By Eric Armit
-Errol Spence unifies the IBF and WBC welter titles with split decision over Shawn Porter
-David Benavidez regains the WBC super middle title with stoppage of Anthony Dirrell
-Mario Barrios wins the vacant secondary WBA welter title by outpointing Batyr Akhmedov
-David Avanesyan retains the European welter title with first round stoppage of Kerman Lejarraga
-Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka has no trouble dismantling Michael Wallisch in three rounds
-Daniel Dubois crushes unbeaten Ebenezer Tetteh inside a round to win the vacant Commonwealth title
- Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov kayos Azinga Fuzile in IBF super featherweight title eliminator
-South African Ayanda Nkosi wins the vacant WBFederation title with stoppage of experienced Mexican Emanuel Lopez
WORLD TITLE FIGHT SHOWS
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Errol Spencer (26-0) W PTS 12 Shawn Porter (30-3-1). Super Middle: David Benavidez (22-0) W TKO 9 Anthony Dirrell (33-2-1) . Super Light: Mario Barrios (25-0) W PTS 12 Batyr Akhmedov (7-1). Welter: Josesito Lopez (37-8,1ND) W TKO 8 John Molina (30-9).Welter: Robert Guerrero (36-6-1) W PTS 10 Jerry Thomas (14-2-1). Super Light; Fabian Maidana (17-1-0) W KO 1 Ramses Agaton (21-11-3).Super Middle: Misael Rodriguez (10-0) W TKO 3 Brandon Maddox (7-3-1). Welter: Lindolfo Delgado (11-0) W TKO 6Jesus Zazueta Anaya (6-5-1).
Spence vs. Porter
This promised to be a high quality, close and competitive fight and it delivered on all three as IBF champion Spence wins a split decision over WBC champion Porter to unify the two titles.
Plenty of probing and not much punching early in the round. When the action started it was Porter darting inside against the taller Spence and connecting with some fast, light punches. Spence landed a couple of jabs but another quick attack from Porter captured the points.
Score: 10-9 Porter
Porter was first to the punch in this one connecting with a jab and straight right as Spence was waiting too long for an opening. Porter was moving in behind his jab and firing hooks and uppercuts inside. Spence scored with a hard left hook but Porter ignored it and ended round with a burst of punches.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 20-18
The fight really came to life in this one. Spence was now taking advantage of his longer reach to land his right jab and firing straight lefts. Porter attacked furiously trying to overwhelm Spence with the volume of punches. He had some success but Spence was countering well and just edge the round. Both fighters were warned for low punches.
Score: 10-9 Spence Porter 29-28
An incredible round from Porter. He walked forward for the whole three minutes tossing punches from both hands. Hooks, uppercuts straight punches he kept them flowing. Some missed, some were blocked but plenty got through and Spence was too busy defending to launch an offensive of his own. You had to wonder whether this high level work rate would catch up with Porter in the late rounds.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 39-37
Judges scores: Weisfeld: 38-38 tied, Hazzard Jr 40-36 Porter, Danseco 39-37 Porter
Spence needed to change his tactics and he did. He used his jab to get on the front foot and threw more lefts. He was anticipating Porter’s swarming attacks and was stepping back countering Porter on the way in and then tying Porter up inside. Significantly Spence threw more and landed more punches in this round
Score:10-9 Spence Porter 48-47
In a wild round first Spence pinned Porter on the ropes and worked him over and then Porter turned off the ropes put Spence there and banged away on Spence. Spence managed to get some space and scored with strong jabs and straight lefts. Porter dragged Spence back into a brawl and they traded toe-to-toe with Spence getting the better of the exchanges. This fight was delivering on its promise.
Score: 10-9 Spence Tied 57-57
A closer round. Spence was again scoring well at distance and Porter was firing bursts of punches inside. Spence looked the stronger and was connecting with the harder punches. Porter was throwing more and probably landing a few more but it was quality vs. volume and I gave it to quality.
Score: 10-9 Spence Spence 67-66
For the first time Spence boxed behind his jab giving himself some room spearing Porter with the jab and firing straight lefts. Porter stuck to the same tactics of wild attacking bursts. He had some success but he was too often just swinging wildly. He did land a couple of jarring head punches but Spence looked to have hurt Porter with a hit to the body.
Score: 10-9 Spence Spence 77-75
Judges scores: Weisfeld 77-75 Spence, Hazzard Jr 78-74 Porter, Danseco 76-76
The fight seemed to be slipping away from Porter but in this round although still going for quantity he was more accurate getting through with punches from both hands inside outworking Spence and holding off a strong attack from Spence before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Porter Spence 86-85
Quantity won through in this one also. The sheer work rate from Porter was stifling Spence’s attempts to create any punching space. Swarming forward firing from both hands it was hit and miss from Porter but he outlanded Spence.
Score: 10-9 Porter Tied 95-95
Spence managed to open up some space over the first minute in this one. Some space but not too much. By staying just a couple of paces off him Spence was stopping Porter’s rushes before Porter could build any impetus and scoring with his jabs. With a minute to go in the round as Porter waded in Spence met him with a stunning short left hook that shook Porter badly and he dropped with his left knee and one glove touching the canvas. It was a knockdown and although Porter was not too badly shaken and tried to stage a late recovery it was a big blow to his hopes.
Score: 10-8 Spence Spence 105-103
Spence took the last. He was landing scything hooks and uppercuts rattling punches off Porter’s head and forcing Porter back. Porter tried some rushing attacks but the fire was missing and Spence outlanded Porter throughout the round.
Score: 10-9 Spence Spence 115-112
Judges Scores: Weisfeld 116-111 Spence , Hazzard Jr 115-112 Porter, Danseco 116-112 Spence.
Spence retains the IBF title and lifts the WBC title. The 29-year-old Texan was naturally looking for a fight with Manny Pacquiao which would give a third belt but he may just be more than Pacquiao needs at this stage of his career. A fight with WBO champion Terrence Crawford would sort out who is the best welterweight in the world and Spence also said he would like that fight but that might be a hard fight to make. Porter played his part in a great contest but in the end the tremendous work he had put in over the earlier rounds left him drained and that was critical. The fight was close enough and entertaining enough for a return but Porte will have to wait and put some wins together before that can happen.
Benavidez vs. Dirrell
Youth will be served. Benavidez proved just too powerful for Dirrell to keep out and Benavidez ripped the WBC title out of the veteran’s hands over nine punishing rounds.
Clever boxing by Dirrell in the opener. He was on the back foot circling around a slower Benavidez spearing him with jabs and then darting in to connecting with a couple of punches and getting out again. Benavidez began to let his hands go over the last minute and landed a good right.
