By Eric Armit
-Khalid Yafai retains the WBA super fly title with win over a competitive Israel Gonzalez
-Dmitry Bivol successfully defends his secondary WBA light heavyweight title with wide decision over Jean Pascal
-Denis Lebedev outpoints Mike Wilson in non-title fight
-Chinese hope Fanlong Meng halts Frank Buglioni on a cut
-Michael Hunter fells another giant as he stops Alex Ustinov
-Mexican Carlos Diaz and Puerto Rican Christopher return form unsuccessful world title fights with wins
WORLD TITLE SHOWS:
Monte Carlo, Monaco: Super Fly: Khalid Yafai (25-0) W PTS 12 Israel Gonzalez (23-3). Cruiser: Denis Lebedev (32-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Mike Wilson (19-1). Light Heavy: Fanlong Meng (14-0) W TKO 5 Frank Buglioni (22-4-1). Heavy: Michael Hunter (16-1) W TKO 9 Alexander Ustinov (34-3). Welter: Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0) W TKO 3 Marcos Mojica (16-3-2).
Yafai vs. Gonzalez
Yafai makes a successful defence of his WBA title but this was not one of his most impressive performances and one he will be happy to put behind him as he looks for some career defining fights. Yafai was on the front foot for much of the fight but from the opening round Gonzalez showed some clever movement and quick hands and Yafai had trouble pinning him down. If anything Gonzalez speeded up in the second but Yafai attacked hard and his strong jab and left hooks were enough to have taken both of the opening rounds. Gonzalez had more success in the third and despite some sharp left hooks from Yafai he looked to have edged it and some flashing combinations made the fourth a good round for the challenger. The scores at that juncture were 39-37 for Yafai and 38-38 and 38-38. Yafai was back on top in the fifth with a series of stinging hooks and a clash of heads saw Gonzalez suffer a serious cut over his left eye. The sixth, seventh and eighth were all close rounds featuring a high work rate and more quick combinations from Gonzalez against the constant pressure, hard jabs and hurtful left hooks from Yafai. At the end of the eighth the fight was still very close as the scores were 78-74, 77-75 and 77-75 all for Yafai. From that point Yafai really controlled the action. His pressure was wearing down Gonzalez and Yafai had the advantage of having gone twelve rounds five times so knew better how to judge the pace of the fight. Even when Gonzalez had been winning early rounds he was having to fight hard to do so and the pace began to tell. A left hook from Yafai had Gonzalez in some discomfort in the tenth and his strong jab gave him the eleventh but Gonzalez had enough left to put in a big effort in the last and took the round on the three cards but it was not enough. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 for Yafai. Fourth defence of his WBA title for the 29-year-old from Birmingham but not one of his best nights. His mandatory challenger is Norberto Jimenez a fight which constitutes a degree of risk for very little reward. A fight with WBC champion Srisaket is unlikely and the WBA No 2 Kazuto Ioka is facing Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO title on 31 December. With Roman Gonzalez injured and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas having just defended his title the cupboard looks a bit bare but who knows what is going to happen in boxing. Although Gonzalez’s two wins this year were over fighters with combined records of 13-18 the WBA parachuted him into the rating at No 14 to justify this as a title fight. Despite that Gonzalez put up a very good showing and hopefully will get some good matches on the back of this fight.
Lebedev vs. Wilson
Lebedev gets his second win after returning to action but his performance here will not send any shivers down the backs of the top level cruisers. The relatively inexperienced Wilson did well over the first two rounds using deft jabs and he opened a cut over Lebedev’s left eye in the second. That was as good as things got for Wilson as southpaw Lebedev took control of the fight and never relinquished it. Lebedev was too strong for Wilson and began to land some crunching hooks and uppercuts rocking Wilson in the fourth. It was a big round for Lebedev as he looked to have badly injured the nose of Wilson and also opened a cut by the American’s left eye. Lebedev dominated the middle rounds but he could not entirely subdue the limited Wilson who managed to score with occasional attacks and some solid counters. As the rounds progressed Wilson’s work became more untidy and his relative lack of experience saw him tire. Despite his dominance Lebedev was not able to really put Wilson on the verge of a stoppage and the one-sided nature of the fight saw very few highlights. Lebedev did not seem to be putting in 100% effort being willing to settle for getting twelve rounds under his belt. Scores 119-109-twice and 117-111 for Lebedev. The 39-year-old Russian has emerged from his “Champion in Recess” condition and in theory should get next shot at Olek Usyk if Usyk decides to fight again at cruiser. Lebedev’s choices are limited as most of the top cruisers are engaged in the WBSS tournament so he might end up facing the holder of the WBA secondary title Beibut Shumenov which is a fight that would garner very little interest. At 35 “White Delight” Wilson is going nowhere. He jumped into the WBA ratings at No 11 for beating Mario Aguilar who had lost 2 of his previous 3 fights by KO/TKO so the only saving grace is that at least this Lebedev outing was not being sold as a title fight.
