beating Ulysse Claggett lost on points against Danny O’Connor and in January this year boxed a draw with unbeaten Mathieu Germain so he has been taking tough assignments.
Negrete vs. Franco
Franco goes one step better than when these two drew in October as he takes split decision. Negrete was quicker to the punch and had more variety in his work over the first two rounds walking past Franco’s jab and landing overhand rights. Franco settled a bit more in the third countering the forward marching Negrete. Over the fourth and fifth Negrete outworked Franco with storming attacks throwing hooks from both hands. Franco changed tactics in the seventh and eighth taking the fight to Negrete upping his punch output and putting Negrete under pressure. They traded on equal terms over the ninth and tenth and for me Negrete had just done enough to take a very close decision but the split verdict went to Franco. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Franco and 98-92 for Negrete. The 23-year Texan “Professor” collects the NABF title held by Negrete and wins the vacant WBA International title. Former Colombian amateur champion Negrete, 31, lost to Rey Vargas for the WBC super bantam title in December 2017.
Rocha vs. Sakai
Southpaw Rocha keeps his 100% record with unanimous verdict over Sakai. Rocha was generally on the front foot connecting with strong right jabs and following with straight lefts and hooks to the body. Sakai fought in bursts looking to counter. He had enough success to be competitive when he took the fight to Rocha but was just too slow with his counters and Rocha outpunched Sakai inside. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 all for Rocha. The 21-year-old from Santa Ana, the brother of Ronny Rios, was a successful fighter at Youth level winning gold at the Ringside World Tournament and competing at the World Junior championships. Mexican-based Japanese fighter Sakai falls to 2-5-2 in his last 9 fights.
Reed vs. Cruz
In his first bout for thirteen months Reed starts his climb back with stoppage of Cruz. Reed took control of the fight in the opener. He was forcing Cruz to back up and banging straight southpaw lefts through Cruz’s guard. In the second Reed worked Cruz over against the ropes landing to head and body and knocked out Cruz’s mouthguard. Reed continued to drive Cruz around the ring in the second scoring with straight lefts, hooks and uppercuts and the referee stepped in and halted the fight. After 23 wins on the spin Reed stumbled badly with consecutive losses in big fights against Jose Carlos Ramirez and Antonio Barboza. He looked sharp here. Eleven of Cruz’s losses have come by way of KO/TKO.
Brescia, Italy: Super Bantam: Luca Rigoldi (20-1-1) W PTS 12 Anthony Settoul (24-8). Light: Domenico Valentino (7-0) W PTS 6 German Lara (12-8-2).
Rigoldi vs. Settoul
Rigoldi much too good for challenger Settoul in a voluntary defence of his European title. The Italian southpaw bossed the action all the way. He was scoring well to head and body with Settoul willing but not having the power or skill to inconvenience Rigoldi. Settoul spent much of the fight defending with his back to the ropes but always managed to fight back hard enough to never really be in any danger of the referee having to save him. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 for 26-year-old Rigoldi. The former European Union champion has reversed his only loss and has now won eleven in a row. Frenchman Settoul, 32, also a former European Union champion, is now 5-6 in his last 11 fights but there are losses there in fights against Ryan Burnett and Nonito Donaire as well as Abigail Medina who fought for the interim WBA title in November. An encouraging sign is the Italian state TV put this one out live. The first time they have screened live pro boxing in almost two years.
Valentino vs. Lara
Just a stroll in the park for the talented Valentino. The Italian champion was in a different class to Nicaraguan southpaw Lara who constantly resorted to holding. Valentino seemed content to let Lara stay around and only really upped the pace very late as he won every round. At 34 and with a great amateur record behind him he will need to take some chances if he is even to fight for the EU title let alone the European title. He competed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics but did not qualify for Rio. He took bronze medals at the 2005 and 2011 World Championships silver at the 2007 World Championships losing to Frankie Garvin in the final but lifted gold in 2009 with a victory over Jose Pedraza. What a pity he did not turn pro earlier. Lara was having only his second fight since July 2016.
Glasgow, Scotland: Bantam: Ukashir Farooq (12-0) W TKO 5 Kyle Williams (10-1). Farooq retains the British title with stoppage of English champion Williams. In a lively fast-paced opener Farooq was scoring with some scorching left hooks to the body and showing some clever upper body movement to dodge punches from Williams was under heavy pressure fired back fiercely. Williams took the fight to Farooq at the start of the second but over the last minute Farooq was connecting with hooks and uppercuts and floored Williams with a series of punches just before the bell. Williams was up at six with the bell going when the eight count was completed. Williams fought hard over the third and fourth and tried switching to southpaw. Williams was having to soak up hooks as Farooq worked inside. In the fifth a very low left hook saw the fight stopped and Williams given some recovery time. He then tried to trade with Farooq but a right to the side of the head dropped him face down on the floor. He staggered up but the referee waived the fight off and Williams toppled over again. Second defence of the British title for 23-year-old “Untouchable” Farooq. One more defence and he gets to keep the Lonsdale Belt the most stylish and prestigious belt in boxing. Born in Pakistan Farooq moved to Scotland when just six and is former Scottish and British Youth champion and a very good prospect. He has won 5 of his lat 6 fights by KO/TKO and is now looking to face unbeaten fellow-Scot Lee McGregor who is Commonwealth champion. Williams gave it a real go here but was outgunned.
Dallas, TX, USA: Luis Hernandez (17-0) W TKO 7 Diego Sanchez (18-0). Hernandez just too god for prelim fighter Sanchez in this clash of unbeaten young Mexicans. Hernandez was able to use his edges in height and reach to boss the battle on the inside and his superior strength to bully teenager Sanchez inside and on the ropes. Sanchez fought hard but eventually the body work from Hernandez weakened him. In the seventh Hernandez bombarded Sanchez with punches forcing him to the canvas. Sanchez beat the count but was being rocked again and the fight was halted. The 22-year-old “Matador” now has 15 wins by KO/TKO and it will be interesting to see how he fares as he moves up. Sanchez, 19, turned pro at 16 and had 15 wins by KO/TKO but had only competed at prelim level. He had won his last 6 fights by KO/TKO but the six victims had combined records of 13-93.
Florence, Italy: Welter: Alessandro Riguccini (23-0) W TKO 1 Ivan Alvarez (28-10-1).Cruiser: Fabio Turchi (17-0) W KO 1Sami Enbom (18-3). Super Welter: Orlando Fiordigiglio (31-2) W PTS 10 Stephen Danyo (15-2-3). Middle: Emanuel Blandamura (29-3) W PTS 6 Nikola Matic (16-41). Super Feather: Devis Boschiero (47-6-2) W PTS 6 Yesner Talavera (15-6-1,2ND). Fly: Mohammed Obbadi (19-1) W KO 1 Jerson Larios (7-5). Middle: Matteo Signani (28-5-3) W PTS 6 Frane Radnic (11-13).
Riguccini vs. Alvarez
Riguccini returns home to Italy and to the city of his birth Florence and blitzes Mexican Alvarez in the first round. Alvarez made a positive enough start standing and exchanging punches with Riguccini until some body punches had him retreating to the ropes. Riguccini trapped him there and unloaded punch after punch until Alvarez slumped to his knees after just 40 seconds. He was up at seven but Riguccini jumped on him and pounded away until Alvarez when down on one knee to escape the storm. Alvarez made it to his feet at eight put was driven to the ropes by body punches and went down again and the fight was waived off after just 100 seconds. The 31-year-old local was making the first defence of the interim WBC Silver title and has 19 wins by KO/TKO. Before turning to boxing Riguccini, a computer engineering graduate, and a world champion in MMA. After three fights in Italy in 2012 he moved to Mexico where he now stays and is trained by Jorge Barrera the brother of Marco Antonio Barrera. Experienced Mexican Alvarez suffers his fourth loss by KO/TKO. Last year he fought a draw with unbeaten Canadian Kane Heron but he was blown away here.
Turchi vs. Enbom
Riguccini’s win was quick but nowhere near as quick as that achieve by Turchi who put Finn Enbom away with a body punch after just 76 seconds. After some preliminary sparring Turchi walked forward and curled a southpaw left hook around the elbow of Enbom and onto his ribs. Enbom collapsed to his knees with his head touching the canvas and he was still in that position when the referee counted him out. Turchi, also a native of Florence, lifts the vacant WBC International title with his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. A former Elite level amateur who was Italian champion four times won a silver medal in the World Military Games and gold at the Mediterranean Games. His father was Italian light heavy champion and his partner is a kickboxing practioner so plenty of boxing in his background. A lot more was expected from Enbom who did not look a bad test but that was a wicked body punch.
Fiordigiglio vs. Danyo
This was the most competitive and best fight on the night. Danyo was the better technical boxer and Fiordigiglio the stronger . Danyo was master at distance and had the wider variety in his work but Fiordigiglio kept walking forward and driving home hooks and uppercuts inside. It looked as though Danyo built a lead with those better skills but with Fiordigiglio forcing the fight hard over the later rounds in close. All three judges had Fiordigiglio winning on a score of 96-93 but the decision was not universally popular. Fiordigiglio, 34, the WBO No 14, collects the vacant IBF International title. He has come up short in two shots at the EBU title but is 10-1 in his last 11 fights. All three of Dutchman Danyo’s losses have been by points in the other guy’s country against Custio Clayton in Canada and Felix Cash in London and now Fiordigiglio in Italy. He is a former Dutch amateur champion who represented Holland in the European and World Championships.
Blandamura vs. Matic
Just really some paid sparring for Blandamura. He is a few classes above the limited Mitic and eased his way to victory with no problems along the way. Blandamura has lost inside the distance to Billy Joe Saunders and Michele Soro in fights for the vacant European title and an even bigger fight for the secondary WBA belt to Ryota Murata. Six defeats in a row for Bosnian Matic.
Boschiero vs. Talavera
EBU super feather champion and former WBC title challenger Boschiero has a frustrating night trying to hunt down Nicaraguan survivalist Talavera. Boschiero tried hard to make Talavera fight but the Nicaraguan preferred to duck and clinch, He did try to punch back but had no power. Boschiero chased and won all six rounds and got in some work but little else. First fight for the 37-year-old Boschiero since losing a split verdict to England’s Thomas Patrick Ward for the vacant WBC International title in November. He is No 2 with the EBU so a shot at champion Samir Ziani is a possibility. First fight for Talavera since July 2017 and only his second in three years so perhaps he had forgotten how to fight
Obbadi vs. Larios
On other nights Obbadi might have registered the fastest win on the night but he was only the third quickest here as he did not put out Nicaraguan novice Larios until 2:57 of the opening round. Obbadi looked sharp firing quick jabs and straight rights. The ending was strange. Obbadi side-stepped an attack by Larios who continued to lunge forward and was almost past Obbadi when Obbadi curved a right over the Nicaraguan’s left shoulder which sent him down and he was counted out. The 25-year-old Moroccan-born Obbadi is a former European champion whose loss came on a seventh round retirement against future WBC champion Cristofer Rosales in 2017. He has won six on the bounce and is mandatory challenger for European champion Jay Harris. First fight outside of Nicaragua for Larios and his third loss in a row.
Signani vs. Radnic
With purse offers due for his challenge to European champion Kamil Szeremeta on 30 April Signani warms up with six rounds of undemanding work against Croat boxer Radnic and takes the unanimous decision. The 39-year-old Italian, a former undefeated EU and Italian champion, is 13-1-1 in his last 15 fights with the loss being against Emanuele Blandamura for the vacant European title in 2016. Now thirteen consecutive losses for Radnic
Sydney, Australia: Heavy: Bowie Tupou (28-6) W KO 3 Randall Rayment (9-5). Feather: Luke Jackson (18-1) W KO 3 Boonsom Phothong (17-25-2). Feather: Billy Dib (44-5,2ND) W KO 1 Surachet Tongmala (7-12).
Tupou vs. Rayment
Tupou gets revenge for a loss to Rayment in November as he rolls over Rayment for a stoppage. In the first Tupou was rumbling forward shooting out his jab and using his 44lbs weight advantage to force Rayment back (Tupou 289lbs-Rayment 245 ¼ lbs). Rayment was countering but unable to stop Tupou coming forward. Rayment moved more and jabbed more in the second catching Tupou with rights but a right from Tupou stiffened Rayment's legs and it was clear Tupou had more power. Tupou stormed into Rayment at the start of the third taking him to the ropes and connecting with a right cross that put Rayment face down on the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight. There was a time when the 36-year-old former professional rugby league football player was world rated but losses to Malik Scott and Bryant Jennings and a first round kayo by Joseph Parker put some realism into things. It got worse for Tupou with split decision losses to Julius Long and Rayment but Tupou began a recovery with a first round kayo of Roger Izonritei and collected the vacant WBA Asia belt in this fight. Second loss by KO/TKO for 32-year-old Rayment having been knocked out in five rounds by Kyotaro Fujimoto for the OPBF title in 2017
Jackson vs. Phothong
Jackson gets his second consecutive wins since losing to Carl Frampton in August. Now eight wins by KO/TKO for the Tasmanian but Phothong was a very poor opponent being 0-13,1ND in his last 14 fights all 13 losses by KO/TKO with 11 of them ending in fewer than three rounds.
Dib vs. Tongmala
Another very poor match. Dib hardly bothered to raise his gloves higher than his waist as he strode forward scoring with clubbing punches to the head of Thai Tongmala. The Thai had no footwork and very little defence but he did show determination not to fold. Eventually Dib drove him along the ropes with lefts and rights to the head until Tongmala went down and the referee started but did not bother to complete the count. First fight for the 33-year-olf former IBF champion since losing to Tevin Farmer in August. He had announced his retirement but that did not last long. Poor Tongmala has lost 9 of his last 10 fights (the win was over a guy who had never won a fight) all nine of those were by KO/TKO and all inside four rounds. He is now 0-4 in Australia and all four losses inside three rounds. A late choice perhaps but would that excuse hold up if Tongmala had been seriously hurt?
Laval, France: Welter: Jordy Weiss (23-0) W PTS 12 Jussi Koivula (24-6-1). Bantam: Vincent Legrand (30-0) W PTS 6 Edgari Sarkisani (4-8-2).
Weiss vs. Koivula
Weiss retains the EU title with decision over Finn Koivula. Over the first two rounds Weiss built a lead with some accurate jabbing and right crosses. Koivula made the third close but Weiss forced Koivula to fight with his back to the ropes for much of the fourth. At that point two judges had the champion in front 40-36 with the third having it 39-37. Koivula had a good fifth scoring well inside but Weiss restored his dominance over the sixth and seventh with some strong body punching and sound defensive work but the eighth was close as Koivula fought back hard. After eight rounds the scores were 79-73 twice for Weiss and 78-74. A good ninth from Weiss really decided the fight but Koivula finished strongly making the tenth close and then outscoring a tiring Weiss over the eleventh and twelfth rounds. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 for “The Gypsy”. This is the second defence of the European Union title for the 25-year-old Weiss who is No 2 in the EBU ratings behind Britain’s Josh Kelly but if Kelly vs. the champion David Avanesyan can’t be made then Weiss will be next in line. Koivula the EBU No 6 put up a good effort here. He has lost in challenges for both the EBU and European Union titles and at 35 may not get another shot-but never say never in boxing.
Legrand vs. Sarkisiani
In a contest to keep the rust away Legrand wins every round against Georgian teenager. The 27-year-old southpaw, a former undefeated European flyweight champion, has now moved up to super bantam where he is No 7 with the EBU. Sarkisiani, 19, is 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights. I sometimes wonder if the Georgian boxing industry will get a business award for exporting so many reliable losers.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Feather: Rene Alvarado (31-8) W TKO 6 Eusebio Osejo (30-23-3,1ND). WBA No 1 Alvarado gets stoppage win over seasoned pro Osejo. Perhaps with a title fight in mind Alvarado attacked hard looking to get this over early. He was throwing fierce combinations and connecting with his signature left hooks to the body. Unfortunately Osejo refused to fold and Alvarado was leaving himself open to counters and Osejo scored with plenty. No doubt Alvarado was winning but it was turning into hard work until the doctor ordered the fight stopped before the start of the seventh round due to a bad cut over the right eye of Osejo. Six wins in a row including victories over Roger Gutierrez, Denis Shafikov and Carlos Morales have taken Alvarado to No 1 but if he wants to join twin brother Felix, the holder of the IBF light flyweight belt, as a world champion he will have to tighten his defence as both the WBA champion Gervonta Davis and holder of their secondary title Andrew Cancio are a class or two above Osejo. After a run of 0-7-1 Osejo has done better in 2019with two wins.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Light: Jamaine Ortiz11-0) W TKO 1 Victor Jones (15-5). Local hero Ortiz ended this one in quick time. After shadowing Brazilian Jones around the ring he pounced with a booming right that floored Jones. He climbed to his feet bit was on shaky legs and the fight was stopped after just 110 seconds. Ortiz, 23, the WBC Youth champion, makes it six wins by KO/TKO. Now five fights outside Brazil and five losses by KO/TKO for Jones, four of them in the first round.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Welter: Malik Hawkins (15-0) W PTS 8 Andre Byrd (7-7-2). Heavy: Darmani Rock (15-0) W TKO 2 Mike Bissett (15-12-1).
Hawkins vs. Byrd
After a good win over Ray Serrano last year Hawkins was inactive for eleven months and has stepped back a stride since with a couple of undemanding wins. He registered one here with a unanimous decision over Byrd, The nearest he came to an inside the distance win is when Byrd genuflected before him under pressure in the seventh. Byrd has never lost by KO/TKO and can still keep that boast true as he stayed there over the last three minutes. Scores80-71 twice and 78-74 all for
Hawkins. The tall 23-year-old from Baltimore will be looking to face bigger test as her climbs towards the ratings. A busy Byrd is 1-3 in 4 fights this year.
Rock vs. Bissett
Rock steamrollers an overmatched Bissett in two rounds and moves into double figures for wins by KO/TKO. The 23-year-old Philly prospect at 6’5” and 275lbs is in the Andy Ruiz and Jarrell Miller big and heavy league. I thought when he turned pro he might take some weight off but he has actually put on 30lbs. A former Youth Olympic Games silver medal winner and US Champion he failed to get through the US Olympic Trials. Bissett had won his last two fights but at 6’3” and being over 60lbs lighter than Rock was never going to last long.
London, England: Super Middle: Lerrone Richards (12-0) W PTS 12 Tommy Langford (21-4). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (11-0) W TKO 4 Richard Lartey (14-2). Super Fly: Sunny Edwards (11-0) W TKO 8 Pedro Matos (7-2).Super middle; Zak Chelli (7-0) W PTS 10 Jimmy Smith (7-2). Super Light: Jack Catterall (24-0) W KO 3 Oscar Amador (10-17).
Richards vs. Langford
Richards proves a revelation as he outboxes more experienced Langford on the way to a unanimous decision. After a quiet opening round in the second and third Richards start to find the range with his right jab and was landing with straight lefts. His quick movement was making Langford come up short with his punches and a straight left in the third rocked Langford. In the fourth Langford had some success getting past the jab to land to the body. Richards was popping Langford with jabs in the fifth and catching Langford coming in with lefts. Langford tried to rough Richards up in the clinches but Richards stayed cool and outboxed Langford in the sixth. Langford stepped up his pace and had a good seventh. Richards began to get on to the front foot in the eighth with his jab and straight lefts and when Langford did drive forward he was stopped in his tracks by an uppercut. Langford staged a strong attack at the end of the ninth but Richards used clever movement to slip most of the punches. Richards landed a great uppercut in the tenth that stopped Langford in his tracks. He then drove Langford back with a series of hooks and uppercuts that had Langford floundering but did not really follow-up on that success. Langford tried to stage a strong finish but over the last two rounds Richards was the fresher and threw and landed more punches. Scores 118-110, 118-111 and 116-113 all for Richards. He wins the vacant Commonwealth and WBO International titles. Despite his lack of pro experience he had almost 100 Youth and Amateur fights. Langford was a big step up in the level of his opposition but he boxed smoothly, intelligently and showed speed and power. Former British champion Langford has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights. The other two losses were split decisions against Jason Welborn but he cannot afford another loss in a domestic fight so will probably go a bit lower and start again.
Dubois vs. Lartey
Dubois much too good for Ghanaian Lartey and after dominating the first three rounds floors and halts Lartey in the fourth. In the first Dubois tried to blow Lartey away with a flying start but Lartey weathered the storm and showed a useful jab. Dubois was doing the scoring but there was too much holding. Dubois staged another attack just before the bell. Dubois started the second with some strong jabs and hooks to the body. Lartey was given a warning then some respite after a Dubois punch was low. Dubois continued to dominate the action with his jab but Lartey looked to have shaken him with a right before Dubois recovered and ended the round strongly. Dubois rattled Lartey with a right in the third and Lartey held and had to prised off by the referee. They then exchanged hooks in a wild swinging free-for-all. Dubois landed some hard hooks but also left himself open to counters. Dubois ended it in the fourth. He connected with a couple of choice uppercuts then a right to the head and a left hook put Lartey down heavily. The Ghanaian made it to his feet at eight but the referee waived the fight over. At 21 and after just 11 fights Dubois is still a work in progress and that is what he is doing-progressing. He has a strong jab and some hurtful body punches and will only get better. Lartey didn’t fold at the first punch but his style is rudimentary.
Edwards vs. Matos
Edwards retains the WBO European title with one-sided beating of Portuguese novice Matos. Edwards was streets ahead of Matos in every aspect of the sport. He was too quick and too slick. He was able to stand in front of Matos with his hands down and then fire a burst of punches with Matos not able to block or counter. It really was just public sparring for Edwards as he constantly switched guards and occasionally went onto the back foot luring Matos onto counters and then stayed inside and traded punches. Matos tried to take the fight to Edwards and managed to bring a swelling under the right eye of Edwards but was too slow and lacked the skill to be competitive. Edwards pounded on Matos in a one sided seventh rocking him with a left at the bell. Edwards was connecting again with head punches at the start of the eighth and the referee stepped in and called it off. Too easy for Edwards. The WBO No 8 is the elder brother of WBC flyweight champion Charlie and will be hoping to emulate him but he is in a tough division as the Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Srisaket fight showed. Matos was having only his second fight in 18 months and Box Rec had him No 223 in the world but he was good enough to challenge for the WBO European title.
Chelli vs. Smith
Chelli wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with points victory over Smith. Chelli's quick hands and footwork gave him the edge from the outset. He was firing jabs in twos and threes and coming over with rights. Smith was jabbing strongly but not quick enough in attack or defence. A left hook to the head from Chelli in the third and a right in a wild fourth were the best punches in the early action and Chelli busy style gave him the edge over the middle rounds. In the eighth a cracking left hook to the body had Smith backing away and going down on one knee. He was up at seven and although taking more punishment he was still in the fight at the bell. Chelli was firing overhand rights trying to finish it in the ninth and he rocked Smith with a left hook late in the tenth but Smith fought back hard to the bell. Referee’s score 100-89 for Chelli. The 21-year-old from Fulham was English Junior and Youth champion and won a silver medal at the World Cadet Championships. He was in his first ten round fight and handled the distance well and looks a good prospect. Smith was also up at ten rounds for the first time but Chelli just had too much speed and variety in his work for Smith to match.
Catterall vs. Amador
Just a breeze for Catterall as gets in some work in preparation for challenging Maurice Hooker for the WBO title. Catterall was able to keep the very limited Amador on the end of his right jab in the first round and Amador was too slow to block or counter. Catterall got down to work in the second connecting with straight lefts and right hooks to the body then eased off late in the round. Catterall ended it in the third. He landed a vicious left uppercut and a body punch and Amador dropped to one knee and was counter out. No date yet for the Hooker fight but Catterall is WBO No 1 so it will come. Amador was a late substitute. He has lost his last eleven fights eight of the in Britain.
Lanus, Argentina: Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (24-0) W PTS 12 Leonardo Amitrano (15-4). Ponce gets another win but a split decision and it was not a popular decision. Amitrano swept the early rounds and looked comfortable as Ponce just could not settle into the fight. Ponce picked up the pace over the middle rounds to make it close but Amitrano finished strongly and looked to have done enough to win. He was deducted a point in the eleventh but that was balanced out by a twelfth round penalty against Ponce for a butt. Scores 116 ½ -112 ½ and 114-112 for Ponce and 115-111 for Amitrano. Ponce lifts Amitrano’s South American title but his own Argentinian title was not on the line. Hopefully there will a return with both titles up for grabs.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Welter: Dwight Ritchie (19-1) W PTS 8 Jung Hoon Yang (10-10). Cruiser: Jason Wheatley (4-0) W KO 1 Filimoni Naliva (5-1). Feather: Jai Alexander (10-0) W PTS 8 Krishnil Mudaliar (8-4).
