After having had fun in January with our first look at boxer's in commercials we've decided to make it a mini-series. Today we look at 5 more featuring fighters from Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, including some genuine legends of the sport...and someone who wasn't such a big legend.
Tomomi Takano - Laudarin'
We started the first one of these with a Tomomi Takano advert for a kitchen spray so we though we should show Takano in another advert, this time for a fabric softener...yeah Japan should be ashamed, and so should the guys watching this one multiple times. We'll admit it made us somewhat interested in the product and we found out Takano actually did two adverts for the company, this one and one with her in a dress heading for a night out.
Joichiro Tatsuyoshi - Nissan
As the biggest name in Japanese boxing for much of the 1990's we were surprised to not find a lot of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi adverts. What we did find was an anti-bullying message, after the fighter had been bullied as a child, this short advert for Nissan from 1995 and one other, for a beef product. It really is odd how little marketers seemed to use the charismatic Osaka.
Koichi Wajima - Boxer's Road 2: The Real
One thing we never expected to come across was a Koichi Wajima advert for a video game, especially not in the 00's when Wajima was into his 60's! But here were are with Wajima being featured in an advert for a PSP game "Boxer's Road 2: The Real". The game was a boxing game featuring over 100 professional fighters and 77 gyms. Sadly the game doesn't appear to have made the jump over to the West, but you never maybe Boxer's Road 3 could do so, with the attention the Japanese scene is now getting...we can hope right!
Chris John - Extra Joss
One man who was in a lot of adverts in Indonesia was Chris John, in fact he was in a lot with Manny Pacquiao. Here is John trying to show the effects of Extra Joss. From a quick glance on wikipedia Extra Joss is a health drink, that is typically sold in powder form, and required the addition and was originally aimed at the less economically well off in Indonesia, hence coming as a powder.
Manny Pacquiao - HP Touchpad
We've just mentioned that Chris John did a number of commercials with Manny Pacquiao, and here's one Manny did by himself. In fact the sheer number of commercials Pacquiao did could have filled a number of these articles by himself, and they are incredibly varied ranging from shoe stores to drinks, to sardines to this, for the HP Touchpad. This sees the Filipino legend poking fun at himself a little whilst also showing off the product. Simple but effective.
By Eric Armit
With Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury less than ten days away the odds have changed very little. Two weeks ago I reported that Wilder was a slight favourite at 11/10 with Tyson quoted as a spread from 8/11 to 10/11. The latest odds are still slightly in Wilder’s favour at 20/21 with Tyson at 20/23 but that reflects that this is the most difficult heavyweight title fights in recent years to predict. In the past both Wilder and Anthony Joshua have been clear favourites in their title fights and before that it was not even worth betting on a Wlad Klitschko title fight.
Wlad has popped up to tease us by saying that if Fury wins he might consider coming out of retirement for a chance at revenge. Sorry Wlad but if that fight did take place it would be another Klitschko fight not worth betting on but this time no one would be betting on you.
The division continues to boil under the influence of Wilder vs. Fury. It seems that Anthony Joshua’s IBF mandatory defence against Kubrat Pulev is going to land in London on 20 June. The two grounds in competition to be the venue are Tottenham Hotspur’s Stadium or Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The word “rivals” doesn’t even begin to describe how the respective fans see each other so competition will be hot to land the fight. Almost like an off pitch cup final. The Joshua and Pulev teams have until Friday (20 February) to agree terms.
Some potential shuffling has Andy Ruiz apparently pricing himself out of a fight with Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz being mention as an alternative opponent and a Whyte vs. Alex Povetkin match in May being the route Whyte may follow. The Oleg Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora fight will now be pushed back until May because of an elbow injury sustained by Usyk and after missing out on his fight with Chisora in October due to a bite from a spider Joseph Parker fights in Frisco, Texas on 29 February against 39-year-old Shawndell Winters who is just about acceptable on the basis of a stoppage win over then unbeaten 16-0 Olek Teslenko in October and after signing Jarrell Miller Bob Arum is doing more than just dipping his toe in the heavyweights as he has added Oscar Rivas to his team and finally Otto Wallin will return on 28 March vs. Lucas Browne in Las Vegas.
Things have certainly changed in the heavyweights over the past fifty years. The current WBC ratings-I chose them as Wilder is America-shows that out of the top 15 plus the champion four are British (Fury, Dubois, Joyce and Chisora), two are Americans (Wilder and Mike Hunter) and then it becomes really international with nine different countries represented in Oscar Rivas Colombia, Oleg Usyk Ukraine, Luis Ortiz, Cuba, Adam Kownacki Poland, Andy Ruiz Mexico, Filip Hrgovic Croatia, Joseph Parker New Zealand, Alex Povetkin Russia and Kubrat Pulev Bulgaria making up the rest of the fifteen plus the champion. It was much different fifty years ago. In 1970 in the top 10 Joe Frazier was champion and Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Jerry Quarry, Mac Foster and Sonny Liston were in the top spots in the rankings with only Oscar Bonavena, Henry Cooper and George Chuvalo posing any kind of minor threat to American supremacy. Right now as far as American heavyweights are concerned Deontay Wilder is an oasis in a desert and you would need strong binoculars to see any young American heavyweights coming over the horizon.
With the Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Teo Lopez fight set for 31 May it looks like that month may end with a bang as Daniel Jacobs is planning to fight then as well but no opponent named yet.
End of March is also looking interesting with David Avanesyan set to defend the European welterweight title against unbeaten Josh Kelly on 28 March in London. These two were to have faced each other in December 2018 but Kelly fell ill after the weigh in so the fight was cancelled. On the same night Dominic Boesel is putting his IBO and interim WBA super middle titles up for grabs against Zac Dun in Magdeburg with unbeaten heavy hope Peter Kadiru and former undefeated European heavyweight champion Agit Kabayel also on the card.
Felix Trinidad has a fight on his hands but not in the ring. The Banco Popular in Puerto Rico is threatening to seize all of his assets and he is fighting in the courts to prevent it. He has been fighting with the bank since 2013 when Trinidad filed a complaint against the Bank for allegedly mishandling his investments and the Bank sued Trinidad to recover a line of credit. In November the Bank filed a motion to freeze Trinidad’s assets. They feared that they would not be able to collect against that $22 million line of credit as documents showed that Trinidad’s net asset value dropped from $27 million in 2010 to $1.6 million in 2016. Hearings over the Bank’s action to freeze Trinidad’s assets are scheduled for 27 and 28 February.
Martin Vargas is probably the best fighter that Chile has ever produced and he is playing his part in establishing an unusual use for boxing. He is working with the Chilean Association for the Blind setting up a boxing programme for blind youngsters with the title of Raise Your Eyes Champion. It features training with a punch bag where the youngster can establish the position of the bag with a jab and then work from there with other punches and getting them in the ring, giving them a feel for where the ropes are and then letting them shadow box to build their sense of spatial orientation. He is being assisted by Cristian Valenzuela a vision impaired gold medal sprint winner at the Paralympics. Vargas boxed from 1973 until 1998 and had four shots at winning a world title. He was defeated in all four but he lost only 15 of his 109 fights.
There was quite a difference between two winning bids for upcoming European title fights. The winning bid for the fight between Spaniard Sandor Martin and Dane Enock Poulsen for the vacant EBU super lightweight title was won by Team Palle with a bid of EU 55,555 (approx. $60,000) although it is not certain that Martin will want to go down that route. The other was for the vacant European Union cruiserweight title between Frenchman Dylan Bregeon and Pole Nikodem Jezewski where the winning bid-in fact the only bid as Jezewski’s team were too late with their offer- was of EURO 12,000 (approx. US13, 000) from Bregeon’s team and that would be split 50-50. Not much money but actually quite a good contest at this level.
Having left the EU British fighters will now not be eligible to fight for the EU title but instead will have to contest the EE-EU title for fighters outside the European Union. That might actually work out well for British fighters. Like every other sanctioning body the EBU look kindly on those who win their subsidiary titles so it could be a route into the EBU ratings worth following. The British promoters have not put a great deal of effort into bidding for EU titles partially because there are some very good fighters to compete against and some rival promoters with serious money to bid against but the EE-EU rankings are not nearly as strong and neither are the promoters who might contest the bidding.
Back to purse bids- since the parties have not come to an agreement the WBO has ordered purse bids by 20 February for the light heavyweight eliminator between Gilberto Ramirez and Eleider Alvarez with the minimum bid set at $300,000. The split will be 50/50 unless the proposed venue is the home base for one of them in which case the “away” fighter gets 60%. The winner will have to meet the winner of an eliminator between Umar Salamov and Max Vlasov at least that’s the plan but don’t bet on it going down that route.
Sorry to see that Sergio Martinez is returning to action. “Maravilla” will be 45 next week and has not fought since losing to Miguel Cotto in June 2014. It seems that the target date is June 7 but the reason is harder to figure.
One downside of growing old-and I am an expert on that-is when the names that have contributed to your memories pass on. Recent deaths include Johnny Bumphus and only a day ago Jimmy Thunder. Two very different fighters. Johnny was a classy boxer who really should have had more success than the one world title he won and Samoan-born New Zealander Thunder (Jimmy Peau) a big punching banger. Jimmy beat Tony Tubbs, Trevor Berbick, Ray Anis and Tim Witherspoon. He lost to Derek Williams and Henry Akinwande in Commonwealth title fights but never fought for a world title and fell on very hard times before dying 13 February. RIP guys.
World title fights in April will see Junto Nakatani and Filipino Giemel Magramo contest the now vacant WBO flyweight title in Tokyo on April 4 and Patrick Teixeira defend the WBO super welter title against Argentinian and ex-undefeated champion Brian Castano in Los Angeles on 24 April. On 25 April Felix Alvarado defends the IBF light flyweight title against South African DeeJay Kriel in Indio California. Another April title fight will feature Andrew Selby against Italian Mohammed Obbadi for the vacant European flyweight title in London on 18 April.
We continue with out Closet Classics by travelling back to 1995 and bringing you one of the greatest fights in living memory between two hard punching little men who shared multiple knockdowns. This was a fistic fury at Light Flyweight and was the Ring Magazine Fight of the year, and we suspect the Fight of the Year in the eyes of many who got a real treat, and proof the little men could do special things in the ring.
Saman Sorjaturong (26-2-1, 21) vs Humberto Gonzalez (43-2, 30)
Going in to the bout the 29 year old Humberto Gonzalez was enjoying his third reign as a world champion, having reclaimed his throne in 1994 when he defeated Michael Carbajal for the WBC and IBF titles, avenging a 1993 loss. The Mexican was a little genius in the ring and was happy to prove it against all comers. He had travelled to Korea to beat Yul Woo Lee for his first title, and returned to Asia to defend it against Jung Koo Chang, he had then gone on to face the likes of Rolando Pascua, Kwang Sun Kim, Napa Kiatwanchai and Michael Carbajal, twice. Although a very solid puncher Gonzalez had been stopped in both of his losses up to this point.
At this point in time Thailand's Saman Sorjaturong was very obscure. His only bout of note was a 1993 loss to Ricardo Lopez, in what was his only previous bout outside of Thailand. Travelling to LA to face Gonzalez in just his second bout was a huge ask, especially given the Mexican's reputation as a puncher. Aged just 24 this was his potential to become a star and completely change his career. He knew he wasn't there as the favourite, but with 21 stoppage wins in 29 fights he also knew he had the power to be dangerous, and the dynamite to drop Gonzalez, who had been dropped several times during his thrilling career.
From the off both men tried to figure the other out, and by the end of the opening round both were beginning to let bombs go. In the second round the tempo picked up, with Gonzalez being dropped, but he recovered well and responded quickly, firing shots back at Saman soon after getting back to his feet. The Thai realised the Mexican was dangerous and got on the backfoot, being smart and avoiding a tear up, for now. It didn't take long however for Gonzalez's power to pay off and as the bout went on he dragged Saman into a toe to toe war, dropping the Thai twice as the bout intensified.
From there we ended up with something truly spectacular, a war for the ages with Gonzalez's pressure forcing Saman into a special type of fight. This was thrilling, this was intense and this had twists and turns to make an instant classic. This is one that every fight fan should watch, and well deserving of the Fight of the Year accolades it got.
By Eric Armit
The Past Week in Action 11 February 2020
-Gary Russell decisions Tugstsogt Nyambayar to retain WBC featherweight title
-Guillermo Rigondeaux wins vacant secondary WBA bantamweight title outpointing Liborio Solis
-Kid Galahad stops Claudio Marrero and Kell Brook knocks out Mark DeLuca in a British winning double
-Artem Dalakian outpoints Josber Perez and holds on to WBA flyweight belt
-Wilfredo Mendez halts Gabriel Mendoza in WBO minimumweight title defence
-Kevin Lerena retains IBO cruiser title with stoppage of Firat Arslan
-Daniel Matellon wins the vacant WBA interim flyweight title with majority decision over Erik Lopez
-Luis Concepcion wins the vacant WBA interim flyweight title with stoppage of Rober Barrera
WORLD TITLE/ MAJOR SHOWS
Panama City, Panama: Light Fly: Daniel Matellon (11-0-2) W PTS 12 Erik Lopez (14-5-1). Fly: Luis Concepcion (39-8) W TKO 11 Rober Barrera (23-3). Minimumweight: Leyman Benavides (17-6-1) W PTS 12 Carlos Ortega (14-6-3) . Bantam: Leosdan Nunez (11-0) W TKO 1 Javier Martinez (12-4). Super Feather: Pablo Vicente (16-1,1ND) W TKO 4 Eder Espitia (11-3-4). Feather: Bryan De Gracia (26-2-1) W TKO 3 Freddy Lainez (5-2).
Matellon vs. Lopez
Cuban Matellon wins the vacant interim WBA title with majority decision over Mexican Lopez. In the first round Matellon was finding gaps for his left jab but Lopez set him back on his heels with a left hook. Matellon responded by staggering Lopez with left hook and a right cross. Matellon had big edges in height and reach and was scoring at distant before moving in to fire impressive combinations. Lopez looked to be in over his head. Matellon had no trouble outboxing Lopez over the third and fourth. Lopez finally got into the fight from the fifth. Sometimes he was storming past Matellon’s jab forcing the Cuban to the ropes and firing body punches and on other occasions backing to the ropes inviting Matellon in and then countering. Lopez continued to vary his tactics and was taunting Matellon at times and outpunching him as he took the sixth. Matellon landed enough to take the seventh but it was no longer a one-sided fight and fierce attacks from Lopez made the eighth close. These two obviously believed that attack was the best form of defence as for twelve rounds they went toe-toe with neither fighter willing to take a step back. Matellon reasserted himself in the ninth as Lopez was throwing punches that had people on the street outside ducking and although Lopez showed more restraint in the tenth Matellon was now using his superior skills to outbox Lopez instead of punching with him and the Cuban looked to have taken control again. He was cruising in the eleven until Lopez sent him staggering along the ropes with a right to the head and then twice pinned Matellon in a corner and pounded him with punches with Matellon in real trouble at the bell. Matellon came out punching in the last until a left hook from Lopez sent him back on his heels and he spent the rest of the round running and holding. Scores 116-112 twice for Matellon and 114-114 although Matellon looked a clear winner. The 32-year-old Cuban showed the classy skills and hand speed we have come to expect from Cuban fighters but he has never come close to facing a real test and he certainly flagged late in this one. Lopez tried hard and set Matellon some problems but he was far too small and crude to win other by a knockout and that never came.