Meng vs. Buglioni
A disappointing end for Buglioni as a bad cut rules him out of the fight although Meng did look to be in control. In the first Buglioni came out aggressively trying to get past the long southpaw reach of Meng but the Chinese fighter scored with accurate left counters. Meng’s quick footwork and speedy southpaw lefts were frustrating Buglioni’s efforts to get inside in the second and Meng was threading stiff jabs through Buglioni’s guard with Buglioni’s face redden from the attention of Meng’s left. The third was a much better round for Buglioni. He was chasing Meng down getting in close and scoring with hooks from both hands. Meng was still finding the target with his lefts but it was Buglioni’s round. Meng changed his tactics in the fourth. Over the first three rounds he had let Buglioni come to him and countered now he took the fight to Buglioni. He was scoring with straight lefts, hooks and uppercuts and had blood dripping from Buglioni’s nose. Buglioni tried to fire back but Meng had faster hands and a higher level of accuracy. Early in the fifth after some more jarring lefts Buglioni was cut over his right eye and on his right cheek. He survived a doctor’s inspection but knowing the cut was bad Buglioni went after Meng but once again he was caught with fast lefts. The cut had worsened and this time the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Big win for the Inner Mongolia-born “Cold Blood” Meng as he retains his IBF Inter-Continental title and has a chance of improving on his No 10 rating with that body. He showed some very good skills, quick movement and a sound defence. He has a good jab but it was his fast, accurate lefts that impressed here. He was twice Chinese champion and represented China at the World Junior and 2009 and 2011 Senior Championships and at the 2012 Olympics. Former British light heavyweight champion Buglioni lost to Fedor Chudinov for the secondary WBA super middle title and was stopped in one round by Callum Johnson for the British and Commonwealth light heavyweight titles in March this year. He is an entertaining and exciting fighter so hopefully he will rebuild with some lower level fights and try again.
Hunter vs. Ustinov
Hunter’s father was known as “The Bounty Hunter” well son Mike is establishing himself as the “New Goliath” after his second win in a row over opponents much bigger and heavier than himself. Hunter took this fight with Ustinov at just two weeks notice which was plenty of time when you consider how slow and untalented Ustinov is. The Russian was over 5” taller than Hunter and 66lbs heavier and glacially slow. Hunter was able to buzz around landing stinging jabs long rights and easily evading the ponderous punches from Ustinov. Hunter shook Ustinov with a left hook in the fourth and rocked him numerous other times. Ustinov’s tactics consisted of rumbling forward trying to get a grip of Hunter and lean on him so that he could use his weight to tire Hunter. Those tactics were nullified by the superior foot and hand speed of Hunter. Ustinov showed guts in taking the punishment and trying to get close but Hunter’s punches were having an effect and Ustinov was put down by a right to the head in the eighth. He beat the count but was all over the place and in a bad way but saw out the round. In the ninth a left hook dropped Ustinov to his knees and the referee stopped the fight. Hunter’s only loss was on points against Olek Usyk for the WBO cruiser title in April last year. This is his fourth fight at heavyweight including his stoppage of the bigger and heavier unbeaten Martin Bakole Illunga last month Ustinov was No 14 with the WBA so Hunter will enter the ratings but he may struggle against the better heavyweights who may not be bigger but will certainly be faster than Illunga and Ustinov. At 41 it is difficult to see a future for Ustinov. He was knocked out in eleven rounds by Kubrat Pulev for the European title in 2012 and lost on points to Manuel Charr for the vacant secondary WBA title in November. The rest of his opposition has either been old or inept-or both.
Yeleussinov vs. Mojica
It is taking former amateur star Yeleussinov a while to adjust to the pros but really he had nothing to beat in Nicaraguan Mojica. Yeleussinov was stalking Mojica in the first with Mojica circling the perimeter of the ring trying to stay out of trouble but he was sent staggering by a straight left from the Kazak southpaw. In the second a chopping left to the head dropped Mojica. He quickly got up then changed his mind and sat down again. After the eight count Mojica showed some signs of aggression as he marched forward throwing punches. That did not last long and he was on the retreat again. A left hook from Yeleussinov which seemed to land low and a left to the top of the head dumped Mojica on the floor and the bell went as he made it to his feet. Three straight lefts felled Mojica in the third. He was up at six but there was some confusion over whether he wanted to fight on or not and almost by default the fight continued until a head-snapping uppercut from Yeleussinov saw the referee stop the fight. It is the third win by KO/TKO for the former World and Olympic champion so early days to say how he will adjust. Mojica was in way over his head and gets his second loss by KO/TKO. Sloppy corner work saw him come out for both the second and third rounds without his mouthguard
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Light Heavy: Dimity Bivol (15-0) W PTS 12 Jean Pascal (33-6-1). Heavy: Sergey Kuzmin (14-0,1ND) W TKO 6 LaRon Mitchell (16-2). Super Bantam: Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0) W TKO 9 Isaac Zarate (16-3-3). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (1-0) W TKO 9 Vladimir Hernandez (10-3). Light: Karl Dragan (19-1) W PTS 8 Moises Delgadillo (17-17-2). Heavy: Evgeny Tischenko (3-0) W KO 2 Christian Mariscal (11-2)
Bivol vs. Pascal
Bivol retains the secondary WBA title with wide unanimous decision over Pascal in a monotonous and one-sided fight. From the first round Bivol was stabbing his jab into Pascal’s face and the Canadian veteran had little answer to it. Pascal was just too slow with his counters. He tried some leaping hooks but they did not connect. Bivol’s jab had Pascal on the back foot for all of the second round and he added with some heavy rights to the head. Pascal tried to hide behind a high guard in the third but Bivol was able to pick his spots and move back too quickly for Pascal to land an y counters. The fourth was a closer round with Pascal more active. He was coming forward and ducking under Bivol’s jab. Pascal overdid a lunging left hook and tumbled to the floor. Bivol was more accurate and although not getting through as often as in the other rounds he did enough to take the round. The scores after four rounds saw Bivol in front on the three cards 39-37 twice and 40-36. The fifth and sixth were easy rounds for Bivol. He was back on target with his jab and Pascal just could not get past it. Bivol was getting through with speedy rights and using quick footwork to bounce back out of range when Pascal tried to counter. Bivol controlled the eighth spearing Pascal with his jab and landing a thumping right to the head just before the bell. Pascal came briefly to life in the eighth storming forward and landing a few hard swipes. Bivol was unshaken and finished the round strongly. After eight rounds the scores reflected the one-side nature of the fight at 79-73, 78-74 and 80-72 for Bivol. Pascal put in big efforts in the ninth and tenth trying to brawl and maul Bivol out of his comfort zone but the young Russian just kept sticking Pascal with his jab and banging home rights. Pascal’s face was heavily swollen from the accurate punches Bivol was slotting home but he hung in there. It was disappointing that with such ascendancy Bivol seemed unwilling to take any chances but was content to just outbox Pascal. Bivol took the last two rounds threading his jabs through Pascal’s guard and landing rights to head and body. Pascal threw a few punches just before the bell but Bivol was untroubled. Scores 119-109 twice and a generous to Pascal 117-111. Third defence for the 27-year-old Kyrgyzstan-born Russian but it was a flat uninspiring effort by Bivol. He has shown some real power in other fights but was too cautious in this one. Former WBC light heavyweight champion Pascal, 36, has had a great career. Just last year he took Eleider Alvarez to a majority decision but this was one fight too far for the Haitian-born warrior.
