Whilst we, like everyone, loves a great war, a proper tear up with bombs from both men who are managing to punish each other in a great tale of toughness, heart, determination and resilience. They aren't the only types of great bouts though, and we also love a good, exciting, chess match, with great skills and a very high level of tension. A bout that is being fought with both men knowing they could seriously hurt the other with just a single shot. Today we have one of those bouts as we again bring you a Closet Classic!
Hozumi Hasegawa (29-3, 12) Vs Jhonny Gonzalez (47-7, 41)
Between 2005 and 2010 Japan's Hozumi Hasegawa had become one of the countries major boxing stars. He had made 10 defenses of the WBC Bantamweight title, been a multi-time Japanese MVP and was one of the most popular Japanese fighters out there. Sadly his reign came to an end in 2010, when he was upset by Fernando Montiel, but that wasn't the end for Hasegawa who moved up in weight, going from Bantamweight to Featherweight. The move up was a successful one and Hasegawa would win the WBC Featherweight title just 7 months later, when he out pointed the previously unbeaten Juan Carlos Burgos to become a 2-weight world champion.
Although Hasegawa's record suggested he wasn't a puncher his performances showed other wise. He had 12 stoppages in his 32 bouts up to this point, but 7 of those had come in his previous 11 wins and he was proving to be a destructive fighter. He had vicious power in his left hand, and lightning speed, with his combinations being something gorgeous to watch.
In his first defense of the WBC Featherweight title Hasegawa was taking on huge punching Mexican Jhonny Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, like Hasegawa, had originally made his name at Bantamweight, where he won the WBO title. He had held that title from 2005 to 2007 and had made 2 defenses. He was now looking to become a 2-weight champion himself and follow in the footsteps of Montiel, in travelling to Japan to beat Hasegawa. Prior to this bout his career was a bit up and down. He had struggled early on, suffer 2 very early career losses and going 14-4 before winning WBO Bantamweight in 2005, when he stopped Ratanachai Sor Vorapin in what was his 35th bout. Following his title win he had gone 16-3 with stoppage losses to Israel Vazquez, Gerry Penalosa and Toshiaki Nishiok, in what were his 3 most recent world title bouts before facing Hasegawa.
Although he was one of the most naturally heavy handed fighter in recent years Gonzalez was also considered to be a fighter who couldn't really take it. His chin had let him down in 3 of his 7 losses, and he was getting a reputation as being a bit of a glass cannon at world level. He was the sort of fighter who made for unpredictable action. He could take anyone out, but be taken out himself. Despite his power he fight like a puncher, instead he was very much a boxer, who just had freakish power.
The one thing that needs to be very clear is that both of these men had world class power and both men knew the other could hurt them. That immediately saw us go into the bout with a sense of tension, and a feeling like the bout could end at any minute.
From the opening round this was tense, both men were looking to use their lead hand to open up their powerful straights. The action, during the first round, was limited, but this was tense, high speed chess with both men looking to draw a mistake and counter. Both knew a single mistake could see them punished, but both knew their power was likely enough to take out the other. This was brilliant boxing, real high level stuff and engaging from the opening bell.
With neither man managing to take the other out in the opening round we saw more of the same in round 2. This time around Hasegawa put his foot on the gas a little bit more earlier on, before the two men got back to what we had seen in the opening round. This was again high level chess, both men laying traps, but neither getting enough of a bite to really strike. Then tension was growing, and although neither man had landed a fight ending shot, but had gotten through with a few solid shots.
We'll leave the bout here for you to enjoy without spoiling any more of it, but it is an excellent boxing contest, even if it never comes close to becoming a war. This is high level boxing, tension, exciting, enthralling, and an often forgotten modern day classic.
By Eric Armit:
-Puerto Rican hope Danielito Zorrilla crushes Pablo Cano in two rounds and Nahir Albright, Miguel Madueno and Yunieski Gonzalez all score inside the distance wins in Hollywood Florida
-Super Welterweight Serhii Bohachuk and Super Middleweight Ali Akhmedov win in Montebello
- Jessie Hart returns with a points win over Mike Guy.
-In Female action Hyun Mi Choi retains her WBA super featherweight title, Juliana Basualdo scores upset win over 36-1 Yessica Bopp, Elhem Mekhaled knocks out Pasa Malagic in a European title fight and Delphine Mancini wins the French title
Hollywood, FL, USA: Super Light: Danielito Zorrilla (16-0) W KO 2 Pablo Cano (33-8-1, 1 ND). Super Light: Nahir Albright (14-1) W RTD 6 Michael Dutchover (15-2). Super Light: Miguel Madueno (25-0) W TKO 10 Sonny Fredrickson (21-5).Cruiser: Yunieski Gonzalez (21-3) W KO 2 Tommy Karpency (30-7-1).
Zorrilla vs. Cano
Big win for Puerto Rican Zorrilla as he beats Cano in two rounds. Cano was the aggressor in the first taking the fight to Zorrilla and firing shots to the body. Early in the second Zorrilla scored with a heavy right to the head and another that landed on the side of Cano’s neck. Cano threw a left hook but then in a delayed action response from those rights backed to a corner and went down on one knee. He got up but promptly dropped down again and was counted out. Zorrilla, 27, an outstanding amateur, retained the WBO NABO title with his twelfth win by KO/TKO. Former interim WBA title holder Cano had won his last three fights including a first round stoppage of Jorge Linares.
Albright vs. Dutchover
Albright demolishes Dutchover in six one-sided rounds. Albright scored knockdowns in each of the first three rounds. Dutchover was cut over his left eye in the fourth and dropped again in the sixth and after a doctor’s inspection was pulled out of the fight at the end of the round. Since losing his first pro fight Albright has put together a 14-bout winning streak including seven early finishes. Disaster for Texan Dutchover as he suffers his second loss by KO/TKO and he was taken transported to the hospital for checks.
Madueno vs. Fredrickson
Madueno continues his winning streak with late stoppage of Fredrickson after a stirring scrap. Madueno outscored Fredrickson over the first four rounds connecting with hard shots from both hand. Fredrickson had been competitive and began to roll from the fifth hurting Madueno with a body shot to take the round. With Madueno losing a point in the sixth for pushing Fredrickson’ s head down Fredrickson was eating into Madueno’s lead. He took the seventh and eighth but a stronger Madueno came back to shake Fredrickson in the ninth and landed a series of heavy punches which brought the referee’s intervention in the tenth. The 22-year-old Mexican has won 23 of his 25 fights by KO/TKO against very modest opposition so Fredrickson was a step up for him even though it was Fredrickson’s fourth loss in a row.
Gonzalez vs. Karpency
Cuban Gonzalez destroys Karpency with body punches. Gonzalez was rumbling forward through the first digging in body punches and hooks to the head. Karpency was forced to stand and trade until in the second and vicious left to the body dropped Karpency to his hands and knees. He literal crawled along the ring from one corner to another but once getting there was unable to get up and was counted out. Gonzalez, 36, has lost big fights against Jean Pascal, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Olek Gvozdyk but after three years out has come back with three quick wins. Former WBC light heavyweight title challenger Karpency is entertaining but loses inside the distance when he steps up.
Aguascalientes, Mexico: Super Feather: Karla Ramos (7-9) W PTS 10 Liliana Palmera (29-14-3).
Local boxer Ramos wins the vacant WBA Fedelatin Female title with comprehensive verdict over Colombian Palmera. It was a close, competitive fight over the first three rounds but then the younger Ramos took charge of the action as the older Palmera tired and Ramos emerged a clear winner. Scores 100-91, 99-91 and 98-92 for Ramos.
Montebello, CA, USA: Super Welter: Serhii Bohachuk (20-1) W RTD 6 Raphael Igbokwe (16-3). Super Middle: Ali Akhmedov (17-1) W RTD 3 David Zegarra (34-5).
Bohachuk vs. Igbokwe
Bohachuk wins in his usual style as he uses unrelenting pressure to bulldoze Igbokwe to defeat. A confident Igbokwe stood and exchanged shots with Bohachuk in the first but things changed in the second as Bohachuk began to target the body. As Bohachuk piled on the liver shots Igbokwe started to fade. It was then one-way traffic until with Igbokwe being overwhelmed his in team in consultation with the doctor retired him at the end of the sixth round. Second quick win for the Ukrainian since his stoppage loss against Brandon Adams in March. All twenty of his wins have come by KO/TKO. Houston southpaw Igbokwe’s previous losses had both been split decisions.
Akhmedov vs. Zegarra
Akhmedov bloodies and beats Zegarra over four rounds. Things started badly for Zegarra as a punch brought blood pouring from his nose in the first-and then things got worse. He just could not keep the bigger and stronger Kazak out and as he tried to use footwork to stay out of trouble he found Akhmedov doing a good job of cutting off his escape routes. Akhmedov shook Zegarra with a left hook in the second and pounded him throughout the third and with Zegarra taking a beating and still bleeding heavily from his nose injury he retired in his corner. Akhmedov was returning to action for the first time since his upset stoppage loss against Carlos Gongora for the vacant IBO title in December. Peruvian Zegarra went 30-0 against low grade opposition but is 4-6 since he started to play with the big boys.
Posadas, Argentina: Super Welter: Alejandro Silva (17-0-1) W KO 4 Maico Sommariva (9-4). Bantam: Juliana Basualdo (5-2) W PTS 6Yessica Bopp (36-2).
Silva vs. Sommariva
Silva retains the Argentinian title in his fourth defence as he scores two knockdowns on his way to victory over Sommariva. Silva was on target with punches upstairs and down but it was the body punches that brought him victory. He put Sommariva down in the second with a left to the ribs and finished him in the fourth with a right to the body that had Sommariva writhing in agony. Fourteen wins in a row for Silva and he now has twelve victories by KO/TKO. Sommariva is 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
Basualdo vs. Bopp
Southpaw Basualdo scores split decision over Bopp in a huge upset. Basualdo was just too big for the 5’0” Bopp who is WBA Super title holder at 108lbs. Basualdo was able to use her longer reach and strength to force Bopp to fight on the back foot for much of the time. There were plenty of fiery exchanges but Basualdo bossed most of them and was a clear winner. Scores 59 ½ -56 and 59-57 ½ for Basualdo and a dissenting 59-55 for Bopp. Fourth consecutive victory for Basualdo. Bopp. 37, had not fought since June 2019 so may have taken this fight just to get in some ring time but she was 107 ½ in her title defence in June and 115 ½ for this one.
Monterrey, Mexico: Bantam: Rashib Martinez (17-2) W PTS 10 Ivan Meneses (19-21-2).
Local prospect Martinez takes wide unanimous decision over grizzled veteran Meneses. Martinez dominated the fight with powerful jabs and thunderous straight rights. By the fifth Meneses was cut over his left eye and had a cut above his hair line on the left side of his face which bled heavily. Martinez continued to connect with savage rights but Meneses took the punishment and fought back hard. In the last round Meneses finally crumpled. Martinez had him against the ropes and was snapping his head around with rights and lefts when the referee stepped in. That happened just as the bell rung and for a few seconds it was not clear if it was a stoppage or not. It turned out that the referee had jumped in because of the bell so it went to the cards with Martinez winning on scores of100-90 on all three cards. Just one loss in his last 17 fights for Martinez now. Some hard fights are catching up on Meneses who is 0-7-1 in his last 8 contests.
London, England: Light: Connor Marsden (5-1). W TKO 6 Ben Jones (22-8-1,1ND).
Marsden wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with stoppage of experienced Jones. Both men had some rust to shed but it did not show as this was a war from the outset with both connecting with hard punches in every round. Marsden was effective with his jab and long rights and Jones was always dangerous with right crosses. After four hard rounds Marsden took charge in the fifth and had Jones pinned to the ropes and taking serious punishment in the sixth when the referee stepped in to halt the fight. In his first fight for eighteen months Marsden racked up his second inside the distance win. Jones was having his first fight since February 2018.
Norwich, England: Welter: Liam Goddard (8-0) W RTD 4 Justin Menzie (5-5-1).
Goddard delights his home fans with victory over Menzie in a battle of southpaws. Goddard controlled the fight from the start and after a one-sided fourth round Menzie retired. Goddard collects the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title. Four of Menzie’s eleven fights have been ten round contests that went the distance.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Light: Samuel Teah (18-4-1) W TKO 1 Larry Fryers (11-5). Super Middle: Jessie Hart (27-3) W PTS 8 Mike Guy (12-7-1).
Teah vs. Fryers
Teak wipes out Fryers in just 44 seconds. Teah floored Fryer with a right to the head and although Fryers made it to his feet the follow up attack from Teah had him in trouble and the fight was stopped. That makes it eight wins by KO/TKO for the 34-year-old Liberian-born “Tsunami” as he sets out to rebuild after a third round kayo loss against Brandon Lee in March. Four defeats is a row for Irish southpaw Fryers.
Hart vs. Guy
In his first outing for 21 months Hart returns to his home city with a win but in a poor contest. Hart was seven inches taller than Guy which allowed him to control most of the action. He was connecting with jabs and catching Guy with uppercuts when Guy tried to move inside. When he did get inside Guy was holding rather than punching. Hart’s output dropped over the sixth and seventh but he came back to take the last. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Hart. It has been a bit of a switchback period for Hart. He lost to Gilberto Ramirez for the WBO super middle title then beat Sullivan Barrera but in his last fight in January 2020 was floored and decisioned by Joe Smith Jr. He was 169 ½ lbs for this fight so could be looking for another title chance at super middle. Third tough fight and third loss in a row for Guy.
Ciudad Acuna, Mexico: Super Light: Breyon Gorham (10-0) W TKO 1 Omar Reyes (7-12).
Houston’s Gorham floored Reyes three times for a first round ending. For the 20-year-old, who had done most of his fighting in Mexico. this is his sixth first round victory but the opposition has been abysmal with Reyes now suffering his fifth loss in a row.
Ingeniero Maschwitz, Argentina: Sebastian Aguirre (18-3) W KO 1 Sergio Rosalez (13-3).
Aguirre blows away Rosalez in two minutes. Aguirre was hunting down Rosalez and shook him badly with a left to the head which knocked Rosalez into a corner. Aguirre then bombarded Rosalez with punches until Rosalez slid to the floor. He staggered to his feet at seven but the referee could see he was stunned and counted him out. First fight since March 2019 for Aguirre and his tenth win by KO/TKO. Second defeat in row for Rosalez after an unbeaten streak of 13 fights.
Santa Fe, Argentina: Super Bantam: Diego Ruiz (23-3) W TKO 7 Juan Jurado (15-4-3).
Ruiz breaks down and halts Jurado in seven rounds. Ruiz had a 6” height advantage and was a natural super bantam fighting a former Argentinian flyweight champion. Ruiz made good use of his longer reach and greater strength to take charge of the fight. He was banging home hard jabs and putting Jurado on the back foot. Jurado was spending more and more time pinned against the ropes with Ruiz showering him with a plenitude of punches including strength sapping body shots. Jurado replied with short bursts of punches but was soaking up too much punishment. He came out of his corner when the bell sounded to start the seventh but his corner immediately threw in the towel before the action started. Second win in fifteen days for Ruiz. His only loss in his last 13 fights was a stoppage against Michael Conlan in 2019. Fourth defeat in his last four fights for Jurado.
Feyzin, France: Super Feather: Elhem Mekhaled (15-0) W KO 1 Pasa Malagic (15-8).
If you blinked you might have missed this one. European champion Mekhaled landed a heavy right to the head and a left hook as Malagic was on her way down. Malagic struggled to her feet but was counted out. All over in 30 seconds. Home town fighter Mekhaled was making the first defence of the European title and in her first fight for 21 months certainly showed no rust. Bosnian Malagic’s third inside the distance loss.
Vigneux, France: Bantam: Delphine Mancini (4-0) W PTS 8 Melanie Mercier (2-12-1).
Fighting in front of her own fans Mancini wins the vacant French Female title with a unanimous decision over Mercier. All three judges gave Mercier all eight rounds scoring it 80-72. Mancini only turned pro in April but apart from her brief professional record she was an eight-time French amateur champion and a double European Championships medallist. Mercier is certainly a trier having already lost in three shots at the French light flyweight title and two at flyweight.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Albon Pervizaj (16-1) W KO 1 Habib Vugiterna (6-2).
Local fighter Pervizaj knocks out inexperienced Vugiterna in the first round to win the vacant German International title. A body shot had Vugiterna hurt then Pervizaj measured him with a jab and put him flat on his back with booming right. Seventh first round finish for former German Youth, Under-21 and Senior champion Pervizaj but his opposition including the fighter who outpointed him, have all been sub-standard performers. Vugiterna just a four and six round novice.
Trieste, Italy: Super Feather: Hassan Nourdine (13-5) W PTS 10 Michele Broili (13-2-2).
Nourdine floors and decisions Broili to left the vacant Italian title. After a couple of cautious rounds the fight started in earnest from the third. Nourdine took charge after flooring Broili with a right in the fourth. The bell went before Nourdine could build on that and Broili took the fight to Nourdine trying to claw back the points with Nourdine boxing cleverly. Broili had a good ninth but Nourdine finished strong and was a good winner. Some disagreement between the judges as two saw Nourdine the winner b98-91 and the third had it 96-95 for Broili. Moroccan-born Nourdine had come down a couple of divisions have failed in a shot at the super lightweight title in 2019. Broili was 7-0-1 going in but losing is not the end of his troubles. During the fight it was noticed that Broili had some tattoo’s which it is said were “praising Nazism” so the Italian Federation and other bodies are investigating but it seems silly that none of the supervisors or officials saw these in all of the pre-fight activities.
Siena, Italy: Feather: Davide Tassi (12-0) W PTS 10 Davide Tiberi (7-1).
Tassi gets off the floor to win the vacant national title. A left from Tiberi dropped Tassi in the first but he failed to finish the job and paid for it. Taller southpaw Tassi used his better skills and plenty of clever movement to win the rounds. Tiberi was never able to repeat that early success and Tassi was a good winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 98-91 for Tassi. He is champion for the second time having won the title in October but relinquished it to look for other fights which did not happen. Tiberi was moving up to ten rounds for the first time.
Punta Hermosa, Peru: Welter: Jonathan Maicelo (27-3) W TKO 4 Jeffrey Quintero (11-13). Feather: Carlos Zambrano (27-2) W PTS 6 Luis Colmanares (8-7).
Maicelo vs. Quintero
Maicelo comes out of retirement with a win. The former WBA interim title challenger at lightweight outscored Venezuelan southpaw Quintero over the first three rounds and then finished him with a body punch in the fourth. First fight for the 38-year-old Maicelo since December 2017. Maicelo is going to be looking for some overseas assignments at welterweight. Seventh consecutive loss by KO/TKO for Quintero.
Zambrano vs. Colmanares
Zambrano eases his way back into the winning column with unanimous decision over Colmanares. No scores given but Zambrano a wide winner. In his last two fights the former WBA interim featherweight champion Zambrano, 37, lost his title on a first round kayo against Claudio Marrero and last March was knocked out by Bryan Chevalier. The 5’3” Colmanares was too small to trouble Zambrano. He had recorded six first round wins in a row before being knocked out by Starling Martinez in his last fight in February 2020.
Tolyatti, Russia: Light: Aik Shakhnazaryan (25-4-1) DRAW 10 Avak Uzlyan (5-0-1).
Shakhnazaryan retains the Russian title with draw against Uzlyan. The challenger was short of experience and came in as a short notice substitute but was worthy of the draw in a close contest. First defence for Shakhnazaryan. Uzlyan had never travelled past six rounds before so did well here.
