By Eric Armit
-Jean Pascal takes technical decision over Marcus Browne for the vacant interim WBA light Heavy title
-Adam Kownacki keeps himself in the queue for a shot at a version of the heavyweight title with points victory over Chris Arreola
-Knockout CP Freshmart retains the WBA minimumweight title with technical decision over Filipino ArAr Andales
-Michael Conlan stops Diego Ruiz on a triumphant night in Belfast and Chris Jenkins wins vacant Commonwealth title on a technical verdict against Paddy Gallagher
-Javier Cintron outpoints Koki Eto in WBO super fly eliminator
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Bangkok, Thailand: Minimumweight: Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0) W TEC DEC 8 ArAr Andales (10-0). CP Freshmart (Thammanoon Niyomtrong) retains WBA title with technical decision over Filipino Andales. In a fast-paced opening round CP was already finding the target with sharp jabs and following rights. Andales was getting past the jab occasionally but was not as accurate. Andales pressed hard in the second and scored with some strong right crosses but CP stopped him in his tracks with some crisp left hooks. CP handed out some severe punishment to Andales in the third. Hooks, uppercuts, straight punches from both hands as he drove Andales back but the Filipino just kept pumping out punches of his own. The fourth and fifth were great rounds as now it was Andales marching forward connecting with short punches and CP countering but being forced back by the sheer volume of punches from the challenger. A great little scrap. In the sixth CP used his jab to make some punching room and battered Andales with swinging hooks and uppercuts but the Filipino just kept coming back for more and you wondered how long they could keep up this ferocious pace. In the seventh CP began to show signs that he was tiring. He was holding more inside and although he was still connecting with hard shots Andales just kept coming and a clash of heads opened a cut on the right eyelid of CP. In the eighth although CP was still landing some powerful hooks and uppercuts he was once again holding to smother the attacks of Andales and was under heavy pressure until heads banged together and CP suffered a gash on his left eyelid. The referee stopped the action and asked the doctor too look at the cut. As the doctor was examining the cut one of CP’s seconds was standing beside the doctor trying to treat the cut but he was sent away. The fight was stopped and went to the cards. CP won on scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 and retained the WBA title. The 28-year-old Thai won the WBC Youth title in his first pro fight so presumable switched over from Muay Thai fighting. He won the interim WBA title in his ninth fight and this is his eighth defence of the full WBA title. He is a tough, talented fighter who rarely wastes a punch but he might have been in trouble if this fight had gone on much longer. Andales had done nothing of note despite his No 5 rating from the WBA but on his showing here the 19-year-old could have a great future.
New York, NY, USA: Light Heavy: Jean Pascal (34-6-1) W TEC DEC 8 Marcus Browne (23-1). Heavy: Adam Kownacki (20-0) W PTS 12 Chris Arreola (38-6-1,2ND). Super Welter: Wale Omotoso (28-4,1ND) W TKO 3 Curtis Stevens (30-7). Feather: Cobia Breedy (14-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Lee Allen (10-4-1). Heavy: Brian Howard (15-3) W KO 1Carlos Negron (20-3). Welter: Brian Jones (15-10) W TKO 5 Julian Sosa (13-1-1).
Pascal vs. Browne
Pascal wins the vacant interim WBA title as he floors Brown three times but in the end has to settle for a wafer thin technical decision after Browne is cut in a clash of heads.
Southpaw Brown was using his longer reach and quicker hands to score in the early action. Pascal was too slow with his footwork allowing Browne able to take a couple of steps back out of reach and then counter. Browne sidestepped a Pascal rush and connected with a right and left.
Score: 10-9 Browne
Pascal landed a couple of punches at the start of the round but then Browne started to ping Pascal with right jabs and then come in quickly with lefts. Pascal was trying to draw Browne forward and counter but was not quick enough and it was Brown landing punches before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 20-18
Browne really let his hands go in this one connecting early and then wobbling Pascal with a straight left. He hurt Pascal with two more hooks but then went back to working on the outside with his right jab and straight lefts and was now taking the fight to Pascal instead of using his jab from distance.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 30-27
Browne was moving and jabbing again but when he moved in behind his jab Pascal met him with a counter right that sent Browne flying and down on his back. He rolled up immediately and did not look too shaken. After the count he held and jabbed for the rest of the round with Pascal too wild in his attacks to land another punch of any consequence.
Score: 10-8 Pascal Browne 38-37
Browne dominated this one. He was spearing Pascal with right jabs and banging straight lefts through Pascal’s guard. He cut loose with a series of hooks that had Pascal seeking cover and just swinging wild punches.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 48-46
Another round for Browne as he continued to land his jab and straight lefts with Pascal looking dangerous but just waiting to land one big punch and not working hard enough.
Score: 10-9 Browne Browne 58-55
Browne was outboxing Pascal in the seventh. Slotting home jabs and straight lefts with very little coming back from Pascal. Browne upped his attacks but with just 30 seconds to go in the round once again as he moved in he was nailed by a thunderous right and went down heavily on his back. As he got up he staggered across the ring to the ropes peering out into the crowd. He looked ready to continue after the eight count but Pascal bundled him to the floor and tumbled over himself so for a brief moment both boxers were on the floor and Browne was given another count. The bell had gone so when the referee completed the eight count the round was over.