Kuzmin vs. Mitchell
Russian Kuzmin proves to be too much of a step up in opposition quality for Mitchell. After winning the first two rounds Kuzmin overwhelmed Mitchell scoring knockdowns in the third, fifth and sixth rounds before the referee halted the fight. Kuzmin has a fourth round retirement win over David Price. The No Decision on his record was a technical draw against Amir Mansour that was changed to a No Decision when Mansour tested positive for a banned substance. Now 31 Kuzmin was twice Russian champion and won a gold and a silver at European Championships stopping currently unbeaten Joe Joyce inside a round on the way to the silver medal in 2013. Southpaw Mitchell, 38, suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Akhmadaliev vs. Zarate
Akhmadaliev is already making waves after just five pro fights. Against a very useful Zarate he broke down and then halted Zarate giving the Californian his first loss by KO/TKO. Southpaw Akhmadaliev made a fast start putting Zarate under relentless pressure before staggering him with a huge right in the third. Zarate was getting in some licks of his own and eventually Akhmadaliev developed swelling on both cheeks. Akhmadaliev kept rolling forward behind a high guard connecting with rights to the head and left hooks to the body. The end was in sight in the eighth when a right to the body had Zarate hurt. Akhmadaliev jarred and jolted Zarate with punches in the ninth until Zarate sunk to his knees and the referee called a halt giving Akhmadaliev his fourth inside the distance win. The 24-year-old Californian-based Uzbek was defending the WBA Inter-Continental title. Although he has not yet beaten a fighter anywhere near the ratings he is No 3 with the WBA because of the Inter-Continental title. In the amateurs he won a silver at the World Youth Championships at 49kgs, a gold at the Uzbek Championships, a gold at the Asian Championships a silver at the World Championships and a bronze at the 2016 Olympics all at 56kg. Certainly a prospect. Fellow southpaw Zarate had scored three useful wins in eight round fights this year but found the power of Akhmadaliev too much for him.
Madrimov vs. Hernandez
Even in these days when so many top amateurs are moving over to the pros it is unusual for a fighter to go straight into a ten round fight. “The Dream” Madrimov did that here successfully. It looked as though he might make this a quick finish but a gutsy Hernandez did not crumble. By the end of the second round Hernandez had been staggered a couple of times and was cut over his left eye. A bunch of rights floored Hernandez in the third but he survived only to take more punishment in the fourth. At the end of the round he convinced the doctor and the referee that he could continue. Madrimov seemed to take a breather in the fifth but opened up again in the sixth and bombarded Hernandez with punches until the referee stopped the contest. As you might expect the 23-year-old Madrimov has good amateur credentials including a silver medal at the World Junior Championships, Uzbek champion three times, gold medals at the Asian Championships and Asian Games. He was a quarter-finalist at the 2017 World Championships and was 5-1 in two seasons of the WBS. Denver-based Mexican Hernandez had scored wins over reasonable level opposition in his last three fights.
Dargan vs. Delgadillo
Dargan turns in another cameo appearance as despite his talent he seems to be just letting his career slip away. He had no trouble in getting past Mexican Delgadillo winning on scores of 78-73 on each of the three cards. The former Pan American Games gold medallist and two-time US national champion turned pro eleven years ago and won his first 17 fights before losing to Tony Lopez in January 2015. He was then inactive until returning with a win in August this year and at 33 has probably left it too late to make any impression. Delgadillo really just prelim level but usually goes the distance.
Tischenko vs. Mariscal
I guess Tischenko has to fight someone as he adjusts to the pro ranks but this was ridiculous. Tischenko ended the fight with a right hook in the second round. With Tischenko at 6’5” and 38-year-old Mexican Mariscal carrying loads of flab at 5’10” and 246 lbs it was not a fight for a match-maker to feel proud off. The former World and Olympic champion will have learned nothing from this. Six of Mariscal's victims had either never had a fight or never won a fight.
Moreno, Argentina: Super Welter: Diego Chaves (27-4-1) W KO 2 Jean Prada (36-10-1). In a repeat of their fight in June last year Chaves demolishes poor Prada inside two rounds. In the opening round a right saw a reluctant Prada fall backwards into a corner and then drop on his knees on the canvas in a delayed action effect. He survived the round but in the second Chaves drove Prada along the ropes with a series of punches before a right dumped Prada on his backside on the canvas propped up against the ropes and he was counted out. The 32-year-old “Jewell moves to 23 wins by KO/TKO. The Argentinian No 6 welter, a former interim WBA champion, was coming off back-to-back losses to Jamal James and Thulani Mbenge. Venezuelan southpaw Prada suffers his fourth defeat in a row by KO/TKO.
