Over the last few years we've seen Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) go from schooling Yuki Sano one handed in just his third professional bout to claiming the WBC Light Flyweight title, the WBO Super Flyweight title and the WBA "Regular" Bantamweight title. He has looked sensational since announcing himself on the world stage, stopping Adrien Hernandez, and really turned heads when he blitzed Omar Andre Narvaez, in a bout that made him an international name but also saw him badly bang up his hands. In 2018 he again showed his destructive ability by stopping Jamie McDonnell and Juan Carlos Payano, both inside a round.
One question that has often been asked is just how high can he go? Can he be the next Asian fighter to climb through the weights like Manny Pacquiao, who won world titles in 8 divisions, or is his limit going to be rather lighter than that?
To begin with we should look at history. Throughout the history of the sport only one man has ever won world titles to bridge Light Flyweight and Super Bantamweight. That was Mexican warrior Jorge Arce (64-8-2 49).
Arce's first 2 titles came at Light Flyweight, winning the WBO title in 1998 and the WBC title in 2002. Unlike Inoue he did compete at Flyweight, winning the WBC interim title, but never got a shot at the full title before moving up in weight. He would have a few shots at 115lbs before finally winning the WBO Super Flyweight title in 2010 before skipping a division the following year to claim the WBO Super Bantamweight title. He would then head down to Bantamweight to pick up the vacant WBO Bantamweight title. In total he would compete in 20 world title fights, going 14-6 (9) from December 1998 to October 2014, when he lost in an attempt to win the WBC Featherweight title from Jhonny Gonzalez.
Arce's career began when he was just 16. He was 19 when he took the WBO Light Flyweight title from Juan Domingo Cordoba, in his 22nd bout, 22 years old when he claimed his second Light Flyweight title, defeating Yo Sam Choi in his 34th bout. He came up short in his first 3 Super Flyweight world title bouts, before getting a vacant title fight with Angkly Ankotta and winning to claim his third world title, in his 60th professional bout. His next title was the Super Bantamweight title, which came when he stopped Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in his 65th fight at the age of 31. He would rematch Angkotta, again for a vacant title, at Bantamweight title after defending the Super Bantamweight title once.By the time he was a 4 weight champion Arce had notched a 59-6-2 (45) record. He was 32, and had grabbed vacant titles at Super Flyweight and Bantamweight, by beating Angky Angkotta.
So we do have a precedent of a fighter climbing successfully from Light Flyweight to Super Bantamweight. Interestingly Arce was similar in size to Inoue as well, with Inoue being ½″ taller and 1½″ longer, in terms of reach.
Notably there is also one fighter who has gone from winning world titles at Flyweight, a division Inoue famously missed out on, to Featherweight. That's Nonito Donaire who claimed the IBF Flyweight title, the WBC Bantamweight title, the WBO Super Bantamweight title and the WBA Featherweight title, before dropping back down to Bantamweight last year to claim the WBA "super" Bantamweight title. We won't go into Donaire too much, though like Inoue and Arce he missed out on the division above the one he won his first world title at.
Donaire is more notable in a way due to his natural size. He was huge at Flyweight and Bantamweight, and still a big fighter at Super Bantamweight, standing at 5′ 7½″ and boasting a 68" reach. Like Inoue he's heavy handed, but in ways became a fighter who depended on his power, rather than the skills to set that power up. When he and Inoue have been pictured together you can clearly tell they are not the same size, despite both currently competing at Bantamweight, and as you can see in the picture he physically dwarfs Inoue.
Given that I've just mentioned size, it's worth considering how Inoue stacks up with current Super Bantamweights.
Inoue is a muscular 5′ 5" fighter with a 67½″ reach. His frame will certainly be capable of adding 4lbs with no real issue, but how does he stack up with the Super Bantamweight champions?
WBA champion Danny Roman (26-2-1, 10) is the same height as Inoue and only has a slight edge in reach, at 68"
WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete (26-1, 22) is taller than Inoue, at 5'7", but looks huge at the weight and his time competing at 122lbs may not be that long
WBC champion Rey Vargas (32-0, 22) is a wiry fighter at 5′ 7½″ with a 70½″ reach
and IBF champion TJ Doheny is (20-0, 14) is 5′ 5½″ with a 68" reach.
It should be noted however that Isaac Dogboe (20-1, 14) was recently the WBO champion and he's significantly smaller than Inoue, standing at around 5'2" with a 66" reach. He had success despite being small, and Inoue's size doesn't seem as much of a disadvantage as that of Dogboe.
Whilst all 4 champions are bigger than Inoue the Japanese fighter was physically dwarfed by both Jamie McDonell and Yoan Boyeaux, and Inoue has shown an ability to get inside on bigger men.
Inoue's father has suggested his son will, one day, fight at Featherweight. It's not something in their immediate plans, and they will certainly more to Super Bantamweight first, but it is worth considering how he would fair at Featherweight.
At Featherweight we again see fighters naturally bigger than Inoue, though the reality is that the Featherweights don't appear much bigger than their Super Bantamweight counter parts.
WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19) is 5′ 7½″ with a 69" reach, though he carries the weight well he does regularly give up his reach
Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19) is almost the same size as Inoue, standing at 5′ 5½″ with a 66" reach
IBF champion Josh Warrington (28-0, 6) stands at 5'7" and although being tall isn't a powerful fighter, who instead relies on speed and a very high work rate
and WBC champion Gary Russell Jr (29-1, 17) is actually smaller than Inoue, listed at 5′ 4½″ with a 64" reach.
If Inoue does indeed take a Super Bantamweight title, to become a 4 weight world champion, and a Featherweight title, to become a 5 weight champion, there will clearly be some thoughts towards another title at Super Featherweight. That's despite the fact that Inoue would be one of only a handful of fighters, including Tommy Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar Delay Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, to win titles in 5 weights.
Through history we have only had men winning world titles in 6 divisions, De la Hoya and Pacquiao. If Inoue was to win a world title at Super Featherweight, as well as the other 2 divisions as mentioned, he would put his name in a very select list.
Currently the Super Featherweights are a mixed bag in terms of size. A couple of title holders are similar in size to Inoue.
Champions bigger than Inoue at the weight are
WBC champion Miguel Berchelt (35-1, 31) is 5'7" with a 71" reach, both significantly bigger than Inoue, and he too is a huge puncher
WBA champion Alberto Machado (21-0, 17), who stands at 5'10" and has a 72" reach
WBO champion Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13), 5′ 8½″ and has a 70½″
The outliers here however are Gervonta Davis (20-0, 19), the WBA "super" champion, who is 5′ 5½″ with a 67½″, and Tevin Farmer (28-4-1, 6), who is 5'6" with a 67" reach. Both of these are similar in terms of reach and height to Inoue, though Davis is built like a "Tank", excuse the pun, and has the body type to carry more weight with little issue.
So back to the original question. How high can Inoue go?
We don't imagine him having problems at Super Bantamweight, he has the skills, size, speed and power to compete at Super Bantamweight tomorrow. He will be giving away a bit of size, but not too much against many of the champions.
At Featherweight he will certainly come across some problems, but does regularly spar with Featherweights, and more than holds his own. He can certainly make a mark there in the future, and could do so against a recognised champion.
It's at Super Featherweight where we start to think he will totally struggle and would be very lucky to win a world title. He could, potentially, nip up and take a vacant title against a weak opponent, like we saw Arce do, but against an actual top Super Featherweight we think he'd struggle.
It is worth noting that we have only used the current champions for size comparisons, with Inoue now 25 years old it's going to be years before he heads to Featherweight, if he ever does, and by then the title scene will have changed drastically. If he ever ends up at Super Featherweight we wouldn't expect the title scene to be anything like it is today, and would be genuinely surprised if any of the current champions are still title holders at the weight in 3 years time.
(Images courtesy of Ohashi Gym, boxingnews.jp)
By Eric Armit
-Caleb Plant scores upset win over Jose Uzcategui to win the IBF super middle title
-Devin Haney marches on with win over previously unbeaten Xolisani Ndongeni
-Guillermo Rigondeaux returns with a first round win in a poor match against Mexican Giovanni Delgado
- Prospect Brandon Figueroa impresses as he destroys Moises Flores in three rounds
-Venezuelan veteran Jaider Parra outpoints Fabian Maidana to ruin the night for Marcos Maidana who was staging his first promotion on the same show former IBF super light champion Cesar Cuenca loses to Jonathan Eniz on his comeback
- Eric Armit returns to work!
World Title Shows:
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Middle: Caleb Plant (18-0) W PTS 12 Jose Uzcategui (28-3). Feather: Brandon Figueroa (18-0) W TKO 3 Moises Flores (25-2,2ND). Light Heavy: Ahmed Elbiali (19-1) W TKO 3 Allan Green (33-6).Super Feather: Guillermo Rigondeaux (18-1) W KO 1 Giovanni Delgado (16-9). Welter: Ryan Karl (16-2) W TKO 5 Kevin Watts (12-3). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (8-0) W KO 3 Sergio Lopez (22-13-1).
Plant vs. Uzcategui
The IBF super middleweight title changed hand as the relevantly unknown Plant outboxed and floored champion Jose Uzcategui twice on the way to a unanimous decision. Plant was giving away height and reach but boxed on the outside being quicker to the punch and using good movement to negate Uzcategui’s power and aggression. In the first round Uzcategui kept marching forward but was not throwing enough punches and unable to land anything of consequence or deal with the jab and move tactics of Plant. Early in the second Plant landed a quick left hook to the chin which put Uzcategui down. It was not a heavy knockdown and Uzcategui was up quickly and back on the prowl but Plant was just too quick and slick for him. Plant outboxed Uzcategui in the third but in the fourth was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads. That spurred Uzcategui into attacking fiercely but as he shaped to throw a left hook Plant fractionally beat him to it and dropped Uzcategui for the second time. Again Uzcategui was up quickly and taking the fight to Plant but he was just too slow to hunt Plant down. Plant took the fifth as he constantly pierced Uzcategui’s guard with his jab. Uzcategui finally won a round in the sixth. He let his punchers go more and did a better job of cutting off the ring forcing Plant to stand and trade. That proved to be a false dawn for Uzcategui as Plant outboxed him and outlanded him in the seventh and eighth to extend his lead. Finally the pace he had set began to tell on Plant and in the ninth he was no longer moving but standing in close and trading and Uzcategui had Plant reeling with some of his trade mark left hooks. Uzcategui had Plant hurt again in an exciting tenth rocking him with a terrific right cross. Plant saw the danger signs and went back to his boxing moving and jabbing and he edged the eleventh. With the fight won Plant was just looking to stay out of trouble in the last and Uzcategui never really threatened to find the knockout he needed. All three judges had Plant a clear winner with Max DeLuca and Zachary Young both scoring it 116-110 and Lou Moret 115-111. It was a very emotional victory for Plant. When his 19 months old daughter Alia died two years ago Plant promised he would win a world title and he fulfilled that promise here. Plant 18-0 (10) was a huge underdog but with the IBF title is now a major player in the super middleweight mix. In the amateurs Plant, 26, won a gold medal at the 2011 National Golden Gloves but failed to progress throught the US Olympic Trials for the 2012 Games. He made one appearance for the USA Knockouts, a winning one, in the World Series of Boxing. Mexican-based Venezuelan Uzcategui, 28, was a huge disappointment. He had impressed in 2018 with wins over Andre Dirrell and Ezequiel Maderna looking strong and dangerous. In this fight he was exposed as being one-paced and that pace was slow.
Figueroa vs. Flores
Young Figueroa may be a new name on the block but he showed in this fight that he is definitely a fighter for the future as he overwhelmed and destroyed the former interim WBA and IBO champion Flores. “The Heartbreaker” from Texas holds the CompuBox record for the most punches thrown in a round and he lived up to that No 1position here. In the first he bombarded the more experienced Flores with a whole array of punches shaking Flores time and again with shots to head and body. Flores looked as though he had aged overnight as he was blown this way and that. He tried to stand and trade but Figueroa was constantly switching guards and scoring with jabs, hooks and uppercuts from both hands. It was more of the same in the second with Figueroa on top of Flores for the whole three minutes. Flores had a bit more success than in the first and Figueroa was marked around his left eye but again he had outpunched Flores all the way. Heads clashed a couple of time in the third and Figueroa was now cut over the left eye. That made no difference to the outcome as a huge overhand left from Figueroa crashed onto the side of Flores head and sent him down heavily. He made it to his feet but Figueroa jumped on him and stunned him with a long right. A series of punches rounded off by a big right cross sent Flores down again and the referee immediately waived the fight off. It was a few minutes before Flores recovered. Figueroa is still only 22 having turned pro at 18. Last time out in September he moved up to ten rounds for the first time and stopped former interim WBA champion Oscar Escandon in the last round. He is already rated WBA 5/IBF 9(7). Flores was 25-0, 2 No Decisions until losing to Daniel Roman for the WBA super bantam title in June last year. He was knocked out by Guillermo Rigondeaux in June 2017 but the kayo punched was ruled to have been delivered after the bell to end the first round so it was a No Decision.
Rigondeaux vs. Delgado
Rigondeaux returns with a win that provides no satisfaction for anyone. His Mexican opponent was too poor to provide any sort of useful work for the Cuban star. Rigondeaux just padded after the ever retreating Delgado who never took a forward step and hardly threw a punch. Just a few seconds before the bell to end the first round Rigondeaux landed a strong straight left which then saw Delgado take a couple of steps back and go down on his knees., The referee indicated to the timekeeper that the punch had landed before the bell and that he was going to apply a count and he tolled out the ten. This is the first “fight” for 38-year-old Rigondeaux since his loss to Vasily Lomachenko in December 2017. He weighed 122 ¼ lbs so can make super bantam if that is his plan. Poor Delgado has now lost 7 of his last 8 fights but in fairness they have been against a high standard of opposition such as Diego De La Hoya, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Brandon Figueroa.
Elbiali vs. Green
Elbiali destroys oldie Green inside three rounds. The Miami-based Egyptian sent Green to the canvas in both the first and second rounds. He ended the fight in the third putting Green down again with a right and the referee waived the count. The 28-year-old Elbiali won his first 16 fights before being stopped in six rounds by Jean Pascal in December 2017. This is his second win since then and his fifteenth win by KO/TKO. Green, 39, was looked upon as a possible world champion as he went 29-1 in his first 30 fights. He had scored wins over Carl Daniels, Carlos De Leon Jr and the 25-0-1 Tarvis Simms but then lost every round against Andre Ward in a WBA super middle title fight in 2010. He then went 3-3 in fights against good level opposition before being inactive from October 2013 until returning to the ring with one fight in 2018.
Karl vs. Watts
Sweet revenge for Texan “Cowboy” Karl as he punches too hard for previous conqueror Watts. It was an entertaining scrap while it lasted. Despite suffering a cut over his left eye Karl gradually punched the resistance out of Watts until the fifth round when with Watts shipping heavy punishment in a corner the referee halted the fight. When these two met in April last year Karl was in front on points until he was knocked down and stopped in the fifth round. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Karl. “Playboy” Watts has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
Delgado vs. Lopez
Mexican Olympian Delgado makes it eight from eight as he stops Lopez in the third round. Delgado was always in control in this one until a body punch sent Lopez down in the third and he was unable to beat the count. Eighth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Mexican prospect. He was a top level amateur winning silver medals at both the Pan American and Central American and Caribbean Games and competing at the 2016 Olympic. He fought in the World Series of Boxing for four seasons ending with a 9-4 record. The experienced Lopez suffers his eighth loss by KO/TKO.
Shreveport, LA, USA: Light: Devin Haney (21-0) W PTS 10 Xolisani Ndongeni (25-1). Heavy: Frank Sanchez (11-0) W KO 2 Willie Jake Jr (8-2-1). Feather: Ruben Villa (15-0) W PTS 8 Ruben Cervera (10-1,1ND).
Haney vs. Ndongeni
Another scarily impressive performance from Haney as he floors and outpoints previously unbeaten Ndongeni. The South African tried to establish his jab in a speedy first round but Haney had quicker hands and feet. Ndongeni tried some long punches but Haney closed the round by raking Ndongeni with a left hook, an overhand right and a vicious straight right. Ndongeni made a fast start to the second firing jabs and overhand rights and showing some sharp movement but as he moved across the front of Haney he was nailed with a right hook that sat him on his rump. Ndongeni was up quickly and for the rest of the round he used clever footwork and upper body movement to frustrate Haney’s attempts to catch him again. In a close third Ndongeni scored with a couple of good rights and a left hook but Haney finished the round strongly with jabs and rights of his own. A low key fourth also went to Haney as he was getting his punches off first and dodging Ndongeni’s. Haney upped the pace in the fifth. He hounded Ndongeni for three minutes firing more combinations than in the earlier rounds. The pressure was forcing errors from Ndongeni and Haney made him pay for them. The sixth was closer. Again Haney did the pressing and was landing lightning quick jabs and strong rights but Ndongeni did some good work to the body. Haney had been taking the close rounds but Ndongeni had a good seventh. He was able to take Haney to the ropes and work to the body. Haney was coming up short with his jabs-apart from one that jarred loose Ndongeni’s mouthguard-and he outworked Haney to edge the round. It had been Ndongeni’s tactics to make a strong start to each round and he did that in the eighth. He rattled Haney with a couple of long rights to the chin but then Haney began to move inside cutting down Ndongeni’s space and landing short vicious shots inside. He rocked Ndongeni with a left hook and the South African began to hold for the first time in the fight. Haney ended the round with a series of right to the head with Ndongeni looking to be in trouble and tiring. Haney dominated the ninth. He stalked Ndongeni around the ring getting inside and working the body with Ndongeni relying on wild rights but always missing. After a slow start to the last Haney forced Ndongeni to the ropes and just kept firing hooks with both hands and kept Ndongeni there to the bell. Scores 100-89 twice and 99-90 for Haney. Although the highest rating Haney had before this fight was No 8 with the WBA the 20-year-old “The Dream” is on his way to a world title shot either by the end of 2019 or early in 2020. He has prodigious talent. A natural with moves you can’t teach a fighter so there are exciting times ahead for Haney. Ndongeni “The Wasp” was set an impossible task for his second fight in the USA but he showed enough to indicate he is capable of giving most rated fighters a tough night and will be in some big fights in the future.
Sanchez vs. Jake
Sanchez dismantles Jake inside two rounds. Sanchez forced the fight hard in the first with the heavier Jake not quick enough with his punches or his movement to compete as Sanchez connected with some powerful rights. There was then a delay for a problem with the ropes Sanchez then continued pressing the heavier Jakes who tried to tie-up the unbeaten Cuban on the inside. Sanchez shook himself loose and landed a crunching right to the head. Jakes backed into a corner and then under a series of punches from Sanchez he slid down the ropes and ended face down on the canvas. The referee started to count but then waived the fight off. The one big right that Sanchez did throw in that series landed on the left glove of Sanchez and it looked like Jakes was taking the easy way out. The 26-year-old 6’4” has nine wins by KO/TKO. His No Decision came when he bundled his opponent through the ropes and he was unable to continue. Sanchez was an elite level amateur. He won a silver medal at the Pan American Youth Championships and thrice won a bronze medal in the Cuban Championships. His best result was a victory over Erislandy Savon in taking a gold medal at the Cuban Giraldo Cordova Cardin tournament. He looks powerful and is one to watch. Southpaw Jakes had won his last five fights but against inferior level opposition and this is his second loss b y KO/TKO.
Villa vs. Cervera
Villa wins every round against Colombian Cervera. Villa controlled the action with his sharp, accurate right jab. He was just too quick and slick for Cervera. The Colombian connected with a good right in the first and was pressing forward for most of the fight but Villa was slotting jabs through too quickly for Cervera to block and then following with hard and accurate straight lefts. Villa used good movement to change angles and was firing rapid combinations with Cervera often a step or two behind and swishing air with his punches. On the down side despite his total dominance even when Villa sat down on his punches he never really had Cervera in trouble. Scores 80-72 for Villa from all three judges. The 21-year-old Salinas southpaw was National Golden Gloves champion in 2014 and 2015. He scored two wins over Shakur Stevenson but lost the chance to go to the Rio Olympics when Stevenson beat him in the US Olympic Trials final. He has won 8 of his last 9 fights on points so could be short on power. Former Colombian featherweight champion Cervera was having his first fight outside of Colombia and his first fight since February 2018.
Santa Ynez, CA, USA: Super Welter: Maditar Ashkeyev (11-0) W PTS 10 Luis Hernandez (16-7). Middle: Meiirim Nursultanov (10-0) W KO 2 Ramon Aguinaga (13-2).
Ashkeyev vs. Hernandez
Kazak Ashkeyev outpoints Hernandez. After a shaky start when he was buzzed by a punch from Hernandez in the first Ashkeyev took over the fight and outboxed Hernandez all the way despite various infractions by Hernandez as he tried to rough up Ashkeyev. The Kazak fighter was already on his way to a wide points win when he dropped Hernandez in the last but just could not get Hernandez out of there. Scores 98-91 twice and 99-90. Ashkeyev, 30, was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. He is based in Oxnard, California alongside Sergey Kovalev, Oleg Usyk, Olexandr Gvozdyk and Vasyl Lomachenko. Puerto Rican Hernandez has lost 5 of his last 6 fights but all against good quality opposition.
Nursultanov vs. Aguinaga
Nursultanov, another member of the Oxnard outfit flattens Mexican Aguinaga with a brutal right. Nursultanov prowled after Aguinaga in the first looking to land his destructive right but Aguinaga made it the bell without too much danger. In the second a straight right from Nursultanov crashed onto Aguinaga’s chin. He sagged and then fell back into the ropes and bounced off ending face down on the canvas out cold. The 25-year-old Kazak now has eight wins by KO/TKO. He won a gold medal at the Asian Championships and was 13 -1in fights in the World Series of Boxing including two victories in the semi-final matches against the British Lionhearts. Aguinaga had won 8 of his last 9 fights but the loss was in his last fight in July against French hope Christian Mbilli.
Tacoma, WA, USA: Super Feather: Giovanni Mioletti (15-0) W TKO 3 Antonio Escalante (29-10).
Mioletti rolls on with win over experienced Escalante. After a tentative start to the first round Mioletti started to find the distance with his jab and Escalante had no real answer to it. In the second Mioletti put Escalante down with a left hook but Escalante got up and made it to the bell. In the third a right staggered Escalante and a following left floored him again. He made it to his feet but when the eight count was finished so was Escalante who indicated he wanted out. Born in Seattle but based in Chicago Mioletti , 24,gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. He has had five fights and five wins under the banner of Brian Halquist Productions “Battle at the Boat” series at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. In those five wins is a victory over unbeaten Ray Lampkin the son of the former WBA lightweight title challenger of the same name. El Paso-based Mexican Escalante was 24-2 before losing to Daniel Ponce De Leon in WBO featherweight eliminator but has fallen away and was inactive for over three years before returning with a loss in October.
