By Eric Armit:
-Joe Smith Jr outpoints Maxim Vlasov to win the vacant WBO light heavyweight title
-Jerwin Ancajas retains the IBF super flyweight title with unanimous decision over Jonathan Rodriguez
-Jaron Ennis knocks out former IBF champion Sergey Lipinets
-Eimantas Stanionis takes twelve round verdict over Thomas Dulorme in WBA eliminator
-Connor Benn stops Samuel Vargas inside a round
-Four Australian title fights in two days shows interest is still there for well matched national titles
-Unbeaten fighters Mark Magsayo (22-0), Efe Ajagba (15-0), Albert Bell (17-0), Robinson Conceicao (16-0), Jared Anderson (9-0), Trey Lippen (17-0) and Duke Ragan (4-0) all score wins.
World Title/Major Shows
Tulsa, OK, USA: Light Heavy: Joe Smith Jr (27-3) W PTS 12 Maxim Vlasov (45-4). Heavy: Efe Ajagba (15-0) W KO 3 Brian Howard (15-5). Light: Albert Bell (18-0) W PTS 8 Manuel Rojas (20-5). Super Feather: Robinson Conceicao (16-0) W TKO 7 Jesus Ahumada (17-4,1ND). Heavy: Jared Anderson (9-0) W KO 2 Jeremiah Karpency (16-3-1). Heavy: Trey Lippy (17-0) W TKO 3 Jason Bergman (27-20-2). Feather Duke Ragan (4-0) W PTS 4 Charles Clark (3-7-1).
Smith vs. Vlasov
Smith wins the vacant WBO title with a strong finish against Vlasov.
Vlasov started with his hands low with lots of upper body movement and he was penetrating Smith’s guard with jabs and hooks. Smith managed to land some left hooks but Vlasov was firing combinations and getting through with them. He connected with a series of rights before the bell but there was no real power in the shots. Smith had a small cut over his left eye.
Score: 10-9 Vlasov
Vlasov was scoring with his jabs again but Smith crashed home a sold right cross that had Vlasov backing off. Blood from the cut was running into Smith’s eye but he landed a heavy left and later another strong right. Vlasov was working hard but was not as effective as he had been in the first.
Score: 10-9 Smith TIED 19-19
Vlasov was back on target with his jabs and stringing together bursts of punches and was particularly effective with his straight rights. Smith was finding the perpetual movement of Vlasov a problem and was again pawing at his left eye to try to clear away the blood.
Score: 10-9 Vlasov Vlasov 29-28
Vlasov dominated the round. He was pumping out punches physically forcing Smith back and firing salvos. Smith was blocking many of the punches but lots were getting through and Smith other than a solid right to the head which was the best punch in the round was too busy defending to counter. The question was whether Vlasov could maintain the fast pace and perhaps there was a bit more style than substance in Vlasov’s work
Score: 10-9 Vlasov Vlasov 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Gerald Ritter 39-37 Smith, Judge Pat Russell 38-38, Judge David Sutherland 38-38
Vlasov outworked Smith. He was pouring out punches. Many were blocked and again they were not powerful but Smith was being swamped. Smith battled back late in the round landing a heavy right hook but it was Vlasov’s round.
Score: 10-9 Vlasov Vlasov 49-46
Another dominant round for Vlasov. He hustled and harried Smith around the ring raking him with straight punches and hooks. Smith briefly switched to southpaw but that did not help and he was under strong pressure at the bell looking a sorry fighter.
Score: 10-9 Vlasov Vlasov 59-55
Smith needed to find a way into this fight and his work was being hampered by his need to protect the cut. The real Smith showed up in this round. He rocked Vlasov with a right to the head and then marched forward throwing hooks, uppercuts and straight rights refusing to take a step back. Vlasov looked a lot less confident under the pressure and it was Smith’s round.
Score: 10-9 Smith Vlasov 68-65
Smith started well banging out a succession of jabs and getting through with hooks to the body. That storm blew itself out and Vlasov took control forcing Smith onto the back foot. He continued to score with shots from both hands and jerked Smith’s head back with uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Vlasov Vlasov 78-74
Official Scores: Judge Gerald Ritter 77-75 Smith, Judge Pat Russell 77-75 Smith, Judge David Sutherland 76-76
A big round for Vlasov. He was able to push Smith around the ring scoring with rights and lefts. He twice pinned Smith against the ropes and unloaded a pile of punches and drove Smith across the ring with rights to the head. When Smith did come forward he was walking onto counters and was under constant fire and relentless pressure. He was again trying to paw the blood out of his left eye and trudged back to his corner at the end of the round shaking his head. Both were now showing facial damage Vlasov with a bruise under his right eye and a small cut over his right eye and Smith a bruise under his already cut left eye.
Score: 10-9 Vlasov 88-83
This round was so one-sided that a stoppage looked possible and a lesser fighter than Smith might have crumbled. Vlasov was driving Smith around the ring showering him with punches. Smith tried switching to southpaw and also resorted to head down swings but the punches from Vlasov just kept coming.
Score: 10-9 Vlasov Vlasov 98-92
Smith takes a controversial round. Smith was piling in throwing punches. A very tired Vlasov was only looking to clinch and throwing very little. Near the end of the round a right from Smith shook Vlasov. Smith than scored with a series of hooks and as Vlasov stumbled forward a punch from Smith landed high on the back of Vlasov’s head and he dropped to one knee although it looked that that was due to exhaustion. The referee indicated it was not a knockdown due to the punch to the back of Vlasov’s head and called a time out with just twelve seconds to go in the round. Vlasov stayed kneeling for twenty seconds and then got up and went to the ropes and stood leaning against the ropes talking to his corner men for another ten seconds before the referee indicated for the fight to recommence and the only punch Smith landed was one to the back of Vlasov’s head which did not trouble Vlasov at all. There was no time left for Smith to do anything. Smith had landed three punches to the back of Vlasov’s head earlier in the round which had no effect on Vlasov then.
Score: 10-9 Smith Vlasov 107-102
With both fighters exhausted Smith outpunched Vlasov in the last. He was swinging hard looking for a kayo shot and Vlasov was fighting back enough to be competitive but also holding a lot like a fighter who thought he only had to make to the bell to win the title.
Score: 10-9 Smith Vlasov 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Gerald Ritter 115-112 Smith* Smith, Judge Pat Russell 115-113 Smith, Judge David Sutherland 114-114.
*Judge Ritter credited Smith with a 10-8 in the 11th.
Smith wins the WBO title having previously lost to Dmitry Bivol in a challenge for the secondary WBA title in March 2019 after which he scored impressive victories over Jesse Hart and Eleider Alvarez. I disagreed with the verdict. The CompuBox statistics showed Smith throwing more and landing more but you call them as you see them. Bivol is now the full WBA champion so a unifying fight would be attractive as would a unifier against WBC/IBF title holder Artur Beterbiev and Umar Salamov and Lyndon Arthur are being prepared for a final eliminator and of course a return with Vlasov is a possibility so options for Smith. Russian Vlasov, 34, had lost to Krzys Glowacki for the interim WBO cruiser title and then moved down to light heavy. The Glowacki loss was the only one he had suffered in his last 16 fights.
Ajagba vs. Howard
Ajagba ends this one with an explosive right that lays Howard out cold. The 6’6” Ajagba used his long jabs to get on top with Howard retreating and looking to counter but Ajagba was the one landing the punches in particular a long right cross that shook Howard. In the second Ajagba was using his jab to set up Howard for more right crosses but was overshooting the mark and Howard was short with his rights. Ajagba suffered a small cut over his right eye in a clash of heads. Half way through the third round with Howard holding his left arm low Ajagba stepped in with a thunderous right cross that landed on Howard’s jaw. He was out before he hit the deck lying inert in a twisted heap and the fight was stopped immediately with it being quite a while before Howard recovered. The 26-year-old Nigerian gets his twelfth inside the distance and is rated No 11 by both the WBA and WBC. He is a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and a Olympic quarter-finalist. Second inside the distance loss in succession for Howard who was stopped in four rounds by Frank Sanchez in November.
Bell vs. Rojas
Bell outboxes an aggressive Rojas. Bell tried to blow Rojas away with a series of hooks and uppercuts in the first. Rojas rode out the storm and then fired back but Bell continued to land solid shots. Rojas forged forward in the second connecting with left hooks to the body. Bell was on the back foot slotting home jabs and countering well. The pattern was the same in the third with the skills of Bell just giving him the edge. A clash of heads saw Rojas cut on this forehead. Rojas continued to take the fight to Bell doing some good work inside but there were too many clinches with Bell tying Rojas up to prevent him working in close. Bell’s superior technique gave him the edge but too often he allowed himself to be dragged into brawls and that helped Rojas steal a couple of rounds. Scores 78-74 for Bell from all three judges. A brilliant boxer Bell, 28, has beaten credible opposition in Andy Vences, Frank De Alba and Mark Bernaldez and is listed as WBO 12 and WBC 14 if there is a problem it is in the power department. Riojas is strong but limited. He has lost only one of his last nine fights and that was a decision against Felix Verdejo.
Conceicao vs. Ahumada
Conceicao batters a game Ahumada to defeat in seven rounds. It has taken a time for Conceicao to settle in professional boxing but he is now improving with every fight. Here he was jabbing powerfully cracking home body shots and could not miss Ahumada with straight rights. Ahumada took lots of punishment. His defence leaked badly and never seemed able to get away from those right hands from Conceicao. He insisted on trying to walk through Conceicao’s punches even if the Brazilian had lots more power. There was soon blood dripping from Ahumada’s nose as Conceicao strung together some hurtful combinations. Ahumada began bleeding from the mouth as well and it was amazing he was still there after the heavy punches he absorbed but he never stopped firing back. The doctor examined Ahumada at the end of the sixth but he was allowed to continue. Finally in the seventh a left hook sent Ahumada down on his back. He climbed to his feet but the referee saved him from his own bravery and stopped the fight. Now eight wins by KO/TKO for the 32-year-old Rio Gold medal winner. Mexican Ahumada is now 3-3 in his last six fights including a ninth round stoppage by Stephen Fulton.
Anderson vs. Karpency
Another power show from Anderson. Karpency opened the first by chucking some wild swings which Anderson easily evaded. Anderson then walked Karpency down with jabs before connecting with a right to the ribs that saw Karpency go down on one knee. He was up at nine and managed to clinch to the bell. A right to the body put Karpency down at the start of the second and he was shaking his head and just stayed on one knee throughout the count. The 21-year-old “Real Big Baby” has won all nine of his victories by KO/TKO talking less than 20 rounds to do so but desperately needs someone to really test him. At least he got Karpency out of there quicker than Oscar Rivas (3 rounds) and Sergey Kuzmin (6 rounds) the others who have beaten Karpency inside the allotted rounds.
Lippe vs. Berman
It’s now 17 fights and 17 wins inside the distance for Lippe but not much satisfaction for him in this one. Lippe came out firing putting Bergman under pressure and scored with body punches. He continued to attack but with Bergman taunting him he was ignoring defence and Bergman landed three quick punches with the third a left hook sending Lippe back and down. It looked a valid knockdown but the referee indicating it was a slip. An incensed Berman argued with the referee that it was a knockdown and Lippe who had jumped up quickly stood and watched as Bergman harangued the referee for 20 seconds before the action continued and Berman looked to have rocked Lippe with the last punch of the round. Lippe scored well to the body in the second but looked uncomfortable when the 31lbs heavier Bergman applied pressure. Bergman was again taunting Lippe but Lippe kept his cool and score well and Bergman was looked gassed. Bergman was sticking his chin inviting Lippe to him it in the third but when he stepped forward to launch an attack he collapsed to the canvas having turned over his ankle and was unable to continue. Lippe, 31, the son of the late WBO heavyweight title holder Tommy Morrison, was having his first fight since July 2019. Bergman,36, had lost 5 of his last 6 fights with all five of his conquerors being unbeaten fighters.
Ragan vs. Clark
Just six rounds of fairly undemanding work for the outstandingly talented young Ragan. Scores 60-54 for Ragan on all three cards. No need to rush the 23-year-old from Cincinnati who has won every round in his fights to date. All seven of the guys who have scored wins over Clark were unbeaten fighters when he faced them.
Uncasville, CT, USA: ). Super Fly: Jerwin Ancajas (33-1-2) W PTS 12 Jonathan Rodriguez (22-2). Welter: Jaron Ennis (27-0,1ND) W KO 6 Sergey Lipinets (16-2-1. Welter: Eimantas Stanionis (13-0) W PTS 12 Thomas Dulorme (25-5-1). Feather: Mark Magsayo (22-0) W TKO 4 Pablo Cruz (21-4).
Ancajas vs. Rodriguez
Ancajas makes a successful ninth defence of the IBF title with unanimous decision over Rodriguez. Ancajas faded noticeably but held off a late surge from the young Mexican.
Southpaw Ancajas was a bit taller with a longer reach and began by jabbing to the body. He had early success as a left knocked Rodriguez back and he almost touched the canvas with his glove but stayed upright. Rodriguez showed quick movement but Ancajas landed with lefts to the body.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas
Ancajas was working well with the jab and reaching out with lefts to the body. The fight suddenly burst into life when Rodriguez turned to complain to the referee about a punch to the back of the head and Ancajas took the opportunity to jump in and land some punches. An angered Rodriguez fired back and they trade punches with Ancajas getting the better of the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 20-18
Rodriguez was letting punches fly early but then Ancajas settled down to score with his jab and long lefts. Again Rodriguez justifiably complained about a punch to the back of the head and when the referee ignored him another fierce exchange of punches started with both landing with hooks and uppercuts but Ancajas came out ahead.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 30-27
Rodriguez was taking too long to launch his attacks and Ancajas was getting his punches off first He continued to land with his jab and long lefts and bounced some sharp lefts off Rodriguez’s head. Rodriguez scored with a good left late in the round but that was all.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Tony Paolillo 40-36 Ancajas, Judge Tom Schreck 39-37 Ancajas, Judge Don Trella 40-36 Ancajas
Ancajas outboxed and outworked Rodriguez. The champion was sending out a constant stream of jabs and nipping in with rights to the body. Rodriguez was fighting in short burst but every time he was about to launch a rush attack Ancajas was hitting him with jabs and Rodriguez had to set himself all over again.
Score 10-9 Ancajas: Ancajas 50-45
Ancajas changed styles completely. He went inside and traded punches with Rodriguez. He was ripping home hooks and uppercuts to the body and overhand lefts. The change of tactics suited Rodriguez who was able to do some scoring of his own with swinging hooks and uppercuts but again it was Ancajas getting the better of the action.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 60-54
Ancajas went back to his boxing. He kept his right jab in Rodriguez face, landed long lefts to the body and occasionally stepped in with a left cross to the head. A frustrated Rodriguez was never able to get close enough to land any significant punches.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 70-63
A huge round for Ancajas. He pressed hard connecting with clubbing shots from both hands. He was forcing Rodriguez back with Rodriguez bewildered by the storm of punches. Ancajas drove Rodriguez to a corner and pounded him until Rodriguez slumped to one knee. He was up at eight and with only three or four seconds left in the round the bell went before any more action took place.
Score: 10-8 Ancajas Ancajas 80-71
Official Scores: Judge Tony Paolillo 78-73 Ancajas, Judge Tom Schreck 79-72 Ancajas, Judge Don Trella 80-71 Ancajas
A great round. Ancajas set out to finish what he had started in the first round and forced Rodriguez to the ropes twice blazing away with hooks and uppercuts. It looked as though Rodriguez was ready to go but he kept punching back. As the round ended it was Rodriguez digging to the body and scoring with hooks and uppercuts and Ancajas looking to have punched himself out.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Ancajas 89-81
Rodriguez sensed Ancajas was tiring and he attacked hard throughout this round piling on the pressure and firing punches. Ancajas was landing plenty but he was being outscored and for the first time in the fight looking to hold rather than fight inside.
Score: 10-09 Rodriguez Ancajas 98-91
Rodriguez was swarming forward throwing punches. Ancajas had forgotten his jab and although still landing sharp counters his punch output had dropped and Rodriguez was scoring heavily with Ancajas the one to break off the exchanges as the swopped shots to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Ancajas 107-101
For the final three minutes two tired fighters just stood and pasted each other with punches. Neither had any thought of defence and both were rocked a few times but in the end Rodriguez just had that little more left and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Ancajas 116-111
Official Scores: Judge Tony Paolillo 115-112 Ancajas, Judge Tom Schreck 116-111 Ancajas, Judge Don Trella 117-110 Ancajas.
Right now with the No 1 and No 2 spots in the IBF rankings vacant and Rodriguez being No 3 the 29-year-old Filipino does not have any mandatory challenger. Because of the WBC super fly “tournament” his options are limited and there are no big fights to be had from the IBF list but as he struggled at the end of this a rest might be a good idea but he won’t want to sit on the sidelines for another sixteen months as he has just done. Considering that Rodriguez had never faced an opponent remotely near to being rated he performed well showing strongly at the finish and it will be interesting to see how he develops.
Ennis vs. Lipinets
Ennis outclasses and then stops former IBF champion Lipinets in a statement making performance. Ennis is 5’10” to the 5’7” of Lipinets and has a 74” reach compared to a 67” reach for Lipinets. He also has quicker hands and is much niftier on his feet. All of those things came into the play in the first round as Ennis danced around a plodding Lipinets stepping in quickly to score with jabs and getting out before Lipinets could counter. When Lipinets did lunge forward Ennis clouted him with rights to the head. Ennis changed to southpaw in the second and scored with lefts to the body. Lipinets ploughed forward with his head down throwing punches but walked onto counters from Ennis. They stood and traded punches before Ennis switched back to orthodox and speared Lipinets with left jabs. They swopped jabs at the opening of the third before Lipinets managed to pin Ennis against the ropes and connect with some strong body punches. Ennis switched to southpaw and drove Lipinets back landing hooks, uppercuts and straight rights with Lipinets getting rocked. Lipinets came out swinging in the fourth but Ennis was changing positions and angles and firing punches with such speed that Lipinets never seemed to know where Ennis was or where the punches were coming from. As they fought inside Lipinets went down on one knee. He was up immediately and was given a count. It seemed more a case of their feet getting tangled up but Lipinets did not dispute the referee’s action. Ennis then connected with huge rights which Lipinets was just too slow to block. Ennis staggered Lipinets with a herd right but when he went to follow up a punch from Lipinets went very low and the action was stopped briefly for Ennis to recover and he then settled for piercing Lipinets guard with jabs to the bell. Ennis ended it emphatically in the sixth. He took the fight to Lipinets going toe-to-toe handing out brutal punishment before landing a stunning left hook that put Lipinets down on his back and the referee immediately waived the fight over. Scintillating display from Ennis in the way that he outclassed and then disposed of former IBF champion Lipinets. The 23-year-old from the fighting Philadelphian Ennis family has lots of both ability and power as this is his twenty-fifth win by KO/TKO. He was rated WBO 7/IBF 9/WBC 12 and with Lipinets being No 3 with the IBF he will certainly get a promotion from them. With this and other recent showings the likelihood of Ennis becoming a world champion has gone from perhaps to possibly to probable and on this showing almost certain with the “almost” only there because he is in the same division as Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence. He is also much younger than both Crawford and Spence so time is on his side. Lipinets suffers his first inside the distance loss with Mikey Garcia the only fighter to have floored him previously. He was coming off a draw in October against unbeaten Custio Clayton for the interim IBF title and with Clayton at No 4 with the IBF that might be a logical next step for Ennis. Kazak Lipinets never got into this fight to any degree and will now have some serious rebuilding to do.
Stanionis vs. Dulorme
Stanionis has to come from behind to win this WBA eliminator. Stanionis utilised his standard pressure tactics early with Dulorme using clever movement and outworking Stanionis at the start. They were both landing well with the rounds close and no one really able to dominate. Stanionis connected with a good lefts to the head in the third and fourth and Dulorme banged back with solid body shots. Stanionis just looked to have edged the exchanges in the fifth but boxing on the back foot Dulorme did good work over the sixth and seventh. Stanionis came back strongly with body punches in the eighth but the ninth was a close round. A punch from Stanionis opened a cut over Dulorme’s left eye in the tenth and then over the last two rounds he proved stronger and outlanded a tiring Dulorme whose vision was being affected by the blood from the cut. Scores 117-111,116-112 and 115-113 all for Stanionis. The 26-year-old Lithuanian adds this win to victories over Justin de Loach and Janer Gonzalez but with Stanionis No 10 and Dulorme No 14 it is difficult to see this win pushing him very high in the queue of those looking for a title shot. It has been a switchback ride in his most recent fights for former WBO super light title challenger Dulorme. He has lost to Yordenis Ugas, drawn with Jessie Vargas, outpointed Terrel Williams and lost in a fight for the interim WBA welter title to Jamal James. He will now probably fall out of the ratings and I can’t see him regaining that lost ground.
Magsayo vs. Cruz
Filipino “Magnifico” Magsayo adds another win. He had Cruz under pressure with left hooks in the first and then dropped him late in the second. A Magsayo left hook put Cruz down in the third and Cruz only just managed to make it to the bell. The end wasn’t long in coming as a right from Magsayo sent Cruz down again in the fourth and the referee stopped the one-sided action. Fifteenth victory by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Magsayo who is rated IBF 5(4)/WBC 5/WBO 8 so is very much in the queue for a title shot. Texan Cruz “The Lethal Mosquito” came in having won 7 of his last 8 fights
Grozny, Russia: Heavy: Jack Mulowayi (10-2-1) W TKO 8 Apti Davtaev (20-1-1). Super Middle: Aslambek Idigov (20-0) W PTS 10 Sherzod Khusanov (22-2-1). Light Heavy: Umar Salamov (27-1) W PTS Sergei Ekimov (18-2). Middle: Rizvan Elikhanov (12-0) W RTD 2 Mfaume Mfaume (16-8-2).
Mulowayi vs. Davtaev
Huge upset as unsung Belgian-based Congolese fighter Mulowayi wore down and stopped unbeaten Russian Davtaev. Mulowayi was given no chance here but he gradually ground Davtaev down. It was a fairly even fight over the first five rounds and then Davtaev started to tire. Mulowayi dominated the action from there and in the eighth round an exhausted Davtaev was taking heavy head punches as he stumbled along the ropes and with no sign of him punching back the referee stopped the fight. The 34-year-old ABU champion Mulowayi had lost a majority decision to 30-3 Herve Hubeaux for the Belgian title and been outpointed by world rated Frank Sanchez and did not look a threat on paper. Davtaev has been very carefully matched but the wheels came off in this on.
Idigov vs. Khusanov
Idigov returns home from his training base in Detroit and takes wide unanimous decision over veteran Khusanov. In a slow-paced fight despite Khusanov’s edges in height and reach Idigov was always in command. Khusanov competed hard all the way without ever doing enough to steal a round. Scores 100-90 from each of the judges for Idigov who was defending the WBO and IBF European titles. The Salita Promotions fighter is No 6 with the WBO. Uzbek Khusanov, 41, had a 22-fight unbeaten run ended when he lost to 40-0-1 Damian Jonak in 2018 but had returned in September last year with a decision over 25-1 Robert Parzeczewski.
Salamov vs. Ekimov
Fighting in his home territory Salamov only just escapes being the second heavy favourite to lose on this show. At 6’3 ½” he had height and reach on his side and made a confident start taking the fight to Egorov. It looked as though the fight would go as forecast but Ekimov boxed cleverly using Salamov’s height against by fighting mainly from a crouch leaving Salamov searching for a target. Despite that with his higher work rate Salamov seemed to have done enough to earn the decision but Ekimov fought hard enough to make it very close and to convince one judge he was the winner so Salamov had to settle for a split decision. It looks likely that Salamov, the WBO No 4 will go on to fight No 3 Britain’s Lyndon Arthur in an eliminator to challenge the new WBO champion Joe Smith. After 18 consecutive wins Ekimov came into this fight on the back of losses to Ricards Bolotniks and Ali Izmailov so his form here was a surprise.
Elikhanov vs. Mfaume
Elikhanov keeps his 100% record of inside the distance wins as Mfaume retires in the second round. Elikhanov had been stalking Mfaume in the first but Mfaume stepped in and threw a series of body punches in the second. A left hook clashed with the point of Elikhanov’s elbow and Mfaume backed off with his arm hanging by his side and indicated he could not continue. The 23-year-old has been matched sensibly with some experienced opposition. Tanzanian Mfaume is 0-3 in fights in Russia.
Tokyo, Japan: Welter: Keita Obara (24-4-1) W PTS 10 Shoki Sakai (25-12-2). Light: Go Hosaka (5-0) W PTS 8 Kanta Fukui (7-4-1).
Obara vs. Sakai
Obara retains the National title on a very narrow unanimous decision over Sakai in an entertaining scrap. Obara wanted to box but the aggressive Sakai kept driving forward behind a high guard to offset Obara’s strong jab. Obara managed to put in enough good work to take the first two rounds but Sakai upped his pace over the next three to close the gap. After five rounds two judges had Obara up 48-47 with the third going for Sakai by the same score. Sakai took the sixth to even things up but Obara’s experience at a higher level saw him make the stronger finish to take the verdict. All three judges had Obara the winner by 96-94. The 34-year-old former IBF and IBO title challenger makes it four wins in a row. Sakai went to Mexico and turned pro there in 2010 and did his fighting in Mexico and the USA before returning home in late 2020 and scoring two wins over modest domestic opposition.