Concepcion vs. Barrera
Concepcion breathes some life back into his career as he stops Barrera in eleven rounds to win the WBA interim title. Barrera boxed well in the first spearing Concepcion with sharp right jabs and mixing in left crosses. Concepcion was hunting Barrera down but The Colombian showed good defensive work. Concepcion upped the pressure in the second . He was walking forward into some great shots from Barrera and firing punches of his own until a series of head punches saw Barrera go down on his knees. He was up quickly indicating he had slipped but it was a 10-8 round for Concepcion. Barrera outboxed Concepcion in the third and landed a series of lefts to the body but Concepcion again upped the pace to take the fourth. The fifth was fairly even but the accuracy from Barrera just gave him the edge. He had a big sixth connecting time and again with lefts to the head and had Concepion’s head snapping back with jabs. The seventh was close but Conception took it. Concepcion pressed hard again in the eight and although Barrera looked to be tiring he was landing constantly on a wide-open Concepcion but his punch output had dropped and there was no longer any snap in his punches. Although in front on the cards Barrera just could not keep Concepcion out in the ninth. Barrera switched to orthodox for much of the tenth and continued to find the target but his punches were just bouncing off Concepcion and two rights almost drove Barrera out through the ropes. Concepcion ended it in the eleventh. A right to the head sent Barrera stumbling back and down in a corner. He was up at six and was unsteady but the referee let the fight continue and two more right sent Barrera back to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Concepcion qualified to fight for the interim title by losing to Andrew Moloney and Alex Marin neither of whom are anywhere in the WBA ratings. Once again the 34-year-old Panamanian’s punch proves decisive. Barrera’s other losses have come against Carlos Canizales, the current holder of the secondary WBA light fly title and Ryoichi Taguchi for the same title.
Benavides vs., Ortega
Benavides floors and decisions Ortega. These two obviously believed that attack was the best form of defence as for twelve rounds they went toe-toe with neither fighter willing to take a step back. Hardly a jab in sight as neither had the punching room to fire one. Benavides had the edge in that he was targeting his shots whereas Ortega was often just pumping out punches with his head down. The only time the referee came into the fight was when a right followed by a left hook from Benavides dumped Ortega in a corner. In a move typical of the fight Ortega got up and proceeded to drive Benavides back under a storm of punches. A great fight. Scores 117-110 twice and 118-109 for Nicaraguan Benavides who has scored seven wins in his last eight fights including a victory over current WBO champion Wilfredo Mendez. Local fighter Ortega is a former WBC Silver champion and was 3-0-1 before this one.
Nunez vs. Martinez
Nunez obliterates Martine. Nunez put Martinez down and almost out through the bottom rope with a succession of brutal left hooks and rights to the head. Martinez made it to his feet and after a long look the referee decided to let the fight continue. Nunez jumped on Martinez crashing home a couple of rights and the referee quickly came in and stopped the .fight after just 94 seconds. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Cuban. He is No 9 with the WBA and retains the WBA Fedelatin belt. He won silver and bronze in the Cuban championships but never gold. Fourth time Colombian Martinez has failed to last the distance.
Vincent vs. Espitia
Cuban Vincent defends his WBA Fedelatin belt with stoppage of Espitia. The 26-year-old Panama-based Vincent has 14 wins by KO/TKO with his only defeat being a controversial split decision against Marcos Villasana Jr in 2018. Venezuelan Espitia is now 5-2-3 in his last 10.
De Gracia vs. Lainez
Just a night out with the boys for De Gracia as he halts Lines in three rounds and collects the vacant WBA Fedecentro title.”The Rock” the WBA No 6, has 22 wins by KO/TKO . Novice Lainez really just a prelim fighter but still good enough for the WBA to get a sanction fee out of.
Allentown, PA, USA: Feather: Gary Russell Jr. (31-1) W PTS 12 Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1). Bantam: Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-1) W PTS 12 Liborio Solis (30-6-1). Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (16-1) W PTS 12 Jayson Velez (29-6-1). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (13-0) W KO 1 Jose Marrufo (12-10-2). Super Welter: Jamontay Clark (15-1-1) W PTS 8 Anthony Lenk (16-7). Bantam: Gary Antonio Russell (17-0) W DISQ 6 Jesus Martinez (27-11)
Russell vs. Nyambayar
Fifth defence of the WBC title for Russell and he proves too quick and too clever for the challenger and wins comfortably.
Classy boxing from Russell. He was shooting his right jab through Nyambayar’s defence following with quick rights and using fleet footwork to get away. When Nyambayar did throw punches Russell countered him with short hooks.
Score: 10-9 Russell
Another master class from Russell. His jab was darting out and finding the target and he was also connecting with left leads. Nyambayar was just plodding after Russell and bemused by Russell’s movement he was freezing on his punches and throwing very little.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 20-18
Nyambayar did a lot of clever bobbing and weaving but was still not throwing enough punches. Russell continued to pick up the points with his jab and occasional bursts of punches. Nyambayar pressed harder than in the first two rounds but was still not landing anything of note.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 30-27
A closer round as Russell did not throw as many punches and was short with his jab for much of the time. Nyambayar landed a couple of body punches but the jabs Russell did land and some quick flurries with both hands give him the round.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 40-36
Official Scores: Judge David Bilocerkowec 40-36 Russell Judge Glenn Feldman 40-36 Russell, Judge John McKaie 40-36 Russell
Finally a round for Nyambayar. He pressed harder connected with some jabs and straight rights and landed to the body when he caught Russell on the ropes. He was also blocking or ducking Russell’s jabs and Russell was not using his left.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 49-46
A close round as Russell chose to stand and trade a couple of times. Russell was sneaking home jabs but also short with many and Nyambayar had some success when they traded and landing his own jabs and just took the round.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 58-56
Russell regained control as he changed his tactics a couple of times in the round. He started by taking the fight to Nyambayar and punched with Nyambayar. His superior hand speed and better defence won those exchanges. He then went on the back foot which allowed Nyambayar a toe-hold in the round but then Russell again took the fight to Nyambayar scoring with blazing combinations before backing off again.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 68-65
Russell was back in the groove. Nothing spectacular just on target jabs, quick bursts of punches and dodging and diving around the slower Nyambayar. The challenger was holding back looking to land single big punches but Russell was too elusive to present Nyambayar with a chance.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 78-74
Official Scores: Judge Bilocerkowec 79-73 Russell, Judge Feldman 78-74 Russell, Judge McKaie 78-74 Russell
Russell made this a good round for Nyambayar. For much of the round he stood in front of the Mongolian throwing punches. That meant that Nyambayar wasn’t having to chase down Russell or wait to throw his punches. As a result Nyambayar was throwing more and having more success with strong jabs, straight rights and body shots. Russell was getting through with his punches but not enough.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 87-84
Despite that success Nyambayar was running out of rounds so the tenth was critical and Russell captured it. There was no standing and exchanging punches. Russell was jabbing, moving and changing angles. He scored well with lead rights and although Nyambayar had some success when he could pin Russell down he had no answer to the speed and accuracy of the champions punches.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 97-93
Another change of tactics from Russell. For the whole three minutes he walked forward taking the fight inside and outworking Nyambayar. He kept pumping out punches to the body and denying Nyambayar any punching room. Nyambayar did manage to land some seriously good body punches but the quality and the quantity came from Russell
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 107-102
No heroics in the final round. It was close but for me Nyambayar worked harder and just outscored Russell.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 116-112
Comprehensive victory for Russell. He was too quick and too clever for Nyambayar and made th4 Mongolian look pedestrian at times. I can’t see Russell getting a chance to reverse his loss to Vasyl Lomachenko now that Lomachenko is campaigning at lightweight. If Russell is to leave a substantial legacy he is going to have to fight more often. Just one fight a year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 won’t cut it and the big fights for him out there are against Leo Santa Cruz, Josh Warrington or Shakur Stevenson but none of those fights are on the horizon. This was Nyambayar’s first fight for almost thirteen months so he was lucky to still be No 1 with the WBC. He really was just too slow and predictable but he could fight his way into another title shot down the line.
Rigondeaux vs. Solis
After a slow start Rigondeaux floors Solis in the seventh and then sweeps the late rounds to win the secondary WBA title on a split decision over Solis but it is a fight very low on entertainment value.
Wow! Solis came tearing out of his corner throwing punches. He was in close firing hooks from both hands working hard to the body. Rigondeaux was caught by surprise but he landed a couple of strong straight lefts in the middle of the round before Solis again moved inside flailing away to Rigondeaux’s body.
Score: 10-9 Solis
What a contrast. Hardly a punch thrown in anger in this round. They just probed and tapped gloves with the few punches that were thrown and landed came from Solis but you could count them on one hand and still have enough fingers to make a rude gesture.
Score: 10-9 Solis Solis 20-18
Again more probing than punching. Solis was tracking Rigondeaux but just not able to trap the crafty Cuban. Of the punches landed the pick was a lightning quick straight left from Rigondeaux which sent Solis back on his heels, but another poor round as they snarled at each other but did not back up their words.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Solis 29-28
Another round of posing with very little punching. Solis was the one forcing the fight but Rigondeaux was not giving him many openings. The Cuban looked dangerous when he threw his left but he was rationing himself to one a round. They both mocked each other but didn’t make any attempt to mug each other. Few punches with Solis just landing one or two more than Rigondeaux and the scores reflected how difficult it was to score such a low punch output fight,.
Score: 10-9 Solis Solis 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Don Ackerman 40-36 Solis, Judge Ron McNair 39-37 Rigondeaux, Judge Kevin Morgan 38-38
After a slow start they finally began to throw punches. Solis was still coming forward but just could not nail down Rigondeaux and the Cuban fired some fierce straight lefts that stopped Solis in his tracks, Solis threw his arms open taunting the constantly retreating Rigondeaux who paid him back with a quality left before doing a dance. Not the sort of entertainment the fans were paying for.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Solis 48-47
Not difficult to sort out who won this one. Solis threw about ten rights and landed with half of them and whilst Rigondeaux put on a brilliant display of defensive movement he threw less than five punches.
Score: 10-9 Solis Solis 58-56
Rigondeaux had looked dangerous when he threw the left with purpose and he started this round by connecting with two. A third one blasted into the body of Solis and froze him to the spot for a second. Seeing he was hurt Rigondeaux leapt forward knocking Solis into the ropes with two rights. Solis slid down the ropes which were holding him up and as the referee came forward Rigondeaux landed another left . The referee stepped in and gave a standing count to Solis. After the count Rigondeaux landed two more lefts and Solis looked shaky but then Rigondeaux stopped punching and hardly threw another blow in the round.
Score: 10-8 Rigondeaux TIED 66-66
Solis hunted Rigondeaux in vain. The Cuban was too quick and too slippery. Again he was parsimonious with his punches but he was landing an occasional snappy jab and countering Solis on the way in to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 76-75
Official Scores: Judge Ackerman 77-74 Solis, Judge McNair 78-73 Rigondeaux, Judge Morgan 76-75 Solis
A repeat of round eight except that Rigondeaux landed a couple of laser-like lefts late in the round. Solis chased but just could not find the elusive Rigondeaux and was again being caught with an occasional counter.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 86-84
The tenth was going the same way until Solis lunged at Rigondeaux against the ropes. Rigondeaux spun off the ropes and blasted Solis with a left to the head that badly staggered Solis. Rigondeaux landed a couple more lefts but then Solis steadied himself and fought his way off the ropes. Rigondeaux did not press his attack but landed some more lefts before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 96-93
Rigondeaux was serious for the first minute poking Solis with right jabs and a few lefts then he decided to showboat instead and spent the rest of the round doing little dances around Solis who was just lunging forward trying to land a punch but could not lay a glove on Rigondeaux,
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 106-102
Rigondeaux danced and clowned his way through the last . He threw and landed a few jabs, a very few, and Solis chased shadows but did land some jabs and a couple of rights to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Solis Rigondeaux 115-112
Official Scores: Judge Ackerman 115-112 Solis, Judge McNair 116-111 Rigondeaux, Judge Morgan 115-112 Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux wins the vacant secondary WBA title (Naoya Inoue is the real champion). The 39-year-old Cuban southpaw is a master of defence but as in this fight sees no need to entertain or take chances. He has impressive speed and power in his left but uses it sparingly and often frustrates both his opponent and the fans. It’s like saying he is a great cook but the food is awful. His ability might give Inoue nightmares and there not that many good fights out there for him other than Inoue (or John Riel Casimero of course). Former WBA super fly champion Solis is 37 and it is difficult to see where goes from here and he can only hope he gets a chance as a voluntary challenger but it will have to happen soon.
Arboleda vs. Velez
Arboleda gets split decision verdict over Velez but has to survive a desperate last round in an outstanding back-and-forth contest . The early rounds were close with both landing some heavy shots but with Velez having the edge and moving into the lead. Arboleda broke through in the fourth and fifth rocking Velez with a left hook in the fourth and clobbering him with a right in the fifth, Arboleda built on that success to outpunch Velez through the middle rounds but Velez had a good eighth. A clash of heads opened a cut over Velez’s right in the ninth which was a good round for Arboleda and by the end of the eleventh he had built a winning lead on two cards. That nearly counted for nothing in the last as Velez landed a succession of head punches including a right to the head that sent Arboleda reeling back and down. He was up quickly and when the action resumed Velez bombarded him with punches staggering him a couple more times but Arboleda punched back just enough for the referee to let him continue and he made it to the final bell. Scores 114-113 twice for Arboleda and 115-112 for Velez. Five inside the distance wins have brought Arboleda a No 10 position with the WBA but with Velez at No 3 this was recognised as an eliminator so could lead to a shot at real WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz or secondary champion Rene Alvarado. Velez, 31, had rebounded from a beating handed to him by Ryan Garcia with victories over Orlando Cruz and Victor Terrazas but this loss will scupper whatever hopes he had of a title shot.
Russell vs. Marrufo
Another quick win for Russell as he maintains his 100% record of inside the distance finishes. An over ambitious Marrufo decided to take the fight to Russell and was doing that until a right from Russell knocked him down and out at the 2:12 mark of the opening round. The 23-year-old Antuanne has taken less 23 rounds for his 13 inside the distance wins and has yet to go past the fourth round. As with his brother he is right-handed but fights as a southpaws . A former National Golden Gloves champion he beat Jaron Ennis twice in the US Olympic Trials but in Rio lost 2-1 in the quarter-finals to the eventual gold medallist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov. He is ready for much better opposition. Phoenix-based Mexican Marrufo with five losses by KO/TKO no sort of test for Russell.