Score: 10-7 Pascal Tied 65-65
The referee had the doctor examine Browne before the start of the round but Browne seemed fine. So the fight continued. Browne was very tentative whereas Pascal was storming forward. Their heads banged together with the top of Pascal’s head banging into Browne’s face opening a gash on Browne’s left eyelid. Browne was shaken by the head clash and Pascal landed four good punches which effectively won him the fight. The cut was much too severe for Browne to continue. Initially Pascal thought he had won on a stoppage but as it was a clash of heads it was going to be a technical decision decided on the score cards with the eighth round scored which is where those punches Pascal scored after the clash of heads were so important. Scores 75-74 for Pascal from all three judges giving him the interim WBA title
Haitian-born Canadian Pascal looked a man on the road to retirement after being outclassed by Dmitry Bivol for the secondary WBA title in November. He was down at No 15 in the WBA ratings but again showed his ability to bounce back. At 36 and with comprehensive losses to Bivol and twice to Sergey Kovalev a return with Browne would make sense but Pascal will want to make the most money he can so that will be the driver. A Browne supporter might point out that he was winning the fight easily-when he wasn’t being knocked down! He was outboxing Pascal but on a couple of occasions allowed his left hand to drift away from his chin leaving himself wide open and paid the price. He has beaten Thomas Williams, Sean Monaghan and Badou Jack and will be back and fight for a title next year.
Kownacki vs. Arreola
Kownacki and Arreola exceed expectations as they produce an entertaining and action filled scrap with Kownacki the clear winner but Arreola also boosting his stock. As usual Kownacki was marching forward punching and although on the back foot Arreola was throwing plenty of counters. With neither man paying any attention to defence they had between them landed more than seventy punches over the first three minutes. That level was to carry on for the whole twelve rounds. If anything the pace increased in the second with Arreola taking the fight to Kownacki. The Pole had edged the first and just outlanded Arreola in the second. It was all inside work with hooks and uppercuts and the occasional straight punch and Kownacki had the lead after the third already having landed over 100 punches with Arreola not far behind. There was not much variety in what was happening with two big men clubbing away at each other and the fourth and fifth saw both men rocked but still firing punches. It was slow motion stuff but they were just standing trading ponderous punches at a rate that was ridiculous for two big heavyweights and it did not seem possible that it could go the distance. Kownacki had built a good lead early but Arreola looked to have taken the fifth and although Kownacki was pumping out more punches in the sixth Arreola came back to take the seventh connecting with a huge right that hardly registered with Kownacki. Arreola was coming forward in the eighth but was eating counters and surprisingly at this stage Arreola had thrown more punches than Kownacki but it was Kownacki’s accuracy was making the difference in the scoring. Both were tired in the tenth. Normally Kownacki’s work rate grinds down the opposition but Arreola was still punching away and visibly enjoying the fight and just did enough to take the round.. The doctor examined Arreola at the start of the eleventh but he was ruled fit to continue and proceeded to stage a strong finish over the last two rounds. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110 for Kownacki. He keeps himself in the queue for a title shot lying at IBF 4(3)/WBC 6/WBA 12 but is unlikely to get a shot before 2020. In losing Arreola put in the best performance he has produced for a very long time. He threw 1125 punches in this fight which is the highest number of punches thrown in a fight by a heavyweight in the 34 years that CompuBox have been registering these statistics and although he is unlikely to ever get another title shot he must have boosted his chances of some good paydays against any of the leading pack.
Omotoso vs. Stevens
After going 2-3 in his previous five fights Omotoso needed a win here and he got it by flooring Stevens in each round before the stoppage. Omotoso had height and reach over Stevens which meant Stevens had to work his way inside. He was trying to do that in the first when what looked just a cuffing punch to the side of the head had Stevens slumping forward and putting his hands down to keep him from going over. Stevens saw out the round easily enough but worse was to follow. Omotoso was the one landing punches early in the second and a left jab sent Stevens down. He made it to his feet but again it did not look a hard punch. In the third Stevens came out firing. He was connecting with some heavy shots and drove Omotoso around the ring but a couple of Omotoso’s counters shook Stevens. Stevens continued to try to take the fight to Omotoso but a pile-driver right cross dumped Stevens on the floor. He climbed to his feet but after the eight count the referee had a hard look at him and waived the fight off with no complaint from Stevens over the ending. The 34-year-old Nigerian looked to be on his way to a title fight after going 23-0,1ND in his first 24 fights but after losing to Jessie Vargas he seemed to be drifting. He suffered losses against Sammy Vasquez and Jamal James having just one fight in 2016 and one in 2017. He was inactive in 2018 and when he returned in May this year after 17 months out he lost to Chordale Booker. This was a must win fight for Omotoso and could lead to some bigger paydays. For Steven’s it could be the end. The former WBA/IBO title challenger’s punch resistance looks to have been seriously eroded and it is difficult to see him rebounding from this crushing loss.