Score: 10-9 Dirrell
Benavidez changed the fight in the second. He was taking an extra step to close Dirrell down and continually stabbing out punches. He was connecting with his jab and straight rights and although Dirrell landed a few counters it was Benavidez round
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Tied 19-19
Initially Dirrell tried to stay in the centre of the ring and trade jabs with Benavidez. That did not last long and soon Benavidez was showing the power of his own jab. He landed a hurtful right and Dirrell felt the need to shake his head to show he was not hurt-which is a sure sign he was. Benavidez pinned Dirrell to the ropes for the first time and connected with clubbing shots to head and body. Dirrell fought his way off the ropes and landed a cracking left hook.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 29-28
A much better round from Dirrell. He kept moving and popping Benavidez with jabs and then closing in for a quick strike with his right. Benavidez was not closing Dirrell down as he had in the last two rounds and never found the range with his jab. At the end of the round it was Benavidez pinned to the ropes as Dirrell worked away inside.
Score: 10-9 Dirrell Tied 38-38
Judges scores: Carusone 38-38 tied, Rose 39-37 Benavidez. Moret 38-38 tied.
Benavidez found the range again in this round. He was jabbing well and in the middle of the round raked Dirrell with combinations. Dirrell was quick and accurate with his jabs and did enough to make the round close.
Score 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 48-47
A big round for Benavidez and a bad one for Dirrell. Benavidez was in total control. He was getting through with powerful jabs landing jarring rights and digging in left hooks. Dirrell just could not keep Benavidez out and to cap Dirrell’s misery a jab from Benavidez opened a cut over Dirrell’s right eye.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 58-56
Another dominant round for Benavidez. He was tracking a retreating Dirrell around the ring find gaps with his jab and rocking Dirrell with big rights. Blood from the cut was trickling into Dirrell's right eye hampering his vision and the referee stopped the fight so the doctor could inspect the damage but the fight continued. Dirrell briefly tried to stand and trade with Benavidez but it was Benavidez who was landing the harder punches.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 68-65
Dirrell survived another inspection by the doctor at the start of the round and then decided to switch to southpaw. He showed some fire but clubbing shots from Benavidez doused that and a right looked to have shaken Dirrell. Benavidez was in full flow connecting upstairs and down with Dirrell a weary looking fighter.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 78-74
Judges scores: Carusone 78-74 Benavidez, Ross 79-73 Benavidez, Moret 78-74 Benavidez
Benavidez battered Dirrell around the ring landing left hooks to the body and thudding head punches. He banged away with Dirrell unable to fight back or to avoid the punishment. The referee let it go too long and the fight was only stopped when the doctor and a ring official climbed to the apron waiving for the referee to save Dirrell from further punishment.
Benavidez, 22, regains the title he “lost” when as the reigning WBC champion he was shifted to “Champion in recess” after testing positive for cocaine. Still only 22 the tall “Red Flag” became the youngest ever super middle champion when he outpointed Ron Gavril for the vacant title in September 2017. He has an impressive 86.36 average of wins by KO/TKO with this being his nineteenth inside the distance victory. A Benavidez vs. Callum Smith unification fight would be a battle to savour. Dirrell only made it to the ninth round because of his skill and experience. This is the first inside the distance loss for Dirrell with his other defeat coming by way of a majority verdict against Badou Jack back in 2015 a loss that cost him his WBC title. He regained the title with a technical decision over Avni Yildirim in February but now has to decide whether to try to land another title shot or to call it a day at 34.
Barrios vs. Akhmedov
Both fighters began cautiously. Barrios had height and reach on his side with Akhmedov’s southpaw style posing something a little different for Barrios. Neither really committed themselves. Barrios landed a couple of jabs and a cracking left hook which was enough to give him the round.
Score: 10-9 Barrios
Both were still a bit tentative in their work. Barrios was able to use his jab to score on the outside with Akhmedov managing to walk past the jab and connect with hooks but again Barrios just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Barrios Barrios 20-18
The first two rounds had been close but Barrios clearly took this one. He landed a quick burst of punches at the start of the round and a sharp left counter. Akhmedov kept walking forward but was caught by three successive rights,. The pace heated up over the last 40 seconds as for the first time they stood in close and traded punches.
Score: 10-9 Barrios Barrios 30-27
A huge round for Barrios. At the start of the round he landed a right that caused Akhmedov to buckle at the knees. The Russian was badly shaken and retreating quickly in some disarray. Barrios connected with more rights and Akhmedov dropped forward with both gloves touching the canvas. After the eight count Akhmedov steadied himself and then twice launched furious attacks forcing Barrios to stand and trade but Barrios was more accurate and went back to his boxing picking off Akhmedov with jabs.
Score: 10-8 Barrios Barrios 40-35
Judges scores: Hayes 40-35 Barrios, Cheatham 39-36 Barrios. Young 40-35 Barrios
Five points behind after four rounds made the position desperate for Akhmedov but he began to chip away at the lead Barrios had built. The Russian was coming forward throwing hooks, uppercuts and short right leads. It was controlled aggression and Barrios just could not get off with his own shots.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 49-45
A more even round. Barrios did a better job of countering the advancing Akhmedov early in the round. Akhmedov kept pumping out short punches inside and was outlanding Barrios and his hard work just gave him the edge over the classier counters from Barrios but it was close.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 58-55
Akhmedov was on a roll. He was hustling Barrios out of his stride pressurising him by getting inside and working with short hooks and uppercuts. Barrios was throwing less and less and just could not keep Akhmedov out as the Russian swung the fight his way. He was eating into the lead Barrios had built and Barrios had been cut over his left eye in a clash of heads.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 67-65
Barrios made some punching space at the start of this round and countered well but Akhmedov soon got into his stride. He was simply outworking Barrios. He was not loading up on his punches but the short hooks were scoring. Barrios was now just throwing single shots and was slower and looked tired.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Barrios 76-75
Judges scores: Hayes 78-73 Barrios, Cheatham 77-74 Barrios, Young 77-74 Barrios
Barrios moved more and threw more punches than in the last round but he was still just not working hard enough. His jab was no longer effective and at times he was just swinging his arms . Akhmedov’s work rate had also dropped but it was still higher than that of Barrios and he ended the round driving Barrios back with hooks and uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov TIED 85-85
Akhmedov continued to hunt down a tiring Barrios. He was doing nothing special just walking forward pumping out punches. There wasn’t a great deal of power in them but he managed to jar Barrios with two lefts to the head. Barrios was hardly throwing a punch and his movement and jab were but a memory.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Akhmedov 95-94
Another one-sided round. The almost robotic Akhmedov just kept punching. He seemed to have limitless stamina whereas Barrios was having difficulty keeping his hands up and was only prodding out an occasion punch. By the end of the round the statistic were showing Akhmedov had landed over 220 punches and Barrios less than 130.
Score: 10-9 Akhmedov Akhmedov 105-103
Barrios found the energy to move and punch early in the last but Akhmedov rocked him with a right and took control. Both were tired but Akhmedov seemed on his way to taking the round when with only 24 seconds to go Barrios landed a hard straight right. Akhmedov was shaken and dropped forward putting both gloves on the canvas. It of course counted as a knockdown. When the action resumed there was no time for either to land another punch.