Clark vs. Lenk
Clark gets unanimous decision over Lenk. He has struggled to impress in recent fights but had too much talent for Lenk. Clark made good use of his 6” advantage in height and longer reach and also found the target regularly with southpaw lefts to the head. Lenk fired briefly in the fourth staggering Clark with a right but other than that Clark was a comfortable winner. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. Clark’s only loss a wide unanimous verdict against the now IBF super welter champion Jeison Rosales in 2018 but he has been unimpressive in his outings since then. Fellow-southpaw Lenk has won only two of his last eight fights.
Russell vs. Martinez
Russell gets disqualification win as Martinez is thrown out. The middle of the three Russell brothers on the card Gary Antonio was well on his way to victory after taking the first five rounds when the referee lost patience with the low blows and holding from Martinez and disqualified him in the sixth. The 27-year-old is a former National Golden Gloves champion. Colombian Martinez, 39, was 23-1 until losing to Luis Nery in 2017 so it has been a long downward slope since then.
Panama City, Panama: Minimumweight: Wilfredo Mendez (16-1) W TKO 9 Gabriel Mendoza (30-7-2). Super Bantam: Jose Estrada (11-2-1 W PTS 10 Luis Lebron (17-2-1). Feather: Jose Nunez (10-0-1) W PTS 8 Francisco Ramirez (10-2). Bantam: Orlando Penalba (10-0) W PTS 10 Keiver Fernandez (20-1-1) .
Mendez vs. Mendoza
Puerto Rican Mendez batters a game Mendoza to defeat in the second defence of the WBO title.“Bambito” Mendez was 17 years younger and taller with a longer reach and he started out boxing on the back foot spearing Mendoza with southpaw jabs and easily evading the challengers attacks. Mendoza kept padding forward in the second but was constantly caught on the end of Mendez’s jab and if he got past that then Mendez clobbered him with straight lefts. Mendoza was lunging and lurching forward in the third and Mendez was starting to double up on his jab and put some combinations together. They banged heads early in the fourth but luckily no damage was done and Mendoza had some success with body punches as he continued to march forward. Mendez began to load-up on his punches more in the fifth and was digging in plenty of body shots with Mendoza starting to tire. Mendoza had slowed completely in the sixth and as Mendez continued to land hooks to the body and add in flashing straight lefts Mendoza was wilting. It was one-way traffic in the seventh as Mendez was now the one coming forward raking Mendoza with hooks and uppercuts and a cut had opened over the right eye of Mendoza. More punishment from Mendez in the eighth and the referee had the doctor examine Mendoza’s cut but he was allowed to continue. Mendez was connecting with heavy head punches and the blood was affecting Mendoza’s vision so the end was near. Mendoza tried to take the fight to Mendez in the ninth but a succession of lefts to the head staggered Mendoza and the referee stepped in to save him. The 23-year-old from Trujillo Alto gets his sixth inside the distance victory but there will be tougher tests that this with the 40-year-old Mendoza being slipped into the ratings at No 14 for this fight.
Estrada vs. Lebron
The strength and tenacity of Estrada overcomes the classier boxing of Lebron as he walks away with a unanimous decision in a spirited contest. Lebron seemed comfortably in charge over the opening rounds moving well countering the advancing Estrada with jabs and left hooks to the body and by the third Estrada was heavily bruised under both eyes. Lebron was outboxing Estrada but the problem was that he could not stop the Mexican marching forward. Estrada was connecting with vicious body punches which slowed Lebron and he floored Lebron in the seventh with a thunderous right uppercut .Lebron boxed and held to the bell but he was under pressure from the Mexican over the closing rounds and although Estrada’s face looked that of the loser his power had given him a well deserved upset win and the vacant WBO Latino title. Scores 96-92 for Estrada on all cards. Seven wins in a row for the former Mexican champion but only the second fight in fifteen months. Puerto Rican Lebron goes from 16 straight wins to 1-2 in his last three fights.
Nunez vs. Ramirez
Local prospect “Magnifico” Nunez decisions Ramirez in a youthful contest. Nunez put Ramirez down in the fourth and had him in trouble on other occasions in the fight to emerge a clear winner. Scores 80-71 twice and 78-73 for the 21-year-old southpaw who collects the WBO Youth belt. Ramirez, 19, was on a five-bout winning run before this fight.
Penalba vs. Fernandez
Local fighter Penalba takes split decision over an unlucky Fernandez. Venezuelan Fernandez had the longer reach and the greater experience and he forced the fight from the first bell to the last. Penalba countered well but Fernandez was outscoring him in a competitive and entertaining fight. Fernandez was harshly deducted a point in the fifth and the seventh for low blows which cost him the decision. Scores 94-93 twice for Penalba and a more reflective 95-92 for Fernandez. Penalba, 23, a former Panamanian amateur champion, lifts the vacant WBO Latino title in his first ten round fight . Impressive looking record for Fernandez but his last eight victims had amassed only three wins between them so lots of padding in there.
Kiev, Ukraine: Fly: Artem Dalakian (20-0) W PTS 12 Josber Perez (17-3).
Dalakian vs. Perez
Dalakian has no trouble retaining the WBA title with wide unanimous decision over Perez in an unspectacular fight that features too much holding.
Dalakian was content to box on the back foot and let Perez come to him then spearing the Venezuelan with jabs and stepping in with a cluster of punches before Perez could counter. Perez was coming forward in a straight line and slowly which suited Dalakian.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian
The second was a closer round as Perez upped his pace and connected with a couple of rights to the head. Dalakian continued to pierce Perez’s guard with quick jabs and step in quickly with a little flurry of punches and just edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 20-18
Dalakian was on the front foot more in the third. He was slotting jabs through the guard of Perez and scoring well inside. A combination of two jabs and two hooks to the body were typical of his work and he was tying Perez up and holding inside.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 30-27
Dalakian opened this one with a series of jabs and some body punches. Perez was trying to get into the fight but Dalakian fists and footwork were too quick for him. When he did get close Dalakian was just grabbing and holding and getting away with it.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 40-36
After Dalakian opened the round with another series of jabs Perez managed to trap him on the ropes and the first real exchanged of punches ensued, Perez was able to landed some good hooks but Dalakian had the better of the exchange and scored with more jabs and hooks later in the round.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 50-45
Dalakian continued to throw quick jabs and a couple of quick hooks. Perez just tried to walk through them but when he did Dalakian just grabbed and held until the referee prised them apart. Perez had brief success with some hooks but Dalakian kept finding gaps for his jabs.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 60-54
No way into the fight for Perez. Dalakian’s hands were too quick and his footwork was too slick. Dalakian was bouncing jabs off Perez then firing typical quick bursts and then typically holding and holding to prevent Perez doing any work inside. It was effective but not exactly entertaining. My nightmare would be Dalakian vs. Rigondeaux.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 70-63
A round for Perez. He pressed hard closing the distance quickly and doing some work inside before Dalakian grabbed him and held. He kept hustling Dalakian with the champion not able to use his jab quickly enough and what scoring there was came from Perez . Weak refereeing was allowing Dalakian to continually hold.
Score: 10-9 Perez Dalakian 79-73
Dalakian was in control again. Perez did not show as much aggression and Dalakian was able to score with his jab and some straight rights. He was darting in with a punch and then holding and Perez was just not able to do any work inside or at distance.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 89-82
Dalakian’s round. He was shooting his jab home and leaping in with rights to the head. He drove Perez across the ring with a series of jabs and his speed and movement were too much for Perez to land anything useful.
Score:10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 99-91
Not a great round but what little clean work there was came in very short spells from Dalakian. On four occasions Perez threw his arms wide to show he was not holding but no action from the referee- Kiev being Dalakian’s home. Having said that he was just too mobile for Perez.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 109-100
Dalakian outboxed Perez early in the round and then attacked strongly with hooks and uppercuts late to take the round.
Score. 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 119-109
Official Scores: 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110 for Dalakian
The 32-year-old Azeri-born Ukrainian was making the fourth defence of the WBA title. He was much too good for Perez and has a style that will give anyone problems but also one that won’t find too many fans outside of Ukraine. There are very few big fights to be had at flyweight so Dalakian could rule for quite some time. Perez was down at No 12 in the WBA rankings and that looked to flatter him on this showing.
Sheffield, England: Feather: Kid Galahad (27-1) W RTD 8 Claudio Marrero (24-4). Super Welter: Kell Brook (39-2) W KO 7 Mark DeLuca (24-2). Super Feather: Martin Joseph Ward (24-1-2) W PTS 10 Jesus Amparan (16-2). Welter: Anthony Tomlinson (12-0) W TKO 9 Stewart Burt (13-2-1). Super Middle: John Docherty (8-0) W TKO 1 Pablo Mendoza (9-4). Heavy: David Allen (18-5-2) W KO 3 Dorian Darch (12-11-1). ).
Galahad vs. Marrero
Galahad rebounds in impressive style from his loss to Josh Warrington with an inside the distance wins over WBC No 4 Marrero who also holds the WBA Gold title. Galahad took the first two rounds. The action was a bit untidy but Galahad was able to land jabs from both hands and get through to the body and was constantly changing guards and forcing Marrero back. Marrero tried to up his pace in the third but he wasn’t showing much or throwing much and Galahad was darting in with three or four punches and getting out before Marrero could counter. Marrero had a better fourth. He was getting close scoring with rights jabs and some straight lefts but still had no answer to Galahad’s hand speed which had him eating jabs and getting caught with quick stabs to the body. Galahad started the fifth round by pinning Marrero to the ropes and firing a bunch of punches. When Marrero moved off the ropes Galahad then pierced his guard consistently with jabs and the round ended with Marrero against the ropes again and he had a swelling under his left eye. Galahad outboxed Marrero in the sixth. He was able to land jab after jab changing angles and connect with quick combinations . Marrero kept advancing but he was throwing too few punches and only one at a time-and missing. Huge round for Galahad. After raking Marrero with punches early in the seventh a straight right sent Marrero staggering back to the ropes. Galahad bombarded Marrero with punches until Marrero fought his way off the ropes. Just a few seconds later Galahad forced Marrero to the ropes again and unloaded. Marrero seemed angry at himself for getting into trouble and punched back fiercely cornering Galahad but was unable to land anything of consequence. In the interval Marrero’s team asked him if he wanted to continue and he said he did. He gave it a shot but when a fast, accurate jab smacked into his face the fight went out of him and Galahad had him under pressure from that point to the bell after which Marrero retired. Galahad is No 3 with the WBC and with Russell having just beaten No 1 Tugstsogt Nyambayar Galahad will rise to No 2 behind Jesse Magdaleno. He is also No 4 with the IBF behind No 3 James Dickens but positions 1 and 2 are vacant. That does not help Galahad as it means that Warrington does not have a mandatory challenger so there is no pressure on him. Dominican Marrero, a former interim WBA and IBO champion, had a mixed time in 2019 losing a close unanimous verdict to Nyambayar but outpointing former IBF title challenger 22-1-3 Mexican Eduardo Ramirez. He was outclassed here in losing inside the distance for the second time in his career.
Brook vs. DeLuca
After a slow start Brook turns on the power to floor DeLuca twice on the way to a seventh round kayo victory. Brook’s timing and distance were a bit off in the first round. DeLuca spent most of the round circling the perimeter of the ring than lunging forward swinging punches and connected with some southpaw lefts to the body. Brook fought southpaw for much of the second as he began to find the range with his jab but with his high guard and crouching style DeLuca was not an easy target. Brook found the range in the third. As DeLuca bulled forward Brook met him with two heavy rights that shook DeLuca badly and then a succession of head punches forced DeLuca to go down on one knee. He got up and survived. In the fourth Brook was starting to string together some impressive combinations and had DeLuca under pressure but DeLuca took the punishment well. DeLuca traded punches with Brook in the fifth a round in which the pace dropped and Brook did not sustain his attacks as he had in the fourth. Brook savaged DeLuca in the sixth bombarding him with hooks and uppercuts pinning him to the ropes at times as he unloaded. A gutsy DeLuca took the punishment and although by then end of the round it looked as though he was finished he kept trying to punch back. As they fought against the ropes in the seventh DeLuca went out through the ropes sitting on the apron but was pulled back in. Just seconds later as he came forward he was met with a blistering short left that put him down on his back. He struggled to his feet but was counted out just he achieved the vertical. First fight for fourteen months for Brook so some rust showed but not for long and he certainly finished in style. Despite the fourteen months without a fight he is still No 10 with the WBC but he will want at least another fighter or two before he goes looking for another world title chance. First inside the distance loss for DeLuca who had scored wins over some reasonable level opposition. He was strong, awkward and crude at times but he was tough and made Brook work hard for his victory which was just what Brook needed after his long absence.
Ward vs. Amparan
Ward gets in ten useful rounds of work against a brave but outclassed Amparan. The Mexican had a slight edge in reach but Ward’s movement and hand speed more than cancelled that out as he was quicker to the punch with a strong jab. Ward dominated from the centre of the ring and staggered Amparan with a left in the second round. He continually changed the angle of his attacks and his movement left Amparan punching to where Ward had been not where he was. Amparan marched forward trying to put pressure on Ward but Ward was raking Amparan with jabs and a variety of hooks and uppercuts and was putting on a master class of offence and defence. Amparan had some success inside but not much and he was down late in the seventh from a right to the body but he made it to the bell. Amparan got respite in the eighth after a low punch from Ward and the visitor then attacked hard but Ward ended the round by rattling punches off Amparan. Ward buzzed around Amparan in the ninth showering him with punches but Amparan did knock Ward back with a right to the head, the best punch he had landed in the fight. Another body punch dropped Amparan in the tenth but despite Ward’s best efforts he survived the round. Scores 100-88 on all three cards for Ward. Masterful display of boxing by Ward. He lost his European and Commonwealth titles when he was halted in five rounds in a shoot out against puncher James Tennyson in 2018 with Tennyson going on to challenge Tevin Farmer. Ward is rated IBF 7(5) so has a way to go before getting a title chance. Amparan did his job well but never threatened Ward in any way.
Tomlinson vs. Burt
Neighbourhood fighter Tomlinson gets late stoppage in a competitive fight. Tomlinson made a strong start attacking the body well in the early rounds with Burt often on the back foot using some smart jabbing to stay in the fight. Tomlinson was well ahead after five rounds but was rocked by a punch from Burt in the sixth. Tomlinson shook that off and increased the pressure over the seventh and eighth and although Burt still fought back hard he was being worn down and a fierce attack from Tomlinson had him in trouble in the ninth when the referee stepped in. Fifth inside the distance victory in a row for the Central Area and IBO Continental champion. Scottish Area champion Black had won his last three fights.
Docherty vs. Mendoza
Scottish prospect Docherty notches up another quick victory as he floors and stops late replacement Mendoza at the end of the opening round. The 22-year-old southpaw has six short route wins and this is the fourth of his first round finishes. A former Scottish, British and Commonwealth Youth champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist he is one of the best young prospects in Scotland. Mendoza is a member of the team of Spanish-based Nicaraguan’s who are always available at short notice but usually last a few more rounds than this.