Lessines, Belgium: Welter: Meriton Karaxha (21-5-2) W TKO 1 Jean Moraiti (17-15-4). Karaxha punches much too hard for Frenchman Moraiti. The local fighter was firing jabs through the defence of Moraiti but it was the strong hooks from both hands that had Moraiti retreating. The Frenchman tried to counter with left hooks but was being driven around the ring under a barrage of punches from Karaxha. He was trapped in his own cornet and a big left hook the head shook Moraiti badly and he took a knee with Karaxha landing a left hook to the back of Moraiti’s head when Moraiti was already kneeling on the canvas. Despite that the referee started the count. Moraiti’s second threw the towel on the canvas but the referee picked it up and threw it out again. Moraiti was on his feet and Karaxha having seen the towel being thrown in was standing on the ropes celebrating his victory when the referee signalled for both to continue the fight. Moraiti protested that his corner had already thrown in the towel and only then did the referee waive the fight over. Albanian-born Karaxha wins the vacant WBFederation International title with his eighth win by KO/TKO. He is now 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights. Moraiti is now 0-4 in fights this year including two challenges for the French title.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Ganigan Lopez (35-8) W PTS 10 Ricardo Rodriguez (16-7). Former WBC light fly champion Lopez eases his way back into action as he moves up to flyweight and takes a unanimous decision over less experienced Rodriguez. Lopez put that edge in experience to good use against the younger Rodriguez who pressed hard. He took the fight to Lopez but was outboxed from the start. After four rounds Lopez had already established a good lead being up on two cards at 39-37 and a wider 40-36. Rodriguez continued to march forward over the next four rounds but the countering and defensive work from Lopez served to widen the points gap so that after eight rounds with the scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 Rodriguez needed a stoppage to win. That was never on the cards and Lopez was a comfortable winner by scores of 98-92 twice and 97-93. The 37-year-old southpaw will be hoping to build to one more title fight. Rodriguez has now lost his last four fights but put in a creditable performance in taking Jonathan Gonzalez to split decision in February.
Singapore: Super Bantam: Muhammad Ashiq (6-0) W KO 5 Galih Susanto (16-8-1). Singapore’s “ Mr Fantastique” has to get off the floor to win this one. Just one minute into the fight a heavy right from Indonesian Susanto put Ashiq on the canvas. Susanto tried desperately to end it then but Ashiq survived. Susanto was on top again in the second and had Ashiq down but as Ashiq was wrestled to the floor there was no count but Ashiq did not escape unscathed as an elbow from Susanto opened a cut over the Singaporean’s left eye. Susanto’s chance for a win had gone and Ashiq took the fourth and fifth rounds before putting Susanto down and out with a left to the body in round five. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 23-year-old Ashiq who wins the vacant WBC International Silver title, his first pro title. Susanto had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Durban, South Africa: Cruiser: Akani Phuzi (7-0) W PTS 12 Afinni Abidun (6-1-1). Light: Ayanda Nkosi (11-1) W PTS 12 Steven Bagwasi (4-1).
Phuzi vs. Abidun
South African “Prime” Phuzi outboxes Nigerian Abidun in the first defence of his WBA Pan African title. Phuzi had too much skill for the limited Abidun and after making a cautious start he proceeded to hand out a severe beating to the visitor. Phuzi took control with flashing combinations and a strong body attack and Abidun did well to last the distance with Phuzi a clear victor.. Although this is only Phuzi’s seventh fight he has now gone the full twelve rounds twice. He was a top flight amateur being South African champion in 2012 and 2015 and winning a bronze medal at the African Cup of Nations. He turned pro after failing to get through the final World Qualifier for the 2016 Olympics. Abidun, 33, turned pro in 2013 but has had difficulty getting fights and was inactive in 2014 and 2015. He had never been past six rounds before.
Nkosi vs. Bagwasi
In another WBA Pan African title fight South African Nkosi extended his winning run to eight bouts with points decision over Botswanan boxer Bagwasi. Nkosi had height and reach over “Small” Bagwasi and that gave him the edge. Bagwasi fought hard to get inside and work the body with Nkosi getting the best of the exchanges when he could use his longer reach to outbox Bagwasi, They fought at a high pace over the early rounds and Nkosi’s experience of having gone both ten rounds and twelve gave him the edge over the inexperienced Bagwasi. Nkosi floored a tired Bagwasi in the last round and was a good winner. Second title defence for Greyhound” Nkosi. Bagwasi was going past the sixth round for the first time but will improve with experience.
Rimouski, Canada: Middle: Steven Butler (26-1-1) W KO 2 Jesus Gutierrez (25-3-2). Feather: Andranik Grigoryan (9-0) W PTS 8 Javier Franco (34-20-5). Super Welter: Artem Oganesyan (8-0) W TKO 6 Juan Mares (20-16). Super Middle: Nurzat Sabirov (8-0) W TKO 2 Rocky Montoya (32-3,1ND). Cruiser: Arutyun Avetisyan (12-0) W PTS 8 Demetrius Banks (10-7,1ND).
Butler vs. Gutierrez
Butler blows away Mexican Gutierrez inside four minutes. Gutierrez tried to take the fight to Butler in the first and paid the price. Butler cut loose with a barrage of head punches that left Gutierrez slumped on the canvas propped up against the ropes. He looked finished and Butler was climbing the ropes to celebrate his victory. However Gutierrez had somehow dragged himself to his feet before the eight count was completed and the bell went before the action could resume. In the second a couple of thunderous rights to the head and a left to the body saw Gutierrez going back and down on his knees and he sat out the count. Butler continues to live up to his “BANG BANG” nickname with this being win No 23 by KO/TKO. Since losing to Brandon Cook in January 2017 the 23-year-old Butler has scored eight consecutive victories by KO/TKO. He is No 5 with the WBO. Tijuana’s Gutierrez was 5-0-1 in his last 6 fights.