Mar Del Plata, Argentina: Light Heavy: Walter Sequeira (22-5) W PTS 10 Facundo Galovar (10-5-1).
Sequeira continues his run of form with majority decision over Galovar. This was a war. Not much evidence of skill but entertaining for the fans. Sequeira made a slow start conceding the first round to a busier Galvan but Sequeira landed enough accurate punches to edge the second and had Galovar hurt by a right in the both the and fourth rounds. Galovar came back into the fight in the fifth and sixth as Sequeira’s work rate dropped. Sequeira had a good seventh once again shaking Galovar with a right but the eighth and ninth could have been scored either way but a left from Sequeira in the last put him in control and he emerged a clear winner. Scores 96-94 twice for Sequeira and 95-95. Now 31, Sequeira makes it five wins in his last six fights and collects the vacant WBC Latino title. His National title was not on the line. His loss in those last six fights was a fourth round stoppage against unbeaten Anthony Yarde in October. Three losses in a row now for Galovan.
Mar del Plata, Argentina: Super Light: Jaider Parra (33-2-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Fabian Maidana (16-1).Super Light: Jonathan Eniz (23-11-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Cesar Cuenca (48-3) . Bantam: Fernando Martinez (8-0) W PTS 6 Abel Silva (5-3-3).
Maidana vs. Parra
On a mixed night for the Maidana family Marcos stages his first promotion and younger brother Fabian loses for the first time as a pro in a clash of younger brothers”. Parra, the younger brother of former WBA flyweight champion Lorenzo, proved too experienced and clever for Maidana. The visitor took a round to get into his stride but then proceeded to outbox Maidana. Parra was able to penetrate Maidana’s defence with jabs and sharp rights and was ducking under and around Maidana’s punches and took the third. Maidana managed to trap Parra on the ropes and land some hooks in the fourth but a right in the fifth opened a cut on Maidana’s left eyelid and Parra did most of the scoring in the sixth and seventh. With brother Marcos climbing into his corner Maidana finally landed some heavy punches in the eighth and rocked Parra with a left in the last but by then it was already a lost cause. Scores 98 ½-94, 98 ½-94 ½,97 ½-95 ½ all for Parra. The 36-year-old Venezuelan lost inside the distance in challenges for both the WBA super feather and interim lightweight titles and had won 10 of his last 11 fights. It would have been 11 out of 11but after he stopped Spanish prospect 20-1 Nicolas Gonzalez in January 2017 he tested positive for Clenbuterol and the result was changed to a No Decision. This win over Maidana will generate more work for Parra. Maidana, 26, had scored wins over Johan Perez and Andrey Klimov and was rated No 9 by the WBA. He was looked upon as one of the best prospects in Argentina but even though his trainer Manny Robles was flown down to be in his corner he was flat and flummoxed by the more experienced Parra.
Eniz vs. Cuenca
With Eniz only rated No 9 in the National ratings he looked a comfortable opponent for the return to the ring of former IBF lightweight champion and fellow southpaw Cuenca. This was Cuenca’s first fight since April 2016 and not surprisingly the young Eniz dominated the first two rounds. Cuenca began to find the target in the third and was expected to pick up the pace and kick on from there. That did not happen. Using a focused body attack and some vicious hooks Eniz put himself in front over the middle rounds. There were plenty of fierce exchanges with both landing heavily but although Cuenca finished strongly he was well beaten. Scores 98-94, 98-94 ½ and 97 ½-94for Eniz. The 24-year-old from Dolores was 2-2 in 2018 scoring two low level wins but being knocked out in seven rounds by unbeaten Kazak Batyrzhan Jukembayev in Montreal before performing above expectations in losing a split verdict to unbeaten Luis Veron. This win will boost his profile way up. Cuenca, 36, lost his IBF title to Eduard Troyanovsky in 2015 and was stopped in seven rounds in a return match in 2016. No talk of retirement from Cuenca.
Martinez vs. Silva
Olympian Martinez extends his 100% record to eight fights with unanimous decision over feisty Silva. This was a battle all the way. Martinez had the harder punch but Silva refused to back up and despite shipping heavy punishment banged back with some heavy punches of his own. Martinez ‘s power was decisive and he poured on the punishment as Silva tired to take the decision. Scores : 59 ½ -55 ½ , 59-56 and 59 ½ -56. Martinez, 27 represented Argentina at the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics and was a member of the Los Angeles Matadors team in the World Series of Boxing. Third loss in a row for Silva.
Perez, Argentina: Light; Gustavo Lemos (20-0) W TKO 4 Galvis Guerra (16-3-3).
Lemos dismantles overmatched Colombian. Lemos was piling forward connecting with hooks and overhand rights to the head. Guerra lacked the power to compete and had a leaky defence so Lemos was driving him back and rocking him with punches in close. Guerra survived a brutal third but it was all over in the fourth. A straight right from Lemos saw Guerra tottering back across the ring to the ropes where he dropped to one knee. He beat the count but suddenly without Lemos landing another heavy punch Guerra turned away from the action and again crossed the ring to the ropes and knelt down and the referee stopped the fight. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old “El Electrico” from Tres Arroyos and his fourth defence of his IBF Latino title. He is Argentinian No 1 and IBF have him at No 14. Second loss by KO/TKO for Guerra who is now 0-3 in fights outside of Colombia.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Ryoichi Tamura (12-3-1) W PTS 10 Mugicha Nakagawa (24-6-1). Minimum: Norihito Tanaka (18-7) W TKO 8 Shin Ono (23-10-3).
Tamura vs. Nakagawa
Minor upset as Tamura wins the vacant National title at the second attempt . With 14 wins in his last 15 fights Nakagawa was the favourite but Tamura was off the mark quickly attacking strongly and scoring well to head and body. Nakagawa answered the pressure with some strong jabs and uppercuts but Tamura outscored him and at the half way mark was up 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47 on the three cards. With his greater experience Nakagawa was expected to claw back the deficit over the second half of the fight and although he landed some sizzling rights it was Tamura who was stronger blunting Nakagawa’s attacks and emerging a comfortable winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 for Tamura. He was 3-2-1 at the start of his career but has turned things around with 9 wins in his last 10 fights with the loss being in a challenge for this title in 2017. Nakagawa, 30, had won 14 of his last 15 fights but this was only his second fight scheduled for ten rounds. To his credit he is canvassing with some success for cloud funding to help children in the Philippines
Tanaka vs. Ono
Another surprise here as Tanaka halts Ono to lift his Japanese title. Despite Ono having the edge in height over tiny Tanaka the challenger punched his way inside negating southpaw Ono’s greater skills. He shook Ono in the second and floored him with a right in the third and after five rounds all three judges had him ahead 49-45. Ono had the better of the action in the sixth using his reach to collect the points. Tanaka was getting past the jab in the seventh and a harried Ono was deducted a point for holding. Tanaka’s attacks overwhelmed Ono in the eighth and he was battered to the floor with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Tanaka was winning a title at the third attempt. He was outpointed by future world champion Akira Yaegashi for this same title in April 2011 and was inactive from November 2011 until returning to action in February 2017. In his second shot at a title he lost to unbeaten Tsubasa Koura for the OPBF crown in April last year. Former WBA and IBF title challenger Ono was rated in the top 15 by all four sanctioning bodies so this was a severe blow to his hopes of a third world title fight.
Fight of the week (Significance): Caleb Plant as is win over Jose Uzcategui will open many doors for him.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Plant vs. Uzcategui supplied plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Has to be Plant but with honourable mention to Devin Haney
Punch of the week: The right from Meiirim Nursultanov was a real thunderbolt and the right that gave Brandon Figueroa his first knockdown against Moises Flores was special.
Upset of the week: Plant beating Uzcategui was unexpected as was Jaider Parra’s victory over unbeaten Fabian Maidana, Parra vs. Maidana
Prospect watch: Plenty on show this week with Brandon Figueroa, Meiirim Nursultanov and Frank Sanchez all impressing
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
2018 was another interesting year for Asian boxing with the usual ups and downs but it was one that saw the seeds planted for what can potentially be a golden era for the sport throughout the continent.
2018 was a disappointing 12 months for Japanese boxing at world level but with a core of elite pugilists and a plethora of outstanding youngsters on the rise, the future is still very bright for boxing in the land of the rising sun.
Long reigning WBC bantamweight boss Shinsuke Yamanaka quite frankly deserved so much better than to go out at the hands of the disgraceful Luis Nery who failed a drugs test after their first encounter then came in 5 pounds overweight on first attempt before their rematch. Yamanaka can hold his head up high and will go down as one of Japan’s best after a terrific career.
After losing his WBO strawweight belt to Vic Saludar, Ryuya Yamanaka was unfortunately forced to retire due to a serious head injury and stalwarts Kohei Kono and Yoshihiro Kamegai also hung up the gloves after exciting fan friendly careers. Katsunori Nagamine, who was always guaranteed to provide thrills and spills was also forced to retire due to injury which was such as shame as the flyweight became a favourite of mine.
Daigo Higa and Kenichi Ogawa will not want to be reminded of having the arduous distinction of being the only Japanese fighters to lose their world titles on the scales and for failing a drugs test respectively and both will hope for much better results in 2019. Ryota Murata has it all to prove after floundering against an inspired Rob Brant and Ryoichi Taguchi, Kazuto Ioka, Ryosuke Iwasa and Reiya Konishi will aim to return to world level after losing close decisions that could have easily gone the other way.
In what you could easily call the awesome foursome Naoya Inoue, Kenshiro, Kosei Tanaka and Hiroto Kyoguchi are as good a quartet of fighters anywhere on the planet and will be aiming to establish themselves as the number 1 in their respective divisions. Inoue blasted away both Jamie McDonnell and Juan Carlos Payano inside a round and claiming the World Boxing Super Series prize is the goal for 2019. Kenshiro enjoyed a rather fruitful 2018, impressively halting both Ganigan Lopez and Milan Melindo before scoring a wide points victory over Saul Juarez to cap off the year and hopefully the WBC light flyweight champion can secure a unification in 2019.
Kosei Tanaka became a 3-weight world champion in just his 12th bout but had to go through the meat grinder to do it as he took the WBO flyweight strap from Sho Kimura in undoubtedly the fight of the year. A rumoured clash with Ryoichi Taguchi is in the works for this spring and if it’s half as good as the bout with Kimura then we’re in for another classic. Hiroto Kyoguchi made a real statement as he broke down Hekkie Budler and became the first man to stop the South African and his heavy hands make him a force to be reckoned with at 108 pounds.
Finally Masayuki Ito deserves more than a mention after winning a world title away from home, something very few Japanese boxers accomplish. Ito was far too seasoned for Christopher Diaz and after a one-sided beat down of mandatory challenger Evgeny Chuprakov, the WBO super featherweight champion has options aplenty for 2019. Tomoki Kameda and Takuma Inoue will get cracks at full world titles this year after winning interim trinkets in 2018.
Overall 2018 was an excellent year for Filipino boxing with 3 of the nation’s favourite sons scoring notable victories. Donnie Nietes prevailed in a close and thoroughly absorbing contest with Kazuto Ioka, making him a 4-weight champion and let’s hope he defends against similar calibre of competition as there is no shortage of top challengers at super flyweight.
After defeat to Carl Frampton and moving down to a division which he hadn’t fought at in 7 years, few if anyone gave Nonito Donaire a prayer when he entered the World Boxing Super Series but the Filipino Flash defied the odds to beat Ryan Burnett and set up a semi-final contest versus Zolani Tete. It should be noted that a freak back injury left Burnett unable to continue but Donaire was highly competitive in rounds 3 and 4 so a win against Tete isn’t out of the question.
Manny Pacquiao knocked out Lucas Matthysse to keep his career going and he has a very winnable bout with Adrien Broner coming up shortly but the biggest winner in Filipino boxing in 2018 was visibility, with not only ESPN5 providing much needed coverage for boxing globally but other streams were provided for domestic cards making the sport far more accessible than it has been in previous years. Vic Saludar produced an excellent display to capture the WBO strawweight title in Japan but IBF 115 lb champion Jerwin Ancajas failed to shine in 2018 and will need to up his game if he’s to compete and overcome the elite of the division.
The 2 all Filipino world title fights between Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan and Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte unfortunately completely underwhelmed but if the myth that these kind of bouts shouldn’t be happening is slowly being dispelled then that’s a positive and we saw other such good clashes at domestic and regional level between Jonathan Taconing and Vince Paras and Edward Heno and Jesse Espinas take place.
The biggest negative was the disappearance of exciting featherweight Mark Magsayo who failed to fight at all in 2018 and Mark Antony Barriga will also have to rebound after his first loss. Jhack Tepora and Reymart Gaballo enjoyed breakout years and are leading the charge of the next generation of young Pinoys, Romero Duno should continue to provide plenty of entertainment and KJ Cataraja and Dave Apolinario are 2 gems worth getting excited about.
Boxing in Thailand ticked over quite nicely in 2018 with all 3 world champions holding onto their titles and the country has 2 interesting prospects in Apichet Petchmanee and Downua Ruawaiking both at light welterweight. The Workpoint series was also a nice edition and saw much improved match making and some solid domestic bouts that delivered including the 2 encounters between Kompayak Porpramook and Pongsaklek Sithdabmij and the clash between Nawaphon Por Chokchai and Amnat Ruenroeng.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai scored a majority decision over Juan Francisco Estrada in a thoroughly enjoyable contest in the US to kick off his 2018 and after a stay busy bout he made history as he headlined a One Championship card in front of a raucous home crowd. The WBC super flyweight champion scored a wide point’s win over game Mexican Iran Diaz and heads into 2019 with numerous available options with a unification with Jerwin Ancajas looking a distinct possibility.
Wanheng Menayothin made his own history as he took his unbeaten record to 52-0 by the end of the year. The WBC strawweight titlist reached the magic 50-0 mark in style as he destroyed mandatory challenger Leroy Estrada before taking a unanimous decision over solid challenger Pedro Taduran. If the reports are to be believed and Wanheng does venture outside of Thailand then tougher challenges could lay ahead for the 33-year-old with a bout against the undefeated Tsubasa Koura mentioned as a possibility.
Despite making 3 defenses of his strawweight crown the stock of Knockout CP Freshmart dramatically dropped with 3 very poor performances and the fights against Xion Zhao Zhong and the rematch with Byron Rojas were honestly dire viewing. Knockout will need to dramatically up his game in 2019 if he’s to keep hold of his belt as he looks to be there for the taking.
Along with Cuba, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are now well established as the leading forces in amateur boxing and now both nations are making their presence felt in the professional ranks with Daniyar Yeleussinov, Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Shakhram Giyasov, Sadriddin Akhmedov and Israil Madrimov just a selection of names who are looking to make an impact. Expect the Kazak/Uzbek take over/invasion to ramp up even further in 2019 with so much strength in depth in both countries.
Finally any action that took place inside the ring in amateur boxing was completely overshadowed by a tumultuous struggle between AIBA and the IOC which has left boxing’s place at the Tokyo Olympics hanging by a thread. After being made interim President, controversial Gafur Rakhimov who is described as "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals" by the United States Treasury Department was elected permanent President under farcical proceedings which saw certain delegations fail to vote and the electronic voting system fail to work.
Repeated warnings from the IOC regarding Rakhimov’s potential election as permanent President clearly were not heeded and coupled with governance and financial concerns, this lead to the planning for boxing in Tokyo being frozen therefore leaving everyone in total limbo. 2019 is without doubt a defining period in amateur boxing but the signs are bleak and a boxing tournament in Tokyo without AIBA’s involvement is a solid possibility which could lead to a messy split within the federations and in all of this the boxers are the ones who suffer due to the arrogance, selfishness and incompetence of those at the top.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (20-0): WBO #5
The undefeated Chinese giant and Olympic Silver Medalist beat Don Haynesworth (15-3) this past September in his first WBO Oriental title defense.
-Meng Fanlong (14-0): IBF #8 / WBA #12
Meng stopped the former British & Commonwealth champion Frank Buglioni (22-4), on November 24th, to defend his IBF Intercontinental title for the first time.
Super Lightweight / Jr Welterweight:
-Apinun Khongsong (14-0): IBF #7
The current IBF Asia & Pan Pacific champion has fought 4 times in 2018, all stoppage victories. Khongsong will face Akihiro Kondo (31-7) in an IBF World title Eliminator, on February 18.
-Daud Yordan (38-4): WBA #5
Yordan’s latest success came in April, when he knocked out Pavel Malikov (14-1) to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. He later put on a good performance against former World champion Anthony Crolla (34-6) in a WBA World title eliminator, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
-Mercito Gesta (32-2): WBO #2
After unsuccessfully challenging Jorge Linares (45-4) for the WBA World championship, Gesta defeated Robert Manzanarez (36-3) for the vacant WBO-NABO title, which he will defend on January 26 at Golden Boy’s first boxing card on DAZN. No opponent has been named as of yet.
-Can Xu (15-2): WBA #2
The reigning WBA International champion will be facing Jesus Rojas (26-2) for the WBA “regular” title on January 26.
-Genesis Servania (32-1): WBO #1 / WBA #3 / IBF #5
Servania has knocked out all of his opponents, since losing to WBO World champion Oscar Valder (24-0) in 2017, including world title contender Carlos Carlson (23-5) in September. He’s now looking for another shot at a World championship, either at Featherweight or at Super Bantamweight. His next confirmed opponent is Carlos Castro (21-0), whom he’ll face in California, on February 10.
-Mark Magsayo (18-0): WBC #1 / WBO #8
The reigning WBO International champion is the number 1 contender for the WBC World title. A match with Gary Russell Jr. (29-1) could be in the works for 2019.
Super Bantamweight / Jr Featherweight:
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #2 / IBF #6
Pagara stopped Laryea Gabriel Odoi (20-4) this past June, to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. He successfully made his inaugural title defense against George Krampah (14-4) on November 24.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (27-1): WBO #3
The WBO Asia Pacific champion marked his third successful title defense in February against Likit Chane (16-8). After dispatching Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3) in July, he returned to the ring once more before the year is over, on December 16, and defended his belt against Artid Bamrungauea (21-25).
-Marlon Tapales (31-2): WBO #6 / IBF #7
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion made short work of Goodluck Mrema (22-4) this past September. It’s not certain if Super Bantamweight or Featherweight will be the division Tapales sticks with. His next fight will take place in February, under the MP Promotions banner.
-Jeo Santisima (17-2): WBO #10
The Filipino won the vacant WBO Oriental title, after defeating Likit Chane (16-8) this past summer. In November, he made his first successful defense, against Victor Uriel Lopez (13-10).
-Kenny Demecillo (14-4): IBF #3
Demecillo has fought only once in 2018, scoring a KO win over Vyacheslav Mirzaev (11-1) in Russia. His next scheduled appearance is in March of 2019 as he takes on Michael Dasmarinas (28-2) in an IBF World title eliminator, in Singapore.
-Michael Dasmarinas (28-2): IBF #4 / WBC #11
Dasmarinas knocked out former EBU European champion Karim Guerfi (28-4) this past April to earn the IBO “world” title. His latest fight against Manyo Plange (17-0) came to a draw. He will square off against Kenny Demecillo (14-4), as mentioned above, for a chance at the IBF World title.
-Carl Jammes Martin (11-0): WBO #10 / WBA #14
2018 has been a breakout year for the Filipino, winning 4 fights in the span of only 6 months, plus the WBO Oriental Youth & WBA Asia titles.
-Arthur Villanueva (32-3): WBO #8
The former WBO Asia Pacific champion and world title contender has 1 win and one draw in 2018.
-Tasana Salapat (48-1): WBC #2
“Petch Sor Chitpattana” lost his first fight when he fought Takuma Inoue (13-0) for the interim WBC World championship, on December 30, in Japan.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Aston Palicte (24-2): WBO #2 / WBC #6
Palicte will be involved in a WBO World title eliminator with Jose Martinez (20-0) on January 31st.
-Giemel Magramo (23-1): WBO #6 / WBC #7 / WBA #8 / IBF #9
The Filipino captured the vacant WBO Oriental title on March of 2018 and successfully defended it in October, against Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2). Magramo kicked off 2019 with a bang as he stopped Wenfeng Ge (11-1) for the WBO International title on January 5th, in China.
-Teeraphong Utaida (38-6): IBF #8
Utaida went 4-0 in 2018, moving up to Flyweight only recently and soon became the IBF Pan Pacific champion.
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-1): WBA #1
The former WBA Asia champion has fought twice in 2018 and has knocked out both of his opponents.
-Nare Yianleang (68-5): WBA #2 / WBC #5
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, “Noknoi Sitthiprasert” has been undefeated in his last 6 fights, but none of them was against a credible opponent.
-Komgrich Nantapech (25-5): IBF #3
Nantapech became the IBF Pan Pacific champion in 2018, when he earned a decision win over Naoki Mochizuki (15-3). He was supposed to face Masayuki Kuroda (30-7) in an IBF World title eliminator bout on November 21st, but due to a sudden injury, he wasn’t able to compete. Komgrich later had to vacate his belt but still managed to pick two more victories before the year was over.
-Wenfeng Ge (11-1): WBO #9 / IBF #13
The former undefeated Chinese prospect took the unanimous decision victory over Ivan Soriano (19-2) as well as the vacant WBO International championship, this past August, before losing it to top ranked Flyweight Giemel Magramo (23-1).
-Sirichai Thaiyen (51-4): WBA #7
The former WBA interim World champion failed the recapture the crown this summer in Ukraine when he fought Artem Dalakian (18-0).
-Jayr Raquinel (10-1): IBF #6
Raquinel won the OPBF title from Keisuke Nakayama (11-3) in March and in 2 months time, he successfully marked his first title defense over Shun Kosaka (15-5). However, he failed to capture the vacant WBC Silver championship, when he boxed with Chinese rising star Wean Tuolehazi (9-3), in September.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-3): WBC #1 / WBO #1 / WBA #2 / IBF #8
Taconing defended his WBC International championship, for the second time, this past September against former world title contender Vince Paras (13-2). A match with Angel Acosta (19-1), for the WBO strap, could be in the works for this coming Spring.
-Edward Heno (13-0): WBO #3 / WBC #4 / WBA #6 / IBF #6
Heno marked 2 successful title defenses of the OPBF championship, within 2018, over Jesse Espinas (19-3) as well as former World champion Merlito Sabillo (27-6). His third OPBF title defense will take place in Japan, against Koji Itagaki (18-13), on February 11.