Dubai, UAE: Heavy: Martin Bakole (17-1) W TKO 1 Haruna Osumanu (11-3).
Whoever made this “match” should be ashamed of their self. Bakole blasted out a hapless Osumanu late in the first round. That gives the Scots-based Congolese his fifth consecutive win since a tenth round stoppage loss against Mike Hunter in 2018. Victories over Mariusz Wach, Kevin Johnson and Sergey Kuzmin have seen him rated No 15 by both the WBA and IBF and he should not be wasting his time on rubbish like this. The 41-year-old Ghanaian Osumanu is 6’0” to Ilunga’s 6’ 6” and yet weighed the same as Makabu and was obese.
Seoul, South Korea: Super Feather: Hyun MI Choi (19-0-1 W TKO 9 Simone Aparecida da Silva (17-17).
Choi retains the WBA Female title as she floors and halts da Silva in the ninth round. Choi was in charge for most of the fight and gradually beat down da Silva. A left hook to the body put da Silva down min the ninth and although she beat the count and tried to fight back Choi pounced and sent her down again with another left hook and the fight was stopped. Sixth defence of the WBA title for Choi. The experienced da Silva, 38, is a former Brazilian and South American champion but Choi was too strong for her.
Sheffield, England: Fly: Tommy Frank (14-2) W PTS 12 Matt Windle (6-4-1). Heavy: Kash Ali (20-1) W RTD 7 Roman Gorst (7-2) .
Frank vs. Windle
Frank gets a much needed win and the vacant British title with decision over Windle. After a scrappy first round Frank floored Windle with a right in the second. Windle survived the crisis but had to take more punishment over the succeeding rounds and was staggered by a left hook in the sixth. Windle got into the fight more over the second half and had a good tenth but Frank was back on top over the last two rounds and Windle did well to last the distance. Scores 118-109, 117-110 and 117-111 for Frank. First step on the road to recovery for the former Commonwealth champion after back-to-back losses to Mexican Rosendo Guarneros. Windle was coming off an upset twelve round victory over Neil McCubbin in June.
Ali vs. Gorst
Heavy punching Ali retains the IBF European title with retirement victory over German Gorst. Ali had a five inch height edge and was 17lbs heavier and too strong for the visitor. Ali won the early rounds rocking Gorst with hard rights. Gorst had a slight edge in the fifth but Ali again landed some crunching rights in the sixth and seventh and Gorst’s corner pulled their man out with a suspected fractured jaw. Fifth inside the distance win in succession for Ali with his only loss being a disqualification against David Price. Gorst had lost on points against German prospect Peter Kadiru over ten rounds in October.
Bakersfield, CA, USA: LIGHT: Jose Valenzuela (10-0) W PTS 10 Deiner Berrio (22-4-1).
Valenzuela too busy, too aggressive and too accurate for Colombian Berrio. He dominated until late when Berrio landed some useful body punches but by then Valenzuela had an unassailable lead. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Valenzuela. The 22-year-old Mexican had won his last five fights by KO/TKO but got some useful rounds of work here. At one time Berrio was 20-0-1 but better opposituion has led to a worse record.
Fight of the week (Significance): Nothing hugely significant but Danielito Zorrilla showed in his crushing of Pablo Cano that he could be a threat at super lightweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Miguel Madueno vs. Sonny Fredrickson provided plenty of action.
Fighter of the week: Danielito Zorrilla for his impressive win against Pablo Cano
Punch of the week: The body punch from Alejandro Silva the almost cut Maico Sommariva gets the vote with either of the two rights from Zorrilla that started Cano’s crumble are worth an honorary mention
Upset of the week: Juliana Basualdo with her 4-2 record was not supposed to beat 36-1 Yessica Bopp
Prospect watch: Super lightweight Nahir Albright 15-1 looked good in stopping highly touted Michael Dutchover.
One of the quietest weeks I can remember. Even as the restrictions were slowly relaxed there were bigger fights on the schedule than this week’s offering.
Liliana Palmera, 39, a former WBA super bantamweight title holder who lost to Karla Ramos at the weekend has done a “reverse Pacquiao” . She started out as a super lightweight and worked her way down to compete as low as super bantam. She should start a slimming club.
Nice to see the heavyweight fight between Albon Pervizaj and Habib Vugiterna in Hamburg was a charity event to raise funds to subsidise children whose parents could no longer raise the fees for the local boxing clubs due to the pandemic.
A 6’6” 28 year-old Martin Bakole vs. an obese 41-year-old 6’0” is a disgrace to boxing. The worst thing is that it is not rare and that there are actually people responsible for administering the sport who are quite happy to approve these matches.
For today's Closet Classic we are bending the definition a little bit on what really counts as a "Closet Classic" and instead looking at a bout which is more of an "instant classic", but it's such a good bout that we can't help but include it in this series. For one it's an amazing bout, with great back and forth action and for two it feature two absolute legends of the sport, albeit with one coming to the end of his career and one still on their way to all time great status.
This is a bout we expect many of you have seen, but one that is always worth a re-watch, and is genuinely a brilliant battle and the second chapter if an iconic rivalry.
Manny Pacquiao (40-3-2, 31) vs Erik Morales (48-3, 34) II
In one corner was 27 year old Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao, who was well on his way to establishing himself a special, once in a life time fighter. He had already scored wins against a who's who of who, with victories over the likes of Chatchai Sasakul, Lehlo Ledwaba and Marco Antonio Barrera. He had however suffered a loss in 2005 to Erik Morales, with the Mexican turning southpaw in round 12 to go to war with Pacquiao and make a statement of his machismo.
That was Pacquiao's first loss in the US and his first loss since he was a Flyweight, and suffered a TKO loss in 1999 to Medgoen Singsurat in Thailand, and was seen as an upset for the rampaging Filipino.
As for Morales the win over Pacquiao further showed that he was a modern day great and a true warrior, with his 12th round display becoming an iconic stand by a man who was told not to do anything stupid before going to war. Following that win however Morales had suffered a massive upset loss to Zahir Raheem, in what was the 2004 Ring Magazine upset of the Year. That loss had seen some suggest that Morales was on the slide, whilst others suggested it was a freak result, or a case of a fighter not being focused.
What both men had in common is that they were entertainers in the ring. Pacquiao was a whirling dervish as a fighter. He was crude at times, wild at others, but hugely entertaining with scary power in his left hand and a high work rate. Morales on the other hand was a polished boxer, with a good jab, and good technical skills, but seemed to prefer to ignore that and prove he had balls the size of melons, and was almost always happy to have a war, rather than using his skills.
Both men also had points to prove. Pacquiao had to prove the loss to Morales was a fluke, a one off, and not the end of his rise. He also had the chance to prove that the first bout was decided by gloves, as this time he was wearing his prefered Cleto Reyes gloves. Morales had to prove he wasn't done after the loss to Raheem. Both men came into the ring with hunger to make a statement and a hunger to prove they were still one of the best.
We also had two rabid fan bases, giving us an amazing atmosphere. It had Mexican fans there to support Morales, Filipino fans there to support Pacquiao and boxing fans there to watch chapter 2 of the Pacquiao Vs Morales story.
This started tactically, it was round 1 of fight #2 and not round 13 of Pacquiao Vs Morales, and as a result it was the clean, effective jabs of Morales that were key in the first minute or two. Within the final minute of the opening round however the two men picked up the pace and both managed to land some solid shots with their power hand. It was glimpse of what was to come later in the bout and saw that both men had quickly begin to settle down and get to work. Although the commentators praised a lot of Pacquiao's work it was certainly not a clear round, with Morales have plenty of success himself.
In round 2 we saw the action continue to pick up, with Pacquiao pressing more and Morales playing the role of smart counter puncher. The handspeed and aggression of Pacquiao saw him catching Morales clean repeatedly, but his crude, march forward also saw him eating some huge counters from Morales. Pacquiao almost dropped Morales in the final minute of the round, though it drew the machismo from Morales who decided to go to war in an attempt to get Pacquiao's respect. A tactic that didn't really work. Despite the success of Morales's counter he couldn't avoid Pacquiao's straight left hand, which was catching him time and time again.
Morales looked to create some distance in round 3, using his jab and footwork early on, though it wasn't long before he tried to get Pacquiao's attention again with a flurry of shots. It was a brilliant attempt to rebound after the previous round, but Pacquiao continued to have success with the straight left hand, and no matter how much success Morales had he was still eating the bigger shots and the more painful combinations.
As we entered round 4 Pacquiao's right eye was starting to swell, a result of Morales's long rangy jab, and Morales was starting to time Pacquiao more often with the Mexican starting to use more polished technical skills to take advantages of Pacquiao's flaws. Pacquiao on the other hand was becoming more and more reliant on the left hand, rather than landing his jab. The left hand had had success in rounds 2 and 3, but in round 4 Morales was starting to take it away and with Pacquiao not using his jab it allowed Morales to take some control of the contest and build some momentum.
It was a smart technical change from Morales who came out in round 5 and landed some eye catching leather early before Pacquiao came back as the round went on. Strangely, given the first 4 rounds, this one seemed a lot quieter than the earlier rounds, it was however the calm before the storm and in round 6 Pacquiao's pace increased, as he began to turn the screw and did some damage to Morales part way through the round. Morales tried to respond but was taking more and more punishment, with his face showing the damage from Pacquiao's shots. It was a huge round from Pacquiao and he seemed to send Morales stumbling right on the bell.
Entering round 7 we had already seen the momentum of the bout shift one way, then back and again and again. We had seen both men show some facial damage, both have success and both need to make adjustments. Amazingly we continued to see the momentum shift, with Morales have a great round 7, unleashing his arsenal on Pacquiao as he looked to re-establish himself. It was an amazing start to the round from Morales, but by the end of the round Pacquiao looked to have taken the best from Morales and was punishing the Mexican, who looked like a man fighting on heart and desire alone.
We'll leave the bout here for you to enjoy, and seriously it is one you will enjoy! A fantastic clash of legendary fighters both giving everything they had.
By Eric Armit
-Oscar Valdez comes from a long way behind to successfully defend the WBC super featherweight title with controversial points victory over Robinson Conceicao
-Junto Nakatani stops Angel Acosta in four rounds in WBO flyweight title defence
- Mathieu Bauderlique beats Igor Mikhalkin on a seventh round retirement to win the vacant European light heavyweight title
-Olympic medallists Tony Yoka and Souleymane Cissokho score inside the distance victories as heavyweight Yoka stops Peter Milas in seven and super welterweight Cissokho forces Ismail Iliev to a fourth round retirement
-Kevin Lejarraga wins the vacant European super welterweight title with technical verdict over Dylan Charrat and Spain’s Mary Romero retains the EBU Female super bantamweight title on retirement against England’s Amy Timlin
-Sam Eggington outpoints Frenchman Bilel Jkitou in a WBC Silver middle weight title defence
-Heavyweight Filip Hrgovic returns to action with a stoppage of Marko Radonjic in Austria and John Ryder halts Joszef Jurko on the same card
-Zaur Abdullaev outpoints Dejan Zlaticanin at lightweight and Evgeny Tischenko decisions Dmitry Kudryashov at cruiserweight on massive show in Ekaterinburg featuring nine ten round fights relating to seven different titles
- Aidos Yerbossynuly knocks out Lennox Allen in ten round to win WBA super middleweight eliminator
World Title/Major Shows
Tucson, AZ, USA: Super Feather: Oscar Valdez (30-0) W PTS 12 Robson Conceicao (16-1). Fly: Junto Nakatani (22-0) W TKO 4 Angel Acosta (22-3). Super
Feather: Luis Lopez (23-2) W PTS 10 Gabriel Flores Jr (20-1) . Super Feather: Juan Tellez (16-1) W TKO 7 Eduardo Garza (15-5-1). Super Light: Omar Aguilar (22-0) W KO 2 Carlos Portillo (22-4). Welter: Lindolfo Delgado (13-0) W TKO 2 Miguel Zamudio (45-17-1). Super Welter: Xander Zayas (10-0) W PTS 6 Jose Sanchez (11-2-1)
Valdez vs. Conceicao
Valdez has to come from behind to retain his WBC title. Conceicao the bigger man made a confident start. He made good use of his longer reach to score at distance and Valdez had difficulty landing anything of consequence. Conceicao dominated the second again getting through with jabs and landing with some strong body punches. Valdez’s face was already marking up. Valdez connected with a big right at the start of the third but again the more effective work was being done by Conceicao and he shook Valdez with a big uppercut in the fourth. Jarring jabs from Conceicao had Valdez head jerking back and he landed a powerful left hook. Conceicao’s confidence was high enough for him to make fun of a wide miss by Valdez. With his title slipping away Valdez finally found his rhythm in the sixth he was getting inside and working to the body and he also outscored Conceicao in the seventh. Conceicao showed signs of tiring and Valdez was on top in the eighth. Conceicao rallied in the ninth but lost a point for a punch to the back of Valdez’s head which cost him a round he looked to have won. Both were hurt by shots in the tenth with Valdez now bleeding from a gash on his left cheekbone but he just edged the round. The eleventh was a close round but Valdez just came out on top in the exchanges and Valdez took the last as Conceicao held and fiddled as if he only needed to get to the bell to be the winner handing the round to Valdez who retained his title. Scores 115-112 twice and 117-110, for Valdez with the latter score not doing justice to Conceiaco’s early dominance and many feeling Conceicao should have been the winner. Valdez was making the first defence of the WBC title in a sub-par performance as he had trouble dealing with the longer reach of the 5” taller Conceicao. He will now be looking to face either WBO title holder Jamel Herring or Shakur Stevenson who clash on 23 October. Brazilian Conceicao performed above most expectations but having only once gone past eight rounds he faded late in this fight.
Nakatani vs. Acosta
Nakatani bloodies and beats Acosta in four rounds. The tall southpaw was quick and accurate with his jabs in the first and landed some powerful lefts. Acosta managed to get past the jab a couple of times but his problem was already evident. Uppercuts from Nakatani had Acosta bleeding heavily from the nose early in the second. Nakatani continued to find the target with lefts and the fight was halted as a doctor inspected the damage to Acosta’s face. The fight was allowed to continue but Acosta was bleeding heavily. Acosta put in a big effort in the third and landed some heavy punches but so did Nakatani. Again the fight was stopped so that a doctor could check the damage to Acosta. Both the doctor and the referee visited Acosta’s corner at the end of the round and Acosta pleaded to be given one more round. He came out for the fourth but after just 32 seconds with Acosta’s face a mask of blood the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Nakatani was making the first defence of the WBO title that he won with an eighth round kayo of Giemel Magramo in November. Also Nakatani’s first fight in the USA. There is a dearth of talent at flyweight so Nakatani’s aim may be to go for a unification fight and then move up to super fly. He has won 17 of his fights by KO/TKO. Acosta was just too small to pose any problems for Nakatani.
Lopez vs. Flores
Although with their individual records a win for Lopez was a possibility that he should score a shut-out on two cards was a suprise. The pattern was established in the opener with Lopez storming forward into the much taller Flores throwing punches forcing Flores on to the back foot and he shook Flores with a big right late in the round. Flores had landed some good shots of his own in the first but Lopez just kept coming. Lopez hustled Flores out of his stride in the second and was throwing more and landing more. A body shot in the third had Flores backing off and although Flores landed plenty in the fourth Lopez just walked through his punches and was connecting with hooks and uppercuts. He was throwing his shots from strange angles but connecting. The incessant pressure from Lopez continued over the middle rounds and Flores was taking plenty of punishment with his face swelling. Lopez scored heavily in the seventh and eighth and through a one-sided ninth. With his son showing a huge bump under his left eye it was natural that Flores’ father wanted to pull him out at the end of the ninth but Flores insisted on continuing with the result that he suffered more unnecessary pain. His father tried to stop the fight late in the tenth but the referee did not see him signal so the round continued to the bell. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Lopez. The 28-year-old Mexican had lost a decision to Ruben Villa in May 2019 but bounced back with five victories including a split verdict over Andy Vences. Flores had beaten some good level opposition but Lopez proved just too strong on the night. At 21 Flores has plenty of time to do his own bit of rebounding.
Tellez vs. Garza
After six rounds of like for like exchanges Lopez proved the stronger and stayed the course better under the strength-sapping heat before ending the fight with a left to the body in the seventh. Tellez’s ten inside the distance victories includes a sixth round kayo of prospect Carlos Balderas. Third consecutive loss for Garza.
Aguilar vs. Portillo
Unbeaten Mexican Aguilar demolishes Portillo in two rounds. Aguilar sent Portillo down in the opening round but Portillo got and made it to the bell. Aguilar then put Portillo down twice in the second and the Paraguayan was counted out. Twenty-first victory by KO/TKO for 22-year-old Aguilar and eleventh in a row including a first round stoppage of Dane Jordan. First fight for 22 months and third loss by KO/TKO for Portillo.
Delgado vs. Zamudio
Delgado overwhelms Zamudio in two rounds. Zamudio did well to get through a torrid first round but was floored in the second and the fight was over. Mexican Delgado, an Olympian and Pan American Games silver medal winner, has twelve wins by KO/TKO. Fifteen of Zamudio’s defeats have come by KO/TKO.
Zayas vs. Sanchez
Zayas gets six rounds of useful work against Sanchez. Zayas had Sanchez shaken early but Sanchez fought his way through the crisis and competed hard for the rest of the contest. Scores 60-54 from the judges for Zayas. Sanchez was 9-0-1 in his last 10 bouts.
Klagnefurt, Austria: Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (13-0) W RSF 4 Marko Radonjic (22-1). Super Light: Dalton Smith (10-0) W PTS 10 Brian Pelaez (10-6). Super Middle: John Ryder (30-5) W TKO 5 Jozef Jurko (8-3). Super Middle: Abass Baraou (10-1) W KO 1 Jay Spencer (11-3).
Hrgovic vs. Radonjic
Hrgovic obliterates a hapless Radonjic in three rounds. Hrgovic used his longer reach to score and followed his jab with straight rights to the head. Radonjic was boxing southpaw and trying to catch Hrgovic with left counters but was too slow and crude. Hrgovic was tracking the retreating Radonjic in the second. As Radonjic lunged forward a right to the top of his head put him down. He was up at nine but on shaky legs. He was floored again by a right. He beat the count but another head punch sent him down for the third time. A fourth knockdown came from a body punch and a fifth saw him dumped into the ropes and down. He saw out the round but was down again in the third and when he came out for the fourth the referee immediately stopped the fight. Hrgovic retains the IBF International title with his eleventh victory by KO/TKO. He is No 4 with the IBF but as he has never faced anyone remotely near the rating he can’t fill the vacant No 1 spot. Montenegrin Radonjic had won all 22 of his fights by KO/TKO. A “miracle fighter”-it is a miracle his management managed to find 22 opponents that he could beat inside the distance. He tried hard but seemed to have no punch resistance.
Smith vs. Pelaez
Smith much too classy for Pelaez. He was able to outbox Pelaez all the way with Pelaez having occasional success but not enough to win a session. Pelaez tried switching guards a few times but it made no difference. Smith handed out severe punishment in every round. Pelaez was cut over both eyes but never looked to be in trouble. Scores 99-91 for Smith on the three cards. Surprising lack of power from Smith who had won his last seven fights by KO/TKO. Spaniard Pelaez had won his last two fights.