Grigoryan vs. Franco
Grigoryan outboxes Mexican Franco. The Armenian-born Grigoryan varied his attacks cleverly creating angles and firing home combinations. Franco stuck to his job but was never in the fight. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for the dominant Grigoryan. If there is a question over the Montreal-based Grigoryan it is over his power with just one win by KO/TKO. Franco had won his last nine fights but the opposition had been poor,
Oganesyan vs. Mares
Young Russian prospect Oganesyan impresses in stoppage of Mares. Oganesyan controlled the fight from the outset. He outpunched and out boxed Mares before finishing the fight in style in the sixth. A series of seven consecutive uppercuts crashed through the Mexican’s guard and had him reeling with the referee stepping in to save Mares from more punishment. The 19-year-old Russian is a former Russian and European Schoolboys Champion and World Junior Champion and this is his seventh win by KO/TKO. Mares now has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Sabirov vs. Montoya
Sabirov takes on experienced Montoya and stops him in two rounds. The youth and power of the Kazak fighter just overwhelmed the seasoned Mexican who finally took a knee under the fierce attacks of Sabirov with the referee stopping the fight at that point. The 24-year-old Kazak won a number of tournaments as an amateur and has won seven of his eight fights by KO/TKO. Once a good class fighter the 36-year-old Montoya has huge gaps in his activity. He was 28-0 at one time but was inactive for nine years between 2007 and 2016 and was having only his second fight in over two years.
Avetisyan vs. Banks
In only his second fight since moving his base to Montreal Avetisyan took a wide unanimous verdict over Banks. Scores 79-71 twice and 77-73. The 6’3” 23-year-old Armenian-born Russian records his seventh win by KO/TKO. Banks, 38, has turned his career around-but in the wrong direction. He was 9-0, 1No Decision but is now 1-7 in his last 8.
Cebu City, Philippines: Super Bantam: Jeo Santisima (17-2) W PTS 12 Victor Lopez (13-7-1). Super Bantam: Albert Pagara (31-1) WKO 1 George Kampah (14-4). Super Fly: Jonas Sultan (15-4) W PTS 10 Ardin Diale (34-13-4). Bantam: Arthur Villanueva (32-3-1) DREW 10 Carlo Demecillo (11-5-1). Super Fly: K J Cataraja (9-0) W PTS 10 Victor Reyes (9-2-1)
Santisima vs. Lopez
Santisima boxes his way to victory against an aggressive and competitive Lopez. Santisima boxed with real quality early scoring to head and body on the advancing Lopez. Mexican Lopez took the punishment but started to get into the fight more from the fourth by setting a high work rate. Santisima was still the one landing the better quality shots but was being outworked and looked to be tiring. However Santisima got back in control as Lopez was shaken badly in the ninth and looked ready to go but showed a great chin. Both fighters connected with heavy punches in a wild tenth and although the pace dropped in the eleventh they went to war again in the last. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-112 for Santisima. The 22-year-old Filipino prospect retains the WBO Oriental title. This is his fifteenth win in a row. He is currently No 13 with the WBO but has the talent to climb higher with the possibly of a world title fight somewhere down the road. Lopez made Santisima fight for hard for the win. He had lost only one of his last six fights that was in return with Japanese prospect Ryo Matsumoto who was 17-0 when Lopez scored an upset win over him in 2016.
Pagara vs. Kampah
Pagara makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO as he blows away Ghanaian Kampah inside a round in a WBO Inter-Continental title defence. Pagara found the target with his rights early and staggered Kampah a couple of times. A vicious left to the body had Kampah badly hurt and Pagara followed that with a barrage that sent Kampah down and out. “Prince Albert” has rebuilt after a shock kayo loss to Cesar Juarez in 2016. He has now scored five wins and is No 5 with the WBO but he will need stiffer opposition before he is ready for a title shot. Kampah was stopped in seven rounds by Isaac Dogboe in December 2015 but had been in only one fight in the almost three years since then.
Sultan vs. Diale
Sultan outboxes experienced Diale. Sultan had a big edge in skill and was quicker and more accurate than Diale. A clash of heads in the second saw Diale with a bad cut over his right eye and Sultan was able to make that a target as he connected with accurate and hurtful shots from both hands. Diale kept coming and began to get into the fight from the sixth as he was connecting with some heavy punches of his own. That made Sultan up his game and despite Diale’s best efforts he never really threatened Sultan. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for “Zorro” Sultan. He was having his first fight since losing to Jerwin Ancajas in a challenge for the IBF title in May. In this crazy, cynical world of sanctioning bodies Sultan went from No 5 to out of the top 15 for losing to the world champion. Diale was 3-3-1 going into this one with the losses being to Daigo Higa, Andrew Selby and Moruti Mthalane.