-Jing Xiang (16-4): WBO #6 / WBC #13
2018 was a quite successful year for Xiang as he, not only captured the vacant WBO Intercontinental title in January, but also earned a huge victory after defeating former World champion Merlito Sabillo (27-6), this past September, to become the WBC Silver champion. 2019 already brought another major test for the Chinese rising star as he successfully defended his WBC Silver title against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (59-7), on January 5th, in China.
-Christian Araneta (17-0): IBF #4 / WBA #9 / WBC #10 / WBO #11
Araneta added 3 more wins to his perfect record, in 2018, including a stoppage victory over former world title contender Jerry Tomogdan (26-10), in August.
-Rey Loreto (24-14): WBC #5
After a failed attempt to dethrone Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) in 2017, Loreto returned this past February and knocked out journeyman Arnold Garde (10-6).
-Pongsaklek Sithdabni (17-6): WBC #8
The WBC Asia champion finished 2018 with a 3-2 record.
-Robert Paradero (17-0): WBO #1
Paradero is supposed to face Wilfredo Mendez (11-1) in a WBO World title eliminator this coming January. The winner will be next in line to challenge Vic Saludar (18-3) for the gold.
-Chaozhong Xiong (27-8): WBA #9
Xiong tried to become a 2 time World champion when he fought Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) in July, but it wasn’t meant to be. No news yet if that was his last match or not.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1): IBF #7 / WBO #8
Cuarto won his first championship in August after he fought Clyde Azarcon (14-2) for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
-Samuel Salva (16-0): IBF #5
The Filipino prospect remained undefeated in 2018 as well, thus adding 4 more victories to his record.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #10 / WBC #12
Taduran began 2018 very promising as he dropped former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (26-10) in the fifth round, but couldn’t capitalize on that momentum in his World championship bout against Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0). He beat Jeffrey Galero (17-6) on December 7.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): IBF #3 / WBA #5
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship in December.
-Joey Canoy (14-3): WBO #10
Canoy recently challenged Simpiwe Konkco (19-5) for the IBO “world” title but the fight ended in a no contest.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBO #6 / WBA #11
The former K-1 champion and the unified OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific title holder recently defended his belts twice in 2018.
-Ryota Murata (14-2): IBF #6 / WBC #6 / WBA #7
The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist lost his WBA world title to Rob Brant in October, and once again finds himself in the position of the title chaser.
Super Welterweight / Jr Middleweight:
-Takeshi Inoue (13-0): WBO #3
The undefeated 4-year veteran and the unified OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion will challenge Jaime Munguia (31-0) for the WBO World title, on January 26, in Texas.
-Keita Obara (20-3): IBF #6 / WBO #15
After avenging his shocking loss to Alvin Lagumbay (10-4) and regained the WBO Asia Pacific championship, Obara was set to takes on the undefeated former WBC Silver champion Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0), on January 4th, in an IBF world title eliminator, but the match never happened. No updates yet if it will be rescheduled or not.
Super Lightweight / Jr Welterweight:
-Hiroki Okada (19-0): WBO #2 / WBA #3 / IBF #5 / WBC #9
The former Japanese & WBO Asia Pacific champion made his US debut this past September, against Cristian Rafael Coria (28-7), winning via unanimous decision. Okada is rumored to face the former WBO Lightweight World champion Raymundo Beltran (35-8) on February 10.
-Akihiro Kondo (31-7): IBF #4
Since losing to Sergey Lipinets (14-1) in 2017, Kondo has won his last 2 fights against the debuting Rikhit Thunritsa and Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-12). He will meet the undefeated IBF Pan Pacific champion Apinun Khongsong (14-0), on February 18, in an IBF world title eliminator.
-Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0): IBF #5 / WBC #7 / WBO #10
Nakatani marked his 11th successful OPBF title defense recently, when he stopped the WBC International champion Hurricane Futa (25-8) in round 6. He is rumored to face former EBU European & WBA Intercontinental champion Edis Tatli (31-2) in an IBF world title eliminator.
-Nihito Arakawa (31-6): WBO #4
The former Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion is looking for his second world title opportunity in 2019.
Super Featherweight/ Jr Lightweight:
-Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1): WBO #6
Sueyoshi has defended his Japanese title thrice this year. His next one will probably be a rematch with Ken Osato (15-2) in early 2019.
-Satoshi Shimizu (8-0): IBF #3
The 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist has marked 3 successful title defenses of the OPBF crown in 2018, against Kyung Min Kwon (6-5), Shingo Kawamura (16-5) and Takuya Uehara (16-1).
-Reiya Abe (18-2): IBF #4 / WBC #12
Abe is the number 1 contender for Taiki Minamoto’s (16-5) Japanese title. These 2 will collide at the 2019 Champion Carnival, on May 1st, but before that the young lion has another match set first against Daisuke Sugita (4-0) on January 12.
Super Bantamweight / Jr Featherweight:
-Shingo Wake (25-5): IBF #4 / WBC #4
The 12 year veteran has re-established himself at the top of the division after stopping Yusaku Kuga (17-3) in July to win the Japanese title. However, Wake recently vacated his belt and he is rumored to face a world champion in 2019. Until then, he will square off against Takafumi Nakajima (29-11) on January 19.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3): IBF #3 / WBC #14
Iwasa lost his IBF world title to DJ Doheny (20-0) this past August. Rumor has it that he maybe fighting Cesar Juarez (23-6) in an IBF world title eliminator in the near future.
-Ryohei Takahashi (16-3): IBF #10
Takahashi won the IBF Pan Pacific championship from Pipat Chaiporn (45-12) back in June and defended it against Shingo Kusano (11-7) in September.
-Yukinori Oguni (20-2): WBA #6
After losing his World title in 2017, Oguni has picked only one victory in 2018.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Kazuto Ioka (23-2): WBO #3
Ioka debuted at the Super Flyweight division this past September, defeating McWilliams Arroyo (17-4) to become the WBC Silver champion. In December, he fought Donnie Nietes (42-1), for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World title, losing a very close decision.
-Koki Eto (23-4): WBC #5 / WBO #8 / WBA #8 / IBF #12
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion has fought and won twice in 2018 against lesser opponents.
-Ryuichi Funai (31-7): IBF #1 / WBO #6 / WBC #10
Funai stopped Victor Olivo (15-3) in an IBF world title eliminator, this past November, to become the number 1 contender. However, if the rumored Jerwin Ancajas (30-1) vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4) fight takes place, Funai might have to wait for a few months more before he receives his opportunity.
-Sho Ishida (27-1): IBF #4 / WBO #7 / WBA #7 / WBC #13
Since losing to the WBA world champion Khalid Yafai (25-0) in 2017, Ishida has won all of his 2018 bouts, against Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3), Richard Claveras (18-6), as well as former world title contender Warlito Parrenas (26-9).
-Daigo Higa (15-1): WBA #6
The former WBC Flyweight World Champion has been suspended for the majority of 2018, since failing to make weight in his last title fight. Recently though, there have been rumors of his upcoming return, including training videos of him, and with his inclusion to the WBA rankings, it’s almost a certainty that we will see Okinawa’s favorite son back to the rings this year.
-Junto Nakatani (17-0): WBC #4 / WBO #10
The unstoppable Japanese prospect has fought 4 times in 2018 and has won all of his bouts, 2 of them via KO. He will finally compete for a championship belt when he faces Naoki Mochizuki (15-3), on February 2nd, for the vacant Japanese crown.
-Sho Kimura (17-2): WBO #5
The former WBO World champion lost his title to Kosei Tanaka (12-0) this past September, in a FOTY candidate. Already ranked at the top 10 of the WBO, he will probably find himself in a championship match again very soon.
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-7): WBC #3 / WBO #3 / IBF #4
Kuroda has recently vacated his Japanese title as his has set his sights on the World championship. He is rumored to meet Moruti Mthalane (37-2) for the IBF title in 2019.
-Tetsuya Hisada (33-9): WBA #1 / WBO #2 / WBC #2 / IBF #11
Hisada recorded a 5th successful Japanese title defense in November, before vacating the belt. Ranked at the top of the division all year long, it will be a surprise if he doesn’t fight for a World championship in 2019.
-Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3): WBC #3 / WBA #3 / IBF #7
Taguchi could be challenging Kosei Tanaka (12-0) for the WBO World title this Spring.
-Reiya Konishi (17-1): IBF #3 / WBA #4 / WBO #4 / WBC #14
After losing a decision to Carlos Canizales (21-0), for the WBA world title, Konishi came back in July and knocked out Orlie Silvestre (12-5) to become the new WBO Asia Pacific champion. His first successful title defense took place on December 1st, against Richard Rosales (13-8).
Kenichi Horikawa (35-18): WBC #6
Horikawa ends 2018 with a 4-0 record.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-0): WBC #3 / IBF #4 / WBA #10 / WBO #9
Koura defended his OPBF title, for the 3rd time, against Daiki Tomita (12-1) in September. He is now set to face Simphiwe Khonco (19-5) in a WBC World title eliminator (date TBA).
-Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6): WBO #3 / WBC #6 / IBF #14
Fukuhara has been victorious in both of his 2018 bouts.
-Shin Ono (23-9): WBO #5 / IBF #12 / WBA #13 / WBC #13
Ono marked his first successful Japanese title defense against former world title contender Riku Kano (14-4) in August. He will make his second one against Norihito Tanaka (17-7), on January 12.
-Masataka Taniguchi (11-2): WBO #2 / IBF #6
Taniguchi recently defeated Joel Lino (10-1) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title. It’s almost certain that he will take on Vic Saludar (18-3) on February 25th for the WBO title.
(Image courtesy of World Sport Boxing)
By Eric Armit
-Saul Alvarez destroys Rocky Fielding in three rounds to win the secondary WBA super middle title
-Gilberto Ramirez retains the WBO super middle title with points win over Jesse Hart
-Tevin Farmer decision Francisco Fonseca in defence of his IBF super featherweight title
Artem Dalakian defends the WBA flyweight title with stoppage of Gregorio Lebron
-Joseph Parker closes out the year with an inside the distance win over Alex Flores
-Swede Sven Fornling wins the IBO title with victory over Karo Murat
-Former champion Sadam Ali returns with a win in his first fight since losing his WBO title to Jamie Munguia in May
-A sight you don’t see often as Germany heavyweight Michael Wallisch gets counted out twice when losing to Christen Hammer
WORLD TITLE FIGHTS IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO
Corpus Christi, TX, USA: Super Middle: Gilberto Ramirez (39-0) W PTS 12 Jesse Hart (25-2). Super Bantam: Joshua Greer (19-1-1) W RTD 7 Daniel Lozano (15-6). Super Light Arnold Barboza (20-0) W PTS 10 Manuel Lopez (14-3-1).Super Feather: Jamel Herring (19-2) W PTS 8 Adeilson Dos Santos (19-6).
Ramirez vs. Hart
Ramirez retains the WBO title with majority verdict over Hart in a fight of three phases. The first seven rounds see Ramirez dominant. Rounds eight to eleven are Hart’s due an injury suffered by Ramirez. Then phase three sees the outcome of the fight decided in a dramatic last round.
Hart was sharp at the outset and scored with a couple of neat hooks. Ramirez was the one forcing the fight with Hart circling the perimeter of the ring and jumping in with quick attacks. Ramirez really let his hands go late in the round scoring with some strong lefts and taking the round.
Score 10-9 Ramirez
Another round where Hart had a good opening spell sending Ramirez backwards with some sharp right uppercuts and connecting with his jab and some combinations. Ramirez then took control. He was scoring with flashing hooks to the body and hard southpaw lefts to the head.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 20-18
A closer round but still Ramirez’s. Hart was boxing nicely on the back foot with plenty of jabs but Ramirez was using some clever upper body movement to dodge those and then hunting Hart down and scoring with hooks and uppercuts
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 30-27
Dominant round for Ramirez. From bell to bell he was hustling Hart around the ring pinning him to the ropes and connecting with hooks, uppercuts and sweeping lefts to the head. There was very little coming back from Hart.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 40-36
Official scores: 39-37, 40-36 and 40-36 for Ramirez
A very close round with the best exchanges so far. Hart stayed on the front foot more and put his punches together well with some sharp hooks and uppercuts. Ramirez was scoring well to the body and fired some impressive combinations but with Hart ending the round with a flurry of punches which just gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 49-46
This round was close until the half way point then Ramirez took over. He was landing long lefts to the body and head with a tired looking Hart was throwing very little in the return. A long left snapped Hart’s head back as Ramirez piled on the pressure.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 59-55
A close one and a quieter one. Both did good work with their jabs . Hart landed some sharp left hooks and Ramirez got through with his left and just outworked Hart.
Scores 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 69-64
A complete change around in the eighth round. Hart was storming forward firing hooks and uppercuts to the body and forcing Ramirez back. He kept Ramirez against the ropes for much of the round. Ramirez’s punch output slumped and he was warned for a sneaky punch on the break
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 78-74
Official scores: 77-74, 78-74, 78-74 Ramirez
What had changed in the eighth was that Ramirez had injured his left elbow and Hart was able to take advantage of that. He stayed on top of Ramirez landing with short punches inside as the fight became more of a brawl. Ramirez used both hands to fire some combinations but Hart was getting the better of the exchanges and buckled Ramirez legs with a right.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 87-84
Neither fighter did much in this round. Over the first two minutes Ramirez tried to avoid trading punches and Hart did not force the fight enough. Late in the round Hart came to life raking Ramirez with hooks inside. When they clinched Hart made sure he had a claim on Ramirez’s right which was the only one had he had to worry about and a comfortable win had turned into a struggle for survival for Ramirez
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 96-94
A brutal three minutes as Hart worked Ramirez over. He had Ramirez pinned to the ropes for most of the round and was scoring inside with hooks. Ramirez tried to punch with Hart but without full power in his left he was at a disadvantage and Hart was winning the exchanges.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 105-104
In a dramatic last round Ramirez staggered Hart early with a right hook and turned Hart onto the ropes and connected with five consecutive right hooks with Hart looking to be in trouble. Even when Hart moved off the ropes Ramirez landed with another series of hooks. Hart was pushing Ramirez back but had to soak up more right hooks. Hart was exhausted stumbling and just leaning on Ramirez and not throwing punches until with just twenty seconds remaining in the round he landed a right uppercut. Now it was Ramirez on the ropes and Hart hammering home punches rocking Ramirez head but Ramirez stayed on his feet and was trying to punch back at the bell and his early work in the round gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 115-113
Official scores. 114-114 and 115-113,115-113 for Ramirez.
Gutsy win by the 27-year-old from Mazatlan in the fifth defence of his WBO title. Ramirez controlled the fight before his injury and looked on his way to at least a wide points victory if not a late stoppage. No real grounds for a third fight and in any case Ramirez is already looking to move up to light heavyweight. Hart will still be a major force at super middle and if Ramirez does move up he would be favourite to beat either Shefat Isufi or Vincent Feigenbutz who are Nos 2 and 3 with the WBO.
Greer vs. Lozano
Greer continues his impressive run with win over Lozano. Greer has made a habit of beating up the opposition to a point where the just quit. He did that in this fight. He controlled the fight and handed out some stiff punishment before dropping Lozano in the seventh and Lozano’s team pulled him out at the end of the round. The 24-year-old from Chicago has won 16 in a row including six inside the distance finishes in his last six fights. He wins the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. Floridian Lozano was 2-4 going into this one but had reversed two of those losses against David Carmona and Ricardo Rodriguez.
Barboza vs. Lopez
Barboza boxes his way to win over Lopez taking every round on all three cards. Barboza used a sharp jab to set up some crisp body punches. With no chance of outboxing Barboza Lopez tried to drag Barboza into a brawl but the unbeaten Californian would not cooperate. He kept finding gaps for his jab and the frequency and accuracy of Barboza’s work slowly had Lopez fading further and further out of the fight. Barboza put in a big effort in the ninth trying to get Lopez out of there but Lopez stayed to the final bell. Scores 100-90 for Barboza from the three judges. The 27-year-old Californian already has impressive wins over Mike Reed and Luis Solis and will continue to build in 2019. Lopez had lost only one of his last eleven fights.
Herring vs. Dos Santos
Southpaw Herring continues his restoration with a points victory over Brazilian Dos Santos. Herring had early success when he floored Dos Santos in the first and second rounds. Dos Santos survived those shocks and was competitive without actually doing enough to win a round and Herring got eight rounds of work under his belt. Scores 80-70 from the three wise men. The 33-year-old former US Marine was US Armed Forces champion and US National champion in 2012 and competed at the 2012 Olympics. He won his first 15 pro fights before suffering losses against Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller. He has had a good 2018 beating experienced Juan Pablo Sanchez and 20-1 Filipino John Vincent Moralde. Dos Santos is now 1-4 in his last 5 fights but that includes losses to Jessie Magdaleno and Michael Conlan.
New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Saul Alvarez (51-1-2 W TKO 3 Rocky Fielding (27-1). Super Feather: Tevin Farmer (28-4-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Francisco Fonseca (22-2-1).Welter: Sadam Ali (27-2) W PTS 10 Mauricio Herrera (24-8). Super Feather: Ryan Garcia (17-0) W KO 5 Braulio Rodriguez (19-4). Super Feather: Lamont Roach (18-0-1) W PTS 10 Alberto Mercado (15-2-1). Super Middle: Bilal Akkawy (19-0-1) W TKO 7 Victor Fonseca (17-9-1). Super Light: Yves Ulysse (17-1) W PTS 8 Maximiliano Becerra (16-3-2).
Alvarez vs. Fielding
Very predictable outcome as Alvarez too strong for Fielding and scores four knockdowns before the fight is stopped.
Strong opening from Alvarez. After a few jabs from Fielding Alvarez was connecting with left hooks to the body and slotting home his jab. Fielding fired a quick burst of punches but was already on the back foot and short, quick left to the body saw him take a couple of steps back and drop to one knee. Fielding was up at seven and despite more body punches made it though the one minute remaining in the round although he was rocked by a right at the bell.
Score 10-8 Alvarez
Alvarez was forcing Fielding back and landing hooks to the body from both hands. Fielding was jabbing and throwing quick hooks but did not have the power to stop Alvarez coming forward. A left to the ribs had Fielding backing off. Despite that Fielding was getting through with his jab and landing some hooks of his own until another left to the ribs sent him down on one knee near the end of the round. Fielding was up at seven and after the eight count the bell went.
Score 10-8 Alvarez Alvarez 20-16
Alvarez pressed forward looking for the finish. He was still landing with crunching left hooks to the body but now also adding right uppercuts. Fielding fought back with hooks but was driven to the ropes and a clubbing right to the side of the head dropped him to one knee again. Fielding climbed up at seven but when the action resumed another left hook to the body again saw Fielding take a knee and the referee stopped the fight.
Now 35 wins by KO/TKO for Alvarez. Some will see him as a three-division world champion but Fielding’s title was the secondary WBA one so questionable as to whether it qualifies. There are fights for Alvarez at super middle if he wants them with WBC champion David Benavidez already issuing a challenge. It is also, possible that the WBC may insist that Alvarez defends their middleweight title against interim champion Jermall Charlo which would a good fight. Fielding, 31, was a huge outsider when he was offered a fight with Tyron Zeuge but he took the chance and it led to a title and from there to the biggest purse of his career. He will box on and the super middleweight division is rich in high quality fighters so there is more money to be made.
Farmer vs. Fonseca
Farmer makes the second defence of his IBF title in just seven weeks and convincingly outpoints Costa Rican Fonseca.
Farmer was into the groove quickly. He had faster hands and kept slotting right jabs past Fonseca’s defence and lading long lefts. Fonseca manage to get thought with a couple of rights but it was the champions round.
Score 10-9 Farmer
More of the same in the second. Farmer was throwing left leads and using his quicker reflexes to stand close and dodge or block Fonseca’s punches and counter. He finished the round with a strong attack connecting with three straight lefts.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 20-18
Fonseca did a bit better in this round. He was walking in behind his jab and landing to the body. Farmer’s hand speed was still just too quick and Farmer was switching between head and body and Fonseca was too slow to block the punches.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 30-27
Farmer chose to go toe-to-toe with Fonseca in this one turning the action into a close-quarters maul. He was still doing most of the scoring with short hooks and uppercuts but those tactics also allowed Fonseca to land more punches than he had earlier.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 40-36
Official scores 40-36, 39-37 and 40-36 for Farmer
Fonseca’s round. He pressed hard for the whole three minutes. He landed some body shots and kept pumping out the punches. Farmer connected with some hard counters but was more on the defensive and not throwing as many punches.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 49-46
Farmer took this one inside again. He was on top of Fonseca forcing Fonseca back around the ring. He scored throughout the round with left uppercuts and added some clubbing rights to the head. Fonseca was also landing with rights to the head but tricky upper body movement from Farmer meant Fonseca was often swishing air.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 59-55
Farmer spent the first two minutes again forcing Fonseca back and fighting inside. He was landing hooks and uppercuts with Fonseca not able to shake himself loose enough to counter. Over the last third of the round Farmer decided to put on an exhibition of defensive work letting Fonseca come forward but Fonseca just could not find the target.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 69-54
Fonesca outworked Farmer in this one. He was able to march forward scoring with stabbing jabs and connecting with short clubbing hooks. Farmer was just not throwing enough punches and although he opened up later Fonseca had already done enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 78-74
Official scores: 78-74, 77-75, 78-74
Farmer started by boxing on the back foot slotting home jabs and then stopping to fire a burst of punches through Fonseca’s guard. He then switched to fighting inside where Fonesca had a bit more success before Farmer went back to his boxing shooting jabs and uppercuts home.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 88-83
Brawl time again from Farmer. He was constantly pushing Fonseca back. He was getting home with short cuffing hooks and occasional rights to the head but was making the fight harder than it needed to be. With Farmer right there in front of him Fonseca did enough to make it a close round.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 98-92
A round for Fonseca. He was able to march forward scoring with stiff jabs and landed a flush left hook. He had more success with the jabs and landed a straight right. Farmer moved in close but stayed there without punching and Fonseca scored with a burst of punches.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 107-102
Farmer outboxed Fonesca he was constantly moving then jumping in with two or three punches then off again before Fonseca could counter. When Fonseca did corner Farmer he held and then was off again and he closed the fight with a flurry of punches.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 117-111
Official scores: 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111 for Farmer.
Not a difficult defence for Farmer against the strong but limited Fonseca. Since the final eliminator between Guillame Frenois and Jonno Carroll ended in a draw Farmer does not have a mandatory challenger but it could be that Carroll will get the title shot. It seems very strange that the 28-year-old from Philadelphia went a modest 7-4-1 at the start of his career and has since registered 20 wins and one No Decision. The No Decision was a loss to Kenichi Ogawa in December 2017 for the vacant IBF title but that loss was changed to a No Decision when Ogawa tested positive for a banned substance. Fonseca was knocked out in eight rounds by Gervonta Davis in a fight for this same vacant title in 2017 and was never in the fight here.