Ritchie vs. Yang
Ritchie “The Fighting Cowboy” rounds up another win with a points victory over Korean Jung. A former undefeated Australian champion Ritchie’s only loss is a points defeat by Koki Tyson in 2016 which cost Ritchie his OPBF title. A run of five wins has taken him to No 12(11) in the IBF ratings. This is Jung’s first fight since June 2017 and he is 1-4 in his last 5.
Wheatley vs. Naliva
Local heavyweight hope Wheatley won the World Boxing Foundation Australasian title with first round stoppage of Fijian Naliva. The 6’5” 28-year-old Warrior represented Australia at the World Championships in 2013 and 2015and the Rio Olympics before taking a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year. He is currently No 10 in the Australian ratings but will climb. First fight outside of Fiji for novice Naliva.
Alexander vs. Mudaliar
Another victory for the locals as Alexander took split decision over Fijian Mudaliar for the vacant World Boxing Foundation Australasian belt. After leaving the sport for four years Alexander returned in 2017 and has won eight on the bounce since then. He is No 3 in the Australian ratings. Mudaliar, who was once Fijian super flyweight champion, has lost his last three fights.
Karlsruhe, Germany: Super Middle: Evgeny Shvedenko (12-0) W PTS 10 Nadjib Mohammedi (41-8). Heavy: Ruann Visser (15-2) W TKO 1 Madars Trivols (1-3). Heavy: Olek Zakhozhyi (11-0) W TKO 8 Mariano Ruben Diaz (13-14-1). Heavy: Vlad Sirenko (11-0) W KO 1 Leandro Robutti (6-4).
Shvedenko vs. Mohammedi
Shvedenko gets an important win over experienced Mohammedi but it was very close. Shvedenko worked hard with his jab and landed some heavy overhand rights in the early rounds but found Mohammedi a difficult target with his crouching always moving style and Mohammedi was also sharp with his jab. Shvedenko had a good third shaking Mohammedi with a right and dominating the exchanges. Mohammedi has great stamina and he outworked Shvedenko in the fourth but the Russian upped his own pace in the fifth and did enough to take the sixth. Shvedenko had moved in front but all of the rounds were close and Mohammedi came right back to edge the seventh with some good close work. Mohammedi kept marching forward in the eighth but Shvedenko was stabbing out powerful jabs and controlled the action and again used his jab and hard rights to edge the ninth and tenth. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Shvedenko. The German-based Russian champion wins the vacant IBO International title. Mohammedi felt he had been robbed but many rounds were close and the 96-94 looked about right. Mohammedi has lost in shots at the interim WBO light heavy against Nathan Cleverly and for the IBF/WBA/WBO titles against Sergey Kovalev and has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights.
Visser vs. Trivois
Thankfully this rubbish did not last long. Visser knocked Trivois into the ropes with a right cross and then connected with a strong right uppercut. Trivois was badly shaken and after another couple of punches from Visser sent him skidding along the ropes the referee stopped the farce. The 6’ 9 ½” South African gets his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. Last time out in February he was outpointed by Zimbabwean Elvis Moyo. At 6’3” and giving away over 50lbs Trivois was never in with a chance.
Zakhozhyi vs. Diaz
Giant Ukrainian Zakhozhyi stops a game Diaz in the eighth round. Zakhozhyi towered over the Argentinian and after a slow first round was handing out heavy punishment all the way. Diaz has never lost inside the distance and he stayed in this fight with a mixture of a great chin and some crafty defence. He nearly made it to the final bell but was pinned to the ropes soaking up damaging punches and not fighting back and the referee stepped in and saved him. The 6’9 ½” “Karlsruhe-based Hunter” is a sculptured body type usually coming into a fight at about 230lbs. This is his ninth win by KO/TKO. Strangely he seems to dip back into the amateurs as he fought in an amateur tournament in Odessa in 2018. The 37-year-old Diaz really just a beefed-up cruiser so did well to last to the eighth.
Sirenko vs. Robutti
Another rubbish match that was over early (I think I might have to introduce a Worst Match category). Sirenko was tracking a tubby Robutti along the ropes. Robutti decided to try to swap punches but a solid left hook sent him on his way down. Unfortunately his rump landed on the middle rope and he bounced up into the path of a fearsome right to the temple that dumped him on his side on the floor. The referee started to count but then stopped and called for assistance for Robutti. South-based Ukrainian Sirenko, 24, and 6’3 ½” gets his ninth first round win and his tenth in all by KO/TKO. He is much too good for the level of opposition he is being faced with. He was Ukrainian Youth champion and won a silver medal at the European Under-19 Championships. Robutti just a four and six round prelim fighter now has three losses by KO/TKO.
Oldham, England: Super Middleweight: Marcus Morrison (20-3) W PTS 8 Darryl Sharp (5-51). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (21-1) W TKO 2 Edwin Tellez (12-50-5).
Morrison vs. Sharp
Disappointing performance by Morrison. He had a much superior set of skills and both height and reach over Sharp. Southpaw Sharp just kept bustling forward taking Morrison to the ropes and working with hooks. Morrison was catching Sharp with some good counters but they were not keeping Sharp out. When he had room to box Morrison was in charge but that did not happen enough. Morrison had a big seventh round driving Sharp around the ring. He landed some clouting punches but Sharp just shook his head and asked for more. Morrison’s cleaner work just gave him the edge. Referee’s score 77-75 for Morrison. Fourth win in a row for Morrison but a much harder night than anticipated. Sharp always comes to fight. He has now lost his last 37 fights but has only been stopped once in his 56 fights.
Barrett vs. Tellez
In his first fight since outpointing Tellez in June Barnett goes over old ground but this time manages to stop travelling loser Tellez in two rounds. This is only the second fight for Barrett since losing a twelve round majority decision to Ronnie Clark for the vacant IBF European title in February last year. Hopefully he will be more active now. One win in his last 28 fights for the 5’2” Tellez who is too small to be fighting super featherweights.
Ecatepec, Mexico: Super Bantam: Aaron Alameda (25-0) W KO 3 Jordan Escobar 14-8-2). Alameda just too big and too powerful for the little Nicaraguan. Jordan hustled and bustled Alameda for two rounds before a body punch finished him. Escobar came out firing punches immediately forcing Alameda to the ropes. The Nicaraguan continued his aggression throughout the first but was walking onto some hard hooks from Alameda. Jordan was not helped by many of Alameda’s punches landing low. Escobar piled forward again in the second denying Alameda punching room but again was walking onto and through some fierce counter to the body-and below. In the third a vicious left to the body dropped Jordan to his hands and knees and he was counted out. “Nogales” southpaw Alameda now has 13 wins by KO/TKO. He is No 13 with the WBC but has yet to be really tested. Jordan, just a beefed up super flyweight, just did not have the power to be a threat.
East London, South Africa: Fly: Jackson Chauke (17-1-1) W TKO 9 Thabang Ramagole (15-6-1). Light Fly: Nkosinathi Joyi (28-5) W PTS 12 Nhlanhla Tyirha (4-1). Super Fly: Athenkosi Dumezweni (12-3) W PTS 12 Jonas Sultan (15-5).
Chauke vs. Ramagole
Veteran Chauke finally wins a South African title as he comes from behind to stop Ramagole. The fight started badly for former Olympian Chauke when he was dumped on the canvas in the first round. Ramagole built on that success outboxing the slower Chauke and building towards victory. Chauke scuppered that plot with a ferocious attack in the ninth sending Ramagole to the canvas three times before the fight was stopped. The 33-year-old Chauke competed at the 2008 Olympics and he was considered a sure thing to reach the top in South African boxing. When he challenged for the national title in 2013 he was well beaten by Lwandile Sityatha and then had only one fight in the next four years. This is his fifth win in a row by KO/TKO since returning and it may have taken him over ten years but he is finally South African champion. Ramagole had scored three wins in 2018 but this is his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Joyi vs. Tyirha
Teenage prospect Tyirha comes up short in an ambitious challenge to WBO African champion Joyi. This time youth would not be served. Tyirha had less than 18 rounds of experience in the pro ranks and Joyi almost two hundred. That proved critical here. Tyirha set a very fast pace but Joyi was working to the body and eventually that began to pay dividends. Tyirha also wasted some energy with some flashy moves and as Joyi increased the pressure the teenager became ragged in his work and faded out of the fight. Scores 116-113 twice and 118-112 for Joyi. A fitting time for the 35-year-old former IBF and IBO minimumweight champion to score a victory as he had his first pro fight exactly seventeen tears ago. Tyirha had received rave reviews when he won the South African title in only his fourth fight. He did not take a bad beating here but did get a lesson that he needs to absorb and use.
Dumezweni vs. Sultan
Important win for Dumezweni as he collects the vacant WBC Silver title over Filipino Sultan. Southpaw Dumezweni was in control flooring Sultan in the ninth and outclassing him. Scores 119-108, 119-109 and 117-109. The South African has won 9 of his last 10 fights and reversed the loss. Sultan scored three big wins in beating Makazole Tete, Sonny Bo Jaro and John Riel Casimero (who won the interim WBO bantam title last week) but lost on points to Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF super flyweight title last May.
Glattbrug, Switzerland: Middle: Ramadan Hiseni (12-0) W PTS 10 Christian Schembri (15-6). Young local Hiseni wins the vacant WBC Youth Silver title as he outpoints the more experienced Schembri. Hiseni was quicker and more accurate in his work. He came near to an early finish when he staggered Schembri in the eighth but the visitor was saved by the bell. Hiseni then boxed his way to the decision. Scores 99-91 twice and 99-90 for the 22-year-old prospect who trained with Jeff Mayweather in Las Vegas for this fight. Malta’s Schembri had won his last four fights
Fight of the week (Significance): Four title fights were significant with Juan Francisco Estrada outpointing Srisaket and Daniel Roman edging out TJ Doheny in Inglewood with both fights potential return matches and Regis Prograis and Nonito Donaire proceeding to the WBSS finals
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Daniel Roman vs. TJ Doheny
Fighter of the week: Juan Francisco Estrada for a brilliant victory over Srisaket
Punch of the week: Nonito Donaire’s left hook that flattened Stephon Young. Danny Roman’s left hook to the body in the eleventh that put TJ Doheny on the floor was fearsome. Fabio Turchi left hook to the body of Sami Enbom also rates a mention
Upset of the week: None really
Prospect watch: Both Shakhram Giyasov and Lerrone Richards scored wins and are ones to follow.
Today we celebrate a new period in Japanese history, the Reiwa period. This ends the Heisei era, which began back in January 8th 1989, and although the change is not likely to be noticed in the west it is a major event in Japan.
We thought, with the end of the era, it was worth looking at the 10 most influential fighters of the Heisei era.
Just a caveat, before we begin, by influential we're not looking at the fighters who were the most successful during the era, but those who had a long last effect on the sport, specifically in Japan. Those who forced changes, influenced fighters or inspired fighters who followed them. To be considered they had to have fought between January 8th 1989 and April 30th 2019.
10-Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) - The Watanabe Wonder
Several fighters on this list have gotten here due to their influence with fighters who have followed in their footsteps, or fighters who have turned their hand to promoting. Takashi Uchiyama on the other hand helped put the gym he was fighting for on the map. The Watanabe Gym had been opened for a few years but didn't really have a star to focus on, they lacked a fighter who could help attract top prospects and a man who carry the gym. In Uchiyama they had that star. Uchiyama's long reign as the WBA Super Featherweight champion, from 2010 to 2016, made his one of the major faces of Japanese boxing and he would inspire the Watanabe Gym, which is now regarded as one of the best in Japan. His effect on the Watanabe gym today has lead to fighters like Hiroto Kyoguchi and Ryoichi Taguchi becoming major forces. He's now running a gym of his own, and it's clear that Uchiyama's influence is going to continue well into the future.
9-Katsuya Onizuka (24-1, 17) - Superstar Spanky K
Popular fighters are influential due to their ability to draw a crown, get people talking and get eye balls on the sport. That was certainly the case with Katsuya Onizuka, who's popularity was huge in the 1990's. He turned professional in 1988 and would fight through to 1994, running up 5 defenses of the WBA Super Flyweight title, and even having a video game released with his likeness in Japan. Onizuka was certainly controversial, with numerous suspect wins, but his popularity kept people interested and kept watching. Following his retirement he would train fighters in Fukuoka, work for TBS in a commentary position and continue to have a pretty notable impact in the sport, much more so than fans in the West would realise.
8-Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) - Bar setting prodigy
The Osakan boxing scene is the second biggest in Japan, behind that in Tokyo, and for the better part of a decade the face of Osakan boxing was Kazuto Ioka. He drew huge TV rating, he was crowned as super prospect from his debut and he would, famously, win the WBC Minimumweight title in just his 7th bout. His career has been remarkable, winning world titles in 3 divisions, and chasing a 4th divisional world title. He's notable won an all-Japanese unification bout, a real rarity, challenged for a 4th divisional world title and set the mark for fewest fights to a world title, a mark that has since been beaten by Naoya Inoue and Kosei Tanaka. Ioka put a marker down for the newest wave of Japanese fighters, and really helped kick start the era of the Japanese super prospect.
7-Hozumi Hasegawa (36-5, 16) - Hyogo Hero
We're going to mention a man who inspired a generation of fighters a little bit further down this list, but Hozumi Hasegawa also fills that role excellently. In fact Hasegawa ois the man many current fighters cite as an inspiration, especially those in the Hyogo region. He was, for a long time, the one fighter from Hyogo who kept the region on the map, he was "The Ace" of Japan for years, a multi-time JBC MVP, a 3 weight world champion, a sensational fighter in the ring and someone who's appeal did actually cross over from Japan to the West. Hasegawa began his career in 1999 and despite some early defeats he would go on to win world titles at Bantamweight, Featherweight and Super Bantamweight, he was a TV star in the ring, with a great style to watch and with a list of notable names on his record. He wasn't the megastar that some had anticipated, but he was a big name, and the face of Japanese boxing during a little bit of a transition period in the 00's
6-Sugar Miyuki (11-1, 4) - Female punching pioneer
Women's boxing today is thriving in Japan, and Kasumi Saeki recently showed how good the top youngsters are. We've recent world champions like Naoko Fujioka, Ayaka Miyao, Etsuko Tada and Shindo Go all make their mark but the real OG is Sugar Miyoshi. A fighter you won't easily find on boxrec, where she's listed under her birth name of Nojima Miyuki and has an offiial record of 1-1. Miyuki was oriinally a Shoot Boxing fighter, a style more similar to kick boxing than regular boxing, but would turn to boxing in 1995, years before the JBC would recognise female boxing. In 1997 she would go on to win the IWBF Minimumweight title, becoming Japan's first female world champion. Her work in boxing saw him raise the profile of the sport in the country, fighting exhibitions and working as a trainer. She would clearly kick start the female boxing movement in Japan, long before any of the others, and was a key factor in careers for the likes of Miki Kikukawa and Yumi Takano. She pre-dates the like of Feujin Raika by years and also played a role in showing that fighters could convert from one of Japan's other combat sports leagues. Although Miyuki is only "officially" listed at 1-1 we know that's wrong, due to footage of her and reliable sources, we her impact it still being felt, directly and indirectly to this very day!
5-Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) - International man of focus
It's hard to really figure out where Naoya Inoue sits in this list. He hasn't inspired a generation of fighters, he hasn't forced rules to change, he hasn't set up a gym, or played a part in the running of the sport. However what he has done, internationally, has drawn eyes to Japanese boxing, he has managed to capture an international audience like no other Japanese fighter, getting American and European fans talking, and featuring as a cover star for magazines that often put Japanese boxing down their list of priorities. He has, arguably, become the first Japanese fighter, in a long time, to become a global star. His real influence is likely to be more notable in the Reiwa era, but it's impossible to state how much he has done since his debut in 2012. He, more than any other fighter, has made Japanese boxing global and we expect that will be something felt for a very, very long time.
4-Hiroki Ioka (33-8-1, 17) - First generation Ioka!
Today Kazuto Ioka is one of the biggest names in Japanese boxing. His unclue, Hiroki Ioka, is however a man who deserves on any list of influential fighters. The talented former 2-weight world champion saw his career begin before the Heisei era but his influence grew through out the era. He won his first world title in 1987, 3 months before the Heisei era began, but would make his first defense just weeks after the new emperor took the throne. He went 22-8-1 (11) during the Heisei era, defending the WBC Minimumweight title and winning the WBA Light Flyweight title. He would also chase a third divisional world title, coming up short at both Flyweight and Super Flyweight. After retiring in 1998 he would turn his hand to promoting, inspire his nephew to fight and guide numerous careers, as well as working as part of the West Japan Boxing Association. His influence may often be over-looked but he has been incredibly influential and will continue to be so in the Kansai region.
3-Katsunari Takayama (31-9-0-1, 12) - Rule changing road warrior
It's hard to ignore just how influential Katsunari Takayama was to Japanese boxing during his 40 fight career. The Minimumweight warrior was a trend setter who pushed his dreams and forced the JBC, and the JABF, to change how they did things. His pursuit of the IBF and WBO world titles eventually helped their legitimacy in Japan, and played a part in getting the JBC to recognise both the titles. He also brought real attention to the Minumumweight division, in part thanks to his incredible fight with Francisco Rodriguez Jr. He also, very notable, pushed the JABF into allowing former professional fighters to return to the amateur ranks. Whilst Takayama will never go down as one of the all time greats, it's impossible to ignore the effect that his career had on Japanese boxing.
2-Hideyuki Ohashi (19-5, 12) - The Phoenix
In the west Hideyuki Ohashi is relatively unknown, though plays a massive role in Japanese boxing, and has done for over 30 years. At the start of the Heisei era Ohashi was 9-3 (5) though went 10-2 (7) during the rule of Emperor Akihito, becoming a 2-time Minimumweight world champion during that 12 bout run. What he's he's done since hanging up the gloves in 1993 has been amazing, and he has not only played a role in the governing of Japanese boxing, due to roles with the JBC and JPBA, but also ran the Ohashi Gym. That gym has given us the likes of Katsushige Kawashima, Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue. The "Ohashi Gym" is one of the most significant in Japan right now and looks to go from strength to strength.
Koki Kameda - Insanely popular, controversial, and a real star. His effect as a fighter was divisive but few can argue that he's not, even in retirement, a major draw.
Kiyoshi Hatanaka - A massive figure in boxing in Chubu, formerly a fighter and now the region's leading promoter with the likes of Kosei Tanaka and Kento Hatanaka making their name under him
Akinobu Hiranaka - Huge punching fighter who's work in Okyama as a promoter has started to build a notable, and exciting, local scene
Toshiaki Nishioka - Japan's fighters have tended to stay at home, fighting in the confines of of Japan. Nishioka would be one of the few fighters to go out of Japan for fighters on a semi-regular basis. He would fight in the US, Mexico and France during his career and prove that Japanese fighters could win away from home.
Yoshihiro Kamegai - Who spoke about Naoya Inoue dragging eyes to the Japanese scene. The same can also be said of Yoshihiro Kamegai, who actually became a bigger name in the west than in Japan, thanks to his fun to watch brawls. We wouldn't suggest many fighters follow his style, but his mind set of making it big in the US has helped lead the way for others.
Ryota Murata - It's unclear how much influence Murata has, or hasn't had. His TV figures are huge, his popularity, even now, is massive, but the real influence is the intangible, and that's the amateur success. We've yet to see Japanese amateurs really flourish on the international stage since Murata's 2012 Olympic gold medal, but it's expected that the 2020 Olympics will be a very successful one for Japan. It's assumed that Murata's amateur triumph may potentially have a similar effect to Amir Khan, who won an Olympic medal in 2004 and saw the UK team have a massive games in 2012.
1-Joichiro Tatsuyoshi (20-7-1, 14) - A generational influence
Few fighters can match the influence that Joichiro Tatsuyoshi had to the current Japanese scene. "Joe" made his debut 8 months after the start of the Heisei era and fought through to 2009, albeit with some breaks in there. During his career he would be a 2-time WBC Bantamweight champion, and whilst he was fast tracked to a title his influence was less due to his title reigns and more his style, his personality and his charisma. His effect on Japanese boxing was inspiring a generation of fighters, helping to kick start the current era of Japanese boxing. Even now he is still insanely popular, and when he appears at ring, as a member of the crowd, the cameras regularly zoom in on him. Enigmatic, exciting and incredibly charismatic the Osakan is still a star, though had had to pay for his boxing with various issues now effecting him.
This coming Saturday fight fans around the globe will get the chance to see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (20-1-2, 20) defend his title against little known Japanese challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22). Ahead of that bout we though we'd try to to let fans become more aware of the challenger, who many won't have seen, and won't really know much about. In fact we suspect that most of the fans watching the bout on Saturday will never have even heard of Funai prior to him being confirmed as Ancajas's 7th world title challenger.
For those wanting to know a lot about Funai we'll go through his career in detail below, though for those just wanting a few quick factoids we'll begin with some cliff notes about Funai.
Now with those out the way, lets deep dive into Ryuichi Funai, and we're sorry for repeating some of the above facts in what is a pretty deep look into the upcoming world title challenger.
Despite being unknown in the West Funai is a 14 year veteran, having debuted in August 2005 and is currently 33 years old, which is ancient for a first time world title challenger at the lower weights.
The Tokyoite wasn't much of an amateur fighter, going 4-4 (2) in the unpaid ranks, and really did take a long time to develop into the fighter he is today. That development has come under the guidance of the fantastic Watanabe gym.
Whilst Funai was always overshadowed by his more notable stablemates, such as Takashi Uchiyama, Ryoichi Taguchi and Kohei Kono, those stablemates and their success certainly helped inspire Funai, and as we all know success drives success.
We are, of course, still seeing that success at the Watanabe gym continue to build today with the likes of Hiroto Kyoguchi, Hironori Mishiro and prospects like Ginjiro Shigeoka being part of the gym's newest wave of talent. Funai is one of the gym's veterans, like Nihito Arakawa and Shin Ono, aad seeing the youngsters rising through the ranks will continue to inspire the older fighters there.
Early in his career Funai struggled. He was 2-2 (1) after his first 4 bouts and despite having a good run in the 2007 Rookie of the Year he still failed to reach the All Japan final, losing to Takahiro Furukawa in the East Japan final. He would bounced back well from that loss, with two blow out wins in 2008, before suffering a 7th round TKO loss to a then unheralded Shinsuke Yamanaka, yes the future WBC Bantamweight king. Funai put in a good effort against Yamanaka, who was then ranked #5 by the JBC, but was eventually broken down by Yamanaka's power, the power that would take Yamanaka to the Japanese Bantamweight title in 2010. Funai was dropped in round 4 of that bout, but went on to give Yamanaka some issues, despite looking very clumsy at this point in his career.
The loss to Yamanaka saw Funai needing to rebuild, and he did that by stringing together a 5 fight winning run. Those wins weren't against particularly notable opponents, though a win over Hiroki Shiino was notable. Shiino, who was 3-0 before facing Funai, had been touted as a real hopeful and although Funai scraped the win he didn't really shine against the novice, and in many ways it was a bout where the loser enhanced their reputation more than the winner.
The win over Shiino saw Funai advance his record to 13-4 (8) and at the age of 24 his career didn't look like it was going anywhere. Things became worse just 6 months later when he would lose again, this time to Masahiro Ishida. That loss, as we'd seen many times during Funai's early years, was followed by a good winning run, with 4 straight wins. This run was argubaly the best of Funai's up to this point, defeating Gakuya Furuhashi, the then unbeaten Yuki Tsuge, who had won the Rookie of the Year in 2010 and former world title challenger Teppei Kikui.
That short, but notable, winning run lead Funai to his first title fight, a 2012 clash with OPBF Bantamweight Rolly Lunas, then fighting as Rolly Matsushita. As with the Yamanaka bout, Funai put up a decent effort, but was stopped in the 9th round by the then OPBF champion and WBC #7 ranked world contender.
At the age of 27 Funai was 17-6 (11), he had notable losses to Yamanaka and Lunas but by then the Yamanaka loss had aged well, with Yamanaka later becoming the WBC Bantamweight champion and Lunas being in the mix for a shot himself. His record wasn't great, but he was showing signs of real improvement from the early struggles he'd had, and was developing into a solid fighter. At least domestically. His form following the loss showed a continued development as he went 7-0 (6) in the 3 years following the defeat to Lunas, scoring notable domestic wins over Masafumi Otake, Akinori Hoshino and Ryuto Otsuka, all of whom would mix at Japanese title level. More notable than the wins however was the fact he seemed to be showing signs of being able to make Super Flyweight, a division he'd abandoned following his 2007 loss in the Rookie of the Year competition. He would finally lose the weight to begin a fully fledged second run at 115lbs, starting in 2016.