Ryder vs. Jurko
Ryder stops Jurko in five rounds. Weighing 173 ¼ lbs for this one Ryder was testing the waters at light heavyweight. He scored heavily over the first two rounds then dialled things up bit by bit drawing blood from Jurko’s nose until the referee stepped in to save Jurko in the fifth. Although the WBA’s No 3 super middle Ryder has his eyes on the WBA light heavyweight title held by Dimitry Bivol. Jurko had won his last three contests
Baraou vs. Spencer
Baraou demolishes a reluctant Spencer in the first round. Baraou was connecting with stiff shots to head and body with little coming back from Spencer. Baraou landed a fierce body punch and a right to the head and Spencer went down. He was up before the eight count was completed and the referee made the decision to stop the fight. First outing for Baraou since losing a split verdict to Jack Culcay in August last year.
Paris, France: Light Heavy: Mathieu Bauderlique (21-1) W RTD 7 Igor Mikhalkin (24-3). Heavy: Tony Yoka (11-0) W TKO 7 Petar Milas (15-1). Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (14-0) W TKO 5 Ismail Iliev (13-3-1). Heavy: Vladyslav Sirenko (18-0 W TKO 1 Aleksandr Ustinov (36-5-1). Super Light: Volkan Gokcek (7-0,1ND) W TKO 4 Kaoussou Cisse (5-1).
Bauderlique vs. Mikhalkin
Bauderlique wins the vacant European title as Mikhalkin retires at the end of the seventh round with a suspected fractured jaw. After a cautious start from both southpaws Bauderlique began to take control. He was quicker with his jab and finding Mikhalkin with long lefts. Mikhalkin tried to put some pressure on over the second and third but again Bauderlique was jabbing strongly and was dangerous with his left crosses. Mikhalkin had a good fourth he was getting through with lefts to the head and body and moving constantly instead of standing and punching with the stronger Bauderlique. Mikhalkin was lively at the start of the sixth but the power and accuracy of Bauderlique’s punches was having their affect and Mikhalkin was slowing and had a swelling under his right eye. Bauderlique continued to find the target in the seventh and at the end of the round Mikhalkin retired. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for Bauderlique who will be hoping to get a shot at a version of the light heavyweight title next year. Mikhalkin was stopped in seven rounds by Sergey Kovalev in a challenge for the WBO title in 2018.
Yoka vs. Milas
After an indifferent performance Yoka whacks out Milas in the seventh. Yoka began by prodding out his jab and tracking Milas around the ring. Milas was switching guards and darting in to throw hooks with neither fighter landing anything of note. Milas was orbiting the ring but Yoka managed to find the range with a couple of jabs in the second and ended the round with a burst of body punches. Yoka continued to track down the speeding Milas in the third and connected with some strong punches to head and body. Milas threw a lot more punches in the fourth and fifth and Yoka was just not cutting the ring off or throwing enough punches in a very pedestrian performance. Milas continued to trot around the ring but looked to be slowing in the sixth. Even then Yoka was hardly throwing more than one punch at a time. Milas was dancing confidently in the seventh until a blazing left hook from Yoka sent him staggering back to the ropes and a clubbing right to the head sent him down on his hands and knees. He got up but was chased across the ring and although no heavy punch was evident he slumped to a sitting position in a corner. He made it to his feet but the referee waived the fight off. Ninth victory by KO/TKO for Yoka who showed real power at the finish. He still seems too mechanical and does not show a lot of head movement but it is time for a test against a rated fighter to justify his top ten ranking by the IBF and WBC. Yoka dedicated his win to the recently deceased French film star Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Cissokho vs. Iliev
Cissokho beats Iliev who retires after the fourth round. There was plenty of movement and jabbing from Cissokho as he spent the first round boxing on the back foot. Cissokho brought his right hand into play in the second landing some belting body shots and he also found the range with stinging jabs. Iliev tried to put on some pressure but Cissokho just shimmied away from his attacks. He comfortably outboxed Iliev in the third and rocked him with some heavy rights late in the round. A right in the fourth sent Iliev tumbling back and he put both gloves on the canvas to stop himself going down and with that knockdown and blood coming from a cut over his left eye Iliev’s team pulled him out of the fight. Senegalese-born Cissokho, a bronze medallist in Rio, had struggled in getting a split decision over Kieron Conway in May but was back to his best form here. Russian Iliev pursued in vain but kept trying. His other two losses have come against Patrick Day and Magomed Kurbanov.
Sirenko vs. Ustinov
Sirenko blast out Ustinov inside a round. Sirenko tracked Ustinov around the ring with Ustinov just prodding out jabs. With Ustinov having his back against the ropes Sirenko stepped in and landed a booming overhand right that sent Ustinov pitching into the ropes. With Ustinov propped up by the middle rope Sirenko landed another right that sent Ustinov face down on the canvas with the referee waiving the fight off after 2:08 of the first round. Fifteenth win by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old Ukrainian who was defending the WBC Asian Boxing Council title. At 44 it really is time Ustinov retired.
Gokcek vs. Cisse
Turkish hope Gokcek halts Cisse in four rounds. It was the harder punching of Gokcek that won him this one. Cisse was competitive but a succession of left hooks to the body in the fourth put him down and although he beat the count and fought back more body shots proved too much for him and the fight was stopped. Fifth inside the distance victory for Gokcek who was a bronze medallist at the European Under-22 championships. Frenchman Cisse fought well but could not cope with Gokcek’s power.
Coventry, England: Middle: Sam Eggington (31-7) W PTS 12 Bilel Jkitou (15-1). Welter: Kaisee Benjamin (13-1-1) W KO 3 Jarkko Putkonen (17-8-2). Middle: River Wilson Bent (10-0) W PTS 10 Gabor Gorbics (26-21-2).Light Heavy: Shakan Pitters (16-1) W PTS 8 Farouk Daku (21-19-1). Cruiser: Isaac Chamberlain (13-1) W RTD 1 Ben Thomas (2-7-3).
Eggington vs. Jkitou
This was the type of fight that begs the statement “it is a pity there had to be a loser”. Eggington and Jkitou engaged in twelve rounds of street warfare. Eggington has good boxing skills but somehow always ends up in a no quarter battle. They both had their jab working at the start of the first but then stood and exchanged hooks and uppercuts. Just moments into the second round they went toe-to-toe swapping punches and it stayed like that for the full three minutes. In the third. Eggington was landing more but Jkitou was not rattled. Eggington tried to box in the fourth but quickly went back to trading punches and for the last two minutes of the round they stood with their heads touching firing hooks and uppercuts with both scoring heavily and both rocked. Jkitou was coming forward throughout the fight behind a high guard. Eggington was able to find gaps for his jabs and body punches but once Jkitou got in range it was bombs away and both were throwing accurate, quality shots. Eggington looked to be a couple of rounds in front going into the second half of the fight but he is more prone to facial damage and looked the worse for wear. The seventh was another brutal round as they fired missiles at each other. Eggington had the edge as he was working throught the round but Jkitou was firing bursts of punches and then going back behind his guard. Jkitou’s output dropped a little over the eighth and ninth but he was back in Eggington’s face as they fought hard all the way to the final bell of a tremendous scrap full of power and precision. Scores 117-111 and 117-112 for Eggington and 116-112 for Jkitou. “The Savage” retains the WBC Silver title but you have to wonder when the constant warfare will catch up with him. Whilst the first two scores might be a tad unkind to Jkitou’s performance it is difficult to understand the score for Jkitou. Eggington had been cut over his right eye and his face was badly marked but he was a good winner. You could argue that there are no losers in a fight this good as Eggington was a huge step up in quality of opposition for Jkitou and on this performance he should be able to climb from his current EU No 12 rating with a bit more activity.
Benjamin vs. Putkonen
Superior skills and faster hands saw Benjamin bossing this fight from the off. He was scoring with precise jabs and easily avoiding the rushing attacks from Putkonen. The Finn had to soak up tremendous punishment in the second as Benjamin dug in left nooks to the body and heavy head punches. Putkonen was staggered a couple of times but bravely kept trying to fire back. Benjamin ended it in the third with a right to the body that sent Putkonen down and he was counted out. BBB of C Midlands Area champion Benjamin is now 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights with four inside the schedule victories. Four stoppage suffered by Putkonen.
Bent vs. Gorbics
Bent has no problems winning every round against the much smaller Gorbics. Bent jabbed well and scored with straight rights but as Gorbics was in survival mode for most of the fight. Gorbics launches the occasional wild attack but other than that it was Bent hunting Gorbics down but finding the Hungarian a difficult man to hurt so the fight went the distance. The referee had Bent winning 100-90 marking the first time Bent has gone the full ten rounds so a useful exercise. Gorbics is without a win in his last 11 fights with figures of 0-9-2
Pitters vs. Daku
Pitters floors and outpoints Daku. With Pitters being 6’6” and Daku 8 inches smaller this was never going to be a difficult fight for Pitters. He was able to spear Daku with jabs and connect with long rights. When Daku rushed forward Pitters had such as long stride that he was able to move out of range and he found Daku and easy target for hooks when Daku made his rushes. Pitters raised his pace over the second half of the fight and put together some impressive combinations. He came near to ending it in the seventh. A right staggered Daku badly and a volley of punches dropped him. Daku only just beat the count but survived and made it to the final bell. The referee scored it 80-71. Former British champion Pitters will be hoping for another chance at the title he lost to Craig Richards in December. Ugandan-born Dutchman Daku drops to 1-10 in his last 11 fights.
Chamberlain vs. Thomas
Chamberlain wipes out Thomas in the first. Thomas was circling the ring never being farther than a stride from the ropes. Chamberlain took his time to set Thomas up and then pounced with a stunning right and a big left hook that sent Thomas down heavily. He only just made it to his feet and was on very shaky legs but the bell had gone. He made back to his corner but his team pulled him out of the fight. A real power show from Chamberlain in his seventh quick win. His lone loss was on points to current WBO cruiser champion Lawrence Okolie in 2018. Six consecutive losses for Thomas.
London, England: Feather: Louie Lynn (10-0) W TEC DEC 9 Amin Jahanzeb (8-1). Light: Mark Chamberlain (9-0) W RTD 4 Benjamin Lamptey (11-5-1).
Lynn vs. Jahanzeb
In a contest shortened due to a cut Lynn gets a close split decision over Jahanzeb. Lynn took the fight to Jahanzeb in the first but clever counter punching gave Jahanzeb the edge. Lynn pressed his attacks hard to edge the second and third but Jahanzeb swung the fight back his way with some sharp boxing and he shook Lynn with a left hook in the fifth. Lynn outscored Jahanzeb in the sixth only for Jahanzeb to impress with some effective hooks in the seventh and eighth. With the fight slipping away Lynn hit back strongly in the ninth shaking Jahanzeb with a right but a clash of heads opened a gash over Lynn’s right eye and the fight was stopped at the end of the round. Lynn took the technical decision on scores of 87-84 and 86-85 for Lynn and 86-85 for Jahanzeb but the decision could have gone either way. Lynn, a former English and Great Britain champion in the amateurs, wins the WBC International Silver title. Jahanzeb was going past six rounds for the first time.
Chamberlain vs. Lamptey
Portsmouth prospect Chamberlain decks Lamptey in the second and fourth rounds and Lamptey does not come out for the fifth. Sixth inside the distance victory for the former English Youth and Senior champion. His other five KO/TKO wins were all first round finishes. First fight in Britain for former Ghanaian champion Lamptey.
Delray Beach, FL, USA: Light Heavy: Robin Sirwan Safar (13-0) W PTS 8 Denis Grachev (20-14-1). Light: Antonio Williams (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Harry Gigliotti (8-3).
Safar vs. Grachev
Tall Swede Safar takes unanimous verdict over Russian oldie Grachev which breaks Safar’s six-fight run of inside the distance victories. Scores 80-72, 78-73 and 78-74 for the 6’3” Swede. Grachev, 39, has won only one of his last eight fights.
Williams vs. Gigliotti
Williams very lucky to get a split verdict over Gigliotti. In a close fight it was a sixth round knocked down scored by Williams with a body punch in the fourth round that just gave him the edge in the scoring at 77-74 and 76-75 for Williams and 76-75 for Gigliotti. Sixth win on the trot for the 24-year-old Texan. Gigliotti had won 7 of his last eight contests.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Bantam: Christian Carto (18-1) W KO 1 Yeison Vargas (17-8).
Carto shakes the dust from a long period of inactivity with first round blow out of Vargas. Carto dropped Vargas early in the first and then ended the fight with a left hook to the body later in the round. First fight for Carto, 25, since losing to Victor Ruiz in February 2019 and twelfth win by KO/TKO. Eighth defeat in his last nine contests for Colombian Vargas.
Gomez Palacio, Mexico: Super Bantam: Yulihan Luna (22-3-1) W TKO 4 Karla Valenzuela (3-23-3).
Luna please her home fans with fourth round stoppage of Valenzuela to register her fourth win by KO/TKO and her sixth consecutive victory. Valenzuela came in at very short notice when Luna’s defence of her WBC bantamweight title fell through. Valenzuela is a depressing 0-9-1 in her last ten outings.
Houghton-le-Spring, England: Super Fly: Craig Derbyshire (8-28-3) W PTS 10 Joe Maphosa (10-0).
A minor upset as Derbyshire outscores previously unbeaten Maphosa. Derbyshire put Maphosa down in the first and then sheer aggression gave Derbyshire the advantage over the longer reach and better skills of Maphosa who was docked a point in the seventh for holding as he tried to cope with the fierce attacks of Derbyshire. A split decision 97-92 and 96-93 for Derbyshire and 95-93 for Maphosa.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Welter: Kevin Lejarraga (33-2) W TEC DEC 10 Dylan Charrat (20-1-1). Super Bantam: Mary Romero (7-2) W RTD 8 Timlin (4-1-1). Super Feather: Moussa Gholam (17-0) W TKO 8 Mauro Perouene (12-4-1). Feather: Kiko Martinez (42-10-2) W PTS 8 Jayro Duran (14-10). Super Feather: Cristobal Lorente (13-0-1) W PTS 8 Anuar Salas (21-11-1).
Lejarraga vs. Charrat
Lejarraga becomes a European champion again as he takes a technical decision over Frenchman Charrat. From the start Charrat used speed, movement and quick hands to frustrate the stronger but slower Lejarraga. He was darting in to score and Lejarraga was finding him a difficult target. The fight changed over the middle rounds as pressure from Lejarraga and some hefty body punches began to take the spring out Charrat’s steps and he was standing and trading punches more. By the end of the eighth it was clear the fight had swung Lejarraga’s way. In the ninth when their heads banged together Lejarraga suffered a gash on his cheekbone and the injury was ruled too severe for the fight to continue and it was decided on the cards with Lejarraga the winner by a majority verdict on scores of 96-94 twice and 95-95. The 29-year-old “Revolver “ is a former European welterweight champion but lost the title to David Avanesyan and was stopped in one round in a return contest. Charrat was having his first fight for twenty months so should work to get some fights under his belt and come looking for a return.
Romero vs. Timlin
Romero is still European champion after England’s Timlin retired at the end of the eighth round of their fight for the Female title. Timlin was fighting with a handicap from the first round when what looked like an accidental elbow opened a cut over her left eye. Although that affected Timlin Romero was the better fighter on the night. She scored well to the body and was more accurate with her punches. The cut worsened and at the end of the eighth round in agreement with the doctor Timlin’s team pulled her out of the fight. Sixth consecutive win for Romero who will now look to go for a world title. Timlin had fought a draw for the vacant Commonwealth title in October and at 21 she has time to take on board the lessons from those two title fights and rebound.
Gholam vs. Perouene
Second quick win this year for Moroccan Gholam. He started slowly then gradually wound up the pressure with Perouene forced to take heavy punishment. His team could have pulled Perouene out earlier but finally threw in the towel in the eighth round. After eighteen months of inactivity Gholan is looking to move up to some stiffer challenges. First inside the schedule defeat for Argentinian Perouene.
Martinez vs. Duran
Just a keep busy fight for Martinez. He was his usual aggressive self outscoring Honduran Duran and decked him in the fifth one the way to a comfortable victory. Scores 79-72 twice and 80-71. Martinez is hoping to get a return fight with Zelfa Barrett who scored a very controversial victory over Martinez in February. Fifth loss on the trot for Spanish-based Duran.
Lorente vs. Salas
Fighting in his home city Spanish champion Lorente takes a unanimous verdict over Salas. Lorente dropped Salas in the first and fourth rounds and won the decision on scores of 80-70, 80-71 and 79-72 for his twelfth consecutive victory. Poor Colombian Salas is now 1-8-1 in his recent activity.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Light: Zaur Abdullaev (14-1) W PTS 12 Dejan Zlaticanin (24- ). Cruiser: Evgeny Tischenko (9-1) W PTS 10 Dmitry Kudryashov (24-5). Super Feather: Ruslan Kamilov (11-0-1) W PTS 10 Stanislav Kalitskiy (11-2). Super Bantam: Mukhammad Shekhov (10-0-1) W PTS 10 Asror Vokhidov (9-1). Super Feather: Mark Urvanov (20-2-1) W PTS 10 Otto Joseph (17-1). Super Feather: Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (18-0) W RTD 4 Cristian Palma (31-11-2). Bantam: Jessica Gonzalez (8-5-2,3ND) W PTS 10 Tatyana Zrazhevskaya (11-1). Super Middle: Artysh Lopsan (7-1-1) W TKO 7 Oleg Misiura (7-1). Super Feather: Dmitrii Khasiev (12-2-2) W TKO 2 Rofhiwa Maemu (19-13-3).
Abdullaev vs. Zlaticanin
Russian Abdullaev wins the vacant WBC Silver title with comfortable points victory over former champion WBC title holder Zlaticanin. Abdullaev made a cautious start letting Zlaticanin bring the fight to him and utilising a high guard to block Zlaticanin's punches. From the third Abdullaev used his 5” height advantage and longer reach to control the fight. He was connecting with precise jabs and hurtful straight rights and Zlaticanin faded out of the fight over the closing rounds with Abdullaev strong to the finish. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 for Abdullaev who is fighting his way back into contention having lost on a fourth round retirement against Devin Haney for the interim WBC title in September 2019. Zlaticanin, 39, just did not have the reach, speed or power to really compete.
Tishchenko vs. Kudryashov
Tischenko floors Kudryashov in the first and outboxes him in every round. Tall southpaw Tischenko had been getting through the jabs and straight lefts in the opener and with twenty seconds remaining in the round he fired a left hook that dropped Kudryashov on his posterior. Kudryashov was up quickly and Tischenko did not really put him under any pressure. Tischenko was able to take charge of the fight with Kudryashov rolling forward but too slow to cut off the ring and rarely getting past Tischenko’s jab. Kudryashov was cut over his right eye early and Tischenko stayed at a steady pace content to box his way to victory and taking no chances. Kudryashov resorted to wild swipes with his right which Tischenko easily blocked or dodged and made Kudryashov pay for his rash approach with some hard uppercuts as he eased his way to a win. Scores 100-89 twice and 99-91 for Tischenko. He picks up the vacant WBC International title. He had lost a wide unanimous decision against Thabiso Mchunu in a fight for the WBC Silver title in March and largely dropped out of the ratings so has work to do if he is to get a title chance. Third loss in his last four fights for Kudryashov who seems to have found his ceiling.
Kamilov vs. Kalitskiy
WBO No 8 Kamilov makes successful defence of the WBO Inter-Continental belt with a decision over Kazakhstan’s Kalitskiy. A poor fight but Kalitskiy a clear winner though no scores posted. Second defence for the 33-year-old Russian who has extensive amateur experience behind him.
Shekhov vs. Vokhidov
Uzbek-born southpaw Shekhov holds on to the WBO European belt as he outpoints Tajik southpaw Vokhidov. Shekhov was making his first defence and is No 11 with the WBO. Vokhidov was No 15.