Ali vs. Herrera
Ali climbs back onto the saddle after being violently thrown off by Jamie Munguia in May. The “World Kid” took a good level opponent in Herrera an experienced fighter but who is on the cusp of a slide. Ali was quicker and busier if a bit sloppy at times. He did some good work to the body early and Herrera improved once he had shed seven months of rust but Ali never really relinquished control of the fight. He looked to hurt Herrera with a body punch in the seventh but other than that never looked likely to win inside the distance. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Ali. It has been a crazy eighteen months for Ali beating Miguel Cotta in July 2017 and then getting blown away by Munguia in May so he will be aiming for a defeat-free 2019.Californian Herrera, 38, a former interim WBA champion, had won his two fights in 2017 but this was his first fight sixteen months.
Garcia vs. Rodriguez
Garcia continues to climb and to impress. In a lively opening round they exchanged punches until a left hook from Garcia deposited Rodriguez on his rump. He beat the count and saw out the round but Garcia continued to land regularly in the second. A low punch from Garcia gave Rodriguez a break in the third but later in the round a right from Garcia powered Rodriguez into the ropes and it could be argued that he should have been given a count as it looked as though the ropes were holding him up. The fourth was another painful round for Rodriguez and after he was floored by a right to the head in the fifth the referee stopped the fight. The 20-year-old “The Flash” turned pro at 17 and already has wins over credible opposition in Jayson Velez and Carlos Morales. This is his fourteenth win by KO/TKO and he is No 4 with the WBO. Dominican Rodriguez suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO having been stopped in four rounds by WBO title challenger Chris Diaz in March.
Roach vs. Mercado
Roach outboxes Mercado in the third defence of his WBO International title. Southpaw Mercado made an aggressive start and was competitive over the first three rounds. From there Roach controlled the fight with his superior skill set and harder punch. As Roach picked up the pace and scored with slick counters Mercado began to fade out of the fight. Roach increased his punch output and took the fight to Mercado over the closing rounds. Mercado rallied in the last but it was far too late for him to affect the outcome. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Roach. He is No 5 with the WBO. The draw on his record was against former WBO lightweight title challenger Orlando Cruz. Puerto Rican Mercado was 13-0-1 in his first 14 fights before losing to Jayson Velez last year but had outscored useful Jose Nieves in March this year.
Akkawy vs. Fonseca
Australian hope Akkawy overpowers Fonseca for a late stoppage. This one was mainly a close-quarters battle with the boxers willing to stand and exchange punches with very little footwork on show. Akkawy was stronger and had the harder punch. Fonseca did not back away but was slowly being ground down. Akkawy shrugged off Fonseca’s punches and was landing more and heavier shots. Fonseca fought hard but he was throwing less and absorbing more and the refereed decided he had taken enough and halted the fight in the seventh. Akkawy,25, the WBA No 8, has nine consecutive wins behind him now including victories over Kerry Hope and former holder of the secondary WBA title Giovanni De Carolis. Mexican Fonseca, also 25, had won his last eight fights.
Ulysse vs. Becerra
Canadian Ulysse floors Becerra twice on the way to a wide unanimous victory. The first two rounds were fairly even with Becerra working well with his jab and Ulysse quicker and showing good movement. From the third Ulysse stepped-up his pace and was connecting with hard punches to head and body rocking Becerra with a left hook in the fourth. He continued to ramp up the pressure and dropped Becerra to a knee in the sixth, the first time Becerra had been down in his career. Another knockdown followed in the seventh but Ulysse just could not find the punch to close the fight early and had to settle for a points victory. Scores 78-72 twice and 79-71 for Ulysse. The slick 30-year-old from Montreal lost his unbeaten tag when being outpointed by Steve Claggett on a split decision in October last year but in his last two fights had beaten 21-0 Cletus Seldin and 25-0-1 Ernesto Espana which garnered for him the WBC No 6 spot, No 11 (9) with the IBF and No 12 with the WBO. Californian Becerra had won his last eight fights.
Kiev, Ukraine: Fly: Artem Dalakian (18-0) W TKO 6 Gregorio Lebron (21-5). Dalakian stops Lebron to retain his WBA title after an untidy, ugly fight with a controversial; ending.
Lebron was trying to take the fight to the champion but Dalakian was too quick for him skipping away from Lebron's punches and darting in quickly and landing a couple of punches. Lebron who finally landed a solid right hook before the bell.
Score 10-9 Dalakian
Lebron was stalking Dalakian for much of the second round. Lebron landed a right and a left to the body but Dalakian was coming up short with his punches. As Lebron came forward again Dalakian met him with a short right hook and Lebron went down. It was not a heavy knockdown and Lebron bounced up immediately and after the eight count drove forward throwing punches. Dalakian danced out of the way before landing a sharp uppercut.
Score 10-8 Dalakian Dalakian 20-17
This really was a terrible fight. Dalakian would leap in land a punch and then hold until prised off Lebron then do the same thing again. Dalakian wrestled Lebron to the floor three times in the round and Lebron was swinging wild wide punches in his frustration with the few punches Dalakian landed giving him the round
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 30-26
Another poor round. Dalakian is very quick and very slippery and Lebron just could not pin him down. Every Lebron attack finished with him missing the target and Dalakian clinching until the referee prised him off. He landed a couple of punches but no more and wrestled Lebron to the floor twice more.
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 40-35
Another round of Lebron swinging wildly in frustration and Dalakian just too mobile and too tricky for him. Dalakian was doing what little scoring there was but again there was more clinching than punching
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 50-44
Lebron rushed in again at the start of the round and a half punch half push sent him down and he was given count. Lebron protested and after the count he tried to fling himself at Dalakian who grabbed his arm swung him around off balance and threw him to the floor. No count and no warning for Dalakian. When Lebron tried another rush Dalakian nailed him with a right counter and another right which sent Lebron to his knees. He was hurt but up quickly. He went after Dalakian who trapped Lebron’s arm and twisted and threw him down yet again. Next time Lebron plunged forward Dalakian landed a sharp counter. Lebron went backwards but put his gloves down to avoid going down and pushed himself straight back up. As usual Lebron walked away during the count but turned back to face the referee only for the referee to continue to count to eight and then waive the fight over. Lebron was not in any real trouble and the referee did not even ask him to show he was steady on his feet-which he was. If it was because of the three knockdowns then the fight should have been stopped when Lebron went down. Even Dalakian looked puzzled by the stoppage. Dalakian retains the WBA title for the second time. He was streets ahead of Lebron in skill and would probably stopped Lebron in another two or three rounds but this was a bizarre decision by the referee. The 31-year-old Azeri-born Dalakian’s style is not an entertaining one. He buzzes around leaping in with one or two punches and then holds as he did on numerous occasions in this fight and often wrestles his man down. Great skills but you would have to be an Azeri, a Ukrainian or a relative to enjoy his fights. Lebron, 36 was a weak challenger. He had not faced a rated fighter for more than two years but was No 3 with the WBA. He lacked the speed to pose any threat to Dalakian
December 14Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Jayde Mitchell (18-1) W PTS 10 Kim Poulsen (28-5): Middle: Tej Pratap Singh (14-4-2,1ND) W TKO 4 Jason Leuken (7-1).
Mitchell vs. Poulsen
Mitchell much too good for visitor Poulsen and wins wide unanimous decision. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. Mitchell tried hard to walk the Dane down but Poulsen seemed bent on survival and was no sort of test for Mitchell. Now 13 wins in a row for 32-year-old Mitchell who is No 10 with the WBA and the WBC. He will be hoping to get a title fight in 2019. In the crazy world of the WBA Mitchell was making the fifth defence of the WBA Oceania “interim” title. Perhaps the WBA don’t have an English dictionary to explain what interim means but they are reportedly solving that problem by dropping the interim world titles and replacing it with Gold titles. Now that they don’t have to invent a reason for having an interim title and they can now quickly get another 17 Gold titles. Poulsen, 31, was 26-1 in his first 27 fights before losing to Anthony Yigit in 2015 but is now 2-3 since then. He said that he suffered a broken thumb in this fight but had no complaints at all about the result.
Singh vs. Leuken
Southpaw Singh wins the vacant Australian title with fourth round stoppage of Leuken. He gets his eighth win by KO/TKO and is now 5-0,1ND in his last six fights. Leuken was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and had won his last two fights.
Edmonton, Canada: Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (22-0) W TKO 5 Adrian Luna (21-6-1). Bazinyan rolls on as he turns over Luna in five rounds. The 23-year-old Armenian-born Bazinyan punished Luna heavily over the first three rounds and then put him down three times in the fourth. Luna came out for the fifth but strong, accurate punches from Bazinyan had him in trouble again and the referee stopped the fight. Bazinyan retains the WBA-NABA and WBO-NABO titles and now has 17 wins by KO/TKO. He moved to Quebec with his family when he was 16 and won the Canadian Golden Gloves title in 2013. He is rated WBO 4/WBA 12 with his best wins so far being over Francy Ntetu and 32-2 David Zegarra. Luna suffers his second loss by KO/TKO but has gone the distance with Ryota Murata and unbeaten D’Mitrius Ballard
Budapest, Hungary: Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (9-0) W KO 3 Islam Teffahi (21-6-2,1ND). Super Feather: Zoltan Kovacs (23-5-1) W PTS 8 Levani Tsiklauri (11-6-1).
Bacskai vs. Teffahi
Bacskai finds southpaw Teffahi a slippery opponent in the first round as the Tunisian ducked and dived and kept moving with Bacskai having difficulty in finding the target. He began to get through with some heavy punches in the second flooring Teffahi. The visitor kept out of trouble for the rest of the round but was ready to go in the third. Bacskai was forcing him along the ropes with Teffahi stabbing out trying to get off the ropes but Bacskai stayed on top of him. In the end it was a capitulation. Bacskai landed a series of head punches and Teffahi purposefully edged his way along the ropes to a corner and then dropped and sat out the count. With not having turned pro until he was 29 Bacskai is on borrowed time. He was an outstanding amateur being Hungarian champion eight years in a row. He was also a World Youth champion and won gold medals at the European Union and European Championships but did not hand in his vest until after the 2016 Olympics. Teffahi is better than he showed here. He had a run of ten wins and a draw through to October 2016 and this was his first fight since then.
Kovacs vs. Tsiklauri
Kovacs has a tougher time than anticipated against Georgian Tsiklauri. “Caramel” Kovacs was busier and had a sounder defence than Tsiklauri but never took control of the fight and needed a strong finish as it was close going into the last two rounds. Scores77-75 twice and 78-74 for Kovacs. The last defeat Kovacs suffered was a points loss to Mitchell Smith in 2014. Since then he is 12-0-1. Tsiklauri has been a busy boy and is now 4-5-1 in his ten fights in 2018.
Rome, Italy: Super Middle: Giovanni De Carolis (26-9-1) W Dragan Lepei 16-1-2). Experience won this one as De Carolis outpoints Lepei to win the vacant WBC International title. De Carolis floored Lepei with a left hook in the second round and that meant Lepei was in catch-up mode after that. Lepei forced the fight and had the harder punch but the clever movement and range of punches from De Carolis always kept the veteran in front. Lepei’s success came when he could pin De Carolis to the ropes and he managed that often enough to make the fight close but De Carolis found the target continually with his jab and used it also keep Lepei off balance. Scores 116-111, 115-112 and 115-113. De Carolis looked to have won clearly with perhaps the first score the best reflection of the fight but Lepei was always pressing and always dangerous. Now 34. De Carolis is a former holder of the secondary WBA title and enjoyed a purple patch when he stopped Vincent Feigenbutz and drew with Tyron Zeuge in fights for the secondary WBA title in 2016. He has fallen away since then going 1-3 in his next four fights. He has rebounded this year by winning the Italian title and now the prestigious WBC International title. Italian-based Romanian Lepei won the Italian title after De Carolis relinquished it and had won his last eight fights.
Krasnodar, Russia: Light: Aik Shakhnazaryan (23-2) W PTS 12 Fedor Papazov (21-3).Welter: Shohjahon Ergashev (15-0) W KO 1 Nazareno Gaston Ruiz (32-18,1ND). Light Heavy: Sergei Ekimov (18-0) W PTS 8 Stanislav Kashtanov (36-4).
Shakhnazaryan vs. Papazov
Shakhnazaryan takes split verdict over Papazov in an entertaining close fight. Papazov was aggressive from the start against the taller Shakhnazaryan. He was using a high guard and blocking many of the quick bursts of punches from Papazov and also showed some smart footwork. It was quantity vs. quality as Papazov kept firing punches with most being picked off by Shakhnazaryan who was throwing less but was much more accurate. Shakhnazaryan increased his punch output as the fight progressed and he was much quicker getting through with jabs and hooks and getting out before Papazov could counter. It was a fast-paced very open fight with both looking to get their punches off and neither looking to clinch. Papazov continued to roll forward but the pace was telling on him and Shakhnazaryan was standing and trading more. Papazov launched some ferocious attacks in the tenth but was wild with some of his punches. The pace dropped in the eleventh but Shakhnazaryan scored with a couple of wicked left hooks to the body and then beckoned for Papazov to stand and fight. Papazov chased hard in the last landing some good rights but Shakhnazaryan was again the one landing the quality shots. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 Shakhnazaryan and 115-113 for Papazov. Shakhnazaryan wins the vacant IBF International and WBA Continental titles but this had been a close fight all the way with every round strongly contested. Armenian-born Russian Shakhnazaryan, 25, was 15-0 until he suffered consecutive losses in 2015 against Abner Lopez and then against Eduard Troyanovsky for the vacant IBO super light title. He has now won eight in a row with useful victories over Javier Clavero, Al Rivera and DeMarcus Corley and was WBC No 12 at super light. Papazov, 33, had lost to Petr Petrov and Miguel Angel Gonzalez but had won his last five fights going into this one.
Ergashev vs. Ruiz
Ergashev blitzes poor Ruiz and puts him down twice and out in just 18 seconds. Ergashev rushed across the ring pinned Ruiz to the ropes and landed a bust of punches that put Ruiz down just six seconds into the fight. Ruiz beat the count but was driven into a corner and another series of punches saw him pitch face first down to the canvas with the referee just waiving the fight off at the 18 second mark. The 27-year-old Uzbek southpaw now has 14 wins by KO/TKO with nine first round finishes. Former Argentinian lightweight champion Ruiz loses inside the distance for only the third time.
Ekimov vs. Kashtanov
Ekimov wins the Russian title with points victory over Kashtanov. Ekimov was the busier with Kashtanov tending to throw just one punch at a time. Ekimov forced the fight for much of the time putting Kashtanov on the back foot with strong jabs. Kashtanov increased his work rate in the third and was having a good round until after just one minute into the round two lefts to the body dropped him to his knees. He was up at nine with Ekimov pounding away at him until Ekimov punched himself out and Kashtanov made it to the bell. From there Kashtanov was taking the fight to Ekimov and it was Ekimov who spent much of the time on the back foot. Kashtanov pressed to the end and made the fight close.. Scores 78-73 and 78-74 for Ekimov and 77-75 for Kashtanov.
London, England: Super Light: Akeem Ennis Brown (12-0) W PTS 10 Darragh Foley (15-3-1). Welter: Larry Ekundayo (15-1) W PTS 10 Louis Greene (9-0).
Brown vs. Foley
Brown takes a big step up in quality of opposition and gets unanimous decision over Foley. This fight was not a thing of beauty as their respective styles did not mesh. Brown was taller with a big edge in reach and used that advantage well over the first couple of rounds. Folley had his first real success with a southpaw left in the third but Brown was shaken but not stirred and stuck to his boxing despite Foley’s attempts to get under his skin. As the action heated up a punch from Foley dislodged Brown’s mouthguard in the fourth and he continued to take the fight to Brown. Brown showed maturity in continuing to work with his jab and counters. The fight was untidy at times with too much wrestling. Brown continued to land cleanly and although Brown is not a big puncher Foley’s face was swollen with the punishment. The Irishman attacked strongly over the closing rounds but Brown was more composed and accurate and was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Brown. The 23-year-old from Gloucester, already a former undefeated English champion, wins the vacant IBF European title. He has wins over former Commonwealth champion Glenn Foot and useful Chris Jenkins and with Foley No 5 with the WBA should now find himself in the world rating. Kent-born Foley turned pro in Australia winning the Australian and OPBF titles as well as some other localised sanctioning body baubles. Things have not gone well for him since fighting in Britain as he has had a technical draw and this loss but he took the Brown fight at just five weeks notice so will hope to gets some wins in 2019.
Ekundayo vs. Greene
Ekundayo boxes his way to victory over an aggressive but less skilled Greene. Nigerian-born Ekundayo was more accurate and much quicker. Greene came to win and piled forward looking dangerous with heavy rights but Ekundayo controlled the action with a steady stream of jabs and some hurtful left hooks. Ekundayo was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the third and Greene lost a point for some dangerous head work in the fourth. Greene’s aggression saw him edge a couple of rounds but other than that it was Ekundayo’s fight. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91 for Ekundayo who retains his IBF European title. The 36-year-old Londoner lost an important fight when dropping a split decision to Gary Corcoran in July last year with Corcoran then getting a big money fight with Jeff Horn. This is Ekundayo’s third fight since then. Greene, the BBB of C Southern Area champion just found Ekundayo a step too far.
Villa de Maria del Rico Seco, Argentina: Welter: Jorge Barrios (51-4-1) W TKO 8 Adailton De Jesus (31-9). Former WBO super feather champion Barrios returns to the ring with a win. Both fighters had been out of the ring for a long time but Barrios was sharper than De Jesus. After winning the first two rounds Barrios floored De Jesus in the third. Both fighters were slow and missing more than they were landing. Barrios took the fourth and fifth and a body punch in the sixth saw De Jesus go down on one knee. Barrios tried hard to finish it in the seventh but he was inaccurate with his punches and De Jesus made it into the eighth. It was a strange ending. Barrios landed a couple of body punches then a left hook that rocked De Jesus back on his heels and although he was not taking a great deal of punishment the referee just decided it was too one-sided and stopped the fight. This was the first fight in ten years for Barrios. Whilst driving and texting he ran down and killed a 20-year-old pregnant woman and left the scene of the accident. He was jailed in 2012 but was out on bail just three weeks later and it was not until 2014 he was finally sent to jail and then for less than four years. At 42 I can’t see him making any impression and I have no sympathy for him. De Jesus, 41, was having his first fight since November 2013.
Hamburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Sven Fornling (15-1) W PTS 12 Karo Murat (32-4-1).Super Welter: Sebastian Formella (20-0) W PTS 10 Bethuel Ushona (36-7-1).Heavy: Christian Hammer (24-5) W KO 5 Michael Wallisch (19-1). Super Middle: Juergen Braehmer (50-3) W TKO 5 Pablo Zamora (33-17-1).
Fornling vs. Murat
Swede Fornling scores an upset win over WBA/WBC No 3 Murat to become the IBO champion. Fornling was boxing smoothly from the start. He had height and reach over Murat and used a sharp accurate jab and some crisp rights to counter the advancing Murat. One of those right counters fired with laser-like accuracy put Murat down in the first round. He was up quickly and crowded Fornling who continued to pump out the jab and fire straight rights. Just before the bell Murat landed a punch on the break that floored Fornling and he was given a stern warning. Murat turned things around completely in the second connecting with hooks and uppercuts and driving Fornling around the ring. The Swede looked in trouble at times but was still there at the bell. Fornling took the third and fourth with some clever boxing on the back foot with Murat unable to cut off the ring but Murat managed to land some heavy hooks in the fifth. Fornling dominated the sixth. Still on the back foot he was threading jabs through Murat’s defence and scoring with quick bursts of punches. Murat seemed to have a problem with his left shoulder. He closed the distance more in the seventh but Fornling kept finding gaps and simply outboxed Murat in the eighth and bounced punch after punch of Murat’s head in the ninth and tenth with Murat just too slow to be a threat but again there were signs he had injured his left shoulder. Murat put in a big effort in the eleventh and had Fornling reeling from heavy rights but a punch to the back of the Swede’s head cost him a point deduction. He continued to pound Fornling landing some big head punches that had Fornling in trouble but his attack was interrupted by the bell. Murat launched a furious attack in the twelfth firing punches with both hands and a right sent a retreating Fornling to the floor. The Swede was up quickly and although a one-armed Murat literally chased him around the ring it was a lost cause. Scores 115-110 twice and 116-109 all for Fornling. Un upset but the Swede showed good skills and speed and accuracy. He is an arm puncher with no real leverage but showed with the first round knockdown that he has some power. After that second round blitz when he had Fornling in deep trouble Murat just fell away. As the rounds went by he was using his left less and less and that contributed to his poor performance.
Formella vs. Ushona
Formella outpoints veteran Ushona. Formella was younger and quicker than Ushona. He used plenty of movement stabbing home strong jabs. Ushona showed some good defensive work and was dangerous with counters. Formella shook Ushona a couple of times in the second and set a very fast pace. He was hunting Ushona around the ring and Ushona spent more time against the ropers as the fight progressed. Formella landed some big rights in the ninth and tenth as he looked to try to finish a tiring Ushona but the Namibian absorbed them and landed some good counters of his own. Formella also put in a big effort in the eleventh and twelfth but Ushona used his experience to duck and weave his way out of trouble and even stopped Formella in his tracks with a strong uppercut in the eleventh. Scores 119-110 twice and 117-111. The WBO No 8 Formella has yet to meet a real test but he showed some smart skills. Ushona, 36, is now 2-4 in his last six fights.
Hammer vs. Wallisch
Hammer wins the vacant WBO European title under bizarre circumstance having Wallisch counted out twice in the fight. The 6’5” Wallisch tried to use his longer reach to keep Hammer out in the first but Hammer was rumbling forward getting inside with clubbing hooks. Wallisch just did not have the power to keep Hammer out in the second and Hammer was roughing Wallisch up on the inside and thumping him with more hooks. Wallisch finally decided to just stand and trade punches at the end of the third and they both landed heavy shots but Wallisch looked unsteady at the bell. In the fourth as they both bent forward to throw a punch their heads collided. Wallisch dropped to his knees and Hammer walked away holding and shaking his head. The referee proceeded to count Wallisch out and Hammer started celebrating with people entering the ring. Wallisch’s corner protested that it was wrong that their man should lose from a clash of heads and after much discussion it was agreed that the ring would be cleared and the fight would restart at the fourth round again. In the “new” fourth Hammer continued to roll forward and he staggered Wallisch with an uppercut but the bell went before he could build on that but Wallisch looked a beaten fighter as he returned to his corner. In the fifth Hammer drove Wallisch along the ropes. Wallisch bent over trying to avoid the punches. Hammer then pushed him further down and with Wallisch bent in half with both gloves almost touching the canvas Hammer landed a right uppercut. Wallisch stood up with his arms wide protesting the punch and as Hammer moved in again Wallisch dropped to sit on his haunches propped up against the ropes and just watched the referee count to ten. Romanian Hammer has beaten both David Price and Erkan Teper but lost a wide decision against Alex Povetkin. This win will put him in the WBO ratings. Wallisch was exposed. He has very little power and has been fed a diet of the usual suspects. He simply folded here.