Breedy vs. Allen
Barbadian Breedy moves up to ten rounds and gets decision over Adams. The unbeaten 27-year-old represented Barbados at the World Championships, the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and the World Military Championships and this is his first fight outside of the small halls circuit. Allen had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Howard vs. Negron
Howard catches Negron early and bombs him out inside a round. Howard shook Negron badly with a right and forced him to the ropes. Another right put Negron on the floor and the fight was over in just 66 seconds. Although he had eleven wins by KO/TKO Howard should have been an easy night for the 6-6” Puerto Rican. Howard had gone through a spell of just four fights in six years and was 1-1 since his return. This upset should get him a few paydays. Negron had been knocked out in nine rounds by Dominic Breazeale in December and his three losses have all come inside the distance. He turned pro weighing 183lbs and was 242lbs for this fight but even then he should have had no trouble beating Howard.
Jones vs. Sosa
The way the scripts were being torn up there must have been a lot of loose papers flying about in the Barclay’s Centre. Jones was just here to pad out Sosa’s record and extend his winning run to twelve. Jones put Sosa down in the fourth and although Sosa got up and survived to the bell in the fifth a ferocious attack from Jones had Sosa trapped on the ropes and not punching back and the fight was stopped. Texan Jones had lost four on the bounce before this fight and Sosa was looking for his twelfth win in a row so an unscripted ending along with Omotoso over Stevens and Howard over Negron.
Monroeville, PA, USA: Super Middle; Ievgen Khytrov (19-2) W TKO 6 Gabriel Pham (11-2). Super Welter: Ed Walker (19-2) W TKO 4 Jose Abreu (14-6). Welter: Ivan Golub (17-1) W TKO 5 Joaquim Carniero (25-20,1ND).Heavy: Mike Balogun (14-0) W PTS 8 Ed Fountain (12-6). Light: Bill Hutchinson (18-2-4) W TKO 3 Charlie Serrano (16-5-2).
Khytrov vs. Pham
New York-based “Ukrainian Lion” Khytrov takes charge early and wins all the way until ending it in the sixth. Khytrov was stalking the taller southpaw. Pham used plenty of movement and kept sticking out his jab but he did not have the power to keep Khytrov off. Khytrov kept Pham trapped on the ropes in the sixth and dropped him with a left to the body. Pham was up at eight ready to continue but a left to the body floored him again. Pham made it to his feet but was driven to the ropes and a wicked left to the ribs sent him down on one knee and the referee stopped the fight. Sixteenth win by KO/TKO for 30-year-old Khytrov. In the amateurs Khytrov beat Ryota Murata in the final of the World Championships but in the pros losses to Immanuwel Aleem and Brandon Adams have seen him drop out of the ratings. He wins the vacant WBC United States title. Southpaw Pham was inactive in 2018 but had scored two wins this year.
Walker vs. Abreu
Walker gets a stoppage win as Abreu is unable to continue due to an injury to his right hand. After a spirited start from both fighters Walker began to take charge. He was out jabbing Abreu and catching him with right hand counters and building a good lead. In the fourth Abreu turned away from the action indicating an injury to his hand. The referee gave him a standing eight count and when he could not continue the fight was stopped with Walker the winner. Walker’s story is a “boxing saved me” one. His brother was sent to prison for 25 years for murder and Walker, when only 16, was jailed for a series of robberies and spent 13 years in prison. When inside he entered the prison boxing programme and immediately on release the 36-year-old from Louisiana had his first pro fight. He was a competitor in the 2018 The Contender series beating good level opposition in John Jackson and John Thompson before losing a majority decision to Brandon Adams in the final. Two fights later Adams fought Jermall Charlo for the WBC title. Abreu has lost 5 of his last 6.
Golub vs. Carniero
Golub makes it four wins on the trot as he floors and halts fellow southpaw Brazilian Carniero. The Ukrainian had big edges in height and reach and although Camero connected with a good over hand left in the first Golub was scoring with right jabs and straight lefts. Camero kept walking forward but was taking punishment with little to show in the way of success. Golub began to press hard in the fourth with Camero resorting to wild swings and spending much of the time against the ropes. A body shot saw Camero drop to his knees in the fifth. After the count Golub drove him back with body punches and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Golub, 30, another New York-based Ukrainian, lost his unbeaten tag when beaten a very close decision to Jamontay Clark in June 2017 but has rebounded with four wins. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for Carniero but he has been in tough matches against Kiryl Relikh, Joel Diaz and Subriel Matias.
Balogun vs. Fountain
Former Buffalo Bills linebacker Balogun gets off the floor to outpoint fellow-southpaw Fountain. After being put down by a right from Fountain in the first round Balogun steadied the ship in the second and then outboxed Fountain with accurate right jabs and lefts to the body dominating the remaining rounds. Scores 77-74 twice and 78-73 for Balogun who did not turn pro until he was 31. At 6’0” and 233lbs he is not big by today’s standards. Fourth loss in a row for Fountain three of them against unbeaten fighters.
Hutchinson vs. Serrano
Pittsburgh’s Hutchinson stretches his winning run to eight with third round stoppage of Floridian Serrano. Hutchinson had a much longer reach but in the end it was a hook to the body inside that finished Serrano. This is Hutchinson’s eighth win by KO/TKO. Third loss by KO/TKO for Serrano.