Hosaka vs. Fukui
Former top amateur (Takeshi) Go Hosaka was also returning home but had to fight hard to get a split decision over unranked Fukui. Hosaka built an early lead with his better boxing but Fukui began to cut into the lead over the middle rounds with Hosaka needing a strong finish to just deserve the victory. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Hosaka and 77-75 for Fukui. Hosaka was the first Japanese fighter to medal at the World Youth Games winning a bronze medal in 2014 and finishing fourth in the Youth Olympic Games in the same year. He joined the famous ALA gym in the Philippines and turned pro there before returning to Japan when the gym closed. Fukui was moving up to eight rounds and exceeded expectation in this fighting performance.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Light: Fabian Maidana (18-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Cordoba (13-7,1ND).
Easy win for Maidana as he outpoints Argentinian champion Cordoba in a non-title match. With his superior power and a strong jab Maidana had Cordoba on the back foot and controlled the action. He found Cordoba a hard target and Cordoba used plenty of movement, constant switching of guards and lots of bobbing and weaving but Maidana keep pressing and landed with heavy lefts and right when he was able to trap Cordoba against the ropes. Cordoba’s attacks tended to be rushed and inaccurate and he was moving too much to really set himself to get any power in his punches. It was a frustrating fight for Maidana but despite the trickery of Cordoba he stuck to his task and dominated the fight. Scores 100-90, 100-92 and 99-92 ½. Maidana, 28, won his first 16 fights before losing to more experienced Jaider Parra and this is his second victory since then. He is the younger brother of Marcos Maidana. Cordoba certainly lived up to his “Little Fox” nickname but his tricks were no match for the better technical boxer with the heavier hands.
Sydney, Australia: Super Light: Youssef Dib (15-0) W PTS 10 Hunter Ioane (8-2-1). Super Feather: Billel Dib (25-3) W TKO 3 Jack Asis (38-24-5). Heavy: Willis Meehan (11-0) W TKO 1 Patrick Thunder (1-6-1).
Dib vs. Ioane
Dib wins the vacant Australian title with unanimous verdict over Ioane. Ioane came in 1 lb over the division limit so the title was only on the line for Dib who wins his first pro title in his first ten round fight. After being put on the floor in the first Dib settled down to outbox and outpunch Ioane to emerge a comfortable winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93. Dib, 28, is the youngest of the three fighting Dib brothers. Second tough fight in a row for Ioane having been stopped in two rounds by unbeaten Jacob Ng after having Ng on the floor in the first round. He made Dib work hard for his win here.
Dib vs. Asis
Billel makes it a family winning double as he stops Filipino oldie Asis. The much taller Dib stopped the very faded Asis in the third round to retain the WBA Oceania title for the third time. Body punches did for Asis with three knockdown in the third. Dib, 31, makes it four wins in a row in his first fight in two years. It was also a treble for the Dib’s as brothers Billy and Youssef had also beaten Asis inside the distance. Asis put together a great run that took him to the IBO super feather title but those days are long past
Meehan vs. Thunder
Meehan gets a quick win as he crushes Thunder in 70 seconds. The 6’5”, 25-year-old New Zealand-born southpaw has nine inside the distance victories, six in the first round, but his victims have been substandard. Meehan is also a professional rugby league player. He is the son of former WBO heavyweight title challenger Kali who came close when losing to Lamon Brewster on a split decision for the WBO title in 2004. Thunder with no chance at all suffers his fourth defeat by KO/TKO.
Mantova, Italy: Super Light: Arblin Kaba (12-0-2) TEC DRAW 4 Luciano Randazzo (15-3-4).
Kaba retains the Italian title with technical draw against Randazzo. The ending seemed lucky for Kaba. Randazzo had started strongly connecting with a series of hooks in the first and after an even second he had the better of the exchanges in the third. In that round a clash of heads opened a gash over the left eye of Randazzo. They started the fourth round but with the blood hampering Randazzo’s vision the fight was stopped and with the fourth round not being completed it was ruled a technical draw. Albanian-born Kaba was making the second defence of the title but was coming off a knockout loss against Mohamed Khalladi in November so he needed a win. Randazzo was making his second challenge for the title and will probably get a third shot when his cut heals.
Auckland, New Zealand: Super Welter: Andrei Mikhailovich (15-0) W TKO 9 Shay Brock (13-3-2).
Mikhailovich makes a successful defence of the New Zealand title with stoppage of Brock. Mikhailovich was able to use his big advantages in height and reach to floor and then stop Brock. Mikhailovich was in charge of the fight flooring Brock with a body punch in the fourth and breaking him down. Brock had some success with rights but Mikhailovich was just too big and too strong and the referee stopped the fight in the ninth. Russian-born “Renegade” Mikhailovich, 23, also holds the New Zealand middleweight title. Former champion Brock suffers his first inside the distance defeat.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Light: Hannock Phiri (3-0) W TKO 9 Yona Segu (19-11-2) W. Middle: Twaha Kassim (17-7-1) W Bebe Rico Tshibangu (9-1-3).
Phiri vs. Segu
Malawian Phiri stops local fighter Segu in the ninth round. Phiri had not even the sights idea of how to box. He could not throw a jab he just waked and sometimes ran for ward just swinging both arms. He ignored any punch Segu landed and when he was sent staggering back he just threw himself forward again. A big right swipe put Segu down in the third and when Segu got up he was staggering badly. When the referee asked him to take a couple of steps forward he turned away and stumbled into a corner. The fight continued and in the fourth a huge swelling appeared over the right eye of Phiri and by the end of the round he could only see though a very narrow split and had to pull his head back to see through that slit. Despite all of this and despite walking through punch after punch his determination saw him through and although the swelling was grotesque in the ninth he landed a series of clubbing punches which sent Segu face down on the canvas and the fight was stopped. The 22-year-old Phiri wins the WBFederation African title and has won his three fights by KO/TKO I have rarely seen any fighter with less idea of how to box-but he won. Segu had been in with Terry Flanagan and had lost a split decision against 20-1-1 Armenian Vahram Vardanyan in February last year but he had no idea of how to deal with Phiri
Villa Gobernado, Argentina: Light Heavy: Abraham Buonarrigo (9-1) W PTS 9 Rolando Mansilla (16-8-1). Bantam: Juan Carlos Reveco (40-4) W PTS 6 Jeremias Ulibarre (8-12-1).
Buonarrigo vs. Mansilla
Buonarrigo wins the vacant WBA Fedebol title with unanimous decision over Mansilla. Scores 89-82, 88-83 and 87-84 for Buonarrigo the Argentinian No 7. Mansilla is 3-3 in his six most recent outings including losses in Australia and France.
Reveco vs. Ulibarre
Reveco returns to the ring with a points victory over Ulibarre. Gentle easing back for “Coton” as he wins on scores of 60 -53 ½, 60-54 and 60-55. Now 37 the former holder of the WBA secondary titles at light flyweight and flyweight was having his first fight since losing to Donnie Nietes for the IBF flyweight title in February 2018. Ulibarre sinking gradually and is 1-8 in his last 9.
Brisbane, Australia: Welter: Andrew Hunt (8-0-1) W PTS 10 Ben Kite (18-4-1). Light Heavy: Leti Leti (16-1) W PTS 10 Conor Wallace (7-1). Super Welter: Ben Mahoney (11-0) W PTS 10 Kris George (14-3).Heavy: Justis Huni (3-0) W TKO 1 Jack Maris (2-1).
Hunt vs. Kite
Tall southpaw Hunt scores majority verdict over champion Kite to win the Australian title. Hunt made an impressive start rocking Kite with uppercuts in the opening round. Kite worked hard to take the second but after a close third Hunt landed big punches in the fourth and fifth. Kite managed to work inside to avoid the big shots from Hunt over the sixth and seventh but Hunt scored with body punches in the eighth and despite the efforts of the more experienced Kite to hold and mess with Hunt inside the challenger finishes strongly. Scores 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95 for Hunt. New Zealand-born Hunt was taking a big step up in facing Kite and was in his first ten round fight but he paced the fight well. He is of Samoan antecedents and represented Australia at the 2017 World Championships. Kite was making the second defence of the National title and had won his last 13 fights.
Leti vs. Wallace
Leti beats champion Wallace on a majority decision to collect the Australian light heavyweight title after ten rounds of total war. Southpaw Wallace towered over the 5’8” Leti but Leti was prepared to take punishment to get inside. Once there he was connecting with some serious body punches. Wallace’s corner kept urging him to box and when he did he had some success but again and again he was standing and exchanging big punches with Leti. Both were rocked on occasion but also both were willing to absorb the incoming punches and fire back with their own. Leti was remorseless in his attacks and Wallace displayed an iron chin but Leti’s body punching wore down Wallace and Leti made the stronger finish. Scores 98-93 and 96-94 for Leti and 95-95. Eighth win in a row for Samoan-born Leti. Wallace-born in Newry Northern Ireland-was defending his title for the first time. Three great Australian title fights on the same night all of which would make good return matches.
Mahoney vs. George
Mahoney wins the vacant Australian title with narrow unanimous decision over George. Things started well for Mahoney as a jab in the first round landed on the left eye of George which had him blinking constantly and eventually a swelling developed by the eye. Both jabbed well in a tactical battle with Mahoney on the front foot and George countering. Mahoney had George’s nose bleeding early and the nose dripped blood throughout the fight. Mahoney’s jab was a potent weapon which he used to open George up time and again. George was effective with uppercuts and overhand rights as he worked off the rust from almost three years out of the ring. George floored Mahoney with a left hook in the seventh but Mahoney survived and fought hard over the last three rounds to take the decision. Scores 95-94 twice and 96-93 for Mahoney. Great win in a great fight for the 25-year-old Mahoney. First fight for former Commonwealth champion George since losing his title on a stoppage against Josh Kelly in June 2018. A fight in which George suffered two broken hands and a broken jaw.
Huni vs. Maris
Huni blows away Maris in the first round. Huni went straight after the 6’9” tall Maris rocking him with left hooks to head and body and sent him stumbling to the ropes. Huni then pounded on Maris sending him sliding along the ropes with a right to the head and the referee came in to stop the fight. Maris protested the stoppage but it was well-timed. Huni, 22, won the Australian title in his first pro fight. He is a former World Youth Champion and World Championships bronze medallist and has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. Maris lacked the experience to cope with the more mobile Huni.
Tijuana, Mexico: Super Welter: Carlos Ocampo (29-1) W TKO 2 Ivan Matute (30-4). Super Welter: Dunbiel Sanchez (17-0-2) W PTS 10 Ruben Orozco (8-4).
Ocampo vs. Matute
Ocampo disposes of Matute in two rounds. Ocampo had Matute under plenty of pressure in the first and he was obviously the harder puncher. In the second a series of left hook to the body forced Matute to drop to one knee. After the count Ocampo landed more body punches before flooring Matute with a right. Matute got up but was quickly trapped on the ropes and some more left hooks to the body saw him down on one knee with his face screwed up in agony and the referee stopped the fight. The 25-year-old from Ensenada now has 19 inside the distance victories. When he challenged Errol Spence for the IBF welter title in 2018 he was knocked out inside the first round and this is his seventh win as he tries to restore some pride. Needless to say that Venezuelan Matute has a very heavily padded record.
Sanchez vs. Orozco
Sanchez outpoints Orozco to remain unbeaten. Sanchez used a strong body attack to take charge in this fight. He picked his punches well and stuck to his game plan. Orozco did well enough with his pressing attacks to outscore Sanchez on occasion but Sanchez took the unanimous decision. All three judges gave it to Sanchez 97-93 to make it a double for Ensenada. Four consecutive losses for Orozco.
Valencia, Spain: Welter: Jon Miguez (13-0) W KO 8 Ricardo Roser (7-1). Super Feather: Juan Felix Gomez (10-0) W RTD 7 Diego Valtierra (6-3). Light: Zeus de Armas (12-0) W TKO 5 Carlos Arroyo (5-16-1).
Miguez vs. Roser
Miguez wins the vacant Spanish title with kayo of Roser. After a slow first round Miguez did the attacking switching guards and he rocked Roser with a left hook in the third. Roser countered well and it was very close at the end of the fourth with Miguez in front on one card, Roser in front on another and the third reading a tie. Miguez upped the pressure over the middle rounds with Roser forced to stand and punch with Miguez and suffering a cut by his left eye. In the eighth Roser was slowing and Miguez connected with a series of punches that sent Roser down on his knees and he was counted out. Sixth inside the distance win for the 24-year-old from Cantabria. Disappointment for local boxer Roser who was short on power.
Gomez vs. Valtierra
Southpaw Gomez gets a win for Valencia as he beats Valtierra to win the vacant Spanish title. Gomez had the longer reach and he used that to the full. He also showed some good defensive work and Valtierra just could not get into the fight. Gomez was scoring at distance and countering strongly and Valtierra was slowly being broken down. In the sixth Valtierra was down twice and a cut had opened over his left eye. He was given one more round to turn things around but just took more punishment and retired at the end of the seventh. Nice boxing from 24-year-old “El Mago” Gomez. Valtierra had never gone past six rounds before and was well beaten.
de Armas vs. Arroyo
Canary Islander de Armas has no trouble stopping Arroyo. He put Arroyo down in the fourth and twice more in the fifth and the fight was over. The 35-year-old will be looking for a shot at the national title. Spanish-based Nicaraguan Arroyo has just one win in his last nine fights.
London, England: Welter: Conor Benn (18-0) W TKO 1 Samuel Vargas (31-7-2). Bantam: Ukashir Farooq (15-1) W PTS 10 Alexander Espinoza (20-3-2).
Benn vs. Vargas
Benn blitzes Vargas in one. After both had stabbed out jabs Benn scored with a left hook/overhand right and was letting his punches go. Vargas came forward taking the fight to Benn who connected with two rights the second one stopped Vargas in his tracks. Benn then poured on the punches driving Vargas to the ropes under a barrage of shots to head and body. He had Vargas pinned to the ropes and was connecting with hooks and uppercuts with Vargas being rocked and with his head being snapped back and flung side to side by punches when the referee stepped in. Vargas protested but it was a good call. All over in 80 seconds. Second impressive showing in a row by Benn after beating Sebastian Formella in November. He was making the fourth defence of the WBA Continental title. Vargas has lost the big fights with Errol Spence, Danny Garcia and Vergil Ortiz beating him inside the distance but none of them did it this quickly and he took Amir Khan the distance and Benn is calling out Khan.
Farooq vs. Espinoza
Farooq comes through a true test as he takes decision over tough and experienced Espinoza. Speed and skill are two qualities Farooq has in spades but here he chose to show that he could also fight in the trenches. He took on Espinoza inside for much of the fight and these two swapped punches all the way. That bit of extra speed served Farooq well but his chin was tested by Espinoza and he was cut over his right eye when heads bumped together, Espinoza came on strong over the late rounds but Farooq had outfought the Nicaraguan and picked up a deserved decision and the WBC International Silver belt. Scores 97-93. 97-94 and 97-95 all for Farooq. The Pakistani-born Scot’s only loss was a controversial split decision against Lee McGregor in November 2019. Espinoza had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Livorno, Italy: Light: Vairo Lenti (8-4-1) W PTS 10 Gianluca Picardi (9-1).
Lenti is Italian champion after winning on a close unanimous decision over fellow-southpaw Picardi. It was Picardi who set the early pace managing to fight inside over the first three rounds. Lenti started to use his longer reach in the fourth but Picardi again scored well inside in the fifth. The sixth was close and then Picardi’s output dropped with Lenti staging a strong finish to just nick the decision. Three scores of 96-94 for home town fighter Lenti with Picardi a very angry man about the decision. Lenti makes his record look a little better with his fourth win in his last six fight. Picardi will want a second shot.
Fight of the week (Significance): Joe Smith’s win over Maxim Vlasov opens the possibility of unification fights at light heavyweight.
Fight of the week (Entertainment):The Australian title fight between Leti Leti and Wallace gets the vote with honourable mention to Smith vs. Vlasov
Fighter of the week: Jaron Ennis for his outstanding performance in knocking out Sergey Lipinets
Punch of the week: It has to be the booming right from Efe Ajagba which knocked Brian Howard out cold.
Upset of the week: Belgian-based DRC fighter Jack Mulowayi (9-2-1) was not supposed to stop (20-0-1) Apti Davtaev
Prospect watch: None I have not already spotted
Jared Anderson has my permission to apply for a new nickname “Real Big Baby” just does not do it for me when attached to a fearsome puncher such as Anderson. A stamped addressed letter will get you a list of suitable nicknames not yet sold (I mean allocated).
PS Pablo Cruz has already taken “The Lethal Mosquito”
Two controversial/strange breaks in the action:
We often hear fans complain about the "super" and "junior" weight classes, but in reality a number of those have been undeniable positives for the sport. One of the best examples of that is the consistently fantastic Super Featherweight division. Whilst the division is a "super" division, and not one of the original weight classes, it has been around since the 1920's and is a division that has had so many amazing champions over the years and given us so many great fights that we really need to give the powers that be credit for creating the division.
As may have guessed, today's closet classic looks at one of those great Super Featherweight bouts, as we head back to 1997 for a gem from Korea.
Yong Soo Choi (22-2, 13) vs Koji Matsumoto (24-4-1, 13)
In one corner was a Closet Classic regular, Yong Soo Choi. The teak tough Korean was in so many amazing fights through his career that we do a mini series on just great fights, and it's longer than some careers! Despite the dodgy mullet the Korean was tough, exciting, set a high work rate and made up some technicaly limitations by simply being so damn strong and rugged. His wars with Lakva Sim and Takanori Hatakeyama are certainly proof of how entertaining he is and we get more proof. Enterting the bout Choi had made 4 defenses of the WBA Super Featherweight title, and whilst he had looked impressive as a warrior he had shown technical flaws through out his bouts. This time around he was up against someone who wasn't going to fight his fight with him, like Sim and Yamato Mitani had, but instead was going to use technical skills to try and neutralise him, and out score him.
Southpaw challenger Koji Matsumoto, who is now a trainer at the Ohashi Gym, had come up short in a previous world bout against Korean Young Kyun Park. Against Park a 22 year old Matsumoto had been out classed and then stopped in 11 rounds. He had been gutsy but the fight come far too early in his career. Following that loss he had rebuilt, winning 10 of his subsequent 11 bouts, and scored 9 T/KO's. Now he was in his mid 20's, he was a man, and he had proven himself as an excellent regional level fighter with an OPBF title win. This time he was ready for a world title shot and was fighting a less skills fighter, albeit a champion with an iron jaw, irresistible work rate and incredible will to win.
Unlike some of Choi's other great bouts this wasn't an all out battle of wills from the off. Instead it was an exciting and compelling chess match.
Early on Matsumoto boxed on the move, using his feet well and looking to lure Choi in for counters. Choi, being Choi, kept walking forward, clearly under the belief that if Young Kyun Park could break down Matsumoto so could he. This wasn't the same inexperienced Matsumoto who had lost to Park, and instead of being out worked and out muscled Matusmoto landed some gorgeous combinations, clinched when he needed to and smartly circled to prevent Choi from setting his feet. It was a smart gameplan but one that clearly needed a lot of energy and focus from the challenger.
Although Matsumoto used his feet he never ran from Choi, instead circling closely, stopping Choi from letting loose, whilst getting his own quick combinations off in eye catching fashion. It was a brilliant gameplan from the Yonekura gym for their man.
Of course Choi was never one to give up and given his will to win was incredible. Despite being in a hole early to the boxing skills of the challenger Choi began to claw back the bout in the middle rounds. His power shots and physical strength playing a key role in dragging Matsumoto into his fight. This was where the bout went from chess match to war and where Choi began to shine, landing some huge bombs on the challenger, who took them and fired back. The clever combinations and movement from Matsumoto were fading, as he tried to smother Choi, and take his power away that way.
At times this was messy, at times this ugly, but it always compelling, with some amazing back and forth action, it was always intense and it always felt like Matsumoto's chin would fail him under the growing pressure of Choi's attack.
Whilst it's not the best Choi bout it is still a great fight and one of the many forgetten gems from the history of the Super Featherweight division.
By Eric Armit
I am starting to get twitchy about the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight. It appears that some factors have been agreed but others remain to be resolved and that is leading to some doubt as to whether the outstanding issues are significant enough to derail the negotiations. We are told that all that is outstanding is where and when and let’s hope that is so. I still have a hangover from when the first negotiations for Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao collapsed and we did not to see them fight at what would have been the optimum time and some of the shine had gone off the fight by the time it did happen. This is too big a fight and worth too much to those with a piece of it so I am hoping we hear soon with a date and venue.
It seems spring madness is in the air. Evander Holyfield has accepted a fight with Mike Tyson (we think), Oscar De La Hoya is returning having just passed his 48th birthday and not having fought for twelve years when he lost to Manny Pacquiao and weighed 145lbs. Roy Jones wants to fight De La Hoya although Jones is 52 and weighed 199lbs in his last professional fight. I guess there is more chance of De La Hoya now making 199lbs than Jones getting down to 145lbs but to be honest I could not care less. The same goes for the third fight between Tyson and Holyfield. Tyson is 54 and last fought in 2005 and Holyfield is 58 and last fought in 2011. If that turns you on then good luck to you but to me it would be like watching Usain Bolt and current World 100 meters champion Chris Coleman racing each other in 30 years using Zimmer frames. Miguel Cotto, 40, is going to face Juan Manuel Marquez, 47, in an exhibition and Marco Antonio Barrera is also getting in on the act and will fight an exhibition against Joes Soto Karass. Yet another show will feature Julio Cesar Chavez, 58, vs. Hector Camacho Jr and Julio Chavez Jr vs. UFC champion Anderson Silva. Equally as strange is Denis Berinchyk aiming to have a bare knuckles fight with their champion Artem Lobov. Normally interest in these types of exhibitions /cross discipline fights are a sign that boxing is ailing but I don’t think that is the case right now. Perhaps nostalgia is staging a comeback.
Vasyl Lomachenko will return in June probably against Japanese fighter Masayoshi Nakatani. Nakatani’s record is 19-1 with the loss coming on a wide unanimous decision in a fight against Teo Lopez in July 2019. He rebounded from that with a stoppage of Felix Verdejo last December and is No 5 lightweight with the WBO. First fight for Lomachenko since losing his IBF and WBA titles to Teo Lopez in October last year. Nakatani’s 5’11 ½” height might give Lomachenko problems but Loma has reached where he has by solving problems in the ring.
Tim Tszyu has obviously impressed his Russian antecedents as there is now a move to award him Russian citizenship. Is that interim, secondary or franchise citizenship? Someone must have Putin a good word for him.
Having said they were in no hurry to get Tszyu a title chance his backers have now indicated that they are willing to put up $10 million to get IBF/WBA/WBC champion Jermell Charlo or WBO champion Brain Castano to come to Australia to defend their titles.
Tony Yoka’s next fight could be a defence of his European Boxing Union title against Belgian Herve Hubeaux. Nothing confirmed but it would be a good match for Yoka as Hubeaux has a 32-3 record and has not lost inside the distance.
Still on heavyweights purse bids were due yesterday for an IBF final eliminator between No 4 Michael Hunter and No 5 Filip Hrgovic. No news yet but the winner will be eligible to move into the vacant No 1 spot leaping over No 2 Charles Martin and No 3 Oleksandr Usyk and being in the queue for a shot at the winner of Joshua vs. Fury.
Looks like Nordine Oubaali will return on 29 May defending his WBC bantamweight title against Nonito Donaire which will be Oubaali’s biggest name opponent so far.
Once again the WBA have presented me with a difficult problem. I have to decide which of two blatant manipulations of their heavyweight ratings is the most disgraceful. Could anything be worse than the slipping of Bermane Stiverne into the ratings for Don King so that Trevor Bryan could win their secondary title? I will leave you to judge. Take the case of Chris Arreola. He fights Andy Ruiz on 1 May and is No 8 in the WBA ratings right now. They slipped Arreola into their rating at No 8 on 30 June last year. I looked back to April 2015 without finding Arreola anywhere in their ratings prior to that sudden entry in June 2020. This sudden elevation in June 2020 comes despite his last fight had been in August 2019 when he lost to Adam Kownacki and there having effectively been no boxing in the USA between March 14 and 9 June when Top Rank invented the “bubble! The WBA even previewed their manipulation by saying with the ratings issued on 31 May 2020 that “Due to the Coronavirus boxing like all other sport has been forced to stop. All boxers will maintain their ranking until we resume normal activities”. So in June the WBA resumed normal activities by slipping an inactive Chris Arreola into their ratings at No 7!
Don’t make your mind up yet until you see what has happened to Bogdan Dinu. Not exactly a household name but No 2 in the WBA heavyweight ratings above Luis Ortiz, Deontay Wilder and other bigger and better names. I have to say in advance that my vote for the most blatant manipulation goes to Dinu. On 3 October 2020 he beat Frank Bluemle a guy with a 16-8-2 record ranked No 502 by BoxRec who was 2-6 before fighting Dinu with all six losses coming inside the distance and five of them inside three rounds. Naturally that did not earn him a place in the ratings issued by the WBA on 30 October-but did “earn” him a place at No 9 in the 30 November ratings. Without fighting he climbed to No 3 in the WBA ratings 29 of January and is now No 2. Don’t be surprised if you start hear talk of Dinu challenging Trevor Bryan for the WBA secondary title.
The IBF are not immune to strange happening in their ratings. On Saturday Jerwin Ancajas will defend the IBF super flyweight-or junior bantamweight as they call it-against Jonathan Javier Rodriguez. With the No 1 and 2 slots vacant he is the highest ranked fighter at No 3but can’t be No 1 or 2 because he has not beaten a rated fighter. Sounds sensible but that does not explain how Rodriguez has gone from No 15 to the No 3 –without fighting anyone! His two most recent fights were in June 2019 and December 2020 both against unrated fighters. In the IBF ratings for 2 December 2019 he was No 15. By the 2 February 2020 he was No 10 and in March 2020 he was No 3. How do you get from No 15 to No 3 without having a fight? Don’t ask me-ask the IBF.