Braehmer vs. Zamora
Just a gentle bit of sparring for Braehmer. He was in a totally different league to the Argentinian. Zamora hardly took a forward step. He was hounded around the ring for round after round. He showed guts to soak up the punishment but he was too slow and it was really just paid sparring for Braehmer. Zamora’s corner mercifully threw in the towel in the fifth round. Braehmer, now 40, is the mandatory challenger to European super middle champion Robin Krasniqi. He beat Krasniqi when they were both light heavies. First Krasniqi has a voluntary defence against Stefan Haertel then the winner has to face Braehmer. Four losses by KO/TKO for 37-year-old Zamora in his last five fights.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Heavy: Joseph Parker (25-2) W KO 3 Alex Flores (17-2-1). Heavy: Junior Fa (16-0) W TKO 1 Rogelio Rossi (20-7-1). Welter: Bowyn Morgan (19-1,1ND) W TKO 3 Sebastian Singh (11-3-1).Cruiser: David Light (11-0) W TKO 2 Lance Bryant (12-6).
Parker vs. Flores
Parker ends a disappointing year with a win .Parker was taking the fight to Flores from the opening bell. He was forcing Flores to the ropes and throwing lefts and rights to the head. Flores showed a useful jab and tried some right crosses but Parker did enough to win the round. Parker took Flores to a corner at the start of the second and threw plenty of punches. Some got through, some were blocked and some were low. Flores moved to the centre of the ring and stood and traded with Parker with the New Zealander scoring with some heavy rights. Parker continued to force Flores back and scored with a couple of heavy rights to the head but again some of his other punches slipped low. Another low punch just before the bell saw Flores given some very brief recovery time. Parker pinned Flores to the ropes at the start of the third. Again he landed a couple of good head punches but also a low left hook. This time the referee issued Parker with a warning. Flores did some good work with his jab until Parker took him to the ropes. Parker landed two low punches and then a big right to the head that dropped Flores to his knees. He made it to his feet but with Flores on the ropes Parker landed seven consecutive head punches which dropped Flores on his back under the bottom rope and half way out of the ring. A devastating finish but a controversial one due to the number of low punches from Parker. After his losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in 2018 Parker will be looking to rebuild over the next twelve months in some big fights and at 26 he has time to do just that. Flores showed a useful jab but was never really in the fight. This was only his second fight in 22 months but there is plenty of work around for heavyweights now.
Fa vs. Rossi
Fa wipes out Rossi inside a round. Rossi was down very early in the round but it was ruled a slip. From there Fa backed Rossi into a corner and landed a wicked right which dumped Rossi on the floor and the referee immediately stopped the fight. All finished in 86 seconds. Fa beat Parker twice in the amateurs with one of those losses ruining Parker’s chance of getting to the London Olympics. Parker has been trying to get a chance at revenge but Fa is looking towards more fights in the USA. The 6’5”, 250lbs Fa, 29, has nine wins by KO/TKO. Rossi suffers his sixth loss by KO/TKO. He was knocked by Marco Huck in a challenge for the WBO cruiser title in 2011but is now 3-5 in his last 8 fights.
Morgan vs. Singh
Morgan much too talented for Singh and gets the stoppage in the third. Against southpaw Singh Morgan made good use of his jab in the first with Singh looking to land single heavier punches. Morgan found another gear in the second. He was switching guards to confuse Singh and put him on the back foot. Morgan dropped Singh with a series of punches and although Singh beat the count he was swamped by a hail of punches and the fight was stopped. This was to have been a defence of Morgan’s New Zealand title but Singh was overweight. Morgan, 29, has now won his last 12 fights and has nine wins by KO/TKO. He was New Zealand amateur champion and competed at both the Commonwealth Championships and Commonwealth Games. Fijian Singh was 5-0-1 going into this fight.
Light vs. Bryant
Former top amateur Light registers another inside the distance win. After being cut in a head clash in the first round Light staggered Bryant with a right in the second. He then continued to pound Bryant almost driving out of the ring until the referee halted the fight. Eighth win by KO/TKO for 27-year-old Light. He was New Zealand amateur champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Third loss in a row for fellow New Zealander Bryant
Brisbane, Australia: Super Welter: Dennis Hogan (27-1-1) W Jamie Weetch (12-2). Super Middle: Rohan Murdock (23-1) W Rolando Mansilla (14-5-1).
Hogan vs. Weetch
Hogan stays busy as he waits for a shot at Jamie Munguia. The Australian-based Irishman was cementing his No 1 spot with the WBO by defending their Oriental title for the fourth time. Despite his relative lack of experience Weetch made a confident start landing some good rights early. In the third a right from Weetch had Hogan in some discomfort and that sounded a wake-up call for the Irishman. He began to unload some heavy punches to head and body and a right to the body had Weetch in trouble in the fifth. Hogan continued to score heavily over the next four rounds. Weetch came back into the fight in the tenth and eleventh but knowing he had the fight won Hogan settled for boxing his way through the twelfth. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 for Hogan. Since losing to Jack Culcay for the interim WBA title in 2015 Hogan has won six on the bounce by decision but whether he has the power to match Munguia remains to be seen. The Welsh-born Perth-based Weetch lost his IBF Pan Pacific title in this fight and had a ten-bout winning streak snapped.
Murdock vs. Mansilla
Murdock outpoints Argentinian Mansilla in an entreating fight. Mansilla had a good first round as he showed he intended to stand and fight against the aggressive Murdock. The Australian outworked Mansilla over the next three rounds and although Mansilla looked dangerous with counters he was not able to match the punch or pace of Murdock. Mansilla’s output decreased considerably over the second half of the fight but with the open aggressive style of Murdock he was able to land some decent punches of his own but Murdock kept up the pressure and took the wide unanimous decision. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Murdock who collects the vacant WBO Oriental title and his 21st win in a row. The 26-year-old Australian is rated WBO 5/IBF 15(14). Mansilla drops to 3-5 in his last 8 contests.
Brentwood, England: Super Fly: Sunny Edwards (10-0) W PTS 10 Junior Granados (16-6-1). Welter: Diego Ramirez (17-2) W TKO 2 Bradley Skeete (28-3).
Edwards vs. Granados
Edwards continues to impress. The South London prospect had an early shock when he found himself on the floor in the second round of his fight against Mexican Granados. It was the first time Edwards had been down as an amateur or a professional but he quickly shrugged that off. Edwards comprehensively out boxed Granados from there and was never really in any trouble again. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-91 for the 22-year-old Edwards who wins the vacant WBO International title. He is the brother of former world title challenger Charlie Edwards. In the amateurs he was English and British Youth champion and won a gold medal at the ABA Elite Championships. Granados was a risky choice. He had floored world rated Jamie Conlan twice before losing a close decision and outpointed tough Filipino Aston Palicte who drew with Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO super fly title in September.
Ramirez vs. Skeete
Second disaster in a terrible year for Bradley Skeete. He was facing a late substitute who although he had good looking statistics had won only four fights inside the distance. Skeete boxed comfortably in the first and seemed to be doing the same in the second when he was nailed by a thumping left hook from the Argentinian southpaw. He hit the canvas on his back but managed to climb to his feet. He was on wobbly legs but allowed to continue. Ramirez jumped on him driving Skeete across the ring with Skeete trying desperate to hold on. He finished up with his head out through the ropes and when he straightened up was still unsteady and the fight was stopped. When the year started Skeete was world rated and British champion with only one loss in his 28 fights and wins over top flight domestic opposition. April saw him knocked out in two rounds by Kerman Lejarraga for the vacant European title. That could be explained away as Lejarraga was a world rated opponent. Ramirez was No 5 in Argentina but was coming off a points loss against 9-1 Demian Fernandez. Huge shock and a huge blow for Skeete. Ramirez will hope to get some attractive matches after the high profile win.
Charleroi, Belgium: Cruiser: Ryad Merhy (27-1) W KO 4 Samuel Clarkson (21-5). Light: Abraham Nova (14-0) W PTS 8 Brian Pelaez (8-3). Light Heavy: Timur Nikarkhoev (19-2) W RTD 4 Guillermo Andino (13-6).
Merhy vs. Clarkson
Merhy makes it three wins in a row since losing to Arsen Goulamirian for the interim WBA title in March with stoppage of Clarkson. Marhy took the first two rounds although Clarkson did enough to make them close. Clarkson threw plenty of punches at the start of the third. Merhy had no trouble avoiding them. Clarkson bundled Marhy to the ropes but a quick right to the body put Clarkson down on his back. He did not move until the count reached five but then got up quickly and the fight continued. Merhy cornered Clarkson and put him down for the second time with a couple of head punches. Clarkson again beat the count and moved and punched back enough to hold off Merhy to the bell. In the fourth Merhy landed a couple of body punches then put Clarkson over with a right. Clarkson managed to get up but the referee stopped the fight. The Ivory Coast born Merhy, 26, now has 22 wins by KO/TKO and is No 3 with the WBA so could figure in a world title challenge in 2019. Texan southpaw Clarkson was a very useful 12-1 in his last 13 fights with the loss being against Dmitry Bivol for the interim WBA title in 2017.
Nova vs. Pelaez
Highly-touted Puerto Rican prospect “El Super” Nova collects a unanimous points victory over Spaniard Pelaez. Nova forced the fight all the way and handed out some serious punishment. Pelaez was only rarely able to get off the ropes. He absorbed some damaging shots but kept firing back. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-75. The 24-year-old Nova is a former New York Golden Gloves and US National champion. He won numerous International Tournaments but just lost out to Gary Russell for a spot on the US Team for Rio. He comes from a boxing family as four of his brothers and his father all boxed. One to note. Pelaez had won his last seven fights.
Nikarkhoev vs. Andino
Belgian-based Russian Nikarkhoev moves to 9-1 in his last 10 fights after halting Argentinian Andino in four rounds. Nikarkhoev dominated the action with the fleshy looking Andino just doing enough to stay in the fight. He took some serious punishment throughout the fourth and retired at the end of the round. Fourteenth win by KO/TKO for Nikarkhoev third loss this year for Andino.
Toronto, Canada: Welter: Samuel Vargas (30-4-2) W PTS 10 Gabriel Pereiro (27-1). Middle: Steve Rolls (19-0) W PTS 10 KeAndrae Leatherwood (21-6-1). Super Light: Dierry Jean (31-2-1) W TKO 1 Noe Nunez (18-7-2). Super Light: Movladdin Biyarslanov (1-0) W KO 1 Ernesto Sanchez (3-6)
Vargas vs. Pereiro
Canadian-based Colombian Vargas returns to the ring for the first time since his loss to Amir Khan and outclasses Argentinian Pereiro in a fight where the rules were occasionally left in the corners. Vargas won this one all the way. Pereiro did some clowning in the first and was warned for punches to the back of the head. Vargas floored Pereiro with a right in the second and continued to pound Pereiro. The Argentinian actually bit Vargas twice and had a point deducted in both the seventh and ninth rounds for holding. Both complained about low punches from the other in a nasty fight but Vargas was a clear winner even without the two deductions. Scores 99-88 twice and 100-87 for Vargas. He was making the second defence of his NABA title and is No 13 with the WBA. Although losing to Khan by flooring the former champion Vargas boosted his profile and he will be looking for some big fights in 2019. Pereiro, 40, finally has a real fight and against a live opponent-and loses.
Rolls vs. Leatherwood
Leatherwood was certainly a live opponent for Rolls but the Toronto fighter kept rolling forward with a unanimous points victory which garnered for him the vacant IBF-USBA title. Scores 99-91 twice and 96-94. Rolls is already No 15 with the IBF so this should boost his rating. He has wins over Damian Bonelli and Demond Nicholson. Rolls, 34, was twice Canadian amateur champion and represented Canada at the World Championships in 2009 but lost to Vijender Singh in the third series. When he handed in his amateur vest he had a 83-14 record. Leatherwood has met some good quality opposition taking Andy Lee the distance and losing also to Caleb Truax.
Jean vs. Nunez
Jean continues his comeback with a quick win. He floored Nunez late in the second and although Nunez got up his legs were wobbling and it was all over. After losing to Terrence Crawford for the WBO super light title in 2015 and drawing with Ricky Sismundo in May 2016 Jean did not fight again until halting Abraham Gomez in September this year. The 36-year-old Haitian-born Canadian makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. Nunez is now 0-3 in fights in Canada.
Biyarslanov vs. Sanchez
Biyarslanov, one of the best amateurs in Canada over the last few years, turns pro and wipes out poor Sanchez inside a round. “The Chechen Wolf” briefly studied Sanchez and then cornered the Mexican. He softened him up with a left to the ribs and then put him down and out with a right to the head. The 23-year-old southpaw was born in Chechen but moved with his family first to Azerbaijan and then at the age of ten to Canada. As an amateur he was three-time Canadian champion, competed at the World Youth Championships, competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, won a gold medal at the 2015 PanAmerican Games and was the only Canadian boxer to qualify for the 2016 Games in Rio but did not medal there. Certainly one of the brightest prospect in Canadian boxing. Second loss by KO/TKO for Sanchez.
Yubei, China: Super Light: Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-2-1) W TKO 7 Ernesto Espana (26-2-1). After an incident filled first round Nasiyiwula goes on to win a technical decision. Early in the opening round Espana put Nasiyiwula on the floor but when the action restarted a clash of heads saw Espana badly cut over his right eye. He managed to pass a doctor’s inspection but was then floored by a left from Nasiyiwula. From the start of the second Nasiyiwula went on the back foot letting Espana bring the fight to him and countering. It was very negative and did not make for an entertaining fight. Espana’s cut was inspected again in the fourth but he was allowed to continue until another doctor’s review in the eighth saw the fight stopped and go to the cards with Nasiyiwula winning on scores of 68-64 twice and 68-63. The “Chinese Destroyer” wins the vacant WBC International title. Espana, 37, was 25-0-1 but is now 1-2 in his last 3 fights.
Ponferrada, Spain: Super Feather: Jon Fernandez (17-1) W RTD 3 Michael Marcano (17-2-1). After losing his unbeaten tag in a defeat by O’Shaquie Foster in Oklahoma Fernandez ended the year with a win. He floored Venezuelan Marcano with a right in the first but Marcano beat the count and was saved by the bell. Fernandez landed some heavy body punches in the second and floored Marcano again in the fourth with Marcano retiring at the end of the round. The tall 23-year-old from Bilbao has 15 wins by KO/TKO. His loss to Forster was a big disappointment for his Basque fans so he is hoping to get back on the winning track and look for a shot at title in 2019. Marcano’s other loss was a second round kayo by Miguel Roman in June. Marcano’s numbers look good but they hide some atrocious opposition with the 17guys he has beaten having only six wins between them.
Buenos Aires: Light: Jose Romero (20-0) W PTS 10 Gustavo Pereyra (11-11-4). An injury led to the main event falling though so Argentinian champion Romero was moved to the top fight on the show. Romero delivered in style here. Pereyra staggered Roman early with a left hook but Romero was connecting with left hooks to the body and in the second round a series of those punches saw Pereyra stagger and almost go down. The referee gave him a standing count and Pereyra was able to fight on. Romero had the harder punch and faster hands and was well on his way to a victory and wrapped it up when he staggered Pereyra with a straight right and landed another two body punches with the referee giving Pereyra another standing count. Pereyra made it the bell but Romero won on scores of 99-90, 98-90 and 98-91 ¼ and keeps his 100% record intact. Poor Pereyra has lost six of his last seven.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): The fight between Aik Shakhnazaryan provide plenty of action
Fight of the week (Significance): Saul Alvarez win over Rocky Fielding opens plenty of avenues for the Mexican star.
Fighter of the week: Gilberto Ramirez for his one-armed victory over Jesse Hart
Punch of the week: The thunderbolt left from Diego Ramirez the floored Bradley Skeete
Upset of the week: Sven Fornling beating world rated Karo Murat and Diego Ramirez stopping Bradley Skeete were unexpected
Prospect watch: Puerto Rican Abraham Nova 14-0
By Eric Armit
Sometimes a draw can be a fair reflection of a fight but it rarely satisfies either boxer and rarely settles anything. That is certainly the case for the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight. I thought Fury won by four points and it seems that the majority of observers-but not all- also thought Fury won. It is nice to feel you are in a majority but also irrelevant because in boxing the result is decided by three judges and not by popular vote. Effectively the draw in the Wilder vs. Fury fight meant that Wilder remained the WBC champion and Fury having relinquished the WBA and WBO titles in 2016, and been stripped off the IBF title the same year, had no title. The best thing for boxing would have been a win for either fighter which would almost certainly have guaranteed a fight with Anthony Joshua next year to unify the heavyweight title for the first time since 5 May 1989. On that date Mike Tyson held the IBF, WBA and WBC titles but on 6 May Francesco Damiani won the inaugural WBO title and no one has held all four titles since then. Up until Fury’s win over Wlad Klitschko Lennox Lewis and Klitschko were the only fighters to have held three of the four titles.
There is no guarantee of a unification fight in 2019. Already no one can be sure whether Wilder and Fury will go straight into a return match. The WBC after a unanimous vote of their Board of Governors ordering the rematch then fudged the issue by saying that if Wilder requested permission to fight Joshua in a unification fight they would vote again. It is also a fact that such a unification match is not solely in the WBC’s hands. It would need the WBO to ignore the claims to a fight with Joshua for their No 1 Dillian White-and the WBC to do the same as he is No 1 with them in their ratings published after the draw with Fury-and the IBF to let their No 1 Kubrat Pulev, who beat Hughie Fury in an eliminator, be by-passed and the WBA to do the same for secondary champion Manuel Charr and interim champion Trevor Bryan. It is a simple fact that despite what they may say none of the four sanctioning bodies want a unified title-in any division. The fans might want it and the media may want it but for commercial and prestige reasons each sanctioning body wants its own champion. After his win over Klitschko It took the IBF only ten days for them to find a reason to strip Fury of their title. There is no benefit whatsoever for a sanctioning body in a unified title.
As far as money is concerned the basic figures saw Wilder getting$4 million and Fury $3 million and as they were willing to fight each other for that then the favoured fight on money alone for Wilder must be Joshua. Wilder’s team had been willing to accept a flat fee of $15 million to fight Joshua last year and talked about offering Joshua $80 million. The Wilder vs. Fury fight was a great heavyweight fight so they would both expect to be paid a lot more for the return but there would be a lot more money on the table if they fought Joshua ‘
There was mention of Fury being the linear champion but I have problems with the “Linear” concept of “the man who beat the man”. For me if there is or has been a linear champion then when he retires that line is broken. If the linear champion is the holder of the WBC title then when he retires the WBC will nominate two fighters to fight for the WBC title. The supporters of the linear champion theory will have no say in who those fighters are so effectively the WBC will be the decision makers on the linear champion and if there are stronger IBF, WBO or WBA champions-stronger than the two the WBC nominate-then hard luck on them as the new WBC champion will be recognised as the linear champion irrespective of his quality. Olek Usyk is the first truly unified champion of the cruiser title since Evander Holyfield back in 1988 when there was no WBO and since Usyk’s first title was the WBO title then presumably when he gives up his cruiser titles the WBO will rule of who is the linear champion!
On the subject of titles the WBA went their usual mercenary way. They had more champions than titles at cruiser with Usyk as super champion, Beibut Shumenov as their secondary champion, Arsen Goulamirian as interim champion and Denis Lebedev as champion in recess. With Lebedev having escaped from “recess” they have invented yet another title for Goulamirian-he is no longer interim champion he is now Gold champion. Does that mean that having been interim world champion he drops the word “world” or is he now the WBA Gold World champion? A great idea by the WBA going for gold you might say. As of last month there are 118 elements listed in the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. Apart from gold silver and bronze there are beauties such as Praseodymium, Molybdenum and even Krypton (ite), which might scare their super champions, so plenty of scope for more titles for the WBA.
Let’s be fair to the WBA it was Jose Sulaiman who first introduced interim titles as well as things such as champion in recess and champion emeritus.
The very thought of any of the sanctioning bodies wanting to take the place of the AIBA is enough to send shivers down the back of any boxing lover. They have made a mockery of the concept of a world champion and it would be a disaster if they got any control over Olympic boxing.
If the rumours that the WBSS is in trouble and may go no further are true then it is a big loss for the fighters and the fans. There are no dates showing for the next round of the cruiserweight, super light or bantam semi-finals and there should have been by now. They have given us some great fights that would probably either not otherwise been made or taken a long time to put together. It has been a high quality product but also a very expensive one and the signs are not good.
It is a great pity that HBO has bowed out of boxing. Since 1973 they have featured so many great fights and fighters and they had a top quality boxing team. It is a mark of how the boxing world has changed in that the headline contests in the final HBO show featured two female world title fights. That was never even dreamed about as a possibility when HBO first started covering boxing. Boxers such as Claressa Shields, Cecilia Braekhus, Delfine Persoon, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Katie Taylor, Mariano Juarez, Yessica Bop, Chantelle Cameron, Eva Wahlstrom and others have already or are now building huge followings. The problem in the past has been a lack of depth and the wide gap between the top liners and the others but that is changing slowly.
Oscar Valdez will return to the ring in Tucson on 12 January putting his WBO featherweight title on the line with Spaniard Andoni Gago being mentioned as a possible challenger. It will be the first fight for Valdez since he suffered a broken jaw when defending the WBO title against Scott Quigg in March this year. Officially Gago is listed to fight champion Kiko Martinez for the European title with negotiations underway been the two parties so the Valdez fight is not yet nailed down.
The 2 February return match between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev should be an interesting one. At 35 it is a fight Kovalev can’t afford to lose
Keith Thurman will return to the ring on 16 January with a defence of his WBA welterweight title against Mexican Josesito Lopez in New York. It will be Thurman’s first fight since taking a split verdict over Danny Garcia in a title defence in March 2017
It is amazing how things sometimes turn out in boxing. Back in 2016 Jason Welborn must have wondered if he had a future when he lost on points to William Warburton who had 96 losses on his record. Yes 96! In December 2018 he was fighting in Los Angeles for the WBA and IBF world titles.
Sergey Derevyanchenko may get another shot at IBF champion Daniel Jacobs early next year. Derevyanchenko is No 4 with the IBF and they have ordered a fight with their highest rated challenger No 2 Jack Culcay (the No 1 slot is vacant). It would be a fight where Derevyanchenko would be a heavy favourite and as he is not currently in the WBA or WBO ratings and only No 10 with the WBC it would seem to offer his best chance to a title fight.