After a 10 month break from the ring, missing out on almost half of 2015, a hungry Funai challenged Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida, then 21-0. Funai didn't just challenge Ishida however and instead ran him ultra-close in a very, very hotly contested 10 round bout. It was clear the move down in weight was a good one for Funai, who looked stronger, more powerful and physically better at 115lbs, where he wasn't being bullied and hurt by the bigger guys. After 10 rounds with Ishida he was beaten by a majority decision, though it was a decision that could easily have gone his way. The eventual scorecards, which were 96-96, 96-96 and 97-95, showed how close Funai was, and had this not been in enemy territory, in Osaka, there's a good chance he'd have had the win.
Since losing to Ishida we've actually seen Funai go through the very best run of his career. In 2017, than a year after the loss to Ishida, he would stop his friend Kenta Nakagawa in 7 rounds to claim the Japanese Super Flyweight title, his first professional title. That win came when Funai was 31 and he didn't rest on the win, defending the belt against Takayuki Okumoto and Shota Kawaguchi before the year was over. Interestingly Okumoto currently holds the title, with Funai vacating after his second defense to focus on moving up a level. The move up saw Funai become the WBO Asia Pacific in 2018, when he beat former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas in 8 rounds. He was losing before he scored the stoppage, and had made a slow start in what was his first scheduled 12 round bout. The stoppage of Parrenas showed that whilst Funai wasn't the most skilled he could battle through adversity, fighting through bad facial damage to stop Parrenas with a huge flurry. It was a bloody war and the type of bout that showed how hungry both men were for a big win, and a potentially huge step towards a world title fight.
Although Funai wouldn't get a world title fight on the back of the Parrenas fight he did manage to get a world title eliminator, taking on Mexican foe Victor Emanuel Olivo last November in an IBF eliminator. This bout was available live on Boxing Raise and was a really strange bout. The opening round saw Funai do almost nothing. It was a huge opportunity and yet it appeared that he had frozen, and was set to throw away a massive opportunity. Thankfully in round 2 Funai finally let some shots go, and connected with a monstrous straight right hand that dropped Olivo hard. The little Mexican warrior got up but Funai could smell blood and quickly saw off Olivo when the bout resumed. The finish managed to mask over what had been a very odd opening round performance.
Watching Funai's early bouts we see a very clumsy fighter, but in more recent years he has developed a much cleaner style. Even with his cleaner style he's a strange fighter to watch. He's pretty one paced for the most part, but when he smells blood he quickly jumps on an opponent and shows there is a class offensive fighter there. He has solid body shots, a brutal straight right hand and a decent jab.
The biggest problem for Funai is his lack of speed, he's predictable, straight forward and a bit too methodical. His right hand is a beauty, but all too often he just looks basic. Thankfully he has shown a willingness to grit results out and he has shown glimpses of being really good, but they are only glimpses and it's very rare to see him put on a complete performance. If he does show what he can do, as he did against Nakagawa, he could upset an off form Ancajas this coming Saturday. But in reality we're expecting his lack of speed to be a major issue against Ancajas , who we suspect will be too sharp, too quick and too intelligent.
Funai does have a dangerous right hand, which is typically the "southpaw killer", but doesn't have the speed or boxing brain to land it with any major consistency, and shouldn't really worry Ancajas with it too much, if at all.
(Image of Funai courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
The closet classics continue with our 4th bout, and we return to Japan for Light Flyweight action, and a bout that bucks the trend of many great fights. Many of the best bouts start hot, and slow down after a few rounds, this fight however doesn't start off as anything special, but when it gets good, it really becomes something very, very special. It shows how good Japanese domestic fights can be, and why we love the G+ shows, which continue such a depth of action that we always end up with at least 1 bout worth remembering. It's actually worth remembered that this particular bout was on a show headlined by Ryosuke Iwasa taking on Dennis Tubieron, a main event that was far from memorable.
Kenji Ono (9-1, 4) v Jun Takigawa (7-1-1, 4)
Neither Kenji Ono or Jun Takigawa will go down in the history books as any stars of the sport, but in February 2016 both men had big dreams and both were making their way towards a potential national title fight.
Ono was a Teiken promoted hopeful who had won 9 of his 10 bouts, including a notable 2014 win over Seita Ogido to be crowned the All Japanese Light Flyweight Rookie of the Year. He was on a roll, having won 7 successive bouts, and looked to be getting better and better. At the age of 27 he was coming into his prime, he was in good form and seemed like he was heading for big things, especially with Teiken guiding his career.
Takigawa on the other hand had lost in the 2014 West Japan Rookie of the Year final at Minimumweight, losing to Reiya Konishi, but had bounced back with 2 wins and a draw leading into this bout. He was moving up in weight, but it did seem like his 25 year old frame had out grown the smaller weight class and he was expected to settle well at 108lbs. A win here would have seen Takigawa getting into the mix for the Japanese title, and be on the way to making his name.
Whilst the bout looked compelling on paper it didn't look like a Japanese fight of the year contender. It did however take on a life of it's own quickly, with Takigawa taking the fight to Ono, showing no fear of his foe, in what was Takigawa's first bout at the Korakuen Hall. It was Takigawa who made the action exciting early on but Ono was answering back and growing in confidence. By round 3 we were starting to feel like we had something worthy of a rewatch however things got better, a lot better, in round 6.
Takigawa got cut in round 5, from a head clash, and that seemed to drive him to taking more risks and be more aggressive. In round 6 that aggression, at least partly, would be responsible for both men taking heavier leather. It wasn't pretty but was entertaining and it lead to the fight's first knockdown. It wouldn't be the last and round 7 is a must watch round for any self respecting fight fan.
This is Japanese domestic boxing, and round 7 is one of the all time great closet rounds, with 3 knockdowns...Make time for this one!
By Eric Armit
Terrence Crawford retains the WBO welterweight title as he gets unsatisfactory win as Amir Khan declines to continue after low punch from Crawford
-Danny Garcia sends out danger signal to the other welter with stoppage of Adrian Granados
-Filipino John Riel Casimero wins the vacant interim WBA bantam title with late stoppage of Ricardo Espinoza
-Brandon Figueroa lifts the vacant WBA interim super bantam title with victory over Yonfrez Perea
- Exciting prospect Teo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson impress in wins in New York and Andy Ruiz, Jeison Rosario and Carlos Balderas win in Carson
-Dereck Chisora wins wide unanimous decision over a reluctant Senad Gashi
-Joe Cordina stays unbeaten as he retains the Commonwealth title and wins the vacant British title with stoppage of Andy Townend
-Josh Kelly add another victory with points win over unbeaten Pole Przemyslaw
WORLD TITLE / MAJORSHOWS
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Terrence Crawford (35-0) W TKO 6 Amir Khan (33-5). Feather: Shakur Stevenson (11-0) W PTS 10 Chris Diaz (24-2). Light: Teo Lopez (13-0) W KO 5 Edis Tatli (31-3). Light: Felix Verdejo (25-1) W PTS 10 Bryan Vasquez (37-4).Super Welter: Carlos Adames (17-0) W TKO 4 Frank Galarza (20-3-2).
Crawford vs. Khan
Crawford retains the WBO title with a controversial stoppage win over Khan who decides not to continue after a low punch from Crawford
Both started cautiously probing with Khan just a little more adventurous. It looked to be a round of light skirmishes until late in the round when Crawford flashed a right over a tentative jab from Khan. It landed high on the side of Khan’s head and shook and unbalanced him and he went down. He was up quickly and moved and held as Crawford attacked hard.
Score: 10-8 Crawford
The knockdown had fired Crawford’s confidence and doused Khan’s. Crawford was shadowing Khan and constantly looking to land that right again. Khan had settled by the end of the round, was jabbing well and knocked Crawford off balance with a right to the chest.
Score: 10-9 Khan Crawford 19-18
Crawford had spent the first two rounds boxing as a right-handed boxer but after a couple of quick attacks from Khan at the start of the round he then changed to his more familiar southpaw stance. Khan did not seem to adjust to the change and Crawford was able to score with some straight lefts.
Score: 10-9 Crawford Crawford 29-27
Crawford’s round. Khan was launching rushing attacks pumping out quick, light punches but with no accuracy. Crawford was countering him with hard, well-placed hooks and then firing bursts of punches most of which landed.
Score: 10-9 Crawford. Crawford 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Eric Marlinski 40-35, Judge Steve Weisfeld 39-36 and Judge Guido Cavalleri 39-36 all for Crawford
Another round for Crawford. Whether leading or countering he was connecting with hooks from both hands and was quicker and more accurate. Khan was again reduced to some lunging attacks throwing wild punches like some kid in a playground fight and his face was already swelling from the attentions of Crawford’s fists.
Score: 10-9 Crawford Crawford 49-46
As Khan moved in with an attack early in this round Crawford landed a very low punch. Khan immediately turned away bent over in agony. The referee stopped the action and Khan moved to his own corner. The referee was giving Khan time to recover but Khan was not willing to continue so the fight was stopped with Crawford declared the winner. The punch was very low but whether it was deliberate is not so clear nor is the question over whether Khan could have continued. A very unsatisfactory end but Crawford was dominating the action and it felt as though he was on his way to a stoppage in the next few rounds. He is now 13-0 in world title fights with 10 wins by KO/TKO. The fight he wants is Errol Spence but that would require Bob Arum and Al Haymon to work together and whilst Arum is willing Haymon’s stance is less clear and the WBO may press for Crawford to fight their No 1 unbeaten Egidijus Kavaliauskas . Khan says he will fight on not wishing to go out with this loss as the enduring memory of his career. He could have continued, other boxers have continued with broken jaws and fractured hands, and it did not help Khan’s case that although he would be allowed five minutes to recover he surrender after about two minutes. Only he knows how much pain he was suffering but he did massive damage to his marketability here so may find it hard to land a rehabilitating fight.
Stevenson vs. Diaz
From the opening round Stevenson’s superior hand speed and movement were just too much for Diaz and Stevenson was slotting southpaw lefts through Diaz’s guard with Diaz too slow to counter. Diaz upped his pace in the second coming forward throwing hooks to the body but Stevenson did a good job of blocking them and fired back with some body punches of his own. In the third Stevenson was putting together flashing combinations and going to head and body with Diaz taken out of his stride and not able to fire back quickly enough. Diaz pressed hard in the fourth connecting with a right and digging to the body but Stevenson was penetrating Diaz’s guard with quick and accurate combinations and moving too fast for Diaz to cut off the ring. The fifth saw Diaz trying to work his way inside behind a high guard but as he was trundling forward Stevenson was unleashing spectacular combinations and then moving away and starting again. Diaz wrestled his way inside in the sixth landed some good left hooks but was rocked by a left and hurt with body punches. Stevenson continued to boss the action in the seventh, eighth and ninth with a sameness about the rounds as Stevenson connected with fast flurries from both hands and Diaz was just too slow to counter effectively with Stevenson a very slippery target. Diaz stormed forward in the tenth but chased in vain as Stevenson was content to just stay out of trouble with the fight already won. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Stevenson. The 21-year-old is a towering talent and getting better with every fight. In his last three contests he has faced fighters with combined records of 67-4-1 stopping two inside the distance. He is rated WBO 6/WBC 7/IBF 8(7) and he was calling out Josh Warrington after this win. Diaz, 24, had his world title shot in July last year when he lost a unanimous decision to Masayuki Ito for the vacant WBO super feather title. He was No 3 featherweight with the WBO going into this fight but was outclassed.
Lopez vs. Tatli
Lopez continues his march to a world title with a crushing victory over Tatli. Tatli was boxing well in the first stabbing out quick jabs. Lopez was dangerous with his fast rights and Tatli spent most of the round on the back foot with Lopez prowling after him. Tatli was on the retreat again in the second but Lopez was quick on his feet and with a couple of quick paces forward was getting close and landing left hooks. Tatli boxed cleverly but without power and Lopez had him under fire at the bell. The third was a more combative round. Lopez was still walking Tatli down and firing strong lefts and rights but late in the round Tatli marched forward and landed a couple of quick combinations. Tatli started the fourth moving and jabbing but over the second half of the round he was a man in trouble. Lopez was forcing Tatli to the ropers and connecting with some fierce shots. Tatli looked to be shaken by a right to the head and had to absorb some painful body shots. The pace seemed to slow a little in the fifth until Lopez landed a rib-crunching right to the body. Tatli went down on his hands and knees obviously badly hurt and he was counted out. Now eleven wins by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old from Brooklyn. His power tends to overshadow his excellent skills and he should get a world title shot later this year. He is rated IBF 4(2)/WBC 4/WBA 4/WBO 5. Kosovo-born Finn Tatli, a former undefeated European champion showed good skills but lacked the power to handle Lopez and suffers his first inside the distance loss. He challenged for the WBA title back in 2014 losing a majority decision to Richar Abril and had reversed his only other loss.
Verdejo vs. Vasquez
Verdejo take unanimous verdict over Vasquez but is still some way short of the future star he looked when he first turned pro. He really had to make this fight as Vasquez seemed to be determined to counter and only when he saw the chance to land one big punch. Despite that Vasquez had enough success to keep the rounds close in the early action. Verdejo showed glimpses of his past form as he moved well and jabbed solidly. He had to fight from the fourth with a cut under his left eye from a clash of heads but it never became a factor in the fight and in fact the fourth was one of Verdejo’s best rounds. There were few highlights but Verdejo was doing enough to pick up the close rounds over the second half of the fight and a furious last round did not really banish the memory of a low key contest. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Verdejo. Still only 25 injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident and a shock loss to Antonio Lozada derailed the Verdejo train when he had risen to No 1 with the WBO. This is his second win since that loss to Lozada but he still has a long way to go. Costa Rican Vasquez, a former interim WBA super feather champion, lost big fights against Javier Fortuna and Ray Beltran. He scored two very modest wins last year and really did not shine here.
Adames vs. Galarza
With the focus being on Terrence Crawford and Teo Lopez Adames was making a statement of his own with a stoppage of Galarza. Adames power put him in control early but this fight probably constituted one last fling at the road to a title shot for Galarza so he was focused and competitive. In the end it was the heavy punching of Adames that prevailed. A left hook in the four put Galarza down on his rump. It was a heavy knockdown and although he beat the count he was still shaky when the referee restarted the action. Adames jumped on Galarza rocking him with a right and then adding a sequence of blistering punches that had Galarza reeling and the referee halted the fight. The 24-year-old Dominican makes it 14 wins by KO/TKO adding Galarza to a list of victims that already includes Carlos Molina, Alejandro Barrera and Juan Ruiz. He wins the vacant WBO NABO title and retains the NABF belt. Going in he was rated WBC 6/WBA7//IBF 9(8)/WBO 9 so could be ready to fight for a world title in 2020. Galarza, 33, had only lost to future world champion Jarrett Hurd and former world champion Ishe Smith.
Carson, CA, USA: Welter: Danny Garcia (35-2) W TKO 7 Adrian Granados (20-7-2,1ND). Bantam: John Riel Casimero (27-4) W TKO 12 Ricardo Espinoza (23-3). Super bantam: Brandon Figueroa (19-0) W RTD 8 Yonfrez Parejo (22-4-1). Heavy: Andy Ruiz (32-1) W RTD 5 Alex Dimitrenko (41-5). Middle: Jeison Rosario (19-1-1) W PTS 10 Jose Cota (28-3). Super Middle: Alfredo Angulo (25-7) W TKO 2 Evert Bravo (24-10-1). Feather: Ricky Lopez (20-4-1) DREW 8Joe Perez (14-3-2). Light: Carlos Balderas (8-0) W TKO 4 Luis May (21-14-1).
Garcia vs. Granados
Real statement of intent from Garcia as he floors Granados three times on the road to a seventh round stoppage victory. In an open competitive first round Granados made the better start with accurate jabs and quick rights. Garcia came into it more over the second half of the round but Granados just edge the round. Granados was sharp in the second landing a crisp right hook. He was taking the fight to Garcia but was nailed by a short left hook which put him down heavily. Granados was up at six but looked shaky. Garcia landed some more lefts and rights to the head and Granados was on stiff legs and was sent stumbling back and down by a right. He was up at four and after the eight count the bell went before Garcia could do more damage. Garcia was in control in the third and fourth raking Granados with hooks and uppercuts with Granados shaken a couple of times with neck-snapping rights. Garcia pinned Granados to the ropes early in the fifth and floored him with a straight right. Granados was up at four and after the eight count despite having to absorb more punishment made it to the bell. Garcia was looking to end this in the sixth but Granados moved inside to deny Garcia leverage and had his best round since that disastrous second. Granados had Garcia on the back foot in the seventh but walked onto a series of heavy rights to the head. He staggered to the ropes with Garcia pounding away with punches and the referee leapt in and stopped the fight. The former two-division champion wins the vacant WBC Silver title. After a 33-bout winning run going 1-2 in his last three with losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter almost counts as a crisis for “Swift” but he was back to his best here and ready for any top welterweight. He is No 1 with the WBC so a return against champion Porter is his for the taking. The 29-yerar-old Granados gets his first loss by KO/TKO. He lost big fights in 2017 to Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter but was coming off two wins against very modest opposition in 2018 and was No 12 with the WBC.
Casimero vs. Espinoza
Although not even in the ratings Casimero shows he is still a class fighter as he halts Espinoza to win the interim WBA title. With a thirteen bout winning streak behind him Espinoza made a confident start using a strong jab to put Casimero on the back foot and following the jab with straight rights. Casimero showed his experience in some smart defensive work and crisp counters. Espinoza was getting inside in the second and third and hooking to the body with both hands. Casimero was still countering well temporarily stopping Espinoza in his tracks with a right in the third but not able to get any real respite from Espinoza’s pressure. Casimero did better in the fourth and fifth. He was tying Espinoza up inside and although only throwing one punch at a time they were mostly heavy right counters. Espinoza was piling on the pressure in the sixth until late in the round when a right to the head staggered him and two more rights dropped him face down on the canvas. He was up at eight and the bell went. Espinoza recovered quickly and was storming forward through the seventh and eighth dominating the action. Casimero had a good ninth countering Esparza and then tying him up inside. Espinoza had been forcing a fast pace and the activity dropped in a close tenth but Espinoza outworked Casimero in the eleventh. At that point the fight was poised. One judge had Espinoza up 105-103, one had Casimero up 105-103 and the third card them even at 104-104. Casimero settled it in the twelfth. Early in the round the Filipino sent Espinoza stumbling with a right to the head and connected with three more punches that had Espinoza sliding sideways to the canvas. Espinoza was up at eight but his legs were shaking and Casimero bombarded him with punches until the referee jumped in to stop the fight. If you count interim titles then Casimero becomes a three division champion already having held the IBF light flyweight and flyweight titles. It looked as though Casimero might be on the down slope when he dropped a decision to fellow Filipino 13-3 Jonas Sultan in 2017. He was then inactive for ten moths and had scored two wins over very modest opposition. First loss by KO/TKO for 21-year-old Mexican Espinoza who had won his last ten fights by KO/TKO. He will come again for sure.
Figueroa vs. Parejo
Brandon follows in the footsteps of elder brother Omar as he wins the interim WBA title by forcing Parejo to retire after eight rounds. No sizing up here as Figueroa immortally forced Parejo to the ropes and began to pound away with left hooks. Parejo fired back with some sharp accurate counters and probably just did enough to win the round. Figueroa had started as a southpaw in the first but went to his standard orthodox style in the second. At distance Parejo was able to connect with some good right counters on the advancing Figueroa and although Figueroa had the better of the close work again Parejo looked to have edged the round. It was pressure all the way from Figueroa in the third and Parejo just could not match the younger man’s work rate. Parejo managed to stay off the ropes in the fourth and that led to some fierce back and forth action with both connecting with impressive counters. Parejo tried to stay ring centre in the fifth but was constantly being sent back on his heels by vicious left hooks from Figueroa and looked to be tiring under the pressure. Figueroa was relentless in the sixth. His punch output was amazing and now Parejo was doing more holding on the inside than fighting. Parejo did better in the seventh moving more and countering Figueroa who was wide open coming in but Figueroa was doing most of the scoring with hooks and uppercuts. Parejo connected with some crisp counters at the start of the eighth but then began to fade. He was given a warning for holding as Figueroa stormed forward pumping out punches with Parejo floundering and after the bell Parejo retired in his corner. The 22-year-old Texas “Heartbreaker” was throwing 100 punches per round and that was too much for Parejo but he was also wide open to counters and one day that might catch up with him but it is going to be an entertaining ride. Parejo, 32, is a former WBA interim bantamweight champion whose losses have been to class opposition in Hugo Ruiz, and in WBA title fights to Zhanat Zhakiyanov and Ryan Burnett.
Ruiz vs. Dimitrenko
Ruiz batters down big Russian Dimitrenko who wants no more after being pounded on for five rounds. Although Dimitrenko had huge advantages in height and reach he just pawed with his lead hand and that allowed Ruiz to walk past the jab and land clubbing punches to head and body. Ruiz’s pressure kept Dimitrenko on the retreat for the whole fight and after the referee’s instructions the centre of the ring was unknown territory for the Russian giant. Ruiz pounded away at Dimitrenko in round after round working on the body. Dimitrenko was throwing little and landing less. Ruiz shook Dimitrenko with some heavy rights at the start of the fifth and continued to land to the body. Dimitrenko staged a rally late in the round but it was a last fling and he retired at the end of the round. It is good to see Ruiz back and winning. After losing a very questionable decision to Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO title in December 2016 he was inactive for 15 months but has now registered three wins since returning. He has called out unbeaten Adam Kownacki in a battle of the clones (Ruiz 6’2” and approx.260lbs, Kownacki 6-3” and approx. 260lbs) which would be a no quarter brawl and not one for the purists. The 6’7” Dimitrenko has lost all of the big fights and at 36 will only be used as an “opponent” for climbing young heavyweights.
Rosario vs. Cota
Rosario extends his unbeaten run to nine fights but only just as he edges out Mexican Cota on a narrow split verdict. Over the early rounds the Dominican fighter built a lead as he outboxed and outlanded Cota using quick hands and a high work rate. Cota started slow but gradually got into the fight and began to roll over the late rounds. Rosario had trouble keeping the aggressive Cota out as Cota cut into Rosario’s lead but he started his charge too late and a strong last round from Rosario was enough for him to hold on to his advantage on two cards. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Rosario and 97-93 for Cota. Since losing his unbeaten tag by way of a sixth round stoppage against Nat Gallimore in 2017 the 24-year-old Miami-based Rosario has now gone 7-0-1 with wins over Justin DeLoach and Jamontay Clark and scored an inside the distance win over Mark Hernandez who put the draw on his record. He is No 11 with the IBF and ready to move on up. Cota, 31, had put together a nine-bout winning streak until he was stopped in four rounds by Erick Lubin in March 2017. He has done some rebuilding since then with three wins but just came up short here.
Angulo vs. Bravo
Angulo just too strong for a very faded Bravo. Angulo bullied Bravo around the ring in the first before pinning him to the ropes in the second and putting him down and out with a right to the head. The 36-year-old former interim WBO super welter title holder was having his first fight for a year and gets his 21st win by KO/TKO. Colombian Bravo had lost his last two fights inside a round with Junior Younan putting him away in 39 seconds in September.
Lopez vs. Perez
Disappointing result for Lopez as the lightly held Perez overcomes cuts to battle to a split draw. Scores 97-93 for Lopez, 97-93 for Perez and 95-95. Lopez had won his last seven fights and as this is his first ten rounder he was looking for an impressive win. Despite his less impressive record there was a sign Perez could give Lopez trouble as he had won his previous five fights including a victory over Lance Williams who was the last guy to beat Lopez.
Balderas vs. May
Too easy for Olympian Balderas as he stops a reluctant May in four rounds. Balderas beat on Mexican May over the first and second before flooring him with a left to the body in the third. May arose and then went down again after what looked to be more of a push than a punch but the referee applied a count. A low punch cost May a point in the fourth and when he went down again from a right his corner tossed in the towel bringing about the stoppage. The Santa Monica 22-year-old has seven wins by KO/TKO. “Karlas” boxed for the US Knockouts in the World Series of Boxing and his results there qualified him for the Rio Olympics without having to go through the US Olympic Trials but he lost in the quarter-finals in Rio to Cuban Lazaro Alvarez. Former NABF bantamweight champion May has now lost four in a row. At 5’3” he is too small to fight at super feather.
London, England: Heavy: Dereck Chisora (30-9) W PTS 10 Senad Gashi (17-3). Light: Joe Cordina (9-0) W TKO 6 Andy Townend (22-5). Heavy: Dave Allen (17-4-2) W KO 3 Lucas Browne (28-2). Welter: Josh Kelly (9-0) W PTS 10 Przemyslaw Runowski (17-1). Welter: Connor Benn (14-0) W PTS 8 Josef Zahradnik (10-3).