Why do I bother? Well to quote Simon Wiesenthal “for evil to flourish it only requires good men to do nothing” and since in my old mum’s unbiased opinion I was a good boy I am obliged to do something to draw attention to how disgracefully those who are in positions of power in our sport are acting and don’t forget every time a rating gets manipulated some other fighters get screwed.
Just two more rants as I would not want to leave the WBC out of things. The Franchise Champion is one of the most ridiculous pieces of tinkering for a long time. The one thing I used to think that the sanctioning bodies brought to boxing was the mandatory challenger. When Ring Magazine was the authority on titles there was an unshakable principal that other than for retirement the only way a fighter could lose his title was in the ring. Now that meant that a champion could pick and choose who he fought or did not fight and a lot of good fighters found themselves frozen out with no recourse to any authority or any pressure on the champion. By rating someone No 1 the sanctioning bodies seemed to have righted that wrong and for years being No 1 meant you were the mandatory challenger and there were clauses in the rules of the sanctioning bodies enshrining that right. Forget it being No 1 now does not mean you are the mandatory challenger-ask Dillian Whyte-or Srisaket if you don’t believe me as they both found that being No 1 did not give them any right to a shot at the title. Now we have a Franchise champion and in Mauricio Sulaiman’s own words “A franchise boxer enjoys special status with respect to his or her mandatory obligations……….”
Being No 1 in a division that has a Franchise champion means you have no idea of your status or rights with regard to a title shot. A Franchise champion does nothing for boxing at all it does not bring one more dollar on a gate or on a boxers purse or clear the way to a big fight all it adds is one more piece of confusion to an already ridiculously obfuscated sport and even now the rules on a Franchise champion losing or winning the Franchise designation in the ring are being “updated”. As far as I can see the only thing it has brought the WBC is criticism and ridicule.
To finish my rant I feel that the WBC made an error in naming their new weight division after a young boy. No matter how brave-and the 6-year-old James Bridger was a hero tackling a dog about to attack his sister and suffering numerous bites in doing so-but the new division has a name that reflects one heroic act in Britain, My worry is that once the WBA, WBO and IBF decided to adopt the same weight division they are unlikely to dedicate it to young James. The sanctioning bodies already can’t agree on calling their divisions super (WBA, WBC, WBO) or junior (IBF) so I can see us ending up with four different names for the same division. If the new division was to have been personalised with a name then something with a more worldwide significance and an outstanding legacy such as Mandeladivision would have been better. Good luck to you James I hope you have a happy and prosperous life.
By Eric Armit
-Jamel Herring stops Carl Frampton in a WBO super feather title defence and Frampton announces his retirement
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev retains the IBF and WBA super bantamweight title with hasty stoppage of Ryosuke Iwasa
-Four-division champion Donnie Nietes returns to action after more than two years with decision over Pablo Carrillo
-Tim Tszyu stakes a claim to a shot at the WBO super welter title with stoppage of Dennis Hogan
World Title/Major Shows
Dubai, UAE. Super Feather: Jamel Herring (23-2) W TKO 6 Carl Frampton (28-3). Super Fly: Donnie Nietes (43-1-5) W PTS 10 Pablo Carrillo (25-8-1). Super Welter: Tursynbay Kulakhmet (3-0) W KO 1 Heber Rondon (20-1). Light: Keyshawn Davis W RTD 4 Richman Ashelley (10-2).
Herring vs. Frampton
In a WBO title defence Herring floors Frampton twice and stops him bringing Frampton’s great career to an end.
With the big edges in height and reach (Herring 5’10”-Frampton 5’5” and Herring with an 8” longer reach) Herring was able to keep Frampton out with his southpaw jabs and score with straight lefts. Herring went low and the referee warned him to keep his pinches up. When Frampton did get inside Herring smothered Frampton’s work and was cautioned for holding but it was clearly Herring’s round
Score: 10-9 Herring
Herring was taking centre ring with Frampton circling looking for an opening. Herring kept slotting jabs through Frampton’s guard and regularly connecting with lefts to the body and head one of which saw Frampton buckle at the knees. Frampton had some success with a couple of rights but was told to be careful with his head inside.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 20-18
A confident Herring was on the front foot and scoring with jabs and throwing and connecting with more lefts than in the previous two rounds. When Frampton did dart forward Herring was cleverly turning him away. Frampton ended the round with a body punch and a strong jab but had been outscored.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 30-27
Much better round from Frampton. He got past Herring’s jab and worked inside with hooks to head and body. He managed to stay inside forcing Herring back and landing body punches. A clash of heads saw Herring cut over his right eye. Herring banged back late in the round to make it close but it was Frampton’s round.
Score: 10-9 Frampton Herring 39-37
Frampton was again able to get inside and stay there working to the body. Herring was trying to create some space but Frampton was staying in the pocket and coming forward when Herring connected with a perfect straight left a solid shot that put Frampton down. He was up at four and after the count Frampton tried to get inside but Herring fed him some stiff counters.
Score: 10-8 Herring Herring 49-45
Frampton was trying to find a way inside when Herring nailed him with a left hook and again Frampton went down heavily. Frampton was up at eight and Herring pounded him with punches sending Frampton staggering back with two left uppercuts and two straight lefts and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
Third successful title defence for 35-year-old Herring and the highest profile fight he has been in so far. It looked as though the former Olympian was going to come up short in the pros after losses to Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller but a move down to super feather some confidence building wins and excellent support have seen him flourish. The tasty possibility is a match against his No 1 challenger Shakur Stevenson. Frampton, 34, a two-division champion, has had a great career and has made the right decision to step away now.
Nietes vs. Carrillo
In his first fight for over two years Nietes scores a points win over Carrillo in a fight which whilst interesting never really caught fire. After a cautious feeling out first round where Nietes out jabbed Carrillo Nietes settled into a rhythm of some probing jabs and long rights keeping Carrillo on the back foot and easily blocking or stepping away from Carrillo’s punches. Carrillo did better in the third connecting with some rights but was only fighting in little spurts. Nietes was ducking under Carrillo’s punches in the fourth and scoring with right counters. He was caught by a left hook in the fifth but continued to outbox Carrillo. Basically Nietes stuck with what was working for him in the shape of fast jabs followed by straight rights with an occasional hook and he bobbed and weaved around Carrillo’s shots. Nietes went onto the back foot from the seventh slotting jabs through Carrillo’s guard and countersuing with rights. Carrillo tried to up his pace but Nietes was controlling the tempo of the fight. Carrillo finished the ninth strongly scoring with left hooks including one after the bell as they stood and traded punches in the first real extended period of action. The last was the best round as they both let their punches flow with Nietes getting the better of the exchanges. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 96-95 for Nietes so quite a spread. It was not an exciting fight more an example of craftsmanship from Nietes honed over his 49 fight career. A four-division champion with a record of 17-0-2 in world title fights and just one disputed split decision loss and that against an Indonesian in Indonesia who came in 6lbs over the contract weight. I am a fan of “Ahas”. He has a remarkable record but now without a title and at the age of 38 I fear the chance of landing or winning a legacy fight is probably beyond him now. Carrillo worked hard in every round but just did not have the tactical skills to really threaten Nietes.
Kulakhmet vs. Rondon
Southpaw Kulakhmet obliterates Rondon inside a round. Some ferocious punching on display. Kulakhmet floored Rondon with three head punches. Rondon made it to his feet and then tried to fight Kulakhmet off but was hit by a blistering right hook that spun him around and dropped him face down on the floor out cold. All over in 72 seconds. Kulakhmet was defending the WBC International title which he won in his second pro fight. Then 27-year-old Kazak was a bronze medal winner at the 2019 World Championships and a gold medallist at the Asian Championships. Venezuelan Rondon, also a southpaw, has the same padding on his record as other Venezuelans with 19 of 20 guys he has beaten having “amassed” a total of 3 wins between them.
Davis vs. Ashelley
Davis gets some ring time but very little else out of this fight. Ashelley spent much of the time in each round with his back to the ropes hiding behind a high guard. Now and then he would prod out a jab or launch a wild swipe. It was target practice for Davis as he tried to open Ashelley out without too much success. In the fourth Davis went looking for a stoppage and landed heavily to the body and sent Ashelley stumbling into the ropes with a right. He was getting through with head and body punches and Ashelley decided not to come out for the fifth. Not much chance for the 22-year-old blue chip prospect to shine. Ghanaian Ashelley not anywhere near the class of Davis.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Super Bantam: Murodjon Akhmadaliev (9-0) W TKO 5 Ryosuke Iwasa (27-4). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (7-0) W PTS 10 Emmany Kalombo (14-1). Super Light: Shakhram Giyasov (11-0) W KO 3 Patricio Lopez (28-5). Light Fly: Hasanboy Dusmatov (3-0) W TKO 2 Mushin Kizota (11-3). Heavy: Bakhodir Jalolov (8-0) W TKO 2 Kristaps Zulis (7-2-2,1ND).
Akhmadaliev vs. Iwasa
Akhmadaliev successfully defends the IBF and WBA titles with a debatable stoppage of Iwasa
Iwasa was spearing Akhmadaliev with right jabs and throwing straight lefts with Akhmadaliev advancing behind a high guard bobbing and weaving getting past Iwasa’s jab to score inside. A close round but Iwasa’s.
Score: 10-9 Iwasa
Akhmadaliev really came to life in the second march inside behind his jab and scoring with hooks to head and body. He hounded Iwasa around the ring with Iwasa raking the oncoming Akhmadaliev with punches but Akhmadaliev was relentless and was scoring with short chopping shots in close.
Score: 10-9 Akhmadaliev TIED 19-19
Three minutes of action in this one. Akhmadaliev continued to put Iwasa under pressure. He was jabbing strongly to get close and then scoring with series of clubbing shots. Iwasa was firing back with jabs and straight lefts but Akhmadaliev was blocking many and doing most of the scoring.
Score: 10-9 Akhmadaliev Akhmadaliev 29-28
Iwasa managed to make some space to work with using accurate jabs and he was getting through with left crosses. Akhmadaliev kept rolling forward behind his jab and putting together some snappy combinations doing just enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Akhmadaliev Akhmadaliev 39-37
A fierce attack from Akhmadaliev had him bombarding Iwasa with hooks and uppercuts for thirty seconds. That initial fire seemed to fade and Iwasa got back into the fight with some accurate jabbing and countering. Akhmadaliev exploded again driving Iwasa across the ring to the ropes but Iwasa had been firing back did not look to be in any serious trouble so it was a surprise when the referee came in and stopped the fight.
With Iwasa not having been down and having already shown he could weather Akhmadaliev’s storms and come back the stoppage looked very premature and Iwasa laughed in disbelief when he realised the fight had been stopped. Akhmadaliev was making the first defence of the titles he had won with a split decision over Daniel Roman in January 2020. Not sure where he goes from here. The WBA have four title holders in the division (Super, Secondary, Gold and Interim) and the other champions are Stephen Fulton for the WBO and Luis Nery for the WBC. Former IBF champion Iwasa went into this one as their interim champion a title he won with an eleventh round stoppage of Marlon Tapales in his last fight in December 2019. This was a controversial stoppage but I can’t see him getting a return so he will have to fight his way back into the picture.
Madrimov vs. Kalombo
Madrimov outpoints a competitive Kalombo. In a slow opening round Madrimov shadowed Kalombo not forcing the fight as much as expected with the Congolese fighter showing good movement and a sharp jab. Madrimov switched guards to southpaw and upped his work rate in the second and third putting the rangy Kalombo under pressure and scoring with lefts to the body but Kalombo was scoring with body punches of his own and posing some problems for Madrimov who was bleeding heavily from the nose by the fifth. Madrimov was going to the body in the sixth with Kalombo outpunched but still making Madrimov work hard and after being under fire for much of the seventh Kalombo fired back to have Madrimov on the retreat. Madrimov was looking tired in the eighth but as they swopped punches a left hook sent Kalombo reeling across the ring and down into the ropes which stopped him falling and he was up and given a count with the bell going seconds after the count was completed. They traded punches through the ninth and tenth with Madrimov getting the better of the exchanges but Kalombo landing his share. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-92 for Madrimov. A tougher night than the Uzbek “The Dream” was expecting and he seemed slow and crude at times but his aggression and strength saw him through. He is somehow No 1 super welter with the WBA but he will have to perform a good few levels higher than he did here if he is to win a title. South African-based Kalombo, who had won all of his fights inside the distance, was facing a fighter who constituted a huge step up in quality of opposition but despite the scores was never outclassed and looked very useful.
Giyasov vs. Lopez
Uzbek “Wonder Boy” Giyasov outclasses Mexican Lopes and halts him in three rounds. Giyasov was chasing Lopez down in the first looking for an early finish. In the second Giyasov sent Lopez to the canvas with a body punch but it came late so Lopez made it out of the round. Giyasov ended it in the third with a left hook to the body that sent Lopez face down on the canvas and he was counted out. Giyasov retains the WBA International title with his eighth inside the distance finish in his last nine fights. Giyasov picked up a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2017 World Championships. He is No 6 with the WBA and like most rated super lights will be hoping to be in the mix for a title fight once Josh Taylor or Jose Ramirez unifies the titles. Lopez was in reasonable form with six wins in his last seven fights with the loss coming against Denys Berinchyk on points over twelve rounds in October 2019.
Dusmatov vs. Kizota
Uzbek Dusmatov streets ahead of poor Kizota. The young Tanzanian was in with so little chance that even outclassed does not start to describe it. The bell had only just faded when Dusmatov floored Kizota with a left. Kizota get through the first round but Dusmatov wrapped things up in the second putting Kizota down twice more with lefts forcing the stoppage. The 27-year-old southpaw won gold at the Rio Olympics and silver at the 2017 World Championships. He wins the vacant WBA International title and is ready for world rated light flyweights now. Kizota, 21, last a split decision to South African Siphamandla for the WBO Global title in December 2019 but was never in with a chance of going the distance here.
Jalolov vs. Zulis
“Big Uzbek” Jalolov makes it eight quick wins in eight fights as he stops Latvian Zulis. The 6’7” southpaw tried to get Zulia out of there in the first round but Zulis made it to the bell. In the second Jalolov landed a heavy left that sent Zulis into a corner and the Latvian slumped to the floor under a couple of head shots. He arose but when the action resumed he was again forced into a corner and as he went down the referee waived the end of the fight. First fight in his homeland for Jalolov who turned pro in the USA. Eight wins in less than fifteen rounds for the former World and Asian Championships gold medallist. He will now focus on the Tokyo Olympics. The No Decision on the Latvian’s record came when both he and his opponent were disqualified for “unprofessional behaviour”. Probably means neither of them had a tattoo).
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (18-0) W TKO 5 Dennis Hogan (28-3-1). Super Welter: Wade Ryan (18-9) W TKO 10 Koen Mazoudier (8-2). Super Middle: Cesar Tapia (13-0) W TKO 4 Renold Quinlan (12-8). Super Feather: Paul Fleming (27-0-1) W TKO 7 Tyson Lantry (8-4).Super Middle: Sakio Bika (35-7-3) W PTS 8 Sam Soliman (46-14-1,2ND).
Tszyu vs. Hogan
Tszyu retains the WBO Global title and establishes his right to a shot at the real WBO title as he crushed Hogan in five rounds.
Tszyu immediately took charge. He was coming forward shadowing the retreating Hogan. He cut the ring off well and twice pinned Hogan against the ropes and landed with short bursts of punches. Hogan lunged forward on a few occasions but was slow and crude. Tszyu opened up on Hogan at the start of the second connecting with strong right hands. After that the action became messy as Hogan continually dived inside successfully smothering Tszyu’s work but getting warned for holding. As they tussled inside Tszyu suffered a small cut over his left eye. In the third a left hook to the body had Hogan backing off and Tszyu upped the pressure forcing Hogan around the ring scoring with rights to the head and lefts to the body one of which had Hogan significantly wincing in pain. Hogan tried to bull his way inside in the fourth but Tszyu pushed him away and again connected with a left hook to the body and rights to the head. Hogan was warned for holding and at the bell he dipped at the knees from yet another left to the ribs. Early in the fifth a booming left hook to the head spun Hogan down and sent him to the canvas on his hands and knees. He arose at eight and moved and held as well as trying some counters. Tszyu was a little wild but finally trapped Hogan on the ropes and was bombarding him with punches when the towel came in from Hogan’s corner. Impressive showing from 26-year-old Tszyu considering that Hogan had only lost on a majority decision against Jaime Munguia for the WBO super welter title in April 2019. Tszyu now has to wait to see whether the WBO will order title holder Brian Castano to defend against him or whether a unification match between Castano and Jermell Charlo who holds the IBF, WBA and WBC titles will get approved but the Tszyu Team have indicated they are not in a hurry. Hogan had been stopped in seven rounds by Charlo in December but there are still good fights out there for him once he recovers from almost biting his tongue in half where the left hook from Tszyu put him down.
Ryan vs. Mazoudier
Local southpaw Ryan stops fellow-Australian Mazoudier late to retain the IBO International and WBA Oceania title. The younger Mazoudier made a fast start but Ryan was boxing intelligently and the rounds close in a good competitive fight. Mazoudier upped his pace in the sixth but Ryan landed some heavy punches in the seventh and eighth to establish a clear lead and Mazoudier did well to stay on his feet. A fading Mazoudier tried to walk through Ryan’s punches at the start of the tenth but was rocked by a series of head shots and the referee stopped the fight. Australian champion Ryan, 31, was ahead 87-84 on the three cards at the end and gets his sixth inside the distance win. Mazoudier just did not have enough fights behind him to beat am tough pro such as Ryan but at 25he will recover from this.
Tapia vs. Quinlan
Tapia scores second win over Quinlan. This one was entertaining whilst it lasted as Quinlan tried to match Tapia punch for punch. It did not work and he was shaken a couple of times as Tapia took the first three rounds. Quinlan was still trying to come forward in the fourth but as he fired a left hook Tapia came over the top of it with a booming right that sent Quinlan down heavily. He made it to his feet but Tapia drove him to a corner and raked him with punches until the referee stepped I and stopped the fight. El Tijanero” Tapia, 22, was born in Mexico but moved to Australia. He won a number of titles as an amateur before turning pro there and is the current Australian champion a title he won by outpointing Quinlan in 2019. Quinlan was stopped in ten rounds by Chris Eubank Jr in a challenge for the IBO title in 2017 and has now lost six in a row.
Fleming vs. Lantry
Southpaw Fleming gets win No 18 by KO/TKO despite fighting for three rounds with an injured hand. Fleming set a frantic pace pumping out punches with Lantry struggling to stay in the fight. In the fifth Fleming winced as he landed a left and from there only used the hand sparingly. He boxed his way through the sixth but landed enough rights to have Lantry drained of any resistance and in the seventh Lantry’s corner threw the towel in. Now 32 Fleming won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and represented Australia at the 2008 Olympics but as a pro after twelve years apart from staying unbeaten he has gone nowhere and it is difficult to see where he is going with his career. Lantry was coming off an upset points win over former WBO interim title challenger Luke Jackson.
Bika vs. Soliman
Bika wins clash of Golden Oldies as he comfortably outpoints Soliman. Bika outlanded the tricky Soliman over the first two rounds. Soliman did better at the start of the third connecting with a good right but Bika opened up at the end of the round and Soliman was in a spot bother before the bell. A clash of heads in the fifth saw both fighters cut but with Bika’s cut the more severe. Soliman edged the sixth but as Solomon tired Bika dominated the seventh landing body punches and uppercuts and Soliman only just made it to the final bell, Scores 80-73, 79-73and 78-74 for Bika. Former WBC super middle title holder Bika, now 41, was fighting for the first time since October 2017. Soliman, 37, former holder of the IBF middleweight title, had been a little more active having two fights in 2018 and winning the vacant World Boxing Federation middleweight title in April 2019.
Krasnodar, Russia: Super Light: Yauheni Dauhaliavets (5-0) W PTS 10 Fedor Papazov (22-4). Heavy: Arslan Iallyev (12-0) W RTD 7 Victor Ramirez (27-4-1,1ND).Middle: Albert Khamkhoev (5-0) W PTS 10 Alexander Elizarov (8-1). Cruiser: Ruslan Fayfer (26-3) W KO 1 Igor Vilchitsky (4-3).
Dauhaliavets vs. Papazov
Dauhaliavets holds off a late surge from Papazov to win a narrow unanimous decision. Dauhaliavets was busier over the early rounds using his longer reach forcing Papazov on to the back foot and attacking strongly but Papazov was boxing well and countering accurately. Dauhaliavets had a strong fourth finding plenty of gaps in Papazov’s defence and had a good lead after five. Papazov began to eat into the lead over the second half of the fight resulting in some exciting exchanges but then he faded over the closing two rounds and just came up short. Scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 for Dauhaliavets. The 29-year-old Belarusian is now the owner of the WBA Inter-Continental title in his fifth pro fight. Much was made of his lack of experience but that is due to how some names are transcribed and under his alternative first name spelling of Evgeny he was an Elite level amateur with loads of experience. He was winning International Youth titles back in 2007, was Belarus champion three times and competed at the European and World Championships turning pro last year after failing to get through the European Qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics so no novice. A split decision loss to Aik Shakhnazaryan in December 2018 was a setback for Papazov but he had regained ground with a stoppage of Michal Chudecki in December 2019. By coincidence Papazov also has a “hidden” list of amateur achievements. He has Greek antecedents and in 2006 under the name of Theodoros Papazov he won a silver medal at the European Union Championships and represented Greece at the World Championships and Olympic Qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics.
Iallyev vs. Ramirez
Iallyev (or Yalyev) beats Ramirez in seven rounds to win the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title. This fight did not look promising even before the first punch was thrown pitting the 6’5” Iallyev against the 5’11” Ramirez who having once been a cruiserweight title holder came into this fight weighing 237lbs. Ramirez tactics were to roll forward throwing punches which made him a good target for the jabs and uppercuts from Iallyev. It seemed Ramirez had to fall but he has only been beaten inside the distance once and he kept coming often forcing the bigger man to the ropes. There were some signs of worry in Iallyev’s corner but by the seventh Ramirez had nothing left. He took some serious punishment in the round and then retired. It was 24-year-old Iallyev’s first ten round fight. He was a world title holder in both K1 and Muay Thai before changing over to boxing and is being guided by former WBC cruiserweight title holder Grigory Drzod. Ramirez, 37, a former WBO and IBF title holder, moved up to heavyweight after losing to Denis Lebedev in a unification match in 2016 and although scoring five wins his weight had ballooned as high as 282lbs.
Khamkhoev vs. Elizarov
Khamkhoev survives a knockdown to outpoint Elizarov for the vacant Russian title. Both were going ten rounds for the first time. Elizarov took the initiative and was going well in the early action. He was using his edges in height and reach to score at distance. He opened a bad cut under the right eye of Khamkhoev and floored him in the fourth. That sounded a wakeup call for Khamkhoev and he took control of the fight with Elizarov under constant pressure and letting his lead slip away with southpaw Khamkhoev taking the unanimous decision.
Fayfer vs. Vilchitsky
Fayer finishes Vilchitsky in the first. A shot to the body sent the overmatched Vilchitsky to the floor and he was unable to get up before the ten was tolled. Fayer won his first 23 fights before losing to Andrew Tabiti in 2018 in the second WBSS cruiserweight tournament and then suffered inside the distance defeats against Aleksei Papin and Ali Ismailov in 2020. Third consecutive KO/TKO loss for Vilchitsky.
Los Mochis, Mexico: Feather: Alan Solis (13-0-1) W PTS 10 Jonathan Aguilar (19-8). Welter: Mauricio Pintor (24-3-1) W PTS 8 Kendo Castaneda (17-4,1ND).
Solis vs. Aguilar
Solis wins his first pro title as he decisions late replacement Aguilar. Solis was in control for most of the fight with a sharp accurate jab and some flashing combinations with Aguilar getting through enough to be competitive without ever endangering the dominance of Solis. Aguilar staged a late rally but it blew itself out and Solis was a good winner. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for 22-year-old Solis as he wins the vacant WBO Latino belt. Aguilar substituted for Brazilian Antonio Soares who reportedly fell foul of the Mexican COVID-19 restrictions. Aguilar’s last five losses have all been against unbeaten fighters
Pintor vs. Castaneda
Pintor squeaks past Castaneda on a very tight unanimous decision. There really was never much between these two in a give-and–take clash which saw both rocked at times. The deciding factor was Castaneda’s stupidity in landing punches to the back/kidneys of Pintor in the clinches. A points deduction for that in the second round was in the end what separated them. Scores 76-75 twice and 77-74 for Pintor. The nephew of the great Lupe Pintor has had a stuttering career being inactive in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2020. Texan Castaneda has now suffered defeat four times in a row against very useful opposition.
Moscow, Russia: Cruiser: Aleksei Papin (13-1) W TKO 1 Vaclav Pejsar (15-11,1ND). Super Light: Valery Oganisyan (5-0) W PTS 10 Eduard Troyanovsky (29-3). Cruiser: Kureysh Sagov (5-1) W PTS 10 Khetag Mouraov (5-1). Light: Alexander Devyatov (10-0) W RTD 2 Yoni Blanco (12-2
Papin vs. Pejsar
Papin annihilates Pejsar. After forcing Pejsar back with his jab Papin was driving Pejsar along the ropes landing rights one of which dropped Pejsar to the canvas flat on his back with arms out stretched. He manages to struggle to his feet but was on shaky legs. The fight should have been over then but the referee decided Pejsar was able to continue and Papin connected with another right to the head that sent Pejsar down and the fight was waived over. The only loss suffered by the 33-year-old Russian was a majority decision against current WBC title holder Ilunga Makabu for the WBC Silver title in August 2019. He is No 2 with the WBC so could get a title shot later this year. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for former Czech heavy and cruiser champion Pejsar who lost to big puncher Dmitry Kudryashov on a split decision in December 2019.