Liverpool, England: Middle; Anthony Fowler (10-1) W PTS 10 Brian Rose (31-6-1). Middle: Jack Cullen (17-1) W TKO 8 John Harding (7-1-1). Bantam: Thomas Essomba (9-5) W PTS 10 Sean McGoldrick (9-1). Super Light: Lewis Ritson (19-1) W TKO 3 Marek Jedrzejewski (14-3). Heavy: Martin Bakole Ilunga (13-1) W TKO 1 Ytalo Perea (11-5-2). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (7-0) W PTS 8 Sean Davis (14-4). Super Light: Robbie Davies (19-1) W TKO 3 Michal Dufek (25-22-2).
Fowler vs. Rose
Fowler gets back on track with imposing victory over former WBO title challenger Rose. Fowler stamped his authority on the fight early with a strong jab that Rose never really found an answer to. Fowler swept the first two rounds with precise jabs and in the third was landing with well-timed body punches. Rose had his own jab working in the third but then Fowler upped the pace again going to the body and was in full “The Machine” mode slotting home jabs and attacking the body over the fourth and fifth with Rose finding it hard to make any impression. Rose was trying to counter but was being outworked. Rose upped his pace over the seventh and eighth but could not match Fowler for power and Fowler was connecting with some solid uppercuts. The ninth finally saw Rose having significant success as he was finding the target with rights and Fowler was cut over the right eye. Rose needed a knockout but it was Fowler who came close to that in the tenth. A left had Rose reeling with Fowler pouring on the punches trying for a stoppage but Rose did not crumble and was still there at the bell. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Fowler. The 28-year-old former Commonwealth Games gold medal winner made the smart decision to get quickly back into action after losing to Scott Fitzgerald in March. He collects the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title and will now build on this with a revenge fight against Fitzgerald somewhere in the future. For Rose a loss to Demetrius Andrade for the WBO title in 2014 was followed by domestic defeats against Matthew Macklin and Jack Arnfield. He had won his last two fights but after this defeat the future looks bleak for the former British champion.
Cullen vs. Harding
Cullen retains the English title as he gradually dismantles and then stops Harding. The 6’3” Cullen had oodles of advantages over Harding but was also a class above the challenger. Cullen made use of his longer reach early staying calm against the attacks of Harding and mixing left hooks with his dominant jab. Harding put in a big effort in the fourth with a series of uppercuts but again Cullen was composed and jabbing strongly. In the fifth a right and a left had Harding tumbling back and he put his glove on the canvas to prevent going down. He took the count and fired back to survive the crisis. With Harding tiring badly Cullen dominated the sixth and seventh with a mixture of jabs and left hooks and finished the fight in the seventh. Two left hooks, the second a crippling body punch, had Harding backing off across the ring and reeling into the ropes and as Cullen was about to unload on Harding the referee had seen enough and came in to stop the fight. Sixth win in a row for the 25-year-old Cullen and his eighth win by KO/TKO. His loss came last year against former amateur star Ray Sheehan when he was stopped inside a round in the final of a “Last Man Standing “competition but he looked a good prospect here. He lost precious experience time in the amateur when he fell off a ladder at work and suffered a punctured lung and a serious knee injury. Harding is one of those good news stories where after spending lengthy spells in prison he is finding his way to a better life through boxing.
Essomba vs. McGoldrick
Definitely an upset here as Essomba outworks top prospect McGoldrick to take the unanimous decision. Not a great deal of action in the first but the little man from Cameroon just did enough to take it. Both fighters were letting their hands go in the second and targeting the body and in a lively third it was Essomba who impressed with his straight lefts. The fourth was another round for Essomba as he added left hooks to the mix and looked to be the harder puncher. McGoldrick went to the body again in the fifth as they stood and traded but Essomba was just that bit busier. McGoldrick picked up the pace in the sixth sensing that this fight was getting away from him. He had a good round but a clash of heads opened a cut over his left eye. McGoldrick’s cut fired up Essomba and he attacked hard in the seventh with the cut bothering McGoldrick and then was on top in the eighth and ninth. McGoldrick put in a big effort in the last but Essomba could taste victory and he was the one staging the stronger finish. Scores 98-93, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Essomba. The little 31-year-old two-time Olympian Essomba, a former Commonwealth champion, had lost 4 of his last 5 fights but against opponents such as Jay Harris and Lee McGregor they were fights he was expected to lose but he is never in a bad fight and he showed here that if he gets a sniff of a chance that he can win he is different fighter. Welshman McGoldrick, 27, a former Commonwealth gold medallist who competed at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships had won his last five fights on points and seemed a bit short on power here.
Ritson vs. Jedrzejewski
Ritson continues his rebuilding project with stoppage of useful Pole Jedrzejewski. Ritson made a steady start working well with the jab, switching to the body and looking sharp. Jedrzejewski showed some good movement but despite having 13 wins by KO/TKO he was not able to keep Ritson out. In the third Ritson was landing hurtful left hooks to the body. Jedrzejewski tried switching southpaw but a left to the body put him down on his hands and knees. After the count Ritson drove Jedrzejewski along the ropes and then unloaded with hooks and uppercuts and with Jedrzejewski not punching back the fight was halted. Second win for the former undefeated British champion since his stoppage defeat against Francesco Patera for the vacant European title in October. Second loss in a row for Jedrzejewski.