Score: 10-8 Barrios TIED 113-113
Judges scores: Hayes 116-111 Barrios, Cheatham 115-111 Barrios and Young 114-112 Barrios
Barrios wins the vacant secondary WBA title but for me he was lucky to do so and don’t get me started on the stupid 10-8 for any round featuring a knockdown To my mind it is an abomination as it makes it almost impossible for a judge to use his own judgment on scoring a round. If he failed to follow that rule and scored the round 10-9 for the guy who outlanded the other guy by a wide margin but brushed the canvas twice with his gloves and that judge’s score proved crucial he would be pilloried. What’s the point of having experienced reliable judges and then telling them how to do their scoring. Rant over. As I saw it Akhmedov was unlucky and hopefully will get another shot-but don’t hold your breath.
Lopez vs. Molina
After his impressive showing when losing on a majority decision against Keith Thurman Lopez has become a certainty to get another title shot as long as he can keep winning. He made a great start in this fight as with less than thirty seconds gone he landed a thudding right cross to the head of Molina which sent Molina reeling into the ropes and down on his hands and knees. Molina was up at eight and as Lopez went right hand happy swinging and missing Molina landed a sharp left hook to show he was still in the fight. Another right had Molina in trouble on the ropes and a left dropped him to his knees. It looked all over as Molina knelt wincing with pain. He did make it to his feet but it looked like it was at 10 ½ but for the referee Molina had beaten the count. In typical Molina fashion he walked into Lopez trading punches. He went down but it was ruled a slip and Molina survived a torrid opening three minutes. Lopez then dominated the action finding Molina’s face time and again with a strong jab and rattling Molina with rights to the head. He hurt Molina with two hard rights in the second but Molina banged back with a left hook. The pace slowed a little in the third . Lopez was still connecting with overhand rights but in this round and the fifth Molina managed to get on the front foot and when he got inside was landing some hard hooks. Lopez was using the jab to set Molina up for the right crosses in the sixth and although rocked a few times Molina kept throwing wild, hopeful pinches. Late in the seven a short left hook and a punishing right to the head saw Molina drop to one knee. At the end of the count there was only ten seconds remaining in the round but again Lopez bounced two hard rights off Molina’s head. In my opinion neither the referee nor Molina’s corner should have let him come out for the eighth but they did. For twenty seconds Lopez banged punches against Molina’s head until the fight was stopped. Lopez has not been a protected fighter in the past but has been cast in the victim role against the top welterweights. He has lost to Jessie Vargas-but on a split decision, Saul Alvarez, Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto but the Thurman fight means he will now get a more than even break when it comes to the fighters he will face. Molina is a true warrior but one who needs to be saved from his own bravery . Unfortunately just when he seems to be on the way out he somehow conjures up a win that puts him back in the frame but he really should retire.
Guerrero vs. Thomas
Guerrero has not yet reached the same point in his career as Molina but he also has a limited shelf life and limited horizons. This was a predictable win as he faced a far less experienced and almost inactive Thomas. In fact Thomas almost carried that inactivity into the ring. Although his tricky style frustrated Guerrero he did very little over the early rounds as Guerrero jarred him in the first and outboxed him without really having to move out of second gear. Thomas showed more life over the second half of the fight and he had a tiring Guerrero under heavy fire in the ninth before relapsing again as Guerrero took charge in the last. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Guerrero. After a spell of four losses in five fights Guerrero was out of the ring for seventeen months before returning with a win last December. This is his second win this year but all of his recent wins have come against very limited opposition. This was only the third fight in two years for Thomas and his first for sixteen months
Maidana vs. Agaton
Maidana gets back on track after losing his unbeaten tag and blows away Agaton with three quick knockdowns. Agaton made an aggressive start but early in the round Maidana put him down with a hurtful straight right. Agaton beat the count but Maidana clobbered him with some head punches and Agaton went down again. Agaton took the fight to Maidana but a right counter sent him on a retreat and a crunching right to the ribs saw him take a step back and go down on one knee and the referee stopped the fight without a count. The 27-year-old brother of Marcos suffered an upset points loss against Venezuelan veteran Jaider Parra in January so needed to put on a show here. Fifth loss in his last six outings for Mexican Agaton .
Rodriguez vs. Maddox
Mexican Olympian Rodriguez is just too much for an overmatched Maddox. Rodriguez was hounding Maddox from the first raking him with hard punches to head and body. Maddox tried to fight back but the power and accuracy of Rodriguez’s attacks were just too much for him to handle. Rodriguez ended it in the third. He had Maddox trapped in a corner and ready to go when Rodriguez corner pleaded for the fight to be halted. The 6’1” 25-year-old Rodriguez won bronze medals in both the Rio Olympics and the Pan American Games. This is his fifth inside the distance victory. In his last two fights Detroit’s Maddox had boxed a split draw with 21-1-1 Mike Jimenez and lost a split decision against 14-1 Ronald Cruz so was a legitimate test for Rodriguez.
Delgado vs. Anaya
Explosive Olympian Delgado maintains his 100% record of inside the distance wins with late stoppage of Anaya. Delgado had to work hard for the win as Anaya was willing to stand and trade. From the fourth the superior power of Delgado saw him in full control and a too brave Anaya was still on his feet but shipping heavy punishment when the fight was ended in the sixth. This marks only the second time that Delgado has had to go past the fifth round for a victory. The 24-year-old from Monterrey represented Mexico at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics as well as winning a silver medal at the Pan American Games where he beat Carlos Balderas. First inside the distance defeat for Anaya who is now 0-4-1 in his five most recent outings.
Montreal, Canada; Super Light: Batyrzhan Jukembayev (17-0) W PTS 10 Miguel Vazquez (41-9). Middle: Steven Butler (28-1-1) W KO 1 Paul Valenzuela (24-9).
Jukembayev vs. Vazquez
Jukembayev wins ugly but wins. The Kazak southpaw was frustrated by a very negative Vazquez. After a competitive start the former IBF lightweight champion focused on survival . He used his experience and awkward style to avoid and bemuse Jukembayev in a fight that provided a poor spectacle-not Jukembayev’s fault. The Kazak shook Vazquez in the ninth but other than that Vazquez was never really troubled. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Jukembayev. He picks up two titles winning the vacant WBA Continental and IBF Inter-Continental belts but has yet to face an A Level opponent. Now 32 Vazquez is too good for the C level fighters but has been beaten inside the distance by Josh Taylor and Thulani Mbenge and is beginning to fill the role of a useful scalp to have on your belt for promising younger fighters.
