One of the great things about boxing today is the ease of access to international content, with streams and feeds, both legal and illegal, available from all around the globe. Whilst we, as fans, have become more critical about match making we have to see the access to global fights as being something to celebrate from this current era of boxing. Watching fights from around hasn't always been easy and today's Closet Classic looks at a bout that few would have seen live, but has since become a must watch bout for all fans of the sport. It's become one of the great examples of styles making fights and also helped us all learn the two of the tricky to spell names of recent years.
Somsak Sithchatchawal (45-1-1-1, 35) Vs Mahyar Monshipour (28-2-2, 19)
In 2006 streaming of boxing from around the globe was just starting to take off, at least for the hardcore and nerdy. It wasn't as easily accessible as it is now, and when Thailand's Somsak Sithchatchawal travelled to France to face French based Iranian warrior Mahyar Monshipour few outside of France would likely have seen it live. Despite that world of mouth saw the contest being widely regarded as the Fight of the Year, and having several Round of the Year contenders. It was a special, special bout.
Entering the contest Monshipour was the WBA Super Bantamweight champion. He had won the belt in 2003, stopping fellow Frenchman Salim Medjkoune in the 12th round and reeled off 5 defenses, all by stoppage. The champion was unbeaten since 1998 and had reeled off 20 straight wins, with 15 of those coming inside the distance. He had earned the "Little Tyson" moniker and stopped the likes of Yoddamrong Sithyodthong and Shigeru Nakazato during his title reign whilst becoming a star in France.
Somsak on the other hand was a total unknown outside of Thailand, with only 3 of his 48 bouts taking place outside of his homeland, with the most notable of those being a win in South Africa against Luyanda Mini back in 1998. Coming into the bout the single most notable result on Somsak's record was his loss, back in 1998 to Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, and there was little to suggest he was going to put up much of a fight against the destructive champion.
With Canal + Sport showing the bout in France and a packed Palais des Sport Marcel Cerdan in Levallois-Perret hosting the bout it seemed almost certain the local favourite was going to continue his fantastic run. Afterall he was the champion and the Thai chap was an unknown challenger. It seemed everyone expected this to be another straight forward assignment for Monshipour. They were in for a rude awakening however with the local hero being wobbled, and dropped in the first round. From there on we ended with a very, very special fight with an insane work rate from both men. It was champion pressing the fight, applying his intense pressure and the Thai being forced to fight with his back on the ropes. Despite being on the back foot Somsak was regularly landing clean counter shots and riding a lot of what was thrown his way.
Although the fighters were little guys, competing at 122lbs, the work rate was simply out of this world with none stop punching from the two guys. As early as round 3 it seemed that pace would catch up to one of the men, or the other, especially given that there was a lot of body shots being landed by both. The question wasn't so much a case of whether the bout would go 12 but who would wilt first from the war that was taking place.
We won't ruin anything else from this amazing fight, but it is well worthy of your time if you've never seen it before. If you have seen it, then you'll know it's worth a rewatch any time. Either way we're so lucky now that a match up like this is widely available and can be watched back with ease and that live streaming has taken off to the point where a bout like this can be watched so much easier than it could at the start of the millennium.
Back in the 1990's there was a number of very popular Japanese fighters all around at the same time. The most popular and well known of those was Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, who even today is still a star in Japan and his name carries so much weight that his son is feeling the rub of sharing the same surname. Today we look at a classic featuring another of the big Japanese names from the 1990's and like Tatsuyoshi the man in question reached the top of the sport, and in fact got so popular Sega released a video game with his name on. Here we see that Japanese fighter taking on a hard hitting and determined Korean challenger in what is one of the most over-looked bouts of the 1990's.
Katsuya Onizuka (24-0, 17) Vs Hyung Chul Lee (17-4, 13)
The Japanese fighter we were alluding to was Katsuya Onizuka, who went by the nickname "Spanky K". Onizuka's popularity in Japan in the early to mid 1990's was perhaps only over-shadowed by that of Tatsuyoshi, though his success in the ring did make up for that in many ways. Onizuka had turned professional in 1988, won the Japanese Super Flyweight title in 1990 and then claimed the WBA Super Flyweight title in 1992, defeating Thanomsak Sithbaobay, in the first of 2 meetings. As the champion he would defend the title 5 times before facing Lee in September 1994. Unfortunately for Onizuka his reign was a poor one, with 4 of defenses coming by decision and several of those being questionable, with home town judges certainly helping him keep the title. He was a good fighter, but his popularity exceeded his skill, and by the time he fought Lee he was regarded as a lucky champion.
Hyung Chul Lee on the other hand was a relatively unknown fighter outside of Korea. He has lost 3 of his first 4 bouts, then lost in Japan to David Griman in 1990. The loss to Griman ended a 6 fight winning run for the Korean who fell to 7-1 (5). Following the Griman defeat Lee then began to find his form winning 10 in a row, albeit against limited opposition. Those wins saw him win, and defend, the South Korean Super Flyweight title and score 8 stoppages. He was looking like a destructive force, but was very much fighting at a level well under world class. Like many Korean fighters of the time however his will to win, high work rate and incredible toughness was always going to make him a nightmare for someone like Onizuka, who lacked world class power.
The fight started with both men looking to get their jabs into play, with Onizuka using his size advantage well and keeping Lee at range in the early going with his jab at footwork. It was however going to take more than a few jabs to get Lee's respect and whenever he managed to slip the jab the Korean made sure to crack Onizuka with a shot or two, often to the body. The game plans were clear, for Onizuka it was to chip away, win the rounds and take the fight, for Lee it was to slow the legs of Onizuka, land the body shots and take the fight to Onizuka later on. By round 2 Lee's tactic seemed to be the one winning out, and he was successfully dragging Onizuka into a war. By the end of round 2 it was clear we were going to get something exciting, though the worry was likely that Lee would have to do more than just trying to win the rounds. After all, Onizuka had his reputation as a fighter who was getting lucky with the judges.
As the rounds went on the fight became more and more engaging, with Lee closing the distance easier round by round, and Onizuka taking more punishment. Onizuka was landing the prettier stuff, the clean stuff, but Lee was landing the harder shots, he was the one making the fight and the one who was looking more comfortable with the pace. And from there we leave you to enjoy the bout, especially the brutally fantastic 9th round.
Earlier this year we looked at some obscure facts of Japanese boxing, and now we feel is an ideal time to look at some more obscure facts. This time however we'll be focusing on Indonesia, and the Indonesian boxing scene. More specifically picking out 5 historic fighters from Indonesian boxing history.
Unlike the Japanese scene the Indonesian one isn't one that's on fire right now, but the country has played notable role in the sport, developing several world champions over the years, as well as providing a lot of regional journeymen, to pad the records of hopefuls across the region.
1-Thomas Americo creates history in 1981
The little known Thomas Americo is a rather tragic figure in Indonesian boxing, and the boxing history of Timor Leste. Born in 1958, in what was then Portuguese Timor, Thomas Americo would be the first Indonesian world title challenger in history when he challenged Saoul Mamby for the WBC Light Welterweight title in 1981.
Americo had made his professional debut in April 1980, beating Australian veteran Eddie Buttons, over 10 rounds. He followed up his debut win with a KO victory over the then OPBF Light Welterweight champion Sang Mo Koo, in a big upset. That upset went on to destroy plans to have Koo fight in a world title fight, and instead Americo got a shot, taking on Mamby. Sadly Americo lost a majority decision to Mamby and from then on his career never really got going again, with his record falling to 6-6-1 in June 1987. He would then retire before making a 1-off return in 1995, and winning before leaving the sport with a record of 7-6-1 (3)
When Americo challenged Mamby Timor Leste had been annexed by Indonesia, which was done in 1975, and was under Indonesian rule for much of the following 30 years. Sadly Americo would die before Timor Leste got it's independence at the turn of the Millenium.
2-The only Indonesian Triple champion Elly Pical
Whilst Americo was the first Indonesian to fight for a world title the first Indonesian to win a world title was Elly Pical, who actually achieved the feat 3 times! Not only that but is one of the few men to have won the same belt 3 times, being a 3-time IBF Super Flyweight champion.
Pical's first reign came in May 1985, when he landed his powerful left hook on Korean Ju Do Chun in the 8th round. That reign lasted less than a year, as he lost the title the following February to Cesar Polanco. A rematch with Polanco in July 1986 saw Pical stop the Dominican in 3 rounds to become a 2-time champion. Pical was stripped, after losing to WBAchampion Khaosai Galaxy in February 1987, but reclaimed the title in October 1987 to become a 3-time champion in the space of 29 months.
Whilst Pical's first reign was historically huge for Indonesia it's worth noting that his third reign was also historic. It ran for almost 2 years and saw him defend the title in the first ever world title bout in Singapore and become the first Indonesian world champion to travel to the US to defend a title, though he was unsuccessful in that US bout losing to Juan Polo Perez.
Sadly footage of much of Pical's career was destroyed in a fire, meaning that it's unlikely we will ever get a chance to many ofPical's bouts.
3-Early Oriental King Wongso Suseno!
Few fans outside of Indonesia, and few even inside the country, will be aware of Wongso Suseno but in 1975 he etched his name into the records books. Suseno made his debut in May 1975, as a 29 year old, and in just his second bout he defeated Chang Kil Lee of South Korea to claim the OPBF Light Welterweight. This saw Suseno become the first Indonesian fighter to win any sort of recognisable international title.
Suseno's reign was a relatively short one, lasting from his win over Lee in July 1975 to September 1977, and feature only 2 successful defenses. Interestingly Thomas Americo would claim this same OPBF title in 1980, when he stopped Sang Mo Koo.
Sadly after winning his first 4 bouts Suseno's career would fall apart and he would retire in 1982 with a 6-6 (1) record.
4-Age ain't nothin' but a number for the Predator!
We know fighters get old, with the lower weight classes typically ageing quicker than those in the heavier weights. With that in mind it's worth considering the impressive career of Muhammad Rachman (65-13-5, 35) who fought from 1993 to 2016, and almost all of his notable bouts came at Minimumweight.
Rachman's career is notable in many ways. For many hardcore fans the first time he popped on their radar would have been in 2004, when Rachman won the IBF Minimumweight title in his 68th professional bout, at the age of 32. That was pretty impressive by it's self, but he then added 3 defenses before losing the title at the age of 35 to Florante Condes. Rachman would come again at the ripe old age of 39, when he stopped Kwanthai Sithmorseng, in 2011, to become the oldest man to win a Minimumweight title. It was a short reign however and he lost the belt before his 40th birthday.
The longevity of Rachman was however still to give us one more surprise, and he was to have another world title shot in 2015, when he was 43. He would lose to Knockout CP Freshmart in a WBA title fight, but show that even in to his 40's he no push over.
5-Abdi Pohan's successive trio of losses
Few will recall Abdi Pohan, who fought in the late 1980's and through to the mid 1990's though he has what looks to be a rather unique string of fights during the early stages of his career. After winning his first 3 bouts Pohan has his first world title, battling Muangchai Kittikasem for the IBF Light Flyweight title. He lost by unanimous decision to Kittikased then got a shot the WBO Light Flyweight title, losing to Jose in 7 rounds De Jesus. Rather than being pushed the queue he then got a third world title fight, moving to 105lbs to challenger Fahlan Sakkrerrin Sr, losing by decision.
That run of results so Pohan go from 3-0 to 3-3, with all 3 losses coming in world title bouts,
Pohan's career never really bounced back, but he did go 1-1 Ratanachai Sor Vorapin before suffering losses towards the end of his career to future world champions Veeraphol Sahaprom and Yokthai Sithoar. He would end his career 9-8 (2), with a 0-3 record in world title fights and a 1-6 record against world champions.
(Image is of Suseno)
The sport of boxing has a number of fighters who are simply must watch action fighters. They are part of a small number of fighters who, win or lose, you must tune in to watch. They are the sort of fighters who put the fight fans first, winning second and their own long term health comes way down their list of priorities. They are the sort of fighters promoters love, fans adore but their own teams almost certainly hate. When we get two such fighters in the ring together we know we're in for something incredibly special.
Yoshihiro Kamegai (26-3-1, 23) vs Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18)
When we talk about TV friendly fighters there are few, in recent memory, that were as TV friendly as Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai or Mexico's Jesus Soto Karass. Neither was world class, though both did face world class opposition, neither was the most talented, hardest hitting, slippery or skilled. What both did was provide action, excitement, thrills, spills, work rate and incredible toughness. In April 2016 the two men faced off, for the first of two bouts between the two warriors, and it was one of the best bouts of the year, even it was massively lacking in terms of exposure and attention.
As an amateur Kamegai went 57-12 (31) before turning professional in 2005. Many of his early career bouts were in Japan but in the later years of his career he was becoming a regular in an American ring, thanks to his combination of low cost and highly entertaining bouts. His limitations made him a must watch fighter, and although his results in the US were mixed, going 2-3-1 on US soil heading in to this bout, he was the sort of fighter fans tuned into see. He wasn't hard to find in the ring and was always coming forward.