Oganisyan vs. Troyanovsky
Russian champion Oganisyan takes wide unanimous decision over Troyanovsky. The first two rounds saw both competing hard to gain ascendancy and they were both close rounds with Oganisyan just having the better Oladosu of the exchanges. Troyanovsky did much better taking the third. Oganisyan pressed the fight harder in the fourth scoring well to the body and with Troyanovsky bleeding heavily from a broken nose it looked as though Oganisyan was on his way to a stoppage victory. Oganisyan edged the fifth but then slowed letting Troyanovsky into the fight and Troyanovsky took the sixth and made the seventh close. Oganisyan was fired up again and after winning the eighth he rocked Troyanovsky with a right in the ninth and boxed conservatively in the last. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for Oganisyan. Huge win for the 25-year-old Oganisyan who had less than 22 rounds as a pro under his belt and was relatively unknown. Now 40 former IBF and IBO champion Troyanovsky has not seemed the same fighter since losing his titles on a 40 seconds knockout by Julius Indongo in 2016. He has said he will think things over for a couple of months and then decide if he will continue or retire.
Devyatov vs. Blanco
Devyatov punches too hard for Venezuelan Blanco who retires after two one-sided rounds. Sixth inside the distance win in a row for Devyatov and his ninth in total with his ten wins talking him less than 23 rounds. Venezuelan Blanco’s record so typical of boxing in his country with ten of the men had beaten having never won a fight,
Sagov vs. Mouraov
Sagov outclasses fellow novice Mouraov to win the vacant Russian title. Sagov handed out a steady beating to Mouraov with the referee warning Mouraov’s corner as early as the sixth that he needed to see more effort from their boxer. Mouraov did not improve much but did enough to last the distance. Scores 99-91 twice and a difficult to understand 96-94 all for Sagov. Sagov’s loss came in the semi-finals of one of the Prizefighter-type nights. Mouraov’s five victims had only one win between the five of them so he needs a lot more experience.
Lagos, Nigeria: Welter: Rilliwan Ayodele Babatunde (13-0) W TKO 12 Salehe Mkalekwa (15-8). Super Feather: Rilwan Oladosu (15-0) W TKO 8 Emmanuel Quartey (23-3).
Babatunde vs. Mkalekwa
“Baby Face” Babatunde proves too strong for visitor Mkalekwa and scores late stoppage to win the vacant WBFederation International title. It only took a couple of rounds for Mkalekwa to go into survival mode. Mkalekwa down in the fourth but then Mkalekwa hung around for a while before coming apart. He was floored in the tenth and eleventh and after a mixture of knockdowns and standing counts in the twelfth the referee stopped the fight just two seconds before the final bell. Eighth inside the distance win for the 24-year-old Nigerian the current West African champion. Tanzanian Mkalekwa showed resilience but little else. All of his losses have come on his travels outside Tanzania.
Oladosu vs. Quartey
Oladosu beats Quartey to win the WBFederation Inter-Continental title which had been vacant. Oladosu had everything going for him height, reach, hand speed and flashy movement. Quartey struggled to be competitive but for much of the fight Oladosu was almost playing with the Ghanaian at and eventually after throwing a right in the eighth Quartey stopped fighting indicating he had injured his shoulder. Oladosu looked impressive but has yet to face a serious test. Quartey’s record looked good but typical of some Ghanaian records it was heavily padded with only seven wins scored by his first 13 opponents before he lost twice inside the distance and since those losses he has again been very carefully matched. “Real One” Oladosu won the Best Boxer trophy and $2,600 cash.
Perez, Argentina: Kevin Munoz (12-0) W TKO 4 Matias Monserrat (8-7-2).
Munoz vs. Monserrat
Munoz savages Monserrat in four rounds. After landing heavily in the first Munoz forced Monserrat to the ropes in the second and sent him down under a hail of punches. Monserrat made it through the round but went down under more punches in the third and looked as though he had had enough. He came out for the fourth only to be badly rocked by a right. The referee gave Monserrat a standing count but when he was knocked down again the referee stopped the fight. “Diamond” Munoz, 22, makes a second successful defence of the South American title with his fifth win by KO/TKO. Not the birthday present Monserrat was hoping for with his sixth loss in his last seven fights.
Montpellier, France: Welter: Mohamed Kani (18-2) W PTS 10 Jose Gomez (19-2).
Kani retains the French title with very narrow unanimous decision over Gomez. This was a tight, close fight all which could have gone either way. It was the better technical skills of southpaw Kani against the strength and aggression of Gomez. Scores 95-94 twice and 97-92 for Kani who promoted the show. Second title defence for Kani and second time Gomez had lost in fights for this title. The fight almost did not happen. Gomez selected from the new gloves provided for the fight but then Kani came in the ring with a worn pair. Gomes refused to fight until Kani was also wearing new gloves.
Yvelines, France: Christ Esabe (9-0) W KO 7 Anthony Auffray (5-2-1). Super Bantam: Elie Konki (11-0) W PTS 8 Oleksandr Yegorov (20-5-1).
Esabe vs. Auffray
Local favourite Esabe scores three knockdowns and retains the French title. Esabe controlled this from the start with his speed and technical skills. In the sixth he floored Auffray with a body punch and later in the round with left hook with the bell rescuing Auffray. Not for long as a right to the body put Auffray down and he was unable to continue. The 20-year-old Esabe is a former French Youth and National champion. After losing his first fight Auffray was 5-0-1 before this title challenge.
Konki vs. Yegorov
Konki keeps his hand in as he outpoints Ukrainian Yegerov winning every round Scores 80-72 for “The Spider” on all three cards. The European Union champion is marking time waiting for a date for his title defence against Spanish champion Jacob Barreto. Yegerov’s best days are behind him. He was 20-1-1 until losing to Luca Rigoldi in a challenge for the European title and is now on a run of five consecutive defeats.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Heavy: Joey Dawejko (21-8-4) W TKO 1 Joe Jones (11-4).
Weight beat height here as Dawejko stops Jones in the first round. Dawejko scored two knockdowns to force the stoppage late in the opener. The 30-year-old Philadelphian needed a win after being matched against Bryant Jennings, Andrey Fedosov, Sergey Kuzmin and Frank Sanchez. Jones had lost his last two fights. Jones, who is 6-2” came in at 207 ¼ lbs and Dawejko who is 5’10” came in at 264lbs.
Fight of the week (Significance): I guess it is a tie here as the victories scored by both Jamel Herring and Murodjon Akhmadaliev opens the door to more title fights in their respective divisions
Fight of the week (Entertainment): A few fairly entertaining matches but nothing that stood out.
Fighter of the week: Tim Tszyu’s destruction of Dennis Hogan was an outstanding display
Punch of the week: The straight left from Jamel Herring that floored Carl Frampton in the fifth was a shining example of precision. The Tim Tszyu left hook that floored Dennis Hogan was a beauty and the right counter over Renold Quinlan’s lazy left by Carlos Tapia was perfectly timed but honour goes to the right hook from Tursynbay Kulakhmet that spun Heber Rondon on the spot and put him face down on the canvas out. That was spectacular.
Upset of the week: The nearest to an upset was Valery Oganisyan (4-0) outpointing former IBF champion Eduard Troyanovsky.
Prospect watch: Only 3-0 but Uzbek Hasanboy Dusmatov looks capable of making a big impression at light flyweight
All you need is a young exciting fighter with a family name as an addition factor. A crowd of 16,000 turned out to watch young Tim Tszyu beat Dennis Hogan.
A young man’s sport? Not when two former world title holders with combined ages of 88- Sakio Bika 41 and Sam Solomon 47-fought on Friday. It’s not true the inspector wanted to check their pension books as well as their licences.
Names, names names. Keeping track of Thai boxers is bad enough but the different spellings used for names for fighters from Eastern Europe can be confusing. Valery Oganisyan is sometimes spelt as Valery Hovhannisyan, Arslan Iallyev sometimes Arslan Yalyev but the one that threw me this week was Fedor Papazov. I like to trace their amateur performances so Papazov fought in the Russian championships in 2005 and then disappeared. Box Rec tells me he fought in the European Union Championships in 2006 and 2007 but Russians don’t fight in the European Championships and when I check those fights are for a Theodoros Papazov. Box Rec cleared it up for me turns out Fedor had Greek antecedents so he fought for Greece at those championships under the name of Theodoros-but my head is still spinning.
If all the fights on a show end with one or two round knockouts does that mean there is a risk for the husband getting home in time to catch his wife with her boyfriend? Must be a constant worry for wives in Venezuelan because the matching is rubbish there. This week we had Heber Rondon with 19 of 20 guys he has beaten having “amassed” a total of 3 wins between them and Yoni Blanco with ten of the twelve men he had beaten having never won a fight. Hello darling I’m home early!! I wonder what the divorce rate is for boxing fans in Venezuelan.
I thought they had got the names mixed up when I saw 5’10” Joey Dawejko weighing in at 264lbs and 6’2” Joe Jones 207lbs surely it should be the other way around!
It turns out that BoxRec have captured all of the results for that Irish invasion of Europe.
One thing we often forget about controversial bouts is that sometimes the final result is the right result, and although there is controversy in the action, and sometimes the original result, common sense can prevail. We've had a couple of cases in this series where a decision was reversed, with one bout being re-scored completely and one being turned into a No Contest after a relatively prolonged review process. Today we look at one which was reviewed, and turned into a No Contest, within minutes. It was the right call, but one that certainly was controversial to begin with, before the right decision was, finally, made.
Koki Eto (24-4-1, 19) vs Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5) I
In May 2019 Japan's Koki Eto and Puerto Rican Jeyvier Cintron met in a WBO International Super Flyweight title bout. The bout wasn't just for the international title but also a defacto world title eliminator for the winner of the then scheduled WBO world title fight between Kazuto Ioka and Aston Palicte.
Outside of Asia few fans will have been familiar with Koki Eto. We once dubbed him the Human Highlight Reel and during a stretch of his career he was among the most fan friendly fighters on the planet. His 2013 war with Kompayak Porpramook was a FOTY contender that saw him win the WBA "Interim" Flyweight title and the following year his war with Ardin Diale was arguably even better. He was clumsy, crude, but had guts, heart, power and impressive stamina.
Despite all the traits that made him fun to watch Eto also had a lot of flaws. They had been shown notably in his losses against Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep and against Carlos Cuadras. He had also continued to show them in his wins, including a 2016 bout with Jun Blazo, where he was dropped before bouncing back to stop the Filipino. He made for great fights, but didn't always fight as smartly as he should.
On the other hand Jeyvier Cintron was a potential star in the making. He was really well schooled, a second generation fighter and a 2-time Olympian. Style wise he was a lot less exciting than Eto, but technically he was on point and was a tall, rangy southpaw boxer who used his physical traits well. He was lacking in terms of power and aggression, and was instead a very talented boxer/boxer-mover with good speed and a good boxing brain. He had only turned professional in 2017 but had looked class and seemed on his way to the top.
On paper this was a step up for Cintron, but one where he was coming in as the clear favourite. This was his chance to prove himself, and boost his standing in the sport. Despite being a 2-time Olympian he wasn't getting the hype of some other Puerto Rican's yet was one of the most talented hopefuls the country had. Instead of being promoted hard he had been relatively well hidden on smaller, obscure cards. Soemthing that was a real shame.
The early moments of the fight saw Cintron using his speed and movement to get on the outside. Eto, doing what Eto does. He made mistakes that Cintron could counter and for the two minutes it seemed an interesting match up. Cintron the more polished boxer, against Eto, the crude but energetic slugger who would eat shots whilst trying to land one of his own.
With about 30 seconds of the opening round left Cintron hit the canvas, with what, from the camera angle, appeared to be an Eto right hand. Cintron would try to get to his feet, then stumble, into the corner, and continue stumbling around like he was drunk. This forced the referee to wave off the bout as Eto and his team began to celebrate.
It seemed like the Japanese fighter was going to get a world title fight, until a replay showed that the "shot" was actually a headclash. A very accidental headclash.
In the ring Eto was announced a TKO1 winner.
Then the officials went to a replay to review the finish. Soon afterwards the result was over-turned, as officials spotted the headclash on review, and deemed the result invalid.Unlike some reviews this didn't take long. In fact this was over-turned only minutes later, with the result becoming a No Contest. It was the right decision and proved that a review process doesn't need to take weeks. It was proof that replays in boxing could work for fight ending moments, and was a situation where the officials got it right.
Whilst the referee did "get it wrong" it was one where he wasn't actually to blame. It was an accidental foul by Eto and happened at such speed that the referee was never going to see it, and from where he was stood it looked like the right hand had landed clean. He made the right call in stopping the bout and he did what was best for the fighter, and the officials ringside did what was right for fairness.
Unlike most controversies this actually had no long term knock on and was very much a self contained controversy. The two would rematch in August, with Cintron winning and subsequently fighting Ioka for the WBO world title in December 2019.
It was unlikely the winner of this bout would have fought an interim bout prior to the Ioka clash, had their contest not ended in a No Contest, and this really wasn't a bout that cost either guy much in terms of their career. Sadly though the rematch lacked in terms of drama, excitement and talking points, making this a much more notable bout than their second clash.
One of the great things about following this fantastic sport is the ability to lost in brilliant fights. Fights that maybe you weren't aware, or hadn't seen before. Those fights were the entire reason for this weekly series and it's why we're back again today for what was a very under-rated and often forgotten classic from 2004. It features one of the top Flyweights of the 21st century and a man he described as the strongest fighter he ever faced. Together they gave us something really exciting and action packed.
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (49-2, 26) vs Trash Nakanuma (23-4, 10)
We suspect that Pongsaklek Wonjongkam needs little introduction. The Thai southpaw dominated the Flyweight scene for around a decade, had two lengthy reigns as the WBC Flyweight champion and scored a host of impressive wins. During his impressive career he scored wins against a genuine who's who including Malcolm Tunacao, Luis Alberto Lazarte, Daisuke Naito, Hidenobu Honda, Koki Kameda, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and Edgar Sosa. Early in his career he was a very solid hitting boxer-puncher but as time went on his power started to dissipate somewhat and unlike many fighters he relied more on his skills, experience and boxing ability. Right through his career however he was always strong, talented and a very good fighter who could box, brawl and punch.
Whilst many will be aware of who Wonjongkam was, and even his biggest wins, they may not be aware of Japan's Trash Nakanuma. The 28 year old was a teak tough, exciting war monger of a fighter. His two bouts with Takefumi Sakata were absolute wars and coming in to this bout he had been a former Japanese Flyweight champion. Coming in to this he had entered back to back losses, but both defeat had been close and he proven himself as a genuine handful. Technically there was limitations with his boxing, but he was a physically imposing fighter who was strong, tough, aggressive, and could box well enough to make his physical traits work well in his favour. Despite his limitations he certainly wasn't "trash", as some might suggest, but he was a damn good fringe contender from time period, and would have been a nightmare for anyone at the time.
From the off it seemed like Wonjongkam was going to have an easy defense. He was forcing Nakanuma back from the off and looked sharper, quicker and much better than the challenger. If anything Nakanuma looked really timid and almost as if the occasion had got to him and frozen him. Nakanuma began to show flashes of aggression in round 2, but was still looking like he was fighting well within himself and not letting his hands go anywhere near enough.
Thankfully as the bout went on and Nakanuma realised he could take the power of Wonjongkam, and then the touch paper was lit as the two began to fight on the inside throwing some bombs in round 3 as the action began to go through the gears. From here on we were getting something really great to watch. Nakanuma regularly applying pressure, Wonjongkam responding with volume and Nakanuma looking to counter.
Round after round the bout got more intense. It was never an all out war, but it wasn't far off and was hotly contested, exciting, with great back and forth. Nakanuma showed off how tough he was by regularly forcing Wonjongkam backwards and his will to win was growing by the round, but his lack of polish was clear with some of his shots missing by some distance. That hard mattered as counters form Wonjongkam just bounced off the challenger.
Whilst won't be remembered as one of the all time great bouts, it is a hidden gem and well and truly worthy of a watch. A very, very exciting bout that gets better and better as it goes on and a genuine closet classic.
By Eric Armit:
-Dillian Whyte gets revenge as he stops Alexander Povetkin four rounds
-Thabiso Mchunu retains the WBC Silver cruiserweight title with points victory over Evgeny Tischenko
-Zac Parker stops Vaughan Alexander in two rounds
-Ted Cheeseman wins the vacant British super welterweight title with late stoppage of James Metcalf
-Lennox Clarke wins the British and Commonwealth super middleweight titles with inside the distance victory over Willy Hutchinson
-Prince Patel wins the vacant Commonwealth super flyweight title with stoppage of Julias Kisarawa
World Title/Major Shows
Gibraltar, Gibraltar: Heavy: Dillian Whyte (28-2) W TKO 4 Alexander Povetkin (36-3-1). Super Welter: Ted Cheeseman (17-2-1) W KO 11 James Metcalf (21-1). Welter: Michael McKinson (20-0) W PTS 10 Chris Kongo (12-0). Heavy: Nick Webb (17-2) W TKO 2 Erik Pfeifer (7-1). Super Feather: Youssef Khoumari (12-0-1) W TKO 5 Kane Baker (14-8). Heavy: Fabio Wardley (11-0) W KO 5 Eric Molina (27-6).
Whyte vs. Povetkin
Revenge is sweet for Whyte as he floors and stops Povetkin in four rounds to win the interim WBC title. In the first a right to the body had Povetkin staggering and stumbling along the ropes with Whyte trying to nail him with a big punch. Povetkin managed to get off the ropes but it was a bad start for the Russian. Povetkin was looking to connect with some big rights but was off target and Whyte stuck to getting the range with his jab. Povetkin was more positive in the second taking the fight to Whyte but Whyte landed a heavy right and by the end of the round there was already a bump under Povetkin’s left eye. Povetkin was throwing single big punches but a right counter from Whyte set Povetkin back on his heels and Whyte did some good work with his jab. Whyte came out with a clear sense of purpose in the fourth and landed two hard rights then had Povetkin reeling under a series of punches. Povetkin steadied himself and it looked as though the crisis had passed but Whyte knocked Povetkin into the ropes with a right and then another right sent Povetkin reeling and a left hook helped on the way to the floor. Povetkin struggled to his feet but was unsteady and as the referee signalled the end of the fight the towel came in from Povetkin’s corner. There is talk now of a fight with Deontay Wilder which would be interesting and makes sense for both fighters which they wait to find out what is happening with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Povetkin did not look sharp and this is being put down to his COVID-19 experience and it probably did play a part but don’t overlook the fact that Whyte had already floored Povetkin twice in the first before the thunderbolt struck and if Povetkin felt he needed more time to fully recover from the COVID-19 then he should not have gone into the ring,
Cheeseman vs. Metcalf
Former Champion Cheeseman wins the vacant British title with an eleventh round stoppage of Metcalf in great but gruelling contest. In the first Cheeseman was getting through with his jabs and right crosses with Metcalf scoring with hooks inside and they were both getting landing hefty punches. Metcalf attacked hard in the second going to the body and also landing a good left hook to the head but Cheeseman ended the round strongly scoring with rights to the head. It was trench warfare in the third with Cheeseman just landing the cleaner shots. In the fourth Metcalf was on top until late in the round when a huge right from Cheeseman sent him reeling across the ring. Cheeseman followed up and showered Metcalf with punches and it looked as though Metcalf must go down but he stayed on his feet to the bell. Cheeseman had suffered a cut by his right eye in a clash of heads and Metcalf had bruising under his left eye. Cheeseman boxed a bit more over the fifth and sixth which let Metcalf into the fight and Metcalf was strong over the seventh and eighth with Cheeseman mainly on the back foot and countering. Cheeseman took over in the ninth and tenth as Metcalf seemed to be tiring. In the eleventh Cheeseman landed punch after punch with Metcalf trying to fire back but there was no power left in his punches and Cheeseman connected with three rights that sent Metcalf down flat on his back. He struggled to his feet but was wobbly and the referee stopped the fight. Cheeseman came through a rocky spell in 2019 losing to Sergio Garcia and dropping his British title to Scott Fitzgerald but had scored a good win over Sam Eggington in August last year. Former undefeated Commonwealth champion Metcalf played a big part in making this a great scrap.
McKinson vs. Kongo
McKinson gets majority decision over Kongo in a fight which lacked any real highlights. In an untidy start Kongo’s gloves briefly touched the canvas as he overbalanced when their legs clashed as he was pulling away from McKinnon’s punches. Brief though it was it gave McKinson a 10-8 round and that proved critical in a close fight. Kongo used his longer reach to score with his jab but found McKinnon’s southpaw style awkward to deal with. McKinson did well when countering the incoming Kongo but neither was impressing. Kongo gradually worked his way in front but then took his foot of the pedal in the later rounds where he was doing more posing than punching and that allowed McKinson to get his nose back in front Scores 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95 for McKinson so that slip in the first round cost Kongo a draw. McKinson continues a good recent run of victories over good level opposition and wins the WBO Global title. Former champion Kongo let this one slip away from him. It will only be a temporary set-back but it will cost him is No 13 spot in the WBO rankings
Webb vs. Pfeifer
Webb blows away unbeaten Pfeiffer in two rounds. Webb was scoring heavily in the first and then he dropped Pfeifer with a left in the second. Pfeifer beat the count but was put down twice more and the fight was stopped. Webb is getting back on track after losses to David Allen and Kamil Sokolowski sent his career off the rails. Russian-born German Pfeifer was European Union champion won a bronze medal at the World Championships and scored two wins over Tony Yoka in the WSB.
Khoumari vs. Baker
Londoner Khoumari makes it five inside the distance finishes as he stops Baker in the fifth. Khoumari was in charge from the start he was forcing Baker on to the back foot with strong jabs and then banging home left hooks to the body and straight rights, Baker fought back hard he was jabbing well but not really able to match the power or accuracy of Khoumari and on three occasions punches from Khoumari sent Baker’s mouthguard flying. Khoumari scored heavily in the fourth with lefts to the body and uppercuts. Baker was piling forward in the fifth but he was deducted a point when his mouthguard came out again and then Khoumari launched a fierce attack connecting with shots to head and body that had Baker reeling and the referee stopped the fight. Khoumari, who is managed by Dillian Whyte, showed impressive skills and quick accurate punches and will now be looking to take on some of the top domestic opposition. Baker had won 3 of his last 4 fights but the accuracy and power of Khoumari undid him.
Wardley vs. Molina
On a good night for British heavyweight Wardley knocks out Molina in the fifth. Wardley was showing some clever upper body movement boxing with his hands down early but not throwing enough punches. Despite that he had Molina in trouble with a right in the third. Molina was able to score with his jab but became over confident. He hurt Wardley with a right in the fifth but when he tried to move in to capitalise on that Wardley connected with a series of heavy counters that put Molina down on his back and he was counted out. Ten wins on the bounce by KO/TKO for 26-year-old English champion Wardley who is progressing quickly for a boxer with no amateur experience. Former WBC and IBF title challenger Molina at 38 is way past his best and was knocked out in three rounds by Filip Hrgovic in his last contest in December 2019.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Cruiser: Thabiso Mchunu (23-5) W PTS 12 Evgeny Tischenko (8-1). Super Feather: Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (17-0) W PTS 10 Lunga Stimela (13-1). Super Feather: Ruslan Kamilkov (10-0-1) W TKO 6 Evgeny Chuprakov (23-4). Super Feather: Dmitrii Khasiev (11-2-2) W KO 5 Vladislav Krasnoshein (8-2-1).Light: Zaur Abdullaev (13-1) W PTS 10 Zhora Hamazaryan (10-3-2). Super Feather: Stanislav Kalitskiy (11-1) W KO 5 Pavel Malikov (16-4-1).
Mchunu vs. Tischenko
Mchunu’s experience in the pros gives him the edge over former amateur star Tischenko as Mchunu eases to victory. There was no fluidity to Tischenko’s work he was stiff legged and mechanical. Mchunu was never really troubled by the Russian’s longer reach and the 6 “ height difference being able to spring forward and get inside to work. Tischenko made very little use of his jab just pawing with it much of the time and not coming in behind it. Tischenko was effective when he brought his left into play firing it straight and with power and he won rounds where he was able to work at distance. He had problems getting any power when he was punching down at the smaller Mchunu and did not close the distance quickly enough so even with his long arms he was reaching with his punches and losing some of the power. With Tischenko not really using his jab Mchunu was able to dart inside and score to the body with Tischenko not interested in fighting in close. Mchunu had more variety in his work connecting with body shots and lefts to the head inside and he was far quicker than the big Russian who when Mchunu darted forward tended to retreat rather than try to counter. It was a one-paced fight without any highlights and Mchunu simply outworked Tischenko. Scores 117-111 twice and 119-109 with the last a bit harsh. Mchunu retains the WBNC Silver title and protects his WBC No 1 rating. He will be looking to get revenge against WBC champion Ilunga Makabu who knocked Mchunu out in eleven rounds in 2015. It could be that Tischenko would do better putting on some poundage and trying the new Bridgerweight but one of his problems is that eight fights against very modest opposition was not enough to prepare him for an experienced battler such as Makabu.