Butler vs. Valenzuela
Butler finishes the normally resilient Valenzuela in just 38 seconds. After some preliminary sparring as Valenzuela moved inside Butler met him with a strong left jab. The punch put Valenzuela down face first on the canvas. He tried to lever himself up to his hands and knees but slumped down on his face again at which point the referee abandoned the count and signalled the fight was ended. Butler said he had been practicing to strengthen his jab until his left arm almost fell off but even he must have been surprised at the dramatic effect of that punch. The 24-year-old “BANG BANG” fittingly moves to 24 wins by KO/TKO and is now rated WBO 1/WBC 4/IBF 8 but whether he is ready to challenge Demetrius Andrade is very questionable. Valenzuela, 32, is 1-5 in his last six contests but this is only his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
London. England: Heavy: Daniel Dubois (13-0) W TKO 1 Ebenezer Tetteh (20-1). Super Feather: Archie Sharp (17-0) W KO 4 Declan Geraghty (19-5)
Dubois vs. Tetteh
Dubois exposes Tetteh as he destroys the unbeaten Ghanaian inside a round. Dubois drove Tetteh back with stiff jabs and already looked dangerous with a right cross. Tetteh traded a couple of jabs with Dubois but he was slow and his footwork was poor. Dubois connected with double left hooks and then landed a short right which dumped Tetteh on his rear. He was up at five but looked unsteady . A series of punches put him down again. He again made it to his feet at five and was shaky. The referee completed the eight count and then waived the fight off over protests from Tetteh. He looked able to continue but he was so obviously in over his head that it was the right decision. The 22-year-old Londoner wins both the vacant Commonwealth title and vacant WBI International title. After an impressive win over Nathan Gorman he is really beginning to develop and holding him back might be a problem. Tetteh’s record is padded with very poor opposition none of whom would creep into the world’s top 50
Sharp vs. Vs. Geraghty
Sharp retains the WBO European title with sensational kayo of Geraghty. Over the first two rounds Irish southpaw Geraghty boxed beautifully jabbing, moving smoothly and putting together some impressive combinations. Sharp pressed hard in the third but Geraghty continued to box cleverly. He did enough to take the round and at the bell Sharp was showing a cut. Geraghty was being forced to trade more in the fourth and suddenly as they exchanged punches inside Sharp fired home a stunning left hook and the referee instantly waived the fight over. Geraghty was given oxygen but recovered quickly. Towering performance from the 24-year-old from Kent and his eighth win by KO/TKO. He is No 7 with the WBO. Former top amateur Geraghty is 2-3 in a run of five tough tests with all three losses inside the distance which puts a question mark over how far he can go.
Gravelines, France: Heavy: Raphael Tronche (13-0) W TKO 9 Ariel Bracamonte (9-4). Tronche wins the vacant IBO International title with stoppage of Argentinian novice Bracamonte. There were some good exchanges in the first but after those three minutes Tronche was in charge. He landed some hard lefts in the second and had Bracamonte rocking a couple of times in the third. Tronche handed out some fierce punishment in the fourth and fifth with Bracamonte spending much of the time trapped against the ropes. Although dominating the sixth and seventh Tronche could not find the power to end the fight. Tronche’s pressure eased a little in the eighth and Bracamonte finally showed some aggression. It did not last and a series of unanswered punches in the ninth saw the referee stop the fight. The 29-year-old French champion from Calais has eight wins by KO/TKO but his opposition has not been of sufficient quality to get him a spot in the EBU top 20. Bracamonte is earning his money the hard way with over his head losses against Dave Allen and Evgeny Roman
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rica: Super Bantam: Carlos Arrieta (11-0) W PTS 10 Ricardo Nunez (29-11). Fighting in his home town Arrieta has to battle to get a split decision over the more experienced Nunez. Arrieta worked hard behind his jab but it was his left hooks that won the fight for him. After being hurt by a right cross in the first Arrieta looked to have Nunez wilting from a series of vicious left hooks to the body in the second but Nunez stayed inside to deny Arrieta leverage. Nunez had the better of the action in the third and fourth forcing Arrieta back and connecting with rights that brought a swelling under the left eye of the Puerto Rican. Nunez outworked Arrieta in the fifth but Arrieta used good movement, a strong jab and left hooks to edge the sixth although a punch from Nunez opened a cut strangely enough up on the top of Arrieta’s head behind his era. He survived a doctor’s inspection and then boxed well on the retreat over the seventh, eighth and ninth to get in front but Nunez won the tenth as he marched forward connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Scores 96-94 twice for Arrieta and 95-95.Arrieta may just have about deserved the decision but it could have gone either way so Nunez will have been unhappy. Arrieta, 25, “The Chosen One” was stepping up to ten rounds for the first time and will struggle as the opposition gets tougher. Panamanian Nunez, 31, a former IBF and WBO flyweight title challenger suffers his fifth loss in a row.
London, England: Light: Alfie Price (7-0) W PTS 10 Jeff Ofori (9-0).
Slick southpaw Price outboxes champion Ofori to win the BBB of C Southern area title. Price was just that bit too quick for a persistent Ofori continually beating the champion to the punch. Price holds his right at thigh level and prefers to use footwork and upper body movement to avoid punches rather than blocking them leaving both hands free to counter. Ofori never stopped pressing but just could not pin the elusive Price down often enough to be a threat and was walking into starlight right counters. Price is not a power puncher and never really had Ofori in any trouble. Referee’s score 100-92 for 25-year-old Price a former Elite level amateur. Londoner Ofori was making the first defence of the title.
Bilbao, Spain: Welter: David Avanesyan (25-3-1) W TKO 1 Kerman Lejarraga (28-2). Avanesyan retains the European title with second inside the distance victory over Lejarraga but with some controversy surrounding the first round stoppage. When these two met before Lejarraga’s poor defence let him down and he started out this time by tucking up to try to tighten his guard and jabbing cautiously. Avetisyan again showed the quick hand speed which had won him the first fight. Things seemed to be going well for Lejarraga and then the roof fell in. A quick right hook to the head stunned him and sent him on the retreat. Avanesyan followed up with some more right hooks and Lejarraga went down heavily. He was up at four and bounced around through the eight count and also did a couple of squats trying to show he was eager to continue. The referee had Lejarraga step sideways a couple of times and let the fight continue. Lejarraga took the fight to Avanesyan with a couple of jabs but Avanesyan fired a series of punches ending with a great left hook that dumped Lejarraga on the floor up against the ropes. Once again Lejarraga was on his feet at four and he rested his arms on the ropes and again squatted a couple of times as he did after the first knockdown but when the referee completed the eight count this time he then waived his arms to show he was stopping the fight. Lejarraga protested strongly and members of Lejarraga ‘s team entered the ring and confronted the referee incensed by the stoppage. Although Lejarraga had seemed fit to continue he had been knocked down twice. His punch resistance seemed to have been seriously eroded and he looked in trouble every time Avanesyan landed a punch so it looked a good call to me. The 31-year-old British-based Russian was making the first defence of the European title he had won with a ninth round stoppage of Lejarraga in March. The former WBA title challenger’s victory over Lejarraga has seen him sitting at No 6 with the IBF with the WBC having him at No 9 and the WBA at 14 but at this time there is no open road to a world title fight. The ease with which Lejarraga was knocked over was worrying and he will need to be carefully matched after this.