The 34 year old Soto Karass was, in many ways, similar to Kamegai. He was cheap for promoters, willing to engage in wars and had a reputation for providing great fights, win or lose. Like Kamegai he like to let his hands go, have a fighter and trade shots from the off. He had seen better days before this fight, having taken punishment just 2 fights earlier against Keith Thurman, but had shown he was still relevant with wins against Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto in his previous 4 bouts.
When the bout was put together hardcore fight fans had high expectations and by the end of the opening round it was clear those expectations were going to be met as the two traded in a phone booth war. One man would take the lead, back the other up, land bombs, then have the tables turned with the other firing back. It was brilliant, breath taking, all action fun from the first round.
Not only was an exciting bout between two all action men, but better yet, it was hotly contested with nothing much separating the two fighters. Every time one fighter seemed to have some sustained success the other would fire off, coming back and take the initiative back.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Meng Fanlong (15-0): IBF #1 / WBO #13
Meng won an IBF title eliminator in June, against Adam Deines (17-1). He will be next in line to face the winner of Beterbiev vs. Gvozdyk.
-Apinun Khongsong (16-0): IBF #1
The undefeated Thai fighter knocked out Japanese veteran Akihiro Kondo (31-9) to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title back in February. He then stopped Indonesian journeyman Yosmar kefi (9-12) on July 19th.
-Romero Duno (20-1): WBO #10
The Filipino prospect defeated world title contender Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-8) in the States, a few months ago. He will be in action again on September 14th. (Opponent TBA).
-Xiangxiang Sun (16-0): IBF #12
Sun defended his IBF Asia championship against Monico Laurente (30-15) this past March.
-Joe Noynay (18-2): WBO #6
Noynay earned the biggest win of his career on July 12th as he dominated the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-1) to defend his WBO Asia Pacific crown. He is expected to return to Japan, on December 7th, in a match against Kenichi Ogawa (24-1).
-Jhack Tepora (23-0): IBF #3 / WBA #12 / WBC #14
The former interim WBA World champion got a unanimous decision over Jose Luis Gallegos (16-7) on June 1st.
-Mark Magsayo (20-0): WBC #10
Magsayo outclassed the former 2 time World champion Panya Uthok (53-7) on August 31st and also gained the vacant WBC Asia title.
-Marlon Tapales (33-2): WBO #1 / IBF #3
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion has 3 stoppage wins since moving up a weight class.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1): WBO #2
Elorde has been the WBO Asia Pacific champion since 2015 and has defended it successfully 4 times. He will now challenge Emanuel Navarrete (28-1) for the WBO World title, on September 14th.
-Albert Pagara (32-1): WBO #3
The WBO Intercontinental champion dropped Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-4) on August 17th.
-Ye Joon Kim (18-1): WBA #11
Joon defeated Ryo Kosaka (17-5) to win the vacant WBA Asia title.
Note: This makes Joon the 1st Korean to enter the world rankings in years.
-Jeo Santisima (18-2): WBO #7
Santisima knocked out Alvius Maufani (6-4) in a single round.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (46-1): WBC #3
Kaikanha marked a second successful defense of his WBC Asia title against former World champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) in May and also knocked out Ryan Lumacad (14-3) on July 20th. He fights for a third time on September 21st against Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-14).
-Michael Dasmarinas (29-2): IBF #1 / WBC #10
Dasmarinas defeated Kenny Demecillo (14-5) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Reymart Gaballo (22-0): WBA #4 / IBF #10 / WBO #14
The former interim WBA champion destroyed Japanese journeyman Yuya Nakamura (9-3) this past February and then Yeison Vargas (17-2) on August 31st.
-Tasana Salapat (51-1): WBC #7 / WBA #9
Since failing to capture the interim WBC title in December, Salapat has picked up 3 more wins as well as the OPBF Silver championship.
-Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10): IBF #4
Ponpitak lost to Yukinori Oguni (21-2) in May, but has already bounced back with 2 stoppages over Anucha Noithong (0-6) as well as Hamson Lamandau (10-3) and has also become the IBF Pan Pacific champion.
-Vincent Astrolabio (14-3): WBO #12
Astrolabio defended his newly won WBO Oriental title against Kevin Aseniero (9-3) on August 24th.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBA #4
Srisaket already finds himself again at the top of the world rankings and has recently returned back to his camp, possibly getting ready for his next match.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (55-4): WBA #2
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion has been 5-0 since losing to Dalakian.
-Donnie Nietes (42-1): IBF #4 / WBC #4
No news yet on the 4 division world champion’s return.
-Froilan Saludar (30-3): WBO #12
The former world title challenger will meet Tsubasa Murachi (4-0) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific crown on September 21st.
-Aston Palicte (25-3): WBO #8 / WBC #8
Palicte lost to Kazuto Ioka (24-2) and failed once again to capture the WBO crown.
-Jakkrawut Majoogoen (28-1): WBA #14
Majoogoen has been on an impressive 14 fight winning streak since losing to Daigo Higa in 2015.
-KJ Cataraja (10-0): WBO #10
Cataraja beat Delfin de Asis (9-8) this July.
-Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3): WBA #3 / WBO #12
The WBC Silver champion fought Japanese standout Ryota Yamauchi (5-1) in March, to win the vacant WBA International title. He marked his first WBA defense against former OPBF champion Ardin Diale (35-14) on May 26th.
-Jayson Mama (14-0): IBF #9 / WBO #10
The undefeated Filipino prospect has had quite an impressive year thus far, with victories over Teeraphong Utaida (38-7) and former WBA Strawweight World champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7). He then beat Dexter Alimento on September 5th.
-Giemel Magramo (23-1): WBO #2 / IBF #4 / WBC #5 / WBA #5
Magramo defeated Wenfeng Ge (11-1) for the WBO International title this past January. He will clash with Komgrich Nantapech (25-5) on September 7th for a shot at the IBF World title.
-Nare Yianleang (71-5): WBA #2 / WBC #7
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, Yianleang has won 9 fights in a row.
-Jayr Raquinel (11-1): WBC #15
The Filipino returned after almost an entire year of inactivity, on August 23rd, and stopped former world title contender Takuya kogawa (30-6) and defended his OPBF title.
-Komgrich Nantapech (25-5): IBF #3
As mentioned above, the Thai boxer will be involved in an IBF eliminator against Giemel Magramo (23-1).
-Genisis Libranza (19-1): WBC #13
Libranza has been 8-0 since losing to the IBF World champion Moruti Mthalane (38-2).
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-2): WBA #6
Sarawut failed to capture the WBA World title from Artem Dalakian (19-0).
-Edward Heno (14-0): WBO #1 / WBC #1 / WBA #4 / IBF #14
The longtime OPBF king will challenge the WBO World champion Elwin Soto (15-1) either on October 23rd or 24th.
-Christian Araneta (17-0): IBF #3 / WBO #8 / WBC #12
Araneta will go toe to toe with Daniel Valladares (20-1) in an IBF eliminator on September 7th.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (17-0): WBA #3
“D’Golden Boy” became the WBA Asia champion in April and defended it on August 31st.
-Randy Petalcorin (30-3): IBF #9 / WBA #11
The former interim WBA World champion beat Thai journeyman Worawatchai Boonjan (14-22) on June 9th.
-Mark Vicelles (11-0): WBO #11
Vicelles added 2 more victories to his record this year.
-Christian Bacolod (11-0): WBO #12
Christian stopped Garry Rojo (9-13) in July.
-Xiang Li (7-2): WBO #15
Li earned the WBC Asia Continental & WBO Youth titles this past May.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-4): WBC #10
Taconing failed to capture the WBC World title from Ken Shiro (16-0).
-Jing Xiang (17-4): WBO #5
Xiang successfully defended his WBC Silver Light Flyweight title against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-7) back in January. The Chinese star then made his Strawweight debut on August 17th against Jomar Caindog (10-2) capturing the WBO International championship.
-Samuel Salva (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #2
Salva and Pedro Taduran (13-2) will meet on September 7th for the vacant IBF World title.
-Lito Dante (16-10): WBC #7 / IBF #11
In a shocking turn of events, Dante managed to TKO top contender Tsubasa Koura (14-1) and become the OPBF champion.
-Rhenrob Andales (10-1): WBA #7
”ArAr” captured the vacant WBA Asia title earlier this year and defended it for the first time in April against Cris Ganoza (17-3). However, he unsuccessfully challenged the WBA World champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) on August 2nd.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #3 / WBC #4 / WBO #8
As mentioned above, Taduran will be involved in an IBF World championship match with Samuel Salva (17-0).
-Rene Mark Cuarto (17-2): IBF #6 / WBO #15
Cuarto fights the undefeated Jayson Vayson (8-0) on September 7th.
-Joey Canoy (15-3): WBO #9
Canoy stopped Ryan Makiputin (13-18) on July 11th.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): WBC #5 / IBF #9 / WBO #14
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship in December.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #3 / IBF #10 / WBA #13
Paradero beat Jonathan Almacen (5-3) this past April.
-Melvin Jerusalem (15-2): WBC #2 / IBF #7 / WBO #10
Jerusalem defeated Reymark Taday (9-10) on August 17th.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Alexander Povetkin (35-2): WBC #7 / WBA #8 / IBF #14
The former Olympic & World champion defeated Hughie Fury (23-3) to win the vacant WBA International title. He now wants Tyson next.
-Sergey Kuzmin (15-0): WBA #5 / IBF 7
The WBA Intercontinental champion Sergey Kuzmin will clash with Michael Hunter (17-1) on September 13th.
-Evgeny Romanov (14-0): WBO #10
Romanov has improved his perfect record with 3 more victories this year as well as becoming the 1st ever WBO Global Heavyweight champion.
-Ivan Dychko (9-0): WBA #13
The 2 time Olympic Bronze Medalist stopped Nate Heaven (9-3) as well as former world title challenger Ray Austin (29-10) thus far in 2019.
-Aleksei Egorov (9-0): WBA Gold champion
The 2013 European winner bested Ukranian veteran Roman Golovashchenko (20-4) within 3 rounds to be declared the new WBA Gold champion.
-Yury Kashinsky (18-0): IBF #3 / WBA #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #7
Kashinsky won the vacant IBF Intercontinental title, on June 16th.
-Evgeny Tishchenko (5-0): WBO #11 / IBF #14
The 2016 Olympic champion dropped to Cruiserweight and won the vacant WBO Intercontinental title after stopping Abraham Tabul (16-2) in one round.
-Ruslan Fayfer (24-1): IBF #5 / WBC #11
Ruslan defeated Serhiy Radchenko (7-4) on May 19th.
-Sergey Kovalev (34-3): WBO World champion
The Russian legend successfully defended his WBO title against Anthony Yarde (18-1) on August 24th. There are talks about him fighting Canelo next.
-Artur Beterbiev (14-0): IBF World champion
Beterbiev will unify with the WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0) on October 18th.
-Dmitry Bivol (16-0): WBA World champion
Bivol made his 4th title defense in March against Joe Smith Jr. (24-3). He is expected to compete at Matchroom’s October 12th card.
-Maksim Vlasov (44-3): WBO #6 / IBF #11
Vlasov defended his WBO Global title against former foe & 2 time world title challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-7) on July 20th, thus avenging his 1st professional loss.
-Umar Salamov (24-1): WBO #4 / WBA #10
Salamov retained the WBO International title after knocking out Norbert Dabrowski (22-8) this past April.
-Igor Mikhalkin (23-2): WBC #4 / IBF #13 / WBA #15
Mikhalkin earned a unanimous decision victory over Timur Nikarkhoev (21-3) as well as the interim IBO title.
-Fedor Chudinov (21-2): WBA #3 WBC #5 / IBF #6 / WBO #11
The former WBA World champion has fought thrice in 2019, defeating the likes of Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-3), Rafael Bejaran (26-4) and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (26-6). According to his manager, Fedor could be challenging for the big one soon.
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0): WBA #4 / WBO #9
The Kazakh defeated Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2) in March, to become the WBA International champion. Aidos already holds the WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental titles as well, which he defended against Rocky Jerkic (17-2) in Australia, on August 14th.
-Aslambek Idigov (16-0): WBO #8
Idigov picked up a majority decision over Ronny Landaeta (16-2) in April, to become the WBO & IBF European champion.
-Vladimir Shishkin (9-0): WBA #13 / WBC #13
The undefeated Russian stopped the WBC Continental Americas champion DeAndre Ware (13-2) on August 23rd.
-Evgeny Shvedenko (12-0): IBF #11
Shvedenko beat former world title contender Nadjib Mohammedi (41-8) to win the Eurasian & IBO Intercontinental titles.
-Azizbek Abdugofurov (13-0): WBC #4
The WBC Silver champion made a successful comeback in the ring, on August 24th, against Gasan Gasanov (16-9).