A WBO final eliminator between No 2 Shefat Isufi and No 3 Vincent Feigenbutz is set for 22 February to decide who gets the shot at the winner of Gilberto Ramirez vs. Jesse Hart WBO super middleweight title fight tonight. Whoever wins between Isufi and Feigenbutz will never stand a chance against either Ramirez or Hart. It is unusual but Hungarian promoter Felix Racz won the bidding so Feigenbutz will have to fight in Budapest. Normally Sauerland Promotions would be the ones to put in the highest bid for a Feigenbutz contest.
Another top amateur is crossing over. Canadian Arthur Biyarslanov has signed with Lee Baxter and will have his first pro fight on Saturday. “The Chechen Wolf” Biyarslanov Competed at the World Youth Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships. He won big in 2015 getting a gold medal at the Pan American Games beating top Cuban Yasniel Toledo Lopez making him the only Canadian to win gold at those Games. He took gold at the 2016 Americas Qualifier and competed at the 2016 Olympics finishing with an 85-13 amateur record. Another one to watch.
It was a weighty matter when Hemi Ahio and Conrad Lam fought on 24November. Ahio is a reasonable size heavyweight at 6’0” and 246lbs. Lam is 6’4” and weighed in at 434lbs so 680lbs between them. I hope no one matches Lam with Dennis Lewandowski as he comes in around 280lbs.
By Eric Armit
-Vasiliy Lomachenko decisions Jose Pedraza to unify the WBA and WBO lightweight titles
-Emanuel Navarette outpoints Isaac Dogboe to lift the WBO super bantamweight title
-Michele Soro wins the vacant secondary WBA super welterweight title with stoppage of Greg Vendetti
-Kell Brook wins WBA final eliminator with points victory over Michael Zerafa
- Jono Carroll and Guillame Frenois draw in IBF super feather eliminator
-Thabiso Mchunu beats Thomas Oosthuizen and Thulani Mbenge halts Miguel Vazquez in South Africa
Rene Alvarado outpoints Carlos Morales in WBA super featherweight eliminator
-Prospects Alex Besputin, Teo Lopez, Anthony Fowler, Karim Arce, Mohammed Rabii, Mickael Diallo, Filip Hrgovic and Jeyvier Cintron score wins.
World title shows
New York, NY, USA: Light: Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1) W PTS 12 Jose Pedraza (25-2). Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (26-1) W PTS 12 Isaac Dogboe (20-1). Welter Alex Besputin (12-0) W PTS 12 Juan Carlos Abreu (21-5-1,1ND). Light Teo Lopez (11-0) W KO 1 Mason Menard (34-4). Super Light: Abdiel Ramirez (24-3-1) W TKO 8 Michael Perez (25-3-2). Heavy: Guido Vianello (1-0) W KO 2 Luke Lyons (5-2-1).
Lomachenko vs. Pedraza
After a studied start Lomachenko gets into his stride and outboxes and outscores a clever Pedraza. He comes close to an inside the distance win with two knockdowns in the eleventh round and takes the decision to unify the WBA and WBO titles.
A very cautious opening from both fighters. Pedraza probed with his jab and landed a couple of light straight rights. Lomachenko came to life late in the round and scored with three lefts which was just enough to have him edge the round.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko
A good round by Pedraza. He boxed cleverly with plenty of movement, jabbed sharply and slotted home some straight rights. Lomachenko landed a hard straight left late in the round but this time that was not enough.
Score 10-9 Pedraza Tied 19-19
Pedraza again boxed well at the start of the round and Lomachenko’s face was already red from the attentions of Pedraza’s jab. Lomachenko fired home some bursts of punches to take the round but all three rounds had been close.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 29-28
Lomachenko was finding Pedraza a difficult target. The Puerto Rican was switching guards, employing lots of upper body movement and landing light jabs and straight rights. Lomachenko was getting much closer and he landed some hefty lefts in the round to take it.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 39-37
Official scores: 39-37, 40-36 and 39-37 for Lomachenko
Pedraza’s round for me. He kept stabbing out his jab and adding straight lefts with Lomachenko finding it hard to penetrate Pedraza's tight defence. Pedraza’s punches were not hard but he landed a lot more than Lomachenko in this round.
Score 10-9 Pedraza. Lomachenko 48-47
Best round so far for Lomachenko. He had his jab working and began to land some hard straight lefts rocking Pedraza a couple of times. Pedraza kept throwing light punches but Lomachenko was blocking or ducking them
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 58-56
Lomachenko was now in control. He was pressurising Pedraza for the whole three minutes bobbing and weaving around and under the Puerto Ricans punches and then rocking Pedraza with quick bursts of hooks and speedy jabs
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 68-65
More pressure from Lomachenko. With the angles he was creating Pedraza was often not even seeing the punch coming. Lomachenko took him to the ropes and unloaded with hooks until Pedraza forced his out into the ring centre but he was soon back on the ropes again under fire.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 78-74
Official scores: 78-74, 80-72 and 78-74 for Lomachenko
Pedraza boxed well enough to stay out of trouble for much of the round but was not landing anything. Lomachenko unleashed bursts of punches over the last 30 seconds. Pedraza was dodging and diving but plenty got through in another dominant round for Lomachenko
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 88-83
Unexpectedly a round for Pedraza and he won it well. He stayed in the centre of the ring firing right jabs and left hooks. When Lomachenko tried to press he moved back quickly firing counters and Lomachenko just could not get close enough to really land anything of note.
Score 10-9 Pedraza Lomachenko 97-93
Perhaps his success in the last round made Pedraza a bit overconfident and he paid for it. Just past the minute mark Lomachenko shook him with a couple of left uppercuts. When another left staggered Pedraza Lomachenko poured on the punches landing time and again with hooks, uppercuts and overarm rights. Pedraza was being blown one way and then the other until dropping to one knee. He was up at eight but when the action resumed there were just twenty seconds left in the round. Lomachenko went after Pedraza and he went down again but it looked like a case of just trying to buy time to the bell. He timed it just right with the bell going as he got up at the count of eight.
Score 10-7 Lomachenko Lomachenko 107-100
Lomachenko managed to land some heavy lefts in the last but Pedraza survived by moving and moving and deserved in the end to go the distance.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 117-109
Official scores: 117-109, 119-107 and 117-109 for Lomachenko`
The 30-year-old Ukrainian continues to set new record with his fourth different title over three divisions in just thirteen fights. If the fight with Mikey Garcia can be made it would unify the four lightweight titles and would be a great fight. Pedraza, a two-division champion himself said he was proud of the effort he put on in this fight against such a great fighter as Lomachenko. He certainly posed some problems early with his movement and snappy jabs and can hold his head up high and look for some more big fights when he returns to action.
Navarette vs. Dogboe
Navarette lifts the WBO title as he uses his speed, longer reach and a high work rate to decision champion Dogboe who fades badly over the last four rounds.
Navarette had a 5” height advantage and a longer reach so Dogboe was quickly moving forward getting past the jab and landing hooks inside. He did a good job of cutting the ring off and although Navarette launched a late attack it was the champions round
Score 10-9 Dogboe
A much better round from Navarette as he dominated the round. He took the fight to Dogboe stabbing his jab and landing a nice left hook. He kept up the pressure with Dogboe never able to get on the front foot and Navarette landing with hooks and uppercuts knocking Dogboe off balance with a left and forcing Dogboe around the ring.
Score 10-9 Navarette Tied 19-19
Dogboe made some adjustments coming in low and refusing to be backed up for much of the round. Over the second half of the round Navarette again took over with long swinging hooks. He landed a hurtful right to the head followed by a left to the body and took the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 29-28
A good round for Dogboe. He moved inside Navarette’s reach firing clusters of hooks to the body. He continued to slip Navarette’s jab and rocked the Mexican with a left hook to the head and connected with more body punches.
Score 10-9 Dogboe Tied 38-38
Navarette gave Dogboe a torrid time in this round. He crowded and pressed for the whole three minutes He was landing hooks and uppercuts using his larger physique to push Dogboe back and pumping out punch after punch with Dogboe almost overwhelmed.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 48-47
Another round for Navarette. He was setting a frantic pace almost running forward and pumping out punches. He was constantly switching guards and outworking Dogboe. The champion stood his ground more than in the fifth and managed to dig in some body punches.
Score 10-9 Navarette ` Navarette 58-56
Strange tactics from Navarette. In this round he boxed on the retreat which allowed Dogboe to get inside and score with jabs and uppercuts. Navarette’s punch output dropped and he was even being out jabbed in a round won by Dogboe
Score 10-9 Dogboe Navarette 67-66
Really strange as Navarette took another round off. He never took a forward step and threw very few punches. Dogboe was able to get through with jabs and work inside with body punches. A gift round for the Ghanaian.
Score 10-9 Dogboe ` Tied 76-76
A closer round. Dogboe scored well over the early part and looked to have knocked Navarette over with a right to the side of the head. Navarette complained it landed on the back of his head and the referee agreed not applying a count and warning Dogboe. That seemed to wake up Navarette and he went onto the attack storming forward with hooks and uppercuts forcing Dogboe back and doing enough to just take the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 86-85
Dogboe had swelling around his eyes and the referee asked the doctor to examine the Ghanaian but he was passed as OK. Dogboe made a lively start scoring with straight rights and Navarette was replying with swinging hooks from both hands. The referee had insisted that water be mopped up from Dogboe’s corner before the round started and as Navarette forced Dogboe back he slipped on the remaining water and slid to the floor awkwardly. That seemed to unsettle him and Navarette dominated the rest of the round landing three clubbing head punches that rattled Dogboe.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 96-94
Navarette pursued Dogboe throughout the round. He was almost running after the champion never letting him get set to fire any counters and pumping out left and right hooks with Dogboe just being outworked and outscored. Once again Dogboe slipped badly on water in his own corner. They both tumbled to the floor just before the bell but neither was hurt.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 106-103
Dogboe fought the last round like a fighter who thought he only had to stay on his feet to be the winner. He was on the retreat for the whole three minutes doing more holding than punching. Once again Navarette was letting fly with hooks and uppercut and driving Dogboe back before throwing Dogboe to the canvas late in the round.
Score 10-9 Navarette Navarette 116-112
The 23-year-old “Cowboy” from Mexico City was a bit if a surprise package. He had won his last 20 fights and the last eight of those by KO/TKO and was No 2 with the WBO but there was not a single rated fighter anywhere in his record. He was just too big for the 5’2” Dogboe and it will be interesting to see how he handles some of the other champions/rated fighters. Diego De La Hoya is the WBO No 1 and that will be an interesting fight if it can be made. Dogboe’s loss will be a huge disappointment for boxing fans in Ghana who had celebrated and feted him for his upset victory over Jessie Magdaleno and his crushing of Hidenori Otake. With the form he showed in those fights the 24-year-old Ghanaian will be back looking for a title fight in 2019.
Besputin vs. Abreu
Besputin scores wide unanimous decision over a tough and rough Abreu. The Russian showed his power early putting Abreu down with a strong straight left in the first round. Abreu has never lost by KO/TKO and he survived this early scare. He wasn’t able to win any rounds but he did make things awkward for Besputin and looked to have shaken the Russian in the fourth. That was momentary success and Besputin had already done enough good work to take the round. Besputin was down in the fifth but he had been thrown there by Abreu. Besputin arose quickly with Abreu looking to land a punch as Besputin was on the way up but he got away with that. Besputin continued to boss the action and had a 10-8 round in the eighth when he knocked Abreu into the ropes and the referee ruled that the ropes had held Abreu up and gave the Dominican another count. There were no more scares for Abreu and Besputin was the winner by 100-88 on the cards and retains the USBA title. Not Besputin’s best performance but Abreu was tough if limited opponent
Lopez vs. Menard
Lopez scores a brutal kayo of Menard. After a few seconds of sparring Lopez landed a right to the head which rocked Menard. He quickly went on the retreat with Lopez tracking him along the ropes. Lopez landed a left hook to the body to the and then an explosive right to the side of Menard’s head that saw Menard falling face down on the canvas so hard that he bounced. The referee started the count but quickly stopped and signalled for assistance to Menard. All finished in 44 seconds. The 21-year-ol Brooklyn-born Lopez wins the vacant NABF title with his ninth victory by KO/TKO. A former National Golden Gloves champion and US Olympic Trials winner he found his way to Rio blocked as fellow American Carlos Balderas had already qualified through the WBS. Lopez entered the America’s qualifier on behalf of Honduras having Honduran parentage and although he made it to Rio he went out in the first round. Going into this fight his only rating was at No 11 with the WBA but this performance should see him get some serious attention by all of the sanctioning bodies. Life has been tough for Menard since he moved into top level matches with this his third loss by KO/TKO in his last five fights. The other two losses were against Ray Beltran and Devin Haney
Ramirez vs. Perez
Good win for Ramirez as he rebounds from two losses in a row with stoppage of Perez. Ramirez had the perfect start flooring Perez in the first and forcing the fight. Perez fought his way back into the fight and floored Ramirez with a right in the fourth. Ramirez was back on top in the fifth and seemed to be on his way to a points victory when he produced a couple of uppercuts early in the eighth which dumped Perez on the floor heavily and the fights was halted without a count being needed. Ramirez had an eight bout winning streak snapped by losses to unbeaten Eastern Europeans Ruslan Madiev and Maxim Dadashev. Perez had beaten Miguel Acosta and Martin Honorio and lost to Petr Petrov. He took a split verdict over 32-1-1 Marcelino Lopez in April last year and this was his first fight since then.
Vianello vs. Lyons
Former amateur star Vianello wastes no time in registering his first pro win. He floored Lyons late in the first with the bell saving Lyons. In the second a right put Lyons down and he was counted out. The 24-year-old 6’6” Vianello was Italian Youth and Senior champion and competed at the European Games and the Rio Olympics. Lyons just a novice and way out of his depth.
Brieve, France: Welter: Jordy Weiss (21-0) W PTS 12 Jose Del Rio (28-8-1). Cruiser: Jean Jacques Olivier (10-2) W PTS 10 Brendon Deslaurier (11-3-1). Heavy: Cyril Leonet (15-10-3) W PTS 10 Dennis Lewandowski (13-3).
Weiss vs. Del Rio
Weiss retains the EU title with unanimous decision over Del Rio. The Frenchman won this with his excellent skills. He was quicker and more accurate with his punches. Southpaw Del Rio pressed hard knowing that Weiss would outbox him unless he could hustle Weiss out of his stride. Del Rio had some success over the first three rounds but by the fourth the stabbing jabs and quick combinations from Weiss had him controlling the fight. The Frenchman was cut on his right eyelid in a clash of heads but his solid defensive work and clean counters saw him outland the Spaniard. Weiss lacks power but makes up for it in speed and skill. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110. First defence of the EU title for the 25-year-old “Gypsy” who is hoping to get a shot at the European title next year. Former Spanish champion Del Rio was challenging for the title for the second time and his constant aggression made this an entertaining match.
Olivier vs. Deslaurier
Unlike the main event power and aggression took this one with Olivier winning the vacant French title on a split decision. Deslaurier boxed neatly constantly switching guard but he lacked the power to keep Olivier out and the bigger stronger man although landing less landed the harder punches and that led two of the judges to score for him by 96-93 and 95-94 with the third going for Deslaurier 96-93. The 30-year-old from far away Martinique gets revenge for a points loss in 2016 and makes it 6 wins in his last 7 fights. “Gypsy Bomber” Deslaurier, 25, had put together a run of nine wins before losing on points to Mairis Breidis in July and will probably get a return with Olivier in 2019.
Leonet vs. Lewandowski
“Aldo” Leonet had no real trouble winning this one as he took every round against the vastly obese Lewandowski. Leonet was just too mobile for the glacial slow Lewandowski who looked like an over-inflated “Michelin Man”. Leonet kept moving and firing home quick punches with Lewandowski too slow to counter or cut off the ring. Leonet won on scores of 100-90 twice and 100-91. The 35-year-old Leonet, a former French champion, wins the WBFederation International title. He has improved his record with a run of 9-2-1 in his last 12 fights. He put up a good fight against Tony Yoka in April before being knocked out in five rounds and that improved his stance with the French fans. German Lewandowski, 24, is just 6’2” but has been as high as 280lbs and he looked about that here.
Castlebar, Ireland: Light: Christian Uruzquieta (18-4-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Ray Moylette (11-1). Middle: Gary O’Sullivan (29-3) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-14)
Uruzquieta vs. Moylette
Mexican Uruzquieta ruins the welcome home party for Moylette with a deserved split decision over the Irishman. Both were finding the target early. Moylette was tending to land smart jabs and rights to the head. Uruzquieta was targeting the body. There were plenty of fiery exchanges with Moylette looking to have moved into the lead after three rounds. Uruzquieta staggered Moylette briefly in the fourth and then nearly finished the fight in the fifth. As they exchanged punches Moylette went down from a right. He only just beat the count and was floored again later in the round. Moylette survived and fought back hard over the second half of the fight with the rounds being close. Scores 96-92 and 95-94 for Uruzquieta and 95-94 got Moylette. Uruzquieta, 28, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title. Fighting in the other man’s back yard is nothing new for Uruzquieta. He has fought five times in Canada going 2-1-2 with upset victories over Steven Wilcox and Roody Pierre Paul and drawing with Mario Perez before losing to Tony Luis and unbeaten Mathieu Germain so he was a tough test for the Irish former amateur star. Moylette, 28 was the first Irish boxer to win a gold medal at the World Youth Championships and later added both the Irish title and a gold at the European Championships. He competed at 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the 2013 European Championships. Now he will have to regroup and rebuild.
O’Sullivan vs. Gorbics
In his first fight since being crushed inside a round by David Lemieux O’Sullivan gets eight rounds of useful work against Hungarian Gorbics. O’Sullivan was his usual aggressive self and Gorbics spent most of the fight going backwards. He came out of his shell on a couple of occasions to stand and trade but O’Sullivan had much the harder punch and Gorbics would quickly go back on the defensive. O’Sullivan rocked Gorbics in the sixth and seemed to ease up over the last allowing Gorbics to last the distance. Referee’s score 80-72 for O’Sullivan. The 34-year-old from Cork has good wins over Nick Quigley and Antoine Douglas but lost a big fight when being stopped by Chris Eubank Jr in 2015. He is an entertaining fighter and there are plenty of good fights to be made for him. Gorbics usually goes the distance but was halted in five rounds by Anthony Fowler in October
Mexicali, Mexico: Super Light: Sergio Ortega (20-2) W TKO 2 Lizandro De los Santos (24-17-1). Local fighter Ortega gets quick victory. After dominating the first round just one minute into the second a hail of punches from Ortega sent De los Santos down. He made to his feet but was taking more incoming shots and the referee stopped the fight. Now 14 wins by KO/TKO for Ortega. He was inactive in 2016 and 2017 and this is his fourth win since returning to the ring. De los Santos slips to 2-7-1 in his most recent ten fights.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Antonio Moran (24-3) W TKO 2 Victor Zuniga (18-3). Moran halts substitute Zuniga in two rounds. In the first Moran was already digging in some hurtful body punches. In the second two left hooks to the body dropped Zuniga. He made it to his feet at seven and when the action resumed tried to take the fight to Moran. Very quickly hooks and uppercuts had Zuniga backing up and a series of punches to head and body had Zuniga tumbling to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’0” tall 25-year-old Moran has wins over some useful and experienced fighters and lost a very close decision to Jose Pedraza in June with all three judges giving the decision to Pedraza by 96-94. He now has 17 wins by KO/TKO. Zuniga, 19, probably should not have taken such a tough fight at short notice and suffers his second inside the distance loss in a row having been stopped in one round by unbeaten Tajik fighter Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in August.
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico: Super Fly: Jeyvier Cintron (9-0) W DISQ 7 Marvin Solano (21-3). Heavy: Victor Bisbal (23-3) W KO 1 Edson Roberto Dos Santos Borges (30-4-2).
Cintron vs. Solano
Solano proved an awkward opponent with his lunging attacks and Cintron was hustled out of his stride in the first but was landing some good counters. Cintron slowly settled and was outboxing the crude Solano but still having problems with the Nicaraguan’s crazy swinging. Cintron was landing right jabs, straight lefts and lead lefts with Solano dangerous but erratic. They almost came to blows after the bell to end the fourth when Cintron lightly tapped Solano on the head and an angry Solano launched himself at Cintron with the referee having to restrain him. Things began to get a bit wild in the fourth with Solano hefting Cintron onto his shoulders and slamming Cintron into the ropes and almost out of the ring. After that Cintron avoided Solano’s rushes and scored with right jabs and straight lefts. In the fifth Solano missed with a couple of punches and fell back to the floor. He was given a count but it had not been a punch. Cintron fired some flashing combinations and Solano was warned for both pushing Cintron to the floor and a low punch. Cintron continued to pick-off Solano with counter lefts in the eighth. Solano was warned for a couple of low punches and then came madness. Solano landed another low punch and as Cintron doubled up and turned away Solano reached around and landed another punch. Cintron immediately turned and threw himself at Solano and they wrestled and both fell to the floor. At that point the referee stepped in and disqualified Solano. Cintron gets the win but not a satisfactory one. Solano was a strong very awkward opponent but Cintron got the job done. The 23-year-old Cintron is the only Puerto Rican boxer to appear at two Olympic Games. His father was a pro and he is trained by former champion Ivan Calderon. Solano was 8-1 going into this one with the loss being to Russian Olympian Mikhail Aloyan.
Bisbal vs. Borges
This really was a farcical rubbish of a mismatch. Bisbal was 8” taller and 41lbs heavier than Borges. He drove Borges around the ring with heavy rights and then landed a four-punch combination that saw Borges slump to the canvas and the referee waived the fight over half way through the count. The 38-year-old Bisbal, a 2004 Olympian, has had long spells of inactivity and this was his first fight in almost two years. Borges, 45, was having only his fourth fight in three years-disgraceful
East London, South Africa: Bantam: Yanga Sigqibo (12-1-1) W PTS 12 Keyvin Lara (26-3-1).Super Fly: Athenkosi Dumezweni (11-2) W TKO 4 Ulises Lara (21-17-2). Super Light: Marios Matamba (9-0) W KO 4 Siseko Makeleni (7-2). Light Fly: Nkosinathi Joyi (27-5) W KO 7 Mpho Seforo (7-1-1).Light Fly: Nhlanhia Tyirha (4-0) W KO 3 Bongani Sillila (16-6-3).