Nantes, France: Heavy: Tony Yoka (7-0) W TKO 3 Michael Wallisch (20-3). Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (11-0) W PTS 10Dmitry Mikhaylenko (23-5). Bantam: Elie Konki (8-0) W PTS 10 Loic Tajan (4-1). Light Heavy: Pierre Hubert Dibombe (18-0-1) W TKO 5 Ruslan Shchelev (16-14-1).
Yoka vs. Wallisch
Yoka much too good for glacially slow German Wallisch. In the opener Yoka was advancing behind his jab and connecting with rights to the body. He found plenty of gaps for the jab and Wallisch was too slow when he tried to throw some ponderous counters. Yoka stayed with the jab and rights to the body early in the second before finally putting together some combinations. Wallisch was a little livelier but still much to predictable and slow to be a threat. In the third Wallisch came forward throwing a few more punches but Yoka’s jab again had him on the back foot. Yoka stepping in and connected with a vicious right uppercut. Wallisch stepped back and then in a delayed effect dropped to one knee. He was up at nine with blood dripping from his nose. Yoka went forward throwing a series of punches and Wallisch went down on one knee again and the referee stopped the fight immediately. Second win for the Rio gold medallist since returning from a one year suspension for dodging the testers. It is still early days to say how the 6’7” Frenchman will develop but it is rumoured that his next opponent will be Christian Hammer which is a sensible move at this stage. Wallisch has lost inside the distance against Hammer and in two rounds to Nigerian prospect Efe Ajagba.
Cissokho vs. Mikhaylenko
Cissokho continues to progress in style. He showcased his offence and defence her with a comprehensive victory over a tough and durable Mikhaylenko. He picked his shots well and constantly changed angles to open up Mikhaylenko’s guard then banged home some impressive combinations. Mikhaylenko was never really able to get into the fight and his renown durability was put to the test but he gave Cissokho ten rounds of useful work. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Cissokho. The Senegal-born Olympic bronze medallist just may be the best prospect in France. A former Russian Armed Forces champion Mikhaylenko went 21-0 at the start of his career but has fallen away badly winning only two of his last seven fights.
Konki vs. Tajan
Konki holds on the French title with a unanimous verdict over Tajan but is given a torrid time. Konki lacks power so has to rely heavily on his skills. Tajan just kept marching forward and forcing Konki to trade more often that the champion was comfortable with. However the 5’7” Konki does have excellent skills. His longer reach, speed and accuracy made the difference but it was close. Konki took the decision 97-93 twice and 96-94. “The Spider” was French amateur champion in 2013,2014 and 2015 and represented France in Rio in 2016. Tajan was a good level amateur but he had taken less than five rounds to win his four pro fights which counted against him when facing the more experienced Konki.
Dibombe vs. Shchelev
Dibombe gets an inside the distance and remains unbeaten. The 27-year-old home town fighter , a former undefeated French champion, makes it nine wins by KO/TKO. He has been plagued by a fragile right hand but came though this fight without a problem. Ukrainian Shchelev tumbles to his fourth loss by KO/TKO and is 1-4 in his last 5 contests.
Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Tom Schwarz (26-1) W RTD 6 Ilja Mezencev (20-2,1ND). Light Heavy; Adam Deines (19-1-1) W KO 2 Yevgenli Makhtelenko (10-13). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (5-0) W PTS 6 Andrei Mazanik (13-9).
Schwarz vs. Mezencev
Schwarz gets repeat win over Mezencev. When these to clashed back in November 2015 Schwarz had to climb off the floor before knocking out Mezencev but there were no shocks this time. Schwarz was finding the target with hurtful shots in the first and also dominated the second. Mezencev performed better in the third but was not looking to take any chances allowing Schwarz to control the fight. Schwarz was breaking Mezencev down over the fourth and fifth and landed heavily in the sixth with Mezencev soaking up some serious punishment before his corner decided to retire their man. Schwarz collects the vacant IBF International title and will probably now get a top 15 spot from them. Second win for Schwarz since his pretentions were exposed by Tyson Fury in June. German-based Kazak Mezencev has a record peopled by fourth-rate opponents.
Deines vs. Makhtelenko
Deines is easing his way back after suffering his first loss and had no trouble in adding another inside the distance victory to his total. He floored Makhtelenko in the first and then ended it with a body punch in the second. The German-based Russian southpaw lost an important fight against China’s Fanlong Meng in June so will be matched carefully to rebuild him. Czech-based Ukrainian Makhtelenko drops to 6 losses in his last 7 fights but went the distance with Dmitry Bivol early in Bivol’s career.
Kadiru vs. Mazanik
At just 22 and after only five fights it is much too early to assess the real potential of the former Youth Olympics, European Youth, European Under-22 and German champion but he really needs to show some power as he should be putting away opponents such as Mazanik. Kadiru showed plenty of aggression, varied his attacks nicely and had Mazanik’s face battered and bruised. He won every round but just could not find a finishing punch. Score 60-54 on each of the three cards. In the amateurs Kadiru won and lost in fights against Daniel Dubois but right now they at very different levels as professionals. First fight in 18 months for Belarusian Mazanik.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Uriel Perez (19-4) W TKO 5 Mathieu Germain (17-1-1). Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (9-0) W TKO 3 Julian Fernandez (13-2). Light Heavy: Artur Ziyatdinov (11-0) W PTS 8 Darnell Boone (24-25-5). Super Middle: Lexson Mathieu (6-0) W KO 1 Juan Torres (7-9).
Perez vs. Germain
Perez springs an upset as he floors and halts unbeaten local hope Germain. The Mexican “Bombadero” had not come just for the money and he and Germain fought on equal terms over the opening rounds with the judges all scoring it 38-38 after the fourth. What that did not take into account was an overhand right from Perez late in the fourth which had Germain badly shaken and hanging on to get some recovery time. Germain looked to be back on track in the fifth but as he strode forward an overhand right to the temple dropped him. He started to rise and then fell again. He did just make it to his feet but was unsteady and after completing the count the referee waived his arms to end the fight. The 23-year-old Perez had registered 16 wins by KO/TKO in his18 victories going into this one so the danger was there. Canadian Germain had been at No 12 with the IBF but has a rebuilding task ahead of him.
Makhmudov vs. Fernandez
Canadian-based Russian makes it nine inside the distance victories in nine fights with stoppage of Mexican Fernandez. Makhmudov was throwing bombs from the start but Fernandez soaked them up over the first two rounds and tried to fight back. In the third as he again tried to take the fight to Makhmudov a left hook to the head sent Fernandez staggering back across the ring. Makhmudov followed him and unloaded a volley of thunderous punches that had Fernandez reeling and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’5 ½” 30-year-old Makhmudov wins the vacant NABF title but this was an unusually below par NABF title match. He is a former World and European Universities champion, He was a success in the WSB but failed to qualify for Rio. Fernandez was stopped in two rounds by Tom Schwarz in September.