Urvanov vs. Joseph
WBO Gold champion Urvanov decisions Nigerian Joseph in a non-title fight- again no scores to hand. The 25-year-old Russian has won some reasonable level bouts but his No 2 with the WBA is ridiculous. Big disappointment for unbeaten Joseph.
Yaqubov vs. Palma
Highly rated Yaqubov handed out punishment to overmatched Palma and the Chilean retired after the fourth round. The Tajik southpaw was making the fifth defence of the WBC International title. He is No 1 with the WBO and No 3 with the WBC although both ratings seem a bit too generous. Palma was unbeaten in his last 12 fights but against some very mediocre opponents.
Gonzalez vs. Zrazhevskaya
Quite an upset here as Mexican Gonzalez scores split decision over favourite Zrazhevskaya. Scores 98-93 and 96-94 for Gonzalez and 96-94 for Zrazhevskaya. Gonzalez wins the interim WBC Female title. She had not fought since October 2018 when she was beaten on points by Chandelle Cameron. She was 0-4-1 in title contests and had not won a fight since 2014.Kazak-born Zrazhevskaya, a former WBC Silver female title holder, was making her initial defence of the interim title.
Lopsan vs. Misiura
Lopsan gets his second good win in a row as he stops Misiura in seven rounds. Misiura was a slight favourite here but Lopsan had an edge in reach and power. Misiura was cut and fading badly at the end of the sixth. In the seventh Lopsan forced Misiura to the ropes and landed a series of crunching left hooks the put Misiura down. He made it to his feet but the fight was halted. The 6’3” Russian wins the vacant WBO Oriental title. In his last fight in March he stopped unbeaten Indian hope Vijender Singh in five rounds. This is his fourth win in a row. Russian champion Misiura had won 6 of his 7 fights inside the distance.
Khasiev vs. Maemu
In another WBO Oriental title fight Russian southpaw Khasiev stopped South African Maemu in two rounds for his fourth consecutive stoppage victory. The title had been vacant. Maemu is now 0-5 in visits to Russia.
Krasnoyarsk, Russia: Welter: Alexander Besputin (15-0,1ND) W KO 5 Mauricio Pintor (24-4-1). Middle: Albert Khamkhoev (6-0) W PTS 10 John Bopape (9-8). Super Welter: Edgard Moskvichev (14-1-2) W PTS 8 Damian Bonelli (24-10).
Besputin vs. Pintor
Besputin proves too strong and too talented for Pintor. Besputin was too quick for Pintor. He was landing with solid lefts from the start and had Pintor under heavy fire in the third and fourth. Besputin ended the fight impressively. Two solid lefts put Pintor down spread-eagled on the canvas. Besputin was celebrating victory but somehow Pintor beat the count. Besputin bombarded him with punches but then Pintor fought back until a thumping left to the head put him down again and this time he was counted out. Second win for Besputin since returning from a ban arising from a positive test for a banned substance after beating Radzhab Butaev for the vacant secondary WBA welterweight title in November 2019. Pintor, the nephew of the great Lupe Pintor, suffers his first inside the distance defeat.
Khamkhoev vs. Bopape
Russian southpaw Khamkhoev outpoints Bopape but has to climb off the floor for victory. Khamkhoev boxed his way to a lead but was floored in the ninth which allowed Bopape to make it close but Khamkhoev’s early work saw him get the decision.
Moskvichev vs. Bonelli
Moldovan-born Russian Moskvichev took a unanimous decision over Argentinian oldie Bonelli. Eleven wins in a row for southpaw Moskvichev. Bonelli, 43, has won only one of his last ten outings.
Hollywood, FL, USA: Super Feather: Jono Carroll (19-2-1) W PTS 10 Andy Vences (23-3-1).
Southpaw Carroll continues his rebuilding project with a majority decision over Vences in a great scrap. Carroll established an early lead being busier and more accurate with Vences struggling to get into the fight. From the fourth Vences began to find the range and was scoring well to the body over the middle rounds as they were both winging punches with abandon. Carroll was cut and after surviving a doctor’s inspection he put in a, huge effort in the ninth and then matched Vences in the last. Scores 97-93 twice for Carroll and 95-95. Both fighters needed a win as Carroll had lost to Maxi Hughes in August last year and Vences had lost two of his last three outings.
Leicester, England: Super Welter: Kyle Haywood (9-1) W PTS 10 Alex Fearon (9-3).
Local fighter Haywood wins the vacant BBB of C Midlands Area title with very narrow verdict over Fearon. After a closely contested ten round the referee saw Haywood the winner 96-95. Success at the second attempt for Haywood who lost a decision for this same title in his last fight in March 2019. No third time lucky for Fearon who has challenged unsuccessfully for both the super light and welter Area titles.
Heubach, Germany: Light Heavy: Kasim Gashi (15-2) W PTS 8 Michael Obin (5-10).
Gashi extends his current winning run to five with a very close majority decision over Obin. Scores 77-75 twice for Gashi and 76-76. Ugandan-born Swede Obin looked worth a draw at least but this was a Gashi promotion.
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan: Super Middle: Aidos Yerbossynuly (16-0) W KO 10 Lennox Allen (22-2-1). Super Middle: Bek Nurmaganbet (5-0) W TKO 1 Bruno Sandoval (21-4-1). Super Bantam: Yevgeniy Pavlov (5-0) W TKO 4 Isaac Sackey (25-2-1).
Yerbossynuly vs. Allen
Yerbossynuly wins a WBA eliminator with kayo of Allen. Yerbossynuly was quicker and busier than Allen working well with fast, accurate jabs and then getting the better of the exchanges inside. Allen was cut over his left eye in the fourth and was already tiring by the fifth. Allen rallied briefly in the seventh but lost a point for a low punch in the eighth. Yerbossynuly forced Allen into a corner in the tenth and bombarded him with punches until Allen dropped to his hands and knees and was counted out. As WBA No 1 the tall Kazakh is nominally the official challenger to Saul Alvarez but don’t hold your breath over that coming off soon-or at all. Allen’s last fight was a points loss to David Morell for the interim WBA secondary title in August 2020.
Nurmaganbet vs. Sandoval
Nurmaganbet floors Sandoval twice in the first for a quick victory. Southpaw Nurmaganbet was hunting down Sandoval from the start and caught him against the ropes and put him down with a series of punches including one that landed when Sandoval had a knee on the canvas. The Mexican beat the count but Nurmaganbet drove him along the ropes before putting him down for a second time-and landing a punch when Sandoval was technically down again. Sandoval managed to get to his feet but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. The 23-year-old Nurmaganbet wins the vacant WBA International title. He is a former World Youth silver medallist. Sandoval has lost inside the distance in all four of his foreign trips.
Pavlov vs. Sackey
Pavlov ended this clash of southpaws in the fourth . He connected with a left to the side of the head in the third that sent Sackey stumbling across the ring and down. Sackey was up quickly. He was very shaky but was saved by the bell. A left from Pavlov in the fourth had Sackey’s legs shaking and Sackey took refuge in a corner until a series of head punches from Pavlov had the referee jumping in to stop the fight. Pavlov also picks up a WBA International title. Ghanaian Sackey fought as a flyweight in his last fight in March and was much too small to match Pavlov.
Fight of the week (Significance): Oscar Valdez win mover Robinson Conceicao is a WBC title defence opens the way for a unification match against the winner of WBO title holder Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Sam Eggington vs. Bilel Jkitou was a war story that will be retold many times
Fighter of the week: Junto Nakatani for an impressive first showing in his first fight in the USA
Punch of the week: Either the right or the left hook from Isaac Chamberlain that put Ben Thomas down qualify this week with honourable mention to the single right from Vladyslav Sirenko that demolished Alexandr Ustinov
Upset of the week: Mexican Jessica Gonzalez out of the ring for almost three years and without a win since 2014 was not supposed to lift the WBC bantamweight title against Tatyana Zrazhevskaya but she did.
Prospect watch: None I have not already named.
Loser of the Week: Dzambas 16 losses row
-If you want to become a ringside reporter there is now a new test you have to pass and that is to have the capacity of your bladder tested. The show in Ekaterinburg had 92 rounds of boxing scheduled on the same night and in Krasnoyarsk there were eleven bouts but the Tucson show had a paltry 74 rounds listed. In addition to a black plastic bag to protect them from the rain reporters will now have to add a milk bottle for emergencies.
-Ekaterinburg is an illustration of how boxing has changed and spread. Who would have thought there would be professional shows in Ekaterinburg, the site of the murder of the Russian royal family, Vietnam and Afghanistan. It would have Lenin and Ho Chi Minh spinning in their graves.
-When you have spent years covering male boxing it can be difficult to adjust to the different standards to be applied to Female boxing. The lack of depth in Female boxing makes Mary Romero (6-2) vs. Amy Timlin (4-0-1) perfectly acceptable for a European title fight and Jessica Gonzalez (7-5-2) vs. Tatyana Zrazhevskaya (11-0) for an interim WBC title. The only thing that would change that is a sudden explosion of Female professional boxing but that may never happen so you work with what you have
Interim titles! Invented by Jose Sulaiman and still in the WBC list of goodies. Who would have thought that the World’s Worst Boxing Association would be the good guys-give them up Mauricio they add nothing to boxing except sanctioning fees
-Must have been something off a reunion weekend in Paris three of France’s medallists from Rio- Tony Yoka (gold),Mathieu Bauderlique (bronze) and Souleymane Cissokho ( bronze) all fought on the same card-and all won inside the distance.
In recent years Western boxing fans have started to take note of the lower weight classes, and a lot of that is thanks to Tom Loeffler and his fantastic series of shows under the "Super Fly" banner. Those shows really opened the door for US fans in particular to enjoy some of the smallest men in the sport and enjoy some of the most exciting fighters out there. Today we look at one of the key fighters from Tom Loeffler's attempts to bring the little men to the attention of American fans, and it just so happens to have been one of the very best fights of 2017.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (42-4-1, 29) Vs Roman Gonzalez (46-0, 38) I
The bout in question was a WBC Super Flyweight title bout that took place at Madison Square Garden. It pitted one of the best fighters of the last 20 years against one of the most fearsome little men in recent memory. It was a bout that hardcore fans knew would be something special and the casual fans, who tuned into to Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs, got to enjoy with out massive amounts of expectations.
Heading in to the Nicaraguan sensation Roman Gonzalez was the WBC Super Flyweight champion and the man many regarded as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. He had moved through the weights, moving from Minimumweight to Super Flyweight, and found success at every weight to become a 4-weight world champion. In fact he was only the second fighter in history to win world titles at the 4 lowest weights, following in the footsteps of Leo Gamez.
Fans who had followed the lower weights knew that Gonzalez was a special fighter. He was an aggressive pressure fighter who had already beaten a who's who of the lower weights. He had already over-come the likes of Yutaka Niida, Katsunari Takayama, Ramon Garcia Hirales, Juan Francisco Estrada, Francisco Rodriguez Jr, Akira Yaegashi, Edgar Sosa, Brian Viloria, McWilliams Arroyo and Carlos Cuadras. In many cases Gonzalez hadn't just beaten opponents, but had beaten them up with incessant pressure, combination punching and clean, heavy, accurate shots.
Many hardcore fans knew Gonzalez. Far, fare fewer knew Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, a Thai who had previously held the WBC title, but was almost unknown outside of the East. His record had a few marks on it, though following a 1-3-1 start to professional boxing he had gone 41-1, with his only loss being a technical decision to Carlos Cuadras, in Mexico. Many who followed the lower weights were expecting Srisaket to be the next victim of the sensational Gonzalez, though few were totally aware of who, or what, Srisaket brought to the ring.
Those who had followed Srisaket would have known what to expect. He was big, strong, powerful, aggressive fighter. His 2013 win over Yota Sato had seen him fighting like a terminator, breaking down the then Japanese world champion. After winning the title he was avoided, and would only make a single defense before facing Cuadras a year after winning the title. Despite losing to Cuadras we saw Srisaket earn another shot at the title with a beat down of Jose Salgado, though politics had seen him take a back seat in his attempt to reclaim the belt, and he had had to wait almost 2 years for this shot.
Those who were just being introduced to Srisaket quickly got introduced to him as he came out and after a few seconds of feeling out he began to take the fight to Gonzalez, landing short left hands up top and some sneaky body shots. He was getting Gonzalez's respect in the first 2 minutes of the fight before dropping the Nicaraguan with a right hook to the body. Gonzalez's experience showed, he got to his feet and saw out the rest of the round as Srisaket went out seeking a finish.
From there on everyone knew Srisaket was a dangerous fighter, including Gonzalez. Gonzalez however wasn't intimidated, despite Srisaket starting round 2 with bad intentions. This saw Srisaket coming forward, somewhat clumsily, whilst Gonzalez looked to box and move, using his silky skills. Against an energetic Srisaket early on it was the Thai who seemed to land the much heavier blows, forcing Gonzalez back, but Gonzalez certainly had moments himself, landing the cleaner blows. The lead to some sensational back and forth action as both men looked to force their well on the contest during a brilliant 3 minutes of action.
Round 1 and 2 had shown that Srisaket was able to land a shot, take a shot and was big, strong and aggressive. The questions however mounted up. Could he continue to do it over 12 rounds? Could Gonzalez take his pressure? And could Gonzalez hurt him as the rounds went on?
Round by round we found the answers to those questions, and we found that both men were solid, both men could take the power of the other and both men were willing to risk it all, with bout getting better and better through the middle rounds, then reamping up again as we began to head into the final stages, both men aware that the were little between.
By round 3 Gonzalez was starting to get his engine going, he was starting to outland Srisaket and the difference in skill levels was showing. Gonzalez was using smart footwork, good combinations and landing solid blows with regularity, whilst making Srisaket miss. Srisaket however wasn't going to go away. He was a big, strong lump and had waited 2 years for this fight. He wasn't there to roll over to Gonzalez and he began to fight back himself, using his size and power and try and neutralise the quickness and skills of Gonzalez.
As well as the amazing back and forth action there was also controversy in the bout, from the accidental headclashes that occurred regularly. Gonzalez was cut in round 3 from an accidental clash, and they became a regular issue within the bout. It wasn't anything deliberate, from either man, but a result of both men being aggressive fighters and the two men letting shots go whilst fighting out of opposite stances. The southpaw stance of Srisaket and the orthodox stance of Gonzalez lead to headclashes becoming a common thing, and a very painful thing for the naturally smaller Gonzalez.
With great tempo through out, fantastic 2-way action, a sense of controversy and heavy shots landed round after round, by both men, we really were treat to an instant classic here. The bought might only be 4 years old, but this is a definitive classic, and a must watch for every fight fan.
As usual in this series we won't ruin the result, for those who haven't seen the bout, but this is just a tremendous bout, and a brilliant war that really did help put the Super Flyweight division on the map in the US, and in Europe.
By Eric Armit
-Kazuto Ioka retains the WBO super fly title with points win over Francisco Rodriguez
-A clash of heads sees the return fight between Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington end in a NO Decision after just two rounds
-Maxi Hughes wins the IBO lightweight title as he outclasses champion Jovanni Straffon over twelve rounds
-Katie Taylor successfully defends her IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO female lightweight titles as she outpoints Jennifer Han
-Connor Benn marches on with a points victory over Adrian Granados
- Tanzanian Hassan Mwakinyo stops former super light title holder Julius Indongo in four rounds
World Title/Major Shows
Tokyo, Japan: Super Fly: Kazuto Ioka (27-2) W PTS 12 Francisco Rodriguez (34-5-1).
Ioka retains the WBO title with a unanimous decision over Rodriguez. The challenger made a good start finding a home for some hefty rights to the head. Ioka was using a long term strategy attacking the Mexican’s body to slow the quicker man and pave the way to a strong finish. Both had their moments and the rounds were close with the scores after four rounds at 39-37 for Ioka, 39-37 for Rodriguez and 38-38 and the three judges had not all agreed on the score for a single round. Rodriguez landed the better punches in the fifth but Ioka took over from the sixth. He was countering heavily and Rodriguez seemed to lose some of his steam as Ioka pocketed the next three rounds to move in front on all three cards with two judges having him 77-75 in front and one 78-74. Rodriguez rallied briefly in the ninth rocking Ioka with some hard rights but the earlier body attacks by Ioka paid there dividend and if Rodriguez did try to raise his game Ioka was able to hold and smother his attacks. Ioka swept the last three rounds on all three cards and came out on top with the judges turning in identical cards of 116-112 . Ioka, 32, was making the third defence of the title. His two losses were both on split decisions against Amnat Ruenroeng and Donnie Nietes. Rodriguez, 29, is a former undefeated IBF and WBO minimumweight champion and had a 15-bout winning streak before this fight.
Leeds, England: Feather: Mauricio Lara (23-2-1) TEC DRAW 2 Josh Warrington (30-1-1). Light: Maxi Hughes (24-5-2) W PTS 12 Jovanni Straffon (24-4-1). Welter: Connor Benn (19-0) W PTS 10 Adrian Granados (21-9-3,1ND). Light: Katie Taylor (19-0) W PTS 10 Jennifer Han (18-5-1,3ND). Super Bantam: Hopey Price (6-0) W TKO 2 Zahid Hussain (16-2). Super Bantam: Jack Bateson (14-0) W PTS 6 Felix Garcia (7-3-1). Bantam: Ebanie Bridges (7-1) W PTS 8 Mailys Gangloff (5-3).
Lara vs. Warrington
A clash of heads in the second round sees Lara suffer a cut that the doctor rules too serious for the fight to continue. Warrington was coming forward behind a high guard and stabbing out fast jabs. When Lara came forward throwing punches unlike in the first fight instead of standing and trading Warrington was backing off out of range. Both landed good rights and Warrington took Lara to the ropes and fired a salvo of punches at Lara at the end of the round. Their heads clashed in the second and Lara backed off. The referee stopped the fight and gave Warrington a warning. There was swelling around Lara’s left eye and a small cut but the fight continued. Blood began to leak from that cut on Lara’s left eyelid and he attacked fiercely to the bell. In the interval the doctor examined the cut and decided it was too serious for the fight to continue. A frustrating NO Decision ending for both fighters and it is confirmed there will be a third meeting.
Hughes vs. Straffon
Hughes boxes his way to victory in this clash of southpaws. Hughes was boxing cleverly on the back foot. He was threading jabs though the guard of Straffon and then banging straight lefts which Straffon was too slow to block. Straffon’s footwork was terrible and he couldn’t close Hughes down. He landed a brace of good shots in the second but Hughes fired back with more and better. Saffron was walking in in a straight line with very little head movement and he paid for that in the third when Hughes connected with a thumping straight left. Hughes came close to victory in the fifth when a clubbing left unhinged Straffon’s legs. He was in deep trouble and Hughes drove him around the ring. Straffon was staggering and stumbling and there for the taking but Hughes was over anxious to finish it and was wild with his punches. The referee looked poised to step in but Straffon somehow managed to push out a punch at a vital moment and lasted to the bell. Hughes had Straffon reeling again in the seventh and eighth but somehow Straffon stayed up. Those rounds had taken a lot out of both boxers and the pace slowed with Hughes standing and trading more but with his better skills always giving him the edge. Straffon never stopped rolling forward but he was too predictable and not quick enough to put Hughes under pressure and Hughes won by a mile. Scores 120-107 twice and 119-109. Good to see an experienced battler such as Hughes get a big win. He has only lost to the very best of the domestic opposition and scored recent good victories over Jono Carroll, unbeaten Viktor Kotochigov and Paul Hyland Jr. He wins the IBO title and the talk is now of a fight with Devin Haney which would be a just reward for a battler such as Hughes.Mexican Straffon had won the IBO title with a first round blast out of James Tennyson in May. That fight showed his strengths as a puncher this showed his weaknesses as a boxer.