Yaqubov vs. Stimela
Yaqubov retains the WBC International title with victory over South African Stimela. The visitor tried to take the fight to Yaqubov but was met with fast, precise counters from the clever Tajik boxer. Stimela just kept coming trying to hustle Yaqubov out of his cool approach and drag him into a brawl. Yaqubov found plenty of gaps in Stimela’s defence but two early visits to the canvas by Stimela were both ruled as pushes. Yaqubov finally registered a knockdown with a left hook and after Stimela beat the count he put him down again with a right. Stimela recovered and although shaken a couple of times in the late rounds he fought hard all the way to the final bell. Scores 99-89, 99-90 and 99-91 for Yaqubov. The 25-year-old southpaw Yaqubov is a class boxer but a little short on power. He is No 5 with the WBC but this is a very tough division. Stimela showed plenty of aggression and determination on his first fight outside South Africa and gave Yaqubov a fair test.
Kamilkov vs. Chuprakov
Kamilkov gets important win as he stops former WBO super feather title challenger Chuprakov in defence of the WBO Inter-Continental title. It was Chuprakov who went on the offensive in the first but Kamilkov countered accurately and floored Chuprakov with a right in the second. Kamilkov then took the fight to Chuprakov but now it was Chuprakov scoring with counters as Kamilkov advanced with his hands down looking to fire hooks. Kamilkov was scoring regularly raking Chuprakov with hooks and uppercuts and Chuprakov began to cave in under the punishment until the referee stopped the fight in the sixth. Kamilkov had lots of success in an extensive amateur career including gold medals in four successive World Cup of Petroleum Countries tournaments. Since losing to Masayuki Ito for the vacant WBO title in 2018 it has been a rocky road for Chuprakov as he is now 3-3 in his last six fights.
Khasilev vs. Krasnoshein
Southpaw Khasilev scores brutal kayo of Krasnoshein. Both looked to dominate early and with neither wanting to give way it turned into an entertaining hard-punching scrap. It looked level for three rounds but then Khasilev took over in the fourth handing out serious punishment before putting together a series of punches in the fifth ending with a booming right uppercut that dropped Krasnoshein flat on his back and the fight was immortally stopped. Khasiev seems to have suddenly found some power as this is his third inside the distance in a row after only scoring two stoppage wins in his first eleven fights.
Abdullaev vs. Hamazaryan
Abdullaev takes unanimous decision after a thrilling scrap with Hamazaryan. Both boxers worked behind their jab with Abdullaev mainly boxing on the back foot and Hamazaryan strong and dangerous with his rights with each having good spells in the early rounds. Hamazaryan scored well to the body in the fifth and Abdullaev went on the offensive in the sixth raking Hamazaryan with long punches only for a right from Hamazaryan staggering him at the bell. In the seventh a right from Hamazaryan had Abdullaev wobbly and a left put him down. Hamazaryan tried hard to finish it but Abdullaev survived. He then dominated the fight over the last three rounds with Hamazaryan being deducted a point for losing his mouthguard in the eighth and Abdullaev flooring Hamazaryan with the last punch of the fight. With Hamazaryan making it to his feet the result was decided on the scorecards which read 96-91, 95-92 and 94-93 showing the importance of the one point deduction and the last punch knockdown.
Russian Abdullaev lost in four rounds against Devin Haney for the WBC interim title in September 2019 but rebounded well with a points win over Pavel Malikov in August last year. Armenian Hamazaryan put up great effort here but falls to 1-3-2 in his six most recent contests.
Kalitskiy vs. Malikov
Kalitskiy stops Malikov in five. After an even first round Malikov sent Kalitskiy to the floor with rights in both the second and third rounds. Kalitskiy recovered from those two knockdowns and landed some heavy punches in the fourth before detonating a wicked right uppercut to the chin of Malikov which put him down and he was counted out. The 23-year-old Ekaterinburg-based Kazak had been stopped in eight rounds by Khasilev in his last fight in August. Malikov’s career has come off the rails. He looked to be going well after beating Vage Sarukhanyan and IBF title challenger Isa Chanev but then suffered consecutive inside the distance losses against Zaur Abdullaev and Roman Andreev in 2020.
London, England: Super Middle: Zach Parker (20-0) W TKO 2 Vaughan Alexander (15-5). Super Bantam: Brad Foster (14-0-2) W PTS 10 Alvaro Rodriguez (10-4-1). Welter: Danny Ball (10-0-1) W PTS 10 Sam Gilley (11-1). Super Light: Sam Maxwell (15-0) W PTS 8 Ben Fields (10-10-2). Heavy: David Adeleye (5-0) W KO 1 Dave Preston (9-1). Bantam: Dennis McCann (9-0) W PTS 8 Luis Moreno (9-2).
Parker vs. Alexander
Parker impresses as he dismantles Alexander in two rounds. In the first Parker was much too fast for Alexander. He was switching angles and switching guard almost from punch to punch. He connected with some rights to the head and hooked well to the body. Alexander managed to land a couple of times but nothing heavy and Parker ended the round with a series of punches. Parker finished the job in the second. He dropped Alexander for the first time with two left hooks and put him down again with a clubbing right to the head. Alexander got up but was pinned to the ropes with Parker unloading head punches until the referee stopped the fight. Parker,26, wins the WBO international title with his fourteenth quick victory. He is No 1 with the WBO and will have to see what shakes out after the Saul Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders fight in May but it seems certain he will fight for the WBO title later this year or in early 2022. Parker was impressive here although Alexander, 35, is a long way from world ratings level having returned to boxing in 2016 after serving an eleven year prison term.
Foster vs. Rodriguez
Foster cruises to comfortable victory as he takes every round against Spaniard Rodriguez. Foster had to make the fight as Rodriguez was on the defensive from the start. Foster did a good job of cutting off the ring and connected with jabs and left hooks. Rodriguez had some success in the fourth round as he combined some good defensive work with some useful counters but Foster was the one landing more. Rodriguez work rate dropped off and he was cut over his left eye and stunned by a punch in the eighth and jolted by a series of punches in the last. Scores 100-90 for Foster on all three cards. Foster collects the vacant IBF International title. He is the official challenger to Gamal Yafai for the European title and No 10(8) with the IBF. Spanish champion Rodriguez is 0-3 in fights in the UK.
Ball vs. Gilley
This was a close one with Ball outscoring Gilley early but having to fight hard later to get the decision. It was a tactical battle but an entertaining one. Gilley started well and then Ball had a strong fourth and opened a gap over the middle rounds seeming to have an edge in power. Gilley forced the fight hard late taking on Ball inside and looked to have closed the gap but Ball had more left in the last round and that made the difference. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-94 for Ball. The 24-year-old from the West Midlands retains the WBC International Silver title. Londoner Gilley will rebound from this.
Maxwell vs. Fields
Maxwell decisions substitute Fields. It proved a more difficult night than expected for Maxwell. Fields was strong and awkward with his lunging attacks and rough stuff inside. Maxwell was streets ahead in talent and that showed when he chose to box but too often allowed himself to be drawn into a brawl. Gradually he broke down Fields who tired badly late and was deducted a point for holding in the seventh as Maxwell showed some classy touches late in the fight. Referee’s score 79-73 for Maxwell. He was to have challenged Akeem Ennis Brown for the British title but Ennis Brown was injured and former Midlands Area champion Fields was a late replacement
McCann vs. Moreno
Brilliant boxing from young prospect McCann as he outclasses Mexican Moreno. McCann was just too clever, too fast and too accurate for the limited Moreno. He was getting through with a whole range of punches and countering the crude lunges of Moreno with crisp hooks. A right floored Moreno in the last but he made it to the final bell. The 20-year-old southpaw McCann, he turned pro at 18,looks a class act. Moreno came in on the back of five wins but against substandard foes.
Adeleye vs. Preston
Adeleye finishes substitute Preston inside two minutes. No way this was going to last long. Adeleye sent a couple rights whizzing past Preston’s chin before burying a wicked left hook to the ribs of Preston who was unable to get up. The 24-year-old Londoner has taken less than nine rounds for his five wins. A former Junior, Senior ABA and British Universities champion Adeleye is the proud owner of a degree in Business Management. Preston was having his first pro fight and was overwhelmed.
Miami, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (25-1) W TKO 1 Samuel Gutierrez (16-31-6).Super Bantam: Jorge De Jesus Romero (20-0-1) W PTS 8 Yeison Vargas (17-6). Super Feather: Mark Bernaldez (22-4) W TKO 6 Hector Ambriz (12-13-2). Light: Josec Ruiz (22-4-3) W TKO 2 Rodolfo Puente (19-6-2). Super Feather: Otar Eranosyan (7-0) W TKO 2 Marco Mendoza (11-10-1).
Lopez vs. Gutierrez
Another power show from Nicaraguan Lopez as he scores three knockdowns on the way to a first round win over late replacement Gutierrez. Lopez opened with some hard, accurate right jabs then he sent Gutierrez back and down with a left. After the count Lopez pursued Gutierrez to a corner and a series of punches had Gutierrez going down on one knee. He was up at seven but then went down again as Lopez blitzed him with left hooks and the fight was stopped. An inside the distance loss against little Chilean Jose Velasquez in October 2019 was a setback but Lopez has rebounded with four wins by KO/TKO the last three all coming in the first round. Old pro Gutierrez is sliding rapidly being without a win in his last twelve fights.
Romero vs. Vargas
Romero comes through a frustrating eight rounds with a decision over Vargas. In the first Romero had Vargas retreating with strong jabs and straight rights. Vargas tried to dart inside but his punches were coming up short. Romero continued to press the action with Vargas showing some good defensive work and doing well in short bursts but Romero was always the one coming forward and he was connecting with some hefty rights. Romero continued to do most of the scoring but he was having trouble pinning Vargas down and Vargas had enough success with his quick attacks to steal a round and was never really in trouble. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for Romero. The Cuban’s progress took a hit when he was held to a draw by a skidding Daniel Lozano in August last year. He has scored three wins since then. Colombian Vargas was knocked out in 63 seconds by Melvin Lopez in September and after compiling a 17-0 record back home he has now suffered six consecutive losses five by KO/TKO
Bernaldez vs. Ambriz
Filipino Bernaldez comes from behind to end the fight with a big right in the sixth. Bernaldez was conceding height and reach to Mexican Ambriz but the Mexican was looking to stand exchange punches rather than box and had a good first round. In the second Bernaldez began to score with hooks to the body and that quickly had Ambriz on the back foot and under pressure. Ambriz came back with a strong third and used his jab to blunt Bernaldez’s attacks and landed some powerful right crosses in the fourth. Ambriz was so confident he was showboating in the fifth changing guards and indulging in some fancy footwork but he also scored well and looked to have built a good lead. All of that counted for nothing in the sixth. Against a tired looking Ambriz Bernaldez connected with some hard body shots and then landed a booming right to the head that sent Ambriz crashing to the canvas. He only just beat the count and was unsteady and the fight was over. The 26-yeart-old “Machete” makes it sixteen wins by KO/TKO. His two losses have come against good opposition in Andy Vences and unbeaten Albert Bell. Ambriz looked a much better fighter than his current 0-10-1 form and he has gone the distance in that run against Denis Shafikov, Hector Tanajara and Robson Conceicao and drawn with Antonio Lozada.
Ruiz vs. Puente
Ruiz gets win over a reluctant Puente. Ruiz was attacking hard in the first with Puente just flapping punches and holding. In the second Puente was deducted a point for holding and then dropped by a low punch. The referee gave Puente some recovery time although it was obvious Puente did not want to get up. Finally he did and was put down by two left hooks and a right and the referee stopped the fight without a count. Honduran “Scorpion” Ruiz suffered back-to-back losses in 2020 so a welcome win for him here. Puente has lost in the second round in three of his last four fights.
Eranosyan V. Mendoza
Eranosyan stops Mendoza in two rounds. This was really a farce. Mendoza never moved more than one pace from the ropes and circled the ring hiding behind a high guard . It was target for practice for Eranosyan and Mendoza went down twice at the end of the first round. He went down again from a right to the head in the second and the towel came in from his corner. It’s an insult to Miami-based Georgian to put him with opponents such as this. He gets his fifth win by KO/TKO but a few minutes of sparring would have been of more use to him. Mexican Mendoza, 40, had lost his previous five fights inside the distance and lasted less than eleven minutes in those five fights.
Hurlingham, Argentina: Welter: Christian Andino (16-1) W PTS 10 Miguel Antin (19-7).
In a clash of former Argentinian title challengers Andino has no problems in dealing with the aggression of Antin. Andino was scoring regularly with his jab and used clever movement to frustrate Antin’s attacks. He hurt Antin with a right in the sixth but lacked the power to capitalise on that. He outboxed a tiring Antin over the closing rounds to wrap up a risk free decision. Scores 100-90 for Andino on the three cards. Andino, who fights out of the Oscar “Ringo” Bonavena gym, survived a lung operation in 2016 before turning pro. Fifth loss in his last six outings for Antin.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Super Fly: Geraldo Valdez (10-0) W PTS 10 Arturo Segundo (12-5). Light: Francis Frometa (13-0) W TKO 10 Jose Roa (10-2-1). Light: Richard Solano (24-2-2,1ND) W DISQ 2 Andres Tapia (16-9-4). Super Light: Jose Galvez (15-2) W RTD 2 Luis Castillo (23-7).
Valdez vs. Segundo
On a card that was billed as a war between Dominicans and Mexicans Valdez gets the win but looks very lucky to do so. Segundo put Valdez on the floor in the eighth and looked to have done enough to take the decision but two of the judges disagreed with some widely varying scores. The judges saw it 98-91 and 97-93 for Valdez and 95-94 for Segundo. Former top amateur Valdez retains the WBC Latino title. Segundo is just a modest level prelim fighter in Mexico so he performed much better than expected
Frometa vs. Roa
Frometa gets late stoppage against Mexican Roa. Frometa almost ended it the first flooring Roa heavily. Roa got through the crisis and from the third it was a close fight until a strong attack from Frometa early in the tenth brought the referee’s intervention. This was to be Frometa’s experience of going ten rounds but instead it counts as his eighth inside the distance victory. Roa’s current form was 11-0-1 before this loss.
Solano vs. Tapia
Solano gets a win as Mexican Tapia is thrown out for hitting on the break, Solano was better in the first round the fight was decided in the second. Tapia landed a punch after the referee had ordered break. When Tapia did the same thing again the referee disqualified him. Dominican Solano,32, is on a 19 fight unbeaten streak at 18-0,1ND going back to 2014. Tapia is 0-2-1 in his three most recent fights.
Galvez vs. Castillo
Galvez scores another win for the home side as he beats Castillo. After two punishing rounds Castillo retired on his stool before the start of the third. Eleven consecutive wins for Galvez and his eighth by KO/TKO. Seventh inside the distance defeat for Castillo
Blagnac, France: Super Feather: Anthony Riviere (10-3-1) W PTS 10 Khalil El Hadri (10-1).
Home town boxer Riviere gets an upset decision over previously unbeaten El Hadri to win the French title. Riviere set a fast pace from the start aiming to hustle the more skilful champion out of his stride. It took El Hadri a couple of rounds to settle and then we got plenty of action in a tight scrap. Riviere was just that little bit busier in the exchanges but not much between them and home advantage probably helped Riviere get the nod. Scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 for Riviere who has put an air of respectability on his record being 6-1-1 in his last 8 fights. Former French amateur champion and WSB competitor El Hadri was making the first defence of the National title.
Rome, Italy: Feather: Christopher Mondongo (9-2) W TEC DEC 7 Suat Laze (25-7-1,1ND).Cruiser: Francesco Versaci (21-3-1) TEC DRAW 1 Mattia Faraoni (6-1-1).
Mondongo vs. Laze
Rome fighter Mondongo wins the vacant Italian title with technical decision over Laze. It was war from the first bell as Laze sought to overwhelm Mondongo with the pair feverishly trading shots. Mondongo stayed cool under fire blocking many of Laze’s punches and scoring with accurate counters. Mondongo rocked Laze with a right in the fifth but Laze responded with a right that put Mondongo on the mat. Mondongo beat the count and fought back hard over the sixth and seventh. Laze was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in the seventh and was unable to continue so it went to the judges who came up with scores of 67-65 and 66-65 for Mondongo and 66-66. After losing his first fight Mondongo is now 9-1 in his last 10. Laze , 41, Albanian-born but now an Italian citizen, won the Italian title in December 2019 at the age of 39 making him the oldest boxer to win the Italian featherweight title but then had to relinquish the title through injury.
Versaci vs. Faraoni
Disappointing end here as Versaci is hurt by a punch to the back of the head and is unable to continue so the fight ends as a technical draw leaving Versaci as champion so they will have to do it all over again.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Christian Gonzalez (12-1) W PTS 10 Adrian Curiel (16-4).
Gonzalez wins the WBC Fecarbox title with majority decision over Curiel. Over the early rounds Gonzalez made use of his longer reach to work on the outside and Curiel struggled to get close enough to work effectively. After four rounds Gonzalez was in front 40-36, 40-37 and 39-37. Curiel upped the pressure from the fifth and clawed back a little of Gonzalez lead but Gonzalez defended well and his jabs had Curiel bleeding heavily from the nose. The scores at the end of eight rounds still had Gonzalez in control at 78-74, and 77-75 twice. Curiel staged a strong finish over the last two rounds but just came up short. Scores 96-94 twice for Gonzalez and 95-95. Gonzalez, 21, makes it six wins in a row. Curiel had won 4 of 5 going in.
Chapala, Mexico: Super Middle: Jose Uzcategui (29-4) W Josue Obando (20-28-2). Super Bantam: Edwin Palomares (14-3-1,1ND) W Cesar Ramirez (18-4).
Uzcategui vs. Obando
Former IBF super middle champion Uzcategui returns with a win. He handed out steady punishment over the first two rounds and an early finish looked likely. Obando did better over the third and fourth as he upped his pace a little but Uzcategui was in charge again after that. It was a case of breaking down a game Obando and in the eighth the referee stopped the fight just as Obando’s corner were preparing to throw in the towel. Venezuelan Uzcategui lost his IBF title on points against Caleb Plant in January 2019 and in December 2019 was floored and outpointed by Lionel Thompson and dropped out of the ratings so this is a first step back. Obando had scored a win over experienced Marco Reyes but Uzcategui was too strong.
Palomares vs. Ramirez
Palomares ends this one late with a savage kayo of Ramirez. Palomares had outlanded Ramirez and built a good lead. But Ramirez fought hard to stay in contention. He was running out of time and pressing hard but just before the final bell a right from Palomares detonated on the chin of Ramirez knocking him out cold with just two seconds remaining in the fight and the medical team rushed to treat him and he recovered. Palomares was coming off two good victories having stopped 25-2 Carlos Ornelas in June and Czech Martin Parlagi in December. First outing for Ramirez since being knocked out in ten rounds by John Riel Casimero for the WBI interim title in August 2019.
London, England: Super Middle: Lennox Clarke (20-1-1) W TKO 5 Willy Hutchinson (13-1). Feather: Louie Lynn (9-0) W PTS 10 Sebastian Perez (12-2-1). Heavy: Nathan Gorman (18-1) W TKO 2 Pavel Sour (13-4). Light: Mark Chamberlain (8-0) W KO 1 Jordan Ellison (11-32-2).
Clarke vs. Hutchinson
Clarke proves too strong for Hutchinson and scores a stoppage in the fifth. Hutchinson controlled the action early boxing at distance using his long reach to score with jabs and putting together some significant bunches of punches. Clarke kept walking in but was being made to pay a price being shaken by an uppercut in the second and having to absorb some long hooks and straight rights. A clash of heads saw Hutchinson cut over his left eye and Clarke began to find the target with head punches as he came forward. The fifth round saw Clarke force Hutchinson to the ropes and a thunderous right almost put Hutchinson put on his feet. Clarke managed to land two more head shots as Hutchinson went down. He got up but rightly the referee decided he was not in any condition to continue. Clarke wins both the vacant British and Commonwealth titles. His only loss came against world rated Lerrone Richards for the same two titles in November 2019. Scot Hutchinson, a former World Youth champion, is 22 and showed good skills and power and will rebound from this.
Lynn vs. Perez
Lynn wins his first title in his first ten round fight as he outworks Spaniard Perez. Lynn set a fast pace from the off and Perez just could not match him. Perez had some good spells but nowhere near enough to threaten Lynn’s dominance and the Surrey man was a clear winner. Scores 100-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Lynn. He had won seven of his eight victories inside the distance so this longer fight was useful experience for him. In his last fight in December 2019 Perez had lost a close decision to unbeaten Frenchman Elie Konki for the European Union title.
Gorman vs. Sour
Gorman scores five knockdowns in under four minutes to stop Sour. Gorman shook Sour with a right in the first and then put him down with a strong left jab. Sour got up but was down twice more before he connecting with a good right at the bell. Gorman put Sour twice with rights early in the second and the referee waived the fight over. Gorman, 24, is putting his house in order after a fifth round kayo loss against Daniel Dubois and this is win No 2 on his way back. Sour was stopped early in his career by Filip Hrgovic and more recently suffered back-to back losses against Jermaine Franklin and Hughie Fury
Chamberlain vs. Ellison
Chamberlin wipes out experience Ellis with a body shot. Chamberlain towered over Ellison and used his longer reach to land some southpaw lefts. He forced Ellison to the ropes and connected with a rib bending left which saw Ellison drop to his knees writhing in agony and he was counted out. All five of the former English amateur’s quick wins have come in the first round. Ellison is 0-11-1 in his recent activity with 9 of those losses against unbeaten fighters.
Accra, Ghana: Super Fly: Prince Patel (24-1-2) W TKO 9 Julias Kisarawa (32-8-1). Heavy: Ebenezer Tetteh (21-1) W RTD 6 Haruna Osumanu (11-3). Super Bantam: Isaac Sackey (25-1-1) W PTS 12 Gabriel Odoi Laryea (21-5-2).
Patel vs. Kisarawa
Patel halts Tanzanian Kisarawa in the ninth to win the vacant Commonwealth title. From the start Patel used his hand speed and good movement to outboxed the limited Kisarawa. The Tanzanian did a bit better as they traded punches in the second but it was obvious he lacked the power to trouble Patel. After fighting southpaw for two rounds Patel switched guard in the third and scored well with body punches. Kisarawa kept busy in the fourth but Patel hurt him with some solid rights. Patel upped his pace and put Kisarawa down in the fifth and applied more pressure after the eight count. Kisarawa went down on one knee in the sixth under a shower of punches but survived to the bell. Patel continued the pressure in the seventh and eighth and in the ninth as Kisarawa was stumbling with exhaustion and hardly able to lift his hands the referee stopped the fight. Patel was just too good for a very limited and sloppy Kisarawa as he gets his nineteenth inside the distance win. Patel covered all of the bases winning the vacant Commonwealth title but also the WBO Global, WBO African, WBA Inter-Continental and IBF Continental titles. Kisarawa lacked the skill or power to pose a threat but at least he did better than when facing Patel in 2018 when he was halted in five rounds.
Tetteh vs. Osumanu
Tetteh was giving away 40lbs in this fight but that just meant he was facing an obscenely overweight 40-year-old Osumanu. It took Tetteh a little while to get rolling but he eventually wore down Osumanu who retired at the end of the sixth round. Tetteh lifts the WBA Pan African title but some realism entered his heavily padded record when he was stopped inside a round by Daniel Dubois in September 2019. Both of Osumanu’s losses have been retirements.
Sackey vs. Laryea
No problems for Sackey as he retains his WBO African title winning every round. Scores 120-108 for Sackey from the three judges. Sackey,26, was 22-0-1before being knocked out by the very useful Wasiru Mohammed in 2018 and this is his third win as he re-establishes himself. Former Commonwealth title challenger Laryea put together a 16-0-2 run but then suffered losses when overmatched against Martin Ward and Albert Pagara.
Lanus, Argentina: Super Bantam: Alberto Melian (9-2) W PTS 10 Frency Fortunato (10-1). Welter: Alberto Palmetta (17-1) W KO 2 PTS 10 Jose Herrera (35-12).
Melian vs. Fortunato
Melian overcomes a disastrous first five rounds to outpoint Fortunato in a scarp featuring seven knockdowns. Dominican Fortunato had height and reach over Melian and Melian was taking chances to get inside. Just one minute into the second Fortunato floored Melian with a right uppercut. Melian was up quickly but badly shaken. Fortunato chased him around the ring throwing punches and Melina went down on one knee to get some recovery time. He managed to survive with a lot of holding. At the start of the third Fortunato sent Melian to the canvas with two hefty rights to the head. Melian survived again by holding some, moving some and by Fortunato losing his mouthguard. The fourth was a close round but just when Melian seemed to be working his way into the fight he was floored by a right in the fifth. He got up and shook Fortunato later in the round. So five rounds gone, four knockdowns giving Fortunato a 10-7 and two 10-8 rounds with the unofficial scoring having Fortunato 50-41 in front but Melian was still there and about to turn things around. He outpunched a tiring Fortunato in the sixth and seventh and Fortunato went down twice in the eighth partially from punches and partially from exhaustion but made it to the bell. Both were exhausted in the ninth but Melian outpunched Fortunato. In the tenth Fortunato had nothing left and again went down from a mixture of exhaustion and punches but too late for Melian to get the knockout. Scores 92-91 twice and 94-90 for Melian. An amazing comeback from disaster from Melian in a truly dramatic contest. Melian, an Olympian in 2012 and 2016 wins the WBA Inter-Continental title. Fortunato had won 6 of his last 7 fights by KO/TKO and came so close to winning here as well.
Palmetta vs. Herrera
Palmetta scores one punch kayo to retain the WBA International belt. Palmetta was scoring with some left hooks and straight rights in the first with Herrera’s defence looking leaky. Palmetta rocked Herrera a few times in the second before a left to the head dropped Herrera on his back and he just failed to beat the count. Southpaw Palmetta, 30, the WBA No 6, makes it ten inside the distance victories in a row. As an amateur he won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games and gold at the Pan American Championships as well as competing at the 2016 Olympics and being a member of the Argentinian Condors in the WSB. Fourth loss in his last five contests for Herrera but against good quality fighters.