Ziyatdinov vs. Boone
Ziyatdinov gets unanimous verdict over oldie Boone. It looked as though Ziyatdinov might have an early night when he put Boone on the floor in the second round. Boone has been in with top quality fighters and survived the crisis and went on to make Ziyatdinov work hard for the points. At 6’2” tall Ziyatdinov towered over the tubby 5’7” Boone but was forced to respect the veteran who halted Ziyatdinov in his tracks with some hard counters in the sixth. Ziyatdinov finished strongly and was a clear winner. Scores 78-73 twice and 79-72 for the Russian. From Crimean Tartar stock the 23-year-old Ziyatdinov is a former European Junior bronze medallist and Ukrainian Youth champion. Now 39 Boone has a stoppage win over Adonis Stevenson, a victory over Willie Monroe Jr and split decision defeat against Sergey Kovalev so can be a problem on his night.
Mathieu vs. Torres
Hugely talented Mathieu disposes of Mexican prelim fighter Torres inside the first round. Mathieu was trying too hard to end this one early and was wildly off with his punches. He missed with a couple of swings and was off balance. Torres stepped in trying to take advantage of that . Mathieu missed with a wild right but came back with a tremendous left hook that flattened Torres with no count needed. The 20-year-old Canadian had been taken the distance in his last fight but now has five wins by KO/TKO including four first round finishes. Torres in way over his head.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Light: Ayanda Nkosi (14-1) W TKO 7 Emanuel Lopez (30-12-1). Light: Xolani Ndongeni (26-1) W TKO 6 Mbena Rajab (17-7-2). Fly: Phumelela Cafu (4-0-2) W RTD 4Hamza Mchanjo (17-13-3).
Nkosi lifts the vacant WBFederation belt with outstanding performance in outpointing Mexican Lopez. Nkosi had edges in height and reach and skill to spare. He boxed well from the start with the more experienced Lopez struggling to find a way into the fight. The Mexican pressed and pressed but was continually caught by hard counters as Nkosi slowly eroded Lopez’s resistance. A tiring and well beaten Lopez was put down by a series of punches in the seventh and although he made it to his feet the fight was stopped. This is the tenth win in a row for the South African. Lopez, a former WBA interim champion at featherweight is on the slide being 2-6
Ndongeni vs. Rajab
Ndongeni eases his way back with inside the distance win against overmatched Tanzanian Rajab. Ndongeni put Rajab down twice and it was an act of mercy when the Tanzanian’s team pulled him out of the fight. First contest for Ndongeni since losing his unbeaten record against Devin Haney in January. It will be a long road back for the 29-year-old from Duncan Village. Rajab had won his last five fights and had not lost by KO/TKO in his last 24 but this water was far too deep for him stay afloat in.
Cafu vs. Mchanjo
Cafu handed out a severe beating to young Mchanjo. The fight was allowed to go on too long before Mchanjo’s corner finally halted the mismatch at the end of the fourth. Cafu, the South African No 5 wins the vacant WBFederation International title. All four of his wins have come by KO/TKO. The 21-year-old Mchanjo now has seven losses inside the distance blotting his record.
East London, South Africa: Minimum: Sibusiso Bandla (4-0-1) W PTS 12 Xolisa Magusha (12-5-1) W. Minimum: Ayanda Ndulani (10-2-1) W PTS 10 Loyiso Ngantwani (9-15-5).
Bandla vs. Magusha
Bandla beats champion Magusha to collect the South African title. Magusha made a confident start in this battle between two southpaws but in the second Bandla connected with a bunch on rights hooks forcing Magusha to the ropes and down. Magusha beat the count and fought back hard but that knockdown proved critical. From there this was a close fight but with few highlights and Magusha looked to be in front and on his way to retaining his title until the less experienced Bandla came on strong over the closing rounds to run out the winner. Scores 115-113 twice and 117-111 for Bandla. Without the 10-8 in the second Magusha would have retained the title on a majority draw. Bandla was leaping from six round fights to twelve so he did well to pace the fight better than the more experienced Magusha. This was Magusha’s second defence of the title and it was close enough for him to merit a return.
Ndulani vs. Ngantwani
Ndulani takes a unanimous decision over fellow South African Ngantwani. Scores 99-91, 97-94 and 96-94 for Ndulani. Ndulani is a former undefeated ABU champion but there was some confusion over just what title if any was at stake in this fight. ABU titles are usually over twelve rounds, TV seemed to think it was an eliminator for the South African title and even the WBO African title was mentioned!
Bolton, England: Super Welter: Harry Scarff (7-0) W PTS 10 Jack Flatley (15-1-1). Super Middle: Mickey Ellison (9-2) W PTS 10 Charles Schofield (15-1).
Scarff vs. Flatley
Scarff wins unanimous decision to take over as English champion from Flatley in a clash of unbeaten fighters. This was an entertaining contest between two well matched fighters. Southpaw Scarff had a slight edge in reach. He had a looser more mobile style than Flatley and was just a little bit quicker to the punch. Flatley used his jab well but was cut over his left eye in the first and developed a swelling there and also under his right eye as the fight progressed. These were not deciding factors. it was the Scarff jab and his regular switching of guards that allowed him to outscore Flatley as they traded punches over ten lively rounds. In the end the decision deservedly went to Scarff by 97-94 twice and 96-94. Scarff took two attempts to make the weight and was moving up from six rounds for the first time so a good performance. Home town fighter Flatley loses his English title in his first defence and his unbeaten status. This was to have been the main supporting bout but was moved up to headliner when Francisco Fonseca reported sick before his fight with unbeaten Alex Dilmaghani and the hurt was doubled as TV pulled out of the fight coverage as a result.
Ellison vs. Schofield
Ellison just edges out Schofield in another fan friendly fight. It was close when as Ellison struggled in the ninth he was deducted after losing his mouthguard a couple of times but he just deserved the win. The referee saw this one 95-94 for Ellison who has won 8 of his last 9 fights. Schofield was having his first fight in eleven months.
London, England: Super Welter: Dean Richardson (11-0) W TKO 2 Nathan Graham (20-10-1).
Richardson wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with inside the distance victory over former champion Graham. The tall London Taxi driver now has eight inside the distance victories. Fourth early loss for Graham.
Newcastle, England: Heavy: Simon Vallily (16-2-1) W RTD 4 Erik Nazaryan (27-23-4, 1ND). Feather: Thomas Patrick Ward (28-0) W PTS 10 Yesner Talavera (15-11-1,2ND). Fly: Andrew Selby (13-1) W PTS 8 Fadhili Majiha (24-14-4).
Vallily vs. Nazaryan
Vallily gets the win but in a farcical mismatch. The 6’2” Vallily towered over the diminutive Belgian. The statistics said there were only four inches difference between them but Nazaryan did not even come up to Vallily’s chin and was carrying a huge amount of excess weight. Nazaryan was willing to walk forward throwing hooks but rarely got close and from the start it was clear Vallily was not taking the fight seriously. He was able to land his jab at range and connect with clubbing body punches when Nazaryan came forward but it was only in the third and fourth that Vallily began to punish Nazaryan in earnest. He trapped Nazaryan on the ropes late in the fourth and banged home some hard punches and Nazaryan retired at the end of the round citing a hand injury as the reason. Third win for Vallily since moving up to heavyweight but no kind of test. Nazaryan is brave enough but a guy who once weighed 140lbs and in a fight in December was 200lbs was never going to be anything but a waste of a night for Vallily.