Benn vs. Granados
Benn wins a wide unanimous verdict. Benn was forced to chase a quick moving Granados who was circling the ring and pushing out jabs. Benn had trouble pinning Granados down and was often off target but was throwing more and landing more than Granados. As the fight developed Granados chose to strand and exchange punches more but Benn was getting the better of the exchanges sending Granados on the retreat again. Benn kept up the pressure in every round scoring well with hooks to the body. Granados had a good sixth when he took the fight inside and the seventh was close but Benn was the one doing the scoring in the eighth and ninth. The tenth saw Granados fighting hard for two minutes and then taunting Benn to the bell. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93 for Benn. A frustrating night for Benn who had to chase the fight but he was a clear winner against a fighter with good credentials. Fifth defence of the WBA Continental title for Benn who is rated WBC 11/WBA 12/IBF 13. Granados has been in with Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Robert Easter with Garcia the only one to stop him but he was coming off a disappointing draw with 11-1 Jose Luis Sanchez in May.
Taylor vs. Han
Taylor scores a knockdown on the way to winning every round against challenger Han. Taylor was tracking a retreating Han in the first. Taylor was scoring well to the body with Han quick but looking to lack power. Taylor continued to hunt Han down over the second and third and was getting through with strong jabs and uppercuts. Han shows a useful jab but was being outlanded. Han chose to stand and trade in the fourth and it was a messy round with both fighters landing punches to the back of the head. Han was the one coming forward over the sixth and seventh but Taylor was landing the harder and cleaner punches. Han was down in the eighth from a series of punches from Taylor but Han strenuously argued that it had been from a push and it did not look to have been from a punch. Taylor put together a strong finish over the ninth and tenth but Han fought hard to the bell. All three judges had Taylor winning 100-89. Taylor retains the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles. Texan Han had won her last eight fights but was having her first outing since February 2020.
Price vs. Hussain
Price wins his first pro title as he floors Hussain twice and stops him in the second round. A right from Price dropped Hussain just before the bell in the first. Hussain was badly hurt and only just staggered to his feet. By then the bell had gone which saved Hussain. Both fighters were cut when their heads clashed in the second. Price then attacked strongly and floored Hussain and although he made it to his feet the fight was stopped. The 21-year-old Leeds southpaw collects the vacant IBO International title and continues to shine. Hussain never in with a chance.
Bateson vs. Garcia
Bateson was much too quick for Garcia and staggered him with a right hook on the first. He began to put his punches together well in the second but as he was backing away a right to the chest knocked him off balance and down. He was up immediately and the bell had rung. Bateson switched guards often, found plenty of gaps for his jabs and landed straight shots and hooks to the body. Garcia pressed hard but Bateson was too slippery and Garcia was often left swishing air. Referee’s score 58-56 for Bateson. In the amateurs Bateson won a bronze medal at the European Championships and was a successful member of the British Lions team in the WSB. Third loss in a row for Spanish-based Nicaraguan Garcia.
Bridges vs. Gangloff
Australian Bridges just squeezes past French champion Gangloff on the referee’s card who saw it 77-76 for Bridges. The only loss on the record of Bridges is a decision in a challenge to Shannon Courtenay for the WBA Female bantam title in April. Gangloff was 3-1 in her last 4 fights and looked unlucky to lose here.
Budapest, Hungary: Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (15-0) W PTS 10 Guido Pitto (27-9-2). Middle: Peter Kramer (11-3-3) DREW 10 Gabor Gorbics (26-20-2). Super Welter: Laszlo Toth (30-5-2) W PTS 8 Francesco Lezzi (14-19-2).
Bacskai vs. Pitto
Bacskai continues victorious with a unanimous decision over experienced Pitto. No scores given but Bacskai dominated every round in this WBO Inter-Continental belt defence. Bacskai is now 33. It is a pity that the 8-time Hungarian champion and European gold medallist left it so late to turn pro. Spanish-based Argentinian Pitto hit his peak when he outpointed Jack Culcay back in 2013.
Kramer vs. Gorbics
These two are very well matched with the result that as in their first fight in June this fight also ended up as a draw so the national title remains vacant with a third fight to follow.
Toth vs. Lezzi
Like others before him Toth found Italian Lezzi a difficult, awkward opponent and had to settle for a narrow points victory. Toth was 19-0-1 at the start of his career but has lost fights on the road since then. Two wins in his last seven fights for Lezzi
Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Welter: Hassan Mwakinyo (20-2) W TKO 4 Julius Indongo (23-4). Super Bantam: Bongani Mahlangu (23-8) W TKO 12 Tony Rashid (12-2-2).
Mwakinyo vs. Indongo
Mwakinyo’s power proves too much for Indongo. In the first Indongo’s hand speed and movement saw him scoring easily but one left from Mwakinyo rocked Indongo. Indongo again controlled the action in the second until a left caused Indongo to touch the canvas with both gloves. The referee was too slow to move in and Mwakinyo landed more punches on the rising Indongo and almost sent him through the ropes. Indongo outboxed Mwakinyo in the third but was wrongly given a count in the fourth when he slipped avoiding Mwakinyo’s punches. Indongo stupidly then tried to swap punches with Mwakinyo and was badly shaken by a right and Mwakinyo cut loose with an array of punches and with Indongo reeling the referee stopped the fight. Mwakinyo retains the ABU title with his tenth win in a row and thirteenth victory by KO/TKO with Indongo his biggest scalp so far. Now 38 Indongo looked fragile but the former holder of the IBF,WBO and IBO super light titles had only previously lost to Terrence Crawford, Regis Prograis and unbeaten Daniyar Yeleussinov
Mahlangu vs. Rashid
South African Mahlangu comes through with a very late stoppage of local fighter Rashid to win the ABU title. As Rashid was giving away 4” in height and a lot in reach for eleven rounds Rashid pursued and Mahlangu ran. Mahlangu showed plenty of skill but was under relentless pressure. He rocked Rashid a couple of times early but then Rashid had no trouble walking through Mahlangu’s punches. Mahlangu was cut over his left eye in the tenth and it looked as though the home fighter’s pressure would get him the win. He continued to come forward in the twelfth but an uppercut from Mahlangu stunned Rashid and a series of punches floored him. He beat the count but was trapped in a corner and taking heavy punishment and the referee stopped the fight. As he is 42 and had not fought since December 2019 it was amazing that Mahlangu stood the pace as he been constantly on the run and it looked a lost cause for him until he connected with that uppercut. “AK 47” Rashid was 8-0-2 in his last 10 fights.
Belle Ville, Argentina: Light: Juan Carrasco (11-1) W PTS 10 Gerardo Perez (9-2). Super Bantam: Diego Ruiz (22-3) W TKO 1 Miguel Salazar (8-12-2).
Carrasco vs. Perez
Carrasco puts in a solid workman-like performance as he outboxes and outpunches Perez in an IBF Latina title defence. Carrasco constantly found the target with strong rights but Perez showed a good chin. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Carrasco who is trained by former WBO featherweight title holder Julio Pablo Chacon. Perez had won his last 5 fights.
Ruiz vs. Salazar
“Prophet” Ruiz returns to action with a first round destruction of Salazar. Three knockdowns in the first round brought the stoppage. This is the first fight for Ruiz since a ninth round stoppage defeat against Michael Conlan in August 2019. Poor Salazar has won only one of his last eleven fights.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Light Fly: Daniel Valladares (25-3-1) W PTS 10 Jose Javier Torres (15-2).
Valladares comes out on top in an entertaining scrap with Torres. Valladares applied constant pressure with Torres trying to box at distance and connecting with some choice uppercuts when Valladares made it inside. Valladares was just edging the exchanges but Torres kept it close. Torres lost a point in the ninth for hitting on the break and Valladares was helped by that in a close fight. Scores 97-94, 96-94 and 95-94 for Valladares who wins the vacant NABF title. Torres sees his four-bout winning streak ended.
Bialystok, Poland: Super Middle: Przemyslaw Gorgon (14-7-1) W PTS 10 Karol Welter (8-1).
This was a close fight all the way and difficult to score but even that hardly explains the judge's cards. Two had Gorgon winning 96-94 which looked about right but the other gave it 99-91 for Welter. Gorgon wins the vacant Polish title. A rematch is on the cards.
Nolda, India: Super Welter: Sagar Narwat (13-1-1) W PTS 8 Rahul Kumar (7-5-1).
Narwat gets his fourth consecutive victory and collects his first pro title as he wins unanimous decision over Kumar on scores of 80-72, 79-74 and 78-73 to lift the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title. Kumar falls to 2-4 in his last six contests.
Hurlingham, Argentina: Welter: Christian Andino (16-1-1) DREW 10 Yoel Peralta (8-2). Light Fly: Ayelen Granadino (6-1-3) DREW 10 Jazmin Villarino (4-1-2).
Andino vs. Peralta
Andino looks fortunate to get a draw out of this fight. Although Andino seemed to build an early lead he was floored by a right to the head in the fourth. Peralta dominated from there and was unlucky to have what looked like a genuine knockdown in the last rules a slip. Scores varying greatly at 96-93 Andino, 98-91 for Peralta and 94-94. The WBC Latino title remains vacant.
Granadino vs. Villarino
Another title fight and another draw. Granadino had a slight advantage in reach and made use of it to box cleverly on the outside. Villarino pressed hard but Granadino jabbed accurately and scored with strong body punches and despite a late effort from Villarino Granadino looked to have won clearly. Scores 95-95 twice and 97-93 for Granadino who retains her national title.
Inngeniero Maschwitz, Argentina: Super Light: Nicolas Demario (15-4-3) DREW 10 Emiliano Dominguez (25-9-1).
A great little contests ends in a draw. It was the rugged aggression of Dominguez against the accurate jabbing and fast combination punching from Demario. It was close all the way and the draw looked the right call. No scores available and no title at stake but a good fight does not need one.
Oncativo, Argentina: Super Welter: Rodrigo Coria (10-3) W PTS 10 Adrian Sasso (16-3).
Something of an upset as in a clash of local southpaws Coria outpoints Sasso. Scores 95 ½-94 and 96 ½ -95 for Coria and 95-94 for Sasso. Coria collects the South American title with his fifth win in a row. Champion Sasso was rated No 1 in the Argentinian ratings so a double blow for him.
Ostrava, Czech Republic: Declan Geraghty (19-5) W RTD 5 Richard Walter (9-20-1).
Geraghty has his first fight for two years as he beats Walter in five rounds. Geraghty was to have fought South African David Rajulli for the vacant UBO title but just before the fight was due to start Rajulli reportedly did not like the gloves that were to be used and refused to fight. Czech Walter was to have fought a four round bout on the card but instead stepped up to face Geraghty. The fight ended in the fifth round with Walter’s team retiring their man after a one-sided contest. Dublin southpaw Geraghty lost his WBO European belt and his world rating when he was stopped by Archie Sharp in September 2019. Walter suffers his fourteenth loss by KO/TKO but saved the show.
Luebeck, Germany: Light Heavy: Shefat Isufi (32-4-2) W PTS 10 Tomas Adamek (29-20-2).
Isufi floors and outpoints ageing Czech Adamek. Isufi pressed the fight from the start. Adamek went onto the back foot and stayed there for the full ten rounds. Isufi was scoring with clubbing shots to head and body but the pace was slow. A clash of heads in the fifth saw Adamek cut over his right eye but he was allowed to continue after a doctor’s inspection. Adamek was down late in the tenth but made it to the final bell. No scores available but Isufi won every round. Fifth low level win for Isufi who lost on points to Billy Joe Saunders for the vacant WBO super middle title in May 2019. Adamek, 41, was having his first fight since December 2019.
Accra, Ghana: Super Feather: Alfred Lamptey (9-0) W TKO 10 Iddi Kayumba (13-4-2). Super Fly: John Chuwa (21-5) W TKO 7Aliu Bamidele Lasisi (14-1-1
Lamptey vs. Kayumba
Ghana’s teenage prospect Lamptey adds another belt to his collection with win over Tanzanian southpaw Kayumba. Lamptey floored Kayumba with a left hook in the second and dominated the fight. In the tenth he blasted Kayumba with a torrent of punches driving him across the ring to the ropes and with Kayumba’s head being snapped about by hooks and uppercuts the referee came in to save Kayumba. The 19-year-old Lamptey gets his seventh victory by KO/TKO and collects the vacant WBO Youth and WBC Youth Silver titles to go with the West African and UBO African titles he already holds-all meaningless and although Lamptey has impressive talent he is yet to face a real test. Fourth inside the distance defeat for Kayumba.
Chuwa vs. Lasisi
Tanzanian Chuwa springs an upset as he stops unbeaten Lasisi in seven rounds. Win No 11 by KO?TKO for Chuwa. In his last fight in July in London he was stopped in two rounds by unbeaten Dennis McCann so it looked a sure win for Lasisi who had drawn with world rated Norberto Jimenez in his last fight in March 2020
Sora, Italy: Heavy: Ivan D’Adamo (8-1-1) W PTS 10 Paolo Iannucci (4-6).
D’Adamo retains the Italian title with a unanimous verdict over Iannucci. The champion was bigger, heavier and slower. The challenger made the better start and built a lead. D’Adamo picked up rounds over the middle sessions and then just did enough to earn the decision over the late rounds but it was close. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94 for the champion. The 41-year-old D’Adamo gets his sixth consecutive win in his first title defence. The scores were a bit harsh on Iannucci who is 1-6 in his last 7 outings.
Urdaneta City, Super Feather: Charly Suarez (8-0) W KO 4 Lorence Rosas (9-6-2).
Suarez brushes aside Rosas. He dropped Rosas in the first and then had him in pain in the second-but from a low punch. Rosas was given some recovery time. Suarez scored well in the third and then used another body punch to put Rosas down for the count in the fourth. The 33-year-old “King’s Warrior” gets his sixth quick win. An Olympian he won a bag full of medals but did not turn pro until he was 31. Fifth loss in a row for Rosas.
Birmingham, England: Light: Tion Gibbs (8-0) W PTS 10 Jack O’Keeffe (10-1).
In a battle for Birmingham bragging rights Gibbs wins the BBB of C Central Area title with hair’s breadth victory over O’Keeffe. The defining moment came early when Gibbs floored O’Keeffe in the first. O’Keefe fought back strongly and looked worth a share of the decision but that knockdown cost him the fight with the referee scoring it 96-95 for Gibbs. First fight since June 2019 for Gibbs. O’Keeffe was defending the Area title for the second time.
Minneapolis, MN, USA: Super Welter: Jesus Ramos (17-0) W PTS 10 Brian Mendoza (19-2). Middle: Mark Hernandez (15-4-2) W PTS 10 Jose Resendiz (12-1). Light: Sparkinson Castillo (16-0) W PTS 10 Juan Burgos (34-6-2). Heavy: Iago Kiladze (27-5-1) W TKO 2 Matt McKinney (8-4-2). Super Middle: Kyrone Davis (16-2-1) W PTS 8 Martez McGregor (8-5).
Ramos vs. Mendoza
Dominant victory for southpaw Ramos. He was outlanding Mendoza who started well but then faded with Ramos having him in trouble in the eighth and easing his way to the unanimous decision on scores of 98-92 on all three cards. The 20-year-old from Arizona had beaten 24-2 Jesus Bojorquez and former Olympian 22-4 Javier Molina. After going 18-0 Mendoza has now lost two of his last three fights.
Hernandez vs. Resendiz
Hernandez takes decision over previously unbeaten Resendiz. Hernandez scored a flash knockdown in the first and outlanded Resendiz over the first six rounds. Resendiz finished strongly but Hernandez’s early work earned him the decision. Scores 96-93 twice and 97-92 for Hernandez. A much needed win as he was 1-3-1 going in. Mexican Resendiz at 22 can rebound from this loss.
Castillo vs. Burgos
Castillo gets decision over seasoned pro Burgos. Plenty of action as Burgos stormed forward and Castillo showed plenty of movement accurate jabbing and fast hands. Burgos kept up the pressure and Castillo stood and traded more over the late rounds to seal the win. Castillo took the verdict with the judges cards reading 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Dominican Castillo who shows promise. At 33 Burgos has seen better days drawing with Roman Martinez for the WBO super featherweight title in 20132
Kiladze vs. McKinney
Georgian Kiladze punches too hard for overmatched McKinney, Kiladze dropped McKinney twice in the second round and the fight was halted. Kiladze badly needed to win a fight as he had lost three and drawn one of his four fights before being inactive since December 2019. McKinney, 40, had won his last three fights by KO/TKO but against very mediocre opposition in Mexico.
Davis vs. McGregor
Davis scores unanimous decision over McGregor. This was a close, competitive fight more so than the scores show. Davis won on his higher work rate but was helped by McGregor being deducted two points for the use of an elbow in the sixth and another point for hitting on the break in the seventh. The judge’s cards read 75-74 twice and 77-72 for Davis. Davis fought a split draw with Anthony Dirrell over twelve rounds in February. Now four consecutive losses for McGregor.
Fight of the week (Significance): Kazuto Ioka’s win over Francisco Rodriguez could lead to a unification match with IBF title holder Jerwin Ancajas.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Plenty of good quality but nothing that had me jumping up and down in excitement
Fighter of the week: Maxi Hughes-so good to see such an admired craftsman getting his rich reward. Honourable mention to Katie Taylor who again showed her dominance over the lightweights.
Punch of the week: The uppercut from South African veteran Bongani Mahlangu that snatched a last gasp victory when a loss looked inevitable.
Upset of the week: Tanzanian John Chuwa was 4-4 in his last 8 fights and had fought at everything from 107 to 121lbs in those fights. He was a rank outsider against unbeaten Aliu Bamidele Lasisi but came away with a stoppage win.
Prospect watch: Ghana’s super featherweight Alfred Lamptey 9-0 with 7 wins by KO/TKO is the top prospect there.
Last week I reported that young Mexican female fighter Jeanette Zacarias Zapata had been stretchered out of the ring after being stopped in the fourth round of her fight in Montreal on 28 August. I had no update at that time but Jeanette did not recover and died on 2 September. Obviously the family of the eighteen-year-old Jeanette are devastated by her loss. The ripples from that tragedy have also affected deeply Yvon Michel and his team who promoted the fight and Marie Pier Houle who was Jeanette’s opponents that night. There was mention of Jeanette having been knocked out in six rounds on 4 May 2021 but she was suspended for sixty days after that loss and in fact had not fought for 106 days. There will be a full investigation and any findings will be shared with the whole sport to see if in any way the tragedy was avoidable but the tragic fact is that in a sport as dangerous as ours tragedy is inevitable and it is the duty of everyone involved in the sport to do all they can to minimise the risk. RIP Jeanette.
Debate about scoring and criticising the current method is a weekly pastime. As long as you have humans involved that debate will rattle on. In this week’s fights in Argentina we had one judge scoring a fight 96-93 and another scoring the same fight 91-98 and in Poland we had two judges scoring fight 96-94 and the third 91-99. It makes no sense but very little does when human beings are involved. You can’t cure it because judging in boxing is pure perception with no science involved and tinkering will not help. All any Board or Commission or Sanctioning body can do is ensure that any officials employed are trained, experienced and monitored and avoid any knee-jerk reaction to controversy from armchair experts.