-Gennady Golovkin (39-1): WBO #1 / WBC #1 / IBF #3
Triple G will battle for the vacant IBF title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1) on October 5th.
-Kanat Islam (26-0): WBO #8
The 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist made his triumphant return after a 2 year hiatus and demolished Julio De Jesus (27-2) in 14 seconds to become the new WBO International champion. He is expected to fight again in October.
-Magomed Madiev (13-0): WBA #3
Madiev went to war with fellow Russian fighter Evgeny Terentiev (14-2) on July 22nd and defended his WBA Asia title for the 3rd time.
-Janibek Alimkhanuly (7-0): WBO #15
The 2013 AIBA World champion defeated Christian Olivas (16-5) to win the inaguaral WBO Global title & the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. He defended his belts against Stuart McLellan (27-4) on August 17th.
-Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0): IBF #10
Nursultanov has added 3 more victories, this year, to his already impressive record.
-Israil Madrimov (3-0): WBA #6
Accomplished amateur Uzbek boxer Madrimov knocked Frank Rojas (24-3) out in just 2 rounds, to defend the WBA Intercontinental title this past March. He made his successful Madison Square Garden debut this past June, against Norberto Gonzalez (24-13). He is expected to compete on October 5th.
-Magomed Kurbanov (17-0): WBA #8
Kurbanov was meant to fight Michel Soro (34-2) on July 20th, for the vacant WBA (Regular) World championship in France, but he couldn’t make it in the country due to a visa issue.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0): WBO #4 / IBF #6
Murtazaliev defended his WBC United States championship against Elvin Ayala (29-13) this past February. He then scored a first round finish of Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-7) in April. The Russian will now go toe to toe with Jeison Rosario (19-1) in an IBF title eliminator on September 21st.
-Aram Amirkhanyan (12-0): WBO #7
The unified WBO International & WBA Continental champion hasn’t fought since December of last year.
-Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #6 / WBO #11
Kudratillo bested Keita Obara (21-4) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF title. He is rumored to be fighting former WBA World champion Luis Collazo (39-7) on October 18th.
-Sergey Lipinets (16-1): IBF #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #5
Lipinets stopped 2 division World champion Lamont Peterson (35-5) in March.
He added another finish to his record on July 20th after he dropped Jayar Inson (18-3) to win the vacant WBO Intercontinental title. There are talks about him going up against the current WBC Silver & former World champion Danny Garcia (35-2) before the end of the year.
-David Avanesyan (24-3): WBC #10 / WBO #14
The former interim WBA World title holder defeated Kerman Lejarraga (28-1) in March and became the EBU European champion. These 2 will have their rematch on September 28th.
-Alexander Besputin (13-0): WBA #1
Besputin defended his USBA title for the second time against Alfredo Blanco (20-8) in April. Odds are we are going to see him and Butaev fight each other for the now vacant WBA (Regular) championship.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0): WBA #7 / IBF #13
Zhangabayev won the vacant WBA Intercontinental title after beating Ivan Matute (30-3) in March. He defended his belt against the IBF Pan Pacific champion Steve Gago (11-1) on August 14th.
-Radzhab Butaev (12-0): WBA #2
Butaev knocked out Lanardo Tyner (35-16) in March and then defeated Sliverio Ortiz (37-26) 2 months later. As said above, the 2 undefeated Russians might go at it for the WBA (Regular) title.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-0): WBA #3
Akhmedov has expanded his undefeated streak in 2019, with victories over Viktor Plotnikov (33-6) as well as Francisco Gabriel Pina (14-16). He will now meet with Mario Barrios (24-0) for the WBA (Regular) title on September 28th.
-Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) WBO #9
Turarov made short work of Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (31-5) in July, thus becoming the new WBO Intercontinental champion. He has joined the MTK Golden Contract Super Lightweight tournament along with the IBF European champion Akeen Ennis Brown (13-0) and former IBO champion Mohamed Mimoune (21-3).
-Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0): WBA #4 / IBF #6 / WBO #11
The unstoppable Uzbek has beaten Mykal Fox (20-1) and Abdiel Ramirez (24-5) in 2019.
-Shakhram Giyasov (9-0): WBA #5 / IBF #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist knocked out the former interim WBA World champion Darleys Perez (34-5), on August 24th, in less than a minute.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #3 / IBF #10
Top Russian contender defeated Jesus Cuadro (18-5) in May.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-0): WBC #4 / WBO #15
The WBC Silver champion stopped Humberto Martinez (33-9) earlier this year. Abdullaev will now collide with Devin Haney (22-0), on September 13th, in a WBC title eliminator.
-Pavel Malikov (15-1): IBF #13
Malikov will face former world title challenger Isa Chaniev on October 12th.
-Isa Chaniev (13-2): IBF #14
Chaniev, as mentioned above, is going to meet the Eurasian champion Malikov in Riga.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (14-0): WBC #3 / IBF #5
Rakhimov marked his 3rd IBO title defense, against Rofhiwa Maemu (18-9) in March.
He will be involved in an IBF eliminator with Azinga Fuzile (14-0) on September 29th.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (14-0): WBA #5
Sulaimanbek stopped Pipat Chaiporn (47-13) in Russia, to defend his WBA Asia championship. He marked his 4th one against Milner Marcano (20-8) on August 24th.
-Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (15-0): WBC #12 / IBF #14 / WBO #15
The undefeated WBC International champion has scored 2 victories this year against Jhon Gemino (20-12) and former interim WBA World champion Emanuel Lopez (30-11). He will defend his title again on November 3rd. (Opponent TBA)
-Denis Shafikov (40-4): IBF #10
Shafikov fought Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-2), this past February, to a draw.
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0): WBC #1 / IBF #5
The 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist defeated Claudio Marrero (24-3) in January, to earn the vacant IBO belt. King Tug is next in line for a shot at the WBC World championship.
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0): WBA #2
The 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist was scheduled to challenge the unified WBA & IBF World champion Daniel Roman (27-2) but since Roman was injured, it’s unclear as to what happens next.
-Nikolai Potapov (20-2): WBO #8 / IBF #11
Potapov lost to Joshua Greer Jr. (21-1) on July 13th.
When we talk about the greatest ever fights on British soil 2 of them actually feature a Korean, and they took place in the space of just a 6 of months back in the early 00's. The fights, which both took place in the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, were both stupidly violent, exciting and action packed bouts that saw both men putting it all on the line with a high intensity all action war. Here we look at the first of those two bouts, which pitted two real tough guys against each other in a bout for the vacant WBC Featherweight title.
In Jin Chi (27-2, 16) vs Michael Brodie (35-1, 23) I
Korean Warrior Chi was a relative unknown outside of Asia until 2001, when travelled to LA and battled Erik Morales for the WBC Featherweight title. It was only the second time Chi had left Korea and was his first loss in almost a decade, following a decision defeat on debut in 1991. Against Morales Chi proved himself as an insanely tough fighter who was unable to outbox Morales, but gave the Mexican great questions at times with his aggression and toughness. Through his 29 fight career up to this point he had won the Korea and OPBF Bantamweight titles, beating Jess Maca twice and holding other notable wins over the likes of Dino Olivetti and Samuel Duran.
Brodie on the other hand was a once beaten English fighter who was part of a rising boxing scene in the North West of England, with the likes of Ricky Hatton, Anthony Farnell and Michael Gomez, themselves dubbed the 3-amigos by some all coming through in the wake of Brodie's rise. To this point Brodie's only loss was had been a majority decision to Willie Jorrin in a bout for the WBC Super Bantamweight title, a loss that pretty much ended his days at 1222lbs and forced him up to Featherweight. Like Chi he was a tough guy, but he was technically a better boxer with smoother movement and had taken the British, Commonwealth and European titles at Super Bantamweight prior to facing Jorrin. Although a better pure boxer he was happy to engage in a war and that made for an interesting style clash with Chi.
After just a few seconds the fighters clashed heads. It was a hard clash, though saw no major injury to either, with Chi just needing a few seconds to recover. From then out the became a war, inside war of machismo, fire and desire, Chi got the better of it in round 2, dropping Brodie, who recovered and came back hard on Chi, really taking the fight to the Korean in round 3 and pinning him against the ropes, then Chi came back.
From then we got unadulterated violence with Brodie trying to break every rib in Chi's body with a sustained body attack whilst Chi soaked it up and responded with head shots, swelling the face of Brodie. It was a hard, hard man's fight, and one of those that takes a lasting toll on both men. The volume of hard, clean connects was through the rough and the bout swung one way then the other, with Brodie having a great run in the middle rounds, though had given a lot of effort with his body attack which hadn't been able to break down the Korean.
The bout was also well remembered for various controversial issues with the scoring, a fight almost breaking out between officials and promoters, and for the controversial nature resulting in their thrilling rematch 6 months later.
This is just an incredible fight and well worth watching if you're after some mindless violence!
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBA #11
The former K-1 star and the reigning WBO Asia Pacific champion will rematch Suthat Kalalek (13-10) on October 21st.
-Ryota Murata (15-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The 2012 Olympic champion got his revenge on Rob Brant (25-2) in Osaka, reclaiming his WBA title.
-Takeshi Inoue (14-1): WBO #11 / IBF #15
Inoue made short work of Thai veteran Komsan Polsan (38-11) on August 3rd, to become the WBO Asia Pacific champion for the second time.
-Keita Obara (21-4): IBF #8
After losing to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0) earlier this year, Obara beat Indonesian journeyman Yosmar Kefi (9-12) in June.
-Yusuke Konno (15-4): WBA #14
Konno stopped Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-3) in China to become the new WBA Asia champion.
-Andy Hiraoka (14-0): IBF #14
The Japanese youngster earned the biggest win of his career, this past July, against former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo (31-9).
-Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1): IBF #7 / WBC #12
Nakatani came up short against Teofimo Lopez (14-0), ending his undefeated streak.
-Kenichi Ogawa (24-1): IBF #3 / WBO #11
The uncrowned IBF king returned to the ring earlier this year and has already amassed 2 victories. Ogawa will challenge Joe Noynay (18-2) for the WBO Asia Pacific championship, on December 7th, at the legendary Korakuen Hall.
-Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1): WBO #4
Sueyoshi will meet Kosuke Saka (18-5), on November 2nd, for the 5th defense of his Japanese title.
-Kazuhiro Nishitani (20-4): IBF #12
Nishitani has been 5-0 since 2016, knocking out every single one of his opponents.
-Musashi Mori (9-0): WBO #9
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-10) this past April. He will take on Suntorn Panhom (5-4) on September 15th.
-Hiroshige Osawa (35-5): WBA #1 / IBF #14
The former world title challenger is scheduled to fight Indonesian champion Jason Butar Butar (30-26) on October 1st.
-Reiya Abe (19-2): IBF #6 / WBC #11
Abe will square off with Ryo Sagawa (7-1) for the vacant Japanese title, on September 13th.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3): IBF #1
Iwasa won an IBF eliminator against Cesar Juarez (24-7) in February. Since Daniel Roman (27-2) is out with an injury, an interim IBF title fight could be made with Iwasa and Marlon Tapales (33-2).
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2): IBF #8
Teshigawara defended his OPBF championship against former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-3) on August 8th.
-Shingo Wake (26-5): WBC #2 / IBF #4
Wake has been on a 6 fight winning streak since losing to Jonathan Guzman (23-1) in 2016.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #3
The former IBF World champion defeated Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10) in May.
-Yusaku Kuga (18-3): WBC #11
Kuga became once again the Japanese champion after earning a unanimous decision over Ryoichi Tamura (12-4) a few months back. He will mark his inaugural title defense on September 21st against Yosuke Fujihara (18-6).
-Tomoki Kameda (36-3): WBC #8
The former interim WBC champion came up short in his unification bout with Rey Vargas (34-0).
-Naoya Inoue (18-0): IBF World champion
Inoue is set to clash with the WBA Super & WBC Diamond champion Nonito Donaire (40-5) in the WBSS Bantamweight final, on November 7th.
-Takuma Inoue (13-0): WBC Interim World champion
Takuma will unify with Nordine Oubaali (16-0) on November 7th.
-Keita Kurihara (14-5): IBF #9 / WBC #12
Kurihara defended his OPBF crown in May, after knocking out former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-10).
-Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8): IBF #12 / WBO #15
Kobayashi won the WBO Asia Pacific title, this past May, from Ben Mananquil (17-2).
-Kazuto Ioka (24-2): WBO World champion.
Ioka defeated Aston Palicte (25-3) in June to capture the vacant WBO strap and to become the 1st ever Japanese 4 division World champion.
-Akira Yaegashi (28-6): WBO #7 / WBA #11 / WBC #13
The 3 division World champion has been undefeated as a Super Flyweight, with 3 consecutive TKO victories under his belt. His goal is to meet Jerwin Ancajas (31-1) for the IBF title, probably in November.