Allen vs. Darch
After a crushing defeat against David Price in July an undismayed Allen returns with a win. The Dave Allen we know was nowhere in sight in the first two rounds as he danced like Muhammad Ali, bobbed and weaved like Nicolino Locche and landed only a few pitty-patty punches on a bemused Darch. No “White Rhino” here. Darch had managed to land some right crosses in the second but in the third Allen came out punching and put Darch down with a left hook. Darch lay on his back until the count reached six and then was up at eight. Allen landed a series of punches ending with two hooks to the head and Darch went down on his back again. He sat up and then with refreshing honesty just shook his head to say he had had enough and lay down again until the count was completed. Allen always provides entertainment and is very popular but he seems to have gone as far as he is going. Welshman Darch suffers a depressing seventh inside the distance loss on the bounce.
Geoppingen, Germany: Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (25-1) W TKO 6 Firat Arslan (47-9-3). Super Middle: Davide Faraci (15-0) W PTS 8 Emre Cukur (14-0) W . Cruiser: Huseyin Cinkara (14-0) W PTS 8 Dzemal Bosnjak (4-2). Super Middle: Osleys Iglesias (3-0) W TKO 2 Bernard Donfack (23-24-4). Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst (1-0) W TKO 1 Andrei Mazanik (13-11). Super Light: Fatih Keles (12-1-1,1ND) W TKO 1 Ivan Njegac (12-14. Heavy: Erkan Teper (21-3) W PTS 4 Mykyta Nesterenko (1-3).
Lerena vs. Arslan
Lerena retains the IBO title with sixth round stoppage that crushes Arslan and his dream of winning a world title at 49. In the first Arslan tried to walk forward behind the high guard so favoured by German boxers but Lerena constantly pierced his guard with right jabs and found the target with straight left and body punches. More of the same in the second. Lerena was stabbing home jabs firing hooks to the body and curving punches around Arslan’s high guard with Arslan on the back foot and only tossing a few jabs. It was target practice for Lerena in the third as he teed-off on a static Arslan connecting with clubbing punches from both hands with Arslan indulging in the occasional jab and actually landing one good uppercut. Arslan did much better in the fourth, He was finally throwing punches and putting together some combinations. Lerena was still landing with his jab and thudding body shots but Arslan did enough to at least share the round. Lerena was back in charge in the fifth. He speared Arslan with a whole series of jabs and then began to unload heavy shots rocking Arslan and driving him back to the ropes and then pounding him some more and Arslan was under fire at the bell. Lerena jabbed Arslan persistently in the sixth before connecting with a booming left to the head that sent Arslan staggering back across the ring. Lerena chased him to the ropes and was pummelling him with punches when the referee stepped in and stopped the fight just as the towel came in from Arslan’s corner. Arslan was not happy with his corner but it was the right decision. The 27-year-old from Johannesburg was making the sixth defence of the IBO title with his thirteenth win in a row. He was No 2 with the WBA going into this one and since none of their myriad of champions are involved in the WSSB that may be a route for him. He is No 3 with the IBF with the No 2 spot vacant so he could be in line to face the winner of the Yuniel Dorticos vs. Mairis Breidis final so there are options for him to test himself against the best. Arslan’s age caught up with him and he fought like an old man whose best days are way past.
Faraci vs. Cukur
Faraci wins clash of unbeaten fighters with unanimous decision over
Cukur. It was a tight, close fight in the first round. Faraci was coming forward strongly with southpaw Cukur counter punching effectively. Faraci had the better of the exchanges at the start of the second but was put down by a left later in the round. The pace slowed in the third and fourth but Faraci’s speed and accuracy saw him dominate the fifth and Cukur went down in the sixth but it was ruled a slip. Faraci continued to boss the fight in the seventh and then sealed his win by flooring Cukor twice in the last to take the decision. The 28-year-old Faraci is Swiss-born and the Italian champion and has dual nationality. Best career wins so far for Faraci a former three-time Swiss amateur champion and European Under 22 bronze medallist. Cukur was the official challenger for the vacant European title and an Italian promoter had won the bidding for Cukur to fight veteran Giovanni De Carolis so Faraci will probably now be looking to replace Cukur as the official challenger. Unexpected and expensive set-back for Cukur but a good leaning fight and at 26 he has time to develop further.
Cinkara vs. Bosnjak
Cinkara decisions inexperienced Montenegrin-born Bosnjak. Cinkara was able to use his considerably edge in height and reach to come out a winner on all three cards. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75.The 35-year-old Cinkara has acted as a sparring partner for Marat Gassiev and Oleg Usyk in the past and had won his last seven fights by KO/TKO.
Iglesias vs., Donfack
Yet another former elite level Cuban is campaigning in Europe. Berlin-based southpaw Iglesias was far too good for aging loser Donfack. He was showering Donfack with sizzling combinations though out the first and dropped him twice in the second to force the stoppage. You can’t blame Iglesias for leaving Cuba, He won the silver medal at the Cuban Championships in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018-all against Pan American, World and Olympic champion Arlen Lopez. His three pro wins have been achieved in less than five rounds. Cameroon-born Donfack, 39, is now a sorrowful 0-10-1 in his last eleven fights.
Vykhryst vs. Mazanik
Vykhryst wins his first pro fight with quick finish. Mazanik tried a couple of overhand rights looking for a sensational win but none of them connected. Vykhryst, who is very Klitschko-ish in style and stature, was stabbing out his jab and then shook Mazanik with a straight right and put him down heavily with another . As the referee started the count the towel came in from Mazanik’s corner but the referee did not see it and counted Mazanik out. All over in 55 seconds. The 6’5” Vykhryst was Ukrainian Champion three times and European Champion in 2017 and 2019. Too early to get over-excited but Belarusian Mazanik had gone the distance with Peter Kadiru and Ali Eren Demirezen in his last two fights.
Keles vs. Njegac
Quick win for Keles as he blows away Njegac inside a round with three knockdowns. The 30-year-old Turk is a former European Championships gold medallist who also competed at the 2012 Olympics and World Championships, He has struggled so far as a pro but his only loss is a points verdict against world rated Liam Paro in Australia for the WBO Global title.. Four losses in a row for Njegac a late choice as an opponent
Teper vs. Nesterenko
Pretty disgraceful match really as Teper decisions Ukrainian novice Nesterenko. Teper,37, took the unanimous decision. Scores 40-36 twice and 39-37. Second win for Teper as he tries to get back on track after kayo loss to Robert Helenius in 2018. Nesterenko, 22, way out of his depth.
Indio, CA, USA: Bantam: Oscar Negrete (19-2-2) W PTS 10 Alberto Melian (6-2). Super Fly: Ricardo Sandoval (18-1) W KO 7 Ray Tabugon (22-12-1). Super Bantam: Leon Baez (18-2,1ND) W PTS 8 Moises Flores (25-3,2ND).
Negrete vs. Melian
Negrete pulls away in the second half of an entertaining scrap to take a unanimous verdict. Melian started by out jabbing the smaller Negrete in the first and second rounds. A punch opened a cut over Melian’s right eye but the aggression from Melian was stifling Negrete’s attacks in the third and Melian dominated the fourth. He was forcing Negrete back throughout the round pinning him to the ropes and unloading with left hooks to head and body and straight rights. Negrete punched back but the referee checked on him at the end of the round. Melian landed more in the fifth to put himself narrowly in front. Melian made a strong start in the sixth but Negrete slowly took control and by the bell was driving a tiring Melian back. Negrete took the seventh as Melian’s attacks seemed to run out of steam. The Argentinian rallied during the eighth but he was allowing Negrete too much space and Negrete’s accuracy won him the ninth and tenth rounds. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Negrete. The 32-year-old Colombian, a former WBC super bantam title challenger, needed a win after going 0-1-2 in consecutive fights against Joshua Franco. Melian was looking for revenge after losing to Negrete in the South American Championships back in 2010. When Melian turned pro he did so in a blaze of publicity after representing Argentina at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and starring for Condors in the WSB but after a loss to Leonard Baez in July he is a very ordinary 1-2 in his last three fights.
Sandoval vs. Tabugon
Sandoval wars down and stops Tabugon. In the opener Sandoval showed he carried the heavier power as he opened with some strong jabs and then hurt Tabugon with a right to the head and a wicked left hook to the body. The Filipino was undeterred and was looking to trade punches in the second when a left hook knocked him off balance and he went down on one knee. He was not badly hurt and took the fight to Sandoval for the rest of the round. Sandoval handed out punishment in the third, fourth and fifth connecting with rights to the head and left to the body and Tabugon was rocked a couple of times. Tabugon managed to land some rights to the head as Sandoval came forward but he was spending more and more time trying to fend off left hooks from Sandoval. At the end of the sixth Saldivar had Tabugon pinned to the ropes and was pounding on Tabugon and he continued those attacks in the seventh until the referee came in to stop the punishment. Now 14 wins on the trot for the 21-year-old Californian. Tabugon is 2-5 in recent action including inside the distance losses to Andrew Moloney and Angel Acosta.
Baez vs. Flores
Baez wins every round against former interim WBA and IBO champion Flores. Plenty of action from the start as Baez was getting past Flores’ jab and whacking left hooks to the body. Flores was following his jab with straight rights and as they traded punches inside. Baez just had the edge. He started to add left uppercuts with Flores slinging punches without much accuracy. A clash of heads in the third saw Baez cut over his left eye but he continued to outscore Flores. Over the late rounds Baez kept landing those hurtful body punches and Flores was reduced to just lunging and inaccurate shots and getting caught with counters when he made a mistake. Flores put in a big effort in the seventh but there was still more incoming than outgoing and Baez took the last to sweep the board. Scores 80-72 for Baez from the three judges. Now seven consecutive wins for the 24-year-old from Mexicali. Flores in a rocky period. A first round kayo loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in a fight for the full WBA title was changed to No Decision as it was ruled the knockout punch landed after the bell. He then failed to make the weight and was outpointed by Daniel Roman for the secondary WBA belt and in his most recent fight in January last year he was stopped in three rounds by Brandon Figueroa. At 33 he looked an old fighter here
Lautaro, Chile: Feather: Cristian Palma (31-10-1) W Kevin Acevedo (19-3-2). Chilean Palma holds on to the South American title but only just as the judges come up with a split draw. The smaller Acevedo was a little tiger constantly walking in getting past the jab of Palma and working inside. Palma was able to score at distance with his jab and connected with hooks and upper cuts as Acevedo marched forward and it was action all the way with the rounds difficult to score but Acevedo just seemed to have outfought the local fighter. Scores 96-94 Palma, 96-94 Acevedo and 96-95. After losing to Michell Smith in London in 2015 Palma had scored eleven consecutive contests including a points victory over Acevedo in 2017. Second shot at the South American title for Acevedo who had won 4 of his last 5 bouts.
Madrid, Spain: Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (19-1) W TKO 2 Diego Ramirez (4-49-3). A curious bit of paid sparring for Yarde in a small hall in Spain where the real purpose was to position Yarde for a shot at the WBC title by meeting the stipulation that a fighter cannot challenge for the WBC title if he is coming off a loss-or so it is said. Ramirez went into reverse gear from the opening seconds and rarely took a step forward. Yarde walked him down with jab and rights to the body. Ramirez was better in the second and although he was usually throwing wide sweeping punches he was also standing and urging Yarde to do his worst. A left hook to the body put Ramirez down and when he went down later in the round under a Yarde attack the referee stopped the fight. First outing for Yarde since his eleventh round stoppage loss to Sergey Kovalev in August. Heads clashed a few times in this bout and it would have been silly for Yarde to risk a bad cut in such a nothing fight. Sixth loss in a row for Spanish-based Colombian Ramirez.
Bilbao, Spain: Light: Jon Fernandez (20-1) W Aristides Perez (31-13-2). Fernandez sweeps aside late substitute Perez. The local boy put Perez down with a barrage of punches finished off with a left hook to the body. Perez made it to his feet but went down again from another barrage. He dragged himself up at nine but the referee waived the fight over. The 24-year-old Fernandez lost his unbeaten label when he was outpointed by O’Shaquie Foster in 2018 and has rebuilt with five wins. Colombian Perez, 38, was a substitute for a substitute. Back in 2009 he lost in two rounds when challenging Humberto Soto for the WBC super feather title but this is his first fight for seventeen months and his third inside the distance loss in a row,
Vienna, VA, USA: Super Middle: Dusty Hernandez Harrison (34-0-1) W KO 2 Les Sherrington (38-15). Heavy: Mike Balogun (16-0) W KO 1 Adnan Buharalija (32-25-2).
Harrison vs. Sherrington
Harrison dismantles Australian veteran Sherrington in two rounds. Harrison floored Sherrington in the first with a straight left and had Sherrington hurt again at the bell. Harrison brought down the curtain in the second flooring Sherrington twice with lefts the second of which saw Sherrington counted out. Harrison is working his way back after a number of factors saw him inactive in 2017 and 2018. He had three wins last year and is looking to get back in the ratings. Five losses on the trot for 37-year-old Sherrington.
Balogun vs. Buharalija
Balogun moves to 16 wins, 12 by KO/TKO, with first round stoppage of Buharalija. All of his opposition have been mediocre at best. The 35-year-old Maryland southpaw did not turn pro until he was 31 after playing for short periods in American football for the 49ers, Redskins, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Bills and Colts. Georgia-based Bosnia Buharalija falls to 3-7 in recent action.
Fight of the week (Significance): Gary Russell’s win over Tugstsogt Nyambayar could lead to some good fights at featherweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Leyman Benavides vs. Carlos Ortega was war, war and more war
Fighter of the week: Gary Russell with both Kid Galahad and Kell Brook worthy of honourable mention
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from José Estrada that almost lifted Luis Lebron off his feet was spectacular and you don’t often find a left jab getting a mention but Kell Brook’s one that floored Mark DeLuca for the second time did the job
Upset of the week: Estrada beating Lebron was unexpected
Prospect watch: May be too early but I am going to go with 1-0 Ukrainian heavyweight Viktor Vykhryst .
There are certain fighters that we always looked forward to seeing, knowing that they consistently delivered great bouts. When we got two of those matched up together we knew to expect something special and in 2018 we got something just like that when, one August evening, we had a massively over-looked All Japanese thriller at Korakuen Hall.
Akira Yaegashi (26-6, 14) Vs Hirofumi Mukai (16-5-3, 6)
In one corner was former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi, a man that had a cult following in the West and a huge fan base in Japan. Yaegashi had given us so many thrilling fighters though his career that we knew if he was in the ring we were in for something exciting. His bouts with the likes of Pornsawan Porpramook and Kazuto Ioka had been absolute thrillers and even Yaegashi's "duller" bouts were more exciting than the most exciting bouts of many other fighters. Come 2018 Yaegashi was clearly not the fighter he had once been, but was still on the hunt for one more world title fight, in the hope of becoming a 4-weight champion.