Ilunga vs. Perea
Ilunga wastes no time in disposing of a poor Perea. A right to the head and then a crunching left to the head knocked Perea sprawling. He climbed to his feet and moved forward when the referee asked him to but did not lift his gloves. Ilunga landed a couple of punches and with Perea just static and not punching back the referee stopped the fight after just 90 seconds. The DRC-born Scottish based Ilunga makes it ten wins by KO/TKO. Last time out he had stopped Polish giant Mariusz Wach in eight rounds. Ecuadorian Perea was an elite class boxer in the amateurs beating Dominic Breazeale and Simon Kean to qualify for the 2012 Olympics but here at 6’0” and 257lbs he was just fat and slow.
Ashfaq vs. Davis
Outstanding prospect Ashfaq moves up to eight rounds for the first time and gets good win over useful Davis. Referee’s score 79-73 for Ashfaq. The 26-year-old Leeds southpaw is a former English and Great Britain champion and took silver at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships. As a former WBC International and English super bantamweight champion Davis was a good test.
Davies vs. Dufek
With domestic rival Ritson having finished his fight in three rounds Davies was out to at least match that. He was whacking Dufek to head and body in the first two rounds with the Czech having to soak up punishment and being cut on his left eyebrow. In the third Davies took Dufek to the ropes and bombarded him with a cluster of hooks, uppercuts and straight lefts with Dufek crouching lower and lower trying to escape the punches until the referee intervened. The 29-year-old Davies, a former undefeated Commonwealth and European champion, is rated No 9 with the WBA. He had a confrontation with Ritson after this fight and there were enough insults exchanged to guarantee a match between them being put together soon. Dufek, 36 drops to 1-6 in his last 7 fights.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Fly: Jeyvier Cintron (11-0) W PTS 10 Koki Eto (24-5-1). Super Light: Yomar Alamo (17-0) W PTS 10 Salvador Briceno (15-5).
Cintron vs. Eto
Cintron wins WBO eliminator with wide unanimous decision over former foe Eto. When these two met in May Eto was initially declared the winner on a fist round knockout. However the replays showed that it was not a punch but a clash of head that put Cintron down so it was declared a No Decision. There was no doubt about the decision in this fight as the fleet-footed Puerto Rican was just too quick for the slowed and cruder Japanese fighter. Cintron was getting inside landing his punches and leaving Eto swishing air. Eto has plenty of experience and exerted pressure all night but was unable to pin down the speedy Cintron and in his eagerness he left himself open and was floored in the second round. Even when Eto did get close some slick defensive work from Cintron saw the Puerto Rican spinning and diving away from danger. Cintron took no chances and stuck to his boxing all the way so the fight lacked excitement but the result was all important. Scores 99-90 for Cintron from all three judges. Despite winning an eliminator Cintron will still only be second in line for a shot at WBO champion Kazuto Ioka as it seems likely that Ioka will defend against No 1Sho Ishida in a big show at the end of the year so Cintron will have to wait until 2020 for his shot. Former interim WBA champion Eto had won seven in a row before the No Decision with Cintron and was No 2 with the WBO but may never get another title chance.
Alamo vs. Briceno
Alamo makes it a double for Puerto Rico as he retains the WBO NABO title by decisioning Mexican Briceno. Alamo looked a comfortable winner although one card had it close. Briceno came in as a very late replacement and fought hard but Alamo was too quick and too skilful. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Alamo. Being the NABO champion gets him a No 10 rating with the WBO-he is also Puerto Rican as well which helps-but he is till to face any significant opponents. Briceno is now 2-4 in his last 6 fights but the losses have all been against tougher opposition than Alamo has faced.
Belfast. Northern Ireland: Feather: Michael Conlan (12-0) W TKO 9 Diego Ruiz (21-3). Welter: Chris Jenkins (22-3-2) W TEC DEC 9 Paddy Gallagher (16-6). Middle: Luke Keeler (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Luis Arias (18-2-1,1ND. Super Light: Sean McComb (8-0) W PTS 8 Renaldo Garrido (24-25-3). Middle: Alfredo Meli (17-0-1) W PTS 8 Araik Marutjan (8-1). Super Middle: Padraig McCrory (9-0) W TKO 8 Steve Collins Jr (14-3-1). Bantam: Paddy Barnes (6-2) W PTS 6 Joel Sanchez (4-7-1).