-Sho Ishida (28-1): WBO #2 / WBA #3 / IBF #5 / WBC #9
Ishida has been 4-0 since losing to Khalid Yafai (26-0) in 2017.
-Koki Eto (24-5): WBO #11 / IBF #7
Eto lost to Jeyvier Cintron (11-0) on August 2nd in a WBO eliminator.
-Takayuki Okumoto (24-8): IBF #15
The Japanese champion made his 4th successful title defense on August 4th against Dynamic Kenji (11-4).
-Kosei Tanaka (14-0): WBO World champion
Tanaka defended against Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3) on August 24th.
-Junto Nakatani (19-0): WBC #3 / WBO #4 / WBA #7 / IBF #11
Nakatani’s biggest fight yet will take place on October 5th, when he tests himself against the former IBF Light Flyweight World champion Milan Melindo (37-4).
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-8): IBF #10 / WBC #14
Kuroda went to war with Moruti Mthalane (38-2) for the IBF World title, this past May, but couldn’t bring the belt back home.
-Yusuke Sakashita (18-8): WBO #15
Sakashita stopped former world title contender Masahiro Sakamoto (13-3) to become the new WBO Asia Pacific champion. He will mark his first defense against Naoki Mochizuki (16-4), in a revenge match from 2016, on October 21st.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0): WBA (Super) World champion.
Kyoguchi successfully defended the WBA title this past June, against Muay Thai champion Tanawat Nakoon (11-1). His next opponent will be Tetsuya Hisada (34-9), whom he’ll face on October 1st in Japan.
-Ken Shiro (16-0): WBC World champion.
The unstoppable Ken Shiro made short work of Jonathan Taconing (28-4) in July, to mark his 6th title defense.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-9): WBA #1 / WBC #2 / WBO #3 / IBF #6
Hisada has been on an impressive 13 fight winning streak. His big opportunity finally has arrived as he challenges Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0) for the WBA (Super) title, on October 1st.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-15): WBC #4 / IBF #5
Horikawa won the Japanese title earlier this year, for the second time in his career. He made his inaugural defense in May.
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8
Konishi didn’t manage to capture the IBF title from Felix Alvarado (35-2).
-Sho Kimura (18-3): WBA #8
The former WBO Flyweight World champion lost a unanimous decision to Carlos Canizales (22-0) for the WBA (Regular) World title in China.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-7): IBF #5 / WBO #6 / WBA #12
Tanaka won the Japanese title, this past January, and defended it in June against Naoya Haruguchi (15-11).
-Masataka Taniguchi (11-3): WBO #7 / WBC #13
Taniguchi will face rising star Kai Ishizawa (6-0) on September 21st.
-Takumi Sakae (21-3): IBF #13
Sakae will fight for the 3rd time this year, on September 23rd, against Stevanus Nana Bau (9-11).
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #8 / IBF #14
Koura surprisingly lost his OPBF title to Lito Dante (16-10) a few months ago.
Whilst we've looked at quite a lot of obscure fights in our Closet Classic series, we haven't yet looked at a fight featuring the fairer sex. With Victoriva Vol 5 coming up next week we felt this was the ideal time to change that, and look at one of the most brutal female fights out there. The bout resulted in one of the most graphic injuries in female boxing history, so forewarning there is some graphic scenes and this fight, despite being a closet classic, is certainly not for everyone.
Ju Hee Kim (13-1-1, 6) vs Jujeath Nagaowa (9-7-1, 5)
Back on September 12th 2010 in Anyang Stadium Korean fans gathered to see once beaten hopeful Ju Hee Kim continue her rise. She'd been beaten back in 2002, bu In Young Lee, but had rebuilt with 11 straight wins, taken a number of minor titles and had scored a very credible win over Tenkai Tsunami. Despite a 53 week break from the ring she was supposed to keep her winning run going as she faced off with rugged but limited Filipino journey-woman Jujeath Nagaowa, a diminutive little battler who had lost of her previous 3 by stoppage.
On paper Kim almost all the advantages a fighter could ask for. She was the slightly taller fighter, the one with real momentum, at 24 she was slightly more physically mature than the 23 year old Nagaowa, and of course had home advantage. Despite being a clear under-dog Nagaowa didn't care, and from the opening seconds she had Kim on the backfoot, forcing Kim to fight back. That allowed Kim a chance to show what she could do, as she unloaded some 2-handed combinations on the Filipino.
The good back and forth in the early going saw both fighters landing some clean headshots, and it was exciting, but it certainly didn't prepare us for what was to come.
With the two often trading combinations, and regularly fighting up close it was Nagaowa's type of fight, and by the start of round 3 her shots had already started to leave Kim with swelling around her right eye. That swelling would become a major part of the fight, with Kim's left eye beginning to swell soon afterwards.
For much of the bout, which only became more and more exciting, the Korean was fighting on heart alone, with her face resembling a Picasso painting, disfigured in a way that is just simply not seen in female boxing. It would have been easy for her to quit, citing her injuries. It would have been logical for the referee to interfere and the doctor to stop the fight. But this is Korea, and they weren't going to derail their new female hopeful who was forced to fight fire with fire through a truly grotesque injury.
Despite the injury this would still be a bout worthy of attention for the brilliant back and forth, the heart, determination and action. The injury just added to the drama and further dragged the crowd into the bout, getting them involved in doing all they could to urge Kim to dig deep.
This is a bout that won't convince people to give female boxing a shot, but shows that female boxing can be just as brutal and damaging as male boxing, and can be just as dramatic.
By - Eric Armit
-Sergey Kovalev stops Anthony Yarde in the eleventh round in WBO light heavy title defence
-Juan Francisco Estrada successfully defends the WBC super fly title with ninth round victory over Dewayne Beamon
-John Riel Casimero knocks out Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round in WBO bantam defence
-Kosei Tanaka retains the WBO flyweight title with stoppage of Jonathan Gonzalez
-Puerto Rican Wilfredo Mendez lifts the WBO minimumweight title with decision over champion Vic Saludar
-Brandon Figueroa outclasses and halts Javier Chacon and retains the interim WBA super bantamweight title
-Maximino Flores gets technical decision over Carlo Penalosa for the vacant IBO flyweight belt
-Liam Smith, Filip Hrgovic, Jono Carroll, Cristofer Rosales, Ilunga Makabu and Stephen Fulton score wins
World Title Fights and supports
Chelyabinsk, Russia: Light Heavy: Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1) W TKO 11 Anthony Yarde (18-1). Cruiser: Ilunga Makabu (26-2) W PTS 12 Aleksei Papin (11-1). Heavy: Evgeny Romanov (14-0) W TKO 1 Dario Balmaceda (19-18-2).
Kovalev vs. Yarde
Kovalev’s experience was the telling factor in this one as recovers from near defeat to outlast and stop a dangerous Yarde and retain his WBO title.
A steady opening from both fighters. The difference was the consistent accuracy of Kovalev’s jab. Yarde was confident trying some rights and clipping Kovalev with a left but sparing with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev
The pace quickened in the second with both fighters throwing more. Yarde looked dangerous with rights but again it was the nagging accuracy of Kovalev’s jab which he kept slipping through Yarde’s guard that was picking up the points.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 20-18
Yarde came forward at the start of the round and connected with a good left. He was matching Kovalev until the last minute when again Kovalev was piercing Yarde’s guard with a succession of jabs
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 30-27
A dominant round for Kovalev. Yarde had no answer to the champions jab. He couldn’t block it and he couldn’t get past it. Kovalev was coming in behind the jab with quick punches from both hands and brining his right cross into the action.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Julio Cesar Alvarado: 39-37 Kovalev, Judge Deon Dwarte 40-36 Kovalev, Judge Zoltan Enyedi 40-36 Kovalev
Yarde finally began to let his hands go in the fifth and connected with some good combinations. His attacks put Kovalev on the back foot for the first time. Kovalev was still getting through with jabs but not so many and Yarde was coming forward throwing punches at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 49-46
Kovalev out jabbed and outworked Yarde to take this one. Yarde was looking to trade but Kovalev kept moving, kept jabbing and adding an occasional combination with Yarde just not throwing enough punches.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 59-55
Clearly Yarde’s round. He was taking the fight to Kovalev getting inside and landing with heavy lefts hooks to the body and clumping rights to the head. Kovalev was looking tired and holding to try to smother Yarde’s attacks.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 68-65
A huge round for Yarde. He was storming forward throwing punches particularly his trade mark left hooks to the body. Kovalev was looking tired and when Yarde pinned him to the ropes and rocked him with head punches it looked possible that Yarde might stop him but Kovalev made it to the bell. One judge made this a 10-8 round for Yarde.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 77-75
Official Scores: Judge Alvarado: 77-76 Kovalev, Judge Dwarte 78-74 Kovalev, Judge Enyedi 77-75 Kovalev
Panic over. Kovalev boxed his way through this round. Jabs, hooks, uppercuts, none heavy but all, scoring. Yarde looked to have punched himself out and his punch output dropped to almost zero as Kovalev worked effectively if not spectacularly.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 87-84
Kovalev knew he had the fight won and began to turn the screw. Suddenly he was throwing clusters of punches. Most of them were landing and there was very little coming back from an exhausted Yarde as Kovalev pummelled him in a corner at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 97-93
Yarde made a brave attempt to take the fight to Kovalev but the Russian was teeing off with rights to the head as Yarde floundered. Kovalev tossed Yarde to the floor and Yarde had nothing left. In the end it was a still left jab that put Yarde down and ended the fight.
There were signs in this fight that at 36 Kovalev is by no means the force he was and if Yarde had paced the fight better the result could have been different but on the plus side he overcame a dangerous opponent and is now hoping to get a huge payday against Saul Alvarez. Kovalev constituted a huge step up in quality of opposition for Yarde but he showed he could compete at this level and will probably land another title shot late in 2010.
Makabu vs. Papin
Makabu retains the WBC Silver title with majority decision over Russian Papin with the Congolese fighter needing a last round knockdown to hold on to that title. Papin made a promising start sending Makabu staggering back with a right and working well with his longer reach. Makabu upped his pace in the second but Papin scored well with a hook and found the distance with his jab and straight right. Makabu was rolling in the third. He was jabbing well with his right and getting inside and banging hooks to Papin’s body. It was a similar story in the fourth and fifth . Papin was scoring at distance but Makabu was coming forward and banging hurtful hooks to the body. Makabu went low with a punch in the fourth and was given a stern warning but he was still firing hurtful hooks to the ribs. Papin did some good work with his jab and light combinations at the start of the sixth but the relentless attacks and body punching from Makabu soon had the Russian in retreat. Makabu dominated the seventh rocking Papin with an uppercut and the Russian had a small cut over his right eye caused by a punch. Makabu again had Papin under pressure in the eighth and Papin slipped to the floor. It was rightly ruled a slip but he was not relishing the pressure. Papin moved more and threw more punches in the ninth and did enough to make the tenth close but for me Makabu was way in front. The eleven was a good round for Makabu. He began by out jabbing the Russian before Papin bounced back with some quick, light counters. At the end of the round Makabu knocked an exhausted Papin into the ropes and then connected with a series of hooks and uppercuts that had Papin ready to go down when the bell saved him. Papin made a bright start to the last round firing combinations through the defence of Makabu. He then ran out of steam and Makabu was forcing him back with hooks and uppercuts and a straight left sent Papin down. He was up quickly but looked unsteady . By the time the count was completed there were less than 30 seconds left in the round and to his credit Papin walked forward and drove Makabu back with punches. Scores 115-113 and 114-113 for Makabu and 114-114 which meant that before the 10-8 in the last Makabu was behind on two cards and only level on the third which just did not square with the way that Makabu had so clearly dominated much of the fight, The 31-year-old from the DRC rightly got the win. He is No 1 with the WBC and since Olek Usyk has moved up to heavy that WBC title is now vacant. The position is slightly complicated by the WBSS Tournament that is still ongoing. The WBC No 2 is Krzys Glowacki who was beaten inside the distance by WBO champion Mairis Breidis in June, No 3 is Krzys Wlodarczyk who has won his last four fights and No 4 is Noel Gevor who also lost to Breidis. Breidis is the WBC “Diamond” champion-whatever that means and I just hope the WBC don’t try to jump on the WBSS bandwagon and make the Breidis vs. Yuniel Dorticos clash for their vacant title and screw Makabu that way. This was too ambitious a match for Papin at this stage but the former World Kickboxing has the backing to get a title shot sometime.