In the opposite corner to Yaegashi was former amateur standout Hirofumi Mukai, who had twice challenged for world titles in Thailand. Mukai had once shown a lot of promise, and had beaten Sonny Boy Jaro very early in his career, but by 2018 his career was really not going upwards. Instead he was relying more on his heart and toughness than the skills he'd developed as an amateur. That gritty determination had seen him put on an instant classic in 2017, with Rex Tso, and after 3 easy wins he then took on Yaegashi in a bout that was a must win for both.
The loser of this was going to be in their 30's and really would have a lot of rebuilding to do. Both had suffered numerous losses, by stoppage, and both were starting to take a lot of accumulated punishment. In their prime Yaegashi would have been expected to over-come even the best Mukai, but at 35 years old, and just 15 months removed from an opening round loss to Milan Melindo it was unclear what either man had left in the tank.
What we ended up getting was the sight of two men fighting for their careers. Two men putting it all on the line and two men who knew what the bout meant. This wasn't a fight where either man was going to keep something in reserve, but instead a bout where they both had to big deep, and both took serious punishment.
Early on Mukai tried to establish range, behind his footwork, reach and southpaw stance. Yaegashi wasn't having it and was repeatedly marching forward, looking to get inside and draw Mukai into a war. By the round of round 2 Yaegashi was getting closer and closer to getting Mukai to respond up close and it seemed a matter of time before the touch paper was going to be lit and begin to see both firing...and that was done in round 3, as Mukai realised Yaegashi wasn't going to back off. From there on we began to see a classic unfold in front of our eyes.
The bout reached its peak in round 6, a true round of the year contender, with both men being badly damaged and shaken during 3 punishing minutes that saw fans wonder how much the two could take. Yet the bout went on.
This might not have had a world title on the line, but it had two men willing to give their all, and two men who really did everything they could in a legitimate modern day closet classic.
By Eric Armit
With Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II only just over three weeks away Wilder has emerged as the slight favourite. The odds currently sit at 11/10 on Wilder and a spread of between 8/11 and 10/11 on Fury. Very close but Wilder’s punch seems to be pushing the smart money his way.
Boxing continues to be the mover and shaker right now. There is no clarity over who Saul Alvarez or Manny Pacquiao will fight next and although there is talk of Floyd Mayweather vs. McGregor II surely there can’t be enough idiots to be conned by that a second time so the heavyweights have the stage.
Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev have been given an extension to 14 February for the parties to come to a mutual agreement over terms for Joshua to defend the IBF and WBA titles. The likely date for the fight is end May early June in the UK. The position with the WBO is not clear but there is a strong possibility they will strip Joshua even though their No 1 Oleg Usyk looks set to fight Dereck Chisora in London on 28 March. That looks a sensible second heavyweight fight for Usyk. Joshua was to have defended against Pulev in 2017 but the Bulgarian had to pull out due to an injury and Joshua stopped substitute Carlos Takam.
In the WBO ratings for December Joseph Parker was No 2 and Adam Kownacki No 3. They will both be in action soon. Parker is scheduled to fight on the 29 February in Frisco, Texas on the undercard to the Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas/Khalid Yafai vs. Roman Gonzalez show but no opponent confirmed at this time and unbeaten Kownacki faces Robert Helenius on 7 March. Both Parker and Kownacki will be trying to position themselves in case the WBO strip Joshua. If the WBO do that then either Parker or Kownacki would look to fight Usyk for the vacant title-or each other if Usyk decides to pass up on the WBO belt.
Frank Warren has had a long working relationship with the WBO and is very much a man with influence with them so it was no surprise to see in the WBO ratings for January that Daniel Dubois had hurdled over Kownacki and is now No 3. Quite a promotion for beating No 15 Kyotaro Fujimoto and with Joe Joyce not having fought since July but suddenly jumping into the WBO ratings at No 12 that makes the Dubois vs. Joyce fight being talked about for 18 April being another contest that could be for the vacant WBO title with Parker already having said he would love to fight Dubois.
In the current EBU ratings Joyce is listed as co-challenger with Marco Huck for the vacant title but Huck is unavailable due to a hand injury. The EBU would have jumped at Joyce vs. Dubois as a great fight for them but with Dubois not yet out of a period of suspension from the EBU ratings for fighting for the WBO European title they had to pass on it. The EBU had nominated Filip Hrgovic and Joyce to contest the vacant title, another excellent fight, and given a date of 12 February for the sides to agree terms but now if Joyce vs. Dubois goes ahead, and not for the EBU title, then the EBU will have to find someone else to fight Hrgovic and the winner will have to fight Huck
In other heavyweight news French heavyweight hope Tony Yoka has joined Top Rank. I can remember the days when Bob Arum shunned heavyweights. It was a smart decision. For many years Don King had a stranglehold on the division and had a good claim to be the No 1 promoter in the world with Bob Arum his only real competition. Well in a recent edition Boxing News listed the 50 most powerful and influential people in boxing today and No 1 was Bob Arum. King was not in the top 50. King put all of his eggs in the heavyweight basket whilst Arum diversified. Along came the Klitschko brothers who totally took over the heavyweight division and turned King into a boxing dinosaur.
Finally on the heavyweights, and the Klitschko’s, EC Boxing in Germany has just unveiled the “new Klitschko” in Victor Vykhryst. The 27-year-old 6’5” 242lbs –introduced as Victor Faust I guess to make his name easier for us to remember-has twice won the European title and is a four-time Ukrainian champion as well as putting together a 6-0 score in the German Bundesliga. The crowded dance floor just got more crowded.
On 31 January the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. That has some consequences for UK fighters in that to be eligible to take part in a European Union (EU) title bout UK boxers must have a passport or ID of one of the EU member Countries and also be in possession of a license issued by the corresponding Federation. That means that according to EBU rules as from 31t January British boxers cannot be rated in EU list. Instead in February they will be moved to the EE-EU ratings (EE-EU titles are for countries that are European but not part of the EU such as Russia, Moldova etc.). As at 30 January UK fighter s Mark Heffron at middleweight and Jason Cunningham at super bantamweight were listed as co-challengers for the vacant EU titles but I guess that they will not now get that opportunity. It does not affect British boxers fighting for the European Boxing Union (EBU) tiles. So for instance the EBU title fights involving Callum Johnson challenging Igor Mikhalkin in Manchester on 7 March for the cruiserweight title and Andrew Selby meeting Mohammed Obbadi in April for the vacant flyweight title are unaffected.
In another change which could affect boxers the WBC has decided that in future all WBC affiliated title fights will be held over ten rounds with an option for them to be over eight rounds. This only affects WBC title such as the WBC International, WBC Latino, WBC United Sates etc but not those of the OPBF, NABF, EBU, and Commonwealth etc. which are entities in their own right.
A joint effort between TGB and Golden Boy came up with the winning bid for Nordine Oubaali’s WBC title defence against Nonito Donaire. The bid was for $401,000. Oubaali will get $216,540 and Donaire $144,360. That does not add up to $401, 00 because the new WBC “incentive payment” approach is being used whereby 10% of the total purse will be put into an escrow account and will go to the winner of the fight. That’s a much better approach than the British Navy took to encourage fighting spirit during the Napoleonic Wars. Admiral John Byng failed, though a perceived lack of fighting spirit, to relieve the siege of Minorca they shot him-to encourage the others!
It was a surprise that Top Rank were outbid for the Josh Taylor vs. Apinan Sakkreerin fight by Samson Lewkowicz’s Sampson Boxing. Taylor’s share of the $1.32 million winning bid will be approximately$860,000 and Sakkreerin’s $460,000
How long should a fighter have to wait to get paid for a fight? Well in the case of former WBC featherweight champion Luisito Espinosa last December made it 22 years and he had still not paid in full for a title defence against Carlos Rios in the Philippines in December 1997. Espinosa was guaranteed $150,000 plus $10,000 for training expenses by promoter Rod Nazario. Under the contract by October 31Espinosa would get $50,000 of his purse and the $10,000 training expenses. That did not happen. On the eve of the fight he was paid just under $30,000 and given a letter of guarantee for the balance. He did not get that money either. Nazario died in 2009 and when Espinosa took legal action to claim the outstanding money from the estate of Nazario a regional court dismissed his claim. A Court of Appeals overturned that and ruled for Espinosa but Nazario’s beneficiaries contested that decision. Finally late last year the Supreme Court found for Espinosa and has ordered the beneficiaries to pay Espinosa $130,000 plus interest at 6% dating back to 1998
Still on money. Michal Cieslak is getting $150,000 for fighting Ilunga Makabu for the vacant WBC cruiser title in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Friday night. You have wonder if that is enough “danger money” The Polish party was given an armed escort from the airport to their hotel and the show is being promoted by Ferdinand Ilunga Luyoyo who as the General in charge of the Congolese anti-riot body known as the National Intervention Legion was sanctioned by both the USA and the European Union (including travel bans and freezing of assets) for his part in suppressing opposition to the then President Joseph Kabila. Should be no trouble with crowd control at the fight that’s for sure. Incidentally this will be the first world title fight in the DRC since Muhammed Ali knocked out George Foreman in October 1974.
Naoya Inoue is back in training for his unification fight with John Riel Casimero in the USA on 25 April. Whoever wins that one will hold three versions of the bantamweight title. Inoue holds the IBF and WBA titles and Casimero the WBO. That should be a short and exciting battle between two punches.
It must have resembled an Emergency in the home fighter’s dressing room in Hamburg last weekend. Artem Harutyunyan stopped Miguel Antin but fought from the first round with a broken right thumb and German-based Cuban Jose Larduet lost to Mariano Strunz when he injured his left knee and the torn ligaments he suffered will keep him out of the ring for at least four months.
A death in the family is a tragedy at any time but two in the space of just a few days is more than any family should have to suffer. The first was the death after a long illness of Peter “Terror “Mathebula at the age of 67. Peter made history when in December 1980 he outpointed Korean Tae-Shik Kim in Los Angeles to win the WBA flyweight title becoming South Africa’s first black world champion. He only held the title for three months but he put down a marker for other black African fighters to follow. He retired in 1983 and fell on hard times having to sell off his boxing trophies. Whilst preparations were being made for Peter’s funeral his newly widowed wife Emma Gabaitsiwe Mathebula collapsed and died. A double tragedy.
There are a couple of fights coming up for South African boxers. Kevin Lerena will defend his IBO cruiser title against Firat Arslan in Goppingen, Germany on 8 February. Lerena will be making the sixth defence of his title. Arslan, won the secondary WBA cruiser title back in November 2007 and if he is successful against Lerena then at 49 he must be one of the oldest guys to win a title. There is also talk of super middleweight Rowan Campbell fighting for the IBO title but not yet confirmed.
By Eric Armit
The Past Week in Action 27 January 2020
-Danny Garcia scores comfortable win over Ivan Redkach to preserve his WBO No 1 rating
-Stephen Fulton gets wide unanimous decision over Arnold Khegai in WBO super bantam eliminator
-Jarrett Hurd eases his way back into action with decision over Francisco Santana
-Caleb Truax needs the help of two point deductions against David Kitooke to scrape by with a majority decision
-Top German prospects Abass Baraou and Artem Harutyunyan score inside the distance wins on historic first joint promotion by Team Sauerland and reconstituted Universum
- Montreal-based Kazak Batyrzhan Jukembayev and Russian Artur Ziyatdinov both score quick wins
-Irish hope Jason Quigley continues to rebuild with a win
Costa Mesa, CA, USA: Middle: Jason Quigley (18-1) W KO 3 Fernando Marin (16-5-3). Super Welter: Ferdinand Kerobyan (14-1) W KO 2 Azael Cosio (21-9-2,1ND).Heavy: Mihai Nistor (2-0) W KO 1 Jaime Solorio (12-4-2,1ND).
Quigley vs. Marin
Quigley beats down a gutsy Marin over three rounds. Quigley went to work quickly in the opener connecting with a left hook and knocking Marin off balance with a right. He was driving Marin to the ropes and landing overhand rights and shook Marin a couple of times before the bell. Quigley adopted more of a counter-punchers role early in the second but then launched a ferocious attack drilling Marin with straight rights. He drove Marin along the ropes with Marin reeling and rocking and a stoppage looked possible but Marin took the punishment and was fighting back hard at the bell. Marin was walking forward in the third signalling for Quigley to stand and fight. Quigley clipped Marin with a left hook but Marin returned to the attack. As he came forward Quigley landed a straight right that landed on Marin’s right cheek and had Marin going backwards across the ring and down with the referee immediately seeing Marin was in some distress and stopping the fight. Another brick in the wall as Irish hope Quigley continues his rebuilding after a stoppage loss against Tureano Johnson in July. The former European Youth and Senior champion has fourteen inside the distance victories. Mexican Marin had started his career by going 13-0-3 but has fallen away badly with only three wins in his last eight fights.
Kerobyan vs. Cosio
Kerobyan blows away Panamanian veteran Cosio inside two rounds. A sharp looking Kerobyan put Cosio down twice in the first. Cosio was up quickly on both occasions with poor balance seemingly an element in the two knockdowns. In the second Cosio was under pressure but just could not keep his footing as his boots kept slipping on the canvas. He lunged forward and fell bringing Kerobyan down with him. Kerobyan was connecting with heavy rights but twice Cosio’s feet just slid out under him when Kerobyan was nowhere near him. Kerobyan then scored with a succession of punches that had Cosio trapped on the ropes. As Cosio slid down the ropes to the canvas the referee stopped the fight but he too slipped as he stepped in and bumped Kerobyan who also went over so that all three of them were on the canvas at the same time. The 22-year-old Armenian-born Kerobyan gets his ninth win by KO/TKO and his third quick win since losing a close decision to unbeaten Blair Cobbs in March. Kerobyan won US titles at Under-17 and Junior levels and competed at the US Olympic Trials for Rio. He is quick and punches hard so bears watching. Cosio, 38, was a useful fighter at one time but is 1-6 in his 7 most recent outings with 5 of his 6 losses by KO/TKO.
Nistor vs. Solorio
In a piece of absolute rubbish Nistor halts a pathetic Solorio in the opening round. Inside the first minute Romanian Nistor pushed Solorio back to the ropes and the Mexican went down from a left to the body. He was up at five and Nistor huffed and puffed trying to land more body punches and suffered the indignity of a nose bleed from a Solorio right. Late in the round an innocuous straight right to the head saw Solorio drop to his knees. The referee had counted to eight by which time Solorio’s second had climbed on the ring apron and the referee waived the fight off. The 29-year-old Nistor has won both of his fights by KO/TKO but against terrible opposition. He is saleable on the basis of a stoppage win over Anthony Joshua back in 2011. He also beat guys such as Tony Yoka and Filip Hrgovic but came up short in the big events. At 5’11” and 244 ¼ lbs (17 ½ stones/111kilos) He is more in the Andy Ruiz mould than the Joshua one. He was positively svelte by comparison with Solorio. He was 5’9” and 234 ¼ lbs, was having his first fight for nineteen months and was 51lbs heavier than in that last fight. He had even been as low as 152lbs early in his career
Rosario, Argentina: Super Fly: Kevin Munoz (10-0) W PTS 12 Ramon Averanga (9-2). Light Heavy: Braian Suarez (11-0) W KO 3 Esteban Lopez (7-8-1).