Toowoomba, Australia: Heavy: Joe Goodall (7-0-1) W TKO 2 Herman Purcell (17-9).
No big surprise here as Goodall blows away poor Purcell in the second round. With Goodall being 6’4 ½” and Purcell 5’ 9 ½” just landing a punch would be an achievement for Purcell. Goodall was a top level amateur and he had the ability and the power to end this. He floored Purcell twice in the second round. Purcell got up from the second knockdown prepared to tear into Goodall not realising his corner had thrown in the towel and a gutsy Purcell wanted to ignore it and fight on. Goodall wins the vacant Australasian title. In the amateurs he was Australian champion in 2014, 2015 and 2016 a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the
World Championships. With those credentials a draw with a fighter with a 4-3 record in his last fight in August 2019 was a huge disappointment. However he has since undergone shoulder surgery and is still one to follow. Samoan Purcell had scored victors in each of his last four fights and was No 5 in the Australian ratings.
Brisbane, Australia: Super Light: Jacob Ng (15-0) W PTS 10 Blake Minto (13-2-2).
Entertainer “The Flamingo” Ng continues his 100% record with a wide unanimous verdict over Minto. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-93. Not sure if Ng wore his pink flamingo feathers to the ring but he is not all flash as the tall 26-year-old Gold Coast citizen can fight. A run of 7 wins and a draw had seen Minto climb to No 9 in the Australian rankings.
Roosdaal, Belgium: Welter: Meriton Karaxha (28-5-3) W PTS 10 Emanuele Cavallucci (12-3-1). Super Light: Mohamed El Marcouchi (27-2) W PTS 10 Brice Bula Galo (11-2-1).
Karaxha vs. Cavallucci
Karaxha comes away with a unanimous decision but has to work hard against a quick and clever Italian Cavallucci. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-95. The Albanian Karaxha lifted the vacant IBO International title and now has ten wins and two draws in his last twelve fights. Former Italian champion Cavallucci was 9-1 going in.
El Marcouchi vs. Galo
El Marcouchi also given a harder time than expected but also took the unanimous verdict on scores of 97-92, 97-93 and 96-93 and he wins the IBO Continental belt. The 33-year-old Miami-based El Marcouchi has lost only one of his last twenty-five fights and that was on a disqualification. Belgian-based DRC fighter Galo’s only previous loss was a disqualification against Karaxha and he was on a seven-bout winning streak.
Seine-Saint-Denis, France: Super Welter: Howard Cospolite (19-8-3) W TKO 1 Mahmoud Taha (9-7-3). Super Middle: Gustave Tamba (16-1) W PTS 10 Steven Crambert (8-7). Super Welter: Milan Prat (9-1) W TKO 2 Flavien Bogongo (6-10-4)
Cospolite vs. Taha
Cospolite retains the French title with stoppage of Taha. Cospolite blitzed Taha coming out firing punches. He drove Taha to a corner and had him reeling under heavy fire when the referee stepped in to save Taha. First defence
of the title for 38-year-old Cospolite. He is 0-2-1 in challenges for the European Union title but may yet get a fourth shot. Taha had won his last four fights but here he suffered his fifth inside the distance loss.
Tamba vs. Crambert
French champion Tamba returns to the ring after 14 months and makes a successful second title defence with his second win over Crambert. Tamba had a big edge in skills and easily outboxed Crambert with his better accuracy and higher work rate. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Tamba who extends his winning streak to 14. He had won every round against Crambert when defending his title against him in November 2019. Four losses in his last five fights for Crambert.
Prat vs. Bogongo
Highly rated prospect Prat batters an overmatched Bogongo to defeat in two rounds. The 21-year-old Prat’s loss came last month when he was disqualified after his opponent could not continue following a punch to the back of the head. French amateur champion Prat will be entering the qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics. This is only the second time Bogongo has been beaten inside the distance.
Tijuana, Mexico: Super Light: Omar Aguilar (20-0) W KO 1 Carlos Cardenas (26-19-1).
Aguilar vs. Cardenas
Aguilar again puts on a power show as he hunts down and destroys Cardenas in one round. Aguilar’s long reach gave Cardenas problems as he bobbed and weaved trying to find a way inside. He managed to dart in and land a right but Aguilar was finding the range and letting his rights go. With 25 seconds remaining in the round he landed a left hook that forced Cardenas to the ropes and then connected with a left and a right that dumped Cárdenas on the floor and he was counted out. The 21-year-old from, Ensenada has scored 19 inside the distance wins in his 20 fights with thirteen first round victories. Venezuelan “Prophet” Cardenas somehow did not see this coming. Last time out Cardenas lost a majority decision to 31-1-1 Pedro Campa.
Cebu, Philippines: Feather: Peter Apolinar (14-1) W PTS 10 Juanito Paredes (8-7-1). Light Fly: Mark Vicelles (13-0-1) W KO 4 Arnold Garde (10-11-3). Super Bantam: Arthur Villanueva (33-4-1) W PTS 6 Bryan Tamayo (6-2-2). Light Fly: Mark Anthony Barriga (10-1) W RTD 4 Junuel Lacar (8-7-3).
Apolinar vs. Paredes
Apolinar extends his winning run to nine with victory over Paredes. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for 25-year-old Apolinar. Despite his modest record Paredes had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Vicelles vs. Garde
Cebu southpaw Vicelles remains unbeaten with fourth round win over Garde. Vicelles had built as comfortable lead before putting Garde down with a left uppercut .Now ten in a row for Vicelles with Garde going in the opposite direction with only one win in his eight most recent outings.
Villanueva vs. Tamayo
Former world title challenger Villanueva returns and gets in six rounds of activity. Tamayo was cut over his right in a clash of heads in the second but it was never really a factor as Villanueva eased his way to victory. Scores 59-53 on the three cards for Villanueva. “King Arthur”, 32, has lost in title shots against McJoe Arroyo, Zolani Tete, and Nordine Oubaali with his other loss being to Luis Nery. This is his first ring action since losing Oubaali in July 2019. Fellow southpaw Tamayo lacked the experience to trouble Villanueva.
Barriga vs. Lacar
Barriga had been out of action even longer than Villanueva so must have been disappointed when Lacar decided to retire after four rounds. The flashy southpaw upped the pace from round to round and a series of punches in the fourth had Lacar looking in trouble and it was no surprise when he retired at the end of the round. In his last fight former Olympian Barriga dropped a split decision against Carlos Licona for the vacant IBF minimumweight title in December 2018 and will be looking to work his into another title shot. Lacar is 1-6 in his last 7 fights now.
Jachranka, Poland: Middle: Fiodor Czerkaszyn (17-0) W PTS 10 Javier Maciel (33-11).Super Middle: Mateusz Tryc (11-0) W PTS 8 Jorge Garbey (6-0-1). Light Heavy: Marek Matyja (19-2-2) W PTS 8 Bartlomiej Grafk (22-39-4
Czerkaszyn vs. Maciel
Czerkaszyn boxes his way to victory over Argentinian Maciel. Czerkaszyn was comfortable working at distance and easily dealing with Maciel’s attacks. Maciel upped his pace pressing harder but counter rights from Czerkaszyn took the fire out of him and he was in trouble after a left hook to the body in the seventh. Czerkaszyn cruised through the last three rounds on his way to victory. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Czerkaszyn. The 25-year-old Ukrainian-born Pole has wins over experienced opposituion in Kassim Ouma, Wes Capper and Patrick Mendy and revealed after the fight that he had a broken rib in training. Maciel, a WBO middleweight title challenger back in 2011 has lost five in a row.
Tryc vs. Garbey
Tryc too strong for Cuban Garbey. Tryc took the fight to Garbey working with hooks inside. He was credited with a knockdown but it was really a slip and Garbey rocked Tryc with a right in the fourth. Tryc took over again and floored Garbey with a right in the sixth with the bell saving Garbey and the Cuban withstood a fierce attack from Tryc in the eighth. Scores 79-70 from all three judges for former Elite Level amateur Tryc. Spanish-based Garbey was in his first eight round fight.
Matyja vs. Grafka
Matyja gets his third win over Grafka but has to fight hard for it. Matyja got though with some good left hooks to the body and straight rights but his pace dropped in the fourth. He took control again in the fifth but even through Grafka seemed to be tiring he bounced back to take the sixth and was busier over the seventh with Matyja just doing enough to edge the last. Scores 76-74 and 77-75 for Matyja and 77-77. Only one loss in his last eleven outings for Matyja but 0-7-1 in his last 8 for Grafka.
Pamplona, Spain: Super Welter: Jose Suero (7-0-1) W KO 3David Soria (9-1).
A bit of an upset as Suero knocks out champion Soria to win the Spanish title. Suero had Soria on the back foot and often pinned against the ropes in the first two rounds but Soria connected with some good counters to the body. In the third Soria took Suero to the ropes and they both threw rights. Both landed but the power was with one from Suero that floored Soria for the count. The Spanish-based Dominican gets his third win by KO/TKO. Local fighter Soria was making the initial defence of the title and was a big favourite.
Bangkok, Thailand: Fly: Tanes Ongjunta (8-1) W PTS 10 Kompayak (61-12). Super Light: Sangarthit (11-0) W TKO 8 Chonlatarn (61-7).
Ongjunta vs. Kompayak
Time catches up with Kompayak as inexperienced hope Ongjunta scores wide points decision over the former WBC light fly champion. The 5’0 ½” Kompayak just could not handle the height (5’5”) and reach advantages or the speed of his younger opponent. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Ongjunta who has kept busy with four wins in the last five months. This victory nets him the WBA Asia belt. Kompayak, 38, has lost 5 of 6 against modest opposition.
Chonlatarn vs. Sangarthit
Sangarthit gets big win as he stops Chonlatarn in eight. The teenager set too fast a pace for the aging Chonlatarn and scored knockdowns in the seventh and eighth with the fight being stopped after the second knockdown. Sangarthit (Phoobadin Yoohanngoh –I’ll stick with Sangarthit) retains the WBA Asia title. He is just 17 having turned pro at 14. Chonlatarn, 36, lost in title fights against Chris John and Vasyl Lomachenko and also to Miguel Berchelt for the interim WBO super feather title but this is his third inside the distance loss in a row.
Brussels, Belgium: Light Heavy: Malik Zinad (17-0) W KO 9 Timour Nikarkhoev (22-4). Oscar Ahlin (21-2) W PTS 10 Alpay Yaman (12-2).
Zinad vs. Nikarkhoev
Zinad pulls this one out of the fire with late kayo of Nikarkhoev. It had been a bad tempered match with Nikarkhoev just looking to have built a lead when a crunching right from Zinad put him down on his back. Nikarkhoev got up but stumbled into the ropes and the referee waived the fight over. Libyan-based Maltese Zinad wins the vacant IBO International belt with his fifteenth inside the distance victory. Belgian-based Russian Nikarkhoev was 9-1 in his last 10 fights with the defeat coming on points over twelve rounds against Igor Mikhalkin for the IBO title in July 2019.
Ahlin vs. Yaman
Swedish “Golden Boy” Ahlen floored Yaman in the second and third rounds but Yaman stuck around to the last bell. Scores 99-90 twice and 97-91 for Ahlin. After nine years as a pro he does not seem to have progressed very far due to the poor quality of his opposition. German Yaman no sort of test for Ahlin.
Fight of the week (Significance): Dillian Whyte’s revenge win over Alexander Povetkin could lead to a fight with Deontay Wilder which should be explosive
Fight of the week (Entertainment): A hard choice. Ted Cheeseman vs. James Metcalf was a classic. Anthony Riviere’s French title victory over Khalil El Hadri saw ten hard fought rounds and Zaur Abdullaev vs. Zhora Hamazaryan had quality and last punch drama but I have to go for Alberto Melian vs. Frency Fortunato with seven knockdowns and Melian coming off the floor four times in the first five rounds to emerge the winner.
Fighter of the week: Dillian Whyte for his win over Alexander Povetkin in a must win fight
Punch of the week: Again a number of candidates as Mark Bernaldez flattened Hector Ambriz with a thunderous right and Dmitri Khasiev almost decapitating Vlad Krasnoshein with an uppercut but I go for the right from Edwin Palomares that knocked Cesar Ramirez out cold.
Upset of the week: None really
Prospect watch: British heavyweight David Adeleye 5-0 5 wins by KO/TKO shows considerable power
Nicknames again Colombian Rodolfo Puente is fooling no one with his “Tsunami” nickname-he is just 5’0” tall and that hardly qualifies as a puddle.
Albanian Meriton Karaxha is stretching the envelope of truth with his “Mister TNT” as he has only nine inside the distance wins in his 36 bouts. That’s just 25% so perhaps he needs to lower his horizon and go for something like “Mr Dull Thud”
They certainly start them young in Thailand with unbeaten prospect Sangarthit turning prom at 14, fighting ten round fights at 16 and beating three-time world title challenger Chonlatarn at 17.
A bit of light comedy in the Melian vs. Fortunato fight. The referee warned Melian for a low punch at the same moment as Fortunato complained about a butt. Gives a whole new meaning to the old one-two.
Troubling to see another set of young Irish boxers fighting in Europe with their results not being recorded. That means that any inside the distance losses for the Irish fighters or their opponents will not appear on either record.
We return to the Minimumweight division for this week's closet classic which came in May 2013 and was a genuinely fun, and often over-looked bout from Japan. In one corner was the WBA Minimumweight champion, making his first defense of the title which he had won in an instant classic, whilst the other corner featured 22 year old Mexican fighting in his first world title bout. Together they made something short, but thrilling.
Ryo Miyazaki (18-0-3, 10) vs Carlos Velarde (23-2-1, 13)
No one will ever try to describe Japan's Ryo Miyazaki as a special boxer. Technically he was quite limited, almost predictable, but he was tough, rugged, and seemingly always got caught in wars. His technical limitations were always pretty clear, but his ability to fight hard and fight tough made him one of the most fun to watch Minimumweights of his time. His WBA Minimumweight title win in December 2012, against Pornsawan Porpramook, was a brilliant bout, but not his only classic. In fact just a few months after his title win he was involved in another great bout as he took on Mexican challenger Carlos Velarde.
Mexican youngster Carlos Velarde was relatively unknown outside of the Mexican domestic scene. His only bout outside of Mexico up to this point was a loss in Panama to Edwin Diaz. Despite that loss he had bounced back with 3 wins, including a technical decision over Oswaldo Novoa, to get a shot at Miyazaki and the WBA title. Aside from the loss to Diaz the only other marks on Velarde's record were a TKO loss to Jesus Silvestre in 2009, when he was just 18, and a draw in his 2007 debut, when he was just 16. Despite having no major win on his record he had proven to be exciting, fun to watch and aggressive. He was pretty much the type of guy who was going to make for fun fights, especially if he thought he needed to score a stoppage to get a win, as he likely he would here.
From the opening round Velarde came forward, trying to pressure Miyazaki. Miyazaki was more cautious, and willing to move away when he needed to, but still tried to fight fire with fire. Within a minute we were already seeing some great back and forth action. It was exciting, but also technically correct, with neither man being reckless. Miyazaki looked the more versatile, but the challenger looked very polished, and like a fighter with a very clear gameplan, based around breaking down Miyazaki.
In round 2 the tempo picked up slightly, but kept the same type of pattern as the opening round. Velarde coming forward, throwing more, and Miyzaki picking his spots more. It was great two-way action despite the fact the styles were often very different, with nice lulls to catch your breath, and then great intense bursts of action.
We won't ruin any more of this fight, but for those looking for something short and enjoyable to watch. It also has a truly brilliant finish to it and that alone is worthy of the time it takes to watch the bout.
A fun, short, exciting bout, with a fantastic finish. A perfect closet classic.
By Eric Armit
-Artur Beterbiev halts Adam Deines in defence of the IBF and WBC light heavyweight titles
-Lawrence Okolie knocks out Krzys Glowacki in six rounds to win the vacant WBO cruiserweight title
-Vergil Ortiz stops Maurice Hooker in seven rounds
-Lee McGregor stops Karim Guerfi in one round to win the European Bantamweight title and Maxi Hughes knocks out Paul Hyland to win the vacant British lightweight title
-Oscar Rivas returns with a win in Quebec City
-Alex Besputin, Angelo Riguccini, Chris Billam-Smith, Anthony Fowler and Denys Berinchyk record wins.
World Title/Major Shows
Moscow, Russia: Light Heavy: Artur Beterbiev (16-0) W TKO 10 Adam Deines (19-2-1). Welter: Alexander Besputin (14-0,1ND) W RTD 3 Viktor Plotnikov (33-10,1ND). Super Middle: Pavel Silyagin (7-0) W PTS 12 Azizbek Abdugofurov (13-1). Super Light: Khariton Agrba (5-0) W TKO 2 Helber Rojas (13-4-2). Super Welter: Ramzan Baysarov (12-1) W TKO 5 Michel Marcano (21-3-1). Light Heavy: Igor Mikhalkin (24-2) W TKO 4 Denis Tsaryuk (12-5).
Beterbiev vs. Deines
After an even start Beterbiev pounds a gutsy Deines to defeat in ten rounds.
Beterbiev was quicker with his jab and tried a couple of rights. Deines was short with his until late in the round when he connected with a couple of jabs and a long left. It might have given him the round but with seconds remaining Beterbiev caught Deines with a right. Deines at the same time threw a right of his own but was off balance from the punch from Beterbiev and went down on one knee. He was up quickly and the bell went.
Score: 10-8 Beterbiev
Good round from Deines. He was on the back foot letting Beterbiev advance and then darting in with two or three punches and getting out before Beterbiev could respond. He stuck with those tactics and although Bererbiev upped his pace late in the round Deines took the round.
Score: 10-9 Deines Beterbiev 19-18
A close round. Beterbiev pressed hard and southpaw Deines was circling the perimeter of the ring and then firing a straight left or coming in behind his jab. Beterbiev landed a couple of rights but Deines had more success.
Score: 10-9 Deines TIED 28-28
Beterbiev upped the ante in this one. He was coming in behind a stiff jab and pounding Deines to the body. Deines’s offence had almost disappeared and Beterbiev landed some hurtful uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev Beterbiev 38-37
Beterbiev was now in control. Deines was firing occasional straight lefts but too often was pinned to the ropes or in a corner. He was just covering up and Beterbiev was digging shots to the body from both hands and connecting with straight rights and uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev Beterbiev 48-46
Now the fight was totally one-sided. Beterbiev was hounding Deines around the ring with Deines often just static against the ropes and letting Beterbiev choose his spots. Beterbiev was mixing his punches from head to body and there was very little coming back from Deines.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev Beterbiev 58-55
Deines was livelier in this round coming forward throwing long lefts but two body punches from Beterbiev sent him back into his shell. Beterbiev was connecting with clubbing shots from both hands and Deines was slowing and tiring but hanging in there even if not doing much.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev Beterbiev 68-64
A slower round. Beterbiev continued to force Deines back with short hooks and uppercuts with Deines firing straight lefts but his punches had no power. The clubbing shots from Beterbiev were breaking Deines down and it was just a question of how much punishment Deines was willing to take and how much the referee was willing to let him take.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev Beterbiev 78-73
It was unrelenting punishment for Deines in this one. Beterbiev was dismantling the challenger punch by punch and the fight could have been stopped. Deines fired back just enough to stay in the fight but he was exhausted and taking brutal punishment.
Score: 10-9 Beterbiev Beterbiev 88-72
Beterbiev continued to land heavily until a short left hook detonated on Deines chin. He took a couple of step forward and then collapsed on his knees. He was up at seven but turned to his corner. They were waiving a towel but the referee motioned them away and then looked at Deines and stopped the fight.
Beterbiev, 36, was defending the WBC and IBF titles and has yet to be taken the distance in any fight. He has said he would come down to super middle for a fight against Saul Alvarez but that is not on the cards. Sergey Kovalev has offered to fight Beterbiev but Beterbiev has shown no interest in that. The most likely fight is with the winner of Joe Smith vs. Maxim Vlasov for the vacant WBO title in Tulsa on 10 April which would unify three titles. There would be little interest in fights against WBC No 1 Jean Pascal or IBF No 1 Meng Fanlong. A fight with Dmitry Bivol the holder of the secondary WBA title would be an attraction but Bivol is due to defend his title against Craig Richards on 1 May and both the WBC and IBF will push for Beterbiev to meet his mandatory obligations. Russian-born German Deines,30 was competitive for a couple of rounds but after that his limitations were evident. The only fighter he has met who was even remotely near the ratings was Meng Fanlong and he lost that by wide margins on all three cards so he will struggle to get another title shot.
Besputin vs. Plotnikov
Besputin eases his way back with victory over Plotnikov. Besputin was scoring often and heavily in the first with Plotnikov just soaking up punishment. Besputin upped his pace and continued his onslaught over the second and third and Plotnikov decided not to come out for the fourth. First fight for Besputin since decisioning Radzhab Butaev for the vacant secondary WBA title in November 2019 only to be stripped of the title after testing positive for a banned substance. Eight losses in a row for 42-year-old Ukrainian Plotnikov who came in as a late replacement.
Silyagin vs. Abdugofurov
Very impressive performance from Silyagin as he outclasses Abdugofurov. Silyagin used his long reach to constantly score at distance and showed real power in his straight rights. He worked equally well to head and body with Abdugofurov never really able to pose a threat as Silyagin used clever movement to change angles and score with heavy shots. Abdugofurov had no plan to deal with Silyagin’s jabs and too often just resorted to lunging attacks which Silyagin was able to avoid or counter as he controlled the fight all the way. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-110.The 27-year-old Russian wins the WBC Silver title and could make an impact in the division. Uzbek Abdugofurov was making the first defence of the Silver title.
Agrba vs. Rojas
Highly-touted puncher Agrba sweeps aside Venezuelan Rojas in two rounds. Agrba just punched too hard for Rojas. He got past the jab of the taller Venezuelan and was bombarding him with booming shots from both hands. Rojas tried to punch with Agrba but was beaten down. The end came in the second with Rojas stuck in a corner with Agrba pounding him with heavy punches forcing the referee to step in and stop the massacre. The 26-year-old Georgian-born Russian southpaw has real power. Rojas has a heavily padded record with 11 of the men he has beaten never having won a fight.
Baysarov vs. Marcano
Baysarov wins the vacant WBC CIS and Slovak title with stoppage of Marcano. Fifth win for the 31-year-old Russian as he recovers from an upset points loss to Mexican veteran Silverio Ortiz back in 2017 after which he was inactive in 2018. As with Rojas Venezuelan Marcano’s record is an illustration of the level of matching in that country with the 21 fighters he has beaten having accumulating only 10 wins between them.
Mikhalkin vs. Tsaryuk
First fight for twenty months for Mikhalkin and only his second in over two years as gets rid of some rust and Tsaryuk in four rounds. Tsaryuk was the aggressor over the first two rounds but Mikhalkin was only settling in and sharpening his timing. In the third he floored Tsaryuk with a body shot and then in the fourth bombarded Tsaryuk with punches to force the stoppage. Mikhalkin, a former undefeated EBU and IBO champion, scored three wins over Beterbiev in the amateurs but was stopped in seven rounds by Sergey Kovalev when he challenged for the WBO title in 2018. Southpaw Tsaryuk has gone from 12-0 to five consecutive losses four by KO/TKO.
Secunda, South Africa: Super Light: Xolisani Ndongeni (27-2 W TKO 10 Byson Gwayana (11-7).
Ndongeni used a fast stiff jab to control the action in this one. Early in the third he put Gwayana down with a left and a right. Gwayana had to take more heavy rights but he was still there at the bell. Ndongeni continued to boss the action. His jab was too strong for Gwayana to get on the front foot very much and Ndongeni was really loading up on his rights. When Gwayana did come forward Ndongeni covered well and countered with rights. A booming right sent Gwayana crashing to the canvas in the eighth and although he made it to his feet he was unsteady and the bell came just in time for him. Ndongeni just kept throwing rights in the ninth and with Gwayana not fighting back the referee halted the fight. Ndongeni won 25 straight before being outpointed by Devin Haney in January 2019 but in a big shock was knocked out by Prince Dlomo last October. He has a rebuilding job on his hands after that loss but this is a first step in that directing. Malawian Gwayana falls to 2-5 in his last 7.
London, England: Cruiser: Lawrence Okolie (16-0) W KO 6 Krzys Glowacki (31-3). Cruiser: Chris Billam-Smith (12-1) W PTS 10 Vasil Ducar (9-4-1). Super Welter: Anthony Fowler(14-1) W KO 3 Jorge Fortea (21-3-1). Super Feather: Joe Cordina (12-0) W PTS 10 Faroukh Kourbanov (17-3).
Okolie vs. Glowacki
Okolie outclasses and kayo’s a disappointing Glowacki in six rounds to win the vacant WBIO title.
Okolie was using his 6’5” height and longer reach to keep Glowacki on the end of his jab. Glowacki was padding forward but waiting too long to throw a punch and Okolie was threading jabs through the Poles defence and scoring with quick rights. It was good to see the referee give Glowacki a stern telling off for punches to the back of Okolie’s head.
Score: 10-9 Okolie
Okolie stuck with what was working for him. He kept Glowacki on the end of his jab getting past Glowacki’s guard and throwing single rights and moving. Glowacki was too slow to cut the ring off and when he did get inside Okolie tied him up. Glowacki was warned for an attempted butt.
Score: 10-9 Okolie Okolie 20-18
Okolie continued to fight on the back foot. He kept his jab in Glowacki’s face sometimes flicking the jab and on others ramming it home and then landing single rights. Glowacki was unable to get past the jab and again was not pressing hard enough or cutting off the ring
Score: 10-9 Okolie Okolie 30-27
The fight changed in this round. After scoring with jabs early Okolie began to follow his rights with left hooks. His confidence was high and he started to take the fight to Glowacki connecting with a series of rights that had Glowacki under pressure. So far Glowacki had hardly landed a punch and was warned again for a punch to the back of Okolie’s head.