Waiting for the result of a close fight must be stressful for any boxer so spare a bi of sympathy for Argentinian Female light flyweight champion Ayelen Granadino. So far Ayelen has had ten fights. She won her first two by unanimous decision. Seven of her other fights have produced three majority wins, two majority draws , one split decision win and one split draw and in the eighth which she lost two of the judges had her down 96-94 so just one round away from another majority draw. If she wasn’t wearing gloves when waiting for the referee to raise a hand her fingernails would be non-existent by now.
A foul is a foul whether committed by a male boxer or a female boxer. In the Katie Taylor vs. Jennifer Han fight both boxers repeatedly landed punches to the back of the head. We have already seen the effect these can have in the cases of Prichard Colon and Magomed Abdusalamov neither of whom will fully recover. The old saying –if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem- applies to every organisation that fails to take action to stamp out these fouls
Back in the late 00's the Welterweight division had so many things going for it. It had the best fighters in the sport, it had the biggest names, and more amazingly than anything else, the top guys seemed to be fighting each other regularly. Time after time we were getting amazing match ups, between top fighters who seemed happy to face each other in an attempt to prove they were the best. Today we get to share one of those in this week's Closet Classic.
Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2 37) vs Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27)
By November 2009 Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao had gone from boxing star to global sporting star, thanks to massive, high profile wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Those wins had turned Pacquiao from a star that every boxing fan knew to a man that everyone knew. It had also sown the seeds for "Pacman" to move to Welterweight, where there was a lot of interesting match ups there for him, including a bout with Miguel Cotto.
Aged 30 at this point Pacquiao was now longer the scrawny but imposing fighter he had been at Flyweight, or the one handed destroyer he had been at Super Bantamweight. He was now a highly experienced, round swarmer, able to unload power shots with alarming speed from both hands. His straight left hand was still a murderous weapon, but his lead hand had been developed excellently by Freddie Roach and he was now an all round offensive machine with terrifying speed and power.
Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto was one of the biggest draws in the sport, and had a huge and loyal Puerto Rican fan base. Like Pacquiao he had fought a genuine who's who of who with wins against the likes of Carlos Maussa, Rendall Bailey, DeMarcus Corley, Pau Malignaggi, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley. He had been an offensive fighter himself, with heavy hands, crunching body shots and a technically intelligent boxing brain. He was a man fans loved and with good reason.
Not only did fans love Cotto and his in ring mentality, but they had also had a huge amount of sympathy for him following a 2008 loss to Antonio Margarito, in a sensational fight. That was a loss that had doubt cast over it in 2009 when Margarito was found to have tried to enter the ring with a plaster like substance in his gloves for a bout against Shane Mosley. That had essentially excused the loss in the eyes of many who saw Cotto as essentially unbeaten, with an asterisk next to the "1" in 34-1.
Coming in to the bout Cotto was the WBO Welterweight champion and a man many regarded as a top 10 pound for pound fighter. For Pacquiao this was his chance to claim a ABC title at a fifth weight, adding the Welterweight title to world title fights at Flyweight, Super Bantamweight, Super Featherweight and Lightweight. for both men it was a chance to further enhance their already impressive legacies.
With anticipation high for the fight we had expected something enthralling. This was two brilliant warriors clashing. It was a test of Pacquiao at a new weight and it was a chance for Cotto to face a naturally smaller man. The only mark on the fight going in was the fact it was at a catchweight, and wasn't at the Welterweight limit. Instead being fought at 145lbs.
Unlike some fights in this series this had the big fight feel. This had the mega fight build up, this had everything going for it, with hype and anticipation all over it. And it damn well delivered.
From the opening moments we saw both men looking to establish themselves, with Pacquiao's speed looking like the difference maker very quickly. Cotto however wasn't intimidated by the speed and looked to press forward, using his jab and left hook to the body to try and get Pacquiao's respect. Right at the end of the round Pacquiao began to dip into his bag of tricks as his confidence began to soar. It was as if he'd taken a few from Cotto, realised he could take the power, and began to move through the gears.
In round 2 we saw Cotto again showing confidence, trying to boxing behind his strong jab and pressure Pacquiao, but he struggled to cope with the speed of Pacquiao, who found his grove by the mid-way point of the round. From there on it was a question of whether Cotto could impose his strength, his power and his physicality on Pacquiao, or slow him down with body shots. It seemed like Cotto really couldn't handle the speed and that was shown again in round 3, when Pacquiao dropped Cotto with a right hook. The knockdown wasn't a bad one, but would be the first of two for the Filipino, with Cotto going down a second time in round 4.
Despite the knockdowns Cotto was still hungry and valiant, fighting back through the middle rounds as the bout continued on. Pacquiao putting on a great showcase of his ability, and Cotto showing the hunger, desire and warriors mentality that had made him a fan favourite.
We'll leave most of the bout unspoiled here, but if you've never seen it before make time to enjoy it in amazing HD thanks to Top Rank. This is a great fight, and a great reminder of recent history, and a time when two true stars of the sport clashed in a sensational bout.
For those wondering, this isn't the best bout we'll feature here in out Closet Classic series. It's certainly not the most competitive or even match up, but it's one of the rare big fighters that lived up to all expectations. It was a virtuoso performance at times, possibly Pacquiao's most complete performance, and one that is, sadly, now often over-looked.
By Eric Armit
-Daniel Dubois knocks out Joe Cusumano in his US debut
- Armando Serrano retains the WBC, WBO and IBO Female titles at featherweight and Montana Love scores upset victory over former IBF super light title holder Ivan Baranchyk.
-Sam Maxwell gets controversial win over Akeem Ennis Brown to collect the British and Commonwealth super lightweight titles, Anthony Yarde wipes out Alex Theran in one round, Anthony Cacace outpoints Leon Woodstock to retain the British super feather title and Ijaz Ahmed finish all even in a fight for the vacant British super flyweight title.
-Cesar Juarez outpoints rated Dennis Contreras
-Mexican veteran Dante Jardon scores kayo victory over unbeaten Anthony Tomlinson
World Title/Major Shows
Birmingham, England: Super Light: Sam Maxwell (16-0) W PTS 12 Akeem Ennis Brown (14-1). Super Feather: Anthony Cacace (19-1) W PTS 12 Leon Woodstock (12-3). Super Fly: Ijaz Ahmed (8-2-1) DREW 12 Quaise Khademi (8-1-1). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (21-2) W KO 1 Alex Theran (23-6). Middle: Nathan Healey (13-0) W KO 5 Konstantin Alexandrov (10-49-4). Liam Davies (10-0) W TKO 2 Raymond Commey (19-12-1).
Maxwell vs. Ennis Brown
Maxwell wins the British and Commonwealth titles with controversial victory over champion Ennis Brown. This was a poor fight with few highlights. Ennis Brown has an awkward style but an effective one. The onus was on Maxwell to solve that puzzle and the judges felt he did. Ennis Brown was utilising lots of eccentric movement, scoring with punches from some unorthodox angles and holding when Maxwell worked his way inside. That made it difficult for Maxwell to settle into the fight. Heads clashed often and Ennis Brown suffered a cut over his right eye in the fourth. Another clash in the ninth saw Maxwell cut over his left eye. Most rounds were close and the disjointed action made them difficult to score but Ennis Brown looked to have just done enough to retain his titles but not in the eyes of the judges who scored it 116-113 twice and 115-114 all for Maxwell. The former elite level amateur has said he is willing to give Ennis Brown a return.
Cacace vs. Woodstock
Cacace proves too good for challenger Woodstock and eases his way to victory in the first defence of his British title. The Belfast southpaw was in the ring for the first time since November 2019 but was sharp from the start. He outscored Woodstock in the first and then upped his pace from there. He rocked Woodstock with an uppercut in the third and floored him with a left hook in the fourth. Woodstock came through that crisis and attacked hard but the clever and cagey Cacace showed excellent defensive skills and countered accurately with Woodstock doing just enough to edge a couple of rounds but being under heavy fire late in the fight and doing well to last the distance. Scores 117-110 twice and 117-111 for Cacace. The only loss on Cacace’s record was put there by Martin Ward in a fight for the British and Commonwealth titles in 2017. Woodstock was having his first fight since losing to Zelfa Barrett for the Commonwealth title in June 2019. He fought with determination and bravery here but Cacace was just too good for him.
Ahmed vs. Khademi
Ahmed and Khademi serve up a tremendous scrap for the vacant British title with the result a split draw and a return would be welcome. The first round was fought at a suicidal pace as they both fired punches for the whole three minutes with both being shaken. The pace did not drop one iota in the second Ahmed was marching forward and was more accurate but Khademi was firing fast bunches of punches. They both boxed a bit more in the third with Khademi just having the edge as they traded hooks, uppercuts and straight shots. They were both throwing quality punches with lots of body shots and you felt one had to fade from the pace. Ahmed had good rounds in the sixth and seventh. The eighth was a messy round as tiredness began to show and Khademi boxed cleverly on the back foot in the ninth and tenth but suffered a bad cut over his right eye. Ahmed pressed hard over the last two rounds with Khademi boxing and trying to avoid any further damage to the cut. They continued to trade punches fiercely to the final bell in what has to be a candidate for British Fight of the Year. Scores 115-113 Ahmed, 115-114 Khademi and 114-114. Ahmed had taken a majority verdict over Khademi in February which shows just how well-matched these two are.
Yarde vs. Theran
Yarde brushes aside Colombian southpaw Theran inside a round. Yarde shadowed the retreating Theran scoring with long rights to the body and thumping punches to the head. Yarde connected with a left to the body and Theran went down. He beat the count but a left to the ribs saw Theran fall to the canvas on his hands and knees and he was counted out. First fight for Yarde since losing a split decision to Lyndon Arthur in December. Sixth loss by KO/TKO for Theran.
Healey vs. Alexandrov
Healy proves too big and too strong for Alexandrov. Healy used his longer reach to score from distance and pounded Alexandrov with straight rights and lefts to the body. Alexandrov was really focused on survival from the start only looking threatening with an occasional overhand right. Healey stepped up the pressure round by round before finishing the fight in the fifth. He landed tow heavy rights and then a left to the body and Alexandrov dropped to his knees and was counted out. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Healy. Alexandrov falls to 0-9-1 in his recent bouts with this the only inside the distance loss in that run.
Davies vs. Commey
Davies stops Ghanaian Commey in an embarrassing mismatch. Davies was a whole head taller than the diminutive Commey. He was able to tee-off on Commey at distance and fed the gutsy Commey a diet of hooks and uppercuts as Commey came forward. Commey just could not get past the jab of Davies and took heavy punishment. In the second a right to the head from Davies had Commey’s legs doing a little dance and Davies moved in and floored Commey heavily with a right and the fight was stopped. Fifth inside the distance win for the English champion. Commey suffers only his third inside the distance defeat.
Cleveland, OH, USA: Heavy: Daniel Dubois (17-1) W KO 1 Joe Cusumano (19-4). Feather: Armando Serrano (41-1-1) W PTS 10 Yamileth Mercado (18-3). Welter: Montana Love (16-0-1) W RTD 7 Ivan Baranchyk (20-3). Super Welter: Charles Conwell (16-0) W TKO 3 Juan Rubio (19-0).
Dubois vs. Cusumano
Dubois crushes Cusumano inside a round. Cusumano landed flush with a right early but Dubois shrugged it off and used his jab to put Cusumano on the back foot. Dubois landed a series of rights to the head and Cusumano went down. He was up at nine and tried to punch with Dubois but was dropped again by rights. He beat the count but fell down again under more clubbing rights and the fight was stopped. It was obvious that Dubois was out to make a statement in his first fight in the USA and he got the job done handing Cusumano his first stoppage loss but there are tougher tests ahead.
Serrano vs. Mercado
Serrano successfully defends her WBC/WBO and IBO Female titles with unanimous decision over Mexican Mercado. Serrano made good use of her right jab and constantly attacked Mercado’s body and pocketed the first three rounds. Mercado was more competitive in the fourth but Serrano controlled the fifth with her jabs and by the sixth Mercado’s left eye was being affected by a swelling. The pace dropped in the seventh and Mercado had some success in the eighth as she moved inside to nullify Serrano’s jab. Serrano scored well in the ninth and with Mercado bleeding from a swollen cheek Serrano went looking for an inside the distance finish in the tenth but Mercado made it to the bell. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Serrano. The 32-year-old Puerto Rican has won her last 27 contests and has to be one of the great female fighters. Mercado came into the fight as WBC super bantam title holder and had won her last six fights.
Love vs. Baranchyk
Local fighter bats Baranchyk a win that moves him to a whole new level. Love boxed and countered as Baranchyk followed his typical tactics of storming attacks. They both landed good punches in the first. Love was finding the oncoming Belorussian an easy target and rocked Baranchyk in the second. Baranchyk attacked strongly in the third and had Love under fire against the ropes but just before the bell a short left unhinged Baranchyk’s legs. Baranchyk continued to barrel forward with Love connecting with corrosive counters. Love landed heavily in the seventh and just before the bell as Baranchyk came forward again a short left put him on the floor. He made it to his feet but was unsteady. The referee signalled for the fight to continue but the bell went and Baranchyk did not come out for the eighth. Big win for local fighter Love. He suffered a number of family tragedies and served a short spell in prison for theft and drugs offences but that is now behind him. This was a huge step up in the quality of his opposition. Former IBF super light title holder Baranchyk was coming off a fifth round kayo loss to Jose Zepeda in October. A fight that saw nine knockdowns and Baranchyk being stretchered from the ring. He was not seriously injured but that brutal battle may have contributed to this loss.
Conwell vs. Rubio
Former Olympian Conwell has been flying below the radar so far but his clinical destruction of Rubio might get him noticed more. Conwell put Rubio on the canvas in the second and was unloading on Rubio in the third when the referee stopped the fight. Conwell, 23, was US Youth champion in 2015 beating Edgar Berlanga in the final and also won a gold medal at the National Golden Gloves. He won his way through the US Trials and the America’s Qualifier but failed to medal at the Rio Games. Mexican Rubio’s record heavily padded with very modest opposition.
Humble, TX, USA: Super Feather: Eridson Garcia (14-0) W PTS 10 Armando Fraysto (9-2-1). Middle: Winfrid Harris (19-1-1) DREW 8 Vaughan Alexander (15-6-1). Light: Luis Acosta (12-0) W TKO 1 Christian Guido (4-22-2).
Garcia vs. Fraysto
Garcia wins the vacant NABF title with unanimous decision over Californian Fraysto. Scores 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93 for Garcia as the Dominican keeps his 100% record going. Both fighters were moving up to ten rounds for the first time. Fraysto was unbeaten in his last four.
Alexander vs. Harris
Alexander snaps his losing run with a well deserved split draw against 6’2” Detroit prospect Harris. Scores 78-74 for Alexander, 77-75 for Harris and 76-76. Alexander, the brother of Devon Alexander, was stopped in two rounds by Zach Parker in March. Harris is 2-0-1 as he gets back on track after losing a split decision to Dorrell Van Horn .
Acosta vs. Guido
Acosta gets his eleventh win by KO/TKO as he stops Guido in the first round. Ten of his victories have come in the opening round and so far he has fought less than eighteen rounds to get to his twelve wins. But his thirteen victims have amassed only eighteen wins between them. Italian-born Argentinian-base Guido is 1-11 in his last 12 fights.
Sheffield, England: Welter: Dante Jardon (34-7) W KO 9 Anthony Tomlinson (13-1). Super Middle: Mark Jeffers (13-0) W PTS 8 Michal Ryba (6-5). Heavy: David Allen (19-5-2) W TKO 2 Andrea Pesce (7-14-3).
Jardon vs. Tomlinson
Jardon gets late win as he scores a ninth round kayo of Tomlinson. There was a huge gap in experience here but Tomlinson was never out of his depth. He worked well with his jab and constantly took the fight to Jardon. The Mexican was looking to counter and was always dangerous with rights but Tomlinson was willing to trade shots and they both landed heavily. A frantic fifth round saw Jardon landing right after right and possibly breaking Tomlinson’s nose only for Tomlinson to fire right back and rock Jardon. The pace remained high and both were landing big shots but by the eighth Jardon looked to be in control. Jardon landed two heavy left hooks in the ninth and then staggered Tomlinson with two rights to the head. Tomlinson banged back but was doing so by instinct only and a right to the head put him down and he was counted out. Unfortunately a Tomlinson fan climbed onto the ring apron and threw a punch at Jardon. By choosing to stand and fight with Jardon Tomlinson played his part in a vibrant contest but mixing it with a guy who had 24 inside the distance wins did not make sense. Jardon will be hoping to use this win as a springboard to more fights and Tomlinson can come again
Jeffers vs. Ryba
Jeffers outpoints late choice Ryba. Jeffers won every round and floored Ryba to take the decision on the referee’s card 80-71. No tests yet for the 23-year-old but he is making steady progress. Czech Ryba has yet to lose inside the distance.
Allen vs. Pesce
Allen returns with a win. In his first fight for eighteen months Allen floors and stops an obese Pesce in the second round. In his first fight for eighteen months the “White Rhino” found the elephantine body of Pesce impossible to miss and scored two knockdowns. In the second it was a series of head punches that finally did for Pesce as he dropped to his knees and the fight was stopped. Allen is giving it another try. There are good fights for him out there but he found his ceiling in the loss against David Price. The 36-year-old Italian Pesce is 5’9” tall and weighed 261lbs so plenty of target there for Allen.
Plant City, FL, USA: Feather: Cesar Juarez (27-10) W PTS 10 Dennis Contreras (24-10-1). Heavy: Stephan Shaw (15-0,1ND) W KO 1 Nick Davis (6-3).
Juarez vs. Contreras
Juarez ends the small run of impressive victories for Contreras with a close unanimous decision in a battle of phone booth brawling. Contreras survived a torrid second round and fought well enough to edge the third and fourth but was shaken again in the fifth. Contreras had his best round in the sixth and the seventh was close but Contreras scored heavily in the eighth. Juarez then turned the fight his way with a strong finish over the last two rounds. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Juarez. Contreras had put together a run of four good wins scoring victories over unbeaten Fernando Garcia, stopping 20-2-1 Belmar Preciado, 20-0 Carlos Flores and 23-1-3 Hairon Socarras to get a No 8 rating from the WBA. Juarez had suffered three losses in a row against Angelo Leo, Carlos Castro and Jordan Gill so will be hoping to get a rating out of this win.
Shaw vs. Davis
Shaw obliterates Davis in the first round. Shaw drove Davis to the ropes and then dumped him on the canvas with a left hook and Dais was counted out after just 102 seconds. The 28-year-old from St Louis makes it eleven KO/TKO wins. He has a No Decision where he won a fight in New York but tested positive for a banned substance. He is a former US National and US Police Athletic League gold medal winner and National Golden Gloves bronze medallist. Davis improved over a performance in February when he was knocked out in twenty seconds.
Juarez, Mexico: Super Feather: ,Miguel Roman (63-14) W TKO 4 Sergio Puente (28-11).
In a typical Roman fight “Micky” attacked from the start and Puente found himself pinned with his back against the ropes under the hurricane-like attacks from Roman. Puente was eventually broken down by the relentless pressure and was floored in the third. He went down again in the fourth under a barrage of hooks and uppercuts again and the fight was halted. Local hero Roman seemed on his way to 100 fights but this is his first fight since being stopped in nine rounds by O’Shaquie Foster in November and only his second fight in almost two years. Eighth loss in a row for “Dandy” Puente.
San Pedro, Argentina: Middle: Gerardo Vergara (14-0) W TKO 9 Emiliano Pucheta (14-5).