Munoz vs. Averanga
Munoz wins the vacant South American title but in a flat performance. A heavy favourite Munoz just was not able to put his punches together even though dominating the action. He scored a knockdown in the third round with a left to the head but Averanga was able to survive. In the eighth Munoz was in some trouble. He was hurt by a left and as he ducked to avoid the following right his knee touched the canvas but the referee let the action continue with a shaky Munoz making it to the bell to end the round. Munoz won the rest of the way. Scores 118-108, 118-109, and 118-110 for Munoz. “The Diamond”, 21, is trained by former world champion Pablo Chacon. Bolivian Averanga suffers his second loss in a row.
Suarez vs. Lopez
Suarez gets another inside the distance victory. Fighting at heavyweight for the first time Suarez dug in some hurtful body shots in the first with Lopez dropping to one knee to survive. Suarez continued to pound Lopez in the second and then put Lopez down with a left to the body in the third with the towel then coming in from Lopez’s corner. The former top level amateur and WBS fighter jumped from light heavy to heavy for this one and gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. Lopez dips to 1-5-1 in his last seven contests.
Pomezia, Italy: Cruiser: Francesco Versaci (21-3) W PTS 10 Francesco Cataldo (7-7).Versaci lifts the vacant Italian cruiser title at the second attempt with a unanimous decision in a close fight. Cataldo was able to get close and work well with hooks inside over the first three rounds with a static Versaci struggling to make space to use his longer reach. From the fourth Versaci became more mobile using good footwork to blunt Cataldo’s attacks and finding the range with his jab and rights. Versaci built a lead but after a close eighth Cataldo had a good ninth rocking Versaci with hard right hooks. Versaci took no risks after that and boxed with caution in the tenth. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-95 for 34-year-old Versaci a former holder of the national light heavy title. He turned pro back in 2005 at the age of twenty at which time he was the Youngest professional boxer in Italy but was inactive in 2014 and 2015 and in 2017 and 2018. Cataldo, 38, lost in a shot at this title in 2017 and was 1-4 in his last 5 going into this one.
Bangkok, Thailand: Super Bantam: Kongfah (31-1) W PTS 10 Edison Berwela (-44-8). Bantam: Petch Sor Chitpattana (54-1) W TKO 6 Hicham Boulahri (0-1). Super Fly: Yodmongkol (57-4) W PTS 6 Ali Mortazavi (0-2).
Kongfah vs. Berwela
Kongfah (Jakkrawut Majoogoen) outpoints Filipino travelling opponent Berwela. Scores 97-93 for Kongfah on all three cards. The 24-year-old Thai has won 17 in a row since being stopped in seven rounds by future champion Daigo Higa in 2015. Berwela is no 2-7 in his last nine fights but that includes contests in Japan, Thailand twice, Russia, Indonesia and Taipei.
Sor Chitpattana vs. Boulahri
Just some paid sparring for Sor Chitpattana (Tasana Salapat) as he stops a guy with no traceable record. Sor Chitpattana’s only loss was on points against Takuma Inoue for the interim WBC bantamweight title in December 2018.
Yodmongkol vs. Mortazavi
More paid sparring as former two-time WBA title challenger Yodmongkol decisions total novice Mortazavi. Yodmongkol has lost inside the distance in challenges against Juan Carlos Rivera for the secondary WBA title and to Artem Dalakian for the full title. Poor Iranian Mortazavi, 22, has gone the distance against two fighters with combined records of 126-9. Only in Thailand does this happen.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0) W KO 2 Ricardo Lara (22-8). Light Heavy: Artur Ziyatdinov (12-0) W KO 5 Cesar Reynoso (16-14-4). Super Middle: Vince Thibault (10-0) W TKO 2 Genaro Ortiz (10-8-2). Middle: Mponda Kalunga (8-2) W PTS 8 Clovis Drolet (11-1).
Jukembayev vs. Lara
Jukembayev brutalises Lara in destructive second round win. A wicked straight left followed by some heavy right hooks to the body dropped Lara in the first and he spat out his mouthguard to get some additional recovery time. It was a futile gesture as Jukembayev pounded Lara to the floor twice in the second. The 28-year-old Kazak southpaw has fourteen inside the distance wins and decisioned former IBF champion Manuel Vazquez in September. He looked sharp and vicious in his work here and the plan is to take him across the border into the USA to heighten his profile. Lara had lost a close decision to Tony Luis in October but was brushed aside in this one.
Ziyatdinov vs. Reynoso
Russian Ziyatdinov chalks up another victory as he halts Reynoso in five rounds. Ziyatdinov dominated this one all the way scoring three knockdowns before ending the fight with a left uppercut in the fifth. The 23-year-old 6’2” tall fighter from the Crimea started out as a cruiserweight but has now moved down to light heavy and has only had to go the distance three times in his twelve wins. Argentinian Reynoso, a former victim of Callum Smith is now 0-3 in visits to Canada.
Thibault vs. Ortiz
Former Elite level amateur Thibault returns after injury with quick victory over Ortiz. Thibault floored Ortiz twice in the first with head punches and after another knockdown in the second the referee just waived the fight off. A back injury sidelined the Quebec southpaw who was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. Ortiz has won only two of his last twelve fights and had been beaten on first round stoppage in each of his last two visits to Canada.
Kalunga vs. Drolin
Toronto-based Kalunga springs a surprise with split decision over unbeaten former Canadian amateur champion Drolin. It was Drolin who took the lead early with some strong attacks. He was coming forward in the third when he walked onto a left hook that put him on the floor. Drolin climbed up quickly but after a signal from his corn dropped again. He recovered well but in the fourth was sent to the canvas by a counter left hook and had to crawl to the ropes to pull himself up. He beat the count and fought back hard but the four points lost in the knockdowns was too much for him to claw back. Scores 76-74 twice for Kalunga and 76-74 for Drolin but not sure how Drolin could get 76 points after suffering two clean knockdowns. Sixth win in a row for Kalunga. Drolet was Canadian amateur champion in 2014 and 205 and competed at the Pan American Games. He had strong backing so will be given plenty of chance to get his career back on track.
Orleans, France: Middle: Rachid Achoul (15-0) W PTS 10 Michel Mothmora (31-29-2) W. Bantam: Loic Tajan (5-1) W TEC DEC 6 Anthony Chapat (5-3-1).
Achoul vs. Mothmora
Achoul outpoints champion Mothmora to win the national title. Achoul was taller with a longer reach and Mothmora never came to terms with that. The veteran is used to having edges in those departments but with Achoul the one enjoying those assets Mothmora just never really managed to get onto the fight. Achoul was on the front foot for all ten rounds. Mothmora used his experience to create some counters but was never able to get on the front foot and struggled all the way against a stronger opponent. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Achoul. The 28-year –old winner was in his first ten round fight. He looked strong but a bit stilted in his style. Mothmora was disappointed as it took him seven tries before he finally won a French title and he lost has lost it in his first defence. At 39 he has not yet announced his retirement and says he will wait until June before deciding as that will mark his 40th birthday.
Tajan vs. Chapat
Southpaw Tajan wins the vacant French title with technical decision over Chapat in an entertaining scrap. Tajan went out in front early flooring Chapat with a body punch in the first. Chapat fought back strongly bombarding Tajan with punches in the third and Tajan was cut over the left eye in a clash of heads. The third fourth and fifth saw both have some success in a fierce battle and I felt Chapat had moved into the lead. The cut over Tajan’s eye was bleeding heavily in the sixth and Chapat worsened it with some straight rights until the referee stopped the fight and the doctor ruled the cut was too bad for Tajan to continue. Scores 58-52, 58-53 and 57-53 for Tajan. His only loss was in September when he challenged unbeaten Elie Koki for the national title and lost a close decision. Former French flyweight champion Chapat battled hard but has now lost in two shots at the title.
Hamburg, Germany: Super Light: Artem Harutyunyan (9-0) W RTD 5 Miguel Antin (19-5). Super Welter: Abass Baraou (9-0) W RTD 5 Abraham Juarez (16-5). Light Heavy: James Kraft (17-0-1) W PTS 8 Nicolas Holcapfel (11-3). Heavy: Kem Ljungquist (10-0) W PTS 8 German Skobenko (5-5-2). Heavy: Mariano Strunz (14-15-1) W TKO 2 Jose Larduet (2-1).
Harutyunyan vs. Antin
On the first show co-promoted by Universum and Team Sauerland Olympic bronze medallist Harutyunyan dismantles Argentinian Antin. Harutyunyan was a few classes above Antin and was in full control from the first bell. He put Antin down in the third. Antin was already just looking to last the distance but as Harutyunyan came forward throwing punches Antin actually managed to drop before any of them landed. Harutyunyan continued to pound on Antin in the fourth and Antin declined to come out for the fifth. The Armenian-born Harutyunyan retains the IBO International title with win No 6 by KO/TKO but Antin was awful. With the help of some spectacularly judicious matching Antin was 17-0 at one time but is now 2-5 with three of those losses by KO/TKO.
Baraou vs. Juarez
Baraou has no trouble disposing of Juarez in four rounds. Baraou, one of the top prospects in German boxing was rocking Juarez with wicked combinations over the first three rounds. In the fourth Juarez took the fight to Baraou driving him to the ropes and firing some looping punches. That left him wide open and Baraou connected with a blazing left hook and straight right that had Juarez backing up on shaky legs. Baraou followed-up with more hooks as Juarez tumbled back to the floor. Juarez beat the count and made it to the bell but retired in his corner. The 25-year-old German of Togolese descent holds the WBC International title but that was not on the line here. He was one of Germany’s most successful amateur boxers winning gold at the European Championships and bronze at the World Championships. Additionally he was German champion in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and also won a gold medal in 2014. 2015 and 2016 at the prestigious Chemistry Cup Tournament. For the first time he was without his usual trainer, the almost legendary Ulli Wegner who is recovering from a broken neck bone. This is the third inside the distance loss for Juarez but they have all been against unbeaten European prospects.
Kraft vs. Holcapfel
Lanky “Baby Boy” Kraft eases to victory over late substitute Holcapfel. Kraft scored a knockdown in the fourth on his way to a unanimous points win. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-72 for Kraft. The 23-year-old 6’3” Kraft is of Kosovon descent with his real name being Musa Avdimetaj. He is being carefully matched but at 23 has plenty of time. Slovakian Holcapfel, 19, turned pro at 17 and has now lost three of his last four fights. He was given a 30 day suspension by the Swiss Commission that ended on the day of this fight.
Ljungquist vs. Skobenko
Danish heavyweight hope Ljungquist outpoints Ukrainian Skobenko but in a flat performance. The 6’6 ½” southpaw used his big edges in height and reach against the 6’0 ½” Skobenko and made a bright enough start. He never really kicked on from there with the fight being one-paced with few highlights. Skobenko never looked like turning the fight his way and Ljungquist never looked like winning inside the distance. Scores 80-72, 80-74 and 79-73 for Ljungquist. A former Danish amateur champion Ljungquist competed at the European championships where he decisioned Peter Kadiru but lost to Frazer Clarke. Four losses on the trot for Skobenko.
Larduet vs. Strunz
Huge disappointment for experienced Cuban Larduet. What should have been a comfortable win for Larduet ended in the second round with Larduet suffering a knee injury. He was unable to continue and Argentinian Strunz was crowned the winner. The 6’ 4 ½” 29-year-old Larduet only turned pro in September last year after winning a substantial number of gold medals in compiling a 118-39 record. No idea yet of the seriousness of the injury. Strunz was 1-6 going in so he gets a very unexpected victory.
Minneapolis, MN, USA: Super Middle: Caleb Truax (31-4-2,1ND) W PTS 10 David Kitooke (16-5-1). Disappointing performance by former IBF champion Truax as he relies on two point deductions against Kitooke (Basajjamivule) to get the majority division. With less than five rounds of activity over the last seventeen months at least he got in some ring time. Truax actually started well scoring with some heavy rights and opening a bad cut over the right eye of the Ugandan in the third round. Kitooke was deducted a point in the fourth for as punch to the back of the head but came on strong over the middle rounds. Truax rallied in the seventh and eighth only for Kitooke to finish strongly and then lose another point in the tenth again for a punch to the back of the neck. Scores 97-91 and 95-93 for Truax and 94-94. The 36-year-old local was having his first fight since his contest with Peter Quillin in April last year. That lasted less than two rounds when Truax was cut in a head clash leading to a No Decision verdict. He is scheduled to fight Ghanaian Ernest Amuzu in Nashville on 15 February. Kenyan-based Kitooke was having his first fight since losing to Russian Ruslan Fayfer in June 2017 but showed no rust and his losses have all come against quality fighters.
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Danny Garcia (36-2) W PTS 12 Ivan Redkach (23-5-1,1ND). Super bantam: Stephen Fulton (18-0) W PTS 12 Arnold Khegai (16-1-1).Super Welter: Jarrett Hurd (24-1) W PTS 10 Francisco Santana (25-8-1).