Ward vs. Talavera
A breeze for Ward really just a paid sparring session. The world rated fighter from Durham was able to showcase his speedy skills against a game but very limited Talavera. Ward’s jab was too quick for Talavera and he constantly rocked the Nicaraguan with fast combinations. Talavera showed he could take punishment without wilting but he just did not have the tools to extend Ward who won every round. Referees score 100-90 for Ward. The former undefeated British super bantamweight champion is up at No 4 with the WBO and will be hoping he can land a title fight in 2020. Talavera is typical of the team of Nicaraguan travelling losers. This is his eighth defeat in a row suffered in seven different countries.
Selby vs. Majiha
In his first fight since losing to Julio Martinez in March Selby is shocking floored twice by Tanzanian Majiha but gets the decision. Selby started in his usual fashion tripping the light fantastic around the ring switching guards and changing direction but that came to an abrupt end when just fifty seconds into the fight a hard, straight right to the head from Majiha put Selby down against the ropes. He half arose but then glanced at his corner who waived for him to stay down. He got up at eight and although Majiha stormed after Selby looking for what would be a sensational victory the Welshman managed to stay out of trouble to the bell. Selby boxed his way through the second and jarred Majiha with a left hook in the third. It was more of the same in the fourth and fifth with Selby picking up the points with quick light punches but Majiha kept the pressure on and looked dangerous with rights. In a dramatic sixth Majiha staggered Selby with two lefts and then with Selby against the ropes connected with a heavy right. Selby was in trouble and as he escaped from the ropes he staggered across the ring and knelt down before the pursuing Majiha could get to him. He was again up at eight and survived the remaining thirty seconds of the round. Selby took the seventh and eighth but he struggled to contain Majiha’s furious attacks. Referee’s score 76-74 for Selby which was about right with Selby winning the rounds-except when he was knocked down! Very worrying fight for Selby. Majiha has won only 11 of his 42 fights by KO/TKO so is not a noted puncher. Sometimes it seems that there is too much going on with Selby. His feet are dancing, he is constantly shifting direction and changing guards and when you add in his hands waving about and his head movement it is a lot of multi-tasking for his brain to deal with. For the first knockdown his left arm was absent when Majiha threw the right. Selby has wonderful skills but needs more than that to deal with the pressure and power of world level fighters. Majiha is now 0-4 in fights in the UK and will get more fights after flooring Selby twice.
Atlanta, GA, USA: Middle: Carlos Monroe (17-0) W PTS 10 Javier Maciel (33-9). Super Middle: Mike Guy (11-4-1) W PTS 10 Eric Moon (11-2).
Monroe vs. Maciel
Monroe remains unbeaten with a split verdict over Maciel with the three judges all seeing if differently. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Monroe and 97-93 for Maciel. Having to go the distance snaps a run of seven wins inside the distance for Monroe. Argentinian veteran Maciel, a former WBO middleweight title challenger, suffers his third defeat in a row.
Guy vs. Moon
Moon was a slight favourite here against the 38-year-old Guy but was never in the fight at any time. Scores 100-90 for Guy on the three cards. He wins the vacant ABF Continental title. All four of his losses have been against unbeaten fighters. Moon had won his previous four fights.
Harare, Zimbabwe: Middle: Charles Manyuchi (23-4-1) W Diego Diaz Gallardo (22-6-1). Manyuchi picks up the WBFederation belt with win over defending champion Gallardo. This was an easy night for the Zimbabwean who controlled the fight over the first two rounds . He kept up the pressure on the Argentinian “Senior Citizen” in the third and was unloading with nothing coming back when the fight was halted in the third. Manyuchi, a former WBC International and Silver title holder, was having only his third fight in his home country in seven years and hopefully his presence will give boxing a boost there. Gallardo,39, was defending the WBF title for the second time but this was only his second
fight in two years.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Light: Jorge Barrios (33-4-1,2ND) W PTS 10 Diego Chaves (15-16-4). Light: Jose Acevedo (12-0-1) W TKO 7 Saul Huenchul (10-3).
Barrios vs. Chaves
Oldie Barrios gets his third win since returning to action as he edges out Chaves on a split verdict. This was a disappointing contest with very few highlights. Chaves used plenty of movement to frustrate the former WBO champion who just chased in vain. Chaves did enough to convince one judge he deserved to win but that was more of a sympathy vote as what positive work there was came from Barrios. Scores 98-93and 98 ½-93 ½ for Barrios and 97 ½-96 ½ for Chaves. Now 43 Barrios only returned to the ring for the first time in December after a long prison sentence for causing the death of a young pregnant woman in a motor accident. Chaves, the Argentinian No 5 super welter, is a poor 1-8-2 in his last 11 fights.
Acevedo vs. Huenchul
Acevedo retains the Argentinian title with stoppage of Huenchul. In a stirring battle. Acevedo had the better skills but the challenger was always dangerous. In the seventh a right from Acevedo sent Huenchul flying back and down and he almost did a back somersault on the canvas . He managed to beat the count but was pinned to the ropes with Acevedo unloading on him when Huenchul’s team threw in the towel. Five wins on the bounce for Acevedo who was making the first defence of his title. Huenchul was 7-1 in his last 8 outings.
Concordia, Argentina: Light Fly: Agustin Gauto (13-0) W PTS 10 Jorge Orozco (12-2-1). Super Feather: Mauricio Lara (17-2) W TKO 8 Eduardo Estela (10-1).
Gauto vs. Orozco
South American champion Gauto outpoints Mexican Orozco to collect the vacant WBO International title. The local fighter tried to box on the outside over the early rounds but Orozco was taller with a longer reach and those tactics were not working for Gauto. Orozco lost a point in the second round for a series of punches behind the head and from the third Gauto took the fight inside connecting with hook to the body with both hands and outworked Orozco. The Mexican was competitive all the way but just could not cope with the speed and work rate of Gauto. Orozco was a short notice substitute and tired late. Scores 98-91, 97-91 and 97-92 for the unbeaten 21-year-old. He is the highest rated fighter in the national ratings at light fly-but then there are only two rated. Second loss in a row for Orozco.
Lara vs. Estela
Mexican Lara came into this fight on the back of five straight wins and proved too strong for previously unbeaten Uruguayan Estela. Lara pressed hard from the opening bell but Estela boxed intelligently and had edged in front by the mid-point of the fight. After that he was never able to find the power to keep a rampaging Lara out and was slowly broken down. In the eighth Lara drove Estela to the ropes and landed some chopping rights which had Estela sagging towards the canvas. A right landed just before Estela’s knees touched the floor but the referee ruled that Estela had been down when the punch landed and deducted a point from Lara. It made no difference as Lara jumped on Estela connecting with a volley of punches that sent Estela falling into the ropes and down and the fight was stopped. Lara, 21, was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds and has now recorded eleven wins by KO/TKO. Estela had won 4 of his last 5 fights inside the distance but was crushed here.