Conlan vs. Ruiz
Conlan has the locals in raptures as he showcases his talent and also provides an inside the distance finish. Conlan was in charge straight away. He was probing with his jab and quickly had Ruiz’s face reddened. Conlan tried a couple of rights but Diaz was constantly going back and the Argentinian hardly threw a punch and did not land one. Ruiz was a bit livelier in the second but he could not get past Conlan’s jab-either of them as Conlan switched to southpaw in the round-and Conlan’s nifty footwork had Ruiz missing badly leaving himself open for some counters. Conlan continually switched guards in the third and began to land some meaty rights. Ruiz was restricted to some wild lunges which Conlan dealt with easily. A punishing fourth saw Conlan warming to his task and connecting with hooks, uppercuts, jabs and straight rights and although he seemed to take his foot off the pedal in the fifth Ruiz still could not get a toe-hold in the fight. Conlan picked up the pace again in the sixth scoring with some clubbing rights. Ruiz was trying hard to launch attacks but Conlan was just too quick and too clever for him. Conlan landed a punch to the back of Ruiz’s head which brought Ruiz’s second up on to the ring apron in protest but he was sent back down the steps and given a warning by the referee. Conlan was loading up more on his punches in the seventh and had Ruiz under heavy fire at the end of the eighth. Conlan ended it in the ninth. A right to the body saw Ruiz take a step back and go down on one knee. He beat the count but as Conlan powered forward with more body punches the referee stopped the fight. The 27-year-old former amateur star wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title with his seventh inside the distance victory. He is already rated WBO 5/WBA 6/IBF 12(10) and has wins over Jason Cunningham and Ruben Garcia but there are much tougher tests ahead. Ruiz “The Prophet” had won his last ten fights and had not been beaten inside the distance before this fight.
Jenkins vs. Gallagher
Jenkins climbs off the floor to retain the British title and pick up the vacant Commonwealth title with a technical verdict over home fighter Gallagher. The early rounds were close with Jenkins just having the edge over the first four rounds. He was quicker and more accurate but Gallagher was the harder punch and was forcing the fight with his aggression. Gallagher upped his pace and started to have more success in the fifth and at the end of the round Jenkins was showing a cut over his right eye from a clash of heads. Gallagher had a big sixth. He scored well early and then just before the bell floored Jenkins with a left hook to the body. The seventh was a close round. Gallagher was on a roll but there was a break in the action after Gallagher landed a low punch and for the rest of the round Jenkins used his jab and good movement to have the edge. Jenkins seemed to have found his rhythm again in the eighth but as heads banged together a bad cut was opened over the left eye of Jenkins. He was allowed out for the ninth but the cut was too bad for the fight to go on much longer and the referee stopped the action. It was decided on the cards with all three judges giving it to Jenkins 86-85. This is the fifth time Jenkins has suffered cuts in a title fight so it is a handicap he is used to dealing with. It took the 30-year-old Welshman three attempts to win the British title and now he has two titles. Gallagher, 30, lost a split decision to Brad Solomon in the now defunct WBC welterweight tournament and lost a majority verdict to Freddy Kiwitt for the vacant WBO European title in February. His strength and aggression might have eventually swung this fight his way and hopefully he will get a chance at revenge.
Keeler vs. Arias
Minor upset as Keeler floors Arias twice on the way to a unanimous points victory. Keeler could not have asked for a better start as floored Arias in the first with a left hook and shook him again later in the round. Arias recovered well and boxed his way through the second although being rocked with a right. Arias had a good third and this time he was the one scoring with a strong right as they traded punches. Keeler took the fourth as he boxed well on the outside but the fifth saw Arias land a cracking right and then Keeler lose a point for a punch to the back of the head. Keeler rebounded to do some good early work and then finished strongly to edge the sixth and seventh. The eighth proved important as with the exchanges tight Arias lost a point for hitting on the break. The fight was put beyond Arias’ reach in the ninth with a flash knockdown which looked more like a push and despite a storming finish from Arias Keeler was a good winner. Referee’s score 96-91 for Keeler. A career best win for the 32-year-old WBO European champion who is now 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights. After 18 wins in a row Arias is now 0-2-1but the loss was to Daniel Jacobs and the draw against Gabriel Rosado and he will regroup and come back.
McComb vs. Garrido
Imperious display from McComb as he outboxes tough Garrido. The young Belfast southpaw used slick movement and fast hands to pepper the tough Frenchman in the first. Garrido kept marching forward but was too slow to pin down McComb and was having to soak up a succession of punches without getting into the fight in any meaningful way. Garrido’s pressure brought a little bit of success in the fourth as a heads clattered together and McComb was cut over his right eye. McComb’s boxing was flawless over the remaining rounds as he danced around Garrido raking him with punches and then swirling away from Garrido’s attempts to counter. Garrido put everything into the last round and might just have done enough to edge it but there was only one winner. Referee’s score 79-73 for McComb. The 26-year-old southpaw is a former Irish champion and competed at the World Championships, European Championships, European Games and Commonwealth Games and looks very promising. Former French champion Garrido’s record moves into the negative but he is a warrior and popular fighter who always gives value for money.
Meli vs. Marutjan
Belfast southpaw Meli just squeezes past Marutjan in a clash of unbeaten fighters. This was a very close one and Marutjan can feel unlucky to lose his unbeaten tag. Meli was busy from the first and it was quantity vs. quality and that gave him the edge over the first half of the fight. Marutjan began to connect with solid punches in the fifth and floored Mali with a right in the sixth. The Armenian-born German was outworked in the seventh but was landing the quality punches. In the last after Marutjan scored early Meli finished strongly. Referee’s score 77-76 for Meli. Second win for Mali after a year of inactivity so he had a little dust to shift. Marutjan won a silver medal at the European championships and bronze at the World Championships and competed at the 2016 Olympics so he will go back to Germany and win more fights.