Garcia vs. Redkach
Garcia protects his WBO No 1 ranking with untesting victory over Redkach. Garcia just had too much of everything for Redkach and dominated the action in every round in a slow-paced fight without any real high points-apart from a biting incident. Redkach was taking the fight to Garcia in the early rounds which suited Garcia who was able to find the range with his jab and score well with body punches. Redkach kept pressing but as early as the fourth he was already showing some slowing from Garcia’s body punches. Garcia began to go on the front foot more over the fifth and six and rocked Redkach with an uppercut in the seventh. He looked close to forcing a stoppage as he bombarded Redkach with punches in the eighth with Redkach taking a bite out of Garcia in frustration but the referee missed the incident so no punishment for that sin. The doctor checked on Redkach before the start of the ninth and let him continue. In the ninth and tenth Garcia continued to get through with jabs and hooks to the body with very little coming back from Redkach. A step-up in output from Garcia might have had Redkach ready to go but that step-up did not come and Redkach actually held his own in the eleventh to take the round and he did enough against a slowing Garcia to make the last round close. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110 for Garcia. Naturally Garcia is looking for a fight with either Manny Pacquiao for the WBA title or with IBF/WBC champion Errol Spencer but right now he is mandatory challenger to Terence Crawford. Ukrainian southpaw Redkach was coming off a sixth round kayo of Devon Alexander in June so the pendulum swings back to negative again for him. As for the biting I am not the kind to make silly jokes about hungry fighters or that Redkach would have fought tooth and nail if he had not been wearing gloves-oops I just did so,
Fulton vs. Khegai
Masterful performance from Fulton as gets wide decision over Khegai. Fulton was the first to settle into his stride as he slotted home jabs and worked well to the body with left hooks over the opening rounds but Khegai did enough to make both rounds close. Khegai was much more in the fight in the third and fourth as found the range with his jab. He earned a rebuke from the referee after slamming Fulton the floor with a wrestling hold late in the third but he clearly took the fourth with some good body punching that had Fulton backing up signalling for Khegai to do his best-never a good sign in a boxer. Fulton was in the driving seat over the middle rounds. He was outworking Khegai and was more accurate with his shots. Khegai had occasional success when he was able to back Fulton up but Fulton was winning the rounds. The fight was messy for a while with Khegai trying to hustle Fulton out of his control but he was warned for some questionable tactics as the fight slipped away from him. Fulton had swept rounds five to ten but Khegai rallied in the eleventh having Fulton backing up under some powerful hooking. Fulton boxed his way through the last finding plenty of openings as Khegai looked for a big punch to save the fight. Scores 117-112 twice and 116-112 for Fulton. The 25-year-old Philadelphian wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. He was IBO champion but had to relinquish that title to get the WBO to approve this fight as an eliminator. Filipino Albert Pagara is No 1 so Fulton will probably have to wait until the second half of the year before he gets a title shot. Philadelphia-based Ukrainian Khegai, a former World and European champion at Muay Thai boxing, was No 2 with the WBO but has blown that now along with his high IBF ranking so he starts again
Hurd vs. Santana
With Santana’s poor recent record it was thought possible that Hurd might blow him away early but Hurd was more restrained than in the past and seemed to be intent on boxing his way to victory. He controlled the fight with his jab over the first two rounds with Santana having difficulty in adjusting to these unexpected tactics. Santana pushed hard over the third and fourth but just could get past the strong jabs of Hurd and was also having to take incoming hooks to the body. Briefly in the fifth Hurd upped his attacks standing and trading close with Santana and using his right more but then he went on the back foot again in the sixth and seventh. The fight was too one sided to be entertaining and there was some booing as the crowd was not getting the usual fireworks from Hurd. The situation was not helped by Hurd allowing his pace to drop in the eighth but he woke up again in the ninth connecting with some hard rights and he finished the fight strongly dropping Santana with a series of left hooks. Santana made it to his feet just as the bell went. Scores 99-90 twice and 97-92 for Hurd. The former IBF/WBA/IBO champion was having his first fight since being floored and outpointed when losing his title to Julian Williams in May. He has set a high standard of power and aggression and his more measured approach in this fight disappointed the fans and it remains to be seen whether this will be the Hurd we see in the future or he reverts to his more exciting but riskier style. Santana was 1-3 going into this one but had been matched tough and not active enough with just one fight in 2017, one in 2018 and his last against Abel Ramos in March 2019.
Fight of the week (Significance): Danny Garcia’s win over Ivan Redkach keeps him in the lucrative welterweight title hunt
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing really stood out.
Fighter of the week: Danny Garcia not at his best but found a way to win
Punch of the week: Driven straight left from Batyrzhan Jukembayev that was the beginning of the end for Ricardo Lara. Honourable mention to the left from Abass Baraou that led to the Mexican’s downfall
Upset of the week: Mponda Kalunga was just meant to be another step along the road for unbeaten Clovis Drolet but proved to be a disguised trip wire.
Prospect watch: Twenty-three-year-old Russian light heavyweight Artur Ziyatdinov 12-0, 9 wins by KO/TKO is progressing well
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (21-0): WBO #10 / IBF #14
The 2008 Olympic Silver medalist defended his WBO Oriental title against Andriy Rudenko (32-5) in Monaco.
-Muhamad Farkhan (11-0): WBA #13
Malaysian knockout artist Muhamad Farkhan stopped Pascal Abel Ndomba (24-10), on December 29th, to capture the WBA & WBC Asia championships.
-Meng Fanlong (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #15
Meng will challenge Artur Beterbiev (15-0) for the IBF title, on March 28th, in Canada.
-Manny Pacquiao (62-7): WBA (Super) World champion
Pacman’s looks to former World champions Danny Garcia (36-2) and Shawn Porter (30-3) as his potential opponents for 2020.
-Apinun Khongsong (16-0): IBF #1
Apinun is set to clash with the IBF champion Josh Taylor (16-0) possibly in May.
-Daud Yordan (40-4): WBO #11
The former world title contender earned his 28th KO victory last November, over Michael Mokoena (15-5), back in his home country of Indonesia. Yordan has resumed training while waiting for his next fight.
-Xiangxiang Sun (16-0): IBF #13
Sun defended his IBF Asia title against Monico Laurente (30-17) last year.
-Joe Noynay (18-2): WBO #4
Noynay earned the biggest win of his career last summer as he dominated 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-1) to retain his WBO Asia Pacific crown. His defense over Kenichi Ogawa (24-1) ended in a technical draw.
-Xiao Tao Su (11-1): WBO #14
The Chinese fighter dispatched Shota Yukawa (11-6) in one round to win the vacant WBO Oriental title.
-Can Xu (18-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The Chinese star defended his belt in a one sided affair against Manny Robles III (18-1) on November 23rd. His next goal is to fight Josh Warrington (30-0).
-Mark Magsayo (20-0): WBC #6 / WBA #11 / IBF #15
Magsayo beat the former 2 time World champion Panya Uthok (53-8) back in August. The unbeaten Filipino will now be training under legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach.
-Jeo Santisima (19-2): WBO #4
Santisima challenges Emanuel Navarrete (30-1) for the WBO World championship on February 22nd.
-Albert Pagara (32-1): WBO #6
The former WBO & IBF Intercontinental champion made short work of Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-4) last summer.
-Mike Plania (23-1): IBF #13
Plania earned a unanimous decision over Giovanni Gutierrez (10-1), winning the IBF North American title in the process.
-Thattana Luangphon (9-0): WBC #14
The undefeated Thai fighter had an impressive 2019, winning 6 fights as well as the WBC Asia championship.
-Alie Laurel (17-4): WBO #14
Laurel defeated Ernesto Saulong (22-6) for the WBO Oriental title.
-Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8): WBC #13
In a surprising turn of events, Ramonal knocked out Yusaku Kuga (19-4) on New Year’s Eve, becoming the new WBO Asia Pacific champion.
-Marlon Tapales (33-3): IBF #5
Tapales lost to Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3), on December 7th, in an interim IBF title match.
-John Riel Casimero (29-4): WBO World champion
Casimero dispatched Zolani Tete (28-4) within 3 rounds, becoming a 3 division World champion in the process. A unification fight with the WBA (Super) & IBF title holder Naoya Inoue (19-0) will take place on April 25th.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (48-1): WBC #2
Nawaphon has been undefeated in his last 12 bouts, including KO victories over former World champions Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) as well as Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3).
-Nonito Donaire (40-6): WBC #1 / WBO #4
The 4 division World champion will meet Nordine Oubaali (17-0) for the WBC title, probably before summer.
-Tasana Salapat (54-1): WBC #8 / WBA #9
Salapat scored his 39th knockout a few weeks ago in Thailand.
-Michael Dasmarinas (30-2): IBF #1 / WBO #7 / WBC #12
No word on what’s next for Dasmarinas, who has been the IBF mandatory challenger since March of last year.
-Reymart Gaballo (23-0): WBA #4 / IBF #6 / WBO #15
The former interim WBA champion outclassed Chaiwat Buatkrathok (32-3) in his most recent fight.
-Karoon Jarupianlerd (44-9): WBA #13
Karoon earned a unanimous decision over Renz Rosia (16-9) this past September.
-Vincent Astrolabio (15-3): WBO #11
Astrolabio defended his WBO Oriental title against Wilbert Berondo (14-5).
-Jun Zhao (13-2): WBA #14
After making short work of Jay Francis Buray (11-2) this January, Zhao put his WBA Asia title on the line once again on March 30th against Kai Chiba (12-1).
-Jerwin Ancajas (32-1): IBF World champion
Ancajas will mark his 9th title defense, against Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1), in April.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBO #7
The former 2 time WBC champion is expected to return in the ring soon.
-Donnie Nietes (42-1): WBC #5
After missing 2019 due to a shoulder injury, the 4 division World champion is planning on making a comeback this year.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (57-4): WBA #3
The former interim WBA titlist has been 7-0 since losing to Artem Dalakian.
-Jade Bornea (15-0): IBF #6 / WBA #15
Bornea fought and beat fellow unbeaten prospect Ernesto Delgadillo (11-1) on January 30th and also captured the NABF title.
-Froilan Saludar (31-3): WBO #9
Saludar defends his WBO Asia Pacific title, against Ryoji Fukunaga (11-4), on February 14th.
-Komgrich Nantapech (27-5): IBF #13
The former world title challenger fought 2 back to back matches last year, stopping both of his opponents.
- KJ Cataraja (11-0): WBO #12
Cataraja stopped Crison Omayao (24-22) a few months ago.
-Sarawut Thawornkham (21-2): WBA #13
Thawornkham TKOed Samuel Tehuayo (21-46) winning the WBA Asia title as well.
-Giemel Magramo (24-1): WBO #1 / IBF #3 / WBC #4 / WBA #5
Magramo and Angel Acosta (21-1) might be squaring off in the near future for the vacant WBO World title.
-Jayson Mama (14-0): IBF #4 / WBO #8
The undefeated Filipino had an impressive 2019, with victories over Teeraphong Utaida (39-7) and former World champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7).
-Wenfeng Ge (12-1): WBO #7
Wenfeng earned the biggest victory of his career when he outboxed 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-8) to capture the WBO Global title.
-Dave Apolinario (13-0): WBA #14
Apolinario added 4 more wins to his record in 2019.
-Jayr Raquinel (12-1): WBC #12 / IBF #15
Raquinel returned after almost an entire year of inactivity this past summer, and stopped former world title challenger Takuya Kogawa (30-6) as well as Indonesian journeyman Jack Amisa (21-47)
-Genisis Libranza (19-1): IBF #8 / WBC #15
Libranza has been 8-0 since losing to Moruti Mthalane.
-Tibo Monabesa (20-1): WBC #7 / IBF #14
Monabesa wants a shot at the WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0).
-Panya Pradabsri (30-1): WBO #3 / WBA #5 / WBC #14
Pradabsri knocked out former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (29-11) on December 20th in less than 2 minutes.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (17-0): WBA #2 / WBO #9
“D’Golden Boy” defended his WBA Asia title against Richard Rosales (14-11).
-Thanongsak Simsri (13-0): WBA #12
Undefeated Thai fighter Simsri won a very close decision over Christian Bacolod (12-1) in Japan.
-Edward Heno (14-1): WBO #10
Heno unsuccessfully challenged the WBO World champion Elwin Soto (16-1).
-Mark Vicelles (11-0): WBO #11 / WBC #15
Vicelles defeated Jesse Espinas (20-4) last summer.
-Christian Araneta (17-1): IBF #9
Araneta lost an IBF eliminator to Daniel Valladares (22-1).
-John Michael Zulueta (11-0): WBA #14
Zulueta captured the IBF Asia title last September.
-Thammanoon Niyomtrong (20-0): WBA World champion
The undefeated Thai champion has defended his belt 7 times.
-Pedro Taduran (14-2): IBF World champion
Taduran fought Daniel Valladares (22-1) to a technical draw.
-Chayaphon Moonsri (54-0): WBC World champion
Moonsri beat Simpiwe Konkco (19-6) back in October to mark his 12th successful defense.
-Jing Xiang (17-4): WBO #1 / WBC #8 / WBA #11
Xiang won the WBO International title on his Strawweight debut.
-Lito Dante (16-11): IBF #9
The OPBF champion will face Sulis Barrera (4-7) on February 8th and then has a date with former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (12-3) on March 17th.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2): IBF #4 / WBO #9
Cuarto defeated Jayson Francisco (5-2) 2 months ago.
-Vic Saludar (20-4): WBO #2 / WBA #10
The former WBO World champion knocked out Mike Kinaadman (7-13) on December 21st.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #3 / IBF #7 / WBA #15
Paradero hasn’t fought since April of 2019.
-Melvin Jerusalem (15-2): WBC #1 / IBF #5 / WBO #6
Jerusalem defeated Reymark Taday (10-11) last summer.
-Samuel Salva (18-1): IBF #8
Salva suffered an injury in his match with Pedro Taduran (14-2), costing him the opportunity to become the IBF champion. He bounced back with a win over Donny Mabao (23-43) on January 19th
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Alexander Povetkin (35-2): WBA #7 / WBC #9 / IBF #10
The former Olympic & World champion might be facing Dillian Whyte (27-1) on April 18th.
-Evgeny Romanov (14-0): WBO #8
Romanov kept his undefeated record intact throughout 2019 and also became the inaugural WBO Global Heavyweight champion.
-Sergey Kuzmin (15-1): WBA #12
Kuzmin’s fight with Zhang Zhilei (21-0) was cancelled due to the Russian suffering an injury during training. He will step into a US ring again later this month. (Date & opponent TBA)
-Aleksei Egorov (10-0): WBA Gold champion
Egorov bested Roman Golovashchenko (20-5) within 3 rounds to be declared the new WBA Gold champion. He defended his belt on December 7th against Serhiy Radchenko (7-5). Egorov now stands next in line for Arsen Goulamirian’s Super title.
-Evgeny Tishchenko (6-0): WBO #7 / IBF #13
The 2016 Olympic champion won the vacant WBO Intercontinental title after knocking out Abraham Tabul (16-3) in the opening round and defended it against Issa Akberbayev (20-1). Tishchenko will put his belt on the line again on March 7th. (Opponent TBA)
-Ruslan Fayfer (25-1): IBF #1 / WBC #5 / WBO #6 / WBA #11
Fayfer defeated Yury Kashinsky (18-1) to become the #1 contender for the IBF championship. He will now clash with former world title challenger Dmitry Kudryashov (24-3), on May 8th, in a WBC eliminator.
-Aleksei Papin (11-1): WBC #9
The former kickboxing star & 2 time IBF International champion wants a revenge match with Ilunga Makabu (27-2).
-Dmitry Kudryashov (24-3): WBC #11 / IBF #15
The former WBC Silver & WBA International champion won a controversial decision over Vaclav Pejsar (14-9) on December 21st. As mentioned above, he meets Ruslan Fayfer next in Russia.
-Artur Beterbiev (15-0): IBF & WBC World champion
The unified WBC & IBF champion defends his belts against mandatory challenger Fanlong Meng (16-0), on March 28th, in Canada. It’s also worth mentioning that, according to a representative of the Russian Boxing federation, a major event will take place at the Gazprom Arena (67K capacity), this coming August, which will be headlined by Beterbiev.
-Dmitry Bivol (17-0): WBA (Super) World champion
Bivol’s 7th defense is rumored to be against either the undefeated former WBO Super Middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez (40-0) or Badou Jack (22-3) in April.
-Maksim Vlasov (45-3): WBO #3 / IBF #10
Vlasov defended his WBO Global title twice last year, over Isaac Chilemba (26-7) as well as Emmanuel Martey (15-1). It’s very likely that he and Umar Salamov square off for the vacant WBO World championship in the near future.
-Igor Mikhalkin (23-2): WBC #8 / IBF #11 / WBO #14 / WBA #14
Mikhalkin will have the opportunity to become a 2 time European champion, when he meets Callum Johnson (18-1) in Manchester, for the vacant EBU title, on March 7th.