Score: 10-9 Okolie Okolie 40-36
Okolie boxed his way through this one. It was almost exclusively jabs with only the occasional right. Glowacki was too slow again to cut off the ring and just soaked up the jabs and a cut was opened over the right eye of the Pole who threw a punch after the bell.
Score: 10-9 Okolie 50-45
After landing some jabs Okolie unleashed a straight right that dropped Glowacki on his back, He made it to his feet at nine but turned away from the referee and the fight was stopped.
Commanding performance by the 28-year-old from Hackney with his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. On paper former champion Glowacki was a big step up in quality of opposition for Okolie but Glowacki showed nothing. There are not that many good fights to be had at cruiser although the winner of the eliminator between Thabiso Mchunu and Evgeny Tischenko would be a better test than Glowacki. The 34-year-old Pole looked very shop-worn. He had been stopped in three rounds by Mairis Breidis for the WBO title in June 2019 in what was also a WBSS semi-final. A return was ordered by the WBO due to a knockdown scored by Breidis using his elbow. The WBO ordered a return then stripped Breidis when instead he fought Yunier Dorticos in the final of the WBSS. Perhaps 21 months of inactivity has caused a deterioration in Glowacki but we won’t know until he fights again.
Billam-Smith vs. Ducar
Billam-Smith given some valuable ring time by Czech Ducar. Billam-Smith took a couple of rounds to settle with Ducar hustling him hard. From the third Billam-Smith began to find his range and he put Ducar down with a right in the fourth. Ducar continued to press in the fifth but Billam-Smith found the target with a body punch in the sixth and Ducar was forced to take a count. The Czech did not crumble and gave Billam-Smith some rough moments testing his chin a couple of times but Billam-Smith controlled the action on his way to a wide unanimous decision. Scores 99-90 twice and 97-92 Commonwealth champion Billam-Smith added the WBA Continental title to his collection with this victory. Former IBO title challenger Ducar did well to last the distance after that knockdown in the sixth.
Fowler vs. Fortea
Fowler blast out Fortea in three. Fowler quickly had Fortea on the back foot and under fire. He was landing long shots to the body and overhand rights with Forties only showing any aggression late in the round. In the second Fortea stood and exchanged punches more. Both connected with hard rights but Fowler was putting his punches together and again Fortea spent much of the tome on the retreat. In the third Fowler controlled the action with his jab and late in the round he connected with a left hook that sent Fortea down on his rump. Fortea was up at eight but when the action started again a right to the head sent him stumbling across the rings and down on his back resting against the ropes and he was unable to get up before the referee counted to ten. Fowler was defending the WBA International title for the first time and showed the power that has given him eleven quick wins. Fortea had won 8 of his last 9 fights and in the losing bout in that run had gone twelve rounds with IBF No 1 Bakhram Murtazaliev so a good performance from Fowler.
Cordina vs. Kourbanov
Cordina gets majority decision over Kourbanov over ten fast-paced rounds. Cordina looked sharp in his first fight for a year initially being too quick for the less skilled Kourbanov. Cordina landed some flashy combinations at the start of the second and third but Kourbanov came right back at him with some well-timed punches of his own. Kourbanov really started to roll in the middle rounds. He was walking through Cordina’s punches which seemed to lack their usual snap and was able to press hard and score well to the body. He had a good sixth banging away to Cordina’s body with Cordina signalling for Kourbanov to bring it on but not scoring much himself. Cordina began to get the better of the exchanges from the seventh although fighting inside too much but Kourbanov had enough success to make the closing rounds tight. Scores 98-93 and 96-95 for Cordina and 96-96. A tougher fight than wanted or expected but for me he was a clear winner. The British and Commonwealth champion he is rated WBA 13/IBF 15(14) and will be looking to improve his rating this year in a tough division. Kyrgyzstan-born Belgian Kourbanov is a former European Union champion and his two earlier losses have come against quality opposition in Devis Boschiero for the EU title and Samir Zani for the European and he gave Cordina a real test here.
Fort Worth, TX, USA: Welter: Vergil Ortiz (17-0) W TKO 7 Maurice Hooker (27-2-3). Super Light: Alex Martin (16-3) W PTS 10 Luis Alberto Hernandez (21-1). Super Light: Marcelino Nicolas Lopez (37-2-1) W KO 5 Jairo Lopez (27-12). Super Light: George Rincon (11-0 W PTS 8 Luis Solis (25-12-4).
Ortiz vs. Hooker
Ortiz breaks down, floors and halts Hooker although the finish is brought about by an injury to Hooker.
In the first Ortiz was bobbing and weaving coming forward behind a high guard and getting past Hooker’s jabs to score with straight rights and hooks from both hands. Hooker was catching Ortiz with counters on the way in but not able to keep him out and Ortiz was landing scorching hooks to the body. Ortiz kept up the pressure in the second. He was focusing hard on the body again ramming home punches downstairs. Hooker was finding the target with his jabs and hooks and landing more than Ortiz but the power was coming from Ortiz and he shook Hooker with a right just before the bell. Hooker upped his pace over the third and fourth as he shed the rust from fifteen months out of the ring. He was raking Ortiz with jabs and landing sharp counters stopping Ortiz in his tracks with a right in the fourth but with Ortiz getting through with left hooks to the body. Ortiz was ferocious in the fifth. He had Hooker backing up under a relentless body attack. Hooker countered occasionally but then the body punches from Ortiz would have him retreating again. In the sixth a left to the body and a right to the head had Hooker backing off across the ring to a corner and two rights to the head put him down on his hands and knees. When he then rolled over to a sitting position it looked as though he was not going to get up but he arose at seven and then chose to stand and exchange punches for the ten seconds left in the round. As they swopped punches in the seventh a left from Ortiz landed and Hooker turned away from the action and went down on a knee clutching his right wrist. He indicated to the referee he could not continue so the referee stopped the count and waived the fight over. Ortiz wins the vacant WBO International title and makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO in 17 fights. I guess his WBA gold belt might also have been on the line but who cares. Hooker gave the 22-year-old Texan a good test in an entertaining fight becoming only the second fighter to take Ortiz past the sixth round. He has wins over Mauricio Herrera, Antonio Orozco, Brad Solomon and Samuel Vargas and by 2020 could be ready for Terence Crawford or Errol Spence. Former WBO champion Hooker certainly had the skill but not the power to match Ortiz. His only other loss was a sixth round stoppage against Jose Carlos Ramirez in July 2019 in a match to unify the WBC and WBO title. He can still be a factor at super light or welter.
Martin vs. Hernandez
With a sparkling display of skill Martin dazzles Hernandez and takes away his unbeaten tag. Hernandez spent most of the evening trying vainly to hunt Martin down. The Illinois southpaw boxed cleverly on the back foot sliding away from Hernandez’s efforts to trap him and threading jabs through Hernandez’s guard and banging home some heavy punches of his own. Hernandez had no back-up plan and even when he started to have some success in closing Martin down over the late rounds Martin stood and interchanged punches and was more than a match for Hernandez and won widely. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Martin. He lost three hard fights in 2017 and was inactive in 2018 before scoring one win in 2019 and one last year so there was nothing in his record to make him a big risk for Hernandez particularly as Hernandez’s last three wins had been scored over fighters with combined records of 55-4. At 24 Hernandez has time to rebound.
Lopez (Marcelino) vs. Lopez (Jairo))
Argentinian Lopez (m) batters Mexican Lopez (j) to defeat but Lopez (j) was as gutsy as hell and never stopped fighting. Lopez (m) was hunting Lopez (j) down and floored Lopez (J) in each of the first two rounds but with Lopez (j) getting up each time and fighting back fiercely. As they swopped punches in the third a right had Lopez (j) hurt and he again went down on one knee. He beat the count but was down again but this time from a punch to the back of the neck so no count. He was down again in the fourth and given a count although it looked like a push/slip. An uppercut and a left hook in the fifth sent Lopez (j) down to his knees and this time he indicated he was finished and the referee tolled out the ten. The power of his punches saw the Argentinian at 29-0-1 at the start of his career and he showed his power with a second round kayo of Pablo Cano in 2017.He has won 8 of his last 9 fights by KO/TKO. Mexican Lopez was stopped in two rounds by Luke Campbell but had won his last three fights.
Rincon vs. Solis
Although Rincon was giving away height and reach he was quicker than Solis and had the harder punch. He was getting under the jabs from Soils and scoring with southpaw lefts inside. Solis showed very little in the way of offence just pushing out a weak jab and throwing a straight right now and then. A right to the head knocked Solis off balance in the sixth and he touched the canvas with his knee and a glove and was given a count. By the seventh a swelling under the left eye of Solis was hampering his vision but he was passed as able to continue by the doctor and lasted out to the final bell. Scores 80-71 twice and 79-72 for Rincon. Texan Rincon is a former US Under-19 and National Golden Gloves champion. Mexican Solis had lost 3 out of 4 but he had been put into tough matches against Antonio Barboza, Kerman Lejarraga and Antonio Moran.
Quebec City, Quebec: Heavy: Oscar Rivas (27-1) W RTD 3 Sylvain Louis (8-6).Super Middle: Patrice Volny (16-0) W TKO 5 Janks Trotter (10-6-2). Welter: Sebastien Bouchard (19-2 W PTS 6 Mario Perez (20-8-5).
Rivas vs. Louis
Rivas blows away Louis in three rounds. Rivas shook the lanky Louis with an overhand right in the first and it was obvious Louis could not handle the Colombian’s power. A right sent Louis into the ropes which held him up but he bounced back so quickly the referee did not give him a count. Rivas continued to hunt Louis down in the second and floored him with a right to the chest. Louis was up before the count was completed and fired back. Rivas scored heavily with left hooks in the third and at the end of the round Louis retired complaining of trouble breathing. First fight for the 33-year-old Rivas since losing on points to Dillian Whyte in July 2019. He is now aiming to go on and fight Kevin Lerena to become the first holder of the new Bridgerweight title. Former Canadian cruiser champion Louis had taken Rivas to a split decision back in 2012 but in his last fight in September 2016 was knocked out in nine rounds by Denton Daley for the Canadian and Commonwealth cruiser titles.
Volny vs. Trotter
Another return match and another predictable outcome as Volny stops veteran Trotter in five. Really just a bit of rust shedding for Volny. A tubby Trotter just marched forward into Volny’s punches taking punishment . Volny was firing rapid combinations from both hands and then lying back and letting Trotter flail punches as Volny wanted some ring time. Volny staggered Trotter at the end of the first round and floored him in the second. Trotter bravely marched forward over the third and fourth but was floored twice in the fifth and the referee stopped the fight. Volny, 31, got in some rounds of work as he now waits to find out when he will clash with Patrick Wojcicki in an eliminator to find an opponent for IBF champion Gennady Golovkin. He looks a useful fighter but neither Wojcicki nor Volny have ever faced or beaten a rated fighter but that is boxing today. First fight for Trotter,37, since May 2018-when he was stopped in one round by Volny.
Bouchard vs. Perez
On his return from injury Bouchard shows he has recovered with a points win over useful Perez. He outboxed a willing but at times crude Perez but it was just the sort of fight Bouchard needed as he had to work hard for his win. Scores 60-54, 59-56 and 58-56 for Bouchard. His last fight was in November 2019 against Ayaz Hussain for the Canadian title when he tore the distal tendon in his left biceps and had to retire in the fourth round. Mexican Perez is a popular visitor to Canada being 4-3-3 in his ten fight there.
General Santos City, Philippines: Bantam: Froilan Saludar (32-4-1) W PTS 8 Reymark Taday (10-14-1). Super Bantam: Jack Bornea (14-3-1) TEC DRAW 4 Nicardo Calamba (9-32-5). Light: Hermonito Dela Torre (22-3) W KO 1 Renan Portes (10-14).Light: Rimar Metuda (15-6-1) W KO 3 Eden Sonsona (36-13-2).
Saludar vs. Taday
Saludar wins every round against poor Taday. It was really not much more than sparring for Saludar. He was able to score with ease through Taday’s wide open defence. Saludar never looked to get above second gear and occasionally just stood against the ropes and let Taday whale away before swinging off the ropes and catching Taday with a good selection of punches. Taday was limited and crude and never threatened to win a round. “Sniper” Saludar, lost to Sho Kimura in a WBO flyweight title challenge in 2018. Taday drops to 1-9 in his last 10 fights.
Borneo vs. Calamba
Local fighter Borneo has to settle for a technical draw against Calamba. Borneo dominated the action with some good body punches. Southpaw Calamba was competitive but could not keep his balance and kept slipping on the canvas. A clash of heads in the third opened a cut over Calamba’s left eye. The referee stopped the fight in the fourth and after considerable confusion it was ruled Calamba could not continue and it was declared a technical draw as the fourth round had not been completed. Borneo was on his way to a win and as he was having his first fight since October 2018 he really needed more ruing time. He is the twin brother of unbeaten IBF No 8 Jade. Calamba has won only one of his last nine contests.
Dela Torre vs. Portes
Dela Torre brushes aside continual loser Portes. Dela Torre hounded Portes around the ring until dropping him with a right to the head with Portes being counted out. Big things were predicted for Dela Torre when he won his first 19 fights but after flooring Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar he found Nyambayar too strong and was outpointed. Two inside the distance losses in his next three fights blew him off course and he gets his second win in his recovery process. Nine consecutive losses for Portes
Metuda vs. Sonsona
Metuda shoves veteran Sonsona further down the slope with third round kayo. Metuda beat on a retreating shadow of a boxer in Sonsona. Once a world rated fighter Sonsona was a hapless loser here. Metuda pressured Sonsona over the first two rounds before putting him down with two body punches in the third. To make things look worse Sonsona climbed to his feet the moment the count was completed. Metuda, a southpaw like Sonsona, does well in domestic action but is 0-5-1 on foreign soil. Sonsona, a former WBC International and Philippines champion, won 17 of his first 18 fights and lost in a challenge against Silence Mabuza for the IBO bantam title. Having been 110lbs for his first pro fight he was 145lbs for this one his seventh consecutive defeat.
Salinas, Puerto Rico: Super Fly: Jose Martinez (21-1-3) DREW 10 Israel Gonzalez (26-4-1). Light: Angel Fierro (18-1-1) W KO 6 Alberto Machado (22-3). Super Fly: Angel Acosta (22-2) W PTS 8 Gilberto Mendoza (17-10-3). Welter: Jose Roman (11-0) W PTS 8 Roque Agustin Junco (10-8-1).
Martinez vs. Gonzalez
Martinez and Gonzalez end all even after ten entertaining rounds. Mexican Gonzalez managed to make his longer reach and better skills tell over the first three rounds. Martinez was rumbling forward looking to work inside but good defensive movement and counters gave Gonzalez the edge. From the fourth to the sixth Martinez broke through with Gonzalez under heavy pressure and holding to stay in the fight. The seventh was close and they fought hard through the last three rounds. Martinez has no reverse gear and Gonzalez was forced to stand and trade and he seemed to have just done enough to edge it but a draw was a fair result. Scores 96-94 Gonzalez and 95-95 twice. Although the younger man at 24 Gonzalez had more depth in his experience having lost in world title shots against Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF super fly title on a tenth round stoppage and on points against both Khalid Yafai and Roman Gonzalez for the WBA title. Martinez, 28, had been 20-0-2 until being knocked out in two rounds by Aston Palicte in January 2019 bur had rebounded with a stoppage of Yeison Vargas in February last year.
Fierro vs. Machado
Mexican Fierro gets off the canvas twice to break down and kayo former WBA super feather title holder Machado in six rounds. Machado made a great start. He dropped Fierro with a right hook in the first and then dropped with the same punch in the second. Machado dominated the third but Fierro started to roll in the fourth. He was rocked by another right hook but for most of the round he was taking the fight to Machado and scoring with hard shots to the body. Fierro continued to land heavily in the fifth and Machado was coming apart. In the sixth Fierro shook Machado with a couple of punches and then landed a ferocious left that put Machado down and he failed to beat the count. Huge win for the 22-year-ol Fierro and his fifteenth inside the distance finish. He had lost to Alex Martin in January last year and Machado was another couple of levels above Martin. He had been preparing for a fight in Tijuana but took this fight at two week’s notice when Hector Tanajara fell ill. His dance of delight was a sight to see. Machado, 30, had lost his secondary WBA title in 2019 against Andrew Cancio and then been knocked out in three rounds in a return match. He was rated WBO 12/WBA 13 but three inside the distance defeats in his last four fights puts his career under question.
Acosta vs. Mendoza
Former WBO light fly title holder Acosta sheds some dust with points win over Mendoza. In his first fight since October 2019 over the early rounds Acosta was off with his timing and accuracy but he slowly got into the groove. He floored Mendoza with a left in the seventh and tried hard to put Mendoza away in the last but Mendoza made it to the bell. All three judges had Acosta winning 79-72. The Puerto Rican is No 1 flyweight with the WBO will now be looking to get a date for his challenge to title holder Junto Nakatani. Californian Mendoza gets his second loss in a row.
Roman vs. Junco
The 6’2” (188cm) Roman was never really troubled as he eased to victory over 5’8” (173cm) Junco. Roman was able to keep the fight at distance and connected with some solid counters as Junco tried to fight his way inside. Roman won every round and in the last Junco was dumped into the ropes by a right but the referee ruled it a slip. Scores 80-72 twice and 80-71 as that judge decided it was a knockdown. Roman was a regular member of the Puerto Rican amateur team but missed out on the big competitions. Three losses in his last four fights for Argentinian Junco
Mexicali, Mexico: Super Feather: Luis Alberto Lopez (22-2) W KO 1 Mauro Loreto (20-13-2). Light Fly: Juan Garcia (9-0-2) DREW 10 Moises Caro (8-0-2).
Lopez vs. Loreto
Lopez destroys over matched Loreto in the first. Loreto looked lively to start with trying to take the fight to Lopez with plenty of movement. That stopped when Lopez connected with a blistering left hook to the body. Loreto crawled around the canvas trying to get up but failed. Local fighter Lopez suffered his only defeat on points against then unbeaten Ruben Villa in May 2019 with Villa going on to lose a close decision to Emanuel Navarrete for the vacant WBO feather title a year later. Lopez bounced back with a stoppage of 18-0 Cristian Baez and a split verdict over 23-1-1 Andy Vences. Loreto is a disappointing 2-8 in his last ten fights with six of those loses by KO/TKO.
Garcia vs. Caro
Two unbeaten records at risk here as Garcia and Caro got together for the second time but after ten rounds of good action both remain undefeated. Scores 97-93 Garcia, 96-94 Caro and 95-95. Both are in their early twenties and both were in their first ten round fight having fought a draw over six rounds in June 2019. They will go their separate ways now.
Granadero Balgorria, Argentina: Light Heavy: Brian Nahuel Suarez (14-0) W TKO 1 Jesus Aviles (9-4).
Heavy-handed Suarez demolishes Aviles inside a round. Suarez was tracking Aviles and connected with a right that caused Aviles to dip at the knees and stagger back to the ropes. Suarez then batter him with lefts and rights to the head until the referee jumped in to save Aviles. Argentinian light heavyweight champion Suarez collects the WBA Fedebol title at light heavyweight having won the Fedebol cruiserweight title in December. He has won 13 of his 14 fights by KO/TKO. Peruvian Aviles in way over his head and is 1-4 in his last 5 fights.
Bruchsal, Germany: Light Heavy: Benjamin Gavazi (13-1) W TKO 7 Vasilij Sarbayev (15-9-1). Super Middle: Dimitar Tilev (13-0) W TKO 4 Roman Hardok (7-3). Heavy: Marko Radonjic (22-0) W TKO 1 Ozcan Cetinkaya (31-22-2).
Gavazi vs. Sarbayev
Gavazi wins the vacant German title with inside the distance victory over Sarbayev. Gavazi was in control from the first round. He worked well snapping out his jab and scoring with straight rights. Sarbayev struggled to get in the fight and with his left eye almost closed slowly began to crumble. A right from Gavazi put Sarbayev on the floor in the sixth and although he beat the count and made it out of the round he was effectively finished. In the seventh Gavazi continued to pound on Sarbayev and with the German-based Kazak’s eye closed and blood dripping from what looked like a broken nose the fight was halted. After losing his first pro fight “The Hornet” extends his winning streak to thirteen, Sarbayev was 4-1 going in but took a battering here.
Tilev vs. Hardok
In another German title fight Tilev comes out on top against Russian-born Hardok with a fourth round stoppage. Tilev’s opposition has been mediocre at best but it is too soon to be pushing him. Second title shot for Hardok.
Radonjic vs. Cetinkaya
All over in 91 seconds as Radonjic continues his campaign against the “can’t fight a lick” club” The Montenegrin has won 22 of his fights by KO/TKO but it will come as a shock to him if he is ever matched with someone with even a modicum of talent. Late stand-in Cetinkaya, 42, has lost 16 times by KO/TKO but is a step up from Radonjic’s other opponents.
Bardez, India: Super Middle: Artysh Lopsan (5-1-1) W TKO 5 Vijender Singh (12-1).
Russian Lopsan upsets the odds with stoppage of Indian star Singh. The 6’4” Lopsan boxed well at distance in the first but Singh upped his pace in the second and connected with a right to the head that sent Lopsan down. Lopsan bounced straight up and then put Singh under heavy pressure in the third. The fourth saw Singh already exhausted and floored three times. Singh tried to trade punches with Lopsan in the fifth but a left to then head stunned him and a left hook sent him down. Singh sat out most of the count on his knees and when he did get up he indicated to the referee he was finished to save the referee having to make the decision. There was nothing in his record that made Lopsan look a risky fight as apart from Pavel Silyagin who stopped him the rest of his opponents had been substandard but because of Singh’s name he will probably get a couple of good pay days. Singh has made a mess of his career. The 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner had beaten Badou Jack, Rona Gavril and Terrell Gausha in the amateurs but he made some bad decisions as a pro and although he is committed to continuing at 35 he will struggle.
Asti, Italy: Middle: Etinosa Oliha (14-0) W TKO 2 Bogdan Malinovic (3-1).
Oliha steam rollers poor Malinovic. Oliha raked Malinovic with punches in the first before flooring him with a body punch at the end of the round. The bell saved Malinovic but Oliha knocked him over twice more in the second and the referee halted the match. Sixth inside the distance victory for 22-year-old Italian champion Oliha. He was to have defended the national title against Francesco Lezzi but the promoter had to pull Lezzi out. Although Lezzi had scored a win over French hope Milan Prat on 28 February it was on a disqualification after Lezzi was unable to continue after being hit with a rabbit punch leading to him being given a safety suspension for 28 days so 18-year-old Malinovic came in at late notice.
Guasave, Mexico: Alessandro Riguccini (26-0) W TKO 2 Johan Perez (26-8-2). Fly: Imanol Lopez (13-0) W RTD Rigoberto Osorio (5-2-1). Super Light: Rodolfo Orozco (28-2-3) W TKO 5 Paul Salcido (15-5).
Riguccini vs. Perez
Unbeaten Italian Riguccini marches on with win over Perez. The Mexican-based Italian pressed hard in the first finding Perez an elusive target but he began to get thought late in the round. In the second Riguccini moved in and connected with a wicked left hook to Perez’s ribs. Perez dropped to his hands and knees in pain and was unable to get up. Fifteenth inside the distance finish in a row for Riguccini and his twenty-second in total. He retains the WBC interim Silver title. He is rated No 26 by the WBC but not rated by any of the other bodies. Perez, a former WBA interim super light title holder, has fallen into the habit of losing every testing fight dropping his interim title in 2014..
Lopez vs. Osorio
Local prospect Lopez was moving up to ten rounds here but did not need to go that for as Orozco retired. Eighth time Lopez had ended his fight early. Osorio just not up to the standard for an opponent such as Lopez.
Orozco vs. Salcido
Orosco bludgeons Salcido to defeat. The hard-punching Orozco put Salcido down in the fourth and twice more in the fifth before the referee saves Salcido. Orozco, 21, gets his eight short route victory in his last ten fights. Third time Salcido has dropped out early
Szklarska Poreba, Poland: Robert Parzeczewski (26-1) W PTS 8 Facundo Nicolas Galovar (10-6-2). Super Middle: Patryk Szymanski (21-4) W TKO 5 Daniel Bocianski (10-1).
Parzeczewski vs. Galovar
“Arab” Parzeczewski boxes his way to victory over competitive Argentinian Galovar. Parzeczewski had his jab working well from the start and showed some good movement to frustrate Galovar’s aggression. Galovar was occasionally dangerous but a right hook had him dazed in the sixth and the bell saved him from defeat. Galovar ended the fight strongly but Parzeczewski was never really threatened. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-74 for Parzeczewski. After an early loss Parzeczewski put together a run of 17 wins including victories over Dariusz Sek and Dmitry Chudinov but in September last year was stopped in two rounds by 21-1-1 Sherzod Khusanov. Spanish-based Galovar had fought a creditable draw with 14-1 Yoann Kongolo in Berne in his last fight in December 2019.
Szymanski vs. Bocianski
After four losses in his last five fights Szymanski keeps his career alive with stoppage of tall fellow-Pole Bocianski. Szymanski dominated the action in the first being quicker and putting his punches together better than the 6’3” Bocianski. He was winning the exchanges in the second when just before the bell a right uppercut from Bocianski had Szymanski’s legs quivering and he was lucky the bell went before Bocianski could land another punch. The pace slowed in the third and Szymanski rocked Bocianski with rights to the head in the fourth. Bocianski was using his longer reach to score in the fifth when Szymanski connected with a right uppercut. Bocianski floundered across the ring on spaghetti legs and although he did not go down the referee right stopped th4e fight. Szymanski went 19-0 at the beginning of his career so he badly needed to stop his slump. Bocianski’s height and reach are his string points but he has no power.