Villanueva vs. Demecillo
This turned out to be a much closer fight than expected and in fact almost a major upset as Villanueva had to fight hard to get a majority draw against unfancied Demecillo. Undeterred by being the outsider in the betting Demecillo took the offensive from the first round. Villanueva was comfortable boxing on the back foot and countering but Demecillo’s work rate was much higher and he built a lead. Villanueva realised he was handing Demecillo the initiative so from the fourth he went onto the front foot and battled his way into the fight. Even then Demecillo had a good fifth and Villanueva began to run out of rounds. They both fought hard over the last three rounds and it was obviously close. Demecillo seemed to have just done enough to hold on to his lead but it was not to be. Scores 95-95 twice and 96-94 for Demecillo so a majority draw. The 29-year-old “King Arthur” won his first 27 fights but he has lost some important fights since then. He lost on a technical decision against McJoe Arroyo in 2015 for the vacant IBF super fly title, to Zolani Tete in April 2017 for the interim WBO title and was stopped by Luis Nery in November. He had a low level win in June and was hoping to build on that but at least he avoided the banana skin of a loss here and the ALA team will be looking to get him back into the ratings.. Demecillo, 22, had won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss being a split decision in Indonesia now he will be hoping to build on the outstanding performance.
Cataraja vs. Reyes
Cebu City hope Cataraja collects his first title as he takes unanimous decision over Tijuana’s Reyes. In a confident, composed performance Cataraja raked the aggressive Mexican with a range of hard, accurate punches as he tried to make it six inside the distance wins in a row. Reyes did not crumble and although being outboxed he kept pressing Cataraja. That policy almost paid off as Cataraja tired over the last three rounds having very little left in the last. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Catamarca. He wins the vacant WBO Youth title in a good learning fight. Reyes had won his last two fights
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Super Feather: Christopher Diaz (24-1) W KO 1 David Berna (17-6). Feather: Luis Lebron (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Luis May (21-11-1). Light: Joseph Adorno (11-0) W TKO 4 Luis Avila (8-14-3). Light: Henry Lebron (7-0) W TKO 2 Mark Szoros (5-5).
Diaz vs. Berna
“Smurf” Diaz begins his campaign to work his way back to another world title fight as he demolishes Hungarian Berna inside a round. Just one left hook to the temple was all that was needed to put Berna down and out after just 68 seconds although the punch did not look that hard. After scoring good wins over Bryant Cruz and Braulio Rodriguez the 24-year-old Diaz lost on points to Masayuki Ito in July for the vacant WBO super feather title. He has now passed hurdle No 1, albeit a low hurdle, on his way back. Fifteen of Bern’s fights have ended in the first round and he is ahead 12-3 on that score but this is his third loss by KO/TKO in his last four fights.
Lebron vs. May
Lebron won every round against May but had problems fining the target at times. Lebron was 5” taller than May so was able to work on the outside. However the height difference and the crouching style of May made it difficult for Lebron to score consistently and he was often caught by the upward trajectory of the punches from the Mexican. Despite that Lebron outscored May in every round. All three judges saw it 100-90 for “Popeye” Lebron. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican makes it eight wins in a row. Former NABF champion May came in as a very late substitute and is now 2-2- in fights this year.
Adorno vs. Avila
Adorno batters Avila to defeat. The red hot young prospect put Avila down twice in the opening round. The first came from a left hook to the head and the second from a left to the body. Adorno lost his way a little in the second and third allowing Avila to land some counters but an ear bashing from his corner saw him on fire in the fourth and he scored another knockdown to finish the fight. The 19-year-old “Blessed Hands” makes it ten wins by KO/TKO. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Avila who had taken Henry Lebron the distance in September.
Lebron vs. Szoros
Lebron takes out poor Hungarian Szoros in two rounds. Lebron came close to finishing it when he floored Szoros with left hook in the first but with less than thirty seconds to go in the round Szoros survived. It was over in the second as a left hook put Szoros down early in the round. Szoros was over again from a combination to head and body and the third knockdown in the round came from a similar series of punches. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old former Pan America and Puerto Rican Youth champion and World Youth bronze medallist. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for poor Szoros.
Catamarca, Argentina: Super Middle: Sebastian Papeschi (14-1) W PTS 12 Cristian Rios (22-11-3). Super Feather: Javier Herrera (16-2) W PTS 10 Fabian Orozco (27-9-4).
Papeschi vs. Rio
Papeschi takes unanimous decision over experienced former Argentinian middleweight champion Rios. In this all-southpaw scrap Papeschi had the better jab and more accuracy and was rarely troubled by Rios. Rios pressed the fight for much of the time but lacked the power to seriously hurt Papeschi and was out-worked in most of the rounds. Scores 120-110 ½, 119-111 ½ 1119 ½ -110. All for Papeschi. He adds the previously vacant South American title to the WBC Latino Silver title he already holds. His only loss was a disqualification and he is the Argentinian No 1 but slow and limited. Rios, the Argentinian No 4 middleweight, has lost four of his last five contests.
Herrera vs. Orozco
Neighbourhood fighter Herrera gets the win as Orozco throws away the chance of a draw with a stupid infraction. Although Herrera made a promising start Orozco used his bag of trick to confuse Herrera and nullify his better skills. In the fourth Orozco turned his back to avoid punches from Herrera, which he had done a couple of times before and this time the referee deducted a vital point. The fight was close all the way with Orozco tiring at the end but with Herrera not really being able to box as well as he is capable of and in the end he took the decision on scores of 95-94 twice and 97-93 with that fourth round point deduction costing Orozco a draw. Herrera, the Argentinian No 7, put together a run of nine wins before losing on points to Jose Romero in August in a contest for the vacant national title. Orozco,33, is on the slide and is now 04-1 in his last five fights but the fights have been against high standard domestic opposition.
Melbourne, Australia: Welter; Joel Camilleri (16-5-1) W PTS 10 Adam Diu Abdulhamid (13-7). Super Light: Terry Tzouramanis (21-4-3) W PTS 10 Victor Odindo (5-2).