Chisora vs. Gashi
Chisora gets a win but in a poor fight. It was not Chisora’s fault. He came to fight but southpaw Gashi did not. For the first two rounds Chisora just tracked Gashi around the ring. Gashi circled the perimeter sticking out the occasional jab and scuttling away whenever Chisora pressed too hard. Chisora picked up the pace in the third and managed to land some heavy rights but when he managed to trap Gashi the Kosovon jumped in and held until pulled off by the referee. The only tactical change Gashi made in the fourth was circling in the other direction occasionally and although Chisora was not landing many punches he did connect with a straight right that sent Gashi stumbling back into a corner. Gashi threw a few more punches in the fifth and sixth but you could count them on one hand and Chisora was still landing more. Chisora scored well with his jab in the seventh then Gashi landed a good left hook and Chisora connected with a right at the bell. Chisora continued his frustrating pursuit in the eighth without much success. Gashi did a happy little jig at the end of the round but then he hadn’t paid to see this fight. Chisora did a better job in the ninth and tenth scoring with strong jabs and a couple of clubbing rights but Gashi just kept on walking around and around-and occasionally breaking into a trot- content to make it to the final bell. Scores 100-90, 100-91and 99-91 tell the tale. It was impossible for “Del Boy” to look good against such negative opposition but on the other hand he did a poor job of cutting the ring off against an opponent who spent 90% of the fight circling in the same direction and it could not have helped that he was 13lbs heavier than when he fought Dillian Whyte in December. Chisora has reinvented himself numerous times and a title shot is not out of the question but against Anthony Joshua it would be a hard sell. Strangely for a fighter who had scored his 17 wins by KO/TKO Gashi showed no confidence in his punch and from bell to bell just looked to survive
Cordina vs. Townend
Sparkling display from Cortina as he outclasses a game Townend to retain the Commonwealth title and win the vacant British belt. From the outset Cordina was the man in charge. He was quicker, more accurate and had the power. Townend box cleverly behind his jab but with Cordina constantly changing angles and switching effortlessly from head to body and back Townend was hanging on by his finger tips. He did well to get through the first five rounds but a brutal series of knockdowns in the sixth ended the one-sided contest. A right hook sent Townend into the ropes and Cordina unloaded with both hands until Townend dropped to his knees. He made it to his feet and insisted he was able to continue. Cordina jumped on him and was pounding him with cracking body and head punches. A gutsy Townend fired back but another series of punches forced him to go down on one knee. He was up again and tried to punch with Cordina but when he was again forced to go down on one knee the referee waived the fight over. The brilliant Welsh 27-year-old, a former gold medal winner at the European Amateur Championships, will probably now look to challenge for the European title against Belgian Francesco Patera. Second loss by KO/TKO for Townend. He was to have fought for the Commonwealth title in 2017. He won the fight but had failed to make the weight.
Allen vs. Browne
Allen harasses and hounds and finally finished Browne with a fearful boy punch. Over the first two rounds Allen was just walking in behind his jab and swinging rights with Browne slotting his jab home and countering the advancing Allen with lefts to the body and the occasional right to the head. Browne was outlanding Allen but not being able to keep him out. There were some lively exchanges at the start of the third until Allen landed a cracking right to the body that had Browne backing off then dropping to the canvas on his hands and knees with his head touching the floor and he was counted out. Allen “The White Rhino” lost in over- ambitious fights against Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz in 2016 and has sensibly stepped back a pace. He has won his last four fights including a spectacular knockout of unbeaten Nick Webb. Nothing has really gone right for 40-year-old Australian Brown since he beat Ruslan Chagaev for the secondary WBA title in 2016 only to test positive for a banned substance. He was knocked out in six rounds by Dillian Whyte in March last year but then as with Allen took a step back and won three low level fights before this defeat.
Kelly vs. Runowski
Exhibitionist stuff from Kelley from the start. He was standing in front of Runowski hands down just using upper body movement to avoid the Poles punches leaving him free to counter with both hands and he landed some strong shots. Runowski tried to stick with his jab in the second but a storm of hooks and uppercuts drove him back to the ropes and he went down on one knee. The Pole was not too badly hurt and when the action restarted he withstood punishment from Kelly and was throwing hooks and uppercuts of his own. There was sometimes more swank than substance to Kelly’s work in the third and fourth as he virtually toyed with Runowski but he was only punching in short bursts allowing Runowski some success. There was a more orthodox approach from Kelly in the fifth and sixth as he used a conventional jab in the fifth and went inside and drove Runowski back with hooks and uppercuts in the sixth. The seventh was a mixture of showmanship and focus as he seemed to be trying to get Runowski out of there but the Pole soaked up the punches. It was back to the showmanship in the eighth and although hurting Runowski with body punches Kelly was not sustaining his attacks allowing Runowski to land some punches inside. Back to the real business in the ninth as Kelly set up a sustained attack with two lefts a hook and an uppercut forcing Runowski to touch the canvas with his gloves to avoid going down which resulted in a count. Kelly pursued Runowski around the ring raining him with punches until a shot that strayed low gave Runowski a breather and he was firing back at the bell. Kelly put Runowski down with a left hook in the tenth but Runowski beat the count and was punching back at the bell. Scores 100-88 twice and 100-89. The 25-year-old from Sunderland, the Commonwealth champion, was defending the WBA International title. He is No 7 with the WBA and his skill set is much too extensive for honest workmen such as Runowski but the arrogant showmanship would be dangerous in a division that is one of the most talented of the seventeen. Runowski, 24, has some wins over useful second string Europeans but although he stuck to his task here he was outclassed by Kelly.
Benn vs. Zahradnik
Benn gets his career underway again with points victory over Czech Zahradnik. Benn needed some ring time and this was a useful outing. He controlled the early action having Zahradnik in trouble in the fourth but Zahradnik did not fold and fought back. Benn put Zahradnik down in the seventh but could not keep him there and Zahradnik made it to the final bell. Referee’s score 80-71 for Benn. The 21-year-old son of former champion Nigel has had trouble with hand injuries and this was his first fight for nine months. Zahradnik has lost three of his last four fights all three losses to unbeaten opponents.
Grozny, Russia: Light Heavy: Umar Salamov (24-1) W TKO 9 Norbert Dabrowski (22-8-2). Super Middle: Aslambek Idigov (16-0) W PTS 12 Ronny Landaeta (16-2). Super Welter: Islam Edisultanov (8-0) W TKO 10 Alexey Evchenko (18-12-1).Heavy: Apti Davtaev (17-0-1) W TKO 5 Pedro Otas (32-5-1). Fly: Makhdi Abdurashedov (6-0) W TKO 2 W Frank Kiwalabye (17-2).Super Middle: Omar Garcia (14-1) W KO 5 Movsur Yusupov (14-1). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0) W TKO 1 Bruno Romay (21-7) Light: Viskhan Murzabekov (19-4) W TKO 2 Mudde Robinson Ntambi (23-8-1). Welter: Aslanbek Kozaev (33-2-1) W PTS 8 Abdul Aziz Quartey (118-5). Super Light: Adlan Abdurashidov (2-0) W TKO 1 Max Moshi (9-2). Super Middle: Apti Ustarkhanov (16-3-3) W PTS 8 Dzmitry (Atrokhau (16-5).
Salamov vs. Dabrowski
On a show full of Grozny fighters Salamov retains the WBO International title with stoppage of Polish southpaw Dabrowski. After three slow rounds which the tall 6’3 ½” Salamov edged by using his longer reach to score from distance the local fighter picked up the pace in the fourth and just before the bell he connected with a right to the body and a left to the head that put Dabrowski down. Dabrowski made it to the vertical but the bell went before Salamov could wreck any more damage. Dabrowski was not finished and although losing the rounds he was competitive over the fifth, sixth and seventh. Salamov upped the pace again in the eighth connecting with some strong body punches and heavy rights to the head. Dabrowski tried to take the fight to Salamov in the ninth but Salamov took a short step back and then nailed Dabrowski with a crunching right counter. Dabrowski went down heavily. He managed to beat the count but was put on the floor again by another right and although he struggled to his feet the fight was stopped. Now 18 wins by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old US-based Russian. His sole loss was a very close decision against Damien Hooper in Australia and he has now won five in a row against reasonable level opposition. He is rated IBF 6(4)/WBO 4 and WBA 7 and with four champions looking for challengers he could get a title shot later this year or early in 2020. Dabrowski, 30, was having only his second fight in 16 months but had taken both Dominic Boesel and Eleider Alvarez the distance and this is his first loss by KO/TKO.
Idigov vs. Landaeta
In an entertaining scrap “The Hulk” Idigov, another locally-born fighter based in Las Vegas, picks up the vacant IBF European and WBO European titles with majority verdict over Venezuelan-born Spaniard Landaeta. The smaller Russian forced the fight but Landaeta boxed well countering the Idigov attacks with hooks and uppercuts. Idigov connected with straight rights and left hooks in the third and fourth with a left hook knocking Landaeta’s mouthguard flying in the sixth. Despite this Landaeta continued to counter effectively and he shook Idigov with a right in the in the eighth. The ninth and tenth were both close providing some cause for concern in the home fans but Idigov took the last two rounds to come out just ahead. Scores a very questionable 118-112 and more realistic 115-113 for Idigov and 114-114. The impressively muscled Idigov is 5’8” which is small for a super middle but he is strong. Former EU champion Landaeta, 36, was coming off his first professional defeat when he was outpointed by Robin Krasniqi in a challenge for the European title in November.
Edisultanov vs. Evchenko
Tall southpaw “The Sniper” Edisultanov wins the vacant Russian title with stoppage of Evchenko. Sixth win by KO/TKO for the 33-year-old Edisultanov. Although a high performer as an amateur winning silver medals at the World Martial Arts Games and the Russian Championships he has struggled as a pro. He had close to 400 fights as an amateur but did not turn pro until he was 30 so is unlikely to make it to the top. Evchenko, 35, a former Russian welterweight champion had won 9 of his lat 10 fights.
Davtaev vs. Otas
Davtaev crushes ancient Brazilian Otas in a poor one-sided contest. Davtaev Rocked Otas with a right in the first and handed out steady punishment in each of the following rounds. Older, smaller and lighter Otas was never in with a chance and only the round in which the fight would end was in question. With a growing swelling under the left eye of Otas Davtaev finished the fight in the fifth. He stepped inside a right from Otas and landed a short right hook which sent Otas to the canvas. The Brazilian struggled to his feet then staggered to the ropes hanging over the top rope and looking out into the crowd as the referee waived the fight off. The 29-year-old 6’5” Davtaev now has 15 wins by KO/TKO. He is big and strong but slow and will struggle when he meets better opposition. Otas, 41, was giving away 5” in height and about 30lbs in weight and suffers his third loss by KO/TKO
Abdurashedov vs. Kiwalabye
This looked a competitive fight on paper but it was a massacre. From the first bell Abdurashedov was hunting down a fleeing Kiwalabye with the Ugandan circling the perimeter of the ring at a speed Usain Bolt would envy. In the second round. Abdurashedov finally caught up with Kiwalabye and landed a series of right hooks to the body but Kiwalabye escaped and sped off again. When Abdurashedov managed to get close again he rocked Kiwalabye with a right to the head then chased Kiwalabye along the ropes landing hooks until Kiwalabye dropped to the canvas. The Ugandan beat the count but after the eight he did not raise his hands but just stood swaying in a corner with his hands at his sides and the referee stopped the fight. The promising 20-year-old Abdurashedov wins the vacant WBC International title with his third victory by KO/TKO. Kiwalabye was a huge disappointment. His opposition had been very low level but his only loss had been on points against Joseph Agbeko in March last year so more was expected from him.
Garcia vs. Yusupov
Garcia scores brutal kayo over unbeaten Yusupov. In the fifth Garcia landed a strong left hook to the body and then a right that was way below the belt. The referee halted the fight. Yusupov looked to be expecting Garcia to be disqualified but instead the referee gave Yusupov a little recovery time. It was not enough as Garcia immediately drove Yusupov to the ropes and threw three punches. Yusupov blocked the first two but the third a southpaw left hook crashed into his temple and Yusupov slumped to the floor ending flat on his back half out under the ropes with the referee immediately waiving for medical help for Yusupov. Mexican-based Venezuelan Garcia was having his second fight in Russia having lost his unbeaten record when beaten by Magomed Madiev in June last year. “The Monster” Yusupov was a heavy favourite as Garcia was a late choice as his opponent.
Murtazaliev vs. Romay
Main Events fighter Murtazaliev remains unbeaten in his first fight in Russia since 2016. He blitzed Argentinian Romay with two knockdowns and it was all over in 117 seconds. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the Oxnard-based Russian. Argentinian “El Tzar” Romay had won 13 in a row but has now lost three on the bounce in Eastern Europe. Perhaps it’s the “El Tzar” nickname?
Murzabekov vs. Ntambi
“Little Tyson” Murzabekov too strong for Ugandan Ntambi. He was tracking the much smaller Ntambi around the ring then pounced connecting with a right and a left hook. Ntambi dropped to one knee. He was up immediately but after the count Murzabekov rushed across the ring and landed a left that saw Ntambi go sprawling on the canvas. Again he was up quickly but refused to step forward when asked to and the referee halted the fight. Murzabekov lost in a fight for the vacant Russian title February. The 38-year-old balding Ntambi was once 18-1-1 and a super flyweight but both of those things are in the past.
Kozaev vs. Quartey
Kozaev continues on the road to who knows where with decision over Ghanaian Quartey. Kozaev had Quartey down in the first but the visitor showed some good skills before tiring badly and losing a point in the last for holding. Scores 80-70 twice and 80-71 for Kozaev. At one time the 31-year-old Russian was 25-0-1 but losses to Ray Robinson and Taras Shelestyuk derailed him so he is slowly rebuilding. Quartey, 21, has a heavily padded record but was competitive but just not strong enough.
Abdurashidov vs. Moshi
Former top amateur crushes overmatched Moshi in just 57 seconds. The spider-like Tanzanian never stood a chance. A series of punches put him face down on the canvas. He got up but staggered back to the ropes. After the eight count the referee asked Moshi to step forward but he stayed where he was. Despite that the referee indicated for the action to resume but Moshi wisely refused to move so the fight was stopped. The 28-year-old Abdurashidov, twice Russian champion, was a leading member of the Russian Boxing Team in the WSB and competed at the European and World Championships and the Rio Olympics-you will be hearing lot more about him as his career develops. Only the second fight in eighteen months for Moshi who could have got hurt in a match like this.
Ustarkhanov vs. Atrokhau
Ustarkhanov gets unanimous decision over Atrokhau in a clash of contrasting styles. Ustarkhanov was ploughing forward looking to work at close range whilst Atrokhau wanted to use his southpaw jab to keep the fight outside. In the end the superior power and aggression of Ustarkhanov won out over the better skills of Atrokhau and the Russian took the decision. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75 all for Ustarkhanov. He is now 5-1-1 in his last 7 fight drawing with Patrick Mendy and losing in Australia to Rohan Murdoch. After winning his first 15 fights Belarusian Atrokhau has now lost 5 of 6
Tokyo, Japan: Bantam: Yuta Saito (12-9-3) W TKO 5 Hayato Kimura 28-11). In a contest between two fighters from Kawasaki Saito keeps his national title with stoppage of Kimura. After a fairly even first round Saito began to find the range for his hooks and uppercuts and by the end of the second Kimura already had a swelling under his left eye. Saito continued to dish out punishment in the third and fourth with Kimura also handicapped by a swelling under his right eye. Kimura was swinging wildly trying to get lucky but he was soaking up punishment in the fifth and his corner threw in the towel. First defence of the Japanese title for Saito and his ninth win by KO/TKO. Whilst it has taken fighters such as Naoya Inoue only a few fights to get to world class Saito had 20 fights before he was elevated to the ten round level. Kimura had failed in two shots at the Japanese super fly title but then won the interim bantam title which lost here.
Liverpool, England: Feather: James Dickens (36-3) W TKO 5 Nasibu Ramadhan (27-14-2).Heavy: Alex Dickinson (10-0) W RTD 2 Dorian Darch (12-9-1). Super Welter: James Metcalf (19-0) W KO 8 Santos Medrano (10-64-5).
Dickens vs. Ramadhan
Dickens ends a fast-paced competitive fight with one crushing left cross. A quick first round saw both southpaws firing jabs and trying to find the range with lefts with Dickens more controlled and more accurate. Ramadhan worked to the body with hooks in the second and caught Dickens with a crisp left hook as Dickens ventured forward. Dickens did better when he used his jab but in this round was wayward with his punches. Dickens found the target in the third with two cracking left hooks as Ramadhan continued to take the fight to Dickens. Ramadhan staged a furious attack in the fourth but it was Dickens jab that was the dominant punch. In the fifth after connecting with a couple of jabs Dickens landed a thunderous straight left to the head that put Ramadhan face down on the canvas and the referee immediately waived the fight over. Impressive finish from the 28-year-old former British super bantam champion. Consecutive losses in big fights against Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA title and Thomas Patrick Ward for the British title led to ten months out of the ring for Dickens but this is his fourth win by KO/TKO on the spin. He is now in line to challenge Leigh Wood for the Commonwealth title. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Ramadhan who was a lively opponent until that crushing left. He is a busy fighter having lost a twelve round fight in Namibia just 20 days before this fight.
Dickinson vs. Darch
Dickinson gets his sixth win by KO/TKO as Darch retires at the end of the second round due to an injury. Dickinson was taller and quicker and found the target early with his jab and left hooks to the body. Darch tended to lunge with his attacks but had some success in the first. In the second Dickens was again driving left hooks to the body but also huge right crosses. Darch looked to be in trouble and he stumbled badly as he walked to his corner at the bell. He was in some pain from what was reported to be a shoulder injury and was unable to continue. Merseysider Dickinson, 32, was in his first fight scheduled for eight rounds but may struggle in a division with an excess of British talent. Welshman Darch is now 0-5-1 in his last six fights including stoppage defeats against Daniel Dubois and Nick Webb.
Metcalf vs. Medrano
Metcalf gets a win but at a price. The Liverpool “Kid Shamrock” was up against a very limited but very awkward opponent. Nicaraguan Medrano fought out of a semi-crouch leaning back and looking to survive from the first bell. Luckily for Medrano Metcalf injured his right hand in the opening round and fought one-handed after that. He dominated every round and had Medrano in trouble in the sixth and seventh. In the eight Metcalf connected with a succession of hooks and uppercuts and Medrano dropped to his knees and was counted out. Injuries have plagued Metcalf. He scored a career best win in June last year stopping former Spanish champion Aitor Nieto for the vacant WBC International title and this was his first fight since then. He was to fight on the Josh Warrington vs. Kid Galahad IBF title fight card on 15 June but that could be in doubt now. Spanish-based Medrano has won only one of his last fifty-seven fights
Istanbul, Turkey: Heavy: Umut Camkiran (12-0) W PTS 12 Arnold Gjergjaj (32-3). Super Middle: Anatoli Muratov (21-2) W PTS 8 Edwin Palacios (12-7-1). Heavy: Mensur Dedic (10-0) W PTS 8 Muhammed Ali Durmaz (23-28).
Camkiran vs. Gjergjaj
Turkish heavyweight hope Camkiran wins the vacant EBU External title (for European countries which are not part of the European Union) with unanimous decision over Kosovo-born Swiss Gjergjaj. At 6’5” Gjergjaj towered over Camkiran and at 251lbs Camkiran was almost as wide as Gjergjaj was tall. The Swiss fighter made a good start moving plenty and dabbing out his jab with Camkiran tracking him and trying to trap the taller man on the ropes. There was no real power in Gjergjaj’s jab and eventually Camkiran began to walk through the jab bully Gjergjaj on the ropes and land heavy clubbing shots. Camkiran built a lead that way and it might have been expected that Gjergjaj would be the one to weaken late in the fight. Instead Gjergjaj did most of the scoring over the tenth and eleventh. Enough to have the local fans worried and the last round was close but Camkiran probably just did enough to edge it. Scores 115-113 twice and a strange, but with home advantage not unexpected, 118-110 all for Camkiran. The 30-year-old German-based “Anatolian Lion” was facing a huge leap in quality of opponent. He had won his other eleven fights by KO/TKO, ten of them in the first round so he was going into a twelve round fight with less than thirteen rounds behind him. He is immensely strong but very crude and very limited. Some “cautious” matching saw Gjergjaj win his first 29 fights but inside the distance losses to David Haye and Sean Turner applied a dose of reality. He scored two wins in 2018 against modest opposition and might have taken the decision if this fight had been in Switzerland. He is booked to fight again on 25 May in Switzerland so can start again then.
Muratov vs. Palacios
German-based Kazak Muratov has his first fight in a year and takes the unanimous decision over Nicaraguan Palacios. Now 13 wins in a row for Muratov. Former Nicaraguan welter champion Palacios is 1-5 in his last six including a second round stoppage by Ray Robinson.
Dedic vs. Durmaz
Some surprise here as Dedic, who had won his nine fights by KO/TKO, has to go the whole eight rounds to beat German Durmaz, who has lost 23 times by KO/TKO. All of Dedic’s previous opponents had lasted less than 18 rounds between them but they had also only scored only 18 wins between them. Durmaz a very strange record with long runs of losses and long runs of win. Coming into this one he had first lost eleven in a row but had won his last 13, 12 by KO/TKO.
Ontario, CA, USA: Feather: Erick Ituarte (21-1-1) W PTS 10 Jose Estrella (20-16-1). Ituarte returns to action after eleven months on the side lines and takes unanimous decision over Estrella in a testing fight. After a feeling out first the pace picked up from there. A lot of the action was at close quarters with Ituarte connecting with body punches over the second and third and Estrella fighting back hard to take the fourth. Ituarte’s body punches saw him on top in the fifth but Estrella came right back forcing the fight hard in the sixth. A low punch saw Estrella down on one knee in the seventh but after some recovery time he continued. Ituarte swept the last three rounds to take the verdict. Scores 100-89 twice and 98-92 all for Ituarte who was a clear winner but the fight looked closer than that. The 24-year-old Santa Anna-based Mexican Ituarte’s lay off was forced by a back injury but with a 14 bout winning streak he will be looking to fight his way into the ratings. Tijuana’s Estrella is 2-5 in his last seven but his opposition has been a very good level.
Keta, Ghana: Joseph Agbeko (36-5) W PTS 12 Hashimu Zuberi (15-4). Middle: John Koudeha (17-1) W TKO 2 Manyi Issa (12-3-2). Super Light: Richard Amenfu (11-5) W TKO 11 Anama Dotse (17-3).
Agbeko vs. Zuberi
Former IBF and IBO bantam champion Agbeko keeps his hopes of one last world title shot alive with wide unanimous decision over Tanzanian Zuberi. Agbeko was in a different class than the young Tanzanian and dominated the fight with some powerful jabbing and heavy rights. Zuberi kept trying to march forward and showed some skill but by the late rounds he was showing a cut over his left eye and some bumps and swelling on his face. Agbeko tried hard for the knockout but is not as young as he used to be and had to settle for a points win. Scores 120-107 twice and 120-108. He is No 2 with the WBO due to his holding the WBO Arica title which he retained in this fight but at 39 is way past his best in a very tough division. Zuberi, 23, had lost three fights on the road and all against unbeaten fighters including Andrew Moloney.
Koudeha vs. Issa
Ghana-based Togolese boxer Koudeha wins the vacant IBF Continental title with second round stoppage of Tanzania’s Issa. Twelve wins by KO/TKO for Koudeha. His management tried to get his split decision loss last year to 2-8 Emmanuel Quaye expunged but there it stays and should do so. Third loss by KO/TKO for Issa.
Amenfu vs. Dotse
Minor upset as Amenfu beats favoured Dotse on an eleventh round stoppage. On paper “Desert Warrior” Amenfu was 1-3 in his last 4 fights and was having his first contest since October 2017 but putting it diplomatically some results from Ghana don’t get onto the records due reservations over a lack of veracity of some of the reports. Dotse had lost only one of his last 16 fights but that is largely due to facing substandard opposition.
Agde, France: Middle: Diego Natchoo (19-1-4) W PTS 10 Patrick Momene Mokamba (7-26-4).Super Feather: Florian Montels (15-2-2,1ND) W TKO 3 Kamel Amari (1-2-2).
Natchoo vs. Mokamba
Fighting in front of his home fans Natchoo gets repeat win over Mokamba in voluntary French title defence. When these two clashed in February in a title fight Natchoo was an easy winner by 7, 7, and 6 points on the three cards. It was closer this time with Mokamba raising his game but still coming up short. Scores 97-94, 97-95 and 96-94 for “L’Indien” his seventh win in a row. Mokamba, 38, the French No 11 at super welter, has now won only two of his last nine fights.