Vergara wins the Argentinian title with ninth round stoppage of champion Pucheta. Vergara dropped Pucheta with a right in the second and had him staggering under fire in the fifth. It was not all one way and although Pucheta was in trouble again in the eighth Vergara’s face was a bloody mess due to a nose injury. A series of head shots in the ninth saw the referee step in and stop the bout. First fight for eighteen months and ninth victory by KO/TKO for Vergara. Pucheta was making the first defence of the national title.
Mexico City, Mexico: Jose Sanmartin (32-5-1) W PTS 10 David Carmona (22-9-5).
Colombian Sanmartin scores two knockdowns on the way to victory over Carmona on a unanimous verdict. Carmona boxed well and took the first two rounds. The fight changed in the third when a strong right put Carmona down. Sanmartin won the fourth and then floored Carmona in the fifth with another powerful right. From there Sanmartin handed out steady punishment with Carmona getting busted up and never being in the fight. Scores 98-90, 97-91 and 97-92 for “El General” Sanmartin who wins the vacant WBA Fedecentro title. He has won 12 of his last 13 fights with the loss being a twelfth round stoppage against Emanuel Navarrete. In title shots at Carmona lost on points to Naoya Inoue for the WBO belt and Khalid Yafai on a stoppage for the WBA belt.
Cuernavaca, Mexico: Super Light: Steve Claggett (30-7-2) W WKO 4 Emanuel Lopez (30-14-1).
Despite not making the weight and having to forfeit 20% of his purse Canadian Claggett looks sharp as he knocks out Lopez in four. Claggett outscored Lopez in the first and shook him badly with a right in the second. Claggett continued to boss the close-quarters action in the third and ended it in the fourth. He rocked Lopez with a couple of uppercuts and then put him down with a lightning right to the body left the head combination with the referee immediately stopping the contest. Twentieth inside the distance win for Claggett who had lost a split decision to Mathieu Germain in May. Lopez, a former WBA interim title holder at super featherweight, suffers his fourth inside the distance loss in a row.
Mragowo, Poland: Cruiser: Mateusz Masternak (45-5) W KO 3 Felipe Nsue (4-2). Super Middle: Kamil Bednarek (9-0) W PTS 8 Javier Maciel (33-14). Super Welter: Przemyslaw Zysk (17-0) W TKO 5 David Bency (14-24-1,1ND).
Masternak vs. Nsue
Easy task for Masternak in his fiftieth fight as he disposes of overmatched Nsue in three rounds. Nsue connected with a couple of good punches at the start of the opener but Masternak landed two good rights and first the ropes and then the bell saved Nsue. Masternak staggered Nsue a couple of times in the second and then ended the fight in the third. A straight left followed by a right to the chin put Nsue down and out. Masternak will just stay busy hoping for a title shot. Nsue from Equatorial Guinea but based in Spain was way out of his league.
Bednarek vs. Maciel
Bednarek comes through a useful learning fight against experience Argentinian Maciel and take the unanimous decision. Bednarek made good use of his southpaw jab and controlled the action over the early rounds. In the fifth a right hook from Maciel shook Bednarek but the Pole recovered well and upped his pace and floored Maciel with a left hook in the seventh. Maciel survived and had Bednarek in trouble briefly in the last with a solid left to the body but Bednarek saw out the round. Scores 78-73 twice and 79-72 for Bednarek who is shaping up well. Maciel, who challenged for the WBO title in ten years ago, is in a losing rut with eight defeats in a row suffered in six different countries.
Przemyslaw vs. Bency
Przemyslaw logs another victory as he floors and stops Bency. Bency constituted no threat and Przemyslaw had him on the floor late in the third. Bency beat the count but after more punishment in the fourth the fight was stopped at the start of the fifth with Bency claiming an injury. Sixth inside the distance victory for Przemyslaw and fourteen consecutive losses for Spanish-based Nicaraguan Bency.
Brandsen, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (12-2-1) W PTS 10 Juan de Leon (13-4).
Southpaw Daneff wins the Argentinian title as he takes unanimous decision over champion de Leon. Daneff used his longer reach to score on the outside and floored de Leon with a right in the second. At the end of the third de Leon landed a punch to the back of Daneff’s head after the bell and was deducted a point for that as the fourth round started. Daneff continued to outscore de Leon who survived a torrid ninth to go the distance. Scores 98-90 twice and 98 ½-90 for Daneff who has won nine of his last ten fights. De Leon had won his last nine fights and was making the first defence of the title.
Ingeniero Maschwirz, Argentina: Welter: Jonathan Jose Eniz (26-15-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Hernan Comenzana (7-3).
Eniz floors and halts Comenzana in two rounds. After dominating the first round Eniz floored Comenzana twice in the second to bring the stoppage. Eleventh inside the distance victory for southpaw Eniz and a needed one after he had lost 4 of his last 5 fights. Second inside the distance defeat for Comenzana.
Vienna, Austria: Light Heavy: Mansur Elsaev (14-0) W TKO 6 Yosko Stoychev (13-1).
Elsaev retains the WBC Asian title with stoppage of previously unbeaten Stoychev. The fight began badly for Elsaev as he was floored by a right in the first round but he survived that torrid start. He slowly beat the resistance out of Stoychev and then landed a barrage of punches in the sixth which saw Stoychev slump to the floor with the fight being halted. Russian-born Elsaev makes it twelve wins by KO/TKO. Bulgarian Stoychev was in his first ten round fight.
Montreal, Canada: Light Fly: Kim Clavel (14-0) W PTS 10 Maria Vargas (15-4-1). Super Welter: Mikael Zewski (35-2) W PTS 8 Dilan Loza (15-5-1).
Clavel vs. Vargas
Local boxer Clavel wins the vacant WBC Silver Female title as she takes unanimous decision by a wide margin on the three cards. Vargas was competitive over the first three rounds but then faded out of the fight under strong pressure from Clavel who won on scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92. Clavel will now be looking to challenge the WBC title holder Yesinia Gomez. Mexican Vargas, a former challenger for the WBC Atom title, was unbeaten in her last eight fights.
Zewski vs. Loza
In his first fight since a stoppage loss against Egidijus Kavaliauskas in September and his first fight at super welter Zewski was given a real test by Loza. In a scarp largely fought inside Zewski won well enough but Loza found plenty of gaps in the Canadian defence and Zewski had to come through a rocky eighth to get the verdict. Scores 78-73, 78-74 and 77-74. A winning start for Zewski in his new division but there are tougher hurdles ahead. Loza falls to 0-3-1 in his four recent contests.
Loir-et-Cher, France: Light Fly: Joana Suarez (6-1-1) W PTS 10 Marie Connan (4-2).
In a twice-delayed fight Spanish southpaw Suarez scores two knockdowns on the way to victory over London-based French champion Connan. The first round went to Connan but a left from Juarez floored Connan in the second. Connan went down again but it was ruled a slip. Connan made the third close but another left from Juarez put her down in the fourth. Once again Connan fought her way back into contention but Juarez boxed well and Connan was unable to claw back the effect of those two knockdowns. Scores 96-93 and 95-93 for Juarez and 94-94. Connan works as a language teacher in England.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Light: Pedro Campa (33-1-1) W TKO 6 Abimael Cruz (5-1).
Campa grinds down and stops Cruz in six rounds. The fight started badly for Campa as a punch and a clash of heads almost closed his right eye in the first round. Campa fought back strongly handing out plenty of punishment to southpaw Cruz in the second but Cruz kept marching forward pumping out the punches in a close third. By the fourth Campa’s body punches and more accurate work had Cruz fading and taking punishment. In the fifth Campa kept bombarding Cruz with hooks, uppercuts and straight punches until the bell. In the sixth with his right eye nearly closed and with a gash on his cheekbone and being belted with punches the referee stepped in to save Cruz. Twenty-two inside the distance wins for Campa but he is not being asked to step up and they are taking no chances after he was stopped by 11-8-1 Carlos Jimenez in 2017. Cruz just a 4 and 6 round prelim fighter who showed plenty of guts but was out of his depth.
Panama, City, Panama: Super Fly: Orlando Penalba (11-0-1) W PTS 8 Gilberto Pedroza (18-7-2). Feather: Jaime Munoz (11-1-1) W TKO 5 Tony Gomez (13-8-2). Super Bantam: Leonardo Carrillo (14-0-1) W TKO 5 Nixon Ankuash (7-1-1).
Penalba vs. Pedroza
Penalba wins the vacant Panamanian title with split decision over Pedraza. In a fight of two halves in which heads kept banging together Pedraza swept the early rounds but the less experienced Penalba surprising paced the fight better and took the decision with a strong finish. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Penalba and 77-75 for Pedraza.
Munoz vs. Gomez
“Lethal Kid” Munoz lifted the vacant national title with a fifth round stoppage of Panamanian-based Venezuelan Gomez. The 27-year-old Munoz has seven quick wins.
Carrillo vs. Ankuash
Carrillo halts inexperienced Ecuadorian Ankuash in five rounds. The Panama-based Colombian collects the vacant WBA Fedelatin title with his fifth win in a row and seventh by KO/TKO. First fight outside of Ecuador for Ankuash.
Zhukovka, Russia: Light Heavy: Yusup Kediev (8-0-1) W Gasan Gasanov (17-9-1). Super Welter: Aslanbek Kozaev (33-3-1) W Viktor Plotnikov (33-12, 1ND).
Gasanov vs. Kediev
Gasanov knocks out previously unbeaten Kediev in the first round. Gasanov floored Kediev early in the round and then put him down and out cold with a right. Kediev required medical assistance and was taken from the ring on a stretcher but no update on his condition. Southpaw Gasanov was defending the Russian title. Something of an upset as Gasanov had lost two of his last three fights by KO/TKO.
Fribourg, Switzerland: Welter: Oshin Derieuw (14-0) W PTS 10 Olivia Belkacem (10-2).
In a fight rescheduled from June Belgian Derieuw wins the vacant European Female title with a close verdict over Belkacem. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Derieuw, 34, a former WBFoundation champion. French-born Swiss Belkacem’s other defeat came 2011 when she lost in fights for the vacant IBA and WBFederation titles. She was then inactive for eight years.
Brussels, Belgium: Light Heavy: Malik Zinad (18-0) W TKO 3 Almir Skrijelj (13-3).Super Welter: Anass Messaoudi (11-0) W PTS 8 Pablo Mendoza (10-9).
Zinad vs. Skrijelj
Zinad wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean belt with victory over Skrijelj. Zinad scored two knockdowns on the way to a third round stoppage. The Libyan-born Zinad is based in Malta. After losing his first two fights Montenegrin Skrijelj had won thirteen in a row but his victims had “amassed” just nine wins between them
Messaoudi vs. Mendoza
Promising Belgian Messaoudi rolls on. The former Elite level amateur outpointed Mendoza on scores of 79-72 twice and 78-73. Spanish-based Nicaraguan Mendoza had won only one of his last eight fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): In a very quiet week Daniel Dubois quick win may open the American market for him.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Ijaz Ahmed and Quaise Khademi fought a furious pace in their twelve round draw.
Fighter of the week: Armanda Serrano. The Puerto Rican retained her three titles and extended her winning streak to 27 contests.
Punch of the week: The right from Gasan Gasanov that flattened unbeaten Yusup Kediev was fearsome.
Upset of the week: Montana Love was an outsider against Ivan Baranchyk but did the business
Prospect watch: Super Welter Charles Conwell (16-0) is worth following
This must have been one of the quietest weeks this year without a mega show in sight and the only major show in the USA was headlined by a Puerto Rican Female fighter and a British heavyweight.
Mexican Dante Jardon illustrated the benefit of experience in his kayo of Anthony Tomlinson. Jardon’s recent form had not been impressive but never bet against a puncher-particularly a Mexican one.
Heavyweight hope Stephen Shaw (15-0,1ND) won a super heavyweight gold medal at the 2013 US National Championships-but so did Cam Awesome! In 2013 they had a championship for fighters wearing headguards and one for those not wearing headguards- an experiment not repeated.
Never ever forget how dangerous our sport is. At the weekend both Russian Yusup Kediev and Mexican female boxer Jeanette Zacarias were stretched out of the ring and taken to hospital. No update on their condition just prayers for their safety.
Closet Classics don't need to be old, and today we bring you a bout that was essentially an instant classic from Japan, pitting two of the best Bantamweights of the last decade against each other in a bout that provided everything we could possibly want in a bout. This is from almost 6 years ago and was just brilliant in every which way. It featured two of the best fighters in the division, a boxer-puncher against a pure boxer, high level skills from both, back and forth action and was left with the controversy needed to give us a rematch a year later, in what was another brilliant bout.
Shinsuke Yamanaka (23-0-2, 17) Vs Anselmo Moreno (35-3-1, 12) I
The Bantamweight division has long been closely linked to Japan thanks to a long line of Japanese greats at the weight. The likes of Fighting Harada, Joichiro Tatsuyoshi and Hozumi Hasegawa have carried the division for Japan. In the 2010's it was the turn of Shinsuke Yamanaka, the hard hitting "God's Left" who was carrying the mantle.
Yamanaka had won the title in 2011 and had reeled off 8 defenses before facing off with Anselmo Moreno. The Japanese puncher had created a reputation as a dynamite puncher, and wins over the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Tomas Rojas Malcolm Tunacao and Suriyan Por Chokchai had allowed Yamanaka to prove his ability. Sadly however a failure to secure a big bout in the US, or a unification bout was hanging over his head. Due to an inability to get a unification bout Yamanaka's team went on the hunt for the top opponent he could get, which was Moreno.
Moreno was a brilliant Panamanian fighter who had made 12 defenses of the WBA "regular" and WBA "super" titles respectively. He was a tricky, awkward, smart and intelligent fighter who really didn't get the respect he deserved until it was far, far too late. He like many fighters from outside of the more financially rewarding boxing countries, was very much a fighter who fell victim to the WBA's multiple title system. He had lost his WBA "super" title by technical decision to Juan Carlos Payano in 2014 and failed to secure a rematch. He then accepted the call to face Yamanaka in September 2015.
This was a highly anticipated clash and was one all fans of the lower weights were anticipating. And it delivered with a brilliant match up of styles, skills, drama and high level action, with a chess match feel.
From the off both men were respectful, each looking to get a read on the otherm and trying to see what the other man had to offer without taking too many risks themselves. It was Moreno who seemed to take the opening round, using his jab more effectively than Yamanaka who looked slower than the challenger. Despite being a technical battle of jabs, this saw neither man running. Both were stood in front of each other, looking to draw a mistake to counter. It was excellent, high level chess until near the end of the round when Moreno opened up and seemed to secure the round.
Yamanaka seemed to find his groove a little bit more in round 2, but again it was a battle of southpaw jabs as the two men stood in range daring the other to make a mistake. It may have been mostly jabs, but it was a high tempo battle of jabs with both starting to just open up their arsenal slightly. This was seen more in rounds 3 and 4, when both began to let hard left hands go and the bout moved into second phase.
Sadly for Moreno he was losing on the open scoring as we went into round 5 and he tried to change that around, particularly in round 6, when he began to back up the local fighter. It was clear the open scoring was encouraging the challenger to press forward, and take the fight to the champion, who began to forget about his jab. The change in aggression from Moreno saw him begin to frustrate the Japanese champion in rounds 7 and 8 and it seemed the tide was turning in favour of the Panamanian, who was equal on to of the cards after 8 rounds.
With 4 rounds left we'll leave the bout to you enjoy without any more spoilers.
It was a chess match early, it then grew into something special, momentum shifting through out, there was always a sense of drama, like a single shot could change the bout, and this was two high level boxers matching each other perfectly well at times.
In many ways however the bout was overshadowed, just a year later, by the rematch between the men, which was a lot more explosive, intense and immediately gratifying. This bout on the other hand was cerebral, high level, and much more one for the purist than their second. Both are fantastic fights, but very, very different.
By Eric Armit
-Yordenis Ugas takes unanimous verdict over Manny Pacquiao in WBA welterweight title defence
-Robert Guerrero outpoints Victor Ortiz in clash of former title holders
-Carlos Castro and Mark Magsayo score dramatic inside the distance victories
-Melvin Lopez, Andrey Mangushev and Romero Duno score wins in Miami and Avni Yildirim, Jose Larduet and Zhan Kossobutskiy get inside the distance victories in Germany
World Title/Major Shows
Bella Vista, Panama: Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (17-2) W TKO 4 Jonathan Barros (43-78-1). Light: Humberto Galindo (14-1-1) TKO 1Darvin Galeano (10-1).
Arboleda vs. Barros
Arboleda stops Barros in four rounds. Arboleda was the bigger, younger and stronger man here and dominated the first three rounds. In the fourth Arboleda landed a right to the head and Barros stopped boxing and dropped his hands to protests that the punch had landed to the back of his head. Arboleda drove Barros to the ropes and kept him pinned there whilst he poured on the punches. Barros was taking punishment but bobbing and weaving but not punching back and the referee steeped in and stopped the fight. An enraged Barros pushed the referee a couple of times and stormed around the ring protesting but the fight was over. Panamanian Arboleda, 26, collects the vacant WBA Fedebol title in his first fight since losing to Chris Colbert for the interim WBA title in December. Barros, 37, a former holder of the WBA Secondary title, lost to Lee Selby in a challenge for the IBF feather title in 2017 but was coming off a win over Jorge Barrios in a domestic clash of former champions in February.
Galindo vs. Galeano
Californian Galindo made it an early night as he dropped Colombian Galeano twice for a first round stoppage. The 21-year-old Galindo wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox belt with his eleventh inside the distance finish. Galeano kisses his unbeaten tag goodbye.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Alberto Ruiz (11-3) W KO 5 Jair Valtierra (15-1).
Something of an upset as Ruiz kayos previously unbeaten Valtierra. Ruiz was forging forward from the start putting Valtierra under pressure and scoring well to the body. Valtierra traded punches with Ruiz trying to get control of the fight but after four rounds Ruiz was 40-36 ahead on the three cards. Valtierra launched a big attack in the fifth forcing Ruiz to the ropes but Ruiz unleashed a left hook that put Valtierra flat on his back and he was counted out. Ruiz had been knocked out in one round by unbeaten Ruben Aguilar in September but this victory gives him the WBC Latino belt. Crushing blow for Valtierra, 19, who had knocked out former interim WBA super feather title holder Emanuel Lopez in May.
Dar-Es-Salaam: Tanzania: Super Middle: Twaha Kasim (18-8-1) W PTS 10 Abdallah Paziwapazi (29-11-1, ND). Super Middle: Selemani Kidunda (6-0) W TKO 7 Geoffrey Kamata (9-8).
Kassim vs. Paziwapazi
Kassim overcomes a disastrous first round to decision Paziwapazi. In that opening session Paziwapazi landed a brutal straight right that dumped Kassim on the canvas on his back. He struggled to get to his feet and was still in a daze as Paziwapazi forced him to the ropes and unloaded with punch after punch until the bell saved Kassim. From there Kassim was in charge. He was rolling forward landing rights to the head and left hooks to the body and although Paziwapazi fought back in occasional bursts Kassim bossed the action and won the wide unanimous decision on scores of 98-91 from the three judges. Kassim is now 2-0-1 in three fights with Paziwapazi who was knocked out in two rounds by Rocky Fielding in 2019. No title at stake but Kassim won a new car.
Kidunda vs. Kamata
Kidunda retains the Tanzanian title with stoppage of Kamata. Kidunda had no trouble outboxing the limited Kamata and ground him down before finishing it in the seventh. A right to the head had Kamata reeling and Kidunda poured on the punches until Kamata slid to the canvas. He made it to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. First defence of the national title for Kidunda and his sixth inside the distance win in six fights. Kamata had won 4 of his last 5 fights but was well beaten here.