Romanov vs. Balmaceda
Romanov blasts out poor Balmaceda inside a round. Balmaceda was using his longer reach to probe with jabs but there was no power there. Eventually Romanov managed to get past the jab and connected with a left to the head that saw Balmaceda go down on one knee. After the eight count Romanov forced Balmaceda to the ropes and the Argentinian again touched the canvas trying to avoid the punches and the referee gave him another count. Balmaceda then tried to take the fight to Romanov but as he came forward Romanov caught him with a couple of head punches that did not look hard. Balmaceda went to his knees and was counted out as he was getting up. Tenth win by KO/TKO for 34-year-old Romanov but this one was too easy. His selling point is his third round kayo of Deontay Wilder in a Russia vs. USA match back in 2008 but now he needs to make his mark in the pros. At 6’0” and with short arms he will struggle against the bigger fighters. Balmaceda was taller at 6’3” but this is his eleventh loss by KO/TKO.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Fly: Juan F Estrada (40-3) W TKO 9 Dewayne Beamon (16-2-1). Super Light: Shakhram Giyasov (9-0) W TKO 1Darleys Perez (34-5-2). Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (9-0) W KO 3 Mario Heredia (16-7-1). Super Welter: Liam Smith (28-2-1) W TKO 7 Mario Lozano (33-10).Super Feather: Jono Carroll (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Eleazar Valenzuela (20-11-4,1ND).Middle: Diego Pacheco (5-0) W KO 1 Jose Esparza (1-1).
Estrada vs. Beamon
Estrada retains the WBC with stoppage of a very competitive Beamon.
Estrada threw some hooks early but was short. Beamon began to find the target with his jab. He was missed with a couple of rights but continued to land the jab and had Estrada under fire at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Beamon
Beamon rushed forward firing punches in the second but Estrada landed a good right and when Beamon backed him to the ropes he put Beamon down with a counter left hook. Beamon was up immediately and looking aggrieved claiming he fell when he was off balance. After the count Beamon was looking to trade with Estrada but a right to the body and a left to the head had Beamon toppling to the side and he put his glove down to steady himself resulting in a count. Beamon was willing to exchange punches as he tried to regain some ground but Estrada was more accurate.
Score: 10-7 Estrada Estrada 19-17
Things looked bleak for Beamon as Estrada began to put his punches together. He was coming forward raking Beamon with hooks and uppercuts with Beamon on the retreat. Beamon landed a cracking right but Estrada again put together some hurtful combinations.
Score: Score 10-9 Estrada Estrada 29-26
Beamon has a busy style and he was certainly busy in this round. He was rolling forward shooting out jabs and then getting in close and connecting with short punches. Estrada was picking Beamon off on the way in but was being outworked until Beamon went onto the back foot late in the round allowing Estrada to score but it was Beamon’s round although he had picked up a small nick by his left eye.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Estrada 38-36
It was all Beamon in the fifth. He pressed his attacks hard forcing Estrada to the ropes and bombarding him with punches from both hands. Estrada was blocking or dodging many of the punches but was throwing few counters. Just to show how unconcerned he was by Beamon’s attacks Estrada on three occasions just stood at the ropes and draped his right arm over the top rope. Real cool, but no points for that.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Estrada 47-46
Beamon continued his frenzied attacks. Estrada was being forced back and although he was connecting with occasional counters once again it was Beamon throwing more an landing many of them. Estrada picked up his pace in the middle of the round but was then being forced back as Beamon showered him with punches some wild but some on target and he mockingly escorted Estrada back to his corner at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Tied 56-56
Estrada needed to get his act together as he was letting this fight slip away. In the seventh although Beamon was still attacking Estrada was jarring him with accurate punches at distance and with short hooks inside. Some of the fire had gone out of a tiring Beamon and he was being rocked by hard single shots from Estrada. In a frantic finish to the round Beamon was stumbling forward into a storm of punches from Estrada and a right to the side of the head wobbled him badly.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 66-65
A subdued Beamon connected with some rights in the round but Estrada was rocking him with savage rights and staggered Beamon a couple of times and was slowly breaking down the exhausted challenger.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 76-74
Beamon had nothing left to give and Estrada teed-off on him with lefts and rights until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. This proved a tougher fight than anticipated with Beamon very much in it until he tired. Next for Estrada could be a third bout with Thai Srisaket as they are 1-1 in their series . Beamon had done nothing to deserve a rating let alone a title shot but he showed plenty of fire and aggression and was giving Estrada a hard night before he tired and his showing may get him a shot at a title next year.
Giyasov vs. Perez
Giyasov gets this one over and finished in just 41 seconds-including the count. The Uzbek pushed out a few tentative jabs and then stepped in with a looping left hook to the chin and Perez went down on his posterior. He sat on the canvas looking bemused and had only just started to rise as the referee reached ten. The 26-year-old Giyasov won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2017 World Championships. This is his seventh win by KO/TKO. He retains the WBA International title and is there No 10. Colombian Perez, a former holder of the secondary WBA lightweight title drew then lost to Anthony Crolla in title fights and subsequently lost inside the distance to Luke Campbell and Maxim Dadashev.
Hrgovic vs. Heredia
Hrgovic gets another inside the distance win but over a sub-standard opponent who was 8” shorter and 45lbs heavier. Hrgovic was finding the target with rights from the opening minute. Heredia managed to get through with a couple of jabs but other than that was just slinging wild roundhouse punches. Hrgovic used a strong jab to keep Heredia going back and connected with overhand rights. In the second Heredia came forward constantly. Hrgovic met him with right crosses and uppercuts but Heredia managed to land a few shots, took the punishment and kept rolling forward. Hrgovic ended things in the third. He forced Heredia to the ropes with his jab and then blasted Heredia with a booming right to the head then clipped him with a left that helped him on the way to the floor. Heredia made it to his feet but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. Hrgovic retains the WBC International belt and gets his seventh inside the distance win. He is rated WBA 6/WBC 11/IBF 12(11) but as his best wins are over Kevin Johnson and Amir Mansour it is difficult to justify those ratings. He is 27, 6’6” and is strong and punches hard but is still settling into the pro ranks and we will need to see him against better opposition where his lack of speed might be a weakness. Mexican Heredia, 26, is now 2-6-1 in his last 9 fights with 6 of those losses by KO/TKO.
Smith vs. Lozano
Another win for Smith as former WBO super welter champion moves up to middleweight and keeps his hopes of another title fight alive. Smith was piling on the pressure from the opening round moving forward behind a high guard and shook Lozano with a heavy right. Lozano was mainly on the back foot but did come forward occasionally with smart hooks. Smith continued to press in the second going to the body with left hooks. Lozano was fighting in bursts throwing lots of hooks. Lozano changed tactics and came forward at the start of the third but the strength, some string jabs, and left hooks to the body soon had Smith in control again. Smith took the fifth and six scoring with left hooks to the body and clubbing rights and Lozano was slowing. Lozano put in a big effort at the start of the sixth but then Smith’s pressure had Lozano in trouble and just before the bell Lozano dropped to the floor under a barrage of punches from Smith. He just made it to his feet and Smith tried to find a finishing punch but the bell saved Lozano. The Mexican tried to punch with Smith in the seventh but Smith forced him to the ropes and two left hooks sent Lozano down and the referee halted the contest. The 31-year-old from Liverpool has lost to Saul Alvarez and Jamie Munguia in title fights but is No 6 super welter with the WBO so if Jaime Munguia moves up to middleweight then there is a good chance Smith will be in the mix for the vacant title. Lozano has been in with some high quality opposition and last time out only lost on a majority verdict to 29-1 Patrick Teixeira so was in decent form.
Carroll vs. Valenzuela
Dublin southpaw Carroll gets back into winning ways with unanimous decision over Mexican Valenzuela. The Mexican reddened Carroll’s face early with jabs but Carroll was investing in some strong body punches that would pay dividends over the later rounds. Valenzuela kept taking the fight to Carroll which suited the Irishman as he loves a fight and didn’t have to go looking for one. Movers can give Carroll trouble but Valenzuela was slow and predictable but resilient. Neither fighter cared too much about defence so there were plenty of exchanges with both landing well but Carroll had more power. He handed out some serious punishment in the later rounds but Valenzuela never really looked to be in trouble and was landing his smaller share of punches. There was quantity but not a lot of accuracy or power in the Mexican’s work and Carroll was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 for Carroll on each of the three cards. A useful ten rounds of work for Carroll in his first fight since losing on points to Tevin Farmer for the IBF title in March. Now he will be aiming to work his way back to another title challenge. Valenzuela was tough but limited but was a decent 7-1,1ND going in.
Pacheco vs. Esparza
Pacheco gets his third win in a row-all coming in the first round. Well down the in the billing and only five fights but worth drawing to your attention. The 6’4” 18-year-old won plenty of Youth titles and is one to watch. Esparza just a prelim novice so no measure of Pacheco’s potential.
Manila, Philippines: Bantam: John Riel Casimero (28-4) W KO 10 Cesar Ramirez (18-4). Bantam: Vincent Astrolabio (14-3) W TKO 5 Kevin Aseniero (9-3-1). Super Feather: Charly Suarez (3-0) W TKO 1 Virgil Puton (17-13-2).
Casimero vs. Ramirez
Casimero knocks out challenger Ramirez to retain the interim WBO title but Ramirez proved to be a very tough challenger and dominated the action at times until a great combination from Casimero ended the fight.
Ominous first round for Ramirez. Casimero was fired up and looking to end this early. He was steaming forward throwing punches as Ramirez pedalled backwards around the ring. Casimero connected with jabs and hooks to the body. Ramirez was just poking out his jab trying to use his longer reach. He rushed in with a couple of attacks late in the round but Casimero easily avoided them.
Score: 10-9 Casimero
Casimero chased Ramirez in this one but rarely caught him. Ramirez kept sticking out tentative jabs and then launching clumsy attacks. He had some success and managed to tie Casimero up inside and with Casimero off target the few punches Ramirez landed were enough for him to edge this one
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Tied 19-19
Both fighters were wild with their punches as Casimero tried to hunt down Ramirez and the challenger kept moving. Ramirez lunged forward to take the fight to Casimero and was caught with a left to the head. He staggered and his legs went in different direction as he fell to the floor. He was up at seven and evaded Casimero’s attempts to land another heavy punch
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 29-27
Ramirez’s round. He stuck to his jab and was using it to force Casimero onto the back foot. Casimero just could not get past the jab and Ramirez was scoring with long rights and banged home a crisp left hook to dominate the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 38-37
Ramirez was working the jab again in this one but as he launched an attack both he and Casimero missed with their punch but Ramirez stumbled and fell. The referee decided it was a knockdown and gave Ramirez a count. When the action resumed Ramirez again did the scoring. He was spearing Casimero with jabs and then unleashing combinations. Casimero was looking to throw rights and again had no answer to Ramirez’s jab. No real justice here. The knockdown was no knockdown and as Ramirez outboxed Casimero what would have been a 10-9 round for Ramirez became a 10-8 round for Casimero costing Ramirez three points
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 48-45
Casimero was finding the target with single shots until the last minute. Over the remaining minute Ramirez was piling forward driving Casimero back and showering the champion with punches from both hands. A lot of Ramirez’s punches were missing but he connected with two heavy rights to the head. Casimero was too busy defending to counter and it was Ramirez’s round
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 57-55
This was an untidy round but an important one. Casimero was finding the target early and after hurting Ramirez with a left and right to the head as he rushed forward they got tangled up and both landed on the canvas. Once they were both up Casimero was driving a stumbling Ramirez along the ropes connecting with head punches and Ramirez dropped down on the bottom rope and almost fell out of the ring. That meant another count. Ramirez was up at seven and looked unsteady. Casimero rocked him with a couple of punches but the action was stopped as Ramirez had lost his mouthguard and the break to replace it allowed Ramirez the respite he needed. I was tempted to be stupid and say if it wasn’t for the knockdowns Ramirez would be winning this fight but I am not that stupid !! Am I?
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 67-63
Clearly Ramirez’s round. After Casimero scored with a couple of hooks early in the round Ramirez took over. He was using his jab to force Casimero back and landing long rights to the head. Casimero was not throwing much and what he was throwing was wildly inaccurate. Ramirez continued to spear him with jabs and the champion looked a tired fighter.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 76-73
It was all Ramirez at the start of the ninth as he continued his jabbing and caught Casimero with a right to the head and a right uppercut. He continued to drive Casimero back but was over confident and was hurt by a left hook which sent his mouthguard flying out of his mouth. He was in trouble but stole a few seconds as his mouthguard was re-inserted and it was Casimero coming forward and landing punches to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Casimero Casimero 86-82
Ramirez had nothing left. Casimero was forcing him around the ring scoring with hooks and uppercuts and there was no sign of Ramirez’s left jab. Casimero continued to punish Ramirez and then a left hook and a booming straight right put Ramirez flat on his back and the referee waived him arms to signal the fight was over.
A much tougher night than expected for the 30-year-old former IBF light flyweight and flyweight champion but in the end his power proved too much for Ramirez. The aim now is for a challenge to the real WBO champion Zolani Tete for what would be a great match. Ramirez dominated this fight in spells but just did not have the power to exploit his advantage. He had won 10 of his previous 11 fights with the loss coming against Ryan Burnett for the WBC International title in 2016.