Montels vs. Amari
Montels gets only his second win by KO/TKO with stoppage of Amari. Third defence of French title by Montels who is 7-1,1ND in his last 9 fights with the loss being to world rated Yvon Mendy. Strange to see a fighter with a record as poor as Amari fighting for a title additionally so as he had had only one fight in the last 16 months. He is rated No 4 super bantam in France but was contesting the super feather title. Could be he was a late substitute
Fort Washington, MD, USA: Middle: Dusty Hernandez Harrison (32-0-1) W TKO 4 Fred Jenkins (10-6). Harrison continues his comeback with stoppage of Jenkins. Harrison dominated the bout with his jab before flooring Jenkins with a series of punches in the fourth with the bout being stopped. Harrison, 24, was high in the ratings when he decisioned 21-1 Thomas LaManna in September 2016. From that high point everything fell apart for the Washington DC fighter. He broke with his father who had trained him from a kid, proposed fights kept falling through, a close friend was shot and killed and with no money coming in he had to sell his home and move to another part of Washington. He finally returned to the ring after 30 months with a win in March this year. He was 170lbs for that fight but was down to 163lbs for this one and hoping to get back into the ratings. Second loss by KO/TKO for Jenkins.
Kiev, Ukraine: Light: Denys Berinchyk (11-0) W PTS 12 Nihito Arakawa (23-7-2). When he started out as a pro Berinchyk had one gear and that was forward and one speed and that was fierce and ferocious and fast (or is that three?). He showed here he has matured as a pro as he boxed more and varied his attacks more. He was quicker than experienced Arikawa, switched guards continually and had already opened a cut over the left eye of the Japanese visitor by the second round. He also showed he could box on the back foot as Arakawa had a good jab. The main difference was the hand speed, rapid combinations and slick movement from Berinchyk. Arakawa kept on the front foot and had some success with his jab but with Berinchyk constantly switching guards, changing angles and finding gaps for his straight punches and hooks Arakawa was confused. He lost a point in the ninth for holding and had blood dripping from a cut over his right eye. Arakawa made a big effort over the last three rounds but kept walking onto counters and just could not pin down the ever moving Berinchyk. Scores 120-107 twice and 118-109 for Berinchyk who retains the WBO International title. The 30-year-old Ukrainian has not really been active enough nor taken any high level fights and his only rating is No 11 with the WBO. As an amateur he took a silver medal at the World Championships in 2011 beating Roniel Iglesias and Thomas Stalker before losing to Everton Lopes in the final. At the 2012 Olympics he defeated Anthony Yigit and Jeff Horn but lost to Iglesias for another silver medal. It is not just in the ring where Berinchyk provides entertainment. His entrances have included riding a horse to the ring side, riding a motorcycle, wearing handcuffs and surrounded by guards and even dressing as a bear! Arakawa is a former Japanese and OPBF champion and he lost to Omar Figueroa for the interim WBC title in 2013.
Toronto, Canada: Welter: Kane Heron (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Anderson Clayton (41-14-2). Local fighter Heron gets in some useful work against seasoned Brazilian Clayton. Heron, the holder of the NABA version of the Canadian title, was too quick and outworked Clayton. The Brazilian has the experience but no longer the strength or stamina to match prospects such as Heron. Clayton rallied late but never really threatened Heron’s dominance. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Heron who is making good progress. Clayton, 40, a former WBFederation champion, first fought in Canada way back in 2006 when losing to Joachim Alcine. He is 1-6-1 in his last 8 fights but all of losses have been to good quality or unbeaten fighters.
Osaka, Japan: Super Feather: Joe Noynay (17-2-1) W TKO 2 Kosuke Saka (18-5). Noyna wins the vacant WBO Asia Pacific belt with stoppage of an overmatched Saka. Southpaw Noynay was scoring with straight lefts early spurring Saka into some furious attacks. Noyna waited for the storm to abate then dropped Saka with a short left hook. Saka made it to his feet but was shaky and went down from another left. He again arose and despite Noynay connecting with further lefts Saka lasted to the bell. Early in the second a counter left floored Saka again and although he climbed to his feet the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Filipino “Jaw Breaker” has six victories by KO/TKO and has won his last five fights. He is at No 10 in the WBO ratings. Former Japanese champion Saka rarely does a distance fight with 15 of his wins and three of his losses coming by KO/TKO.
Windhoek, Namibia: Super Feather: Jeremiah Nakathila (18-1) W TKO 8 Zoltan Kovacs (23-6-1), Welter: Mikka Shonena (14-0) W TKO 4 Shadrack Ignas (16-7-1). Super Light: Harry Simon Jr (9-0) W TKO 1Andreas Nghinananye (1-7).
Nakathila vs. Kovacs
Nakathila retains the WBO African title with stoppage of Hungarian Kovacs. Nakathila showed his power early flooring the visitor in the opening round. Kovacs is a tough character and he survived and went back into the action. Nakathila continued to dominate and floored Kovacs again in the seventh. A barrage of punches in the eighth had Kovacs on the point of going down again when the referee stopped the fight. “Low Key” Nakathila makes it 13 wins by KO/TKO. His only loss is on a majority decision to Russian Evgeny Chuprakov in 2016 and Chuprakov went on to lose to Masayuki Ito for the WBO title in December last year. Nakathila has won his last seven fights by KO/TKO and is No 3 with the WBO. After a 3-4 start to his pro career Kovacs was 20-1-1 in his last 22 including 12 wins in a row.
Shonena vs. Ignas
Shonena continues to make progress. Not a puncher the local fighter registered only his second inside the distance victory with a fourth round stoppage of Tanzanian Ignas in defence of his WBO African title. “The “Silent Assassin” is No 7 with the WBO but has yet to be matched with a quality opponent. Ignas was 6-1 going in.
Simon vs. Nghinananye
Simon gets his first pro title as he stops poor Nghinananye in a fight for the vacant Namibian belt. Simon, the son of the former WBO champion, has seven wins by KO/TKO but the best that could be said for Nghinananye is that this is his first loss by KO/TKO.
Zhukovka, Russia: Light: Pavel Malikov (15-1-1) W PTS 10 Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-2-1). Light: Elnur Samedov (9-1) W RTD 8 Aik Shakhnazaryan (23-2).
Malikov vs. Gadzhialiev
Malikov gets off the floor to take split decision over Gadzhialiev in a fierce battle. This one was almost over in the first round. Gadzhialiev connected with a right cross and a left hook that stunned Malikov. Gadzhialiev then proceeded to batter Malikov around the ring landing vicious uppercut and rights to the side of the head. Malikov was floundering and a stoppage was just a couple of punches away but Malikov made it to the bell before walking to his corner on unsteady legs. It could easily have been a 10-8 round. Malikov steadied things over the second and third rounds but Gadzhialiev fighting out of a crouch and with constant movement was getting through with uppercuts. In the fourth Gadzhialiev landed a hard right which sent Malikov down. He was up quickly and after the count fought back hard landing some rights of his own but was again shaken by rights from Gadzhialiev. Malikov worked his way back into the fight over the next four rounds jabbing well and landing left hooks. He was outworking Gadzhialiev who was still dangerous with quick attacks. Gadzhialiev picked up the pace in the eighth and ninth and they both landed heavily in a wild last. Scores 96-93 and 96-94 for Malikov and 95-93 for Gadzhialiev but for me Gadzhialiev should have been the winner. Malikov, 33, had been knocked out by Daud Yordan last April and fought a split draw with Vage Sarukhanyan in February so a very welcome win. Gadzhialiev had over 360 amateur fights and was coming off a draw with Denis Shafikov in February.
Samedov vs. Shakhnazaryan
An upset here as southpaw Samedov just proves too busy and too aggressive for world rated Shakhnazaryan. From the opening round Samedov was storming into the taller Shakhnazaryan dodging past Shakhnazaryan’s jab and pumping away with bursts of punches inside. He was outworking Shakhnazaryan and in his face for the whole fight. Shakhnazaryan just could not keep Samedov out . Shakhnazaryan managed to box on the outside in the fourth but was being hustled and bullied by Samedov in the fifth and sixth as Samedov worked inside with hooks. Samedov was relentless in the seventh and eighth rolling forward and scoring with hooks and uppercuts from both hands. Shakhnazaryan was floundering under another Samedov attack at the end of the eighth and retired in his corner. Huge win for Azeri-born Russian champion Samedov and big setback for Shakhnazaryan. He was rated at the low end of the top 15 by the IBF, WBA and WBC and had won his last 8 fights including victories over 17-2 Al Rivera, DeMarcus Corley and 21-2 Fedor Papazov . Samedov also lifts Shakhnazaryan’s WBA Continental title.
Luis Guillon, Argentina: Heavy: Gonzalo Basile (74-12,1ND) W TKO 3 Julio Cuellar (13-7). Cruiser: Dario Balmaceda (19-17-2) W KO 6 Pablo Farias (30-4). Basile vs. Cuellar
Poor fight and easy win for the walking tattoo Basile. He spent two rounds pounding on obese Bolivian Cuellar and then floored him with a left and right in the third. Cuellar climbed to his feet but the referee kindly stopped the fight. The 6’6”, 45-year-old Basile, the Argentinian No 1, lifts the vacant South American title. He has won 10 of his last 11 fights but against very low level opposition. Although smaller than Basile the 38-year-old Cuellar weighed 273lbs all of it seemed to be around his middle. Only one of his twenty fights has gone the distance. He has never won outside of Bolivia and all of his losses have been by KO/TKO and all inside two rounds.
Balmaceda vs. Farias
Balmaceda punches too hard for Farias and closes the gap in their five bout series to 2-3. Farias started out as a super middleweight and scored three wins over Balmaceda in those early days. Now he is really too small for a cruiserweight and that has resulted in two losses to Balmaceda. Farias was continually shaken by hard rights leading to a swelling by his left eye and a nose dripping blood. In the sixth a succession of rights to the head saw Farias collapse to the floor and he was counted out. Balmaceda retains the South American title and wins the Argentinian title with win No 13 by KO/TKO. A former George Groves victim, he makes it four wins in a row. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Farias who is trained by former WBC cruiser champion Marcello Dominguez. Farias was making the first defence of the national title.
Fight of the week (Significance): Terrence Crawford’s win over Amir Khan hopefully opens the way for some more big fights at welterweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): The Joel Casimero vs. Espinoza fight was action all the way with honourable mention to Pavel Malikov vs. Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev
Fighter of the week: Class performance from Danny Garcia.
Punch of the week: The straight left from James Dickens which ended his fight with Nasibu Ramadhan was special but best of all was Danny Garcia’s explosive left hook that floored Granados for the first knockdown
Upset of the week: Elnur Samedov (9-1) was supposed to be a non-threatening opponent for world rated Aik Shakhnazaryan (23-2).
Prospect watch: Olympian Carlos Balderas, 22 8-0 7 wins by KO/TKO
By Eric Armit
The news that Jarrell Miller failed a routine tests administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency on March 20 is a blow for all concerned. Miller is adamant that he is clean and referenced a test he had been given a week before that was clean but that really is irrelevant. For Anthony Joshua it puts a black cloud over his US debut. Miller was a viable opponent. Let’s face it once you cross out Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and perhaps Luis Ortiz (who has twice failed tests) who is there? Although criticised as a choice at least Miller was big, unbeaten and known to the American market and is a far more threatening than Dominic Breazeale (Wilder) and Tom Schwarz (Fury). I don’t envy Eddie Hearn his task because the heavyweight division is not exactly teeming with talent right now. After the series of problem tests you could excuse someone from wondering why the heavyweight division continues to shoot itself in the foot.
The aftermath of problem tests were a feature of the past week. Tied into the Joshua fight undercard was the outcome of a recent investigation in Belgium. The WBC female lightweight champion Delfine Persoon is the premier boxer in Belgium. Back in October a doctor attended Persoon’s home to test her but she had just peed and could not give a sample. Persoon is in the police force so he then went to a course he though she was going to be on but she was not there and when he then went to the police station she was out on an assignment so the test never took place. Persoon’s case was heard last week by the Flemish Anti-Doping court and they exonerated her completely so if the Madison Square Garden show comes off she will be facing Katie Taylor in another battle of top strata females.
It was a totally different outcome for French heavyweight Tony Yoka. As I previously reported he had been slapped with a one year ban by the French Anti-Doping Agency for missing three tests. He appealed his case to the State Council last week but they upheld the ban so he cannot fight until June. His home Federation gave him a suspended sentence so they obviously did not accept his excuses for missing three tests, the French Anti-Doping Agency gave him a one year ban and the State Council upheld it. Yota is signed up to the VADA testing and even for missing just two tests a boxer can be removed from the VAD registration but the WBC have taken no action in Yoka’s case.
When I prefaced my piece in my last Snips and Snipes on the mirage of one universally recognised heavyweight champion I mentioned that Mike Tyson was the last to be able to have that distinction when he won the IBF, WBA and WBC titles. With that I brought down upon myself the scorn of fans of Lennox Lewis. The argument went that when Lewis beat Evander Holyfield he unified the same three titles and therefore he and not Tyson had that distinction. The reason I had named Tyson was that by the time Lewis beat Holyfield in November 1999 the WBO was in existence and therefore Lewis only held three of the four belts. The counter argument was that the WBO was not generally recognised at that time. The problem I had with that was that the WBO title was then held by Vitali Klitschko which is a fact and that the statement that the WBO was not generally recognised is opinion. If you feel I am wrong then please provide me the date by which you consider the WBO was “generally” recognised? Before Lewis beat Holyfield Vitali Klitschko, Thomas Hearns, Chris Eubank, Joe Calzaghe, Nigel Benn, Gerald McClellan, Winky Wright, Hector Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Acelino Frietas, Naseem Hamed, Marco Antonio Barrera, Johnny Tapia, Michael Carbajal, Jorge Arce and Ricardo Lopez had already been WBO champions. You might get an argument from the supporters of those fighters if you suggest they were not really world champions then.
I am an admirer of Gennady Golovkin. He is a great, talented and entertaining fighter who never bad-mouths or denigrates an opponent so a credit to the sport. You get what you see but there are things you don’t see because Golovkin tends to be a very private person and the Golovkin story has not always been a happy one. Gennady and his twin brother Max were both encouraged to take up boxing by their elder brothers Sergey and Vadim. Both of the elder brothers joined the Russian Army and both died in combat, Vadim in 1990 and Sergey in 1994 so the Gennady family has known deep sadness. Gennady and Max continued with their boxing. When it came time for boxers to qualify for the 2004 Olympics there was only one spot available in Athens and the Golovkin twins were both in line for the available slot. The Golovkin family decided that as Gennady was oldest-by 15 minutes- he should go to Athens. Gennady went on to win the silver medal and Max-who according to Gennady was the better boxer never boxed again but remains very much a part of the Golovkin team. There is a song “What a Difference a Day Makes” but for the Golovkin brothers and boxing what a difference 15 minutes made.
Figures released say that Vasyl Lomachenko’s purse for the Anthony Crolla title defence was $1.3 million and Crolla’s $300,000. It was amusing to hear Lomachenko saying he would fight Gervonta Davis for free. I couldn’t help but envisage Loma’s manager, trainer, sparring partner’s etc. getting out their calculators to figure out what their percentage of nothing might add up to!
I thought the absconding by top Cuban boxers had ceased but it is not so. Former World Amateur Champion Joahnys Argilagos is preparing to have his first pro fight. It took a long while to get him a visa but he is now being mentored by Erislandy Lara. Apart for the World Championships gold competing at 49kgs he was Cuban champion, World Youth gold medallist, took silver at the Pan American games and won a bronze medal in Rio.
There is another Pacquiao in the ring. Last week Jimuel Pacquiao, Manny’s son, had his first amateur fight and won on a second round kayo. It is not going to be easy for Jimuel to live with the Pacquiao name.
Sometimes I really do wonder about the people who are supposed to administer our sport. On 12 April the New Hampshire Boxing and Wrestling Commission approved a fight between Vincenzo Carita and Claudio Morroni Porto which local fighter Carita won on a first round kayo. Carita 34 had a 19-1-1 record before the fight with 18 of his 19 wins by KO/TKO nine in the first round. Brazilian Porto had an 8-4-1 record he is 47 years old and the first round knockout he suffered against Carita was his fifth first round kayo loss in a row. Disgraceful!
Two boxers who you might thought had or were going to retire made it clear it was not over for them. Despite a shock points loss to 11-5-1 Oscar Mojica and a broken nose Paddy Barnes is adamant that he will be back in action soon. The move to bantamweight did not work but there is still plenty of fight in “The Leprechaun”. Former WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov says that although he has not fought since losing to John Molina in November 2016 he is only taking a break having been sickened by boxing politics and will return
How things change. I am old enough to remember the days when the Eastern Bloc countries used to hog the medals at the Olympics and the European Championships. We consoled ourselves by saying they would never survive in the professional ranks now three Russian an a Ukrainian hold the four belts in the light heavyweight division and nine other former “amateur only” countries have nine other belts.
Two statues, two boxers, two very different outcomes. In Argentina yet another statue was raised to honour the memory of Oscar Bonavena. Heavyweight “Ringo” was idolised in Argentina but never quite made it to the pinnacle. With a 58-9-1 record including 44 wins by KO/TKO the nearest he came was a fifteen round points loss to Joe Frazier in 1968 with Frazier’s New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) version of the title on the line. Back in 1967 Oscar had entered the WBA heavyweight Elimination Tournament to find a new WBA champion when Muhammad Ali was stripped off the title by WBA and the NYSAC after he was convicted of draft evasion. In the Tournament Oscar beat Karl Mildenberger but lost to Jimmy Ellis. He fought just about every top heavyweight around before being shot and killed in May 1976 and three statues shows how revered he was in Argentina.
Carlos Monzon for me was the greatest Argentinian fighter ever. When he retired in 1977 he had an 87-3-9,1ND record, had ruled the middleweights for seven years, made 14 title defences and was unbeaten in his last 80 fights. Naturally he was elected to the Hall of Fame, naturally there was a statue dedicated to him after he died in a car accident in 1995. The statue was removed for refurbishment and when the task was finished it was ready to be re-erected. That’s when the darker side of Monzon caused problems. When Monzon died he was out on furlough from prison. He had been convicted in 1988 for killing his common-law wife and sentenced to eleven years. Members of a feminist group protested strongly over the statue being re-erected so it has not been replaced. Unfortunately great fighters are not necessarily great men and times have changed since 1995.
Still on Argentina Marcos Maidana having signed a contract for three fights this year says the first will be in June but no opponent named. Maidana at the time of talking said he had come down from 215lbs to 170lbs so he is obviously serious. Less pleasant news had former WBO welter and super welter title challenger Sebastien Lujan arrested on robbery charges. If convict he won’t want for company as his former manager is doing time for drug trafficking.
The third in our series of Closet Classics perhaps goes further than any other in answering the original question of negative 5 on reddit, and this time we head over to Thailand for a very obscure 2014 fight. Like the previous entry to this series this wasn't a highly skilled fight at world level, but was an entertaining little war from the middle of a strange, hyper active period of boxing in Thailand. This came from a time when Channel 7 seemed to have a show every week, and when there was a real surge in promising fighters in Thailand making their way on to the world rankings.
Kongfah Nakornluang (14-0, 8) vs Den Sithsaithong (0-6)
Before we go any further, we just need to note that not all Thai records on boxrec are complete. But if they are right in this case, we doubt we'll ever speak about fighters in this feature with more disparity in their records than we see here. Despite their different records they put on a show here!
In September 2014 there was a lot of promising talent being shown on Thai TV, the promoters had a lot of airtime to fill and they had a lot of opportunities to allow their fighters to fight. One fighter who made the most of that was Kongfah Nakornluang, also known as Chaiwat Buadkratok. He had compiled a recorded ledger of 14-0 (8) and seemed to be moving onwards and upwards to bigger things. He hadn't really impressed, and his competition had been pathetic, but he was getting opportunities to fight on TV and seemed likely to fight for a regional title in the near future, especially the way that those lower level regional titles were being used to fill out Thai TV shows.
Den Sithsaithong, or Prida Deemak, was a Thai journeyman who's early competition was a relative who's who of Thai boxing at the moment. His first 5 bouts had seen him fight Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, twice, Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and although he had gone 0-6 leading into his bout with the unbeaten Kongfah he seemed to come into this bout with some confidence. Standing and trading blows with the unbeaten man in some very entertaining, low level action.
What is strange about this contest is boxrec have it as being a 6 round bout, yet some however the full bout seems to fight into a 9 minute video. We remember watching this live and being confused at the time, and we're still unsure on the actual length of the contest, and we think the TV team were as well, though it was still a very entertaining and action packed brawl.
Don't watch this if you're looking for high skilled chess, but it you just want a mindless brawl this should be right down your alley!
By Eric Armit
-Vasyl Lomachenko retains the WBA and WBO lightweight titles with kayo of Anthony Crolla
-Jamie Munguia holds on to the WBO super welterweight title with controversial majority verdict over Dennis Hogan
-Sergiy Derevyanchenko outpoints Jack Culcay and hopes that will lead to a fight with the winner of Saul Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs
-Gilberto Ramirez tests the water at light heavyweight with inside the distance win over Tommy Karpency
-Dominic Boesel retains the European light heavyweight title with stoppage of late substitute Timy Shala
-A plethora of cuts lead to fights involving Diego De La Hoya, Peter Quillin and Otto Wallin ending as No Decisions
WORLD TITLE / MAJOR SHOWS
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Vasyl Lomachenko (13-1) W KO 4 Anthony Crolla (34-7-3). Light Heavy: Gilberto Ramirez (40-0) W RTD 4 Tommy Karpency (29-7-1). Welter: Arnold Barboza (21-0) W TKO 3 Mike Alvarado (40-5). Welter: Alex Besputin (13-0) W PTS 10 Alfredo Blanco (20-8). Middle: Janibek Alimkhanuly (6-0) W PTS 10 Cristian Olivas (16-5).Heavy: Guido Vianello (3-0) W TKO 1 Lawrence Gabriel (3-2-1).
Lomachenko vs. Crolla
Lomachenko retains the WBA and WBO title with crushing victory over Crolla
Lomachenko spent the round tracking Crolla around the ring. There were very few punch thrown or landed as Crolla was not looking to engage so was not committing himself. Lomachenko landed a straight left and a right to the body to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko
Crolla started the round in ring centre and trying some punches. He connected with a good right to the body but was soon in full retreat with Lomachenko stalking him around the ring. Lomachenko scored with hooks and uppercuts late in the round. Crolla was hesitant and not committing himself to his punches.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 20-18
Lomachenko continued to walk down Crolla. Just before the bell he trapped the challenger on the ropes and bombarded him with rights and lefts. Crolla slumped down to be sitting on the ropes. The referee stepped in to give Crolla a count. Lomachenko though the fight was being stopped and started to celebrate but two officials climbed into the ring to stop his celebrations and lead him to a neutral corner. The referee unaware of this continued with the eight count and then turned and saw the two officials in the ring. He ushered them out and then motioned for the fight to continue but the bell went.
Score: 10-8 Lomachenko Lomachenko 30-26
Lomachenko finished the fight in style. He haunted Crolla along the ropes then landed a left to the body and a short right hook to the temple which sent Crolla face down to the canvas. The referee did not need to count and Crolla who had a long cut under his left eye and a nose bleed took some time to recover. Lomachenko was making the first defence since he unified the WBA and WBO titles by beating Jose Pedraza in December. He has said he would be willing to drop back down to super feather and would fight Gervonta Davis for free but has also named Mikey Garcia as a possible opponent. Those decisions will have to wait as it seems that Lomachenko damaged a knuckle on the middle finger of his right hand. It is not said to be a serious injury but he may be unable to spar for a few weeks. Crolla, 32, had been No 1 with the WBA after wins over Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez and Daud Yordan but will now have to think about where he goes from here.
Ramirez vs. Karpency
Whilst still holding onto his WBO super middle title Ramirez tests the water at light heavy with victory over an out-gunned Karpency.
In a competitive first round these two southpaw were letting their punches fly early. Karpency was looking to take the fight to Ramirez and landed some good left but Ramirez was snapping to the body with left hooks and connected with a strong left to the head. Ramirez controlled the second. He was reaching Karpency with long jabs and then throwing sweeping left hooks. Karpency tried to get in close but Ramirez unleashed combinations which pierced Karpency guard and although he tried to bang back Karpency was already showing blood from his nose and mouth and had a bump under his left eye and was fading out of the fight. Ramirez continued to break Karpency down in the third. Karpency was moving into survival mode but with Ramirez losing some of his accuracy Karpency managed to see out the round without too much punishment. Ramirez was unloading with long and short punches in the fourth. Karpency tried to rally and fire back but his face was smeared with blood from his nose and a vertical cut over his left eye and his corner pulled him out of the fight at the bell. Workmanlike job by Ramirez as he was a class or two above Karpency. Talk now is of Ramirez staying at super middle for a unification fight with Callum Smith. They have combined records of 65-0 and Smith is marginally taller (Ramirez 6’2 ½” to 6’3” for Smith) and have similar statistics for inside the distance wins (Ramirez 26 from 40 fights and Smith 18 from 25 fights) so an intriguing match-up if the managements and sanctioning bodies let it happen. Karpency, 33, was a good choice as a test at light heavy for Ramirez, He has lost in world title challenges to Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson and was stopped in 2016 by Oleg Gvozdyk and had only two low level wins in the last 17 months so vulnerable.