Dubai, UAE: Light: Apichet Petchmanee (10-0) W PTS 10 Phumiritdet Chonlathondamrongkun (7-1). Super Middle: Welter: Faizan Anwar (8-0) W PTS 8 Ricky Sismundo (35-16-3). Super Feather: Hasibullah Ahmadi (13-0) W PTS 10 Rauf Aghaev (31-11).
Petchmanee vs. Chonlathondamrongkun
Petchmanee makes a successful first defence of the WBC Asian Boxing Council belt with unanimous verdict over fellow Thai Phumiritdet (Chonlathondamrongkun). Petchmanee made a fast start against a taller but hesitant Phumiritdet connecting with deft jabs and some hard body shots. Phumiritdet was a bit more competitive over the late sessions but never enough to win a round as Petchmanee was connecting with hooks and uppercuts bringing blood from Phumiritdet mouth and all three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Petchmanee. First fight outside Thailand for the former Muay Thai exponent Petchmanee. It is not surprising Phumiritdet was undefeated as the seven fighters he has defeated had only ten wins in total but at 19 he has time to improve.
Anwar vs. Sismundo
India’s Anwar gets decision over Sismundo but looks a lucky lad to do so. Sismundo was giving away height and reach against Anwar. The Filipino was storming his way forward and after initially trying to box Anwar found himself dragged into a brawl. Sismundo floored Anwar with the first punch thrown in the fourth but the right hook landed as Anwar was going back so lost some of its power. Sismundo tried desperately to finish the fight but too desperately. He was winging wild punches and Anwar survived. With Sismundo’s head down rushing attacks it was not too surprising that Anwar was cut under his left eye in the sixth. Sismundo continued to lunge forward throwing punches most of which were off target or blocked. Although Anwar was not throwing enough to counter the volume from Sismundo somehow the judges gave him a unanimous decision. No scores announced. Anwar was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. Sismundo suffers his fifth consecutive defeat.
Ahmadi vs. Aghaev
Ahmadi made a strong start knocking Aghaev’s mouthguard flying with an olverhand right in the second and almost sending him out of the ring through the ropes but Aghaev used his experience to stay in the fight and made the young Afghan work hard for his win. Scores 98-91, 98-94 and 97-93 for the 21-year-old “Kalashnikov”. Azeri Aghayev, 38, had lost his last three fights by KO/TKO.
El Cajon, CA, USA: Super Light: Kali Reis (18-7-1) W PTS 10 Diana Prazak (14-4). Bridgerweight: Elvis Garcia (12-0) W RTD 3 Joel Shojgreen (10-3).
Reis is still the WBA Female champion but her majority decision win over Prazak was far from popular. The smaller Prazak knew she had to take the fight to Reiss and she did so. At distance Reis was able to box but Prazak was getting past Reis’ jab and scoring inside. Reis had good spells but it was the aggressive attacks of Prazak that impressed the fans most but not the judges and the decision for Reis was badly received. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Reis and 95-95. US-based Australian Prazak, 42, a former WBC super featherweight champion, was inactive from November 2014 until returning with a win in March this year. She deserves another shot.
Garcia vs. Shojgreen
Mexican Garcia gets a win over Brooklyn’s Shojgreen. Garcia won the first two rounds before flooring Shojgreen three times in the third with Shojgreen not coming out for the fourth. Ninth inside the distance victory for Garcia. After almost six years out Shojgreen had returned in March with two wins.
Miami, FL, USA: Super Bantam: Melvin Lopez (26-1) W KO 5 Daniel Lozano (15-12-1). Heavy: Andrey Mangushev (5-0) W TKO 3 Ismayl Sillah (27-7). Light: Romero Duno (23-2) W RTD 1 Ramon Esperanza (22-20-1). Heavy: Istvan Bernath (6-0) W PTS 6 Tom Hawkins (4-7).
Lopez vs. Lozano
Lopez floors Lozano three times on the way to a fifth round stoppage. Lopez dropped Lozano in the first round but was then deducted two points for hitting Lozano when he was on the floor. Lopez continued to batter a smaller, sliding Lozano until the fifth. Lopez put Lozano down twice with a left to the body brining the second knockdown and Lozano being counted out. Seventeenth inside the distance wins for Nicaraguan Lopez the WBA No 4. Once a reasonable test Lozano has fallen to 0-8-1 in his last 9 fights.
Mangushev vs. Sillah
The 6’7” Mangushev was able to use his height, reach and a 62lbs weight advantage to control this one. Sillah just could not get close enough often enough to threaten Mangushev. In the third Mangushev landed a straight right that staggered Sillah and then forced him back to the ropes with more rights. With Sillah under fire the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Russian wins the vacant NABA title with his fourth victory by KO/TKO. Ukrainian Sallah, 36, went 17-0 at the start of his career but has faded since then.
Duno vs. Esperanza
Unfortunate ending to this one as after taking punishment from Filipino Duno Esperanza retired at the end of the first round with an ankle injury. Duno is rebuilding after a first round kayo loss against Ryan Garcia in November 2019. Esperanza came in as a late substitute.
Bernath vs. Hawkins
Former top level amateur Bernath remains unbeaten after a points victory over Texan Hawkins. Hungarian Bernath used Hawkins as a punch bag for six rounds but the heavier Hawkins managed to stay on his feet to the end. The 6’4” 32-year-old Bernath was Hungarian champion four times but had no luck against British fighters losing to Tyson Fury in both the World Junior Championships and finals of the European Youth Championships and being beaten by Joe Joyce in the European Qualifier for the 2016 Olympics. Seventh consecutive loss for Hawkins.
Los Hornos, Argentina: Super Feather: Ayrton Gimenez 11-0,1ND) W TKO 7 Nicolas Herrera (7-3-2).
Gimenez stops Herrera in seven rounds in defence of the WBA Fedebol title. Gimenez was fighting on the back foot letting Herrera lunge forward and catching him with long left hooks and uppercuts. Herrera just kept walking onto the punches being rocked time and again. He was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads and with Gimenez pouring on the punches in the seventh the referee came in to save Herrera. The 22-year-old Gimenez gets only his second inside the distance win. The No Decision came when a riot erupted in his fight with Franco Sotelo in 2019 and the fight was suspended in the fifth round. Herrera game but out of his depth.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Zhan Kossobutskiy (16-0) W KO 2 Joey Dawejko (21-9-4). Heavy: Jose Larduet (6-0,1ND) W KO 4 Santander Silgado (30-9). Middle: Avni Yildirim (22-4) W KO 1 Slavisa Simeunovic (37-52).
Kossobutskiy vs. Dawejko
Kossobutskiy beats Dawejko in two rounds. The 6’3” Kossobutskiy failed to make use of his physical advantages. He jabbed weakly but was able to score with body punches as Dawejko chose to lean against the ropes behind a high guard and lunge forward occasionally with a punch. In a messy second round Dawejko twice complained about punches to the back of his head but was ignored. It was target practice for a while as Dawejko just stood against the ropes covering up. When he moved off the ropes Kossobutskiy came forward and landed a body punch and Dawejko turned away bent double with Kossobutskiy following still punching with one punch seeming to land behind Dawejko’s left ear. Dawejko fell into the ropes and then went face down on the canvas. He staggered up leaning against the ropes protesting about being hit to the back of the head but the referee just counted him out. Fourteenth inside the distance win for Kossobutskiy who retains the WBA International title but he has plenty of flaws to be ironed out. Second inside the distance loss for Dawejko.
Larduet vs. Silgado
As with Kossobutskiy, 6’4 ½” Cuban Larduet had huge physical advantages over modest Colombian Silgado. Larduet was in charge over the first three rounds and ended it with a left hook in the fourth. The 31-year-old former star of the Cuban amateur ranks gets his fifth win by KO/TKO. The No Decision came when Larduet injured his knee in a fight and was unable to continue. Larduet wins the vacant WBC Latino title. Fifth inside the distance loss in his last seven fights for Silgado with all the losses by KO/TKO and all inside four rounds.
Yildirim vs. Simeunovic
Yildirim gets his first win for three years as he floors perennial loser Simeunovic three times with Simeunovic being counted out at the third knockdown. Losses in fights against Anthony Dirrell, Saul Alvarez and Jack Cullen have left Yildirim with a lot of work to do if he is going to get back into the big fights. Bosnia Simeunovic has lost by KO/TKO thirty-nine times.
Gdansk, Poland: Super Feather: Radomir Obrusniak (4-0) W PTS 10 Piotr Oudel (10-6-1).
Southpaw Obrusniak collects the vacant Polish title with unanimous verdict over Oudel. The fight was very balanced over the first three rounds but Obrusniak took the lead from there and floored Oudel in the seventh. Oudel kept in the fight and scored heavily in the eight with Obrusniak going down on one knee under the pressure. Obrusniak beat the count and went on to take the ninth and tenth and the decision. Scores were all over the place at 99-90, 96-92 and 95-94 for Obrusniak.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Yordenis Ugas (27-4) W PTS 12 Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2). Feather: Mark Magsayo (23-0) W KO 10 Julio Ceja (32-5-1). Feather: Carlos Castro (27-0) W KO 10 Oscar Escandon (26-6). Welter: Robert Guerrero (37-6-1) W PTS 10 Victor Ortiz (32-7-3). Light Frank Martin (14-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Kielczewski (30-6). Light: Jose Valenzuela (9-0) W TKO 4 Donte Strayhorn (12-4).
Ugas vs. Pacquiao
Ugas takes unanimous decision over Pacquiao to retain the WBA title as he finishes strongly after a close, tactical fight.
Pacquiao set the pace in the first round taking the fight to Ugas and putting the Cuban on the back foot. Pacquiao was scoring with body punches and uppercuts with Ugas countering and defending cleverly. Pacquiao was pushed to the floor by Ugas so no count.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao
Ugas brought his jab into play. He was finding the target and Pacquiao was having trouble getting past the jab. Ugas was scoring to the body and landing clever counters but was warned for holding late in the round and twice for low blows.
Score: 10-9 Ugas TIED 19-19
After an initial attacking burst from Pacquiao the pace slowed slightly. Pacquiao was still taking the fight to Ugas punching in bursts. Ugas was defending well and countering accurately but Pacquiao ended the round strongly. Pacquiao was showing a swelling by his right eye. A close round.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 29-28
Pacquiao lead the action again and Ugas was given another warning for a low blow. Both had their good moments with Pacquiao fighting in bursts and Ugas countering to the body and doubling up on his jabs. Ugas touched the canvas with a knee but it was ruled a slip and Ugas just did enough to take the round
Score: 10-9 Ugas TIED 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 38-38, Judge Steve Weisfeld 38-38, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-37 Pacquiao
Pacquiao moved up a gear. He was throwing lots of punches with Ugas throwing less but being more accurate. Pacquiao continued to fire in bursts and despite good work from Ugas Pacquiao stayed busier and just took the round.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 48-47
The pace slowed in this one which suited Ugas. He was blocking most of Pacquiao’s punches and connecting with rights to the body as they traded punches and Pacquiao was again frustrated by good defensive work from Ugas.
Score: 10-9 Ugas TIED 57-57
Ugas boxed his way through the round. He was landing jabs and scoring to the body. Pacquiao’s output dropped and he was having trouble getting through the guard of the Cuban who was setting the pace of the fight.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 67-66
A good round for Ugas. He was blocking many of Pacquiao’s punches and countering with accurate rights to heads and body. Pacquiao continued to try to press his attacks but Ugas has a solid defence and looked to be taking over the fight.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 77-75
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 77-75 Ugas, Judge Steve Weisfeld 77-75 Ugas, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 77-75 Ugas
Ugas was warned for pushing Pacquiao over. Pacquiao did a little better here in a quiet round. He was still having trouble with rights from Ugas but the Cuban was not throwing enough punches and the busier Pacquiao took the round on effort alone.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Ugas 86-85
Ugas just edged this one. After being caught with a left early he was backing Pacquiao up with his jabs and scored with a couple of hard rights at the close of the round.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 96-94
Ugas controlled the action. Pacquiao was still piling forward but having trouble finding a way past the guard of Ugas. The Cuban was continually getting through with his rights and fighting with confidence even slipping in one or two shimmies.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 106-103
Ugas put in an impressive last round. Once again Pacquiao had no defence against the rights from Ugas and was cut over his left eye. Pacquiao rallied late but it was not enough.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 116-112 Ugas, Judge Steve Weisfeld 116-112 Ugas, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 115-113 Ugas
It remains to be seen whether at 42 Pacquiao’s glorious career is at an end a career spread over 26 years that has seen him win world titles in six divisions. I hope he now retires as he has nothing to prove. He has given us some cherished memories and has always been a credit to the sport and to the Philippines. Ugas took this fight at only eleven days notice after an eye problem caused Errol Spence to withdraw. He showed the sort of skills that are the trademark of those who have come through the Cuban amateur ranks. Unifications fight with Spence or Terrence Crawford would be big paydays and a return match with Shawn Porter who beat him on a split decision in March 2019 would be interesting whereas a defence against WBA No 1 Eimantas Stanionis would be a very hard sell and a huge comedown from this famous victory.
Magsayo vs. Ceja
One bright spot in the evening for Pacquiao was the victory for his protégé Magsayo in a war with Mexican Ceja which saw both fighters on the floor. Magsayo got the perfect start flooring Ceja with a neat left hook in the first round. Ceja made it to his feet and was fighting back hard at the end of the round. Ceja took the fight to Magsayo in the second with a focused body attack but Magsayo boxed cleverly. Ceja continued to attack the body in the third and fourth with Magsayo seeming to slow. Ceja looked to have taken control in the fifth dropping Magsayo with a left hook. Magsayo made it to his feet and the bell went before Ceja could capitalise on that success. Ceja continued to come forward attacking with Magsayo boxing and countering. Magsayo needed to do something to get back into the fight and he produced the perfect response in the tenth. He came forward throwing punches and forced Ceja to the ropes then landed a devastating right that had Ceja virtually out on his feet and he added another as Ceja pitched forward landing face down on the canvas with the referee stopping the fight without bothering with a count. Ceja needed medical attention and was taken to the hospital as a safety measure where he was diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone but no brain injury. Magsayo, 26, makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated WBO 3/IBF 5(4)/WBC 5 and is heading for a title shot late this year or early next. Ceja, a former WBC interim super bantam title holder, was having his first fight since fighting a split draw with unbeaten Brandon Figueroa in November 2019 when Ceja failed to make the weight.
Castro vs. Escandon
Castro takes another step towards a title fight as he halts Escandon in the last round. Escandon is naturally aggressive but he had no choice but to drive forward punching in this fight as he was six inches smaller than Castro and had to take chances to get to where he could do some damage. That he could do some damage was evident late in the first when a left hook sent Castro tumbling into the ropes. The ropes held him up so it should have resulted in a count but that was overlooked and Castro was unsteady as he walked back to his corner. Castro started to make use of his reach edge and was scoring heavily as Escandon continued to fight his way inside. Castro rocked Escandon with a right in the fourth and hammered away at Escandon when he had him pinned to the ropes in the sixth. Escandon just kept coming and there were plenty of frantic exchanges. It looked as though Castro had scored a knockdown in the seventh but after viewing a video at the end of the round it was rightly ruled a slip. Escandon had a good eighth but the punishment was taking its toll. A fierce attack by Castro in the tenth blasted Escandon to the canvas. He started to rise but then dropped to a knee and the fight was stopped. Mexican-born Castro was defending the WBC Continental Americas title for the third time. He is in the top five with the WBC, WBO and IBF. Colombian Escandon is a former interim WBC featherweight title holder and in his last fight in December 2019 knocked out 23-0 Jhack Tepora in ninety seconds.
Guerrero vs. Ortiz
Guerrero comes out on top in a scrap between two veteran southpaws. This was mainly a close-quarters battle which started at a rattling pace and then settled down to a gruelling contest. Heads banged together regularly with Guerrero rocked but not cut in a clash in the opener. Guerrero was particularly ineffective with uppercuts in the second. When heads banged together again in the third Ortiz suffered a cut over his right eye as they continued to fight inside exchanging body shots. More damage in the fifth as a swelling grew under Guerrero’s left eye. There really was not much between them in any round with Guerrero’s aggression giving him a slight edge as they fought hard over the closing rounds with all three judges seeing Guerrero the winner at 96-94. At 38 Guerrero is probably looking for one more title shot but it might be a hard sell. Former WBC welter title holder Ortiz was having his first fight since February 2018 so will probably continue his career.
Martin vs. Kielczewski
Impressive display by the “Ghost” from Indianapolis as Martin takes every round against more experienced Kielczewski who constituted a step-up in opposition for Martin. There was some early success for Martin as his accurate jabbing started a swelling over Kielczewski’s right eye in the first round. Martin’s hand speed and movement saw him edging the early rounds and from the halfway mark he was constantly popping Kielczewski with jabs and outworking Kielczewski in each round. Martin applied strong pressure over the last two rounds looking to get his fourth inside the distance win in a row but Kielczewski has never lost inside the distance and he preserved that record here. All three judges score it 100-90 for Martin. In the amateurs Martin beat Vergil Ortiz in the final of the 2016 National Golden Gloves and won a silver medal at the National Championships later that year. “The Polish Prince” Kielczewski was 22-0 at the start of his career but tougher opposition has put a dent in those figures.
Valenzuela vs. Strayhorn
Valenzuela gets another inside the distance win as he halts Strayhorn in the fourth. Valenzuela was credited with a knockdown in the first when a long right sent Strayhorn back off balance and he put his glove on the canvas. Over the second and third Valenzuela stood right in front of Strayhorn as they swopped heavy punches. He was connecting with hooks to the body and uppercuts and sent Strayhorn’s mouthguard flying but also had to show a good chin as Strayhorn landed flush with some right crosses. By the fourth Valenzuela had beaten the fight out of Strayhorn and when he unleashed a barrage of punches that had Strayhorn stumbling the fight was stopped. Fifth consecutive inside the distance victory for Valenzuela. At this time his claim to fame is dropping Teo Lopez with a body punch when they sparred a while back. First stoppage loss for Strayhorn his previously losses came in the form of two majority decision and one spilt.
Fight of the week (Significance): In beating Manny Pacquiao Yordenis Ugas may have opened the door to some big paydays and ended the great career of Pac Man.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Mark Magsayo vs. Julio Ceja staged a fierce battle with both on the floor and Magsayo scoring a dramatic kayo.
Fighter of the week: Yordenis Ugas
Punch of the week: The dreadful right from Mark Magsayo that rendered Julio Ceja unconscious whilst still on his feet was fearsome.
Upset of the week: After coming in at only eleven days notice Yordenis Ugas was a rank outsider
Prospect watch: Lightweight Jose Valenzuela 9-0 (6) looked good at the weekend
-The Ugas vs. Pacquiao saw some great scraps apart from the battles between Magsayo and Ceja and Castro vs. Escandon the fights between Guerrero and Ortiz and Martin and Kielczewski provide plenty of entertainment so a good show all the way down the list.
- It seems to me that Thai newcomer Phumiritdet Chonlathondamrongkun might just have the longest name in boxing. I gave it to Google translate to come up with an alternative and one of the suggestions was “Dictatorship GPP pearl sailboat” so I will go with Phumiritdet as Thais tend to stick with their first name no matter how often they change sponsors, gyms etc.
-Will there ever be another fighter like Manny Pacquiao. He turned pro as a light flyweight-in fact just 1lb over the minimumweight division. In a twenty-six year + career he has fought across twelve weight divisions and won ten titles, six of them in different divisions. I doubt if we will see that bettered.
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