McCrory vs. Collins
McCrory gets late stoppage victory over Collins. This was a much anticipated fight and it lived up to expectations. Both were getting through with heavy shots early in the fight with McCrory showing the higher work rate and going to the body and Collins pacing himself and finding gaps to counter. Collins had a good fourth stalking and outlanding McCrory but McCrory scored with a big punch just before the bell. In the fifth the early body punching from McCrory started to take effect and Collins slowed but the fight was still close. McCrory was on top in the sixth. He was on the front foot and connecting heavily with both hands. McCrory was in his first eight round fight and he also looked to be tiring in the seventh as they just stood and slugged away at each other. McCrory ended it in the eighth. As Collins padded forward McCrory landed a huge right cross. Collins staggered but kept coming only to walk onto two more rights. McCrory pushed him to the ropes and unleashed a series of head punches and when one snapped Collins’s head back the referee jumped in and halted the fight. Big win for “The Hammer”. He wins the vacant Boxing Union of Ireland title with his fourth victory by KO/TKO. First inside the distance defeat for Collins.
Barnes vs. Sanchez
Barnes eases his way back after shock defeat in New York. Nicaraguan Sanchez proved lively but limited. After getting cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the first Barnes took a little while to get into his stride. By the third he was working Sanchez over with quick combinations and strong body punches. Barnes tried hard to get Sanchez out of there over the last two rounds but Sanchez made it to the final bell. Referee’s score 60-55 for Barnes. His loss to Cristofer Rosales in an ambitious shot at the WBC flyweight title in August last year was no big surprise but his points defeat against 11-5-1 Oscar Mojica in New York in March was. At 32 Barnes can’t afford too many rebuilding fights so will have to step up to better opposition fairly soon. Seven losses in a row for Nicaraguan Sanchez.
Rio Gallegos, Argentina: Welter: Adrian Veron (25-3) W PTS 10 Marcello Bzowski (10-10-3). Fighting in his home town Veron is just too good for unrated Bzowski. The speed and accuracy of Veron’s punching quickly put Bzowski on the back foot and he was never really able to challenge Veron’s dominance. Veron shook Bzowski the sixth and ninth rounds but never looked likely to finish it early. Scores 100-93, 99-94, and 99 ½ -92 ½ for Veron. He retains the South American title and is now 3-0 in fights against Bzowski who is now 2-7-1 in his last 10 fights.
Accra, Ghana: Heavy: Super middle: Delali Miledzi (13-0) W PTS 12 Iddrisa Amadu (13-4). Middle: Issah Samir (19-0) W TKO 7 John Akulugu (16-6). Light: Michael Ansah (18-9-2) W KO 1 Fatiou Sarouna (2-4-1).
Miledzi vs. Amadu
Miledzi gets second victory over Amadu having outpointed Amadu on a split decision in October. With this win Miledzi retains the Ghanaian and West African titles. This is his fifth win this year with the others coming inside the distance. Amadu had won 4 of his last 5 contests.
Samir vs. Akulugu
Unbeaten Samir moves to 16 wins by KO/TKO with stoppage of fellow Ghanaian Akulugu. The 30-year-old Samir was inactive in 2016 and 2017 but has now scored five win since returning in June last year. He is nominally based in Las Vegas but has yet to fight outside of Ghana. Akulugu had won 15 fights by KO/TKO but loses whenever he tries to tackle tougher opposition.
Ansah vs. Sarouna
“One Bullet” Ansah fed an easy one as he halts ancient Sarouna inside a round. The 29-year-old Ghanaian moves to twelve wins by KO/TKO and has now won 6 of his last 7 fights including an upset stoppage of 17-1-1 Sherrif Quaye. Benin’s Sarouna has probably had a lot more fights than his record shows but at 39 is going nowhere.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Welter: Takeshi Inoue (14-1-1) W KO 2 Komsan Polsan (38-11-1). Middle: Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1) W RTD 8 Shuji Kato (10-2-2).
Inoue vs. Polsan
Inoue brushes aside Thai Polsan (Patomsuk). Inoue used a strong jab and blocked some fierce left hooks from Polsan to take the first round. In the second he punished Polsan with two hefty rights and then put him down with a left to the body and the Thai was counted out. First fight for Inoue after losing a wide unanimous decision to Jamie Munguia for the WBO title in January. He regains the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title, Polsan drops to seven losses by KO/TKO.
Takesako vs. Kato
Takesako retains the Japanese title in his third defence. Takesako was the aggressor from the start showering southpaw Kato with punches to head and body. Kato fired back with left jabs and lefts to the body but was being outpunched. After five rounds Takesako was in front 49-46 on two cards and 50-46 on the other. Kato hit back hard in the seventh putting pressure on Takesako but he was also taking punishment from Takesako’s counters. Kato again attack hard in the eighth but Takesako was getting the better of the exchanges. Takesako landed a punch after the bell which dropped Kato. It should have resulted in a point deduction against Takesako but Kato had taken so much punishment that his corner just decided to pull him out of the fight. These two had fought a split draw in March and there could be a third match due to the controversy over that last punch. All of Takesako’s wins have come by KO/TKO. Kato was 8-0-2 going into this challenge.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Welter: Roberto Arriaza (18-1) W KO 2 Addir Sanchez (12-21-3).