Barboza vs. Alvarado
Barboza finishes Alvarado inside three rounds. Barboza showed impressive hand speed and good movement with Alvarado trying to get inside to work but being too slow to cut off the ring. Barboza was shooting rapid-fire bursts of punches with Alvarado occasionally getting through with hooks to the body. Alvarado pressed hard throughout the second and had some success inside but Barboza was making him pay pulling him up with crisp uppercuts as he came forward and connecting with jabs, hooks and uppercuts. Alvarado was advancing in the third when he was nailed by a perfect right uppercut followed by a left to the head. Alvarado dipped at the knees and retreated. Barboza walked forward throwing straight lefts and rights until a right to the head sent Alvarado down on his back. He tried to climb to his feet using the ropes but fell to the canvas again and when he did get up his legs were rubber and the referee stepped in to save him. The 27-year-old Barboza could be in line to challenge fellow Top Rank boxer Juan Carlos Ramirez for the WBC super light title later in the year. He is not currently rated by the WBC but showed real talent here. Former WBO champion Alvarado was 33-0 at one time but then had a 1-4 spell including losses to Ruslan Provodnikov, and Juan Manuel Marquez and going 1-2 in fights with Brandon Rios. He had won his last six fights against modest opposition but this was a crushing loss and perhaps it is time to hand the gloves on a nail.
Besputin vs. Blanco
Russian Besputin wins a comfortable points victory as he keeps busy whilst awaiting a world title shot. Argentinian Blanco caused Besputin some problems early with his clumsy awkward style and constant switching of guards and it did not help that a clash of head in the second saw Besputin cut over his right eye. Once Besputin settled Blanco faded out of the fight. It was not a sensational display by Besputin but he used his superior skills to control the fight. He never really had Blanco in serious trouble but then Blanco has never lost inside the distance and despite tiring the South American made it to the final bell here. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for the 27-year-old Besputin. He is a former Russian and European gold medallist and is No 1 with the WBA so a potential opponent down the line for fellow-Top Rank boxer Terrence Crawford. Argentinian No 5 Blanco had gone the distance in Australia against Cameron Hammond and Jeff Horn and had won his last four fights, three in the first round.
Alimkhanuly vs. Olivas
Former top amateur Alimkhanuly breezes past useful Mexican Olivas as he moves up to ten rounds for the first time. Alimkhanuly took a couple of rounds to get rolling but then dominated the fight. He showed a good variety of punches and angles and denied Olivas the chance to work inside with a sharp and accurate right jab. Alimkhanuly does not have a reputation as a puncher and although he handed out plenty of punishment apart from the sixth when he rocked Olivas with a right he never really had Olivas in trouble although the Mexican was cut over his right eye from a clash of heads in the ninth. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Alimkhanuly who wins the vacant WBC Americas title (and yet another invented sanctioning fee seeker) the WBO Global title. The 26-year-old from Kazakhstan won gold medals at the Asian Championships and Asian Games, was a gold medallist at the 2013 World Championships beating Anthony Fowler in the semi-finals and Jason Quigley in the final and reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 Olympics. I guess the WBO Global title will get him a rating! Three losses in a row for Olivas who had lost against unbeaten fighter Bilal Akkawy and Tyler Howard in his previous two fights.
Vianello vs. Gabriel
Italian heavyweight hope Vianello makes it three out of three inside the distance as he stops Gabriel in 49 seconds. The Italian was stalking a retreating Gabriel and as Gabriel pawed with a weak left Vianello sent a right cross over the top and on to the side of Gabriel’s head. Gabriel backed to the ropes badly shaken and as Vianello followed up Gabriel dropped to the floor. He made it to his feet but was in no condition to continue. The 6’6” 24-year-old Vianello is a former Italian champion who represented Italy at the World Youth Tournament, losing to Hughie Fury, getting a silver medal at the European Union Championships and competed at the European Games and the 2016 Olympics as well as fighting for the Italia Thunder Team in the World Series of Boxing. Apart from the defeat by Fury he also lost three times to Frazer Clarke so UK fighters can’t be his favourite opponents. He has shown real destructive power so is one to follow. Second loss by KO/TKO for Gabriel.
Monterrey, Mexico: Super Welter: Jaime Munguia (33-0) W PTS 12 Dennis Hogan (28-2-1). Super Welter: Patrick Teixeira (30-1) W PTS 10 Mario Lozano (33-9). Feather: Diego De La Hoya (21-0,1ND) ND 2 Enrique Bernache (24-12,1ND). Feather: Irving Turrubiartes (20-0) W PTS 8 Jason Canoy (27-10-2). Minimumweight: Daniel Valladares (20-1) W TKO 7 Merlito Sabillo (27-7-1).
Munguia vs. Hogan
Munguia retains the WBO title on a majority decision but Hogan has strong grounds for an immediate return.
Hogan was buzzing around Munguia with his busy, busy style but neither fighter was committing themselves too much with Munguia’s jabs to the body edging the low activity round
Score: 10-9 Munguia
Another close round. Munguia was trying to cut the ring off but Hogan was constantly moving and changing direction then darting in with jabs and this time he just took the round.
Score: 10-9 Hogan Tied 19-19
Hogan landed a right to the head as things livened up. Munguia was doing a better job of chasing Hogan down and connected with rights and used a strong jab to pocket the points.
Score 10-9 Munguia Munguia 29-28
Hogan was conceding height and reach but making up for that by movement and speed. A frustrated Munguia was over committing himself and Hogan was making him pay with quick, accurate hooks in this round.
Score 10-9 Hogan Tied 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Rocky Young 38-38, Judge Waleska Roldan 39-37 Munguia, Judge Richard Levine 38-38
A much better round by Munguia. He was getting much closer to Hogan and letting his hands go more. He was connecting with left hooks to the body and dangerous rights. Hogan was not moving as quickly as he had been and not changing direction as much making it easier for Munguia to cut off the ring.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 48-47
Munguia’s round again. He was getting home throughout the round with his left hooks to the body and hunting Hogan around the ring. Hogan was still boxing cleverly but not throwing enough or landing enough and some of his work was ragged.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 58-56
This was a closer round but still Munguia’s. The Mexican was walking down Hogan and raking him with left hooks and got through with a crisp right uppercut. Hogan was coming up short when he dipped inside and although he did catch Munguia with a strong right counter he had slowed.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Munguia 68-65
Hogan got back into the fight in this one. He threw more punches and with more accuracy. Munguia was still landing some scorching left hooks but was wild with his right and Hogan was firing off useful hooks.
Score: 10-9 Hogan Munguia 77-75
Official Scores: Young 77-75 Munguia, Roldan 78-74 Munguia. Levine 76-76
Hogan was back in this fight. Instead of counter punching he was walking inside and scoring with hooks. Munguia was loading up on his punches and swinging wildly whereas Hogan was scoring with clusters of light shots.
Score: 10-9 Hogan Munguia 86-85
The fight had changed. Now it was Hogan taking the fight to Munguia and putting Munguia on the back foot. Hogan was coming forward firing short punches and catching Munguia with hooks to send the champion stumbling back. Munguia doesn’t like to box on the back foot but that was what he was being forced to do.
Score: 10-9 Hogan Tied 95-95
Hogan rocked Munguia back on his heels with the first punch he threw in this round. From there Munguia pressed hard pumping out punches but he was finding Hogan a difficult target and Hogan was picking Munguia off with quick, short punches and rocked Munguia back with another right and just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Hogan Hogan 105-104
Munguia needed a big last round and he delivered it. He was scoring with hooks on a tired Hogan and looked to have Hogan rocky twice. Hogan banged back but was by far the more tired and it was clearly Munguia’s round.
Score: 10-9 Munguia Tied 114-114
Official Scores: Young 115-113 Munguia, Roldan 116-112 Munguia, Levine 114-0114.
Munguia retains the WBO title but only just. Many felt Hogan was robbed but not as I saw it and of course what counts is what the official scores came out as. The 22-year-old from Tijuana was making the fourth defence of his title in less than a year but Hogan made him look very beatable which Sadam Ali, Liam Smith, Brandon Cook and Takeshi Inoue failed to do. Irish/ Australian Hogan, 34, will press for a return and deserves one
Teixeira vs. Lozano
Tall Brazilian southpaw Teixeira starts brightly but then fades and finally struggles to get win majority decision win over Lozano. Teixeira captured the early rounds. He had quicker hands and better movement than the sluggish Lozano. As the fight progressed Teixeira’s attacks became more predictable and Lozano was rolling over the second half of the fight taking the action to Teixeira. Lozano looked to have clawed back the Brazilian’s early lead but it was just not enough to get him the decision. Scores 96-94 twice for Teixeira and 95-95. Teixeira, 28, looked hot when putting together a run of 26 wins but the opposition had not been strong and a brutal second round loss to Curtis Stevens in 2016 saw him inactive for 14 months. Despite a win over Nathaniel Gallimore in September he seems to have lost something. Mexican Lozano, 31, looked to be on the slide with a run of four losses but the opposition had mainly been world class and he had rebuilt with four wins going into this one.
De La Hoya vs. Bernache
Disappointing end as a clash of heads causes this contest to be stopped and declared a No Decision. Del La Hoya had the edge in the first round as heads banged together in the second Bernache suffered a large vertical gash in the centre of his forehead and was unable to continue. De La Hoya is rated WBA 3/ WBO 5/ WBC 7 so this fight would have provided some useful ring time in preparation for a title chance at the end of this year or early next. Bernache had lost 3 of his last 4 but usually goes the distance.
Turrubiartes vs. Canoy
Local hope Turrubiartes keeps his 100% record with a unanimous points verdict over seasoned Filipino Canoy. Turrubiartes attacked hard but Canoy used his experience to keep the fight close. A pivotal point came in the fifth with Turrubiartes flooring Canoy and after that the young Mexican never really let Canoy back into the fight. Score 78-73 for Turrubiartes on all three cards. Canoy represents the first real test Turrubiartes has faced as his opposition has been very modest so his 20-0 record is misleading at this stage. Canoy, 28, is a former holder of the bantam and super bantam titles of the Philippines Boxing Federation (A secondary title not the generally recognised Philippines title). He had lost 3 of his last 4 fights all of the losses on the road and against class opposition
Valladares vs. Sabillo
A good night for Monterrey fighters as Valladares stops former WBO minimumweight champion Sabillo. The Filipino constituted a big step up in quality of opposition for Valladares so an important win his twelfth by KO/TKO. Sabillo, 35, was 23-0-1 at the start of his career but is on the down slope now being 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Los Mochis, Mexico: Super Light: Marcos Villasana Jr (24-6) W PTS 12 Roiman Villa (19-1). Fly: Brian Mosinos (16-2) W PTS 10 Mario Rodriguez (23-17-5).
Villasana vs. Villa
Villasana gets controversial split decision over Venezuelan Villa. With the visitor having won all of his 19 contests inside the distance it was unexpected that Villasana decided to stand and trade instead of boxing. That led to a whole series of exciting exchanges with neither boxer wanting to take a step back. Those tactics saw Villasana badly cut but he survived three doctor’s inspection to keep fighting. There was never much between these two but Villa looked to have the edge after ten rounds although Villasana finished the stronger. Scores 115-112 twice for Villasana and 114-113 for Villa/ The 27-year-old from Acapulco wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox title and now has eight wins in a row including victories over Nery Saguilan, Jose Felix Jr and Pablo Vicente but he has rode his luck in a couple of those. Not much in the way of quality in the opposition Villa has met with ten of his opponents never winning a fight but he has beaten a couple of reasonable level opponents.
Mosinos vs. Rodriguez
Best career win so far for Mosinos as he outclasses former IBF minimumweight champion Rodriguez to win the vacant WBC Fecarbox belt. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90. The 23-year-old from Mexico City was taking a huge step up as the two opponents he lost to in 2017 and 2018 had combined records of 6-3-1. “Little Dragon” Rodriguez at 5’1” continually has to give away height and reach and has struggled since losing his IBF title back in 2013 being 8-11-1 in his last 20 fights.
Hampton, NH, USA: Welter: Derek Silveira (16-2) W PTS 8 Roberto Valenzuela Jr (14-1). Cruiser: Vincenzo Carita (20-1-1) W KO 1 Claudio Porto (8-5-1). Super Bantam: Tramaine Williams (17-0,1ND) W PTS 8 Ernesto Guerrero (31-27).
Silveira vs. Valenzuela Jr
Silveira wins the vacant New England title with wide unanimous decision over Mexican Valenzuela. Silveira put Valenzuela down in the first but was on the floor himself in the last before running out the winner. Scores 79-71, 79-73 and 78-72 for Silveira. “The Surgeon” has won 8 of his last 9 losing only to Greg Vendetti for New England bragging rights in January last year. Valenzuela had scored eight first round wins but Silveira was too good here. Silveira has the distinction of having beaten both Valenzuela Jr and his father Roberto. That is not entirely unique as Jersey Joe Walcott beat both Phil Johnson and his son future world champion Harold.
Carita vs. Porto
In a disgraceful mismatch “The American Nightmare” Carita gets this one over quickly as a body punch late in the opening round drops Porto who did not beat the count. The 34-year-old from Boston wins something called the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas title with his nineteenth win by KO/TKO. He is 16-0-1 in his last 17 fights but don’t look too closely at his opposition. Brazilian Porto, 47, suffers his fifth first round loss in a row in only his second fight in 26 months.
Williams vs. Guerrero
Home town fighter Williams gets his second win of the year with a points decision over Guerrero. Williams comfortably outboxed Guerrero but the Mexican was competitive and stayed around to allow Williams to get some ring time under his belt. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-72. Williams had finished a fight in February in just 79 seconds and since that was his first fight for eleven months he needed this ring time. A former National Golden Gloves champion Williams turned pro in 2012 after failing to get through the US Olympic Trials for a spot on the London team. Guerrero experienced but very limited.
Catamarca, Argentina: Super Welter: Cesar Barrionuevo (35-4-2,1ND) W KO 1 Juan Lencina (22-3-3).
In a non-title fight Argentinian champion Barrionuevo knocks out fellow-southpaw Lencina inside a round. A left to the head rocked Lencina early and as Barrionuevo came forward a clash of heads opened a bad cut over Lencina’s right eye. He tried to take the fight to Barrionuevo but with his backs to the ropes Barrionuevo connected with a right to the head. Lencina took a step back and then dropped to the canvas and was counted out. Barrionuevo, 30, is rebuilding after losing a big fight to Yordenis Ugas in September, only his second loss in his last 31 fights. This is win No 25 by KO/TKO. Former argentine champion Lencina, 35, has now lost three times by KO/TKO.
Melbourne, Australia: Middle: Sam Soliman (46-14-1,2ND) W PTS 12 Mark Lucas (9-2). Super Middle: Mike Zerafa (26-3) W KO 2 Les Sherrington (37-14)
Soliman vs. Lucas
Soliman, 45, goes out with a win and a title which is almost how his pro career started. Soliman was too experienced and too clever for Lucas and won the vacant WB Foundation title with unanimous points verdict on scores of 118-110 twice and 120-108. The former IBF champion had his first pro fight in April 1997 and in his second fight in June 1997 won his first professional title-the Australian cruiserweight title- in a twelve round fight. From there Soliman has won a variety of titles mostly at middleweight but with the Australian super middleweight title also in there. He beat felix Sturm for the IBF title in 2013 but the German BDB said he had tested positive for a banned substance and the result was changed to No Decision. Soliman did win the title by beating Sturm in a return in 2014 and in 2016 a German court ruled that Soliman had not tested positive for a banned substance. Soliman lost the IBF title to Jermaine Taylor in October 2014 and has had periods of low activity and not really reached the heights again but he goes out a winner. Lucas, the Australian No 2 was coming off a loss against Rocky Jerkic in February. He is a former Australian amateur champion and competed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014
Zerafa vs. Sherrington
Former undefeated Commonwealth champion Zerafa eases back with a second round kayo of fading veteran Sherrington. First fight for the Melbourne 27-year-old since losing to Kell Brook in December and fifteenth win by KO/TKO. Sherrington, 36, a former WB Foundation middleweight and Australian super middle champion, has now suffered four losses in a row by KO/TKO.
Douai, France: Welter: Steve Jamoye (25-7-2) W PTS 10 Mehdi Mouhib (17-1). Super Welter: Fouad El Massoudi (17-11) W PTS 10 Barthelemy Lefebvre (17-101-1). Welter: Daouda Sow (20 -2) W PTS 6 Aleko Lursmanashvili (4-8).
Jamoye vs. Mouhib
Jamoye is rarely in a bad fight but does not always get justice when he travels. This was another war on the opposition’s home patch but this time the Belgian took the decision. They exchanged punches constantly with Jamoye ploughing forward and Mouhib trying to stop his charges with good counters. A fiery third saw them both connecting heavily and Mouhib occasionally managed to keep Jamoye out, but not for long. Jamoye scored with scything hooks in the ninth but lost a point in the tenth for spitting out his mouthguard but by then had already done enough to ensure he came out the victor. Scores 96-93, 97-92 and 95-94 for Jamoye. He wins Mouhib’s WBFederation Inter-Continental title and lifts the vacant IBO Mediterranean belt. Former Belgian champion Jamoye was 1-3-1 in his last five fights before this win but he is always capable of springing a surprise. Mouhib was coming off a couple of inside the distance victories but Jamoye’s pressure was too much for him.
El Massoudi vs. Lefebvre
El Massoudi makes it a bad night for the locals as he outpoints Douai’s Lefebvre to win the vacant French title. In the first round Lefebvre started out trying to use his jab to control the aggressive El Massoudi. It worked in that round but from the second Lefebvre was forced to stand and trade which handed the fight to El Massoudi who simply outworked the more skilful local and even outlanded him when Lefebvre managed to find some space. They went toe-to-toe in the last as Lefebvre put in a big effort but El Massoudi was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 98-93. El Massoudi wins the French title at the third attempt. After a 1-6 run he has now won his last three fights. Lefebvre was having his second shot at the title.
Sow vs. Lursmanashvili
Southpaw Sow gets a win for the local fighters as he easily outpoints Georgian Lursmanashvili. Sow was in a different class as far as skill is concerned but Lursmanashvili forced the former amateur star to fight hard in every round and they even continued to exchange punches after the final bell. All three cards had Sow winning 60-54. Now 36, Sow won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics beating Jose Pedraza and Yordenis Ugas but losing to Russian Alek Tischenko. After winning his first 18 contests losses to Renald Garrido and unbeaten Yazid Amghar derailed him and this is his first fight for two years. Lursmanashvili is 1-7 in his last 8 fights.
Follonica, Italy: Super Feather: Giuseppe Carafa (11-3-1) W TKO 4 Francesco Invernizio (9-8-1). Carafa wins the vacant Italian title with stoppage of Invernizio. The 24-year-old Carafa gets only his third win by KO/TKO and Invernizio his second loss by KO/TKO. Carafa had lost to unbeaten Michael Magnesi for this title in his last fight in November. Invernizio is 0-3 in his last three fights consisting of one challenge for the Italian lightweight title and two at this vacant title.
Singapore: Super Feather: Hamzah Farouk (8-0) W PTS 10 Paiboon Lorkham (19-12). Feather: Mark Magsayo (19-0) W KO 4 Erik Deztroyer (12-5-1).
Farouk vs. Lorkham
Not much of a fight here as local boxer Farouk towered over the small , balding Thai. Lorkham’s tactics varied between just laying back on the ropes and trying to bob and weave and then march forward head down throwing wild swings. Farouk found the little Thai elusive at times and got caught with those wild swipes but on other occasions was able to catch Lorkham cleanly when the Thai just dropped his hands and was too slow to dodge some of the punches. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 for Farouk. There were plenty of flaws in Farouk’s work and he looks unlikely to go far. At 40 and just 5’3 ½” Lorkham should not be fighting let alone fighting at super feather.
Magsayo vs. Deztroyer
Magsayo returns to action after a long break and is classes ahead of Indonesian Deztroyer. From the opening bell Magsayo was landing wicked left hooks to the body and straight rights to the head with poor Deztroyer just soaking up the punches. This was Magsayo’s first fight since November 2017 and although he was again scoring with left hooks in the second and third he was not sustaining his attacks looking to get in some ring time. Magsayo ended it in the fourth. He landed a rib crunching left hook to the body that had Deztroyer retreating to a corner and then slumping to the floor propped up against the ring post and he just sat out the full count. Now 14 wins by KO/TKO for the Filipino “Magnifico”. Magsayo, 23, was the WBO No 2 before his inactivity so will be looking to climb the ratings with a couple more fights. Deztroyer-real name Ery Subiyasno-was having his first fight of record since March 2018.
Minneapolis, MN, USA: Middle: Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1) W PTS 12 Jack Culcay (25-3). Super Middle: Peter Quillin (34-1-1,1ND) ND 2 Caleb Truax (30-4-2,1ND). Light: Chris Colbert (11-0) W TKO 2 Mario Briones (29-9-2).
Derevyanchenko vs. Culcay
Derevyanchenko gets close unanimous verdict over Culcay in an IBF eliminator and puts himself in line for a shot at the winner of Saul Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs. The opening round saw both fighters cautiously probing with their jab and trying quick attacks. Both fighters are good tacticians with Derevyanchenko just doing enough to take the points. Culcay evened things up using quicker hands and excellent footwork to outbox Derevyanchenko in the second and third with Derevyanchenko not letting his hands go enough and finding the quick Culcay a difficult target. Derevyanchenko had a much better fourth as he applied three minutes of pressure connecting with strong jabs and a couple of heavy right crosses. At this point I had them level at 38-38. Derevyanchenko was really rolling in the fifth. He was hunting Culcay down scoring with powerful jabs and connecting with hooks to the body. Late in the round Culcay landed the best punch so far in the shape of a peach of a right uppercut that shook Derevyanchenko but it was easily Derevyanchenko’s round. Derevyanchenko was relentless in the sixth coming in under Culcay’s jab and firing hooks to head and body with Culcay too busy defending to get on the front foot. Culcay was tired of getting bullied and he stood and interchanged punches at the start of the seventh. Aggression from Derevyanchenko eventually put Culcay on the back foot and Derevyanchenko finished the round with a strong attack. The eighth was a good round for Derevyanchenko. After an early attack from Culcay when he landed two cracking rights the Ukrainian took over driving Culcay around the ring scoring with overhand rights and hooking to the body with both hands. For me Derevyanchenko had swept the last for rounds and I had him 78-74 up. This really was a high quality fight. Culcay knew he had to turn things around and he tried hard in the ninth standing and trading where his quicker hand speed inside gave him the edge. Derevyanchenko’s power then put him in charge as he landed thumping rights to the head and worked to the body. Derevyanchenko looked to be taking the tenth but then Culcay landed a right to the head that sent Derevyanchenko back tumbling into the ropes Culcay launched a furious attacks and connected with more head punches that had Derevyanchenko floundering and in deep trouble just as the bell went. A big round for Culcay but it had come too late. A clash of heads saw Culcay cut outside his left eye and Derevyanchenko in his hairline. Two tired boxer slugged it out in the eleventh. Culcay just seemed to have that bit more in the tank and although they both scored well Culcay just had the edge. In the last it was Derevyanchenko with the power and energy. He simply punched Culcay to a standstill connecting with hooks and uppercuts with Culcay trying to punch with him but taking shot after shot. A great middleweight scrap and I had Derevyanchenko winning 116-112. Official scores 116-112 twice and 115-113. Huge result for Derevyanchenko as with Culcay being No 2 and himself No 3 the winner becomes the official challenger for the IBF title. Derevyanchenko lost a split decision to Daniel Jacobs in October but Alvarez would be a bigger match if he wins the fight against Jacobs on May 4th although whoever wins will probably be looking for bigger fights. Culcay played his part in a quality fight and in losing probably gave one of his best displays.
Quillin vs. Truax
Cuts were a feature of the fights this weekend and another one ended this contest early. After a fairly even first round a brutal coming together of head saw Truax with a bad cut above his right eye. At the end of the round the doctor and the referee agreed the cut was too bad for Truax to continue so the fight ended as a No Decision. Both needed some serious ring time and were looking to build on wins in their last fight so a disappointing night for all concerned.
Colbert vs. Briones
Brooklyn hope Colbert demolishes Briones in a fight between two boxers heading in different directions. Colbert was sharp in the first and it already looked like an early night. In the second he put Briones on the canvas with a southpaw left and although Briones managed to get to his feet Colbert blitzed him with punches from both hands and the referee halted the fight. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old Colbert who in theory was moving up to ten rounds for the first time. Briones, 33, has gone from 20-0-1to 29-9-2 so a descending path.