Sigqibo vs. Lara
South African champion Sigqibo adds the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title to his collection with a points win over Nicaraguan Lara. In a messy, nasty fight Sigqibo’s better skills saw him outpoint the smaller Lara. With his longer reach Sigqibo tried to keep the fight an open one but Lara hustled and bustled and kept busy. There was too much holding for the fight to be entertaining. Lara committed a number of transgressions before finally being deducted a point in the last round for one of his many head butts. Sigqibo did the cleaner work and was the clear winner. Scores 117-112 twice and 116-112. Now nine wins in a row for Sigqibo. Lara, 24, was knocked out in eleven rounds by Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA title in 2016 and had since scored eight wins against weak opposition. Lara’s team were not happy with the scoring and felt Sigqibo should have been deducted a point for holding,
Dumezweni vs. Lara
Good win for Dumezweni as he halts Mexican Lara in four rounds. Dumezweni showed good skills and plenty of movement to take the edge off the charging attacks of Lara. The visitor was caught with a right uppercut in the third and forced to take a standing count and only just made it to the bell. Dumezweni continued his attacks in the fourth and put Lara down with a straight left. Lara made it to his feet but after the count another heavy left had Lara defenceless on the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Dumezweni collects the vacant IBO International title and has won eight of his last nine fights. In two previous fight in South Africa this year Lara had beaten good level local opposition and collected the WBA Inter-Continental super flyweight and WBC International flyweight titles
Matamba vs. Makeleni
Congolese fighter “Machine” Matamba wins the vacant WBO African title with fourth round kayo of local fighter Makeleni. Matamba, who is based in South Africa, gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Makeleni had won his last four fights.
Joyi vs. Seforo
In his first fight for two years former IBF minimumweight champion Joyi breathes some life back into his fading career with a seventh round kayo of previously unbeaten Seforo to win the vacant WBO African title. After six fairly even rounds a heavy southpaw left from Joyi put Seforo down on his back and he was counted out. After being 22-0,1ND in his first 23 fights the 35-year-old Joyi had gone 4-4 before walking away after a loss to Simpiwe Konkco for IBO minimumweight title in 2016.Seforo was having his first fight for almost a year.
Tyirha vs. Sillila
Teenager Tyirha wins the South African title with a third round kayo of champion Sillila. A big right from Tyirha ended the fight. Tyirha had less than fifteen rounds as a pro behind him so this was something of an upset against champion Sillila who had gone 5-1-1 in his last 7 fights and had over 100 rounds of experience. He suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO.
Belfast, NI, Middle: Conrad Cummings (16-2-1) W PTS 10 Ferenc Berki (11-1). Cummings regains his WBO European title by outpointing substitute Berki for the vacant title. No real problems here for Cummings. Berki was competitive but never a threat. Cummings was already streets ahead when he floored Berki in the tenth to make the points gap a bit wider. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 95-94. It needs to be noted that the 95-94 was from the Hungarian judge who without the knockdown would have scored his fellow-countryman the winner! Cummings, 27, lost the title on a unanimous decision against to Luke Keeler in April. Hungarian super welterweight champion Berki was a very late replacement after Brian Rose had to pull out through injury. This is only his second fight outside Hungary.
Tampa, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (18-0) W PTS 10 Aldimar Silva (21-15). Lopez marches on with win over Brazilian Silva. Lopez bossed the fight in every round and had Silva down in the second and sixth on his way to a comfortable victory. Scores 100-88 for Lopez on the three cards. The 21-year-old from Nicaragua is No 7 with the WBA but has yet to be in with any kind of testing opponent. Silva, 37 (don’t they have any young fighters in Brazil?) is 2-7 in his nine fights.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Ladarius Miller (17-1) W Ricardo Garcia (14-3-1). Super Middle: Ronald Gavril (19-3) W TKO 2 Antowyan Aikens (13-6-1).
Miller vs. Garcia
Miller gets a majority decision over Garcia thanks to a strong finish. The fight turned into a harder test for Miller than expected. It was a fast-paced entertaining fight over the early rounds. Miller was quicker and slicker but Garcia was more aggressive and scored with some good rights against the southpaw Miller. In the later rounds it became a bit untidy with too many clinches. Miller had a good eighth landing some heavy lefts and outlanded Garcia over the ninth and tenth. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Miller and 95-95. The 25-year-old from Memphis is part of the Floyd Mayweather Jr group. He now has nine victories in a row including wins over useful opposition in Jamel Herring and Dennis Galarza. Dominican Garcia is now 0-1-4 in his last 5 fights
Gavril vs. Aikens
Gavril floors Aikens three times for stoppage win. A cautious opening round saw Gavril shadowing Aikens around the ring. Aikens was prodding with his jab and trying an occasional right. Gavril upped his pace at the end of the round but could not land a telling punch. After tracking Aikens for almost two minutes of the second he finally threw a right cross which knocked Aikens sideward and down on one knee. A straight right put Aikens down again and although he beat the count another right dropped him and the referee waived the fight off without a count. First time back in the ring for the Romanian since his consecutive losses to David Benavidez in WBC super middle title fights. He has dropped out of the ratings but will be trying to work his way towards another title shot. Second loss by KO/TKO for Aikens and only three wins in his last nine fights.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Middle: Kalvin Henderson (11-0) W TKO 7Brandon Robinson (11-2). Henderson proves to be a surprise package as he outboxes local fighter Robinson and floors and stops him in seven rounds. Robinson made a fast start looking to sweep aside Henderson with his early aggression. Henderson just worked patiently with his jab. He was throwing fewer punches than Robinson but by the end of the second round his accurate jabs had started a swelling under Robinson’s left eye which quickly grew and almost closed the eye. Robinson continued to attack but was staggered badly in the third and was forced to go down on one knee under Henderson’s punches in the fifth. Robinson tried to turn the fight his way with a ferocious attack at the start of the seventh but Henderson saw out the storm and then dropped Robinson twice and the fight was stopped. Texan “Hot Sauce” Henderson gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Robinson had won his last eleven fights but gets his second loss by KO/TKO and it is back to basics for him.
Levallois-Perret, France: Super Welter: Michel Soro (33-2-1) W TKO 2 Greg Vendetti (20-3-1). Super Middle: Petro Ivanov (10-0-2) W TKO 9 Louis Toutin (12-1). Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (8-0) W PTS 8 Alex Zhuravskiy (13-5). Cruiser: Joel Tambwe Djeko (14-2-1) W PTS 6 Valery Brudov (44-15). Super Middle: Mickael Diallo (18-0-2) W KO 3 Genaro Quiroga (14-145.
Soro vs. Vendetti
Soro much too good for Vendetti and destroys the American inside two rounds with a brutal combination of shots to win the vacant interim WBA title. Soro had a considerable height and reach over Vendetti. Initially Vendetti was ducking under Soro’s jab trying to move inside but Soro was continuing to just probe with the jab and step back from Vendetti’s rushed attacks. Vendetti had some success as he hustled and bustled in the second. Soro was still just sticking to the jab but when he finally let fly with a right it landed high on Vendetti’s head and his legs wobbled and he backed into the ropes. Soro jumped on him and blasted home a tremendous left hook and two straight rights to the head the second of which had Vendetti out on his feet and as he dropped to the canvas Soro landed two more hooks as the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. The 31-year-old Ivory Coast-born Frenchman makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. He lost on a split decision to Brian Castano for this same title in July last year. Castano has been “promoted” to secondary champion and Soro is looking for another fight with the Argentinian. Vendetti was out of his class. He was rated No 9 by the WBA after a creditable win over Yoshihiro Kamegai but was in way over his head with Soro.
Toutin vs. Ivanov
Big surprise and big disappointment for French fans as poster boy Toutin is stopped by Ivanov. Over the early rounds an inside the distance win for Toutin looked a good bet. He was his usual march forward punching self. Ivanov had a longer reach but Toutin’s attacks were threatening to overwhelm him. In the second round a left to the body had Ivanov hurt and another saw the Ukrainian backing off and going down on one knee in pain. He made it to his feet and moved and blocked to the bell. Toutin continued to pile on the pressure. He was snapping Ivanov’s head back with jabs and landing hooks from both hands. He was setting a fast pace but also walking onto some hard punches from Ivanov and a growing swelling over his right eye was starting to trouble him. Toutin had never gone past four rounds before having beaten eleven rivals inside four rounds and had one points win in a four round fight. By the end of the seventh Toutin was looking more and more tired. That gave Ivanov the impetus to start coming forward and he was starting to dominate the action. In the ninth Toutin was totally exhausted and only staying on his feet by grabbing Ivanov. He went down once and only just pulled himself up at nine. The fight should have been stopped and finally was when he dropped again. He made it to his feet but he was a shell and did not respond when asked if he wanted to carry on. Ivanov had been eight rounds three times and paced the fight better. He showed guts to fight on after being down in the second but he did not crumble and got his reward in the stoppage of a fighter being touted as a huge prospect. Toutin, 21, a member of the French Traveller’s community and a former European Junior Championships gold medallist will have serious thinking to do. He really should not have been sent out for the ninth round and in the totally exhausted state he was in it could have been dangerous. He will obviously fight on but there is a big rebuilding job required
Rabii vs. Zhuravskiy
Moroccan Rabii continues on his winning way with a points victory over Zhuravskiy. Score 78-74 twice and 79-73. Rabbi is the most successful amateur Morocco has had. He won the gold medal at the World Championships in 2015 beating eventual Rio gold medal winner Daniyar Yeleussinov in the final. He also won a bronze at the Rio Olympics and was a WBS Fighter of the year. Kazak southpaw Zhuravskiy drops to four losses in a row.
Djeko vs. Brudov
Popular “Big Joe” Djeko continues his run of good form with points win over Russian oldie Brudov. Scores 59-53 for the big Belgian on all cards. He has lost only one of his last thirteen fights and the loss was a split decision in Cardiff against Welshman Craig Kennedy. Brudov, 42, is really just a shell now of the fighter who challenged for the WBA and WBO titles and has won only two of his last twelve fights.
Diallo vs. Quiroga
Diallo gives another impressive power display as he uses some heavy rights to kayo Quiroga in three rounds. Although French the 27-year-old Diallo is known as “The Catalan Bomber” and this is his fifteenth win in a row and his fifteenth career victory by KO/TKO. Argentinian Quiroga has lost his last four fights, two in Canada and two in France.
Sheffield, England: Super Welter: Kell Brook (38-2) W PTS 12 Michael Zerafa (25-3). Super Feather: Jono Carroll (16-0-1) DREW 12 Guillame Frenois (46-1-1). Middle: Anthony Fowler (9-0) W KO 1 Jose Paz (23-8-1). Feather: Kid Galahad (26-0) W PTS 8 Brayan Mairena (10-5-1). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (4-0) W TKO 5 Jay Carney (5-4-2).
Brook vs. Zerafa
Brook outpoints Zerafa in a WBA final eliminator. Brook was quickly into his stride. In the first he out jabbed Zerafa and then began to connect with some swift uppercuts bringing blood from Zerafa’s nose and also banged home straight rights. In the second Brook continued to score with his jab and move inside Zerafa’s jab to land rights. He rocked Zerafa with a straight right left uppercut. Zerafa was throwing jabs but was usually coming up short. Zerafa was being forced to box on the retreat but he began to land some rights and a left hooks in a more competitive third. Brook continued to keep Zerafa on the retreat in the fourth and fifth and was still penetrating the Australian’s guard regularly with his jab and getting through with right crosses but Zerafa was starting to find the target with his jab and in the fifth landed two hard rights his best punches so far. Brook was back in control in the sixth and seventh again dominating with his jab and landing heavy rights. Zerafa fought back hard in the eighth. He was standing his ground more and connecting with some powerful rights and he had Brook under fire in the ninth driving him to the ropes with a powerful right cross and then working Brook over. Brook picked up the pace again in the tenth but was no longer as dominant. A confident Zerafa was willing to trade. Brook was just that bit quicker and was again finding the range with his jab and that just gave him the edge over the closing rounds but Zerafa fought all the way coming forward with right crosses and looking to turn the fight his way. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 although Zerafa made it look a lot closer than that. The win makes Brook the mandatory challenger to Jarrett Hurd (in the WBA’s eyes-Julian Williams is Hurd’s No 1 challenger with the IBF). Despite that a fight with Amir Khan would be Brooks preferred fight but with talk of a shot at Terrence Crawford for Khan the way forward is far from clear. Three fights outside of Australia and three losses for Zerafa although they have all been tough assignments and he had won his last eight fights.
Carroll vs. Frenois
As we learned from the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight draws solve nothing. This was intended to identify a mandatory challenger for IBF champion Tevin Farmer but since it ended in a draw it leaves Carroll, Frenois and Farmer not knowing what happens next. Although both fighters are southpaws there were a couple of very contrasting styles on show here with Carroll a strong, aggressive fighter and Frenois a classic boxer. Carroll attacked the body hard in the first. In the second he was cut over the left eye but banged back strongly to rock Frenois. In the third it was the Frenchman’s turn to shed blood as he was cut over the right eye. As with the cuts so with the action. Both fighters had good spells and the fight swung one way and then another. When Carroll could hunt Frenois down he was scoring with hard body shots but when Frenois was able to use his jab and could counter Carroll on the way in things went his way. The rounds were close but Frenois seemed to outscore Carroll over the closing rounds with his superior skills and faster hands but he just did not convince the judges so it ended even. Scores 115-113 for Carroll, 115-113 for Frenois and 114-114. Carroll had scored a good domestic win over Declan Geraghty although that hardly seemed to justify a No 4 rating with the IBF (the No1 and 2 slots were vacant as none of the rated fighters had a win over another rated fighter so could not go to either of those two slots) and Frenois was No 3 so the highest rafted fighter. He had won his last 15 fights but there were no rated fighters in his list of victims. Now it is a case of wait and see for them both.
Fowler vs. Paz
Fowler blows away Argentinian Paz with a body punch in just 93 seconds. Fowler quickly found his range with his jab and connected with a couple of quick hooks as Paz tried to move inside. Paz looked painfully slow and predictable with very little mobility. Paz tried a couple of lunging attacks but Fowler countered with a left hook to the body and Paz dropped to one knee spitting out his mouthguard and taking the full count. The former English and British amateur champion won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the World championships and after five wins in a row by KO/TKO is ready for tougher opposition. In fairness to Paz and to put this win in perspective for Fowler Paz was coming off wins over Omar Chavez and Jorge Paez Jr in Mexico.
Galahad vs. Mairena
Really just some paid sparring practice for Galahad who won every minute of every round as he outclassed a game Mairena. Galahad was constantly switching guards and was penetrating Mairena’s guard with stinging jabs and unloading with rapid combinations. Mairena made an effort to be competitive but he was too slow. Galahad did not really start to get serious until the sixth round when he drove Mairena back with a series of lefts with the Nicaraguan looking likely to fall but he stayed on his feet. Galahad was switching guards again in the seventh and driving Mairena back with a sequence of head punches. Galahad was not loading up on the punches which helped a beleaguered Mairena last out the round. Mairena soaked up punishment throughout the eighth but just threw enough punches to keep the referee from stopping the fight. Score 80-72 for Galahad on the referee’s card. The 28-year-old Sheffield fighter is No 1 with the IBF which puts him in place for a shot at the winner of the Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton fight (that can’t be a unification fight as Frampton is only the interim WBO champion) so another big fight night to look forward to in 2019. As usual with the Nicaragua travelling punch bags for Mairena it is four fights in three months and four losses.
Ashfaq vs. Carney
Ashfaq too classy for Carney. Carney tried to come forward in the first but southpaw Ashfaq landed some hard straight lefts and later in the round a right uppercut started blood flowing from Carney’s nose. Carney continued to try to come forward in the second and third but had to soak up some hurtful jabs and powerful body punches. In the fourth Ashfaq was putting together some flashing combinations but to his credit Carney kept coming back for more. In the fifth some more rapid combinations shook Carney and were enough to have the referee stop the one-sided fight. The 25-year-old from Leeds is another from the conveyor belt of star amateurs moving into the pros. Ashfaq was a Commonwealth Youth gold medallist and won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games losing to Michael Conlan in the final. He also lost to Conlan in the European Championships final, won a bronze medal at the European Games and competed at the 2016 Olympics. One for the future.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Cruiser: Thabiso Mchunu (20-5) W PTS 12 Thomas Oosthuizen (28-2-2). Welter: Thulani Mbenge (15-0) W RTD 9 Miguel Vazquez (40-7). Middle: Walter Dlamini (16-6-4) W TKO 1 Wade Groth (7-1).
Mchunu vs. Oosthuizen
Mchunu gets revenge for a controversial loss to Oosthuizen in September and leaves no room for dispute with a wide unanimous decision. From the first round it was obvious that Mchunu was a man on a mission. He pressured Oosthuizen from first to last. He was able to walk through Oosthuizen’s southpaw jabs and score inside with ripping body punchers. Oosthuizen showed little movement providing Mchunu with a static target for much of the fight. In fact instead of trying to use his height and reach Oosthuizen too often stood and traded with the much stronger Mchunu. By the end of the fourth round Mchunu had already but a good lead and he kicked on from there. He outworked his fellow southpaw and as Mchunu’s output increased so Oosthuizen’s dropped. It was a one-sided fight and the only thing to Oosthuizen's credit is that he soaked up the punishment and lasted the distance. Scores 119-109,119-111 and 118-111 all for Mchunu. He wins the vacant ABU title and puts himself in line for some high level international fights. Oosthuizen a former IBO super middle and light heavyweight champion has wasted chance after chance to get back into the international mix and may have just blown his last
Mbenge vs. Vazquez
Mbenge retains the IBF title with a stoppage of Vazquez who is on the downward slope. Mbenge was the bigger, stronger man but Vazquez is a wily character and an expert at messing up opponents and breaking up the rhythm of their attacks. There is a large gap in their respective experience but really that was all Vazquez had going for him. Mbenge was tending to try to put Vazquez away with one big punch and rushing rather than working his openings. He used his strength to keep Vazquez pinned to the ropes and slowly broke down the Mexican’s resistance. A body punch dropped Vazquez in the ninth and his corner sensibly pulled him out of the fight at the end of the round. Not an impressive showing
by Mbenge but he and Scot Josh Taylor are the only fighters to have beaten the former IBF lightweight champion inside the distance and Mbenge will hopefully take away some lessons from facing such an experienced campaigner and have many more better nights. Vazquez’s future is to be a test bed for young climbers.
Dlamini vs. Groth
Age is just a number. Dlamini proved this with a first round blitz of champion Groth to win the South African title at the age of 38. It took Dlamini just 42 seconds to blast his way to victory in his second shot at the title. Dlamini also wins the vacant WBA Pan African title. This did not look too hard a defence for Groth as after winning his first twelve fights Dlamini had gone 3-6-4 including two inside the distance losses this year. However Groth’s experience had been very limited with only 30 rounds behind him and with his seven victims having only 14 wins between them.
Zagreb, Croatia: Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (7-0) W PTS 8 Kevin Johnson (33-12-1). Super Middle: Leon Bauer (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Jorge Silva (16-7).
Hrgovic vs. Johnson
Hrgovic wins every round against seasoned spoiler Johnson and shows his strengths and his weaknesses. He used a strong jab to quickly put Johnson on the back foot with Johnson as usual just backing to the ropes and letting Hrgovic punch away. Hrgovic showed his inexperience by constantly throwing overhand rights. Johnson just kept leaning to his right and punch after punch went over his head. Hrgovic continued to make the same mistake in the second with Johnson tapping his chin to show Hrgovic where the target was. Hrgovic finally landed one of those rights and Johnson’s knees buckled. He did not go all the way down and his gloves did not touch the canvas but he was given a count with the bell going just as the count was completed. In the succeeding rounds Hrgovic started to throw his right straighter and landed more often but Johnson was never really in trouble and fired enough occasional counter for Hrgovic to be a bit more cautious. The Croat tired a bit later in the fight and looked slow and predictable at times but this is early in his career and he will get better. Scores 80-71 from the judges for the home city fighter. The 26-year-old Rio bronze medallist is credited with being the reason for the cancellation of the proposed David Haye vs. Tyson Fury fight in 2013 when he cut Haye in a sparring session. Now 39 Johnson who came into this one weighing a career high weight of 260lbsis just filling the role of a clever punch bag for young hopes.
Bauer vs. Silva
Young German prospect Bauer gets a win but only after being on the floor. Bauer was taking the fight to Silva in the first with his hands held low as is his style. That presented the Portuguese fighter with an opening and he landed a hefty right which put Bauer on the floor. Bauer had no trouble beating the count and from there he dominated the action but was a bit more circumspect. He out jabbed and out landed Silva the rest of the way for a comfortable victory. Scores 78-74 twice and 78-73 for Bauer. The 20-year-old was the youngest ever German professional when he started out at the age of 16. He turned in a poor performance in drawing with 3-1 Atin Karabet in October last year and although he stopped Karabet in June it illustrated that it would not be wise to rush his career. Silva, 35, was having only his second fight in two years and suffers his third loss by KO/TKO.
Carson, CA, USA: Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3) W RTD 7 Victor Mendez (28-4-2). The taller Mendez made a good start scoring with some stiff body punches and hurtful hooks with Estrada not forcing the fight hard. Estrada finally started to roll in the third. He was ducking under Mendez’s punches and raking Mendez with strong jabs and straight rights with Mendez looking shaken. Estrada dominated the fourth and fifth stinging Mendez with jabs and putting together some sharp combinations. In the sixth Mendez was on the back foot with Estrada getting through with left hooks to the body and Mendez starting to come apart. In the seventh Estrada was marching forward and landing thudding rights to the head and firing fast bunches of left hooks to the body which took all of the fight out of Mendez who retired at the end of the round. A routine victory for Estrada as he just keeps busy whilst waiting for his next big fight hopefully a return against Srisaket. Mendez has had some good results in the past against quality opposition having only lost on split decision against Luis Nery and Arthur Villanueva and this is his first inside the distance defeat.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Feather: Rene Alvarado (30-8) W PTS 12 Carlos Morales (17-4-3). Light: Hector Tanajara (16-0) W PTS 10 Robert Manzanarez (36-3). Super Light: Jonathan Navarro (16-0) W PTS 10 Manuel Mendez (16-4-3). Feather: Joet Gonzalez (21-0) W TKO 2 Javier Gallo (25-17-1,1ND).