Camilleri vs. Abdulhamid
Camilleri returns to the winning column as he lifts the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with unanimous decision over Filipino Abdulhamid. Camilleri, the Australian No 6, lost a very close decision to 17-1 Dwight Ritchie in August . Filipino Abdulhamid had won his last two contests
Tzouramanis vs. Odindo
Australian No 4Tzouramanis also gets a needed win and picks up a title as he outpoints Kenyan Odindo. Tzouramanis, 33, lost a close verdict against 16-1 Filipino Jayar Inson in Kuala Lumpur in July. His only loss in his last seven fights. Australian-based Odindo was in his first ten round fight.
Montreal, Canada: Middle: Jose de Jesus Macias (24-9-2) W PTS 8 Francis Lafreniere (17-7-2) W. Light: Tony Luis (26-3) W TKO 6 Edgar Ramirez (17-14-1)
Macias vs. Lafreniere
Macias had shown in a fight in February in Montreal against 29-1 Mikael Zewski that he could be a tough handful on his night and he proved that again here as he outpointed local favourite Lafreniere. It was a close fight over the opening two rounds but Macias came on strong in the third and fourth and had Lafreniere in trouble in the fifth. Lafreniere rallied late but Macias deserved the majority decision. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Macias and 76-76. Good road win for the 26-year-old Mexican who was coming off a severe beating against French prospect Souleymane Cissokho in April. A big blow for Lafreniere who had compiled a run of 13 wins before losing on a majority decision to Albert Onolunose in March.
Luis vs. Ramirez
Luis too strong for Ramirez. The Mexican had gained a creditable draw against Logan McGuinness on a previous visit to Canada but Luis ground him down over six rounds. Luis kept walking past the jab of the taller Ramirez and scoring with short clubbing hooks to head and body inside. Ramirez was on the floor in the third and in the sixth he could not get off the ropes as Luis walked him around the ring scoring with chopping shots. Ramirez was trapped in a corner under fire and not throwing anything back and the referee stopped the fight. Now seven wins in a row for the Canadian No 1 since his loss to Derry Mathews for the interim WBA title in 2015. Ramirez usually goes the distance and this is only his third loss by KO/TKO.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Cruiser: Ditlev Rossing (10-0) W TKO 3 Miguel Peralta (9-2). Super Middle: Patrick Mendy (18-13-3) W PTS 8 Dmitri Chudinov (21-4-2). Super Light: Enock Poulsen (9-0) W KO 5 Kelvin Dotel (13-4).
Rossing vs. Peralta
Rossing retains his WBC Youth title with stoppage of Argentinian Peralta. Rossing was determined to end this one early and was too anxious to find that big punch instead of working his openings. Despite that Peralta was a poor opponent and Rossing had him over in the second round. Peralta survived but was on the floor twice more in the third and the fight was over. The 23-year-old Danish hope gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. A former Danish amateur champion Rossing needs stiffer tests than this. Second loss by KO/TKO for Peralta. He has a heavily padded record with six of his victims never having won a fight.
Mendy vs. Chudinov
If there is one thing you can predict about Mendy is that he will be unpredictable. This was meant to be a routine outing for Chudinov but Mendy had other plans and probably felt confident having fought a draw with the then unbeaten Chudinov in 2013.The British-based Gambian was 1-5-2 in his previous 8 fights but he outfought and outthought former interim WBA middleweight champion Chudinov. In typical style Chudinov marched forward looking to work inside and for the first two rounds Mendy obliged him and beat him at his own game. Mendy then made things easier for himself by moving more and boxing more. He was much quicker than the Russian and had Chudinov cut over his left eye and badly shaken in the fifth. If Chudinov was hoping his pressure would slow Mendy that was his mistake as Mendy was moving and punching to the final bell. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Mendy. The 28-year-old Gambian has taken plenty of short-notice fights and fought guys in their own back yard from one end of Europe to the other. This is his third fight in Demark having lost a wide decision to Patrick Nielsen and only losing on a majority decision against Lolenga Mock so a good and well deserved win here. Chudinov looks to be on the edge of a slide now being 1-3 this year.
Poulsen vs. Dotel
Considered one of the best prospects in Danish boxing Poulsen gets inside the distance win over Dotel. There was some controversy early in the fight with Poulsen putting Dotel down at the end of the first round with a left hook that seemed to land just after the bell. However the referee gave Dotel a count. He beat the count only to ship more punishment in the second and third as Poulsen rocked Dotel a couple of times. Dotel tried to press Poulsen but the Dane is an excellent counter puncher so was comfortable with that. In the fifth an uppercut put Dotel down again. He made it to his feet but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 26-year-old Poulsen gets his third win by KO/TKO. He was an outstanding amateur but under the name of Enock Mwandila. He was born in Zambia but moved the Denmark with his family when he was four. He is a former Danish amateur champion who lost at both the European and World Qualifiers so did not make it to Rio and turned pro. Spanish-based Dominican Dotel suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Serifontaine, France: Super Bantam: Adel Hadjouis (11-6-1) W PTS 10 Hugo Legros (9-1-2). Hadjouis retains the French title with unanimous decision over Legros. Scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 for Hadjouis. Legros gave it a good try and the fight was much closer than the last score indicates. He pressed hard but admitted that with Hadjouis being a neighbourhood fighter he probably needed to do more to get the victory. Hadjouis was making the first defence of the title and is 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights. Tough for Legros to have come so close but lose but he was going ten rounds for the first time and will probably get another title shot next year.