Halle an der Saale, Germany: Light Heavy: Dominic Boesel (28-1) W TKO 8 Timy Shala (23-3-1). Heavy: Erik Pfeifer (5-0) W PTS 6 Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko (4-3-1).Heavy: Peter Kadiru (2-0) W KO 4 Vincenzo Febbo (3-1).Light Heavy: Tom Dzemski (12-0) W PTS 6 Jozef Jurko (5-1).
Boesel vs. Shala
Boesel retains the European title with stoppage of very late substitute Shala. Boesel was to have defended against Orial Kolaj but after the weigh in Kolaj reported a rib injury and was replaced by Shala. Boesel made a good start flooring Shala in the first. As Shala rumbled forward Boesel showed him a left jab and then connected with a straight right that felled Sharma heavily but he made it to his feet and to the bell. Boesel lost his way a little over the next three rounds and Shala had a good fourth pressing the fight and forcing the champion onto the defensive. Boesel found his rhythm again in the fifth and by the end of the sixth not surprisingly Shala began to tire. In the seventh Boesel floored Shala heavily with a right and he was pounding on Shala with a series of rights in the eighth when the referee stopped the fight. Second defence of the European title for Boesel and his eleventh win by KO/TKO. He sits high in the ratings at WBO 2/WBC 3/WBA 13 and although he is No 3 with the IBF he is their highest rated fighter but can’t move to No 1 or No 2 as he has not beaten a rated fighter. He should land a shot at one of the belts later this year. Shala, 33, had lost a wide unanimous decision to Boesel in 2015 and was knocked out in eleven rounds by Erik Skoglund in 2016 but had scored two low level wins since then. Although nicknamed the “Albanian Bomber” Shala was born in Kosovo and is a former Austrian champion.
Pfeifer vs. Dovbyshchenko
Pfeifer struggles against Ukrainian in what should have been an easy win and has to settle for a majority decision. Pfeifer’s better skills particularly his jab gave him the edge in this one but Dovbyshchenko proved a tough customer and connected too often for Pfeifer to ever be comfortable and in the end it was a disappointing performance by Pfeifer. Scores 59-55, and 58-56 for Pfeifer and 57-57. Although winning plenty of competitions as an amateur and twice beating Rio gold Medallist Tony Yoka the Russian-born German is now 32 and is unlikely to make it to the top. Dovbyshchenko competed in the Ukrainian Championships and then fought as a pro and then went back to amateur and back to pro again.
Kadiru vs. Febbo
Kadiru gets his first inside the distance win as a pro as he flattens gutsy Italian Febbo in the fourth round. The tall German was in charge of this one all the way. He gradually stepped up the pressure with a strong jab and some meaty hooks. In the fourth a huge right to the head sent Febbo down and out cold spread-eagled on the canvas and it was a few minutes before he recovered. Early days and still some rough edges but the 21-year-old 6’4 ½” German has tremendous potential. He was a gold medallist at the Youth Olympic Games and twice at the European Under-19 Championships and at the Under-22 Championships. German-based Italian Febbo did well to last to the fourth.
Dzemski vs. Jurko
Dzemski continues to make steady progress. The local boxer was given some useful ring time by Slovakian Jurko who came to win. Dzemski had the better skill set and boxed confidently. He shook Jurko in the fourth but Jurko did not fold and did enough to take a round and make Dzemski work hard. Scores 59-55 twice and 58-56 for Dzemski. The 22-year-old hope is the son of former German champion Dirk Dzemski who was 27-2 as a pro and is now one of the top trainers in Germany. Jurko had won his last three fights inside the distance but was in his first six round fight.
Cihuatlan, Mexico: Super Fly: Pedro Guevara (34-3-1) W KO 5 Marvin Solano (21-4). Bantam: Karim Arce (15-0-2) DREW 8 Francisco Alarcon (7-2-2).
Guevara vs. Solano
Guevara stays on course for a world title shot with kayo of Nicaraguan Solano. The visitor had advantages in height and reach over Guevara but not the punch to keep Guevara out, The Mexican was getting inside from the opening round and Solano spent much of each round pinned to the ropes as Guevara worked the body. A right in the fourth rocked Guevara back on his heels but he was soon grinding Solano down again. In the fifth a powerful straight right floored Solano and he was unable to beat the count. Since losing his WBC light flyweight title to Yu Kimura in 2015 Guevara has won 8 out of 9 fights with the loss coming on a majority decision against Ken Shiro in an unsuccessful challenge for his old WBC title in 2017. He is down at No 7 super flyweight with the WBC so some way to go before he lands that title chance. First loss by KO/TKO for Solano.
Arce vs. Alarcon
Arce is a big name for any Mexican fighter to carry around and young Karim is making heavy work of it. On paper this should have been a routine win for Arce and he came out swinging trying to blow Alarcon away. Alarcon refused to fold and war commenced. They put on a rousing battle with Arce’s face a mask of blood as they swapped fierce uppercuts inside and battled to the final bell and a standing ovation. A draw was the right result. Still only 20 there is time for Arce to improve after all Hall of Famer Uncle Jorge was a modest 4-1-1 at the start of his career and went on to win five world titles in four different divisions. Alarcon was 5-1-1 in his last 7 fights but strictly a prelim level fighter.
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Heavy: Jermaine Franklin (18-0) W PTS 10 Rydell Booker (25-2). Heavy: Otto Wallin (20-0,1ND) ND 1 Nick Kisner (21-4-1,1ND).
Franklin vs. Booker
Franklin keeps his 100% record with unanimous verdict over Booker. The youth, speed and work rate of Franklin were just too much for 38-year-old Booker. Booker was competitive overt the first half of the fight but never really looked like doing more than setting Franklin some puzzles to solve. Booker’s experience helped him get through the later rounds as Franklin was in total control. The Saginaw youngster showed excellent skills and plenty of movement and continues to improve. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for Franklin. A former National Golden Gloves champion Franklin, 25, is worth following. Booker’s is a sad story. Now 38 Booker was an outstanding amateur who failed to make the US Team for the 2000 Olympics. In 2001he was selected to represent the US at the World Championships to be held in Belfast but left the training venue under a cloud. and turned pro. He won his first 22 fights but in 2004 was arrested for possession with intent to deliver heroin. Whilst out on bail he lost to James Toney for the International Boxing Association world title. Later he was sentenced to 12 to 30 years over the heroin arrest and served more than ten years. After his release he returned to the ring last year winning his two fights. As an amateur he fought at 201lbs but he was 238 ½ lbs for this fight.
Wallin vs. Kisner
Wallin’s US debut comes to an unsatisfactory end as both he and Kisner suffered cuts in a first round clash of heads, Before the start of the second the doctor advised that Kisner’s cut was too serious for the fight to continue so it ended as a No Decision. A pity as the 28-year-old 6’5 ½” Swedish southpaw had been inactive since beating fellow-Swede Adrian Granat a year ago. Kisner had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Vienna, Austria: Middle: Marcos Nader (21-1-1) W TKO 8 Gogi Knezevic (34-9-1). Austrian Nader continues his comeback with a stoppage of Knezevic. Not a difficult night for Spanish-born Nader. Knezevic started brightly but once Nader found the range it was a one-sided contest. Nader broke Knezevic down with hooks and upper cuts. In the eighth he backed Knezevic to the ropes and floored him with a powerful right and Knezevic did well to make it to his feet. When the action restarted Nader hurt Knezevic with a couple of body punches and Knezevic turned away in pain and the referee waived the fight over. Nader, 29, collects the vacant IBF International title. A former European Union champion Nader was Austrian champion in the amateurs at 17 when he needed a special permit to compete because of his age. In the pros after losing the EU title in January 2014 Nader signed up for the AIBA Pro Boxing hoping to qualify for the 2016 Olympics but he failed and was inactive from November 2014 until returning with a win in April 2018. Knezevic, 39, now has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Henin-Beaumont, France: Light: laid Douadi (17-0-1) W PTS 10 Renald Garrido (24-22-3). Home town fighter Douadi wins the vacant French title on a split decision based on some widely varying scores leaving Garrido with good cause for complaint. Douadi boxed neatly over the first two rounds using some accurate jabs to pierce Garrido’s defence. Garrido is one tough, aggressive fighter and pretty soon Douadi was being forced onto the back foot as Garrido marched forward connecting with hooks and uppercuts inside. It developed into a clash between the crisp, accurate punching of Douadi and the busier inside work of Garrido who looked to have built a substantial lead. Douadi banged back to stage a strong finish but it was questionable whether he had done enough. It was a close fight with one judge giving it to Garrido 97-93 and a second to Douadi 96-94 and the third an unbelievable 100-90 for Douadi! The local fighter gets the title but when you see a score like that the words home town loom large. Douadi is rated No 17 in the EU ratings and was having his first ten round fight. Former French champion Garrido is a warrior who will fight anyone anywhere and he occasionally springs a surprise against the local boxer-but not this time. Hopefully he will get a return.
Luebeck, Germany: Heavy: Mohamed Soltby (16-1) W DISQ 4 Toni Thes (15-8).Light Heavy: James Kraft (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Philipp Kolodziej (10-8). Super Middle: Toni Kraft (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Tomas Bezvoda (6-5). Super Welter: Antonio Hoffmann (21-1) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-16).
Soltby vs. Thes
Soltby wins the vacant IBF Baltic title as Thes gets thrown out for one foul too many. Russian-born Soltby was able to spear the much smaller Thes with jabs and land long rights. He put Thes down in the first but could not keep him there. Thes made bull-like head down rushes his tactic of choice and he was dangerous with his head and lost a point in the first. Thes wrestled Soltby to the floor in the second and lost another point and also tried to knee Soltby in a clinch. He was a disqualification just waiting to happen. Through all this Soltby stuck to his boxing landing some stiff jabs and thudding rights but he was a sane fighter in an insane fight. Thes lost a point for a low punch in the third. Soltby landed some heavy punches in the fourth and Thes twice tried to use his knee in a clinch and on the second occasion the referee disqualified Thes. The 6’4 ½” Soltby is trained by former WBO lightweight champion Artur Grigorian who won the title in 1996 and lost it to Acelino Freitas in his eighteenth defence. He finished with a 38-1 record. Soltby showed some useful touches but was stopped in five rounds by Nathan Gorman in November 2017. The remarkable thing about German Thes is that he has found 15 fighters to beat but then nine of his opponents had never won a fight and the other six were only a smidgen better.
Kraft vs. Kolodziej
In an all-German contest Kraft takes unanimous decision over southpaw Kolodziej. Kraft had lots of height and reach over the crude Kolodziej and easily dominated the action when he boxed at distance. Unfortunately he had problems with the wild lunging attacks of Kolodziej and too often when Kolodziej got inside Kraft promptly grabbed and held Kolodziej to stop him fighting. Kraft did what clean work there was but it was an untidy fight. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Kraft. The 6’3” 22-year-old from Munich has been very carefully matched and could be found out when he gets his first real test. Kolodziej has lost 3 of his last four fights.
Kraft vs. Bezvoda
Brother Toni Kraft boxed his way to victory in this one. Czech Bezvoda came to fight. He was walking into Kraft for the whole eight rounds. Kraft kept pumping out jabs and using quick movement to fight on the outside. Bezvoda pressed and pressed but Kraft was very nifty and quick with his punches. When Kraft chose to stand and trade he was able to connect with sweeping hooks and Bezvoda was too slow with his counters but his pressure was enough to get him a share of a round, Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 for Kraft. Again the opposition has been non-threatening so not sure at this stage how far Kraft can go but I have my reservations. Fourth loss in a row for Bezvoda but he forced the fight all the way.
Hoffmann vs. Gorbics
Hoffmann looked the most accomplished boxer on the show. The Angolan-born fighter just walked experienced Gorbics down from the first to the last bell. He was marching in behind the high guard so favoured in German rings. When he closed the distance he was firing quick bursts of hooks and uppercuts to head and body and Gorbics hardly ever ventured far from the ropes. Despite that the Hungarian was always looking to fire back. He threw plenty of jabs and connected with occasional straight rights but for most of the fight it was Hoffmann pounding away but finding Gorbics a durable opponent. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Hoffmann. The only defeat suffered by Hoffman was a points loss to Canadian Steven Butler in 2016 and he has won eight on the spin since then and collected the Global Boxing Union World title. Gorbics is 2-7 in his last 9 fights which is made up of 2 home wins and 7 losses on his travels.
Culiacan, Mexico: Fly: Ricardo Sandoval (15-1) W TKO 6 Christian Aranda (?). Feather: Joseph Landeros (16-0) W RTD 5 Ricardo Rojas (10-3).
Sandoval vs. Aranda
“Nino” Sandoval wins the vacant WBC Youth Inter-Continental title with stoppage of substitute Aranda. Sandoval dominated the fight before flooring Aranda in the sixth. Aranda made it to his feet but his corner threw in the towel. Tenth win by KO/TKO for 20-year-old Californian Sandoval. He was to have faced unbeaten Giovanni Gonzalez but local sources indicate Aranda came in instead so some confusion over the opponent.
Landeros vs. Rojas
It is now 16 fights and 16 wins by KO/TKO for young Landeros. He handed out a beating to Rojas with the bell saving Rojas in the fourth Landeros piled on the punishment in the fifth and Rojas retired at the end of the round. The 20-year -old from Riverside, Californian is trained by former WBC bantam and WBA super bantam champion Raul “Jibaro” Perez. Landeros is yet to be taken past the fifth round for a win. He lifts the WBC Youth Silver title. First loss by KO/TKO for Rojas.
Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua: Bantam: Alex Espinoza (18-1-2) W PTS 8 Martin Diaz (15-9-11ND). Diaz came in way over the limit for this fight but it did him no good as Espinoza was better in every department. He had the quicker and more accurate shots on the outside and had more power in his uppercuts and hooks inside. Diaz tried to get close to work but he always came out worse in the exchanges. Espinoza is not a big puncher and he never really had Diaz in any trouble but he was a comfortable winner taking the unanimous decision. Espinoza’s only defeat is a split decision in Russia to former World Amateur Champion Mikhail Aloyan. This is his third win since then and he is No 8 with the WBA. Diaz was 5-0,1ND going in.
Bacoor, Philippines: Fly: Alphoe Dagayloan (13-2-5,1ND) W PTS 10 Esneth Domingo (11-1). Minimumweight: ArAr Andales (10-0) W PTS 10 Cris Ganoze (17-3).
Dagayloan vs. Domingo
Southpaw Dagayloan holds on to his WBA Asian title with unanimous verdict over Domingo in a spirited battle. No prisoner taken here as the less experienced Domingo matched Dagayloan throughout the ten rounds. In the end it was the strength of the champion that saw him come out a winner. Scores 98-92, 97-94 and 96-94 with the last a better reflection of what happened inside the ropes. The 27-year-old Dagayloan stretches his unbeaten run to ten fights. Domingo, 20, lost but raised his stock.
Andales vs. Ganoze
In another WBA Asian title fight champion Andales remained unbeaten as he outpointed southpaw Ganoze. Just 19 Andales shows plenty of potential. Ganoze was 5-1 in his last six fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Any Vasyl Lomachenko fight is significant but Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s win over Jack Culcay came a close second
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Derevyanchenko vs. Culcay was a high quality entertaining contest. They don’t have to be big to be great and Karim Arce vs. Francisco Alarcon had the fans on their feet for all eight rounds.
Fighter of the week: Vasyl Lomachenko with honourable mention to Dennis Hogan
Punch of the week: So many to choose from this week but I go for the right from Lomachenko that put Anthony Crolla face down on the canvas. I must give honourable mentions to Arnold Barboza’s right uppercut that was the beginning of the end for Mike Alvarado, Guido Vianello’s right that sent Lawrence Gabriel down, the pile-driving straight right from Pedro Guevara that destroyed Marvin Solano and Peter Kadiru’ s right that flattened Vincenzo Febbo. A painful weekend for some.
Upset of the week: No real world shakers
Prospect watch: Early days but keep an eye out for two European heavyweights with substantial amateur success behind them as Italian Guido Vianello 3-0 and German Peter Kadiru 2-0 scored wins at the weekend
By Eric Armit
The Past Week in Action 8 April 2019
- In a clash of former world champions Francisco Rodriguez decisions Oswaldo Novoa in a war in Cancun and on the same show Omar Chavez gets a win
-In Hermosillo Ramón Alvarez gets split decision over Jose Carlos Paz and Pedro Campa draws with Abner Lopez.
-On a big show in Poland England’s Andrew Robinson outpoints 41-0-1 Damian Jonak, Scottish-based Martin Bakole Ilunga stops Maurice Wach and Poles Robert Talarek and Patryk Szymanski share ten knockdown in less the 14 minutes of action!
-Marcelo Caceres 27-0-1 and Zac Dunn 29-1 score wins
- A show in Dubai sees Nigerian Aliu Bamidele Lasisi and former Irish amateur star David Oliver Joyce record victories
-Canadian Ryan Ford springs an upset as he knocks out unbeaten German hope Serge Michel
-Ricardo Mayorga 46 is stopped in two rounds by Lester Martinez in Guatemala
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Zac Dunn (28-1) W TKO 2 Patrick Rokhol (16-1). Middle: Tej Pratap Singh (15-4-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Viktor Agateljan (7-1).
Dunn vs. Rokhol
Former Commonwealth champion Dunn gets his fifth inside the distance win in a row with stoppage of German Rokhol. After Dunn floored Rokhol twice in the second round the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. It is win No 23 by KO/TKO for Dunn who retains the WBA Oceania title. For winning their European title on a split decision over a guy with a 10-0-1 record who had never been in a ten round contest Rokhol was gifted a No 13 rating by the WBO and was outclassed here.
Singh vs. Agateljan
It was expected that Armenian-born Agateljan would prove a tough challenger for Australian champion Singh but in the end it was a one-sided contest with Singh winning 99-91 on all three cards. The Indian-born Singh was making the first defence of the National title and is now 6-0,1ND in his last 7 fights. The No Decision was originally ruled a loss against Sam Soliman but on review fouls by Soliman and a couple of overlooked knockdowns scored by Singh were sufficient grounds for the decision to be changed to a No Decision. Agateljan was going past six rounds for the first time but he had an extensive amateur background under the Czech banner.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Angelo Leo (17-0) W PTS 10 Neil John Tabanao (17-4). Super Feather: Xavier Martinez (14-0) W TKO 3 John Vincent Moralde (21-3).
Leo vs. Tabanao
Leo continues to show improvement as he takes wide unanimous verdict over useful Filipino Tabano. Leo was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and showed maturity in the way he paced the fight. He outboxed Tabano early scoring well with jabs and landing plenty of body punches. He cranked up the pressure over the second half of the fight and really put in a tremendous effort over the last three rounds with Tabamo spending most of the time pinned to the ropes and Leo banging away to head and body of an exhausted Tabano. Scores 100-90 twice and 100-89 for Leo. Although never winning a major tournament Leo was 65-10 as an amateur and is developing impressively. Tabano had won his last four fights against reasonable level opposition and is yet to lose inside the distance.
Martinez vs. Moralde
Martinez shows power as he punches too hard for the more experienced Moralde. From the opening round Martinez was landing accurate and heavy punches. He kept the pressure going through the second and ended the fight in style in the third. Moralde was gamely trying to take the fight to Martinez but was nailed with a spectacular short left hook that put him on the canvas. Moralde was up at five but still looked rocky. The referee had a look at him and let the fight continue but when Martinez forced Moralde to the ropes and landed some head punches the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Sixth win on the bounce by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old from Sacramento and tenth in all. Moralde went 19-0 at the start of his career but suffered losses in tough matches against Toka Kahn Clary and Jamel Herring and with this loss he is 2-3 in his last 5.
Blagnac, France: Super Welter: Tomi Silvennoinen (9-1) W KO 4 Sirak Hakobyan (17-4-1).This was not supposed to happen. Young Finn Silvennoinen was supposed to lose so that home town fighter Hakobyan could add the WBC Youth title to the WBC Mediterranean title he already holds. Silvennoinen boxed neatly behind a sharp jab and countering Hakobyan who was driving forward looking to overwhelm Silvennoinen. Hakobyan did better in the second connecting with rights but in the third he was wild with his punches and Silvennoinen was scoring with stiff jabs and right counters. Hakobyan looked to be getting on top in the fourth when a straight right from Silvennoinen put him down heavily. He staggered to his feet at seven but then tumbled back and down again and the referee waived the fight over. Good away win for the 23-year-old Finn and his fifth victory in a row Hakobyan, a cousin of WBA cruiserweight Gold champion Arsen Goulamirian, had won his last ten fights.
Merida, Mexico: Middle: Elias Espadas (18-4) W TKO 2 Gabriel Lopez (10-3). Local fighter Espadas halts Lopez in two rounds. Lopez came in 5lbs over the middleweight limit and weighed nearly 176lbs by fight time so the vacant WBC Latino title was only on the line for Espadas. Lopez tired to make his weight advantage tell and forced the fight in the first. Late in the second a straight left from Espadas sent Lopez reeling and a lighter punch saw Lopez drop down in a delayed reaction to the heavier initial left. There was blood pouring from Lopez nose splashing across his chest. He made it to his feet but with the blood still flooding down the referee stopped the fight. Thirteenth win by KO/TKO for Espadas and his eighth win in his last nine fights with the loss being against unbeaten Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao in July last year. Lopez was to have fought Omar Chavez in Cancun on 6th April but opted to take this fight instead
Malaybalay City, Philippines: Minimumweight: Robert Paradero (18-0) W TKO 1 Jonathan Almacen (5-3-2).Light Fly: Jerry Tomogdan (27-10-4) W TKO 8 Dexter Alimento (13-6).
Paradero vs. Almacen
In a WBO Asia Pacific title defence Paradero ended this one quickly with a body punch enough to put novice Almacen down and out. The 22-year-old from Valencia City has twelve wins by KO/TKO. Typical of the sanctioning body ratings measurement Paradero is the No 1 minimum in the WBO ratings for winning their Asia Pacific title with a victory over a fighter with a 5-2-1 record. Paradero’s home body, the Philippines Games and Amusement Board have him at No 4 in their minimumweight ratings! Almacen, 19, never in with a chance.
Tomogdan vs. Alimento
Southpaw Tomogdan wins the hard way-the very hard way. Alimento almost ended it in the first when he put Tomogdan down twice but failed to find the additional knockdown he needed. Tomogdan battled his way back into the fight only to find himself on the floor again in the sixth. Alimento had punched himself out and Tomogdan took control in the seventh and stopped Alimento in the eighth. Fifteenth win by KO/TKO for former Philippines minimumweight champion Tomogdan who was defending the WBO Asia Pacific title. Alimento had lost 4 of his last 5 in fights abroad in the other guy’s back yard.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Super Fly: Aliu Bamidele Lasisi (13-0) W PTS 12 Ricardo Blandon (10-2,1ND). Feather: David Oliver Joyce (10-0) W TKO 7 Stephen Tiffney (10-2). Super Bantam: Shakhobidin Zoirov (1-0) W KO 1 Anthony Holt (5-5-1).
Lasisi vs. Blandon
Locally-based Nigerian Lasisi remains unbeaten but has to climb off the floor in a tough scrap. Lasisi was the more stylish fighter and he opened well outboxing the aggressive Nicaraguan over the opening two rounds. Lasisi looked on his way to winning the third until a right put him down. He beat the count but in the fourth lost a point when Blandon was cut over the right eye in a clash of heads. Lasisi boxed his way back into the fight and used his better skills to handle the brawling approach by Blandon. Lasisi made a decisive move in the tenth putting Blandon on the floor with a light hook but Blandon staged a strong finish to make a close one to call. Acores 114-111 for Lasisi from all three judges. “Lucky Boy” wins the vacant WBC International title having previously held the International Silver title. Blandon had won his last three fights by KO/TKO,
Joyce vs. Tiffney
Irish Olympian Joyce wins the vacant WBO European title over a game Tiffney. Englishman Tiffany was very much in the fight over the first three rounds. Joyce was landing some hard body punches but Tiffany was countering well. A clash of heads in the second saw both fighters cut over their right eye and although Tiffany continued to counter well Joyce was focusing on the body with hefty hooks. Joyce was taking control with his body attacks and even though Tiffney continued to bang back he was starting to wilt. A right from Joyce floored Tiffany in the seventh and although he made it to his feet Joyce battered him around the ring and the fight was stopped just as the bell went. First professional title for the 32-year-old Joyce. In the amateurs he was European Union champion three times and competed at the 2016 Olympics and scored wins over Luke Campbell and Carl Frampton. Scot Tiffany had won his last two fights.