Sydney. Australia: Feather: Luke Jackson (19-1) W PTS 8 Abdallah Zamba (12-10-4).
Jackson gets in some rounds of work against Tanzanian Zamba. Jackson was streets ahead of the limited and at times crude Zamba. Jackson was coming in behind a strong jab and banging home left hooks to the body. Zamba never looked unduly troubled but his defence had flaws and his offence was clumsy. Despite that he fired back enough to stay in the fight. As the rounds went by Jackson started to put together some fierce combination but over the closing rounds Zamba was much livelier throwing lots of punches but Zamba’s lack of leverage meant Jackson had nothing to fear but was kept busy. Scores 80-72 for Jackson on all three cards. Third un-testing victory for Jackson, 34, since being halted in eight rounds by Carl Frampton for the interim WBO title in August last year. Zamba was having his first fight outside Tanzania. He was 8-2-1 in domestic fights before this loss so he will now be dished up for some more beatings and much better pay days in foreign parts.
East London, South Africa: Super Feather: Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0) W TKO 8Azinga Fuzile (14-1-0). Super Feather: Khanyile Bulana (12-0) W PTS 12 Phila Mpontshana (15-2) . Light: Siphosethu Mvula (15-3-1) W PTS 12 Michael Mokoena (15-4). Super Bantam: Ayabonga Sonjica (9-0) W PTS 12 Innocent Mantengu (13-5-1). Fly: Luyanda Ntwanambi (7-0-1) W PTS 12 Fikile Mlonyeni (14-6). Bantam: Ronald Malindi (17-0) W PTS 12 Michael Daries (6-2).
Fuzile vs. Rakhimov
After winning all of the first seven rounds Fuzile is finally overwhelmed by the power of Rakhimov and is floored twice and halted. Fuzile took the first round in this match between two southpaws. He was much quicker than Rakhimov getting his punches off first using his longer reach to score at distance and showing good upper body movement to make Rakhimov miss. Rakhimov upped his pace considerably in the second throwing lots of short hooks as he came forward. Fuzile was spearing him with jabs and scoring to the body with left hooks. The South African was using a side-on approach effectively eliminating Rakhimov’s strong left as a threat. Fuzile strayed low with a punch and Rakhimov was given what seemed an extended period of recovery time. Fuzile’s clever defence work was frustrating Rakhimov and the Russian resorted to aiming three blatant butts at Fuzile which rightly earned a severe warning from the referee. Fuzile ended the round with a blazing combination. Rakhimov pressed hard throughout the third. Fuzile’s flashy footwork , snappy jab and quick combinations were getting through and at times he looked overconfident but Rakhimov was also having success with hooks from both hands. Fuzile was teeing off on Rakhimov with long right jabs and straight lefts in the fourth but Rakhimov was walking through them until two vicious right hooks visibly hurt the Russian. Fuzile piled in with more punches but Rakhimov revived and was back on the attack at the bell. This was becoming a cracking fight. The silky skills and speed of Fuzile against the ceaseless aggression of Rakhimov saw an all action round in the fifth with Fuzile pocketing the round as he had most of the rounds up to that point. Fuzile boxed beautifully in the sixth and seventh. His hand speed and the variation in his punches were just too much for the Russian’s defence to cope with and his Fuzile’s own defensive work was brilliant. The down side is that he was popping rather than powering his punches and Rakhimov was walking through them. Rakhimov’s pressure told in the eighth. Fuzile looked to have lost some of his speed and suddenly a thunderbolt of a left to the head sent Fuzile down flat on his back. with his head under the bottom rope. He was up at seven but when the action restarted Rakhimov piled in bludgeoning Fuzile with head punches until Fuzile fell forward on the canvas face first and the referee immediately waived the fight over and signalled for help for Fuzile. This was an IBF eliminator so now Rakhimov will be the mandatory challenger for Tevin Farmer and it remains to be seen whether his crude, powerful, aggression can make him a world champion. “Golden Boy” Fuzile is just 23 so has plenty of time to absorb the lessons from this loss and rebound. The story of this fight is not yet finished. During the fight one of Rakhimov’s corner men was seen to administer what looked like smelling salts. This is a banned substance and Fuzile’s team have rightly lodged a protest with the IBF so the ball is now in the IBF’s court and their top man Daryl Peoples was in attendance at the fight.
Bulana vs. Mpontshana
Bulana wins a clash of South African champions with a points victory over Mpontshana to collect the vacant IBF Continental belt. Bulana is the national featherweight champion and Mpontshana hols the super feather title.
Mvula vs. Mokoena
Mvula continued his run of good former with a split decision win over southpaw Mokoena to become IBF Continental African champion. He is now 6-0-1 in his last 7 fights. He was No 2 in the national ratings and Mokoena was No 1 so now Mvula will either meet champion Ayanda Nkosi or fight for the vacant title if the new WBFederation champion ( Nkosi won the title on Saturday) decides to vacate.
Sonjica vs. Mantengu
Local hope Sonjica wins the national title with wide unanimous verdict over champion Mantengu. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-111 for Sonjica. The unbeaten Sonjica had won his last six fight by KO/TKO but Mantengu can still boast that he has not lost inside the distance. Sonjica’s brother Thabo was also a South African champion . He went on to win the IBO title before retiring in 2015 with a 21-2 record. Mantengu was making the first defence of the title and has useful wins over Doctor Ntsele and Mvula.
Ntwanambi vs. Mlonyeni
In a fight for the vacant WBO African title South African No 2 Ntwanambi scored his fourth win in a row with all three judges seeing him the winner over Mlonyeni. Scores 118-111, 117-114 and 116-112. A double bonus for Ntwanambi as he gets his fifth win in a row and beats No 1rated Mlonyeni, who had won his last seven fights .
Malindi vs. Daries
Prospect Malindi retains the national title with points win over Daries. Malindi was making the second defence of the title. Daries was No 1 in the ratings after scoring six wins.
Fight of the week (Significance): Errol Spence’s win over Shawn Porter will open the way to some more top quality fights at welterweight-I hope.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Spence vs. Porter was a great advert for boxing. Honorary mention to Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Azinga Fuzile which was a hot battle of styles with a dramatic ending
Fighter of the week: Errol Spence with honourable mention to David Benavidez for his crushing of Anthony Dirrell
Punch of the week: Archie Sharp’s left hook that flattened Declan Geraghty was a beauty, the short left hook from Errol Spence that put Shawn Porte down in the eleventh was a classy shot but I will go for the huge left from Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov that floored Azinga for the first time in the eighth- a hammer blow.
Upset of the week: Minor one only with Uriel Perez stopping previously unbeaten 17-0-1 Mathieu Germain
Prospect watch: Mexican Olympian Misael Rodriguez is 11-0 so could be one for the future
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