Astrolabio vs. Aseniero
Astrolabio holds on to the WBO Oriental belt with cuts win over fellow Filipino Aseniero. A punch opened a cut which was too serious for Aseniero to continue so Astrolabio retains the title. After losses in Malaysia and China Astrolabio gets his second win in a row. Aseniero had found a little bit of form being 3-0-1 in his last 4.
Suarez vs. Puton
Former amateur star Suarez continues to progress in the pros. Suarez floored and halted poor Puton in 101 seconds. Suarez hurt Puton with body punches and took him to the ropes before digging in a left hook to the ribs that saw Puton dropping to his knees and bending over banging the canvas from the pain. Now 31 Suarez represented the Philippines at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Championships, and the 2016 Olympics but it remains to be seen whether he has turned pro too late. He is aiming to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics now that pros can fight there. Puton is now 0-5 with two technical draws in his last 7 fights.
Nagoya, Japan: Fly: Kosei Tanaka (14-0) W TKO 7 Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3-1). Super Fly: Kento Hatanaka (10-0) W PTS Jayserver Abcede (19-9).
Tanaka vs. Gonzalez
Behind on the cards Tanaka comes off the floor to halt Gonzalez in the sixth defence of the WBO title
Both fighters started cautiously. Tanaka was trying to walk down Gonzalez but the southpaw challenger was moving smartly, getting his punches off first and connected with some sneaky straight lefts.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez
Once again Tanaka was tracking Gonzalez in vain. The Puerto Rican was launching darting attacks coming forward connecting with rights and lefts and getting out before Tanaka could counter.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 20-18
Tanaka upped the pressure in the third. He was getting closer and connected with some strong rights. He was anticipating Gonzalez’s darting attacks and stepping out of range. He drove Gonzalez to the ropes with a right and as Gonzalez came forward he dug in a cruel right to the body. Gonzalez hesitated for a second and then the pain kicked in and he dropped to his knees in agony with his head resting on the canvas. Amazingly Gonzalez was up quickly and the bell went too soon after the eight count for Tanaka to capitalise on that success.
Score: 10-8 Tanaka Tied 28-28
Gonzalez was looking to claw back the two points he had lost and was more positive staying close and throwing more punches. Tanaka was just looking to land another damaging right whereas Gonzalez was scoring with quick punches from both hands. Tanaka had forced Gonzalez to the ropes but as he moved in Gonzalez countered with a left hook to the head that sent Tanaka tumbling back and he had to put a glove on the canvas to stop himself going down. Tanaka was more surprised than hurt and the bell went when the eight count was finished.
Score: 10-8 Gonzalez Gonzalez 38-36
Official Scores: Judge Bill Lerch 37-37, Judge Mike Fitzgerald 38-36 Gonzalez , Judge Edward Ligas 38-36 Gonzalez
Gonzalez boxed beautifully in this one. His excellent footwork and quick hands had him threading combinations through the guard of the champion. Tanaka was just throwing single punches and mostly missing as Gonzalez sped around him.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 48-45
Tanaka hunted Gonzalez throughout the round and not always in vain. Gonzalez was still proving a shifty target and firing quick punches but he lacked the power to dissuade Tanaka who was landing less shots but heavier ones and a right to the body and a left to the head was the best combination he had landed so far.
Score: 10-9 Tanaka Gonzalez 57-55
With Gonzalez in a corner Tanaka fired home a series of rights before Gonzalez managed to wriggle his way free. Tanaka tracked him down and landed a left and a right with Gonzalez dropping to one knee. He was up at eight but Tanaka drove him along the ropes before putting Gonzalez on the floor with a left to the body. Again Gonzalez beat the count but didn’t look like a fighter who wanted to continue. Tanaka came forward and banged home three body punches that saw Gonzalez on the floor on his knees with his head against the canvas. Once again he made it to his feet but the referee waived his arms and the fight was over.
The 24-year-old champion won the WBO minimum title in his fifth fight so eight of his fourteen fights have been world title fights. Gonzalez was his mandatory challenger but with Moruti Mthalane, Charlie Edwards and Artem Dalakian holding the other versions of the title there does not seem to be much scope for a unification match. The 28-year-old 5’2” Bronx-born Gonzalez had lost inside the distance to Giovani Segura and Jobert Alvarez but had scored three wins last year over reasonable level opposition
Hatanaka vs. Abcede
After nine inside the distance victories Hatanaka finally has to go the distance for victory against Filipino Abcede. This was a fast-paced fight with Hatanaka looking to box on the outside using quick accurate jabs and Filipino Abcede trying to get close where he could score with hooks and uppercuts. Abcede staged a furious attack in the third but was open to counters and two rights from Hatanaka put him down. Abcede was up quickly and when the action resumed the pair traded punches to the bell. In the fourth a right from Abcede rocked Hatanaka and a straight left stunned him. Abcede then blazed away until Hatanaka went over. After the count Hatanaka took the fight to Abcede. They both landed some thudding punches with Abcede getting the better of the exchanges. Hatanaka looked to have Abcede in trouble with a shower of punches at the end of the fifth and he outboxed the aggressive Filipino in the sixth. A clash of heads in the seventh resulted in a cut over the left eye of Hatanaka encouraging Abcede to press hard and take the round. Hatanaka outboxed Abcede in the eighth but the Filipino made the round close. Both fighters had their moments in a hard fought ninth with the best punch a straight left from Abcede which sent Hatanaka back on his heels. In the last Hatanaka first out boxed and then got the better of some wild toe-to-toe trading to cement his victory. Scores 96-92,96-93 and 95-93 for Hatanaka. The 21-year-old from Nagoya, the son of form WBC super bantam champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, will enter the ratings on the back of this win. Abcede ,24, played his part in making this an excellent contest and with more experience will only get better.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Minimumweight: Wilfredo Mendez (14-1) PTS 12 Vic Saludar (19-4). Super Light: Jean Carlos Torres (17-0) W TKO 3 Miguel Zamudio (44-14-1). Light: Nestor Bravo (17-0) W KO 2 Cristian Mino (19-4).
Mendez vs. Saludar
Mendez dazzles a disappointing Saludar. He outboxes and proves far too fleet-footed for the reigning champion and wins the WBO title.
Both fighters were very cautious in the opener. When they did begin to throw punches Mendez connected with straight lefts and used nifty footwork to skip away from Saludar’s punches.
Score: 10-9 Mendez
Another cagey round. Saludar managed to get through with a couple of right crosses and Mendez was slipping home long lefts. Just before the bell Mendez fired home a series of punches to take the round
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 20-18
The fight was going the way Mendez. needed it to go. Saludar was not putting him under pressure and he was flitting around Saludar pinging him with light jabs and choosing his moment to dart inside and land a couple of harder punches. Saludar was not quick enough to cut the ring off and was missing when he tried to counter.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 30-27
A better round for Saludar. He was taking that extra step to get closer to Mendez. He was using his jab more and landed some rights. Mendez was still boxing well but threw less punches.
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 39-37
Saludar was pressing hard in this one and connected early with right crosses. Mendez landed a crisp straight left but Saludar kept coming forward and then he connected with a peach of a left hook that dumped Mendez on his posterior. Mendez bounced up immediately and did not look too shaken. The bell went when the eight count was completed.
Score: 10-8 Saludar Tied 47-47
Neither fighter threw enough punches to dominate this round. Mendez was back to moving quickly, darting in with a couple of punches and out before Saludar could counter and took a close round.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 57-56
With Mendez speeding around the perimeter of the ring and constantly changing direction Saludar was tending to just get set to punch and then having to change the direction of his attacks so was throwing too few punches. Mendez landed a nice right hook to the head and was again darting in and scoring then getting out without Saludar catching him.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 67-65
A better and smarter round by Saludar. He was getting close and getting home straight rights. He was also anticipating Mendez’s darting attacks and countering and it was his round/
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 76-75
Quick. Clever boxing gave this close round to Mendez. He was more accurate with his punches and Saludar was short and lunging. He lost the impetus he had garnered from the previous round and Mendez landed the better punches as they traded before the bell. That brief exchange of punches was a rare event with this being an interesting tactical fight but not an exciting one.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 86-84
More of the same. Mendez was dancing around the ring then jumping in with a series of quick/light punches with Saludar left swishing air. To put this in a dancing context Mendez was doing a quickstep whilst Saludar was doing a slow waltz and the champion was being outboxed.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 96-93
Mendez danced his way through this one. He was again darting in with quick combinations and that was another contrast as even in his best rounds Saludar had been throwing one punch at a time. Mendez was just too quick and although his punches were light they were landing which Saludar’s were not.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 106-102
Mendez knew he had the fight won so he spent the whole of the round circling the perimeter of the ring rarely moving away from the ropes and not even throwing punches. Saludar needed a knockout but he just seemed to tamely surrender his title and although Mendez gifted him the last round Saludar was an ex-champion.
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 115-112
Official Scores: 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 all for Mendez.
The 22-year-old new champion from Puerto Rico had his tactics right. He stuck rigidly to the game plan and never really looked troubled. Saludar will feel he could have done so much better but he never pressed hard and did not throw enough punches. He has lost his title in his first defence.
Torres vs. Morales
“The Wolf” wins another one inside the distance. Torres used a strong jab to take control and connected with some straight rights with late replacement Zamudio given no time to settle before a left hook to the body found him on the floor. He made it to the bell but Torres kept firing left hooks to the body in the second forcing Zamudio to take another count. They fought inside in the third until a hook hurt Zamudio who dropped to one knee and that was enough for the referee who ended the fight. It is now six wins on the spin by KO/TKO for the 29-year-old Torres the WBO No 6. A busy Zamudio, this is his fifth fight this year, rarely seems to do distance fights now as he is 7-5 in his last 12 fights including 6 wins inside the distance and 5 losses that way.
Bravo vs. Mino
Bravo disposes of Argentinian Mino inside two rounds. Bravo was looking for another first round win but just could not find the finishing punch. He had no such problem in the second putting Mino down with a hook to the body with Mino being unable to rise and being counted out. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican has 12 wins by KO/TKO with 8 of those first round endings. After being 19-0 in Argentina Mino is now 0-4 on his travels.
Edinburg, TX, USA: Super Bantam: Brandon Figueroa (20-0) W KO 4 Javier Chacon (29-5-1). Super Light: Darwin Price (15-0) TKO 2 Aaron Herrera (35-11-1). Super Bantam: Stephen Fulton (17-0) W KO 6 Isaac Avelar (16-1). Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (15-1) W TKO 1 Victor Betancourt (26-3,1ND).
Figueroa vs. Chacon
Fighting in his home town Figueroa retains the interim WBA title against Chacon. This was a poor title fight as Chacon spent most of the time pinned against the ropes in a defensive crouch and hardly threw a punch. Figueroa provided a spectacular finish but barely moved out of second gear.
An easy first round for Figueroa. He spent the first minute just probing with jabs and then stepped inside going to the body. Chacon tried to offer as little in the way of a target as he could by bending at the waist. Figueroa just beat on the Argentinian’s defence trying to find openings.
For the whole of the round Chacon had his back against the ropes again bending double. Figueroa pounded away trying to get through to the body but it was not easy with Chacon already in survival mode and hardly throwing a punch.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 20-18
Whilst I was trying to decide whether to call this a disgrace or a farce Chacon tried a bit harder in the third. He stayed of the ropes for much of the time and attempted to walk forward and throw some punches Figueroa continued to focus on the Argentinian’s body and dug in some hurtful hooks. After twelve minutes Figueroa had landed 75 punches Chacon 13!
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 30-27
Figueroa came forward in his customary crouch and landed a couple of useful left hooks to the body. Figueroa drove Chacon to the ropes and blasted him with a series of punches to head and body until a right hook straightened Chacon up into the path of a left that dumped him on his rump. As the referee started the count Chacon spat out his mouthguard and made no attempt to get up.
The 22-yeaer-old “The Heartbreaker” was making the first defence of his title and has 15 inside the distance wins. He has beaten Oscar Escandon, Moises Flores and Yonfrez Perez and deserves better challengers than this. Chacon was 4” shorter and 16 years older so really was a no-hoper. He has a good domestic record and his other three losses have come against Anselmo Moreno and Jaime McDonnell in WBA title fights and Isaac Dogboe so on paper he looked an acceptable level but it did not turn out that way.
Price vs. Herrera
In the opener the speed of Price’s jab was impressive and he was quickly snapping his leads through Herrera’s guard and landed a good right to the head. Later in the round he staggered Herrera with a right and as he went to move inside their heads banged together. Herrera backed away pawing at his right eye and already there was some swelling around the eye. The referee halted the action and had the doctor examine the injury but the doctor indicated Herrera could continue and the bell went soon after. In the second Price rattled Herrera twice with rights. Herrera just could not cope with the speed of Price and was rocked twice more with rights and as he was walking forward Price threw a right over Herrera’s lead and onto his chin and Herrera dropped to the floor. He struggled before getting to his feet and was unsteady and despite his protests the referee rightly stopped the fight. The 5’11” Price was impressive here both in hand speed and power. A college graduate with a degree in Kinesiology (body movement-I had to look it up too) he is 30 and 15 fights in six years is just not good enough. With regular outings he could be a real threat. Herrera looked ragged around the edges here and some hard fights are catching up with him. This is his sixth defeat by KO/TKO.