-Umar Salamov (25-1): WBO #2 / IBF #4 / WBA #9
Salamov successfully retained the WBO International title for the 3rd time after knocking out Emmanuel Danso (31-5) in September. As aforementioned, a fight with Vlasov for the WBO World title could take place soon.
-Sergey Kovalev (34-4): WBO #6 / WBC #6
The former WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF World champion aims to continue his career in 2020.
-Fedor Chudinov (22-2): WBA Gold champion
Fedor fought 4 times in 2019. He most recently bested Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (37-5) in Vladikavkaz, to capture the WBA Gold championship. Chudinov will return to the ring this coming March.
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (13-0): WBA #2 / WBO #7
The unified WBA International, WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental champion defended his belts this past December, against Omar Garcia (15-3), whom he knocked out in the 8th round. According to his manager, Aidos has already started training for his next bout. The details will be revealed soon.
-Azizbek Abdugofurov (13-0): WBC #2
Azizbek will put his WBC Silver title on the line against the WBO International champion Lerrone Richards (13-0) on April 18th.
-Aslambek Idigov (17-0): WBO #6
The WBO & IBF European champion will face former MMA fighter Ryan Ford (17-5) on February 21st.
-Bektemir Melikuziev (4-0): WBA #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver medalist made his pro debut in 2019, winning 4 fights in a row and also capturing the WBA Continental Americas title. His next opponent will be former world title challenger Marco Antonio Periban (25-5). The match takes place next week.
-Vladimir Shishkin (10-0): WBC #15
Shishkin remained undefeated on January 17th while also ruining Ulises Sierra’s (15-1) perfect record in the process.
-Ali Akhmedov (16-0): WBC #14
Akhmedov defended his WBC International Silver title against Andrew Hernandez (20-8) 3 months ago.
-Evgeny Shvedenko (13-0): IBF #9
Shvedenko earned 2 unanimous decision victories over Nadjib Mohammedi (42-8) and Nuhu Lawal (27-6) last year.
-Gennady Golovkin (40-1): IBF World champion
Triple G will mark his inaugural IBF title defense against the unbeaten Kamil Szeremeta (21-0) on March 28th.
-Kanat Islam (27-0): WBO #4
The 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist made his triumphant return after a 2 year hiatus and demolished Julio De Jesus (27-2) in 14 seconds to become the new WBO International champion. He then defeated former world title challenger Walter Kautondokwa (18-2) last October.
-Magomed Madiev (14-0): WBA #2
Madiev won a hard fought battle with Evgeny Terentiev (15-2) to defend his Eurasian title.
-Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0): WBO #5 / WBC #10 / IBF #12
The 2013 AIBA World champion knocked out Albert Onolunose (24-3) in November to successfully defend his WBO Global & WBC Continental Americas titles. His next fight will be this coming March. The exact date and opponent will be announced soon.
-Meiirim Nursultanov (13-0): IBF #8
Nursultanov took a unanimous decision over Christian Olivas (18-6) to win the WBC US title this past November.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #3 / WBC #11
Murtazaliev has scored victories over Elvin Ayala (29-13), Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-8) and Jorge Fortea (20-2) in 2019.
-Israil Madrimov (4-0): WBA #3
The WBA Intercontinental champion will fight 15 year veteran Charlie Navarro (29-9) on February 29th.
-Magomed Kurbanov (18-0): WBA #4 / WBO #7 / WBC #7
Kurbanov defeated former interim WBA World titlist Diego Gabriel Chaves (27-6) to become a 2 time WBO International champion. His first defense will be on March 7th. (Opponent TBA)
-Artem Oganesyan (11-0): WBO #14
The Russian rising star will face Fouad El Massoudi (17-12) on February 21st.
-Alexander Besputin (14-0): WBA (Regular) World champion
Besputin tested positive for a banned substance and could be stripped of his title.
-Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0): IBF #1 / WBC #5 / WBO #9
Kudratillo might face Lipinets for the interim IBF championship on February 22nd.
-David Avanesyan (26-3): WBC #4 / IBF #6 / WBA #6 / WBO #10
Avanesyan will put his European title on the line, against the former WBA International champion Josh Kelly (10-0), on March 24th.
-Sergey Lipinets (16-1): WBO #3 / IBF #3 / WBC #7
The former IBF Super Lightweight World champion could be locking horns with the undefeated Kudratillo Abdukakhorov really soon.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0): WBA #7 / IBF #7 / WBO #15
Zhangabayev was supposed to defend his WBA Intercontinental title against Ernesto Espana (30-2) on December 21st but the match was cancelled due to injury. He will make his return next month. It’s not known yet if Espana will be his opponent.
-Shakhram Giyasov (9-0): WBA #7 / IBF #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver medalist knocked out the former interim WBA World champion Darleys Perez (34-5), in less than a minute, to defend his WBA International title.
-Shohjahon Ergashev (18-0): WBA #6 / IBF #6 / WBO #13
The undefeated Ergashev stopped Adrian Estrella (29-5) in the opening round of their contest, with a nasty body shot, a few weeks ago.
-Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) WBO #9
Turarov made short work of Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (32-5) last summer, thus becoming the new WBO Intercontinental champion.
-Eduard Troyanovsky (28-2): WBC #7 / IBF #13
The former IBF World champion defeated Josef Zahradnik (11-4) in his comeback match.
-Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0): IBF #8 / WBC #12 / WBA #15
Jukembayev scored a major victory, this past September, defeating longtime World Lightweight title holder Miguel Vazquez (42-9) to become the WBA Continental & IBF Intercontinental champion. He then knocked out Ricardo Lara (22-8) on January 25th.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-1): WBA #5
Akhmedov and Mario Barrios (25-0) are very likely to meet again for the WBA (Regular) title in 2020.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #3 / IBF #12
The former WBO European & Intercontinental champion has signed with Top Rank and will be making his US debut in the coming months.
-Pavel Malikov (16-1): IBF #8 / WBO #14
Malikov earned a majority decision against former world title challenger Isa Chaniev (13-3).
-Zapir Rasulov (34-1): WBA #15
The Russian knockout artist will face Augusto Pinilla (16-14) on April 21st.
Viktor Kotochigov (11-0): WBC #13
Kotochigov defended his WBC International title against Javier Jose Clavero (27-6) this past December.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-1): WBC #6
Zaur suffered an injury during his interim WBC title fight with Devin Haney (24-0) and couldn’t capture the gold.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (15-0): IBF #1 / WBC #4
Rakhimov knocked out Azinga Fuzile (14-1) to become the number 1 contender for the IBF World championship.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (15-0): WBA #6
Sulaimanbek stopped both Pipat Chaiporn (47-13) and Milner Marcano (21-9) in 2019 to defend his WBA Asia title. He now challenges Mark Urvanov for the WBO International title, on March 7th.
-Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (15-0): WBC #7 / WBO #8 / IBF #15
The undefeated WBC International champion marked his inaugural title defense against former interim WBA World titlist Emanuel Lopez (30-12) and his second one against Abraham Montoya (18-2). He will compete again on March 7th. (Opponent TBA)
-Mark Urvanov (17-2): WBO #10
Urvanov earned the biggest win of his career last year, when he knocked out former world title challenger Evgeny Chuprakov (21-2) to capture the WBO International championship. As said above, he will mark his inaugural defense against Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu.
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0): WBC #1
The 2012 Olympic Silver medalist will challenge Gary Russell Jr. (30-1) for the WBC World championship on February 8th.
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0): WBA & IBF World champion.
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist edged Daniel Roman (27-3) to become a World champion at the age of 25. His next opponent could be the interim IBF title holder Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3).
-Nikolai Potapov (21-2): WBO #10 / IBF #10
Potapov got the DQ victory over Nasibu Ramadhani (29-15) in October.
-Mikhail Aloyan (5-1): WBA Gold champion
The 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist made a successful in ring comeback on December 10th, besting Ronal Batista (12-2) to capture the WBA Gold championship.
-Olimjon Nazarov (21-5): WBO #9
Nazarov has been on an impressive 8 fight winning streak since 2018. His latest victory was over Chaiwat Buadkratok (32-3) in Vietnam. Nazarov will square off with Orlie Silvestre (15-5) on February 29th for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Ryota Murata (16-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The Olympic champion knocked out Steven Butler (28-2) in his inaugural WBA title defence on New Year’s Eve. A match with Canelo could be realised in Fall.
-Takeshi Inoue (16-1): WBO #10 / IBF #14 / WBC #15
Inoue made short work of Thai veteran Komsan Polsan (39-12) to become the WBO Asia Pacific champion for the second time. He also dominated Chinese fighter Cheng Su (14-3) on January 18th.
-Keita Obara (23-4): IBF #4
Obara successfully challenged Yuki Nagano (17-3) on February 1st, winning the Japanese strap once more, this time in a different weight class.
-Yuki Beppu (21-1): WBO #14
In what was an absolute thriller, Yuki Beppu came back from 5 knockdowns and stopped Ryota Yada (19-6), capturing the WBO Asia Pacific title in the process.
-Koki Inoue (15-0): WBO #15
The unified Japanese & WBO Asia Pacific champion will put his national title on the line, against Daishi Nagata (14-2) on March 16th.
-Andy Hiraoka (15-0): IBF #14 / WBC #20
The Japanese youngster earned the biggest win of his career, this past summer, over former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo (32-9). He also made a successful US debut against Rogelio Casarez (13-9) on November 30th.
-Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0): WBO #13 / WBC #15
Yoshino knocked out Harmonito Dela Torre (20-3) in just one round to unify the Japanese, OBPF & WBO Asia Pacific belts. He now meets Izuki Tomioka (7-2) on February 13th.
-Masayuki Ito (26-2): WBO #5 / WBC #13
The former World titlist was supposed to be involved in a WBO final eliminator, on February 2nd, but due to an injury, he’s out of the match.
-Kenichi Ogawa (24-1): IBF #3 / WBA #4 / WBO #7 / WBC #18
Ogawa’s fight with Joe Noynay (18-2), from this past December, ended with a technical draw.
-Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4): IBF #9
Nishitani beat Monico Laurente (30-16) 2 months ago.
-Tomoki Kameda (36-3): WBA #4 / WBC #15
The former WBO Bantamweight & interim WBC Super Bantamweight champion is planning his Featherweight debut.
-Musashi Mori (11-0): WBO #6 / WBC #22
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title twice in 2019, against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-10) as well as Takuya Mizuno (17-2).
-Hiroshige Osawa (36-5): WBA #1 / IBF #10 / WBC #19
Osawa defeated Jason Butar Butar (32-27) back in October.
-Ryo Sagawa (9-1): WBC #9 / IBF #14 / WBO #15
Sagawa earned a unanimous decision over Ryo Hino (13-2) to retain his Japanese title.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3): interim IBF World champion
Iwasa secured the interim IBF title, after stopping Marlon Tapales (33-3), this past December. He is expected to unify with the new WBA/IBF champion & Olympic Bronze medalist Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0) later this year.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2): IBF #7
Teshigawara has defended his OPBF championship 3 times in 2019, against Yuki Iriguchi (10-3), Shohei Kawashima (18-4) and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3). All knockout victories.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #4
The former IBF champion hasn’t competed since last May.
-Naoya Inoue (19-0): WBA (Super) & IBF World champion
The Monster will be involved in another unification match, on April 25th, this time with the WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4).
-Daigo Higa (15-1): WBC #7
The former WBC Flyweight World champion will make his Bantamweight debut on February 13th against Jason Buenaobra (7-4).
-Keita Kurihara (15-5): IBF #5
Kurihara scored 2 knockout victories in 2019 over former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-10) and the IBF Pan Pacific champion Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-11).
-Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8): IBF #12 / WBO #14 / WBC #21
Kobayashi defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against Ki Chang Go (8-4) on December 22nd.
-Takuma Inoue (13-1): WBC #6
The former interim WBC champion will resume his career in 2020.
-Kazuto Ioka (24-2): WBO World champion.
Japan’s first ever 4 division World champion broke the undefeated streak of Jeyvier Cintron (11-1) to successfully retain his WBO crown on New Year’s Eve. Ioka hopes to face the WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3) next.
-Kosei Tanaka (15-0): WBO World champion
Tanaka obliterated Wulan Tuolehazi (13-4), on New Year’s Eve, in just a few rounds. The 3 division World champion has expressed his wish to move up to Super Flyweight and challenge Kazuto Ioka.
-Junto Nakatani (20-0): WBA #1 / WBC #3 / WBO #3 / IBF #7
Nakatani scored the biggest win of his career last October, when he outclassed former IBF World champion Milan Melindo (37-5).
-Ryota Yamauchi (5-1): WBA #3
Yamauchi beat the WBA Asia champion Alphoe Dagayloan (14-3) last year. He now takes on MJ Bo (8-3) on February 14th.
-Akira Yaegashi (28-7): IBF #12
The former 3 division champion came up short in his quest to recapture the IBF title.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0): WBA (Super) World champion.
Kyoguchi will return to action either in April or in May.
-Kenshiro Teraji (17-0): WBC World champion.
The unstoppable Kenshiro marked his 7th title defense, on December 23rd, over former interim WBA champion Randy Petalcorin (31-4).
-Sho Kimura (18-3): WBO #7 / WBA #10
Former World champions collide on February 15th, as Sho Kimura squares off with Merlito Sabillo (27-7) in the Philippines.
-Daiki Tomita (14-1): WBO #13
Tomita returned the WBO Asia Pacific title and will now be fighting Kenichi Horikawa (40-16) for the vacant OPBF championship, on March 1st.
-Yuto Takahashi (11-4): IBF #6
The Japanese champion defends against Masamichi Yabuki (10-3) on March 15th.
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8 / WBC #16
Konishi failed to capture the IBF title from Felix Alvarado (35-2).
-Masamichi Yabuki (10-3): WBC #12
Yabuki challenges Yuto Takahashi for the Japanese belt as aforementioned.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-10): WBC #3 / IBF #4
Hisada’s impressive 13 fight winning streak came to an end, when he challenged Hiroto Kyoguchi for the WBA (Super) title.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-16): WBC #5 / IBF #13
As mentioned above, Horikawa and Daiki Tomita will face each other for the OPBF strap.
-Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0): WBA #8 / WBO #14 / WBC #14
Shigeoka knocked out former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-15) on December 31st to retain his WBO Asia Pacific championship.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-7): WBC #3 / IBF #3 / WBO #5 / WBA #13
Tanaka vacated the Japanese title, as he aims at a world championship fight in 2020.
-Masataka Taniguchi (12-3): WBO #4 / WBC #11
The former WBO Asia Pacific champion Taniguchi will clash with the OPBF champion Lito Dante (16-11) on March 17th, for both the OPBF & the vacant Japanese titles.
-Takumi Sakae (22-3): WBO #11 / IBF #13 / WBC #40
Sakae fought thrice last year, knocking out all of his opponents.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #9 / IBF #14
Koura is scheduled to return on February 27th, against Yujie Zeng (14-10).
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