Zoirov vs. Holt
Olympic gold medallist Zoirov got this one over quickly. He pressed hard with Indonesian Holt throwing light jabs. Zoirov brushed them aside and landed a straight left that put Holt down on his back and he was counted out. The 26-year-old Uzbek beat American Antonio Vargas and Russian Misha Aloyan in Rio so is one to follow. Poor Holt was stopped in 89 seconds in his last fight.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Middle: Marcelo Coceres (27-0-1) W RTD 7 Carmelito De Jesus (18-7). Coceres remains unbeaten with a win over Brazilian De Jesus. The fight was one-sided with De Jesus mainly focusing on survival making for some monotonous rounds. Coceres scored heavily with rights over the first three rounds with De Jesus briefly coming to life in the fourth. Coceres piled on the punishment in the fifth and sixth and De Jesus retired at the end of the sixth. The was to have been a defence of the WBO Latino middleweight title for Coceres but De Jesus weighed in at 168lbs. Fifteenth win by KO/TKO for the 28-year-old “El Terrible”. De Jesus, 35, was inactive in 2017 and was knocked out in three rounds by Artem Chebotarev in his only fight last year.
Unterschiebheim, Germany: Light Heavy: Ryan Ford (16-4) W KO 8
Serge Michel (8-1). Heavy: Petar Milas (14-0) W TKO 6 Denis Bakhtov (39-15). Light Heavy: Konni Konrad (24-2-1) W TKO 7 Vartan Avetisyan (18-2-1). Super Feather: Edgar Walth (7-0) W KO 3 Attila Csareklye (10-17)
Ford vs. Michel
After four points losses in tough twelve round title fights, two in Russia and two in Germany, Canadian “The Real Deal” Ford made no mistake here and took the outcome into his own hands with the kayo of unbeaten Germany prospect Michel. Ford made a storming start but Michel was willing to punch with him and they traded punches over the first two rounds. In the third a blatant low punch from Michel put Ford down in agony. Ford was given some recovery time and Michel was deducted a point. Ford looked to be the harder puncher as they continued to battle hard over the next four rounds. Both fighters were tiring by the eighth but Michel was leaving too many gaps in his defence and a huge left from Ford sent Michel down spread-eagled on the canvas and he was counted out. Ford, 37, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title. Michel had won the full WBC International title in October but relinquished it in January. Ford then lost to German Nick Hannig for the International title in February but has rebounded in style with his eleventh win by KO/TKO and ownership of the Silver title. “The Bavarian Sniper” Michel a former top level amateur, had been carefully matched. He had his weaknesses exposed here by Ford and will have a rebuilding task ahead.
Milas vs. Werwejko
Croatian heavyweight hope Milas too young, too big and too talented for Russian oldie Bakhtov. Bakhtov pressed hard trying to get past the jab of Milas to work the body but Milas was blocking most of the punches and scoring with counters. The tall Croat began to up his pace from the third and Bakhtov was soon being caught with heavy shots from both hands. Milas rocked Bakhtov with a right uppercut in the fifth. Bakhtov was cut over his left eye and soaking up punishment in the sixth and the fight was stopped. The 23-year-old 6’4 ½” Milas makes it eleven wins by KO/TKO. He did not have a great deal of success as an amateur but as a pro he has stopped Kirk Johnson and outpointed Francesco Pianeta and is in line to fight for the vacant EU title once an opponent is named. Bakhtov, 39, suffers his fifth loss in a row,
Konrad vs. Avetisyan
Montenegrin “Koko” Konrad returns after a long time out of the ring and wins the vacant German title with seventh round stoppage of Munich-based Armenian Avetisyan. The 33-year-old Konrad (real name Mevludin Cokovic) turned pro in 2002 but has had two long periods of inactivity, once even taking a job collecting dustbins. After returning from his first spell out he worked his way to a fight against Juergen Brahmer for the secondary WBA light heavy title but lost on a seventh round retirement and eventually was inactive again. This is his first fight since February 2016. Second loss in a row for Avetisyan having dropped a majority verdict to Yusuf Kanguel for the WBC Mediterranean title in February.
Walth vs. Csareklye
Former leading amateur Walth moves up to ten round class and wins his first pro title as he knocks out Hungarian Csareklye. The win, Walth’s fourth by KO/TKO, nets him the German International title. The 27-year-old Moldovan-born German won plenty of titles as an amateur being German champion in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and took a gold medal at the European Military Championships. He also competed at the 2011 European championships and was a member of the Leipzig Leopards team in the World Series of Boxing ending his time as an amateur with a claimed record 170 wins in 218 fights. Tenth loss by KO/TKO for Csareklye.
Cancun, Mexico: Super Fly: Francisco Rodriguez (30-4-1) W PTS 10
Oswaldo Novoa (14-9-4). Omar Chavez (38-5-1) W KO 7 Andres Villaman (15-2-1).
Rodriguez vs. Novoa
Rodriguez takes the unanimous decision in a war between two former world champions. In a fight that is a candidate for Mexican Fight of the Year these two knocked lumps of each other for ten rounds. From the opening ball to the bell to end the tenth they just stood and traded punches. If Rodriguez was forcing Novoa to the ropes for a spell Novoa would bang back and Rodriguez would be the one pinned to the ropes. In the end despite losing a point for a foul; in the seventh Rodriguez, the younger and physically stronger, just had the edge and came out the winner. Scores 95-92 from all three judges. Still only 25 Rodriguez retains the WBC Latino Silver title. He is a former WBO and IBF minimumweight champion. He relinquished both titles but lost to Donnie Nietes in a challenge for the WBO light flyweight title in 2015. He has now won eleven on the spin and is No 2 flyweight with the WBO. Former WBC minimumweight champion Novoa, 37, is going down the slope and now 0-5-3 in his last eight fights but he had been fighting at light flyweight before this.
Chavez vs. Villaman
Chavez keeps his career alive with win over less experienced “Engineer” Villaman. Chavez was the boss from the first bell dropping Villaman with a right in the opening round. Villaman survived but was never really in the fight after that. Chavez continued to press with Villaman too busy defending to be a threat. A left hook floored Villaman in the fifth and Chavez continued to hand out punishment in the sixth. Stamina had been a problem for Chavez in the past but he was still in high gear in the seventh before a left hook to the body saw Villaman drop to his knees and get counted out. Now 25 wins by KO/TKO for “Businessman” Chavez but he was 1-2 going into this one so could not afford to lose. Villaman’s other loss was a third round stoppage against 21-0 Alessandro Riguccini in October
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Light: Pedro Campa (30-1-1) DREW 10 Abner Lopez (27-10). Super Welter: Ramon Alvarez (28-7-3,1ND) W PTS 10 Jose Carlos Paz (23-9-1). Fly: Joselito Velasquez (9-0) W TKO 5 Angel Guevara (15-11-4).
Campa vs. Lopez
Home town fighter Campa overcomes the handicap of a bad cut to get a split draw against tough Lopez in a war This one was a toe-to-toe brawl from the start with both wanting to stay inside and trade body punches. The hooks were thudding home when the taller Lopez might have done better to box on the outside. Campa seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges in the third and fourth but Campa’s face was beginning to swell by the fifth. Lopez was the one bossing the inside work in the sixth and Campa was cut over his left eye with Lopez dominating the seventh. Campa bounced back to rock Lopez with two hooks in the eighth but both fighters were showing tiredness after the hectic pace of the fight. They went toe-to-toe in the ninth and tenth with Campa just finishing the stronger. Scores 96-94 Campa, 96-94 Lopez and 95-95 which looked about right. After a shock seventh round loss to Carlos Jimenez which snapped a 27-bout winning run for Campa he had laid down some bricks in his rebuilding project with three wins in 2018 so this draw is a minor setback for him. Lopez had a rocky 2-5 run but against good level opposition such as Jose Zepeda and Alex Saucedo and had scored two low level wins before this fight.
Alvarez vs. Paz
Alvarez edges out Paz in a fight where the decision could have gone either way. In a lively opening round both were letting their punches go with Alvarez connecting with overhand rights and Paz left hooks to the body. Alvarez seemed to rock Paz with a right in the second but as he was marching forward he was wide open and Paz was finding the target too easily. Alvarez used his strength to force Paz back in the third and fourth and landed thudding rights to the body but was still wide open to counters. This was a terribly slow-paced fight with very little defence on show and his harder punch was giving Alvarez a slight edge in the fifth but his wide open defence saw Paz scoring well in the sixth and seventh. Both looked exhausted over the closing rounds and in the end it was whether you preferred the heavier punches of Alvarez or the lighter but more accurate ones from Paz. It was close but the split decision went to Alvarez. Scores 96-94 twice for Alvarez and 96-94 for Paz. Alvarez, 32, the elder brother of Saul, loses the big fights and is going nowhere now. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Paz recently. In 2018 he lost on a third round kayo to Jaime Munguia then beat Omar Chavez and Jorge Paez Jr but was knocked out by Anthony Fowler in 93 seconds in December.
Velasquez vs. Guevara
Precision and power show from hot prospect “El Huracan” Velasquez as he batters poor Guevara to defeat in five rounds. The 25-year-old from Cancun twice took the gold medal at the Pan American Games and competed at the 2016 Olympics. Eight of his wins have come by KO/TKO. Guevara now a dismal 1-7-2 in his last 10 fights.
Katowice, Poland: Super Middle: Robert Parzeczewski (23-1) W KO 2 Dmitri Chudinov (21-5-2). Heavy: Martin Bakole Ilunga (12-1) W TKO 8 Mariusz Wach (33-5). Middle: Andrew Robinson (23-4-1) W PTS 8 Damian Jonak (41-1-1). Middle: Robert Talarek (24-13-2) W TKO 5 Patryk Szymanski (19-2). Super Light: Damian Wrzesinski (17-1-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Kamil Modzinski (11-3-4).
Parzeczewski vs. Chudinov
Parzeczewski “The Arab” adds the Polish International title to the Polish title he already holds with stoppage of Chudinov who definitely looks to be fading. In the first round the Pole boxed on the back foot countering Chudinov’s attacks and staggered Chudinov with a left hook. In the second a right from Parzeczewski sent Chudinov down heavily. He beat the count but was unsteady. Parzeczewski pinned Chudinov to the ropes but Chudinov escaped only to be put down again by a right hook. Chudinov arose again but the referee rightly stopped the fight. Now 16 wins by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Parzeczewski and his fifteenth win in a row, Former interim WBA middleweight champion Chudinov, 32, suffers his fourth defeat in his last five fights
Wach vs. Ilunga
Important win for Scottish-based Congolese fighter Ilunga. Wach boxed on the back foot in the first scoring with right counters but just before the bell Ilunga staged a strong attack. After that strong finish to the opener Ilunga took control of the fight. He was finding gaps for his jab and connecting with heavy rights. Wach’s work rate dropped away until he rallied briefly in the sixth when it looked as though Ilunga eased up pacing himself to stay strong over the last few rounds. That proved unnecessary. Ilunga was back in control in the seventh and in the eighth Ilunga launched a fierce attack landing punch after punch and with Wach not fighting back the referee halted the fight. Last time out in October 2018Ilunga had set too fast a pace and was exhausted and then stopped by Mike Hunter in the tenth round. Ilunga is the younger brother of world rated cruiserweight Ilunga Makabu and this is a career best win for him. At 39 it is difficult to see a future for Wach who suffers his third loss in a row having been stopped by Jarrell Miller and outpointed by Artur Szpilka.
Robinson vs. Jonak
Impressive win on the road for Englishman Robertson as he takes unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Jonak and snaps one of the longest unbeaten streaks in boxing today. Jonak was getting caught by counters from Robinson in the first round but trapped Robinson in a corner just before the bell and landed a series of punches. Jonak continued to attack over the second and third but some clever defensive work and accurate counters from Robinson were giving the Pole problems. Jonak started to go to the body more from the fourth but Robinson was gradually taking control. He was outboxing Jonak and constantly piecing the Poles guard with quick, accurate counters with Jonak throwing plenty but with little accuracy as Robinson eased his way to victory. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Robinson and 77-75 for Jonak but Robinson was a clear winner. “DAnimal” Robinson, 34, had lost big fights to Frank Buglioni and Mark Heffron but this is a career best win. Jonak, 35, was inactive in 2016 and 207 but last year scored wins over 19-1 Marcos Cornejo and 21-0-1 Sherzod Husanov so was in good form.
Talarek vs. Szymanski
This clash between two Poles almost defied description and was packed with drama with Szymanski down six times and Talarek on the floor four times-ten knockdowns in under fourteen minutes. It looked as though it would be over in less than three minutes as rights from Szymanski dropped Talarek twice (1 and 2) in the opening round. Talarek made it to the bell and landed a series of punches in the second to put Szymanski on the floor only for Szymanski to battle back and put Talarek down twice(3,4 and 5). That was as good as it got for Szymanski. He had punched himself out and in the third, Talarek toughed by his past work as a miner, sent Szymanski down twice late in the round (6 and 7). Szymanski fought hard in the fourth but twice dropped to his knees under attacks from Talarek (8 and 9). It was over in the fifth when a right from Talarek again sent Szymanski to the canvas (10). Szymanski somehow made it to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. Sixteen wins by KO/TKO for Talarek, 35, who is 11-1 in his last 12 fights. He seems to do well as long as he avoids the UK where he has lost to Conrad Cummings, Liam Smith and John Ryder. Szymanski, 25, lost in October on a fourth round stoppage to Fouad El Massoudi who had lost 6 of his previous 7 fights. That plus this defeat were enough for Szymanski to announce his retirement but at 25 he may change his mind later.
Wrzesinski vs. Mlodzinski
Wrzesinski gets a split decision over Mlodzinski in a national title fight. After two even rounds champion Wrzesinski proceeded to build a lead scoring with some sharp left hooks and a knockdown of Mlodzinski in the fourth put Wrzesinski well in front. Mlodzinski bounced back in the sixth but the accuracy of Wrzesinski’s work gave him the seventh and eighth and a strong finish by Mlodzinski was not enough to claw back Wrzesinski’s lead. Scores 97-93 and 96-93 for Wrzesinski and 96-93 for Mlodzinski. First title defence for Wrzesinski who is 6-0-1,1ND in his last 8 fights. His only loss is a split decision against Belgian Jean Pierre Bauwens in Ghent in 2017. Mlodzinski had won his last three fights and was having his second shot at the national title.
Wolfsburg, Germany: Middle: Patrick Wojcicki (12-0-1) W Marcelo Caceres (18-3). Middle: Denis Radovan (12-0-1) W PTS 10 Ronny Mittag (30-4-3). Super Middle: Leon Bauer (16-0-1) W PTS 8 Mateo Veron (28-23-3,2ND).
Wojcicki vs. Caceres
Wojcicki retains the IBF Inter-Continental title with a points victory over Argentinian Caceres. The fight was not without incidents. Wojcicki made a confident start and looked to have taken the first three rounds. Two heavy rights from Caceres in the fourth looked to have Wojcicki in deep water but the referee considered that Caceres needed to be given a lecture for infringements of the rules and Wojcicki recovered. Caceres looked to have taken the fifth but was down in the seventh and given a standing count in the ninth before the visitor staged a strong finish to make the fight close. Scores 117-109, 115-111 and 114-112 with the last score looking the best reflection of the action. The 27-year-old German is No 7 with the IBF but as the level of his opposition has not been high does not make it into the EBU top 15. South American champion Caceres had won his last eleven fights.
Radovan vs. Mittag
These two could fight each other a dozen times and they would never be separated by much. When they fought in December it finished as a split draw and this one was every bit as close. Radovan made the better start and built a lead. He seemed to fade after the half way point and a better conditioned Mittag eat into that lead and looked to have done enough to merit at least a draw but the split decision went to Radovan who wins the IBF European title. Scores 96-94 twice for Radovan and 96-94 for Mittag. The 26-year-old winner from Cologne, a former elite level amateur, will not be keen to go through a third fight with Mittag but will look to try to edge his way into the world ratings. After being 30-2-1 it has been a rough ride for Mittag who is now 0-2-2 in his last four fights including a loss to Wojcicki.
Bauer vs. Veron
Bauer gets unanimous decision over Veron but an uncomfortable night for the young German. Bauer had edges in height and reach but Veron used a whole variety of tricks to unsettle Bauer and it worked with many of the rounds close. Bauer’s case was not helped by a cut on the bridge of his nose which he suffered in the second round and which bled from then on. Bauer’s higher work rate was just enough to see him through but only just. Scores 76-75 twice and a too wide 78-73 all for Bauer. Still only 20 Bauer has time to work on his deficiencies but he has made hard work of winning his last two fights. Veron, a former Argentinian super welter champion who has taken his gloves to seven different countries, had shocked Danish fans with a win over Lolenga Mock in January but was stopped in six rounds by unbeaten Anthony Sims in February.
Fontenay-sous-Bois, France: Welter: Yahya Tlaouziti (15-4-3) W TKO 7 Bruno Marcellin (11-4-3). Tlaouziti wins this clash of former team mates in defence of his French title. Marcellin was storming forward from the start of the fight letting fly with both hands and focusing on the body. Tlaouziti was under pressure but worked well with his jab and countered with some accurate uppercuts and shook Marcellin in the third with a left hook. By the fifth Tlaouziti was landing heavy counters as Marcellin was throwing himself forward and ignoring defence and Marcellin was deep trouble and saved by the bell at the end of the sixth. A sustained attack by Tlaouziti in the seventh was enough for the referee to step in and halt the fight. Sixth inside the distance win for Tlaouziti and a much needed win. At one time he was 13-2-3 but had fallen on hard times. Second stoppage loss for Marcellin who had won both of his fights in 2018.
General Arenales, Argentina: Middle: Francisco Torres (12-3) W PTS 10 Gonzalo Coria (15-3). Torres wins his way through to the final of the national middleweight tournament with unanimous decision over favoured Argentinian No 3 Coria. Torres made use of his height and reach to outbox southpaw Coria who never really managed to get inside often enough to be competitive. Torres picked up the points in the first three rounds with Coria coming into the fight over the fourth and fifth. Torres took over again and swept four of the last five rounds and the decision. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 all for Torres. He sprang an upset by outscoring unbeaten Alan Castano in the quarter-finals and he did the same here. Coria had lost only one of his last 13 fights. That loss was by just a single point on two cards against Artur Akavov who challenged Demetrius Andrade for the WBO title in his next fight.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Light: Terry Tzouramanis (22-4-3) W PTS 10 Gaige Ireland (6-3-2). In an all-Australian fight Tzouramanis keeps the WBC Asian Boxing Council belt with unanimous decision over former Australian champion Ireland. The 33-year-old Australian No 5 moves to 7 wins in his last 8 fights with the loss coming last July against Filipino southpaw prospect Jayar Inson. Ireland had won 3 of 4 going into this one.
Sluneta, Czech Republic: Heavy: Ali Eren Demirezen (11-0) W DISQ 6 Adnan Redzovic (19-3). Heavy: W Pavel Sour (11-1) W PTS 10 Tomasz Salek (9-1).
Demirezen vs. Redzovic
German-based Turk Demirezen too good for old Redzovic and makes a successful second defence of the WBO European title as Redzovic is disqualified. Demirezen could probably have ended this early but as this was his first fight in seven months and Redzovic was too old and too slow to pose any danger Demirezen settled for getting in some rounds. The hard straight punches from Demirezen were too much for Redzovic and when holding did not slow Demirezen’s attacks Redzovic resorted to spitting out his mouthguard to get some respite. He did that too often and after spitting in out again and turning away the referee disqualified him. The 29yo Demirezen was Turkish amateur champion and twice won gold medals at the prestigious Ahmet Comert Tournament beating England’s Joe Joyce in the final in 2013. He also represented Turkey at the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. Poor Bosnian Redzovic, 42, was having his first fight since March 2018 and was knocked out in two rounds by Tom Schwarz in 2017.
Sour vs. Salek
Sour retains the national title in this clash between two former Czech amateur champions. Experience and tactics decided this one. Sour at 36 was 16 years older than challenger Salek and had more depth of experience. Against the younger and more aggressive Salek Sour boxed on the outside scoring with strong jabs connecting with quick counters and either moving or holding to stifle the attacks of Salek. In addition Salek fought from the second round with a bad cut over his left eye and that was one handicap too many for the young Salek. He tried hard under the urging from his corner by former European and interim WBO champion Lukas Konecny but came up short. Scores 99-90, 99-94 and 98-94. Sour will hold on to the Czech title and now look to challenge for an international belt. Salek was going past the sixth round for the first time. He is young enough to rebound. Sour was Czech super heavyweight champion in 2014 and 2015 and Salek followed him by winning the title in 2016,
Guatemala City, Guatemala: Light Heavy: Lester Martinez (1-0) W TKO 2 Ricardo Mayorga (32-12-1,1ND). Pitiful Mayorga takes a beating in the first round and despite efforts to fight back was being punished in the second until the referee stopped the fight. Third inside the distance loss in a row in only his third fight in sixteen months. Perhaps it will convince the 46-year-old Mayorga that he should put his gloves away. Although this was Martinez’s first pro fight he was a high level amateur winning gold medals at the 2011, 2012, 2013 Central American Championships, a silver at the World Youth Championships and competed for Guatemala at the World Championships.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Light: Koko Inoue (13-0) W PTS 10 Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3). Those Inoue’s just can’t seem to stop winning. Southpaw Koki, a cousin of Naoya and Takuma Inoue, collects the Japanese title with a unanimous verdict over champion Hosokawa. Being 5 ½”" taller and much quicker than Hosokawa Inoue was looking to box on the outside. Hosokawa’s aggression kept him, in the fight and it was close after five rounds with the judges all giving Inoue a slight edge with scores of 48-47. From there Inoue took total control outboxing and outscoring Hosokawa and easing his way to victory. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93 for Inoue. Inoue, 26, had won 7 of his last 8 fights by KO/TKO but the 37-year-old Hosokawa, who was making the third defence of the title, never looked like folding.
Elvissa, Balearic Islands Spain: Super Feather: John Carter (10-0-1) W TKO 6 Victor Bonet (10-1-1). Carter invades Bonet’s back yard and retains the Spanish title with a stoppage victory. Carter attacked strongly from the start and by the end of the fifth was in front on the cards by 5, 3 and 1 points. Bonet was having problems with injuries to his hands and just could not hold off the champion. Carter was unloading heavily and the referee stopped the fight just as the towel came in from Bonet’s corner. The 24-year-old from Granada was making his first defence of the Spanish title. Bonet was gutsy but not quite good enough.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa: Super Feather: Azinga Fuzile (14-0) W PTS 12 Romulo Koasicha (27-7-0). Super Feather: Mila Mpontshana (15-1) W PTS 12 Koos Sibiya (21-13-4. Super bantam: Ayabonga Sonjica (8-0) W TKO 8 Asiphe Ntshili (8-5-1).
Fuzile vs. Koasicha
Local hero Fuzile continues his march towards a shot at IBF champion Tevin Farmer as he outclasses seasoned Mexican Koasicha to retain the IBF Inter-Continental title. Southpaw Fuzile dropped Koasicha with a left in the first round but Koasicha survived and took the fight to Fuzile. The South African “Golden Boy” was much too smart for Koasicha and despite the Mexican’s pressure he boxed and countered and eased his way to a one-sided victory. Scores 118-109 twice and 119-108 for Fuzile. The 22-year-old former African Youth champion is No 5 with the IBF but as the top two places are vacant he is much closer to a title fight than that would indicate. Koasicha was knocked out in ten rounds by Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO featherweight title in 2015 but had won his last two fights.
Mpontshana vs. Sibiya
Mpontshana makes a successful fourth defence of his South African title with repeat victory over Koos Sibiya. The bout produced a strange range of scores with the judges turning in cards of 119-110, 116-112 and 115-113 which might lead you to think they all watched different fights. When Mpontshana retained the title with a points win over Sibiya in July the scores were much closer at 116-113, 115-113 and 114-113 which were more understandable. Now ten wins in a row for Mpontshana. Sibiya, 37, the South African No 4, was turned back for the fourth time in a challenge for the South African title.
Sonjica vs. Ntshili
Former top amateur Sonjica continues to show his power. He was much too good for Ntshili who took a pounding in round after round until the referee stepped in to save him in the eighth round. Southpaw Sonjica, 27, the brother of former IBO champion Thabo has won each of his eight fights inside the fifth round. As an amateur he competed at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games, twice won gold at the African Cup of Nations and was a quarter-finalist at the Commonwealth Games. First loss inside th4e distance for South African No 8 Ntshili.
Fight of the week (Significance): No high profile fights this week
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Francisco Rodriguez vs. Oswaldo Novoa was exciting but Robert Talarek vs. Patryk Szymanski with ten knockdowns takes pride of place.
Fighter of the week : Ryan Ford for his away win against unbeaten Serge Michel with honourable mention to England’s Andrew Robinson for ending the 42 bout unbeaten streak of Pole Damian Jonak in Poland,
Punch of the week: The left hook from Xavier Martinez that destroyed John Vincent Moralde
Upset of the week: Both Ryan Ford and Andrew Robinson were brought over to lose but tore up the script
Prospect watch: No one I have not already tagged really stood out this week
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