Fulton vs. Avelar
In a non-title outing IBO super bantam champion Fulton outclasses a feisty but limited Avelar. Fulton took a quiet first round. He was quicker with his jab and used speedy movement to dodge Avelar’s attacks. Avelar hustled and bustled enough in the second to make it a fairly even round. It was exhibition stuff from Fulton in the third and fourth. Fast hands, jabs, straight rights, hooks, uppercuts and slick movement Fulton showcased them all and a punch in the third opened a cut over the right eye of a frustrated Avelar. Fulton was loading up more on his punches in the fifth and in the sixth a blistering left hook to the body sent Avelar down wincing in pain and he was counted out. The 25-year-old from Philadelphia gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. Mexican Avelar, 21, just could not compete with the slick skills of Fulton.
Arboleda vs. Betancourt
Panamanian prospect Arboleda blows away Mexican Betancourt in the first round. Betancourt was taller with a longer reach but Arboleda let his hands go immediately throwing a bunch of fast hooks to the body. Betancourt started to use his reach and was then the one doing the scoring until Arboleda again unleashed a series of body punches which sent Betancourt to his knees. He got up but Arboleda unleashed a bunch of hooks and when Betancourt dropped down on one knee the referee waived the fight over. The 24-year-old Arboleda gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. He suffered a kayo loss against Filipino Recky Dulay in 2017 but has returned with five inside the distance wins on the bounce. He is the youngest of three brother who have all boxed as a pro but one died in an accident and the other drifted away from boxing after spending six years in prison. Betancourt had won 10 of his previous eleven fights.
Quezon City, Philippines: Fly: Maximino Flores (25-4-1,2ND) W TEC DEC 7 Carlo Caesar Penalosa (14-2). Flores wins the vacant IBO title on a technical decision after a cut suffered by Penalosa is ruled too serious for the fight to continue. Flores was taller with a longer reach and that helped him box on the outside. However the relatively inexperienced Penalosa fought an aggressive fight and it was close all the way. The injury to Penalosa came in a clash of heads in the third round and by the end of the seventh it had worsened. It was decided on the scorecards and two judges saw it for Flores by 68-65 and 67-66 and the third had it 67-66 for Penalosa. Mexican Flores was beaten by Andrew Selby in 2017 but has recovered well from that and now he has a title. Southpaw Penalosa had won his last 7 fights 5 of them by KO/TKO. He is the nephew of former two-division world champions Dodie and Gerry.
Broken Arrow, USA: Super Middle: Vladimir Shishkin (9-0) W TKO 8 DeAndre Ware (13-2-2). Super Light: Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0) W TKO 4 Abdiel Ramirez (24-5-1). Welter: Jaron Ennis (23-0) W RTD 1 Franklin Mamani ( 23-5-1).Super Bantam: Arnold Khegai (16-0-1) W PTS 8 Vladimir Tikhonov (17-2).
Shishkin vs. Ware
Shishkin hands out a solid beating to Ware. Shishkin was four inches taller than Ware and looked much the stronger man. Ware tried to use his speed to score but had to avoid the punches from the heavy handed Russian. As early as the second Shishkin was controlling the fight with hefty jabs and left hooks to the body and Ware was having trouble being competitive. Ware stepped up his work rate in the third and had some success inside but clubbing punches from Shishkin soon doused that fire. If there is a downside to Shishkin it is that he is not quick but by the fourth Ware’s attacks were getting less and Shishkin’s power shots were breaking Ware down. Shishkin continued to pound on Ware over the fifth and sixth slowing him with body punches. Ware was on his heels and throwing very few punches. The seventh was another painful round for Ware. Shishkin was very predictable with very little variation in his work. He was just throwing his left jab and following it with a right cross but he kept connecting. The referee checked on Ware in his corner before the start of the eighth anxious to make sure Ware could continue. In the round Shishkin was bombarding Ware with overhand rights and adding in some left hooks. He had Ware pinned against the ropes and was unloading with lefts and rights and the towel came in from Ware’s corner. The 28-year-old Russian is a strong guy and a very hard puncher. He has won his last four fights by KO/TKO including a tenth round stoppage of former world title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi. Toledo fireman Ware had lost on points to unbeaten Cem Kilic but taken a majority verdict over unbeaten Ronald Ellis in February but he was just too small and not powerful enough to stand a chance here.
Ergashev vs. Ramirez
Ergashev batters a plucky Ramirez to defeat in four rounds. The 5’10 ½” Uzbek towered over the 5’5 ½”” Ramirez so controlled this one from the start. Ergashev has a solid jab and plenty of power and was teeing off on Ramirez. Ramirez was absorbing some thunderous punches but kept coming forward and managed to get past the jab and land with some hooks and rights to the head. In the second Ergashev was moving lots and firing heavy lefts with Ramirez again willing to walk into and sometimes through the bombardment. Late in the second Ergashev landed a hard left which stopped Ramirez in his tracks and then gave Ramirez a shove which sent the Mexican down. The referee probably missed the shove because he gave Ramirez a count. There looked to be a brief glimpse of hope in the third when with Ramirez still coming forward Ergashev’s punch output slowed but any hope Ramirez had was extinguished in the fourth. Ergashev was using his right as a range finder and then landing crunching lefts until the referee stepped in to save Ramirez. The tall 27-year-old Uzbek has 15 inside the distance win and was coming off a good victory over Mykal Fox in February. Ramirez has lost 4 of his last 5 but the win was against 23-1-1 Mike Perez and it was easy to see how his tenacious attacks have given him 22 inside the distance victories.
Ennis vs. Mamani
A welcome return to the ring for Ennis one of the best prospects out there. The Philadelphian was looking to end it early and was landing heavily with both hands in the first. Giving away almost 5” in height the little Bolivian Mamani was under fire and had nowhere to hide and nothing to stop Ennis coming forward with hurtful hooks. A straight right put Mamani down and although the beat the count and made it to the bell he then retired with a shoulder injury. Ennis, 22, has been side-lined for nine months over a contract dispute but is back and is going to keep busy. This victory is his 21st win by KO/TKO and his 13th in a row. He has wins over 18-0 Armando Alvarez and Ray Serrano. He beat Abraham Nova and Gary Antuanne Russell in the US Olympic Trials but lost to Russell in the final qualifier. If he continues to progress he could land a world title shot in 2020 which neither brother Farah nor brother/trainer Derrick managed in their careers. At 5’5 ½” the 32-year-old Mamani is just too small to mix with welterweights. He lost to Dejan Zlaticanin for the vacant WBC light title in 2016 and this is only his third loss by KO/TKO.
Khegai vs. Tikhonov
Khegai outscores Tikhonov with eight rounds of ceaseless aggression. Southpaw Tikhonov had slight advantages in height and reach but just could not keep Khegai out or match his work rate. Khegai was relentless bustling forward throwing hooks and uppercuts, Tikhonov was able to connect with jabs and straights rights but the terrier-like Khegai just walked through them hooking to head and body and hounding Tikhonov around the ring. Given some space Tikhonov might have been competitive but Khegai was in his face for the whole fight and controlled the contest from start to finish. Scores 80-72 on all three cards for the Philadelphia-based Ukrainian. In Thai Kickboxing Khegai was a Ukrainian, European and World champion. Wins over Jorge Diaz and Adam Lopez have seen him rated No 7(6) by the IBF. After scoring 16 wins Tikhonov lost on a stoppage against novice Jesse Hernandez in 2017 and was out of the ring until registering a win in Estonia in October
Tokyo, Japan: Fly: Jayr Raquinel (11-1-1) W TKO 8Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1). It was thought that Kogawa’s experience would give him a chance of beating the relatively inexperienced Filipino but despite a promising start it did not turn out that way. Southpaw Raquinel was aggressive in the first matching forward putting Kogawa under pressure. Kogawa was looking to counter and he connected with right to the head that floored Raquinel. The Filipino was not badly hurt but it was a 10-8 round for Kogawa. Raquinel attacked strongly over the next three rounds with Kogawa under fire and struggling to keep Raquinel out but he did land a punch in the fourth which opened a cut over the right eye of Raquinel. After four rounds all three judges had Raquinel in front 38-37. Kogawa put in a big effort in the fifth but could not stem the attacks of Raquinel. In the eighth Raquinel rocked Kogawa with a right and then landed a series lefts which dropped an exhausted Kogawa and the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Filipino, the WBC No 15, was making the third defence of his OPBF title and gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. Nice rebound victory for Raquinel who was outpointed by Chinese fighter Wulan Tuolehazi for the WBC Silver title in September. It might be the end of the road for 34-year-old Kogawa. He is a former OPB champion and had two spells as Japanese champion but failed in challenges for the WBC and interim WBA flyweight titles
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Dixon Flores (1-6-3,2ND) W TKO 2 Alex Espinoza (18-2-2). Obviously Flores did not read the script in this all-Nicaraguan contest. This was not the intended outcome as the unfancied fighter overwhelmed the favourite Espinoza inside two rounds. Flores came storming out at the first bell piling into a startled Espinoza . Flores recent form had been patchy at best and he is no puncher so Espinoza probably felt he could wait until the storm blew itself out and then take over. However Flores did not let up but kept walking inside and scoring to the body. Early in the second Espinoza managed to force Flores back and looked to be getting on top until a left hook to the body had him bending in pain and retreating to the ropes. Flores landed some heavy rights to the head and with Espinoza floundering and unsteady the referee halted the fight. Flores gets only his fifth inside the distance victory. He had been knocked out in one round by Khalid Yafai in 2016 and his record over his four most recent fights was 0-1-1, 2ND. Espinoza’s only loss was on a split decision against Mikhail Aloyan. He was No 9 with the WBA and since the questionable loss to Aloyan, had scored three useful wins over domestic opposition. This win for Flores was a major surprise.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Middle: Rowan Campbell (11-0) W TKO 7 Patrick Mukala (11-2-1).Super Welter: Roarke Knapp (9-0-1) W PTS 10 Alex Zhuravskiy (13-6-1).
Campbell vs. Mukala
Campbell retains the IBO All-African title with stoppage of DRC fighter Mukala. It was a close, competitive fight over the first two rounds but then the superior strength of Campbell began to tell. He was landing with hooks to the body in the third and out jabbing Mukala. The Congolese fighter battled back in the fourth but pressure from Campbell had him on the retreat and he was holding and wrestling more as his work rate dropped. A big right cross the head from Campbell early in the seventh was the beginning of the end for Mukala. Campbell was bullying Mukala around the ring connecting with clubbing head punches. An exhausted Mukala tried to punch back but he was too tired to lift his arms and after a few more thumping rights to the head from Campbell the referee came in to save Mukala. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the South African champion and second defence of the IBO All-African title. It is early days but I feel Campbell will struggle against a better class of opposition. Mukala had performed well in a losing on points against Ryno Liebenberg so Campbell did well to stop him.
Knapp vs. Zhuravskiy
South African Knapp moves up to ten rounds for the first time and comes away with a unanimous decision over Zhuravskiy. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 as South African No 6 Knapp,21, stays unbeaten. Kazak southpaw Zhuravskiy’s role now is that of imported loser as he is now 0-4-1 in his last five fights, four of them in different countries and all against unbeaten opponents.
Corona, CA, USA: Bantam: Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-1) W PTS 10 Saul Sanchez (12-1). Puerto Rican boxer Rodriguez pulls off good win in a hard fought close contest against local favourite Sanchez. There was never much between these two in an entertaining fight and the result could have gone either way but in the end despite a gash on his right cheek Rodriguez had a better claim to victory. Scores 96-94 twice for Rodriguez and 96-94 for Sanchez. Rodriguez, 26, is now 3-1-1 in his last five contests all against unbeaten fighters. At 22 Sanchez has plenty of time to rebound from this loss.
Everett, MA, USA: Middle: Carlos Gongora (17-0) W KO 1 Alan Zavala (15-5). Super Feather: Abraham Nova (16-0) W KO 1 Luis Castillo (20-4). Welter: Brian Ceballo (10-0) W KO 4 Luis E Florez (24-14,1ND).
Gongora vs. Zavala
Gongora blasts out Zavala inside a round. The tall Ecuadorian southpaw used some right jabs to have Zavala backing up and then began to score with hooks from both hands. A straight left floored Zavala and although he tried to climb to his feet he was too slow and was counted out. Gongora, 30, did not turn pro until he was 26. He competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and three World Championships took a gold medal at the South American Games and twice won bronze at the PanAmerican Games. He also beat Yamaguchi Falcao and Terrell Gausha and fought in the World Series of Boxing. Plenty of credentials and a class boxer but probably insufficient time to make it as a pro. Third loss in a row for Mexican Zavala.