Just a gift for Arriaza as he demolishes poor Sanchez inside two rounds. Arriaza was tracking the retreating Sanchez for most of the opening round. He used a stiff jab to keep Sanchez going back but just could not find the range with his right. Sanchez stopped a couple of times to throw a few of punches but he has no real power and Arriaza walked through them. Arriaza began to connect with his right in the second. Sanchez tried to punch with him but a crunching left hook put Sanchez face down on the canvas and he was counted out. Arriaza’s only loss was on a third round kayo in November against Egidijus Kavaliauskas. Dominican Sanchez has managed just one win in his last fourteen fights
Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Bantam: Denver Cuello (38-5-6) W RTD 2 Detnarong Omkrathok (3-10). Body punches from Cuello break down and stop poor Thai opponent Omkrathok. The little southpaw was walking forward behind a high guard and then thumping Omkrathok with left and right hooks to the body. He was largely ignoring Omkrathok’s punches as the Thai had no leverage behind them. Cuello pounded Omkrathok throughout the second mixing southpaw left hooks to the body with straight rights and after the bell Omkrathok’s corner retired their man. “The Excitement” Cuello, 32, a former WBC minimumweight title challenger, was out of the ring for almost four years before returning in March winning the Vacant Asian Boxing federation title in his comeback fight. This is his first defence of that title. Omkrathok should not be fighting for any title and this is his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Marbella, Spain: Light: Samuel Molina (12-0) W TKO 7 Carlos Perez (14-6-1). Super Welter: Jorge Fortea (20-1-1) W RTD 5 Khalid Habchane (7-3-1). Middle: Navid Mansouri (20-2-2) W PTS 6 Wilmer Gonzalez (19-16-1). Cruiser: Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid (13-1-1) W TKO 2 Jose Nunez (2-21).
Molina vs. Perez
Molina wins the vacant Spanish title with stoppage of Perez. It was a close fight early but Molina began to take control from the fifth and opened a cut over Perez’s left eye in the sixth. The cut worsened in the seventh and Perez was unable to continue. First pro title for the 20-year-old Molina. Perez was having his second title shot.
Fortea vs. Habchane
Fortea goes to seven wins in a row with victory over Habchane. Fortea had dominated the fight all the way and Habchane decided not to come out for the sixth round. The 28-year-old from Valencia is the Spanish champion. Moroccan Habchane, 41, is a world champion-OK it is only the Global Boxing Federation title which he won in his last fight in 2017!
Mansouri vs. Gonzalez
Routine six rounds of work for Mansour as he outpoints Nicaraguan Gonzalez. The 30-year-old former undefeated English champion lost a split decision to Fortea in February, which broke a twelve bout unbeaten run for Mansouri. The 37-year-old Gonzalez has settled into the role of travelling loser and this one makes it seven on the spin.
Farid vs. Nunez
With their respective records this one was only going to end one way and end early with Farid getting another inside the distance victory. German-based Farid, one of the few pro boxers from Iran has scored all of his victories by KO/TKO. His current run stands at nine with six of those ending in the first round. Spanish-based Venezuelan Nunez has lost his last 15 and the only kind thing to say is that he usually goes the distance.
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA: Super Light: Julius Indongo (23-2) W TKO 2 Carltavius Jones Johnson (4-2). Heavy: Robert Alfonso (19-0-1) W TKO 3 Steven Lyons (5-5).
Indongo vs. Johnson
Former IBF and IBO champion Indongo sheds some rust in the first round and then floors and halts novice Johnson in the second to force the stoppage. First fight for the Namibian since being blown away in two rounds by Regis Prograis in March last year. Even with the inactivity it is silly putting him in with a five fight novice.
Alfonso vs. Lyons
This match was every bit as bad as Alfonso is fed an inexperienced prelim level opponent and gets a fifth round stoppage. After seven years as a pro the 32-year-old Cuban is wasting his time in matches as bad as this.
Fight of the week (Significance): Jean Pascal’s win over Marcus Browne gives him a title as a bargaining chip at light heavy and Adam Kownacki’s win over Chris Arreola keeps him in the heavyweight picture
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Kownacki and Arreola went at it hard for twelve rounds with honourable mention to Knockout CP Freshmart vs. ArAr Andales which was a thriller.
Fighter of the week: Jean Pascal who showed you can never write off a puncher.
Punch of the week: Pascal’s right in the seventh was a real thunderbolt with honourable mention to the left hook from Martin Bakole Ilunga that effectively finished his fight with Italo Perez.
Upset of the week: Pascal was an outsider against Browne and Thomas Essomba’s win over unbeaten Sean McGoldrick was a surprise
Prospect watch: Sean McComb showed impressive skills against Renaldo Garrido
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