Cancun, Mexic0: Super Light: Carlos Diaz (27-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Jose Perez (22-2). Diaz outpoints Perez in a war. No study time in this fight. It was bombs away from the start. The opener was a big round for Diaz. As Perez came forward throwing punches a hard left hook sent him tumbling back to the canvas. Perez was up at four and after the count he plunged into Diaz holding on tight. Diaz turned and threw Perez to the floor which spoiled his good start as the referee deducted a point from Diaz. Perez had recovered and traded punches with Diaz in the second ending the round with a shower of punches. Diaz rocked Perez with a huge right uppercut in the third and was targeting the body for much of the round. Just before the bell a series of punches unbalanced Diaz and he touched the canvas trying to right himself and was lucky that the referee did not count it as a knockdown. Diaz boxed more over the middle rounds with Perez particularly strong when he could get inside and he was landing some heavy hooks and giving Diaz a torrid time. Perez continued to attack in the eighth doing some good work to the body but getting caught with sharp counters from Diaz and despite a brave effort from Perez the more accurate punching from Diaz was winning him the rounds. Scores 96-92 twice and 97-91 for Diaz. First win for 23-year-old Diaz as he starts again after a fifth round kayo loss to Jose Zepeda in June. Similar story for Perez who won his first 21 fights before losing on points to unbeaten Russian Ruslan Madiev in May.
St Johns, New Zealand: Heavy: Lucas Browne (27-1) W KO 5 Junior Paul (12-23-1,1ND) . If you like a farce then this was one for you as Browne knocks out an overmatched Paul. Browne was a full head taller than the overweight roly-poly Paul whose tactics, if you can call them that, were to bull his way inside and hold. Browne was really putting in very little effort and the longer the fight went on the more Paul was holding. He would wrap his arms around Browne and only let go very reluctantly Paul threw a few jabs but they were all short. Browne began to land some better punches in the fourth and in the fifth dropped Paul with a right uppercut inside. Paul went down on his back and the referee counted to ten. Browne wins the vacant WBC Asian Council Silver title and gets his second win since his crushing kayo loss to Dillian Whyte in March. Eleven losses by KO/TKO for Samoan Paul who had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Light: Sandor Martin (32-2) W PTS 10 Mauro Godoy (30-4-1). European No 2 Martin keeps busy with win over seasoned Argentinian Godoy in the first fight held in Las Arenas de Barcelona for 47 years. . Martin had a game plan and he stuck to it most of the way. He boxed cleverly taking no chances against the tough Godoy. Martin slowly wound up his work rate and was much too quick and skilful for Godoy. In the eighth Godoy pressed harder and in this round and the ninth Martin choose to stand and trade. He took those rounds but went back to his boxing in the last for an easy victory. Scores 100-90 on the three cards for Martin. The 25-year-old local, a former European Union champion, has lost only one of his last nineteen fights and that was in September last year on points against Anthony Yigit in a challenge for the European title. With European No 1 Josh Taylor involved in the WBSS Martin will be hoping to get a shot at the winner of the fight this coming weekend between Joe Hughes and Andrea Scarp for the vacant European title. Godoy, twice a holder of the Argentinian title, falls to 1-3-1 in his last five fights.
Doncaster, England: Super Light: Bilal Rehman (12-0) W PTS 10 Lee Appleyard (14-5). Rehman wins the vacant BBB of C Central Area title with close points win over local boxer Appleyard. Rehman used his edges in height and reach and some good defensive boxing to hold off the constant attacks from Appleyard. Rehman tired late and lost a point for holding in the ninth but took the referee’s verdict by 96 to 94. Good win for “Billy the Kid” who was going ten rounds for the first time. Former Commonwealth title challenger Appleyard had won 4 of his last 5 fights and was hoping a victory here would lead to another Commonwealth title shot.
Windhoek, Namibia: Cruiser: Harry Simon W TKO 1 Kaminja Ramadhan (12-9-1). Heavy: Vikapita Meroro (29-7) W PTS 8 Mussa Ajibu (28-12-5). Super Light Harry Simon Jr (7-0) W TKO 2 Meshak Kondwani (20-21).
Simon vs. Ramadhan
It has been 15 years since Simon held the WBO middleweight title but he seems determined to keep fighting. He had a very early night here as he flattened poor Ramadhan with a left hook after just 69 seconds. A farcical match on a night of very poor matches on a show for which Simon was the promoter. This was only the second fight in five years for the 41-year-old Namibian who was 189lbs for this fight. Tanzanian Ramadhan, 42 suffers his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Meroro vs. Ajibu
A hugely overweight Meroro outpointed Malawian Ajibu in a boring wrestling match taking the win on scores of 77-75 twice and 79-73. This was supposed to be a cruiserweight fight but Meroro, who turned pro as a super middleweight, weighed 225lbs. This was his first fight since being knocked out in one round by Maksim Vlasov in 106 seconds in December. Fifth loss in a row for Ajibu
Simon vs. Kondwani
Simon Jr gets his fourth inside the distance win in a row as he halts elderly Zimbabwean Kondwani. In two rounds. Impossible to say how good Simon Jr is. His other six victims had only three wins between them and 44-year-old Kondwani has now lost his last 16 fights. Terrible show.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Not much entertainment around but the Carlos Diaz vs. Jose Perez had ten rounds of typical Mexican fire and Jeo Santisima vs. Victor Lopez was a goodie
Fight of the week (Significance): The wins for Khalid Yafai, Denis Lebedev and Dmitry Bivol could all lead to bigger and better fights-I hope as none of their fights this week were thrillers
Fighter of the week: Mike Hunter overcame the odds to beat Alex Ustinov and Fanlong Meng impressed against Frank Buglioni
Punch of the week: None stood out
Upset of the week: Patrick Mendy’s win over former interim WBA champion Dmitry Chudinov
Prospect watch: Russian Artem Oganesyan 8-0 looks good and another East European Murodjon Akhmadaliev 5-0 is worth watching
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