Nova vs. Castillo
Nova floors and halts useful Castillo in the first. Nova was shadowing Castillo in the trying to open up Castillo’s guard. It began to look as though no opening was going to come. However late in the round Nova forced Castillo to the ropes with a strong jab and then landed a couple of rights to the head which staggered Castillo before driving home two more rights which dropped Castillo and he was counted out. Another impressive performance from the 25-year-old Puerto Rican, a former US National champion, and his twelfth victory by KO/TKO. He retains the WBA-NABA title and is No 6 with that body. Mexican Castillo, 20, won his first 15 fights but has stumbled badly as he has been meeting better opponents.
Ceballo vs. Florez
A confident assured performance from New York prospect Ceballo as he halts seasoned pro Florez. From a hands-down style Ceballo was spearing Florez with jabs to keep him on the retreat and cracking home left and right hooks to the body. Florez managed to force Ceballo back a few times with quick attacks but Ceballo shook them off and established control again. He was tracking Florez around the ring in the fourth and then landed two left hooks. The first to the head hurt Florez but it was the hook to the body that ended the fight with Florez dropping to the canvas in agony and he was unable to beat the count. The 25-year-old Ceballos is a former National Golden Gloves, US National and National Police Athletic League champion who also competed at the Pan American Games and for the US-KO Team in the World Series of Boxing. Plenty of talent-one to follow. It was 2014 when Colombian Florez scored a first round stoppage over Miguel Berchelt but It must seem like a lifetime ago now as he gets his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Houston, TX, USA: Super Light: Jerrico Walton (15-0) W PTs 10 Victor Terrazas (38-7-2). Walton gets a “name” on his record as he outpoints Terrazas. It was a one-sided fight with Terrazas tubby and overweight not really ever competitive but staying the distance. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73. Texan Walton was defending his interim ABF USA title but as Terrazas came in 3lbs over the contract weight he could not have won the title. At 36 former WBC super bantam champion Terrazas just turns up for the money. He had his best days when he was in the 122lbs division but he was 150lbs for this poor effort and is 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light; Gustavo Lemos (23-0) W TKO 3 Jonathan Eniz (24-12-1,1ND). Lemos dismantles Eniz to win the vacant IBF International title. Lemos just about took a close first round but then dominated the second with some powerful body punches. Eniz was not backing down so it was an entertaining round as they traded in the trenches. In the third Eniz was coming forward punching and Lemos was being forced back. As he advanced Eniz was leaving himself open and Lemos was raking him with fierce counters. Eniz was ducking under some punches but was taking too many. Lefts and rights from Lemos forced him back and down. He was up at nine but unsteady and punches from Lemos had Eniz going back and almost out through the ropes. The referee stopped the action to let Eniz untangle himself but as Lemos then rained punches on Eniz the referee stopped the fight. “El Electrico” Lemos, 23,the IBF No 6(5), makes it 8 inside the distance wins in his last 9 fights including a second round kayo of Jorge Paez Jr. Despite his modest record Eniz was coming off upset victories this year over former IBF champion Cesar Cuenca and 21-1 Deniz Ilbay so should have been a tough test for Lemos.
Sydney, Australia: Super Light: Youssef Dib (13-0) W TKO 3 Jack Asis (38-23-5). Dib keeps the family flag flying with third round stoppage of Filipino veteran Asis. A big step up in quality of opposition for the 26-year-old local in only his second eight round contest. Now 36 former IBO champion Asis has lost three tough matches on the spin following defeats against Rivan Cesaire and Bowyn Morgan.
Junin, Argentina: Fabricio Bea (14-0-1) W TKO 3 Robinson Garcia (12-10). Bea finishes Colombian Garcia inside three rounds. After a low key first round Bea went to work in the second. He moved inside and began to connect with hooks and uppercuts and late in the round floored Garcia with left to the head. In the third Bea went to the body and a vicious left hook saw Garcia take a step back and then drop to the canvas in agony and his corner immediately threw in the towel. All of “El Turbo” Bea’s wins have come by KO/TKO and after a draw in 2017 he has scored ten consecutive victories by KO/TKO. He is the South American champion but we won’t find out how good he is until he meets higher quality opposition. Garcia is 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
Richibucto, Canada: Super Feather: Joey Laviolette (12-2) W PTS 10 Dominic Babineau (11-2). Laviolette upsets the local fans as he floors Babineau twice on the way to a unanimous decision. Laviolette has now scored victories in 6 of his last 7 fights losing only to unbeaten Olympic gold medallist Robinson Conceicao. Babineau had won his last five fights by KO/TKO.
Cancun, Mexico: Light: Jose Aguirre (22-0) W PTS 12 Jampier Oses (15-5-1). Aguirre hands out a brutal beating to a plucky but under-powered Oses. The strong, aggressive Aguirre controlled this one from the start. Oses moved plenty but just could not keep Aguirre out and found himself fighting with his back to the ropes for most of the fight. Aguirre was throwing bombs with Oses occasionally firing back hurting Aguirre with a combination in the second and connecting with a crisp uppercut in the fourth but other than that he was catching not pitching and did not have the punch to be competitive. Aguirre was driving forward connecting with brutal head punches from both hands. As Oses tired over the last three rounds Aguirre was bombarding him with booming head punches and the fight could and should have been stopped well before the final bell. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 all for Aguirre. The Californian-born Aguirre, 28, has wins over Juan Jose Martinez and Jair Lopez and it is time for him to move up to higher level opposition, Venezuelan Oses has built his record on abysmally poor opposition and was brutally exposed here.
Ongwediva, Namibia: Welter: Mikka Shonena (15-0) W PTS 12 Youil Dong (14-2-1). Super Light: Harry Simon Jr (10-0) W TKO 2 Phillip Musariri (6-2-2).
Shonena vs. Dong
Shonena makes a successful defence of the WBO African title with unanimous verdict over China’s Dong. The visitor scored a knockdown early in the fight but Shonena was not badly shaken. He used a strong body attack to get back the lost points but had to fight hard to subdued Dong. Scores 118-110, 116-113 and 115-112 for Shonena. Fourth title defence for 31-year-old Shonena but despite his WBO No 5 rating he is yet to face any significant test. Dong had reversed his only other loss. Only in the crazy sanctioning body world can a Chinese fighter compete for an African title!
Simon vs. Musariri
Simon Jr given another gift which he accepts and stops an overmatched Musariri in two rounds. Namibian champion Simon, the son of the former WBO champion Harry Snr, has eight wins by KO/TKO but don’t get too excited nine of his victims, including Musariri, had only mustered 11 wins between them and the other victim had lost his last 15 fights! Zimbabwean Musariri was 4-0-2 in his previous six fights.
Managua, Nicaragua,: Super Fly: Cristofer Rosales (29-4) W TKO 7 Eliecer Quezada (23-10-3):Light Fly: Byron Rojas (27-4-3) W PTS 8 Eliezer Gazo (18-10-2,1ND).
Rosales vs. Quezada
Rosales gets controversial stoppage win over Quezada. It looked as though this might be all over in the opening round. Rosales was attacking ferociously with Quezada under heavy pressure. Suddenly Quezada dropped to the floor holding his ankle. The referee could have counted him out but instead chose to give Quezada some recovery time and he survived further attacks from Rosales with his ankle not giving him any further trouble. The second was three minutes of war as Rosales continued to attack but Quezada was bobbing and weaving and slipping the punches from Rosales and then blazing away with punches of his own and it was Quezada who got the better of the exchanges. They went punch for punch over the third and fourth and at that point all three judges had it 38-38. Quezada looked to have edged the fifth but Rosales took the sixth and was looking stronger. Rosales was on top in the seventh drilling Quezada with straight rights. As they fought inside Quezada half turned away and Rosales landed a series of punches to the back of Quezada’s head. Quezada ducked out of the firing line pointing to the back of his head and stood against the ropes bent over. The referee just walked up to him and waived the fight over which was a very questionable decision. Rosales gets the win and is now hoping to get a return against Charlie Edwards who lifted the WBC title from Rosales with a decision in December. Quezada had lost a split decision against Rosales in 2017 and he was giving Rosales plenty of trouble here before the stoppage.
Rojas vs. Gazo
Rojas outpoints fellow-Nicaraguan Gazo . These two styles did not mix well and there was too much holding. Gazo was coming forward aggressively over the first three rounds with Rojas boxing on the back foot. From the fourth Rojas upped his work rate and got onto the front foot putting Gazo under pressure. Rojas generally controlled the action from there. Gazo was competitive but just lacked the skill to threaten Rojas but with his good start he made the fight close. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 for Rojas. The former WBA minimumweight champion lost his title to CP Freshmart and then failed in a challenge against the Thai in November last year. He is rated No 3 by both the WBA and WBC so if he stays unbeaten he should slot into a title challenge next year. Gazo had struck some form being 5-0-2 in his previous 7 fights.
Alpine, CA, USA: Middle: Connor Coyle (11-0) W TKO 2 Rafael Ramirez (21-5-2. Welter: Santiago Dominguez (18-0) W KO 2 Fabian Lyimo (23-10-2). Super Bantam: Brandon Valdes (12-0) W Jesus Martinez (26-8).
Coyle vs. Ramirez
Northern Ireland’s Coyle wipes out oldie Ramirez inside two rounds. Coyle had Ramirez under fire in the first and put him down. Ramirez beat the count and Coyle was pressing for the finish but as Ramirez tried to duck out of a corner Coyle vigorously pushed the Mexican’s head down and was penalised a point. Coyle ended it in the second. Once again Ramirez tried to duck under Coyle’s punches but Coyle straightened him up with a left hook and then sent him tumbling along the ropes and down with a chopping right to the head. Ramirez was finished and his corner tossed the towel into the ring. Coyle was moving up to ten rounds but he did not need the other eight as he gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. First inside the distance loss for 39-year-old Californian Ramirez who was 6-0,1ND before this defeat.
Dominguez vs. Lyimo
Dominguez hits too hard for Tanzanian Lyimo. He had the Tanzanian under pressure from the outset and ended it late in the second. He hurt Lyimo with a with a left hook to the body that had Lyimo backing away. A right to the head and another left hook to the body saw Lyimo go down on one knee and he stayed there for the full count. Fort Worth-based Mexican Dominguez, 27, has 14 wins by KO/TKO. He injured both hands in this fight and may have suffered fractures so could be facing a lay off. Lyimo suffers his fifth loss by KO/TKO and is 0-3 in fights in the USA.
Valdes vs. Martinez
Not too often that you get two Colombians fighting each other in an eight rounder in California but that was what happened here. Valdes again showcased his potential as he completely outboxed the more experienced Martinez winning every round. He might even have finished the fight inside the distance if he had done less showboating. Martinez just could not handle the talented youngster and lost two points in the seventh round for head butts. Scores 80-70 for Valdes on the three cards. The 20-year-old from Barranquilla, one of five brothers, has fought his way out of poverty through boxing after both his mother and father were imprisoned at the same time for robbery . Southpaw Martinez, 38, went 23-1 in his first 24 fights before losing in four rounds to Luis Nery in 2017. Tougher fights have brought tougher times and Martinez is now 3-7 in his last 10
Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam: Fly: Olimjon Nazarov (18-5) W Ivan Soriano (20-2-1). Little Nazarov wins the vacant WBO Oriental title with unanimous decision over Filipino Soriano. The 5’1 ½” Uzbek had problems getting past the longer reach of Soriano but he was the stronger man and able to bull his way inside often enough to convince the judges. Soriano work well with his jab and straight rights but did not really have the punch to get Nazarov’s respect . The fight looked closer than the score indicate. All three judges went for Nazarov by 116-112. After three losses on a row in prelim fights in America Nazarov had put together five wins back home against poor level opposition. Soriano had lost only one of his last 18 fights .
Fight of the week (Significance): If as a result of his stoppage of Anthony Yarde gets Sergey Kovalev a fight with Saul Alvarez that will be a significant win for the Russian. Not in the same league financially but as John Riel Casimero’s win over Cesar Ramirez lands him a fight with Zolani Tete that will be one to savour.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Kento Hatanaka vs. Jayserver Abcede saw both fighters on the floor and was a fast-paced contest providing plenty for the fans to enjoy.
Fighter of the week: Sergey Kovalev as he overcame a bad patch to stop strong Anthony Yarde
Punch of the week: Shakhram Giyasov’s left hook that put Darleys Perez down and out in the first round with honourable mention to the right to the body from Kosei Tanaka which put Jonathan Gonzalez down in the third a wicked shot even if Gonzalez did get up.
Upset of the week: Dixon Flores (15-6-3) was not expected to beat 18-1-2 Alex Espinoza
Prospect watch: Super Light Darwin price was impressive in stopping Aaron Herrera
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