Alvarado vs. Morales
Alvarado outworks Morales in WBA eliminator. Less than a minute into the fight Alvarado launched a fierce attack. Their heads banged together and Alvarado was cut high on his forehead with the blood already running down onto his face. Morales rocked Alvarado with a short right but Alvarado was busier and throwing plenty of punches and by the end of a frantic first round Morales was bleeding from the nose. Alvarado set a fast pace. He was constantly launching attacks and although not always landing Morales was finding it hard to get his own punches off under the pressure. When he could make some space Morales was not throwing as much as Alvarado but was more accurate. Blood continued to trickle from the cut on Alvarado’s forehead but it was tending to run outside of his left eye so was not a factor. Alvarado just kept on attaching wildly with Morales looking to either counter him on the way in or get up close to smother his punches. Morales was physically the bigger man and he was trying to tire Alvarado with the inside work and keep him on the back foot. After a couple of close rounds which Morales probably edged Alvarado picked up the pace again in the tenth with punches flowing from all sorts of angles and Morales being swamped. They were not power punches but Alvarado just kept pumping them out to the final bell. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 all for Alvarado. This win puts the Nicaraguan in line for a shot at the secondary WBA title against Alberto Machado. Wins over unbeaten Roger Gutierrez and Denis Shafikov have seen Alvarado go to No 1 with the WBA and given him a chance to make it a family double. Twin brother Felix, who fights with the same limitless ferocity, is IBF light flyweight champion. Mexican Morales has now lost three of his last four fights having been outpointed by Machado before Machado became champion and dropping a majority verdict to un beaten Ryan Garcia.
Tanajara vs. Manzanarez
Tanajara scores unanimous decision over Manzanarez. Tanajara was giving away some height and reach but was very quick and accurate with his jab. Despite that Manzanarez caught him with a left uppercut in the second and dropped him but Tanajara managed to stay there to the bell. Over the third and fourth good movement and sharp jabs gave Tanajara the edge and a swelling was building on the right cheek of Manzanarez. Both were rocked by hard punches in the fifth and Tanajara just did enough to take the sixth. There was too much wrestling in the seven with Tanajara doing what good work there was and Manzanarez getting a stern warning for a low punch. Both fighters slipped to the canvas in the eighth avoiding a punch but the referee considered that a punch from Tanajara had in fact landed and Manzanarez was given a count. The last two rounds were close but in the tenth Manzanarez lost a point for a low punch. Scores 95-92 twice and 97-90 for Tanajara. The 21-year-old from San Antonio was in his first ten round fight. He had a good win in June outpointing 19-1-1 Roger Gutierrez. Manzanarez, 23, turned pro at 15 and lost only one of his first thirty-seven fights but was coming off a majority decision loss to Mercito Gesta in June.
Navarro vs. Mendez
Navarro wins majority decision over Mendez. This was a tough gruelling fight. It was fought at close quarters without much footwork from either fighter but plenty of in close body punching. Mendez had the harder punch but Navarro outworked him throwing and landing more but there was never much between them with Navarro just having the edge. Scores 97-93 twice and 95-95. Navarro, 27 had scored a stoppage win over unbeaten Damon Allen in August whereas Mendez gets his second loss in a row have been outpointed by 19-1 Sonny Frederickson last month.
Gonzalez vs. Gallo
Gonzalez has it easy in this one and knocks out poor Gallo in the
second round. Little Gallo was giving away too much height and reach to ever really be competitive against Gonzalez. His face was soon bright red from the attention of Gonzalez jabs and he was twice rocked by rights and hurt with a couple of body punches. He had no choice but to surge forward throwing punches but Gonzalez had no trouble blocking them. In the second Gallo rushed Gonzalez to the ropes and punched away to the body. Gonzalez blocked the punches and then staggered Gallo with a left hook and hit him with five quick punches that sent poor Gallo down and out. Gonzalez gets his fifth win by KO/TKO in his last six fights. The 25-yerar-old former US national champion who beat Gervonta Davis on the way to the gold medal was coming off a split decision win over 25-1-2 Rafael Rivera. The gutsy little Gallo has suffered seven losses by KO/TKO.
Brisbane, Australia: Heavy: Demsey McKean (13-0) W RTD 4 Roger Izonritei (12-8-1). Light Heavy: Josh Frederiksen (8-1-2) W PTS 10 Quintin Carey (4-5). Welter: Tysinn Best (9-0) W PTS 10 Nathan Webber (6-1) Light: Jacob Ng (9-0) W TKO 4 Gaige Ireland (5-2-2).
McKean vs. Izonritei
Southpaw McKean retains the Australian title with win over Nigerian-born Izonritei. McKean was too young and hit too hard for the elderly Izonritei. After four one-sided rounds Izonritei’s corner retired their man. The 6’6” 28-year-old McKean was making the second defence of the national title and has seven wins by KO/TKO. Izonritei, 43, turned pro way back in 2004. He has had four shots at the Australian title spaced out over a 16 year period. Is that some sort of record?
Frederickson vs. Carey
Frederickson wins the Australian title with majority decision over champion and local fighter Carey. Scores 97-95, 96-95 for Frederickson and 95-95. It was the first ten round fight for the New South Wales State champion and his third win in a row. Carey, 22, was making the first defence of the title.
Best vs. Webber
In an all Queensland fight Best wins the vacant Australian title with yet another very close fight as he gets the decision on scores of 97-92 and 97-93 with the other judge seeing it 95-96.Webber is one of Jeff Horn’s main sparring partners.
Ng. vs. Ireland
Ng too smart and punches too hard for southpaw Ireland and impressively lifts the Australian title on a unique night of four national title fights on one show. After taking the first three rounds some rights to the head followed by a couple of wicked body punches dropped southpaw Ireland to one knee. He made it to his feet but the follow-up attack from Ng had him doubling up and falling back to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. The tall 24-year-old “Flamingo” Ng put on a victory dance that was more spectacular than the fight as he registers his seventh win by KO/TKO. Ireland was making the first defence of the title.
Brussels, Belgium: Super Light: Samuel Gonzalez (20-5) W DISQ 6 Mohamed El Marcouchi (20-2). Unfortunate loss for Belgian El Marcouchi sees him suffer his second defeat. With his fight against Venezuelan fairly evenly poised a clash of heads in the sixth badly dazed El Marcouchi and sent him down. He was in some distress and his second entered the ring to help him leading to immediate disqualification. Italian-based Gonzalez wins the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title and El Marcouchi sees an 18 bout winning streak snapped.
Haemin, Germany: Super Welter: Predrag Radosevic (33-2) W PTS 10 Ronny Gabel (23-6-1,1ND). Light Heavy: Emil Markic (29-2) W PTS 10 Kavin Gebhard (18-2).
Radosevic vs. Gabel
Radosevic just too quick and clever for Gabe. He repeats a previous victory and wins the vacant WBO European title. Gabel kept pushing forward behind a high guard making an easy target for Radosevic who was constantly moving, firing fast, accurate jabs and hooks to the body and Gabel was too slow to counter. When Gabel did get inside Radosevic either tied him up or blocked his punches and then pushed Gabel off and worked from the outside. Gabel never stopped coming forward but that just made it that much easier for Radosevic to score with counters and he was just too slick for Gabel to ever really threaten and he won every round. The Montenegrin’s two losses have both been by KO/TKO and against high top class opposition in Felix Sturm and Liam Smith. German Gabel was having only his second fight in two years. He lost an early fight to Billy Joe Saunders in 2001 and was outpointed by Radosevic in 2012.
Markic vs. Gebhard
Markic also picks up a WBO European title as he outpoints Gebhard. Markic had the edge in hand speed and movement and was throwing more and landing more. Gebhard was the harder puncher but had no real answer to the accurate jabbing from Markic who was doubling and tripling his jab and connecting with straight rights Gebhard slowed as the fight went on and became wilder with his punches. In the last round as Gebhard went to throw a wild right Markic nailed him with a three-punch combination that sent him down heavily. He was very shaken but beat the count and survived some heavy shots to make it to the bell with Markic the obvious winner. Bosnian Markic was stopped in four round by Umar Salamov in May last year and in May this year stopped 23-1 German Denis Liebau to win the WBFederation title. German Gebhard, 37, turned pro in 2003 but was inactive from 2007 to 2016 and won his last seven fights.
Montichiari, Italy: Heavy: Ivan Di Berardino (9-1-1) W TKO 2 Fabio Tuiach (29-6). Di Berardino wins the Italian title with second round stoppage of champion Tuiach. After an even first round Di Berardino landed a right to the side of the head that had Tuiach backing to the ropes. Di Berardino followed him and landed two more clubbing rights that turned Tuiach sideward’s hanging out over the top rope and Di Berardino threw another right that landed on the back of Tuiach’s head. The referee stepped in and gave Tuiach a standing count. Di Berardino then landed more heavy rights and when a left uppercut snapped back Tuiach’s head the referee stopped the fight. The 36-year-old Di Berardino gets his sixth win by KO/TKO and wins the national title at the second attempt. Tuiach, 38, was making the first defence of the title in his second reign as champion.
Nogales, Mexico: Super Bantam: Aaron Alameda (24-0) W RTD 9 Breilor Teran (25-17-1). Bantam: Karim Arce (15-0-1) W TKO 2 Carlos Rodriguez 9-4( ). Super Fly: Pedro Guevara (33-3-1) W TKO 2 Jorge (7-13). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (8-0) W KO 5 Ricardo Rico (4-7)
Alameda vs. Teran
Alameda pleases his home town fans with inside the distance win over seasoned Venezuelan Teran. The local southpaw controlled the fight from the start with Teran spending much of the time pinned to the ropes. Alameda continued to hand out serious punishment but Teran had a tight defence and a good chin. From the sixth Alameda went into more of a countering role trying to lure Teran out of his shell. It worked and at the end of the ninth round Teran stayed in his corner. Alameda wins the vacant WBC Latino title. Despite his impressive statistics Alameda has only beaten very modest opposition and this was his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. Teran has been in with good opposition such as champions Omar Narvaez, Juan Reveco and Julio Ceja and this is only his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Arce vs. Rodriguez
Teenage hope Arce much too good for Rodriguez and floors and halts him in the second. Rodriguez made it to his feet but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 19-year-old nephew of the great Jorge Arce now has six wins by KO/TKO and was coming off a career best win over former WBA champion Alex Munoz. Rodriguez slips to 1-4 in his last 5
Guevara vs. Guerrero
Former WBC light fly champion Guevara just keeps turning over with stoppage of overmatched Guerrero. Guevara lost a majority decision to Ken Shiro in a challenge for his old title in October last year and is hoping for a revenge fight but despite his six wins in his last seven fights has somehow dropped out of the WBC top 15. Guerrero no threat as he has now lost 6 of his last 7 fights 5 by KO/TKO.
Delgado vs., Rico
Delgado maintains his 100% record of wins inside the distance with fifth round kayo of overmatched Rico. The 23-year-old Rio Olympian gave Rico a broken jaw but is yet to face a real test. Third loss by KO/TKO for Rico.
Santa Barbara, Philippines: Minimumweight: Pedro Taduran (13-2) W KO 2 Jeffrey Galero (17-6). Southpaw Taduran defends his Philippines title with second round kayo of Galero. The 22-year-old “Rattle Snake” gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. This is his first fight since losing on points in August to WBC minimum champion Wanheng in the fight that moved Wanheng to 51 wins to put him clear of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s 50 wins. Galero, who lost on points to Wanheng in a title challenge in 2015, has slipped away and is 7-6 in his last 13 fights.
Bowie, MD, USA: Super Middle: Demond Nicholson (20-3-1) W KO 2 Fernando Castaneda (26-13). Local fighter Nicholson crushes Castaneda in two round. Nicholson repeatedly found the target in the first with some hurtful shots from both hands. In the second a crunching right uppercut put Castaneda down and out. Nicholson, 25, retains his WBC United States title. He does not do distance fights with only three of his bouts having gone to the cards. This is win No 19 by KO/TKO. He lost a split decision to Steve Rolls last year and was stopped in seven rounds in April by Jesse Hart. Castaneda lost inside the distance to Frank Buglioni and Hosea Burton if fights in England.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Jose Pedraza
Fight of the week (Significance): Lomachenko vs. Pedraza as it could open the way for a Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia fight to unify the lightweight titles
Fighter of the week: Lomachenko
Punch of the week: The right to the head from Teo Lopez that sent Mason Menard face down on the canvas
Upset of the week: Petro Ivanov was not expected to beat Louis Toutin let alone stop him and unknown quantity Emanuel Navarette’s win over Isaac Dogboe was unexpected,
Prospect watch: Frenchman Mikael Diallo 18-0-2 (15 wins by KO/TKO) was impressive as was Anthony Fowler 9-0 (8 wins by KO/TKO)
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (20-0): WBO #5
The undefeated Chinese giant and Olympic Silver Medalist beat Don Haynesworth (15-3) this past September in his first WBO Oriental title defense.
Super Lightweight / Jr Welterweight:
-Apinun Khongsong (13-0): IBF #10
The current IBF Asia & Pan Pacific champion has fought thrice this year, all stoppage victories.
-Daud Yordan (38-4): WBA #4
Yordan’s latest success came this April, when he knocked out Pavel Malikov (14-1) to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. On October 11 he put on a good performance against former World champion Anthony Crolla (34-6) in a WBA World title eliminator, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
-Mercito Gesta (32-2): WBO #5
After unsuccessfully challenging Jorge Linares for the WBA World championship earlier this year, Gesta defeated Robert Manzanarez (36-2) for the vacant WBO-NABO title.
-Can Xu (15-2): WBA #2 / WBC #10
The reigning WBA International champion will be facing Jesus Rojas (26-2) for the WBA “regular” title on January 26.
-Genesis Servania (32-1): WBO #1 / WBA #3 / IBF #5 / WBC #12
Servania has knocked out all of his opponents, since losing to WBO World champion Oscar Valder (24-0) in 2017, including world title contender Carlos Carlson (23-5) in September. He’s now looking for another shot at a World championship, either at Featherweight or at Super Bantamweight. His next confirmed opponent is Luis May (21-11), whom he’ll face in Arizona, on January 12.
-Mark Magsayo (18-0): WBC #1 / WBO #10
The reigning WBO International champion is the number 1 contender for the WBC World title. A match with Gary Russell Jr. (29-1) could be in the works for 2019.
-Richard Pumicpic (21-9): WBO #8
Pumicpic recently lost his WBO Asia Pacific title to undefeated prospect Musashi Mori (8-0).
Super Bantamweight / Jr Featherweight:
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #5 / IBF #6 / WBC #18
Pagara stopped Laryea Gabriel Odoi (20-4) this past June, to become the WBO Intercontinental champion. He successfully made his inaugural title defense against George Krampah (14-4) on November 24.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (26-1): WBO #3
The WBO Asia Pacific champion marked his third successful title defense earlier this year against Likit Chane (16-8). After dispatching Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3) in July, he will return to the ring once more before the year is over, on December 16. No opponent has been named as of yet.
-Marlon Tapales (31-2): WBO #6
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion made short work of Goodluck Mrema (22-4) this past September. It’s not certain if Super Bantamweight or Featherweight will be the division Tapales sticks with.
-Tasana Salapat (48-0): WBC #2
“Petch Sor Chitpattana” is set to face Takuma Inoue (12-0) for the interim WBC World championship, on December 30, in Japan.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (43-1): WBC #9
Nawaphon earned a huge victory earlier this year when he stopped former IBF World Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (18-3) in the third round. He then moved to Bantamweight where he won the WBC Asia title in July and defended it later in November against Richard Claveras (18-6).
-Kenny Demecillo (14-4): IBF #3
Demecillo has fought only once this year, scoring a KO win over Vyacheslav Mirzaev (11-1) in Russia. His next scheduled appearance is in March of 2019 as he takes on Michael Dasmarinas (28-2) in an IBF World title eliminator.
-Michael Dasmarinas (28-2): IBF #4 / WBC #15
Dasmarinas knocked out former EBU European champion Karim Guerfi (28-4) this April to earn the IBO “world” title. His latest fight against Manyo Plange (17-0) came to a draw. He will square off against Kenny Demecillo (14-4), as mentioned above, for a chance at the IBF World title.
-Carl Jammes Martin (11-0): WBO #10 / WBA #15
2018 has been a breakout year for the Filipino, winning 4 fights in the span of only 6 months, plus the WBO Oriental Youth & WBA Asia titles.
Super Flyweight / Jr Bantamweight:
-Donnie Nietes (41-1): WBO #1 / WBC #6
The former 3 division World champion fought Aston Palicte (24-2) for the vacant WBO World title, this past September, to a draw. Nietes will now be facing fellow 3 division World champion Kazuto Ioka (23-1) for the same vacant crown, on December 31st in Macau.
-Aston Palicte (24-2): WBO #2 / WBO #8
Palicte will be involved in a WBO World title eliminator with Jose Martinez (20-0) in the near future.
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-1): WBA #1
The former WBA Asia champion has fought twice in 2018 and has knocked out both of his opponents.
-Nare Yianleang (68-5): WBA #2 / WBC #5
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, “Noknoi Sitthiprasert” has been undefeated in his last 6 fights, but none of them was against a credible opponent.
-Giemel Magramo (22-1): WBO #7 / WBC #9 / WBA #9 / IBF #10
The Filipino captured the vacant WBO Oriental title in March and successfully defended it on October 29, against Petchchorhae Kokietgym (17-2). He will meet Wenfeng Ge (11-0) for the WBO International title on January 5th, in his opponent’s home country, China.
-Wenfeng Ge (11-0): WBO #10 / IBF #13 / WBC #25
The undefeated Chinese prospect took the unanimous decision victory over Ivan Soriano (18-2) as well as the vacant WBO International championship, this past August. His first title defense will be against top ranked Flyweight Giemel Magramo (22-1) on January 5th.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (51-4): WBA #8 / WBC #19
The former WBA interim World champion failed the recapture the crown this summer in Ukraine when he fought Artem Dalakian (17-0).
-Jayr Raquinel (10-1): IBF #7 / WBC #24
Earlier this year, Raquinel won the OPBF title from Keisuke Nakayama (11-3) and in 2 months time, successfully marked his first title defense over Shun Kosaka (15-5). However, he failed to capture the vacant WBC Silver championship, when he boxed with Chinese rising star Wulan Tuolehazi (9-3), in September.
-Komgrich Nantapech (24-5): IBF #3
The reigning IBF Pan Pacific champion was supposed to face Masayuki Kuroda (30-7) in an IBF world title eliminator bout, on November 21, but due to a sudden injury, he wasn’t able to compete.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-3): WBC #1 / WBO #2 / WBA #3 / IBF #10
Taconing defended his WBC International championship, for the second time, this past September against former world title contender Vince Paras (13-2).
-Edward Heno (13-0): WBO #4 / WBC #6 / WBA #6 / IBF #7
Heno marked 2 successful title defenses of the OPBF championship, within 2018, over Jesse Espinas (19-3) as well as former World champion Merlito Sabillo (27-6). His third OPBF title defense will take place in Japan, against Koji Itagaki (18-13), on February 11.
-Jing Xiang (15-4): WBO #7 / WBC #11
2018 has been a quite successful year for Xiang as he, not only captured the vacant WBO Intercontinental title on January, but also earned a huge victory after defeating former World champion Merlito Sabillo (27-6), this past September, to become the WBC Silver champion. 2019 will bring another major test for the Chinese rising star as he is scheduled to make his first WBC Silver title defense against 2 time World champion Suriyan Satorn (59-6), on January 5th, in China.
-Christian Araneta (16-0): WBC #10 / WBA #9 / WBO #11
Araneta expanded his undefeated streak when he stopped former world title contender Jerry Tomogdan (25-10), in August, to win the vacant WBC Asia Silver championship. He has expressed his wish to face Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0) for the WBC World Minimumweight title.
-Teeraphong Utaida (37-6): IBF #5
Since losing to Felix Alvarado last year, Utaida has won 3 fights in a row, including the IBF Pan Pacific title.
-Rey Loreto (24-14): WBC #7
After a failed attempt to dethrone Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) last year, Loreto returned this past February and knocked out journeyman Arnold Garde (10-6).
-Milan Melindo (37-4): WBC #5
The former IBF World champion lost to the defending WBC World champion Ken Shiro (14-0) this October, after enduring a massive beating for 7 rounds.
-Robert Paradero (17-0): WBO #1 / WBC #26
Paradero is supposed to face Wilfredo Mendez (11-1) in a WBO World title eliminator. The winner will be next in line to challenge the winner of Vic Saludar/Masataka Taniguchi, for the gold, in 2019.
-Chaozhong Xiong (27-8): WBA #8 / WBC #15
Xiong tried to become a 2 time World champion when he fought Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) in July, but it wasn’t meant to be. No news yet if that was his last match or not.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1): WBO #9 / WBC #27
Cuarto won his first championship in August after he fought Clyde Azarcon (13-2) for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #9 / WBC #11
Taduran began 2018 very promising as he dropped former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (25-10) in the fifth round, but couldn’t capitalize on that momentum in his World championship bout against Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0). He beat Jeffrey Galero (17-6) on December 7.
-Samuel Salva (15-0): IBF #8 / WBC #32
The Filipino prospect remained undefeated in 2018 as well, adding 3 more victories to his record.
*Interim World Champions NOT included.
**The focus was on South/East Asian countries.
***The WBC/IBF rankings are from October
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
A week ago Satoshi Shimizu extended his perfect record to 8-0 8 Kos as he defended his OPBF featherweight crown against the undefeated Takuya Uehara. Uehara proved no match for Shimizu who scored multiple knockdowns on his way to a third round stoppage.
The intention from Shimizu’s team at the Ohashi Gym is to get him a world title tilt in 2019. We’ve heard that talk for a while now and it’s clear that the unorthodox southpaw is well beyond the regional level.
Looking at the featherweight landscape it’s difficult to see where Shimizu’s shot will come unless he can win some sort of eliminator and become a mandatory challenger. WBO titlist Oscar Valdez looks to be set for a January return after suffering a broken jaw in his March clash with Scott Quigg and a unification with the victor of the Josh Warrington Carl Frampton clash looks to be in the offing for possibly next summer. Leo Santa Cruz is involved in yet another pointless matchup and Gary Russell Jr will probably make his annual single appearance sometime in 2019.
There are numerous opportunities 4 pounds south but given Shinizu’s significant frame possibly draining him would make no sense at all and a rematch from the Olympics with Isaac Dogboe is dead for now as the Ghanaian lost his WBO title at the weekend. One bout that hasn’t been mentioned for Shimizu and seems feasible is actually 4 pounds north against WBO champion Masayuki Ito.
Ito impressed on his voyage to the US where he proved too good for Christopher Diaz in their vacant world title tussle in July. Before any thoughts of a potential domestic dust up with Shimizu, Ito makes a mandatory defense against Evgeny Chuprakov on December 30 in Tokyo. The fight is being broadcast on Fuji TV, where the Ohashi Gym have aligned themselves so any stumbling block regarding who would show the contest between Shimizu and Ito shouldn’t be an issue.
From Ito’s point of view a win over a 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist would greatly enhance his profile at home and enhance his stock with a victory over someone as dangerous as Shimizu and then he could try and pursue unifications in the US. At 32 Shimizu really doesn’t have any more time to waste and cannot afford another year of bouts at the regional level where he’d be heavily favoured and as previously stated his options at 126 lb look slim and a contest against Ito would be the most realistic.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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