Bolton, England: Bantam: Lee McGregor (10-0) W TKO 1 Karim Guerfi (29-5,1ND). Light: Maxi Hughes (23-5-2) W TKO 8 Paul Hyland Jr (20-3). Super Bantam: Shabaz Masoud (8-0) W TKO 4 Louis Norman (14-9-1).
McGregor vs. Guerfi
McGregor obliterates champion Guerfi to win the European title. McGregor made his intentions clear driving home a right hook to the body before the sound of the bell had faded. Guerfi fired back with a right but McGregor drove him to the ropes and again landed a right to the body. They traded punches but with less than á minute gone a left to the body had Guerfi turning away and dropping to his knees. He crawled to the ropes and pulled himself up but just moments later another left to the body saw him collapse on his side. Guerfi was up early and tried to punch with McGregor but was again hurt by body punches before a left to the head floored him for the third time. He tried to rise but dropped back to the canvas and then managed to get upright but was wobbly and the referee waived the fight over after just 2:43. On paper this was a tough test for McGregor the British and Commonwealth champion but he simply blew Guerfi away. The Frenchman had challenged for both the interim WBA and IBO titles and was in his second reign as European title and rated IBF 8(7).
Hughes vs. Hyland
Hughes wins the vacant British title with kayo as Hyland forgets the rules to protect yourself at all times. The taller Hyland was coming forward behind his guard with southpaw Hughes showing some good defensive work. Hyland landed a couple of left hooks to the body and Hughes replied with a right to the head which rattled Hyland. In the second and third Hughes boxed cleverly on the back foot and got through time and again with hooks to the body. Hyland chose to stand inside and exchange punches with Hughes in the fourth and fifth but was taking punishment from body punches. He did better when he boxed more in the sixth. Hyland was boxing in the seventh until he decided to match Hughes punch-for punch inside. A series of shots from Hughes had Hyland reeling and he was in deep trouble but kept fighting even though clearly exhausted. In the eighth two lefts to the body had Hyland reeling again. Hyland decided a punch from Hughes was low and turned away walking towards a corner with his hands down. The referee waived them to carry on so Hughes ran after Hyland and from behind Hyland hooked a right to the chin that Hyland did not see coming and he went down on his back and was counted out. Not good to see a fighter kayoed by a punch thrown from behind his back but Hyland only has himself to blame and the speed with which Hughes crossed the ring was too quick for the referee to intervene even if he had wanted to. Hughes adds the British title to the WBC International one he holds and this might see him improve on his WBC 15 rating. This was Hyland’s first fight since being beaten by Francesco Patera for the European title in June 2019.
Masoud vs. Norman
Solid performance from prospect Masoud as he halts seasoned pro Norman. Masoud put Norman down late in the third with a right to the head and scored two more knockdown in the fourth before Norman’s corner threw in the towel. Second inside the distance win for 25-year-old from Stoke. Former English flyweight champion Norman suffers his fourth inside the schedule defeat.
Tampa, FL, USA_ Bantam: Saul Sanchez (16-1) W TKO 1 Frank Gonzalez (8-2). Light: Maliek Montgomery (9-0) W KO 1 Kris Berberich (0-3).
Sanchez dismantles Gonzalez with three knock downs. A short right to the head brought the first knockdown but Gonzalez was up immediately. After the count Sanchez drove Gonzalez to the ropes with overhand rights and Gonzalez fell into the ropes and was being held up by them so was given a count. Sanchez then connected with a solid right to the body and Gonzalez stumbled forward and grabbed Sanchez as he tumbled to the canvas with the referee stopping the fight. Ninth inside the distance finish for Californian Sanchez. Local fighter Gonzalez had won his last five fights.
Montgomery vs. Berberich
Montgomery makes it nine out of nine as he stops overmatched Berberich in one round for his ninth inside the distance win. The 25-year-old from Georgia has taken less than 22 round for his wins. He is flying under the radar. In the amateurs he won two gold medals a silver and bronze at successive National Golden Gloves Championships but lost out in the final of the US Olympic Trials for Rio being outpointed by Teo Lopez. One to follow. Berberich has yet to last beyond the second round in his four fights.
La Cauticva, Argentina: Super Bantam: Hector Andres Sosa (11-0) W PTS 10 Ckari Cani Mansilla (15-2). Feather: Mayco Estadella (9-0-1) W TKO 4 Nicolas Botelli (7-5).
Sosa vs. Mansilla
Sosa scores two knockdowns in the second round but Mansilla comes through the crisis with Sosa having to settle for a split decision. Sosa was snapping out his jab and testing Mansilla with in the first. In the second Sosa connected with three heavy right but Mansilla banged back with a heavy right that buzzed Sosa. When he tried to capitalise on that a left from Sosa put him down. He was up at six but was put down for a second time but again he beat the count. He was on the floor for a third time but the referee ruled it was a slip otherwise the fight would have been over. From the third Mansilla fought back hard trying to regain the lost ground and they swapped hard rights and both landed heavily to the head. Sosa was rocked a few times just had the edge in power and despite a big effort from Mansilla at the end he just could not bridge the points gap from that near disastrous second round. Scores 97-91 ½ and 96 ½ -92 ½ for Sosa and 95-94 for Mansilla. Sosa remains South American champion. He is No 1 in the Argentinian ratings. Mansilla is No 2 so hopefully they will meet again for the vacant National title.
Estadella vs. Botelli
Estadella puts Botelli down twice for stoppage victory. After two close rounds Estadella dominated from there flooring Botelli twice with rights to the head with the referee stopping the contest after the second knockdown. Estadella was defending the interim Argentinian title. Botelli had been stopped in two rounds by Hector Andres Sosa in 2019.
Vienna, Austria: Middle: Marcos Nader (23-1-1) W PTS 10 Alexander Pavlov (11-2).
Nader retains the IBF International title after unanimous decision over Pavlov. Nader had to work hard against the less experienced Pavlov to win this one. Nader pressed the fight from the start and outlanded Pavlov but the tall German used his longer reach well and landed some good counters and gave Nader some problems. Nader had built a lead but Pavlov started to win rounds in the later stages although but started his drive too late and Nader was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94. Spanish-born Nader turned pro with Team Sauerland but after losing his European Union title to Emanuele Blandamura in 2014 he returned to the amateurs. He moved back to pro boxing in 2018 and this is his 5th win since returning. For winning their International title the IBF have him rated No 15(13) even though BoxRec has him at No 110 in the world. Pavlov had shown he could mix at this level in only losing on a majority verdict against unbeaten German hope Vincenzo Gualtieri in June last year.
Charleroi, Belgium: Super Light: Antoine Vanackere (16-1) W KO 1 Ivan Njegac (12-17). Super Middle: Michel Garcia (16-1) W PTS 6 Sladjan Dragisic (5-22-2). Super Light: Ray Moylette (12-1) W KO 1 Adam Walas (1-4). Light: Niall O’Connor (6-0) W PTS 6 Angelo Turco (8-18-2).Heavy: Niall Kennedy (14-2-1)W KO 5 Hrvoje Bozinovic (2-23). Middle: Craig O’Brien (12-2) W PTS 6 Daniel Przewieslik (2-12-1).
Vanackere vs. Njegac
Early night for Belgian southpaw Vanackere and a left to the body puts Njegac down and out. All over in 64 seconds. Eighth consecutive win for the 26-year-old Belgian champion. Seven is the number for Njegac but in his case it is losses in a row.
Garcia vs. Dragisic
In his first outing in almost two years Garcia beats Dragisic for the second time taking a unanimous decision. Now on a 13-bout winning streak Garcia had stopped Dragisic in five rounds in May 2018. This is only Garcia’s second fight since then but losers are more popular and this was Dragisic’s thirteenth!
Moylette vs. Walas
Moylette wipes out novice Walas inside a round. Easy outing for Moylette against substitute opponent. Moylette put Walas down with a body punch in the first Walas made it to his feet but a second knockdown was enough. First fight for the former top amateur since losing his unbeaten record when being outpointed by Mexican Christian Uruzquieta in December 2018. Disgraceful match with Pole Walas having failed to last three minutes in each of his five losses.
O’Connor vs. Turco
In one real fight on this show O’Connor given all he can handle. by local fighter Turco. O’Connor was generally in control but could never subdue Turco who proved a much better fighter than his record showed. Turco made many of the rounds close but O’Connor’s body punching was his edge and he looked a clear winner but had to settle for a split decision. Scores 59-56, 58-57 for O’Connor and 58-57 for Turco. O’Connor had won his last four inside the distance but his last fight was in December 2018 so the shelves needed dusting. Ten losses in a row for Turco but he has only been stopped three times.
Kennedy vs. Bozinovic
No useful ring time for Kennedy as he disposes of another pitiful substitute. After a slow start Kennedy began to land heavily to the body. In the third he dropped Bozinovic twice and the farce was over. After inside the distance losses to Devin Vargas and Alen Babic Kennedy needed a win but even that does not justify this rubbish. Twelve inside the distance losses for Croatian Bozinovic
O’Brien vs. Przewieslik
O’Brien has to work hard to win this one. Despite a poor record Przewieslik came to fight and both were rocked on occasion. O’Brien looked to have built a lead but Przewieslik had a good fifth hurting O’Brien with a body punch. O’Brien tired in the last but did enough to win. Scores 59-56 and 58-57 for O’Brien and 58-56 for Przewieslik. First fight for 15 months for O’Brien whose losses have been in tough asks against Anthony Fowler and Kieron Conway. Ninth consecutive defeat for Przewieslik.
Nadi, Fiji: Cruiser: Alivereti Kauyaca (5-0-1) W PTS 10 Savenaca Naliva (14-3-1,1ND). Super Light: Ronald Naidu (11-5-3) W TKO 10 Nathan Singh (3-1).
Kauyaca vs. Naliva
Kauyaca outpoints Naliva in a battle of National champions. It was a close fight with a second round knockdown scored by Kauyaca proving the decider as he took a majority decision. Fijian cruiser champion Kauyaca makes it five wins in a row. Naliva, the Fijian light heavyweight champion, was coming off a run of five victories.
Naidu vs. Singh
A controversial finish sees Naidu stop Singh in the last round to win the vacant Fijian title. Singh had boxed his way into the lead and looked on his way to victory. Naidu had more left and he forced Singh to the ropes and pelted him with punches. Singh was hanging out though the middle ropes and when the referee pulled Naidu back Naidu’s corner team and supporters climbed into the ring. No decision had been given and trouble broke out before Naidu was declared the winner by TKO. Fifth win by KO/TKO for Naidu who is also Fijian champion at welterweight. He had much more experience than Singh who had never gone past
Brovari, Ukraine: Light: Denys Berinchyk (15-0) W TKO 3 Jose Sanchez (18-2). Middle: Khasan Baysangurov (20-1) W KO 2 Oleksandr Rubchev (6-7-1). Super Light: Vasyl Chebotar (8-0) W KO 1 Joan Lique (6-1).
Berinchyk vs. Sanchez
After yet another bizarre ring entrance Berinchyk does the business between the ropes as he batters Chilean Sanchez to defeat in three rounds. Berinchyk was his usual all-out aggressive self. Sanchez did well to get though the first two rounds but in the third Berinchyk drove him to a corner and connected with a succession of head punches until the referee stopped the fight The 32-year-old Ukrainian was making the fifth defence of the WBO International title. He is rated No 3 by the WBO and No 6 by the IBF but his name never comes up when a world title fight is discussed. Sanchez has built his record against sub-standard domestic and South American rivals. Berinchyk’s ring entrance for this fight saw him carried to ringside on a stretcher with his right arm and leg in huge plaster casts accompanied by two sexily dressed “nurses”. The arm cast was so big that when he tried to get off the stretched the weight of the cast tipped him off the stretch and on to the floor.
Baysangurov vs. Rubchev
Russian Baysangurov dismisses Ukrainian Rubchev in two rounds. After pressing hard in the first Baysangurov dug a vicious left hook into the ribs of Rubchev who sunk to the canvas to be counted out. Baysangurov was stopped in eleven rounds by Rob Brant in February 2019 in a challenge for the secondary WBA title and this is his third KO/TKO victory as he rebuilds. Rubchev went 0-1-5 in his initial six fights but his better form since then has been due to the abysmal level of his opposition.
Chebotar vs. Lique
Chebotar flattens Lique with one punch. Lique was crude and when he lunged forward a left to the head from Chebotar put him face down on the canvas and out. The 19-year-old southpaw is being brought along slowly. German-based Colombian Lique inept.
Fight of the week (Significance): Artur Beterbiev’s win over Adam Deines clears the way for a unification of the version of the light heavyweight title later this year.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Vergil Ortiz vs. Maurice Hooker was packed with quality work from both with Hooker’s willingness to stand and trade making for plenty of entertainment. Honourable mention to Hector Sosa vs. Ckari Mansilla who provide ten rounds of fiercely competitive fighting.
Fighter of the week: I go for Lawrence Okolie for the way he outclassed Krzys Glowacki with honourable mentions to both Beterbiev and Ortiz-oh and fellow-Scot Lee McGregor for his one round destructing of Karim Guerfi.
Punch of the week: Plenty of good examples this week but I go for the left from Angel Fierro that put Alberto Machado down and out.
Upset of the week: Fierro’s victory over Machado was the shock result of the week with honourable mention to Alex Martin for his win over 21-0 Luis Hernandez
Prospect watch: Super Middleweight Pavel Silyagin (7-0) showed real class in outpointing unbeaten Azizbek Abdugofurov. He went 10-1 in fights in the WSB including a victory over Joshua Buatsi so worth following.
I am considering setting up a sanctioning body to control the use of nicknames. This week we had Filipino Nicardo Calamba with a 9-32-5 record and 27 losses by KO/TKO using the nickname “Destroyer”. With a record like that he has been down so often I would allocate him the nickname of “Submarine”. I will be doing ratings of the nicknames and naturally will expect some under the table payments for certain nicknames and will encourage the multi-use of a nicknames, secondary nicknames, interim nicknames, franchise nicknames and emeritus nicknames and will be sourcing nicknames from Asia, the Pacific, Europe etc. Watch this space for further announcement of this service that boxing has needed so badly for so many years.
I might have to have a word with Maxi Hughes. I noted he has the words “Granddad” on his shorts which I think sends the wrong message. Since he is not actually using it as a nickname I have claimed the copy-right as I am intending to auction that nickname off to Mike Tyson or Roy Jones but would consider a bid from Manny Pacquiao.
Yet another new venue with the Vijender Singh vs. Artysh Lopsan being held on the roof of the “Majestic Pride Casino ship".
There was an invasion of Europe by fighters from Ireland this week with Ray Moylette, Niall O’Connor, Niall Kennedy, Craig O’Brien and Rhys Moran fighting on a show in Belgium and another batch fighting in Luxembourg bet they were disappointed to find the pubs were shut there as well.
Whilst boxing is a very, very global sport the way it's held in various countries is very different. Sure the in ring action is, essentially, the same, with two fighters sharing the ring with a referee, and judges on the outside of the ring scoring bouts based on some scoring criteria. Despite the similarities how the sport is done in various nations and various rules relating to the sport are very different in various areas.
Today we're going to take a look at some of the various differences in boxing from various countries. Some aren't totally unique, but are perhaps not things that many fans will be too aware of, even if they happen in other countries.
Please note this isn't an extensive list, and it does focus on the Orient rather than Central Asia.
We'll start with a controversial one, but one that we suspect many fans have heard of, and that is the use of "Open Scoring". The idea has been tried in the US once or twice, but is mostly used now in Asia, with Japan and Thailand both using it for various fights, and using it in different ways.
The idea of open scoring is to let the fighters, teams and audience, know how judges are scoring the bout at set intervals, and not waiting until after the final scores to know how the judges are seeing the fight. In some ways this can destroy the drama of a fight, or set one fighter into a running mentality, avoiding a fight if they are well in the lead. On the other hand it can lead to a fighter who is behind changing tactics and giving all they have in an attempt to turn a fight around.
In both Thailand and Japan it's used at various levels.
Both countries use it for WBC world title fights, and scores are announced after round 4 and round 8. In Japan scores are typically announced into the venue in rounds 5 and 9, with an on screen graphic for TV viewers. In Thailand scores are shown on a hand held white board by an official.
Outside of world title fights Thailand uses open scoring for 10 round WBC minor title bouts, such as WBA Asia titles, with scores announced after rounds 4 and 8. W
In Japan open scoring is used for OPBF title bouts and Japanese title bouts. With OPBF title bouts being 12 rounders the scores are announced after rounds 4 and 8, whilst Japanese fights, which are set for 10 rounds, have their scores announced after 5 rounds, early in round 6.
For 10 round bouts we prefer the Japanese system to the Thai one, and think announcing the scores with just 2 rounds left in a bout removes too much drama, though we do like the fact they are using it, and it does give the fighter who's losing a chance to turn things around.
10-10 rounds aren't a problem!
One thing that we can all agree on, whether you like or hate open scoring, is the fact that scoring is notoriously bad in this great sport. Sadly we'll never get a fix we're all happy with, but one way to stop wide cards in a close fight is for judges to be willing to score 10-10 rounds when they need to.
In South Korea this is a normal thing. In fact if we see a show where 10-10 rounds aren't used then we're really surprised. They do, at times, give some weird scores, but we would prefer "weird scores" with the right winner, than the wrong winner with awful scores.
We feel it gives judges more flexibility and that is, perhaps, what the sport needs. A close round with no winner doesn't need a winner "just because". Instead fights need the right result, and we would love to see the liberal use of 10-10 rounds explored more often in the west.
This one isn't as simple as a catch all, with different promoters doing things differently, but there are general differences here with Japan and Thailand being the most obvious cases.
In Thailand a typical main event bout, will be delayed 10 to 30 minutes whilst we get extravagant introductions that really are something truly unique, and frustrating in equal measure. Unlike the US and UK where pre-fight circus is focused on the fighters, in Thailand we often see the in ring activity consist of numerous sponsors being brought into the ring, and introduced, we see the fighters standing through the anthems, and we see a long and lengthy break up in the event whilst the audience get introduced to the companies that are supporting the shows. It's long, it's tedious, it's horrific for international fans to sit through. Thankfully it appears the whole process is slowly being phased out by the newer promoters, but it has been a staple of the Thai boxing scene for years.
In Japan however we often see the champion enter the ring before the challenger. This isn't always the case, but does happen much, much more often than in other countries. It seems like this is a traditional thing, and we dare say it comes from an idea of a champion facing their challenger, and accepting the challenge. Whatever the reason we do like the idea, though can understand why it's not a regular thing.
Missing weight punishments
This is something that we typically see in the Philippines and Japan who both take very different stances on punishments for missing weight, and this time we actually think the Japanese view is the wrong one, and the Filipino idea is one that every country should be taking a big look at.
In Japan if a foreign fighter misses weight they are typically added to the "Invitation banned fighter list", essentially meaning a Japanese promoter can't use them until a ban is over.
In 2018 the JBC announced an overhaul in what happens if a Japanese fighter misses weight. The key change is that they are punished depending on how much they weigh over the agreed limit.
If they are over the limit but under set % they will be allowed to re-weigh 2 hours later or the following day, and need to make a set weight. If they do this they will be fined and given a short suspension. If they are that set % the bout will cancelled. If that happens they are fined, given a lengthy suspension, their manager is also punished and they aren't allowed to fight again at that weight.
Although a good idea on paper it does mean their opponent often misses out on a fight and a pay day, and can also result in some fights being cancelled a day or so in advance on medical grounds, avoiding the suspension.
In the Philippines a fighter that misses weight is typically forced to fight with heavier gloves. A very clear punishment that allows the bout to go ahead, and punishes the guilty party in a very obvious way. The heavier gloves slows a fighter's punches down, slows their movement, takes a bit of snap off their shots and drains stamina quicker. It also allows the bout to go ahead, and is a direct advantage to their opponent.
Incidentally this seems to genuinely work, and we've seen things like Rustico Torrecampo beating an overweight Manny Pacquiao with this rule in play, giving Pacquiao his first loss in 1996.
We really do like the rule and would love to see more countries follow suit. Perhaps adding more complexity to the rule, to further punish a fighter for missing the limit.
Sadly in the west the main punishment seems to be a short term financial one, with a portion of an over-weight fighters purse being given to the fighter who made weight, and not something that actually helps in the fight it's self.
Officials for world title bouts
At the moment this isn't in effect as much as usual, due to the on going Covid19 pandemic, but typically world title bouts in Japan don't feature Japanese officials, unless both fighters are Japanese.
To ensure fairness all 3 judges and the referee for world title bouts in Japan are usually from neutral countries. It's often felt "judging in Japan" is the fairest for visitors, and we dare say this is the reason why. The judges have no ties to the country, other than their work on a particular fight.
If we compare Japanese world champions to, say, British world champions the choice of officials is bizarre. For example Kazuto Ioka has only had Japanese officials involved in two of his world title bouts, both against Japanese fighters, whilst Anthony Joshua only has one world title fight without a British official, with that being his bout against Wladimir Klitschko.
Of course it's not just Ioka. You can genuinely select any Japanese world champion from recent years and see this in action.
Sadly this does come at a cost, and we rarely see Japanese officials getting big gigs on the world scene, which is a huge shame. It's seen officials like Michiaki Someya, Nobuto Ikehara, Yuji Fukuchi and Akihiko Katsuragi rarely getting world level fights and if we're being honest they all deserve far, far more high profile bouts than they get.
Inside fighting welcome!
On the subject of Japanese officials it should be noted that they are a lot, lot happier to see inside fighting take place than officials in the West. This was something noted by Masayoshi Nakatani following his bout in Teofimo Lopez, and is something we see time and time again.
In some countries, notably the US and the UK again, referees tend to be very quick to split the fighters if they get too close and don't let fighters fight their way out of clinches. In Japan however fighting out of the clinch is part of the sport, and something the officials are very welcome to see.
It's due to this that also don't see a lot of clinches in Japan, compared to many countries. If a fighter is clinching and gets tagged a few times they tend to change their mind on clinching so much. It would be good to see more referees allowing fighters to fight out of the clinch, and letting the action flow more freely.
Free TV is King!
In Japan and Thailand Free TV really is king! In fact the whole idea for some of these nations, including the Philippines, is to get eyes on the sport!
In Japan many of the biggest names are on free TV and world title fights are typically shown across the country for free. As well as those free big bouts fans in certain regions, notably Kanto, get bouts on tape delay for free though TBS and Fuji TV. There is pay TV involved in boxing, with the most notable service being G+, but when a fighter is a star they tend to be on free to air TV.
As well as that promoters are also offering a lot of content online. There's the long running Boxing Raise service, along with the growth of A-Sign boxing and Boxing Real all streaming shows online. There's also the recent emergence of Sakana and Seki-Chan, two fans who have started to stream shows from the often over-looked Central Japan region.
It's also worth noting that when a Japanese fighter fights in the US they tend to have their bout shown live on pay service WOWOW before getting their bout shown on prime time on free TV, and this has been a massive ratings hit for free TV broadcast. Perhaps something other countries could begin to consider copying.
There is PPV in Japanese boxing, but it is used in such rare circumstances it's not even worth talking about. It's used maybe once or twice a year, and never for a massive professional event.
In Thailand free TV really is key, with channels like Workpoint, Channel 7, Tru4U and Thairath all showing events. As well as that online services for all the channels are also available and the promoters also make their content available. Generally if you miss a show in Thailand that's not a massive issue as video quickly emerges, usually from the promoter. We can't recall a single incident of PPV being used in Thailand.
In the Philippines most events of note are streamed live on the excellent PowCast, making Pow Salud one of the most important men in the Filipino boxing scene. PowCast not only stream most notable Filipino bouts but then upload the individual bouts, allowing fans to watch the bouts on demand, for free!
This also extends to China, where many shows are available online through official streams, where again the idea is to get people to watch the product, and allow fighters to make a name for themselves!
TV exclusivity is... different
Countries in Asia do have some fighters under exclusive TV contracts, where fighters are only allowed to fight on a certain TV channel, and their affiliates. Some notable ones in Japan are Naoya Inoue and Ryota Murata on Fuji TV, Kazuto Ioka on TBS and Kosei Tanaka on CBC.
That however doesn't keep them on a single channel. For example we see fighters doing guest commentary for a channel they don't fight on, or featuring on talk shows on other channels. This helps build wider awareness of the fighter, and builds to their profiles. Sadly this doesn't happen too often in some countries. Just imagine how good it would be to see Anthony Joshua commentate on BT Sport for a Tyson Fury fight to potentially build to their contest...
Whilst it's certainly not unheard of in the US to see a fighter turn up on another channel at ringside, or in a post fight interview, it is much, much more prevalent in Japan.
Top prospects are moved quickly
In the West we often see fighters fighting 15-20 fights before taking on their first serious test. There are exceptions to this, but for the most part supposedly top prospects are given a slow and gradual step up in class, with a string of early career easy wins. In other countries however, such as Japan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, top prospects are being moved quickly. The realisation that if a fighter is good enough then they should be be matched tough.
Whilst this does have flaws, and we've seen so many talented young fighters suffer early losses and never reach the heights expected of them, we have also seen it work out brilliantly for so many others.
There isn't a catch all way to bring all prospects through, but we would love to see more Western promoters trying to bring their prospects through in an aggressive manner.
Again this isn't an extensive list, but it's a good starting point for those wanting to know some difference between what we see in the West and what we see in certain parts of Asia.
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